Saturday, September 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Four arrested in petrol station murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The sensational double murder and robbery incident at Jackson Petrol Station near the Jalandhar byepass on the morning of August 20 has turned out to be an in-house conspiracy. The Ludhiana police today claimed to have arrested four persons, including an employee of the petrol station, who allegedly committed the crime.

While the brutal manner in which the murders were executed was hair-raising experience in itself, the arrest of all the accused has brought out a shocking revelation that the accused killed the two persons for a paltry share of Rs 2,300 each, as a small sum of over Rs 9000 was stolen from the petrol station. Interestingly, the accused were not even honest among themselves as one of the conspirators, Sonu, received only Rs 100.

Addressing a press conference here today, SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu said on the basis of scientific information, the police got vital clues and succeeded in cracking the case in 10 days only. He announced a reward and appreciation for three policemen for solving the case. Constable Visakha Singh has been recommended for promotion and given a cash award of Rs 5000. Inspector Wazir Singh, in-charge, CIA staff, has been given a reward of Rs 10,000, while DSP Manjit Singh Dhesi has been awarded with an appreciation letter.

The accused have been identified as Roshan Lal, Balwinder Singh alias Bindi, Satpal alias Sonu and Shamsher Singh alias Sheru. The police claimed to have recovered an iron rod used by the accused to club two persons to death. It has also recovered some shoes, owned by the accused, whose footprints matched with those found at the crime scene. The fingerprints of the accused have also matched the discovered ones.

Disclosing the story behind the crime, Mr Sidhu claimed that Roshan Lal, who had been working at the petrol station as a sweeper for the last 7 years, had complete knowledge regarding the cash, which was usually kept in the office at the petrol station during the night time.

He allegedly conspired with Bindi, Sonu and Sheru who were working as a cutter master in a hosiery, cable operator and helper at Pepsi godown, respectively. According to the SSP, all the four entered the petrol station by scaling the wall and allegedly first killed Kewal Krishan, a servant, and then after breaking open the lock of the outer main door entered the building and allegedly murdered the watchman, Ram Kishan.

The SSP said the police received information about the possibility of the involvement of some insider. Working on it the police found vital clues about the involvement of an employee who was missing from the scene on that fateful morning. Sources said the accused employee was seen at the petrol station in the afternoon only.

The police is also learnt to have been helped immensely by the later fight between the accused as one of them, Sonu, was only given a share of Rs 100 from the booty.


PAU to get land at Ladowal seed farm
Govt’s industrial focal point proposal fails
K. S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 31
Following the failure of the Punjab Government to attract industries for the industrial focal point at Ladowal seed farm near here, it has now decided to offer the land to Punjab Agricultural University for research and seed multiplication.

The state government after taking over the Central Seed Farm, had allotted 1,300 acres to PAU and earmarked 1,250 acre for the establishment of the state-of-the-art industrial focal point and remaining land was given to the Punjab Police for police housing.

Despite best efforts and prolonged negotiations with various groups of industries, the deal could not be struck. The deadlock was on the fixation of the minimum price of land for the industrial plots.

The Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal who was very keen on the setting up of the focal point has finally allotted the land to PAU and the decision has been conveyed to the university.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU said the chief minister had conveyed the decision to him and the university would use this land for seed multiplication and research for agro-forestry.

PAU already has about 1,250 acres land at Ladowal and research station for sugarcane is being set up in the same.

Dr Aulakh disclosed that the university had already started research on 200 acres in sugarcane and some area was being used for research in horticulture.

The PAU authorities are pressing on the state government to release Rs 5 crore for the construction of buildings for the labs and the residences of the sugarcane research station staff in lieu of the land given by the university at Jalandhar sugarcane farm.

The state government had also earlier decided to allot a 780 acre plot of Nabha open jail to PAU for seed multiplication.

Meanwhile, Markfed will be setting up its green house farm at Kapurthala and Dhokri in collaboration with Israel.


Toor given charge of PAU DSW
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has given the charge of Dean, Students Welfare (DSW) to Mr J.S. Toor, Joint Director (Sports). The charge was given to him today.

Earlier the office of the DSW was with the Dean, Post Graduate Studies, Dr K.S. Sekhon, and it has been transferred to Mr Toor. The post of DSW in the PAU remained mired in controversy for the past two years after Dr Pal Singh Sidhu, the then DSW was elevated to the post of Dean, College of Agriculture.

