HOW DOES OUR DAY TODAY ACTIVITY AFFECT OCEANS

The limitless ocean, its immeasurable depth, its untold secrets, its infinity is a wonder. Oceans provides us with plenty of resources like food, transportation, tourism, oil and natural reserves but human activities have caused irreparable damage to the ocean eco system. It’s of extreme concern that there has been a 20% -30% decline of Seahorses and Pipefishes in the Mediterranean.

International Union for Conservation of Nature attributes it to coastal development, bottom trawling and dredging. Similar alarming effects have been the creation of ocean dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico due to increase runoff of ethanol which is used in corn cultivation.

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We need to ponder on our day to day activities which cause ocean pollution. Destruction of ocean eco systems damages the livelihoods of humans and creates imbalance in the ocean environment.

  • Rampant use of Plastics – Be it a can, savoury snacks packet, food wrappers, beverage and water bottles, plastic bags its usage has to be minimised. Even though it is discarded in the garbage bin properly at our homes, offices, departmental stores, restaurants, it still finds its way into the oceans through landfill runoffs or from drains and garbage dumps. The Pacific Garbage Patch is a blaring example.
  • Release of toxic wastes- Toxic chemicals from factories, sewage wastes from hospitality industries, toilet wastes of residential and official premises, fertilizers and pesticides run off from agricultural fields end up in the oceans. All these contain highly toxic volatile compounds which are consumed by marine animals and poses threat. We don’t realise, it comes back to us in the fish or sea food that we relish. Mercury from coal plants is absorbed by organisms which are further eaten by big fish.
  • High Carbon Footprints – Vehicular emissions, not switching off the lights, keeping your gadgets plugged for very long time, not using energy efficient appliances or constant use of air conditioning and heating systems causes Carbon Dioxide emission into the atmosphere which is absorbed by the oceans resulting in ocean acidification. The impact will be wiping out of several species like corals and shellfish.
  • Lack of knowledge on sustainable fish and sea food– When ordering a tuna dish in a restaurant or relishing the sushi in a sushi bar or buying salmon from the store, do we ever look into the buyers guide. Tuna stocks is fast diminishing and Greenpeace has asked the tuna industry in South East Asia to practice sustainable fishing as indiscriminating catching harms the juvenile fishes too.
  • Uncontrolled tourism development– Spending a day on the beach is fun and cool. Bathing in the beach by applying soap lavishly causes harm to the fish. Water sports, scuba diving, careless swimming harms the marine life. The Great Barrier Reef in the north east coast of Australia is facing severe threat of extinction due to unregulated tourism activities.

There are several daily activities which unconsciously create havoc in the ocean world. Ocean friendly paints have perhaps not been used on the brightly painted boat which we use for fishing. Many a time our house plumbing is not in good shape and we use excessive water in showers, gardening or other daily chores. Read azula to know by which human activity we affecting ocean Eco system.

The more of personal hygiene or cleaning or chemical products we use, the impact on oceans gets catastrophic. The throwing of a balloon into the sea or leaving torn synthetic fish nets in the ocean or throwing cigarette butt on the beach, dumping e-wastes, inadvertently has a disastrous impact on marine animals.

We need to be conscious towards marine conservation. We should join hands with a local community for ocean advocacy, campaigns and undertake cleaning measures.

 

Why Do Millions of Registered Voters Never Vote?

The lack in the number of voters is strictly staggering and with each year, there is either a surge or a massive drop in the number of voters. Voter turnout has is a big trend in our country and in 2004 presidential elections, 63.8% of registered voters turned out to cast their votes; as current President officially defeated challenger Senator John Kerry that year.

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The turnout in the 2004 presidential elections has been recorded as one of the largest turnouts in American politics. It’s a number that translates the lack of enthusiasm, or lack thereof, among different groups.
The other 36.2% of registered voters who did not vote is alarming. This country often experiences a participation decline which is a matter of concern and it is most needed at the moment to delve into the reasons why people in this country don’t come forward to cast a vote and are hesitant to cast their vote.

 

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What happened in 2012 is a similar picture. Despite an increase of over eight million citizens in the eligible population, the voter turnout dipped from 131 million voters in 2008 to a projected 126 million voters in 2012 when all ballots are analyzed. Some 93 million eligible citizens did not engage in exercising their precious vote in the elections. The blacks were the laggards and blackout turnout rates in 2012 exceeded that of whites for the first time.
The black turnout rates in 2012 surpassed that of whites for the first time. This is an election when the white turnout declined considerably and Hispanic and Asian turnout inched down modestly from 2008. The rising black turnout can be attributed to some degree, as unrelenting strong support for the first black president.

The lack of determination to vote in whites might be attributed to the enthusiasm for either candidate or politics in general during a slothful economy.
Millions of Americans readily take for granted their suffrage, their right to vote. The scenario is disturbing especially for blacks and women who had to wait for so long and fight so hard to win suffrage till the 13th Amendment for blacks; and the 19th Amendment for women arose. There must be reasons why too many Americans don’t vote. What could it be that keeps eligible American voters at bay from taking part in the biggest privilege of democracy?
This disgraceful lack in the number of voters has a direct and ginormous effect on where many nations stand in democracy today. There are many factors pertaining to this notion. Here, we will discuss in detail about those factors a.k.a. reasons.
The biggest and most crucially disturbing of all the reasons is ‘gender gap’. Moreover, when we say ‘gender gap’, we are not only talking about a few developing or under-developed nations. Here, we are also talking about the developed and the most flourished of all the nations that are well placed in the upper tier. This sentence only creates a list in our minds about the nations that checks in all the desired boxes.

