FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Welcome to the 2nd edition of “Write the Future.” For this week, we focused on learning an editorial format. The students learned how to construct and respond to well-written arguments; they also experimented with using personal opinions to appeal to our readership. I believe this exercise strengthened the students’ reasoning skills, but you, Reader, will be the final judge of that.
I hope you enjoy the editorials, and I encourage you to engage these budding journalists by emailing responses to or criticisms of their articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay Pearlman, Editor-in-Chief
By Ramanta Devi Ramchurn
An abortion is when the pregnancy is ended so that it does not result in the birth of a child. The pregnancy is removed from the womb, either by taking pills (medical abortion), which involves taking medicines to cause a miscarriage, or by surgery (surgical abortion), where the pregnancy is removed from the womb. Most abortions can be provided on a day care basis, which means you do not need to stay at a clinic overnight.
Every day almost 12,000 teenagers have abortions.
First I will address the opposing arguments and that is that women who had an abortion several times can have health problems in the future. They can have backaches and bleeding problems every time. In the future, if these women desire to be pregnant, then they could have problems, as they are not able to be pregnant due to having an abortion several times.
Women with a history of abortion face a 2.3 times higher risk of having cervical cancer, compared to women with no history of abortion. Women with two or more abortions face a 4.92 relative risk. Similar elevated risks of subsequent ovarian and liver cancer have also been linked to single and multiple abortions. These increased cancer rates for post-abortion women may be linked to the unnatural disruption of the hormonal changes which accompany pregnancy and untreated cervical damage or to increased stress and the negative impact of stress on the immune system.
Having an abortion can have many physical, emotional and psychological complications. Women and especially young girls can lose their own lives in having an abortion. This can create further problems in their future life. Those young girls who lose their lives in having an abortion, she must have a family who is going to suffer without her.
This is true that women who do an abortion can have several kinds of health problem like cervical cancer and liver cancer. Abortion increases the risk of placenta previa in later pregnancies. Abnormal development of the placenta due to uterine damage increases the risk of fetal malformation perinatal death and excessive bleeding during labor. We should stop having abortions as these unborn children have the right to be born in this world as these children are innocent.
Now I will address the supporting arguments and that is unborn and innocent children are being killed by an abortion because the family can have a financial problem in their house or wife and husband could have problems together. And young girls who are being raped by an unknown person, and if those girls would like to abort the child and the law is against abortion then this can affect these young girls. The law should allow having an abortion due to many young girls being pregnant nowadays and later those girls regret their life, people always keep blaming them and this can bring them to suicide. This can mentally disturb them and people will always keep blaming them by having an illegitimate child. Their future can be totally ruined and if the abort the child then they can have another chance in their life. Having an abortion can help them to continue their study and to become more mature in their life. They would not depend on someone else.
I agree by having an abortion as this can truly help young girls at having a second chance in their life and in those houses that have financial problems, this can help them very easily in their further life.
2. ABORTION IN MAURITIUS
Acceptance or denial of legislation!
By Nabee Pallavi
On and off, the topic of ‘abortion’ emerges on the horizon of the Mauritian society. Now, the Mauritian Government has devised a bill of legalisation for abortion which faced multiple pros and cons from the public and NGOs etc. Legal or illegal? Abortions have been carried out in the nook and corners of the country. What seems to be most interesting is that abortion is no longer a controversial issue and gossip that is being printed in the newspaper as a cheap general paper essay written in 45 mins in examination room. Do we realise that Abortion is like an ‘Iceberg’ that seems to be small on the surface but vast and deep beneath it?
First of all, let us make it clear. Are we against or for abortion or its legalisation? Ofcourse, nobody would like to murder the innocent and ignorant ‘bud’ but abortion should be legalised!
Face the facts, abortion is illegal until now and yet it is carried out everyday. According to certain data in 2007, there were 1,635 complications following abortion (Monique Dinan, Publié dans L’Express 6 September 2011). So, there are at least 4 abortions per day in the best case. How many more are done everyday that do not lead to complications? Hence, whether we are for or against the legalisation of abortion that does not matter. What matters is that it is there. So, why do not we legalise it?