The charge was temporarily given to Dr M.S. Bajwa , the then Dean, PG. The university had then invited applications from the candidates competent for the post of DSW and cleared the name of Dr Sinderjit Singh Gill, Head, Department of Forestry.

But the university had allegedly not taken his case in the Board of Management for six months and after it was taken up in the board, the members did not approve of the appointment stating that as per PAU rules the post was notified only within six months of the selection in the interview.

The board had also maintained that the university required to re-consider the decision whether it really needed a post of DSW or not.

The university had then again advertised the post in January this year and subsequently Dr Gill had filed a writ petition in the High Court against the new appointment. The High Court had then directed the university not to fill the post till the court’s decision was made.


City to have national vaccine institute
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The government has decided to set up a National Institute of Vaccination Testing in Ludhiana. It is a major honour for the city as the centre is the only one of its kind in the country. By bringing it to the state, the state government has won a battle to get the centre as several state governments, including Orissa, were lobbying hard for getting the centre.

The state government is expecting a grant of Rs 200 crore from the Centre for setting up the institute here.

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has given its ailing Tick-borne Disease Centre, on Ferozepore Road to the state government which would transfer the building of the centre to the Government of India.

In return, the PAU would get the three-storey building of the Institute of Vaccines, Punjab, that originally belonged to the state government and is situated on the campus.

The decision was finally taken yesterday after a meeting of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, with a senior official of the State Animal Husbandry Department. The decision was taken a year ago by the Board of Management of the university which had approved of the swapping of the buildings at that time.

Dr G.S. Chahal, Director, Department of Animal Husbandry, Punjab, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune from Chandigarh on the telephone said the Parliament Standing Committee had directed the state government to provide a building to the institute.

He said earlier the government had decided to set up this centre in Orissa but after the intervention of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the responsibility of setting up the centre was transferred to the Government of Punjab.

He said as this was going to be the only one institute of its kind in the state this would be another feather in the cap of the state. He said the institute would also ensure employment to many people besides doing quality research on the vaccines that would be produced by it.

Dr Chahal also said the PAU was not utilising the Tick-borne Disease Centre and had spent crores of rupees on its construction. He said only one or two rooms in the whole building were being used by the university.

He said there were clear instructions from the government to transfer the vaccine institute to PAU. He said the new institute would be constructed either on Ferozepore Road or in the Model Town area.


Flesh trade racket busted, 2 girls among 4 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Ludhiana police today claimed to have busted an inter-state gang indulging in flesh trade and arrested at least four persons, including two girls, who were the alleged members of the gang.

The gang provided high-priced prostitutes from Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta and other places in the city and operated through mobile phones and rented accommodation, which they changed repeatedly.

Incidentally, Ludhiana Tribune had a few weeks ago given a detailed report about the rampant flesh trade going on in the city. The report had given details about the use of mobile phones as well as the modus-operandi of operating through rented accommodation, which were changed after a few days.

Disclosing this to mediapersons at a press conference here today, SSP Harpreet Singh Sidhu said a police team led by Mr Gurjit Singh, DSP, and Inspector Santokh Singh, SHO, Focal Point, busted the racket. The SSP said the girls from other cities were transported to Ludhiana. A house at Urban Estate had been hired to serve as a base from where their agent, Rakesh Kumar, alias Bobby, a resident of Chandigarh, used to contact the possible customers using mobile phones, and the girls were supplied either at the rented accommodation, a hotel or were sent with the customer.

One mobile phone and two cars were being used by this gang have been taken into possession by the police.

However, it may be noted here that the police would face an uphill task in convicting the accused. According to the legal requirement, an officer of the rank of DSP or above has to be notified by the state government for investigating the cases under the flesh trade. However, as the state government was yet to notify an officer, the conviction rate was very low. Incidentally, at a recent meeting of the state SSPs , the DGP and the Chief Minister, it was announced that the DSP would be notified shortly.


Are TV serials causing erosion of values?
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, August 31
While the serials based on extra-marital affairs and adultery are fast topping the popularity charts, sociologists and psychologists have expressed caution about the overdose of such serials as they may have a bad influence.

