Category Archives: ENVIRONMENT

When water becomes a crisis

When something as basic as water becomes a crisis, it speaks a lot about us !

When fresh water is distributed on basis of your ability to pay for it, you are creating a dearth for a lot of people who will be devoid of their basic right to drink clean water. They will be forced to live with unhygienic water and at times fight for a bucket of drinkable water.

That situation is the lowest we hit as urban dwellings. We look at the world through our glasses that show us a movie on repeat devouring us of the reality. We will be served with a facts manipulated to bend the truth. We will be a lost society.

We must act now and be considerate about the amount of water we use and waste. If we stop wasting water we reduce the burden on the corporations and thus helping those who can benefit from it. Everytime you open the tap, be aware that the water that goes into the drain might satisfy someone’s thirst.

Be thoughtful. Be accomodating. Be considerate.

What a single migration by Elephants can teach you about life

A journey of a year, repeated until eternity. Elephants in central and east Africa take a migration from their homelands to islands in the east during the summer. To save themselves from the scorching heat and find water they travel hundreds of miles over weeks to reach a place for stay during the difficult times. Once the season changes and monsoon arrives in their homelands they take a return journey. Amidst the travel and return they go through various difficult terrains, hurdles, dangers and challenges. They overcome all of them one by one by sticking to the herd and following the Matriach, the leader of the group, often the eldest female. By going through various aspects of the journey undertaken by the Elephants every year, we can understand about life more than we would in our own life time.

The journey that begins before birth. Every year Elephants take migration from their homelands to other greener areas during the summer. This journey is one of the firsts for many while it is one of the so many for the Matriach. Elephants stay in groups like us. They follow a hierarchy and family system. The group is led usually by eldest female elephant called as the Matriach.

Photo by Oleg Magni on

Initial days. Early on the Matriach guides the herd to move on from their homeland and follow her. As the water in the sanctuary starts to dry off, it creates puddles of mud and Elephants love to play in the mud. So as they arrive it’s a clean source of water and by the time they leave it becomes a slumpy muddy ground. But only the Matriach knows the difficult of starting late and being stuck in nowhere. So she ends the party and asks them to follow.

No water. Scorching heat. Little green. The herd follows the Matriach. The group is made of many female elephants and young elephants. Some elephants are born during this Exodus. Grown up male elephants leave the group to start their own life. They are the bull elephants. They fight to mate and live. Living without a group is a difficult experience in wild for some animals. As they continue their journey and move out the sanctuary, the green cover goes on reducing. Matriach makes some stops at places she feels there is some shade and good source of protein and little water in the leaves or plants. But the stop is not for long. Soon they have to continue walking one behind the other.

Memory map. Survival of elephants depend on the leadership of the group. The herd with an experienced Matriach has safety net. Elephants have strong memory. They remember the landmarks, path and faces. By locating the landmarks the Matriach continues to move ahead in the journey. And by training the other elephants about the important spots. Often the eldest elephant has gone through various experiences in life and is aware of every water hole in the vicinity, sometimes of the only water source in the season is known by them.

Danger of crossing the river. When you are travelling as a group together, you must consider your weaknesses. To cross a river, you must estimate the depth before reaching the middle of the river and also look for any predators like crocodiles around. You have to safe guard your young ones and swim them through the river. Moving across different terrains is one of the eminent challenge in migration. Matriach has taken various trips in life and has experience of crossing rivers during different times of the year. She decides when to cross and if there is a need to hold on. Such wise decisions in our life comes through experience and having a vocal family and community which shares learnings and knowledge with transparency can help us repeat the same mistake of our yester generation.

Photo by Pixabay on

Reaching the greenlands. Price of migration. Once you cross all the hurdles in your path, your reach your destination. The land of the green with lots of trees and plants. You choose to stay here for the next few months until the summer is about to be over. During this time Elephants enjoy eating and resting in the lush. Young elephants play in the surrounding. Life looks like a heaven. But it only lasts until it’s time to move again and go back to the place you have come from. This is like you going to a foreign land or a different city for work or business and thrive there. But you choose to come back often to your hometown.

Elephants are known to take care of orphan elephants as their own. Female elephants milk the young ones of a distant relative who is no more.

After enjoying the lush and green, it’s time to go back. It may seem when we are in a state of Bliss that there is nothing more to life then enjoying it to the fullest. But as the Matriach knows, so must you, when it’s time to move. If you start late you will not make in time for monsoon. If you start too early then you will risk losing someone of dehydration. The critical time to move lies in the times when you are completely lost in the fun. And only the leader will guide through the critical decisions.

