With regard to “Our pride and shame” by Ananthapriya Subramanian (August 8), the question is whether India's need of the hour is to impress foreigners and urbanites, or face the harsh realities of the pangs of the under-privileged poor who live on one square meal. Or for that matter the torturous sight of child labour deployed on hazardous and dangerous menial jobs on construction works and the like, when they ought to be studying in schools. Politicians turn a “blind eye” to the harsh realities and paint a rosy picture of India! Crores of rupees have gone down the drain in infrastructural projects like the new terminal at Delhi airport or the Common Wealth Games where daylight robbery and swindling of funds has been the order of the day. When it comes to funds to fulfil the “blue book” on the RTE Bill and implementation the coffers are empty. Sad and a pathetic plight indeed!
The article candidly brought out the true story of India shining. The gleaming new image of India galloping towards an incredible future will be true only when we weed out the diseases within our country. Dressing up a sick India in bright colours to show the world is like painting a crumbling edifice to make it brand new. We are all guilty of sending 400 million to bed hungry everyday. At a time when India is going to celebrate its 63rd anniversary of Independence, hungry Indians, dying children and illiterate women remain a dark shadow over the jubiliations.
Deepa Kylasam Iyer
It's no use joining modern industralised nations with a swanky new airport terminal in the capital. We should also show the same zeal to establish swanky schools, hospitals, roads and railway platforms. The fact is, these are also important “windows to India”. What's the use of swanky airport terminals if we continue with dirty railway platforms?
The author has rightly slammed the skewed priorities of the government. It is indeed a matter of shame while as many as 42.2 per cent of our children under the age of five are suffering from stunted growth, an alarming 26.1 per cent are underweight. The government spends a whopping 26,000 crores to develop New Delhi's infrastructure as it plays host to the CWG two months from now, but, struggle to allocate funds for the RTE. The government has clearly failed the young generation with its wrong priorities and forgotten the dictum, “health of children is the wealth of a nation”. We can boast of real growth only if it is an inclusive one where the poorer sections and the marginalised derive benefits.
J. Anantha Padmanabhan
Lure of foreign degrees
The move to allow foreign universities to set up educational institutions in India is a milestone that will not only enhance choices but also give a fillip to quality education. Hitherto, Parents of Indian students spending huge sums of money to go for higher education will be relieved of the agony of making arrangements for finance. Similarly poor students coming from both urban and rural areas who have been aspiring for foreign degrees can fulfil their ambitions without leaving the shores. However, still a large number of students will opt to study in a foreign environment because they feel it a pride to pursue the same education abroad than study here.
A long list
It is generally said, “Each day is special”. People around the world seem to have taken this a tad too seriously and have started associating almost everyday with some occasion or the other. Mothers' day, fathers' day, laughter day, music day... the list seems to be increasing every year. As Shyam P. has rightly pointed out in “Spending on special occasions” (August 8), the compulsion to buy gifts for these occasions is taking a toll on the savings of the customers, while it is gala time for the retailers. With smart marketing strategies, they cash in well on these occasions. Spending on special occasions is not wrong. But the criteria for an occasion to be termed “special” should be well charted. Thoughtful spending is necessary to avoid repentance in future.