Tuesday, April 29, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Hospitals under MTP Act

Registering hospitals and nursing homes to conduct MTP under the MTP Act, 1971, is an appreciable step by the government. The centres are being registered after thoroughly checking the facilities available to conduct MTP e.g a proper operation theater, a qualified and experienced gynecologist, services of an anaesthetist and other facilities to deal with any emergency.

This will definitely decrease the complications arising out of terminating an unwanted pregnancy. But to keep a separate record of all MTPs conducted, to send a monthly report of these cases to the civil surgeon’s office and to be ready to show the record to whosoever comes for checking, in my opinion, is undesirable.

Most of the ladies or couples come for the termination of an undesirable pregnancy at an early stage when the sex of the foetus cannot be known. They want to keep it a secret, many a time even from their family members. Showing the record to a visiting team means disclosing the identity of the patient, which includes her name, husband’s name, address and the date on which the procedure was carried out.

The authorities should give more stress on ensuring that MTPs are done at registered centres by qualified doctors and no female foeticide is done, rather than forcing doctors to show and send all details of such patients to the civil surgeon’s office. In this way many patients will shy away from coming to authorised centres. Instead they would go to unqualified people who have no binding to disclose their secrets.

Dr Jatinder Kaur, Jalandhar


Bureaucratic arrogance

This is with reference to a news item entitled "Major-General not allowed to meet President" (April 24, 2003). The incident that occurred at Hissar on April 19 is a result of bureaucratic arrogance of the highest order.

It may be mentioned that the Major-General had not gone to meet the President in his individual capacity but against the protocol requirement of being the seniormost service officer in station. The adverse effect of such incidents on the dignity and morale of the senior officers and the Army as a whole can be well imagined.

It would be fair to assume that the Major-General had commissioned service of about 35 years. The bureaucrat who refused to allow him to see the President would be far junior to him.

It is suggested that this requirement of protocol should be reviewed at the appropriate level. If it is decided to retain the same as it is, separate space may be provided to the Army officers rather than expecting them to mingle with the ordinary people. This will ensure dignity of the uniform.

The bureaucrat should apologise to the Major-General to undo the damage done.

Maj-Gen Hardayal Singh (retd), Chandigarh 

Walk hand-in-hand

Apropos the letter “Male emancipation” by Yogesh Datta (April 17), whatever suggestions Yogesh has put forth are correct but it is easier to say than to act.

He says: “do not marry a person who asks for dowry”, but most often dowry demands start after marriage and then what to do? He says:”do not kill baby girls” — a mother who keeps her baby for nine months in her womb and day and night prays for the baby can never think of killing it. So this point must be made clear to men. Yogesh says: “do not stand atrocities of the in-laws” — a woman can challenge the atrocities of the in-laws if her husband supports her and so, again here is the need for male awakening.

He says: “marry a person you love” — but everyone is not blessed to get in reality the man of her dreams and so it is better to love the person you marry. And nurture this love with mutual cooperation and understanding. After all love is not merely looking at each other but also to look in the same direction and, if by chance the directions are different, then both should try reconciliation. Neither of the two need to lead or follow the other. To be with each other, walk hand in hand.

No laws, no government policies, no slogans, no organisations can help you maintain your relationships. What you need is a strong foundation of trust and you must know your responsibilities towards each other — then there would be no dowry, no baby girl killing, no atrocities — but only a happy family forever!

Geeta Gupta, Ambala City

A health hazard

At Dhanotu village in Shahpur tehsil of Kangra district a plant to make bitumen is coming up on the banks of the Chambi rivulet, encroaching part of government land. About 100 metres below, thickly populated villages come in direct contact with smoke and other poisonous gases emanating from the plant. Earlier, two such plants were closed down in the vicinity on the intervention of the high court.

Ram Chand Sharma, Dodhamb (Kangra)

Unhealthy centre

Recently, I had the “privilege” of going on a 10-day pilgrimage to the government rural health centre at Gagret. I was surprised to see that mattresses provided to indoor patients are seldom disinfected after their discharge. No bathroom facility exists. Visitors and their noise-pollution are Similarly, indoor patients, in the absence of adequate medicines/diagnosis, are exploited by private chemists/clinics around the health centres.

S.D. Minhas, Sanghai (Una)


This refers to the news item “CBSE exam scam: banks told to seal accounts” (April 21). The news report seems to be based on hearsay without any material proof about the alleged leakage of the PMT examination paper. The CBSE conducts this examination on the directives of the Supreme Court with utmost caution. Since the first exam conducted in 1988 not a single case of leakage has occurred.

The exam is held in a fool-proof manner so much so that the question papers are kept in nationalised banks and are delivered at the examination centres only by the persons deputed by the board on the day of examination. The question papers are opened just half an hour before the scheduled time and in the presence of special observers. Due to the fool-proof system and inbuilt checks, not a single case of leakage has been reported since 1988. How can your newspaper then highlight a leakage when there has been no leakage at all?

Rama Sharma, PRO, CBSE, Delhi

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