Helping the aged

“Homeless in Brajbhoomi” by Usha Rai (February 13) was touching. Today, destitute, deserted and widowed women can be found begging in front of many of the shrines in the country. It is a pitiable sight to see… Some of them are so weak and emaciated that they are not able to move even their limbs and remain stable on the ground. The state and central governments must immediately evolve a scheme to rehabilitate them. They must not be allowed to die uncared for and unattended.

B.R. Kumar

Chennai

All that glitter

The idea and sentiments expressed in the article " India@61: An idea gone astray " by Nissim Mannathukkaren (February 9) is a true picture which exhibits the gap between India and Bharat. The faith of Gokul Singh Gond who has to carry his dead daughter almost 10 km on bicycle to the nearest district hospital for an autopsy reveals the other side of the coin which is grim with miseries. Upper and middle class India booming largely on economical growth dwarfs the image of 40 crore people living in slums. One can only say that all that glitters is not gold.

Amod Kumar

Munirka, New Delhi

Enabling measures

Harsh Mander's article “With different abilities” (February 6) was a touching analysis on the life of people with disabilities. That more than 50 million men, women and children in the country live with disabilities with absolutely little or no protection from the government is indeed a sad commentary on our system. The disabled face hurdles in myriad ways in public places with inadequate facilities staring at their path everywhere. Unable to bear the humiliation caused due to physical and social barriers these people are forced to remain at home. We have no proper schooling facilities for the disabled children and if there is one, there too we may not find trained teachers. If the disabled person happens to be a girl or a woman the problems are bound to mount. These hapless persons were often treated with disdain by society. The disability coupled with their weak gender makes them highly vulnerable to all sorts of abuse. The government's inability to provide food security by way of pension or any other aid to these people leaves them with hunger and extreme impoverishment. As Harsh Mander rightly points out, instead of showing pity on these people the government should strive for the full social, economic, educational and cultural integration of the disabled in the wider society.

J. Anantha Padmanabhan

Srirangam

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Sunday MagazineJune 28, 2012