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Involve people in growth process

It should not come to us as a surprise that people prefer to go to the cities leaving their villages behind (editorial, “Townward march", July 19). No one wants to leave one’s ancestral land and go to another part of the country. People are compelled to do so because of lack of adequate means of livelihood.

In this century, we are stronger than ever before. But why have we not succeeded in creating adequate opportunities in our rural areas? It is true that the Government of India has tried to introduce schemes like the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, but the people of rural areas continue to perceive cities as more attractive and remunerative.

Therefore, it is not enough for the government to start a scheme for the people of rural areas. They have to be involved in the whole process, right from the dissemination of information to the process of implementation. There should be a feeling among them that the scheme’s success depends on their active participation. For this the government will have to work with NGOs. NGOs working in rural areas for a long period of time become successful in winning the faith of the people. This will help in creating more employment opportunities in rural areas.

USHA THAPAR,Teacher, Ambala

Informed citizenry

This refers to the article, “The drive for Lokpal” (July 19). While some of us may still be sceptical about the outcome of Anna Hazare’s efforts to force the government to adopt a radical Lokpal Bill, he has definitely succeeded in telling the government in no uncertain terms that civil society cannot be taken lightly.

The rise of civil society has been necessitated by the prevalent political dynamics of the country. If the legislature and the executive had done their jobs, there would have been no need for civil society to assert itself. But this did not happen. It is true that the judiciary has tried to remove the ‘defects’ of the other two, but it will be in the interest of the country if the already overburdened judiciary is not very often required to do the job of the executive or the legislature.

I also agree that if nothing substantial is done about corruption, it may be time to go back to the people. But elections may not entirely solve the problem. We, the people of India, have to come out of our indifferent attitude and remind ourselves that our job does not end merely after casting our votes. We must not allow our representatives to forget us after their elections. An informed citizenry can put pressure on the government to take steps for the welfare of each one of us.


Punish the guilty

It is really sad and shameful that the authorities concerned are not taking any action against those responsible for supplying and using food items which are unfit for human consumption for the government’s mid-day meal scheme (editorial, “Unfit for consumption”, July 16).

The news that 50 students of government schools in three villages of Kurukshetra district fell ill after consuming mid-day meal was shocking. There is surely an ugly nexus between the suppliers of food items and the school authorities.

Certainly, the well-meaning scheme of the government “aimed at improving the nutritional status of children and encouraging children from disadvantaged sections to attend school” is being misused by some unscrupulous persons. It is a pity that the government does not take any action against such culprits. They should be given exemplary punishment.

R K KAPOOR, Chandigarh

Educational reforms

The article, “Impart practical knowledge” (July 19), has painted a very pessimistic picture of elementary and higher education in India. One should appreciate the reforms in education being initiated by the government. Things have started moving, though at a slow pace.

Most modern and ideal institutions are being set up at school, college and university levels. I did my middle school in 1961, higher secondary in 1966, graduation in 1969, postgraduation in 1971 and doctorate in 1993. If I compare the curriculum, mode of instruction, and conduct of examinations of those days with the present, we are indeed far ahead.

Dr V K ANAND, Bathinda

Youth’s life today

I agree with the writer (Middle, “Blowing hot and very cold”, July 13) when he says that ‘chilling out’ seems to be the mantra for today’s generation. I was shocked recently when my grandson said, “Chill, grand pa!” I had only asked him to stay at home and study. Sometimes today’s youth gives me the ‘chilling effect’. It is true that they have all the facilities we could not possibly dream of. This gives them the confidence that we did not have when we were young.

As for airconditioners (AC), there is hardly any place these days where they are not used. While I am not against ACs, I fear that if one has an AC at home or in office, one will be tempted to use it even if not required. I had to ask the daughter-in-law of a dear friend to switch off the AC. It was necessitated by the fact that I started shivering the moment I entered the house. It is a different matter that my friend was also shivering, but did not utter a single word.

The new generation is doing well in terms of standard of living. This is good to see. But they will do better if they lead a disciplined life. That is what our parents told us. We also need to repeat the same.




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