Saturday, September 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Contractors allege discrimination
By Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — A confrontation is likely between the Chandigarh Administration and the electrical contractors, who carry out work for the Administration against tenders.

The latter alleged that a situation was being created by the Engineering wing to keep them out of the bidding process for electrical tenders. Officials in the Engineering Department said guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission and a high powered committee were being followed to bring about reform and not sideline anyone.

The contractors, under the banner of Chandigarh Government Electrical Contractors Association, say the Administration has imposed an upper limit of Rs 40 lakh for class ‘A’ contractors. This means a person who has not executed a single work of more than Rs 40 lakh in the past is not eligible to bid for tenders that are for work of more value. In Punjab there is no upper limit for class ‘A’ contractors. The Engineering wing officials say the limit has been created after keeping in mind the nature and amount of work carried out by the contractors in the past five years. How can a person, who has not carried out work of more than Rs 20 lakh be given the task to work on a Rs 1 crore project, ask engineers.

Before this ruling was brought in almost 28 contractors were eligible for class ‘A’ without limit status. In any case why would a contractor bid for a bigger tender than his capacity as the earnest money would be close to 20 per cent ? And if the work is not carried out within specified time frame the earnest money is forfeited by the department, say contractors.

Besides this the contractors say the Engineering wing has clubbed several electrical tenders of the GMCH, 32 to make them cross over the Rs 40 lakh limit set recently. The clubbing was carried out after the limit was fixed to keep them out, allege contractors. The clubbing is no deviation from the usual but an act carried out at the advice of the Chief Technical Advisor of the CVC. The advice says that no small tendering should be carried out and the clubbing must be done to attract bigger companies having more experience. Can anyone wish not to follow the advice of the CVC, say senior engineers.

In a letter written to the Chief Engineer, the contractors, who are on a strike and are not taking up any tenders, allege that new rules are being created while demanding a roll back of certain new fees introduced by the Administration. The enlistment fee, the renewal fee and the tender cost has been jacked up. A tender costs Rs 500 in UT while it cost no more than Rs 120 in Punjab. The renewal fee is Rs 2,500 in Chandigarh and this is 10 times more than prevailing in Punjab. The one time enlistment fee in Punjab in Rs 250 while a sum of Rs 4,000 has to be paid in the UT, say contractors.

The department says the fee hikes are part of suggestions that came up at a meeting in which officials from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh participated to bring about changes in old rules. While the hikes were introduced in Chandigarh and Haryana, Punjab did not follow suit. Besides this more fee means only genuine parties come for tendering and ensures that the system of pooling by the contractors does not work. A lower tender amount means more contractors can purchase the tender form and pool among themselves.

The contractors, deny that pooling is in play during the tender bidding process and add that Punjab pattern should be followed as is the case in all other administrative matters. Pooling, according to sources, is a system by which a section of contractors bid for the tender with all of them bidding higher than the person who has rights in the pool. Of course rights are brought by making small payments to fellow contractors. The system is as old as the tender system itself, said sources. 


200 structures demolished
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — Continuing with its anti-encroachment drive, the enforcement staff of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) today carried out a major anti-encroachment drive in Badheri village and razed over 200 concrete structures from outside the shops besides removing over 100 tin sheds.

According to sources, a team led by the Inspector (Enforcement), Kashmira Singh, reached the village around 10 a.m. and removed the encroachments with the help of two bulldozers and five trucks besides the staff. Apart from this, 10 wooden khokhas and three cattle sheds were also removed in the drive which concluded around 6.30 p.m.

Even as the staff went about its job, some of the encroachers could be seen removing the tin sheds themselves. No untoward incident was reported.

Meanwhile, the corporation has extended the parking areas outside the Shastri Market and corridor of the Sector 22-D from where the encroachments were removed yesterday. Over 200 employees of the road wing were on the job today and earmarked the extended parking areas by fixing the angle irons.

The areas had deliberately been cordoned off for the convenience of the public, which had been complaining of obstruction in the corridors and inadequate parking space facing the markets. The fixing of the iron angles will further discourage the phariwalas and they will not able to encroach upon the government land again, the sources added.



