Need to provide relief from child labour

Since August 10 last, nearly 11.20 million under 14 years of age have been relieved of child labour. The Union Government deserves appreciation for this very humanistic Act. It is hoped that joys and pleasures of childhood would return to them and they would be able to attend schools, get educated and hopefully look for an honourable life in the future.

However, shine on cheeks and glitter in eyes without food in the belly is a doubtful proposition, only a mirage perhaps, unless large-scale opportunities are created in the schools to earn while learning. The Education Department should introduce mega projects on vocationalisation of education in both elementary and secondary schools. Earning while learning is a must for the poor children.

Parents of such ex-child labourers also deserve some help to supplement their income. Some additional remunerative part-time jobs need to be created for them. Payment of education allowance may also be considered. If such measures are not taken expeditiously, relief from child labour will become more painful.

Dr T.R. SHARMA, Patiala


In a jiffy

In his article, At last, some teachers, but at what price?, Lt-Col G. S. Bedi (retd) has rightly termed the process of recruitment as “hurried and harried”. It was implemented overlooking the interest of those already working in government schools and eligible for promotion. While the recruitment through advertisement was done in a jiffy, the departmental cases are still hanging in fire.

I have served the Education Department for 20 years and am aware of the injustice meted out to serving teachers. I fully agree with Mr Bedi when he says that the “aptitude factor” is missing in the selection of heads. There were many more discrepancies, but justice can be done to the teachers concerned by clearing their promotions.


Dental doctors

The Punjab government plans to recruit 1,300 rural health officers under a Centrally-sponsored scheme. A large number of MBBS doctors were appointed in rural areas and more are available for appointment in Punjab. At the same time, a large number of BDS doctors are without employment. The vast rural population cannot afford to visit private practitioners for treatment. At least 500 doctors’ posts should be allotted to BDS degree holders.

This will provide the much-needed gainful employment to dental surgeons and also fulfill the need of cheap and convenient dental care requirement of the people in Punjab.


Mess in education

The Punjab Education Commission is in a state of flux. It has failed to make the teaching learning process effective in the classrooms. Since Independence, the Indian education system has been guided by too many commissions, committees, seminars and workshops aimed at producing well informed, useful, productive and democratic citizens.

However, despite best efforts, social, ethical and democratic values as envisaged in the Constitution have not been incorporated in the life of the nation. The answer is visible in the gradual downgrading of national character in all walks of life.

As long as education is treated for selfish ends by the political leadership, there is no way out to push the state out of this educational mess. Education must be treated as a powerful instrument of change. Then only one can see some progress.


Neglected route

The Lalot-Dodra-Kawar ruote in Shimla district is not yet motorable. Some rock cutting near Chansal Ghati is involved. Bridge has been washed away in the rains. The 7-km road from Gusangu to Jakha is still a non-starter.

The road should be metalled fast. Some important projects are coming up near Chansal Ghati. The laying of the road is also important from the defence angle.

The residents are forced to pay Rs 500 from Natward to Jakha for carrying a wheat bag. Allowing foreign investment in laying the road network on Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis, at least on the main routes in the hilly areas, would given a boost to development.


Volvo buses

Sometime ago, my daughter was unhappy to travel by Volvo bus from Delhi to Chandigarh. Though our journey was comfortable and economical, my daughter wasn’t happy.

Reports of frequent breakdown of Volvo buses due to non-availability of spare tyres and emptied fuel putting the passengers to great hardship for hours together give me a sense of satisfaction over my decision foregoing the luxury of Volvo bus. It is time the Haryana Roadways took stringent steps to prevent such incidents to restore passengers’ confidence in the organisation.

J.C. SHARMA, Panchkula

Safety awareness

The National Institute of Secondary Steel Technology (NISST), Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a safety awareness campaign to check accidents. Accidents must be prevented because they are not only a big loss to the industry but also give a bad name to Mandi Gobindgarh.

In this steel town, scrap from all over the world is converted into wealth, generating employment opportunities. The NISST recently launched a campaign, titled “Basic safety for all” in Hindi and Punjabi to address the illiterate, semi-literate and unskilled migrant labour from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other adjoining states of Punjab.

J.S. CHAWLA, Mandi Gobindgarh


Oscar no index of excellence

After Hindi film Rang De Basanti failed to grab the Oscar, people have started criticising it. Many of them are claiming that Lage Raho Munna Bhai should have been sent for the Oscar.

However, what people are overlooking is the fact that Indian films are not made for the Oscar. Though Rang De Basanti failed to get Oscar, it doesn’t mean that it was bad. It was a unique movie which aroused public consciousness against corruption and other crimes. Thus, Oscar or no Oscar, we need to promote such films in the national interest.




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