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One must help accident victims

The editorial 'The callous Indian: Time to shed our insular, apathetic attitude' (April 18) brings to light our hesitance to come to the help of accident victims. It is also true that the collective efforts of middle class can cause a positive change in society. At crucial times we should not be just bystanders, but extend assistance to evacuate the injured to the nearest hospital. There should be no question of turning a blind eye to the plight of others at this crucial juncture.

In many cases, doctors insist on the arrival of police before starting treatment. The priority should be to immediately give medical aid to save the life of an injured and the legal formalities can be completed later on. The good samaritan should not be questioned. The reason for not coming to the rescue of victims is the legal hassles one has to encounter subsequently.

The police should issue legally vetted guidelines laying down the complete procedure so that no person is harassed while helping the victims of accidents. At places, some police officers have already earmarked volunteers in collaboration with NGOs who immediately swing into action with ambulance and emergency response elements. This requires a coordination between the police and members of civil society. No doubt, our sincere little efforts can save the life of an accident victim.

SC VAID, Noida

Questionable model

Apropos the editorial ‘Nitish's ultimatum: Will BJP embrace or ditch Modi?' (April 16), Nitish Kumar has said what the saner elements in the country wanted him to say. Those who have knowledge of Bihar and know it from close quarters also know that Kumar belongs to the Kurmi caste, a very hardworking peasant group in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. There is an old saying, "Wherever they settle down, they make the land fertile and reap bumper crops." One sees a lot of meaning and sense in whatever Kumar has said about Narendra Modi, the emerging role model for urban middle classes of western India, particularly Gujarat.

Most of TV channels have already declared him as the next Prime Minister of the country. Nitish Kumar has given a severe jolt to this urban, urbane and obviously biased attitude of business classes who wish to foist their choice on the masses of the country with the help of advertisements in newspapers and TV channels. Modi is, no doubt, the ideal public figure of this small yet economically powerful social group among Hindus. And they have every right to applaud and approve him and project him as the Prime Minister, but commoners who toil in the fields, factories and small villages have also got the constitutional right not to accept his "Gujarat model of growth" for the entire country. Kumar has very boldly and candidly questioned the core beliefs of Modi and his faithful friends in politics.


Tribals’ rights

Apropos the news report ‘Centre : States using MNREGA funds to 'wall' forests’ (April 17), it is condemnable that tribals are being kept away from their right over forests which is required to be corrected immediately. Forest dwellers and tribals are the real owners of forest and its properties, including water, land and produce. Any attempt to keep these people away from their forest area is like committing excesses against these people. MNREGA was aimed at providing employment to the rural poor and uplift their standard of living alongside development of the area.

But, when the poor forest-dwellers are being kept away by eracting walls around the forest area, it is nothing but going against the provisions of MNREGA. Over the years, tribals have been denied their rights. But, now to give their forest land and mines to MNCs at throwaway prices to “loot” the rich minerals of the country is highly condemnable. Naxalite and other militant movements, active in India, is the result of such atrocities on tribals.


Neglected cycle tracks

A few years ago, the UT Administration had constructed cycle tracks in almost all sectors of Chandigarh with much fanfare. Their purpose was to keep the cycling culture alive; to ensure an obstacle-free and safe journey for cyclists; and to ease pressure on the main roads.

Sadly, a number of such tracks are now lying in disuse and at places these are not even traceable like in Sector 27-C. On the other hand, it has been observed that some good roads are unnecessarily re-laid in some sectors in March every year.

With the fuel prices touching the sky and the monster of pollution spreading its tentacles rapidly, the Administration, contributing its mite, must build more cycle tracks and renovate the previous ones to promote cycling. Moreover, it should organise cycling events so that all age groups, especially youngsters, adopt it as a way of life.

HARISH KUMAR, Chandigarh



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