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This is in response to the Reader's Mail in The Hindu dated 19th October, 2010.

It is disheartening to note that, instead of lauding the effort taken up by the dentists of the city for sparing their valuable time and effort in organizing and conducting this event, it has been criticized.

As we have already stated in The Hindu 8th October, 2010 titled ‘Massive Dental Screening Camp to set Guinness Record', apart from creating a record, we want to create awareness of dental health in a big way.

And we have succeeded in this attempt, especially among our target group – the children from Corporation Schools, which would not have been possible if not for this event.

We would like to inform that the general public came in large numbers till 11 p.m. on 7th October and the subsequent morning.

During the day, it was mainly the school children who were screened.

We were successful in screening 19,904 patients in 24 hrs and not in 10 hrs.

Though we did not use the textbook-prescribed sterile mouth mirrors, utmost care was taken to maintain hygiene by using disposable materials adopted in all dental camps.

It was also clearly mentioned that it was a screening camp and that those patients who need treatment could fix up appointment with preferred dentists, in the next three months, where extraction and filling will be done free of cost with sterile equipment in their respective clinic.

The very fact that the author of Reader's Mail on 19th October, 2010, has stated that it was a 10-hour event, proves that the author does not have first hand information, nor has he visited the venue.

We would wish to remind the author that the IDA Head Office in Mumbai organized a similar camp in October 2009, which is the motivating force behind this event.

Many senior, experienced dentists took active part in this camp and their morale has been deeply insulted and is also defaming and damaging the Objectives of Indian Dental Association, Head Office.

Indian Dental Association,

Coimbatore.

Road accidents

Many road accidents have occurred in the last few years and precious lives have been lost.

Though condition of roads has improved and four-way lanes have been laid in many parts of the country accident deaths have been on the rise.

The reasons for this are many: 1. People have not been educated on how to use the four-way lanes.

2. Reckless driving.

Speed control should be enforced even on one-way roads.

3. Long journey without adequate rest.

I request the State and Central governments to educate the public on traffic rules so that precious lives can be saved.

R. Nagarajan,

Salem.

Coin shortage

Staff issuing tickets at the Palani Temple counters force devotees to tender exact change.

If the devotees cannot give change they have to forego the balance amount.

Coins available in the temple hundial should be used to tackle the coin shortage.

M.S. Sankaran,

Palani.

Religious activities

We are truly blessed to be citizens of India which allows a lot of freedom in all respects.

Unfortunately this freedom, especially the freedom to practise religion, is being grossly misused.

The Constitution of India permits every citizen to follow any religion he/she chooses.

However, religious activities should be confined to the private domain – our own homes – and religious places such as church, temple and mosque.

Under no circumstances should roads, playgrounds, ponds, lakes, parks and rivers be used for such purpose.

By permitting to conduct religious activities in public places the government is inadvertently giving room for clashes between religious sects. Furthermore, a great deal of money is wasted on police bundobust.

Incidents of immersion of idols with harmful chemicals in lakes and other water bodies have been increasing. This should be stopped by a court of law.

Pratap Gokuldas,

Coimbatore.

Environmental pollution

The measures taken by the Coimbatore Corporation to maintain environmental cleanliness and hygiene are commendable, but they will be more effective if they are complemented and positively responded to by the public.

For instance, spitting indiscriminately and mindlessly anywhere and everywhere spoils the atmosphere and hygiene and causes diseases, besides offending aesthetic sense.

An awareness drive by the public health department, especially in congested areas, focussing on the importance of cleanliness and hygiene using audio-visual aids, many have a salutary effect.

The department concerned could do the needful.

S. Venkatachalam,

Coimbatore.

Caste not necessary

I totally disagree with Dr. Anbumani Ramdass and Mr. Prabhakaran Nair that caste system cannot be abolished if caste tag is not used.

Gradually the caste system will go. The caste tag reminds one of one's caste.

My friends know me by my name and not by any caste.

Gudimangalam Natarajan,

Coimbatore.

Land degradation

Agricultural lands in Kanuvai, Madukkarai, Pappampatti Edayarpalayam and Karanampettai areas around Coimbatore city are undergoing systematic degradation.

Once famous for rainfed crops, these areas are now becoming wastelands.

Quarries, brick works and real estate business are thriving in these productive agricultural lands.

With the dangerous anthropogenic progressive interference in the ecosystem, the land resource is gradually becoming scarce in quantity and degraded in quality.

Since environmental equilibrium is a prerequisite for the survival of human civilization, any aberration in it is bound to affect its survival.

Civic authorities, NGOs and conservationists in Coimbatore should take up this issue on a war footing.

By overexploitation of our production environment around Coimbatore town we are rapidly heading towards a future which appears to be bleak for the generations to come.

If we are to survive and lead a decent life we can't afford to be reckless and rapacious to our environment.

G.M. Natarajan,

Coimbatore.

Courier (dis)service

I wish to use your column to register two cases of deficiency in service on the part of a courier service.

1. Delayed delivery of a letter to Thrissur, Kerala sent on September 6.

2. Delayed delivery of a letter to Chennai on September 10.

I sent a complaint to the chief executive of the company under certificate of posting on September 13 and a reminder on September 24. I have not got any reply.

More than the deficiency in service, it is the callous attitude of the service provider to the customer (consumer) that is regrettable and condemnable.

P. Hariharan,

Coimbatore.

Noble job

This refers to the report ‘1,000th unclaimed body gets a decent farewell' (October 8). Thozar Trust is doing a noble job. The trust deserves all praise.

A. Ranganathan,

Coimbatore.

Wanted prompt service

Private and public sector banks often make announcements about improved customer service.

However, I, a senior citizen, had the experience of the real level of customer service.

I bank with State Bank of India (SBI).

On September 2 I deposited in SBI a demand draft, payable by a local bank, for collection and credit to my savings bank account.

The draft was deposited in time to catch that day's clearance.

I had thought that the amount would have been credited to my account on September 4.

When I enquired with the bank on September 4 (after 48 hours) the bank authorities told me that the instrument had not been cleared and that they expected to know its fate only on Monday, September 6 (as September 5, Sunday, was a holiday).

But when it came to debiting money the bank was prompt.

I had issued a SBI cheque to one of my suppliers on September 2 which they presented in their bank (HDFC Bank) for collection on September 3.

I found that the cheque had been debited to my account on September 4 i.e. in 24 hours. I was informed by the SBI branch that clearance of cheques/DDs had been centralised and the particular centre had to pass entries on the fate of the instruments it received from each bank branch.

I request the SBI to look into this and evolve a procedure to serve customers with promptness.

P.S. Ramnarayan,

Coimbatore.

Don't cut trees

It is learnt that Marudamalai Road from Lawley Road to Marudamalai Hills will be widened to ease traffic on that route.

While this move by the Coimbatore Corporation should be welcomed, the Corporation authorities should do so without felling the huge trees on the road side.

There are also some banyan trees at the PN Pudur bus stop which are nearly a hundred years old. These too should be left intact while widening the road.

R. Ragavan,

Coimbatore.

Rejuvenate NMR

The Nilgiris Mountain Railway is an attractive necklace adorning the neck of the Queen of Mountains (the Nilgiris).

This century-old prestigious engineering marvel also finds a place in the list of world's heritage landmarks.

Therefore it is incumbent on all concerned to maintain it spic and span.

But, sadly enough, in the recent past the railway has faced frequent troubles and stoppage of services owing to repairs to the track and the train engine.

This is because of the laxity of the railways in attending to the needs of the route.

While the mountain railways in Shimla and Darjeeling are well looked after, their southern counterpart is neglected.

M.R. Pillai,

Coimbatore.

(Readers can mail to cbereaders@thehindu.co. in with address and phone number)

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