23 May 2023  |   12:21am IST

Letters to the editor ( 23 May 2023)

Appreciate public health services in Goa

On May 2, 2023, I experienced my worst nightmare. I began to have chest pains at around 8:30am and I had to be taken to the primary health centre Navelim as my family doctor was not available at that time. As soon as the ECG was done, I was asked to wait for further examination. I collapsed into the chair and the moments after that everything was blurred.  When I regained consciousness, I was being rushed to the District hospital Margao.  The pain in the chest increased even further. I was being examined there, after which my family was asked to shift me either to GMC or a leading hospital in Margao as my reports suggested that I had a massive heart attack and would need further medical treatment.  With faith in our hearts, we turned to GMC where swift action was taken and a stent was installed into an artery to clear the block. I was back home within no time and recovering smoothly.  The reason why I chose to pen down my ordeal is to appreciate the doctors and nurses who treated me along the way.  At first, the timely help and compassion I received from the staff at the primary health centre, Navelim has blown my mind. Secondly, the District Hospital Margao stands tall and mighty in the heart of the town. The doctors and nurses were so gentle towards me and assisting my family through various enquiries patiently. Finally, the Goa Medical College has improved in leaps and bounds at every level. There is no doubt in the capability of the doctors and nurses but attributes like being gentle, compassionate is what won my heart the most. The efforts of the cleaning staff to keep every nook and corner of the hospital clean is to be highly appreciated. We usually shy away from using public health care of our state, mostly due to the issue of cleanliness. But I think we all need to give our Public health services a chance and restore faith in the health care workers. I humbly request our Government to develop the Margao District hospital to its full potential so that , patients can receive timely care , especially for the people of South Goa so that they need not be rushed to GMC and the pressure at GMC handling patients both from North and South Goa can be eased.

Francisco Vas, Navelim 

Tainted MP should 

step down

The ongoing protest by our best wrestlers of the country has been going on for months now. The BJP Government which promised transparency and good governance to come to power is now doing just the opposite. They beat their own drums and try to take credit for some few successes and when they have to act against the unscrupulous ministers of their own or party clan, they turn dumb and blind denying justice to the women wrestlers who brought the golden glory of winning at many international events. These wrestlers should have been practicing in the stadium to keep themselves fit, but are out on the streets fighting for justice. The Govt. in power is protecting the then president of the wrestling association when he was heading it but today he is MP. This is a shameful act of protecting the villains, nor is the Prime minister asking him to step down. Tainted ministers and party workers become clean in the BJP as long as they stay with them, otherwise the Govt. agencies are ready to swoop on the individuals found to be unsupportive. Will the govt. change its stance and allow speedy justice to our young wrestlers at the earliest? The government supported TV channels seem to be interested in only seeing faults in opposition leaders or public who try to stand up for their rights or raise issues of public interest. This is not good governance but poor governance.

Gregory E D’Souza, Siolim

Bumpy ride for Karnataka govt?

A grand event in Bengaluru saw Siddaramaiah take the oath of office as Karnataka Chief Minister. The swearing-in ceremony allowed the assembly of UPA partners to reorganize for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Siddaramaiah and his deputy DK Shivakumar were sworn in along with eight other ministers. The Congress high command desired 25 ministers, yet only eight MLAs took the oath as Siddaramaiah and his deputy disagreed over names. The development follows a bruising battle for the CM’s post and portends a bumpy ride for the Karnataka government.

N J Ravi Chander, Bengaluru

Rajasthan govt’s fund for gig workers

Rajasthan government deserves a pat for its proposed plan of setting up a Social Security and Welfare Fund worth Rs. 200 crore for platform-based gig workers, which will be the first of its kind in the country. The population of gig workers in India has considerably increased over the last few years. Such an effort, therefore, will go a long way in solving many unanswered and complex questions of the informal working sector, where a huge chunk of India’s total workforce are employed. 

In fact, a report by the NITI Aayog says that India will have 2.35 crore gig workers by 2030, up from 68 lakh in 2020. Gig workers are among the most vulnerable parts of the informal sector. They construct malls, multiplexes, hospitals, hotels and what not? But sadly, more often than not, they are exploited and forced to work in conditions where their rights are not protected. The initiative taken by the Ashok Gehlot government for the welfare of gig workers in the State must guide entrepreneurs, investors, non-governmental organizations as well as policy makers to drive their respective parts of the gig economy to create an economy that is vibrant, flexible, and inclusive of all workers.

Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai

Anti-encroachment drive as final warning

The Mapusa Municipal Council had reportedly started its anti-encroachment drive on May 10, by seizing goods and items on footpaths and near road-widening areas. It is understood that the drive has brought much cheer to the common man, who was hoping that it would bring more discipline in the market. The drive had to be stopped after the Director of Municipal Administration (DMA) reportedly directed the chief officer to refrain from seizing any goods or articles from shops or stalls for failing to follow proper procedure. However, it is learnt that the civic authorities restarted the anti-encroachment drive by confiscating the goods from Saturday, May 20, by doing proper inventory. The anti-encroachment drive is a good move; however, video footage doing the rounds on social media shows the municipal staff loading refrigerators and other expensive equipment which was kept on the pavement by the shop-keepers, onto the truck. Some ladies were also seen begging the municipal officials to spare them for the last time, even as the municipal staff confiscated goods from them. It must be said that many of the vendors are leading a hand-to-mouth existence. The municipality could consider this massive anti-encroachment drive as a final warning to the traders and return their goods as per the inventory after imposing stiff penalties.  

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Keeping Jallikattu tradition alive

The Supreme Court has succinctly said that the courts cannot intervene in matters of cultural heritage borne out of texts and evidence while allowing the ancient sport of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. In a nutshell, it has upheld the Tamil pride and heritage. The Union Environment Ministry, after being pushed by its ally, the then AIADMK government of the state, had to take the ordinance route in 2017 to keep the sport alive following a sea of protests that erupted in Chennai. The ministry's order explicitly said the bulls can be permitted to be ‘exhibited or trained’. The sport held during the annual Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu, is particularly popular in some districts like Madurai.  It is true that unless the animal is not subjected to cruelty there are no reasons to ban the popular sport. 

By the same token, though the essence of Jallikattu is for the participants to hold a bull's hump to take it to the finishing line, the unwritten rule was often violated because Jallikattu is a rural custom where the players are bound to be swayed by the frenzied crowd thronging the venues. The animals were often held by their neck or horns, and were violently pulled around putting the lives of the bull as well as the human beings at stake. There have been reports of bulls and tamers being killed post-ordinance period, too, though the casualties were far more in the pre-ordinance era. Meanwhile, all measures to ensure safety of the animals, and human beings, should pre-occupy the minds of the authorities, while striking a fine balance between tradition and ritual.

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola


Idhar Udhar