STOCK Dubai Skyline Sheikh Zayed road
Sheikh Zayed road, Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Solidarity towards cancer patients

It was a spectacular show of solidarity towards cancer patients and survivors organised by St Mary’s church (Dubai’s St Mary’s Church announces ‘Mercithon’ to help needy cancer patients, Gulf News, February 20). It is estimated that more than 8 million people die of cancer globally, and there is an increase of 80 per cent in deaths annually. Cancer is not only a health issue but has wide-reaching social, economic and human rights implications. A combination of lifestyle, environment and genetic factors can contribute to cancer; for some, it is unexplained. Early detection and periodic checkup for all women after 30 years of age can avoid breast cancer. Once a person is affected by cancer, we should give confidence to the person. Palliative care can relieve, rather than cure, symptoms caused by cancer. However, it can help people live more comfortably. Losing a loved one to cancer is painful. So let us strive to make a painless family by leading a healthy life, a beautiful world full of cheers and smiles. Together, we all fight this deadly disease as we join hands and give them moral support.

From Eappen Elias


Road safety

I have been in this country for over three decades and have been driving in Dubai for the last two (“Sheikh Hamdan praises RTA for efficient public transport services”, Gulf News, February 23). I am very amazed at the development of road transportation and the excellent roads in this city. We should appreciate the authorities, the Dubai Police and the Road Transport Authority for the superb work done.

However, what bothers me sometimes is the attitude of some drivers. I drive daily from Sharjah to Al Barsha. I have noticed that some people drive without indicators, don’t adhere to a safe distance and speeding limits. It scares me. There are people who tailgate you even on the slower tracks. I have, luckily, escaped being hit by rash drivers, especially in the mornings when people are hurrying to their offices.

People should plan their drive earlier. They should not start late and endanger other’s lives by driving dangerously. I appreciate the authorities doing their best by increasing the fines and patrolling the roads, but some drivers are spoiling the efforts with their impaired driving. The attitude of such drivers need to change.

From Ajeet Kumar S Pillai


US shoots down high-altitude object

Recently, the United States shot down a suspicious balloon at 20,000 feet high (“Reports: US missile may have shot down $12 balloon from amateur hobby balloonists”, Gulf News, February 18). However, it was later revealed that the balloon was part of a research project by tech giant Google called “Loon,” aimed at providing internet connectivity to people worldwide. While the project was discontinued in 2021, the fate of the thousands of balloons launched remains unclear, raising concerns about environmental pollution. The US government claimed that the balloon was used for surveillance activities. In 2018, Google launched the “Loon” project to provide internet connectivity to people in remote and rural areas using a network of high-altitude balloons. While the project was a technological breakthrough, it was also controversial due to concerns about environmental pollution. Despite these concerns, Google continued with the project for several years. Finally, in 2021, the company announced that it was discontinuing the project due to difficulties in achieving commercial viability. However, the fate of the thousands of balloons launched as part of the project remains unknown. As a result, Google needs to take responsibility for the project’s potential environmental impact. The thousands of balloons launched are likely to cause significant environmental pollution, and Google should have had a clear plan for safely retrieving and disposing them. Governments and the international community must take action to hold Google accountable for the environmental impact of the “Loon” project. It is imperative that measures be taken to retrieve and dispose off the balloons, safely, and that steps be taken to prevent similar projects from harming the environment.

From Murukan Padmanabhan


Cricket: ICC Women’s T20

Hats off to the Indian women’s cricket team, especially its vice-captain, Smriti Mandhana, who stood out with a career-best score of 87 runs, which enabled the team to qualify for the semi-final spot in the ongoing T20 Women’s World Cup Tournament in South Africa (“Mandhana, Sciver-Brunt and Gardner strike it rich in Women’s Premier League auction’, Gulf News, February 13). The only worry is the continued downfall of the team’s captain, Harmanpreet Kaur. Even the women’s team opener, Shafali Verma, is proving to be just a hyped player who has no patience, even after getting a decent start. I hope the team members strike gold in their semi-final clash against the Australian team. All the best to the women’s cricket team.

From Aruna Chander


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