The plots of earlier serials also concentrated on these lines down the years, but it was “Saans” and “Kyon ki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” which dwelled on the issue in detail. At one time the TRP rating of “Kyon ki Saas....” was higher than “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. That, perhaps, motivated all channels to start serials with the storyline revolving around adultery and extra-marital affairs.

According to Dr B.P Mishra, Reader and In charge, Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, DMC, most of the serials are targeted at women as they have more time to watch them. Earlier also, the topics of the serials were family dramas, but these days they are focussing on adultery. The theme is incorporated from Western serials. At present women are enjoying the novelty, but sooner or later it will have an adverse affect on the institution of marriage. So many serials with similar story lines are bound to affect the social fabric of society.

The soaps on practically all channels, whether Star, Sony or Zee, are of the same nature — having the same story line (adultery), almost the same costumes, similar accessories etc. Even the make-up is identical. Most of the female characters wear ‘sindoor’ in their hair parting in a similar manner. The “bindis” are big dots. The mangalsutra too is a must. Sarees are at times too opulent. One wonders if any housewife ever wears all those ornaments and heavy sarees and then works in the kitchen dressed like a christmas tree without caring that the grease stain will neccessiate the sending of the saree to the cleaners’ — a costly affair.

The main theme is “adultery” with a capital A. It seems that women have one obsession and that is to get a man even if he is the husband of a friend. They connive, plot and want to get the man by hook or by crook. “Will such serials, showing women to be grasping and using immoral means and men staying with the other women without suffering from guilt pangs, not affect the new generation more as their tolerance level is low? Can’t they take up more challenging themes afflicting society?” asks one retired Principal of a school.

Some of the wives shown in the serial react and walk off in a huff, whereas other wives play the role of a martyr, like the sacrificing wife Payal in the serial “Kahin Diya Jale Kahin Jiya” on Star Plus tries very subtly to win her husband by offering friendship. “Saans”, which was a precursor of the theme revolving around adultery, had the entire nation guessing whether the protagonist would go back to his wife or stay with the other woman. No one knew why he had to have another woman in spite of having a good family life.

An avid TV viewer says, “Now the common topic of discussion amongst us is what will happen to Tulsi and Mandira in the serial “Kyon ki ....”. Similarly, other serials like ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’, ‘Kkusum’, ‘Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye’, ‘Sanskriti’, ‘Naseeb Apna Apna’, ‘Shagun’, all dwell on adultery and extra-marital affairs. We are getting rather irritated with the twists and turns in the story. Earlier, we liked the novelty, but now we think that such like serials will motivate women frustrated with their marriage to look for outside pleasures.”

Dr Vinay Gupta, a senior psychiatrist from the Department of Psychiatry, DMC, says, “Society has become licentious. It is very obvious from these serials which glorify adultery. People who like to have good values feel dejected at the lowering of the values. The social values are becoming weaker and such like serials may lead to broken marriages. We have been brought up in a our society to hold marriage as a sanctified ceremony, and when society itself gives sanction to such behaviour, naturally, the guilt factor is reduced. People who see these serials have a recall value and if sometimes they indulge in such not-so-acceptable behaviour, they do not seem to feel unduly guilty.”

Dr Prithipal Singh Sohal, Professor of political science, says that in these TV serials reality is not represented. Such serials will have a deep social impact. So far we have had feudal values whereas the serials present liberal capitalist values. Metro culture is being imposed on semi-urban society. Artificial situations are created and the serial makers do not realise that whole of India does not live in metros, but in villages and semi-urban areas.”

“These serials with themes like adultery tend to define the mysterious relationship between moralistic commitments and romance. But romance invariably vanishes within the four walls of the home. These serials will prove to be a setback to the institution of marriage. The serial makers should target some other burning issues like the eradication of poverty, disease etc. Moreover, middle-class viewers remain passive consumers of such serials,” Prof Bhupinder Singh.


10-year RI for rapist
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Gurmit Singh (30) of Dina Sahib village, under the Nihal Singh wala police station in Moga, has been awarded a rigorous imprisonment of 10 years, besides a fine of Rs 7,000, in the rape case of a two-and-half-year-old girl. However, the court acquitted the co-accused, Kuldeep Singh, for want of evidence.

