x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Indoor playgrounds, too, must be safe

Accident-proofing outdoor play spaces is only part of the challenge, a reader says. Other letter topics today: the closing of little groceries, new mortgage rules, Bollywood and abuse of women and the internet's impact.

After an accident in an outdoor playground in Sharjah, a reader argues that indoor play spaces may also be insufficiently protected from the risk of mishaps. Ravindranath K / The National
After an accident in an outdoor playground in Sharjah, a reader argues that indoor play spaces may also be insufficiently protected from the risk of mishaps. Ravindranath K / The National

Readers react to forced closing of small groceries

I am among those covered in your headline Customers frustrated as Abu Dhabi shops shut down (January 3).

This is a massive inconvenience for me and my neighbours. Surely there must have been a better way to solve whatever problem these shops caused.

Bob Pentland, Abu Dhabi

What frustrates me as a customer is that these shops were so far away from complying with food safety procedures that they couldn't even raise the money needed to comply.

If, after a year's notice, they can't keep up with food safety, where else might they be cutting corners?

Name withheld by request

My corner grocery used to deliver a box of bottled water on short notice, whenever I phoned. I greatly doubt that the larger market farther from my flat, which is still open, will do the same, and if they do the price will be higher.

The delivery "boy" - older than I am, actually, was prompt and cheerful and always had a smile. We shared no language and I never knew his name but he was a part of our life here. I don't know what will happen to him now.

Sue Montoya, Abu Dhabi

Is it fair to blame Bollywood?

It is very hypocritical to say that Bollywood is the reason why men rape women (Bollywood in the dock over Indian gang rape, January 3).

Yes, what some films show has crossed limits and at times gets vulgar. But movies show them what they want to see.

Rapes do not have a reason, except that there are barbaric men out there who do not fear the law because it's too easy on them.

Moiz S, Sharjah

I could not agree more than with the comments in that article. Most Bollywood movies portray women as sexual objects. Some dance scenes should be X-rated.

We need to think about the labouring classes; after a hard day of work and perhaps with some alcohol, such movies will definitely play havoc in their minds.

The film industry should take notice and be socially responsible.

Shabir Zainudeen, Dubai

In many cases the women portrayed in films these days are just symbols of glamour and obscenity.

In the last film I watched I was extremely disturbed to see Anushka Sharma in hot pants running around the valley of Kashmir, a war zone for six decades, dancing to some Sufi lyrics. It was a complete demonstration of the failing of cultural values.

The horrendous rape case in Delhi should be a wake-up call telling us that women aren't modern if they wear almost nothing, and that film is a powerful medium that too often portrays women as objects of desire and nothing else.

Zahra Khan, Dubai

Indoor play must also be kept safe

I was glad to read your article Improve safety at parks, parents say (January 3).

Unfortunately, the report mentioned only the dangers at outdoor amusement parks. I would like to highlight that many popular indoor play areas also seem to me to be unsafe.

I prefer not to take my child to these places because accidents are so possible. I know of a few cases of children getting injured.

We need tight safety standards for indoor play areas, with limits on the number of children allowed, properly trained female staff, and careful inspection of play equipment.

Name withheld by request

How is internet use changing us?

Thank you for Nowadays we can 'friend' and 'follow' but also 'de-marry' (January 3). I really liked the point the writer made.

I wonder what kind of a social life awaits the next generation, with longer necks and bigger thumbs. What are we transforming into?

Sahar Naja Mahfouz, Dubai

Mortgage rules create anxiety

As a homeowner held hostage by my mortgage holder, I found that Sean Cronin's analysis (UAE mortgage rule strikes those it aims to protect, January 2) captures exactly the anxieties and frustrations of many expatriates like me.

My contract clearly states I have a variable-rate mortgage, but my bank refuses to reduce my rate and had the audacity to offer a new mortgage but only if I would pay fees of nearly Dh20,000.

I was in the process of refinancing with another lender and have about 60 per cent equity in my property; I'm now extremely anxious about what this new regulation will mean for me.

UAE banks should want residential mortgage borrowers like me: high income, low debt, stable, with other assets, wanting to live in our homes and pay our bills faithfully. This new regulation will only drive us out of the local real estate market.

Elan Fabbri, Dubai