Where have all little girls gone?

With reference to your news item regarding the declining sex ratio and female foeticide, and awards for checking it in Himachal Pradesh, I had an opportunity to participate in a state-level advocacy workshop at Haryana Niwas  on June 22 with members of the Haryana Legislative organised by Plan India, the Population Foundation of India and the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab.

We were highly impressed with the authorities for taking such bold steps towards the implementation of the PNDT Act. After going through statistics and news reports of missing girls and bringing girls from other states for eligible bachelors, one feels we have overlooked something.

Why despite desperate efforts of the Health Department and many sleepless nights of raids by the vigilance people, the situation is not showing any sign of change?

Haryana is proud to be the most proactive state where we can claim to have all the ultrasound machines registered. (Don’t ask how, who’s the owner and who’s the operator?)

We read many news items regarding raids and seizure and sealing of machines, but seldom get to know how many of the doctors were actually caught terminating the foetus.

The authorities will have to ensure that all forms are properly filled and records are maintained by the ultrasound centres. A lot of homework needs to be done.




To read or not to read

“Time changes men” and thus this recent rendezvous of the new government’s fate with its dream about proselytizing the country’s status quo seems to bring shalom to all except the schoolchildren.

It is difficult for teachers as well as children to maintain their sangfroid when the books undergo a change almost every time when a new government steps in.

Proliferating education is essential for the overall development of our country’s academic status, which surely embellishes a blanket of impunity around the future of our youth, but it should not change frequently enough to provoke confusion. Seeing the status quo, the NCERT is making meticulous endeavors to replace the current set of books almost when the new session is about to begin. The government shouldn’t bring about this change in books just for the sake of making visible the vituperative side of the previous government.

It should bring about a change in books if necessary, but at the right time and with the sufficient stock of books in such a way that would not cause chaos.

Akanksha Chaudhary, Rohtak

Hang this man

Dhananjay Chatterjee is facing the gallows. Though most of us are against capital punishment and show sympathy with the offender, we fail to think of the victims’ family. What was the fault of that schoolgirl who was raped and murdered by Dhananjay? Our sympathy should instead be with her parents.

Will they appreciate if Dhananjay is given a reprieve? This will not only shake their confidence in the system but also set a bad example for society. Dhananjay is a hardcore criminal; can anyone guarantee that if he is set free and not hanged, he will not repeat such acts? It is in the interest of the general public that this man be hanged soon, since his mercy plea has already been dismissed even by the President.

Lt Col B. S. GHUMAN (retd), Jalandhar

A retrograde step

Apropos of the news item “IIMs to revert to old fee structure' (June 30). I felt sad that the UPA government has overruled the last government's sound and pro-poor decision on cutting the exorbitant fees charged by the IIMs.

The basic tenet of a good leader and a good government is that it builds up on the positive work done by its predecessor rather than demolishing it. We Indians have a strange habit. Whenever a new man takes over, the first thing he does is to change the layout of his office and then goes on to blame his predecessor and say he had done nothing. He undoes what the last man did.

The sycophants project him as a Messiah. Soon, he gets posted out and the new man takes over and the cycle is repeated. In the bargain, the foundation remains as before, with no one to build upon it. This is what has happened in the case of IIMs fee case. Sad, but avoidable.

Madhu R. D. Singh, Army School, Ambala Cantt

Dirty villages

The insanitation in most of the villages need the attention of the authorities concerned. Cow dung and garbage on village roads is a common sight. Upto 1970, there was a practice to inspect the general condition of villages and village gram sewak used to lead in this exercise. This practice has since been stopped. The BDPOs and the health authorities should be held accountable for this.

Dirty ponds in villages and poor drainage invite mosquitoes and other insects. The big area occupied by these ponds should be narrowed and covered wells of large diameter be dug. The silt from these wells should be removed at least once ever year. This can be adopted on trial basis.


Protect women

Girls should get compulsory education in schools about the crimes against women. They should attend compulsory self-defence classes. Laws should deal strictly with the accused.

REENA S. LUTHRA, Panchkula

Lax security at dam

The security arrangements at the Bhakra Nangal Project are not satisfactory. Though they no more issue "the red pass" to the visitors to see the internal working of the dam and only issue a "white pass" for a visitor to just have a look at the dam from outside, this is not sufficient. They should prohibit the visitors from carrying cameras and even mobile phones with them.

Harpreet, Amritsar


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