LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (29/05/2021)

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On Digital Taxi Meters

This is with reference to the news report ‘Transport department says it’s getting good response to move on digital fare meters’ ( NT May 28, 2021).  It is heartening to learn that there is good response from taxi operators to the mandatory fixing of digital fare meters by the Transport department —an initiative which  otherwise would not have seen the light of day, but for the intervention and directives by the High court of Bombay in Goa. It is now up to the transport department to make the taxi fares affordable to the public and on par with those of neighbouring states, taking into consideration the recent hikes in the costs of petrol and diesel. Otherwise, the entire exercise of fixing digital meters will fall to pieces  as  an exercise in futility. It is also hoped that the new rates will bring some sort of relief to the tourists and frequent air travelers who have been complaining time and again that they  have to spend more on taxi fares, than for their boarding and lodging during their stay in Goa.

A F Nazareth, Porvorim

Imbibe Simplicity And Humility

It is said that the best way to learn humility is by realising that we are an insignificant speck in the universe consisting of so many planets, moons, stars and suns. The best way is to appreciate astronomy as a subject. Great thinkers imbibed this. For example, the formidable British scientist Stephen Hawking, now no more, asked us to look at the sky and stars and wonder what force sustains these in a disciplined cohesion and this is the truth our Vedas and Upanishads teach us. In olden times there was Gurukula Vasam where students irrespective of their social status learnt under a Guru. Serving the Guru was an essential part of their study and this naturally made them humble. In the modern days children are made to be conscious of their status and brought up in an environment encouraging them to believe that they can get whatever they want and this naturally makes them conceited. Foregoing physical comforts and learning to live with what one has, as in the old  Gurukula Vasam days is the best way to imbibe simplicity and humility. It is said that the senior Birla, a crorepati himself, had just two pairs of dresses. Gandhiji persisted in searching for a pencil which had almost become diminutive and unusable, as he thought even that had a value. Covid-19 has taught us to imbibe simplicity and humility and learn the human values in the best way possible.

Jayanthy Subramaniam, Betim Bardez

Govt Lacking Health Facilities

It is scary to listen to the plight and misery of Goans admitted in the government hospitals in Goa fighting COVID-19. Hospitals in Goa lack the infrastructure to handle this deadly wave. Horror stories of relatives of patients scouting for oxygen cylinders, beds, ventilators makes one wonder as to why are we punished with this type of treatment. The Government was warned of an impending second wave as cases were rising all over the country and states were sealing their borders and implementing SOP’s to save their citizens from the onslaught of the pandemic, but our Government chose to remain silent and advocated the free for all approach in dealing with this wave, It chose to leave its borders wide open and allowed super spreader events to be organised devoid any logic. The result of this was inevitable and is what we are witnessing today. The catostrophy which is driving Goa in an apocalyptic state. As the fear of the third wave looms over us, the Government should work on war footing to ramp up its health infrastructure, speed up the vaccination drive and purchase sufficient stock to inoculate a majority of its population. The vaccine slots of 18-45 years category are filled up in seconds and is a gamble to get your slot confirmed. The Government should learn from its mistakes and not wait for the horse to leave the stable before bolting the stable doors shut tight.

Sheldon Rodrigues, Navelim