Letters to the Editor — May 7, 2022
In a densely populated nation such as India, where birth and death numbers vary each second, it is almost impossible to arrive at correct figures (Page 1, “WHO estimates 4.7 million COVID-linked deaths in India”, May 6). Having said that, the number of deaths relating to COVID-19, without an iota of doubt, has been huge. The very fact that data has not been provided with reference to age, gender and hospital figures raise a huge cloud over the reporting of the figures. While a strong database has never been the strong point of India, the deaths due to other causes, viz., old age, serious terminal illness and accidents, have immensely contributed to underreporting. If the Indian data was found wanting, WHO’s report — 10 times the numbers — is no better. WHO needs to back its claim with authenticity, else it would lose its credentials. And in the battle between findings, no one seems to spare a thought for those who faded away.
In the end, the lesson is that India needs a strong database.
Reports on the custodial death of a 25-year-old man in Chennai, on April 19, expose the gaps in the handling of such cases, especially when they are to do with the poor and the voiceless. If powerful activists did not come to the rescue, the case may well have been buried. The human rights violations in this case need to be investigated. Good governance also includes protection of life as far as the marginalised are concerned.
Rameeza A. Rasheed,
The picture of goats in large herds (Kerala, Page 4, May 6) being brought to Palakkad from Tamil Nadu under the pretext of grazing them — even if true — is evidence that these animals are made to walk for well over 50 kilometres in the scorching sun. Ironically, neither is Palakkad town green nor is neighbouring Tamil Nadu the Sahara desert. As an animal welfare officer of the Animal Welfare Board of India, I condemn this cruelty. I would rather advise those involved to ensure that these animals are transported in a heavy vehicle.
C.K. Prem Kumar,