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India is exceeding Brazil in COVID-19 cases

COVID-19 cases in India are approaching four million, very close to Brazil ("India surpasses Brazil with world's second highest COVID-19 cases", Gulf News, September 07). It's quite alarming. India has been getting between 70,000 to 80,000 cases daily. The following suggestions should be useful. Masks and social distancing should be made compulsory. All shops and markets should close over the weekends. Public places like theatres, gymnasiums, etc., should not open for some more time. Exams for the years 2019-20 should be postponed in all schools and colleges, and elevations to the next class should take place automatically, based on an average of previous marks scored. Mass transport systems like trains, metro, etc., should be run on a minimum basis, to prevent over-crowding. Advertising agencies should prepare special rural campaigns to spread awareness about COVID-19, in the local languages in all states. India should network with foreign companies or research agencies to get urgent supplies of the vaccine, as soon as it is approved. India should prepare a detailed blueprint for inoculating the 1.3 billion Indians in the country, rapidly, after the vaccine arrives. The government can network with consumer goods companies, which have distribution systems going to down to villages with a population of even 2,500 or less, for disbursing the vaccine in the rural areas.

From Mr Rajendra Aneja

Mumbai, India

India: Drug bust in Bollywood and Sandalwood in Bangalore

The elite Central Crime Branch (CCB) of Bangalore police and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) must be lauded for the busting of the drug racket in Bollywood and Sandalwood (“Sushant Singh Rajput case: Showik may help 'uproot Bollywood drug citadel', Rhea Chakraborty to be probed, says NCB”, Gulf News, September 05). This incident should act as an eye-opener. A large number of youngsters and especially in the film industry are prone to drug abuse. Young professionals with disposable incomes often become the prime targets of drug peddlers. Drug addiction is currently one of the serious most ills plaguing our society known to man. Drug abuse has devoured young lives. For any nation, it is possible to fight terrorism with better security mechanism and intelligence network; it is possible to protect from invaders by buying weapons; it can also fight poverty by improving economy, but once youngsters are addicted to drugs the whole generation suffers. It is time to address this issue seriously on a larger perspective. To effectively tackle this problem of drugs abuse, there has to be full coordination between states Police's elite CCB's branch with the Narcotics Control Bureau, Intelligence Bureau, and income tax department. Also, an effective crackdown is required on kingpins smugglers and peddlers of drugs across the country to bust the local network of those who hide beyond the borders. Otherwise, it will be difficult to tackle the problem of drug abuse effectively.

From Mr Ramesh G Jethwani

Bangalore, India

Female infanticide in India

Dislike for girl children and preference for sons is still a dark truth among many parents in the Indian society (“India: Man mixes poison in milk bottles to kill newborn twin daughters in Telangana”, Gulf News, September 05). A father killing his own newly born babies, just because they were girls, is appalling. In India, there are various cases where parents or in-laws killed girl children without any guilt or fear. Female infanticide is not a new thing in India, and countless newborn female children’s are killed due to this. This is inhuman, but sadly in many countries like India, sons are viewed as more valuable than daughters. People have this mentality that the only son takes their family name further, and they are considered as the ‘pride of the family’.

There are many reasons behind this problem; the first one is that people think that they have to pay dowry for their daughters, in India. Another reason is the age old thinking that sons will carry on the family name, and only a son will look after their parents in their old age. They argue that after getting married, girls will leave and stay with their in-laws.

Many others want a son so he can earn money and help parents. So in India’s patriarchal society, daughters are often viewed as an unwanted burden. I believe awareness should be brought against the practice of dowry and sex-selective abortions. Due to numerous incidents of female infanticide sex determination tests are banned and illegal in India, yet many doctors and practitioners do it for money. But the good thing is that now rules are very strict and against this immoral practice. Society is changing; people are getting broad minded then don’t discriminate between boy and girl. There was a time when people used to educate only their sons, but now things have improved. Government has also introduced various schemes for girls, which emphasizes on their health, education, safety and security. Now in our society, a girl is not taken as a burden but she gets full love, care and support from family. Girls are finally getting an education, and are not deprived of their rights in many families, anymore. I am a mother of two daughters and my husband, and I am very happy and proud of them. I always think that girls can be miraculous they bring love, luck and compassion to the family.

From Ms Renukala

Uttarakhand, India

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