Diabetes care: Chasing sugar not enough

Apropos of Prof J.S. Bajaj’s interview on World Diabetes Day (Perspective, Nov 14), elevated blood glucose to more than 126/100 ml blood plasma following overnight fast on 2-3 occasions is enough to make the diagnosis. In a patient with symptoms like increase in thirst, passing large volume of urine, losing weight, feeling tired and irritable, and blood glucose values of 200 mg/100 ml higher at any time of the day confirms diabetes.

The emphasis on lowering of blood sugar alone won’t help control diabetes. Long-term diabetes control is possible only when steps are taken to change one's lifestyle and maintain the ideal body weight.

Modern living is stressful with little physical activity and the intake of calorific fast food, sweetened beverages, indulgence of alcohol and smoking. All these underutilise glucose in the body, increase glucose production by liver and favour weight gain. By increasing physical activity through regular long walks and refraining from fast foods, alcohol and smoking, one can change the bad influence of modern living.



Adequate physical activity, maintenance of ideal body weight and refraining from fat sugar and salt-rich fast food will ensure normal insulin effect. This will help control elevated blood sugar. In diabetes care, adequate attention should be given to elevated blood sugar, as also blood pressure, blood lipids and body weight. Thus, emphasis on lowering blood sugar alone is not enough in diabetes care.

Dr R.J. DASH, Endocrinologist & Senior Consultant, Silver Oaks Hospital, Mohali

Drawing the line

This refers to the interview of Mr Fali S. Nariman (On Record, Nov 7). Mr Nariman has rightly observed that the offices of President and Prime Minister should never be included in the Lok Pal Bill.

It will lead to a constitutional crisis in the country, as there would be a super Prime Minister in the country supervising the functioning of the President, the Prime Minister and other subjects under his authority. One has to draw a line somewhere. Otherwise, this imbalance would be eternal. The Prime Minister’s office epitomises the head of a family who enjoys the trust and confidence of his progeny. Questioning his authority is, itself, not a healthy sign of democracy.

Finally, Mr Nariman has pertinently pointed out that one man should not head Lok Pal as investing such wide powers in a single individual can be counter-productive. His suggestion that it should be a multi-member party needs a further analysis.

RAJIV BHALLA, Chandigarh

Benefits of contract farming

Prof N.K. Rai's article "Contract farming : Joining hands for mutual gains" (Perspective, Oct 24) was informative. Agriculture is the main occupation of majority of the Indian population. Yet it's the most disorganised as well as despised sector. The rural people are poor because they are predominantly dependent on agriculture for sustenance.

Small and marginal farmers just eke out livelihood since the farm returns are awfully poor. How can they dream of mechanised farming with quality seeds and costly inputs like fertilizers and pesticides to increase production?

India is still a poor country because the agricultural sector has long been neglected. The farmer never gets remunerative price for his produce. The middle man is the main beneficiary much to the chagrin of the poor farmer who had to face inhospitable conditions for crop production. Distress sale means harakiri. Contract farming is the only way to bail out the hard-pressed farmer. Crop diversification under insurance cover can bring smile on the face of the farmer.

KARNAIL SINGH, Shahpur Kandi



This refers to Himmat Singh Gill's response to P.C. Alexander's book Through the corridors of power in his “Operation Bluestar — Question Remains” (Spectrum, Sept 26). In his book, Alexander fails to convince that it was not Indira Gandhi but the Army that decided to attack the Golden Temple during Operation Bluestar. If he is to be believed, then why did the Army not issue any warning to the devotees who were in the temple in connection with the celebration of Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom day to leave the place. Attacking the sanctum sanctorum without any warning shows that the same was done under the orders of Mrs. Gandhi.


Poetic injustice

The Persian couplet, Bar mazare ma gariban ne chirage ne gule/Ne pare parwana sozad ne sadai bulbule, is not about Noor Jahan as mentioned by Kedar Nath Sharma in “Memories of Lahore” (Letters, Oct 17). The verse is by Zaib-un-Nissa, Aurangzeb's eldest daughter, who was a poet and wrote under the pen name Mukhfi. She earned the wrath of Aurangzeb because of her emotional attachment to Aqilmand Khan, also a poet, and her suspected involvement in the revolt by his younger son against him. She was jailed for nearly a decade. She remained unmarried and died at 63.

The couplet Yahan to din ko bhi... is by poet Tilok Chand Mehroom, who served as Professor of Urdu in PU Camp College, New Delhi. The exact couplet is Din ko bhi yahan shab i siyahi ka saman hai/Kehte hain yeh aram gahe Nurejahan hai. This verse is from the poem “Nurjahan ka Mazar”, in his Ganje Muani.

V.K. RANGRA, New Delhi

EVMs tamper-proof

I read with interest Jagjit Puri's article "EVM's are convenient but they are not tamper-proof (Perspective, Oct 3). His doubts on the efficacy of EVMs have no basis. EVMs used in India are just totalling or adding machines which keep on adding the votes cast at each push button. It is possible to internally change the wires so that when push-button 1 is pressed, it records the vote for push-button 2 or any other push button.

But such alterations can be easily detected when EVMs are checked and sealed. Again such alteration needs manual opening and then soldering the connections in the EVM. Also there is no software in EVMs since they are basically adding machines which count and add the input at each push-button. This is the reason for the success of EVMs in India.

P. SURESH MENON, Chandigarh

Cheers for Sister Elsy

This refers to “Champion of the girl child" by Gitanjali Sharma (Spectrum, Sept 5). Sister Elsy Odackal deserves accolades for championing the cause of the girl child. Equality of status and opportunity for both men and women as guaranteed by the Constitution is being nullified by the prejudice against girls.


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