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Literate India alone can develop

The editorial “Mission education” (Sept 10) has rightly stated that India cannot progress while remaining ignorant. As against the developed nations of the world, India lags way behind in its literacy rate.

Even after 62 years of Independence, the literacy rate is only 64.8 per cent. It will take many decades before India can achieve the target rate. Currently India spends nearly 4.02 per cent of its GDP on education that is not enough. An ambitious Sakshar Bharat Mission launched by the Prime Minister to catch up and meet the long-felt need is a welcome step. However, to achieve its goals the government will have to increase its expenditure on education. India is the largest democracy in the world and must step up its literacy drive if it has to progress.

If we want to keep pace with other developed nations, the mission of achieving 100 per cent literacy should not remain a mere promise. India cannot make headway while large sections of its population cannot even read or write.

SUMAN KUKAL, Chandigarh

Insincere Pakistan

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has rightly (news report, “Act fast against Saeed, Krishna tells Pak”, Sept 23) slammed Pakistan for not taking action against the chief of the banned JUD and the mastermind of Mumbai terrorist attacks, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, and other culprits. India has already provided sufficient evidence to Pakistan. Clearly, Pakistan is not sincere and its intentions are doubtful.


Mental health

Only by understanding the underlying causes in a dispassionate manner, the family can help mentally ill patients (editorial, “Restoring mental health”, Sept 23). Of all the mental disorders obsessive-compulsive disorder, not so easy to detect initially, can cause havoc.

A patient who looks healthy is obsessed with fears. However, this disorder is curable provided there is acceptance of the disease. Indeed, family members can play a crucial role in providing support to mentally ill patients.

Air Cmde RAGHUBIR SINGH (retd), Pune

Gandhi’s relevance

In this materialistic age, the post-independence generation has begun to consider Mahatma Gandhi and his ideas as totally irrelevant. They think that the father of the nation belonged to a bygone era and his ideas are obsolete. Let us not forget that even today Gandhian philosophy holds good in social, political and economic fields.

Bapu had realised that without ecological balance the economy cannot develop. His ideology of non-violence alone can save the misguided man and war-weary world.

MONIKA PAL, Balachaur, Nawanshahr

Avoid fast food

Today, children prefer fast food and shun nutritious food. As a result, these kids are undernourished and anaemic. To make children healthy, we should encourage them to eat nourishing food. Besides parents, school authorities can play a key role in making children aware of the harmful effects of fast food.


Save tigers

The major threat (editorial, “Tiger killings: Alarming rise is cause for concern”, Sept 18) to tigers comes from poachers. While there is an urgent need to involve the local community in saving tigers, awareness drives focussing upon its role in the ecosystem must gain momentum.

Prof ANUP K. GAKKHAR, Haridwar

Consumer awareness

The consumer movement in India has not picked up despite the Consumer Act. There is an urgent need to create and promote consumer awareness throughout the country in order to safeguard the interest of consumers. Besides, consumers should organise themselves and fight for their rights.


Build hospital instead

It is reported that the PSEB is going to undertake a 500 MW extension of Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant, Bathinda. There has been a sudden spurt in cancer cases in the Bathinda area. While during the past three years 733 patients have been registered with the district hospital, it is feared that the actual number might be much higher.

It will be highly appreciated by the public if, instead of going in for a thermal extension at Bathinda which would result in an increase in radioactivity in Bathinda district, the Punjab government builds a multi-speciality hospital which can provide treatment to cancer patients.

The increasing number of cancer cases in Bhatinda can be attributed to a poor quality of drinking water. The existing system of reverse osmosis does not remove heavy metals, pesticides and uranium from water.

Dr G S DHILLON, Chandigarh



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