An Ecologically Illiterate Budget

An Ecologically Illiterate Budget

In 1991, when the then Finance Minister Manmohan Singh ushered in ‘economic reforms’ that catapulted India into the global economy, I had asked him a question in a public lecture he gave, about how he intended to balance rapid economic growth with environmental protection. He said that the experience of the west is that once there is enough money in the economy through growth, it can be put for ecological purposes.

Leaving aside for the moment the fallacy of believing that all ecological damage can be compensated (a rainforest drowned under a dam can’t be recreated, however much money you pour into it), the qs is: have governments put in the substantial new financial resources raised through rapid growth into environmental protection? A simple answer: NO!

Depressed Minds, Suicidal Thoughts and Unsafe Nests: Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Depressed Minds, Suicidal Thoughts and Unsafe Nests: Mental Health during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Experts believe that there will be a surge in cases of mental illness in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic due to lasting impact of physical distancing, quarantine and socio-economic factors. According to World Health Organization (WHO), every 40 seconds a person dies by suicide, and it is the second leading cause of deaths in the cohort of 15-29 year-olds. A paper by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) showed that in 2017, 197 million Indians were suffering from mental disorders of whom 46 million had depressive disorders and 45 million had anxiety disorders.

The spread of the novel coronavirus has aggravated the situation. The disease was further declared as air borne, forcing people to limit their movement and physical contact, challenging the survival of humanity. Information through various mediums on the coronavirus is constantly developing fear, stress and anxiety making people often think, say or do what may not be considered ‘appropriate’ under ‘normal circumstances’.