The Sri Lankan elephant population is now largely restricted to the dry zone in the north, east and southeast of Sri Lanka. Elephants are present in Udawalawe National Park, Yala National Park, Lunugamvehera National Park, Wilpattu National Park and Minneriya National Park but also live outside protected areas. It is estimated that Sri Lanka has the highest density of elephants in Asia. Human-elephant conflict is increasing due to conversion of elephant habitat to settlements and permanent cultivation.
The size of wild elephant populations in Sri Lanka was estimated at
Elephants and humans are not getting along and in Sri Lanka, it is more apparent than anywhere else.
The Human Elephant Conflict is a term that defines a growing problem in Asia. Habitat is shrinking daily and humans are encroaching on the territory of elephants. At the same time, many poor farmers haven't changed their daily lives for hundreds of years but their crops and villages are being threatened. As urbanization takes hold, the elephants have nowhere else to go and end up in fields searching for food.
In villages, elephants are considered as pests; as huge and dangerous pests. They raid crops and devastate and entire year's harvest. Like any wild animal that is losing its habitat, elephants are becoming more aggressive and people are losing their lives.
The human elephant conflict dates back centuries, as historical records by Robert Knox reveal. According to data gathered by the Elephant Conservation Unit of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), around 2,844 elephants were killed by farmers and 1,138 people were killed by elephants between the years from 1991 to 2010, while a total of 3,103 homes in Sri Lanka were destroyed by elephants (from 2004 to 2007).
Because of these statistics Sri Lankans are mobilizing and fighting back. Elephants are being shot, poisoned and electrocuted. As many as 100 – 150 elephants are being killed each year and it doesn't seem as if anyone can come to a solution. Some statistics have stated that over 200 elephants were killed in Sri Lanka in 2009.
Sri Lanka is home to 10%, 20% of the Asian elephant population, more than any other state in this region. A land area of nearly five square kilometers per elephant is needed to ensure that the natural balance that exists between the elephant and its dry zone habitat is not disturbed.
According to this data, the current population of 3,500 elephants requires around 17,500 square kilometers or 27% of total land mass while the protected areas in Sri Lanka cover only 12.5% of the land (or 8,200 square kilometers). This indicates that nature parks and reserves are unable to ensure the sustainable conservation of these beings. Long term solutions are sorely needed and political will is the deciding factor.
These numbers of Elephant deaths are heartbreaking. The elephant is endangered and it is illegal to kill them, but villagers are desperate. Sadly elephants are dying in other ways as well, they are being hit by trains, falling into wells, blown up with explosives and have become casualties of years of conflict.
Recently the famous tusker, “Dala Puttuwa” of Galgamuwa was killed by poachers, renewing the public discussion around the ongoing human -elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Investigators found that “Dala Puttuwa” was killed to sell its tusks and for coveted ‘elephant pearls’ as they are known.
Reasons for the Conflict
With a 1.1% of a population growth makes so many thing complicated as human are in a big challenge to survive. Demand for the food has been increased due to population growth so the harvesting new lands are a must. Construction of new areas and urbanizing also demands the need of wooden products and it will deprive elephants of their habitat, forcing them to roam about in search of basic needs such as food and water. These elephants then have to face various violent deterrents put in place by the villagers to protect their paddy, ranging from gunshots to poisonous pumpkins.
Matara highway, for instance, has progressed through the MER. Many factories, including solar power generation plants have been constructed within MER, with the result that the human-elephant conflict is worsening day by day, as the land allocated for elephants shrinks.
To fulfill the demands of human being forests are rapidly decreased. We have taken the lands which were belonging to the wild life. Recently human were set up in a part of Wilpaththu national park, government should have a national view on conserving the remaining forest areas and make the biological stabilization in the country.
Steps to Reduce the Human Elephant Conflict
What we need is a sustainable solution for this matter but to achieve a sustainable solution implementing short term and long term plans is what governing bodies must do.
We must preserve the remaining forests in order to maintain the required land area for wild life. Electric fencing is a method of dividing the areas where elephants live. As an alternative to electric fencing, Practical Action came up with an innovative, low cost, sustainable bio-fencing technology to protect elephants and humans.
As a solution to minimize the killing of elephants enforcing the law or strengthening the remaining law should be done and destroying the remaining forest by human should not be taken as a small issue. Law must be implemented to fine the muggers.
Human should have well-planned towns, villages, reservoirs and transport system. At last we should keep in mind that this world belongs to every living creature.
