Letters

Letters to the Editor — March 31, 2020

The pandemic fight

In a midst of news that the pandemic is wreaking havoc, it is gratifying that some industrial houses and startups are looking for ways to mitigate shortages of much-needed personal protective equipment. However, what is praiseworthy is that some women fashion designers, small-time tailors and students of Jammu and Kashmir are pitching in (Page 1, “Women warriors join battle against virus”, March 30). What brings cheer is the fact that besides demonstrating keen business acumen, they are tapping their immense potential to the fullest by innovating on design and preparing PPEs that are different from the routine supply.

Nalini Vijayaraghavan,

Thiruvananthapuram

The mass exodus of migrant workers from their work spots to their home States has added a tragic dimension to the COVID-19 related lockout. The dread of starvation and the urge to seek refuge in the safety of home in the face of an existential threat has overwhelmed their fear of catching the infection in the midst of their desperate journey. The question is, would they have embarked upon this arduous journey had the host States taken care of them when they had no income to meet their basic needs? Kerala, even while battling the spread of the epidemic, treated them as the State’s guests and took steps to ensure their welfare so that most of them preferred to stay back in their respective camps and lodgings. True, the central government could not foreclose every exigency when it suddenly imposed the lockout, but once it crossed the Rubicon to shut down the informal economy, it should have considered the lockdown’s impact on a huge wageless migrant workforce and collaborated with the States to halt a distress home-bound exodus (Page 1, “As inter-State buses dwindle, migrants are stuck with nowhere to go”, March 30).

V.N. Mukundarajan,

Thiruvananthapuram

A number of opinion writers have started a new line of attacking the government. Can we just stop inculpating the government for its policies against the deadly virus to save humanity? The government has not been trained to deal with such large-scale, unprecedented situations and it is a trial and error learning process, for even the best practices elsewhere could not necessarily apply to the Indian scenario. Nobody could have ever imagined the world being stuck by such a nightmare. All that we could do now is to stay strong, give up despondency and support the government.

D. Deepthi,

Hyderabad

Until last month the world was boastful about its breakthroughs in terms of technology. Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, Big Data science, analytics, and automation, which promised answers to most of the human problems, are today ducking behind the screens. The problem is not the technology, or its capabilities. The problem is the business objectives of technology companies that are operating for their own capital gain. The problem is also specialised skill owners operating in a silo. Like CSR, business enterprises should take it upon themselves to solve social problems using the core competencies that they often boast. AI, Machine Learning, GIS and Big Data have the power to help us manage any crisis. But companies that are proclaiming to be leaders in this niche have contributed very little during this pandemic. Of what use are company strengths if they cannot provide solutions to societal problems? .

Beulah Evelyn Lazarus,

Chennai

A letter from the Editor


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Printable version | May 26, 2020 3:32:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-march-31-2020/article31211657.ece

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