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To the Editor:
Re “India’s Latest Covid Wave Is Disturbingly Different” (news article, April 29):
Most villages in India do not have primary health care facilities. Poor people have to travel to nearby towns or cities to visit government-run hospitals that are underfunded and badly maintained. India’s rich, including politicians, go to privately run hospitals, where they presume they can get better health care. However, my cousin and his wife were infected with Covid-19 and had to drive 125 miles to find oxygen in a private hospital, yet they still could not survive.
I am not surprised that the government of India blames a variant for the loss of my family members and my fellow Indians. Failed governments look for scapegoats to blame their societal problems on and remain blind to the real causes, which are inefficient policies and a corrupt system.
The current Covid-19 crisis reflects India’s horrendous health care situation. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. India’s government-run schools often do not have water, desks and, alas, enough teachers. The poor education system is not as conspicuous as the Covid-19 catastrophe but will continue to have a negative impact on Indian society.
I think the pandemic has provided Indians the opportunity to think about the priorities of their country, which cannot even provide basic human necessities.
The writer, an associate professor at the Scripps Research Institute, is the founder of the Samatva Trust, which promotes rural India education.
TikTok Can Be a Political Tool
To the Editor:
Re “Foreign Domestic Workers in Persian Gulf Countries Use TikTok to Vent Woes” (news article, April 26):
My generation, Gen Z, has fueled the rise of TikTok. The app has received criticism for its distracting and inappropriate nature. Despite skepticism about the app, TikTok’s value as a venue for political and social expression should not be undermined.
TikTok has been instrumental in the organization of rallies, a prominent place for political expression, and an engine for the progressive young. From Black Lives Matter activism to trending #native and #indigenous creators, TikTok has demonstrated its potential to encourage grass-roots political activism.
As TikTok continues to gain popularity across the world, scholars and politicians should begin considering strategic applications of TikTok and its effects on the political landscape. TikTok goes beyond choreographies and pranks; the app has opened the possibilities for awareness and education.
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