Monday, 30th October 2017

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Carbon dioxide as high as it was 3 million years ago

This will ensure that mosquito populations thrive, putting a further 27 per cent of the world population in danger of getting malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases

  • Published 18.05.19, 12:41 PM
  • Updated 18.05.19, 12:41 PM
  • 3 mins read
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Stinging truth A Telegraph file picture

Sir — It was appalling to read that scientists have detected the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the planet’s atmosphere since such records first started being kept. To put this into perspective, the last time Earth’s atmosphere contained so much carbon dioxide was more than three million years ago. These developments, while putting innumerable species at the risk of extinction, will also ensure that mosquito populations thrive, thereby putting a further 27 per cent of the world’s population in danger of getting malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Human beings have only themselves to blame for this — they have systematically destroyed the environment.

Srijonee Mitra

Calcutta

Pure cruelty

Sir — The tragic death of a woman and her daughter, who set themselves ablaze on Tuesday after a nationalized bank repeatedly threatened to go ahead with attachment proceedings for a housing loan default, has triggered widespread condemnation across Kerala. The fate that befell this hapless family is only the tip of the iceberg. Numerous other families face similar problems and are in danger of taking their own lives.

Many people approach banks for housing loans with the hope of building a comfortable home. They aim to repay the loan with their earnings. But if their incomes cease to come in on time, the repayment gets delayed and the interests accruing thereon increase rapidly. Once this happens, bank officials start behaving cruelly with the home-owners. Pressure tactics are applied on defaulters, many of whom cannot help their situation or their inability to pay, and have to frantically run from pillar to post to find a way to cough up the dues. Thugs are often employed to contact the defaulters and threaten them.

One shudders to think about the plight of the family that was driven to suicide by such mental torture. The bank officials should be held responsible for their deaths. It cannot be argued that loans must be repaid. But should there not be some concessions for ordinary home-owners who have unforeseen problems with income and need a bit more time for repayment? A nationalized bank is supposed to come to the rescue of Indians in times of financial crisis. Instead it ends up harassing defaulters, especially if they are ordinary citizens.

Surely, as a nationalized bank, it can show some leniency by either levying nominal interests or waiving the interests up to a certain period? This would help those struggling to repay loans reach a level of financial stability. This is what is expected from nationalized banks. Unfortunately, they seem to be mirroring the cruelty of private money lenders. This harmful attitude and modus operandi must be done away with. After all, the banks’ survival also depends on the people.

T.K. Nandanan

Kochi

Light gone out 

Sir — The news of the demise of the legendary actress and singer, Doris Day, was saddening. With her death, the world has lost a unique talent as well as a famously kind soul. The films she did made her one of the biggest stars of all time.

Day was a multifaceted personality — she acted, she sang beautifully, and she was also known for her sense of humour and her advocacy for animal rights. She will be remembered not only for her career in Hollywood but also for being a strong voice for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

Ramesh G. Jethwani

Bangalore

Sir — The Hollywood sensation, Doris Day, passed away a few days ago, leaving her fans heartbroken. It is worth remembering that in spite of her professional successes, Day had to face a lot of hardships in her personal life, especially in the form of unworthy husbands like Martin Melcher, who hurt her, squandered all her hard-earned money and left her in debt. One often does not realize the kinds of struggles women go through, irrespective of whether they are public personalities or ordinary citizens. Day must be remembered not just for her fame, but also her fighting spirit.

Anubrata Banerjee

Calcutta