A future “Malir River-Basin Dam”?

(Photo credit- https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Malir-River-Basin-MRB_fig1_325475799)

August 12, 2019

Last week I had written about recycling & harvesting rain water (https://dinshawavari.com/2019/08/08/and-the-rains-are-upon-us/).  Then we faced rains in Karachi which I have not seen in decades.  The “natural” effect of this was the massive misinformation & incorrect (some genuinely mistaken) social media warnings & alerts on the effects of the rains in Karachi. 

One post in particular, on the flooding of Malir River, got me thinking.  At the outset, let me clarify that these are my personal views and I hope it doesn’t lead to controversy …

               Water flowing down Sindh province makes its way into Malir River, which generally lays dry through the year.  It’s only when we have sudden rains or this current set of rains when it fills up, and in the latter case, overflowed too.

               The major sources of Karachi’s water are the Hub dam, Keenjhar lake & Haleji lake.

Why don’t we “DAM” up the Malir River Basin within Karachi’s limits?  Why let the precious rain water go to waste, into the Arabian Sea?  If Karachi is seeing its own effects of climate change and our soothsayers predict more of this to come, let’s channelize that water into a massive & natural reservoir down Malir River.  A dam in the middle of the City will also become its own, inbuilt tourist attraction (just like Nasser Dam is in Egypt).  It’s just a matter of finessing this future dam as the main structural setup is already in place.

There will NOT be any negative environmental effects – in fact it will save water; be a positive social change for the people of Karachi through tourism; it will control the environmental pollutants currently flowing into the Malir River. There will be other benefits!

Do you water experts out there agree to this- or a variation of this idea?

(Photo credit- Samaa TV)

…AND THE RAINS ARE UPON US …

August 8, 2019

rainwater harvesting.jpg

(Photo credit- https://www.instructables.com/id/20-Rainwater-Catchment-System-No-Gutters-Required/)

Ironically, in March, I had blogged https://dinshawavari.com/2019/03/25/water-water-everywhere-but-not-a-drop-to-drink/.

… and now the rains are upon us and we don’t have any catchment system.

Karachi is facing proper monsoon rains for the first time in decades.  It’s a good thing too – it cleans up the city; there is more greenery; the temperature drops; and life is so much more pleasant; and the three major reservoirs supplying water to our City get filled.

What is lacking are individual CATCHMENT systems.  Each building can easily have their own rainwater harvesting systems – it doesn’t have to be expensive.  After the last set of “rains” a few weeks back (though our rains are nothing compared to what India and Bangladesh have to go through during their monsoons and cyclone seasons ☹) I started reading up on rainwater harvesting systems.  In our part of the world, Tamil Nadu leads the way!  Brazil, Singapore & Australia are other successful examples.

Just as an example, when reading this website http://www.oas.org/usde/publications/unit/oea59e/ch10.htm, I realized the cost and process of making a catchment system is not prohibitive or unreasonable.  It can even work effectively with a simple tarpaulin.

There is a great need for our Government to lead the way in promoting private households, buildings and tall rises to try to catch and reuse rainwater – the WATER IS FREE PEOPLE … we just need to capture this very very scarce resource and utilize it for non-drinking purposes.

(Here’s another article- https://outdoortroop.com/how-to-capture-and-store-enough-rainwater-for-your-cabin/).

rainwater catchment

(Photo credit-  https://radio.krcb.org/post/rainwater-catchment-systems)

 

 

Are you a Parent or are you their BEST Friend?

July 17, 2019

Parent Friendhip

Can we be both to our children?

There are so many people who believe so!

As a parent, you should be your child’s friend; but, can you be their “BEST” friend?  Should you be?

At the very heart of this question is the quote mentioned above- and in my opinion to raise your children well you cannot be their BEST FRIEND.  You can be close friends.  To be a good kid entails us, as parents, TO BE PARENTS.  How can we correct our child if we are their best friend?  How can we teach, encourage, feed, advice, “tell”, scold or do so many other things which, as a parent, you can do but as a best friend you cannot or may not be able to?

Practically speaking, even between friends it’s difficult (though not impossible), to correct your best friend– however, as a parent you don’t have that worry.

However, if you are your child’s best friend & vice-versa, won’t you spoil them to maintain that friendship level?  Would you be able to say something they are not prepared to hear?  Won’t you ‘let things ride’, which actually should have been corrected?

Can you actually raise your child to be a good kid yet maintain a “best friend” relationship?

I personally think NOT! … what are your views?

parenting friendship-mother-and-daughter-bond

(Image sources- https://www.ophosting.club/parent-child-friendship-quotes.html &  https://spanishforfun.com/parent-or-friend/)

 

‘Keep Up with the Joneses’!

joneseslawnmower

July 12, 2019

We are an inquisitive nation and by extension an inquisitive people 😊!

Politically, we just cannot stop poking our [long] noses into others’ affairs … and more than that, commenting on the same.  We are ‘holier than thou’!

Locally, we must be part of the crowd – we just cannot mind our own business.

Socially, not only must we ‘keep up with the Joneses’ but we must comment on “them”, their life, clothes, dogs, cats and anything else we are inquisitive enough to bitch about.

