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Juvenile home inmates need care, security

Chitleen K. Sethi’s series of reports on the theme, “Homes Without Care” have brought out the sordid state of affairs in the juvenile homes run by the Punjab government. The treatment being meted out to the inmates of these homes is shocking.

Clearly, the authorities concerned are least bothered about the dismal situation in these homes. While the Juvenile Justice Act provides for all the means to ensure a healthy, safe and secure life for the inmates, the situation on the ground is just the opposite. Most homes don’t have proper staff including superintendent, leaving things to the whims of Class IV employees. The home for girls at Jalandhar has male staff which may result in rape as happened in Chandigarh’s Nari Niketan recently. It is time the authorities took care of these inmates.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula


What a shame on Punjab, one of the rich states of India! My heart almost exploded when I saw the picture of 12-year-old Arjun, who, with all the innocence in his eyes, is asking the cruel system: who am I? Did this kid ever asked to be born?

We have so many religious places where devotees donate millions of rupees. Why don't these bodies help these kids? It seems society is totally insensitive towards poor and defenceless kids like Arjun. Surely, there are many more cases like Arjun.

Dr TERRY S. WARAICH, Windsor, Ontario (Canada)


The canker of apathy and ignorance needs to be tackled urgently. “Home without care” is the saga of suffering and pains. Surprisingly, inmates in these homes are being given inhuman treatment in an age where pampering is a must for their balanced and healthy development.

The children need care and protection specially when they are alone. Fortunately, we have the Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rightly taken suo motu cognisance of the matter. Mrs Shanta Sinha, Chairperson of National Commission for Child Right Protection, has promised swift action.



These Homes have been under criticism for past few days. Visitors have lauded the functioning of Gurdaspur Children Home, which houses 22 children. Justice Bhatnagar, Member, Punjab Human Rights Commission, visited it sometime ago and appreciated the work of the committee members. Recently, the Chief Judicial Magistrate and Sessions Judge visited it and were satisfied about its maintenance.

The doctor member of the committee, Dr Kalsi, a pediatric, examines children and the food served to them regularly. As the Chairman of the Children’s Home Committee, I feel it looks after the children better than even their parents. The building, of course, is old and requires another suitable site including a playground.

Col M.S. BEHL (rtd), Gurdaspur


The staff of the juvenile homes should be trained suitably to manage them better. They should learn the art of understanding the child psychology. Criminals are not burn, but circumstances push them into the world of crime. The matter is too sensitive to be taken lightly. Any lapse or dereliction of duty on the part of the staff should be dealt with firmly. No leniency should be shown towards the recalcitrant staff.

Prof RANJIT SINGH DHANOA, Govt College, Malerkotla

Big challenge

Dr Pritam Singh’s article, “Combating climate change” (June 24) was timely and thought provoking. We must wake up and realise the potential threat looming large over the future of humans as also all living beings on this wonderful planet of ours.

If the world community does not rise to the challenge posed by mindless destruction of earth’s eco-system for so-called developmental activities, the day is not far when the very survival of human race will be in jeopardy. We must collectively ensure that our planet remains livable for the future generations.

HARDEEP SINGH GILL, Khartoum (Sudan)

Expedite justice

I read Vepa Rao’s piece “Our honoured guest” (June 17). The writer aptly pointed out the delay in trial of the perpetrators of heinous crimes. We need to curb this menace by enacting strong laws.

India is a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic and any threat to its integrity must not be given a liberal view. POTA was a strong law, but the new National Security Agency and the CBI cannot do much in these cases because of too many loopholes in their functioning. We must have separate trial courts for expediting justice. This will send a message down the line to the effect that we will not compromise our national security.


Short on substance

Roopinder Singh’s article, “Desensitising society: TV and FM radio are becoming irresponsible” (June 23) was very critical of the private channels who are short on substance and concerned about their TRP than responsible journalism. Sleaze, sensationalism and yellow journalism are the norms. Some reports are dragged on for a long time without logic. Private radio is no better. It is good that private players have been allowed only in FM radio. Though FM signal is the clearest of all modes of transmission, its range is the least. Judging from the sleazy experience of private FM radio, it will be better if medium-wave and short-wave spectrums are not opened to private players.

Self-governance and self-discipline is alien to Indian psyche. The government must enforce discipline on the private radio. Otherwise, we will go from bad to worse. The tall AIR and TV towers like those in Amritsar and Fazilka should not be opened to private FM channels.




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