Leo Saliya Pathmabandu
Leo Club of Colombo Host, Sri Lanka
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As a member of NGOs for more than 8 years and working in the finance sector at the same time, in this article I wanted to share my observations on the financing of the NGOs and the economy.
I had to be in charge of financial structures because I had been a presidential candidate and treasurer for CSO several times. The first thing I noticed here is the situation that I want to draw attention to; $1 in an NGO's fortune is very valuable from $100 in my pocket because this money may have been forgiven by a donation, maybe a lot of effort spent on it. More importantly, every dollar of money in this coin will be used for a social purpose.
For this reason, the NGO finance structure that we are talking about has a much more sensitive and important structure and needs to be managed in a very good and completely transparent manner. We can start by examining three different funding methods of NGOs to examine this sensitivity. These; donations, dues and activity revenues.
Subsidies the NGO is one of the most important income sources of profit. It is a constant power and can be predicted and calculated more clearly. Thanks to this structure, it is very important to meet the fixed costs. As an example of fixed costs; if there is an office of an NGO, if there is a rented, invoiced, salaried employee of this office,
Another source of finance is the activity-activity revenues that we Leo use the most. Meals, kermes, tournaments, and any other kind of income that may come to mind are available. These revenues can be used for project-based activities or for funding large long-term social projects. Funding is indeed very important for large-scale projects. It provides a very great service with little small contributions. Lions and Leo draw attention as an NGO that has created this funding structure in a very accurate way.
Donations and sponsorships can be the greatest source of funding for NGOs, but they are the most difficult and sensitive part. For a donation or sponsorship, you must first have a well-prepared progeny or campaign with every detail. This donation or sponsorship from one or more persons or a company is conveyed unexpectedly without any material provision. For this reason, they want to make sure that they are transmitted rightly and correctly. It is necessary to transparently demonstrate at every stage that these donations are used in the most functional and beneficial way. At this stage in the beginning, we will talk about the value of $1 in our pocket, $1 in our donation, and the liability can even exceed $100.
In most of the NGOs, it is observed that the required fundamentals are shown in this finance structure. In some of the forms we mentioned, it is seen that the financial resources provided to the voluntary people are used very inefficiently. In order to prevent this situation, a good finance team needs to create the supervision system with great care. I think that it is necessary to raise awareness of the financial structure of each NGO member in order to prevent the great efforts being made due to finance from falling in efficiency.
Leo Ahmet Yukselbaba,
District 118-R President,
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Welcome to the New Year!
“Never confuse movement with action.” ― Ernest Hemingway
Even though historically the passage of time is commensurate to the progress of society, this past year, we have declined- the slave trade in Libya, threats of another World War and repealing the accessibility of the most necessary means of communication, education and information in the history of society- none of which fit into the norms of the 21st Century. Keep in mind, our celebrations are still merited because our role as a community, is to not waive indifference. To begin that journey, let’s first understand these issues:
From its inhumane inception in the 15th Century, through continued efforts of the world’s nations, most countries had eradicated slavery by the 19th Century, with the official abolishment conducted by the United Nations in 1948. However, 70 years later, refugees in Libya are still being auctioned off like items, to be used like objects and treated like filth. Following a disruptive end to Muammar Gaddafi’s reign over the country in 2011, the interim Government failed to implement its authority and establish law; leading to a civil war with the country fragmented into militias, tribes and gangs who find the trade of other human beings to be a “lucrative” industry. These sub-Saharan migrants, fleeing from the economic ruins and armed conflict they faced in their native lands, deserve the opportunity they sought when they left their homes. Recognizing the atrociousness of this situation, UN officials, EU leaders and government representatives from Chad, Niger, Morocco, Congo and Libya decided methods to break down this human rights disaster. However, what flared this resolution was the reaction to CNN’s images and videos of live auctions seen only a month ago even though the original reports surfaced in April. Protests around the world severely pressurized global authorities to finally take action; showing the power of a communal voice.
