About Excellence in Sports + Slaughtering Trees

Readers Speak/Opinion

Ref: ‘All for excellence: But why in sports only?’ by Dr R Neerunjun Gopee, in your edition of 19 July 19: One ex- Minister of Youth and Sports in the 90s never missed an opportunity to question the importance given to the list of best CPE and HSC Laureate awardees being broadcast on radio and other media. He was also the one who abolished a minimum cash token given to literary and sports clubs which existed mostly in the villages. These debating/ literary/ sports clubs disappeared from the Mauritian scene. He believed in excellence… not in education but in sports. The inter-village and inter sports federations activities were abolished as he wanted an elite sports for a handful of people in Mauritius. He has been successful!

Where are the sports federations which federated all Mauritian youths? Hon Toolsiraj Benydin, MLA and PPS knows something about it!

The result has been increase in juvenile delinquency, proliferation of all types of drugs not only in villages but in schools and secondary schools.

Who will reverse the catastrophic situation?

Vinay R


The Massacred Green

A tribute to those magnificent huge trees which have been ‘slaughtered’ in the name of Innovation

Gone are those iconic spruce trees which were once viewed as picturesque ‘jewels’ adding to the beauty of our ‘paradise’ island. I helplessly watched those which adorned the boring highway of Curepipe/Floreal (also known as Swami Sivananda Road) being taken down by a merciless ‘executioner’ who was paid to exterminate my harmless friend trees that pleaded to God raising their ‘leafless arms’ praying for mercy.

Each blow from the mechanical axe to chop them down stabbed my heart. As they wept, so did my heart. It will forever remain scarred. I close my puffed eyes and recalled my childhood days spent admiring them nesting those weary little robins hurrying into their open arms every evening in quest of finding solace and refuge in their mother’s laps.

Today, many claim that I should “let go” and “move on”. I should “accept” the sacrifice of my friends in the name of infrastructural development: The Metro Express. I, however, remain speechless to those who have lost their ‘innocence’ and can no more hear the trees laugh with a voice of joy as the little birds tickle them and play amidst their branches.

Today, I mourn their deaths despite the fact that the elected leaders promised and pacified many who have been deeply affected like me saying new trees will be planted to replace the ones soon gone and easily forgotten. This brings me to a quote by William Blake “The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself”.

Kushida D. Fulena


* Published in print edition on 30 August 2019

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