Let’s play eco-holi this time

MANKIND has been fascinated by colours since the dawn of civilisation. Colours not only give a pleasant look but also express emotions, ideas and feelings behind them. The colours can be obtained from both natural as well as synthetic sources. As almost all synthetic dyes have their origin in coal tar, they are hazardous to health and environment.

One step towards the promotion of natural colours is their use for Holi, the Festival of Colours. As Holi involves the use of colours directly on skin, extra precaution is required. Synthetic colours, when used in liquid or dry form, can create severe skin allergies and skin disease too. This can be prevented by the use of natural colours like ‘yellow’ obtained from haldi, ‘blue’ obtained from indigo and ‘green’ obtained from ‘harar’. The extracts from these sources can be utilised to make gulal powders which are not only fresh but also free from harmful effects.

There is a need to develop awareness among people to use for Holi only natural colours which are safe and environment-friendly. That is why these natural colours are termed as eco-colours. If we play eco-Holi this time, it will be free from all skin problems and pollution. So, let us welcome eco-colours and eco-holi and say goodbye to synthetic colours.

S.P. SIDHU, SURABHI MAHAJAN & JASTESH GREWAL, Clothing & Textiles Dept., Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana



Empowering women

Parliament has amended the Constitution to empower women. Article 394A is specifically designed to check crimes against women. If crimes are increasing, it is only because of the shoddy role played by some investigating officers and inspectors in the women cells preventing the empowerment of women.

Unfortunately, the mindset of the police has not changed. Once their palms are greased, they misbehave with women. The investigating officers dilute the first information report and the inspectors in the women cells bargain with the men and foist ad hoc agreements on the women at their expense. In cases where there is no agreement, a weak foundation is laid at the initial stage and later the women are made to suffer at the court-level. Consequently, women continue to be the losers at all levels.

The need of the hour is not only to empower women in accordance with the due processes of the law but also by creating ample employment opportunities for them so that they can lead an honourable life.

UJJAL PAL SINGH, President, Dina Nath Public School, Faridabad

Electoral rolls

It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure the correct revision of the electoral rolls. The Commission should instruct the Chief Electoral Officers of the states to include the missing names in the revised electoral rolls. The supplementary names along with their addresses may be added at the end of the master copy of the electoral rolls of the particular area. It is necessary to avoid public ire and criticism of the Commission because of the missing names in the electoral rolls.


Non-pensioners’ woes

I fully endorse the views expressed in the letter “Non-pension retirees deserve better” (Feb 25). The Union Finance Minister ought to understand the problem of non-pensioners because the interest income on the deposit of their retirement benefits has come down owing to the decline of the rate of interest from 13 per cent to 6 per cent. Non-pensioners solely depend on the interest income of their small savings.

It is the moral duty of the government to provide social security to non-pensioners. Surprisingly, while pensioners get DA instalments twice in a financial year, non-pensioners are gifted with lower interest. Though the pension scheme in various departments has become operative, some senior citizens have been left high and dry owing to the apathetic attitude and discriminatory decisions of the employers. The employers should be sympathetic and humane towards the non-pensioners.


Bangkok: Some tips

I would like to share some impressions about my visit to Bangkok with The Tribune readers. In Bangkok, most currency exchange units, shopping malls, shops and hotels do not accept US $ 100 currency of older series (i.e. printed before 2000) perhaps due to the fear of fake currency notes in circulation. One has to go to the main bank branches for this exchange.

Language is a big problem and most taxi drivers, shopkeepers, etc, do not understand English. Indian vegetarian food is available only at a few places and is costly. Although 10 per cent service charges are included in the bill, people giving you service always expect some tips. Except for fixed-price shops, bargaining is the rule rather than an exception. You can bargain and bring down prices to nearly 50-70 per cent of the quoted price.

All formalities at the airport are, to say the least, negligible. Always purchase a credit card for making telephone calls as it is economical. National and international public telephones are easily accessible in Bangkok. When you travel by taxi, always pay the fare according to the meter reading.

Tourists can easily get VAT refund for purchases made in Thailand provided the value of purchase is 5000 baht or more and the purchases made on any one day are not less than 2000 baht. The VAT refund process at the airport is very simple and quick.

Dr R.S. BEDI, Patiala

Vultures’ death

Apropos of Ms Ruchika M. Khanna’s report “Experts differ on cause of vultures’ death” (Feb 20), the vultures’ death was common in the past due to electrocution. Hadda Rori (animal skeletons) were under the high tension lines in the shamlat land. Had this been shifted from the area having high tension wires in time or the distance between the live wires and Hadda Rori been increased, the deaths could have been prevented. Moreover, this would have also ensured less interruption of power supply.

Er. P.S. BEDI, Mohali

A welcome step

The Central Board of Secondary Education’s decision abolishing home work up to Class II is welcome. Children will rejoice as it will relieve them of the extra burden and the boredom of learning. It will be better if the CBSE also lightens the satchels of children so that they can enjoy the feel-good wind blowing from all sides.

R.K. JAIN, Panchkula


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 |