It was encouraging to know that traffic police in Kathmandu have started going after cabbies who cheat or overcharge passengers for one reason or another. It’s not uncommon to hear from friends and relatives that they were cheated or overcharged by metered cabbies from travelling from here to there and so on. So, I am not the exception. People who are really in need are compelled to use them. Otherwise, most of the common people these days in Kathmandu have started using public transportation, which is easily available.
So far, Metropolitan Traffic Police Division (MTPD) had taken action against 100 cabbies in the past three days. This should have been even earlier “More than 100 cabbies booked in three days” (THT, September 6, Page 2). It said that assorted teams have been deployed in busy areas to monitor taxis for violating traffic rules like operating without the mandatory seal in fare-meter, tampering with and using defunct fare-meter and overcharging passengers. MTPD has also started charging fines of Rs. 5,000 with tampering fare-meter taxis, Rs. 1,500 for overcharging passengers. Around 6,000 taxis are plying within the Kathmandu Valley. People have to be aware of MTPD’s praiseworthy effort to punish taxis which are overcharging and cheating passengers. The public should cooperate with MTPD by using its telephone number “103” as and when needed to punish the unruly taxis. Otherwise, we will continue to be overcharged or cheated by most taxi drivers. It was good to know that traffic police have been keeping a close watch on taxis in the daytime and at night when they try to fleece passengers taking advantage of their emergencies and non- availability of public transportation. Time has also come for the commuters to be responsible for taking necessary steps to punish overcharging taxi drivers by cooperating with traffic police using the phone number “103”.
Rai Biren Bangdel, Maharjgunj
This refers to Mansi Dahal’s thought-provoking article, “Gender stereotype” (THT, September 6, Page 8). We tend to make our children gender stereotypes as we ourselves have grown up as such. We have been brainwashed with such myths as - a real man should not cry. A man can be angry, vulgar and violent to prove his masculinity but he cannot be emotional. If he becomes emotional then he will be branded as a cry-baby. He can be naughty and that will add a feather in his cap.
Generally, a man acts like a brute macho in order to earn brownie points and to get a he-man label in the process. The best way to stop it is to ask our sons how they felt when they had faced cruel ragging and what they say about those brutes. Instead of making our son a “man”, we must try to make him “human”. The author of the book “Chase the rainbow”, Poorna Bell, had asked, “If we are capable of softness and strength, then why do we imagine you aren’t?”
Sujit De, Kolkata