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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Heartless Practice Of Child Abandonment 

CHILD abandonment cases are on the rise in India with incidents of more and more babies being deserted in trains, platforms, markets and even dustbins coming to light.  Any empty space, devoid of crowd, is the favourite target spot of the abandoner. Sometimes one is left to wonder about the vanishing humanity of some ‘parents’. That deserting one’s own creature, born of wedlock or otherwise, is a very heinous crime, and does not need to be stressed more. Poverty, physical and mental disability of child or one or both the parents, drive people to ditch their child. Nowadays, the age-old trend of baby dumping in deserted places has given way to placing them in crowded places like markets and trains as the deserters hope the babies would land in ‘safe hands’. If only this humanitarian thought had flashed in their minds before abandoning their own creatures, the world would have been a better place to live in. No amount of education or awareness seem to help the cause of the small children. There is no reason to elaborate on more female infants and children being subjected to this phenomenon.  In India, seven  out of ten abandoned children are girls who constitute more than 70 per cent of the cases. It is also very clear that children of unmarried couples are more prone to abandonment if one considers the fact that the infants below 12 months are most vulnerable to be deserted.  The  gut feeling is that the offenders are quite often let scot-free due to social, cultural and legal issues involved in child abandonment. This should change and the offenders merit little mercy. The lax laws need to be tightened; the approach needs to be more firm.  

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA

Postcard War In Bengal

THERE was a time when postcards were fairly popular because they were the cheapest mode of communication. Although the price of paper and printing has increased manifold, the postal department still sells them at 50 paise each for the benefit of poor people. Last week, due to the ongoing political battle between the BJP and Trinamool Congress, the BJP sent one million postcards to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee with the message ‘Jai Shri Ram’. TMC retaliated by sending one million postcards to Prime Minister  Narendra Modi with the message ‘Jai Hind, Jai Bangla’. Neither did this act enhance the reverence of Shri Ram nor did it bring more respect to India or West Bengal. On the contrary, lakhs of rupees from  the public purse were lost and the piles of postcards added to the problem of waste disposal. As regards the poor people, they were forgotten as always. It is hoped that better sense will prevail in future and that the political parties will not indulge in such foolish action and knee-jerk reaction.

RODNEY DE SOUZA, ASSAGAO

Indore Model Of Waste Disposal

IT is common for politicians and government officials from Goa to go on study tours to foreign countries with respect to waste management. However, the best study on how to keep the city clean can be done from within the country itself. Indore in Madhya Pradesh has been ranked as India’s cleanest city in the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019 of the central government. The survey covered 4.237 cities across the country and was completed in 28 days in what is considered as the world’s largest cleanliness survey. This is the third time in a row that Indore has won the top slot in the Swachh Survekshan Awards 2019. Goa has been grappling with the problem of waste management for far too long with no solution in sight. It is understood that in Indore mechanical sweepers are used every alternate day on roads. Roads are washed every night by pressure jets with the aim to make the city dust-free, a task that sounds impossible in Indian towns. The trenching ground has a massive shed to wash all the garbage trucks on a regular basis. As a result, no trash can be spotted sticking onto the trucks as is commonly seen elsewhere. Dustbins from all over the city have been removed. Earlier residents used to put their garbage into plastic bags and throw them into public dustbins. The result was, more garbage around the bin than in it; several stray animals and rag pickers were seen poking their heads in a filthy mess at the most prime locations and unpleasant smells all over the city. The removal of dustbins has led to efficient door-to-door collection of garbage. Smaller litter-bins have now been placed and are being added for pedestrian use. Several community and public toilets have been made operational and many more are being added as per the need. Several public urinals have been constructed with working sewage lines. Some months back, even in posh colonies and more upmarket areas, there would usually be open garbage spots. Almost all such open spots have been removed in a phased manner.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

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