Jacob’s directive on sewerage connections
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — In a significant decision on the issue of charging 33 per cent of market value as unearned income upon sale of concessional defence quota plots, the UT Administrator, Lieut Gen JFR Jacob has asked to Estate Officer to consider the sewerage connection issued before 1993 as completion certificate.

A delegation of the Rashtriya Raksha Dal met the General last evening and asked him to allow sewerage connections as a benchmark to calculate the period of 10 years before allowing sale of plots. The sewerage connections were granted after all plans and approvals had been obtained, while the occupation certificate was not obtained due to service exigency. The dal also cited a ruling of 1996, when sewerage was taken as benchmark to grant exemption of extension fee.

The Estate Office had started charging 33 per cent of present market value as “unearned income” from people selling freehold plots in June. It was being levied on all plots that had been allotted in 1967 for defence personnel on concessional rates in Sectors 32, 33, 34, 35 and 36. This new ruling will cover close to 95 per cent of the plots, much to the relief of retired Army officers as most people had constructed their units by 1985. Thus, the period of ten years has elapsed. Once this period is over, the sellers will be out of the ambit of the unearned income clause. The idea is to seek refund for all those who had to deposit the money despite protests.

Amounts ran into lakhs for even 10 marla plots, not to mention the 1 kanal or 2 kanal plots. All these plots were allotted in 1967. In 1969, sale of a plot was banned. Permission to sell was granted on the basis of discretion without charging any profit. In 1979, the Chandigarh Administration added the clause that if a sale took place within ten years of completion, 33 per cent of the market value would be charged for change of name as “unearned income”.

All plot holders who carried out the conveyance deed with the Estate Office before 1979, enjoyed the benefit of selling their plots without coming under the ambit the “unearned income” clause. After 1979, the unearned income was charged for a few years, before a resident petitioned the court, challenging the two sets of rules.

The plea was accepted by the court. The Chandigarh Administration moved the Supreme Court, where it was decided that two sets of rules could not prevail. Subsequently, the Administration started refunding money. A new development took place when a person was refused refund and he moved the High Court. In 1997, the High Court held that act of the Chandigarh Administration of charging unearned income was correct. Nothing was done about that order till about a few months ago.



Bhatti joins BBC in world’s largest leprosy campaign
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — After winning over the nation with his knack of saying it all in satires, the flop show man from the city is now all set to hit the international media market. With the submission of the print of a 30 minute film on leprosy to the BBC World Service Trust about a week ago, Jaspal Bhatti becomes the proud man whose production will be a part of the world’s largest media campaign against lepsory which is being jointly engineered by the BBC in collaboration with the Government of India.

For Jaspal Bhatti, the achievement may be just another in the line of various others, but going by the fact that the man was personally approached by Mr Peter Gill, executive producer, BBC World Service Trust, in May this year, shows that the achievement is great indeed. Another piece of important information is that this 30 minute skit by satirist Jaspal Bhatti who plays the part of an ignorant quack is one among the four other major programmes which form the campaign. These include mini episodes of India’s superman Shaktimaan played by Mukesh Khanna, vivid endorsements from Sachin Tendulkar and Saurav Ganguly in Australia and a spoof on the evergreen Mughal-e-azam.

Speaking to The Tribune this morning about the film and its making, Bhatti said, “The entire programme targets India which has the largest leprosy infected population in the world. Here very few doctors know about the multi drug therapy (MDT) which can cure leprosy completely. The BBC wanted to put across this serious theme in a lighter manner. Since I have a history of satires like Flop Show and Mahaul Theek Hai to support my profile, I was approached by Mr Gill in this regard.”

The film, aptly titled The Doctor Flop Show, was mainly shot at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32 on September 15 and 16, and the cast was all local including: Savita Bhatti, B.N. Sharma, Brijesh Ahuja, Deepak Raja, Dimpy, Raj Sahni, Sarabjeet Paik, Vinod Sharma and Shyam Juneja. The first print has already been submitted to the BBC which will pad the content with serious technical information on the disease and its treatment. In fact, in the words of Mr Peter Gill, “The idea behind asking Bhatti to make the film was that we wanted the film to be viewed. Satires always sell and especially when they come from a man of repute like Bhatti.” The rough outline was sent to Bhatti who then prepared the concept which was later approved and shot. After the film is broadcast by the BBC, its video cassettes will be prepared and sent to doctors through various associations.

