|F E A T U R E S
Wednesday, December 8, 1999
kinnow time once again, folks
ZIRAKPUR, Dec 7 Once again, with the advent of winter, piles of kinnow have appeared at Singhpura on the Kalka-Ambala National Highway 22, about 2 km from here.
Vehicles stop at the stalls and kinnows are bought from vendors who also offer fresh kinnow juice at reasonable prices. The fruit is sold by the kilo and not by the dozen.
The customers are mostly tourists from Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.
"After a glass of fresh kinnow juice, one feels refreshed and relaxed after a long journey," said a traveller who was on his way from Delhi to Shimla.
Mr Om Prakash, a resident of Raipur Rani, found the fruit sold here large and sweet. But compared to the past year, kinnow is costlier this year. "I intended to purchase 5 kg but will have to make do with 2 kg," he said.
Mr Balkar Singh, a traveller, said, "There are piles of kinnow on the highway! I asked the driver to stop and we had kinnow juice. I liked it and bought 4 kg of the fruit. The fruit is fresh and cheaper here than in Ambala."
More than 40 vendors have been doing this business for the past five years at this place. The kinnow season begins in December and continues till March. Unemployed residents of the surrounding area find temporary employment. They purchase truckloads of the fruit jointly and sell it. A vendor, on an average, earns Rs 60 to Rs 100 per day. Past year, the sales were better than so far this year.
A vendor, Mr Sunder Ram, said kinnows from the orchards of Abohar, Ganganagar and Fazilka were sold here. This year, the demand was not heavy and the fruit had begun to wither. Moreover, the fruit was also smaller in size, he said.
Mr Hans Raj, another vendor, said they were unemployed and landless labourers who worked in different factories in the surrounding areas on daily wages. They used to do this business in Chandigarh and Panchkula, but due to the interference of the Estate Offices, they had to shift to this place.
PANCHKULA, Dec 7 Determined and engrossed in his own world, General J. C. Malhotra, (retd) PVSM, AVSM, VSM, is a satisfied man. The General is self-driven and has dedicated his life to a cause.
He provides artificial limbs and aid equipment to the needy, free of cost. He has undertaken a must-to-win literacy mission in several villages in the district. The General, maintaining the tradition of the defence forces, has led from the front. He does not formally represent any non-government organisation or a group, but is well-known by his mission.
Working on charity, he has earned the goodwill of many, who could never imagine to walk or read and write. Good begets good, he says.
Starting from village Billa, which has been adopted by the Rotary Mid-Town, he focussed on the adult literacy programme for women. Today several women in the village are literate.
Hindrance came in the way for making rural women to understand the utility of education. We choose a matriculate girl from the village to teach a group of women, he says.
After receiving fruitful results, the General came in contact with Shanti Kunj, a social organisation. The literacy programme was later extended to other villages, including Kishangarh, Bhannu I and II and Chanderpur.
His social welfare projects are not constrained by the inadequacy of funds, due to his passion and the collective participation of his associates. The General says he refers cases of disabled persons to various rehabilitation centres in the region, which provide aids and equipment at a discount and conduct an in-house training programme for the handicapped.
The General conducts
motivational training modules for lifting the self-esteem
of these under-privileged. More than infrastructure,
funds and organisation support, one needs an innate
obsession to help, he says.
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