Saturday, September 17, 2005
Citizens of the World
Have a look at the following mail that is circulating in the networks these days...
Inches of rain in new orleans due to hurricane katrina... 18
Inches of rain in mumbai (July 27th).... 37.1
Population of new orleans... 484,674
Population of mumbai.... 12,622,500
Deaths in new orleans within 48 hours of katrina...100
Deaths in mumbai within 48hours of rain.. 37.
Number of people to be evacuated in new orleans... entire city..wohh
Number of people evacuated in mumbai...10,000
Cases of shooting and violence in new orleans...Countless
Cases of shooting and violence in mumbai.. NONE
Time taken for US army to reach new orleans... 48hours
Time taken for Indian army and navy to reach mumbai...12hours
Status 48hours later...new orleans is still waiting for relief, army and electricty
Status 48hours later..mumbai is back on its feet and is business is as usual
USA...world's most developed nation
India...third world country..
oopss...did i get the last fact wrong???
To put it simply, I couldn't believe what I was reading! How could such apathy creep into people's hearts? Come off it, folks!! What, precisely, is the matter with you? People are dying, starving out there and a few of us are smugly sitting in chilled rooms and sending out such mindless statistics. Do we need to point out these differences even in such turbulent times?! Can't we, for once, be citizens of the world? Can't we channelize our energies into praying for them, donating funds for them, doing something, however little, to bring relief to them?
Now below is a reply to the above mail that Saahil composed, after hunting for all the relevant details on the Internet.
Hurricane Katrina -- Speed of wind in New Orleans recorded 160mph i.e. 256 kmph
Rains in Mumbai -- Wind speed recorded of 45-60 kmph
Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history — a humanitarian crisis on a scale unseen in the U.S. since the American Civil War
Rains in Mumbai, highest ever in a day in India (says IMD, which is still debated, coz Internet searches show higher rainfall in a day in India). Nevertheless, it is nowhere close to being one of the worst natural disasters of India.
Hurricane Katrina -- 80% of New Orleans area is below sea level, meaning the water has nowhere to go.
Rain in Mumbai -- 33% of Mumbai mainland got flooded due to rains
Oh! By the way...
Area of New Orleans -- 907.0 km²
Area of Mumbai -- 468 km2
Hurricane Katrina -- Many parts of city submerged to the extent of 20 feet
Rains in Mumbai -- Maximum flooding of water, 15 feet in certain areas of Kalina
Hurricane Katrina -- Insurance claims of USD 26 Billion
Rains in Mumbai -- Insurance claims of USD 348 Million
Hurricane Katrina -- Deaths expected after situation gets normal are more than 10,000
Rains in Mumbai -- Deaths estimated 1,500 across Maharashtra due to rains in various parts of the state.
This is not to compare a third-world country & the most developed nation on Earth. I just could not digest the fact that someone could even think of comparing Hurricane Katrina & the rains in Mumbai. And moreover from the perspective of comparing the state of development...!
Still, some information...
State of Mumbai during rains -- Radio stations and many television stations did not receive any weather warnings or alerts by the civic agencies. The Met department blamed it on the lack of sophisticated Doppler radars which would have given a 3 hour prior warning.
State of New Orleans BEFORE hurricane Katrina -- The President declared a state of emergency in Louisiana, two days before the hurricane made landfall. This declaration activated efforts by Federal Emergency Management Agency to position stockpiles of food, water and medical supplies throughout Louisiana and Mississippi more than a day before Katrina made landfall
Nevertheless, I thought let me contribute with some facts, for those who thought Hurricane Katrina was only about 17 inches of rains...and 100 deaths in the first 48 hours of destruction!!!
I must say I'm proud of my dear Saahil! I thouroughly laud the efforts he made into compiling such a reply. A little thoughtfulness, a little compassion, a little humanity, and a feeling of solidarity...is the need of the hour. May the victims (not only of Katrina, but victims in general, all over the world) have all the strength they need to rise back in life.