WARDEN TO A BABY SQUIRREL! It’s not often that we catch up with man for all seasons and manager Anant Joshi (IN, Retd) of the Youth Hostel in Miramar, Panaji. Here he is taking a break on the lawns attached to the hostel on a sunny morning, making friends with a baby squirrel which perhaps the crows were after! Currently, Mr Joshi said, the hostel has turned into a home away from home for tourists and migrant workers stuck in town because of the coronavirus lockdown. In between discharging his duties he takes time off to shower TLC on creatures small and big seeking sanctuary in the hostel’s garden grounds. (Pic by Tara Narayan)


I HAVE been fighting resolutely in order that the Aadhaar card which contains sensitive personal biometrics like iris scan and finger prints be not made mandatory for opening bank account, bank fixed deposit, demat account for mutual funds and even for mobile connections. I went to the extent of not linking my Aadhaar card to my bank account in the Bank of India, Panaji, but the bank manager told me that money would not be available for withdrawal from my saving account.
The Government of India under the NDA-led BJP forced RBI, mutual fund companies, share brokers and mobile companies to make it mandatory for everyone to link not only the Aadhaar card but also Pan card. This makes me vulnerable as my investments becoming accessible to the government. The Supreme Court had ruled that the linking of Aadhaar card is not mandatory for bank accounts, demat accounts, mutual fund and mobile number.
The SC also ordered delinking of Aadhaar card. Everyone followed the coercive rules of government against the will of the Supreme Court. As such, since Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, is now trying to behave like the holier than thou individual, why is it that he does not bare everything about himself to the people of India being a public figure? His Aadhaar card, his Pan card and his election photo identity card should all be linked. He is supposed to lead by example and not impose arbitrary rules on others when he does not follow them himself. Why the double standards?
Everybody learned citizen knows that nuclear weapons may be used for war as also nuclear energy for power supply. In like manner everything has a dual purpose. Now more than ever the Indian PM should shed protecting himself and behave like a common man. He should not wait for people to find out what he hides by resorting to RTI. His daily expenses on food, clothes, traveling, security measures and foreign jaunts and monetary possession should be in the public domain.
This is to say linking Aadhaar card had a bad intention. If he were not to use coercive means on the people, I would not ask him to bare all either. No double standards, please!
— Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

The belated decision by the Goa government to now hold a home-to-home health community survey is a matter of great concern with the raging COVID-19 catastrophe leaving many questions unanswered. How such a survey will benefit society is something the authorities need to justify. The government needs to explain and fix responsibility on those responsible and who slept over this pandemic for the last many months. A little too late. Bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted is of no use to anyone.
Let us collectively appeal to our very pro-active Chief Secretary Parimal Rai to judiciously review this obvious uncalled for move for a home-to-home survey. Around 7,000 teachers who would be used for this survey, many of whom have young kids at home, are so very rightly concerned that they would be risking their lives and more particularly that of their family for not much gain. After all there is no guarantee that the government will act immediately and urgently to implement the results of the survey.
We hope Chief Secretary examines this whole issue and if push comes to shove, the government ensures that the latest protective equipment is given to those entrusted with the survey. At the same time ensuring that the stringent rules of social distancing and personal hygiene are observed and maintained at all times. Otherwise this exercise will needlessly expose innocent people to harmful exposure. Is this the best way to use the skills and time of our talented and dedicated teachers? Is their time, years of training and experience not better used to educate our children?
On this COVID-19, let it be very scrupulously ensured that every paisa spent is done transparently to ensure that it is accountable, leaving no room for corruption and nepotism – given the fact that hundreds of crore are flowing. Politicians must urgently awaken to the escalating pandemic affecting the state and nation in every possible way and ensure that not a paisa is siphoned. This precarious situation is a marathon and not a sprint.
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

IN a large economy like India foreign exchange earnings from NRIs and seafarers may comprise single digit percentage but are more than expenditure in education and health! This makes its importance relatively significant.
Goan seafarers not only remit foreign exchange to India but open up jobs for those staying here — or for people from other states who are “preferred” to locals. All foreign countries are making herculean efforts to get back their nationals. They have owned responsibility for their governed nationals. Goa needs to do more on this front. We recall a home minister at the Centre publicly reaching out to distressed Individuals in foreign countries during safe times: But today our home minister maintains a deafening silence.
Goa has shifted the onus to the Centre: Plans to accommodate those in need of quarantine at hospitals must be in place now? If not this government is not prepared to own responsibility. The government also has not made any effort to find out about the two people from a company in Goa who were detained in Iran. Likewise, there may be many Indians languishing in foreign jails in countries where corporal punishment, including death, is normal, the authorities may prefer the easy way out instead of releasing foreign prisoners during a pandemic.
— R Fernandes, Margao

With some easing out on the coronavirus emergency a lot of Goenkars are taking to ordering home food from various restaurant canteens. But are these food deliveries safe to entertain? With so many living under stay-at-home restrictions more and more food providers are inundated with orders and as the scramble to meet the demand is there…I wonder if the people are at risk?
The overwhelming rush to do food deliveries means the delivery folk may not have time to stop to wash hands or observe personal hygiene! What if Covid-10 infected boys do these deliveries, are any systems in place for these delivery boys vis-à-vis hand sanitizer, protective gear or their work shifts which are likely to be under stress. Also, how save is the packaging in which food deliveries are done? Is anybody asking any questions? Perhaps it is more important to keep a distance from home food deliveries and those who deliver them!
— Pankajbala R Patel, Tonca, Panaji

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