Face the reality about asthma

I recently read a report in Gulf News about the need for more asthma-friendly schools and would like to share my experience. A few years ago, I was doing my bachelors degree in Kerala, India. One day, after lunch break, I started walking up to the third floor, to my class. After the first flight of stairs, I had an asthma attack. I didn’t stop to rest as I didn’t want any attention directed at me, so I continued climbing the stairs. By the time I reached the second floor, I had a horrible pain in my upper back and my mouth was wide open, trying to gulp air. By the time I reached my class, I was in desperate need of an inhaler. However, initially, I didn’t check my bag, as I thought people would stare and tell stories about that ‘asthmatic girl’. My mum had asthma and she had told me that it was a shameful disease and I should keep it to myself as much as possible. Eventually, I checked my bag, my hands shaking, and realised I had forgotten my inhaler at home. After some time, a classmate noticed something was wrong and ran towards me. She was also asthmatic, so she understood my plight. My palms were ice cold, so she rubbed them for a while and asked me to keep my spine straight. I did so and felt a bit better. Looking back, I see that I should have asked for help from a lecturer or informed the college administration and made my way home. Thankfully, I survived. I am writing this letter to tell people not to be ashamed of any disease you might have. Your life is precious — value it.

From Ms Leena Samuel


Growing chaos

I have been living in the Business Bay area for the past eight years. I have seen the evolution of the area and the roads surrounding it. Although the locality is booming, so is the chaos. Entering the area from the service road next to the airlines office building is a total nightmare. The zone surrounding the Business Bay Metro Station is chaotic due to taxis. Often, taxis take u-turns in the middle of the street to pick up or drop off customers, or they stand on the side, waiting for customers and block the road for other vehicles. I think it’s about time that the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) solve this issue by creating new entry and exit points around the station. Authorities should also make sure that there is a designated areas for taxis, where they can pick up and drop off customers. Taxi drivers who block traffic flow must be fined for their carelessness. More and more companies are moving into the area, and the problem is growing bigger day by day.

From Mr George B.


Be careful

The misfortune that took the lives of 13 workers is difficult to explain in words (‘What drives heavy vehicle accidents?’ Gulf News, May 18). These expatriates managed to reach the UAE after making so many sacrifices and had to suffer many ordeals. Their families make ends meet with the limited money they save and send to them. Here, they live alone, thousands of kilometres away from their families. The tragic end of these workers means an endless sea of suffering and hardship for their families. Some of the deceased workers might be the only breadwinners for their families. Will a little compensation by the company be sufficient to wipe the tears of bereaved families? In such accidents, motorists are often found to be fatigued when driving. In my experience, the drivers of such commercial buses are often seen enjoying a sleep, or lying down on their seats in parking areas before reporting to duty. After all, they are human beings and cannot be as alert as they should be while driving in heavy traffic. Perhaps the drivers are overburdened or habitually reckless. I hope the authorities are not going to spare violators of traffic rules.

From Ms K. L. Nagpal


Credit card concerns

A few days ago, I found out that my signature for my credit card was no longer required, and this makes me uneasy. Does this not mean that anyone can use any credit card? Even though it is rare for cashiers to actually compare one’s signature with the signature on the back of the card, it does leave a paper trail. The signature can be challenged if the card is lost and used by a stranger. The customer can at least make a plea to the card-issuing bank that it was not an authorised transaction. In India, the authorities have made it more difficult to use a lost credit card, for instance, if found by a stranger or if stolen by a thief. It has become mandatory to use a biometric signature (fingerprint) in some cases. To reduce credit card fraud, the UAE should introduce a similar security system, instead of reducing the number of steps involved. More often than not, it is not always practical for credit card owners to block a card the moment it is lost. For instance, you may not have access to a telephone or you might not remember the number to request blocking the card.

From Mr Samir Biswas


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