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How medical firms exploit people

People suffering from chronic diseases are easy targets of exploitation by firms floating new medical therapies. Patients first try known medicines. And when they don’t get relief, they become vulnerable to therapies like acupressure, nature cure, reiky etc; they even fall an easy prey to quacks.

A medical therapy being sold in the market is a mushroom called ganoderma which has its origin in Malaysia. This company’s physician for Punjab, a qualified doctor, is claimed to have cured a patient suffering from blood sugar as also a cancer patient with herbal salts based on ganoderma. A patient is advised to take their medicines for six months to a year. On an average, a patient pays about Rs 2,500 a month.

Medicines called RG and GL with some tonics are prescribed for all ailments. Patients contribute about Rs 25,000 to 30,000 in a year, implying a business of crores of rupees. How many people have really benefited from these medicines? Incidentally, I took this medicine for eight months for peripheral neuropathy, but failed to recover. 

While the Centre and the Indian Medical Association should get these medicines examined, the authorities should check on such inventions and ensure that people are not taken for a ride.

Lt-Col S.K. SOOD (retd), Ludhiana


Why this row?

The unwanted controversy raised by Brig Atma Singh after 37 years of war and 11 years after the release of the film ‘Border’ is shameful and unethical. He has now felt the need to call his commanders as incompetent and paper tigers. I wish he made similar remarks during their lifetime as they are no more to defend themselves.

As an Air OP pilot with flying experience in active and operational environment in the most inhospitable terrain on our borders, I would like to ask Atma Singh a question. Why and where did his flight undertake 80 sorties and logged over 110 flying hours, if there were no enemy operations and the Laungewala battle lasted for two days only?

Army Aviation circles are aware of the fact that during the battle of Laungewala on December 5, 1971, Atma Singh had flown for a short duration only before force-landing at mid-day. Capt P.S. Sangha deserves all credit for being an outstanding aviator because he has flown most of the day during the battle.

The Army authorities rightly don’t give credibility to the scenes in the film ‘Border’ which presents itself in the beginning as a dramatised version of the battle. Small wonder, the Army Chief has taken no cognisance to Atma Singh’s “letter” to him since he knew that many retired officers indulge in mudslinging after they shed their uniform.

Brig M.S. DULLAT, Patiala

Defending SEZs

Though a staunch Marxist, I defend theortically and practically SEZs in India and elsewhere in the world, much against the party line. However, SEZs should not be set up in a haphazard fashion or without giving a thought to short, medium-term and long-term planning.

One should plan SEZs besides future industrial estates in a manner that these should be surrounded by villages having a potentially high degree of agricultural productivity.

A day will come when there will be a shortage of labour force and the workers originating from those surrounding villages shall work part-time in the factories as well as in the field, depending on the agricultural seasons, as it is the case in some areas in Japan.

OLAVO J.H.A. ANTAO, Chandigarh

Corruption in Army

During British rule, the best quality of rations was supplied to the Army. But now the quality has gone down considerably. The blankets too are of poor quality.

No doubt, there is corruption. A Commanding Officer of a supply or an ordnance depot becomes a lakhpati within 2-3 years of his tenure. They accept poor quality ration and clothes for some consideration.

Almost every day, there are reports of court martial of senior officers. There are only a few tough and upright officers in the ASC or ordnance depots, but are soon thrown out by the contractor-politician nexus.

GURDEV SINGH,  Old Rajpura, Patiala

This isn’t cricket

I agree that Twenty20 is an appealing and viable new version of the classic game. The way IPL has corrupted the spirit of cricket, the gentleman’s game, where players who had nothing in common except greed for money, everyone would agree that this will change cricket globally.

The patterns of bidding showed that the cricketers’ transformation to money-spinning objects was complete. So genuine cricket lovers should not support the setting up of more cricket academies in different regions for this version of the game.

Yes, “we need to cast our net wider to build a core team for the future” which will encourage Test matches and One Day International. Finally, after earning so much money, can cricketers ever play for national pride? Can we witness the same gentleman’s cricket again?


Pensioners’ woes

I read the letters “Apply old formula” (Feb 6) and “Old pension formula” (Feb 27). The Punjab government should implement this decision with retrospective effect, i.e. from July 23, 2006 to help all those who retired between July 2003 and October 2006.

Old age brings with it many problems including finance. Also some senior citizens have gone to the court for help. The Punjab government should implement this decision with a positive attitude.

S.K. MITTAL, Panchkula


Make IAS exam shorter

The Parliamentary Standing Committee’s recommendation to complete the process of the prestigious Civil Services examination within six months is timely and quite appropriate. Presently, the whole examination process takes more than one year and that is why preparing for this examination has earned the sobriquet “national pastime”.

In today’s rapidly changing scenario, with increasing job opportunities in various sectors, Indian youth cannot afford to risk their crucial 4-5 years for this unpredictable competitive examination with no transparency in the selection process.

In today’s era of good governance, the UPSC cannot function in a vacuum; it must shed its age-old character of functioning in secrecy, as careers of lakhs of candidates are at risk. There is a need to bring reforms in this examination process, but care must be taken to ensure that candidates belonging to rural areas are not put to inconvenience. Also candidates should be informed well in advance before introducing any changes.




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