SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Respect and take care of your elders

The news report “Look after your parents and senior citizens in Punjab or go to jail”(Jan 20) by Prabhjot Singh was informative. It is true that India is greying and there is no clear-cut social security policy in the country regarding the maintenance of the elderly. Also, there is no denying the fact that in the rich cultural tradition of the country, the service to the parents has been treated as a great service to God. The tale of 'Sarvan Putar' has its place only in our country. In the US, five-star facilities might exist in the old age homes but the emotional bond of service is totally missing.

It is commendable that the Punjab Government has sanctioned the implementation of the Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. The Act has provisions to provide maintenance to the elderly. With this, senior citizens above 60 years of age can legally demand maintenance from their wards. The defaulting heirs or wards can be fined and also sentenced, depending upon the gravity of offence. Notably, Punjab has become the fifth state to implement the Act.




However, we must keep in mind that treating a social problem through legal measures will be difficult. The spirit of the Act is really appreciable but at the same time caution has to be exercised in its implementation. We should not forget our great values of respecting our parents and grand parents. Remember, one day we shall be in the same state and whatever we shall sow, so shall we reap.

DR DHARMINDER SINGH UBHA, Principal, Khalsa College, Patiala

II

The implementation of the Punjab Maintenance of Parents and Senior Citizen Act by the Punjab Government is a candid indictment of modern generation. It is children’s moral and legal duty to provide better living conditions for their old parents.

According to the Act, parents and grandparents can legally obtain maintenance allowance from their children or legal heirs. For that they have to submit an application to the tribunal through the Distinct Social Welfare Officer. Though this procedure looks simple, it is not easy. Old age does not come alone; it brings along with it decline of health and financial constraints. An old person suffering from arthritis, weak eye sight or a disease has to depend on others for knocking the doors of the tribunal.

Moreover, this Act will render parents seeking compensation vulnerable. The present generation needs to be awakened, if we want to address the grievances of the old parents. The government should set up a cell to spread the message of love and respect for elders. The cell staff should do this by visiting schools and colleges on a regular basis. Concerns of older people should be highlighted through the media. The various acts of ill-treatment and neglect need to be highlighted so that such uncaring children feel ashamed of their acts.

DR SOSHIL RATTAN, Amritsar

Precious water

The editorial “A precious resource” (Jan 21) emphasising the water scarcity in our country was revealing. It brought out the gravity of dwindling water resources. The existing water resources in different parts of India demand special attention. Maharashtra has taken strong measures in conservation. The same can be said of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

In Punjab, most of the watercourses have dried up. Water is blatantly misused in the paddy season by some farmers. Irrigation officials pay scant attention to this brazen use of water. No case is filed against the wrongdoers. The government is keener on appeasement policies like giving free electricity to farmers, rather than augmenting the underground as well as surface water.

The intelligentsia must take the initiative of mobilising people to conserve water. The media too can play a constructive role.

HARBHAJAN SINGH, Jalandhar city

II

The Punjab government should take immediate steps to arrest the declining water-table. Otherwise, Punjab, the food bowl of India, would soon turn into a desert.

Plus, the water resources management measures initiated in mid-1980’s with the aid of the World Bank should be revived. The Water Management Institute and the Power Research Institute, Amritsar, must be made fully operative,

The Punjab Irrigation Department’s main function should be judicious water management. The recharge measures should be followed with urgency.

DR G S DHILLON, Chandigarh

III

Indeed, there is an urgent need to save water before it is too late. However, we have been ignoramuses till now. The fact remains that many pro-active measures exist but are not implemented fully. Besides compiling data highlighting water scarcity and deterioration, we need to touch the sensitive chord of the people, more so, at the grassroot level.

NARINDER KUMAR BHANGU, Bhaddi (Blachaur)





Obama mania

We have been hanging on the words of Mr Barack Hussein Obama ever since the process for the Presidential election started in the US. The media is to be blamed for spawning this infatuation. Perhaps this fixation reflects our personality traits of hero-worshipping and saluting the rising sun.

What is more is that this fascination for Mr Obama indicates loss of faith and hope in the capabilities of our own leaders. It is a shame for a one billion-plus-strong nation to have a role model from a foreign nation. We have our own Obamas, but unfortunately they have been eclipsed by dynastic and caste-based politics. We must rally around and bring them forward.

 SATWANT KAUR, Mahilpur

 





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