Saturday, June 3, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Slum kids given school bags
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — ‘Pustak-a friend of street children’ — a division of Youth Technical Training Society, (YTTS), a city-based non- government organisation, distributed school bags and refreshment among children of slum dwellers at Sukhna Lake here today. The Governor of Punjab, Lieut-Gen J.F.R Jacob (retd), distributed school bags among nearly 310 children from eight night schools, that were recently started by the Chandigarh Administration in different slums.

The children attired in sky blue tee-shirts with ‘Pustak’ printed on their backs, were overjoyed after receiving the school bags. Prominent among those present were Mr D.S. Saroya, DPI (Schools), Ms Neeru Nanda, Chairperson, CITCO, Mr Rakesh Singh, Finance Secretary, and Mr Satish Chandra, M.D. CITCO, besides Mr Vineet Khanna, Director, YTTS. The children present on the occasion showed their dancing skills to the Governor and others guests.

General Jacob, while appreciating the efforts of NGOs in making night schools a success, said education was the basic right of every individual and we should make all efforts to provide education to the underprivileged children. The Governor added that one more night school would be operational within two months.

He further added that slums and colonies should also be covered by preventive dental health care programme . Announcing a grant of Rs 25,000 to YTTS, the General Jacob said YTTS was doing a noble job by helping such children.

Speaking to Chandigarh Tribune, he said our country needed more such NGOs to help such children. He further said the media could be of help to such NGOs.

The children present on the occasion were selected out of 900 such children who were approached by YTTS from the slums all over the city. These were the children who could read and write. They are taught by the members of YTTS in the school buildings provided by the Chandigarh Administration in the slums itself.

Mr Vineet Khanna has invited people to come forward and help the NGO by donating old clothes and books. The children are either working as rag pickers or earn money by polishing shoes.


Topper in science stream
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 2 — In the results of the 10+2 of the CBSE declared on last Tuesday, a student of Gian Jyoti School in Phase 2 here, Arunima Gupta, has topped in the town by securing 90 per cent marks in the science stream. Being the only school in the town affiliated with the CBSE, the second student in the merit list is Rasandeep Singh, who secured 82.2 per cent marks.

Of the total 63 students of the school who appeared in the examination 60 have passed. 


Fee hike proposal condemned
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — The Haryana Students Association, Panjab University, has condemned the proposed fee hike in state colleges and universities by the Punjab Government for the forthcoming session.

Reacting to proposals by Mr Mohan Lal, the State Higher Education Minister, a press release said the worst victims of the fee hike would be poor and girl students. There was a total rebate for girl students in several cases. It was cited that there had been no fee hike since 1986. The students should not be victimised to pay for the lapses, if any, a press release said.

The HSA President, Mr Chand Singh Madaan, has appealed to all students organisations, teachers organisations, the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Women to join hands on the issue and show their protest.


Ranjit Bajaj issued notice
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Senior IAS officer’s son Ranjit Bajaj was today issued notice by Mr. Justice Swatanter Kumar of the Punjab and Haryana High Court here to show cause as to why he be not punished under the provisions of the contempt of court Act “if found guilty” of violating court directions on the use of black films on car windows.

The direction was issued after an affidavit was submitted before the court by UT Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Mr. Balbir Singh, stating that Ranjit Bajaj had been using a vehicle with a jet black film. He had added that the car also had a fake number plate. It was added that the permission sticker too was bogus.

The standing counsel for UT Administration also stated that the Punjab Director-General of Police had informed them regarding the sticker being bogus. The fact was confirmed by the Punjab Deputy Advocate General, present in the court room.

Today, pronouncing the orders in the open court, Mr. Justice Kumar observed that before taking action against Ranjit Bajaj he considered it appropriate to issue a notice to show cause as to why he be not punished under the provisions of the Act “if found guilty”. Mr Justice Kumar, it may be recalled, while taking up another petition, had earlier stated that persons violating the Court directions, “operation of which had not been stayed by the Supreme Court”, were liable to be dealt with under the provisions of the Contempt of Court Act, besides being punished for violation of traffic offences.



Forum orders compensation of Rs 5000
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — Taking note of a faulty battery supplied with a Premier Padmini car in 1994, the Chandigarh District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum II, has awarded the car owner and complainant Mrs Kamla Sharma with costs of Rs 5,000, which also includes compensation for harassment.

Besides , the complainant has also been allowed Rs 1,500 — the cost of the battery, coupled with 12 per cent interest per annum on the amount since June 15,1994, till the payment is finally made.

A resident of Mandi in Himachal Pradesh, Mrs Kamla Sharma, had purchased a Standard Premier Padmini car from M/s Patiala Motors, located in Industrial Area, phase I, Chandigarh on May 9, 1994. The Exide battery fitted in the car was found to be leaking because of defective container. This was detected during the second servicing of the vehicle.

Mrs Sharma unsuccessfully approached M/s Esquire Traders in Mandi ( H.P.). Later she also complained in writing to M/s Patiala Motors with copies to M/s Exide Products Limited, Jalandhar but without any response from them.

After a visit to the Patiala Motors, she was advised to approach Exide Products in Jalandhar for the replacement of the battery. She visited M/s Exide Products Ltd. on September 14, 1994. But the company instead of replacing the defective battery asked her to leave it with them. This she could not do as she had to go back home in the same car.

