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Execute laws in right earnest

The enactment of laws like RTE and RTI have no doubt infused a ray of hope, their effective execution and proper implementation is required not only in letter but in spirit too (Editorial ‘RTE in rural India’, April 4).

An overall improvement in social index by providing these rights to the masses can be expected and warranted only through planned, logical and pragmatic approach. Authority suitably coupled with responsibility can bring desired results.

RTI and RTE give rise to the need of RTS (Responsibility towards System or Responsibility towards Self). If the feeling of responsibility gets buried under the weight of rights, things are not going to improve. The efforts put in by policy makers would go waste in the absence of improper execution of these rights and laws.



The government should provide low-cost higher education, free books, liberal scholarships and career counselling to rural students. It should also set up open universities. To reduce the urban- rural divide proper attention should be paid to equitable distribution of education resources. Bracketing the 6 -14 years’ old category for free and compulsory education in villages is not justified.

Due to poor standards of education in government schools, a number of students dropout even before they reach the middle standard. Only a small fraction of the rural population reaches the higher education level. There is a need to raise the standards of government schools and run them on the pattern of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas. The teacher-student ratio should be improved. The authorities should check absenteeism among teachers and upgrade school infrastructure.

Dr SK AGGARWAL, Amritsar

Rural mobility

Jayshree Sen Gupta’s article ‘Tackling rural poverty’ (April 4) is an eye-opener. If our political establishment really wants to reduce rural poverty, it has to first ensure that the village schools are run efficiently, clean drinking water reaches every village, small hospitals, nursing homes, dispensaries are established at a manageable distance, etc.

A network of banks should be established in rural India so that villagers can avail loans at cheaper interest rates. Special emphasis should be laid on infrastructure vis-a–vis electricity, roads, transport, etc. Adequate connectivity will enable manufacturing companies to sell their products in far-flung areas of India and will also help in providing jobs for rural youth. Job training and skill development oriented programmes should be provided to village youth. This will result in minimising migration to cities and hence reduce urban congestion.

We must not forget that without the overall development of villages, India cannot make progress in real terms.


Wastage of funds

The news report “CAG report card out: govt gets a poor in school, road works” (April 5) takes cognisance of the dismal picture of school education in J&K. It appears that there is no fiscal discipline in utilisation of finances provided by the central government. Utilisation of money is posing a big challenge to the government. Similar situation can be seen in many other states.

Accessibility and provision of sufficient and proper infrastructure should be the first priority in school education. Targeted planning is the need of the hour. Proper monitoring, accountability and strong management and proper information system should rank high in educational planning. Let us hope that the CAG report will get prompt response from the authorities in the interest of school education in the state.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula

Trees, our lost friends

The PGI-Siswan-Baddi route, which used to be full of lush green trees and fields earlier, has lost its grandeur due to the inevitable expansion plan. More and more trees are being felled down rapidly, almost 90 per cent trees near Mullanpur have vanished.

How will the concerned authorities compensate the loss of natural environment? On our part, we all must plant at least one tree in our lifetime.

RAJIV SHARMA, Chandigarh

Hour of triumph

If a proper comparison of inaugural world series hockey title is made, the Sher-e-Punjab team started dominating the proceedings right from the beginning (“Sher-e-Punjab lift WSH title”, April 4).

They registered 8 wins after playing 14 matches and booked their berth in the semi-finals. In the semi-final, they outplayed Karnataka Lions 4-1 to sail into the final of the World Series hockey.

In the finals, Sher-e-Punjab worked like a well-oiled machine against their opponents. The victory was decisive. They gave a fine display of clean, fast and splendid hockey. The victory came as a result of good co-ordination among the players and better pass-work. Prabhjot Singh, Deepak Thakur and Harpreet Singh deserve special credit for 5-2 victory over Pune Strykers.


Beware of parabens

Parabens are chemicals used as preservatives in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. They have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors (an average of 20 nanograms/g of tissue). Parabens have the ability to slightly mimic estrogen (a hormone known to play a role in the development of breast cancer). EU has fixed an upper limit of 0.04% for parabens.

Underarm deodorants, toothpastes and other cosmetics which contain parabens can aggravate breast cancer. Certain companies have started marketing parabens- free products, even tooth pastes also contain parabens.

An appropriate government agency must step in to ensure regulation of quantity of parabens as preservatives in  cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.


Warmth in old clothes

The middle, “A thumps — up to hand -me- downs” by Raji P. Shrivastava (April 3) took one down memory lane. It is true that in old times, old clothes were passed on to younger cousins. In today’s times, very few families indulge in sharing clothes or passing on them to cousins. Everyone prefers new clothes for their children.

The process of sharing or passing hand-me-downs keeps us connected in an indirect way that adds warmth and love in our relationships.




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