29 Feb 2024  |   06:11am IST

Letter to the editor (29 February 2024)

Curbing accidents need of the hour

Tourists visiting Goa are usually in a vacation mood. It's a type of tendency encountered that once tourists are in Goa, somehow they tend to freak out. They prefer to enjoy to the fullest and at several times get out of control by getting drunk, and then driving negligently on the Goan roads. Surprisingly, we have come across dangerous incidents wherein the tourists behaved wildly by bursting crackers on the bridge and also driving recklessly. 

In addition, the recent accident wherein the bike victim fell off the bridge is a major setback for the Goan 'killer' roads. However, taking into consideration such type of drastic attitudes of the tourists which can jeopardize innocent lives, it's advisable that rent -a-cab should also provide a local driver for the safety of the general public. Life is precious and needs to be preserved.

Instead of lingering with the idea, the authorities concerned should implement strict preventive measures to the earliest.

Joseph Savio Desouza, Candolim

Panjim roads keep caving in

Yet another vehicle got stuck in a badly filled sewerage pit near Azad Maidan, Panjim, on Monday, February 26. The spree of heavy vehicles getting stuck on roads continues in the capital city. Earlier a rear tyre of a water tanker got stuck in the haphazardly fixed pit near Sanskruti Bhavan, Patto-Panjim.

Such incidents have taken place at St Inez, and the heritage area of Sao Tome in Panjim. In one of the incidents, four labourers were injured and they had to be admitted to hospital. Such incidents have been reported at the stretches where works under the Smart City Mission were carried out and also currently are being undertaken by the government.

These incidents call into question the safety protocols and quality standards being employed by the PWD and Imagine Panaji Smart City Development Limited (IPSCDL) while executing the ongoing sewerage network project. The people of Panjim are struggling currently with ongoing Smart City works.

The manner in which the Corporation of City of Panaji (CCP) has undertaken various works under Smart City Mission has been drawing flak from the citizens, who are irked due to road closures, making it difficult to travel in the city. The commuters everyday face a lot of hardships caused by the damaged roads and traffic snarls caused by the incessant digging for Smart City projects.

The city roads have caved in on account of the shoddy work to lay sewer lines implemented hastily. Lack of supervision by the other authorities concerned and failure on the part of the government to maintain quality checks are also the prime reasons for the present condition of the city.

Newton Mendonca, Aldona

Positive impact of Prison Art prog

Director General of Police (DGP) Jaspal Singh reportedly inaugurated the CJ (Colvale Jail) store at the Indian oil retail outlet near KTC bus stand in Panaji on Tuesday. Handicrafts, pottery and carpentry items made by the Colvale jail inmates will be sold at the store. It is learnt that this is a first-of-its-kind store in Goa and that many more stores will be opened in the state in due course. It must be said that jail inmates need to be encouraged to take up creative work while serving their sentence that would help in their reform and rehabilitation after release. Some work just to remain busy, while others try to learn a new skill that can be practiced once they are released. Studies have shown that art can help those struggling with issues of self-worth, confidence and empowerment. 

Research suggests a strong linkage between the development of the right brain and art which in turn, leads to higher thinking skills and greater emotional self-regulation. It is through hard work that these inmates learn the value and satisfaction of completing projects once started. Artistic processes can provide a way to deal with potentially destructive feelings such as anger and aggression. 

It is for this reason that prison arts programs have been found to positively impact the inmates and need to be encouraged. It could also include singing, playing musical instruments, dancing and even writing poetry.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Another melodious star will sing no more

We mourn the death of ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas who passed away on February 26 after a prolonged illness. With a drink and chakhna in hand, or at a Mughlai food restaurant, his ghazals provided comfort and solace.

From ‘Aur Ahista Kijiye Baatein’ to ‘Chitthi Aayee Hai’ to ‘Deewaron Se Milkar Rona’, his voice was distilled melancholy. May his soul rest in peace.

Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai

PM's visits promoting domestic tourism

It is good to see the  PM himself  taking the role of a promoter and an encourager when it comes to domestic  tourism- pilgrim, spiritual and leisure. After his visit to Lakshadweep  promoting the  islands as a primary global tourism destination, his visit to Guruvayur, Srirangam, Rameswaram and  his role in promoting Ayodhya as a world class pilgrim spot have   attracted  people around the globe to make a beeline  to these already popular places. 

His recent scuba diving off the coast of Dwaraka and paying obeisance under sea in the submerged ancient  city of Dwaraka has put the holy city of Lord Krishna on the world map . His encouraging words  after  making the visit is sure  to boost tourism, both adventure and spiritual. 

After Modi's visit  Dwarka became the highest searched word on Google as people interested in adventure, religion and culture are curious to know about this place. Following the PMs visit, the hotel and tourism industry in Dwarka is well  set to experience a boom. 

Ayodhya has already turned into a numero  uno destination at present after the consecration of Ram lalla temple.  Such visits definitely help in influencing people to take a trip and  this helps in boosting the tourism and hospitality sector in a big way. 

M Pradyu, Kannur

’Rare diseases’ pose many challenges

Autoimmune disorders, inherited cancers and congenital conditions are not uncommon. Across the globe, there are some three fifty million people who live with about seven thousand of what are called ‘rare diseases’. 

A disease is said to be ‘rare’ when it affects fewer than one in two thousand people.  More than seventy percent of these diseases begin in childhood. Insufficient knowledge on the part of the doctor and lack of awareness among the patients render these rare diseases challenging. That more than seventy five percent of  rare diseases are of genetic origin, and fifty percent are present from birth, further complicate things. 

Besides misdiagnosis leading to inadequate treatment, crippling pain and discomfort are unpleasant companions of the patients with rare diseases.  The Rare diseases Day on February 29 aims at achieving ‘true equity’ for those afflicted by the rare condition. Equity in health access, treatment and social opportunities is crucial for the patients with rare diseases. In India, one in twenty suffers from rare diseases.

 All this said, the biggest difficulty that arises in the management of rare diseases is their treatment that takes a heavy financial toll on the patients as well as their relatives. Moreover, treatment is long and tiring, so patience and equanimity among all stakeholders can go a long way.

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Iddhar Udhar