This same communal voice however, has been held to a thoroughly helpless role as we watch tensions flare between the American and Korean leaders, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, who have both been the most disruptive leaders of their respective nations in the last few decades. Kim Jong-Un has tested 84 missiles in his reign- twice as many as both his father and grandfather- leading to the strongest sanctions ever imposed on a country to be authorized by the United Nations to constrict North Korea’s ability to stockpile Weapons of Mass Destruction. The negotiated armistice of the Korean War seems to be repealed as Donald Trump has been having a cold war of sorts on Twitter by posting highly controversial threats. This child-like back and forth is epitomized by the events which transpired when President Trump tweeted that “any more threats to the United States” will be met “with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” As a response, North Korea threatened to fire four missiles near the American territory of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Rather than being the bigger man, this threat was also retorted and tweeted by Donald Trump who said that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.” This vain, egotistical game of (a lack of) wits has pushed the world onto the brink of another world war; a nuclear war led by egos and selfishness. One possible resolution could be the impeachment of President Trump set forth by the Democrats but in a Republican-led Congress, it is a long-shot.
A vote that did pass however, was the vote to repeal Net Neutrality- which disallowed Internet Service Providers from discriminating between content for their own gain; making the internet an even playing field with everyone being allowed the same access, control and opportunity. However, after Trump-appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai successfully repealed it on December 14th with a 3-2 vote, Internet Service Providers now have total control over our usage of the internet; giving telecom providers the power to decide what we see- choosing the content- and how we see it- proportioning the bandwidth based on usage. This allows large corporations to invest heavily in these providers and prejudice them into raising the required bandwidth for accessing their rivals’ websites, making the internet a battlefield for companies to fight, rather than a platform for people from all places and backgrounds to provide themselves the opportunities they are otherwise restricted. Furthermore, this makes it almost impossible for start-ups to gain users on their websites as they will not be able to pay up to get their content delivered faster. In today’s world where: the world’s largest accommodation provider, Airbnb, owns no real estate, the world’s most popular media owner, Facebook, produces no content and the world’s largest taxi-company, Uber, owns no vehicles, connecting people has become has become the new landscape of business and every one of these founders would not have been able to achieve everything they have and provide everything they do without the access to a free, equal rights internet. This commercial discrimination could thwart the ability of future entrepreneurs, and subsequently disturb global development because regardless of it’s political disruptiveness, the United States remains the hub of business, trading and trends and its deterioration would inadvertently affect global advancement.
Our hope remains us. If the critics’ prediction of the outcomes of Net Neutrality hold true, the vote can be fought in court and that requires the one key that has the ability to undo all of these messed- consideration. These issues are not native to all of us, but they will affect us regardless. These issues might not involve us, but if they depreciate our world, we mustn’t look at borders. Most of us have the fortune of being residents in democracies where the majority goes, where the voices of the masses matter. Now what are we going to do with that opportunity?
“People shouldn't be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.” ― Alan Moore
Leo Aakash Nair
Alpha Leo Club of SVKM International.
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The crisis of governments caused by populist parties:
German people have always trusted the government and its institutions, a characteristic that has neither been disenthralled nor decayed to a destructive level. This characteristic held the German nation, empire, boundary or the two republics after the Second World War together, lending it the ability to face extraordinary challenges and rising to the circle of superpowers – for a short time, allowedly.
This confidence is now facing its maximum cool down. Governments all over the world are facing this issue, the most astonishing and horrific example is the United States of America with their President Trump who is deteriorating the country’s integrity actively. Nobody predicted such an evolution in Germany, not even before the election of the national parliament in September 2017.
But now the issue of a structural government crisis has arrived in our land, too. The political dictum of common sense and positive dispute, all below the maxim of helping the total to thrive has made room for populistic politics and egoism in every edge of the institutions of political decision-making. Recently, Germany chose a new parliament, the people elected the biggest parliament in our history with seven parties, a novelty. Now the system is blocking itself: after the first coalition negotiations, a party broke up the negotiations and started the crisis. The party’s leader declared on 19th of November, 2017, that his party will no longer take part in the coalition negotiations, with the words: “It is better, not to reign, than to reign faultily!” Nobody expected this to happen, but it did. It shows us the populism overcoming even the old parties in our political systems.
Where did this evolution start?
This issue is a perfect example for the globalisation of our world. Revolutions, wars, terroristic attacks are affecting the whole world now, as the war in Syria did and does. Waves of refugees flooded the European Union, where Germany was one of the countries that did applicate the most refugees, 750,000 in total until 2017. This caused a polarization of political thinking, starting in 2014, developing until today. Additionally, a new conservative party was founded, but it slid fast into the edge, where nationalistic ideas, populism, liberalism, extreme conservatism cumulated. In these days, the party is tearing apart more and more each month. People trying to negate the holocaust even so as people, who want to gain political influence at all costs, egoists, conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites are feeling homelike in this party called AfD. It wasn't doubtful that this kind of party would start to tear the political stability as well as it has been torn apart by individuals itself. This is the new “pseudo-European” spirit: increasing and irrational nationalism, Anti-Europeanism, xenophobia and the will to reinterpret history. Our political systems are facing extreme challenges caused by this issue, but it is surely right, that they also have to search for the causes which led to this evolution in their own past.
