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Poverty alleviation a pipe dream

A Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI) research undertaken by Oxford University reveals that India stands behind Nepal, Bangladesh and Rwanda in poverty reduction among the study of 22 countries in the list (the editorial ‘Reducing poverty’, March 25).

India has a dismal record of poverty alleviation since Independence. The power-hungry politicians, due to their myopic vision, failed to redress the problem. Rather, they took caste-based measures to set up vote-banks instead of finding a solution.

Those falling below the poverty line were deprived of the benefits because of the thick, impregnable creamy layer, which holds levers to power game.

Health, education and living standards have been ignored by leaders of the successive political parties over the years.

The galloping population and unbridled corruption in every public undertaking segment with the involvement of corrupt ministers are stunting economic growth. Faulty policies are only fuelling inflation and the common man is finding it hard to make both ends meet. Grains are rotting in the open, but the same are not given to the hungry masses. Poor-centric policies must be adopted instead of populist measures, which are bound to ruin us economically.


Hearing aids

It came as good news that the Punjab Government has proposed to make hearing aids cost effective in its new Budget proposals. Hearing-impaired and differently abled persons have to suffer a lot due to their incapacitated condition. Hearing aids, which are the only support for them, are quite costly. A hearing aid may cost anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 1 lakh depending upon the type of loss and equipment. They need frequent replacements too. Replacement is necessitated due to many reasons - technology evolving at a fast pace, a short lifespan of hearing aids and usual upgradation of hearing loss in hearing impaired persons with age. Besides that, hearing aids require frequent repairs. These, being highly sensitive, get easily damaged due to sweat or humidity during sultry summers – too frequent in Punjab. If a person wearing a hearing aid gets caught in rain, again there is a high probability of the aid getting damaged. It is hoped that the Punjab Government, acting like a real welfare state, will go further to mitigate our sufferings.


Downgrading English

Apropos the editorial ‘Be realistic about English language’ (March 27), the decision of the UPSC to drop the compulsory English paper from the Civil Services examination is indeed unfortunate. English is not only the language of higher education or the window to reach out to the world, it is also the only language, which can link and bind all regions of the country.

And let parliamentarians become enlightened of the fact that the language spoken by innumerable Indians of Anglo origin or the language which has a considerable influence on the literature of all premier Indian languages is no less than Hindi, Tamil, Bengali or Assamese languages. And if the politicians are so concerned about the "discrimination" against the candidates from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, why don't they ask the vernacular-medium schools to teach English with utmost sincerity? In their violent desire to trample English so as to prove their "nationalist" credentials, politicians have immersed themselves in insanity and irrationality at their worst.


Propagating vulgarity

Apropos the middle ‘Vulgarisation of comedy’ (March 21) by Upendra Bhatnagar, vulgarity is not limited to TV serials. It also extends to a large number of Bollywood movies. Only a few movies carry some message of relevance. The rest are replete with senseless vulgarity and action.

The teenagers and the youth are being served with non-sense material, which does not inculcate any moral value in them. Rather, it distracts the young minds. It is the duty of the Censor Board to ensure vulgarity-free movies and TV programmes.


Charity makes them beggars

The countries in which charity has been accepted as a way of devotion to God have turned many people beggars. The concept of charity must stop and it should be turned as a concept of ‘help’. 

The man who is begging a fish, should not be given a fish as charity, but he should be taken to the river side and taught how to catch a fish himself. In some countries, the states are giving unemployment allowances. This is also not good and they, too, are turning people into beggars. Had these countries taken care of the people properly from the very beginning, this payment of unemployment allowance could have been avoided. 

It is necessary and obligatory for the parents, society and even for the state to ensure that each child is given proper education, training in a trade or occupation and he must be employed just after the completion of education and training.  The states must ensure that he gets a good job to run his family in a proper way. 


Decision hailed

It is heartening to learn that the Sikh clergy has directed all gurdwaras to restrict the volume of loudspeakers within the premises, keeping in view the interest of students and patients The Tribune, March 26). To enforce their directive, it will be worthwhile to appoint some SGPC members or eminent persons in each district, to receive complaints against the defaulters. As the affected parties prefer to avoid going to the police against religious institutions, the move will go a long way in redressing their perennial problem.




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