Wednesday, December 6, 2000,
Chandigarh, India



Children — the greatest wealth

Punctuated by psychological touches here and there, Mr J. L. Gupta’s article (“Children — the greatest wealth: need to lead by personal examples”, Nov 20) makes a compulsive reading.

Children constitute the most precious wealth of a nation and this wealth must not be squandered away. Most of the things they learn are through imitation and the first model they choose are parents who should be worthy of imitation. Indeed, the latter have to be very careful in regard to their precept and example. If a parent says one thing and does another, the child will naturally lose respect and regard for him. It would be a case “Do as I tell you, but don’t do as I do.”

As regards home atmosphere, there is an old saying that a happy home breeds a happy child. It is important for a child to enjoy his home and not get intimidated in any way. But this does not mean that he must not be punished for misdemeanour. Even the best of the children commit many a folly in the process of development. But if the parent-child relationship is healthy, the child is likely to take punishment in the right spirit.

In spite of a large number of well-meaning parents, we do not see an equal number of happy, well brought-up children. Surely, there is something wrong with their development somewhere. A youngster misbehaves because he has missed something that was important to him. He is a victim, an innocent victim of the life he has to lead. If we realise this, we won’t lose our faith in him. We should search for the cause which we often do not.

Children are an integral part of our lives. They must be loved for themselves, accepted as they are. Every flower takes its own time to bloom. Every child too must be allowed to develop in his own time. If we would only stop trying to put children into moulds, they would grow into better adults.

k. m. vashisht


Unfortunate children: The writer has rightly touched upon some key aspects of child psychology in the modern context. Children are undoubtedly a nation’s future. They need to be looked after an d given ample opportunities if a nation is to prosper.

Unfortunately this has not been true in the Indian context. Our over-populated country alongwith its social stigmas have hindered the basic childhood right of education which our constitution envisages for every child.

Child-labour is another blot on our society. Children working on roadside dhabas, in factories, in mines and under stressful environs presents a really pitiable picture.

rajneesh goyal


Teaching days

This is reference to the news item “Increase teaching days” (Nov 20), in which the Surya Foundation’s think-tank on higher education have recommended that the number of teaching days be raised from 180 to 220.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) says that the teachers shall work for 40 hours per week. Non-teaching staff works for 35 hours (8 hours a day into 5 days = 40 hours, 5 hours of lunch break = 35 hours) per week.

In a year, teachers are supposed to work for 10 days in admitting the students, 180 days for teaching the students, 15 preparatory days to guide the students, 25-30 days for invigilation work of examinations, 25-30 days for evaluating the answerbooks and a few days for attending the seminars, conferences, workshops etc. Total comes to 255-265 days.

The non-teaching staff remains out of work on 52 Saturdays, 52 Sundays, 33 days earned leave, 15-20 days casual leave, 20-25 days gazetted holidays such as Dussehra, Deepawali, 26th January, 15th August, 2nd October etc. 20 medical half-pay leave or 10-day full pay leave. Total non-working days of non-teaching employees comes to 190-195 days. Hence, working days of these non-teaching staff are about 170-175 days in a year.

The think-tank on Higher Education should recommend at least 220 working days for the non-teaching staff of universities.



Tragedy of Orissa

Thanks to The Tribune and Tavleen Singh (Nov. 25) for highlighting the grim and degrading poverty of Orissa, particularly in the aftermath of the super cyclone that devastated Orissa last year. The natural calamity had rendered thousands of people destitute and homeless.

The Government of Orissa is excruciatingly slow in conducting relief operations. In such a situation it may perhaps take years for the hapless people of Orissa to recover from the devastation.

Sitting away from the gruesome scene of the tragedy, we cannot imagine the extent of the pain the poor widows, orphans and other hapless victims of the Orissa tragedy are undergoing.

No doubt the NGOs like Care Today, Action aid, etc are doing yeoman service in Orissa. But the Government of Naveen Patnaik should show the necessary dynamism for restoration and reconstruction work.



JNU’s spiritual blues

This refers to your editorial “JNUs spiritual blues” (Nov 27). It would be naive to believe that the move to introduce spiritual education in the curriculum and to start a seat for spirituality at JNU would not ultimately be a step to saffronise the education.

The lead story in Ludhiana Tribune dated November 28 on Saffronisation of education by the RSS gives ample proof for that. The story also reveals how in a subtle manner the RSS is out to change the mind set of the students at a very tender age towards narrow nationalism through giving information which is contrary to the facts. Let us try to learn through the facts of history and not let a few destroy the composite culture and unity in diversity of this great country.

dr arun mitra


Toothless CVC

This has reference to your fortnight editorial “Making CVC toothless”.

Since independence, we have been wailing for a transparent and accountable political and judicial system in the land. But the rulers care two hoots once they clinch the mandate through money and muscle power. The press and public opinion is ignored and the powers of institutions diluted thereby making them subservient to political power.

It is not only the CVC that is being made toothless. This has been happening since Independence to all commissions.

lt col chanan singh dhillon (retd)



People’s attitude

Dr S.K. Thomas rightly bemoans “that most people in India care more about movies and cricket” rather than the more important things in life (Nov 29).

Like Dr Thomas, I too live in the West and note with concern the prevailing social and political trends among the Indian people. Whilst I am not so concerned about people’s predilections for trivial pursuits such as movies and cricket, I find the spectacle of corruption in all walks of life and social snobbery and ostentation absolutely depressing.

People in the West look up to India for spiritual sustenance. Paradoxically and sadly, the people of India appear to have become spirituous rather than spiritual.



Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
120 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |