L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Don’t carry plastic bags and bottles

The Himachal Government has taken a commendable step by banning the use of plastic bags in the state. Equally important is the need to enforce it. This ban can be effective with appropriate type of rigorous campaign for educating the natives and tourist entering the State for supporting the state in their endeavour.

During a recent visit to Shimla and Kufri, I was pained to observe that the casual attitude and habit of use and throw among the tourists has been increasing the problem of solid waste. Casually thrown empty glass and plastic bottles, polythene bags, pouches, covers of biscuits, cups and plates are not only spoiling the scenic beauty of the tourist places like Kufri but also are responsible for creating unhygienic conditions in the area. The vendors also do not maintain any dustbin for disposing off waste. Transportation of the collected garbage is also lacking.

We have advised the newly elected Pradhan (Sarpanch) of Shateyan Gram Panchayat in which hill station of Kufri falls to put small size hoardings at all places requesting the tourists not to resort to use and throw and put containers for putting the waste to save the hill station. We have also advised the Pradhan to ensure that the vendors put up containers near their rehri/ shop for storage of waste. Thirdly, the administration should support the Gram Panchayat to ensure lifting, transportation and safe disposal of bio degradable and non bio degradable waste. Tourist must also keep in mind not to resort to the habit of use and throw to help in maintaining clean and health environment and natural beauty of hill station.

All states should emulate this decision of banning the use of plastic to make a cleaner and greener India.

PURAN SINGH, Chandigarh

Crumbling system

J.L. Gupta’s middle, Smooth seventies (Jan 22) shows how a man can live a fruitful life by being close to nature. Today we have all the amenities at our doorstep. Still we are marred by stress. When I talk to my children and tell that in our times, we were having black and white TV and only one channel, that too, for limited hours in a day, they feel sorry for me. Today our children enjoy innumerable 24-hour channels. They are having video games, play stations, laptops, study in convent schools, have ACs to cool off in hot summer and heaters to cozy up in winter.

Costly toys are there for the asking. We used old books and uniforms of our elder siblings and got to bite at our favourite chocolates only on special occasions like birthdays. In our times, we used to sit around a “chulha” all evening, taking our dinner there and listening to good stories from our grandmother.

The family ties, then, were very strong and old people were revered and were taken care of. Nowadays, the family system seems to have crumbled and old parents and grandparents have been left to vouch for themselves in the evening of their lives. Grownups are too busy for catching up with life and sit too long in offices. Consequently, they are sitting ducks for ailments like diabetes and heart attack.

Children are also prone to watching too much TV or sitting late hours at the internet surfing the social network sites. It is a pity that the man-to-man contact has reduced and we like to connect with others through the internet rather than build up inter-personal relations.

We seem to have become slaves of the technology that was invented to serve us! We should add life to years and not years to life!


Painful reality

Parbina Rashid’s article, “North must meet East” (Oped, Jan 5) brought into focus the unique Northeastern predicament. The feeling of not belonging and yet having to continue in the ‘alien land’ becomes a painful reality for the ‘Northeasterner’. However, it is also true that such populations are comfortable in their ghettos, as they find mainstream culture dominating and incomprehensible.

Having lived in Shillong for 21 years exposed me to varied thought processes and cultural influences. However, the underlying feeling is definitely of alienation towards mainstream ‘India’ and the perceived ambivalence of the ‘Indian government’ towards this area.

The writer has correctly pointed out that assimilation is essential to remove these notions. There are many wonderful things in the Northeast which must be made known to the rest of India to remove prejudices, which are obviously based on incorrect notions and hearsay. The Northeasterner must also make an added effort to get out of the ghettos to know and be known.

The recent win by the Shillong Chamber Choir in the reality show ‘India’s Got Talent’ is a point in this direction. They even performed for President Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan when the former had visited India. However, the incidents of molestation, rape, racism and eve-teasing against Northeasterners are saddening; and the police attitude is even sadder. Regional sensitisation is, therefore, important. There must be more student exchange programmes, award of fellowships for conduct of research in the Northeast and cultural programmes. Besides, writers and artists from the region must also be encouraged.

A multi-pronged approach is required to remove regional disparities and bring the seven sisters into the fold of the larger family.


Love your hobbies

It was interesting and inspiring to read Harish Dhillon’s middle, Joy of writing (Jan 8) in which he has led by example that by continuing an activity of interest we can bring happiness and satisfaction in our life. Clearly, if we don’t think of our interest, we can give birth to a boring and an exasperating life.

According to George Bernard Shaw, “Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get”. One may not always get a chance to turn one’s hobby into a professsion but giving importance to hobby is in our hand and by this one can add charm to his or her life. I agree with the writer that he gets joy and pleasure out of his hobby of writing. One must get inspired from him as he has discovered a nice way by religiously pursuing his hobby to flavour his life with happiness and enthusiasm.

It must be noted that writers show the world the right path of life and hence act as a great source of inspiration. According to Sei Shonagon, “If writing did not exist, what terrible depressions should we suffer from”. According to Derek Walcott, “I come from a backward place: your duty is supplied by life around you. One guy plants bananas, another plants cocoa; I am a writer, I plant lines. There is the same clarity of occupation, the sense of devotion”.

In short, giving importance to our hobbies or interests is really important in our life to make life joyful and interesting and adopting a hobby like writing can be very inspiring.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |