Sir — I was overwhelmed to read about Ajoy Satpathy’s generosity. This former headmaster of a school in Tufanganj sold his house and donated the sale proceeds of Rs 10 lakh to enable meritorious students to complete their education (“Teacher sells home for students”, April 27). People like Satpathy are easily forgotten as they do not want to be recognized for their unselfish acts that are undertaken for the betterment of society. Satpathy, truly, is a gem among fellow men.
K. Shankar, Calcutta
Sir — The boat tragedy in Dhubri, Assam, has attracted the nation’s attention (“Assam boat crashes into rock in storm”, May 1). The ferry that capsized on account of the storm and the strong currents of the river was overcrowded. The killer boat thus violated the relevant rules regarding excess passenger load.The boat owner, reportedly, did not possess a license. Neither did the boat have life jackets. In Assam, thousands of ferries sail on the Brahmaputra without valid licenses. But the state government continues to remain indifferent to such brazen violations. The boats that ply on the Brahmaputra are also in a ramshackle condition.
In Guwahati, boat journeys are equally unsafe. Motorboats and ferries operating from the Panbazar ghat flout rules and carry a large number of passengers. There is thus a chance of yet another mishap that may kill more people. The government has declared monetary compensation for the victims’ families. But the transport ministry must be punished for its negligence.
A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati
Sir — Hillary Clinton’s desire to add Calcutta to her travel itinerary is a novel act (“Hillary healing touch for CM”, April 28). The fact that Calcutta is finally getting some attention is heartening. It has been noticed for many years that this eastern metropolis has been ignored by visiting dignitaries. This is only because the city has lost much of its significance and aura.
It is really good to find leaders from the United States of America are starting to pay attention to this neglected city. Now a direct flight from Calcutta to Los Angeles would be an icing on the cake. Political leaders from both countries should give some thought to this aspect as well.
Subhajit Chandra, New Delhi
Menace on wheels
Sir — Howrah is clogged with thousands of rickshaws and vans. Most of the operators hail from adjoining states or are from across the border. Countless shops meant for repairing these vehicles have sprung up, encroaching the streets and inconveniencing pedestrians. Most of Howrah’s roads are in a state of disrepair. Corrupt politicians make money from encroachers, even though the encroachments bring untold misery to the people.
Many of these rickshaws are poorly designed and have two protruding spikes that often damage saris. Yet, everyone, including thousands of school children, spend a lot of money travelling on rickshaws since public transport is unavailable on the major roads. The rickshawpullers often misbehave with passengers. The administration in Howrah must look into the matter and alleviate the sufferings of the citizens.
Tusar Kanti Kar, Howrah