Letters to the Editor (June 11, 2022)
Letters to the Editor (June 11, 2022)
Rising LPG prices affect ordinary households
The price of LPG has risen sharply in recent months. Due to rising prices, households have returned to cooking with wood and charcoal, which can be collected for free or purchased at a lower cost. Women tend to suffer the most when LPG becomes inaccessible, as they are usually responsible for collecting firewood. Rising LPG and food prices have forced families to eat fewer, lower quality meals. The COVID-19 shutdowns in early 2020 had already pushed many poorer households into a loss of income as businesses were closed and people were told to stay home. Burning wood and charcoal for cooking also exposes people to dangerous levels of air pollution. It’s also a problem for the environment, as it emits powerful greenhouse gases like black carbon.
KG Vilop, Chorao
Children going back to school are a very pleasant sight. However, what pains us to see that children return to school with heavy bags on their young shoulders. We talk about digital India. We talk about progress in the new India, but what about our children carrying the same old books and the same old black and white system of education? Subjects like math and science where kids struggle to cope with dropping out. It is high time our Ministers of Education put in place skills development programs and let children choose their own subjects and skills. Let’s not stereotype education, but let’s make education more creative and fun to help our children, our young people, achieve a better future.
The media must protect democracy
This refers to the Edit “The media must be sensitive and responsible” (Herald 10 June 2022). Quite rightly said, the media must be sensitive and responsible. The media must feel the pulse of the people. Don’t we know that the media are the fourth pillar of democracy? They have a huge role to play in preserving our democracy. What has happened to the media in recent years? Recent comments by ruling party leaders during a televised debate have snowballed into a major controversy around the world. Where are we going? Today we are bombarded with protests from across the Gulf region and other nations. Even Afghanistan, which is under the Taliban regime, teaches India a lesson, a democracy! The media has the power to influence people’s opinions, their very lives. They have the power to make or break governments, political parties. Didn’t the media stand up to the government in the past, in times of emergency for example? What happened to that same medium now? Your editorial truly asserts that the media have certain obligations to society. The media must be fair, objective, relevant and truthful. Of course, there is a need for self-regulation. Finally, as the editorial rightly points out, for the sake of our society and the future of our children, the media must pull themselves together and instead of stoking the fire, they must do everything possible to put out the fire of hatred, suspicion and division. . Today our democracy is in peril, can the fourth pillar of democracy rise now and hold our democracy together?
Melville X. D’Souza, Bombay
Addiction is the biggest problem in our lives these days. Addiction tears everything away. Take the case of a boy from Lucknow who murdered his mother because his mother stopped him from playing video games. He withdrew Rs 36 lakh from his mother’s bank account to pursue his video game addiction. Now you can imagine how serious an issue online gaming addiction has become. Children in our country are stealing from their own homes, withdrawing money from their parents’ bank accounts, and also committing crimes like murder and kidnapping. The central government had banned PUBG game in India but now a South Korean company has launched this game in India with a new name BGMI. Children are hard hit by the addiction to online games. In a 2020 survey, 65% of kids under 20 thought they were even willing to give up food and sleep to play online games. I am of the opinion that the government should think about banning all online video games because it is bad for our country.
Sanskrati Rathore, Panjim
During the “Purumentachem festival” in Margao
The “Purumentachem” festival is the famous traditional festival of Margao. The said feast is celebrated every year at the end of May or the first week of June. The traditional feast had a purpose and a logic behind this feast. This festival was celebrated near the Church of the Holy Spirit with a mass and stalls selling provisions necessary for the household during the rainy season. There were stalls of dried chillies, tamarind, onions and other provisions which were stocked by people during this festival. The road leading from the Kadamba bus station to the Church of the Holy Spirit near the former Presentation Secondary School was fully used for the feast during this period for all and lasted 8 days. Previously, the party was held in and around Church Road, but today, due to heavy traffic, it has moved.
During the feast, provisions included furniture, armchairs, stools, wooden pots and also clay pots to save coins. But nowadays since all the items are available throughout the year, the importance of the holiday has lost its purpose. Also this year there was chaos in the allocation of stalls as the municipality was charging double the rates that were in place years ago and some of them were asked to remove the stalls after the erection of stalls with bamboo and other materials paid for by stall owners. There was also a High Court order which mentioned the number of stalls on the trails, which again angered stall owners who had paid the council an amount upfront. There is no coordination between MMC and SPDA, which leads to chaos. The current party has lost its charm that was there earlier in the 1980s. Today, the only goal is to make a quick buck and show off your muscle power and political influence. The organizers should not have a contract system in the allocation of stands but give them an identity card before the party is held. There should be a system in booth allocations and keep the party spirit alive.
Raju Ramamurthy, Vasco
Yeah or Nah?
Thailand has legalized the use of marijuana and its consumption in food and drink and is the first Asian country to do so in a bid to boost agriculture and tourism. Shoppers lined up at outlets selling cannabis-infused drinks, candies and snacks as plant advocates hailed reform in a country that has long had a reputation for strict anti-drug laws. In fact, it was planned to distribute one million marijuana plants to farmers. It should be noted that smoking pot outside the home can still get you quit, an important check to prevent unhindered use. Recreational cannabis use is legal in countries like Canada, Georgia, Malta, Mexico, South Africa, Uruguay, and 19 US states. In India too, cannabis derivatives have been used since time immemorial in traditional medicine to relieve pain and fatigue. “Bhaang” is even available at government-authorized outlets in some states. There is a case for restricted legal use of marijuana under certain conditions in India so perhaps the decriminalization of cannabis would be the first step. Perhaps the government could have another source of revenue through taxes on products containing marijuana. Bombing weed with hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, crystal meth is illogical. No one is advocating the uncontrolled use of marijuana here, but there are some benefits to be had from limited use for medicinal and flavoring purposes. Think.
Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim