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Senior citizens deserve all help

With the expected increase in the life expectancy, the number of senior citizens in the decade between 2011 and 2021 will be spiraling from 90 million to 133 million (“Security for the seniors”, Spectrum, Jan 25). This warrants the need to re-orient the programmes meant for the welfare of the senior citizens.

For senior citizen getting regular pension, life is not that much distressing as it is for those who have no source of income and are neglected by their family members. The Maintenance Act, adopted by a few states, may help such senior citizens but only time will tell how effective this will be. The long-term solution, however, lies in including value education on age-care issue in school curriculum. This will inculcate in the minds of the young the values of love and respect for elders.



Sadhvi Ritambra has established a Vatsalya Gram in Vrindavan to rehabilitate destitute senior citizens and abandoned babies on the pattern of a joint family. HelpAge India is making elderly welfare result-oriented. A national helpline should be on its priority list to attend to the distress calls of vulnerable senior citizens.


Care for nurses

“Hospitals must ensure nursing care” (Spectrum, Feb 22) by Pushpa Girimaji was informative. Denying the basic care and amenities to the patients during hospitalisation amounts to grave negligence on the part of the hospital authorities. Every year thousands of nurses get themselves registered with the State Nursing Council, after passing out from nearly 150 nursing training institutes opened by the Punjab Government.

The state must utilise their services to combat the chronic problem of shortage of nurses in various departments of the hospitals, only then will the patients get proper nursing care. According to the revised guidelines from the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi (issued on February 26, 2007), there must be one nurse for three patients in each shift in general wards of hospital and one nurse for each patient in the intensive care unit to provide adequate nursing care. Do our hospitals really meet these norms? Are we self-sufficient in giving paramedical care to the patients?

The answer is no, because meagre salary, poor working conditions and insecurity of contractual jobs fail to attract young graduate nurses to work in the Indian setting. These are the reasons why most of them prefer to go to other countries in search of greener pastures.


Tinkering with reforms

I read Dr Rajkumar Siwach’s article, “Model of governance” (Sunday Oped, Feb 15). People expect the government for maintenance of justice, liberty and equality and for evenhandedness in the day-to-day administration.

The hallmark of our administration is that there is no reward for competence just
as there is no punishment for incompetence. The present exercise to tone up
the Haryana administration is not new. It was taken up earlier too but little
came out of it.

In the US, decisions are taken by a trust of selected specialists from different fields while in Russia, experts — and not bureaucrats or politicians — are appointed to head specialised departments. In Haryana, however, a bureaucrat or politician is expected to be a Leonardo De Vinci.

The touchstone of administration should be specialisation and competence together with a passion for doing good work.Some officers in Haryana grabbed the HCS and got elevated to the IAS, but never move out of Chandigarh.

It is these officers who decide the future of rural Haryana which badly needs social, educational and cultural renaissance.

Subdivisions and blocks are now outdated and tahsils hold the key. The divisional machinery should be dispensed with and integrated with the new concept.


Amiable columnist

Amita Malik was well known for her reader-friendly style of writing. She visually conversed with her readers in her columns. She wrote for decades in leading newspapers of the country.

Her mastery over her subjects — mainly art and culture and, of course, monitoring both radio and TV — was perfect. She also penned an excellent autobiography many years ago.

Her autobiography provides good lessons in cultivating the art of reading and writing. Her demise has marked the end of an era of great journalism.




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