Adopting or sponsoring a child is the best kind of legacy
Sir — The concern about India’s growing population is understandable. To address this, couples should be encouraged to plan their families. But what about the children who are already living in the world, deprived of even basic rights? Parenting does not necessarily have to be about extending one’s own bloodline; it could also be about building a better world for all children. One could consider adopting orphans or paying for the education of children whose parents cannot afford it. Would this not be the best kind of legacy to leave behind?
Sir — Based on the recommendations of the Bimal Jalan committee, the central board of the Reserve Bank of India has decided to transfer a record Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the government, out of which Rs 52,637 crore will come out of the ‘contingency fund’ (“Windfall gain”, Aug 29). This decision has reignited the debate as to whether or not the reserves of the central bank should be used for any purpose other than meeting unforeseen economic crises. The finance ministry has not yet shared any details about how the funds will be utilized. However, the infusion of capital into the public sector banks should be the foremost priority. At present, the Indian economy does not depict a rosy picture. Certain sectors — aviation, automobiles and real estate, for example — are languishing. Along with the loss of jobs in several industries and increasing unemployment, economic growth has slumped to a six-year low. In the wake of the prediction of a global recession in 2020 or early 2021 — India is expected to be affected too — it is debatable whether or not the Centre draining the RBI surplus was a prudent exercise.
Sir — From top economists to ordinary people, everyone is questioning the government’s decision of taking Rs 1.76 lakh crore from the RBI. While the concern is justifiable, it must be understood that the economic situation has gone beyond the control of the BJP and the country needs to be saved. Perhaps this move was required to prevent a great disaster, one towards which the government has been pushing the nation with the help of demonetization and the goods and services tax. In 1991, the Congress government, under P.V. Narasimha Rao as prime minister and Manmohan Singh as finance minister, saved the economy by pledging gold with foreign banks. But it remains to be seen if the BJP government uses the amount taken from the RBI for the benefit of the nation. One can only hope that the sum does not go into the wrong hands.
Follow the signs
Sir — During his lecture at the traffic sensitization workshop organized by the state transport department last Thursday, the chief secretary of West Bengal made some practical observations (“Signage key to safe drive”, Aug 30). Besides the urgent need to improve the quality of roads substantially, the volume of signage should be increased. Signs should be placed in such a way that they are easily spotted by drivers. They should also be put up to warn drivers and bikers about upcoming speed breakers, since these, along with barricades, pose a great threat to the safety of motorists. Images should be used in traffic signage rather than just words. This is because a driver might not know or be fluent in the language in which the warning is written. The traffic police should ensure that construction materials are not left lying on the carriageway, as this leads to accidents. They must be forbidden from taking bribes from promoters or anyone else responsible. Roads should be broadened, with provisions for parking on the side. The government should also consider building more underpasses in order to help pedestrians cross busy main roads.
It is necessary to prevent vehicles from taking random U-turns. Driving along the wrong lanes should also be penalized. Speeding must also be dealt with strictly, and drink-driving prevented at all costs. In the latter case, young people from rich families are often found to be the culprits. They should not be allowed to pay their way out of punishment. Every life is precious, and any action to save it is worth taking.
Asit Kumar Mitra,