Published: Friday 31 January 1997

No stitches in time

Your cover story 'Pay-offs to progress' (Down To Earth , Vol 5, No 10) focused attention on the heavy losses incurred due to environmental problems like air and water pollution, land degradation and deforestation. But can all this be simply attributed to the new economic policy or industrial development? In my opinion, it is the inability of the government to provide basic health care, sanitation and education that is responsible for all this. If only it had insisted on proper disposal of waste by industries, recycling or other protective measures, pollution could have been avoided and the courts need not have stepped in....

Tall claims but no aim

The issue on alternative medicine (Down To Earth , Vol 5, No 8) was of special interest to me. People who claim that ayurveda can cure all kinds of ailments do not come forward in a crisis situation. Recently, when dengue fever broke out in the Capital and adjoining states, no ayurvedic practitioner offered a remedy, in defiance of allopathy. Many people now seek alternative cures for their health problems. But there is a lack of information on experts who can come up with definitive results. This has prevented people from going in for ayurveda. The system must be popularised among the masses. Even though your magazine has provided a platform for it, the day it would flourish and reign supreme seems far.
The English translation of Surapala's Vrikshayurveda has been released. I would like to read an account of the same in your magazine....

Deaf and dumb

I was present at the Commission for Sustainable Development's session (csd-iv), held at New York, last year. About 60 youths had assembled there from all over the world to request their respective governments to include the younger generation in the decision-making process. As a representative from India, I went with the hope of discussing projects and activities for sustainable development with the Indian delegates.

At first, it was difficult to find the Indian delegates and when I did get to talk to them, I was informed that India was the only country to have a depart ment of youth affairs. A panel was orga nised at the meet to foster interaction between the youth and the delegates. When I requested the Indians to attend the panel discussion, I was told that they were busy elsewhere. I think it would be unfair to cite their names, but there were delegates from other countries who, much to my frustration, welcomed and talked to the youth participants.

I have returned a highly disillusioned person who has no say in what the government decides for our future. Being part of a non-governmental organisation, I will continue fighting for the cause, outside the government. Is it so difficult for the government to accept our existence and partnership? Unlike my colleagues, I achieved nothing at the csd session and am sad that we may never attain our goal of a better environment and society....

A thump on the back

I congratulate the entire editorial team for producing a newsmagazine that has grown in both coverage and circulation since its inception five years ago. It is definitely a mouthpiece for the public to air their concerns over environmental issues. Being one of the participants at the readers meet organised by you on November 2, 1996, at the undp auditorium, it was indeed heartening to witness people from all walks of life gathered to evolve a strategy to promote Down To Earth as a front runner in chalking out environment issues. Hoping for closer cooperation in the future....

Remedy in reverse gear

An article entitled 'Friendly foes' (Down To Earth , Vol 5, No 6) describes the use of Eupatorium as a compost feedstock to produce a medium that would encourage the growth of plants in nurseries. I am currently exploring a similar application for a European species of weed. Could you provide me with the contact name and address for obtaining more information on Eupatorium ?
FRANKLIN SCRASE United Kingdom...

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