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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Prayers for the victims of the awful Kathmandu plane crash

Readers discuss gender parity, congestion and the Kathmandu crash

Nepali students, who study in Bangladesh, take part in a candlelight vigil in honour of the Kathmandu plane crash victims. Munir Uz Zaman / AFP
Nepali students, who study in Bangladesh, take part in a candlelight vigil in honour of the Kathmandu plane crash victims. Munir Uz Zaman / AFP

In reference to your article At least 49 killed in Kathmandu plane crash (March 13), the news that a Bangladeshi passenger plane crashed while trying to land at Tribhuvan International Airport in Nepal was terribly sad to read. This tragic incident may hit Nepal’s tourism industry in the coming days and weeks. Naturally, airport operations would instantly shut down. However, the authorities are yet to estalbish the cause of the crash, stating only that the plane was “out of control” as it came in to land. Only an investigation will reveal conclusively what happened on that ill-fated journey. I pray for the families of the victims and wish the injured survivors a speedy recovery.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Real steps can be taken towards gender parity in India

I write in reference to Shelina Janmohamed’s article International Women’s Day: parity is expected to take 200 years. That’s not good enough (March 8): in South Asian countries like my native India, there is tremendous scope to improve the status of women, especially in small towns and villages. Still today, the birth of a daughter is an unwelcome event in many rural Indian homes. We need harsher punishment for parents who abort baby girls. Moreover, education for young women should be free in small towns and villages so that poorer families are encouraged to free girls from the bonds of illiteracy. It would also help to establish quotas in government and corporate posts for Indian women.

It is not all bad. It is encouraging to note, for instance, that a major railway station, Matunga in Mumbai, is now being managed entirely by women. As a result, larger numbers of women are travelling across the city. We could go a step further. What if certain sections of hotels were reserved for women to increase safety? On the same theme, young Indian girls should be taught martial arts in view of the growing number of attacks on women. With initiative like these, we can speed up the journey to gender parity.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

It’s time for genuine action on Dubai’s manic roads

Even after years of living in Dubai, the daily madness on the city’s roads still drive me crazy. Despite increased awareness and more highway lanes, traffic jams on the Dubai-Sharjah road are never-ending and exacerbated by larger and larger vehicles. Residents like myself are forced to head to work earlier and earlier to try to avoid the congestion, but most are becoming more wild and frustrated due to the long hours spent in traffic jams. The authorities should fine truck drivers who drive dangerously or block the fast lanes. They should encourage car-pooling, consider constructing a metro in Sharjah, build alternative roads and routes and carry out surprise vehicle and speed checks. But most important is to provide alternative modes of transport and reduce the need for all commuters to use vehicles.

The situation is worsening and all motorists are in need of an alternative. It’s never too late for a solution to be brought about.

Mathew Litty, Dubai