Tuesday, April 24, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 Summer crops “more paying”
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
While the state agriculture is facing problems of glut, lowering of water table and intensive use of energy, a recent study by scientists at Punjab Agricultural University has suggested that the replacement of paddy crop by summer vegetables can prove to be a solution to all these problems.

The study, “Income and Employment from Summer Vegetables vis-a-vis their competing paddy crop in Punjab”, has further suggested that besides having a potential to solve some problems the summer vegetables yield higher returns in comparison to the paddy crop.

The study has been done by Mr V.K. Sharma, Mr Inder Sain and Mr Gurpreet Singh, Assistant Farm Economist, Senior Farm economist and Postgraduate scholar, respectively, of Department of Economics and Sociology, PAU.

The study also holds importance in the wake of implications of WTO treaty when the experts are suggesting diversification as a solution to a number of problems.

The cultivation of summer crops is being seen as an important step in diversification.

The study by the scientists suggests that besides giving better yield the summer crops provide more employment opportunities than the other crops. The opportunities of employment for women labour are much higher in vegetable production than in paddy crop. Thus the implications of this analysis serve as the guidelines for the farmers residing in sub-urban areas of the cities to diversify their cropping pattern favouring summer vegetables during kharif season.

The study further says that the diversification would not only lead to higher returns but would also provide higher opportunities of employment not only for the family members but for the hired labour also.

Specifically the employment possibilities for female labour force in large proportion would raise the economic status of this gender in the identical areas.

The study has been conducted in sub-urban area of the city. This area was selected specifically keeping in mind the ready market for the disposal of vegetables in this big industrial city. The study was conducted by using random sampling technique and five villages were selected at random. In all 75 farmers were selected and interviewed and the inferences drawn are the outcome of the thorough analysis of these interviews.

The study suggests that the tomato crop is the most capital intensive as the yield was the highest among all the vegetables grown in the same area with the same cost on seeds.



Fire destroys crop in 5 acres
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 23
Wheat crop in an area of five acre was burnt to ashes at Galib Kalan village due to the negligence of the Punjab State Electricity Board as the switch of a transformer at a little distance from the village continued to spark and was never repaired despite several complaints by Mr Gurmohan Singh, owner of the field.

Three acres of the land where the crop was destroyed belonged to Mr Gurmohan Singh s/o Mr Avtar Singh Grewal, whereas two acres belonged to Mr Jarnail Singh Mullanpuria. The fire was extinguished by villagers who brought water in buckets from their houses.

Mr Jashpal Singh Chopra, in charge of the local police post, and Mr Rakesh Kumar, Munshi, also reached at the spot.


725 posts of school principal lying vacant
Our Correspondent

Samralam, April 23
In a random survey conducted by the Government Secondary School Teachers Union, Punjab, about 725 posts of Principals of Senior Secondary Schools are lying vacant, according to Mr Behari Lal Saddi, vice-president of the union, here today.

Talking to mediapersons at the local Civil Rest House, Mr Saddi Said that about 380 cases of lecturers and Headmasters are being processed by the Punjab Government for promotion to the posts of Principals. But it still left the others vacant posts unfilled, he added.

Mr Saddi demanded that the cases of those eligible teachers who retired on or after January 1, 1996, be included in the list for notional promotions, to meet out justice to the retirees and to avoid further litigation.


PAU VC conducts surprise visits
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Aulakh, today paid surprise visits to ascertain the progress of the austerity drive as well as to check the compliance of punctuality orders given by him.

He paid a surprise visit to some offices and departments, including Department of Economics and Sociology, Additional Director, Communication Centre and Office of the Chief Architect, PAU. While the exact number of employees, who were late, could not be known, the Vice-Chancellor got prepared the list of absentees himself of these departments.

He also ensured that the call for austerity measures given by him in the varsity was being followed by the staff and employees. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune he said,‘‘I myself was on the checking spree today. Although I could not visit many of the departments as the time was short, I will go in for such check-offs in various departments. Today there were not many violators of the instructions but if in future if somebody is found guilty he will not be spared. ’’

About the progress of austerity drive the Vice-Chancellor said that almost all departments had disconnected the air conditioners and heaters. He said that in some departments there was a problem as there were no windowpanes in the AC windows and removing ACs in such cases could make the rooms theft-prone.

‘‘I have spoken to the Estate Officer. and told him to ensure that the windowpanes are fixed in such departments as soon as possible so that the orders are complied without a hitch. I have seen that no department is operating the AC even if it is still installed. Practically the problem is under control.’’ said Dr Aulakh.

It should be recalled here that Dr Aulakh after taking over as the new VC of the PAU had issued circulars to the faculty members and staff of the varsity saying that they should observe punctuality and regularity. It was learnt that the circular was issued in the wake of reports of serious absenteeism prevailing in the varsity.

It was also reported several times that a number of university employees never reached office in time and left much before the stipulated time. There were also allegations that many of the varsity employees had ‘‘side businesses’’ which prevented them from attending the office regularly.

The Vice-Chancellor had also issued circular that only deans, directors and officials of the PAU were entitled to have only one AC in their office rooms. The circular had also stated that no air conditioners should be used in any office, departmental committee room, departmental library or any computer room.

He had further instructed that all these ACs should be removed positively by April 16 and submitted with the Estate Officer. Sources had said that the authorities were stepping up austerity measures as deficit to the tune of crores of rupees was incurred by the varsity. It was also learnt that the electricity bill of PAU for the last six months had amounted to Rs 1 crore.