In the film, Bhatti plays the role of a quack, the character he created for the BBC’s leprosy campaign. Bhatti makes fun of the medical profession in his famous satirical style. He debunks their know-all image, lampoons our exaggerated respect for the people in white coats, asserts that doctors are no more enlightened than any one of us about leprosy and MDT. The film opens with the shot wherein the doctor’s Bhatti public relations man is managing patients for him. It then goes on to show how Bhatti in his doctor’s role dupes people with his little knowledge, and then he goes to attend a seminar on leprosy just because the seminar promises precious gifts.

“It is in the seminar that the unawareness of the doctor about MDT is revealed. The doctor, however, is not inclined towards reform. He only comes back and thinks of how he can sell the MDT to some Bengali quacks,” says Bhatti.

Along with the original quack spot sequence shot by Bhatti, the final film will also have sketches of real life episodes in which a real life doctor will interact with a real life patient. Another element of the programme package will be the inclusion of the West Bengal Quack sequel, being produced by Suchandra Chowdhary of Doordarshan, Calcutta. The idea of including this sequence is to extend the appeal of the programme.

Leprosy, some facts

« Commonest early sign: Skin patch (sensitivity loss on extremities later)

« Cause: Mycobacterium leprae

« Is it infectious: Not by touch, only orally

« Is it curable: 100 % even at home by Multi Drug Therapy (MDT)

« Is it genetic: No it is not

«Top five leprosy infected Indian states: Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

« No of leprosy infected Indians: 0.5 million (70 % of the world leprosy population)

« Indian leprosy hotline: The Leprosy Mission, Delhi

« International hotline: ILEP at



Fatehpur resident ‘tortured’ by police
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — A 60-year-old resident of Fatehpur village near Kurali was allegedly picked by the Kurali police and subjected to torture before being admitted to General Hospital in Sector 16 here today.

The All-India Human Rights Watch has demanded a through probe into the incident.

Mr Anil Kaushik, Col N.S. Pandher (retd) and Prof Gurmit Singh, patron, president and general secretary of the body, met the victim of the police brutality at the hospital. Colonel Padher claimed that the victim was innocent.

Officials of the Kurali police were not available for comments.


CITCO told to speed up work on IT towers
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — The Union Ministry of Information Technology will share its expertise and co-operate with the Chandigarh Administration to set up an ‘e-governance’ project in the city.

A meeting in this regard is scheduled to held next month, the Advisory Committee on IT was informed during its meeting today. Besides this CITCO has been asked to speed up the progress on the proposed IT towers . The officials concerned were also asked to speed up the IT college.

The representatives from the IT industry said the timings of opening of shops under the Shops Act should be allowed till late into the night. The IT industry can function late into the night and the amendments be carried out, was the suggestion.

In a separate meeting of the Airport Advisory Committee, it was decided to have better arrival facilities with passenger comfort in mind. It was suggested that the airport be upgraded to handle more flights and the existing flight schedule be popularised among passengers. The security set up at the airport informed that with the arrival of special screening equipment, it would be possible to clear an entire plane load of passengers within 45 minutes.



Fix time for release of NOC: Cong
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — The Block Congress Committee (I) has demanded that funds generated from Mani Majra should be utilised for the development of the township only.

In a representation to the Assistant Commissioner-II of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC), the committee alleged that the NOC regarding the construction, even within the old abadi area of the red line of Mani Majra, were delayed for months together. The NOC of the construction, sewerage, water and electricity connections should be released within a fixed time period.

The transfer of ancestral property in favour of the legal heirs and co-sharers within the old abadi of the township should be simplified, it said, adding that the problem of the low water pressure should be tackled on priority.


Blood Donation Day on Oct 1
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — Blood Donation Day will be observed on October 1, to generate awareness among the masses about the significance of blood donation programmes. This will help in obtaining adequate quantity of quality blood from voluntary donors.

