regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Letters to the Editor: The vicious cycle of loneliness and sleeplessness

Readers write in from Surat, Calcutta, Ludhiana, Nadia, Faridabad, Kanpur and Howrah

The Editorial Board Published 25.06.24, 07:30 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Vicious cycle

Sir — The World Health Organization recently declared loneliness to be a public health concern. Even though loneliness seems all pervasive, it is a difficult feeling to describe. For instance, while it is easy to understand why someone moving to a new city without any acquaintances might feel lonely, it is far harder to explain why loneliness may assail even those who are amidst their friends and family. Unfortunately, a cure for loneliness seems as elusive. A recent study found that quality sleep can help curb loneliness. Yet, if quality sleep is the solution, then there is little hope for the lonely since loneliness often causes insomnia. Seeking professional help can break this vicious cycle of loneliness and sleeplessness.


Bhavesh Shah, Surat

Liberal laughter

Sir — Pope Francis should be lauded for pointing out that it is okay to laugh at god (“Laugh, pray, love”, June 22). In liberal societies, it is not unusual to poke fun at god. This is something that was common among Bengalis — the film, Jamalaye Jibanta Manush, is a perfect example of the conviviality that can exist between man and god. But this humorous spirit is progressively falling prey to fanatic religiosity. The pope’s advice to laugh without hurting the sentiments of others is thus important.

Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta

Sir — The relentless pursuit of personal gain has eroded our moral values, compassion, empathy and love. In thousands of shrines across the world, we pray only for ourselves, seldom for those who are suffering. At a time of great savagery around the world, making others laugh would indeed be a greater service than praying.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Sir — Humour unites people because laughter is contagious. In the workplace, humour can relieve tension and help employees cope with work pressure. Students must be encouraged to have a sense of humour given the immense academic pressure that they face. However, one should not crack inappropriate jokes that make people uncomfortable. It is also important to gauge the listener’s mood before making jokes.

Kiran Agarwal, Calcutta

True colours

Sir — Three bills were passed in Parliament last year with little to no participation from the Opposition, given the suspension of 146 members of Parliament. The chief minister of West Bengal and the Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, has rightly called this disconcerting because an informed debate about the provisions of the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita would have been beneficial for the country (“Mamata ‘grave concern’ to PM on crime laws”, June 22). Concerns about the new laws primarily stem from the sweeping powers that they grant to the State. The functioning of the Bharatiya Janata Party was autocratic in its last term.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Not enough

Sir — The Narendra Modi-led government has raised the minimum support prices on 14 kharif crops (“Kharif MSP raised”, June 20). If farm­ers get a fair price for their produce, it will compensate for the high cost of agricultural labour. But owing to delays in payments by the government, the benefits of the MSP often go to waste. Moreover, even the raised MSP does not meet the increased expenditure on seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, affecting farmers’ net profit.

Yugal Kishore Sharma, Faridabad

Inhumane existence

Sir — Recently, a Switzer­land court sentenced four members of the Hinduja family to around four and half years in prison after finding them guilty of exploiting do­mestic workers (“Hindujas guilty of exploitation”, June 22). The labour and human rights of domestic and other workers in India should be safeguarded too.

In this regard, the National Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the Union labour and employment ministry on allegations against an e-commerce giant for forcing workers to work without even toilet or water breaks. A probe into this matter must be undertaken urgently. Customers should stop patronising the company unless it is given a clean chit.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Sir — In India, too, domestic workers face difficulties akin to those experienced by their counterparts abroad. Underpayment and the lack of proper breaks are two such shared problems. The incident involving the Hinduja family has shone a light on the plight of domestic workers. Other Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have laws ensuring that domestic workers receive weekly days off, pensions, and minimum wages. The Government of India must implement similar measures for the well-being of these workers.

Jakir Hussain, Kanpur

Safe ride

Sir — It is heartening that the West Bengal state transport department has decided to take the safety of school-going children seriously (“Advisory on pool cars, school buses”, June 22). Operators of school buses and pool cars flout safety norms because of the laxity of the transport department. The new advisory needs to be updated in the future.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Killer heat

Sir — At least 110 people died due to the heatwaves in India (“Heat toll holds mi­r­ror up to healthcare readiness”, June 21). Even though the heatwaves had been predicted, people had to step out to earn a living. The government failed to take adequate steps to treat those who suffered heatstrokes and to set up adequate makeshift shelters so that people could seek some respite from the heat.

Santi Pramanick, Howrah

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