Harmful effects of plastic bags and cups
I shall be highly obliged to you if you kindly allow me to voice my opinion through your esteemed daily against the use of plastic bags and plastic cups on a massive scale and about its harmful effects on the environment.
Modern technology, undoubtedly, has brought much convenience and comfort to our daily lives. But everything has its pros and cons. Nowadays plastic bags and cups are seen to have flooded the market. Thus, new hazards have been introduced to our lives with the excessive use of such materials. Plastic bags and cups are indeed light, convenient and cheap but they pose serious threats to ecological balance and human health. All these plastic materials are non-biodegradable. When they are burnt down, the smoke pollutes the atmosphere. In many cases, they entirely stop the flow of waste materials in the underground drainage system. As a result, roads remain waterlogged for days together, particularly during the monsoon. Moreover, if such plastic bags and cups are carelessly thrown on the agricultural land, they pollute the land and hamper proper cultivation.
I request the authorities to rigorously enforce the laws that will minimize the production and use of plastic bags and cups. Instead of plastic bags and cups, they can shift to paper bags and cups, which are biodegradable and will not cause any harm.
Old habits die hard
The famous saying in English has been proved right by Sivasagar MLA Akhil Gogoi on the very first day of the Assembly session. His habit of creating nuisance on the streets was on display this time in the august legislative session. Akhil Gogoi displayed his favourite job of doing dharnas, andolans, etc right on the first day. Akhil Gogoi's proximity with the Congress is known to all and he again proved it right when he withdrew his nomination from the Mariani seat in favour of Rupjyoti Kurmi. Even during Lt. Tarun Gogoi's tenure Akhil Gogoi's proximity with the then Forest Minister is known to all as he was gifted with an orchid garden in world-famous KNP to wash his hands of Congress regime's crime.
China's Buddhism highlights the importance of Buddhism in today's political-religious canvas of the world. It is surprising to note that China, known as a communist and secular country, is deeply soaked in Buddhism. Religion has remained an integral part of the regimes over the world irrespective of their types, covertly or overtly. Ironically, in the so-called liberal democracies of Europe, Christianity has wielded influence through the clergy and the Vatican. In this context, Hinduism has been liberal to a fault, and it has also become prey to some aggressive religions.
Chandan Kumar Nath,
E-ticket booking facility
It is given to understand that the Indian Railways has made a robust shift to digital transactions through e-ticket booking facility. A passenger has the flexibility to book rail tickets at ease through the IRCTC website and IRCTC mobile app. The e-ticket is delivered through SMS/email and acts as a valid authority with necessary ID proof while travelling.
Further, many passengers still rely on the e-ticket printouts on physical paper and carry the same along with them while travelling. It is given to understand that facility to print e-tickets on paper is still optionally enabled, apart from the facility of SMS/email confirmations sent to the passengers. Thus it is high time we put a complete stop to the physical printing of e-tickets only for those users registered on the IRCTC web portal/ mobile application.
The Indian Railways should otherwise incentivize passengers to carry only SMS/email-based e-ticket confirmations along with valid ID proof instead of the ill-conceived idea yet of printing physical e-tickets on paper. The suggestion will help the Indian Railways to reduce its carbon footprint by encouraging passengers to go paper-free extensively while travelling on reserved tickets.
Immunization close to home
It is welcome to note that the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has directed States to start the Near to Home COVID Vaccination Centers (NHCVC) for elderly and differently-abled citizens. The centres aim to ensure that populations with limited mobility as a result of their physical condition are vaccinated using a community-based approach. The eligible population for COVID-19 vaccination at NHCVC includes all individuals above 60 years of age with no vaccination or first dose vaccination and persons below 60 years with disability due to physical or medical conditions. Hope that these centres will benefit the target population and ensure vaccinations to maximum people.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,
Firing on Nagaland border
It is a matter of grave concern that a shootout incident took place when the honourable MLA of the Mariani constituency went to the Dissoi Valley Reserved Forest area in Jorhat district along the Assam-Nagaland border with a small entourage that comprised forest personnel, security guards, locals, and journalists. He went there for an on-the-spot assessment of encroachment by Naga villagers. He had a close shave when the miscreants fired 15 to 20 rounds targeting the group.
