10 Most Challenging Issues Facing the World

Here are the ten most challenging issues facing the world today:

  1. Climate change: Climate change is the most pressing issue facing the world today. It is caused by the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which trap heat and cause the Earth’s temperature to rise. Climate change is already having a devastating impact on the planet, and it is only going to get worse if we do not take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Poverty and inequality: Poverty and inequality are two of the most widespread problems in the world. Millions of people live in poverty, and they do not have access to basic necessities such as food, water, shelter, and healthcare. Inequality is also a major problem, and it is growing worse in many countries.
  3. Conflict and violence: Conflict and violence are another major challenge facing the world. There are wars and civil wars in many countries, and they are causing widespread death and destruction. Violence is also a major problem in many cities, and it is making it difficult for people to live in peace.
  4. Disease: Disease is another major challenge facing the world. Millions of people die from preventable diseases each year, and many more people are sick. Diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are major problems in many countries.
  5. Hunger and malnutrition: Hunger and malnutrition are another major challenge facing the world. Millions of people do not have enough to eat, and they are not getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Hunger and malnutrition are especially a problem in developing countries.
  6. Water scarcity: Water scarcity is another major challenge facing the world. Many parts of the world are facing water shortages, and this problem is only going to get worse as the population grows and climate change causes more droughts.
  7. Environmental degradation: Environmental degradation is another major challenge facing the world. The Earth’s natural resources are being depleted, and the environment is being polluted. Environmental degradation is causing a number of problems, including climate change, water shortages, and the extinction of species.
  8. Education: Education is another major challenge facing the world. Millions of children do not have access to education, and this is a major barrier to economic development. Education is also important for social development, and it helps to reduce poverty and inequality.
  9. Gender inequality: Gender inequality is another major challenge facing the world. Women and girls are often discriminated against, and they do not have the same opportunities as men. Gender inequality is a major barrier to economic development, and it is also a major cause of poverty and inequality.
  10. Human rights abuses: Human rights abuses are another major challenge facing the world. People are often denied their basic human rights, such as the right to freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, and the right to be free from torture. Human rights abuses are a major problem in many countries, and they are a major cause of conflict and violence.

These are just some of the most challenging issues facing the world today. These issues are complex and interconnected, and they will require a global effort to solve.

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1.TOP 10 MOST IMPORTANT CURRENT GLOBAL ISSUES

2. Global Issues

Joshimath: Sinking??

Joshimath is a town in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is located in the Chamoli district and serves as the headquarters of the Garhwal division of the state. It is an important religious and educational center, and is home to several ashrams and temples, including the Sri Badrinath Temple. It is also a popular base for trekking and mountaineering in the surrounding Himalayan mountain ranges.

Town

Many houses have developed cracks in the walls, floor and some are tilted. This is due to sinking which is taking place. ISRO NRSC report said that subsidence was slow between April and November 2022, during which Joshimath had sunk by 8.9 cm. But between December 27, 2022 and January 8, 2023, the intensity of land subsidence increased and the town sank by 5.4 cm in these 12 days. The report has been withdrawn from the public domain.

Although report is of interest to those with scientific knowledge , Uttrakhand government must have done it to avoid panic among the residents. But ISRO NRSC is not the only agency studying this phenomenon there are other agencies like NASA who are studying it through satellite.As we know that Himalayas are young mountains geologically and lots of seismic activity goes on. Is the subsidence the result of natural phenomena or man made disaster?

Mostly it seems to be the result of setting up a electricity plant, rapid uninhibited proliferation of houses, and hotels to cater to the tourists.

Whatever the reasons, the excessive interference in the designs of Nature is bound to be harmful to the humans. Subsidence refers to the sinking or settling of the ground surface. In Joshimath, subsidence can occur due to a variety of natural and human-induced factors. One possible cause is the withdrawal of groundwater, which can lead to compaction and settling of the soil.

Another potential cause is tectonic activity, such as the movement of faults or the uplift or erosion of adjacent land. Additionally, the construction of buildings and infrastructure on unstable or saturated soils can also lead to subsidence. Subsidence can cause damage to buildings and infrastructure, and can also increase the risk of landslides and flooding. It is important to identify the cause of subsidence in order to develop appropriate management strategies.

Another reason which is cited by the local residents is that some radioactive material had been buried in the area by Americans in 1960 for snooping on the Chinese military activities on the other side of the Himalayas.

It was a Sunny Morning in Dehradun

I am a regular morning walker and usually out at around 15 minutes to Six in the morning. Usually I am alone for most of the time when out but sometimes some of my colleagues come across and we talk about the olden times.

It is the early September. The monsoon rains which usually abate in this month have not receded. The monsoon has played truant in its regular months of July and August but has picked up now in September when it was time to go away. The children shall sing now “rain rain go away”.

Usually after mid September there are scattered showers and season begins to cool here in contrast to Mumbai where rains extend till the end of September followed by the torrid months of heat, called second summer, till December.

Generally, the sky is overcast here these days. Although clouds are not threatening of black sort. So the mornings are generally cloudy. But today, it was all clear and blue skies began showing up in the West.

In the East, when I was just out, Sun was not up yet but had begun knocking at the door of night. In the dawn, the things have begun to take shape as if precipitating from the pitch black solution of the night which erases all the distinctions between things. While the day separates the entities into different individuals, night merges them all into one black thick solution.

Silhouettes looked beautiful like the drawings of a painter. And why not, the greatest of all painters is at work. But with a difference albeit. He never cares for praise or criticism. He does not stand any scrutiny.

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The contours of the things have begun to take shape. There is a tinge of crimson in the East. Then the sun has risen. After many days, it is the bright morning resplendent in the glory of sun. The sun light has first dawned on the pinnacle branches of mighty trees and darkness which was spread over there has jumped down to make way and welcomed the Sun. The scene was stunning. I can say that still this place is very beautiful.

A Glimpse of Punjab in Winter

The advent of winter in the North India brings in its wake many things. The biting cold requires us to fend off the winter with lots of warm clothes. But all are not so lucky.

There are poor who let alone the warm clothing are not able to procure the sufficient food to survive. They face the hunger pangs perpetually. Many of them cannot withstand the bitter cold wave and perish.

Then there is fog. Many a times it is so thick that there is no visibility beyond a few meters. This creates many problems for the transportation. So many flights are cancelled and trains crawl late. Many a times, unfortunate accidents happen. Fog creates a thick veil of white color. Sun is barely visible and its energy is very feeble.

Yet, there are good things also in the winter. You can enjoy many kinds of food like carrot’s halwa. There is a glut of vegetables in the market. Truck loads of these vegetables arrive in the vegetables market and sell dirt cheap.

There are cauliflower, carrots, radishes, turnips, green peas. Potatoes are forming below surface under the plants. The wheat stalks in the fields are persistently trying to ward off the winter and grow rapidly.

Here are some pictures of the Punjab in the winters.

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Rain and Gloom

Excess of everything is bad and nature seems to do all the things in grandest manner. Weather patterns are changing everywhere and abnormal patterns are being observed.

Take for example, the rains in Mumbai. They are around for more than 3 months. Now we are well into September but still the rains are pestering. During the last 3 months, it has been playing havoc all around.

So much water have poured down from the skies on the earth. Sometimes, it seems impossible. But then nothing is impossible with God. The rain seems to fall with extreme force as if someone is squeezing the gigantic balloon filled with water and have very tiny openings. Whenever, I stand up and go near the windows, it is the same pattering of rain on the hard surface of road and on the leaves of trees.

Trees seem to enjoy the rains. Their foliage which became completely dusty in the summers and lost the sheen, is washed complete and lush green leaves have replaced the old ones. Foliage is becoming thicker. The rain drops cling to the leaves and look as if pearls are hanging from the leaves.

On the other hand, these incessant rains have become a source of tension to the ordinary people. Roads have been washed out and there are potholes the size of craters on the roads. It gives jitters to the travellers. Vehicles cringe and suffer the damage. The travelers also suffer.

Many develop backaches, neck pain and most dangerous of all the tension. Trains and buses run late and employees report late at work. One hour journey becomes two hours journey. Then there are diseases. Parents are worried about their children and are under stress till the children return safely.

It has been scientifically proved that people living in Asia who enjoy more sunshine suffer less depression than those living in Europe where it is always cloudy and looks gloomy. The Sun who is the prime force behind all the life on this planet is rarely seen these days. People feel imprisoned inside their homes. Feeling of claustrophobia takes over them. In these rainy days, nothing can be executed as per planning. You plan to go out for some work and find that it is raining torrentially and it is not possible to go out. You fret and feel utterly helpless.

In the end, the old nursery rhyme which alluded to different situation, comes to mind.

Rain rain go away, 
Come again another day, 
Little Johnny wants to play. 

Only change you can make is to substitute Little Johnny with everyone and play with all the activities they are supposed to carry out to lead a normal life!!

After the rains

The rains this year has been more than expected and extended well beyond the normal month of September. In the tailing month of September, the heavy rains on every Saturday and Sunday became the regular and most annoying feature. It forced the already fed up people to be confined into their homes without any reason. There was no Sun to be seen and the sunlight which is closely related to the cheerfulness, hope and lifter of the gloom was missing. For present at least the rains seem to have stopped.

The changed weather is hot and there is lot of dust resulting from the churning of the dirt which has accumulated on the roads. This brings respiratory problems in many people. Many people who are prone to dust allergy also suffer. It is suffocating in the day with cool and damp nights subjecting the living beings to very strong temperature variations.

Anyway, the mornings are pleasant. There is still the greenery all around. The hills are covered with green bushes and trees. Many different kinds of grasses are in the blooming stages. One very distracting feature is the worms which are slithering on the roads swaddled in the dust. They are so numerous that many are crushed under the shoes. When the day rises, the heat fries them on the road.

The lawns are covered with beautiful grass carpet. There are plenty of insects in this grass. The very majestic white egrets flocks on the lawn foraging for the food which is present in the plenty in the forms of worms and other insects. Bulbuls are singing in the boughs. Some of these birds have already made their nests because the birds are bringing long strips of the particular kind of grass and darting into the thick foliage of the tree branches. It is the safest place they have chosen for laying the eggs and raising the chicks.

Rains

The earth asked for it. The trees and plants asked and pined for it. Birds and animals looked to the skies asking for the rains. All of them were parched and prayed helplessly to the God to quench their thirst, to wash them and rejuvenate.

During the summers, it was torrid hot and not a single cloud is seen in the sky. Then the clouds began to appear mostly in the morning and moved away and vanished by the time sun was high up in the skies and blazing and spewing the hot fires.

Then the rains began in the earnest. Monsoon arrived. Whole of nature on the mother earth danced and enjoyed as the rains poured over them. Rains washed them and greenery began covering the naked earth. The hills nearby began looking beautiful with lush green color vegetation, mysterious clouds always hanging and kissing the hills. There is always a sheath of mist over the scene.

Torrents of the rains come and suddenly stop and again come suddenly. Everything is soaked in the rain. The rain God’s are showering the earth with interminable water. The trees are growing and it seems that earth is extending itself to physically meet the skies and love it intimately.

Sometimes, squally winds blow, the branches of the trees bend to the point of breaking. In fact, the older gnawed branches are torn off. These winds move the clouds here and there, mixing and separating the columns of clouds.

Within minutes the day is as dark as the night but the clouds do not make rains. Then suddenly, you hear a rumbling and a patter of the rain falling down far away and approaching you very fast.

The stars and moon pine to look at the earth but they are helpless before the clouds which have blanketed the earth. Only occasionally, stars and moon give us their glimpse for a moment.

Foggy Morning

This story is based on the weather after monsoon and rains have abated. The weather becomes so suffocating due to the humidity and pollution.

No, I should not call it a foggy morning, because it is not the fog but smog which descends on the earth during these days of the year. The monsoon has ebbed and except for an occasional shower there are no rains.

The weather has become muggy and suffocating. It is not clear and there is a lot of heat accumulating over the earth. A pall of heat covers the earth.

There is lot of humidity and when the night become clear, in the mornings with the drop of temperature, smog begins to form. In fact it was so dense today that nothing was visible even a short distance away.

The moving figures of people looked like wraiths, suddenly appearing and disappearing round the corners. Fog seems to be floating here and there, over the tree tops, inside the boughs, hovering over the buildings making them appear and disappear now and then.

The tree dripped the water which had condensed on the leaves in the night and coalesce to become drops heavy enough to stay up and fall on to the earth. It seemed that the trees were weeping but why or for what is not known only to them.

It is the school time. Children in their uniforms, unwillingness on their faces prodded towards the building called school. Some come on vehicles like buses from far off places, other riding with their parents who have great hopes for the bright future of their children, and others who live in the colony on feet.

Walking in this scene looked as if one was walking a dream. Other figures seemed to be gliding like particles in a colloid. Whenever there was a wisp of air, the fog seem to be shifting places sometimes giving way to the sun rays.

The rays looked like shafts or threads of silk. As the day progressed the mist began to thin away and completely disappeared by the time most people wake up. They even didn’t know that when they were asleep, this magical phenomenon was unfolding outside their home.

Freak Weather

I remember when we were young in late fifties and sixties, weather transitions were fairly uniform. The farmers whose hard work can turn to dust till the crops are harvested and safely brought home, were fairly confident about weather. We saw only poor monsoons once in a while and crops failing badly and food scarcity. In those days farming was dependent on the blessings of nature especially for water. The variety of crops and food items was not much. Only native seeds were used and often mixed crops were raised. For example, wheat alongwith sprinkle of barley or mustard. Only those crops were raised in the same field which did not use the same nutrients. Number of crops raised were limited and land was kept fallow in cycles to restore its fertility. In those days agriculture was not considered a business.
Slowly all this has changed. Land has been drained of its nutrients by raising two or three crops in a year. It is in fact never given time to take a break.
Over the years, the weather is becoming highly wayward or unpredictable. It seems that old theory about how the monsoons in the North India began in Assam and water laden clouds were then directed towards western India from Bengal to Bihar and then Uttarpradesh and Punjab side. Rajasthan however remained a dry area, is not true anymore. Rains can precipitate anywhere. For example many areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat were innundated while states which were regular recipients of monsoon remained devoid of.
Environmentalists say all this is happening due to our activities. Global warming due to carbon dioxide blanket is told to be the culprit. It is the same carbon dioxide which once was the only gas in the atmosphere alongwith water at the beginning of the Earth. The bacteria changed it all fixing the carbon dioxide in the form of oxide minerals and sugars in plants. All this seem to be too true. Such events had taken place many times in the life span of the Earth. Nature is too big to be manipulated by the humans. May be there are minor additions. We see now more rains, floods and more cold weather in India.

Tragedy of Hill People in Uttrakhand

Uttrakhand is called Dev Bhoomi or the abode of Gods. The state was carved out of erstwhile Uttar Pradesh and comprised of hilly areas situated both in Himalayas and Shiwalik.
Lord Shiva is the God who is associated with the region. There are places and temples related to him. The two rivers namely Mandakini and Bhagirathi which merge at Devprayag to form Ganges flow through these hills.
All through the year, tourists, most of them being the pilgrims, are the mainstay of the people living in the Uttranchal. The region is dotted with temples of great Tourists, most of them being the pilgrims, are the mainstay of the people living in the Uttranchal. The region is dotted with temples of great importance. And also the hills offer adventure sports to the enthusiasts. Local people were employed with hotels and guest houses and some of them run their own small provision shops and eateries. With the catastrophe in which thousands of the pilgrims got caught and are still being rescued and brought to Dehradun or other places from where they could be sent to their homes. So many of them have perished. Devastation have been so great that region will be unsafe to venture into and the fear will be a big deterrent. So the tourism there is going to suffer worse phase ever. In such situation, the inhabitants are going to suffer. Their only source of income gone, crops smashed and land filled with rubble of stones and debris rendering it unfit for agriculture, their prospects seem very bleak. Hunger stares like an unseen demon. They are living under constant threat of floods. They are gentle poor and mostly illiterate people and even if some of them come down to cities in search of work leaving their families behind, their income will be very insufficient to feed the hungry mouths at home. Really it is very grim situation. And then the hills offer adventure sports to the enthusiasts. Local people were employed with hotels and guest houses and some of them run their own small provision shops and eateries. With the catastrophe in which thousands of the pilgrims got caught and are still being rescued and brought to Dehradun or other places from where they could be sent to their homes. So many of them have perished. Devastation have been so great that region will be unsafe to venture into and the fear will be a big deterrent. So the tourism there is going to suffer worse phase ever. In such situation, the inhabitants are going to suffer. Their only source of income gone, crops smashed and land filled with rubble of stones and debris rendering it unfit for agriculture, their prospects seem very bleak. Hunger stares like an unseen demon. They are living under constant threat of floods. They are gentle poor and mostly illiterate people and even if some of them come down to cities in search of work leaving their families behind, their income will be very insufficient to feed the hungry mouths at home. Really it is very grim situation.

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