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India: Why are people ignoring COVID-19 safety guidelines?

People all over the world are awaiting the successful trial of coronavirus vaccines, which is likely to bring this deadly pandemic to an end. Till then, we have to follow necessary precautions to contain the spread (“India COVID-19 cases pass one million”, Gulf News, July 17). Recent massive spike of coronavirus cases in many parts of India is disturbing. One of the primary reasons for this sudden spike is, people are putting their convenience first, forgetting the greater danger that lies ahead in ignoring these advisories issued by doctors and the government. As soon as the recent lockdown was relaxed, people started ignoring safety guidelines while visiting markets, public places.

Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire, if is a further sudden spike, and people require hospitalisation, then we don't have a massive healthcare infrastructure. Hence we must strictly adhere to safety guidelines, and cooperate with the police who are working 24x7 to keep us safe from the deadly coronavirus.

From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani

Bangalore, India

How ludicrous and pitiable it is to see that while people around the world are fighting for their survival to counter and escape the fury of COVID-19, our politicians in Rajasthan (India) are busy fighting for the fulfilment of their political ego, self-image, and ambitions (“COVID-19: India becomes third hardest-hit country for virus cases”, Gulf News, July 06) . The energy exerted on showdowns and face-offs could have very safely, and sensibly, been avoided and spent on COVID-19 victims in the state, or waited till the impact of this pandemic was over.

Disregarding and setting aside the interests and welfare of the public, the more you care for your image, benefits and welfare, the more you are bound to be the focal point of public condemnation and criticism. The unemployed need to be rehabilitated, diseased need to be cured, and unprivileged need to be taken care of.

From Mr Shiben Krishen Raina

Rajasthan, India

UAE: Supporting the government in curbing the spread of COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic let’s not lose hope, and keep all the strength, courage and faith in God that all will be blessed to be well. Our utmost responsibility lies in being committed towards ourselves, and helping our community (“COVID-19 frontline workers in Dubai to get 10-year visa”, Gulf News, May 13). I am sharing my experience here. I recently found few people besides me in a supermarket, dashing to take the items on the shelves without maintaining any social distance. I had to inform the security personnel, and request the supermarket staff to kindly ensure that everyone followed precautionary measures.

I highly respect our government officials, shops, mall managements, for enforcing strict rules, and volunteers, cleaners who risk their lives. A big thanks to them and the medical care team, especially His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for his efforts to curb this pandemic.

From Ms Sangeetha Subba

Dubai, UAE

Exams: Do marks determine the future of our children?

Most students undergo the extreme pressures of education, and over-expectations from various quarters, to perform impressively (“UAE: CBSE Grade 10 results announced”, Gulf News, July 15). The definition of success has always been to obtain high marks.

Do marks define a child? Every child is unique in his or her way, and their intellectual capacities differ. With too much pressure on them to accomplish success in the exams, it is not only the average and mediocre students who are under stress, but even high achievers, who are always under tension to supersede others. If they are unable to fulfil their parents' expectations, they become nervous and guilt-ridden, many a time they take drastic actions for not achieving super success. Children's potential is constantly identified by the marks they score. Our 'rote' learning curriculum, continuous assessments and exams need refurbishing. It is not always a foolproof method to measure students' capabilities. Labelling them as dullards or raising questions on their IQ for scoring low grades, is inappropriate.

While expectations and some level of competition are good to motivate and inspire students to do their best, rise to the challenge, in gaining academic pursuits, let marks alone not define their brilliance. Let children be encouraged to put their best foot forward, help them to face challenges, setbacks and hurdles with confidence, and teach them how to handle and take failure in their stride. There is more to life than marks and grades.

From Ms Jayashree Kulkarni

Pune, India

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