Urgent need; Hidden gems; Star player
• Sir - One of the reasons for the filthy condition in Calcutta is the severe shortage of public toilets. The authorities should look into this matter and build more toilets. The lack of restrooms is felt most acutely in Rabindra Sarovar. The park surrounding the lake is the pride of the city and used by many throughout the year. A majority of them are aged people for whom the absence of toilets is a serious problem. Thousands of rupees are being spent on the beautification of the place but this logical need has been overlooked. The civic body should remedy this situation immediately.
Asit Kumar Mitra,
• Sir - Ramachandra Guha has written about the selflessness of the adivasi activist, Lal Shyam Shah, in his article, "A shining legacy" (Feb 3). The demand for a separate Gondwana state, however, is not new. It has been ignored by successive governments irrespective of which political dispensation was in power. But it was good to learn that Shah, unlike the politicians of present times, gave up his seat because the request for a separate state of the Gonds was turned down. This shows that Shah wanted to affect change and was not merely hungry for power.
Sambhu Nath Chowdhury,
• Sir - There are many people who disappear from public memory in spite of their honest toil and selfless public service. Lal Shyam Shah is clearly one such person. One is grateful to Ramachandra Guha and Shah's biographer, the senior journalist, Sudeep Thakur, for providing readers with glimpses into the life of this adivasi activist. Shah's contributions towards helping tribal people assert their rights and demand a separate Gondwana state for the welfare of the adivasis should not be forgotten.
• Sir - In the article, "A shining legacy", Ramachandra Guha says that the adivasi activist, Lal Shyam Shah, wrote in his resignation letter that "politicians bowed on bended knees before the wealth of influential businessmen". It is sad that the situation in India still has not changed. The policies of the government are till date designed to suit the rich businessmen and not ordinary people.
The exploitation of common people happens not just along the lines of caste and religion, as is the case with adivasis, but also on the basis of class. Salaried individuals are exploited by the corporate businesses, which enjoy the support of the government. Private companies are not ready to pay higher salaries, even when their profits increase. No government or politician thinks of the salaried class. The so-called intellectuals and the media, too, remain silent about such exploitation. This is a sorry state of affairs.
• Sir - The Indian fast bowler, Jhulan Goswami, should be lauded for adding another feather to her cap. Goswami became the first woman cricketer to take 200 wickets in one-day international cricket. Incidentally, another Indian bowler, Kapil Dev, was the first male to achieve this feat. Goswami's 200th wicket was the South African opener, Laura Wolvaardt. In Test cricket, too, Goswami has an impressive record. She took six wickets while conceding 31 runs against New Zealand in 2011. She has also played a pivotal role as the vice-captain of the national women's team.
Goswami was rightly declared the International Cricket Council's woman player of the year in 2007. Soon after, she was elevated to the position of captain of the national women's team . She was also conferred the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2010 followed by a Padma Shri two years later.
For a girl hailing from the small town of Chakdaha, Goswami's journey has been glorious. If the Board of Control for Cricket in India were ever to constitute a hall of fame for the women cricketers of the country, then Jhulan Goswami would certainly feature at the top. She makes her state and her country proud.
Pramatha R. Bhattacharya,