Danger of the predators. The return journey is accompanied with its own challenges. You may go back the same route but things are never going to remain the same. By the knowledge passed on by generations of migration, it becomes clear which path is safer and appropriate as per the time of year. In past, there might have been encounters of lose or mistakes, the survivers become the leader and they improve upon the previous journeys and decisions. Hence the eldest female of the herd, is the most knowledgeable and compassionate of them all, because she has seen all kinds of challenges, troubles, loss, happiness and encounters. By taking a path through the territory of the Lions, elephants risk themselves, but it seems to be the closest way to reach home.

Arrival of death. Many a times during such journeys through the wild for migration and teaching their next generation, comes with a price. The price is losing some of your own kind. Sometimes it’s the young killed by a predator or being washed away in river. Even though elephants are deeply protective of their young ones, they do have their fair share of remorse. Elephants are known to take care of orphan elephants as their own. Female elephants milk the young ones of a distant relative who is no more. Far supersedes the deeds of us humans in many cases. We must learn to be compassionate and kind like elephants with no selfish motive.

Photo by shy sol on

After death. Life goes on. New Matriach. If the life cycle of a Matriach comes to an end, she lives quitely while performing all her duties. Sometimes while protecting the herd while other times when she can’t walk anymore because of her age. When elephants encounter death of family member or distant relative, they mourn over the loss. They gather around and pay respect to them by touching with their trunk. They grieve over the loss. They are believed to shed tears for long time. Elephants recognize each other well. They also identify other species like humans and remember them for many years. The loss of a Matriach, means the rise of a new female. She has to take up the responsibility of the herd. Often she is accompanied close to the Matriach since many years for getting trained in taking care of the herd, making the decisions, keeping an eye on the young as well as confronting any dangers that come in their way.

Leadership continues. Being close to one another, elephants learn from the old and pass on the knowledge to one another. They are perfect example of strength in group. When a new female takes over the charge of the group, she has already been trained for the job. In unfortunate conditions this may not be the case, but in usual situations, elephants are preparing next Matriach in the calm, wise, smart and capable female. When it’s time, she takes the role of leader and protector. She takes decisions just like her elders. She learns by her mistakes too but quickly bounces back to better at what she does. And the Matriach continues.

They are just like us or may be we are like them, yet to become good at what they are like.

Return to the homeland. Arrival of monsoon. When the herd reaches homeland just in time for Monsoon, it is the best time for them. They feel the energy, vibe and excitement to run. They follow the wind and rush as fast as they can. It is like the child running home after school. It is like a youngster coming back to his hometown from hostel. It is like a parent coming back from foreign land after years. You cannot stop yourself. Home is calling you and you want to be there soon. When it rains, they jump in the water, swim, play, bathe and drink until their hearts fill. They experience the feeling which is same as climbing a mountain and getting water at the top.

By taking migration every year they go through so many things over and over again with some new members joining the group, while missing the old who have left them. Going through the journey of migration by 🐘 is like going through over own. It is a journey of love, survival, leadership, decisions, difficulties, dangers, resilience, knowledge and family. They are just like us or may be we are like them, yet to become good at what they are like.

If you like to know more about 🐘 then watch following episodes about Elephants and migration.


Why you must watch Wildlife : Resurrection Islands by Nat Geo featuring Bertie Gregory

Hope Storytelling Freshness. Number one reason why you must watch Wildlife series Resurrection Island by Nat Geo is simply because it’s awesome and only few shows or episodes come closer to it with respect to story telling, hope, videography and freshness brought in by Bertie Gregory. Now that you know that there is this awesome series by Nat Geo about Wildlife pertaining to resurrection where the animals come back from the dead or in this case near local extinction, it’s time to know what makes this series so awesome.

Resurrection Islands. This series is based on Wildlife near Islands of South Georgia, where animals were hunted in large number for commercial purpose driving them into near extinction. Later with conservation efforts and new policies, wildlife thrived in this place and now it is one of the best locations for wildlife observation, film-making and story telling. It speaks of hope on a large scale completely undoing the damage done by us. Following quote by Bertie summaries it well.

“If given the chance nature can bounce back on a scale you are not going to believe.”

Bertie Gregory, Wildlife Film Maker

Storytelling is spot on. Under this series animals like Fur Seals, Macaroni Penguins, Albatrosses, King Penguins are covered in detail. There are moments in the series that tell us about fighting spirit, survival tenacity, mutual love, loyalty, care and overcoming the obstacles in life with every might, power and strength you have got. The story of life-long companionship by Albatross makes us wonder about our emotional and moral fibre. Flying alongside Albatross sure seems like a wonderful experience. The way King Penguins go through tough experiences of weather, ocean and encounter with predators is inspiring on its own. How they feed their chicks makes us ask are we doing good enough for our own kind. Life is so organised for the Penguins under so much chaos.

Wildlife through cinematic experience. Grab some popcorns and get ready for the cinema-tic experience of the wild. Bertie takes us through a ride of cinematic experience with amazing background music. In the episode about Macaroni Penguins the shots which are taken at ground level makes you feel you are walking besides them. The way they jump on the rocks and walk ahead through greens, doesn’t feel like it is happening in nature real time but it’s as if those animals are in for a show and they are giving a perfect shot. Definitely that’s what makes Bertie an awesome filmmaker and adds some more cherry on top of this show.

Lot of lessons taught. The concept of dynamic souring is explained very well. The lifespan and lifestyle of these animals are covered in detail. Their traits and behaviours are showcased to teach and train the next generation of biologists, environmentalists, wildlife photographers & filmmakers, policy makers and historians.

Protection of environment is our responsibility. A lot has been achieved till now but a lot more is yet to be done. Nature needs to be protected and everything within it. We as humans for once need to realize that we are one of the many species on this planet and our goal should be as a contributor in the ecosystem and not merely a consumer. Now is the time to take things into our hands and form protective measures for wildlife and fauna likewise and conserve nature in its original sense.

Passionate, young and charming Bertie Gregory brings in completely new energy into narration and story telling. His young fresh voice and amusement about the nature, animals and wild brings a certain kind of joy in you and makes you feel as if you are on the ride alongside him. The kind of exhilaration and feelings experienced by Bertie are like your own and that’s why it connects closely to you. He has put in lot of efforts along with his team behind the scenes just like most of the wildlife filmmakers. Such kind of work is symbol of passion, interest, dedication, hardwork, discipline and intense research. You are going to fall for his happy laugh.

Without going further into more details about each episode and what’s in it for you to enjoy, we request you to go take a glimpse of some episodes only to find yourself watching entire series. Share us your favourite moments in the series in the comment section below.

Swachh Survekshan 2020 | Citizen Feedback

Swachh Survekshan 2020 starts from today on 4th January 2020 and ends on 31st January 2020. Swachh Survekshan is conducted every year in various categories to rank cities and towns of India based on the cleanliness drives, waste management, citizen feedback, direct observation, surveys, projects carried out, service level progress, innovation and many other factors related to cleanliness of a city. Indore ranked first in Swachh Survekshan 2019. Surat was ranked 14th in SS 2019.

Swachh Survekshan 2020

Swachh Survekshan 2020 weightage is distributed as shown below :

Swachh Survekshan 2020

Citizen Feedback is one of the important parameter of evaluation for Swachh Survekshan. Citizen Feedback starts from 4th January 2020 and ends on 31st January 2020. Total Marks for Swachh Survekshan is of 6000 Marks. The city which scores the highest overall will be ranked first in Swach Survekshan 2020. As the chart shows, Citizen Feedback carries 25% of the total score. This category is to see engagement from citizens of a particular city, how they feel about the facilities provided by the Corporation or Municipal bodies, overall feedback about the growth and cleanliness of the city.

Surat scored 974 out of 1250 in Citizens Feedback category during Swachh Survekshan 2019. Indore which ranked first overall in SS 2019 had scored 1129 out of 1250.

ODF stands for Open Defecation Free.

Citizens who wish to provide feedback for Swachh Survekshan 2020, need to be willing to verify mobile number for a transparent and fair means of feedback. Feedback can be provided by visiting Citizen Feedback – SS2020 link.

  • Select State, District and Urban Local Body (ULB) or City.
  • Fill in your age, name, mobile number and gender.
  • Provide your valuable feedback.
  • Submit OTP received on your mobile.
  • Your feedback is completed. It will take you not more than 5 minutes.

Surat ranked best city in Solid Waste Management in Swachh Survekshan 2019.

  • Keep your city and public places clean
  • Avoid use of Plastic
  • Segregate Waste into dry and wet waste
  • Drop your waste into Door-to-Door collection vehicles only
  • Complaint and update corporation for any issues

Surat is one of the fastest growing cities of Asia. Share your comments about the good things in Surat and not so good things in the comment section below. If you are from other cities, share the story of your city in comment section below what makes your city number one as per you.

Migratory Birds Seagulls visit Surat every winter

Seagulls visit Tapi River banks in Surat every year during winter in large numbers. They come in thousands and stay here for 3-4 months from November to February. This year as well they have come to taste Surti food for which they have become adapted and habituated for. It seems they keep coming to taste these tasty snacks of Surat such as gathiya, namkeen, dhokla and others. However it is not sure if this is causing them any kind of serious damage. Healthcare and Bird experts feel that they should be fed only boiled food or their natural diet to keep them safe.

