Looking beyond abolition of child labour

This refers to the news item “446 child labourers rescued” (June 2) and “NHRC seeks detail in child labour case” (June 10). There are various laws to tackle the menace, but wholehearted efforts have never been made by the government to fathom the root causes of the problem.

Obviously, parents don’t want to involve their small children in odd jobs but poverty, hunger, homelessness, prolonged illness in the family, rising prices are the root causes promoting child labour. The poor have to feed the family. The government has no concrete proposal for rehabilitation of child labour.

Where are the government schemes, NGOs and the NHRC to stop the exploitation of small girls in almost all homes as domestic help? If the government is committed to abolish child labour, it should plan their respectable living first and come out with concrete proposals for their rehabilitation.

PURAN SINGH, Nilokheri (Karnal)




The burning of feet of three dalit children of Chehlen village in Fatehgarh Sahib district is one example of the flyash menace when it is disposed off by the industries without following precautionary measures. In the past, there has been a debate on flyash use in Punjab’s brick kilns. No brick kiln owner has ever refuted questions about the effect of flyash on the heath of the workers.

There are about 2,600 brick kilns in Punjab. About five lakh labourers are engaged in this industry which includes migrant labourers also. So without precautionary measures, flyash should not be used in the brick kilns. There is need for a foolproof system for storage and proper use of flyash.

JAGJIWAN SINGH, President, Voice for Human Rights, Hassanpur (Ludhiana)

A real slice of life

Tarlochan Singh Trewn has given us a real slice of life in his timely middle
Father’s Day”. It touches the heart. This reminds me of a couplet in Punjabi (pardon me if I am incorrect): Ethey jewende bherey lagdey ney, mouayan di pooja hoondi ey. Alas, a few exceptions apart, the old values have eroded in various facets of life and relationships, even concerning old parents.

Most of us, called elders or senior citizens, are content with some element of “time” given by our progeny. Mere material possessions and comforts or the lack of such luxuries do not give the emotional support. In all likelihood, it may not be far too distant a time to see commemorative days and celebrations like Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day becoming mere decorative rituals.



PM as a puppet

Mrs Sonia Gandhi, in her capacity as Congress President, visits the Soviet Russia and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sees her off at the Delhi airport. External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh accompanies her. Is this in conformity with the protocol?

Mrs Gandhi, who presented herself as a supreme symbol of sacrifice by declining the prime ministership, ought to have refrained from being a Super Prime Minister. It is unfortunate that Dr Manmohan Singh is acting no more than a puppet in her hands.

B.K. CHAUDHARI, Bromsgrave (UK)

Keep your promise

The Amarinder Singh government, before coming to power in Punjab in 2002, promised in the Congress manifesto, house rent allowance and enhancing fixed medical allowance from Rs 250 to Rs 500 a month to the pensioners. Surprisingly, none of these promises has so far been fulfilled.

Pensioners are also a vote bank and need to be treated sympathetically. The promises made in the election manifesto should be implemented soon. The next elections are not far away.


Thermal plant blues

The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has entrusted the task of erection of the 500-MW Stage II Lehra Muhabbat thermal plant to BHEL on a turnkey basis. Though work has already started, BHEL, known for producing electricity generation equipment, has hardly handled civil works on its own. It does only the supply and erection work of equipment and machinery. Construction experts always handle civil works. BHEL has entrusted this to petty sub-contractors. So doubts have arisen about the project quality.

The PSEB’s supervisory staff seems to have an understanding with the contractors. The authorities should put honest staff in the project and withdraw civil works from BHEL.

ANUJ KUMAR AYRIE, Lehra Muhabbat (Bathinda)

Congested bus stand

The main bus stand at Chamba is too congested, occupying about half an acre in the main bazar. The space allotted for parking both HRTC and private buses is too less. As a result, buses find it difficult to manoeuvre.

As Chamba is an important tourist destination, I appeal to Himachal Pradesh Tourism Minister G.S. Bali to select a new site for Chamba bus stand. Clearly, the present stand is not convenient for bus drivers or commuters.



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