The appalling conditions under which tubectomies were conducted at Kaparfora, Bihar (“Barrack-room surgery in Bihar's backwaters,” Jan. 23) reflect the sordid state of medical care in this country. I am shocked and my heart goes out to the hapless women. It reminds me of incidents of blinding of thousands of people in cataract surgery camps. It is time the government put an end to surgeries in medical camps and stopped treating the poor as second-class citizens. The government should stop involving NGOs in surgical assignments.

Araveeti Rama Yogaiah,

Hyderabad

At a time when the role of NGOs is bound to increase in a country with a vast population like India, where it is almost impossible for the government to look after all issues, this barrack-room surgery could be a debilitating factor on the trust between NGOs and governance. Steps should be taken to wipe out these malevolent elements from the voluntary sector.

Siddhesh Singh,

Allahabad

I want to mention that incidents like the Kaparfora tubectomies will not stop until strict action is taken against the culprits. But that never happens in India. Even the worst crimes are excused. That is why the crime rate is on the rise.

Prashant Singh,

Moradabad

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