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Primary healthcare demands urgent attention

The article “The perils of ignoring primary health care” (May 5) by Rajeshwari really gains importance as Primary Health Care (PHC) is facing a severe crisis not only in Haryana but also in the entire country. Why is PHC is facing such a crisis when an entire blueprint of a universal comprehensive health care service model was available on the eve of India’s Independence by the Bhore Committee (1946)?

WHO specifically points out that the poor PHC performance is attributed to: inadequacies in PHC implementation, lack of political commitment, inadequate allocation of financial resources and stagnation of inter-sectoral strategies and community participation.

Moreover, PHC began in the 1950s with the implementation of three national disease control programmes. But now there are too many health programmes imposed by the Centre (and gladly accepted by the states because of the money that comes with it) without understanding the ground realities, especially the health care demands of the population. Adequate capacity including infrastructure, manpower, funds, technical expertise and more importantly political will and commitment is critical for revitalisation of commitment to PHC.

The challenge is to marshal and organise potential support in ways that are practical, effective and sustainable. Definitely India’s diverse health problems, needs and health sector capabilities require multiple approaches. It is important to recognise that given India’s incredible diversity, there cannot be one model of healthcare but we need over 600 models, one for every district. The question here is whether this is possible under the present system, which is increasingly becoming market oriented. The MNC boom and privatisation in the long run will make PHC redundant, if our policy makers do not do something soon. India must not only provide universal care at all levels, but also better quality care and better-organised and integrated services.

Dr. VITULL K GUPTA, Bathinda

Tackle corruption

Just passing the Lokpal Bill cannot curb corruption. Already there is a law to prevent corruption but few are deterred by it. Giving or taking bribe is crime. Anna Hazare has raised the issue of corruption. He should inculcate moral values and start a movement that nobody will ever give any bribe.

DEEPAK SARAF, Rampura Phul

United crusade

Baba Ram Dev’s plan to start an agitation a la Anna Hazare to force the government of India to act against black money hoarders and other corruption-related issues at a time when Anna’s crusade against corruption is not even half way through will not only add to the confusion but also allow the political spin masters to sow seeds of suspicion among different crusaders.

May be Baba Ram Dev can collect bigger crowds than Anna Hazare did but it will not be possible for him to generate the kind of spontaneous fervour and the particular flavour which Anna did. It is time anti-corruption forces instead of wasting their time and energies in separate agitations join hands and forced the government to act against graft and work sincerely to improve governance, which is in a shambles. If the crusaders stand divided, their separate crusades will vanish without a trace.


Epicentre of terror

The editorial “World after Osama” (May 3) has rightly analysed the consequences after the killing of Osama which took more than nine years after the attack on the World Trade Centre in the US on 9/11. Pakistan has now lost its credibility globally. I don’t think if any country would believe Pakistan’s stance that it does not support terrorism. It has been proven beyond doubt otherwise with the killing of world’s most wanted terrorist on Pakistan’s soil.  

It is therefore now important for the US to initiate some action against Pakistan. In such a situation, Osama’s ideology of terror has to be curbed. The war on terror has not ended. It is the beginning of an end. At the same time there is no denying the fact that killing Osama has enhanced the image of the US President Barack Obama.



The US intelligence and Navy Seals deserve high praise. Whether Osama bin Laden was living with the tacit support or open support of the ISI it is for the people to judge. Osama is dead but not his ideology.

His death can throw a bigger challenge for the US, the West, Pakistan and India. The Indian government must chalk out an effective policy to upgrade the intelligence system and training of the men engaged in fighting the insurgents.

Maj N.S. JALLO (retd), SAS Nagar

Hospitable Indians

Amar Chandel’s middle “If Osama was holed up here!” (May 6) on Osama’s probable fate if he had chosen an Indian residence illustrates our tradition of boundless hospitality. Working on this sacred principle, we should also extend our warm gesture to our friendly neighbour and reassure its wailing politicians that there will be no US-like attack from our side.

How can we maltreat their innocent citizens just because some crazy buffoons consider them most-wanted terrorists in India? We Indians offer hospitality to all visitors, like we are doing to the “guest” Ajmal Kasab who came from the sea with his “toy gun’ and just took a “walk” on the CST railway station.



The middle is the true picture of modern India. Once again our country requires a strong leadership. We have to stop feigning and act firmly and right now to clean up the mess our country is in.

K K TAMBER, Ludhiana

The art of tying turban

The middle “An effort well rewarded” (Apr 25) by Pritam Bhullar took me down memory lane, when I joined IAF in 1977. During the first three months our dress was half pant and vest. Sikhs used “Patka” as headgear. That suited me as I had never tried my hand at “turban-tying”.

But then I had to wear full uniform with turban. First day, a co-trainee tied the turban on my head and this practice continued. Once during parade my commanding officer (CO) pointed that, “my turban was not up to standard” and ultimately came to know the truth.

He pronounced, “You will not be granted leave till you are able to tie a presentable turban yourself. Though shocked, I put my heart and soul in it. After a week I was standing in front of my CO, smartly dressed, sporting the turban tied by me.

The CO spoke: “Remember, a turban is an integral part of a Sikh gentleman’s personality.” Needless to say I was granted leave too.




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