However Surtis in large number are seen feeding gathiya and other snacks during early morning and evenings. Seagulls have developed a discipline to come in position to sit near the railing at the bridge and wait for someone to place the snacks. They come in turns and are seen savoring the delight. You can see seagulls getting upclose to humans, seems like they have been domesticated. Across the world, Seagulls are seen to have similar behaviour at beaches and urban establishment where often they are seen to steal food from the visitors. Seagulls eat fishes and insects as their natural diet.

They are seen taken ride in Tapi river to fulfill their taste buds. Seagulls are seen in large number near Makkai Pool, where it has become their usual breakfast and evening snacks spot. They are also seen resting in the muddy islands in Tapi River. On the other side of the city, where Tapi River looks like a lake near Singanpore, wier-cum-causeway carries a new avatar of Tapi. Here large flocks of birds are seen swimming in the water and flying at certain intervals. Below video is captured at one such instance.

Seagulls flying above Tapi River near Wier-cum-Causeway in Surat

Best time to see Seagulls near Tapi river is early mornings when the Sun is rising behind the urban infrastructure. Large number of Surtis are seen going on walks, jogging and running. They feed these birds as well. Also during evening before Sunset, you can enjoy the Sun going down near Tapi River and see the birds making large sounds as they feed on the food. You will find the darkness creating a silhoutte of the city infrastructure, in the background sunsetting into the river and in the foreground you will see these birds flying with wide open wings. A perfect time to carry your camera and click some pictures of this birds upclose as well as landscapes.

Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat
Seagulls at Makkai Pool Bridge railing waiting for food from ongoing commuters in Surat

Try to care for these birds as they have come from far off lands possibly from the freezing cold Europe or Russia. There is not sure trace of these birds, however it is seen that every year they return to the very spot and stay for few months, before they make return to their home lands. As visitors, they bring about a beauty to our city and repeated return makes our city their favorite place. So we need to continue keeping our city clean and treat our foreign visitors with care and love as always.

If you liked this post, then read other similar posts by us :

Surat Air Quality Statistics, Air Pollution in Surat as of November 2019

Air Quality Index in Surat is hitting over 300 units in Limbayat zone, categorized as very poor quality.

Air pollution has become a rampant issue in the recent times in India, particularly in the major cities across the nation. Surat is also under the threat of air pollution, slowly reaching to the uncomfortable stage of very poor air quality. Observation of fog, smog and unclear sky during the early morning and late night has become frequent. Digging a little much into the statistics made the story clear and evident. Surat is becoming one of the polluted cities of India.

Surat Municipal Corporation manages various areas of cleanliness in city. It has setup an Environment cell, which caters to the issues and quality of water, air, noise and others in the city. Various projects are undertaken from time to time to maintain the quality of water and keeping the city clean. Under the department, similar steps are taken to monitor the air quality in the city with partnership from some educational research institutes providing valuable inputs and support. Such monitoring stations are placed at various points in the city and continous monitoring is done since few years and the data is provided to Gujarat Pollution Control Board, which is then sent to the central board, where the data is finally agreegated at national level.

Two such Air Quality monitoring stations are set up in the vicinity of the city and data is available to public online for information. SMC online portal provides this details on timely update as well as chart showing the overall Air Quality Index (AQI) for 24 hours. The devices are set up at Limbayat and Varachha areas.

Air Quality Index in Varachha is satisfactory during the day and night, however the readings in Limbayat fluctuate over the day from satisfactory to poor to very poor. Last night, that is on 11-Nov-2019, the readings reached above 310 units from usual 90 units during the day. The major concern is the amount of CO2, PM2.5 and PM10 that is considerably high. Along with the concentration of SO2, all this toxic gases and particles make it very difficult to breath as the AQI increases. It can causes damage such as breathing issues, nauseu, headaches on prolongated exposure to such toxic environment over multiple.

What is PM2.5

PM2.5 is atmospheric particulate matter that is smaller than 2.5 micrometers.

What is PM10

PM10 is atmospheric particulate matter that is smaller than 10 micrometers.

As it can be seen below, the AQI went from 212 to 268 to 309 during the hours from 9PM to 10 PM to 11 PM respectively.

You can find the details of Air Quality Statistics on Surat Municipal Portal.


It will be interesting to find the root cause of the severe change in the air quality in this area, as the near by Varachha readings are pretty normal and satisfactory over the day and night. Speculations by experts in city point towards the growth in industrial wastes while the government officials quote the increase in population, vehicles, construction sites as the main reason. If the quality of air continous to be getting adverse day by day, then a serious probe into the cause might be the only resort left. As we it deals with impact over all the citizens living in these areas, it is much of a concern in long run.