Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tiger and Dragon share a bond

Tiger and Dragon share a bond

Love knows no barriers. No matter which part of world one hails from, the language of love and friendship is understood everywhere alike. There is a bond, which ties people together from diverse cultures.

Recent visit of Indian youth delegation to China, under youth cultural exchange programme of Government of India and Government of China, just fortified this feeling.

An initiative under understanding reached between the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Chinese president Hu Jintao, this may be the last Indian delegation to China under the programme. Meant at studying the culture of great Dragon’s country, the visit ended forging many ties and proved to be a learning experience.

The huge delegation of 88 youngsters from India, handpicked from Jammu-Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to West Bengal presented striking picture of vast diversity India has. Inclusion from youth even from island states of Andaman and Nicobar and Daman and Diu added to the colorful bouquet of diversity.

It was an awesome experience to be amidst skyscrapers and oversized flyovers of Shanghai, world acclaimed Chinese technology at Hefei and to talk with clouds and have peek into ancient China at Chongqing.

Perhaps we can take a leaf out of China’s urban planning and development arena and provide home to our slums and ensure an equivalent urban skyline. The other side of this progressive story, however, largely remained unseen.

The country with largest population on globe teemed with people and vehicles, but had no traffic chaos. Its disciplined people and equally discipline traffic did not give away truth of it being most populated country.

People here extensively used plastics, especially in the form of packaged drinking water, but the place did not choke with it. Answer to this lay in Chinese’s penchant to recycle everything possible and assign a different class of industry for the same. As per the municipal officials of Chongqing, Government of China offers special subsidy and taxation benefits to the recycling industry.

Chinese care for their environment, and that too an innovative manner. Besides recycling plastic and other garbage, Chinese promote green cover at every possible place.

The cemented city of Shanghai, where one can hardly spot even a small bird, is an example. While countryside is lush green, in city every small space has been converted into green strip. At public places, like Shanghai Expo, huge potted plants try to impart greenery to an otherwise wide expanse of concrete. Some of the pavilions, like Indian pavilion, were designed in a way to be oasis in the desert of huge structures again made of environmental friendly material.

The country also has large buses and public transport systems running on batteries to lessen environmental pollution. Such battery-operated vehicles are frequently found in famous Shanghai’s Nanjing road.

Like India, China too considers its manpower a great asset and efforts are being made to improve the standards of living, especially in the countryside.

Women here share equal dais with men. Cities of Shanghai, Hefei and Chonging buzzed with women all around. It was a place where women drove taxis, buses and other public transports, ran most successful business ventures in market, handled shops, malls and outlets – to cut a long story short – women outnumbered men even as skilled labor in factories.

Lovers of tobacco, Chinese men and women are fond of smoking and have specially designated outlets for sale of finest of tobacco products in cities. For the rural population, small time cigarette shops fulfill these needs. Most of the public places in cities including hotels, restaurants, markets and even public toilets, have tobacco smell wafting in air.

Despite such large consumption of tobacco and its products, one can hardly find a cigarette butt lying on roads. Particular about sanitation, there are round the clock sweepers, deployed to work after night hours also – especially in tourist zones.