Nobody knows, in which way this situation will impact societies in Europe, America, and the world. We are all facing the same issue, some earlier, and some later. Some countries fail below the pressure, some still manage to hold stability – but for how long anymore? Maybe the development in France could be a great opportunity for its neighbour: under the illustrious President Macron, France has managed to not succumb under the influence of their far-right party, the Front National, and is starting to overcome its economic crisis. It is renewing its political system, the society, the way of political thinking.
Maybe we should take France as an example for every country that is facing the same problem right now – and I can't find one country of the great powers of the world which doesn’t. We need to renew our systems, otherwise they will disintegrate slowly. This evolution is taking place in Turkey today. On the other hand, an optimistic mind would detect a challenge here which can lead to better times. A crisis is a bad thing – if you take it in the short-term vision. But a crisis also starts debates, affecting the people to overthink their carefully maintained traditions. And everyone living in pauperism would agree on a renewal of the systems spanning the world, that's for sure.
Leo Club of Neckar-Franken, Germany.
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The differences between countries in their level of development have always fascinated and inspired economists. In 1988, Nobel laureate economist Robert E. Lucas wrote:
"The consequences for human well-being associated with issues such as these (development) are simply staggering: eleven one begins to think about them, it is difficult to think of another thing" .
Today we know that to explain these differences, we have to understand, through the history of the countries, their formal and informal institutions and their political dynamics, how is it that some nations have been able to get out of poverty and build strong democracies, while others remain in vicious circles, where are they? Thus, these few often have an interest in maintaining the status quo and are opposed in a more or less subtle way to possible reforms.
A key aspect to understand the development, or lack of it, is to understand the phenomenon of corruption. Corruption fosters and stabilizes this vicious circle, being both a source of illicit income and power, and a tool to keep a country's institutions weak.
The social sciences have advanced to a lot in explaining the phenomenon of corruption during the last 20 years. It is also proven to have a highly damaging effect on any society, not only in economic terms, but also to undermine the confidence of citizens in their governments, violate human rights and nurture certain undesirable cultural customs; as the "revival culture", for the Colombian case.
While we understand the problem better and better, we are far from understanding what kind of measures are effective against this scourge. Transparency, accountability and citizen participation are preached.
These measures have a value in themselves, since they are key pieces of a real democracy. But do we really know enough about its unmistakable effects and its effectiveness against corruption?
While they are necessary, they also have undesirable effects: they can make public management inflexible and rigid and can have a negative impact on the intrinsic motivation of officials or managers. We do not trust anybody anymore!
Corruption, more than an abstract concept, is a monster that affects the country at all levels of its institutional life, damaging public finances, education, health and the opportunity for development and progress of peoples.
In the moral aspect, it has, like drug trafficking, the negative effect of becoming a paradigm for the masses, lacking in values, whose members try to ascend economically and socially in this way.
By damaging public finances, it prevents governments from having enough funds to cover large needs, such as food and jobs for the poorest.
Although it is not easy to determine the amount that distracts corruption, it is evident that it represents considerable sums, given the fortunes of many officials who arrived poor in the public administration.
The fight against corruption has become an industry with its own interests and preachers. Suddenly it is time to generate fresh looks, carefully reviewing the evidence of academic research and the lessons learned in practice around the world. This is a worthwhile struggle, but it deserves to be based on informed public policies that go beyond following old sayings
To end corruption and begin to solve those problems that really are a priority for the society, it is necessary:
And lastly, the most important thing to stop corruption from happening is that people stop thinking that politicians are indispensable for the design and implementation of public policies. People can be organised by neighbourhoods, groups, paths, localities, to design and implement on their own solutions to the problems that their population suffers.
Leo Natasha Barragán
Leo Club of San Francisco, Panamá
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“The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.
All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.
Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself”
Deforestation and Forest Degradation have already become global issues. How many are aware that forests also play a critical role in regulating the earth’s climate? Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests and related ecosystems in order to make the land available for other uses. Forest degradation leads to deterioration of the standing vegetation in density, structure and species composition due to human activities and natural causes. It may involve opening of the canopy, modification of the vertical structure, habitat parameters or change of other attributes. Forest degradation does not necessarily involve a reduction of the forest area, instead leads to the decline of the quality of forests. Together, deforestation and forest degradation reduce the area; quality and quantity of vegetation cover and alter the spatial structure of landscape through the process of fragmentation.
Forests cover approximately 31% of the land area on earth. They produce vital oxygen, and many of the worlds’ most threatened and rare animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion human beings depend on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, medicine and shelter.
The estimated natural forests in Sri Lanka are nearly 18% of the land area. It has been around 751 known species of amphibians, birds and mammals and reptiles of which 21.7% are endemic. There are around 3,314 species of vascular plants, of which 26.9% are endemic. Deforestation in Sri Lanka is one of the most severe environmental issues that have appeared to be rapidly for past few years. Sri Lanka’s forest cover, which was around 49% in 1920, has fallen to approximately 18% by now. Between the year 2000 and 2016 the rate of deforestation has been 1.46% per annum over the reasons like massive development projects, large scales of plantations and resettling plans. Loss of forests has a major impact on global warming and biodiversity; consequently, increasing Carbon dioxide percentage, soil erosion, risk of earth slips and spring water drying.
Deforestation should be significantly declined because much of society does not realise the importance of forests and don’t realise how much it influences the world. No need such huge steps; we can simply contribute to the efforts against deforestation.
It’s time to think twice before you harm a tree. Save forests! Save earth! Save your own life!
Leo Iroshima Ponnmperuma
Member of Leo Club of Colombo Host
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There is a famous allegory called “Allegory of the Cave” proposed by the ancient philosopher Plato. In this allegory, Plato has Socrates describe a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall from objects passing in front of a fire behind them and give names to these shadows. The shadows are the prisoners’ reality. One of the prisoners manage to break his chains one day and discovers that his reality was not what he thought it was, he now perceives the true form of reality rather than the manufactured reality that is seen by the prisoners. When the prisoner returns to the cave, whose eyes have become accustomed to the sunlight, becomes blind when he re-enters the cave, just as he was when he was first exposed to the sun. According to Plato, the prisoners would infer from the returning man’s blindness that he has become mad and they should not leave this cave at any cost.
This analogy is the best way to explain a foreign eye the society's mindset. Educated or not, people do not want to change their way of thinking or their reality. As long as what’s happening right now isn’t affecting them, everything is just fine… People become empty headed with no thoughts of their own, start not to think when they need the most because right now all the men that are brave enough to speak the truth are imprisoned.
Instead of fake news, there are no news at all on TV or any other medium, just trivial coverages about the cats, food or the last car crash… When you try to acquire knowledge about what is really happening with the country the things you will find are going to be; people who are supporting men on the top of the pyramid no matter what, dissidents whose only goal is to dispraise even the good thing that are happening or the terrorism supporters that are telling their own lies. There is absolutely nobody, no company, no channel or highbrow to tell you the truth. All they talk about is their own realities built with their imagination. When I wake up everyday the only thing I can think about is this quote from George Orwell in his novel 1984;
War is peace,
We have become ignorant and this is our fault too. The only way to change this, is to be brave enough to seek for the truth. Everything can be changed or undone. We need to break our chains, leave our safe place and wander without fear. We must analyse an issue from all perspectives. We must read but not only from one source, even the ones that we strongly disagree with. We must understand how other people think, without making assumptions. We must even learn new languages in order to acquire information, true information… We must see the unseen and then make it heard. The search for the truth needs to be a way of living rather than a purpose to fulfil. That is the only way we can find the truth, that is the only way we can find salvation.
Leo Can Caner
2nd Vice President of Agora Leo Club, Turkey
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There are a total of 418 news channels in the world and that is excluding the weather channel, business channel, etc. Every day we turn on our TV, jump to our regular news channel and see what went wrong today. Some of us get tensed, we even tend to start protecting ourselves from something that just “might” happen to us.
Now imagine the accidents that you’ve roped yourself for, didn’t actually happen. Feel angry? That’s how I felt when my research showed that about 65% of the time news channels do not perform proper background checks on their stories and present half a story on our plate. To which we are so quick to react. I also found out, that sometimes they just keep gustling us with the same piece of information in different angles just because they didn’t have anything else to present to us, this same scam is also done to elongate the period of a product being advertised on their channel.
