UAE welcomes all
My family is so blessed to be here in the UAE. My wife and I landed in the country nearly 18 years ago. This country made our life meaningful. The country looks after its own, and makes room for expatriates from different cultures to live in harmony. No other country in the world can be so vibrant and peaceful. With a sense of gratitude to this beautiful and peaceful country, we salute the UAE for its love. It is undoubtedly a land of opportunities.
From Mr Mahendrakumar Babariya
COVID-19 Vaccine in India
As per our Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi's assurance, it is heartening to know that first vaccine doses may be available in India in a matter of weeks (“India could authorise COVID-19 vaccines in weeks, 300 million on priority list”, Gulf News, December 08). He assured that the pricing would be finalized keeping public health interest in mind and also after deliberations with State Governments. Here, I wish to recall the Bihar Election manifesto of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wherein they had assured free shots to one and all. Similarly, the free shot facility should be extended to all the citizens, especially the poor, in our country. Most state governments have a health insurance scheme in their state, paying crores of premium to insurance companies. Likewise, employees in government departments, banks, and private companies too have health insurance through tie-up schemes. Hence, these insurance companies should be asked to foot the vaccine costs. Above all, while paying these health insurance premia, we do pay nine per cent Goods and Services Tax (GST), so, even the central or state government could make provisions for free shots to be given to Indian citizens.
From Mr N Mahadevan
Say no to plastic
I am a resident of Dubai for the past 12 years (“Bags and balloons: NGO documents plastic pollution choking sea life”, Gulf News, November 19). I wish to highlight the need to curb the use of plastic bags, they are non-biodegradable. They clog waterways, spoil the landscape and end up in landfills, where they may take 1,000 years or more to decompose to smaller pieces, which seep down into the soil and release dangerous chemicals. Eventually, these chemicals reach the water supply. They kill the animals in the water who eat plastic bags, mistaking them for food. Did you know the gigantic whale was killed by a plastic bag which is nearly one-thousandth of its size? Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are distributed, and less than three per cent of those bags are recycled. I believe each one of us should reduce plastic usage, thereby cutting down the overall demand caused by it. We need to move towards the usage of paper and cotton bags instead. Public awareness always helps to reduce pollution. If you don’t have the willpower to say ‘No to Plastic Bags’, remember you can always ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.’
From Ms Zanetta Suri