We need caring teachers


Children of all ages need special care and attention; most importantly children between the ages of 1-5. That is the age when they need all the love, care, comfort and attention from their elders both at home or at school. There are tender and sensitive periods in their lives that must be handled with utter sensitivity and sensibility. These are the formative years when the young ones begin to observe and absorb all that they see and to understand how they are being treated. Hence one was appalled to reading the news report and letter to the editor of April 28. While in one event, a three year old child was beaten by a teacher and the child received several injuries, in the other one reads the angst of a parent whose child, in pain, was left unattended and neglected. These events have left one saddened, concerned and also worried about the plight of our children once they are sent to schools. The atmosphere and ambience of a school ought to be one like a loving home but is it so?
On September 5 every year teachers are revered and cheered by their students as a token and an expression of love and appreciation. Should it not be the responsibility of every single teacher to fulfill their roles as teachers and role models of their wards? Should they not be setting good examples and help to mould them as good and responsible people in future? When an individual takes up the role of a teacher and educator he/she must understand that it is not a mere vocation or a job that he/she is doing. A teacher is to mould minds and hearts. Certainly beating a child and ignoring or neglecting a child is the worst sort of role that a teacher can portray. When we, the parents enroll our children in a school we entrust them unto safe and secure hands, and expect  care and supervision. The least that we wish to see and hear from our children are frightening experiences which will hamper their growth both mentally and physically. Thus every school authority, whether public or private, must ensure that their teachers are the most befitting individuals from all perspectives before they are appointed as teachers.

Yours etc.,

Jenniefer Dkhar,

Via email


Acquiring catchment areas imperative

Editor ,

The issue of catchment protection  particularly  that which relates  to  drinking water supply has    come  to the fore  in Meghalaya  with the state government recently  announcing that it may  acquire land in the catchment areas (Government to buy land to save catchment areas ST  14th April 2015). This is  perhaps to circumvent the land tenure system  where  the Government seems to  find it hard to  regulate land use or  to control  detrimental activities in the catchment areas. With  domineering vested interests of some and fragile   system  at times and  with  desirable consciousness and attitude of many not forthcoming  now and probably in the near future, it would be  perhaps too optimistic to expect  sustained regulations and  control throughout. Destructive  activities in the catchments therefore  resurface from time to time everywhere because of short-lived prohibitions. Moreover  one’s     economic  interests derived  from  one’s   private property  may  not be easily given up for the overall good unless alternatives are provided for  or one is  adequately  compensated. It cannot be  expected   that the National Green Tribunal or a similar quasi judicial body would come in to tackle every problem.

The  result of the Shillong Times  poll   on the 16th April 2015   interestingly  indicated  that  71 % of those who participated in the   Poll   supported  the government’s plan  of procuring land  in the catchments .Therefore this is not  a dangerous notion for many  as some may profess it to be  and it also shows that those who support the plan  dispel  dubious  motives behind the move. There is a growing realization  that   non-concrete, vague and  inconsistent  approaches are not dependable  and therefore it would be  convenient  to   have something in hand which can   be  nurtured   at will  and  to  shape it for  better and lasting  results. In any case Government  has been acquiring land   down the years ,  some   for purposes which do not have  wide  and far reaching  impacts, so  when the purpose is  for  a sustained flow of  quality  water  from the catchments for the wholesome existence of human life for  perpetuity it is  perhaps  more than worth it. The  focus  should however be on acquiring  land in   critical areas  and on those  having    potential   for intensive human activities    and not necessarily  on  the  catchments  as a whole .

Incidentally, it was reported in the same news item  that the State Government Program  Implementation Monitoring Committee exhorted the Public Health Engineering Department  to preserve the catchment areas. I wonder if catchment areas preservation  should come under the purview  of this Department alone or it should at all come under it. The Forest Department may  have a bigger  role to play here  and  the Water Resources Department  by  its very name should   perhaps  be  involved,  since a deteriorated water catchment would  as well adversely  affect  its  many irrigation projects in the long run. Likewise the Soil Conservation Department  which  was renamed as the Soil and Water Conservation Department through a Cabinet decision  some time back   to encompass the policies, strategies and activities to link and  manage soil and  water  resources  and to protect their  environment, should have a role here too. Ultimately a convergence approach under  a defined authority would  bring better results.

Various organizations may come out with ideas and thoughts on water preservation during    deliberations in small circles. These, however,  do  not seem to have  been  applied  in the open field enough to show convincing positive results nor has extensive awareness  been created.  Meanwhile, time is running out and government needs to decide quickly on the approach or approaches  towards catchment area protection and  to follow up  aggressively  thereafter. It cannot afford to be complacent. Let us hope for  wise  decisions to  come in right from now so that water crisis  of unimaginable proportions  will  never  arise in the state .

Yours etc.,


Via email 


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