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Letters to the Editor

Beacons of hope

It is agonising to read of Yousaf Saleem’s plight and it could be taken as a classic case of the system being blind to a much higher degree than a person’s impairment (‘Visually impaired graduate’s dream to become chief justice of supreme court gone dark,’ April 24, The Gulf Today).

A gold medalist from the University of the Punjab in bachelor of law (Honours) programme in 2014, Saleem who seeks to become a judge failed to make it through the final interview only because of his impairment, despite have topped on all other fronts.

What is even more inspiring is that Saleem has two more sisters who are also blind. And they too have excelled in their own right. His sister Saima was the first blind person who did Central Superior Services (CSS) in 2007. She was posted to the Pakistan UN missions in Geneva and New York and is now based in the Prime Minister Secretariat working as deputy secretary. Saleem’s other blind sister teaches at a university in Lahore and is also doing her PhD.

They indeed are beacons of hope for the blind. One can’t predict the future, but I am confident Saleem will be a success wherever he is. Pray though, his dream comes true.
Agha S — Sharjah

Much needed policy

The school health policy is a much needed initiative, especially when  there are reports which warn of  obesity being on the rise in the UAE (‘Dubai Health Authority floats school health policy to boost students’ lifestyle,’ April 23, The Gulf Today).

The DHA aims to increase fruit and vegetable intake among students aged 7-15 years-old, encourage healthier food consumption, increase physical activity amongst students aged 7-15 years-old and decrease obesity amongst students aged 7-15 years old – in line with Dubai Plan 2021and UAE Vision 2021.

I remember reading a report in the dailies a few months back which stated that child obesity could affect 14.62 per cent of UAE’s ‘20 years and under’ population by 2020, up from 12.40 per cent in 2013, according to the  World Obesity Federation.

I feel parents also play a big role. A good beginning would be to make sure that the child’s tiffin is bereft of packaged meals and heavily processed foods. Processed foods contain high amounts of artificial flavouring, colouring, preservatives, sugar, salt and fat which is the main cause of obesity among kids. Home food is a healthy answer.
Shireen Wadia — By email
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