All posts by Rohan

short story writer

Real Talk

Everyone In India Smokes Due To Pollution

“We have no non-smokers in India. Everybody living in India is a smoker. Air is needed for every breath. The only thing you can do if you want to avoid total damage is to stop breathing, which unfortunately you cannot do for more than a minute.” – Dr. Arvind Kumar, chest surgeon and founder of the Lung Care Foundation

According to Air Quality Life Index, developed by the University of Chicago, air pollution cuts life expectancy by almost two years and the consequences of pollution are more fatal than HIV/AIDS, cigarette smoking, and even terrorism.

Not breathing is not an option but including the right foods in your diet can help prevent the ill effects of air pollution. Like broccoli and broccoli sprouts, which prevent a common nasal allergy that occurs with exposure to diesel exhaust.


The Gift Of Fresh Air

Babies nap outside in Nordic countries like Norway and Sweden. They fully embrace the concept of ‘friluftsliv’, which translates to ‘open air living’ and conveys the importance of spending time outside to be healthy and happy. Even when the temperature is as low as -15°C you’ll find babies napping outside in a warm sleeping bag. As the old Swedish saying goes, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”

Real Talk

Every time you wipe your ass a tree dies

Well maybe not every time but 10% of trees are cut down every year to manufacture toilet paper. While the alternatives aren’t appealing, such as using a piece of cloth that you have to wash every time you take a dump, it is worth keeping sustainable alternatives in mind. But then again is that really sustainable? You’d have to use water to wash that cloth… Well, the point is that you should always think about how to make your lifestyle more sustainable.

Good News CentralReal TalkSolar

Toilet- Ek Solar Katha

Image via The Better India

In December 2016, India’s first solar-powered community sanitation complex was built in Sathewadi, Thane, Maharashtra.  Having benefited over 200 families in the local community, it serves as a benchmark for sustainable toilets in the country.

The power supply system has a battery back-up, and provides 1.5 kilowatts of power. A group of residents from the complex maintains the elaborate system by cleaning it once a week. They are very proud of their solar sanitation complex. The bathroom is open 24/7 and there is electricity and adequate water supply at all times. Residents even have a smart card that allows them to access the facility.

“We do not charge any money for the cards but residents have to pay Rs11 per month towards maintenance charges,” said Nilesh Karkare of Habitat for Humanity, the NGO that set up the toilet along with solar energy startup Sunvest.


The previous washroom did not have any lights, and so at night, women usually went there in groups (or not at all). But now, thanks to the uninterrupted power supply, the only company a woman needs is her handy-dandy smart card.

(Of course, the complex has only five cubicles for women as opposed to eleven for men, so…)

And most importantly, relatives of the residents are very impressed with the new solar powered toilets, because log kya kahenge is the underlying principle of Indian life. Even sustainable living bows before it!

Jokes apart, the dark days are behind the good folk of Sathewadi, Thane. They have welcomed the light into their lives, starting with the humble, yet all-important gusalkhana.