Monday, July 14, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Nutritious milk: the other side of the story

Milk is regarded as a very valuable food substance as it contains all essential food constituents in the form of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. Lord Krishna’s passion for milk and butter lends credence to the age-old belief that milk is invaribaly a drink or choice for all age groups. Rich or poor, healthy or sick, all opt for milk in one form or the other. The White Revolution is a testimony to the ever-increasing demand for milk and its products. People have little doubt about the wholesomeness of milk and assume it is a complete and least health hazard.

The People for Ethical Treatment to Animal (PETA) has come forward with reasons and research reports to apprise people the undesirable consequences of consumption of milk and its products. In particular, it emphasises that milk is a product loaded with cholesterol and fat, low in iron and there is no protective effect of its calcium on bones. Dr John Mc Dougal, Advisor to Bill Clinton calls cow’s milk “liquid meat”.

Dr Benjamin Spack, leading authority in child care, opines that milk can cause anemia, allergies in human infants. Milk with too much Vitamin D can be toxic. Individuals who do not have enzymes that digest milk lactose develop gastro-intestinal symptoms. Milk containing residues of antibiotics, hormones, dyes and germs is a health hazard for consumers.

We cannot controvert the above opinion and findings by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( without specific reasons. A fact-finding committee of eminent experts and physicians of India needs to review the latest data on the milk consumption. If in the opinion of the committee the reports are of any benefit to the public, these must be circulated widely among the public to know the other side of the coin.

Dr Soshil Rattan, Amritsar


Fire stations need chemical foam

Fire stations (FSs) all over India, with the exception of a few, use only the traditional water system as a fire extinguisher. What to talk of chemical foam as a firefighting tool, the majority of FSs don't even possess fire extinguishers. Whenever a fire incident occurs due to chemical materials, it becomes an uphill task for the fire service staff to douse it by water. Moreover, water doesn't always prove to be an effective fire extinguisher.

In a complex fire case, the civil administration has no alternative but to requisition fire tenders from the Air Force. But what if the Air Force Station, in possession of effective chemical foam to douse even major fire, is too far away to deploy them in time?

The deplorable condition of fire engines too play a bad role. Most of the FSs carry old fire engines which lack hi-tech firefighting system. The number of fire engines or buses a fire station should carry depends largely on the city's population density. Sadly, the number is inadequate.

The government should include chemical foam engines at least in three to four fire stations of every city. Though this foam is very costly, it is minimal keeping in view the lives of the people at large.

Tarundeep Aggarwal, Raipur Khurd, Chandigarh

TV ads not vulgar

I do not fully agree with the views expressed by Ms Divya Aggarwal in her letter “Oh, this is so vulgar!” (June 11). It is very easy to blame globalisation, liberalisation and western influence for the decaying moral values, but if you look at all this in proper perspective, it is surely our own doing.

In a country where corruption is rampant right from the peon to the topmost official (the judiciary included) or the political class, we should desist from blowing trumpets about our moral values, traditional culture and society. As is commonly believed, vulgarity lies more in mind than in action.

In any advertisement, we should only enjoy the amusing part and ignore the double meaning of say, chaddi utarna. Saif comes only to take back the washed chaddi stuck on a branch. Saif, Kareena, and Preity are highly respected stars; they will never stoop low to figure in advertisements which are vulgar.

Instead of blaming foreign influences etc, I would hold our religions squarely responsible for the degradation of moral values because of their total failure to give a proper direction to society despite their laudable teachings.

D.B. Singh, Chandigarh


I commend the views of Ms Divya Aggarwal. Most of the advertisements are derogatory, indecent and vulgar. Our cardinal principles and basic tenets are being eroded and polluted by the obnoxious features of the West.

Not to speak of the celebrity actresses, aspiring young girls are too busy in exposing their bodies in a most objectionable, indecent and obscene manner. They seem to be too obsessed with money and an aim to become celluloid stars. It is an aberration and disgrace to womenhood.

D.R. Sharda, Chandigarh

Despicable move

The South African Government's proposal to remove five Indian languages from it's schools’ curriculum is, certainly, a despicable move, particularly in a country where a large community of Indians lives. The latter have the constitutional right to perform their cultural practices in their own languages.

With this kind of discrimination in the new education policy, how can the South African Education Minister provide quality education? The policy indicates discrimination against Indians.

Akshit Tilak Raj Gupta, Radaur (Yamunanagar)

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