“Being ozone friendly” means tasking individual action to reduce and eliminate impacts on the stratosphere ozone layer caused by the products you buy, the appliances and equipment that your household or business uses, or the manufacturing process used by your company. Products made with, or containing ozone depleting substances (ODS) such as CFCs, HCFs, Halons, Methyl Chloroform and Methyl Bromide can contribute to ozone layer depletion. 

The following list describes some actions individual can take to help protect the Ozone Layer Depletion:

Be an Ozone Friendly Consumer: Buy products (aerosols spray cans, refrigerators, fire extinguisher, etc.) that are labelled “Ozone Friendly” or “CFC Free”. The product labels should indicate that they do not contain ozone depleting substances such as CFCs or Halons. Ask for more information from the seller to ensure that the product is ozone friendly. Tell your neighbours that you are the proud owner of “Ozone Friendly” products.

Be an Ozone Friendly House Owner: Dispose of old refrigerators and appliances responsible for CFC & HCFC refrigerants should be removed from an appliance before it is discarded (ask the Public Work Department in your town or a home appliance dealer about appliance refrigerant recovery programmes).  Portable Halon fire extinguishers that are no longer needed should be returned to your fire protection authority for recycling. Consider purchasing new fire extinguishers that do not contain halon (eg. Dry Powder) as recommended by your fire protection authority.

Be an Ozone Friendly Farmer: If you use methyle bromide for soil fumigation, consider switching to effectively and safe alternatives are currently being used in many countries to replace this ozone damaging pesticide. Consider options such as integrated pest management that do not rely on costly chemical inputs. If you donot currently using methyl bromide, don’t begin to use it now (you will have to get rid of it in the future).

Be an Ozone Friendly Refrigeration servicing Technician: Ensure that you recover from air conditioners, refrigerators or freezers during servicing is not “vented” or released to the atmosphere. Regularly check and fix leaks before they become a problem. Help start a refrigerant recovery and recycling programme in your area.

Be an Ozone Friendly Office Worker: Help your company identify which existing equipment (eg. Water cooler, air conditioners, cleaning solvents, fire extinguishers) and what products it buys (aerosol sprays, foam cushions/ mattresses, paper correct fluid) use ozone depleting substances, and develop a plan for replacing them with cost effective alternatives. Become an environmental leader within your office.

Be an Ozone Friendly Company: Replace ozone depleting substances used on your premises and in your manufacturing process (contact your National ozone unit to see if you are eligible for financial and technical assistance from the multi lateral fund). If your products contain ozone depleting substances, change your product formulation to use alternatives substances that do not destroy the ozone layer.

Be an Ozone Friendly Teacher: Inform your students about the importance of protecting the environment and in particular the ozone layer. Teach students about the damaging impact of ozone depleting substances on the atmosphere, the health impacts, and what steps are being taken internationally and nationally to solve this problem. Encourage students to spread the message to their families.

Be an Ozone Friendly Community Organiser: Inform your family, neighbours and friends about the need to protect the ozone layer and help them get involved. Work with non-governmental organisations to help start information campaigns: and technical assistance projects to phase out ozone depleting substances in your city, town or village.

Be an Ozone Friendly Citizen: Read and learn more about the effects of ozone depletion on people, animals and the environment, your national strategy and policies to implement the Montreal Protocol, and the phase out of ozone depleting  substances means to your country. Get in touch with your country’s National Ozone unit and learn get involved on an individual level.

Be an Ozone Friendly:  SOS Save Our Skies.

Published in the public interest by

Department of Science & Technology, A & N Administration, Port Blair

The photographs shown are of Andaman Islands which ways back to 1830s. All photographs are the property of Susan Greenhalgh. Susan is the Granddaughter of George Brown and Enith Bessie (nee Webb). She is presently residing at Lancashire, England.

Indian Dental Association & Voice of Tobacco Victim campaign

The industry uses diverse mediums for advertisements, promotion and sponsorship tactics to directly influence users for tobacco use or new users to start using it. It also portrays a positive influence or showcase doing good by skillful blending real life scenarios with tobacco.

It attributes by:-

• Showcasing tobacco use as customary and glamorous.

• Segmented and targeting vulnerable groups youth, women by deceptive and misleading descriptors and advertisements.

• Sponsoring Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Why tobacco industries do it?