Pronouncing the judgement, Mr G.R. Banyal, Additional Sessions Judge, Ludhiana, held that prosecution was successful in proving the guilt of the accused and he deserved no leniency.

The incident took place in Agwar Lopan village on October 3, 1999. Subsequently, a case was registered under Sections 363, 376 and 458 of the IPC at the Jagraon police station on the complaint of Mr Gurnam Singh, father of the victim.

According to the prosecution, Gurmit Singh and his accomplice kidnapped the baby from their house, took her to the fields and committed the crime.

Father of the victim alleged that on that fateful day, her wife woke up at 3 am and as usual she started reciting ‘moolmantra’ (prayer) and after that, at about 4 am, she found the baby missing from her cot. They searched for her.

When he along with his brother, Mr Rajinder Singh, were searching the baby, she was found near a water channel. Her both legs were smeared with blood. They took her to home and later got her admitted to a hospital, alleged the complainant.

Accused had surrendered before the police on October 13, 1999, through Mr Sohan Singh, a panchayat member of Agwar Lopan village.

The court held that as per medico-legal report, there were four injuries on the person of the baby and it was difficult to believe that such injuries could be caused by falling accidentally on a blunt weapon. Moreover, no person would allow his two-and-a-half-year-old child to fall on a blunt weapon in order to falsely implicate someone in a case.


Unite to save nation, ex-servicemen exhorted
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 31
The Congress high command has pressed into service its rank and file to woo voters of the states where Assembly elections are round the corner. Lt-Gen M. M. Lekhera, chairman, Ex-Servicemen cell of the AICC, has launched campaign in the state to mobilise the ex-servicemen for supporting the Congress in the coming Assembly elections by organising first convention of ex-servicemen here today.

Addressing the convention, he said that there were more than 78 lakh of ex-servicemen in the country whereas in the state the membership was 6.57 lakh and these people served the nation with dedication and were taught secularism, only. So long as in service they are respected but unfortunately when they retire from the service no one cares for them. He said present scenario in the country was very alarming. There was threat to our security in Jammu and Kashmir and other states; the government had failed on financial and social fronts. Society has been divided on caste and religion lines. So it was need of the hour that only those people, who had secular approach, should unite and save the nation and the society.

He said in service we put our life to risk for the nation. Similarly we had to imbibe those feelings even after retirement. He said politicians of the country had been befooling us for long. He said politicians would continue to befool us if we did not unite for our rights. Earlier our pensions were more than that of the civilians and in 1986 our pensions became equal to that of civilians and in 1993 we fought a case and managed to got more pensions. He said our salary was more than that of the Central government employees and as the employees went on a strike, the government increased their salaries and pensions and when we took up our case, the government did not concede our demand. We could have benefited more than civilian had we gone on a strike. Our discipline is our weakness. He said Mr George Farnandes, the then Defence Minister had declared acceptance of one rank, one pension, demand but till today it had not been implemented. He said if our demand was not conceded we would file a PIL in the Supreme Court to get it implemented. He said the state government had made it bankrupt. He demanded concessions for ex-servicemen like free travel facility.

Later talking to The Tribune, he said that it was shameful that a handful of officers had brought bad name to the Army exposed by tehelka website. He said out of 42,000 officers only five to 10 had indulged in immoral activities. It is not fair to blame the entire organisation. Black sheep are everywhere. He stressed that it was the only organisation which has completed inquiry and now guilty are being taken to task.

He asked what punishment the BJP had given to Mr Bangaroo Laxman, rather he is being sent to UNO as a member of delegation. He urged the media to put the things in correct perspective. Wrong information damaged the organisation, he said. Capt Parveen Davar, joint secretary ex-servicemen cell AICC, Colonel Zorawar Singh, Chairman Ex-Servicemen Cell PPCC, Gurmukh Singh Badridham also addressed the convention.


DC asks panchayats to rise above groupism
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 31
Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, Fatehgarh Sahib, called upon the panchayats of villages to rise above groupism and solve petty disputes at their own level so that people should not have to face unnecessary hardships in police stations and other government offices.

While addressing a well-attended sangat darshan programme organised at Machhrai Kalan villages, about 30 km from here today, the Deputy Commissioner also urged the panchayats to utilise government grants for development projects in time and ensure good quality of work.

