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Meals in trains

Kudos to Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda for actualising the announcements made in the Rail Budget by initiating a special drive to check the quality of food being served in trains. It was a respite for the passengers as the Railways cracked its whip by slapping heavy penalties amounting Rs 11.50 lakh on nine renowned caterers, including its own subsidiary, for serving stale and poor quality food in trains. The IRTC was imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh as a cockroach was found in the food served in the Kolkata Rajdhani on July 23.

The announcement made by Railways officials is like a toothless tiger as it says that “a caterer would lose its license, if found at fault five times”. Why can’t the contract be terminated with immediate effect? Should anyone be permitted to recur an offence that jeopardises the lives of thousands of innocent passengers? Such a petty penalty would not put even a minor dent on the whooping profits that a caterer earns by indulging in malpractices after bagging big contracts by offering hush money. Overcharging on trains and serving substandard food has become routine. 

The situation would not alter unless it is coupled with proper monitoring and greater transparency in the licensing process. Passengers must also register their complaints with the authorities to seek speedy redress of grievances.

RAJESH BAJAJ, Chandigarh

Ayush docs needed

I read the article Corruption and decline of ethics in medical practice by RP Sapru (August 5) with great interest and would like to point out two things:

1. Contrary to what the author believes, the permission to ayush doctors to practise allopathy by the government has helped curbed corruption and commission system in the healthcare system. A majority of ayush doctors are based in rural areas and are offering services to the poor and needy at affordable rates. It is the presence of ayush doctors that doesn't allow the monopoly of allopaths. They performed the USG or ultrasound scans for as less as ~250 in rural areas of HP prior to PNDT Act which bans the use of the USG by anyone except MBBS doctors. Now, the same USG is being done for ~600 to 850.

2. Ayurveda doctors have sufficient training and knowledge about the allopathy or modern medical system as modern pharmacology and medicine is being taught in ayurveda colleges.

Manik Soni, via email

Dress code fine

I do not agree with what Kuldip Nayar has said against the dress code culture in the clubs in his article "Being enamoured of authority" (July 30). That a high court judge in a dhoti and his guests in similar attire were refused entry into a club should raise no eyebrows. The dress code laid down by the club has to be obeyed by everybody, irrespective of their status or position. Aren't the judge and the advocate who accompanied him observing the dress code laid down to attend the court? If so, why shouldn't they do the same while attending a function in the club?

We have formed a habit of blaming the British for all our ills. We have forgotten the good things that they have left for us. What was the level of discipline then and what is it now? Were we as swathed in corruption as we are now? No one is asking us to wear western dress on all occasions. We can wear our national dress at any social function.


Cong hand in poverty

A United Nations report released recently says that one-third of the poorest people of the world live in India. If that is so, it is a big challenge for the Modi government. But if anyone can be held responsible for this pitiable situation, it is indeed the Congress which has ruled the country for more than 60 years out of the total 67 years of independence and has brought the country on this verge.

Akshit Aditya Tilak Raj Gupta, Radaur

Self-attestation good

It is heartening that the government has validated self-attestation of documents. Nothing irks people more than a notary public. Whenever it is instructed that documents be attested by a notary public or Class I officer, people have to run from pillar to post to get it done. Even students have to run around to get their documents attested. Sometimes a notary public charges undue money from the poor people wanting to get work done. Thanks to the new government for this reform. Everyone will be happy now as thay can self-attest papers.

Kapil Sharma, Kaithal

RIP Pran

Pran Kumar Sharma, creator of iconic comic book characters like Chacha Chaudhary and Sabu, is no more. Apart from the hugely popular Chacha Chaudhary, Pran also created characters like Shrimatiji, Pinki, Billoo, Raman and Chachi. He is known as the father of Indian comics. This is clearly the end of an era. I grew up reading Chacha Chaudhary. While there are several cartoon channels for the entertainment of children these days, it was the good old Chacha Chaudhary and endearing characters Shrimatiji, Billoo, Pinki and Raman that made our childhood colourful. A thought of his creations would bring a smile on our faces.

You may have left us today but your spirit will live on in those brightly-coloured panels. RIP Pran.

Mangal Singh Yadav, via email

Care for parents

Old parents and grandparents are considered redundant in the modern social setup. Parents, in the prime of their life, make all sacrifices in the upbringing of their offspring at the cost of their own health, happiness and comfort and see that their children mount high pedestals of success.

But alas! When the period of tasting due succour and support from their children comes, they are shabbily treated, insulted and humiliated. The parents in their twilight days deserve the same loving care.

But the hapless senile parents are driven out to old-age homes which is purely an alien concept.

If loving care be not shown to parents, teachers and persons in pain, what use is life, what gain? A crow will live for a hundred years and eat the offered grain.

SN Sharma, Pathankot

Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribuneindia.com



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