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India: Onion prices are up again!

This letter refers to your report that the prices of onion have skyrocketed to break Rs.100 per kg in India (“India: Two held for stealing 550kg of onion in Pune”, Gulf News, October 23). Of course, this is nothing new, as year after year, we come across such hike in prices of basic things tomato, onion, potato, oil, and more. Both the central and state governments are mere spectators. When compared to the cost of September 2020 in all states, we find that in Delhi the price has risen by just Rs2. Since the government is not taking any steps to solve this yearly phenomenon, it is up to the common man to boycott onion. Recently, we have been surviving without onions, and we plan to continue until the prices come down.

From Ms Janaki Mahadevan

Chennai, India

Fireworks are fun – but the effects are not

It’s alarming that the capital city of Delhi has witnessed the worst pollution in recent years ("India's capital chokes on 'severe' smog as farm fires soar", Gulf News, October 23). The reading of the pollutants in the atmosphere breached the 1000 microgram mark, which is ten times more than the World Health Organisation’s recommendation. There is an increase in the number of automobiles, and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industries, diesel generators, and powerhouses are on a high. The smoke from agricultural burning, vehicle fumes, and industrial emissions combined with cooler temperature has triggered the recent pollution. During Diwali celebrations, fireworks cause extensive air pollution in a short amount of time, leaving metal particles, dangerous toxins, harmful chemicals, and smoke in the air for many days. The youth should join hands and create awareness against excessive use of fireworks. It would be impossible to stop bursting crackers altogether, but steps can be taken to reduce it by putting restrictions on the types of firecrackers used. One day of celebration affects many people, especially those who are asthmatic, suffering from heart ailments, and other health issues. Hoping the residents of Delhi, neighbouring states and farmers will wake up and realise the harm they are causing themselves. Otherwise, there would be no point in them holding rallies to ‘Go Green’, and celebrating days like Earth Day and Environment Day.

From Mr Eappen Elias


Bullying at school

Bullying is an aggressive behaviour (“Dubai school takes ‘appropriate action’ after bullying video goes viral”, Gulf News, February 10). According to a 2019 report by the Pacer National Bullying Prevention Center in London, about 20.2 per cent of students, report being bullied. There are many forms of bullying in schools like verbal, physical, emotional, and cyberbullying. Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, or pushing the victim. Verbal bullying is calling names, insulting the victim, teasing him/her, and giving racial or discriminating remarks. Emotional bullying is any form of bullying that causes damage to a victim’s psyche and emotional well-being, like spreading rumours or ganging up against them. Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place over electronic platforms like social media. It includes sending, posting, or sharing malicious, harmful, false, or mean content about somebody else. Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, people who bully, and those who witness bullying. The psychological effects of bullying include depression, anxiety, lowered self-esteem, and increased violence. It may also result in adverse academic impact such as lower grades and dropping off from schools.

So, how can it all be stopped? The first step to combat bullying is easy ―speak to your teachers and your family. The second step is to be confident. Lastly, schools can organise programs and campaigns to enlighten students about social issues like bullying; the impact of such problems, and ways to deal or cope with its consequences. Bullying and harassment thrive on silence. Let’s break the silence!

From Ms Tanisha Tahiliyani


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