Amarnath Yatra 2012

In view of growing number of pilgrims to the holy cave of Amarnath in Kashmir, the Shrine Board has come out with a slew of facilities for pilgrimage during the current year. The ascent to the cave site is along a mountain path of over 17000 feet which, obviously, requires a strong frame to bear the cold, wind, rain, breathing problem and the tortuous track. By chance the entire ascent could happen in sunny days thereby reducing the physical effort and strain for the pilgrims. But experience has shown that this pilgrimage is usually accompanied by inclement weather conditions. This is the reason why the Shrine Board has now imposed certain restrictions on prospective pilgrims. For example obtained a medical fitness certificate from a registered medical officer is now a must. This is actually for the safety of the pilgrims and a preventive measure against exhaustion to frail bodied persons if they propose to proceed on pilgrimage. It should not be construed as intended to create obstruction to the pilgrims in their desire to have the darshan of the lingam at the cave. The Shrine Board has been thinking of many more facilities. Registration for pilgrimage is a must and can be made even on line. According to a statement of the Chief Executive Officer of the Shrine Board, Navin K Choudhary, the yatra will commence on 25th June and culminate on Rakhsha Bandhan, 2nd August 2012. From May 7, pilgrims can reserve helicopter seats online. Yatra permits have to be obtained from Board authorities and to facilitate the same 121 counters at designated branches of J&K Bank and 49 at YES Bank and four district Co-operative Banks will cater to the requirements of yatra permits. This year the number of Bank registration counters for the yatris will be 174 as against 149 in 2011. Two routes have been approved by the Board for tracking the distance and both will become operative simultaneously. All this is a clear indication that the Board and the Government are in unison in providing as many facilities to the pilgrims as can be possible.


District status for Basohli

Basohli, Billawar and Bani are the three neglected tehsils of district Kathua.
Due to topography, these three tehsils share their boundry with Gurdarspur (Punjab), Kangra and Chamba (HP), Samba, Doda and Udhampur.
The people  in these tehsils face great hardships to get their administrative problems redressed as district Headquarter Kathua is located at a far destination from them.
The people here had raised the demand for a seperate district with the Government officials time and again. But nobody has paid a serious attention to this demand. During this time, however, seperate districts like Ramban, Reasi, Kishtwar and Samba were created.
A seperate district need to be created for this region as it has remained undeveloped. No sort of worthwhile development has taken place in this part of the State.
The region has the great potential for pilgrimage tourism as  it is dotted with various shrines like Mata Bala Sundri (Sunderkot), Mata Sukrala Devi, Shiv Temple, Mata Sheetla Devi etc. The region is also endowed with beauty and lush green forests.
Keeping this in view, it is requested that a district status be assigned to this region.
Yours etc…
Madan Magotra,
Launch of
                                                 Agni V
The successful launch of Agni V (ICBM) will give another dimension to Indian security.  With its launch India  has entered the elite club of nations possessing such a missile. The other nations are USA, Russia, China and France. The defense analysts believe that it will act as a deterrent against China who is presently flexing its muscles to dominate the world politics.
The launch will not only give a boost to defense technology in the country, but an encouragement to the scientific community involved in the project. The missile has established itself as a powerful weapon which could target as deep as 6000 Kms. It can hit Beijing, the capital of China. It may have to go further tests before it is finally inducted in the Indian Army.  Once  it is handed over to the Army, it can prove a game changer. India has produced it only to act as a deterrent, and not to intimidate neighbouring countries. India believes in mutual co-existence, and neighbourly relations.
Yours etc…
Puneet Sharma,
Sarwal Jammu
                               Surrogacy and legality
After marriage, the cherished goal of a woman is to attain motherhood. But unfortunately, due to some medical condition, the woman is unable to give birth to a baby.
With the advancement in medical science, a number of techniques have come in use which can help to bless the couple with a baby. One such method is surrogacy.
Surrogacy is the practice of giving birth to a baby for another woman who is unable to have babies herself. In this practice, gametes donated by the consensual  married couple are fertilised and the fertilized egg is then implanted in the healthy womb of another woman. The woman then delivers the baby after completing gestation period.
This, however, involves medicolegal complications. The woman who donated the egg claims her right over the baby on the basis of genetic inheritance. At the same time the surrogate mother in whose womb, development of baby has taken place claims her right on the basis of emotional considerations. This has given rise to a dilemma.
This has become a vexed issue before medical and legal  fraternity. There has to  be a serious debate by medical and legal experts and social activists to work out a logical solution that is  acceptable to the society.
Yours etc…
Ramesh K Raina


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