The fact is that Assam and Nagaland share a 512 km boundary and there has been a border row for more than five decades. Mariani that shares an interstate border with Nagaland has frequently been witnessing skirmishes for the last two decades, mostly due to incursions from the Nagaland side.
Though several high-level meetings have been held so far, no anticipated results could be seen. Both the States have refused to accept recommendations of the two commissions set up by the Centre to solve the issue. A suit has been pending in the Supreme Court on the issue since 1988.
It is high time the new government made border dispute one of its top priorities ensuring the safety of the people and our soil. Simultaneously, it must also be ensured that the relation between the two neighbouring States is not jeopardized.
Height of insanity
I don't consider Rahul Gandhi as an entity, so usually, I don't follow him. The other day while browsing a social media platform a short video came to my notice where Rahul Gandhi stated that coronavirus attacks primarily the financially weaker people or frankly speaking the poor people. Now, this is the height of insanity. Any person without any knowledge of the current pandemic would disagree with Rahul Gandhi as we have seen in both the waves coronavirus doesn't differentiate between religion, caste, nationality, race, poor or rich, etc. Now, from where on the earth the biggest burden of Congress gained that piece of information? I guess Congress has some qualified persons in their ranks. The foremost duty of these people is to impart basic education to Rahul Gandhi immediately.
The Central Government's decision to provide financial support to the families of journalists who died in the aftermath of the pandemic is laudable. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has launched a special campaign to provide funding of five lakh rupees to their families through the Journalist Welfare Scheme. The Press Information Bureau proactively reached out to the families of many journalists who lost their lives as a result of COVID-19 and also provided guidance on the scheme and filing of applications. So far, the Government has provided this assistance to 67 families in fiscal years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. This is a great relief to the families of deceased journalists in recognition of their work and contributions. Journalists are working as frontline warriors in this pandemic in the service of the nation. It is hoped that State governments will make it easier for journalists to obtain free medical care and other benefits.
Amit Singh Kushwaha,
Strip Sushil Kumar of Padma Award
Take back the Padma award from wrestler Sushil Kumar - review all cases of Padma awards given in past and snatch honours from those found involved in controversies.
It refers to absconding Olympic-medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar (Padma Shree awardee) accused of being involved in the killing of a junior wrestler ultimately arrested by Delhi Police on 23.05.2021 with the application of his anticipatory bail earlier rejected by the court. This is not the only cause of a Padma awardee found involved in unlawful activities. There have been so many cases, including some ones where even Padma awards were given to persons already involved in controversies, including criminal cases putting big question-mark on the method of scrutiny by intelligence agencies to clear names of those selected by the Awards committee for Padma awards.
Union Home Ministry should set procedure whereby prestigious national honours including Padma awards and Bharat Ratna may be snatched back from those found involved later after being honoured with Padma awards. There are reports that some of those honoured with Padma awards in recent years, were declined honours in past because of intelligence agencies not having endorsed their names. Submissions filed with the Union Home Ministry for taking back Padma awards from some celebrities involved in criminal cases and for being willful bank-defaulters are not yet decided after years of filing submissions.
The Central government should review all Padma awards given in past by seeking affidavits from the awardees for their not being involved in court cases and controversies. Members of the public can also be invited to send views on adverse aspects of earlier awardees. Rather list of names cleared by the Awards Committee should be made public before finalization to enable members of the public to file their comments on undesirable selected ones. Intelligence agencies should be given sufficient time to verify nominations cleared by Awards Committee by requiring the Awards Committee to submit final recommendations by 30th November.
Chandni Chowk, Delhi