Disposing off a touching rare problem of the family of Bant Singh of Salana village, whose four members, including the applicant, were handicapped and unable to move even to get the handicapped certificates issued, the Deputy Commissioner, keeping in view the miserable condition of the family, directed the tehsildar, CDPO and the DHO to personally visit the house of the family and complete all formalities of the pension forms.

Reacting to a large number of complaints of old men and women regarding discontinuation of their pensions and delay in sanctioning of new cases, Mr Vikas Partap directed the CDPO to expedite the cases at the earliest and release the pensions.

On a complaint of five handicapped persons of Himatgarh Channa village regarding the hurdles in getting handicapped certificates the Deputy Commissioner asked the DHO to issue the required certificates on Monday after examining the persons.

The Deputy Commissioner asked the DFSC to inquire about the complaint of half a dozen farmers of different villages of the area regarding non-payment of compensation of distress sale of their paddy. Redressing a complaint of Scheduled Caste families residing in a government colony Machhrai Kalan village. Mr Vikas Partap directed the XEN PSEB provide power supply immediately to the families.

On the demand of the panchayat of Jalalpur and Paheri, the Deputy Commissioner released grants of Rs. 25,000 each for the construction of sheds in the cremation grounds.

Mr Vikas Partap also called upon the village panchayats and youth clubs to plant maximum number of trees during this season and contact the BDPO or forest officer to collect plants free of cost. He said that the district administration had planted more than two lakh plants during this season in the district.

Referring to the demands of the villages, the Deputy Commissioner announced grants of Rs 50,000 each for construction of houses to the houseless poor people and developing of the village pond.


Ganesha idols immersed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Idols of Lord Ganesha were immersed in the Sultej amid chanting of mantras near here this evening marking the end of Ganeshotsava.

Earlier, the idols were taken out in a procession from Cheema Chowk. The procession passed through various parts of the city, including the CMC Chowk, Sufian Bagh, Benjamin Road and Chowk Ghanta Ghar.


ADC cautions dishonest plaintiffs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.R. Kler, yesterday severely criticised those who lodge false complaints to cause harassment and to settle score with others. Addressing the weekly sangat darshan programme at Bachat Bhavan here, he said criminal cases would be registered in cases where complaints were found to be false and fabricated.

He was disposing of the complaint submitted by Mr Dalip Singh of Mangarh village in which the inquiry officer had reported that charges against the panchayat were false and motivated.

On a complaint of Mr Yog Parkash of Udhowal village regarding the delay by revenue officials in making entries in the land records, Mr Kler ordered the official concerned to settle the matter by December 5. Ms Bachan Kaur of Dhoulan village, who had submitted an application for assistance, as her husband had expired and there was no other source of income, was assured that the district health administration would provide medical aid free of cost to her ailing son.

Ms Savitri Devi, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, complained about the harassment in getting the payment of her pension cheque, which the officials attributed to the time taken by the Treasury Office for verification.

The ADC issued instructions to the District Treasury Officer to streamline the system and speed up the work. On a complaint by Mr Harminder Kumar of New Subhash Nagar about faulty sewerage in the area, Mr Kler directed the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board authorities to look into the matter and submit report within 15 days.

Other complaints taken up during the session were regarding the delay in the execution of the water supply scheme in Palam Khurd village, the menace of noise pollution caused by industrial units in the Vishwakarma Colony and illegal occupation of a house, owned by Mr Chaja Singh in Lala Kalan village.

The officials concerned were asked to inquire into the complaints and submit their reports at the earliest.

In all, 43 complaints were received in the programme, of which 31 were settled on the spot, while the rest were fixed to be decided on a priority basis.

Among others who were present in the function were Ms Anita Darshi, Assistant Commissioner (Complaints), Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Jagraon, Mr S. Jaggi, SDM, (West), and Officers of the various other departments.


Nomads who may become history
Our Correspondent

Pakhowal (Ludhiana), August 31
The gaddiwalas, a nomadic tribe from Rajasthan, is almost vanishing. The tribals used to visit Punjab villages off and on, but of late they are rarely seen.

This correspondent located them in Pakhowal village where they had been camping for a couple of weeks and would be moving away in another two weeks. They suffer from some compulsive restlessness and cannot stay put at any place due to their age-old beliefs.