 Attract new tobacco users

 Increase the amount of consumption among current tobacco users

 Reduce a tobacco user’s willingness to quit

 Encourage former user to start the habit again

Our nation has the dubious distinction of harboring the highest burden of mouth cancer in the world and we are called “oral cancer capital of the world”. Apart from mouth cancers, smokeless tobacco use is one of the major risk factor for periodontal diseases.  The burden of diseases caused by tobacco use results in loss of livelihood of not only the individuals but the entire family and country is at loss.

Our younger generation needs to be protected against the menace of tobacco. Every day about 5,500 children start the tobacco habit in India.  The age of initiation is as low as 8 years. We the dentists, who are responsible for the oral health, are extremely worried about rising trends of mouth cancer especially amongst the youth. This epidemic is the result of rampant use of Tobacco and Areca nut in different forms. The industry promotes tobacco use by giving free sample, sale at discount price, promoting it in the youth centric festival or cultural programmers’. Even at the point of sale the tobacco packets are placed next to chocolates or confectionary.

 Indian Dental Association & Voice of Tobacco Victims urge our government to prohibit any such advertisements and promotion of tobacco product to save the millions of youths of our country from being a victim of tobacco.

“Our Youths are Future in the Hands of Government”

For more information, kindly contact:-

Dr. G. Selvaraj, Hon. State Secretary, Indian Dental association, Port Blair. Mob- 09732472777. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                                                                        

Dr. Kunal, Voice of Tobacco Victim. Mob- 9930011249. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                

By

Debkumar Bhadra

Shore Point, Bambooflat, S Andaman-744107

It was just another day for M Nageshwar Rao, a cobbler until he picked up the suitcase that has come to his shop earlier on the day with a broken handle. As he turned the suitcase on the working platform, a bundle of currency notes popped out of it. He found the bundle had 11 notes of Rs 1000 each, totalling to Rs 11000.00 (repeat Eleven Thousand Rupees). Keeping the money in a secure place, he went ahead to accomplish the assigned work.

Next day, Surajit Chowdhury visited the shop to take delivery of the suitcase. He was happy to see his suitcase ready. But the real surprise was yet to be delivered. He was taken aback when Nageshwar Rao told him about the discovery of Rs 11000.00 from his suitcase. It was nothing less than a bounty, since he lost track of his money probably kept in the inner compartment of the suitcase during one of his repeated visit to mainland hospital few years back.

Awestruck, he offered Nageshwar Rao to take whatever amount he wishes, but he surprised him yet again. Nageshwar Rao said, he would be satisfied with the charges he is about to get for his work. He does not wish to take what doesn’t belong to him. Surajit Chowdhury wanting to reward him for the rare gesture voluntary offered some money, but could not convince him to accept it. He returned from his shop, high in spirit and shared what he considered the most impressive event of the day, on the social networking site facebook (page of The Light of Andamans).

Within a month, the post clocked 500+ likes, 150+ comment, few even copied and shared it on their wall, as a token of appreciation towards the honesty shown by Nageshwar Rao. Any post relating to A&N Islands which has this many likes, comments and shares attributed to a single issue is a rarity in itself. I therefore decided, I must meet him personally and convey him the feelings expressed in appreciation of his honesty by fellow beings.

I was impressed; Mr M Nageshwar Rao, son of Late M Venkanna is a contented man. His family consisting of his wife Mrs M Mariamma and three daughters, M Rani (19 Yrs), M Diviya (17 Yrs) and M Kezia (12 Yrs) live happily in a rented house at Lambaline. He has been professing the job of a cobbler for the last about 25 years. Earlier he used to ferry his box in search of customers, but few years back he got a shop in the PBMC complex near STS Bus Terminus at Aberdeen Bazaar. Since then he has been stationary, contented with his job and the earning he gets for mending peoples belongings.

During the course of interaction with Mr M Nageshwar Rao, I found him dedicated to his work. While answering my queries, his hands never stopped serving the customers calling on his shop. I said, you might be feeling disturbed by visitor like me. Nodding his head in disagreement, he said after the incident many persons met him, thanked him and some even photographed him on their mobile phones. This is a loss of time, I said. He smilingly replied, customers now come searching for M Nageshwar Rao; my customer base has increased, he smiles again and hammers the just mended piece of luggage before handing it over to a customer who has been patiently hearing our conversation.

Seeing a brief pause in customer visit, I asked, Eleven Thousand Rupees is a handsome amount, therefore how easy or for that matter difficult it was to walk the talk? He said it would have been really difficult had his family not stood behind him in the decision. He and his family believes what is not theirs, will not stay with them for long. So it is better to return whatever is not theirs.

The moral that Mr M Nageshwar Rao and his family relies upon is rarely seen, especially at a time when almost all the thing that one need to lead a decent life has a price tag attached to it.

Overwhelming response in the form of likes, comments and shares followed by personal visit expressing heartfelt gratitude is a pointer to the magnitude the incident had on the general mass. Mr M Nageshwar Rao by his deed has resurrected a dead trait, it is now upon us to walk the talk and keep the flag of honesty flying.

The Andaman Islands are one of the few places in India where individuals from multiple communities are involved in commercial fishing activities. At the same time several different types of fisheries came into existence since the 1900s. The previously pristine nature of marine ecosystems in these islands and their extensive fringing coral reefs, created a space for multiple fisheries targeting different types of marine organisms. However, these fisheries have not had a stable history of existence. Many fisheries have peaked and then subsequently declined either due to unregulated fishing pressure, changes in policy, poor management, or a fall in demand for the product. It is worthwhile trying to record this cycle of “boom and bust” fisheries and understand the conditions that allow for new fisheries to start, peak, and then decline.

One of the first commercial fisheries to start in these islands was the shellfish fishery; and two species were mainly targeted, namely Trochus niloticus and Turbo marmoratus. Trochus or ‘top shell’ has a conical shell with alternating red and white bands, while Turbo or ‘turban shell’ has a thick green shell with white patches. Both shells were used in the mother of pearl industry. The fishery started in the 1920s, with licenced Japanese fishers being allowed to skin dive and hand pick the shells off reefs that were 10 to 25m deep. Despite several rules and regulations managing the fishery, including demarcation of shell fishing zones, a minimum size limit, and several closed seasons, the stocks of both species dwindled over the years. In fact, surveys in 1978 by the CMFRI and in 2010 by the ZSI failed to record any specimens of Turbo. In 2001, Trochus and Turbo were placed under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, thereby banning collection of these species across India, and this resulted in the closure of the fishery. Sea cucumbers belong to a group called Holothurians, and there was an active fishery for this group since 1975. Sea cucumbers were handpicked from reefs, boiled and dried, to produce an end product called bêche-de-mer that were exported to Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and other Asian countries. Products from the Andaman Islands fetched 10-15 times more money than those from mainland India, due to their high quality. As a result of a clause in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands Shell Fishing Rules, 1978, extraction of sea cucumbers was banned in areas demarcated as ‘Shell Fishing Zones’, which covered nearly all of the area where these organisms were located. There are no clear estimates of the quantities of holothurians extracted from the Andamans, and extensive poaching is partially responsible for this. In 2001, Holothurians were also added to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, effectively protecting them from any form of extraction in India.

The first reported landing of sharks in the Andaman Islands was in 1967. Despite the poor local demand for sharks, they were targeted predominantly for their fins and livers. Shark fins were and continue to be exported in large quantities to Southeast Asian countries, while oils from their livers are used for pharmaceutical purposes. The catch rates of sharks in these waters show a declining trend between 1984 and 2005 and fishermen support this trend with observations of reef sharks rarely being encountered nowadays. Some laws and regulations have attempted to regulate this fishery, and a nationwide ban on shark fishing was introduced in July 2001. Six months later this ban was lifted, following protests by shark fishermen across the country. In these islands, a ban on shark fishing from April 15 to May 31 was introduced in 2009, giving shark populations a chance to recover from fishing mortality each year. While the shark fishery is still active in the Andaman Islands, the stocks of coastal species have greatly reduced and fishermen are fishing in deeper and deeper waters in order to catch sharks.

The three fisheries described above have “boomed and busted” due to a combination of factors like poor management, policy changes, and unregulated fishing pressure. Foreign poachers target all three groups to maximise their returns, and in turn deprive local enterprises of profits. With this in mind, several groups advocate the delisting and reopening of the shellfish and sea cucumber fisheries, as they feel that these stocks have recovered appropriately. However, without adequate monitoring of these fisheries and scientifically sound management practices, these fisheries could once again boom and go bust. In order for fishers to self-regulate, a system of equitable profit distribution may go a long way in sustaining these stocks. In the case of the shark fishery, species level catch monitoring, studies on life history patterns, population structure, and abundance could help provide information about the future of these stocks and the direction the fishery is taking. At present, several other fisheries, like those for crabs, lobsters, and groupers, are booming. It only remains to be seen how long these fisheries will last and when they will go bust.