Letters

Remaining marginalised

| Updated on January 11, 2018 Published on May 12, 2017


According to the Indian Exclusion Report (IXR) released by the Centre for Enquiry Studies (CES), dalits, adivasis and muslims continue to be the most excluded communities, from pension for the elderly, digital access, agriculture land and legal aid for the undertrials. This paints a grim picture of India.

On the landholdings front, the CES study has found no change in the feudal system. The alienation of adivasis from their land occurred largely due to “developmental activities”. Land reforms remain on paper. As many as 1.063 billion Indians don’t have access to the internet. The elderly from these marginalised communities are left to fend for themselves. Impoverishment and lack of political clout explain why undertrials from these communities languish in jail indefinitely.

Cosmetic measures such as demonetisation and bank accounts cannot in themselves mitigate poverty. The patriotism of the privileged has to be measured by what they do to improve the lot of the impoverished.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Rescue the sector

This is with reference to ‘Nightmare on IT St: thousands to be sacked’ by Agarwal, Ganesh and Kurmanath (May 9). The situation calls for urgent action by the IT industry, and the Government.

Management could offer a package deal: reduce working hours and salaries to 33 per cent for six months, offer retraining and reskilling programmes within 6 months to be paid for by the employer (from savings of up to 33 per cent of employees’ salary), with the Government allowing tax deductions for the cost of retraining and reskilling.

Senior management should also share the pain and accept a temporary reduction in remuneration.

Germany used a flexible working hours programme to get over the economic downturn in 2008 in the manufacturing sector. We need to think bold. What is Nasscom doing? The situation exposes the lack of strategic planning by senior management. They should have anticipated the developments and planned how to deal with them instead of simply laying off employees.

Bhaskar Balakrishnan

Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh

It augurs well that the Nifty and Sensex are galloping to new heights; however the IT industries trimming their workforce is cause for concern. Jobs disappearing in the IT sector will have ca ascading effect on other sectors. The behemoths of bellwether companies have to explore ways to grapple with the situation.

HP Murali

Bengaluru

Carry a bag

This is with reference to ‘Misguided view of Swachh Bharat’ by Jinoy Jose (From the Viewsroom, May 12). Segregating and composting organic waste at source — household/community level — is one of the best solutions. That would leave only non-biodegradable wastes to be collected and these can be recycled for road-laying or oil generation.

It makes ecological sense to carry our own cloth/jute bags to shops; else, return the plastic bags to the shop after emptying the contents at home. The local kirana shopwala rues that he incurs a useless expenditure of ₹3,600/month on plastic packaging and carry bags for customers with zero ROI either in the form of a plastic-fee or the bags being returned. Plastic packaging waste not collected back by companies, contributes to mountains of trash. American writer Vance Packard had said long ago in his thought-provoking book, The Waste Makers, that “Prodigality is the spirit of the era. Historians, I suspect, may allude to this as the Throwaway Age.”

Thankfully, over the decades, the lacuna is being redressed by the humble ragpicker eking out a livelihood from garbage salvaging. But will the onus of the ‘take-back’ mechanism penalise the producer by adding to his costs in a cut-throat market? As the economist, Raja Chelliah said: “A producer can respond to the rise in the unit cost by reducing the level of output or/and substituting an eco-friendly input for the polluting input. Either of these choices will reduce the pollution load.”

CV Krishna Manoj

Hyderabad

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Published on May 12, 2017
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