MOSQUITOES ADD TO OUR ECONOMIC GROWTH!
(August 20 is being celebrated as the 'World Mosquito Day.' On this unique occasion, here is a humourous take on the world of mosquitoes!)
Sting operations are nothing new to mosquitoes! They have been doing that for ages. Unlike television journalists, they announce their arrival through their war cries before launching their sting operation.
Mosquitoes are no different from human beings. That is why they work in shifts. Some work during the day. The others are active at night. Some of them really love their night life! The mosquitoes that do the night shift pack up and are ready to leave at the sight of the first rays of Sunlight. That is why you find them battering against your window panes in the morning.
As I said, mosquitoes love the dark. Black is their favourite colour. If you are gossiping with your friends and happen to be wearing black clothes, you would find most of the mosquitoes hovering around you. If you stand under a lamppost at night, the colour of your hair—black—attracts the mosquitoes most. That is why you find them hovering over your head. In fact, wearing black is the best way to attract a swarm of mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes have wings but they are not birds. They are not birds because they are insects.
I consider mosquitoes as the tiniest nuisance of the animal kingdom! If there are smaller nuisances, they are not so much in contact with human beings. That could be the reason why I don’t know about them.
Mosquitoes have gained a reputation as blood suckers. But, they were the ones who taught us the science of blood transfusion! Mosquitoes not only suck blood but also inject it into the blood streams.
Man has domesticated many animals. But, he is yet to train mosquitoes. Just imagine how useful mosquitoes could be!
If we could train mosquitoes to suck blood from blood donors and inject it into the veins of recipients, we could do away with the services of doctors and nurses with regard to blood transfusion. Mosquitoes know where to inject blood. It is a matter of instinct for them. They can be trusted not to miss the vein!
In fact, we could use mosquitoes for other injection assignments as well. By doing that, we could also save on the cost of syringes. But, as of now, they are dangerous because they may be sucking blood from birds and animals and injecting them into your veins.
If you have the magnanimity to let them inject blood into your bloodstream, you could count on them to deliver the choicest of viruses along with that for free. They consider human blood a delicacy and they keep sucking till their bellies are ready to burst. Sometimes, they suck so much of blood that it makes them unwieldy in flight. If you hit them when they are blood-laden, their bellies burst and blood spurts in all directions.
The Chinese have developed several martial art forms around animals. But, they missed the smallest and most effective stinger—the mosquito. However, India produced the world’s smallest jet fighter and named it ‘Gnat’ which is another name for mosquito.
We curse mosquitoes day in and day out. But, the numerous mosquito-related products must be making manufacturers and traders happy. They may even be making offerings to god to help them bring about an explosion in the mosquito population! Some of them may be secretly worshipping them. You never know, someday the mosquito may even be worshipped as a deity!
Out of 2,700 species of mosquitoes in the world, fewer than a hundred are known to transmit diseases. Arboviral Encephalitides, West Nile Virus, Malaria, Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever are prominent among the many diseases they are believed to carry. But, that is enough to keep so many industries in business. However, it must be admitted in their praise that they do not carry the HIV+ virus that causes AIDS.
In normal times, electric mosquito repellent machines using perfumed mats and liquid vaporizers are used. These call for frequent replacement of mats and liquid refills. And, then, there are mosquito killer bulbs and electronic insect killers. These gadgets consume electricity on a regular basis. These gadgets engage the power sector as also our electric and electronic industries.
Some people prefer to use mosquito nets since they have no side effects. And, they do not need any refill. They need not be replaced until they get torn. So, the demand for mosquito nets is increasing day by day. Some others use incense sticks to drive away mosquitoes. They benefit the textile and handicrafts industry.
There are some who use mosquito repellent creams. Those who use creams need to wash their face and body with soap when they get up in the morning. That helps the cosmetics industry.
As a preventive measure, DDT is sprinkled on the breeding colonies of mosquitoes that are scattered over water-sheets of different sizes and descriptions though it has become more or less ineffective. And, then, there is mosquito spray which is a petroleum-based aerosol insecticide. In some cases, kerosene is used to prevent mosquito breeding on stagnant water such as the water found in water tanks and desert coolers. So, that ropes in the petroleum and chemical industries.
Just one mosquito droning over you can give you sleepless nights. They say mosquitoes could infuse alertness even in the laziest of lazy bugs! Some people take sleeping pills to snatch some sleep. And, there is quinine and a whole assortment of medicines that are prescribed for diseases transmitted by mosquitoes that host the backbone of our pharmaceutical industry. And, don’t forget the meshed doors and windows we install at our homes to keep the mosquitoes away!
But, if you don’t want to use any of these, you can just apply soap on your palms and swat the mosquitoes with your hands. Even if you manage to barely touch the mosquitoes while you are swatting, the mosquitoes will stick to your hand!
Mosquitoes have created vacancies for a variety of positions in clinics, dispensaries and hospitals. They have also created employment opportunities in health centres and municipal bodies. There is so much of medical research going on because of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. There are so many shops selling medicines. These provide employment to medical scientists and chemists.
Mosquitoes have singlehandedly generated a lot of employment, income and business. It is because of them that so many of our industries are in business. We may not appreciate this and our finance ministry may not attach too much importance to this. But, mosquitoes make a significant contribution to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In short, they contribute to our economic growth!