Boy from Ballia

Apropos of the editorial “Boy from Ballia” (Feb 10), having stood first in a prestigious international level competition, Saurabh Singh, a student from Ballia in UP, has proved the depth of hidden talent lying untapped in villages and smaller towns across India. It is sad that no serious attempt is made to unearth this treasure.

Big school chains are busy in acquiring land in the outskirts of cities where enough educational facilities are already available. What deters these institutions to explore the small hinterlands is the obvious lack of returns on their investment from there.

Ultimately, the onus of providing quality education lies on the government which has proved ineffective in this endeavour time and again because of lack of both commitment and resources. The big school chains, flush with funds, must put some of their expertise to use at least out of philanthropic compulsions in tapping these areas to create more Saurabhs which they have failed to do till date.





Apropos of your editorial “Boy from Ballia” and Gurdarshan Singh Duggal’s letter “School’s plight” (Feb 10), the teachers need to be put one question: you are most vociferous when demanding pay hike, but have you ever protested against the anomalies prevalent in the schools, dilapidated buildings, stinking toilets, overcrowded classrooms, absence of libraries and laboratories, lack of furniture and the problem of drop outs?

Did any teachers’ union organise a strike for these reasons? Their conscience isn’t stirred at all by the appalling conditions of our schools. Why?

AKHILESH, Birampur

Image and performance

The new Superintendent of Police of Kangra, Mr S.P. Singh, has stressed the need for impartiality and transparency in the working of all the police stations in the district. This is welcome. I, however, doubt whether he would be able to achieve this goal.

Indisputably, the Station House Officer (SHO) is the kingpin of the police set-up. He can make or mar the image of the police. Does the SP enjoy a free hand to post or transfer the SHOs if they fail to deliver? No. The Director-General of Police too seems to be sailing in the same boat. He no longer seems to have a decisive say in the postings and transfers of officers.

In a democratic setup, the political authority should have an upper hand in the matter as it is accountable to the electorate. But the pendulum has swung to the other extreme with unhappy consequences. The powers that be should ponder over the matter.

TARA CHAND, Ambota (Una)

No revenue stamps

Revenue stamps are not available at any post office in Amritsar including the Head Post Office. The postal staff say, revenue stamps can be obtained from the District Courts on Ajnala Road at the far end of the town.

The people will have to travel to the courts wasting time, energy and money all for a one rupee revenue stamp! This is causing hardship to people. Therefore, the old practice of making revenue stamps available at all the post offices in Amritsar should be restored.

V.K. CHOUDHRY, Amritsar

Rope-way at Jakhu

The HP Tourism Department has come out with a hi-tech project of installing a passenger rope-way at Jakhu. Ignoring the fact that Shimla and its surroundings are facing a crisis of identity, the government is promoting a project that would devastate 200 deodar trees to make way for this rope-way.

The government’s obsession with this project is equally matched by its impassivity towards ecology. Has the Tourism Department got the right to intrude into the heritage zone? It seems the era of peace and quietude is over in this stretch unless this reckless vandalism is halted.

Dr H.M. SAROJ, Chandigarh

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