x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Roy Nasr would be happy, knowing cyclists are safer

More than 1,000 cyclists took part in the 65km Ride for Roy charity event in Dubai on Friday. Sarah Dea / The National
More than 1,000 cyclists took part in the 65km Ride for Roy charity event in Dubai on Friday. Sarah Dea / The National

I read with interest the article by Ramola Talwar Badam regarding the memorial event for Roy Nasr, held in Dubai on Friday (1,150 cyclists take part in Ride For Roy, March 8).

The National’s coverage speaks to its continuing focus on traffic safety – an issue of concern in our community.

I did not know Roy Nasr and I am not a triathlete, but I am an avid cyclist. I was motivated to participate in this event partly by the cause (to raise money for the education of Nasr’s children) but mostly because I believe that the punishment of the guilty party – one month in prison – in no way fits this crime.

As support vehicles stopped traffic around Dubai, thereby temporarily inconveniencing drivers so that cyclists could pass safely, I wondered whether those motorists will pay extra special attention when they were able to move back into the traffic? Did they have a heightened awareness for those of us who cycle? I hope so. I am certain it would have made Roy smile.

Susan Ward, Abu Dhabi

WhatsApp brings family together

There are approximately 417 million WhatsApp users in the world and until last week, it was my firm belief that it is used mostly for frivolous activities like forwarding jokes and exchanging greetings between family or friend groups.

All this changed a week ago, when my  father suddenly suffered a stroke back in my home country and was rushed to hospital. Since then, my family’s Whats­App group has become like a private and interactive news channel.

My sister, who is at his bedside, gives regular updates about his status to relatives spread across the globe. Sometimes, she posts pictures of the monitor, enabling the doctors in our family to tell us he has shown a little improvement compared to the previous day.

The group also allows my relatives to offer words of encouragement, reminisce and post family pictures of happier times constantly and without any intrusion.

In testing times when a family member lies in intensive care, WhatsApp is providing the healing touch to my entire family.

Amitabh Saxena, Dubai

Delaying the age of retirement is complicated

With reference to your story on the UAE’s plan to increase the retirement age for Emiratis (Improvements to health care and increase in retirement age for Emiratis discussed, March 10), I believe it’s a positive move, especially when healthcare is improving and people here will be healthy enough to work longer.

But in the long term this might create some complications, because if people continue to work beyond 65 – say until 70 – there will be fewer vacancies to accommodate young people.

Because of this, many countries have not extended the retirement age, despite the health of their average older populations being robust. This aspect is worth considering.

Name withheld by request

All workers should be treated well

Incidents like the one alleged in your news story, Couple arrested for murder of maid found dumped in UAE desert (March 10), show there should be regulations introduced in the UAE and in every country around the world to speicify minimum wages, maximum working hours, breaks and issues like how much they can use Facebook during working hours.

Treat all human beings as humans. Everyone deserves this.

Natasha Clemmensen, Dubai

Religious strife in India is fomented

With reference to your article, Predicting Muslim uprising in India ignores reality and history (March 9), the secular fabric of India could not have been more succinctly described.

The statistical data given by you is truly amazing and belies the feigned attempts made by Hindu and Muslim fundamentalists to divide the nation on the basis of religion.

As a Hindu refugee from Pakistan who migrated after partition in 1947, I still have pleasant memories of our Muslim neighbours assuring my family of protection in the midst of riots that broke out in Karachi. There neither was nor is any enmity and hatred between the followers of eight major faiths practised in India. I believe the real cause is politicians’ greed for power, money and status.

Be it in the fields of culture, sports, literature, music, cuisine and also religious festivities, there is caring and sharing. There are untoward incidences at times, but at best these are aberrations and, I believe, the result of state-sponsored activities from across the border.

Despite the vested interest of weapon-manufacturing countries in hostilities continuing, I hope these border fences will one day come tumbling down like the Berlin wall.

C S Pathak, India