Social security must for aged people

AMAR Chandel’s article “The greying of India” (Jan 9) is timely. The problems of the aged people need further analysis as these are the products of modernisation and urbanisation. Joint families have given way to nuclear families which, in turn, have resulted into single parent families. The migration of children to other places for earning a livelihood has further aggravated the problems of the aged.

The position becomes desperate when there is only one living parent. This leads to strain. In a joint family, one hardly faces strain because there is always someone who acts as cushion. This is absent in a nuclear family. The conflict of interests between husband, wife and parents leads to tension. The children should be more considerate towards their parents. The parents should also adjust to the changed times; they should not try to curb the social set-up of their children.

Both parents and children need each other for support and security. A family without elders would lack depth and colour. We should learn to cherish old people for their experience, values and qualities. Someone has beautifully said, “Like candle in a holy place, so is the beauty of an aged man’s smiling face.”

O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad

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There are over seven crore senior citizens in the country today. By 2020, the figure will cross 18 crore. Old people who have no property, bank balance or without pension pass through difficult times. The Centre and the states should take steps to grant monthly old age pension of Rs 2,000 each to senior citizens having no source of income.

Social security is the need of the hour. Free medicines and treatment in government hospitals, free board and lodging in government-run old age homes, 50 per cent travel concession in trains and buses for senior citizens have become imperative. Those with proven ability, qualifications and experience should be nominated to police and administrative committees.

As the budget sessions of Parliament and state legislatures are fast approaching, the Centre and the states should keep the interest of the aged people in mind and provide for adequate social security measures.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana


Though the life expectancy has increased, there is no social security in India. As a result, poor people face hardship. The government does not help even those who are willing to contribute their lot by virtue of their experience in any sphere of activity. Clearly, there is no proper utilisation of the aged people’s expertise, skill and capabilities.

The state governments do not implement health care schemes for the aged. Children must take care of their parents. Both parents and children should avoid confrontation and try to live together peacefully. A perfect understanding between the two would be more beneficial than enactment of legislation in this regard.

M. L. BATURA, Karnal

A way out of the Iran crisis

THE Iranian crisis on the nuclear issue is a crisis of mutual trust and fear. No country would be happy to accept that its requirement of uranium fuel should be processed in some other country and given to it for use. It hurts one’s national pride.

As Iran has abundant oil and gas reserves (enough for exports too), it should be able to utilise part of that resource for generating energy for an initial period of say, 10-15 years. During or after that period, the requirement of nuclear energy can be mutually reviewed. Technical and financial assistance can be obtained from the World Bank.

The world situation would have sufficiently changed by then. Iran should be persuaded to adopt this line and the USA/Israel should be asked to hold their horses.

Air Vice Marshal KULDEEP SINGH (retd), Mohali


In memorium

I am shocked to learn that Dr O.P. Grewal is no more (Jan 26). He was a distinguished Professor of English. His class room performance was indeed unique. Without bothering about his health, he fought a brave battle for the welfare of his colleagues in universities. He was known for his brave expression of ideas.

In quite a few colleges, I have had the honour of sitting with Dr Grewal in the panel for the selection of lecturers. I remember how everyone appreciated his plain but fair refusal to grant Ph. D scholarship to a top officer’s spouse.

Prof P.L. JAIN, Sirsa


I was lucky to have been one of Dr Grewal’s students in the Department of English, Kurukshetra University. He inspired students by his great erudition and simple lifestyle.

He taught us to work hard and think sensibly about the poor people. He was keen on honing the debating skills of young scholars, particularly those from rural families. In his death, Haryana has lost a great teacher and scholar.


No human touch

The editorial “Death as ‘tamasha’” (Jan 26) rightly termed the whole episode as a tamasha. The television clippings clearly show that everyone standing there was a mute spectator. It was like a crowd gathered to enjoy a magic show.

In the crowd, human touch was missing and a precious life was set on fire. Are not the spectators (if the onlookers could be described as such) equally responsible besides the district administration?

We learn from holy books that the destruction of life is punishable by law, both of God and man. So worship life and do not curse it. Use it as a vehicle to attain eternal happiness.

T.L. SHARMA, Nangal Township

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