We must have a strong health policy

A recent WHO report warns that three out of five persons are likely to die of chronic diseases that are non-communicable, especially those caused by unhealthy lifestyle. Heart diseases, stroke, cancer and diabetes will account for 53 per cent of all deaths this year alone.

A 2 per cent annual reduction in national chronic disease death rate would result in an economic gain of $15 billion for India over the next decade. Estimated magnitude of loss of work productivity due to only childhood anemia to be 4.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). No doubt, AIDS is a disease we should not ignore, but we as a nation are ignoring diseases which disable or kill many more people than AIDS. We have so far failed to identify our health problems and priorities with precious little research into indigenous medical problems. We need a strong national health policy based on education, motivation and awareness targeting lifestyle modification.

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda


Protect Constitution

It would be better if laws, being passed or amended by the members in Parliament, are routed through the Supreme Court so that the citizens’ fundamental rights are protected from legislative onslaught. (H. K. Dua’s article, 9th Schedule route plugged: SC saves the Constitution from politicians, Jan 15)

The apex court should re-examine the validity of laws like the reservations, sealing of shops in Delhi, acquiring farm land for special economic zones and so on.

I agree with Mr Dua that parking 284 laws in the Ninth Schedule must be reviewed as rocking the constitutional scheme will neither help the politicians nor the country.



The Constitution is a sacred document drafted by the Constituent Assembly whose members were people of high eminence, scholarship and wisdom. However, politicians have made a mess of things over the years. The judiciary deserves appreciation by calling a spade a spade.

The people should rise to the occasion and rein in the politicians because the ultimate power in a democracy rests in their hands.

RAM CHANDER NEHRA, Satrod Khurd (Hisar)

Muslims’ cause

The Prime Minister, the Union Minister of Minority Affairs A.R. Antulay and other leaders often talk of the Muslims’ social and educational backwardness. But who is responsible for this state of affairs?

I would blame the Congress which has ruled this country for over 45 years and the Muslim Personal Law Board which refuses to join the national mainstream. Both the government and the Board have done little to implement the Directive Principles of State Policy.

Article 44, for example, explicitly says: “The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Is this Article just a decorative piece or meant to be implemented? What has the government done to honour it during the last 57 years? Sadly, the nation’s welfare has been sacrificed at the altar of vote bank politics.

R.L. SINGAL, Chandigarh

Police conduct

All policemen are not bad, but a few of them are enough to spoil the image of the entire force. Commendable and creditable service rendered by some of them cannot help redeem the good name once it is lost. It is really a sad state of affairs.

The police force should as far as possible be kept free from political interference. Senior police officers should also be held accountable for the wrongdoing of the men in uniform so that they keep a strict vigil on them. They should very often raid the police stations to check the working of those on duty. The deserving should be suitably rewarded.



Time to check road accidents

Of late, the accident rate has increased due to callous driving. Old vehicles with poor brakes and no reflectors or brake lights ply on major roads. Buses ply at 100 km an hour with impunity throwing all safety norms to the wind. Trucks loaded with paddy husk cover the entire road.

Despite a ban by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, rehras transport school children. There is no police patrolling on the national and state highways as if road accident deaths do not warrant action.

Why are there no dividers on the bridges? Dividers are a must to prevent accidents on the canal bridges. Action must be taken against merchants of death under Section 304 IPC instead of 304 A where callous drivers are let off on bail the same day. If this is done, unfit vehicles are impounded and speed limit is enforced by police patrol, the accident rate will come down.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali



PUDA roads

The Punjab Planning and Urban Development Authority (PUDA), Patiala, has laid berms on the roads of 150, 125 and 100 sq roads in October last. But one doubts whether the project will ever be completed. There is absolutely no sign of early completion.

While the berms lying on the roadside have become a hazard, we are unable to drive our vehicles. If PUDA is unable to complete the roads, they should remove the berms forthwith.




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