23 Mar 2023  |   05:42am IST

Letters to the editor ( 23 March 2023)

Govt has put Goa on sale at Centre’s behest 

The Vasco Railway Police have reportedly registered an offence against a few prominent activists on charges of damaging the JCB machinery used for railway works, assaulting two workers by pelting stones and for fighting against the anti-people double tracking in Velsao.

Well, the way the ruling Pramod Sawant-led BJP Government is currently treating Goans in most parts of Goa, it looks like this government is somehow hell-bent on doing the slavery of the Central government for its own survival and helping the coal companies to enhance their coal transportation through most villages by even destroying people’s houses/private properties in Goa.

I sometimes do feel that our tiny State was indeed liberated in 1961 by our business-minded Indian rulers at the Centre to finally put Goa on sale to the highest bidder, to accommodate people from neighbouring States to loot/destroy our natural resources, allow them to grab our ancestral properties/houses through forgeries, to run their filthy illegal activities and to slowly displaced all the Goans from Goa under some pretext or the other in the long run. 

I personally feel that we, Goans should unite on one single platform at the very earliest and fight to uphold/defend our basic fundamental rights for the sake of our very existence in Goa.  Because our money-minded leaders at the behest of the Central government are already seen eyeing the houses/private properties of most Goans under some pretext or the other with the sole intention of slowly throwing them out on the roads and displacing them from Goa. We, Goans should therefore need to keep a strict vigil/watch against all their dirty moves for the betterment of our own future generations in Goa.

Jerry Fernandes, Saligao


‘Grain ATM’ at 

ration shops

The locals of Benaulim are upset over the unavailability of ration at the Fair Price Shop in the village and have called for the State government’s intervention. The villagers demanded that there should be at least two Fair Price Shops in the village as they are often instructed to go to Margao and collect their ration from there. They further alleged that the lone ration shop in the village is not open throughout the month either. It is pertinent to note that many people living below the poverty line (BPL) depend on the ration distributed at the Fair Price Shops. 

Hence, not getting their quota regularly can bring a lot of hardship to poor families. In this context it is pertinent to note that in Lucknow standing in a long queue outside the ration shop has become a thing of the past. Unique grain ATM has been installed at ration shops, which reportedly takes merely 30 seconds to dispense wheat and rice to the ration card holders. It is understood that the grain ATM gives one a real bank ATM feeling. The new grain ATM machine is indeed a blessing as the ration can be collected probably even when the ration shop is closed while the ATM is accessible. The Goa government could take a clue of such a grain ATM, which has been installed in the Jankipuram area of Lucknow in UP and introduce such machines at the ration shops in the State.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco


Empower students with writing skills

Students need to be encouraged and motivated to read a lot without which they would not have the acumen and skills to be able to speak and write. All through school and up to the completion of our educational goal we must be tremendously blessed with very caring teachers who teach with hope, passion, motivation and a sense of direction.

Right from school, essay writing and public speaking should be the passion of every student. Our educators must always strive to make us multilingual. Our teachers must be our friends arming and empowering us with the required vocabulary to be able to converse with situations outside school and later college. Their relentless imparting of knowledge and lingual skills must give us that strength to empower us to speak even impromptu. For that our gratitude to our dear beloved teachers must never ever fade.

Great teachers can make a big difference on our future, for besides making a lasting impression in the classroom they can cast a positive influence on our lives. They unfailingly always play a role as friend, counsellor and mentor.

We need to revere our teachers, for their time and relentless effort in their noble profession to bring out the best in all their students. No words would ever suffice to express our gratitude.

As Henry Brooks Adams, historian and politician once observed ‘Teachers affect eternity. No one can tell where their influence stops’. Bill Gates accurately opined that ‘Technology is just a tool in terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, but that the teacher is the most important’.

Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar


Polluted cities

A Swiss firm survey has stated that in 2022, more than half of the world’s top 100 polluted cities were in India. Ranked eighth, the country remains one of the top 10 most polluted global nations. Data taken from 7,300 surveyed cities in 131 nations revealed that 65 of the 100 most polluted cities are in India.  The Particulate Matter (PM) concentration of 2.5 in air forms the basis to determine levels of pollution, and susceptibility of Delhi- ranked fourth after Rajasthan's Bhiwadi- is stark because the national capital has air pollution monitors in place to measure the air indices whereas the same  cannot be said of many other Indian cities.  Distressingly, though no class of people are spared by the pollutants, the poor bear a direct brunt of poor air quality.  

The geography of North India with no blowing away factors for pollutants by air, as compared to the blowing in properties for the South, is attributed to more dust and pollution there. The pollutants are “landlocked” with mountains to add to their woes. Unregulated vehicles and stubble burning by farmers, industries and coal power units, chip in to prolong the misery by uncontrolled carbon emission.  It is often said that air pollution is a price people pay for availing the opulence of modernisation. What India needs is a firm focus on solar energy and wind energy consumption.  Burgeoning industries and infrastructural constructions should be regulated. Traffic congestion and emissions have to be reduced. Roads have to be built scientifically to reduce vehicular jam.  

Ganapathi  Bhat, Akola

Health, safety  

in our hands 

The COVID cases are increasing day by day in Goa and we have to take care of ourselves and of others by wearing a face mask and by washing our hands by soap and sanitiser. It will save and protect us from several viruses. We have to learn from the previous days, months and years as we have gone through difficult times. Many people have lost their jobs and their loved ones. Wearing a face mask is a good practice, which help us to stop the virus when we are sick and also protect us from dust pollution. Let’s make ourselves responsible persons to take care of our health, safety and secure our body from viruses. Keeping ourselves and surrounding areas clean and tidy helps us lead a life in a peaceful, relaxing and happy environment. Blaming the government is not the solution. Life must go on; we cannot tell the government to close the borders. We have to survive in this world for our families. In case you are not feeling well, visit a doctor and undergo a test. Remember that our health and safety is in our hands.

Ronnie D’Souza, Chandor


Iddhar Udhar