In the face of hardships, such tribes are simply vanishing as their way of living is steeped in tradition and they cannot keep pace with the fast-moving modern life. Their origin dates back to the period of Maharana Partap. The lohewala or gaddiwala tribe were the staunch followers of Maharana Pratap. When he lost in Haldighati and was driven away by the Mughal army, he had to stay out in open and so did his followers. They hail from Chittorgarh, the bastion of Maharana Pratap.

The tribe comprises a few families. Almost all of them can be seen lazing in the breeze at the camp site. They are living in abject poverty. The men lay sprawling on folding cots and the women, dressed in amazing, colourful and traditional outfits, add a lot of colour to the otherwise drab surroundings. The gaddis in which they have their entire household goods packed is a beautiful chariot. It is also their home on wheels.

These people have been ironsmiths for centuries. Their method of making household goods like iron chimtas, tawas and channinies is traditional. The products are crude and the villagers buy these. During the daytime, the womenfolk make a tour of the village and get broken iron buckets for repairs. The children collect broken and discarded pieces of corrugated iron and these are utilised for repair work.

This is not fetching them enough money for the large families that are to be fed. Going by their lifestyle, it is obvious that they are leading impoverished lives. They do not want to divulge any information about their tribe. Rather apparently, the matriarch of the tribe keeps asking for money to feed her family.

Women are busy preparing gorgeous dresses. The shirts are longish, with the bodice embellished with mirrors, colourful tassels and cowri shells. The flouncy gaghras use up 40 meters of material. Their children are born on the road in their gaddis and they cremate their dead on the road. Infant mortality rate is high, but they are a stoic lot and accept tragedies.

Their biggest grouse is that the government does not care for them. They have been given no voting rights. They have not been covered under any welfare schemes. No wonder, their tribes are just dying and reducing in numbers. They can settle at one place only if they are given land to till. They are illiterate and progress or modernity seem to have bypassed them.

Bikhu says, “We have no protection from inclement weather. It seems we are cast-offs of the society. The government thinks we are the left-overs of humanity and whether we wither away or survive is no concern of theirs.”


Hand knitting — a lucrative home-based enterprise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
Punjabi women are well known for their dexterity in hand knitting. Before the advent of the television it was a major leisure time activity in winter. However, over the years the craft has lost its shine as the winter wear such as sweaters and cardigans are available in the market in mind-boggting designs and men folk prefer readymade sweaters to hand knitted ones. But mothers of young children, especially toddlers, still prefer the soft hand-knitted sweaters for their young ones but many of them do not know how to knit. On the other hand, there are many women who are interested in knitting but do not have many children at home for whom they could knit.

Knitting is the second most frequently used method of fabric construction after weaving. Hand knitting is an efficient and versatile method of making a sweater.

In this craft, a knitter combines the skills of a weaver and the practical knowledge of a dress maker to make a garment. Creative knitting has become an effective medium to express aesthetic individuality. There is no limit to the number of patterns available and the variations to these patterns. The possibilities in hand knitting extend from clothing to household things like rugs, bed-spreads, cushions, table cloth etc, which can be made with beautiful results.

Ms Avneet Kaur and Dr Neelam Grewal of Department of Clothing and Textiles, PAU, undertook an investigation to develop designs for hand knitted garments for toddlers, based on the mothers’ preferences. Commercial viability of these garments was also studied. From the results it was observed that the mothers preferred baba sets, pullovers and cardigans made in soft and smooth textured cashmilon (acrylic) yarn. Colour preferences varied according to the type of garments- navy blue, red and pink were popular for casual wear while formals were made in baby blue, baby pink and cream or white colours. Two coloured and multi-coloured designs made on small, rib motifs or cabled designs enjoyed a longer patronage. The mothers liked to embellish their sweaters and knitted with embroidery, ribbons and readymade motifs. Among the accessories caps, booties and socks were preferred.

On the basis of the preferences of the mothers’, the investigators developed 30 designs. Out of these 10 most preferred designs were knitted and tested for the commercial viability at various levels of profit margins. It was seen that the preferences of the respondents for various price levels varied according to the design and the article. Taking into consideration, the most preferred price levels it was concluded those articles could be sold at 30 to 40 per cent profit. The profit margins for accessories were larger than those for the garments. Therefore, hand knitting holds a lot of commercial though seasonal, potential. It could be adopted as an ideal home based enterprise for women who prefer to work from their houses.


