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The Viability Of Rejecting Nuclear Energy In India

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By Harinie Thiagarajan:

Energy is always known to be one of the most important factors that influence a country’s economic growth and human development. Indian economy is the world’s tenth-largest. In order to meet the needs of the billion odd consumers, both inland and abroad, the available energy should be utilized in a better way. Recent unplanned usage of natural resources has led to the depletion of the non-renewable resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gases. Keeping in mind the future generation, an alternative source of energy has to be found and trapped. Though winds and tidal waves do a considerably good job in filling this gap, they account for a very meager quantity of the total amount needed.

 

Nuclear power is the fourth largest source of electricity in India after thermal, hydroelectric and renewable sources for generating electricity. With more than 20 nuclear power plants in India, India’s nuclear power industry is enduring rapid spreading out with an aim of tapping as much power as possible. Being a highly reliable source of energy, these power plants can run for an entire day without any changes. Furthermore, cost of nuclear fuel is comparatively less than the other energy sources such as coal and gas. Large amounts of nuclear energy can be produced from less amount of uranium making it all the more cost effective.

With every part of the country practicing “The Green Mantra”, nuclear power positively aids this notion. Nuclear electricity does not produce any GHG emissions or cause air pollution, which is in contrary to the usage of fossil fuels like coal, oil or gas. In addition to all these, an infinite potential is available in this energy. With new technologies aiding this process, there is undoubtedly a very high scope of this energy source.

Despite these innumerous advantages, nuclear energy is always a controversial topic. This is because of the irreparable loses that may be caused if the process is not performed carefully. Despite the safety arrangements that have been made by the equipment operators, the chances that things may go wrong are very high. Another massive problem faced with respect to the nuclear reactors is the disposal of the nuclear reactor rods. The continual accumulation of these wastages can result in a lot of health issues and environmental problems. To top all these issues, the fuel used for these reactors may be utilized for the making of nuclear weapons which is the major threat for even the super power nations.

Whatever may be the source of energy, an efficient method to trap the useful power is to be adopted. Nuclear power is the best answer for the current problem of energy shortage. This not only helps meet demand-supply but also to bridge the gap between that available energy and that needed for the future generation. Thus until a better source of power is found and brought to usage, the development in the field of nuclear technology should not be ceased and of course, extensive safety measures have to be followed to make this one hundred percent viable and secure.

You must be to comment.
  1. AB

    Even with the status of bring the fourth largest source of energy, nuclear energy still only contributes for 4% of the total electricity. Scientists hope to pull it to 9% in the next 25 years. This increase comes at the cost of displaced villages, safety risks and most importantly a waste disposal problem. Is it worth it?
    Even if you manage to get the safety measures in place, the fact that the only way of radioactive disposal is dumping it in the sea should be enough discouragement. Its like a time bomb that you know will eventually go off. Radioactive waste disposal is a BIG problem, and just because the prospect of imminent power is so attractive we are willing to turn a blind eye to it.
    Many scientists within India are against nuclear energy:
    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_top-indian-scientists-to-launch-nation-wide-protest-for-ban-on-nuclear-plants_1600845

    I think we shouldn’t wait till another alternate is found but spend all the time and money spent on nuclear plants in researching on and building renewable energy sources.

  2. Harinie

    I totally agree with you. With increasing power cuts all over India, a better source of power is the need of the hour.
    That should be both eco-friendly and should be capable of providing power over a long run too.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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