Wednesday, April 3, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Raw deal for the mentally challenged

The Tribune (March 22) has done a commendable job by exposing the vegetable scam in the mental hospital, Amritsar. It is shocking that the inmates of mental hospital have been getting such an unfortunate and raw deal for years together. The corrupt bureaucrats and administrators have not spared even the mentally dearranged. In my view it is worse than the fodder scam, which occurred in Bihar. A high level probe into the matter should be ordered so that guilty are brought to book.

Dr. G.S. BHALLA, GND University, Amritsar.

Shameful: It is shameful that these people do not spare even the mental hospital patients who are already bearing the curse of God. Now they have to bear the curse of greedy officials.

Patients are given chapatis with tea only or with minimum vegetable.

Or the rotten and unfit food items are bought and patients are made to eat.

Most of the indoor patients have no mental faculty to recognise good or bad food. The situation is exploited to the fullest. Employees are suspended on regular interval for supply of low quality rice, low quality tea leaves wrapped in popular brand packing, mixing channas with dry peas etc. All this or fear of God has no effect of these elements.



Looking back at PAU

I am an old student of PAU and was rather appalled to read about the pathetic condition my alma mater is in these days. I remember having to run from pillar to post for obtaining my postgraduate (ICAR) fellowship even though it had been sanctioned by the government long ago simply because the department had had forgotten to put his stamp on the bills.

Such a state of affairs is nowhere to be seen in western countries. In 4the letter by Dr H.S. Verma, one reads the uselessness of creation of the College of Veterinary Science. I think it would be worth mentioning that even though the College of Veterinary Medicine at Lowa State University was the first such college in the USA, a separate department of animal science was established to cater to the needs of the agricultural midwest.

But it is really appreciating that every service provided both by the department and the college are fully commercialized ad self-supporting. The student and patient fees are not as ridiculously low as they are in PAU. A surgery like fixing a clef-palate in a dog could be worth $ 1,000. And the last thing after signalment and anamnesis is the billing which is discussed by the clincian with the client. No wonder capitalism pays for itself in a system that is not only efficient but honest. Maybe because of these attractions you find most of the veterinary faculty and studentry immigrating to the West than to stay and rot.


Politicisation of forces

It is difficult to fully insulate the armed forces from the happenings and prevailing mores in society. It is a fact of life that political patronage has become sine qua non for high rise postings. Perhaps the retirement of Air Marshal M.S. Sekhon may stem so open lobbying for key appointments in the armed forces-at least for some time. However, it must also weed out other personnel, if any, who had leveraged key postings via influence routes. Politicians must disdain from giving communal tinge to what is an internal matter of the services. Armed forces always emerge stronger after a self-correction mode.

Air Cmde RAGHUBIR SINGH (retd), Pune-411021

Varsity affairs

The daily news on the unfortunate affairs of Punjabi University is a sad commentary of the office of Vice-Chancellor. The open allegations of many girl students on the Vice-Chancellor and the silence of the Punjab Government and its changing stands speaks volumes on the credibility of the statements of the Chief Minister who is fully aware of the track record of Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia. It is sad that the government is not thinking in terms of the safety of the girl students.

There are four options before the government. The first is to allow him to continue. This is not possible because of sex scandals, not political vendetta, and also the agitation going on in the university. The second is to dismiss the VC but then he can stage a come back through the court as happened in the case of Dr Bhagat Singh. The third is to ask him to resign or go on leave, but he is such a person who would not oblige the government on this score. The fourth is to send him on forced leave or suspend him or terminate his term of appointment.

The Act of the University clearly says that in the absence of clear rules in the university, the government rules would prevail. As such the fourth point seems to be the only remedy. The government should not bow before the bureaucracy. It is in the public interest that the provisions of the Act are honoured. Much delay has already been caused. Damaging the already damaged university should not be the interest of the bureaucrats and the government.

Dr D.K. BAJWA, Punjabi University, Patiala

What a Mann!

This refers to Mr S.S. Mann’s letter (March 25). I have respect for Air Marshal Sekhon as a soldier, but to make it a communal issue as Mr Mann has done by saying that this is a dishonour to the entire Sikh community is not right, but is only a political and misleading comment.


Competition cards

A news item from a future edition of The Tribune: “The income tax authorities, during a raid on the premises of a top industrialist, seized 50 kg of gold, two quintals of silver and hundreds of competition post cards...”


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