Changing the image of our cities

Cities like Ludhiana are gradually becoming places not worth living. Already people are migrating from inner areas to outskirts, but seeing the lack of any planning here, these areas too could become congested soon. The Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana has no political will to maintain the city. Can we build a new Ludhiana or similar other cities instead of expanding the existing old modules? There is no harm in exploring new concepts and ideas.

To begin with, the government could declare that there will be no more registration of residential and commercial properties after, say, 2050. This will bring down the skyrocketing prices of property. At the same time, let an alternate area be acquired and developed scientifically, sector wise, where no shops are allowed on roads. Every sector is provided with a health centre, primary school and a vast playground. A cluster of sectors could have shopping centres, schools, colleges and hospitals.

Instead of plots, we can opt for flats with more open space. Areas could be compulsory marked for social forestry or greenery. Every sector should have a certain percentage of flats for the below poverty line people as they have to provide allied services in the nearby flats.

Such plans will give a boost to Punjab’s economy, create lakhs of jobs in the housing industry and improve the image of our cities.

G.S. GILL, Ludhiana, Bhai Mardana


I read the report on Bhai Mardana’s descendents. Sikhs have always remembered and revered Bhai Mardana for the supreme service he rendered to Guru Nanak. The reminder by Gulam Mohammad Chand, a descendent of Mardana, to the Sikh bodies to build a memorial-cum- institution of classical Gurbani singing in the name of his forefather bears weight.

However, his persistent demand to recite hymns at Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, is uncalled for. The sanctum sanctorum has a protocol and code for ragis which is followed strictly and need not be relaxed just to prove gratitude towards the present-day rababis.

Moreover, during Gurupurab or other celebrations in Pakistan, these rababis accompany the Sikh Jathas to all the Gurudwaras and freely perform kirtan at each stage, often for a longer duration than the other ragis. Their star attraction draws generous donations from the Sikh Sangat which has become the rababis’ prime objective to collect. I remember how one rababi kept chasing me for two days after I made a casual mention to gift him a woolen shawl.


English for kids

I fully endorse Dr T. R. Sharma’s views in the letter, “English for kids” (Nov 22). Before 1947, English was taught from Class V in the high schools when primary school was up to Class IV. Students in primary schools studied mother tongue, Urdu, Punjabi or Hindi for four years along with arithmetic and geography.

English medium in science and mathematics was introduced in Class IX. A few brilliant students were allowed to study science and the number of subjects were five in matriculation as against eight subjects at present. The standard of English has fallen so low that a trained graduate cannot write an application in English today.

English must be introduced form Class IV when the kid’s brain is mature and understanding is adequate. Teachers who are graduates with English as elective subject be allowed to teach English. The Punjab School Education Board has raised the standard of English in middle and matric which is beyond the comprehension of students and teachers.


Sex education

Usha Rai’s piece “Sex education can save lives” was highly educative, useful and significant. To prevent AIDS from sexually transmitted diseases, there is a dire need for sexeducation which must be made compulsory by including it in the school curriculum.

With the knowledge of sex, students will know how to protect themselves effectively. Teenage pregnancy rate will get minimised. Population will get controlled. Besides, it will promote responsible sexual behaviour. The word ‘sex’ should no more remain a taboo and one must not be too obsessed with this.

SOURABH BAMBA, Ferozepore City


Key to Haryana’s growth

The Haryana government has undertaken several development works, the fruits of which have started percolating to the grassroots. For the comprehensive development of any state, infrastructural sectors like electricity and roads need to be improved on priority. Education too needs special attention. Without quality education, Haryana’s students cannot shine and make a mark in the country.

China gained freedom in 1949, but it made immense progress in the infrastructural sector compared to India. China first improved villages. The residential houses of teachers were constructed just near the schools. In India, however, teachers live in cities and don’t want to be posted in villages. The result: there are too many vacancies in village schools and this is affecting education in the rural areas.

If the Haryana government is interested in the total progress of the state, it should construct residential colonies for teachers adjacent to the schools in villages. This will attract teachers to villages and education will also improve in the countryside.

VIKRAMDITYA ARYA, Advocate, Yamunanagar



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