Ensuring safety for women

Editor,

Meghalaya has historically followed a matrilineal system where the lineage and inheritance are traced through women; so it is assumed that respect for women is higher than in any other states. Huge applause for that!  Alas with time the respect for and safety of women in Shillong has rapidly declined. Of course the laws and Acts have been enacted for ensuring the safety and security of women in the state. But the question arises as to why despite such strict rules we still see incidents of rape and violence against women happening on almost a daily basis. This hampers free movement of women and children be it in the day time evening, or at night. Where are the Green Taxis specifically for women? Where are the safety aspects when it comes to women in their professional lives?

In recent years we saw the Green taxies coming up for women passengers only. This is a very good initiative but why is it no longer in existence? Many incidents of molestations took place on women especially when they have to travel in the usual shared taxis. Drunkards and others board the taxi and create problems for women passengers.  Can there be safety for women and children in such cabs. I would also like to highlight on the point where the safety for women is not only inside the four wheelers, but the unwanted elements of the society in the empty streets also create insecurity for women. Are the CCTV’s in each and every corner functioning well?  As a concerned citizen I urge upon all the NGOs, Taxi Associations, the locality headman and the government officials to take this matter seriously and discuss it at the high table in order to ensure that our family members and dear ones have the full safety and security and can lice more productive lives without fear for their lives.

Yours etc.,

Archie Rymbai

Shillong-14

Repeated prior announcements of VVIP visit

Editor,

Apropos the letter, “President’s visit and the miserable common man” by Toki Blah (ST Nov 4, 2019), the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind had indeed brought Shillong town to a standstill. It had disturbed almost everything. VVIP culture is not at all viable in this situation. Thousands of people felt totally stranded. The worst sufferers were the villagers coming from the remote areas; also the sick and students. Many farmers could not sell their perishable items in Iewduh market. They have suffered for almost 3 days and consequently incurred huge monetary loss, plus tremendous mental anxieties.

The main cause of this terrible traffic ordeal is because we have “excess” vehicles on the roads. We have always thought more for the privileged. No exaggeration, this vehicular excess has inevitably made the city sick making commuting sluggish and tardy. Do we not love to sit back in the cabs rather than taking a walk to reach the destination three times faster? I think we have started to relish the motor smoke more than the fresh air! 

 Yes, one believes, there would not have been such a horrific problem if the people were warned about the President’s visit and the potential traffic situation repeatedly. “Repeated prior” announcements would always discourage a good number of people from taking their cars out for the day. Maximum number of people were caught unawares in the traffic. This way VVIP culture has literally pulverized the very lifeline of every town and city. This is very unfortunate.   Yes, if the government still wants to cherish VVIP culture in this pressing situation then it should come up with vehicles with VVIP gears so they can fly in space. The public on the roads should not suffer whatsoever.

Yours etc.,  

Salil Gewali,

Shillong-2

Delhi’s horrifying air pollution

Editor,

The Supreme Court on Monday directed the chief secretaries of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to be present in court on Wednesday to explain what steps they have taken to curb stubble burning in their states. The court also observed that people in Delhi were losing precious years of their lives and cannot be left to die due to the atrocious pollution situation which reflects a very shocking state of affairs.

Smog levels in Delhi are exceedingly more than anywhere in the country and people are suffering too much because of this. Also, Delhi has already been reeling under the acute polluted air for long. Recently, the pollution level has further deteriorated because of the stubble burning in the neighbouring states. After harvest, farmers prefer to burn stubble because it is cheaper than the cost of stubble processing, which includes rent of machinery, diesel charge, and labour charge.

The stubble left on the land is of no use. Currently, for farmers, it has no economic value and no nutritional value to be used as fodder. So, its disposal by burning is cheaper for the farmers as against the disposal using straw management equipment which is beyond the means of small and marginal farmers.

Moreover, the cost does not end at acquiring equipment. Running the equipment in the fields means spending additional money on diesel and labour. Hundred of thousands of farmers in Haryana and Punjab, where much of the region’s paddy is grown, set their rice fields on fire to clear left-over straw after harvesting paddy to make way for wheat.

Another reason is that big farmers of Haryana and Punjab resort to stubble burning due to shortage of farm labourers in October and November. A few years ago, the farmers used to manage straw problem at sources with the help of laborers. The machine also appears to be a key reason behind the problem because it only reaps the grains, leaving stalks or stubble of around 40 cm behind. It may be pertinent to note that the Court also questioned Delhi’s AAP government about the logic behind the 12-day ‘odd-even’ scheme, implemented in Delhi from Monday, and ordered to produce data to prove that the road rationing plan reduces pollution.

Thus, the real cause behind the deterioration of air quality in Delhi is man-made and therefore a sure and definite solution can be found if all concerned are sincerely cooperating and working together.

Yours etc.,

TK Nandanan,

Via email

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