The vicissitude of life
N. S. Tasneem

To look back at one’s 50 years of struggle is like waking up with a jolt. The terminus, where one can enjoy sleep for long hours, is a place where there is no looking forward to an onward journey. The journey ends, as Shakespeare says, in lovers’ meeting. Love of life ultimately leads to love for the life beyond. Expectations are generally belied, but other benedictions that follow make life worth living. There is no scope for pick and choose as whatever has been portioned out to us has to be accepted. The belief in fate is, of course, just an attempt to console one’s mind. It is another way of relieving tension.

The search for a job started in March 1951. Interviews in Delhi and Shimla were mostly exercises in futility. Graduates queued up for clerical jobs in the private as well as public sector. The atmosphere was suffocating, but at times there was a waft of fresh air. At long last in October 1951, the rarefied air of Shimla beckoned the wayfarer to enjoy some respite from the scorching heat of job-hunting. The search for identity started, the introvert nature took keen interest in Urdu poetry and the ship of life moved forward on an even keel. Time stood still for a decade while the calendar years took wings. Considerable refinement of sensibilities and gradual sharpness of perception were experienced over the years. Still, deep inside, there were longings for a perch on the higher branch of learning.

The train moved into the plains loaded with much inner satisfaction and little material equipment. The coupe was otherwise full, with an understanding wife and three bubbling offsprings. The feeling was that of venturing forth into ‘the realms of gold’ with new determination. Teaching was never considered a profession, it was in fact a way of life. The shaping of the young minds for leading a fuller and richer life was the main purpose. Literature revealed new vistas of introspection that made the mind soar above mundane considerations. It was sheer pleasure to be in the green valley where the tulips of new awareness opened up in the early rays of the sun. To be engaged in the common pursuit of knowledge was the highest reward that one could have expected at that time.

But then there were setbacks too. The poor souls abounded in the corridors of the temples of learning. Their hearts had been overwhelmed by the lust for gains. Those ever conscious of seniority in service strutted about in the lawns of convocations and annual functions. They considered students as commodities to be bandied about when the aim was to lay claim to their pound of flesh so as to gain cheap popularity. The principals, sometimes unsure of themselves, were easily taken in by the scheming professionals. Merit was relegated to a secondary position and the tendency was to snub the upcoming aspirant of literary fame. The hiatus between the teachers and the taught widened with the passage of time. The individuals in the back wagon made desperate attempts to join the cavalcade of dedicated teachers.

That time has passed and with it the bitter memories of the days of struggle have also faded away. Sometimes it was merely a struggle for existence and honourable living. The paths of progress had been strewn with the thorns of selfish motives. In the field of creative writing, petty-minded persons laid claim to all the roses in the garden. They wanted all this and much more. These coteries created bad blood among the genuine writers and pooh-poohed their achievements. They lost no opportunity to highlight their non-events in the media. Like booth capturing, they captured the stage with the sole aim of remaining in the limelight day in and day out.

The paths of life have always been uneven, but this thing in a way acts as a spur for the followers of the Muses to move forward with stars in their eyes.


Look after your pets’ eyes

Ludhiana, August 31
Dogs may lick themselves clean or scratch the pests off their body. They may find food and shade but to be effectively groomed, they need your help. Scratching the eyes or rubbing themselves on furniture or grass is not only futile but also unsafe for the animal. You have to look for this important part of their hygiene. The eyes are to be examined under light. Healthy eyes are moist and clear. Indications of an eye infection are redness, swelling, or discharge of mucus. Don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian if something wrong is suspected.

To protect your pet’s eyes, you will have to take care of the adjoining area as well. Keep all hair out of your pet’s eyes since they may scratch the eye. Trim the hair using blunt scissors, cutting parallel to the edge of the eyelid. This is especially important where the skin folds near the eyes in the breeds like Pekinese, Lhasa Apso and Maltese. Keep the eyes clear of mucus at all times. Bacterial growth on the mucus often causes infections. Use as eyewash and/or eye wipes to keep the eye area clean. Apply a protective ophthalmic ointment under the top lid to protect the eyes before bathing, facial cleanings, and insecticide treatment. Petroleum jelly also works effectively.

