Uncertainty amidst the pandemic

Editor,

The 2020 Pandemic has led to a chaotic jumble of social, mental and psychological issues in the lives of the student community, as a whole. While the CBSE, ICSE as well as intermediate year college students breathed a sigh of relief in the recent past with the surety of the status of their examination, a cloud of uncertainty hovers over final year students of various Universities.

While some universities are keeping mum about the conduct of exams for Final Year students, leaving the students completely perplexed, others have opted for the conduct of online exam in the form of an Open Book Examination in spite of not being fully prepared to conduct one (as claimed by the Teachers’ Association of a particular University).

Ofcourse, students have to ‘pass out’ to appear for competitive exams and/or higher studies but they can be ‘passed’ or ‘failed’ based on their previous performance as well.

The crux of the matter is that the logic behind promoting only Intermediate students based on their previous performance and not the Final Year students is not only discriminatory but also unfair.No doubt, there are universities which are providing the option of giving the exam in the conventional offline mode towards the end of the year and/or when the situation improves. However till when are we supposed to wait, keeping in mind the recent statement of the Chief of the World Health Organisation that the COVID-19 Pandemic “is not even close to being over.” It has been almost one week that the students have been eagerly waiting for UGC’s new guidelines regarding the examination.Perhaps, the only ray of hope for students right now would be the immediate release of such guidelines as any further uncertainty and trauma in the current context would only take a toll on the mental health of Final Year students.

Yours etc.,

Loyola Dkhar,

Via email

A case for hawkers

Editor,
Mawlai MLA’s suggestion for allowing one-third of hawkers and street vendors to resume business is welcome. He is the first public representative to stand by those who eke out a living by hawking and street vending. Therefore, he deserves thumbs up for his political courage to take a stand on this important matter relating to the poor of the State. And he stands out because of the deafening silence of all other 59 MLA!

One of the major dilemmas before the government, I suppose, is: Should we, should we not? It is akin to an unenviable situation: Damned if we do, damned if we don’t! One obvious conundrum that haunts the authorities is how to regulate hawking? Since the hawkers are unlicensed, there is no regulation in place, except maybe in Police Bazar area where they are more organised. In all other areas, it is mostly the poverty stricken tribals, mostly women, who sell their perishable produce to make a living. This is the real crux.

In my view, the government and District Council should invite registration of all hawkers area-wise. This exercise will take a few days, but it’s worth the gamble. With one stroke, we will know the ground situation. This will enable the government to split the hawkers on a rotational basis. The bottom line is that the matter brooks no further delay. When all trades and commercial activities have received the green signal what crime have these hapless lot committed? Their only crime is their abject poverty. That we have swelling numbers of hawkers and street vendors in the State today is a horrible reflection on the failure of the powers that be.
The government of the day is already appearing like an insensitive monster with no thoughts for the poor who have only hawking as a means of livelihood. It is time for the decision makers not to be obsessed about being politically correct. It pays to use more of hearts and not so much of the head!
Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request,

Via email

Get a grip on price rise

Editor,

Your report on the abrupt raising of prices on meat and fish in Shillong (ST June 27, 2020) was timely. It is very strange that we Shillongites never complain or raise our voices at the price hike of essential commodities, taxi and sumo fares etc., as if we are all from Bill Gates family. That is why a section of people are taking advantage of our weakness. Moreover, our big babus from the Secretariat or the Departments concerned never bother to understand the plight of the poor, ordinary folks. When the Tura Municipal Board could regulate the prices of all varieties of meat then why not in Shillong? It is not enough to take credit for  combatting cases of Covid-19 but also to combat this menace of inflationary prices. It is high time that the administration takes serious steps to check price rise. However, we common people too must open our eyes and raise our voices against this evil practice by a section of business people.

 Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request

Via email

 

Shillong-Dawki road project

Editor,
The recent news about Defence authorities agreeing to part with land for expansion of Shillong-Dawki Road is heartening. The people of southern parts of Khasi Hills who have suffered for a long, long time because of increasing traffic congestion, will be hoping that they won’t have to wait for decades for completion of the project. I am simply intrigued by the lack of attention of the Meghalaya Government towards its expansion for all these 50 years. This road was built by the British and has remained that way even after Independence. For 50 long years, strangely, nobody pushed for it, while we suffered silently. I don’t remember this critical matter ever being raised in the Assembly or even in the District Council. If the Assembly failed to take note of the plight of the travelling public, at least the District Council could have passed a resolution to make it incumbent on the government to go for it more earnestly. Be that as it may, now that the clearance has been obtained from Defence Ministry, let the State Government not get into a slumber again. So many essential projects have suffered because of bureaucratic red-tape that we are worried this project may also suffer further delay at the hands of insensitive officials.

All out effort must be made by all those who have been entrusted with this responsibility for ensuring that this basic need of the large number of people who use this road everyday, is met without any delay.
Yours etc.,

Name withheld on request
Via email

Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.