Awareness must to check AIDS

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s concern over AIDS is timely. NGOs should come forward and supplement the government’s efforts to spread awareness on the problem among the illiterate sections of society. Maximum awareness is the effective remedy for the incurable disease.

The rural India is highly conservative and illiterate and so it is more prone to diseases like AIDS. Daughters are considered a liability. Most mothers tell their daughters not to do anything unconventional. In North India, women are deprived of many good opportunities. This holds back women, however dynamic and enterprising they are. A girl student’s confidence gets killed because of her mother’s tips to follow convention. And after marriage, she is goaded to obey her husband and in-laws.

To check the spread of AIDS, I would suggest medical tests of both the groom and the bride before fixing the marriage. There should be no hesitation in this regard.


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— Editor-in-Chief


Right to information

Those in the forefront of campaigning for the right to information oppose the levy of charges as they feel payment for information sought goes against the spirit of the Act. People are asked to pay for applications, copies, floppies and even inspection of documents.

The activists urge the following provisions in the Act to make it broadbased: expand the scope to include private and voluntary sectors also; stricter penalty for non-compliance; the states should, suo motu, or pro-actively, share information vital to public interest; and making available information relating to the life and liberty of a person within 24 hours.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has now decided to disclose official notings in social and development sectors. Will the RTI campaigners be happy with partial disclosure? In any case, the RTI Act must become an effective tool in the hands of the people.


Common destiny

South Asia, having one-fifth of humanity, should be treated as a single unit geographically because all these countries have a common destiny — poverty, disease, natural disasters and terrorism. There is no dearth of natural and human resources.

Though the sub-continent has been historically different, we have not taken full advantage of its geography. Instead of politics of hostility, these countries should strive for collective security and collective prosperity so that it becomes one economic block like the European Union. Benefits of better physical connectivity will greatly increase the economic health of the whole region. Free trade without artificial barriers will give a boost to economic growth.

Dr L.K. MANUJA, Nahan

War memorials

The Haryana government has rightly increased the monthly pension of freedom fighters from Rs 1,400 to 3,500 a month. However, what about the supreme sacrifices made by the brave sons of Haryana in safeguarding the territorial integrity of the nation?

The war memorials in Haryana, whether built with government funds or public efforts, are in a state of neglect. These need proper maintenance as these are a source of inspiration to the younger generation.

There are hardly 50 war memorials in Haryana. Of these, 15-20 are located in rural areas which need immediate attention. Those located in urban areas also need proper maintenance. State War Memorial at Rohtak and district war memorials at district headquarters are also in a bad shape.

S.S. KAUSHAL, Chandigarh

Tip of the iceberg

With reference to the editorial “Minister bows out” (Nov 7), why single out former Union Minister of State for Water Resources Jaiprakash Narain Yadav? He is just the tip of the iceberg in our democracy. Instances galore, there are many more ministers and bureaucrats at the Centre and in the states with criminal background.

The question is: how can a well-protected politician (with security provided by the state government) hide from public eye unless the state itself connives? While our democracy has been an eyesore to the world, the self-styled benefactors of Indian polity have failed the nation. What a pity!


Mother’s name too

The Centre should issue directions to all states for mandatory compliance by all government and private schools, colleges, universities and other educational institutions to include mother’s name too in all forms and papers. This should be followed scrupulously by private employment agencies at the time of registration and recruitment of candidates.

I suggest that all married women should mention their maiden surname together with their husbands’ while writing their full name. This trend needs to be pursued vigorously.


Turning dream into reality

While reading Raj Kadyan’s “Back to Earth” (Nov 17), I was reminded of Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Regarding children’s dreams and adults’ responses to them, Roy writes, “It is easy to ruin a fragment of a dream being carried around carefully like a piece of porcelain. To let it be, to travel with it is much the harder thing to do.” Adults should “take care not to decimate it with adult carelessness.” It is quite true that children live in a world of their own. They should be handled delicately.

Moreover, many dreams have indeed come true. In fact, every scientist is a poet or a dreamer first. He starts from a hypothesis — an idea based on imagination. Then he proceeds to turn that dream into reality. So the dreams of children are to be nurtured.

Going to moon is no more a myth. NASA has invited projects for colonies on moon. It has approved one such project prepared by a team of students from Patiala.

SADHNA GUPTA, Lecturer in English, IGN College, Ladwa


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