Encourage female pupils:

It was good to learn that an award ceremony for Top Ten College Women was organised by Voice of Women on February 18 in Kathmandu. The news “It’s women’s world” published in THT on February 21 highlighted the event as an “all-comprehensive” competition held exclusively for college-going girls from across the nation. This is a good way to encourage women to come to the forefront. Similar events should be organised by the education ministry to help female students so that girls from public colleges too get the opportunity to compete with the ones from private colleges. The government can seek assistance from private companies and international agencies to contribute programmes developed especially to encourage women students.

Shalin Rana, Godavari

Ban smoking:

Though it is well known to all that passive smoking is worse than real smoking, there are many insensitive smokers in the capital who have no hesitation in blowing smoke on the faces of the people not only in private, but also in public places.

It is important to control this and thus smoking in public should be banned for the sake of the non-smokers and the children. Such a ban would also give relief to the patients of asthma, heart problems etc. and would at least discourage small children from smoking. Prohibiting advertisement of cigarettes in the electronic media is not sufficient. Smoking in public places should be stopped.

Amit Subedi, via e-mail

Public servants:

We all know how the staff in government offices treat people who visit them for any kind of work. The officers are usually found gossiping about mundane matters instead of doing their daily work. Then, there is the problem of bribing in public offices. Most of the staff are insensitive to the problems of the common people. At times they are even inattentive. If the government’s new directive rectifies their careless work attitude, it will be welcome. All public servants need to be efficient, responsible and should discharge their duties properly. First and foremost, they should be punctual, reporting on time and leaving only after their working hours are over. The civil servants should understand that they have been hired to serve the people and make their life easier. They are not there to play the big boss with the commoners, and government offices are no place to make extra bucks for personal gains.

Pranav Gautam, People’s

College, Kathmandu

Be practical:

I have been noticing lately that many people gather during evenings to burn butter lamps near the roads, at Maitidevi, Durbarmarg and other main city areas. On my query, I was told that this was done to pray for the peace and prosperity of the Nepalis. Though it is only wise to want peace in one’s war-torn land, it is wishful thinking that peace and prosperity would come merely by lighting lamps. Solidarity aside, this is but a waste of money, energy and time. It would be better if those same people used their hard earned money for some meaningful purposes like spending on street children’s education or the elderly citizens’ welfare. That way, some relief would come to the lives of the needy. Society must make “real” contribution for the poor and the needy if they actually want to help their country.

Birendra Bhandari,