We live in an era where technology has overcome our human brain. Known as "The Millennials" we make our present and the future. Claire Wardle of First Draft, a UK-based non-profit organisation which is now part of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, categorised misinformation into seven categories, namely:
Is what we see a complete truth or a half lie?
In recent times, there have been numerous instances of fake news misleading people, spreading false propaganda or maligning people as well as entire communities. Real news and information is increasingly getting buried in an avalanche of false information and hoaxes, which are spreading like wild fire and creating rifts between various communities, castes and religions in India.
Just last month, fake stories were weaved by several TV reporters as the anti-Rohingya rhetoric mounted, with photographs of children being misused in the divisive propaganda. The fresh outbreak of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine province since August has sparked a steady stream of provocative but nonetheless fake images.
A few months back, mainstream TV channels circulated a story saying Arundhati Roy, a renowned Indian novelist, had criticised the Indian army's heavy-handed presence in Kashmir, the disputed territory claimed by both India and Pakistan. The coverage prompted nationalist sections in society to lash out at Roy. But the truth about the statements, as Roy later clarified, was that she did not make those comments about India controlling Kashmir.
So what is the way forward to counter fake news?
Considering the rapid penetration of technology and the rise in use of television, the dissemination of fake news is no longer a problem limited to the online world, especially because it has political, social and economic ramifications on the ground.
Leo Kriti Jogi,
Member at Leo Club of Juhu.
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Hello dear passengers; our time travel will commence soon. If you want to come with us please fasten your seatbelts, I will be your guide and don’t forget that the ancient world can be enchanting. Let’s start!
Our first destination is Cambodia. Angkor Wat is a massive temple-capital city, which was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It is the largest spiritual place in the World (1,626,000m2). It was first constructed as a Hindu temple but later it changed into a Buddhist temple. It is not only a wonder of art but also a wonder of architecture. In Anghor Wat, there are lots of statues which belongs to different religions. Some people believe that the temple was built in one night by a “divine architect”. Angkor Wat has lots of mysteries; like how it was built? Why Angkor Wat is facing to the west instead of east, which all other temples are facing? The statues’ faces on the walls belongs to whom? Who are the goddesses in the glyphs? Mysteries goes on.......
Our second destination is Jordan. Petra was the capital city of the Nabataeans. Rose City is the other name of Petra because of the stone’s colour which it is carved into. Archeologists think that Petra was built to protect a secret treasure and graves of kings. Also people believe that this place is where Moses parted the Red Sea. Petra has rock-cut architecture and a water channel system. It’s area is almost 100 km and it consists of houses, temples, graves and an amphitheatre.
Our third destination is Myanmar. Bagan was the capital city of the Pagan Kingdom in the 9th century to the 13th century. Bagan consists of buddhist temples, pagodas and abbeies (Over 2,200 temples and pagodas). The Bagan temples can be divided into two types; Stupa temples and the Gu-style hollow temple. Stupa has a relic chamber inside, Hollow temple is built for meditation and Buddhist rituals.
Our fourth destination is Mexico. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Mayan cities if not the largest. The name "Chichen Itza" means "At the mouth of the well of the Itza”. Chichen Itza was also dedicated to a Mayan God named Kukulkan, who was depicted as a feathered serpent. The setting sun on the spring and fall equinoxes turns the shadows of the steps into an illusion of a serpent slithering down the banister.
Our last destination is Peru. Machu Picchu was a city of Inca. It is located on top of the Andes.(2.430 meters high). It was built by Pachacutec Yupanqui around 1450. ’Machu’ means old, ‘Picchu’ means summit. In Machu Picchu’s construction, massive dressed stones were used without any mortar and this technic is called Ashlar.
Our time travel ends now. I hope you liked it. We, as people who love the history, culture and architecture should protect the Ancient World’s beauty and teach the importance of these places to the new generations.
Leo Cansu Ündeyoglu
Agora Leo Club Turkey
“Have we failed as a race?” I ask myself as I laugh at mildly sexist jokes. It’s a guilty pleasure. These jokes are good but make us think. The question haunts me not only when we talk about women equality but at multiple times in a single day, on a daily basis, every week of every month of the year.
There are much more important things to talk about, like the equation that governs the universe, how we came into being? What would happen after the Earth has met it’s Doomsday? Will it be the Doomsday for human kind too? WILL IT BE THE DOOMSDAY FOR DOGS TOO? I ask myself, are we doing enough for our survival? Because ultimately that’s the topic of utmost importance. Survival. No religion, no country, no gender is bigger than survival.
