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Utility Stores during this Pamazan
The Utility Stores Corporation (USC) is a Pakistani state-owned enterprise that operates chain stores throughout the country that provide basic commodities to the general public at prices which are lower than the open market because the government subsidizes them.
The federal government has already announced a Ramazan relief package of Rs.7.8billion.
The ECC also approved a proposal to provide 70,000 metric tons wheat flour at Rs.30 to Rs.50 per kg reduced rates.
The 50,000 metric tons sugar was to be provided at Rs.40 per kg lower than market rates, and the 30,000 metric tons ghee was to be sold at Rs.43 lower than the market rates.
During this Ramazan, the USC will offer subsidy on seven brands of ghee, a food commodity whose consumption tremendously increases during this month.
However, the popular ghee and cooking oils brands have already hiked their prices by Rs.10 to Ra15 per kilogramme.
Quality of air has a strong impact on our quality of life. Air pollution worsens respiratory problems for children as well as adults. For pregnant women, being exposed to air pollution can lead to premature birth.
Air pollution contains chemical substances that cause direct damage to the lungs, inner lining and can promote abnormal cell growth, leading to lung cancer.
Presence of chemical substances in air paralyses the cilia thus promoting infections like pneumonia, asthma and chronic obstructive lung diseases.
Hence, air pollution is not just a health problem but it can very easily turn into a much bigger societal, if not a security problem.
We must propose citizens to take charge of their own health and must take measures including purifying the air in places where they spend most of their time.
Save lives in Brazil
Right now there is an urgent call to the WHO and the international community to look into the serious situation in Brazil created by the bloody corona pandemic.
There have been daily reports of corona death toll in large numbers. In fact, I have been observing so many such news reports through media.
Though countries have been fighting the pandemic rigorously, the difficulties facing this beautiful country of Brazil are pretty much different and rather bizarre.
According to the news sources, the factors like mishandling of the pandemic, lack of government support, failed government machinery and, above all, vaccine shortage have been unfortunately playing havoc with the precious lives of the people.
Brazil has long been one of the beautiful countries in the world, having been home to extensive greenery areas like the Amazon rainforest and beautiful indigenous culture.
That said, still, the people in my native areas like Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu have been in the habit of openly sharing others’ pain caused by death and disease. There seems to be stark vaccine imbalance given the tense situation in areas like Brazil.
No doubt the mask mandate must go on for sometime now. People should understand this in the first place.
As for the Brazil case, there are lessons to others too. Maybe, the vaccine delays and uncontrolled concentration of Covid in a particular place like Brazil can allow the new pandemic threats to spill over to other areas worldwide.
Hence, such worst-hit countries must be first identified again. Those countries should be provided with proper vaccine supply accordingly.
Factually speaking, only such priority-based corona treatment methods with due urgency are going to kill the bloody virus permanently besides saving countries like Brazil.
P SENTHIL S DURAI
Online learning experience
Pakistan was among those countries in the world where educational institutions suffered closures as a result of COVID-19.
The pandemic caused educational institution to start an emergency online learning and academia research, providing students with better educational services, supporting faculty staff and ensuring their financial ability.
As educational institutions closure and SOP’s adopted caused sudden shift to online system this created a serious blow to learning process and skill development.
According to recent report from the World Bank “Learning Poverty” has increased from 75% to 79% in Pakistan.
Students are fed-up with this online system, especially university students because of their research assignments, no or less opportunities of necessary engagements and then badly missing ordinary routines that used to be part of their university experience.
Bagh, Azad Kashmir