Letters to the Editor – January 2020

A relevant cover story


The cover story Suicide is a cry for help by Jaishree is impressive. It’s not just a warning sign that the person is thinking of suicide, but a cry for help. These days, women are beaten, there is child abuse, and so many other acts of violence.

S Natarajan, RC Koothapakkam — RID 2981

Counsellors Dr Lakshmi and Dr Thara have given tangible solutions for preventing suicide. It is a pity that teenagers resort to ­suicide, in spite of the best efforts of their parents to get them admitted into elite institutions.The gradual disappearance of the joint family system has played a role in such extreme action by youngsters. Also, children playing outdoors has reduced considerably as is reading. Youngsters today are glued to their cell phone and TV screens. Unless something is done about all this, and youth develop a balanced mind, depression and suicide will remain problems.

S Padmanabhan, RC Madras Central Aadithya — RID 3232

Reading Rotary News in Tamil is very interesting and makes me appreciate the great work done by ­Rotarians across various districts.
I was happy to go through the historical and trend-­setting activities done by RC Calcutta. It is great that the club has hosted people like Mahatma Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, and for being instrumental in mooting the idea of construction of the Howrah Bridge in 1927.

Pon Muthaiyan, RC Aduthurai — RID 2981

I support the dream of RIPN Shekhar Mehta — a Noble Peace Prize for Rotary for its long-time contribution in polio eradication, a totally literate India and providing clean water and healthcare to Africa. He says “a leader should always be positive and dream big.”

Trustee Chair Gary Huang says Rotary has the ­potential to change the world as it is doing so many good things along with polio eradication. Friendship Trees of Rotary recalls Rotarians who had planted fruit-bearing trees to explain Rotary friendship and the valuable ­transformations in humanity such acts have brought time and again.

Naveen Ramesh Garg, RC Sunam — RID 3090

An overdose on RIPN felicitations

I appreciate the good work done by the Editor in giving us an informative and interesting ­magazine that includes features of general interest. But after giving a well-deserved, wide coverage of the newly-elected RIPN ­Shekhar Mehta in the November issue, including the cover page, I find once again in the December issue more pages dedicated to felicitation events at various places. This is an overdose as most of us know him very well. Rather than blowing the trumpet of those coming to power, Rotary News should be used more for projecting the service projects and ideals of Rotary. I am sure you will introspect on this observation.

Sampathkumar, RC Coimbatore Elite — RID 3201

The beauty myth


The Editor’s Note Shattering ‘the beauty myth’ reaffirms that a black/brown skin can be stunningly beautiful. It’s true that a woman’s beauty is equated to a fair complexion in India. Rasheeda says what makes a woman’s persona is not just her appearance but her intelligence, wit, the sparkle in her eyes, the kindness in her heart and a hundred other qualities which make a woman so special. And Miss Universe 2019 is Zozibini Tunji, a black beauty.

Ashok Jindal, RC Nabha Greater — RID 3090

The Editorial on the beauty myth followed the crowning of a black girl as Miss Universe in December. Gifted and outspoken, Zozibini Tunzi spoke about shifting beauty standards and celebrating “black girl magic. I grew up in a world where a woman who looks like me — with my kind of skin and my kind of hair — was never considered beautiful,” the 26-year-old said. She is a strong proponent of natural beauty and one who “encourages women to love themselves as they are.” She wore her hair in a natural, short style.

K M K Murthy, RC Secunderabad — RID 3150

Editor Rasheeda has reflected on a new dimension to beauty in her elegantly written Editorial, breaking the myth that only those with fair complexion are beautiful. That beauty depends on internal virtues has been poignantly narrated.

Dr G Xaviar Rajappa, RC Rameswaram — RID 3212

This interpretation of beauty is enlightening. The reality is that in our society beauty is given undue importance, much more than skills and character. It is time to change this mentality. Women have achieved great success not because of their beauty but their brains. But some women worry a lot about their complexion. They need to break out of this syndrome and work on their skills which are the only things that matter.

Ashok Kataria, RC Sri Ganganagar Marwar — RID 3090

The Editor has taken me back to my college days, listing some of my favourite novelists. At 86, I am motivated to once again read them. I agree that re-reading classics gives us a new joy. We should follow the guidelines of RI Directors Bharat Pandya and Kamal Sanghvi on positive health. Jaishree has written about suicide, an important issue with youngsters who want instant satisfaction and have no patience to listen to advice from their elders.

S Muniandi, RC Dindigul Fort — RID 3000

I compliment the Editor for choosing an important social issue for her Editorial. All Rotarians will endorse her views that beauty of a woman is not in her appearance but her beautiful mind and how she behaves. It is foolish to equate a woman’s beauty to a fair ­complexion. Modesty, humility and temperament are the most important.

RI Directors Bharat ­Pandya and Kamal Sanghvi have emphasised on Project Positive Health. Rotarians are creating awareness in society through a timely campaign titled EK Chammach Kam, Char Kadam Aage.

The article Starting a dialogue on menstruation by Jaishree shows that Rotarians are doing commendable work in educating girls, teachers and others on MHM. Social and cultural taboos, superstitions, lack of awareness on menstrual hygiene, unavailability of pads and no access to toilets, are some of the challenges faced by adolescent girls. A study done by the Gates Foundation has found 71 per cent of girls in India have no knowledge about menstruation before their first period, 23 million girls drop out of school annually in the absence of toilets or proper knowledge and 63 per cent of teachers in village schools never talk about this subject, even from the health or hygiene point of view.

Raj Kumar Kapoor, RC Roopnagar — RID 3080

I was delighted with the two beautiful pictures of RIPN Shekhar Mehta, Rashi and siblings of the Travancore Royal family at the ­Travancore Palace on the front inner cover of the December issue. It is noteworthy that during the next RI Convention Rotary’s historic ties with the UN will be celebrated.

The Editor’s definition of a woman’s persona (Editor’s Note) is exemplary. Messages from RI Directors about health awareness are useful. The write-up Ouch… those late night flights! upsets ­Indians like me that we are made to fly through darkness as third-class citizens. ­Suicide is a cry for help is an interesting article and the ­Helpline Sneha founded by Dr Lakshmi is doing a noble job. RIPN Shekhar ­Mehta’s speech at an event in ­Mumbai shows he is a visionary and I hope he can fulfil his ideas ­during his tenure. Most of the ­articles are informative with great pictures. Best wishes for the new year.

Philip Mulappone M T, RC Trivandrum Suburban — RID 3211

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