Later it was learnt that many faculty and staff members of the varsity were not removing ACs on one pretext or the other. 


2 computer training centres opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 23
Ms Mridula Sinha, chairperson, Centre Social Welfare Board, inaugurated two new computer training centres at Barewal and Rampur villages, about 10 km from here today. The centres have been set up at a cost of Rs 10 lakh to provide free computer education to the rural and poor women. Each centre would provide free of cost training to 60 girls.

While addressing people in Rampur village, Ms Sinha declared that the department was celebrating the year 2001 as Women Empowerment Year and added. “The board will conduct seminars, conferences, workshops, meetings, processions and other functions through voluntary organisations by providing assistance to them. The purpose was to highlight the issues relating to the injustice against women and efforts to improve their socio-economic condition.

She said the Board was also making serious efforts to mobilise voluntary organisations to strictly check the menace of female foeticide. The board was opening 30 pre-marital counselling centres in the universities to educate the college students regarding married life. Two centres in Amritsar and Chandigarh have also been planned.

She further said the board had also planned to provide vocational training to women living in the rural and remote areas of the country. About 2,000 training centres have been opened to provide training in different trades, including computer training, cutting and tailoring, beauticians, screen printing, laboratory technicians, steno-typists to make women self-reliant.

Ms Sinha also informed that the Punjab Social Welfare Board had planned to set up five new computer centres with the help of NGOs. Commenting on the crime and injustice against the women in society, the Chairperson said this could only be checked by educating and organising the women to tackle these problems at the local level. She said with the spread of education, the women had also made substantial achievements in almost all fields of life during the past couple of decades. She called upon the women to strive hard in a coordinated way to improve their social and financial status.

Ms Gurdial Kaur Mallan, chairperson, Punjab State Social Welfare Advisory Board, informed that the board had set up 45 vocational training centres of various trades in the state with the coordination of different non-government organisations. Ms Mallan informed that each of five computer centres would cost the board Rs 5 lakh each and trained computer instructors have been engaged from the private reputed international-level computer training companies, so that the trained girls could get job immediately after completing the course. She said in these computer centres as many as 300 rural girls belonging to weaker sections of society would be given training free of cost.

The chairperson further disclosed that Punjab Board will be the second board in the country to launch various vocational training courses for the inmates of women jails in Ludhiana and Ferozepore in order to train jail inmates so that they could get suitable jobs after being released from the jail.



A writer in love with the surreal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 23
He is called Gorky lovingly by his admirers for his extreme fondness for the Russian author, Maxim Gorky. Dr Amarjeet retired as a Reader from GND University, Amritsar and has written two collections of short stories. He, however, is equally fluent when it comes to penning poetry. He also has a collection of poems to his credit.

His writing style is also novel and he has moved from the usual way to a different way by projecting his characters through their dreams, hallucinations and fears. He does not give realistic descriptions and the characters in his novels are from surrealistic world.

He says, “The main feature of my novel is that it deals with urban sensibility and is free from rural sensibilities which is the prevalent trend among most of the Punjabi writers. I feel life is too short so I have taken a comic view of life. Life is a ‘tamasha’. I believe in Mirza Ghalib who has summed up life so aptly in ‘Badal kar fakiron ka hum bhesh Ghalib, tamasha aihle karam dekhte hain.’ Even Guru Gobind Singh has said, ‘Dekhan aaiyo jagat tamasha.’ He has also contributed over 100 middles in many Punjabi newspapers.

He has 13 novels to his credit and his latest novel deals with the dispersal of Naxalite movement. He has also written five books on literary criticism.


A literary figure of stature
Our Correspondent

“I AM both a writer and a painter and hence I chose Chitarkar as my pseudonym. Basically, I am a writer.” For his literary work, he was awarded the Sahitya Shiromani Award by Bhasha Vibhag this year. Chitarkar has been prolific in his writings. His greatest contribution is the translation of Gitanjali by Rabinderanath Tagore in Punjabi. He also has the distinction of translating Meghdoot, a classic by Kalidas, into Punjabi in the verse form.

Not only is he proficient in Punjabi language but also has a good command over Urdu. Hence, he was able to translate Krishan Adeeb’s, “Sahir Yadon ke Aine Mein” Punjabi under the title Sahir Khwab ka Shehzada.

The Punjabi University, Patiala, has published his literary biography and also printed his compilation of artists of Punjab. Mr Chitarkar has been authoring books for the children and was awarded Bal Sahitya Shiromani Award by Bhasha Vibhag. He has 60 books to his credit and has won as many as 40 awards. He was awarded the title of “Fakhre Ludhiana” by Sahir Sansthan. He says, “I dream of creating a Mahakavya. I have a hazy picture of the storyline but I hope I will be able to write before I breathe my last but I know my “kavya” will not have one hero but many ‘lok nayaks’. The Russian author Pushkin, Sahir, Kaifi Azmi, Baba Balwant are some of my favourite writers. Punjabi is my mother tongue and pride but Urdu is my ‘mehbooba’.

Talking fondly about his love for poetry he said, “I have been painting since 1935. I depict incidents from life. I choose the life and the problems of the common people. Love and exploitation in the name of love is also the theme of my works. Earlier, my chosen mode of painting was realism but the artist in me got rebellious and I shifted to abstract painting. If the painter has to depict the problems of life, he will have to take to abstract mode.”

Talking about Punjabi literature he said, “The future of Punjabi literature is very bright. Wherever the Punjabis have gone, they have carried the literature with them. The Punjabis are building their identity and spreading the language all over the world.

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