Local Farm Vendors At Disadvantage

AS one drives along the highway and internal roads, one comes across several local farmers selling their produce by the roadside. These include locally grown vegetables, fruits, grains, pulses, etc. These farmers, many of whom lead a hand-to-mouth existence, have to slog it out in the hot sun as they eagerly wait for customers who are mostly those who are driving along the route. In the marketplace too these local vendors are seen occupying space along the pavement and even by the side of the roads. The government needs to come to the aid of these local farmers by promoting the sale of their produce. We have food festivals, wine festivals as well as different kinds of fairs organised in the state on a regular basis. Why not have a three-day ‘state farm-fair’ where the local farmers from all over the state are given an opportunity to promote and sell the locally grown vegetables, fruits and other produce. At the fair the local farmers could also work on a tie-up with hotels and restaurants so as to supply them with the produce on a regular basis. This will give a huge boost for local farmers who could be finding it very difficult to find a ready market due to the competition from vendors from other states doing business in the marketplace in various cities. The ‘state farm fair’ could be made an annual feature. 


Reining In Underage Bikers

THIS is with reference to the news report on the government banning students from riding two-wheelers to schools. Many school students ride two-wheelers to schools; often they ride recklessly, posing risk to their lives as well that of other road users. Sometimes three school students travel to schools on one scooter or motorcycle throwing traffic norms to the winds. They don’t wear helmets; they are law unto themselves when they travel. The government’s move to stop school students from riding the two-wheeler is praiseworthy. Parents should also do their bit to inculcate a sense in the students that riding a scooter or motorcycle at underage is risky.


On COVID Vaccine Pricing

THE anti COVID vaccine is administered free in government hospitals, while the price has been capped at Rs 250 in private hospitals. The manufacturers of ‘Covaxin’ and ‘Covishield’ vaccines will get only Rs 150 per dose. Interestingly, the Pfizer’s vaccine is priced at around Rs 1,450.  While it is necessary to ensure that the vaccine is available free for the masses in government hospitals, it is equally necessary to increase the charges in private hospitals, for those who can afford, so as to incentivise research by Indian companies.  Else, should there be another pandemic, there will be no vaccine available in the Indian market and the poor will die like flies unable to purchase costly vaccines from the likes of Pfizer and other such pharmaceutical firms.