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Gear up to tackle swine flu threat

The editorial “Death in Pune: Swine flu guidelines must be enforced” (Aug 5) aptly opined that the worst is clearly not over and the threat is for real and serious.

More cases of swine flu are likely to be reported from all over the country. The deadly H1N1 virus threat has posed a great challenge to our hugely populated country.

Though the government has enough stocks of Tamiflu, the situation can change if the virus is not contained.

After the death of a teenager in Pune, the local people panicked and made a beeline for the government hospital even though they had minor symptoms like sneezing or mild throat infections.

Unwarranted panic reaction of the people may make things difficult for the health authorities and it will become hard to identify the real affected cases.

RAJESH SHARMA, Jalandhar Cantt


Both government and private hospitals should gear up to meet the swine flu threat. The health ministry has revised the guidelines for H1N1 testing. But I feel that 18 testing laboratories are not sufficient to cater to the population of a billion plus people. It is necessary to develop a strategic plan to prevent the influenza virus from spreading further.

Local bodies must undertake door-to-door campaigns. The electronic and print media must create awareness among the public on symptoms and preventive measures. People should also cooperate with medical authorities and follow the do’s and don’ts.


Media’s role

Kuldip Nayar’s article “Ads for news: Practice can dent image of some channels, papers” (July 24), underlining the role played by the media during the recent Lok Sabha elections was timely.

The media’s foremost duty in a democratic system is to educate, formulate and organise public opinion during elections in favour of the policies and programmes of political parties that will help us to reach our constitutional goals.

The media, especially the electronic media, must rise to the occasion. The
journalists must shed personal and family interests to which they are succumbing
to these days.

BALDEV SINGH KANG, Bassi Pathana, Fatehgarh Sahib

Unborn has right to life

The article “The right to be born-State must take care of its citizens” by Harpreet Giani (August 8) analysed how poorly the defence failed to advocate the cause of the unborn and how the state flip-flopped in its responsibility to own up its would-be citizen.

Leave aside the circumstances of pregnancy and the consequent fear of rearing the child, the valid argument should have been, “What is the fault of the unborn child?” Why should mortals, in contravention of laws of nature, decide the fate of an unborn baby?


Tuition allowance

Now that teachers cannot give private tuitions (news report, “Education Bill spells end of private tuitions”, Aug 6) a non-private coaching allowance should be given to them on the same lines as a non-practicing allowance is given to doctors.

Prof VIKRAM CHADHA, Amritsar

Rural schools

I agree with the views expressed by Gurbax Singh Shergill in his article “Improve teaching in rural schools” (July 29). India is a land of villages. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of rural schools.

Stress should be laid on quality and not on quantity. Urban students get all educational facilities that the rural children are deprived of.

The abolition of the Class X examination is not a solution to the problem. Rather, it will adversely affect the standards of learning.

Instead we should follow other measures. While schoolteachers should be made more accountable, regular seminars for proper training and upgradation of their skills should be organised.


Right to education

The editorial “Education, a birthright” (Aug 6) appropriately called for a joint initiative by the Central and state governments. Unfortunately, we have failed to evolve a national policy on how to run our schools and to check school dropout. Sikh Kanya Vidalaya, Ferozepur, is a good example.

The school was set up more than a century ago to promote women’s education. Once a premier school, it has been struggling to survive in a dilapidated building and shrinking staff. Most of its students who come from socially and economically backward sections of society do not get any scholarships or financial assistance.

The Punjab government is allowing the school to gradually wither away. While constitutional mandates are welcome, their implementation alone shall determine whether we succeed in our mission to educate all our children.


Drought-hit ignored

Ms Mayawati’s penchant for raising statutes in memory of her mentor Kanshi Ram and other Dalit leaders continues to drill holes into the state exchequer.

The UP government’s apathy towards the drought affected is evident from budgetary allocations, as it has allocated huge sums for erecting statutes in Lucknow. Will it spare a thought to provide succour to the people who are facing drought?




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