Manila, Philippines; 8-10 July 2008:-
Selected by the Government of India, I have recently come back from my trip to Manila which was worthwhile. The delegates from the ASEAN countries and the Dialogue Partner Countries (India and China) met at the Trader’s Hotel, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Manila under the following themes:
1. Going Nucleur
2. Gourmet Talk (GM Food)
3. Spatial Science: The view from above
4. Extreme Games
I had prepared a paper on GM Food: Prospects and Problems in India, analysing, writing, observing, understanding and concluding with ideas and not being a cut-copy-paste freak. I had written on the economics of GM Food in India and the SEA countries for as to how this would be a bane in all aspects. I had also looked at the religious, ethical, medical and environmental side of it.
Sourojit Das, from Kolkata, accompanied me with is project in the Going Nucleur category.I started off on the 6th from Delhi, with a flight to Kolkata (Jet Airways). With the international flights (Thai Airways) there was next to no difficulty except the fact that we failed to find a single water booth or packaged water selling shop at Suvarnubhum International Bangkok Airport. We reached Manila on the 12th at around 1:00p.m. with one Mr. Dev from the Indian Embassy at Philippines waiting for us. With a brief problem finding our teacher from Kerala Agriculture University – Ma’am Najeema Unikammu and ultimately finding her out having reached the hotel before us. With a brief refreshment at our room (1712, Ma’am had 1515 and Gov. fficials had 1211, 1220, etc. – don’t have to keep records so minutely,have I?-), we went for the inauguration dinner at 6:00 p.m. meeting Angelli Cortez and other Filipino officials, without looking at the other delegates much. Had the inuguration ceremony next day with dignitaries like Ms. Ester B. Ogena and Ms. Alabastro in the fray. One delegate from al ASEAN countries had to put the piece of a complete picture of the AYSS emblem into the frame on the stage and stand facing the audience. After performances from the very innovative group Lights Out. The secretaries of the Departments of Science and Technology of all countries came on to the stage after this before I could know that I had my presentation the same day (8 July 2008) at Ambassador Sala I (changed from Hortencia where ma’am Unikammu had her presentation; even Sourojit had his venue changed from Ambassador Sala I to Carlotta) after the plenary sessions of four dignitaries in the four parallel session themes already mentioned (two of them being from IAEA and Nabi Games).
The delegates in my room where of a different kind, if to be said they represented all sorts of people. We had timid people like Ms. Mom Charya (Original Chairman; Cambodia) and Ms. Tania Devana (Indonesia), extroverts like Mr. Darrel Then (Philippines) and confused lads like Mr. Yan Cheng (PR China). My presentation was after a Singaporean boy and a Vietnamese girl. It went well except that the facts were to heavy to be digested at a go as my co-delegates felt and showed by their expressions. The Chinese fellow was after me. I did not want to ask many questions and asked only 1 query from the boy from Singapore who to avoid answering asked me to repeat, laughed on the second instance making it look like a joke, coughed and smiled and ultimately became so confused that I had to go back without an answer
I also asked the resource person for our session a question at te Embassy Balroom A:
“As the economy of the SEA nationas is poor, so you think people will be benefitted by the excessive price rise with introduction of GM food? Added to this are the side effects like open field trials without contained field trials and allergens. What would you say on the same?
The same day we had the cultural night. Most of the countries presented ethnic dances except us, PR China and Malaysia (if I am not wrong). who presented a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, a stand-up comedy show (to be explained later) anda Gov. video clipping of Malaysia, Truly Asia, respectively. The Chinese enterprising guy from the Extreme Games session came up with a question which had so many answers that he went round and round the ballroom with a stack of Olympics’ postcard giving it to ech person who answered (and having occassion of jokes, praises, flattery and nuisance) after which he presented a Taichi tutorial on the stage with four people from the audience (one among whom was aged, the second was the Thai boy I later became friends with and I am unaware about the others) with him making it slower than necessary such that these four guys would totter on a leg, fall, shake and make everyone laugh ! Those who had knew about culture praised us. I had a Lao girl take my photographs of my presentation or I would not have had any record of the same.
To be Continued…