Dissatisfied with the treatment and the harassment that she had suffered, Mrs Sharma approached the District Forum in Mandi. Due to reasons pertaining to territorial jurisdiction, she ultimately approached the Chandigarh Consumer Forum, seeking directions for the replacement of the battery, reimbursement of the cost and compensation for harassment. She also demanded costs of case from the car dealer, M/s Chloride Industries Ltd, Calcutta, M/s Exide Products Limited, Jalandhar, M/s Esquires Traders , Mandi and the Premier Automobiles Limited, Mumbai.

The Forum after going through the case for more than three years, decided it in favour of Mrs Sharma. The case was decided by a forum comprising Mr R.P. Bajaj, President and the two members, Mr H.S. Walia and Mrs Urvashi Agnihotri.Back


A menace laced with sentimentality
has the desired effect

Entertainment is not just fun. It is educative as well. A little innovation here, some entrepreneur there and it can work out into a telling message for a cause.

It was precisely this streak for a cause — a social one for the needy — which prompted to turn brief moments of entertainment into lasting memories. All this happened at Tagore Theatre last week on the occasion of Mohammad Rafi Nite organised by the Majlis Journalists and Artistes Association which is engaged in the field of educative-entertainment for the past 22 years.

As the audience got into a nostalgic mood to hum old Hindi film songs rendered immortal by Rafi with his “golden voice”, there was an unusual announcement. Each song would be put to “auction” with the money going into a social cause: raising money for the “night schools” started by the Chandigarh Administration for children who have been deprived of their childhood. They are forced to beg or work during the day for a living and often go to sleep hungry.

This cause had the right effect. The message was loud, clear and laced with sentimentality. It was an emotional appeal which had the desired impact. The intended purpose was to wipe a tear, teach, and to the extent possible, lend a helping hand to the Administration enabling it to help these children. Why should they not educate themselves and play? Why not restore to them some of the playful moments of childhood they have lost?

As the Tagore Theatre reverberated with the numbers, the audience opened its purse strings and donated for the cause. At the end of the two-hour show, a sum of Rs 18,040 was collected. Majlis made its own humble contribution. A purse of Rs 21,000 was presented to the Administrator, Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), as the Adviser, Ms Vineeta Rai, who herself contributed to the “auction” as chief guest, had desired. This was just one small step to meet the big requirements of these “night school” children who attend classes in government school buildings.

The Nite was an annual contest for which amateur singers came from all over the region. From among the aspirants nine were shortlisted after two preliminary rounds. The first three winners were given prizes of Rs 5,100, 3,100 and 2,100, respectively.

Mr R.L. Anand of Chandigarh, who bagged the first prize, had a vast range in his vocal chords. His honey-voice is blessed with in-born high pitch. The second winner, Nav Prabhat, who came from Muktsar, on the other hand, sang with guided control. Without formal training it becomes evident that in-born talent alone is not enough. Proper training and practice (riaz) is important.

The third winner, Ajay Bakshi, like the first two was clearly handicapped for want of training. And Ankit Balhara, who got a “special” prize, has a long way to go. He is just 19, a school student in Panchkula. His grooming in classical alone can hone his skills.

The star attraction was Brijesh Ahuja who enthralled the audience with his voice. He in fact should be the role model for the young aspirants. Brijesh spends hours every day in “riaz” which is something like religiously saying one’s prayers every day.

So touched was General Jacob by the Majlis gesture and donation, he hoped the haves will come forward to “adopt” the “night school” children and shower them with a cheer and a hope of a better tomorrow. The needs were many, means were meagre for the success of the scheme. The children needed clothing, food, books, stationery and the schools needed proper arrangements for pure, clean water and, of course, missionaries in the form of young boys and girls who would voluntarily come forward to teach the special students certain elementary things so that they can lead a dignified life. — Sanjay Sharma


Auditorium, open-air theatre demanded
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, June 2 — Literary and cultural organisations and drama societies today demanded the setting up of an auditorium and an open-air theatre here and the allocation of adequate state government funds for promoting the arts.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Sanjivan Singh, President of the local Sarghi Kala Kendra, said with the passage of time a large number of bodies had been formed here, which were contributing to the spread and development of Punjabi drama, literature and culture. However, it was painful there was no auditorium or open-air theatre in the town. There was also no fund allocation for such creative activity.

Mr Ajit Salani, Chairman of the Punjabi Film Producers Association, said some years ago 2.75 acres had been earmarked for an open-air theatre and auditorium. The project existed only in government files. He suggested persuading the new civic body to be formed after the poll to put pressure on the government to execute the project.

Mr Gurnam Kanwar, executive member of the Kendriya Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, said western pop music was harming our culture and it was necessary to intensify activities to neutralise this influence.

Ms Anita, President of the Suchetak Rang Manch, said artistes had to depend on schools to conduct their rehearsals as there was no auditorium or open-air theatre. After a play was ready, they had to wait for a long time for Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh to give a suitable date for the performance.

Mr Hardeep Singh, President of the Sunehri Virsa Punjab, said Dara Studio, where activities related to art and culture could be conducted, had been turned into a community centre and was mostly used for weddings.Back

Summer camp for rural children
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 2 — A summer camp for school children is being organised by Mata Sahib Kaur Public School, Swara, near Sohana, under the management of the Sector 34 Gurdwara Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib. The camp which started yesterday would continue till June 6 and would provide training to participants in cutting and tailoring, flower arrangement, soft toy making, pot making, fabric printing and other areas.

It is for the first time that a camp like this is being held in a rural area. Other areas of training in the camp are fancy dress, painting, calligraphy, folk songs, poetry recitation, turban tying and fresh flower arrangement.

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