Battered Kerala’s Cry For Help
THE floods in Kerala have caught global attention. Pope Francis has appealed to the international community to provide “concrete support” to the tens of thousands of flood victims in Kerala calling the deluge a “great calamity”. The floods, said to be the worst in the state this century, has claimed more than 200 lives and thousands have been rendered homeless. Given the magnitude of the devastation it would hence be most appropriate for the Union government to declare the Kerala floods as a ‘national disaster’. The rains may have subsided, the floodwater levels may have receded but obviously the worst is not behind. After the rescue and relief operation are over the focus will shift to rehabilitation. The real challenge for the authorities will be to prevent the outbreak of epidemic diseases since after the water recedes the environment will be conducive for spread of water-borne diseases. With large stretches of rubber plantations and fields having been destroyed it will take some time for things in the state to normalise. The state will be in need of all the help it gets from around the world. International bodies like World Health Organization need to get involved by giving all medical help to prevent an epidemic from breaking which could be of gargantuan proportion.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Put An End To Canine ‘Terror’
IT was indeed shocking to read that rabies vaccine is in short supply in Goa. This is a state where we have had, and we still have irresponsible governments, which allow proliferation of dogs and have no guts to act because of the so-called animal lovers, who love dogs more than humans. As far as I know, these vaccines have to be taken right from day one for a period of three months or so, with some intervals. Hence, victims could be at risk of contracting rabies, which, as we are all aware, is incurable. But governments like ours are known to act only when the horses have bolted. It was a great shame for Goa, a tourist destination, that a lady contracted rabies in the UK, some years back, after a dog bite on a beach in Goa. And this was the first case of rabies in Britain in a century! Unfortunately, the general public has not been able to counter the love for dogs from dog lovers by an agitation to eliminate them from public places. Our markets, bus stands, beaches, hospitals, even jogging tracks are full of dogs and some people have suffered dog bites at such places. Furthermore, they dirty the city, pick garbage from bins, attack bikers, particularly at nights and early mornings, and are the cause of many an accident. No one is a sadist that we wish to see dogs killed. But surely, as one Kerala judge had said, “they cannot have preference over humans”. Is there a way of instilling some sense in this government, municipalities and panchayats so that we have some respite from canines, now that mission rabies or whatever other organisation, avid of publicity, have failed in their so called mission?
JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, MARGAO