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- Published 14.02.15
Handle with care
Sir - Calcutta can now boast of being the first metropolitan city with free Wi-fi services ("Poll pulls Wi-fi to party street", Feb 6). While this may be an advantage for most residents, it can turn out to be a bane in disguise. For instance, using this facility while crossing the street can prove to be fatal. The Calcutta Municipal Corporation can avert such disasters by putting up warning signs and hoardings at prominent places. The people should be told to use this service with care.
A.S. Mehta, Calcutta
Sir - It is shocking to know that smoking killed 100 million men in the last century. Of late, the habit has gone up alarmingly among women and men. Smoking poses one of the biggest threats to public health. It not only adversely affects those who indulge in this habit but victims of passive smoking suffer as well.
The Centre has proposed a ban on the sale of loose cigarettes. The proposal aims to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products to 21 years from 18. The fine on smoking in public places would also be raised from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000.
The suggestions mooted by the Centre - the raising of the age limit and the stiff penalty - would certainly act as effective deterrents. But the idea of banning loose cigarettes will encourage people to buy entire packets. As a result, they are likely to smoke heavily. Restricting the sale of tobacco products to a few select places with a special license can prove to be more productive. More people should be made aware of the hazards of smoking. The solution to the problem should be a total ban on the production of commodities injurious to health. They include such products as alcohol, gutka, paan masala, and so on.
Unfortunately, these products are a source of revenue for the government in spite of their ill effects on public health.
Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi
From the heart
Sir - Today is Valentine's Day. In the past few days, people have been busy buying gifts for their loved ones. The event is usually commemorated as a celebration of love. But love is not about showering people with gifts. It means standing by one's loved ones in good times and bad.
Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai
Sir - "A different twist" (Feb 9), by Malavika Karlekar, was lucid and captivating. Memory is intriguing and intangible. Before reading the piece, I was not aware of the works of either Penelope Lively or Devindar Kaur. But Karlekar's piece has now evoked an interest in works, ideas and explanations related to memory. I will certainly make an effort to read up on Kaur and Lively. But it is Karlekar who must be credited with kindling my interest in these two fascinating authors.
Steps ought to be taken to ensure that the works of Lively and Kaur are available widely. It will only add to their popularity among the readers. The writings by Kaur and Lively can play a significant role in enhancing and sharpening conventional - but blurred -concepts concerning memory. This would help clear confusions that persist in our minds. Lively and Kaur enable readers gain a fresh perspective on life.
Tania Bhattacharyya, Calcutta