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Do we need Food Security Bill?

Apropos the news item ‘Not averse to House debate on Food Security Bill: Cong’ (June 8), the Congress seems bent on pushing through the Bill to derive political gains in the general elections ahead. Other parties, too, cannot oppose the Bill for fear of losing votes.

But the concept of providing highly subsidised food grains to a whopping 67 per cent of our population is flawed on many counts. Firstly, it is the taxpayers who pay for the subsidies like cheap atta-dal or free power, not the government nor the politicians who, in fact, benefit the most from such schemes. Secondly, let us take a look at the condition of the so-called poor? The safaikaramchari in our locality comes on a motorbike to sweep the streets. Is he poor? A section of street-vendors, rickshaw-pullers and daily wager-earners have a mobile phone. Are they poor? One can cite many more such examples.

Thirdly, do these poor really deserve concessions? Our maid has four children and she is still pregnant. Her drunkard rickshaw-puller husband earns enough, but wastes his daily income on liquor. Why should taxpayers pay for their follies?

Lastly, will not the Bill hit our self-esteem and dignity, as it claims that a whopping 67 per cent of our population needs cheap food grains to survive? Aren’t we sending a wrong signal to the world?


Playing with their health

Apropos the news item ‘GNDU hostels serve unhygienic food’ (May 25), it is a matter of grave concern that hostellers are being served unhealthy food. Such food can cause food poisoning. More shocking is the casual attitude of the universities authorities, which fail to take strict action against the culprit. My daughter is also a GNDU student as well as a hosteller and now I see why she often complains of stomach problems. Assistant Commissioner Lovejit Kaur Kalsi deserves all praise for exposing the case.

HS SIDHU, Jalandhar


Being an ex-student of GNDU, it feels bad to see such a reputed university being handled so carelessly by the current authorities. In our times, hostels were neat and clean. Food at the hostel canteen was not only good but also prepared in hygienic conditions. Those playing with the health or lives of students must be punished.


Medical allowance

The Punjab Government gives a meagre Rs 500 as medical allowance to its pensioners for OPD check-ups and treatment of themselves as well as their families. One cannot afford costly medicines as well as treatment in hospitals with this allowance. Though the government had approved the proposal to increase the medical allowance to Rs 1,000, it has not been implemented so far. As most of the pensioners do not have any other source of income, they have to suffer a lot of hardship. One hopes the government will do something in this regard.

GR KALRA, Panchkula

Don’t suffer silently

It is strange that most girls suffer silently from sexual harassment at homes, schools, markets, workplaces and other public places (editorial ‘Girls harassed’, June 8). The perpetrators may also be those who are known to the victims. Many victims may be so innocent that they don’t even understand the meaning of sexual harassment. The others conceal the incidents out of shame and fear.

Holistic remedial measures are needed to tackle this socio-psychological issue.  The families, schools, communities, authorities concerned and religious institutions must help girls to develop self-confidence and courage right from their childhood. Teachers must keep a tab on their fellows with a dubious character and do not hesitate to expose them. Moreover, the perpetrators must be exposed and punished. Expert advice from trained counsellors can help embolden girls. The media and Bollywood films can generate more awareness in this regard.


Wrong parking

The Panchkula Police is causing inconvenience to car owners by towing away their vehicles from the markets of Sectors 7 and 9. The police is well aware of the fact that there is a limited parking space, half of which remains occupied all the time by fruit sellers, roadside vendors, tailors, etc. And the owners have to park their cars along the berms, which is not permitted by the police and hence towing away their vehicles and issuing them challans, that too at the police station.

The police and the Municipal Corporation need to provide ample parking space instead of challaning and harassing the public.


Escaping RTI Act

Denial of political parties to bring themselves under the purview of the RTI Act proves that there is something wrong with their functioning and so they fear of being exposed. The Congress party says that a political party is not a government department and, therefore, is beyond the jurisdiction of this Act. It is really surprising that the party, which takes all the credit for introducing this Act, now wants immunity from the same.

So is the case with the BJP, which claims to be a party with a difference. Given the fact that the general elections are a few months away, the BJP should have welcomed this step and adopted the Act. But it is also reluctant to come under the ambit of the Act. Voters should not favour such parties during the next elections as are opposed to bringing themselves within its purview.

SANTOSH,SONI, Nagrota Bagwan



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