By Padmashree Prof. Dr. P. K. Jena in Bhubaneswar, July 02, 2021: Human beings  are facing acute environmental pollution since the middle of last century particularly due to use of huge quantities of fossil fuels mainly in transport and industrial sectors, burning of various types of organic wastes of agricultural and domestic activities and releasing most of the untreated urban sewerage as well as solid wastes to water bodies and land mass.

Consequently, a large number of population across the globe have been suffering from various types of deadly diseases including tuberculosis, asthma, cancer, dysentery etc. and meeting untimely death in large numbers. While efforts are being made to make the environmental pollution free, suddenly in the beginning of 2020, a massive disaster has appeared and started attacking furiously the human society. This is the monstrous corona virus which originated in a place called Wuhan in China and now acting as a biological weapon.

The pandemic virus as it is now known as “Covid–19” is going strong and has already affected about sixteen crore of people and taken the lives of about forty lakhs of them in the world. In India, alone about three crore people have been affected with a casualty of about four lakhs. Even now the severity of the virus is quite high in India and some other countries killing thousands of people every day.

Because of Covid–19, all over the world, the socio economic lives have been severely affected. The educational Institutions, industries, developmental projects, transport systems, commercial activities, government administration etc. have been highly derailed.

On the other hand, it is surprising that, in China the effect of Covid–19 is reported to be very minimum. The corona virus cases in this most populated country of the world, has been reported to be 91,006 and death cases are 4636. It is also found that while socio economic lives of people all over the world are limping, in China the situation in these regards seems to be quite normal. Most of the people in the world feel that, this virus has not originated automatically in the market place of Wuhan but created in a laboratory and now it is behaving as a deadly biological weapon.

At present the second wave of corona virus is affecting India much more than any other country. In view of this, it has been necessary to take much more precautions in all sectors in addition to staying at home as much as possible, using mask while going outside, maintaining social distance, frequently washing hands with soap and sanitizing the contaminated areas etc. Most of our doctors, nurses and other health workers are busy day and night in treating the affected persons even by risking their own lives. The schools, colleges, administrative, industrial and commercial activities, business meetings, conferences etc. are being carried out with much limited scale through online in order to avoid spreading of the virus.

In India like other countries the central and state governments are engaged in minimising and preventing the menace of Covid–19 through prevention of social, political and religious gatherings. The schooling of small children has been practically stopped. The market and other commercial activities have been cut down to minimum. The main objective has been to protect people from corona virus through vaccination as fast as possible. In this task, our scientists, doctors and other health workers have played a great role. In a very short period our scientists have developed some effective vaccines and these are being produced in large scale on war footing. Most of the hospitals in the country are filled with corona affected patients. The whole situation is horrifying in India as well as in most of the countries in the world.

In this disaster, we should be more concerned about the safety of our younger generation. As a matter fact the youths are the most important section of human society as its future depends on them. They are quite energetic and trained to implement the planned socio economic programmes and projects in different sectors for better living by utilizing more effectively the natural resources of this planet. Youths including children below 18 years, constitute about 40 per cent of world’s population and in India they are about 50 per cent of the total population of the country.

Therefore, in the world as well as in our country all efforts should be made to protect them from Covid–19. In view of this, the scientists all over the world are making special efforts to develop vaccines to protect them from such dreadful virus. It is hoped that very soon it would be possible to vaccinate them. Till then it is quite appropriate to keep them in the house and get them educated through online programmes.

In this circumstance, teachers have great responsibility to conduct online education and assessment effectively. It is unfortunate that online education cannot be carried out in most of the rural areas of the developing countries, where such facilities for teaching small children are not there. However, in such cases temporarily parents should take care of the education of their kids as much as possible. It is hoped that after vaccination by the end of the year, all of them can go to school.

It is of great concern for all human beings on this earth that they have to face with horror the deadly Covid–19. It is highly essential for the World Health Organization (WHO) to find out the truth about the origin of Corona virus and take necessary action. Unless the world body finds out the truth in this regard, and act to stop such activities, human beings are likely to be affected by many such virus with more calamities during the years to come. WHO is supposed to keep track of various health related activities under taken by different countries.

When in Wuhan the corona virus appeared, the govt. of China should have been asked to isolate their country from rest of the world till the virus died out. If this would have been done, it is very likely that the present situation regarding the spread of the virus all over the world and causing heavy causalities could have been avoided. Our motto should be for all time to come, “Let all nations live together in a peaceful, prosperous and co-operative manner and enjoy the resources of the world in an environment friendly atmosphere and make better provisions for our future generations”.

* Former Director General, CSIR, India

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