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Pingalwara’s Bhagat

We are proud of Kailash Satyarthi who by dint of hard work and dedication has attained the coveted Nobel peace prize. In this context, my memory lane ends up at ‘Pingalwara’ whose founder dedicated his youth and life for the cause of lame, permanently disabled people having wounds from which blood continued to ooze. The great Samaritan Bhagat Puran Singh served them till the end of his life. But his services to the deprived section have been ignored by the Nobel Committee. Comparisons are odious, but the services rendered by him are no less than any other Nobel laureate in the same field. In 1945, I met a young Sikh with a lame boy on his shoulder in the office of the Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Lahore. I can safely guess that he was Bhagat Puran Singh, who was not famous at that time. I had the privilege of travelling with him 5 km in a horse-driven tonga. During his talk with the students of my school, he remembered his respected mother. After nine years when I again met him at Amritsar, he recognised me as the man from Kapurthala. I cannot help remembering this noble soul as I read about the Nobel laureates. Such a great man walked on the Earth.

Shyam Sunder Airi, Kapurthala

Proud moment

It was a proud moment for the whole country when Kailash Satyarthi was selected for the Nobel peace prize. I felt ashamed of myself because I had not heard about him despite the fact I consider myself an aware citizen. I knew about Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan. Satyarthi is doing a yeoman's service to humanity and has got international recognition and the highest honour. He is a national pride and deserves media coverage and honour.

Dr Kirti Dua, Ludhiana

Moment to ponder

It's a moment of joy for us that activist Kailash Satyarthi has won the Nobel Peace Prize for working towards the welfare of children. But the sad part is that even after more than six decades of Independence, we have not yet eliminated child labour. We have reached Mars, but food and personal liberty are still out of our reach.

Gautam Himanshu Goyal, Sardulgarh

Nobel to nobles

Two people belonging to two countries which are struggling hard to be at peace have received the Nobel Peace prize. Kudos to Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistani prodigy Malala Yousafzai whose efforts to fight the odds have made the difference. What if everybody thinks and acts like these two in the same direction? Of course, the result will be a better world to live in. Satyarthi (60) works towards the rescue of children from forced labour and has succeeded in saving around 80,000 innocent children through his endeavours. And Malala (17) raises her voice for the girls' education, which she was also deprived of. Both revolted against the injustice prevailing in society, fought against adversities and both were physically attacked, both survived and finally emerged winners. Now it is a challenge for both India and Pakistan to maintain peace forever.


The child crusaders

It is a pleasant wonder that a 60-year-old Indian, Kailash Satyarthi, and a Pakistani teenager, Malala Yousafzai, have been awarded the Nobel peace prize 2014 jointly for “showing great personal courage and in their struggle against the suppression of children and for the right of all children to education.” While we were fighting each other on the border, the Nobel Committee said that it regarded it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism. It is the right time for the two countries to stop fighting and live in a friendly atmosphere.

While Malala is famous, Kailash Satyarthi’s work is not known to 95% people of the country. He has won 12 international awards and the Nobel Prize is his 13th laurel. He has campaigned worldwide on issues involving children through his Bonded Labour Liberation Front/Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which are worldwide coalitions of NGOs. Though the country has not yet recognised him, the Nobel Committee said Satyarthi maintained Mahatma Gandhi’s tradition and headed various forms of protest and demonstration, all peaceful, focusing on the exploitation of children for financial gain. He has also contributed to international conventions on children’s rights. Hope now that the government will take advice from him to abolish child labour.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Nobel warms to LED

That Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakmura have won the Nobel prize for physics for inventing the blue light LED lamp to negate the effects of global warming shows the realisation of the dreadful effects of increasing carbon footsteps on the universe (“Low-carbon LED lamps fetches physics Nobel for Japanese trio”, October 8). The existence of human beings is threatened by the increasing global warming caused by the burning of traditional electric bulbs, CFLs and tubelights. The white LED bulbs are the only future. The jury selecting the Nobel prize commented: “they succeeded where everyone else had failed.” India must also minimise the emission of carbon to reduce warming.

Capt Amar Jeet Kumar, Mohali

Grannies not obsolete

This is with reference to the article “Who says grannies are obsolete?” by SS Bhatti (September 18). “What is good for a two-year-old baby — a burger or a sandwich? I am not in the mood to cook food today.” I overheard a mother ask this question while pampering myself with a cup of coffee at a coffee house. I looked at the lady: she was a well-dressed modern mother, ordering food for the family.

Astonished, I was reminded of the time when mothers would do all the domestic work without any special gadgets, and yet felt no discomfort in feeding their children at any time of the day or night. There were no LPG stoves or microwave ovens those days. They had to resort to the traditional ways of cooking.

On the other hand, today, when mothers enjoy all the facilities and comforts of life, they are relying on fast food or eating out. A modern mother provides instant food with readymade emotions. In this era , it is all the more important to have a grandmother at home.

Dinesh Kumar, Kurukshetra

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