In a press note issued here today, Dr J.G Jolly, founder president of the Indian Society of Blood Transfusion and Immunohaematology, has emphasised that the central and state health authorities in the country should take up the challenging assignment of revamping the blood transfusion services.

“A well knit co-ordination of blood centres, voluntary organisations for donor motivation and clinicians is of paramount importance to ensure the availability of quality blood obtained strictly from voluntary source,” he said. Meticulously screened and processed blood of all types is the prime responsibility of all blood centres so that the emergency requirements can be attended to at all hours for saving the lives of those who are in desperate need of blood.

Dr Jolly maintains that organisation of blood donation camps in collaboration with official and charitable blood banks functioning strictly on a voluntary principle can be of tremendous help in removing the inhibitions and superstitions that people have about giving blood. Besides this, organisation of seminars, symposia, and panel discussions would be of great assistance in carrying forward the message to all sections of society.


Sexual harassment at work
University not enthused by UGC guidelines
By Chitleen K Sethi
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — With the number of working women on the rise, cases of sexual harassment are doubtlessly on the rise too. Most of these are not reported till something blatant happens publicly or the victim, man or woman, decides to take things seriously.

Since 1997, after a Supreme Court ruling regarding sexual harassment in public places, the University Grants Commission has issued a directive to the various universities and colleges that a committee be formed at the university level to look into all matters of sexual harassment among the employees of the university, colleges and the students.

The then Vice Chancellor formed a committee to look into the matter of forming such a committee. “The chairperson of the committee was surprisingly a retired male professor and had some other members including the DSW and myself. Although the UGC had clearly laid down the constituents of the said committee based in the Supreme Court’s directive, the university has held a single meeting till now.” Says Ms Pam Rajput, Director, Centre for Women Studies, Panjab University.

In December 1998, the university Registrar, issued a circular to all university departments referring to an advertisement from the Under Secretary (Women Welfare), Department of Women and Child Welfare, Government of India, published in all leading dailies, “to discuss the advertisement with your colleagues in the department office and send suggestions”. Only four out of the 50 odd departments of the university replied to the circular, three of them saying that they had formed committees in the department to discuss the issue while the fourth went ahead and gave suggestions.

On August 13,1997, the Supreme Court Of India, held that sexual harassment at the workplace includes:
Physical contact and advances.
A demand or request for sexual favours.
Sexually coloured remarks.
Showing pornography.
Any other unwelcome physical,verbal or non-verbal conduct of sexual nature.
These guidelines are legally binding and enforceable with immediate effect for all public, private and other institutions. Employers and employees both are equally responsible to stop this pervasive behavior.
Employee’s responsibilities:
Talk about it and hold meetings.
Request your employer to establish a complaint procedure and a committee to deal with these complaints.
The committee should be headed by a woman and 50% of the members should be women.
Employer’s responsibilities:
To develop a sexual harassment policy which expressly outlaws sexual harassment and to notify, publish and circulate it visibly.
Develop a complaint procedure which is confidential and time bound;ensure treatment of complaints, protection of victims and witnesses, report compliance with the guidelines to appropriate authorities.
Encourage awareness rising through training, posters, memos etc.
Treat sexual harassment as disciplinary offence and amend service rules to incorporate this.
Where such behavior falls under criminal law, take all possible steps to assist persons in terms of support and preventive action.

That is where the situation stands. It is over a year now and virtually nothing is being done to form the committee.Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Madras University have a committee of this variety already running.” These committees are extremely friendly towards those who feel victimised sexually at work places and students who feel the same. These are also employing formal and informal methods of solving the problems. Its high time our university also did something about this. Because there is sexual harassment at all levels, the workplace and among the students. “says Pam Rajput.

But the unenthusiastic response of the university departments to the issue leads one to think if cases of serious sexual harassment are lacking in the university or are they simply not being reported?

