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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 27 February 2024

Letters to the Editor: 'Fat tax', like fat shaming, is grossly unfair

Readers write in Calcutta, Navi Mumbai, Maruthancode (Tamil Nadu), Faridabad, Bhopal

The Telegraph Published 26.03.22, 12:11 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Library

Unfair standards

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Sir — Many people who have grown up ‘chubby’ know how hard it is to find clothing that fits and is fashionable. Worse, even a generic item of clothing in plus-size is likely to cost much more than one in a smaller size. This is what has been termed as the ‘fat tax’. Such an invisible, yet obvious, ‘tax’ is also levied on other things, such as airplane seats, furniture and even coffins. Yet, not only are there numerous medical conditions that may cause weight gain, but there is also nothing wrong with being above a certain weight. Fat shaming, too, seems to come in all shapes and sizes.

Ritwika Sen,
Calcutta

Limited knowledge

Sir — The editorial, “Little learning” (Mar 23), aptly underlined how the new, proposed curriculum by the University Grants Commission for the four-year undergraduate programme will adversely affect students. It proposes the reduction of the proportion of the honours subject in the workload to 30 per cent from around 73 per cent in the choice-based credit system. This will limit students’ understanding of their specializations. The curriculum may even wreck their overall academic performance.

Suparni Haldar,
Calcutta

Sir — Schoolchildren have for long focused on excelling in their Class XII board examinations. Those hoping to pursue a career in medicine or engineering had the added task of preparing for competitive exams. Now, there is another source of pressure — the Common University Entrance Test.

All Central universities are expected to admit students to undergraduate and postgraduate courses based on CUET scores. Board examination marks will largely be rendered useless. Soon, the country will have a generation of students with one purpose in life — cracking entrance examinations.
They will not learn about topics that do not have a bearing on the entrance exam. Hopefully, some students will refuse to participate in this rat race.

R. Narayanan,
Navi Mumbai

Steep price

Sir — The price of domestic cooking gas has recently been hiked by Rs 50 per cylinder. A non-subsidized, 14.2-kilogramme cylinder will now cost Rs 949.50 in Delhi and Mumbai. The prices of petrol and diesel in Mumbai have been hiked by 84 paise and 85 paise per litre, respectively.

The increase in prices has made it difficult for many families to make ends meet. The Centre should look for ways to mitigate this crisis immediately. The failure to do so will lead to widespread public dissatisfaction.

C.K. Subramaniam,
Navi Mumbai

Sir — The recently-concluded season of assembly elections saw a freeze on fuel prices for more than four months. Now that the polls are over, prices are rising again. While the global oil market has been deeply impacted by the war in Ukraine, over half of what customers pay for fuel is tax. The government should reduce the rate of taxation on fuel. This can go a long way in alleviating the troubles of the common people. The Centre can find a way to stabilize fuel prices if it chooses to do so.

G. David Milton,
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Be safe

Sir — World Kidney Day fell on March 10 this year and the theme was ‘Kidney Health for All’. Kidneys perform the life-sustaining job of filtering and purifying our blood. The most dangerous aspect of kidney disease is that it can be asymptomatic in the early stages. In fact, some people lose almost 90 per cent of their kidney function before exhibiting symptoms. To maintain the health of our kidneys, we must monitor blood sugar and pressure levels, drink plenty of water, regulate protein intake and avoid painkillers.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,
Faridabad

Sir — An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the main reasons for kidney degeneration. We must make better choices if we want to lead a long life.

Radha Sharma,
Bhopal

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