Saturday, February 21, 2015
Don’t hurt your customers
In the exact words of Lord Holme and Richard Watts, the definition of CSR (corporate social responsibility) is: “Commitments by businesses to behave ethically and to contribute to sustainable economic development by working with all relevant stakeholders to improve their lives in ways that are good for business, the sustainable development agenda, and society at large.”
This knowledge was emphasised at the very recent seminar “Korean Development Experience: Lessons for Bangladesh” organised by CPD and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea on how MNCs as well as local corporations in Bangladesh may be able to flourish in their CSR activities by following the way South Korean companies conduct theirs.
During the seminar, I realised what an ironic situation we were living in. While pondering upon the question of which companies carry out the largest CSR activities in our country, I figured out that those who do probably care the least about the social aspect of CSR.
Cell phone service providers care the least about the society – a fact that is vivid in our daily lives as huge structures on rooftops of residential houses ie “mobile towers” are scattered all around us.
Having such towers in residential areas is a matter of concern as the electromagnetic radiation emanating from the towers not only affects humans and animals but it also upsets the ecological balance.
We are more or less going on with our day to day lives, ignoring the long term effects of this health hazard around us as our health is not showing any visible signs yet. By the time it does (touch wood, God forbid!), it may be too late.
Most powerful mobile towers are situated on mountains and hilltops outside of urban areas. The absence of relevant laws and restrictions and the tendency of landlords always trying to make (a few million) extra bucks from their treasured establishments have made the installation of mobile towers on rooftops of residential buildings possible for cellular companies.
Our general lack of awareness coupled with the role we are playing as silent spectators makes us somewhat responsible for allowing our children to grow up in a city that is full of such potential and possibly fatal health hazards.
The exposure to the radiation emitted by the electromagnetic fields of mobile towers causes us to experience things like stress and sleep disorders to birth defects, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
The human body itself is electromagnetic (at a very low level though, say around 10Hz), and a mobile tower emits microwaves at 1900MHz. It’s been shown that each one of our cells has its own electromagnetic field (EMF). Maintaining balance in those cellular EMFs is critical to staying healthy.
Decades of studies has demonstrated that artificial frequencies higher than 10Hz can create stress and serious health problems. Mobile phone tower wavelengths, microwaves, have a significantly higher frequency than even radio waves. The higher the frequency goes, the more powerful the waves become, and thus the effect on biological organisms is more amplified.
These elevated energy waves can, in fact, obliterate chemical and molecular bonds, creating disorders in our fundamental biochemical structures. Studies have also shown that EMFs can affect enzymes, DNA, metabolism, genes, hormones, etc.
Mobile tower radiation has also been linked to headaches, memory loss, low sperm count, cancer, birth defects, and heart conditions. One of the problems is that this damage is cumulative in the tissues, and can take years, even decades to show up.
Cellular companies make over millions every year, and are nonetheless becoming more successful and more popular with all the advertisements about how using their services can change our lives and how all their visible CSR campaigns that mostly come in the form of “city beautification” are making our lives more beautiful on the outside.
At this point, I’m sure some angry officials of cell service providing companies are reading my piece and thinking of the most brutal reply they can come up with and dump on my face, maybe with more gibberish terms about network technology of which I’ll understand nothing at first, because I am hurting their reputation with this write up.
They will surely fail to see at first that common people like us care about the repercussions of the harm being caused by such towers being present around us and our children. Please take a moment to think clearly and try doing something real in favour of the society.
I strongly feel it’s time for our government to take quick actions and start by formulating and enacting some laws and see to its implementation in order to regulate the activities of companies that use technologies that expose us to radiation and other hazards.
It is true that cellular companies also make big bucks for the country, and they have indeed made many parts of the country look very beautiful with their creative beautification work flaunting their respective logos very nicely.
I am aware that one of the largest cellular companies in our country actually introduced a set of guidelines to strengthen practical approaches and caution regarding human rights and labour rights.
This company emphasises on its CSR issues in their quarterly business reviews and in pre-investment and due-diligence processes. While real-life beauty can only do so much for the betterment of society, investing in better technology to introduce alternate and less harmful forms of towers (or any other media for networking) will help both their clients and their businesses to grow together, would it not?- See more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/op-ed/2015/feb/05/don%E2%80%99t-hurt-your-customers#sthash.S1yztoKO.znsUhOOU.dpuf