Saturday, May 19, 2001, Chandigarh, India



Where has love gone?

We all find ourselves ill-prepared to cope mentally with demands of the fast-paced materialistic life that we have come to cherish and pursue blindly. This pursuit is beginning to take its toll.

Tensions and stress of modern lifestyle are making the human being mentally hypersensitive. The threshold of tolerance and patience has reached an extremely low ebb.

Today’s fiercely competitive world entails unhealthy trends of increased tensions, perpetual hurry and constant worry. It is as if all this is the price ingrained in the evolutionary instinct for survival. This enhanced degree of stress is the root cause of increased irritability, short and frayed tempers, anger, quarrels and so on.

Ugly scenes of road rage, which are unfortunately on the increase day by day, are but one example of this malaise that has set in our society.

The word mental tension or stress now appears ominously synonymous with modern lifestyle of humans worldwide. It begins with the birth of a child, for both the parents and the child. It increases as the days of admission to school approach, and compounds during days of higher education, search for job, settling down in life.


Where have love, peace and happiness gone? With tensions, feelings of anger, frustration, hatred and intolerance becoming rule rather than exception, love, affection and friendship have become rare commodities.

In days gone by there was plenty of love and affection, and hence peace and happiness ruled. This was when there was comparatively less material progress. Now despite the material gains of a modern age there is widespread discontent and less peace and happiness.

By no means it is implied that one should not strive for more progress. On the contrary, to remain happy one must continue striving for betterment, but one should slow down and do so in a calm manner, practice tolerance, patience, control anger, keep check on hatred, jealousy and other such negative emotions. One must inculcate love of mankind. If one can master these small but important things, life will be pleasant and enjoyable journey for all.

HARISH KHANNA (Dr), Panchkula

Avoid free eye camps

The findings of the WHO-sponsored survey carried out in Bathinda district by the National Programme of Control of Blindness (NPCB) as reported in The Tribune (May 7) are on the expected lines and least surprising. The Bathinda Ophthalmological Society has discouraged the holding of free eye operation camps for the past many years for obvious reasons.

In these camps pressure is on the number of operations rather than the quality of surgery. Working in most unhygienic and unfavourable conditions, it is almost impossible to deliver optimum quality. Patients are usually screened for surgery in a hurry without proper investigation and the surgery is performed in a make-shift operation theatre (OT) where required sterilisation cannot be achieved and maintained during the course of surgery.

The regular traffic of VIPs and organisers in the OT to get themselves photographed adds to the volume of contaminants in the OT, jeopardising the results of surgery. As the operating team works against time, proper sterilisation of the instruments and the surroundings is the usual casualty and the result infections and other complications.

Even the post-operative care of the eyes is improper as most of the patients in the camps are illiterate and it is beyond their comprehension and means to maintain good hygiene of the operated eye. In several cases of catastrophes in camps, courts have hauled up the operating teams.

With the advent of recent advancements in cataract surgery, it is most undesirable to create surgical aphakia in camps, that is simply removing the cataractous lens and then correcting the vision with thick lenses in spectacles, leaving the patient virtually blind without spectacles. Even with spectacles, the quality of vision is so poor that the hapless patients have to make other adjustments to move around.

The National Society for Prevention of Blindness, Delhi, has reported that now there is no backlog of cataract blindness in the country. Hence, it has shifted its area of activities to other causes of preventible blindness i.e glaucoma and diabetes and have stopped paying financial assistance/incentives to the NGOs for holding free eye operation camps.

Instead, a base-in approach has been advocated from time to time wherein the NGOs are encouraged to organise eye screening camps in areas where such facilities do not exist with the help of local ophthalmologists. Patients requiring surgical intervention are identified and brought to private government hospitals for operation and sent back the next day.

The NGOs should arrange for their transportation and the cost of inputs comes to about Rs 500 including the cost of average quality of intraocular lens, thus providing the patient the advantage of modern eyecare. The normal cost born by the NGOs in an eye operation camp is Rs 1 lakh for 100 cataract cases i.e Rs 1,000 per operation.

The Punjab Ophthalmological Society at its last annual meeting decided to write to all concerned, including the NGOs and the district health authorities to adopt this base-in approach and shun free eye operation camps, thus helping to reduce the incidence of preventible blindness which is causing lot of social and economic strains at the national, society and family levels.


Examiners’ boon

Your correspondent’s report, ‘Examiners’ boon is examinees’ bane (May 3) is misleading. The on-the-spot marking system introduced by Kurukshetra University from this year is neither “the superfast system of evaluating answerbooks at colleges” nor is it a “big farce enacted at the cost of examinees” as contended by him. It is in fact an effort to curtail the unusual delay in the evaluation of answerbooks which earlier used to delay the results.

Teachers are not marking 100 or more answerbooks in a day. They are issued 40 answerbooks in a day in two lots of 20 each. The second lot is issued only after the first is marked and its award-lists are also prepared. Every new experiment has some lapses, but its outright condemnation is unjust.


Bus route

Haryana Roadways, Kaithal, mainly serves passengers on the Patiala-Kaithal route. The last bus on this route leaves Patiala at 5.10 p.m. But the bus often leaves before the scheduled time, causing trouble to daily commuters as well as the general public.


Eunuchs as rulers

This refers to the write-up on Madhu Sachdeva by Reeta Sharma (May 9). About 2,500 years ago Plato discussed political corruption and nepotism in his book, “The Republic”. Out of various forms of government he found the kingship to be the best. While talking of a philosopher king, he suggested an elaborate social set-up to counter nepotism. It is surprising that he never thought of eunuchs as the source of selection of a philosopher king.

If intelligent and educated eunuchs are elected as rulers, then the basic problem of corruption, which is nepotism could be tackled most effectively. So people like Madhu Sachdeva must come forward to join politics.

R. S. GREWAL, Ludhiana


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