24 Letters

posted Sep 6, 2017, 10:36 PM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 6, 2017, 10:36 PM ]

Salute the spirit of Mumbai

Sir, While Terrible Tuesday's (August 29, 2017) rains ravaged the city and washed away the tall claims of civic preparedness, the indomitable never-say-die spirit of Mumbaikars came to the fore. People opened their hearts and homes to stranded citizens providing food, water and even shelter. Gurudwaras, churches, mosques and temples opened their doors to shelter the stranded. Gurudwaras provided hot meals prepared in their langars or community kitchen. Even Lord Ganesh took a break from festivities and lent a helping hand. We must salute the spirit of Mumbaikars.

Calamities bring out the best in humans, and Mumbaikars, disregarding labels of caste and creed, worked together to bring succour and relief to the affected people. Cardinal Oswald Gracias asked all churches, schools and institutions in the archdiocese to offer refuge, irrespective of caste and creed. Several churches responded to the call in a big way. Some examples:


Are you a good teacher?

Sir, This is in relation to the article in The Examiner, Vol. 168, No. 35, Sep. 02-08, 2017, titled 'Are you a good teacher?'

Teacher, as per Indian traditions, is a guru - the one who dispels darkness. The writer, Dr Jeanette Pinto, has taken great pains to bring out various aspects of the teacher teaching in any institution, be it a college or a school. She has taken both the positive and the negative aspects of the students, their mentalities and how to tackle it with the right perspective. 


Our heartfelt gratitude to Sr Pearl-Anne

Sir, Principal Reverend Sr M Pearl-Anne, AC of the Apostolic Carmel High School and Junior College, Bandra (W), a dynamic and vibrant personality, served ten years as an excellent administrator and a teacher. I knew Sr Pearl Anne for a very brief period (4-1/2 years); she extended her help, counselling, encouragement, gratitude and appreciation to all her acquaintances.


Nun's vocation due to 'Christian elephants'!

Sir, it was reported by EWTN News, August 17, 2017, that nine years ago, Christians in the Kandhamal district of Odisha, India, had suffered one of the worst bouts of violence. Around 100 people lost their lives, and more than 56,000 homes were destroyed, along with Christian places of worship. This carnage lasted for several months.

But the seeds of persecution have surprisingly sprouted an 'unprecedented' increase in religious vocations, including that of Sr Alanza Nayak. She became the first woman from her area to join the congregation of the Sisters of the Destitute! This Order was founded in March 1927 by Fr Varghese Payyapilly a priest of the Ernakulum Archdiocese. At present, it has 1,700 members who live in over 200 communities spread over six provinces.


His name was Anand

Sir, Names are given at birth, but very few of us actually epitomise it. The few who personify their names are only valued once they have left us for their eternal rest.

Anand (to me) was a joyful co-worker, and though older, wiser and better equipped, he remained modest and equal whenever we interacted.

I began to know a little of him during my second innings with the Bombay Catholic Sabha. The Malvani unit (born through a difficult labour) had caring hands whenever called to help, be they Dolphy – then President, Anand – then Vice President or Vinod, then General Secretary.

Anand came to educate the Malvani unit on 'Right to Information' (RTI), which meant coming across to the other side of Mumbai. Never did the thought cross my mind as how Anand could spare so much time for activities which were voluntary, and many a time thankless. Yet, I could call Anand any time for any requests and he had a positive answer.


Sea level rise

Sir, Global warming is the primary cause of current sea level rise. Human activities, such as burning coal and oil and cutting down tropical forests, have increased atmospheric concentrations of heat-trapping gases and caused the planet to warm by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880.