Topic:GS-2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
5. “Exposure to lead pollution undermines a generation of potential”, Critically analyse the statement in the light of recent incidence of Eluru mystery disease in the country. (250 words)
Reference: Indian Express
Why the question:
Eluru mystery disease: At least 550 people have fallen sick in Eluru town since Saturday evening following an undiagnosed illness. And it has been assessed that it is owing to lead poisoning.
Key Demand of the question:
One has to critically examine in what way lead pollution can undermine a generation of potential.
Critically analyze – When asked to analyse, you have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts and present them as a whole in a summary. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, one needs to look at the good and bad of the topic and give a fair judgment.
Structure of the answer:
Explain the context of the question.
According to many reports, mining, milling, plating and surface finishing industries are the main sources of heavy metal pollution and the concentration of such toxic metals has increased rapidly over the past few decades. Consequently, concentrations of toxic metals in grains and vegetables grown in contaminated soils have increased at alarming rates. This poses a serious threat to humans and the environment because of its toxicity, non-biodegradability and bioaccumulation.
Correlate in what way such pollution can directly affect the potential demography and thus bearing long term impact over generations.
Give case studies such as that of the Eluru mystery disease and suggest upon its impact.
Conclude with solutions both long term and short term to address such issues, hint at the efforts by the government in this direction.