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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Ringing Out the Old, Ringing In the New
The age-old tradition of ringing out the old and ringing in the new by burning at midnight on New Year’s eve, the ‘old man’ – an effigy made of hay and old clothes and stuffed with fire crackers, is a tradition followed in most countries to symbolise the ridding of the old year and all the worries, troubles and negativities carried by us during the old year, and the starting of the New Year on a positive note. It also has religious connotations that symbolises the unwanted baggage we humans carry with us all through the year by our sinfulness that needs to be shed. This accumulative set of bad habits and transgressions, St Paul identifies as the “Old self” (read old man), and admonishes us to put away our ‘Old self” and former ways of life, and walk in the newness of life.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

Being Sensitive Towards Plight Of Others
It is observed that a video clipping of the unfortunate accident at the site of the new Mandovi bridge which resulted in the death of a welding operator has gone viral on the social media ‘Facebook.’ The video, which has probably been recorded by one of the workers at the site, shows the victim being pulled out of a tunnel and transported onto a waiting ambulance. In another photo posted on social media recently, a victim of a road accident who had his hand totally damaged after it was caught between a car and rocks by the roadside when the car scraped against it also went viral. It must be said that it has now become fashionable for people to do video recording or click photos on their mobiles of victims of road accidents with the sole aim of uploading them on social media. These videos/photos are then shared by other people and groups on the social media and in no time they go viral. Many a time clicking photos and video recording of the accident victim by the crowd, after the accident takes place, takes precedence over helping the unfortunate victim. We need to be sensitive towards the victim and provide help in some way or the other instead of merrily clicking photos or doing the video recording on the mobiles. This help could be by way of shifting the victim to the side of the road, providing water to drink and calling the 108 ambulance service. Imagine the plight of the victim who is in pain, and probably bleeding, watching people around him indulging in clicking photos or doing video recording instead of helping him/her. This seems like an inhumane act. The camera on the mobile can be used for good purpose also. It can be used in recording the number of the vehicle in case of a hit-and-run incident while the mobile can be used to call the ambulance. However, clicking photos or video recording of accident victims with the sole aim of uploading them on the social media in order to get as many ‘Likes’ as possible is not a humane act at all. Posting of such photos/videos in no way helps the unfortunate victim. We need to be more sensitive to the plight of others.
ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco

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