While waiting for the paperwork, John would decide to explore Yangon and its surroundings. As the country’s major port, the city sits on the banks of the Irrrawaddy River. One morning, John came to the ferry terminal to catch a commuter boat to go to the other side of the river to explore the ancient villages there. There was a long line of school children of all ages, near the entrance of the terminal. John assumed that the children were in a class-trip to visit some places of interest. As he approached to the front of the line, he noticed a few gentlemen were handing over two western brand-named sugar-rich soda cans free to each student. From that first line, the recipients were then heading towards a second line to receive a pair of brand-name salt-rich snacks, again free. Surprised John admired the free publicity stunt of the manufacturers.
Just before leaving UK, John came across to a report in one of the leading newspapers about the effect of NAFTA (acronym for a free-trade agreement among various nations) in poor countries like Mexico. There, the younger generation has been becoming obese with accompanied health-related issues. While waiting for his connection in New Delhi, he came across to a medical report in city’s daily newspaper. The report detailed how the consumption of salty snacks and sugary drinks sky-rocketed in country’s teenagers, bringing obesity and diabetes in their younger age.
Now, John began to connect the dots. As the health risks from those junk foods became apparent in the western societies, restricting their sales in school cafeterias as well as in their lunch programs, the multinational corporations targeted new sets of consumers. Under the umbrella of free-trade agreement, they started flooding the markets of the poor nations, hooking the younger generations to these unhealthy food-products leading to subsequent health issues and thus jeopardizing the countries’ futures.
Next day, after receiving his travel-permit, John embarked on his mission of collecting the photographic evidence of atrocities. But the irony of an unfolding religious genocide compared to an unfolding economic slow-poisoning of the poorer citizens of the world was not lost in his mind. He wondered “What should be new definition of morality in a globalized world?”