Tech tools in times of downturn
| Star power: Steve Waugh at the clean-up campaign in a Behala canal. A Telegraph picture
The decision of the state government to make it mandatory for private engineering colleges to offer at least one course on a core subject is welcome (“Tech varsity focus on course”, May 4). With demand for engineers in the information technology sector dipping for the time being, steps need to be taken so that fresh graduates may get suitable jobs.
Generally meritorious students study in engineering colleges, spending a lot of money, with the objective of securing a good job later. For the past several years, IT degree-holders were in great demand. But with the downturn at home and recession in other countries, the craze for a degree in IT or computer science has also gone down.
It is the moral duty of the state to create avenues for employment for the fresh engineers in the coming years. So the decision taken now will help students to select a suitable engineering course.
The introduction of the courses on core subjects like civil, mechanical, electrical, mining engineering or metallurgy will definitely attract students.
However, introduction of courses on core subjects in private engineering colleges is not enough. Proper infrastructure is necessary for this purpose. If needed, the state government should extend financial assistance to these institutions to give students the best education possible.
Celeb for a cause
Apropos “Waugh can do it, we can’t”, May 8, there is an awakening, especially among schoolchildren, to make Calcutta cleaner. Nature clubs of many city schools have organised a united drive to clean up the Maidan, remove unauthorised hoardings nailed to trees and clean water bodies. It would perhaps be better if the chief minister, along with his cabinet colleagues and the army of babus, set aside half a day every a week to clean the city. In any case, this wouldn’t hamper their work since their output is abysmally low. Celebrities like Sourav Ganguly should join their efforts too.
Steve Waugh got down into a canal in Thakurpukur and picked up garbage, unperturbed by the stench from the squalid water. A foreigner, that too a celebrity, got his hands dirty for our city, driving home the message that no work is small if directed at the well-being of the society. Those waxing eloquent about the need for a clean environment hardly take any personal initiative as Steve did. Cleaning water bodies in the city ought to be the overriding concern of the civic guardians of the city.
It is heartening to see a personality like Steve Waugh taking an initiative to clean up a water body. At the same time, it is disappointing that people from outside Calcutta are coming forward to protect the city’s environment while the government and even the residents of Calcutta are apathetic towards the environment.
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It was encouraging to read about a foreign celebrity dirtying his hands to clean up a Calcutta canal. Metro has also reported about schoolchildren doing their bit to clean up the Park Circus maidan. Some members of the rowing clubs at Rabindra Sarobar have taken the initiative to clean the Lakes, which was once a nice place to visit.
While all this is an encouraging trend, what is equally distressing is that officials of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation — the primary caretakers responsible for the upkeep of the city’s water bodies — have little vision and an even lesser sense of belonging to this place. As a resident of the Paddapukur area in Bhowanipore, I shudder to even look at the pond here. It has become a dumping ground. A great amount of money was spent by the civic authorities to beautify the park. But no one has bothered to clean up the water in the last six years. The beauty of any lake, river or pond lies in the cleanliness of its water. No amount of arched gates and paved pathways can compensate for the natural beauty of a clean water body.
It is very unfortunate that poaching still continues in our country. (Picture of the skeleton of a Sunderbans tiger in “The City Diary”, 7 May). Because of such random killings, the population of various wildlife species has been reduced alarmingly. All animals are integral to our planet and have a great contribution in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. They are indispensable to the planet and we cannot live by killing all other creatures.
An educational institution should have a healthy surrounding. It is most shocking that there is garbage dump opposite St Saviour’s Tamil Church School, off Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road. Foul stench from the garbage is unbearable, forcing the school to keep its classroom windows shut. Kudos to Metro for highlighting the problem in “Stench torment for school students”, May 7. The local councillor should find an alternative site for the garbage vat.
Dum Dum Park
Safety at school
Apropos “Schools to tighten safety net”, May 1, it is good to learn that a few institutions are eager to offer medical and emergency services on campuses following the shocking death of 17-year-old Akriti Bhatia of Modern School in Delhi on the way to hospital. In our country, healthcare has taken a beating at almost all government hospitals. State health departments should improve services in hospitals.
To answer the question “Will the city streets become safer for women if they fight back?”, May 11, I would like to say yes, if women fight back, the streets will become much safer. It is no longer enough to be soft and vulnerable. Bollywood has retained the “temptress” image of women; there are hardly any films on women battling it out. This reinforces lewd gestures and obscenities from men. One’s security is in one’s hands. If women do no come forward and help themselves, then nobody can help them. Being modern does not mean only size-zero and skimpy outfits, it means facing life’s challenges bravely.
I wish to appreciate Shreyasee Bhaduri for her brave act of apprehending a teaser at Esplanade and getting him arrested. The young woman’s act will definitely help make the city streets safer for women in the long run. However, the media has a huge responsibility in this. Rather than focusing only on incidents of crime against women, such incidents of the offender getting punished should also be highlighted. This will instil the fear of God in the minds of such men.
The city streets will become safer if women decide to fight back. If we, educated women, do not rise to guard our modesty, such incidents will continue to occur. Every woman who decides to fight back helps not only guard her own modesty but also of others. Fighting back would instil fear in molesters and they would think twice before targeting a woman.
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It’s tough to say whether the city streets will become safer for women if they fight back, but if each and every woman starts protesting, there is bound to be a positive outcome. At the same time, it’s also important to note that the help of honest and dutiful policemen is needed to fight this evil.
The news about Shreyasee Bhaduri ought to act as a morale booster to many women who silently suffer eve-teasing on the roads. But before retaliating, girls should make sure that the eveteaser is alone because an eve teasing gang can be dangerous. A psychological profile of eveteasers would reveal that they are mostly middle-aged, positioned in mundane jobs and this is their main mode of “entertainment”. Congrats Shreyasee.
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