“There is no doubt that at a place like the university there are relatively less number of cases of sexual harassment among colleagues but there have been cases reported by the students about their male teachers and of course cases of road side sexual harassment are as many as any other place in the city. Personally I have never felt that I am being subjected to any form of harassment based on gender. Also there is difference between ones’ sensitivities and attitudes. Many a times even small compliments given by male colleagues are taken as an offense and many a times even real gross remarks are taken lightly.” says Sherry Sabbarwal, a reader in the Department of Sociology, Panjab university.

Says Kumool,a lecturer from the same department, “it all depends on how you deal at the work place. At times one almost invites that kind of behavior plus the environment in which you work in also has a lot of bearing on these issues.Then sometimes things which are said are so latent and subliminal that it becomes difficult to ascertain if one is being harassed sexually or not.”

What about men? Have they been subjected to sexual harassment? Says S.S. Jodhka, a reader of the Sociology Department, “I personally have never suffered from this kind of thing but one does come across such cases but the victims are generally women. In the Panjab University, the cases of this sort of harassment is not so high as the prerequisite for such a thing is anonymity which is not possible in a closed environment such as this.”

What about sexual harassment among teachers and students? Some such cases from the science departments and very few from the arts have been reported.

Says Mr P.S. Verma, Professor in the Political Science Department,” Things have changed so much in the past 10 years that what constituted sexual harassment then is completely acceptable behavior now. The teachers and students both have changed. I come from a rather traditional way of teacher student relationship but now one hears of even marriages among the students and teachers.” 


Focus on women’s sexual harassment
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — The Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, organised a seminar on Sexual harassment of women at work places today. This seminar was organised on the occasion of the inauguration of a 10-day NSS camp in the college.

Prof Raj Mohini Sethi, chairperson of Department of Sociology, Panjab University, highlighted the subject of sexual harassment from the sociological and psychological point of view. Ms Sheela Didi, an advocate and women’s activist, focused on women’s rights from the legal point of view. She gave examples from court cases while discussing the laws dealing with sexual harassment.

Ms Sneh Mahajan, Principal of MCM DAV College, chaired the seminar. She held provocations by girls responsible for the harassment they were subjected. She advised the girls to exercise firmness and self control. Principal Vimal Bhargav welcomed the chief guest and the resource persons.Back



‘Lead a life of contemplation, reflection’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — Ideally, when a man reaches the end of a journey, he should experience a sense of elation. However, instead of feeling happy and contented with a life well lived, he feels dejected. All this, knowing well that each and everyone, on this earth has to go empty-handed. Therefore, learn to live a life of contemplation and reflection and prepare for the inevitable. These were some of the views expressed by a former Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice J.V. Gupta, while speaking at a camp for senior citizens, organised by the Chinmaya Mission, here today.

During the inaugural session of the three-day camp, experts from the mission deliberated on various problems faced by senior citizens. Swamini Purnanandaj reached out to spirituality seekers by translating Vedanta into most effective and relevant way of life. Swamini, elaborating the age-old concept of Vanaprastha, explained to the senior citizens, ways to lead life, sans the worries and problems in the modern way of life.

During the camp, there will be extensive lectures on loneliness, health, psychological, problems, social relations, financial issues, spirituality and facts of life, besides practical sessions on yoga and meditation. The participants will be explained ways and means to enjoy loneliness, getting elation, facing rejection, countering dejection and negating helplessness.

The mission was started in 1951 by Mr Bal Krishna Menon, a journalist from Kerala, who after being initiated into sanyasa, came to be known as Swami Chinmayananda. It has more than 250 centres and 30,000 disciples all over the world. The activities, besides spreading the teachings of vedanta and upanishads includes, various social welfare schemes, including rural uplift, programmes for women and children, and running charitable schools and hospitals. According to Mr V.K. Dang, one of the activists of the mission, the main aim is to make maximum number of people happy the maximum number of times.

Due to weakening family bonds, lives of the elderly were nowadays full of worries, explained Mr Dang. Keeping this in mind, this special camp for the senior citizens had been organised. The children who had won the city and state level of the international Chinmaya geeta chanting competition and art of man making competition were given away prizes.

