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Dowry: A growing crime in India

Is the barter system a thing of the past in India? No, it isn't (“Dowry culture in Kerala: The price of a girl’s life”, Gulf News, June 29). Haven't you heard of dowry, our modern system of bartering? Not much has changed from our antecedents' practice. Education has become a common excuse nowadays to turn a blind eye towards social evils. But the crux of the issue cannot be destroyed singularly by the light of books. If that were the case, the state of Kerala, boasting its whopping 95 per cent of female literacy rate, would not have recorded three consecutive dowry-related suicides last week. It is high time we understood the difference between literacy and education. The Sharjah-based Aries Group recently announced its ten-point charter to reach its 2023 anti-dowry deadline. It emphasises on employees refusing dowry and proposes punitive punishments against any incompliance. How this will be implemented and monitored is still a fog, but the initiative undoubtedly deserves applause. Parents and schools are responsible for ensuring that the youth grow up respecting and valuing others for their wealth of character and merit. So, perhaps the only way to blot this horrid smudge from our society would be for us to imbibe the future generations with anti-dowry sentiments, starting from their childhood. After all, the deeper the roots, the sweeter the fruits.

From Ms Joanna Abraham

UAE

Practice martial arts to stay fit

Physical well-being is nothing but taking care of your body. Being fit is necessary for a healthy life. Everyone should practice healthy eating habits and fitness exercises. Practising yoga, gymnastics, swimming, cycling, and dance will help you improve your fitness. Schools will break for summer holidays soon. Instead of wasting our valuable time sleeping or eating junk food, we should concentrate on homemade and healthy fresh food.. Prefer local fruits and vegetables as they will be fresh, cheap, and readily available. I have been learning karate for five years. Not only has it helped me in improving my confidence and focus, it has also helped me improve my health, fitness, self-defence, and immunity. Students should start learning martial arts from a young age. It's a fun way to be in shape. It helps us build our character and how to take criticism to improve ourselves. Classes will allow us to develop perseverance and excellence. Once it becomes your habit, it will become your way of life.

From Ms Sthairya Karunakara Shetty

UAE

COVID-19 situation remains critical

The current pandemic has exposed the gap between political and management leadership amongst many heads of state. COVID-19 has afflicted millions across the world. The global economy has been hit hard. Over 200 million will be rendered jobless across the world, according to United Nations, and 115 million people could sink into extreme poverty, according to World Bank. Some world leaders were more concerned about ensuing elections. They devoted more time to their campaigns than managing COVID-19. They refused to lockdown crowded cities and transport networks, afraid to cripple the economies. The result was that COVID-19 took a tenacious grip. The callous approach to the disease and the delay in declaring lockdowns took their toll on Trump to lose the elections. President Joe Biden immediately focused on managing the pandemic. He declared selective lockdowns, encouraged vaccine producers and launched the vaccination drives across the country. He even evoked wartime laws to foster the production of vaccines and medical equipment. His initiatives helped to bring down the coronavirus cases in the country. Political leaders should learn to put the public cause above their interests.

From Mr Rajendra Aneja

Mumbai, India

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