We are here discussing, women need to be given more rights, black people need rights, freaking everyone need rights all the while a nuclear threat is casually looming over us. Let’s put aside petty issues like these and just focus on what’s important! How hard should that be?
A lot apparently because everyone wants to be the best, in this race of being the best we have all forgotten what made us humans come together to live in a society.
Thousands of years of evolution and we’re still confused which diet is better, vegan or non vegetarian. Our answer to every small hurdle is a ban and our first reaction to every new idea is offence. Have the human race, failed?
An old friend of mine, Vijay said, “ I feel that there are problems that still exist but we have come far from where we were. There is absolutely no denying that we are still fighting for women equality but look at the history and parse through the timelines, it has only become better as we have moved ahead. We still have a lot of heart wrenching pain and suffering to heal as a whole but we haven’t failed as a race. Not until i am part of this race, not until you are part of it, not until anyone reading this is, and till that point we cannot give up.”
This statement gives me hope. That maybe no, maybe the judgement is yet to come. Maybe a few more years and maybe we will achieve equality.
There are a few elements which argue that feminism these days is just about taking away men’s rights. To them i say that is a small group of women with misconstrued sense of feminism and let’s not be taking things away from our beautiful women just because of a small faction with wrong ideas.
There is a small faction of people will different ideas in every ideology. Terrorism doesn’t have a religion. I don’t think any religion is about killing, every religion is about living and living in peace. So let’s do that. Live in peace. Forget the petty issues and help people around us.
Let’s promote happiness, share sorrows, joke around and have fun.
PS: let’s ask Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un to do that.
Leo Akash Jogi
Tail Twister at Leo Club of Juhu
First known sailors were Phoenicians, they discovered sailing in 4000 BCE and their techniques still exist today. During the ancient times sailing ships were made by carving timber and with a "square" cloth but today they're mostly made from fiberglass with different types of sails.
In 100 BCE Egyptians designed triangle-shaped sails, that could go against the wind in order to sail throughout the Nile.
The first Yatch Club, Water Club of Cark, was founded in 1780 and after that sailing and yatch club culture became rapidly popular throughout the world.
5 years ago on a hot summer day I saw a sailing boat for the first time. Before that time, my family already had a sailing boat for nearly 1 year but I wasn't curious about sailing. I wasn't aware that I was unknown to a sport, that will change me and become one of my utmost passions.
My sailing experience started with the island tours. Those days, requiring less effort and skill, ended when I started racing. After I got my Racing license my sailing hobby turned into a passion and all those tours turned into racing practices.
You can think, if you're not a sailor, sailing is a hobby but it's a thing that draws you inside and makes you understand that you are a sailor. After that moment only the sound of water and the breeze of the wind can give you rest and relaxation. Spotting the playful dolphins out in the open sea reminds you that you're not alone...
The pains and the feel of tiredness comes to you as a sweet feeling. When you experience those feelings...Only then you can really understand what sailing is.
"Fair winds and following seas."
Ege Can Erdoğan
Agora Leo Club, Turkey
From the beginning of the humanity there are always some forms of beauty standards. Blondness, whiteness, colorful eyes,full lips etc. were accepted as the decisive for beauty and most people even have surgeries to accepted more beautiful by society.
And now there is a new movement called body positivity. It’s a phrase that has been going around for a while now. There are hundreds of illustrations, articles etc. about it. Maybe you want to understand the phrase more, or maybe you think you think you’re excluded from it because of the way you feel. So let’s start with the meaning of it.
Body positivity is the idea of acceptance and praise of any type of body. It’s about being happy with the body you’re in and deciding about what makes you happy and how you feel about yourself. It is the understanding that there are bodies in any shape, size and type.
Contrary to popular belief, body positivity is not only about being fat or celebrating big bodies even though the roots of this movement can be found in the fat acceptance movement which fights the stigma against only thin bodies are the good ones.But the movement has been broadened to accepting all. It’s about praising all kind of them. Male, female, too small, too big, having scars, having birth marks, not having all the body parts, having big breasts or not having them at all. We have to understand that not all people has the same type of body and not everyone has to live up to these standards set by our society. There's nothing wrong with wanting to look "good"; just make sure it's your own version of "good" and not someone else's, because that someone else is making a mint off you. We’re all humans , we all have flaws but thats whats makes us beautiful, just the way we are. We have to own it, we have to accept it! We should not let our minds bully us.