Besides deliberations on psychological and health problems by Dr Sajjan Singh, tomorrow’s sessions include a lecture by the SSP, Chandigarh Police, Mr Parag Jain. He will talk about the security problems faced by the old people and the ways to overcome these. Mr A.G. Aggarwal, a yoga expert, will speak about meditation and Mr H.S. Sandhu, an income tax expert, will talk about taxation and investment.


Redress grievances: SPCW
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Women led a delegation of Istri Samajak Sudhar Sabha, Milk Colony, Dhanas and met the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (South), Mr Ganesh Bhandari, here today.

They were demanding redressal of the grievances of women from rehri market, Dhanas, who were allegedly forcibly evicted on September 20 by the Estate Office.

The representative of the group, Ms Asha Gupta claimed that the SDM has assured them, on behalf of the Administration,that modalities would be worked out to suitably rehabilitate the women who were evicted and that they would not be harassed in the future.

The president of SPCW, Ms Poonam Sharma demanded personal intervention by the U.T Administrator Lt Gen (retd) J.F.R. Jacob.


Pachnanda was a man of distinction
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — Brigadiar Kapil Dev Pachnanda, who raised the 11 Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry, is no more. He passed away on September 17.

Born in Lahore in 1918, he was the finest sportsman in the prestigious Government College, and had the distinction of winning seven rolls of honour. He won the National Olympic Boxing Championship, beating Corporal Walsh of the East Lancashire Regiment in 1938.

He was commissioned in 1940 and served in the Middle East during the World War II, where he was the first Indian officer to get independent command. In 1947 he raised the 11 J&K Light Infantry.

He served as Director of Movements in Delhi during the Goa operations in 1960, besides serving in UN missions in Congo and Vietnam.

He leaves behind his wife, a son, R K Pachnanda, who was SP, CBI, here, and two daughters, who are settled abroad.


Making waves, and striving for more
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — When in 1995, Rajeev Kumar decided to try his hands at a giant bicycle, he did not know that he would achieve what he was aspiring for. With a 6.2 feet bycycle to his credit, the 19-year-old stands tall with pride.

Before he enters the international scene, Rajeev is making waves in the city. He fondly calls it Jhony’s creation. “Johny is my pet name, and hence the name of the cycle,” he says.

“First it was 4.6 feet, then 5.2 feet and now it is 6.2 feet. The work has taken a lot of investment technique too. I am still not satisfied. I wish to raise the height to 11.2 feet. That is the figure which will take me to the record book,” he says.

He claims, “Right from my childhood, I have yearned to be a centre of attraction. I have demanded credit for sensible work.”

He has tested the bicycle a number of times. “Apart from the test which the cycle endures everyday when I drive it to my workplace, the machine has not failed me on long routes. I drove the bicycle from Chandigarh to Delhi in 1998. I am planning to cover the distance from Chandigarh to Kanyakumari on this cycle. Only the sponsorship of my trip is awaited. But even if I do not get one, I will accomplish the mission,” he claims.

Rajeev has made this dream come true despite family pressure. “They were not convinced and found the idea weird. Now, however, as publicity has come by, they are at peace. The cycle is so much in demand that people are ready to pay many times the actual cost of the cycle, even as much as Rs 5000,” says Rajeev.

“But handling the bicycle is not an easy task,” he adds, “Only those with light weigh and good height can think of riding this bicycle. There are people who have lost bets in this regard,” he adds.

Rajeev, is a known person in the city and people have started cooperating with him on the road. “The traffic stops when I pass by. That is a graceful gesture. I have been invited for participation in cycle rallies in the city,” he informs. He is on the lookout for an easy job.


Make women literate, stress experts
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — There is a need to perceive various problems faced by women and deal with them effectively, said Mrs Neeru Nanda, Secretary, Department of Social Welfare, while speaking at a seminar on “Role of education and literacy in the development of the girl child”, here today.

The seminar, under the programme Vikas Parv-2000 of the Chandigarh Social Advisory Board and the Chetna, an NGO was organised in association with the Department of Adult Continuing Education, Panjab University.

The seminar had deliberations by educationists, officials of the Social Welfare Department and representatives of various NGOs. Besides, grassroots social workers which included women sarpanches and panches and anganwadi workers also participated in the seminar.

