A lot can be done
Governments can do a lot and India has taken many revolutionary initiatives in this matter, too (“Second food bank opens in Dubai”, Gulf News, October 17). The role of any government is to create infrastructure, and more importantly, to display honesty and commitment towards the causes of its people, and then implement what is commonly called the Public Private Partnership Model (PPP). The government of India passed a law called the National Food Security Act in 2013, wherein it aims to provide food at subsidised rates to economically weaker sections of the society. For certain special categories like pregnant women and women who breast-feed, these are provided free of cost. It also includes a mid-day meal scheme for students in schools. So yes, the Indian government can do lot more in this matter, provided it has the political will to do so and can implement this without any corruption. The benefit should reach the last person in the queue and the weakest of the weak in society. Since these schemes are done on a very large scale, it is really surprising how much it actually takes to feed a child per month. I am extremely lucky and honoured to be associated with one such scheme.
From Mr Ghanshyam Vyas
The darkness within
An aspect to rejoice during Diwali is the eating of sweets (“10 places in the UAE to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights”, Gulf News, October 16). It is the time of giving. On the occasion of Diwali, people light candles and lamps to remove the darkness of the night, but often, we forget to address the darkness inside us. The real message of Diwali is to dispel inner darkness, which we believe has engulfed us for thousands of lifetimes. We need to be wise and dispel inner darkness. Let the light of wisdom remove it, not only from us, but also from our planet.
From Mr Syed M Sajl
Bridging the divide
In the UAE, especially in Dubai, Diwali is always celebrated with great festive spirit and enthusiasm. It is a colourful and happy occasion. In Pakistan, it is observed as a festival for the large Hindu community, but this has always been a muted affair amidst fear and insecurity due to the environment created by people who are set upon destroying peace. However, since the past two years, it has become a more public affair. Those celebrating the special occasion adorn their homes with lights and other decorations, wear new and colourful clothes, visit friends and family and go to temples. This year, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of the late Pakistani politician, Benazir Bhutto, said he would celebrate the occasion in the interior of Sindh, Punjab, with the Hindu community. I hope more leaders follow his example and the festival of lights is celebrated with more joy and openness across Pakistan. I wish all those celebrating, a very happy Diwali.
From Ms Umbereen Rahman
Menus and prices
I really like Gulf News’ initiative, and this is my take on the topic (“Dh3 or Dh30? It depends on where you buy bottled water”, Gulf News, October 18). The menu cards at restaurants are priced in such a way that it seems like opting for sugar-loaded caffeinated drinks, rather than water, is the rational choice. They are often priced equal to or sometimes lower than water. That’s bad in the long term. Secondly, you can negotiate, disagree or complain at a vegetable market but you can’t do that at a restaurant. It’s just not civilised.
From Mr Saurabh Ranjan
Thinking of the future
The strategic move to tap 44 per cent of energy from renewable sources is a welcome one (“Dubai launches world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power project”, Gulf News, October 17). While 38 per cent will be derived from gas, 12 per cent will be from clean fossil fuel. Managing greenhouse gas emissions, and adapting to the climate, while advancing economic growth, is the need of the hour for substantial change. UAE’s commitment towards the Paris Agreement to restrict global temperatures below two degrees Celsius is the target. Let’s hope other countries will also follow this.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Old versus the new
Congratulations to Ashish Nehra for his bold decision to not only quit international cricket, but also the Indian Premier League (IPL), to pave the way for youngsters (“Nehra calls time on his cricket career”, Gulf News, October 13). Now that he has announced his retirement after November 1, we sincerely hope that India’s captain will ensure that Nehra plays the final Twenty20 (T20) match against Australia in his IPL franchise home ground. We wish him the best at Hyderabad and I hope he has a peaceful retired life after November 1. Incidentally, like in the case of left-arm seam bowlers, India’s present team lacks another left-hand batsman at the top. It is a known fact that the left-right combination is a real headache to any opposing team. We miss seeing Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina in India’s One Day Internationals and T20 teams. I hope the selectors are wise enough to bridge the gap.
From Ms Kavitha Srikanth
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