Archive for the Environment Category

The Maha Kumbh Mela, fascinating and frustrating ..

Posted in Causes, Environment, Tiger Trail, Times Blogs, Times of India with tags , , , , , on January 17, 2013 by Sharmila

Link to my new blog on Times of India


Losing our Indian identities – The Tiger & The Maharaja

Posted in Causes, Environment, Tiger Trail, Times Blogs, Times of India with tags , , , on June 11, 2012 by Sharmila

Link to my new blog on Times of India –

When will we save our Tigers?

Posted in Causes, Environment with tags on June 8, 2012 by Sharmila

Our Indian identity is so dependent on the magnificent Tigers, and we still have the audacity to call them our ‘national animal’ when not enough is done to stop their merciless poaching in the reserves of Maharashtra. A picture taken from a recent poaching incident at Vidarbha Tiger reserve –

It appears that the poachers have been having a free run in the state and in many other parts of our country. Tigers are chopped and bagged, and every part of their body is used.China has a large part to play in all this. I live in Hong Kong and I can see where every part of the Tiger reaches, into small bottles of Chinese medicines here and across the mainland and everywhere there is a Chinese presence, practically across South East Asia. What is our Government doing? Are they waiting with bated breath for the last Tiger to be chopped and then proudly declare that we have wiped out our national treasure completely? Are we hesitant to take on China on this issue? Did the Chinese listen to Jairam Ramesh’s so called warnings? Obviously not! Jayanthi Natarajan (now Environment & Forest Minister) has stated that 32 Tigers have already died this year. Why cannot we protect our Tigers like the way Australia protect’s its whales, fiercely? For Australia, the enemy is not from within and they are quite successful in pushing the Japanese back. In India, the enemy is from within and this enemy feeds China. “The Chinese culture believes that nearly all parts of the tiger can be used to derive some medicinal cure for any number of ailments. Here are some examples of how tiger parts and their derivatives are used in traditional Chinese medicine and causing the tiger to be a critically endangered species:

Tiger claws: used as a sedative for insomnia

Teeth: used to treat fever

Fat: used to treat leprosy and rheumatism

Nose leather: used to treat superficial wounds such as bites

Tiger bone: used as an anti-inflammatory drug to treat rheumatism and arthritis, general weakness, headaches, stiffness or paralysis in lower back and legs and dysentery

Eyeballs: used to treat epilepsy and malaria

Tail: used to treat skin diseases

Bile: used to treat convulsions in children associated with meningitis

Whiskers: used to treat toothaches

Brain: used to treat laziness and pimples

Penis: used in love potions such as tiger soup, as an aphrodisiac

Dung or feces: used to treat boils, hemorrhoids and cure alcoholism”

There are viable natural alternatives for those seeking traditional Chinese medicines to treat ailments and disease without using tiger derivatives.

What use are ” Save the Tiger” campaigns or are it’s effects yet to be seen, long after its all over? For animal lovers like myself, what can I do but weep in utter helplessness? What can I do other than beg for a stringent law applicable across the entire country against poaching, one that allows to shoot every poacher on sight? The Government may claim to be doing something, but, whatever they are doing is obviously not enough. And what can I do other than recite William Blake’s Tiger as a reminder of this once ‘Kingly’ creature, now being reduced to ashes. We continue to watch uselessly ..

TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?

And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And water’d heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?

Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

( Input from for Chinese Medicine information )

What is the purpose of the ‘beef festival’?

Posted in Causes, Environment with tags , , , on April 16, 2012 by Sharmila

Link to my new blog on TOI –

The world is hungry…by Pritish Nandy

Posted in Causes, Environment, Pritish Nandy with tags , , on October 18, 2011 by Sharmila

I loved this blog by Pritish Nandy. For those who did not know, Mr. Nandy is an animal activist and has and continues to do tremendous work to rehabilitate animals in distress.

It began one morning years ago. Rina put a bowl of water outside the window for the noisy pigeons that wake us up at the crack of dawn. Soon we had so many birds queued up on our window ledge that the bowls increased. Then Rangita put out some in her bedroom too. Birds of all kinds began to crowd our windows on the 24th floor. So Rina put out some grains. It disappeared quicker than we could put it out. So we put out more. But even that left us feeling guilty; many hungry birds still hung around, waiting. Now we feed them whenever we can. Continue reading

The glass walls of hell…

Posted in Causes, Environment with tags on June 27, 2011 by Sharmila

First published on Times of India on 21st June 2011
I was born in a family of five. My first memories are of me fighting and pushing my siblings with my small pink paws as I scurried for a place against my Mother’s warm belly to suckle her milk. This was paradise I thought. When I could see a bit more clearly, I took in the outside world. There was a ray of sunshine that fell on all our pink heads and warmed up the 4 feet by 4 feet pigsty in which we stayed. Our concrete nest. Within weeks I wanted to stand up on all my fours and walk. I trod over my brothers and sisters, jostling for more space. My paradise was a lot smaller than what it was a few weeks ago. But, it still was paradise, so long as my Mother was with us, so long as I could feel the warm milk moisten my small throat. We played our own little games, the siblings would fall in a heap on our Mother. This was our routine. The four feet by four feet pigsty was our Shangri-la. Continue reading

The glass walls of hell..

Posted in Causes, Environment with tags , , on June 21, 2011 by Sharmila

I urge you to read this. This is a subject very close to my heart. Thank you.

Here is the link to my new blog on Times of India