Senior citizens deserve a better deal

BOTH the Union Budget and the Railway Budget have ignored the interests of senior citizens. As they are in the evening of their lives, they certainly deserve a better deal.

The present 30 per cent train concession extended to them is meaningless as it is the business community who travels most, not the ordinary class. Any concession in train fare for senior citizens should not be less than 50 per cent. Why not make train travel free for them at least in passenger trains within a radius of 100 km from home?

In the Union Budget, the income-tax exemption limit should have been raised to Rs 2.5 lakh. This has been a long-standing demand of various senior citizens’ associations in the country. There is no provision for old age pension for senior citizens in this Budget except the Centre’s directive to the states to hike the pension from Rs 75 to Rs 200.

Free medical care in government hospitals, concession in BSNL telephone rental, free bus travel, harmony lodges for those driven out by their children are all needed to help senior citizens.

SHER SINGH, Ludhiana

Dear readers

Letters to the Editor, neatly hand-written or typed, upto 150 words, should be sent to the Letters Editor, The Tribune, Sector 29 C, Chandigarh. Letters can also be emailed at the following address: letters@tribunemail.com

— Editor-in-Chief


Change of centre

Punjab Technical University should not change examination centres at its whim. It must give advance notice to students before effecting the change. Students of various engineering streams (First Semester, Re-appear) faced great inconvenience when their examination centres were changed at the last minute.

On January 30 (Morning session, Mathematics paper), most examinees reached their centres late because they had to first go to their respective colleges to collect their roll numbers and then proceed to the examination centres. They could not complete their answers in time. Therefore, the university should give 15 grace marks each to all the examinees.

S.K. SOOD, Mohali

Memorial to warrior

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh highlighted a chapter of forgotten history when he paid tributes at the samadhi of General Shyam Singh at Attari on the occasion of his 160th martyrdom day recently. General Shyam Singh was a great warrior in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army. He was the hero of the Anglo-Sikh War.

During this war, when Sikh forces were suffering heavy reverses owing to the treachery and half-heartedness of their leaders, Shyam Singh sworn to win or die. He fell fighting valiantly. The Treaty of Lahore marked the end of the war.

However, one does not find his name in the textbooks. Why not erect a suitable memorial along the Amritsar-Bhagha Highway to perpetuate the memory of this great soldier?

R.S. BAIDWAN, Mohali

Sting in tiger’s tale

THE Tribune has been regularly carrying reports and articles on India’s imperilled biological diversity and its beleaguered wildlife. Certainly, it is a dedicated crusader for the cause of nature conservation.

On March 5, there was a good report about how researchers from the US, Australia and Indonesia, who had ventured to the remote Foja Mountains of New Guinea, discovered some long lost and new species of animals and plants. On March 8 and 10, there were reports about the Punjab government’s violation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 by permitting hunting of Blue Bull.

On March 11, there was the benumbing news that the tiger in India is close to extinction; may be no more than just 1,200 left. The writer, Brig Ranjit Talwar (retd), has been with WWF-India’s Tiger Conservation Cell since 1996 and his estimate cannot be wished away. Will the Ministry of Environment and Forests clarify on this please?

Thank you, The Tribune, for championing the cause of nature conservation and nature awareness.

Lieut-Gen BALJIT SINGH (retd), Chandigarh


Organ donation

I refer to Dr Ajay Bagga’s letter on organ donation (Feb 7). It costs nothing to the government. It is only a question of changing the procedure for organ donation. The doctor should do the job only by taking an affidavit from the donor that he/she is donating the organ at his/her own risk without pressure from any quarter. At present only the kin of the donor can donate the organ, which is not available for various reasons.

BABU RAM, New Delhi

Library in distress

Disturbingly, the Himachal Pradesh University library has lost many books, causing hardship to the students and research scholars. Some books bought by the university are irrelevant and out of syllabus. They are also not kept according to the catalogue and subject-wise. We don’t get good research journals and magazines.

The magazine section is in a poor condition. Important pieces of information and advertisements are cut down even before students get to read them. The circulation of some newspapers, Employment News and magazines is not timely. During study hours, employees and some students disturb the library users with their cell phones.

DHYAN SINGH SAIB, Research Scholar, HP University, Shimla

One-man post office

Adequate staff has not been provided at the new post office in the posh Galleria DLF shopping complex in Gurgaon. A lone employee has to deal with a heavy workload including booking of registered letters, money orders, saving bank accounts and its related schemes such as NSC, KVP, monthly income scheme, PPF and so on. Steps should be taken to fully equip the post office with additional staff for speedy and efficient service to the general public.

B.S. SAINI, Gurgaon

Teachers’ duty

D.R. Chaudhary’s article “Decline in teachers’ value system” (March 6) makes an insightful analysis of decay and decline in the present education-system with respect to the socio-political and economic framework. The unhealthy competition between the government, private institutions and other agencies is leading to corruption and insensitivity in our minds.

The root cause of the steep decline in the value system of teaching community or professionally powerless community should be unlocked keeping the historical past in view. Teachers indeed have a crucial role to play in national growth. Our outlook has a direct impact on our children who are the ultimate victims of this ruthless system.

GEETA, Rohtak

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