Tear staining

“Tear staining” is a common problem with the particular breeds of dogs, like Poodles and Cocker Spaniels. Tears are bactericidal, which means they kill the bacteria that can cause infections of the eye. Normally, tears flow across the surface of the eye and quickly drain through the tear duct. The tears that spill out and lay on the surrounding hair cause the discolouration at the corners of the eyes.

Matter in the eye tends to collect at the inner corner. It is extremely beneficial to keep eyes clean of the foreign particles. If the dog’s eyes are exposed to dust, wind, grooming products, stray hair and other irritants, there will be more matter at the corners. Any gob of “eye garbage” at the inner corners becomes an irritant, causes more tears and spoils the face hair. Left to accumulate, it can infect the face.

Eye care twice a day is often recommended. For this touch a cotton swab to the inner corner of each eye and roll up and remove any hair or other matter collected there. With a syringe, put warm water just on the tear-stained hair and gently dry with a tissue and cornstarch.

Jaspreet Singh


‘CM-industrialists meeting fruitful’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 31
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has claimed that a meeting of industrialists with the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, here on May 15 had a positive response and various government agencies like the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) and the local bodies had announced several concessions for the industrial units in the wake of the points raised in the meeting while some more positive decisions were in the pipeline.

Claiming this, the CICU general secretary, Mr Avtar Singh, informed that the PSEB had already issued a commercial circular vide which three members of industry were nominated to circle-level disputes settlement committees, three others in Chief Engineers-level committee and two industrialists in state-level disputes settlement committees.

Further, the peak-load hour restrictions on medium supply consumers, with a connected load of up to 50 KW were withdrawn, 25 per cent ad hoc increase in contract demand of sanctioned load had been allowed, replacement of faulty meters was ordered, the demand for meter security and installation of meters at the gates of industrial units was accepted, the industrial units had been permitted to install generator sets with up to 150 per cent of their connected load.

Since the circular issued by the PSEB on clubbing of two or more connections, running in the same premises, was found to be at variance with the decisions taken at the meeting with the Chief Minister, the Secretary to Department of Industry, Punjab, had directed the PSEB management to issue a fresh circular. The PSEB, the CICU general secretary further said, had referred the issues related to hike in monthly minimum charges, increase in fuel surcharge, high consumption surcharge and the conversion of charges from connected load to contract demand to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Authority, which was the competent body to take a decision on these matters.

According to Mr Avtar Singh, the PPCB had agreed to dumping of sludge and waste in the premises of the respective industrial units for another period of two years by which time alternative arrangements for disposal were expected to be in place. The board had also conceded the demand that capital investment in a unit would be arrived at on the basis of fixed capital investment as prescribed by the Industries Department and further that for the purpose of extension of load of existing units up to 25 per cent, the requirement of NOC would be done away with, provided there was no increase in the pollution level.

The state government, he said, had extended the deemed assessment date for pending sales tax cases for 1998-99 up to September 30, 2001, while some other issues like equalised sales tax and sales tax exemption to industrial units, set up in rural focal points, were under active consideration of the government.

Another long-standing demand of the industry for reallocation and regularisation of industrial plots, cancelled by the PSIEC, had been accepted by the PSIEC. Such plots would be regularised on payment of Rs 10 per square yard. The CICU, however, was emphasising that the regularisation charges should be applicable only to the covered area of the plots.

Mr Avtar Singh and the CICU president, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, also hailed the bold decision of the Punjab Government in asking the PSEB Chairman, Mr G.S. Sohal, to proceed on long leave due to his anti-trade and anti-industry policies.


LIC launches Internet services
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 31
The Life Insurance Corporation of India has launched Internet-based facilities for its customers in 52 cities, including Ludhiana. It has upgraded its technology by starting the Internet voice response systems (IVRS), metro area network (MAN) centres and through computerisation. Now the policy holders can deposit their premiums at any of the 14 branches in the division and even those having policies in other 52 districts can deposit their premiums here and get any information regarding their policies, said Mr Anil Gupta, divisional manager (personnel), Ludhiana division.

He said the LIC would celebrate its 46th anniversary from September 1 to 7. During this period special service counters would be set up at all its offices. 

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