The victims of rape and incest may have to bear another horrible experience when they are enlightened that they are going to carry the momento of an unpredictable and horrible incident i.e they are pregnant. Is it right to punish an ‘innocent victim’ with another burden that can ruin her life further? It depends on the woman or girl; it is their right of what to do with their body and their life. So if one wants an abortion, she should be able to do it in proper, hygienic and safe conditions which legalisation of abortion would bring about. Many female member of the Mauritian parliament, governmemt, teachers union, and NGOs orally expressed their votes for an amendment bill concerning abortion on Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation. They are not fools to say so; it’s a matter to ponder, right?
In some cases of pregnancy, there are fetal abnormalities that can endanger the woman’s life or the baby. so, abortion becomes a legal choice, only if the pregnancy is less than 24 weeks (DEBATE: Considerations for the legalization of abortion Le Mauricien 30 August, 2011 18:00).
Therefore, the pregnant women who have been screened and obtained positive anomaly scans, can consider abortion. Yes, it may be immoral to kill a child who has not opted to be abnormal physically or psychologically but will it be correct if he or she is treated like a burden by his own blood related parents when he or she is born? There are some women who have the strong will-power and courage to raise her child even if the latter is abnormal and there are also women who may not be able to. So, proper counselling and potential psychologists should gear the hardwork towards this matter and mothers who decide to terminate their pregnancy in case of fetal abnormalities must carry a legal abortion not an illegal one that can endanger their own lives.
Another aspect in pregnancy can be that the latter may prove harmful to the women’s life if ever she has a certain disease or anaemia. As said before, it depends completely on her if she is willing to give birth to her baby or safeguard her own life. Opting for abortion must help her to protect herself but not further endanger her life if an illegal abortion is being carried out. Moreover, a woman who has already grown up, nurtured relationships, a citizen and a socially-active person, will it be correct if we kill her to save a life who has not known anything? If ever the child is born will he be raised with true maternal love? So many questions but no one to answer a ‘no,’ even those who are opposing legalisation cannot devise a solution.
The ones opposing abortion on moral and religious bases consider that one cannot restore life, so, one must not take life; so if it is such a case, then who are we to decide our spouses? In a way we are handing our life on another person’s hand whom we have ‘elected’. Finally, we are deciding about our lives in both cases; marriage and abortion. Both becomes a suffocation, punishment and a ‘death penalty’ if we are not happy with. We practice religious things, rituals and moral actions but a thing that always falls in oblivion is that we are satifisfied and happy with what we are doing that’s why we are doing it, so why can’t it be the same thing with abortion? Moreover, we always forget that we are ‘socially active beings,’ religion is just a part of us. When we step on Earth, we have to decide everything by ourselves, it’s not God who will whisper everything in our ears. And at last, we all decide things that we are content with.
According to ‘general wisdom’, legalising abortion will make women use the latter as a means of contraception. Will they do so? We are in 21st century, women are not dumb nor dependant, they are knowledgeable about their health and body. A condom or contraceptive pill is what people use as contraception and not abortionas these are much more convenient and much less risky. The next option would be morning after pill which can be effective up to 72 hrs after unprotected sex. Furthermore, a study by the World Health Organization reveals that legalising abortion does not increase the amount of abortions, legalising abortion only makes it safer and what really reduces abortion is providing better acces to contraception.
Sometimes, data and figures are less interesting than facts surrounding us. It is often rumoured that in Mauritius the ‘rich’ just take half hour plane trip to Reunion Island, where abortion is legal, get their abortion done and come back safe and sound in the afternoon. Abortion is not only for the poor and if you can do it safely you would. So depending on how true this is, this makes abortion in Mauritius a discrimination against the poor, who cannot afford to fly to Reunion island, which makes it worse.
The question still remains: to legalise or to not legalise. The above facts and arguments tell us that we should. Killing a life (baby) for human’s welfare has never ticked in the right sense but protecting a life, thinking good for a future life are definitely right ideas for the human race irrespective of race, creed and religion. So, we have to do the same while carrying a legal abortion for a better human society!
3. HORSE BETTING AND RACES
By Gawtam Meethoo
In Mauritius horse betting is very popular, because for us is very fun. Beting on horses on gets us money or sometime lose money.
