Letters to the Editor dated April 28, 2020

| Updated on April 28, 2020

Environmental benefits

We are in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s worst health crisis and humanitarian disaster, which has unleashed immeasurable suffering and sadness. Even so, it is instructive to look at the impact of Covid-19 on the environment.

The significant slowdown in economic activities coincident with lockdowns has a ‘fortuitous’ consequence from an ecological perspective.

The evident environmental transformation in terms of less pollution and toxicity levels is a revelation of how anthropogenic activities have led to environmental degradation.

Satellite pictures now show cleaner skies and greener landscapes. It is a tragic irony that a significant dip in pollution has come as a collateral ‘benefit’ of the pandemic. Suspension of industrial production and air, rail and road travel has drastically reduced fossil fuel burning. For all the terrible cost in death and suffering for mankind, the pandemic is said to have brought the ‘wow’ moment for wildlife. Visuals of animals moving about freely in areas frequented by humans highlight egregious human failure to co-exist with other species in the animal kingdom.

The pictures of lions lounging on empty roads in South Africa, flamingos in Mumbai skies and dolphins in the Ganges were illustrative examples of greater space and freedom newly acquired by the fauna.

The reduction in maritime traffic is said to have given various marine fauna, including whales, a jolly time. Chirping, warbling and squawking of birds are now audible above man-made noise.

We are now in a predicament of having cleaner air outdoors, but being holed up inside for fear of catching a respiratory illness. Now is the time to become wiser. Post-Covid-19, we should mend our ways and chart a sustainable and biosphere-friendly future.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Social stigma

After the lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 came into force, there has been some social stigma and discrimination against Covid-19 afflicted patients and healthcare professionals. A video portraying a PPE-clad person tossing water bottles and food packets outside a locked gate to dozens of people at a quarantine facility in Agra is shocking. It not only exposed the indignities meted out to Covid-19 affected people, but also underlined the significance of training healthcare workers, with a emphasis on empathy and compassion. Such undesirable and inhumane acts could deter people from reporting their symptoms or cooperating with officials involved in contact tracing efforts. It should be noted here that human dignity is a constitutional necessity and the assurance of dignity is central to the fundamental right to life.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

State finances

It refers to ‘PM-CM meeting: Graded easing of lockdown likely’ (April 28). Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video conference with State Chief Ministers has sent two clear signals. First, most States are desperate to revive economic activities; but, second, few CMs whose States have seen significant numbers of Covid patients are wary of lifting lockdown at this stage. We need to understand that during the lockdown, both the States and the Centre have been hit hard by lack of revenue, but States will look towards the Centre to bail them out in these times. The Punjab Chief Minister has, for instance, rightly asked to lift the curb on liquor sales as it will help States earn some revenue. So, the Centre needs to look at this favourably and help States revive their economy.

Bal Govind


Work together

This refers to ‘FMs of non-BJP states fear financial emergency’ (April 28). The fear appears to be unjustified, since the Prime Minister is in touch with the CMs rather frequently, and the latest meeting indicates a ‘graded easing of lockdown’. It is necessary that all CMs keep in touch with the PM and enlighten the Centre about the various problems, along with pragmatic suggestions to solve them. The Centre, having theonus of solving many problems, does not deserve criticism for any apparent delays. Cooridnated Centre-State efforts are needed during the present situation.

TR Anandan


Published on April 28, 2020

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