In office on a Public Holiday


Today has been declared as a public holiday in Baghdad to commemorate the death of Imam Moussa ibn Jaafar al-Kadhim, the seventh of 12 principal Shiite imams, who died in 799. Shiites walk for hours, and often for days, from across the country to reach the mosque in Kadhimiyah, known for its twin golden domes. The mosque was built atop […]

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Earth Hour Tonight

This evening, around 1.3 billion people will go without light at 8:30 pm and at 9:30 pm, and at 10:30 pm, and for the rest of the night, just like every other night of the year. Having no access to electricity, darkness after sunset is a constant reality for these people. At the same time, another 1 billion people will participate in “Earth Hour” by turning off their lights and non-essential appliances from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm in symbolic support for climate change mitigation. Yes, anything to save the environment. But do we really have to wait for this each year to make a difference? After so many years of announcing the scientific basis for climate change, is token symbolic support the way to move forward? Or should we instead be thinking of ways to actually cut carbon emissions? There are a few of the things we may do like Carbon tax, Carbon costing, going for alternative green sources but the operative word here is action. Now, it’s a time to move ahead from one-hour high-profile symbolism to real, concrete actions, if we are to move forward towards climate change mitigation. Also, we should not forget to reach electricity to the rest of the world, for whom observing “Earth Hour” is a luxury.

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A Road Made From Waste Plastics

Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company (JUSCO), a Tata enterprise, was carved out of Tata Steel from its Town Services Division in 2004 in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand (India). Jamshedpur is known not only for its steel but also for green and clean city. Jusco has constructed a road in Jamshedpur, made from waste plastic. According to the contractors, 90% of bitumen is amalgamated with 10% of plastic that includes everyday waste ranging from carry bags to miscellaneous items like biscuit and gutka packets. These products are shredded into small pieces and mixed with the liquid before laying it on the road. A plastic-cum-tar road is 25% better than unmodified roads and is almost 200% resistant to soaking up water. The maintenance cost of the road is very low, while its durability is high. The roads reportedly need no repairing for at least five years. This is a good way to recycle the plastic and preventing further damage to the environment. I feel happy and proud to be a part of this city. We have an apartment in Jamshedpur. Unfortunately, my mother breathed her last in this city.

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Sarhul — a Festival of Jharkhand

Sarhul - A tribal festival in India

Sarhul is one of the grand festivals of tribals in Jharkhand. This festival is celebrated on Chaitra Shukla Tritiya, the third day of bright half in Chaitra month. Tribals celebrate ‘Sarhul’, a festival marking the beginning of New Year, by worshiping trees. This annual festival is celebrated during the spring season when trees and other elements of nature are worshiped. […]

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