Monday, April 6, 2009 | Categories: Episodes
It's Monday, April 6th.
Russia called on the international community to demonstrate "a balanced approach" while discussing North Korea's launch of a long-range rocket.
Currently, Russia reminded journalists that this whole "balanced approach" thing still does not apply to them.
This is The Current.
Dr. Abu al-Aish
Toward the very end of Israel's three-week assault on Gaza, there was one moment that gave a lot of people pause. On January 16th, 2009, the home of Doctor Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish was hit by a pair of Israeli tank shells. The attack killed three of his six daughters and one of his nieces.
Doctor Abu al-Aish is a prominent Palestinian gynecologist who speaks fluent Hebrew and works in hospitals on both sides of the border. He had been doing regular reports on Israeli television during the conflict. And within moments of the attack, he placed a frantic and heart-wrenching phone call to a prominent TV journalist who was on the air at the time.
But despite everything that Doctor Abu al-Aish has lost, he remains deeply committed to finding a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Doctor Abu al-Aish was in Toronto today, following up on an offer from the University of Toronto to work with the McLaughlin Rotman Centre for Global Health. He is a Palestinian gynecologist from the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza strip but was in our studio in Toronto this morning.
Listen to Do No Harm, a documentary about Dr. Abu al-Aish's story by Piya Chattopadhyay. This documentary originally aired on March 2, 2009 when the Current broadcast from Jerusalem.
Across much of Canada, water is something we tend take for granted. Just turn on a tap and out it pours. No need to think too much about where it comes from. Of course that's not the case in hundreds of towns across the country ... communities that rely on well-water drawn from the local groundwater system.
To many Canadians, groundwater is a mysterious and poorly understood thing. As a country, we aren't nearly as well informed about this precious and hidden resource as we should be. And as conflicts over water become more common, that's becoming a problem.
As part of our on-going series, Watershed the CBC's Louise Elliott has prepared a documentary called, What Lies Beneath. She was in Ottawa. You can hear her reports on Saturday mornings on CBC Radio's The House.
Bindeshwar Pathak Feature
Across India, hundreds of millions of people don't have access to a toilet, or anything connected to a sewer system. So they defecate in bucket latrines or out in the open. And that means that every year, about 200 million tons of raw, human sewage is dumped into the environment, much of it ending up in rivers and water supplies.
And beyond the health and environmental concerns, there are social consequences. The task of cleaning human excreta has traditionally fallen to the Untouchable class - the lower cast Dalits. And that work has added to their status as social pariahs.
So for Bindeshwar Pathak, a toilet isn't just a toilet. It's a tool for social change. He's a sociologist and the founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement ... a group that has been credited with improving sanitation, reducing the incidence of disease and restoring dignity to countless people.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Pathak was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize for his work ... work the nominating committee described as "one of the most amazing examples of how one person can impact the well-being of millions." And this morning, as part of our on-going series Watershed, Bindeshwar Pathak joined us from New Delhi.
Bindeshwar Pathak is the founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement. We spoke with him from New Dehli on Thursday ... his 66th birthday. He will receive the Stockholm Water Prize at a ceremony in Stockholm in August.
Last Word - Rangabati
And we give the last word this morning to Jitendria Haripal. He is a Dalit from the state of Orissa in India. Because of his caste, he wasn't allowed into music schools. But he always loved music, so he would stand outside, listening to classes and concerts.
In the late 1970s, he recorded a song called Rangabati. It was a huge hit from the moment it was released and it's now one of India's most popular folksongs. We ended the program with Rangabati, sung by Jitendria Haripal and Krishna Patel.