EVEN as the nation combats the coronavirus scare, a welcome fallout of the situation has also come to fore, making environmentalists very happy. The good news is that as many as 90 cities in India have registered a record minimal air pollution, thanks to withdrawal of vehicular traffic from their roads to lock-down. Encouraged by the details, environmentalists have appealed to the Government to treat this as a “wake-up call” and reorganise its thinking on issues related to development. For, in a city like Delhi can register a drop of over 30% in air pollution levels and cities like Pune and Ahmedabad can register a 15% fall, then a lot can be achieved in future provided the nation’s approach to development is altered suitably. This may not be an easy task, but a rethink of the definition of what constitutes development and whether the carbon foot-print can be rejigged, is possible. This exercise may not be possible in hurry, and the nation will have to wait for a proper change in the current atmosphere of tension. But it would be worthwhile to give a serious thought to that goal.
THE Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has found a way to help its nine Olympic-bound boxers during the current lock-down due to coronavirus -- online coaching to maintain the boxers’ mental well being and physical health by offering them tips from time to time. This effort is expected to ease the trauma of isolation that the boxers may be feeling. With the Olympic Games having been postponed to July 2021, most participants have enough time on hand but do not know to how to make the best use of it. Various ideas are springing up, including the online coaching by the BFI. This is a welcome development, to say the least. When the boxers’ own coaches will be available to them during the online programme, their emotional bonding with them will remain strong and useful when they move to the Olympics about one and a half years later. True, many sports bodies in India are thinking of similar efforts. All that activity will create an altogether different and positive atmosphere in Indian sports ahead of the mega show.