Archive | January 2019

455. Plastic man of India

Rajagopalan Vasudevan is an Indian scientist, who worked  mainly in Waste management.  He is actually a chemistry professor from Madurai who invented a ground-breaking technology that helps in creating roads by reusing plastic wastes. He developed an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. This method will help in making roads much faster and also will save environment form dangerous plastic waste.

In 2002, Vasudevan came up with the idea of spraying dry, shredded plastic waste, made up of pieces as small as 2 mm in size, over gravel or bitumen heated to 170 degrees Celsius. The plastic melted and coated the stones with a thin film. The plastic-coated stones were then added to molten tar. Since both plastic and tar are petroleum products, they bind well. Vasudevan first tried out this technique to pave a road on the college campus. It yielded twin benefits: it reused plastic waste and built durable roads.

He has spent the last two decades researching and implementing the purposeful reuse of waste plastic. “Plastic is my resource,” he says and in  his lab we can see the  heaps of plastic wrappers, discarded carry bags, and plastic bottles. A Government order in November 2015 has made it mandatory for all road developers in the country to use waste plastic, along with bituminous mixes, for road construction. This is to help overcome the growing problem of plastic waste disposal in India.

“Bitumen, a highly heterogeneous mixture of hydrocarbons is in effect, composed of polymers similar to plastic,” he says. When molten plastic was added to stone and bitumen mix, Dr Vasudevan found that, true to its nature, plastic stuck fast and bound both materials together.

He was awarded India’s fourth highest civilian honour Padma Shri in 2018.

454. Mental maturity

Mental maturity  is the ability to respond  to the environment in the correct time at appropriate manner. A matured person is able to keep commitments, even when they are no longer new or novel. They can commit to continue doing what is right even when they don’t feel like it.

Generally, people grow matured when they become old.  As people mature, they sooner or later understand that nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. Mature people can receive compliments or criticism without letting it ruin them or sway them into a distorted view of themselves. They are secure in their identity.

We see or hear about incidents where public figures display immature behavior in front of others rather inadvertently while playing games, giving interviews to the press, debating with political opponents, participating in competitions, or attending meetings and public forums organized by government bodies. Their true colour is getting exposed by their behavior.

Mental growth refers to an all-round development of various mental faculties, whereas maturity refers to the use of reason, objectivity and commonsense in thinking and behavior. It also refers to self-control, rationality, and emotional maturity. Maturity comes from using the higher faculties of the mind and having control over the baser instincts of human behavior.

To deal with reality in a constructive manner, we must face truth, the facts, rather than deny them. Running from problems or hoping they do not exist does not make them go away. Regardless of how unpleasant they may be at times, facing the facts is the first step to dealing with any situation.

Let us see how to develop mental maturity.  We should accept others with their good and bad qualities. We should not try to correct the mistakes of others, as we may also commit lot of mistakes. We should try to approach the problems of others from their perspectives. We should not keep any expectations from others, as we cannot fulfill any desire of theirs. We should not try to prove that we are intelligent. We should not compare ourselves with others, as every individual in this world is unique.