Quacks Flourish on Superstition
There is a suggestion that quacks thrive because of poor healthcare facilities. It is not so. Even when the best healthcare facilities are available, some people, even educated, go to quacks for a quick fix of their problem. Is there any dearth of medical facilities in Mumbai? And yet you will find on the footpaths of Mumbai some ‘ear-specialist’ cleaning the ears of someone; someone buying some strange-looking syrup from a ‘medicine-man’ for his sinus problem and so on. When there is a fracture, people go to some traditional ‘bone-specialist’, who ‘fixes the broken bones’ and gives some oil to massage the bruises. A childless couple will make all kinds of offerings to all kinds of divinities to get a child. They would not go to a gynaecologist. Or they would consult a fake ‘sex specialist’. When all the quake options are exhausted and the condition worsens beyond control they rush to a hospital. When the treatment fails, their belief in quack specialists is further strengthened that modern allopathic medicine cannot treat diseases. In India most people do not regard diseases as normal phenomena resulting from body systems malfunctioning or because of unhealthy living conditions. They tend to believe that diseases are caused by inimical supernatural beings and hence they go to sadhus, charlatans, and witchdoctors. Superstition is the main cause of flourishing quackery. Superstition is immune to education. Battle against superstition is a long-drawn battle; the beginning must be in schools and universities.
SND POOJARY, Miramar
Rainwater Harvesting Necessary in Goa
We are already in the second month of the monsoon season but it is not pouring cats and dogs as was the case in yesteryears. Even if the state receives an average rainfall in the year, every year Goans suffer from an acute water-shortage during the summer season. At times the water taps run dry for several days. It must be said that much of the rain water which pours on the land goes back into the sea. Unfortunately it has not been introduced in the state. This is a simple process and can be carried out in the courtyard, backyard and even on the terraces of buildings. The Goa government should encourage people to carry out rain-water harvesting.
ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco
Controversial Tenders by Margao Municipality
Margao citizens have rightly raised the issue of tenders for 58 works to be undertaken by Margao Municipal Council, all costing just below five lakh, possibly to avoid e-tendering. Firstly it is very strange that 58 types of work would cost exactly between 4.5. and 5 lakh, each, which is the limit for e-tenders. Secondly, if justified, will the chairperson list at least some of these works so that the citizens are aware whether there is real need, especially when MMC has been claiming financial crunch? Among these works is the fixing of traffic sign boards. There were agencies in the past and surely there are some now which are prepared to fix and maintain these boards, with just an exemption of advertisement tax. But the MMC seems, for some suspicious reasons, interested in going ahead in fixing them at its own cost. Besides, no traffic signboards in Margao conform to international specifications. This, despite the attention of the Traffic Police having been repeatedly drawn to this need, which could otherwise lead to justified altercations with the public. The Traffic Police need only to look at the signboards fixed in the streets of Panaji, but they are reluctant to do so, for some unknown reasons, they insist in having their own standards with weak boards, without proper height and sometimes without international signs. If MMC is at all incurring this expenditure, which is unnecessary, it must ensure that the boards conform to international standards, like in Panaji, or else it would land in another controversy. In fact, even more important than traffic signboards, which few people pay attention to, are road names which are totally absent in the city.
JOSE MARIA MIRANDA