Students' parents blamed for systemic failure
| Waiting for wheels: The truck terminal at Dhulagarh
lThat something is rotten in the state of education is not news, but it certainly bears repetition in the hope that people responsible for the rot will eventually respond. The statistics quoted in the article 'Student suicide doubles', April 21, horrify. Parental pressure is described as the villain of the piece.
However, the most recently published government figures do not tally with the observations in the article. For example, poisoning is the preferred means of suicide by far in the state, even in the age-bracket the article considers. Across the board, West Bengal has the lowest percentage of suicide by hanging. Secondly, the middle school, not the matriculate or higher secondary, registers the highest suicide rate. Thirdly, the male suicide rate at all levels of literacy outweighs the female rate by a huge margin. And lastly, for our purposes, West Bengal shows the second-highest suicide rate in general. The figures are quoted from the National Crime Records Bureau publication in 2000.
But statistics often blind us to the flesh and blood reality they summarise. It is unfair to blame parents so squarely. If the system is such that social survival demands academic scores of an absurdly high level, what choice do the students have, leave aside parents' Blaming parents is only the shop-window explanation of a far more complex process within the education system itself that needs, not a face-lift, but an overhaul.
Brendan MacCarthaigh, Economics of parking
Apropos the report 'Pay less to park on road', April 15, crores of hard-earned rupees of tax-payers are spent to build truck terminals that are abandoned, while criminals are allowed to run illegal parking lots on the road. The drivers prefer the road to the terminals since they save money that way.
Sourish Misra, Campus spruce-up
Apropos the report 'Greening of the campus', April 17, it is undoubtedly a welcome move to give a clean and green look to the Presidency College campus, on the eve of its autonomy grant.
Sunil Banerjee, Driver disrepute
The reputation earned by a few taxi drivers by returning money or jewellery left behind by passengers has been shattered by such a man (Rapist taxi driver arrested, April 18).
Prahlad Agarwala, Point-counterpoint
We are shocked and surprised to read the article 'Deface to wipe out heritage', May 2, and to see the accompanying photographs and would like to state that the contents are wrong and misleading.
Please note that the building at No. 2 Camac Street has been wrongly categorised as a heritage building in the article. The building was undergoing minor repairs in the usual course of maintenance before the monsoon, contrary to the impression created by the article that its heritage features were being defaced. Since it is not a heritage building, there is no question of it having heritage features.
The stucco ornaments shown in the photograph at the bottom of the page do not belong to 2 Camac Street.
Ajit Kumar Jain,
for Chandra Udyog, landlord, 2, Camac Street.
Metro replies: No 2 Camac Street is categorised as a heritage building by the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. We can vouch for the fact that the ornaments shown in the photograph belong to the same building.
The article has highlighted the steps which promoters and builders have taken to remove heritage elements and then getting the building delisted from the heritage list of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation, particularly in Alexandra Court, 5 Russell Street, Meghalaya House and now an attempt at 2, Camac Street.
No. 5 and 6 Middleton Street, which have been mentioned in the article, do not fall in that category but in our opinion, they do deserve to be preserved.
Question of answers
Apropos the report 'Defunct mill to mega mart', April 22, in the application submitted before the company court at Calcutta High Court, the area of the land involves 193 cottahs, and not 200 cottahs, and the transaction amount of the said deal is around Rs 30.5 crore, and not Rs 44 crore.
advocate-on-record, Eastern Paper Mills Limited.
It is correct that the area is 193 cottahs and not 200 cottahs. However, please note that the frontage is 470 ft and not 230 ft. The cost for purchase of the land actually exceeds Rs 46 crore. Eastern Paper Mills is quoting the realisation in hand, but that is subject to some liabilities undertaken by us. The realisation in hand for the company may be around Rs 32 crore (not Rs 30.5 crore), but the cost for us is over Rs 46 crore as stated above.
director, Skylark India of the Diamond Group.
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