THE coronavirus pandemic has laid bare many problems that were always present in the society but hardly touched upon except by agencies dealing with it. The lockdown brought to fore the plight of many such elements including children living on streets. No work and dependence on NGOs for food left the street children no other option than to avail local credit. But now they have no means to return the amount. Scrambling to survive on the margings of the society, the children are now facing a bleak future and danger of being exploited by the borrowers. Lockdown loans have put them in a dilemma that can affect their life and country’s social setting. According to NGO ‘Save the Children’, the danger of such children becoming bonded labour is very real. This is a vicious cycle that ultimately can lead to rise in child abuse cases. The problem needs immediate attention from the authorities but that also calls for larger participation from the non-government organisations in identifying the children in distress. A quick check by social cells is necessary before it becomes a law and order problem.
ANY tinkering with women’s cricket based on superfluous suggestions to attract more audience will be foolhardy, as rightly pointed out by India pacer Shikha Pandey. She was reacting to the suggestions floated during a webinar on having light-weight balls and shorter pitches to make women’s game more attractive. If the world body decides to give it a go then it would be a great disservice for women’s cricket. To be honest, the eves have tread a long-winding road to mark their own place in the world of cricket. Recent response to the Women’s World Cup should end the debate once and for all. Yes, there can be no comparison with the men’s game but that does not make it necessary to change the format or rules just for the sake of it. Shikha’s analogy of 100m sprints in Olympics should settle the issue once and for all. Just as a female runner does not run 80m to win a medal while a men counterpart runs 100m, shorter pitches for women is a ludicrous idea that needs to be trashed without fail.