I feel it is advisable to have regulations for seat belts continue to be applied for all seats in the school buses that are on our roads (‘New drivers to get two-year licence, starting from July 1’, Gulf News, April 17). The advantage factors I find behind such an enforcement of safety regulation are many. First and foremost, at any given point in time, the student is safeguarded from impacts due to sudden braking.
Secondly, when it is normally enforced on a daily basis it will become an automatic habit, which will be carried on to their private travel with friends and family. They will be leading the way as ambassadors of road safety.
It may also reduce the driver distractions that happen often in the school buses where children run around or jump on the seats, ignoring the request of the supervisors and drivers. It may thus reduce the bullying that might be happening in some cases.
Safety education is something children should be reminded of every moment. It is because we tend to take some small points lightly, thinking that we know it or “it will not happen to me” that many accidents occur. So, why do we miss out on the opportunity of a road safety education opportunity for children? Teach them young and travel with them safely throughout!
From Mr Ramesh Menon
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Reader came across a school project that reuses water in the flushing system
A few days ago, after a hectic schedule at the office, I decided to visit a friend and spend some quality time relaxing. During our conversations, I could hear some sounds from the washroom. I was curious to know what was happening and came to know that my friend’s son and his classmates were working on a water conservation project for their school.
It is always amazing to see projects on water and energy conservation. The children were fixing a self-made wash basin, connected to the toilet’s flushing system. When the flushing mechanism fills the tank, a pipe channels extra water to the basin, dedicated to washing one’s hands.
I was amazed by the concept. There were a few young boys working on it and the tools they used were all simple. The basin was a simple ice cream tub and two pipes were connected to it as an inlet and outlet.
In this newly created flush system, when you flush, water from the storage tank moves to the toilet and fresh water fills the tank for the next flush. While filling the tank, some water is redirected to this wash basin. This water supply lasts for about a minute, or until the tank fills up. The water collected in the basin then goes to the tank for the flush. It saves a large volume of water!
One of the students told me: “Normally, we need 20 seconds to scrub our hands with soap and then wash up, but this process consumes a lot of water. This model will save this resource.”
In a day, a person washes his or her hands seven times on average, as stated by WaterWatch, a US-based non-governmental organisation. During hand wash, up to 14 litres of water can be consumed by just one person. But, by using the device created by these students, only 5.6 litres of water would be consumed by one individual in a day. In a family of four, that saves up to 33 litres of water per day. And the best part is, all this water is then reused, to flush the toilet.
I later found that the students had implemented the idea in different places, and thousands of litres of water were being saved in their school and in the homes of some of the students. This idea is the brainchild of Keerthi Kumar Jagannath, an administrative staff member at the Abu Dhabi Indian School, Al Wathba. He deserves great appreciation and honour for initiating, motivating and encouraging students to take up such projects.
He has a target of equipping 1,000 washrooms with this set-up. When I spoke with him, I found it was his passion to invent, demonstrate and inspire others with such innovative ideas.
Such efforts should be endorsed, in order to foster improved environments. The power to save the planet rests with us. I hope more schools, malls and corporations adopt this simple method in their flushing system so we can save a huge volume of water every day.
— The reader is based in Abu Dhabi.
To read it in original visit Gulf News Dated 10 April 2017.
This news report is sensational and shocking until now. All Non-Resident Indians (NRI) have been urged to get their Aadhaar done for the mandatory official identification and usage purposes.
One concrete example is the students’ need of this card for the forthcoming National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET). A number of parents had to travel back to their home state in India for the sake of obtaining an Aadhaar card for their children in order to qualify for the exam. They were clearly informed that if their children do not have an Aadhaar card, they will not be eligible to take the NEET. They were told to register in the NRI category, which was prominently highlighted for them to adhere to. However, it does not end there. What about the other important activities like applying for mobile subscriptions, handling transactions at local registration offices, etc. Indian authorities urge the public to obtain their Aadhaar card, where details on their biometric and demographic data are compulsory information including their thumb impression.
From Ms Ramesh Menon
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This generation now is entirely different from the generation that I belong to. I am surprised by the ease with which they adapt to modern technology. For everything there is a solution that they can come out with.
Talk about the art of reading, and the situation is very different. Now, children are well aware of everything. They have an easy and always reachable guru in terms of Google search.
The art of reading from the books and gaining knowledge and engaging oneself is slowly dying down. Children reading newspapers have become a rarity.
It was, therefore, a surprise to notice a young graduate UAE national girl who joined me at office recently, keenly reading books and newspapers both in print and online. Curious, I told her she seemed a different kind.
She replied: “When I was a child, I used to have a nanny from the Philippines. Rosie was a teacher before she came to work with us. When we children used to get bored, she would tell us and teach us how to read from story books. At first, it was difficult and out of compulsion we followed. “Later on, when the words and photos got into our minds and thoughts connected with us in various ways, it became a natural process to reach out to story books, novels and newspapers. It is now part of our life.”
This being the Year of Giving, she expressed her thanks to her nanny Rosie, who is now settled in the US, through this short note.
Readers write to Gulf News about issues affecting them and their community
‘Instant fame’ is not worth endangering yourself
This is an extremely important move from Dubai’s Environment, Health and Safety Control Authority (“Local order against daredevil selfie takers”, Gulf News, March 21). They are curbing the recent craze of ‘selfie-adventurists’ doing dangerous stunts on top of high-rise structures. Not only is this a death-defying act, but also creates negative motivation for others to follow and receive ‘instant fame’ on social media.
In fact, people don’t just perform these kinds of stunts in Dubai alone – it happens everywhere. In one of my trips to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah, I witnessed a family encouraging children to jump repeatedly from the guard rails for a picture-perfect opportunity, while someone else kept clicking pictures on their camera. This happy excursion could have become tragic any time one of them fell down the side of a steep slope. I hope there will be more awareness programs to constantly alert and remind people of any imminent danger. Safety should be our priority at all times.
From Mr Ramesh Menon
It is absolutely a suicidal act craving for personal publicity. Public display and wide dissemination of these type of acts through print and online media, in particular social media create an urge in young minds to try and do a similar or different type inviting possible chances of death or permanent injuries.
I suggest the videos should be removed from the web and those who do such things should be punished so that there is a sense of fear among others who may attempt such things in future and prevent them from doing so. Congratulations to Dubai Police for taking the first step to warn such people.
Letters to the editor, The National dated 20 February 2017 on the topic
It is a highly unbelievable and a one-off situation what the people of the state as well as those who love the Tamil people are witnessing now (‘India’s top court shows the way in fighting graft’, Gulf News, February 15). First and foremost, we are living in an era that should have freedom to express our constitutional rights and thoughts and not just follow the whims and fancies of anyone who claims to have confidence or power or even access to power.
Wonder why the educated Tamil people, men and women, sit quiet and say nothing on this issue. They had more of a voice and mass to express and unite themselves for the Jallikattu Festival issue than for a situation like these pseudo rulers.
Who is forcing Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala to remain in politics, if she feels that it’s hard for a woman to survive in politics? Sit quiet and be comfortable at home and enjoy the money that has been quietly earned over the years rather than perish with more greed.
Without strong sentencing and monetary punishment, which surprisingly was not handed out in this case, the process may continue to happen considering the timeframe for such verdicts.
From Mr Ramesh Menon
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