Sex education or in broad terms “sexuality education has been a topic of great brainstorming in India lately. Just like every other idea it also has its own set of protagonists and antagonist. While supporters (I’m also one of them) cite “better knowledge about sexual health and well-being” as a reason, opposers bring religion, tradition and culture to support their stand.Sex as we know it has been a taboo in India. People are not comfortable talking about it even though it’s as natural part of life as breathing. You can talk and discuss every other part of the body, their functions, diseases that affect them, the causes and remedies of these diseases but about your reproductive system? NOPE, that makes you mean, ill-mannered, ill-cultured douche and what not. You may find many saying that sex education is an obscene western concept and India with all its culture and traditions doesn’t need it. Yeah right! As if we reproduce by ‘photosynthesis’. Though the list of myths about sexuality and sex education is endless, Here we’ll try to bust some of them.MYTH NO. 1: Sex education teaches children to have sex at an early age.NOPE, It doesn’t teach children to have sex at an early age. It teaches them to understand their reproductive system just like any other part of the body. It teaches them about the changes they’ll be experiencing at puberty and how it’ll affect them. It teaches them how to handle and be at par with these changes. It teaches them about the the social, psychological and biological aspects of a leading a healthy sexual life. It teaches them about sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention, birth control measures, sexual abuse and its prevention etc. A healthy sexual life doesn’t only include the physical act of sex but the overall sexual well-being.MYTH NO. 2: Keeping children away from these things will keep them innocent, well-mannered and cultured.Well, certainly not. Children are always curious to know about everything and it applies to sex as well. Not telling them about these things will make them search for this information through some other medium which includes friends, internet and even porn. Chances are very high that these mediums will give him/her a half-baked truth and fill his head with myths about sex. It will only leave him more confused and disillusioned. I once checked a forum of sexual awareness people often used to ask their questions about sexuality. There I found teenagers asking if watching porn will make them pregnant or applying semen to face will make their skin soft. What do you think is the reason behind all these myths? Just one i.e. not talking to them about sex. That way they don’t get their information from credible sources and accept myths as truth.Not talking to them about it will also make them too naïve to understand the difference between a casual touch and an intent of sexual molestation. As we all know that sexual abuse among children aged 5-12 is a grave problem in India. About 30% of the minors are sexually abused in some forms or the other. That is a very gruesome figure and a great cause of concern. A percentage of these crimes happen because children are not aware about it. Making them aware will definitely reduce these incidents by a great margin.MYTH NO. 3: India doesn’t have cases of teen pregnancy like Europe. Why do we need this?A grossly misinformed statement. Child marriage is still prevalent in many parts of India and it sure results in teen pregnancies. Actually the number of teen pregnancies in India is 62 out of a 1000. This is higher than Europe and America. Educating children about birth control measures will lessen the cases of such pregnancies thus saving many lives in the process as the cases of death of teen mothers while delivering the baby is dangerously high.MYTH NO.4: Children should not be told about things like homosexuality which is against nature. It will make them homosexuals.Homosexuality is not against nature. It is as natural as heterosexuality. Telling someone about it will not make them homosexual. Sexual orientations are decided by genetic factors ant can’t be changed just by knowing about all other orientations. Knowing about it will only make them accept the diversity of orientations and looks look at homosexuals with inferiority.MYTH NO. 5: What about the culture?Our culture never shunned “sex and sexual” from being discussed. In fact we had many scholars like Vatsyayana who did extensive research on this topic. His research is still a source of extensive learning on this subject. It’s the Victorian era moral codes imposed by European colonizers in the disguise of tradition and religion which is confused as Indian culture here. So, the bottom line is that you can educate children/teenagers about sexuality while Indian culture will remain totally safe and sound.
Menstruation is a natural function of a woman's body - like respiration, or digestion or excretion, which is responsible for the creation of a new generation. Then how can a culture that values fertility, pays homage to Devi Ma, and glorifies a woman for her role as 'mother' look down upon the menstrual cycle?
International Mother Earth Day (or Earth Day)The Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April 2018 each year to celebrate the Mother Earth. Thus, Earth Day is to remind us of the importance of maintenance of the life balance.History:●US senator and environment enthusiast: Gaylord Nelson was the driving force behind the celebrations.●The idea came to Senator Nelson on witnessing the infamous 1969 oil spill in California.●The spill took a toll on the ecological system of California and the Outlook of the nation itself.●Driven by the desire to involve the youth in the cause of the environment. ●It was due to the reason that an ideal date i.e. 22 April was chosen (between the spring break as well as final examinations).●Initially, the event had just 20 million supporters and by the 90s the figure swelled up to 200 million.●Then came the path-breaking legislation in form of Rio Declaration of 1992. This legislation put more effort into economic, social and environmental reforms. ●Today, the figure of the followers is estimated to be beyond 1 billion. As a result, each year volunteers gather to plant trees, ensure cleanliness of the vicinity and achieving success through sustainable goals. Earth Day 2018 Theme:Leading the process of change is the Earth Day Network. It has been decided to dedicate the celebrations this year to End Plastic Pollution.The organization is creating and finding support for ensuring utility. creating support for a global effort to eliminate single-use plastics along with global regulation for the disposal of plastics. EDN will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems.From poisoning and injuring marine life to the ubiquitous presence of plastics in our food to disrupting human hormones and causing major life-threatening diseases and early puberty, the exponential growth of plastics is threatening our planet’s survival. EDN has built a multi-year campaign to End Plastic Pollution. Our goals include ending single-use plastics, promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics, corporate and government accountability and changing human behavior concerning plastics.EDN’s End Plastic Pollution campaign includes four major components:Leading a grassroots movement to support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution;Educating, mobilizing and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution;Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, andPromoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution.Earth Day Network will leverage the platform of Earth Day and the growing interest in the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020 as a catalyst for global action.Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection.Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs.may be hard to imagine that before 1970, a factory could spew black clouds of toxic into the air or dump tons of toxic waste into a nearby stream, and that was perfectly legal. They could not be taken to court to stop it.How was that possible? Because there was no EPA, no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act. There were no legal or regulatory mechanisms to protect our environment.In spring 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson created Earth Day as a way to force this issue onto the national agenda. Twenty million Americans demonstrated in different U.S. cities, and it worked! In December 1970, Congress authorized the creation of a new federal agency to tackle environmental issues, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.Earth Day began in America in 1970 as a day to celebrate the planet and encourage people to be more environmentally friendly. It is now an annual event and is widely regarded as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Activities associated with the day often include planting trees, raising awareness about recycling, volunteering for green projects, and reducing the number of energy people consume. Earth Day is supported by a host of celebrities, including Leonardo Di Caprio, Emma Watson, Miley Cyrus and Matt Damon. Earth Day has become one of the most widely celebrated environmental events across the globe. On this day, events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. Currently, it is celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. It was originally celebrated at Spring Equinox around 21 March every day but now the United Nations has designated 22 April as the International Mother Earth Day. Earth Day Network coordinates this annual day across the globe.Earth Day is all about appreciating the uniqueness of our planet Earth with its incredible biodiversity. On this day various national and international activities are conducted to understand the biodiversity and how should we protect our nature – plants, animals, and environment.Today, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with numerous partners and communities in more than 192 countries to raise the environmental concerns and diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. Apart from this, a large number of communities celebrate Earth Week and create awareness among other people regarding environmental issues.Various Earth Day FactsEarth Day Flag is called Ecology Flag. It was created by cartoonist Ron Cobb and was first published in the Los Angeles Free Press on 7 November 1969. The Ecology symbol resembles Greek letter theta and is a combination of the letters “E” and “O” taken from the words “Environment” and “Organism,” respectively. The flag consists of thirteen alternating-green-and-whites stripes with a symbol on the left-hand side. Earth Day Anthem is a universal song associated with Earth Day. Its lyrics are set to the tone of Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” melody on which the official anthem of the European Union is based.“Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wondermentSimple gifts of nature that all join into a paradiseNow we must resolve to protect herShow her our love throughout all timeWith our gentle hand and touchWe make our home a newborn worldNow we must resolve to protect herShow her our love throughout all timeWith our gentle hand and touchWe make our home a newborn world.”Earth Day became an international event on 21 March 1971, when UN’s Secretary-General U Thant spoke about it at a Peace Bell Ceremony at the United Nations in New York City. Since then, the United Nations Earth Day ceremony continues each year on the day of the vernal equinox (March 20th or 21st), with the ringing of the UN Peace Bell at the very moment of the equinox.More than 20 million people and thousands of local schools and communities participated in the first Earth Day of the United States that took place on 22 April 1970. This huge turnout made the first Earth Day as the largest organized celebration in the history of the United States. The success of Earth Day helped to influence the United States’ government to create stronger laws to protect the environment.Earth Day Network, the organization behind the Earth Day movement, works with over 22000 partners in more than 192 countries worldwide to raise environmental concerns. Today more than 1 billion people participate in earth day activities each year to make it one of the largest movements on earth.Earth Day 2000 combined the ambitious spirit of the first Earth Day with the international grassroots activism of Earth Day 1990. This was the year when Earth Day used the Internet to expand its reach and organize activists across several continents. The message was loud and clear and it proved invaluable domestically and internationally.In the year 2009, United Nations officially renamed Earth Day as International Mother Earth Day.On Earth Day 2012, more than 100,000 people rode bikes in China to reduce CO2 emissions and save fuel.Every year on April 22, men, women, children, groups and communities all around the world gather together and put all their efforts to collect garbage, plant saplings, encourage people to go for recycling, sign petitions and discuss issues to save this planet from depleting resources.In few places, earth day is celebrated throughout the week to expand its reach so that more people take part and put their efforts to preserve the environment.Earth Day SignificanceEarth Day is a day dedicated to increasing awareness about the Earth, its issues, and problems. Today, more than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. As a result of this remarkable event, various policy agreements and acts are sanctioned such as Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many others.Earth Day has gained significant significance in the past. This is due to the fact that people have been witnessing the shortage of food, skyrocketing fuel prices, increased global warming and changing weather patterns. It is a day that acknowledges the importance of our planet. People come to know about the contemporary environmental issues such as global warming, depleting resources etc. Both adults and kids become conscious about the strategies and tactics which they can adopt in day-to-day life to ensure cleaner environments.Various suggestions are brought to light about recycling, energy conservation, increasing plant and tree growth, save water, respect nature, reduce toxins in the air, keep the environment clean, reduce air pollution, planting trees and flowers to increase oxygen and love and respect towards all animals who inhabit the earth. There are small ideas with the huge impact such as – plant a tree every year, switch off the light when not in use, use recyclable bags for grocery shopping etc. presented during Earth Day celebrations.Apart from the individual households, even companies are encouraging their employees to contribute their part when it comes to saving this planet from degradation. Making use of public transportation, carpooling to reduce pollution, switching off AC after office hours, motivating people to take less printouts, using renewable sources to generate power, allowing employees to engage in tele or video conferencing, using CFL lights and bulbs, extracting geothermal energy to heat up office buildings are few of the initiatives companies are taking to save energy and make this planet safe for our future generations.On the transportation side, companies are now manufacturing and selling hybrid and electric cars that do not make use of petrol or diesel to run. New technologies are coming in which are making these cars at par with that of cars running on petrol and diesel.If people implement some of these and make changes in their behaviors towards Mother Earth, then we would be able to make our planet a much better place to live in – also for coming generations.