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Develop the mind of equilibrium.
You will always be getting praise and blame,
but do not let either affect the poise of the mind:
follow the calmness, the absence of pride.
Sutta Nipata

He should not kill a living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should he incite another to kill.
Do not injure any being, either strong or weak in the world.
Sutta Nipata II,14




Some (Rather Grim) Indian Statistics


* Some 46% of India's children are underweight due to an inadequate diet. (Comparisons: Ethiopia 47%, Afghanistan 39%, China 8%).
thumbs/EPV0090_s_h_t.jpg * In many states of India (eg Uttar Pradesh, Orissa) around 40 per cent of children are malnourished. The states of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar (at 55% and 54% rates of childhood malnutrition respectively) top the list. (Comparison: Sub-Saharan Africa, where around 30% of children are malnourished).

* The rate of infant mortality in India is 57 per 100,000 births. (Comparison: the Netherlands: 4 per 100,000 births).

* In India there are around 5.6 million child deaths per year, accounting for more than half the world's total. Many of these could be prevented with simple health interventions, improved sanitation, and more nutritional diets.

* Close to 300 million Indians live on less than $1 (44 rupees) a day.

* 40% of Indian people are under 18 years of age. [Sources for the above six points: thumbs/monks4_h_t.jpg Unicef Report May 2006, and Indian government National Family Health Survey 2007]

* According to one of the most popular Indian daily papers (I forget which one) in an article printed in the spring of 2006, out of 47 of the biggest Indian irrigation projects initiated over the previous 9 years, only one is working as it should, the rest having failed one way or another, been left in various states of dysfunction, or have had construction work halted part-way through the project. Billions of dollars have been wasted in this manner (although the likelihood is that a handful of people have been made very rich indeed from such schemes).

* 40 percent of the population of Mumbai (for example) live in slums. [Source: Indian government survey]

* The human population of India is expected to double in the next forty years. [Source: World Bank report]

* The per capita availability of freshwater in India has dropped from over 5,000 cubic meters per year in 1947 to less than 2,000 cubic meters per year in 1997, on average. thumbs/monks5_h_t.jpg By 2025, this figure will fall further to 1,500 cubic meters per year, well below the level at which water stress is considered to occur. Already, six of India’s twenty major river basins fall below the water scarcity threshold of 1,000 cubic meters per year. [Source: World Bank report 1999]

* Despite the "we're immune, only foreigners get sick from stomach bugs" refrain one hears quite a lot in the country "between 0.5 to 1.5 million children under the age of five die yearly from diarrhea in India" [Source: World Bank report 1999]

* The Central and State Pollution Control Boards have identified 1,532 "grossly polluting" industries in India, although "almost all industries do not comply with emission standards". [Source: World Bank report 1999]

* Wastewater generated by the Indian industrial sector has been estimated at 55,000 million cubic meters a day, of which 68.5 million cubic meters are dumped directly into local rivers and streams without prior treatment. [Source: World Bank report 1999]

* All of India’s fourteen major river systems are [also] heavily polluted as a result of the 50 million cubic meters of untreated sewage discharged into them each year. [Source: APCSS report 1999]

* Over 6,000 million tons of topsoil are lost to India’s rivers each year, affecting downstream hydraulics and decreasing dam capacity by an estimated 0.5 to 1.2% annually. [Source: World Bank report 1999]

* The human population of India grew by 21.34 % in the decade 1991 to 2001. [Source Census of India 2001]



 



Make truth your island,
make truth your refuge;
there is no other refuge.
Digha Nikaya, 16

Solitude is happiness for one who is content, who has heard the Dhamma and clearly sees.
Non-affliction is happiness in the world - harmlessness towards all living beings.
Udana 10

The fool thinks he has won a battle when he bullies with harsh speech,
but knowing how to be forbearing alone makes one victorious.
Samyutta Nikaya I, 163

Things are not what they appear to be: nor are they otherwise.
Surangama Sutra