So join the body positivity movement, be yourself and remember this quote from Kelsey Silver ; “You are imperfect and yet those imperfections like any great work of art are what makes you a masterpiece.”
President of Omega Group of Agora Leo Club
Beach Cleanups are fun.
Last Wednesday, the 6th of September our club had organized a beach cleanup and it was commendable to see that so many people turned up on a Wednesday morning sacrificing their sleep and took the responsibility on their own shoulders.
The beach cleanup was fun and it seemed like we were making a difference and that made me feel really good about myself.
Back in 2015, a lawyer named Afroz Shah, after nearly two years of picking up garbage converted the Versova beach from a shithole to a mesmerizing beach.
This cleanup drive had slowly turned into a big movement and in total they removed a staggering 11 million pounds of trash from the beach and its surroundings.
Want to hear something depressing though?
Thats about half the garbage this city produces in one day.This is really a serious problem and we all ought to do something about it.
Its not like there are no ways to treat the waste. Of course there is Recycling, incineration in plants , converting them to fuel and some more. The problem is that there is only one incineration plant near dumping ground of Deonar where the mountains of waste keep getting bigger and bigger as our waste production increases. Also not to forget incineration should be our last resort as it produces toxic gases which are proven to cause cancer related disease as well as harm our lungs badly.
The MCGM is surely trying to cope up with the garbage problem but as the population increases the waste increases and it seems to be growing on an exponential scale.
So the real solution would be not to generate so much waste in the first place! We need to integrate it to the household level and make everyone aware about this crisis. The household level segregation of dry waste and wet waste must be implemented by all individuals, housing societies, offices so that waste does not end up in landfills but is processed and reused.
Leo Akshay Shah
Social Media Head,
Leo Club Of Juhu.
"Here's to the strong women. May we be them, may we know them and may we raise them." This is what struck me when I saw these girls at Save The Children, India.
Their lives revolved around each other. It is said that blood is thicker than water and we witnessed the same. The girls we met were previously trafficked and then rescued and put into shelter homes. And no matter what they have gone through, the smiles on their faces were wider than the perpetual flow of the ocean. They have each other and that is all they need. When we gave them hygiene kits, half-stitched cloth materials, jewellery making boxes and sewing kits, they taught us the true value of gratefulness.
We are blessed with several things but, we never fail to grumble. They were satisfied with the little things they have. Majorly, we saw that if we have even one person to count on at the end of the day, we are more than blessed. However, some of us fail to realise that. These girls were strong and fierce and above all, supported each other. They dream and they don't fear to dream. And they're rigorously working towards that dream. They inspired each one of us to not only dream but, the motivation to work towards it. And truly, there is no force equal to a woman determined to rise from the ashes of a Phoenix. There is nothing more rare and beautiful than a woman unapologetically being herself and comfortable with her imperfections. That, is the true essence of beauty.
Leo Shaili Shah
Project Head of Save The Children India Project
Impalement is a practise where a person is laid down on his belly and a sharp edge rod is passed through the rectum, splitting it. This method was used as punishment in the war, called as justice for traitors.
Impalement can be traced back earliest to 1772 in Mesopotamia. This is a practiced pioneered by the Babylonian king Hammurabi to punish the wrong doers in the name of law or god’s justice. Egypt ans European empire were further seen to be following this. However over the time, the execution has changed.
In the present age Impalement is being done in the form of piercings, justified to the same as cultural/religious practices. The basic idea of Impalement is as follows, The body parts of the participant is pierced with sharp objects like needles, swords, iron rods, spears, guns, etc. It is very common in India and some other South Asian countries.
People believe that God enters the body of the participant, protection from the evil spirits and the coming of goodluck in the community drives people into practising this ritual. So now as a form of impalation a practise of piercing has took forth.
Piercing oneself is objective as there are diverse reasons to why a person might to do it, majority of the population now look at it as a form to accessorize themselves. But there are approximately 30% of people still practicing it on extreme levels.
Piercing around ears, nose, lips, eyebrows can be safe. However it is advised not to pierce your navel, tongue or nipples. There are reports of infections that have spread to the whole body, distal infections, severe infections. There are reports of hepatitis from not having the proper sanitation conditions.
So the next time we exercise a religious practise, let’s stop a second and ask why is this happening, what good is it going to bring to us practically. We tend not to ask questions to significant rituals out of respect, but how is an enquiry disrespectful?
Leo Kriti Jogi
Member Of Leo Club Of Juhu.