Tuesday, February 27, 2001,
Chandigarh, India



Chaos in the wilds

ONLY a fortnight ago, we witnessed the ghastly butchering of elephants in Corbett National Park. The most powerful animal felled by human cruelty was a painful sight.

This has brought to the fore the vulnerability of India’s wildlife. It has proved that our sanctuaries are poorly managed. When tigers were dying in Nandankanan, we hardly knew the cause or the remedy. When a young tigress was killed and skinned inside the National Zoo at Hyderabad, the nation was stunned. When a couple of elephants were electrocuted in Parambikulam sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu, it was found that the electric wire which ran through the sanctuary had been slung low. When panthers were run over by vehicles on the road that ran through Corbett National Park, nobody knew who gave the sanction for such a high speed road. Similar is the position in a number of sanctuaries where railway lines run through protected areas and elephants strike against running trains and die a painful death.

When sanctuaries like the Corbett National Park are so porous, there must be something wrong with the system.

Violence is cutting at the roots of our well-meaning but inadequate laws concerning wildlife. The tiger is facing extinction. Elephants, leopards, monkeys, black bucks and even peacocks are facing violence.


Tigers have been frequently poisoned by the tribals living on the periphery of Srisailam Tiger Sanctuary. Some farmers in Madhya Pradesh poisoned a number of peacocks. Some 50 monkeys were poisoned by farmers in Himachal Pradesh. Recently, a young leopard was shot dead at Una without any serious attempt to tranquillise the animal. Shortly afterwards in the same district people beat an ailing leopard to death.

This chaos in the wilds is the outcome of unrealistic and fallacious policies. The law has failed to give protection to these animals. And if we are still persisting with this inadequate law then we are either closing our eyes to reality or are callous.

H.M. SAROJ, Chandigarh

Vulgarity on TV

A TV advertisement showing a woman police officer kissing a condemned prisoner does nothing to popularise the tooth paste it professes to promote. On the other hand it sends the wrong kind of vibes in the minds of the youth.

Such vulgarity on the TV screen is condemnable and the government should ban such advertisements.

Madhu, Karnal

TB hospital

The empty wards of the TB hospital in Amritsar, described in The Tribune on February 23, are a blessing in disguise for the inhabitants of the colonies around this hospital. This hospital was at one time located in an isolated place but now it is surrounded by a number of residential colonies.

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease and humans and animals can be infected by inhalation and ingestion and there is no justification for locating a TB hospital in the heart of the city.

It is ironical that the government has launched a programme to control TB without showing concern for the population around TB hospitals, upon whom the threat of TB hovers all the time. It will be appropriate to shift the hospital to a site away from inhabited areas where the patients can be treated without causing a threat to others.


Curse of poverty

A woman of Bolangir had to sell her three-year old daughter for Rs 5,000, as she needed money for the treatment of her sick husband. The trauma of this family can only be imagined.

A large number of ragged and barefoot children are seen picking up odds and ends from the streets, and dumps, or cleaning utensil in hotels and houses of rich people. Many of them may be keen to go to school, but their poverty-stricken parents cannot bear the expenses. Some school children miss their classes to help their poor parents, working in the fields or at brick kilns, etc.

It is pity that even after over five decades of independence, crores of our people still live below the poverty line. On the other hand, opportunistic and self-seeking politicians and their kin wallow in wealth obtained by dishonest means.


Income tax rules

February is the time when the process of filing of income tax returns begins. The employees cannot be expected to know fully the huge volumes of income tax rules. Nor can they engage the services of professional tax experts to compute their tax. Perhaps there is no category of persons which pays income tax as honestly as the employees do.

There are changes in income tax rules almost every year. The Government should simplify these rules for the employees and supply them guide books for filling returns free of cost. This will be an added incentive to the employees to pay the tax.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)


Relief fund

After the unfortunate tragedy in Gujarat, donations are being sent from all over the country or even abroad by individuals, business houses, government agencies, corporations and other bodies. It will be appropriate if the government declares on the Internet a statement of donations received during the day, and their utilisation, indicating the balance in hand at the end of the day. This statement should be updated every day. The public will thus be able to know the total amount received by the government for this purpose and how it is used.

There is a feeling that heavy taxes may be levied to meet this burden. By declaring the data in this manner, the government will make the need for fresh levies transparent.



In addition to textbooks, the market is flooded with guide books published by private publishers. Some of these guides are well produced and are very popular with students. Even some teachers consult these guide books in the absence of good libraries in schools. The result is that the students are not given complete knowledge about the subject being taught to them.

It will be useful to have periodicals on each subject of study which should contain material enhancing information about the lessons and topics taught in the schools and colleges.

This work of producing periodicals for teachers can be undertaken by the universities, departments of education or by the school education boards. Every teacher should be given the periodical on his subject for which a nominal deduction can be made from his salary. If need be, the teachers can be subjected to departmental tests before they are given proficiency step-ups.

Dalip Singh Wasan, Patiala

Response to quake

Hats off to Sumer Kaul for his article on Gujarat tragedy (Tribune, Feb, 12). This is the best comment I have read on the subject. It is an honest and sensitive analysis of the people’s and the government’s response to this disaster.

Whether it is the “zeroxed” sympathy of our leaders or the indifference of our rich and privileged sections, it is a shame, and an insult to the masses who feel sincerely for the victims. This tragedy shows how “the movers and shakers”, the government and the bureaucracy are in their own selfish world far away from the common man.

Piyush Bhatnagar, New Delhi

Vineet Khanna

The untimely death of Vineet Khanna who defied death time and again is a sad loss to humanity. He was not only a saviour of the poor, the needy and the downtrodden, but also the biggest inspiration to people to go beyond physical disabilities.

Having been closely associated with Vineet over the last decade and a half, I not only feel a personal loss at his death, but also share the deepest concern of the tens of thousands who benefited from his endless giving.

Vineet’s originations, namely YTTS, Pustak, Vama etc., should be supported by the people of Chandigarh and the intellectuals of the city should come forward to complete his unfulfilled task — that of putting a smile back on the faces of the needy. He was one person who, despite being handicap, always stood for everyone at any hour of the day. It was disheartening and sad to know that he was humiliated at this year’s Republic Day function in the city where he was honoured, an honour that came very late in his life.

The city administration should ensure all support to his organisations and help in making his institutions an international outfit of hope. That will be the best tribute to him.

Let us strive to spread his message of love and compassion.

P. Ramesh Menon, Mumbai


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