LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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On Traffic Jams Near GMC

When I recently noticed an ambulance finding it hard to make its way through serpentine queues of vehicles, minutes and metres away from its destination, the Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMC) at Bambolim, I was disheartened. The ongoing road construction has narrowed the multiple-lane road into a single-lane stretch causing massive traffic jams. There are traffic police manning the junction catching lawbreakers, but that is the least they can do. The workers and officers on the site were unmoved by the plight of the ambulance because for them it was business as usual. The driver of the ambulance must have wanted his vehicle to have magical legs that could manoeuvre him through the imbroglio. In such road expansions, the authorities always keep a service road that is untarred, potholed and so narrow that it hampers the smooth movement of the traffic. Why have the authorities failed to comprehend that such an emergency situation could arise at such a critical location where every second counts for the patient to reach the hospital?

RAGHAV GADGIL, PANAJI

Virat Kohli’s Strong Message On Depression

Important persons are admired and followed by sections of the society. When they speak, people are usually all ears. However, discussion on some matters related to health is still considered a taboo in India. Nevertheless when ‘idols’ come out with their agonies of the past or present, people get inspired to follow suit. Having said that, it is, however, not easy for the celebrities to shed inhibitions and detail their sickening stints with health disorders like cancer and depression. Psychological subjects especially require exemplary courage to be dissected. Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli is the latest addition to a reasonably long list of celebrities, who have not cared about their ‘image’ to talk about mental health disorders. Kohli said he was battling depression in 2014 during the England tour and that was a transient phase in his life. In the past, several Bollywood legends have spoken about contentious matters related to the psyche. The alarming rise in people with depression disorders is a matter of concern. A surge in the rate of depression is a cause for consternation because suicide and anxiety are inextricably linked to depression. Sadly, suicide ranks second among the common causes of death in the 15-29 age group. Approximately, five crore Indians suffer from depression and 36 per cent of the Indian population has symptoms of depression at any point in time. When a famous personality like Kohli openly announces his past battle with depression, it is significant on many counts. Since cricket connoisseurs adore cricketers and consider them as ‘gods’, it helps them to know that mental problems are not confined to the common man alone. The Indian skipper has said the inability to ‘talk’ to people around him compounded his problem. Therefore, the basic tenet of management of depression – pulling the patients out of self-created shells – should dawn upon every stakeholder. Admittedly, Kohli was down in 2014. But following that lean patch, he proved why he is a batting maestro. Any disorder or disease is totally curable, and both, anxiety and depression are no exceptions. So, in more ways than one, Kohli has sent a strong message to the society on issues that haunt the mind.

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA