L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Adopt clusters

This has reference to the news item, “TCS pledges Rs 100 crore for PM’s clean India drive” (August 19). TCS and the Bharti Foundation have pledged Rs 100 crore each in response to the call given by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 for providing separate toilets for girls in each school in the country by the next Independence Day. Many other corporate houses are likely to join it soon as part of their corporate social responsibility.

Adequate funds were already available under such schemes as the Sarv Shiksha Abhyan and the Right to Education. The stumbling blocks in the execution of these schemes have been lack of political will, corruption, red-tapism and politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus.

Pumping in more funds by the corporate houses is only going to fill the coffers of those involved in approvals and execution of this onerous task. I would suggest that the corporate houses adopt clusters of schools and construct toilets in these clusters under their direct supervision without make donations to the government. The administrative role should be restricted to the identification of clusters and assigning them to different corporate houses. This way, the work will be executed faster and efficiently. Even if it were to cost the corporates Rs 10 crore as administrative/overhead charges for every Rs 100 crore spent, Rs 90 crore will be spent on infrastructure. It may well be a mere Rs 50 crore if the same work was to be got executed through government agencies.

Col (Retd) BS Bhullar, Amritsar

Homework for kids or...?

It is often seen that students of even Classes I, II and III are asked to prepare projects or charts. But what does actually happen? Either the parents end up doing such assignments or they get them done from professionals, who usually display the rate list for different types of work in bookstores. And the child gets a prize or appreciation from the school! What is the fun of these activities? It is just a waste of labour, time and money. It sows seeds of corruption in the soft minds of children. The schools should discontinue this practice and, instead, teach students moral values, which might be useful in society.

KK CHAWLA, Kurukshetra

Process of education

Everyone is trying to escape taking responsibility for the education of a child. Parents blame the teacher. Education is a tripolar process in which students, teachers and parents are equally responsible for the betterment of a student. Firstly, if a child does not come to school or does not study well, education will be of no use. Secondly, if a teacher does not teach well or does not take care of his students, education will be of no use. Thirdly, if a student takes part in school activities, but the parents do not take care of him, the whole process will collapse.


Banish begging

Begging is abhorring and disgusting. It is a big problem in our country as it is estimated that there are lakhs of beggars with approximately ~200 crore as their annual earning. Begging is a national shame and a big blot on our growing economy. It must be dealt with firmly. The beggars should be rehabilitated and used productively. The public should desist from giving them alms to dissuade them from begging and help banish this menace from our soil.


Illegal firms in Solan

With reference to the news item “Shut down illegal industries in Solan” (August 15), the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rightly directed the HP Government to shut down all industries without the State Pollution Control Board certificate in Solan district. Failure of environmental protection mechanism in the state is due to politicians who are hand-in-glove with industrial houses. The politicians are either partners in these industries or they earn commissions for giving them liberty to violate norms.

Such industries are not only creating pollution but also adversely affecting the state exchequer by not paying the required taxes. Action should also be initiated against the officers responsible for this menace.

Also, some licence-holding industries are releasing untreated toxic effluents into the Ratta river on NH 21-A, leading to fish mortality in Sarsa river.

BR Kaundal, Mandi

Road to Naina Devi

Long back when I visited the Naina Devi shrine, it was like heaven in the hills. The drive to the ropeway was wonderful. I cherish the memories. But when I again visited the shrine recently, it was a nightmarish experience. The narrow road leading to the mandir is a one-way road with perpetual traffic chaos since the vehicles coming and going are not controlled and one barely manages to drive up or down. I did not find many pilgrims taking the ropeway and I wonder how the ropeway company is continuing with the service. Plastic bags, empty water bottles and other waste can be seen littered all around the shrine. The archaeologically as well as religiously important shrines need to be treated with utmost care or else it shall lead to environmental disasters.

Incidentally, the Himachal Pradesh Government is planning a ropeway from some place near Kaulanwala Toba to Naina Devi even as the one existing is on the verge of collapse.

RS RAKHRA, Patiala

Excuse untrue tales

No, the tale in the middle “A small town tale of life and death” could not be true. A doctor is a life-giver, not a taker. He is not insensitive and uncompassionate towards society. The story is unbelievable. Please excuse, for God’s sake.

Dr Naresh Dalal, Jhajjar

Insensitive rendition

The middle “A small town tale of life and death”, though published with a disclaimer of no coincidence, was a very dramatised, insensitive and comic portrayal of a well-known happening in a modest city.

I am surprised at the quality of the piece and such scavenging of writing from pseudo-intellectuals.

Harnihal Singh Sidhu, via email

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: [email protected]



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