Now for arguments supporting betting on horse racing. Betting on horses is a nice way to enjoy. Many people bet on horses, they think if the horse comes in first they will win and they will get money. People watch the horse run fast and the best one. On Saturday many people stay at home, so it’s a nice way to pass the time. They bet and a it is a nice way to enjoy. They watch the race and hope that the horses will come in first and win. Many people who bet on horses watch that the horse they bet on and they hope that it will come in first and win.
Now for arguments against betting on horse racing. Horses get injuries or death. Injuries or death are not uncommon occurrences in horse racing. People lose money by betting on horse races. Many people think that by betting on horses they will get money but most of them lose money. If there is no money some people start to take drugs. Many people bet on horses but some win and some lose their money. If there is no money to live on, some people start taking drugs, alcohol, or start smoking and that is very bad for health.
I choose to challenge the opposing argument. We should stop betting on horses. Many horses die by racing, they have right to live. We do no have the right to use them in the race. Many people lose their money. Some then start taking drugs, alcohol and smoking. We can use the money somewhere like in the hospital for someone who badly needs money.
In my conclusion, that is why we must not bet on horses. There are too many things we must not do in life.
4. HOW CAN POLLUTION BE DETRIMENTAL TO OUR SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT?
By Sweta Arti
Pollution in general refers to land, air, and water. It is destroying our planet at a faster rate than anyone may have anticipated. It is important to first understand the causes of pollution in order to combat it. One of the greatest problems that the world is facing today is environmental pollution, increasing with every year and causing grave and irreparable damage to the earth. Not only is Earth afflicted, but toxic pollution poses health risks to over 100 million people, particularly children, in low and middle –income life-times. Mauritius, being a small island, has limited resources to waste. According to research, Mauritius cities produces 0.1 million tons of solid wastes annually.
With modern products, import products, and the growth of industry and tourism, more and more waste is being dumped in the sea. Sewage is mainly pumped out to sea without treatment and hence pollution is increasing with the growth of population and tourism. Since sewage is a good source of food for bacteria, it grows and multiplies using oxygen in water. As a result, aquatic life such as fishes die due to lack of oxygen and hence anaerobic bacteria continue breaking down the organic wastes, releasing foul-smelling gases like ammonia and hydrogen sulphite. It is true that the use of chemical fertilizer has increased tremendously the yield of crops in recent years. But the overuse of fertilizer causes water pollution because fertilizer is not absorbed by plants, it is washed away by rain drops into nearby rivers, allowing growth of algae. Profuse growth and multiplication of algae and green plants occurs as a result of useful nutrients in these water bodies (Eutrophication). Hence water pollution causes a decline in water quality for swimming in lagoons. Untreated sewage may contain bacteria that caused disease like cholera and typhoid. Sometimes, these get into drinking water in well, epidemics may also occurs. In the sea, it eventually destroyed the coral reefs. Due to this, the habitat of fish is destroyed. Therefore, seafood quality is affected. It may also play an important role in calming the energetic waves, providing vital protection to the shore. Coral reefs are a major contributing factor to the beautiful beaches that attract tourists to the island.
Similarly noise pollution, soil, and light pollution are also damaging the environment at an alarming rate. Noise pollution includes aircraft noise, noise of cars, buses, trucks, vehicles horns, loudspeakers, industry, and high intensity sonar effects that are an extreme setback for the environment especially near hospitals and religious temples. Soil pollution, which can be called soil contamination, is a result of acid rain, polluted water, and fertilizers that lead to poor crops. Hence soil erosion occurs through deforestation. In 2001, 1.8% of the nation’s total land area was protected, thus according to UN reports, Mauritius ranked third in the world on the list of countries with endangered species such as green sea turtles, Mauritius parakeets, and kestrels. Some have disappeared completely. Mauritius, being a green island with unspoiled beauty, will no longer look beautiful as green plants are being cut for other purposes. So, the climate will not be stable as there is no better composition of air in the environment. Therefore, our fauna and flora are being destroyed due to the expansion of the tourist industry. Hence it’s up to the Ministry of Housing, Lands and Environment to assume its responsibility to combat pollution and also to save our endangered species from becoming extinct.
