Freedom to choose
High educational standards and periodic reforms ensure that pupils are at the centre of focus ("Raising teens", Speak Your Mind, Gulf News, November 14). However, we must allow pupils to choose their goals and dreams, too. Our responsibility is to guide, advise and monitor them from a distance. But how should this distance be measured? I think it depends on the personality of the teenager and his or her ability to distinguish between right and wrong. Most importantly, the pupil must be able to take a stand on any issue, regardless of whether we support it or not. Ultimately, as adults, we should not choose for our teenagers, but rather help them decide for themselves.
From Mr Murad L.
Al Ain

Hope for women
It was wonderful to watch the Arab world's First Ladies gather for the Arab Women's Conference in Abu Dhabi ("Women's conference ends on emphatic note", Gulf News, November 14). The initiative was commendable and brought hope to women everywhere. Moreover, every issue highlighted and discussed in the conference is necessary for the betterment of women in society. Despite the fact that many women now hold high positions in various fields, solutions need to be found for those who are sidelined and ignored. Issues such as death during childbirth, lack of access to medical facilities and unaffordable healthcare should be addressed, too.
From Ms Shemeem S.

Boosting confidence
It seems the global financial crunch has touched everyone, including people in the UAE ("Financial crisis focus of Dubai meet", Gulf News, November 16). However, there are solutions. Instead of bailing out banks, the authorities could channel their investments into the public domain. There are many ailing sectors, such as sewage treatment, inadequate public transport and service and traffic control. With such areas sorted out, the country would be well prepared for an economical upturn. And such measures would boost investor confidence.
From Mr Toni Wirz

Be careful
How many lives are going to be lost to road accidents and when will people finally realise their errors ("Man run over in front of Al Ansar Mall", Gulf News, November 15)? I urge residents to learn from others' mistakes. It is not always possible to wait and learn the hard way, as fate may not offer a second chance. I urge pedestrians to refrain from crossing busy highways. The road opposite Sahara Centre in Sharjah is especially prone to accidents and it is common to see people running across, even as vehicles speed towards them. I hope the authorities do something about the situation.
From Mr Abdul S. Mecci

No connection
e-Vision started a promotional campaign in July, which encouraged me to call them to subscribe for a second connection. I received no reply the entire month. I left for a vacation in August and on returning in September I contacted the customer care at e-Vision. I was told that I have to pay the subscription fees, which I did on September 9. Since then, whenever I called the customer care, I was informed that a technician would contact me on the same day. However, I never received any response.
From Mr G. Rajagopal

The management of e-Vision responds:
Please be advised that Mr Rajagopal's issue has been resolved and his second connection has now been installed.

Noble cause
Contributing for worthy causes is the need of the hour ("Residents participate in World Diabetes Day activities at Safa Park", Gulf News, November 14). I would like to thank those involved in organising such events. By promoting noble causes, events such as these help the less fortunate. We should always welcome and contribute to such worthy causes.
From Mr Jayeson Mathew
California, USA

Boarding is better
Recently, I came across many reports and complaints on how pupils are forced to spend several hours on the road, when commuting to and from school. It is quite obvious that school buses are partly to blame for traffic congestion on highways and main roads during rush hour. This is why I suggest building boarding schools in the country. Children would then be able to reside in hostels within the school campus.
From Mr M. S. Johash

Place to park
I welcome the authorities' efforts to address the problem of illegal parking in Abu Dhabi ("Crackdown on illegal parking in Abu Dhabi soon", Gulf News, November 12). However, surely this can only take place once adequate alternatives are made available. It continues to amaze me, how overcrowded single-level street car parks are not converted into multistoried buildings. This would provide a feasible solution to the problem.
From A Reader
Abu Dhabi
Name withheld by request

The bigger picture
As a graduate of BITS - Pilani, in Dubai, I do not think students who have yet to complete their education are fully aware of the benefits they reap from university rules ("Students see bleak future at BITS campus", Gulf News, November 14). I do agree that sometimes, rules are stringent and fines are imposed as a penalty. However, this kind of system helped discourage me from violating rules. I feel sorry for those that are not learning a bigger lesson from their university years.
From Ms Kavitha Premkumar

As a student of BITS, Pilani-Dubai, I completely agree with Gulf News's report. The facts mentioned in the report were about 95 per cent accurate, with hardly any exaggeration.
From Mr Siddhaartha Mandala

Transport trouble
A short while ago, I had to go to Dubai from Sharjah for a job interview. On the way back, I had a nasty experience with Dubai's public transport system. I waited at a bus stop for approximately one and a half hours, but none arrived. Eventually, I had to hire a taxi and pay an exorbitant amount of money for the trip. I humbly request the concerned authorities to address this never-ending transportation problem.
From Mr Naveed Rafique

Not a simple task
This is in reference to Gulf News's report on the child who was in a coma due to an accident that occurred at home ("Child fights for life after TV falls on her head", Gulf News, November 11). As a mother of an infant, my heart goes out to the child's family. I hope the little girl recovers soon. However, I disagree that parental negligence is the cause of such incidents. Sometimes, the entire situation occurs in a matter of seconds. The parent could be in the same room and may not have enough time to react, before a child inflicts major harm upon him or herself. It often rests entirely on fate. Moreover, I think it is unfair to expect a parent to be with his or her child every second of the day, while simultaneously managing the household and business matters. Usually, I strap my protesting baby into his stroller and leave him by the kitchen, while I cook. However, I foresee that once he starts crawling, doing chores and keeping an eye on him at the same time would not be easy.
From Ms Saima Munawwar

Clarity please
I am not writing to criticise the new rules regarding old cars ("20-year-old cars to be driven off roads from next month", Gulf News, November 5). However, I feel that along with such measures, certain additional steps must be taken. Firstly, all vehicle dealers should announce vehicle emissions for the cars on offer, in the format that authorities require. Additionally, vehicle dealers should provide data on vehicle emissions of all cars sold by them in the past 15 years. Customers should be provided with a duplicate copy of all service reports related to the car, including registration or renewal papers. Most importantly, no dealer should be allowed to sell vehicles without emission data clearly mentioned. In fact, this should be made compulsory in all paper-based advertisements at least, with a preferable mention in all other forms of advertising. I feel that these measures would provide a very good start for vehicle-owners. From Mr Mohammad Naeem

Honesty is necessary
In his acceptance speech, US President-Elect Barack Obama promised that he would always be honest with citizens of the US about challenges faced by the government ("President-elect promises action on economy", Gulf News, November 6). If Obama can indeed deliver on this one promise of honesty, the US can rightfully reclaim its role as a leader of the free world.
From Mr Ralph Rau

History repeated
I think US President-Elect Barack Obama is going to be another Jimmy Carter and would probably go down as the second-weakest president in history ("Moment to cherish for Black Americans", Gulf News, November 6). I am old enough to see history repeating itself.
From Mr Bubba Hotep

Saluting freedom
I congratulate the American nation for what in my opinion is one of the best decisions they have made in their national history — the election of Barack Obama as president ("Moment to cherish for Black Americans", Gulf News, November 6).
From Mr Nasar Usmani

A cause to celebrate
I think we should actually be celebrating the true spirit and attitude of the people of America ("Moment to cherish for Black Americans", Gulf News, November 6). We must learn from the huge step they took when they elected Barack Obama as their president.
From Ms Sudha Kathuria

Al Ittihad Road is a nightmare to drive in, since there is always chaos at the left turn near the traffic signal. Moreover, traffic congestion and accidents are caused because drivers move abruptly from slow lanes into the fast ones. It would help if the authorities separated the second and third lane near the underpass, with orange cones or poles. This is especially required, since people frequently flout the rules and cause accidents.
From Mr Premi Mathew

Global charm
Global Village is becoming more charming every year ("Global Village set to showcase Dubailand attractions", Gulf News, November 10). Visiting each pavilion is like experiencing the culture of each country. The facilities are always improving. I am looking forward to shopping at Global Village this year. Experiencing many cultures in one place is a unique experience in itself. Global Village, unlike shopping malls, evokes tradition and culture. It is great news that Global Village is going to last for a longer period, this year. It would give people an opportunity to visit more frequently and avail the pleasure of shopping at each pavilion at leisure. Food stalls offer a lot of variety and staff at the information desks is very helpful. I think visits to Global Village are truly wonderful. The entire event is organised in a systematic and efficient manner. Firecrackers and carnivals are excellent and something people enjoy looking forward to. I am sure much effort has been spent, preparing for the festival, especially as it is going to last for a few months.
From Ms Naina Nair