We’ll stop to see an accident; we’ll mill around the affected; we’ll give our comments on who was right or wrong without even knowing anything about the incident; we’ll even pronounce judgement – all along with no relationship to affected parties concerned.  All because our voice must be heard above the din of another 50 onlookers with exactly the same purpose in mind 😊!

Oi people!!! … Get a life!  There’s more to life than inquiring into our neighbors’ comings and goings; the food they eat; their lifestyle; or who they meet.

We should get our own house in order … after all, there’s another countless tongues wagging at [against] us!

(Image sources- “www.cartoonstock.com”)

 

Can We Please BAN Motorcycles on Karachi’s Roads!?

Motorcyclists

(Photo Credit- https://wallhere.com/vi/wallpaper/647548)

July 3, 2019

Of course we … cannot!

Like any other vehicle, if driven responsibly and safely, motorcycles are lots of fun and easier to get around a big city than a car.  Majority of the World’s developing nations rely on this transport.

Continuing with my earlier thoughts on this – https://dinshawavari.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/for-the-love-of-motorcycles/ – they are [one of] the bane of my existence!

Motorcyclists in Karachi are the most reckless drivers, followed closely by truckers & buses; they don’t follow the rules or the law; they don’t believe in personal safety, let alone another commuter’s safety; and they believe they are the kings of the roads!  Road tests to get them to drive in a specified lane could not even be implemented successfully.

Karachi does not have any other reasonable alternative or adequate means of commute – our “metro” is non existent and the bus service wouldn’t be able to support the public’s requirements if motorcycles were actually banned.

So what’s the alternative?

Physically partition two of the left most lanes of all major roads & arteries so that cycles, motorcycles, rickshaws … and BUSES can only drive there; and leave the other two (or more) lanes for four wheelers of all kinds.  Don’t allow the former to come into the majority lanes – on penalty of confiscation of the vehicle for six months … no fine, just outright confiscation!  Make it a LAW.

For you motorcyclists out there, what other practical and reasonable solutions or suggestions do you have?

 

THE GOLDEN SPOON!

Golden Spoon

(photo credit- https://grabcad.com/library/golden-spoon?locale=es)

June 24, 2019

About 50 people have over 26 years of service with our family just at Beach Luxury Hotel (not counting our other hotels) – NINE of whom have been with us for over 40 years!

Why would someone choose to work for 50% of his or her LIFE with one family !?

Our family’s CORE philosophy stems from my grandfather’s, late Dinshaw B Avari, life & upbringing.  Born in 1902, studied in the Petit Orphanage in Bombay, gave tuitions to support his & his siblings educations, my grandfather was truly a self-made man.

He always taught my parents & us – “Your father was born with a Silver spoon in his mouth; and you’ll are born with a ‘golden’ spoon!  Never forget your roots – never forget what it took to give you your current lifestyle & education”.

That has always been front & center of our upbringing and in our children’s upbringing- respect, tolerance, loyalty, trust, compassion (to name a few) are the cornerstone of our relationships with people.  We have learnt that the very Foundations of our Group are our people.

Who will provide our people with a social & personal safety net if not us?  Definitely not our governments!  Laws provide for regulatory salaries, end of service benefits and the like – but if we don’t look after our own people in more ways, where’s the humanity our grandfather gave & taught us?

… And to answer my initial question above, it’s because I believe our people have the same level of trust in us that we will look after them when the time comes.

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING … YOU 👊🏻

Big brother is watching you.jpg

(Photo credit- https://www.redbubble.com/people/galaxysalvo/works/16066035-big-brother-is-watching-you?p=poster)

June 17, 2019

In a recent set of Tweets (https://twitter.com/aamirkazi60/status/1139408694653800448), our GM Aamir Kazi, @aamirkazi60, raises some very interesting & pertinent questions on the use of Social Media by employees of companies (for brevity I am only reproducing an extract of some of the questions he poses) –

Quote

In a recent row of […] the question is- does any organization has the right to spy on any employee’s private life?

  • Check on our thinking?
  • Do their employees represent organisations on their social media? What should be the criteria or standard operating procedure while on job?
  • Does any organisation has any contract letter saying “your social media accounts & personal emails will be checked for foul language and inappropriate content and if found guilty, disciplinary action will be taken against you”- you may lose your job?

UNQUOTE

My layman’s [non-legal] perspective on this is as follows-

  • Employers cannot spy on anyone (let’s leave that to our governments 😇)!
  • Saying that, nothing stops an employer having a clear policy BARRING anyone from using social media, the web and emails for personal use during office hours, unless that’s part of their job responsibility – and appropriate, legal action against the employee if found guilty. Why should an employee use paid, company-time for their personal jolly, regardless of using their own devices or company devices?
  • Equally, no employee represents an organization on social media, unless specifically authorized to do so…and this is where the viewer of the posts may not know whether it is an official post or not.
  • If we have to check on employees’ thinking, I think there are official psychometric tests which are normal and can be administered to employees, as long as these are fair and across the entire department or company- without singling out any one employee.

Employees have a responsibility towards their organizations too to ensure their social media actions don’t inadvertently reflect back on their company.

The starting course of action – which I believe to be morally & legally correct – would be for companies to technologically restrict social media & web access on company-provided devices.

How do your companies handle these phenomena?

What is a fair & reasonable policy for companies to tackle this media  channel in a growing technology world?

(p.s.- By the way, Aamir’s tweets were personal in nature 😉😏)