In North East India there is a saying “When the bamboo flowers, famine, death and destruction follow”. I got to know about this from a beautiful program called “Animal Planet Insights” in Animal Planet channel yesterday. When the program started with this message I was wondering how could this be possible and I was more interested to continue watching the program. The villages suffered a huge loss of human once in every fifty years until 1950’s and as per the saying every time it happened when the bamboo flowered. A variety of bamboo that only grows in north eastern forests of India has a lifespan of 50 years and when its end comes, flowers that becomes fruits. The fruit falls down the seed within grows up as new trees. The bamboo fruit is rich in vitamins and other essentials that invite rats. These rats eat up the fruit and the natural system of a rat is that when there is plenty of food it copulates and gives birth to more rats than normally. This multiplies the number of rats enormously. Once there are no more bamboo fruits the rats enter into the paddy fields and eat up everything. Due to the enormous number of rats there was no way the villagers could stop them. In one night the entire paddy fields surrounding the villages are devastated. The rats don’t stop there; they enter into the houses and eat up every piece of food. Some people leave the village but most of them are stuck with famine and lose lives because of hunger. The bamboo forest cannot be destroyed because it is a source of input for various purposes in the villages.
The program continued on to explain how the villagers in the recent past came up with different ways of traps to kill the rats and reduce the number of rats during the bamboo flowering season. The program also showed other chain reactions that cause devastations like more rats invite deadly snakes. Sometimes from the onset we get easily deceived to believe something to be the cause of a problem when it is actually not. A deep probe and trace would reveal the root cause of the problem. As another saying also states one needs to find the root cause of the problem and solve it rather than to try to treat the symptoms. Easy fixes to problems may not be an effective solution and could come back with something huge or could produce a side effect. Identifying the root cause and fixing it is the only effective solution.
Note:- This post is part of the “Foundations” series.