Novel example of teaching slum children

Apropos of Mr Amrik Singh’s article “An experiment in schooling: Public school takes to teaching slum children” (Education Tribune, Jan 13), the commitment of the teachers of a private public school in Delhi to carry out surveys in slum areas, prepare a viable scheme to educate the children of these areas and even fund it is highly commendable.

There are many nomadic tribes in the country. These tribes do not have permanent homes. They rear animals or do sundry other jobs to eke out a living. Their children mostly remain illiterate. To improve their lifestyle, their children need schooling.

The Union Ministry of Human Resource Development has been running several programmes like adult education and Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan to educate the people. It would be nice if the children belonging to these families, living in slums and the nomadic tribes are surveyed and given education. As they do not have housing, they ought to be provided free board and lodging besides stipend.

The government’s target to spread mass education will remain unfulfilled unless the children of slum areas and nomadic tribes are educated.




Haryana’s cultural heritage

Government agencies, departments and NGOs have been significantly contributing to the cause of cultural heritage. Since conservation, documentation and publication relating to cultural heritage require massive efforts, their targets fall short of expectations.

In Haryana, it was once heard that the INTACH was doing some activity. But for some time nothing is being heard about its active role. Except for some individual efforts, the scenario in Haryana is far from encouraging. The Haryana government has not come forward to support NGOs and individuals actively involved in the work relating to the documentation and conservation of heritage value sites and properties. Instead, being short of funds and dedicated manpower, the monuments in Haryana have been handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India for conservation and maintenance.

There are numerous heritage value properties in private ownership that need to be conserved. Legal bottlenecks should be removed by enacting new laws or amending the existing ones.

RANBIR SINGH, President, Society for People’s Advancement, Technology & Heritage, Rohtak



English poetry contest

Young Yeti, the new imprint of Yeti Books, is organising an All-India English Poetry Competition for school children, aged 12-18 years as on March 31, 2004. There is no restriction on subject and style. Poems must be typed or typeset on A4 paper. One can submit a maximum number of five poems and each poem must be separately titled. Previously published and publication-awaiting poems will not be accepted. The poet’s name should not appear on the manuscript. Details such as name, address, telephone number, e-mail etc must be given separately. Entries must be accompanied by a certificate from the head of the institution towards proof of age and authenticity of authorship.

Entry fee of Rs 100, irrespective of the number of poems, should be sent by DD drawn in favour of Yeti Printing & Publishing House payable at Calicut. Results will be announced on May 31, 2004. Cash awards of Rs 5,000, Rs 2,500 and Rs 1,500 will be presented to the three best participants. All entries should reach the following address before March 31, 2004: Young Yeti Poetry Competition, PB No. 5007, Chennai-600090

THACHOM POYIL RAJEEVAN Editor, Yeti Books, Calicut (Kerala)

Low interest rate

The Government is reducing the rate of interest on small savings too frequently. The prices of all essential commodities are increasing. Has the government given thought to the problems of senior citizens, non-pensioners, retirees whose survival depends entirely on the interest earned on their life’s savings?

Shouldn’t it provide them bare survival by providing free water and free electricity? Surely, they deserve higher interest, free housing (without house rent) from medical security with social security. They should not be levied income-tax, house tax, property tax. The government probably forgets that senior citizens are also a vote bank, though small in number.


Jehad against terrorists

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf’s call for maintaining better relations between the two countries is welcome. Talks between the leaders of the two countries at the recent SAARC summit has brought some ray of hope of better ties. Pakistan should take strict steps against the jehadis keeping in view the present world scenario.


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