Taught by mothers to reap gender benefits
| Results under scanner: Emission test at a petrol pump
Apropos 'Silence ripped off child abuse', July 6, it seems the parents, especially of girlchildren, who are most susceptible to unsolicited advances from male elders, need to be sensitised first.
As a person who travels a lot within the city and its suburbs, mostly by public conveyance, I know how mothers of schoolgirls tutor their daughters to exploit their femininity for minor gains.
In suburban trains, the mothers for some strange reason do not travel by the ladies compartment. Their daughters dash to selected kakus to sit on their lap. The men allow them to, not out of philanthropy; for I have never seen any of the kakus being so generous to schoolboys.
In autos and share taxis, too, the girls are made to sit on the laps of strangers by their mothers, just to save a fare. In their parsimonious zeal, the possibility of unsolicited advances by the men do not dawn upon the women.
Today's children are intelligent. They try to explain things by extrapolating their everyday experience. They watch their mothers' behaviour with adult males for small favours like a rear seat in an autorickshaw or a window-seat on a train.
In the process, a girlchild learns that being female is a passport to a bonanza; that she can bag a lot of favours if she learns to exploit her femininity with finesse. It is only when a case is filed against a Michael Jackson that the world turns evil.
A generation ago, matriarchs of joint families imposed severe restrictions on daughters, especially in the presence of unknown males. I am sure many of today's mothers grew up under such a regime. Now, such arrangements are called archaic. So they have started believing basudhaiba kutumbakam (the world is my relative).
Tapan Pal, Cloud over fume alert
Apropos the reports published in Metro on the functioning of auto emission testing centres, the authorised government agencies, under the state transport ministry, are misusing the West Bengal government hologram to issue pollution-under-control certificates to the owners of polluting vehicles.
The test centres perpetrate the fraud by violating the software designed by the Union ministry of road transport and highways. For a test charge of Rs 100 per vehicle, the centres are supposed to make minor adjustments, if required. Instead they are aggravating the pollution problem by offering certificates for money.
This type of practice not only violates the Environment Protection Act but also the Motor Vehicles Act. The scam once again highlights that technology can be manipulated to meet corrupt ends.
Sarat Bose Road.
Kudos for the expos' 'No test, pass marks' (July 9) on the total disregard for pollution norms of the emission testing centres and the complete failure of the Public Vehicles Department to bring to book erring owners and errant vehicles. The entire system is in a mess, with a number of vehicles plying the state without even valid licences. I strongly feel the chief minister should intervene in the matter and replace the ministers concerned. He owes it to the future generations.
The delay in implementing measures to check pollution in Calcutta is an issue of grave concern. The only silver lining was the start of the issuance of pollution-under-control certificates. However, Metro's sting operation has unearthed a racket engaged in fiddling with software to generate certificates that are fake. The transport department and pollution control authority will hopefully take stringent action.
Protecting the protector
Apropos the article 'There's a chink in the armour', July 7, it was nice to know that the government would soon enact the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2005. The salient features of the Bill, as described in the article, cover a wide spectrum of security agencies and their clients. It is, however, conspicuously silent on the service conditions of the guards who work for the agencies. The guards are paid a pittance for shouldering grave responsibilities, occasionally at their peril. Moreover, they have to do their duties in constant fear of being sacked. It is also common knowledge that they are made to sign for an amount that far exceeds what they are actually paid. Even the price of the uniform supplied is deducted from their salaries every month. 'Hire and fire' is the credo of the securities business. Appointment letters are seldom issued to the guards, for most of whom, leave with pay is a luxury beyond their wildest dreams. The story of the guards is of endless exploitation. The government has no moral right to play ostrich any longer.
Jatindra Nath Bhowmik, Taking wing
It is a healthy sign that a number of foreign airlines are starting operations from Calcutta ('Rock-bottom rates, flights galore', July 12). With competition to capture the city's civil aviation market, the services are destined to improve significantly, while fares will become more competitive. Transport being a key infrastructural requirement, cheap air travel promises to boost the industrialisation process.
Arjun Chaudhuri, Tress talk
Mohesh Chaudhuri Lane.
Apropos the report 'Skin disease caution in lifestyle shift', July 8, colouring of hair has become a trend, cutting across barriers of age. There are many types of hair colour and mehndi available in the market. Experts should advise us on the possible harm to the skin that can be caused by the colouring agents.Can diseases like pemphigus vulgaris result from using hair colours' What are the precautions'
K.B. Goswami, Watchful at the wheel
The state government is doing the right thing by decommissioning bus-drivers who are over 60 ('Young 'n' fit is new state bus mantra', July 7). But what about drivers of private buses and trucks' Also, what about the corruption in the public vehicles department' Many people are granted licences without appearing for tests. Even drivers whose licences have been revoked in other states are coming to West Bengal for obtaining a licence. The government should stop issuing licences to people who do not reside in West Bengal.
Lal Bazar Street.
Letters on reports appearing in Metro may be sent to:
The Telegraph (Metro)
6, Prafulla Sarkar Street
Calcutta - 700 001