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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Panic Button on Cell Phone, A Good Proposal

It is understood that the government at the Centre is considering introduction of an inbuilt ‘panic button’ in the mobile phones for women’s safety and has asked all mobile manufacturers in the country to work out the feasibility of such a feature, according to Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. Given the steady rise in the number of atrocities committed against women in the country, this must be considered a step in the right direction. The phones will reportedly have a panic button, which will be global positioning system (GPS) connected. Pressing the panic button will send an SMS to a set of numbers, which will obviously include the police department and also provide the exact location of the victim, who has pressed the panic button. This will be much quicker than the emergency response app, which can take too long to access. The task of pressing the panic button will be much simpler and quicker. In case of an emergency, a quick response time is of essence. Help should reach the victim under duress in quick time. Hence the ‘panic button’ facility in the mobile phones will be a big boost for women’s safety in the country and the proposal should be executed by mobile manufacturing companies at the earliest.

ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco

 

Pope Francis on Sanctity of Marriage

The recent sacking of a gay priest from his post in Vatican’s prestigious ‘Congregation of the doctrine of the faith’ and Pope Francis’ homily on the opening day of the Synod defending the union between man and woman, and the family as “God’s dream for his beloved creation, as in Genesis,” makes it more than clear that the Catholic Church is in no mood to recognise same-sex unions as marriage and to budge from its traditional doctrine that only marriage between a man and woman can fulfil the requirements of a sacrament. This may come as a disappointment for the millions of Catholics (even in Catholic countries) who have been on the warpath, agitating for recognition of same-sex marriages by the Catholic Church, buoyed by Pope Francis’ sympathetic attitude towards homosexuals and his “who am I to judge” comment on the issue. The final decision, however, will be known only after the conclusion of the Synod, but as of now, the mood appears to be non-confrontational.

A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

 

Beat Your Bad Breath, Avoid Embarrassment

Most people are unaware of the fact that they have bad breath or ‘halitosis’ as dental professionals refer to it. It is believed that every one in four people have bad breath and some studies have reported that approximately 50 per cent of the adult population does have it. In fact, I have always been ‘repelled’ by bad breath in common places like churches, buses or any close-contact situations. It seems impolite to accuse people (other than a close friend or family member) of their bad breath, and hence, many people remain unaware or careless of their bad breath. People should go to a dental professional to determine why they are experiencing bad breath, and free medical camps should also include dental check-ups. However, oral hygiene must be maintained by properly and daily cleaning of all the surfaces of teeth by brushing with antibacterial fluoride toothpaste for not less than two minutes at least twice a day. The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which is not effective. It is equally important to use a dental floss (which is very effective but rarely used) because brushing alone will not remove harmful plaque and food particles. Also, cleaning with a tongue brush or scraper is necessary. Most of the odour-causing bacteria reside in the posterior area of the tongue. I will not elaborate any further on this subject but I thought of raising this issue as it is “always disgusting” talking with anyone who has a bad breath.

AUGUSTUS ALPHONSO, Vasco

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