Thursday, 16 June 2016

Compassion of Store In-charge.



During the hot and humid weather conditions it is a nightmare for the Quartermaster to protect the rations from the insect infestation for rice and dal, and melting of sugar and salt.

Sugar and salt being hygroscopic substance it gets spoilt by the humidity in the air and needs to be kept airtight. The sugar was being repackaged in plastic bags to make it airtight and prevent losses due to change in its state from solid to liquid. Salt started coming in plastic package from the factory itself, so only the torn packets need to be taken care of.

The rice store was opened and there I found lots of pantry moths on the walls. Probably they were resting after eating and laying eggs in the rice bags. Pretty soon I would find cocoons made of spiders web like substances when I open up the rice bags for issue.

Only way to stop that is to eradicate the pantry moths by spraying pesticides, which could not be done as it may contaminate the rice. I was wondering about the alternative means to annihilate all pantry moths from the huge ration store.

While sugar and salt repacking is going on in one store and cleaning at the other, the stuff were stacked ceiling high, literally. I remembered of smoking, no not the one you are thinking, but smoking at large scale to drive away the moths. The green leaves and pine gives out good smoke with fragrance which is disliked by the bugs, bees and hopefully pantry moths.

"Tomorrow collect some pine leaves and fill the store with smoke. Ok?" I was telling the ration store in-charge. He was not at all perturbed by the presence of huge numbers pantry moth in the store. He must have thought that it is the spiders, which is responsible for the larvae in the cocoon made of spider web, found in the rice bags.

He replied, "Okay sir. But sir all this butterflies will die sir."

"Let the sin be on me. You just fill the store with smoke tomorrow." I was looking for alternative options to eradicate the problem of insect and larva infestation of rice (and here it is) and the compassionate store keeper was so innocent about the problems, instead he was worried about the life from of the very insect that is responsible for spoiling the rice.

Such are the practitioners of Buddhism, present in our organizations. They would not harm even an insect, intentionally. As for me I have to weigh the pros and cons of not harming the insect against issuing good quality ration, months after months. However, I just hope that the moths will fly away from the store instead of dying there with suffocation.