Pollution woes

As the country with the most polluted cities in the world, India could not afford to ignore the urgent need for more concerted long-term measures to mitigate its negative impact on public health.

A recent study has linked air pollution in Indian cities like New Delhi and Mumbai to external factors like El Nino and La Nina and climate change.

With the global warming-induced climate change, there is no doubt that these external influences will significantly impact the distribution of air pollutants over Indian cities.

Under these circumstances, it is pertinent on the part of state authorities to rely on long-term strategies to reduce emissions from the sources themselves, which hold the key to improving air quality and combating climate change in an effective manner.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (Tamil Nadu)

Small farmers ignored

This refers to ‘Small farmers’ interests overlooked’ (February 21).

The author has rightly pointed out the need to protect the interests of small and marginal farmers (SF/MF). Farmers at the protesting venue, standing before the camera, backed by tractors, earth movers and excavators do not belong to the SF/MF category.

The major beneficiaries of MSP for rice and wheat which are procured by the Centre are the big farmers who can afford to take their produce to nearby mandis for disposal. SF/MF who are financially weak and are unable to arrange logistics are compelled to sell their produce to the local agents at prices lower than MSP defeating the very purpose of having guaranteed prices.

Loan waiver is not the panacea. However, Centre can evolve a policy to alleviate the sufferings of SF/MF keeping the rich farmers and those who hold lands before 2 hectares out of the loan waiver.

But this may not be prudent with elections around the corner.

Centre has been taking various measures in regulating the export of rice, pulses and POT (Potato, Onion, Tomato) whenever the market conditions warrant.

RV Baskaran


Empowering women

Apropos ‘What’s the secret behind creating ‘lakhpati Didis’?’ (February 21).

The writer strongly advocates the need to provide digital based financial literacy to the women entrepreneurs created through SHG mechanism to provide micro finance to enthusiastic participants with peer control.

It is rare to see a SHG participant without a cell phone. Hence disseminating digital financial literacy is feasible through the financial institutions with suitable training programmes and augment women empowerment by creating more ‘Lakhpati Didis’ through SHG programme.

NR Nagarajan


Biden vs Trump

US Presidential elections are always of global interest. More so when the contenders are increasingly judged by their oft wayward tongues. Biden is being let down by his slips, as in his mismatch of other world leaders and their nations. This at best would cause some wry mirth and worse loom over his re-election.

His rival, Trump however is a loud mouth. Asked whether he would defend a country that is lax on paying its dues to NATO, he responded in the negative and added that would encourage Russia to do whatever it pleased. Amidst an ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, a Trump presidency can be a dreadful nightmare.

R Narayanan

Navi Mumbai