Safety alone can save us

Apropos 'Covid-19: India reports over 3 lakh cases, 703 deaths' (January 21), it was intriguing to learn that India has reported 3,47,254 new cases, including higher mortality at 703 deaths on early Friday, alongside 9,692 total Omicron cases, an increase of 4.36 percent since yesterday. As regards the deaths cases, Kerala accounted for 341 deaths followed by Delhi 43, Tamil Nadu 39, West Bengal and Maharashtra 37, and Punjab 36 deaths. Significantly, all this came even as the country crossed a total of 160 crore vaccinations, with 70 lakh doses given in the last 24 hours, with India’s daily positivity rate stood at 17.94 percent.

However, the Delhi govt is reportedly lifting its 'week-end' curfew and the 'odd-even' operational requirements for the shops and commercial . Maharashtra prepares to open up schools from Monday and Kerala may be tightening its existing restrictions. Anyway, it also goes without saying that meticulously observing Pandemic appropriate behaviour can largely save us from its clutches and/or its new variant Omicron rather than persistent administrative efforts.

Vinayak G

New Delhi

Population dilemma

All economic woes in India were are placed at the door of population growth. Now that the growth has stabilised, there is a gradual realisation that more than population growth it was distribution of resources which caused so much poverty. With much emphasis placed on small families, many couples in the urban cities have opted for the single child norm.

Most people in the nation do not have the kind of jobs they want. but have to do with whatever they get. As a result productivity suffers and unhappiness and dissatisfaction of the labour force has increased.

There is one aspect that is overlooked. Lack of safety nets and cultural conditioning has made the productivity age of Indians different from other societies. It is not unusual to find those over sixty involved in economic activity. Which effectively means that the accepted productive ages do not hold good for India.

Anthony Henriques


Loan waiver vs insurance subsidy

Apropos “PM Crop insurance: Rs 2822 cr claims pending as states drag feet on subsidy” (January 21) -- iindicates that States prioritise only those pro-farmer schemes that have political rewards with scant respect to the tangible welfare of farmers.

States have preferred loan waiver on the eve of elections as the best way to appease farmers. Instead the Centre must contemplate on contributing the entire subsidy amount and deduct the same from the State’s share of revenues.

Perhaps the ensuing budget session of parliament may take-up this issue for discussion and include it in the finance Bill to allay the fears for farmers regarding crop insurance.

Rajiv Magal

Halekare village ( Karnataka)

Up in smoke

This refers to the news item ‘Don’t hike taxes on cigarettes: FAIFA” (January 21). Although many livelihoods depend on tobacco cultivation, this is no reason to encourage it as it is extremely injurious to the health of the people. The people/farmers engaged in tobacco cultivation should be encouraged to grow alternate crops/find alternate employment.

Despite the important measures taken, educating people on the harmful effects of tobacco consumption is more effective.

NGOs and the medical community can be of great help here. Educating people should be made a part of medical students’ curriculum during their study period and internship. Young doctors should be asked to visit villages, tribal areas, and other hamlets and educate people on the harmful effects of tobacco with the help of slide shows, lectures, and other modes of communication.

NGOs can educate rickshaw drivers, construction places where the laborers are working to educate them.

It is only through awareness people will desist from consuming tobacco. Nothing is more important than the health of the nation.

Veena Shenoy