Sir — Exorbitant prices at restaurants prevent many people from tasting a delectable bite. Recently, a Japanese tourist ordered a crab dish in a restaurant only to discover that the dish had cost her a whopping $680. While the woman insisted that she was unaware of the price of the crab curry, the restaurant authorities said that she had been informed about the cost but had ordered enormous amounts nonetheless and was unable to finish the portion. Over-ordering is a common problem at restaurants and this leads to food wastage. Perhaps high prices at restaurants are not such a bad thing after all. This may discourage people from ordering excess food.
Shruti Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — The Congress has accused the Central government of carrying out a “planned euthanasia” to kill the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by “inordinately delaying” the funding of social audits and not allocating funds to the states. The Congress general-secretary, Jairam Ramesh, shared a media report on X, formerly Twitter, which stated that MGNREGS social audits are essential to ensure accountability and transparency. The Central funding for the social audit, which is carried out independently by the states, has been delayed, resulting in a cycle of non-payment by the Centre that affects the beneficiaries of the MGNREGS. The funds must be released immediately.
Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai
Sir — A report by the United Nations has predicted that the population of the elderly in India will double by 2050, underscoring the need to strengthen social security. The decline in the working-age population would lead to a decrease in productivity and would affect the economic growth of the country. Older people are also more susceptible to diseases and can be an economic burden unless the government takes steps to encourage young people to invest in pension schemes and long-term health insurance. Increasing the retirement age with reduced working hours and building well-maintained old-age homes in all districts should also be considered.
Kiran Agarwal, Calcutta
Sir — It is heartening that the former Indian cricketer, Sourav Ganguly, has responded to the allegations by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders regarding his investment in a steel plant in Bengal (“Dada hits critics for a six: Where I go is my business”, Sept 29). Although Ganguly was known to be close to the BJP before the 2021 assembly polls, he was alienated by the party soon after. Ganguly is a free citizen who has the right to travel without being answerable for doing so. The saffron party needs to scrutinise its election strategies instead of misdirecting people’s attention from important issues.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — Sourav Ganguly has rightly dismissed the criticism by the BJP over his visit to Spain along with the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. The party has no right to dictate or oppose the personal freedoms of the former Indian cricketer.
Piyush Somani, Guwahati
Sir — A recent report by The Lancet Global Health found that gender inequalities worsen women’s access to cancer prevention, detection and care. Gender bias also hinders women’s participation in cancer research, management and healthcare. Nearly 1.5 million women died globally in 2020 due to a lack of awareness about cancer and inadequate healthcare facilities.
The government needs to start special cancer care systems for women. Strategic health policies to address the concerns of female patients, ensuring easy access to diagnosis and treatment of cancer and spreading awareness about the disease are important too.
Arka Goswami, Durgapur