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New strategies to tackle sanitation problem

The Tribune did well to take up the cause (news report, Dec 21) of sanitation and followed it up with an editorial, “Hurdles to growth” (Dec 23). I strongly feel that the editorial does not mention the ground realities. It is not poverty or lack of education which is responsible for dirt here and there. Look at the high-end markets of the City Beautiful where wrappers of expensive pizzas, pastries, chocolates, chips, broken glass bottles, etc, are thrown about.

Each morning a walker like me is depressed at the attitude of the rich and educated of our country. It’s also a shame to see the condition of toilets of educational institutions, hostels and libraries where the so-called educated and enlightened create and tolerate the filth.

We are talking about the role of NGOs in “removal of filth.” But why do we create filth in the first place? People who create filth should dispose it of. I am of the opinion that education cannot bring reform in this area. New strategies are needed to handle the problem. I also disagree with the observation that rural areas lack basic amenities for want of funds. I have personally interacted with villagers where the government has given a heavy subsidy for the construction of toilets. Please look at the condition of these for want of water and want of “attitude”.

The problem is complex. Solutions have to be found on the basis of the ground realities. I quote the best definition of sanitation given by the National Sanitation Foundation of the USA, “Sanitation is a way of life. Being a way of life, it must come from within the people. It is nourished by knowledge, and grows as an obligation and an ideal in human relations.” Let us work on newer strategies, including punishment for not only water sanitation but overall environment management.

Dr SHAKUNTALA LAVASA, Paediatrician and allergy specialist, Chandigarh

Son fixation

To the editorial “Bruni’s wish: Son fixation is not an Indian trait alone” (Dec 7) I would like to add that the wish of the first lady of France is amusing. Some son-crazy parents in India indulge in the malpractice of female foeticide. Paying obeisance at a religious place without seeking any personal benefit is reverence of the highest order. Soliciting welfare of all (sarvat da bhala) is equally admirable.

Interestingly, the region of Salim Chishti Dargah reverberates with slogans: “Chhora Chhori ek Barabar. Dono ko do Maan Ghana. Bhed Kare Jo in Dono Mein, Eekhe woh Nadaan Ghana”

(Male and female children are equal. Both should be deeply respected. He who differentiates between the two is a blockhead/simpleton.)


Better governance

The editorial “Reforms in Punjab” (Dec.4) is a bold attempt and a threadbare analysis of the causes behind poor governance. The fact that rarely some bureaucrats have ever been punished for bungling and corruption in administration speaks volumes. Corruption and red-tapism are rampant because nobody is held responsible for wrongdoing and undesirable performance.

Punjab’s Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is right in holding the respective deputy commissioners accountable if government programmes are not implemented. But the proof of the pudding lies in its eating. It will be heartening and encouraging if the Punjab government blazes a new trail in uprooting corruption and red-tapism in governance.


Ragging menace

Ragging is the outcome of present-day living, which lacks human touch. Our youth have no respect for their parents and teachers. The moral fabric of our society has been eroded due to modern living and rapidly growing materialism, resulting in crime, rapes, murders, dishonesty, corruption and immorality.

As these vices have penetrated our social fabric, we are moving towards the path of moral depravation. The government is also not taking any step to curb the menace of ragging.

D.R SHARDA Chandigarh

Actions make a difference

Justice Mahesh Grover’s middle “99+1=100 per cent” (Nov 25) and Parambir Kaur’s response (Nov 30) to it and later Tejinder Singh Bedi’s letter “Man proposes and God…” (Dec 3) all made interesting reading. The middle did give some role to man to play. Mr Bedi has altogether taken away whatever man can achieve. He has, of course, applauded the successful effort of man to land on the moon and to develop artificial limbs for the benefit of mankind.

However, according to him, all these successful efforts come to naught because artificial organs cannot be put together and made to work as one whole. Mr Bedi comes to the conclusion that man has no role to play even in his own works of development.

What an irony that man, according to Mr Bedi, does not do anything on his own. Whatever we do in our life is what He (God) wants us to do. Why should we then give credit to Einstein or Newton and discredit criminals who are hanged for the crimes committed by them? God, I think, has given us brain and the power to think or do.

So, to present human beings as mere puppets is an absolutely negative way of thinking. It is asking us to become just robots. There is a need to give fresh thought to man’s role. God Almighty has given us power to think and has also given us freedom to act according to our own way of thinking for which we are to be held responsible. Otherwise if we accept Mr Bedi’s argument, why should we be punished or rewarded for our vices and virtues?

B.N. TRIKHA, Bhiwani



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