Shocking video highlights officials' apathy towards farmers' plight

Farmers have to run from pillar to post to have their needs fulfilled

  • Published 6.01.19, 12:34 PM
  • Updated 6.01.19, 12:34 PM
  • 2 mins read
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The video showed a farmer in Madhya Pradesh falling at the feet of the district collector, as administrative tardiness had put his crops in danger Screen shot from the viral video

Sir — It was shocking to see a video that recently went viral on social media, of a farmer in Madhya Pradesh falling to the feet of the new district collector of the area for the installation of a small power transformer to work the pumps in his field. Even though he had already paid Rs 40,000 and completed the paperwork, the administration had not installed the transformer, thus putting his crops in danger. While the matter was addressed soon after, this incident highlights the apathy of politicians and bureaucrats towards farmers. The latter have to run from pillar to post to have their needs fulfilled.

Ajay S. Kumar,

Trivandrum

Waste not

Sir — It is commendable that Britain has appointed its first food waste chief to bring about a reduction in the millions of tonnes of food that are wasted every year by restaurants, supermarkets and manufacturers (“UK appoints food waste chief”, Jan 1). This is sorely needed in a world of rising hunger and heightened levels of greenhouse gas emissions, apart from the wastage of fuel and water. Some European countries have apparently already adopted national measures to fight food waste. It is alarming that a third of all food produced globally is binned every year.

Food wastage in India, too, reaches criminal proportions every year. Even though some philanthropic organizations are engaged collecting leftovers from hotels and restaurants to feed the poor, it makes little difference given the massive scale of the problem. The Central and state governments should create dedicated ministries to monitor food wastage and increase public awareness.

Jahar Saha,

Calcutta

Sir — The appointment of a food waste management chief in Britain is a positive step. While one-third of the food produced is wasted globally every year, millions of people around the world go hungry every day, and are also victims of malnutrition. If measures are taken globally to channelize food from areas of surplus to areas of deficit, wastage can be reduced and daily meals and nourishment for poor populations can be ensured.

High volumes of food wastage in restaurants and at weddings and birthday parties is common in India. This is shameful in a country where lakhs of people are forced to look for food in garbage bins. Food banks operate in some pockets of the nation, but there is a marked lack of national policy to deal with the problem. The Indian government must immediately set up bodies which can monitor the situation and bring about a change.

Tejesh Vyas,

Howrah

Power play

Sir — The traffic management system in Calcutta is in a shambles. In many cases, traffic constables themselves aggravate the problem. Riders of two-wheelers as well as those driving four-wheelers are often pulled aside and penalized even if they have committed no crime and have all their registration papers in order. Why are they victimized in this manner? There have even been instances where sergeants have joined the constables in harassing riders/drivers without bothering to find out first whether they had actually done anything wrong.

Moreover, the behaviour of traffic policemen on most occasions is harsh and high-handed. There have been occasions when vehicles entering roads that are regularly used for two-way traffic — and, significantly, have no ‘one-way’ signs on display anywhere — are stopped and their drivers penalized for entering a ‘one-way street’. If such a situation is allowed to persist then it will soon be very difficult to even venture out on to the streets in vehicles. The traffic management personnel need to be trained and sensitized so that they enforce the law with integrity. They should not be able to harass ordinary citizens merely on account of their positions.

Probal Das,

Calcutta

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