Need to take care of the aged

THIS has reference to Mr L.H. Naqvi's article “Continuing neglect of aged” (Oped Page, Nov 14). The younger generation practically has no time to take interest in the welfare of the aged. This section is busy in its struggle for existence and survival in this most competitive age.Children want to grab everything in possession of their aged parents on one pretext or the other and when they are settled nicely the aged are shown the door and none cares for them.

Senior citizens are also equally to be blamed for this sad state of affairs, as they don’t realise the difficulties of the younger generation and interfere too much in their routine. At this point, the concept of mutual trust is lost, and both start distancing from each other. In the process, the aged are the losers since they lose on the false hope of social security and are left at the mercy of servants in the evening of their life or take shelter in old age homes.

Let both generations sit across the table and build an atmosphere of mutual trust so that the aged love their children and the latter enjoy the former’s fruits of experience. Efforts should be made to ensure that the aged don’t feel let down.





Mr L.H. Naqvi’s article is timely because the world is turning grey at a rate faster than population growth. Life expectancy in India which was just 30 years in 1947 is now above 62, accounting for about 70 million elderly today. The question is: why should the aged live longer if there is no purpose at all? The loss of status in the family and community becomes a source of frustration and maladjustment.

Nuclear families barely have time for ageing parents. Those who retire from the organised sector have economic security like pension and provident fund, but what about others? Monthly pension offered to the aged by some states is a pittance. Not surprisingly, a considerable section of the aged in the country die as destitutes.

A draft national policy for the aged was formulated years ago, but the Union Ministry of Welfare has done little follow-up. Voluntary organisations like Age-care India and Helpage do provide services like day care, residential care, medical and psychiatric care, financial assistance, recreation, guidance, counselling etc., but they are not enough.

It is time the aged are given their due. I urge senior citizens to vote only for those candidates who are genuinely concerned about their welfare.

K.M. VASHISHT, Lassoi (Sangrur)

Peter’s principle at work

WHILE reading the news headline “Few takers for top defence post” (Nov 13), suggesting that the front-runners are not inclined to take up the post, I was reminded of the famous Peter’s Principle, which says: “In any organisation every employee rises to his level of incompetence”. All work is, therefore, done by people who have not yet reached that level. No wonder, there are no takers for the coveted post of Chief of Defence Staff, which with the present uncertainty, is likely to be nothing more than a toothless old tiger.

Interestingly, we always seem to plan in haste something for which we have to repent at leisure. This is quite frequent in matters “military”. We have to put this aberration right in an institutionalised manner after a thorough public debate. We can no longer afford to play it by the ear, especially when we are tone (or stone) deaf!

Brig GOVIND SINGH KHIMTA (retd), Shimla

Deplorable road

The Baba Balak Nath Temple in Himachal Pradesh, also known as Deot Sidh, is a renowned pilgrimage centre for Hindus. Thousands of devotees come from far off places for darshan. The temple is situated on Una-Shah Talai Jawalaji Highway. Regrettably, this stretch of road is in a deplorable condition. A single lane, this narrow road is shabby with too many potholes, sharp curves and prone to mishaps.

The Himachal government charges toll tax at Mehatpur (on this road), which is solely meant for improvement of infrastructure. The utter neglect of this road is thus intriguing. Will the government take up on priority the widening, repair and carpeting of the road on priority to help pilgrims and others?

J.K. MAGO, Panchkula

Devalued post

The late Partap Singh Kairan was one of the finest administrators in the country. Mr Ashwani Kumar was the IG during his tenure. Mr Kairon never transferred any IPS officer without the consent of Mr Kumar. Both maintained the dignity and decorum of their respective offices. With the passage of time, however, the situation has changed. The civil services are highly politicised. In anticipation of plum posts, bureaucrats dance to the tune of their political masters.

Mr A.A. Siddiqui, the present DGP of Punjab, has lowered the dignity of his office when he said that it was the Chief Minister’s prerogative to transfer police officers up to the rank of SP. If the Chief Minister handles even routine transfers of DSPs and SPs, how will the juniors obey the DGP’s orders? And how will the DGP run the police administration?

SAHIL, Patiala

Indian punctuality

A public lecture was scheduled from 9 am to 10 am at the DMC Heart Institute, Ludhiana, to commemorate World Diabetes Day on November 14. However, the lecture started at 10 a.m — late by a full hour — and was over by 10.30 am. This was not expected of an institution like the DMC Heart Institute.

However, the camp organised on the occasion to provide free services of ECG and blood sugar test was a success.

SANGEETA, Ludhiana

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |