The road that lies ahead
THIS refers to "Extraordinary vistas ahead" by Hari Jaisingh (December 31). In a very small article the writer has made a praiseworthy effort to dole out advice to mankind in general but Indians in particular. In a prophetic tone, he warns mankind entering 21st century to shun war. The task ahead is particularly gigantic for India. First of all, we will have to renew our resolve to uplift the quality of life of the poor, the down-trodden and the have-notes. The woes of the under-privileged sections must not be ignored. On test is Indian democracy as well as the quality of governance.
Every yug can be a satyug provided in the years ahead we practise what we preach. What we are fast losing is our capacity of live and let live — an ancient philosophy that is as sound as it is simple. This is the time to overcome our narrow and parochial way of thinking.
VIJAY SHEEL JAIN
More than fifty years of India’s Independent existence have given us nothing but problems. A staggering 16 per cent of the rural population of India has access to less than Rs 3 a day while another 18 per cent can scrape through Rs 5 a day. The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) after four years of study of 33,000 rural households in 16 states using 300 parameters, has stated that 39 per cent of the rural population is living below the poverty line or earning less than Rs 3,441 per capita, per year. The Planning Commission admits that those earning less than Rs 11,000 a year are living below the poverty line.
Population growth, illiteracy and inadequate healthcare stare one in the eye. The Union Health Minister holds out promises, but no relief. Chandigarh’s two government hospitals and the PGI are in a bad shape. Our population growth rate which is 2.2 per cent as against China’s zero per cent, needs to be slowed down.
The writer has portrayed a dismal yet realistic picture of millennium into which we have entered.
Progress of scientific knowledge, the cells of immortality, genetic engineering, space exploration and electronic technology, are not going to benefit a large chunk of the world population, if we don’t give a serious thought to Indian philosophical teachings. In this mad race to reach the pinnacle of success in scientific achievements, the society might have successfully added intelligence to our garments, but unfortunately this very society has very conveniently forgotten to teach the lessons of love, campassion, empathy and brotherhood to its people.
More facilities needed
This refers to the article "Bed-cum-bath" by K.K. Khullar (January 7).
In this article the writer humorously depicts the poignant situation faced by many senior citizens in India, specifically in the metropolitans, where they are sometimes devoid of even the most basic of the necessities and requirements of life. It is a sorry state, indeed, when after having worked hard all their lives, they still have to totter about to meet the basic requirements of a civilised and reasonably comfortable existence. Their predicament is a sad commentary upon our attitude and the present social infrastructure. What almost every one in the advanced countries gets as a matter of right, is only a distant dream for most of the people here. It acquires a nasty hue when they become old and helpless.
Negligence and indifference have pervaded the attitudes of the people, particularly that of the younger generation concerning their aged parents. The intolerant attitude becomes all the more obvious once the parents are past their productive period. Then they more often than not get dumped in this inconsiderate way.
A government policy is required to tackle this problem. The government as well as some private organisations should immediately take effective steps in this direction and construct more old age homes for those elders who get sidelined this way, so as to make their old age a period of serenity, security and dignity, not of deprivation, displacement and disillusionment.
AMRIT PAL TIWANA