August 31, 2011

To each one a voice

This blog is to promote civil society involvement in public decision making. In the Maldivian community, in the environment of our new democracy, this aspect is a necessary ingredient to make our decisions truly the stuff of the people. Lets all make this happen to make our society a happy place to be.

Why "To each one a voice?

In pursuing good health, as in any other social endevour, the power of our own voice cannot be discounted. Actually, being healthy is our choice and by exercising our choice we can create the environement where health can be created for us. Some people say that we have to have all the sophisticated medical care facilities available for us to have good health. This is not quite true.We need those who take care of our disease to be a part of our health system as key partners. But actually, we ourselves are the prime movers of our health. In fact our choice of keeping our homes and our streets and our air clean is what will make us healthy people. Eating clean or well cooked foods will make us not get sick. Drinking clean water will keep us from getting upset stomachs and infestations with worms and the like. So it is how we exercise our choice that will keep us healthy. I am trying to make Maldives a healthy country. That is my goal in life. My work in the past 30 years or more has been to make Maldives a heatlhy place for us all to live a happy life. Environemental sanitation is the first step.We have always tried to maintain a clean environemnt in Maldives. This is however translated in those days as a neat environment. The coral streets were swept well and neatly, the houses although simple and modest were also kept clean -- just as our Islam advises. But we did not know the dangers of what we didnt see. As such we didnt see the germs in the water that may have come from the seepage from our defecating in the open, or what festerd in the food we kept leftover for later. Or we didnt even know the danger of mosquitoes and flies. Fishing was our daily life and so with fishing flies seem to be always around. It was with knowledge and awareness we began to know why flies and mosquitoes and cocroaches and rats etc are dangerous to our heatlh -- because they carry the germs to our food and water that makes us sick when we consume these as contaminated items. Our pervasive knowldege over time has made us rid our country of much of those early diarrheas, and malaria. This has given our country a respectable name in health circles. Our little babies don't die now in the scores they did in those days, and we hardly see a child who has to live with chronic diarrhea; there are medicines when one does get sick and we are so much more aware of what to do to keep our environement clean so that disease can be kept at bay.

But now we are slowly beginning to see our enviornment revert to some of the unkepmtness that signified earlier times. But of course with modern dirt like empty plastic bottels, coke cans, candy and chocolate wrappers, receipt stubs from checkout counters, empty gutka packs, and the like just thrown on the streets of Male. And the spitting! What an increase in spitting! Red and green and frothy! Do we even know what kind of germs those thick blobs of sputum contain? What can give you all kinds of respiratory infections!When these dry, and gets mixed up with the dust, what kind fo spores may remain in the air to be inhaled? How much are we aware of all this? Those cans, bottle caps and plastic wrappers that linger unswept on the side of the road that can harbour bits of water after a rain and breed the mosquitoes that we so complain about and are upset about with the advent of dengue in our cities. It is we who must be answering these questions. Responsibility is a part of what voice gives us in a democratic society. We msut be the voice of conscience that can make our streets clean, keep disease away and feel the sense of wellbeing. To each one a voice!!

Eid -ul-Fitr


Eid Mubaarak! For Maldivians, today has always been a day of joy and celebration after a faithful observance of month's fast. It was a month of spiritual cleansing that makes us ready for another year of life in service to our communities. It is a month that helps us keep up the tryst with our communities -- the understanding that we are one community of human beings and that what divides are only just artificial boundaries that even tomorrow may be shattered. Ramzaan brings to our hearts that the real tangible entity that we have within us is the 'self' (that inner voice) which is devoid of any selfishness and is wholeheartedly into giving. It is said that what we get is what we give and so this is what makes our 'self' the supreme entity that enlivens us and sustains us as one community without boundaries. So as we move to another wonderful year in our lives, lets remind ourselves and feel within us this pulse of our inner self that will only tell us nothing but the truth of warm relationships and joyous raptures that only sharing can bring. May Allah bless you all on this Blessed EID.