Even if you read about it online then the graphs will prove this point that we’ve discussed about only. ‘Disbelief in woman’s voting’ was among the many reasons which makes women believe that voting is not their cup of tea and hence they opt out. Voter turnout of males and females is always a dancing curve seldom coinciding with one another.
Next aspect that solicits us with reasons is ‘race and ethnicity’. This is a jaw dropping reason but it is true that it still plays a major role in the present electoral campaigns in many nations. This is the reason why the blacks and Hispanics as well as Asians drop out majorly in US elections.

People give provocative speeches and condemn a race just so s/he could add a line of few votes to her/his ballot. Ethnicity had/has a major effect on voting frequencies that result in even lower voter turnout percentage.
Another point that hits us in our guts is the ‘youth voting turnout’. This is a major concern today, as the number of youth that turn up during elections is getting lower and lower with every year. Several campaigns have been rolled out in the US to engage as many adults as possible; campaigns like MTV’s “Rock the Vote”(founded in 1990) and “Vote or Die” (started in 2012) and these campaigns are evolving with each year so that they could get more and more active towards electoral campaigns and start being a part of them as well. Most of these campaigns targeted the millennial and people within the age group of 18-25 to vote. Nevertheless, the Stanford Social Innovation Review found no evidence of a decline in youth voter turnover.

 

Another reason for the low voter turnout is education. People who are not well educated in US are usually associated with the low voter turnout. There is organization name movement vote working towards bringing change. The past census concurs to this notion that most percentage of the US voters had advanced degrees. Education only leads to another factor and that is income. These two factors influence the statistics of voters a lot. People with little or no education in the US and people with lower income are lesser and lesser into voting there.

Importance of Digital training in social impact organization

Social Impact Comprising Digital Technology

“If we can extend (the internet) to more people, we increase voice… we increase economic opportunity… and we increase equality”- Sheryl Sandberg

Above lines by CEO, Facebook USA is an influential and powerful message that suggests the overwhelming impacts of technology on people. Today, digital inclusion is a necessity and can be used as a tool to generate unprecedented results.  Social Impact can be referred to an action that brings significant change to people, groups, association or community. The social and physical conditions are taken in to consideration. It arises due to effectiveness of the source of impact, propinquity of the event and the number of sources exercising the impact.

 

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Understanding the scope of digital training

It is an irrefutable fact that digital tools and its supply can leverage the learning, and educating process. Famous and dedicated philanthropists, Business or NGO’s understand the importance of digital inclusion in creating social impacts. It has been observed that effective use of technology can bridge the gap in attaining the subject and the way they are put in to practice. Digital Technology can be used in the field of education, to channelize employment opportunities, inspiring parental enthusiasm, to broadcast information or to run a health campaign, options can be unlimited. Using Information and communication Technologies (ICTs) can prove to be an advantage for any Social Impact Organization as it can provide various routes to convey the message or to achieve an objective which could be otherwise difficult to obtain. We ca see some organization like Movement 2016 perfectly using digital techniques to reach more people in US

 

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Realistic Accounts of using ICT for Social Impact

The inclusion of digital technology can successfully enhance the purpose of a particular campaign by NGO’s and there are many credible accounts to support this argument. According to a report developed by ICF Consulting Services for Scandinavian countries, the impact of using digital tools for teaching can produce substantial results. The outcome or the soft impact includes increased confidence and identifiable advancements. For example, Emily, 18, could not go to school due to her introvert personality. An online learning center developed by the government proved to be favorable for her. With her increased self-belief and conviction, she has a complete personality transformation. It’s not difficult to enumerate the increased confidence, social contribution and improved lifestyle.

It would also be important to mention a successful educational program by UK government to include ICT on large scale to reach socially disadvantaged groups, people or community. The project ran for fifteen months during 2007-2008 and it garnered fruitful results, the highlights included the increased usage of online public services and internet that made difference to their life and almost 87% of participants progressed under additional training and employment.

Digital Storytelling or showing documentaries for social impact is also another successful version of ICT inclusion. A research article published by Stanford Social Innovation Review USA, provides an insight of the powerful impact of digital storytelling on poor and vulnerable people across the world. Today, sharing stories or projecting an idea through various technological tools can be used to educate and inspire people, and help them to improve their quality of life.

A report by School of Communication, American University Washington DC, clearly indicates the impacts of issue-focused documentaries on public. The report mentions the emotional connect of the audience through documentaries that are meant to create awareness and infuse the right amount of curiosity for a particular social cause. For example, projecting a documentary about ‘AIDS Awareness’ to a group or people who are not educated enough to read or understand the effects of this disease or how to prevent it. A film would successfully educate them as well as sensitive them towards a healthier tomorrow.

Limitations and Drawbacks

Although, inclusion of ICT is a boon for any Social Impact Organization, it also has a drawback that cannot be ignored. The implementation of new technological tools can incur large upfront cost. Since by definition NGO’s are non profits; it becomes difficult to keep up with the wages of the technicians or professionals who are responsible to use these equipment. Such barriers cannot be ignored; however there are cheaper means too. Social Networking has come out to be the most responsive means in terms of generating the right kind of awareness. However, one cannot avoid the fact that there still are communities in the world who are battling for the basic amenities and internet is still a luxury for them that they cease to afford.

To conclude, digital training is extremely important for Social Impact Organization, yet it is not the only tool that can be used to execute their key objectives.

Technology can be called a useful and strong servant but a dangerous master, and it should be used for the right intention, perfect planning and execution, as with power comes great responsibilities.