The seminar was followed by a lively interactive session and screening of a film called Meena. The theme revolved around the neglect and apathy which the girl-child Meena has to face

Mrs Madhvi Kataria, Director, Social Welfare, stressed the need to improve the literacy rate amongst women. Though situation in Chandigarh, compared to other parts of the country, was better, there was a room for improvement, she remarked.

Dr Ajaib Singh, Director, Department of Adult Continuing Education, gave his views on problems related with the low literacy rates among the women while highlighting the role of his department in trying to overcome them.

The secretary-general of the Chetna, Mrs Surya Pandit, said the organisation was committed to upliftment of the girl-child and all its programmes were aimed towards this very factor.

Dr Vaneeta Gupta, President of the Rotary Club (Mid-Town), talked about the projects undertaken by the club, which included a vocational training centre at Dera Bassi and a family counselling centre at Maloya.

Prof Jitender Mohan, a special invitee on the occasion, gave an interesting analysis of various factors responsible for low level of literacy in India, despite various efforts made by the Government of India during the past 50 years.

The Chairperson of the Chandigarh Social Welfare and Advisory Board, Mrs Kamala Sharma, highlighting different programmes for the upliftment of women, called upon NGOs to come forward to help and improve the literacy rate in the country .



Rape bid: case registered
From Our Correspondent

KHARAR, Sept 22 — The police has registered a case against a resident of Behlolpur village on the charge of attempt to rape a 22 years old married woman.

The FIR was registered on a complaint lodged by the woman alleging that on September 20, the accused Jeewan Singh a resident of the same village tried to rape her. However, she resisted and started shouting and at this the accused ran away. She has alleged that the accused tore her clothes and some of her gold ornaments were lost in the tussle.

The police has registered a case under Section 354 IPC against Jeewan Singh.



Fraud case: union leaders summoned
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — Union Leaders of the State Bank of India Staff Associaton had been summoned to appear before the court on October 11 by the UT Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Ashok Kumar in a case of fraud and forgery.

The complainant Makan Singh had filed complaint in the court that no notice of the meeting of the triennial conference to be held at Patna on October 30 and October 31, 1999, was served to him. In the complaint it was also alleged that in reply the president K.K. Bandlish and chief secretary N.K. Paliwal of the All India State Bank of India Staff Federation had submitted the forged UPCs receipts.

The court had directed the Chandigarh police earlier to investigate Makan Singh’s complaint. After getting report from the Chandigarh police the court has summoned the K.K. Bandlish and N.K. Paliwal to appear before the court on October 11. 


Sector 24 woman commits suicide
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 22 — A resident of Sector 24 reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself.

Sources said 40-year-old Renu is the wife of Daya Nand, who is a sub-inspector with the CID, Punjab, posted here. He told the police that she was discovered hanging by a saree in the verandah on the top floor in the morning.

She was said to be depressed and was also tense after their 15-year-old son failed in examinations. No suicide note was found. Inquest proceedings under Section 174 Cr PC have been recorded, the post-mortem conducted and the body handed over to the family.

10 gamblers booked
The police has arrested 10 persons on the charges of gambling at a public place.

According to police sources, Mohali resident Balbir Singh was arrested along with five others for gambling near a petrol station in Sector 17. Rs 1, 350 were recovered from them. Similarly, Ram Narain and three others, all residents of Ram Darbar, were also arrested on the same charges. Rs 450 were recovered from them.

They have been booked under Sections 13/3/67 of the Gambling Act.

Scooterist injured
Scooterist Dapinder Singh, a resident of Sector 23, was hit and injured by a motorcycle driven by Puneet, a resident of phase IV, Mohali on Friday. He was admitted to the hospital. A case under Sections 279, 337 of the IPC has been registered.

Boy abducted
Sector 32 resident Ram Raj reported that his minor son has been abducted by Bimal, a domestic servant of Manjeet Kaur, who also lives in the same locality. A case under Section 368 of the IPC has been registered.

S.A.S Nagar

Employee arrested
Another official of Punwire, Jagmohan Sharma , wanted by the local police in cases of cheating and fraud has been arrested by a special team constituted by the Ropar Police.


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