Last but not the least, since Mauritius is a tropical island receiving lots of rainfall, accumulation of water can be seen in every corner of the environment, hence peoples’ health is at risk as it can cause Malaria and Chikungunya. In my opinion I think the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life should recruit more qualified people as counselors so as to make citizens aware about the incoming dangers through campaigns or in school and even should recruit more health staff such as nurses, doctor and maid servants in hospitals because in case of emergencies they may be helpful to cope with the situation. Due to pollution, our country’s reputation may tarnish and hence result in economic crisis. So to combat the problem there should be an increase in the field of employment, that is, creation of jobs. There should be more job offers for scavengers and servants to work in public places through the island. Since these kinds of jobs need no greater qualifications, poor people can get work, for example, as gardeners while those who have only school certificates or a form 1V are more reliable to get a job in hospitals or elsewhere in government sector.
So from what we can conclude, saving the environment is not an issue anymore. It is a survival truth. Individuals, organizations and governments need to come together and join hands to protect what is left of our planet so that the future is not wiped out before it’s time for curtain call. Since the pyramid of life is on very shaky ground , experts says that recycling is the best way to reduce pollution and for cars, people should drive less to conserve fuel and even to prevent auto-emission. So why not teach our children also to respect nature and the environment? They will also learn in the process how we can hold onto the one planet which has a miracle called life.
5. MAN AND WOMAN: EQUAL?
By Yashinee Newoor
The very world of women revolves around men, either in the role of a daughter, a sister, a wife or a mother…Women’s roles are simply indispensable in every day life. Utter silence of women has been witness of their patience towards the highly authoritative nature of males for many centuries. Women suppress their fierce emotions of rebellion but until how long? There seems to be no definite answer to the question. While most educated women find their own way out in the competition between men and women, less educated women locate themselves nowhere in this battle.
The first voices of rebelling women were heard in European countries where orthodox traditions do not prevail to a great extent. The mutiny in Asiatic countries like India, Pakistan and Arabic countries was hardly visible to the eyes of men because women were traumatized by sermons about religion and duties of the women. It is a bitter fact that in India, the practice of Sati that is the burning of the wife in the same pyre of her husband was being carried out in the name of religion. The dogmatic prescriptions of many religious books seem so unfair and cruel towards women then what can be expected from a patriarchal society?
So bitter were old times, things have changed…definitely changed! But the bias towards women does not seem to be dormant. It is very much perceptible to those who reflect on the actual situation of both man and woman. For instance, let us think of the Modern Woman, it is not shocking for a woman to work as a professional in a company to have the title of a Managing director especially in a semi-developed country like Mauritius, but the eye catching thing is that all letters coming to her must surely be starting by the word “Sir” instead of “Madam.” Examples are numerous but words are few…too few to write about the miserable instances of women’s lives.
There is hardly any situation that gives us hope of true equality between men and women. It is not a criticism towards men but the point is to let both the men and women think that equality really exists. My writing does not ask much…Not even equality! Only thoughts towards a revolution!
6. SOCIAL WORK
By Diksha Ramburn
Social work is a profession and an academic discipline that seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of an individual, group or community by organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or perceived social injustices and violations of their human rights
I will first address the arguments for social work. Social work is rewarding when the manager of your company where you are employed is satisfied with your work, which means serving the public with love, care, and affection. He can reward you by giving you a promotion. When you do social work you become famous in the society. If you are doing your work well and you have been promoted, you can create a group or company where you will be the manager and you will employ people who will be known as social workers. Then you teach them how to serve the public and if they are doing their work well you will be famous in the society. Everyone will talk about you.
Now I will address the arguments against social work. Social work is also heartbreaking when you don’t get the support from the public. For example if you are fighting a case for a person who is innocent but you don’t have any proof to prove himself innocent then the court can give the person death sentence or when you are trying to help poor people, you must interview him about his past and when he tells you his misery it can be heartbreaking imagining the conditions they lived in. But it becomes stressful with the lack of respect and understanding from the public, media and other professions and also when you don’t know how to arrange a meeting or when the life of someone is in your hand, that is, you are fighting his case.
Some peoples found social work to be simply a waste of time because it is heartbreaking and stressful but this is not the truth because the benefits outweigh the cost. My opinion is that social work has value. In fact I would prefer doing social work than doing a government job. Nothing is impossible. People find social work stressful because they have already put in their mind that they won’t be able to do it. But if you say I can do it then it will definitely become possible.