Skip to main content

Email to a Newspaper

Below is a copy of an email which I sent on Monday to the editor of the Lucknow edition  of "Hindustan Times" which is a national newspaper.  I think the email is self-explanatory.


Dear Editor,

I wish to draw your attention to the HT City feature on Sunday, the 14th November regarding the full attendance record of Poorva Joshi, a Class 7 Student of St. Joseph's School, who has received the full attendance award for eight consecutive years.

In the feature, Poorva is quoted as saying: "Even when I am unwell, I take medicines and attend school as I don't want my studies to suffer."  The child's father, CJ Joshi, a teacher, is quoted as saying "I feel proud that my only daughter has set an example for  other students who make excuses for not going to school."

No doubt, Poorva's performance is praiseworthy, but these quotes are a little disturbing for a conscientious student or parent.  Is it necessary to remind a teacher and his daughter that sending a sick child to school is a flagrant violation of the policy of many Lucknow schools?  A sick child creates problems for staff, both teaching staff and ayahs, particularly if the child is very young.  A sick child is also a source of infection for other students.  I have children in two prominent Lucknow schools and in both schools, parents are told not to send sick children to school, even for tests. 

In the initial days of infection particularly, it is necessary for children to rest and take medicine and there is no difficulty nowadays to telephone their friends to find out about the classes and homework and check in with the teachers about missed work on their return to school.  Once the infection is in control and the child is taking medicines regularly, it is no problem to send them to school in that case.

School is no place for a sick child. 



Well, what do you think?

I've just had a new comment system installed.  If you would like to leave a comment, please click on the title of this post and allow a little time for the comment system to load - thanks!

Popular posts from this blog


Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.

Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.

The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …