Aren't we ready to kill for a bit of peace? Yet we wonder why it eludes us! Isn't throwing a plastic bag on a road almost as bad as throwing a bomb? Is a splutter of black fumes from a truck that hits you right in the face as bad as radioactive waste? Yes, a bomb kills the vertically upright (though not necessarily morally upright) forms of life like us, all in one go, while the plastic bag and black fumes kill lots of other forms of life and finally, significantly alters our mortality rates as well. We can't do much about bombs and radioactive waste but plastic bags and black smoke... isn't that our responsibility?

Some facts

More people die in traffic accidents annually than they do from bombs. Tuberculosis and malaria are bigger killers than terrorists/patriots, though much less glamorous. Peeing on a wall or misusing a toilet breeds more mosquitoes than you can kill with pesticides. So why not tackle road safety, cleanliness and health issues?

Do not drink and drive! If you want to answer ‘nature's call', buy a tea at a restaurant and use their facilities, or get a pair of glasses so that your aim is better. Don't be a cheapskate, your bladder will not understand, mosquitoes will! Mosquitoes are harder to eradicate than mealy-mouthed politicians or foaming-in-the-mouth-fanatics; so let's take on the bigger challenge!! We think of peace as meditating on some remote Himalayan mountaintop and achieving a transcendental state of being beyond emotion and worldly attachment. However, let's face facts, we in our noisy plains of reality wouldn't know that peace if it bit us on the nose. So, what is our peace?

Spells

We have had some wonderful responses the past few weeks from dedicated individuals writing to us about their efforts to build peaceful and healthy environments. Dr. Ravindranath's fascinating initiative called ‘Little Drops - Children for a better tomorrow' working on inculcating practises of basic hygiene in schools is a beautiful example of small steps leading to large transformations, small drops building an ocean of change.

We have also had some great responses for our ‘Critiquing the Media' section, empowering audiences to be media literate. All your responses are invaluable and go towards brainstorming innovative and practical approaches on various issues of health, safety, education and empowerment.

People like that spin their spells of peace. You are invited to fall under our spells AND create your own peace spells. We have had many young people wanting to join our ‘Peace and I' Initiative, to contribute ideas, time and energy — key ingredients for peace spells that money cannot buy.

Spell us a Peace spell! Send your ideas or share your experience by writing to Sangeeta Isvaran at youthforpeace10@gmail.com or aseema123@yahoo.com.

Ready for action!

I recall Gandhiji's words that women should be able to walk independently even late at night without any protection. His dreams should come true. Social organisations, forums, the police and the public should flag the campaign augmenting this. Culprits who hinder this in the form of eve teasing and harassment in any forms should be booked in the cases. - V.P. SAMPATH, engineer

‘Converting blame to responsibility is the first step towards empowerment — taking responsibility and giving responsibility.' How true!

I would like to be a part of the campaign on the burning issues around us. Such programmes will sure to bring awareness among the silent citizens. Sure, in the world of fantasies, I agree with you that there are only few, who are bitten by the bugs of realities and are willing to get into action and do something to the society. I firmly believe that things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up. - RAVIKUMAR R.

On reading the ‘Youth for Peace' column, I immediately became enthusiastic to join the bandwagon. It would be a pleasure if I could be a part of the campaign. I would love to contribute some articles to ‘critiquing media'. Hope I would be of some help for the workshop. I too want to ‘make a difference'. –

L.M. VAISHNAVI, I Year, BE C.Sc., Sri Sairam Engineering College

I would like to make some meaningful contribution to society. I have an above average understanding of society and its implications, which I had gained during my preparation for IAS exam. I'm sure it could be effectively used by your initiative. I am willing to contribute to your vision in any way. I am completely thrilled to work with you because of the novel things proposed in your article. - DR. VARUN, Dpty. S.P., CRPF

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