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Children, women need extra safety in J&K

The news item ‘Rise in number of beggars, children from other states being forced into begging: NGO’ (December 24) reflects the neglect of children by Jammu & Kashmir’s Social Welfare Department. The children engaged in begging are not from Jammu & Kashmir which shows the lack of effective administration. This clearly indicates that the children are being victimised and brought from other states by professional gangs of petty criminals for unholy purposes. Such anti-social activities must be checked by the local administration as it can have serious repercussions in future if not checked now.

Now it is the duty of the administration to keep the rescued children in a protected, secure and safe environment with adequate protection from the biting cold.

They should be imparted education and should not be allowed to undergo exploitation at the hands of professional beggars. The juvenile homes must ensure good food and lodging for them.

In the meantime, the police should find their parents and hand over these children to the relatives. The criminals indulging in such malpractices should be severely punished.

The state must not ignore its responsibility to uphold the children’s rights whether they are from J&K or from other states.



The crime graph against women and children has been witnessing a sharp increase in our country. Every day several cases of purse, chain and mobile snatchings from women, reported and unreported, come to light in almost all our cities. Further, women in large numbers are subjected to sexual harassment in transit and in offices. Thousands of children are kidnapped and subjected to gruesome crimes. They are forced into begging, put to hard labour and often sexually exploited.

Labour laws prohibiting children from physical labour are being violated with impunity almost everywhere. Rape is undoubtedly an inhuman act and such crimes become doubly abhorrent when perpetrated on children. This ugly scenario shows that either our existing laws are inadequate or the law-enforcing agencies are incompetent or corrupt. Will the executive, judicial and legislative authorities look into the matter seriously so that each and every person can live safely in our country?


Missing link

The middle ‘Laughing matters’ (December 28) discussed a very serious matter of laughter having become the biggest casualty in the age of consumerism and materialism. It is no laughing matter to laugh in these trying times even though laughter matters much as ‘A good laugh is sunshine in a house’. Martial advises, “Laugh if you are wise”.

Sadly, we have forgotten to laugh. The writer says rightly, ‘Life is so full of trials and tribulations that most of us do not remember how to laugh naturally’.

 Artificial, forced or laboured laughter through exercise is a pointer to the bitter truth that genuine laughter is missing from our lives.

The best laughter is when we laugh together. It is better to laugh at one’s own self than to laugh at others. Goethe says, ‘Nothing shows a man’s character more than what he laughs at himself’.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox famously said, ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone’. An Urdu couplet says, ‘Tu ne kaha tha ke roney se na badlengey naseeb,Teri is baat ne hamein umar bhar roney na diya’.


Lok Sabha debate

Due to lack of floor management by the Congress, the government suffered a major embarrassment as it could not get constitutional status to the Lokpal, the idea first proposed by Rahul Gandhi who had termed it as a ‘game-changer’. At least 15 Congress members and close to a dozen belonging to UPA allies were absent at the time of voting. This shows the irresponsible behaviour of Congress leaders. Lokayuktas should be made compulsory in all states. Putting the onus of the Bill’s defeat for denying constitutional status to the Lokpal on the BJP and other opposition parties is mere face saving by the Congress. 



To watch the day-long acrimonious debate in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday was much more interesting than any TV entertainment soap. All MPs were unanimous on the existence of rampant corruption in the country and the need for a strong anti-graft Bill, which had eluded us for so many years. But while legislating on anti-corruption measures, party politics as well as the ideal of sovereignty of Parliament took precedence. The leaders spoke differently on public platform but changed their stance in Parliament on legalities and to accommodate diverse requirements of different parties, representing different sections of society.



Passing too many bills in Parliament without debate is not good for the country. There is an urgent need to change absurd laws. Most of the laws are irrelevant today but are still being implemented. There are a number of Acts, rules and regulations which have not been updated for the past more than 50 years. In fact, the Constitution must be amended from time to time. With changed time and situation, the Acts must not be older than 10 years, may be.


Care for hygiene!

Books are the best companions of a human being. Who would not agree with this as mentioned in the middle ‘Waiting for Godot’ (December 23)? I may share a medical aspect of the same. We generally see several megazines, newspapers and other printed material in the waiting rooms of hospitals, clinics and offices and readily pick them up for a quick glance without realising the number of hands it has exchanged before us.

You may have gone to see your doctor for a simple cough and come back with germs of typhoid, TB or some serious skin or venereal disease on your hands after touching the magazine.

My suggestion is buy a new copy from the vendors for yourself or carry your personal reading material with you. Please do not share it with any unknown individual because you are never sure of his/her hygiene.

Dr ARUN KHERA, Pathankot



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