Tackling hunger and poverty

Even after 60 years of Independence, with 70 per cent of population engaged in agriculture, the nation is facing the problems of starvation and malnutrition. Undernutrition levels in India are among the highest in the world. Around 40 per cent of children are of low birth weight and malnourished. The country needs about 290 million tonnes of foodgrains per annum, but the production is 200 million tonnnes only.

Better health services, family planning and education can help overcome the problems of poverty, economic deprivation and malnutrition. Seminars alone won’t do. We need to improve the nutritional status of the poorest and downtrodden. For this, substantial economic improvement is needed.

The government needs to ensure food security for every person in terms of food availability and accessibility with human dignity.

The Centre and the states should make sincere efforts to create infrastructure for the unskilled labour workers and repeal the Essential Commodities Act 1955.



Amitoz’s courage

I appreciate Dr Amitoz Kaur of Patiala in spurning an NRI dowry-seeking groom and for showing him and his rapacious parents the door. Such depraved persons do not deserve bright and beautiful brides. The Lok Bhalai Manch is doing well by honouring the daring and self-respecting doctor-girl of Punjab.

RISHAM, Rajpura (Punjab)

Hone our skills

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced a training centre to impart technical and professional education to youth. But there is much to do. To begin with, the infrastructure provided in these schools and institutes should be on a par with international standards. The students should be equipped with latest tools and techniques of education.

Directional approach, devotion and dedication should be the motto of these institutes. The school should be recognised by the AICTE and work as per the rules and set by the council. Attention should also be given to the untouched domain, ‘faculty’. So to do justice to the concept of vocational education, the faculty should be trained by professionals. The need of the hour is to hone the skills of the youth and make them suitable to compete in the competitive corporate world.

KANUPRIYA BARIA, Apeejay Institue of Management, Jalandhar

Instrument of Accession

I read “Kashmir integral to the India story” (Oct 26) by Vimal Sumbly and Major Baldev Singh’s letter (Nov 6). On October 26, 1947, the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army was General Sir Rob Lockhart and his counterpart in Pakistan was General Sir Frank Messervey. The Supreme Commander of both armies was Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck.

Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw was a Lieutenant-Colonel at that time. On October 26, 1947, when the Maharaja eventually acceded to India, the raiders were already at Uri, 62 miles away from Srinagar.

Field Marshal Sir Auchinleck and General Sir Rob Lockhart knew in advance what was happening in Jammu and Kashmir, but they did not pass on the information to the Indian government. Consequently, the Indian government, which had accepted the formation of Supreme Headquarters for four years, dissolved it and the services of Gen. Sir Rob Lockhart, who should normally have served for four years from August 15, 1947, were dispensed with. General Sir Roy Bucher replaced him on January 1, 1948.



Deplorable trend

Of late, violence against teachers appears to be on the upswing. A college principal in Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh and a Yamunanagar teacher are the latest victims. The assaults range from severe verbal abuse and confrontation to physical assaults.

Gone are the days when we used to treat teacher as God. Today they are expected to tolerate a work environment that exposes them to violence, disrespectful behaviour by students and some anti-social elements who pretend to be students. The teachers’ role as a nation builder is long forgotten.

The result: good teachers are leaving the noble profession. Teachers should be able to do their jobs without fear of verbal or physical abuse and every child, student, citizen and parents must take a pledge not to show disrespect to teachers.

Dr MANDEEP SINGH, Yamunanagar

A misnomer

I read the middle, ‘Chak De’ by G. S. Aujla (Oct 29). The original Punjabi idiom ‘Chak de Phatte’ is an allusion to encouraging someone to overcome hurdles and succeed. Now it has metamorphosed into a litany.

Literally, ‘Chak de’ (a verb) means remove or lift and ‘phatte’ means wooden planks. The title of film ‘Chak de India’ is a misnomer. The prefix ‘Chak de’ before the name of our country is quite derogatory. The Indian Censor Board has erred in passing it.

S. S. BENIWAL, Chandigarh

Good news, but...

Man marries Dog” (The Tribune, Nov 13) makes good news. But is marrying a dog permitted by law? Is it not bestiality punishable under Section 377 of the India Penal Code?

G. R. KALRA, Chandigarh



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