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'Free cell phones to BPL families to help cellphone companies only'
The government is gifting indirectly Rs. 7,000 crores to cell phone companies. As a result they will build more cell towers in rural areas and create electromagnetic radiation pollution that will affect animals and birds along with humans.

RENOWNED ENVIRONMENTALIST and Convenor of Forum for Sustainable Environment, Dr S Jeevananda Reddy lamented that the Government of India’s ambitious proposal to provide mobile phones to BPL families will help cell-phone companies, more than the poor people.

In a letter to the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, he said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests study reveals that Mobile Towers/ Cell Towers impact negatively wildlife, especially birds & bees and thus recommended to see that the distance between any two towers is not less than one kilometre.

Thus, he pointed out that electromagnetic radiation is now classified as a pollutant. In urban areas, it is affecting people living around mobile towers. It is also widely reported that mobile phones/ cell phones are affecting human hearing component/ cancer. 

He also recalled that the cell phone culture increases the generation of E-Waste day by day as every other day a new model enters the market. Thus, the beneficiaries of cell phone culture are the manufacturing companies of different models.

According to him, the basic question is: "With that much wealth are they in any way helping the society? The answer is a big “NO”. To help such people, government now planned to provide cell phones free of cost to BPL families by spending Rs. 7,000 crores. That means government is gifting indirectly Rs. 7,000 crores to cell phone companies. As a result they will build more cell towers in rural areas and create electromagnetic radiation pollution that affects animal and birds along with humans. 

Birds are the friends of farmers. The bird population going down means agriculture will be affected severely in terms of production and thus pests & diseases control. The working hours are thus reduced by two to three hours – that is, cell phone culture creates inefficiency among work force.

BPL families get cell phones free of cost and thus they have to spend money on them every month to the cell phone companies. That means in Andhra Pradesh, BPL families spend 50% of their income for alcohol and in the remaining half on cell phones.  

Unfortunately, Dr Jeevananda Reddy, said that our planning commission is full of agents of Western MNCs  and World Bank and thus looks at benefitting them at the cost of our nature. He reminded the Prime Minister that in his earlier mails also, he had pointed out the need to eradicate such people from planning commission and PMO. 

He appealed the Prime Minister, to look into these issues from all angles and take positive decision to save our rural life from the menace of cell phone culture.

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