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Odisha Letters

Mindset matters

Sir — There has been a disturbing trend of newborn girl children being abandoned at several places in the state. First, it was at Laxmisagar, where a man was caught while trying to throw away his newborn girl child. Then it was in Cuttack, where four abandoned girl children were rescued within a week’s time. It is really appalling that the people’s mindset has not changed despite the fact that girls are excelling in almost every sphere and rubbing shoulders with their male counterparts in every field. Though the state government claims to have taken several steps to create awareness among the citizens, the story just doesn’t seem to be ending. It is high time that we thought about it and take steps to prevent such heinous crimes. If this is not checked, our state, like Punjab and Haryana, would soon witness the “missing girl child” syndrome.

Santosh Sahu, Baramunda, Bhubaneswar

Incomplete info

Sir — There is a lot of discussion on the “Statement of Assets” submitted by chief minister Naveen Patnaik and other ministers. To ascertain the facts, I visited the Odisha government website www.orissa.gov.in/ cmorissa and was astonished to come across the following two abnormalities. First, in the list of “Former CMs”, the name of Naveen Patnaik appears once, for the period 05.03.2000 to 16.05.2004. There is no mention of his next period as CM from 2004 to 2009. Second, under the “Profile” column of Naveen, against the “Elected on” item, two dates have been given - 25.2.2000 and 13.5.2004. If the information regarding our chief minister is incomplete on the state government’s official website, the veracity of other information (including those provided under the Right to Information Act) can be well imagined. I have sent a postcard to the chief minister’s public relations officer to look into this. Will it get due attention of the chief minister? Well, time will tell.

Tusar Kanta Satapathy,
Bhubaneswar

Neglected nullah

Sir — This is with reference to the alleged choking of the Gangua nullah on the city outskirts near Nuagaon and your report on it (published on November 10) to bring to the fore the irregularities in the city administration. However, it is also important to consider the management of the various issues concerning the city through a single agency or a single window system. With responsibilities such as drainage, roads, planning approval, water clearance in the low-lying areas, conservation of historic monuments and beautification of the city vested with various agencies without a proper coordination, there is an urgent need either for a properly coordinated effort or a body to look after all city-specific issues. The Gangua nullah is the lifeline of the stormwater discharge from the city through all its 10 drainage channels and those not yet listed by the civic and planning authorities. The state government should take proactive steps to remove obstacles in terms of illegal constructions and set examples for others not to venture into those forbidden territories. Please publish more such stories on the fate of water bodies affected because of urbanisation.

Sangram Keshari Routray,
Gangua Bachao Andolan Bhubaneswar

Ranji row

Sir — The Odisha Ranji team is in the news for all the wrong reasons. First, it was Alok Sahu and now, Haldhar Das, who breached the code of conduct and had to face suspension by the Odisha Cricket Association. At the same time, the team has fared badly in the ongoing Ranji season. They are yet to register a point from the two matches (against Saurashtra and Punjab) and in the remaining matches against formidable sides such as Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh, their chances of slipping down to the “plate group” loom large. The absence of experienced players in the team has also had a demoralising effect. Coaches seem to be appointed for only one season and in the past three years, three coaches have been appointed by the association. A coach needs to be with the team for as long as possible, so that he can focus to build up a good team.

Sanjeev Mohapatra, Tulsi Chaunra, Baripada

Cash bash

Sir — The distribution of freebies ahead of elections has become a viral phenomenon in this country. Not only Odisha, but also states such as Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh have always adopted this method to woo the voters. Though the report “BJD’s cash bash ahead of polls” published on October 28 mentioned about various schemes that the state government had announced, I feel readers would be more interested to know the status of these schemes and programmes after the panchayat polls take place. I would like to request you to carry another report in this regard, so that we, the taxpayers, can get an idea about the money actually being spent by the government in the name of “development”.

Satyabrata Sahani, Jajpur town

History hour

Sir — This is with reference to the column “Heritage Awakening” published in your esteemed daily on November 7. The columnist B.K. Rath had pointed out many important reasons that are often ignored while complaining about the preservation of heritage and spreading awareness about it. What touched me most was his idea of including the history of the state in school syllabus. It is a pity that authorities in our state are so ignorant about this negligence of Odisha’s history in the field of education. As they say, better late than never. We must give our children a proper and true account of the state’s history, rather than filling up their textbooks with ancient legends and tales that does not help them much.

Jharana Tripathy,
Buxi Bazar, Cuttack

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