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Disposing of personal wealth

Azim Premji’s philanthropic act is laudable indeed in a country like India which is rich yet poor (editorial ‘Right move’, February 27). According to the latest government data, so skewed is the income and wealth distribution in the country that top 5% households possess 38% of the total assets, while the bottom 60% own merely 13 % assets.

In the urban settings, the bottom 60% households own merely 10% assets. Nearly, half of its population subsists on less than $ 2 a day and lives in extreme poverty, despite its commendable economic growth. Therefore, the wealthy, who are controlling the wealth of this country by sheer legacy of being born in rich families and those who have acquired wealth by their hard work should contribute liberally for upliftment of the downtrodden who are assetless.

Here comes the role of quality education. If the poor are to be lifted out of this morass, instead of doles being distributed by the government, quality education through well-managed schools is the need of the hour so that the underprivileged learn to stand on their own feet. This is where the likes of Azim Premji need to chip in.

The Tatas too have played a great role in providing excellence in the field of science and social science education and set up premier intuitions of higher learning which has helped in improving the lot of the poor. The livelihood earning support systems also need to the strengthened by such philanthropists.

Dr PURAN SINGH, Nilokheri


The Wipro chairman has set a shining example by transferring his company’s Rs 12,300 crore to an endowment trust for spending on education in rural areas. In the public sector, funds sanctioned for specific jobs and projects never reach the desired end because of the pilferage of government funds, which is basically people’s money, by government officials, private parties and sanctioning authorities. That is why despite huge funds sanctioned for various serious causes, 100pc benefit never reaches the grassroots level. Organised corruption is practised with impunity.

The infrastructure in our government schools tells the tale of the state of education in rural areas.

Funds earmarked by corporate bodies are sure to do wonders because every penny distributed is accounted for. The perceptible change in the quality will certainly be visible vis a vis government’s performance. Charitable hospitals and educational institutions set up by the renowned trusts have set an example worth emulating. More such Premjis are sure to revolutionise education and health services in rural areas.



‘Give me first six years of the child and I care not where he spends the rest’, says Prof Loyola of France. Early childhood is the most precious period for laying the foundation of a healthy citizen. Ira Joshi’s article ‘Redefining learning’ (February 26) tries to prove this contention with the help of research work. She rightly lays more stress on environment, though heredity also plays a part in building up the personality.

However, a school and home consider, erroneously, early childhood as attaining proficiency in 3 R’s (reading, writing, arithmetic). Learning at this stage needs redefining in consonance with traits of early childhood. Kindergarten and Montessori methods have a logically framed methodology. Creativity and critical thinking through playway activities should be given due importance.

This stage of life, being even more important than the primary stage, should be given utmost importance through well laid out syllabi, especially in view of a child’s future needs and purposeful training of teachers.

Dr S KUMAR, Panchkula


Ira Joshi has provided a timely caution to teachers and people who run pre-schools to pay more attention to kids who have a natural curiosity and tendency to ask questions. We often stifle their inquisitiveness by overloading them with facts and figures, using drill and practice, much before they are ready for them.

Every child has to develop his own spiral of learning centred on his special interests and absorb other skills. The teacher's duty is to inculcate an attitude of logical thinking, discovery and wonder unaided by modern funnels of education as much as possible.

In fact, this stage obviates even the use of books and pens but unfortunately, for lack of trained and devoted teachers, 3Rs intrude into the curriculum leaving the essential 4Cs --critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity' unattended, although it does not cost much.

Prof MOHAN SINGH, Amritsar

Being fashionable 

Apropos Rajbir Deswal’s middle ‘Fashion without passion’ (February 12), it is a human trait to look good, smart, charming and graceful. Most of us like following trends, but fashion should be such that lends charm, beauty and grace to one’s life and not disgrace, ridicule, disdain, derision and mockery.

Fashion should not be condemned right away, rather it should be followed judiciously and moderately and not slavishly and obsessively. It has been well said by Lavater, “Be not too early in fashion, nor too long out of it, nor at any time in the extremes of it”.




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