x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Doing the vital work of art preservation

A reader welcomes our report on Bulu Imam, a campaigner for protection of tribal antiquities in India. Other letters deal with pedestrian overpasses, happiness vs. wealth, maids' days off and Sri Lankan holidays.

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Words cannot express my rage at reading your article Families urged to give maids a day off (April 4).

It is absolutely shocking how employers treat their maids, at best as slaves and at worst as household pets.

Maids are human beings. They are entitled not only to time off, but also to holidays and other benefits that any employee in any job receives. And yes, they are also entitled to go to church and form relationships.

Why can't some families treat their staff with the respect and dignity that any human being deserves?

Perhaps if staff were encouraged to have dignity, equality and self-respect, employers would not have problems with them.

Maggie Hannan, Abu Dhabi

Some of the comments in this article are truly outrageous.

These are adult human beings; if they are given a day off they may be able to find something to do with the time other than get themselves pregnant.

Our nanny has two nights off every week; she goes to stay with friends, goes to church, hangs out at the mall … normal things. We find that she comes back refreshed, happy and a little more knowledgeable about the UAE each time.

It is important to us that the person who helps raise our kids is happy and confident. How can keeping someone prisoner in your home be conducive to a positive relationship with the person who cares for your precious children?

Name withheld by request

Sri Lankans glad to be at peace

Different letter-writers have been objecting (Sri Lanka only looks like paradise, April 4, and other letters) to your travel story Travelling with kids: Sri Lanka worth throwing caution to the wind (March 31), on the grounds that Sri Lanka's government mistreats people.

But the majority of Sri Lankans wanted to be rid of the terrorists and are proud of what the country has achieved.

Sri Lanka today is a country at peace. It is a great place to visit and rated as one of the best value-for-money destinations by a number of respected travel guidebooks.

There may be umpteen other places with beaches in the world, but not as great as this wonderful country.

Lakshitha Ranasingha, Sharjah

… but is this just?

How do oppressed people in this world get justice when the oppressive regime promotes tourism at their cost and tourists refuse to be ethical?

Name withheld by request

How to get people to use overpasses

I refer to Jaywalkers shun new bridges as dodging traffic is 'faster' (April 2) and also to the editorial Jaywalker folly (April 3).

I want to offer a simple solution. You can't punish people into wanting to climb stairs.

But you can give them an incentive to make the effort: just air-condition the stairs and the walkways. With summer coming, the timing is perfect.

And why not use solar panels on the roof to provide the necessary electric power?

Austin Jackson, Dubai

Women don't want to live in fear

I have a question about Pair jailed for sex assault (April 3).

Both MK and MS assaulted RK but one was sentenced to six months, the other to three.

They both assaulted her and they both deserve the same sentence, period, and a lot longer than this.

Why should we live in fear in our own country because men can't keep their hands to themselves?

Nada Ali, Dubai

Happiness is nice but so is money

I enjoyed the page one story The mantra from Bhutan: we're not rich, but we're happy (April 4). I agree that there are more important things than wealth. The old saying is still true: money can't buy happiness.

But I can't help remembering what the American singer Sophie Tucker used to like to say on the subject: "I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, honey, rich is best!"

Winifred Ryder, Abu Dhabi

Cultural defender deserves attention

My heartiest congratulations to Bulu Imam and to The National for carrying the message of his work (Indian campaigner trying to protect, promote tribal art, April 3).

Archaeological sites are precious.

Please keep us posted on such luminaries of India in future.

Uday Bhanu Sen, India