LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR THE ISSUE DATED 11TH JULY 2020

100% RESULTS

Kudos to these students of St. Xavier’s Higher Secondary, Old Goa, a special higher secondary project of Caritas Goa. It is one of the five institutes in Goa that scored hundred percent results declared by the Goa Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. Despite disabilities four students (hearing impaired), two (intellectual disability), one (cerebral palsy) secured hundred percent results with one distinction and six first class in the arts stream. Students are (standing) Floyd Fernandes, Monika D’Mello, Shibani Sharma, Bhagyashree Gauder, Pradeep Rajput, (sitting) Amandeep Chopra, Sr Monica Coelho, Ms Maria and Navdeep Pavane. Expressing his gratitude to all the efforts put in by principal and staff, Fr Maverick Fernandes of Caritas observes that a society must recognize that disability is not inability and therefore equity in opportunities is essential for a society to be just.

OUTSTANDING DR. EDWIN GOMES

EMINENT in Goa should be chastised! But not Dr Edwin Gomes, doctor-in-chief of Covid-19 medical salvage operations at the Goa Medical College & Hospital at Bambolim who has had a very long and successful 98-day stint treating Covid-19 patients with diligence and having been involved in recovery of scores of patients. No other doctor has distinguished himself as creditably as Dr Edwin Gomes.
To give a few health tips as a layman I would like to advise people to do physical exertion like a long morning walk, especially at a jogger’s park where ample free oxygen is available to boost the capacity of the lungs – it would improve immunity against Covid-19. Also, consume Complan, Ensure and Horlicks to further boost immunity and be sure to observe social distancing, wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer.
Take your doctor’s advice on the use of prescribed drugs hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir and other drugs for treatment and containment of Covid-19 patients. Alas, so far the medical profession hasn’t come to an agreement of which the most useful and best treatment for the contagion is! Doctors must educate patients and their families a little in the ways of staying save and protected from Covid-19 infection.
This is pertinent because so far over 2,000 people in Goa have been infected and the lives of more than eight people have been claimed. The spurt in rise of cases is attributed to the monsoon and lowering of temperature and increased humidity, something which reportedly keeps coronavirus airborne; all this in collaboration with the various Municipalities which have not been able to maintain strict general hygiene and sanitation of public places. Let eminent doctors do something worthwhile for Goan people to combat and overcome Covid-19!
— Stephen Dias, Dona Paula

PHOTOSYNTHESIS WONDERS
SO you thought that in the rains, photosynthesis does not take place. You are wrong, because as the rains begin and July and August are most abundant with rains the number of leaves of the trees increases exponentially and photosynthesis too increases proportionately through filtered rays of light through clouds across the sun. As leaves grow in number so too chlorophyll increases and catalyses photosynthesis to a greater extent replenish the air with a heavy dose of oxygen — which sustains healthier living, especially these days of Covid-19. The newly created oxygen in the air fills our lungs with fresh oxygen and make us less susceptible to Covid-19. The divine weatherman thus not only lowers the temperature during the rainy season and showers fresh water in the form of rainfall but also makes you more immune to diseases!
— Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

MELAULI OUTRAGE
BEFORE planning any major public project isn’t it incumbent on the government to have a proper consultative process with local people? So that transparency and accountability in governance is retained.  But this arrogant self-serving government of Goa continually ignores the fact that we are part of the world’s largest democracy and as such the wishes of the people are paramount and must never be ignored.
The recent police high-handedness witnessed in the village of Melauli in Satari is outrageous. Police may not behave like cowboys of their political bosses. The law does not permit them. The police is duty bound to uphold the rule of law at all times. Those villagers are opposed to the setting up of an IIT on their land, it will destroy their verdant wilderness where tribal Advisi people live their sustainable simple lifestyles. The arrest of the three locals about to address a press conference to let the media know their objections is very deplorable. Since when was permission required to address the media? Has the BJP sought any permission for its press conferences?
Whether it is the IIT, Marina project at Nauxim or the doubling of railway tracks at Cansaulim, when local residents are overwhelmingly against these projects, a good government would respect the sentiments and anxieties of people. On issues that concern society the government should bow to the wishes and aspirations of the common people by taking sensible corrective decisions — instead of forcing the public to agitate on the streets.
An already over-plundered Goa does not need more questionable projects. The government’s first priority should be to ensure that basic infrastructure is its top priority to improve the quality of life of people.
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

BOYCOTT CHINA?
WHEN the Chinese army gathered at the Indian border local BJP noisily cried to Goans locked in their homes to boycott Chinese toys/ firecrackers — since  locals don’t buy power plants or solar panels! The BJP workers were understandably concerned with the foreign aggression. Goa borders too were crossed by another enemy: Covid-19. From Green Zone we are slipping into Red Zone if you study the rising number of cases. On top of that hotels are opening without any logic. Within days of their opening BJP leaders attended a “booze party” in a hotel and that without masks, social distancing, possession of negative test certificates — all required as per SOP of these same BJP leaders! Are they not concerned by the spread of the coronavirus contagion? Another hotel had a party for domestic and foreign tourists, again violating all coronavirus- related SOPs. People are looking for all the free official advice so forthcoming before!
— R Fernandes, Margao

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