Commonwealth Games 2018 gold medallist Rahul Aware will contest in the Asian Games trials after initially snubbing it, as the Wrestling Federation of India has postponed the selection event for the men’s 57 kg category, according to a report in The Tribune.
The original trial was held on June 9, which Aware had skipped because he had wanted an exemption, resulted in a stalemate. Sandeep Tomar, Utkarsh Kale and Ravi Tomar had the same number of wins in the June 9 trial and the three were supposed to compete in a re-trial for the spot on Wednesday.
However, the newspaper reported that the federation has postponed the trial and given time to Aware to prepare for it. The federation had only allowed Sushil Kumar, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat to skip trials after they had emerged as the only strong contenders in their respective weight categories.
Aware, who had also requested for an exemption, had been snubbed by the federation and was asked to take part in the trials. This isn’t the first time that the 26-year-old had fallen out with the federation. He had skipped a training camp in Georgia in 2016 and was subsequently being left out of the Rio Olympics squad. The federation at that time, had claimed that the Commonwealth Youth Games medallist wasn’t up to the expected standards in international meets.
The wrestler from Patoda then met with Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, president of the WFI, and had sought an approval from the latter to be included in the re-trial. Aware had also sought more time to prepare, as had one of the other contenders, Sandeep Tomar. An official told the newspaper, “The president wants approvals from everyone involved. But since he has given the approval I don’t see others objecting.”
The hazards of single-use plastic items, and what to use instead.
In June 2018, a distressed whale in Thailand made headlines around the world. After an autopsy it’s cause of death was determined to be more than 80 plastic bags it had ingested. The pictures caused great concern and brought into focus the urgency of the fight against single-use plastic. This term refers to use-and-throw plastic products that are designed for one-time use, such as takeaway spoons and forks, polythene bags styrofoam cups etc. In its report on single-use plastics, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has described how single-use plastics have a far-reaching impact in the environment.
Dense quantity of plastic litter means sights such as the distressed whale in Thailand aren’t uncommon. Plastic products have been found in the airways and stomachs of hundreds of marine and land species. Plastic bags, especially, confuse turtles who mistake them for jellyfish - their food. They can even exacerbate health crises, such as a malarial outbreak, by clogging sewers and creating ideal conditions for vector-borne diseases to thrive. In 1988, poor drainage made worse by plastic clogging contributed to the devastating Bangladesh floods in which two-thirds of the country was submerged.
Plastic litter can, moreover, cause physiological harm. Burning plastic waste for cooking fuel and in open air pits releases harmful gases in the air, contributing to poor air quality especially in poorer countries where these practices are common. But plastic needn’t even be burned to cause physiological harm. The toxic chemical additives in the manufacturing process of plastics remain in animal tissue, which is then consumed by humans. These highly toxic and carcinogenic substances (benzene, styrene etc.) can cause damage to nervous systems, lungs and reproductive organs.
The European Commission recently released a list of top 10 single-use plastic items that it plans to ban in the near future. These items are ubiquitous as trash across the world’s beaches, even the pristine, seemingly untouched ones. Some of them, such as styrofoam cups, take up to a 1,000 years to photodegrade (the breakdown of substances by exposure to UV and infrared rays from sunlight), disintegrating into microplastics, another health hazard.
More than 60 countries have introduced levies and bans to discourage the use of single-use plastics. Morocco and Rwanda have emerged as inspiring success stories of such policies. Rwanda, in fact, is now among the cleanest countries on Earth. In India, Maharashtra became the 18th state to effect a ban on disposable plastic items in March 2018. Now India plans to replicate the decision on a national level, aiming to eliminate single-use plastics entirely by 2022. While government efforts are important to encourage industries to redesign their production methods, individuals too can take steps to minimise their consumption, and littering, of single-use plastics. Most of these actions are low on effort, but can cause a significant reduction in plastic waste in the environment, if the return of Olive Ridley turtles to a Mumbai beach are anything to go by.
To know more about the single-use plastics problem, visit Planet or Plastic portal, National Geographic’s multi-year effort to raise awareness about the global plastic trash crisis. From microplastics in cosmetics to haunting art on plastic pollution, Planet or Plastic is a comprehensive resource on the problem. You can take the pledge to reduce your use of single-use plastics, here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of National Geographic, and not by the Scroll editorial team.