27 Sep 2023  |   05:07am IST

Letter to the editor (27 September 2023)

Congrats to Goa Foundation once again

Our sincere gratitude to Justices MS Sonak and Bharat P Deshpande for their verdict. Hearty congratulations to Goa Foundation once again for winning its fight against the Goa Government, who used high profile senior lawyers such as Mukhul Rohatgi by paying lakhs of tax payers money to destroy the Goan rivers and forests. Congratulations also to the Senior Counsel Indira Jaisingh for successfully defending the order of the High Court. 

Shame on the Goa Government and its Ministers who are out to destroy the Goan rivers and forests but St Francis Xavier is protecting our state from such ‘desh drohis’. The cost of the lawyers’ fees must be recovered from these people. 

Matias Lobo, Tivim

Maintain tourist places properly

Tourism is known to provide a massive boost to a nation’s economy.  Responsibility on the part of travellers is key to sustaining tourism, because travellers aware of their obligations towards maintaining the purity of a destination are godsends for tourism.  Sustainable tourism, movie tourism, medical, religious and ecotourism all form the crux of tourism. In India, nearly six per cent of the GDP is accrued from tourism. It is also a large avenue for employment with as much as 25 million workers earning their livelihood from this sector.  In a country as diverse as India, it is a laborious task for the government to keep tourist places spic-and-span which is why the role of citizens in overseeing the orderliness of key tourist places is so vital.  

There are plenty of attractions in the country that can set the visitors’ pulse racing.  Good connectivity, adequate cleanliness and the so-called certainty factor make a tourist place much sought after one.  Needless to say, the role of the local population has a far reaching impact in making this a reality. Some exquisite tourist centres are a far cry from what they were earlier.  Since it takes two to tango, the travellers have a huge task of keeping the attractions noise free and hygienic. Preventing the centres from deteriorating to mere structures, maintaining the liveliness of the places and ensuring no tourist is harassed are critical to preserve the name and fame of a place.   

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

Well done India at the Asian Games!

Kudos to the men’s 10m air rifle team and the women’s cricket squad for winning India’s first gold medals at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. The ‘shooting stars’ from India shattered China’s world record to top the podium, while the Women in Blue bagged their maiden Asian Games gold medal, beating Sri Lanka in a close game. Indian rowers also made a splash, grabbing five medals, including two silver and three bronze. Way to go India!

N J Ravi Chander, Bengaluru

Honour Dr Baruah for xenotransplantation  

In January 2022, doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine had successfully carried out the world’s first heart transplant by using a genetically modified pig to save a dying man. He lived for two months. Last week, the School again carried out a similar procedure and the patient is hale and hearty. People are going gung-ho over these achievements and presume that such operations could address the organ shortage crisis.

Dr Dhaniram Baruah, a cardiac surgeon, with an MD from Glasgow and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England Surgeon, ironically long ago he had worked at University of Maryland Medical Center. After his return from the UK he set-up the Dr Dhani Ram Baruah Heart Institute & Research Centre at Sonapur in the outskirts of Guwahati. On January 1, 1997 with his assistant Dr Jonanthan Ho, a surgeon from Hong Kong, he was the first to carry out xenotransplantation by replacing a 32 year old patient’s heart and lungs with that of a pig. The patient was alive for a week but passed away due to failure of multiple organs.

Instead of applauding the work, he was called ‘pig doctor,’ and ‘mad doctor’ and both doctors were arrested and jailed for 40 days for violating the Human Organs Transplantation Act. 

On his return from jail, Dr Baruah found his clinic, laboratory and pig farm set on fire. Had the authorities encouraged and funded him by following Babasaheb Ambedkar’s words, “An idea needs propagation just as a plant needs watering,” India could have been in the forefront in heart transplant surgeries and many patients might have lived to tell their tales. Perhaps India could have gained a Nobel Prize in Medicine.

 Dr. Baruah (75 yr old) cannot talk after having suffered a stroke but is still scientifically active in the field of genetic engineering. Now is the right time to reverse the wrong done to him by suitably honouring and recognising him as a visionary surgeon. A national award bearing his name should be instituted for doctors who save lives through intricate xenotransplantation or organ transplant procedures.     

Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem     

Transgenders need political reservation 

Now that women have 33% reservation of seats in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies, it is time that the transgenders have it likewise in proportion to their numbers. They are the marginalized of society and ought to have their voice heard. The rationale behind this suggestion is more cogent than the one behind women's reservation. 

Mousinho de Ataide, Saligao

Take necessary steps to stop Nipah virus

The world has often been devastated by viruses. Who can forget the Corona pandemic? Nowadays, once again, the Nipah virus has started spreading in Kerala. If it is not stopped in time, it can become a problem for the government as well as for the people. The ICMR DG said that 20 more doses of monoclonal antibodies will be purchased from Australia for treatment. This medicine has not been given to anyone in India till now, but there is a need to give the medicine in the initial stage of infection only. 

The ICMR DG said that 14 patients infected with the Nipah virus outside India have been given monoclonal antibodies, and all of them have survived. Only phase one trials have been conducted to establish the safety of the drug. It can be given only to those patients for whom there is no authorized satisfactory treatment method. People should be alert and take precautions, and the government also needs to keep taking the necessary steps to deal with the Nipah virus.

Jahangir Ali, Mumbai

Organ donors given State honours in TN

While Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin has added many feathers to his cap of compassion, like free bus service to women, free breakfast scheme for poor students. With the Kalaignar Magalir Urimai Thittam, he has added one more to feather to his cap with his announcement that funeral of the deceased whose organs are harvested for donation will henceforth be held with state honours. 

This is the first time in the country and for that reason, first time in the world that such a heart-touching measure has been announced by a state government. Such voluntary donors and also the family members who come forward to donate the organs of their kith and kin who are declared brain dead despite their grief over the irreparable loss give new lease of life to many recipients and deserve all praise. Under the circumstances, funeral with state honours announced for such voluntary and brain- dead donors by the TN government is, indeed an adorable act of gratitude.

Tharcius S Fernando, Chennai


Iddhar Udhar