Teach children important contact numbers!

As I was reaching home a few nights ago, when the lift door opened, I saw a young boy walking restlessly in front of the door of a flat. I could see his eyes light up suddenly. His face became bright and in a flash he came towards the lift to see if the person coming out of was the one he was expecting.

Sensing his disappointment, I asked him what happened. He said that he has been waiting in front of his tuition teacher’s home for nearly 15 minutes. He was not sure whether she had told him or not about the cancellation of the tuition class. I asked him whether he had a phone to call her, but he didn’t. I asked him whether he knew her number, but he didn’t. Then I asked him whether his father or mother knew her contact number. He said his mother most likely did. So, I offered him my phone and asked him to call his mother and find out. But he didn’t know his mother’s number! He didn’t know his father’s number either.

I was shocked that a boy of around 13 years didn’t know the contact numbers of either his father or mother. First and foremost, children should memorise mobile numbers without fail. Parents should make sure to give a card detailing full contact information so that, in case of an emergency, a child’s parents could be reached. Not educating children to memorise essential phone numbers is alarming. Is it a sign of poor parenting? I don’t know. I’m leaving it to readers to decide. It’s a point to ponder.

From Mr Ramesh Menon

Abu Dhabi

Bold steps for peace

The bold move by the UAE to organise the World Government Summit was yet another step towards establishing sustainable peace around the world, especially between warring nations (‘UAE does not tolerate any form of corruption —Mohammad’, Gulf News, February 13). Through the summit, the great truth that we depend upon substantial global cooperation was brought out to the entire world. With more than 4,000 participants from 139 countries, it was a magnificent expression of amity and cooperation, apart from establishing the eternal truth that we need cooperation and a peaceful co-existence.

From Mr Thomas Matthew Parackel

Muvattupuzha, India

Leaders confident, I’m not

As the dust settles and life moves to normalcy post demonetisation in India, it is agreed among India’s leaders that the demonetisation will help reduce cash transactions and move to digital payments.

Then again, this reminds me of a few decades ago with the arrival of the internet, emails were also foreseen as a way to reduce the use of paper and move on to a digital paperless world. However, with the advent of emails, papers are still being used a lot with the constant need for printouts and our obsession for hard copies, thereby having an entirely opposite effect. Yet, it is a common thing for our leaders to presume and preach without actually thinking and studying the subject before taking rash decisions and making dim statements.

From Mr Valent Mascarenhas

Goa, India

Making dream happen

The Hyperloop project, if it materialises, will revolutionise the entire transportation system in the world (‘RTA studying feasibility of Hyperloop project’, Gulf News, February 9). The proposed mode of transport, which travels at more than 1,000km/h, will reduce travel time significantly. Once this technology comes into practice, the entire transportation concept in the world will change. Like the Dubai Metro in 1999, we hope the Hyperloop will commence soon. Dubai is a place where we can fulfil our dreams.

From Mr Eappen Elias


VAT framework agreement

By this time next year, it is expected that GCC member countries will have a common tax regime aimed at reducing the dependency on oil and generating a regular revenue apart from the traditional sources (‘Saudi Arabia gives final approval to VAT’, Gulf News, February 1). Effective from early 2018, with some exception, all goods and services are going to be taxed at all levels from raw materials to finished products. It took more time among member countries to reach an agreement on a unified Value Added Tax (VAT) framework agreement. Now the next stage is assessing the preparedness of retail shops and hospitality industries to the taxation and their invoice formats and software efficiency. Even though traders are acting as collectors of tax on behalf of the authorities from consumers, their profitability is going to be affected with the introduction of VAT. The application of the moderate VAT on these essential commodities will ensure uniform pricing, help bring down the prices and have closer monitoring of prices.

From Mr Girish R. Edathitta


Greed ruins the sport

This was good action taken by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) administration (‘Sharjeel and Latif suspended for spot fixing’, Gulf News, February 11). Minimum punishment should be harsh for these greedy players. Cricket was a gentlemen’s game and now these kind of gamblers have spoiled the spirit of the game. They should understand that the fame and recognition they got is because of cricket. There are so many of these spot fixers in cricket all around the world and no one knows who they are.

From Mr Mohammad Afzal


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A great achievement

Congratulations to Ravichandran Ashwin for capturing his 250th Test wicket to become the fastest bowler to achieve this landmark in 45 Tests (‘Ashwin adds another feather to his cap’, Gulf News, February 13). It surpasses Dennis Lillee’s record of 250 wickets in 48 Tests. Well done Ashwin, keep up this tempo in the second innings against the Aussies.

At the same time, due credit must be given to the Bangladesh captain, Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored a timely century and had a fruitful century stand with the ever reliable Shakib Al Hasan, to bail out from a possible collapse and reach a score of about 400. Let us wait and see what is to come!

From Ms Janaki Mahadevan

Mylapore, India

Love is in the air

Valentine’s Day was just two days ago. For many, the day meant receiving gifts, cards, candles, candies and cupids (‘Readers views: Thinking beyond flowers and candies’, Gulf News, February 12). But, is one day of showering of love, expensive gifts and candle-light dinners worthwhile? Most people feel that it is a significant day when love for our spouses is expressed/demonstrated in an intimate yet wonderful way.

But it is a day much more than just expressing love for your spouse, companion, fiance or partner. It is a day of showing your trust, loyalty, commitment and unstinted support for each other. In fact, you have to show your unconditional love and support to your loved ones, not only on one specific day, but all through the year. But yes, celebrations do add some spark and pep in our otherwise mundane lives.

From Ms Jayashree Kulkarni

Abu Dhabi

Emotionally giving

True love means showing the same care, compassion, reverence and gratitude to all things, be it humans, animals, plants or any other living or inanimate thing (‘Letter to the editor: Bigger than one day’, Gulf News, February 14). We need not wait for Valentine’s Day to express our love. The less we divide our days for showing compassion the better off we will be.

From Mr Ajit Lamba



Valentine’s Day has become more popular in most of the countries. Most young men and women exchange greetings and love throughout the world and this day has become more significant. In my opinion, true love is friendship and love. It should bring peace and tranquillity among nations.

From Mr K. Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

Help the whales!

It’s so painful to see the helpless whales in New Zealand that suffered after being beached (‘Facebook video: Over 200 whales stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand on Saturday have refloated themselves and returned to sea’, Gulf News, February 12). Hats off to the volunteers who were doing an amazing service to help the surviving whales live. It might be due to climatic changes or pollution. We are cursed for these natural destructions due to our own greediness. Let’s learn and avoid such mistakes in the future for future generations.

From Ms Krishna Kumari


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