Today, as weapons get sophisticated and warfare threatens to get dangerously fierce, our Armed Forces play an even more significant role in safeguarding our frontiers. And contrary to what we may think, it isn’t only war preparedness that they have on their minds..
Making our city and country a better place to live is as important for them; we met a cross section of veterans in our city to take a peek into their list of priorities..
Col. Shashikant Dalvi:
Defence preparedness is top priority and unless our troops are well equipped, we cannot progress.Issues of rising global warming and its effect on climate change are causing havoc and hardship to all. We are facing rising floods, soaring summer temperatures and other natural calamities.
We need to take immediate action to reduce all emissions by encouraging the use of solar power generation from roof-tops of all buildings across the nation. This will reduce the use of fossil fuels.There should be strict implementation of existing rules to protect river pollution, groundwater recharging by harvesting rain water to improve the falling groundwater table.
The introduction of electrical vehicles to replace existing types of vehicles within the next 10 years, in a phased manner. Changing agriculture practice to adapt to the effect of climate change. Strict implementation of rules to improve solid waste management across the country.Suitable changes in educational systems to prepare our next generation to face extreme climate events effectively. These measures will also create more jobs and improve overall economic growth.
Col. Bharat Haladi:
We have comprehensive laws in place already, covering almost every aspect of governance. It’s the partial implementation and enforcement of these laws that is the root of a lot of the problems we have.
Adding to this, is the corruption that is plaguing our society. Transparency in use of public money is the need of the hour. Corruption is fuelled by lack of transparency hence, the taxes collected need to be expended fairly.
Also, separation of religion and community from politics is a must. Enforcing the secular nature of our Constitution is essential, just as it is so effectively achieved within the Armed Forces. Another major threat is caste or community-based reservation. If at all required, reservation is to be applied based on economic and opportunity considerations and that too, for limited periods of time.
Col. Mukesh Trehan:
I think protecting the environment must be prioritised. The new wars will be fought over water. India is fortunate to have several water sources and a decent monsoon cycle. Water conservation is possible if there is a will. The changes also need to be made to deliver great public transport in our cities and cut air pollution.
Secondly, our education system needs a deep look to improve its utility. The quality of teachers needs attention as does the curriculum. Besides this, compulsory modules to develop the civic sense in youth are also necessary.
Thirdly, rationalising access to health care to all is very important.Today I have no faith in the judicial system. Revamping of draconian laws and the sluggish dispersal of justice to common people must be addressed.This would include the Army, Navy and the Air Force Acts. The delay in the dispersal of justice means that loopholes are exploited, irrelevance creeps in and victimisation of the weak increases.
A lot of hurdles in the implementation of good processes and ideas are created by the bureaucratic structure. The complete administration of the country needs a revamp to a more democratic and honest ways.
#All views expressed in this column are the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @KaurKaur18
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