Importance of sex education

I entirely agree with Usha Rai that sex education can save lives (October 22). It is debatable whether it will reduce HIV and to what extent it will corrupt young minds. The writer’s view seems to be acceptable as HIV cases, because of lack of sex knowledge, may balloon to over 20 million by 2010.

In 2005, the Supreme Court has decided that sex education in schools cannot be brought under the ambit of fundamental rights by making it a part of right to education. Whereas the WHO has said that early sex education delays the start of sexual activity and encourages those already sexually active to have safer sex. There is, however, no proof on this.

Sex education is a must and it should be gradually started at the school level in stages as parents are reluctant to talk to their children about sex. Suitable advertisements in the print and electronic media will also help. NGOs can play a vital role in spreading education on sex by organising seminars and discussions at various forums.

HARISH K. MONGA, Ferozepore City



No doubt, sex education can play a vital role in combating AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases. One can see medical students at Plus Two level reading necessary details about the reproductive system. So there should be no hesitation in teaching the same to the students of all streams at the secondary level.

However, the environment should be conducive to sex education. The traditionalists have been opposing the very idea of imparting sex education. They need to understand that IT revolution has contracted the world into a global village. In this arena, Internet has become a major source of information. There are cyber cafes in urban and rural areas where youth do spend hours surfing the net.

The children and the youth need to be cautioned about the danger of watching the porn sites on the net. Studies among college students have shown their involvement in sexual activities before marriage. The ever-increasing trend and attitudes are alarming. Therefore, they should be taught about the adverse effects of early sexual activity on their health.

RAVI PARKASH, Kalayat (Kaithal)

Out of red

I read the news item, “Milk Coops to produce 1000 quintal sweets” (October 23). HP Milkfed is state-run. Its avowed plan is to improve the lot of small dairy farmers who are unable to market their small produce due to lack of infrastructure and resources.

However, all is not well with Milkfed. The payment of dairy farmers in arrears ran into lakhs of rupees. Similar was the fate of transporters who used to ferry milk and milk products to various stations. They were always in revolt against the ill-managed Milkfed. Corruption made deep inroads into the organisation and this adversely affected marketing.

After a new MD took over, things changed. Arrears of dairy farmers, transporters have been cleared. They now get pay regularly on a fixed date every month. The Milkfed has come out of the red and has remarkably entered other fields like manufacture of sweets and running of dairy courses in universities.

The report says that the corrupt have been taken to task. Payment to dairy farmers is also being done as per the quality of their produce. This has encouraged the dairy farmers of my village (Ghatta) to supply quality milk. This is a shinning example of good governance where a right man at the helm has turned Milkfed from sickness to success.

L. R. SHARMA, Sundernagar, (HP)

Muktsar problem

An expert team of the Central Ground Water Board has found that the leakage (not seepage) from the Rajasthan Feeder is the main cause for water logging of the Muktsar area.

Appropriate steps should now be taken to stop this leakage. A survey should be carried out to locate the fault points and ensure how best to stop the leakage. It may not be possible to waterproof such locations but, certainly, the extent of leakage can be reduced to a tolerable limit. This water can be caught in a toe-drain (open drain) running parallel to the canal alignment and can be used for irrigation.

The staff should keep a watch on the salinity level or salt balance in the soil while curing modes are experimented. For this SCARP-mode (soil conservation and reclamation project) adopted by Pakistan in the West Punjab and Jind area may be adopted.

Dr G. S. DHILLON, Chandigarh

Potential for human engineering

The Science and Technology Page (The Tribune, Nov 9) was replete with knowledge and current science information, particularly about the potential for human engineering. Steve Connor’s piece on the colony of Supermouse that can run a marathon of “six km for five hours nonstop” left me gaping over the strength and stamina lying dormant in living beings including the cleverest of them all — Man.

However, I think evolution is not so easily available for random manipulation without the concomitant risk of unforeseen and unpleasant manifestations. The swift process of deliberate selection over the slow one of natural selection in an attempt to alter the human constitution may therefore create totally different beings without anything truly human left in them.

In the same issue, Balraj Singh Saini’s “Celestial celebration” synchronised with the Diwali spectacle and was a sort of astro-gift to the readers most of whom must have made use of the instructions on how to go about watching the comet Holmes. It is a pity that there aren’t any night-gazers club around nor any optical facilities available even in most colleges and perhaps universities here.

Children learn to draw the course of rays passing through an astronomical telescope time and again, but never get an opportunity to actually look through one. No wonder, constellations, planets and comets wander up there unappreciated with scores of myths and superstitions doing the round in our society.

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar



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