Friday, July 25, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Deaf and dumb students get new premises
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Today was a special day for deaf and dumb students of Chandigarh and surrounding areas. The first lady of Punjab, Mrs Shobha Verma, today inaugurated the new premises of Vatika School for Deaf and Dumb in Sector 19.

This is a project of the Punjab Officers Wives Association and was initiated in 1991. The new spacious premises was handed over to the association by the UT Administration.

There are over 100 students studying in Vatika. Earlier, this institute was being run in Karuna Sadan, Sector 11. Students in Vatika are provided education upto standard VIII with special emphasis on vocational education. Wives of Punjab officers also work towards their placement in Government jobs as well as private units.

Appreciating the initiative of the Association, Mrs Shobha Verma said this venture was a guiding force for other associations to emulate. He said these students after being imparted proper vocational training could excel in every field. Deaf and Dumb students presented a cultural programme on this occasion.

An exhibition of artifacts and projects made by deaf and dumb students was also organised.

Students were quite happy in the new spacious premises, which had joyrides, toys, educational games and swings.


Govt school where taps remain dry
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, July 24
If you are studying in Government High School, Colony No. 4, situated in the heart of Industrial Area here remember to carry water bottles. No, there are no rules making water bottles mandatory for students. The reason is not hard to see. The taps go dry at 9 am as soon as the morning supply is over. The school, catering to the academic needs of three batches, continues till 5 pm.

The toilets, more or less, remain locked because there is no water to flush, forcing the students to go out in the open to relieve themselves. No wonder, the open field in front of the school has become a “public lavatory”.

“Yes, there is a sweeper,” senior school students reveal, “but then what can the poor fellow do in the absence of water. It is almost impossible for him to clean the toilets without water.”

There are overhead water storage tanks, but these remain dry, always. “Due to low pressure, the water simply fails to fill up the tanks placed on the roof,” sources in the UT Education Department assert. “The problem has been brought to the notice of the maintenance wing officials time and again, but without the desired results.”

Interestingly, the authorities, complying with the directions of the Supreme Court, regularly supply “matthis” to students as part of the mid-day meal scheme. But sadly, nothing has so far been done to solve the drinking water problem faced by children.

The school building was inaugurated in May, 1992 by the then Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator. Even then the school had been facing acute water shortage, sources reveal.

The sufferers were, however, lesser in number because it was a primary school at that time. “At least the students were able to use toilets in those days,” says a Colony No. 4 dweller running a shop just next to the school.

He adds: “Over the years, the number of students increased with the upgrading of school to the middle level. Along with it, the problems of the students also increased. These only worsened with further upgrading of the school to the high school level.”

In the absence of proper water supply, the students either go without water or come to the school with water bottles. “But a substantial number of students live in the colony where clean water is not available,” sources add.

When contacted, the Principal of the school refused to comment. “I don’t know anything,” was his reply. Officials of the Public Health Circle of the UT Engineering Department, meanwhile, maintained that they had not received any complaint either from the school authorities or from the students. “Now that the matter has been brought to our notice, we will install a pump to boost the water pressure,” an official asserted.


Reviving interest in regional languages
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
For some time now, the Kendriya Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, has been engaged in the revival of interest in Indian language publications. Faced with the challenge of making languages attractive, the Akademi has redefined its schemes and is publishing works in 22 Indian languages.

Currently, the Akademi is covering Chandigarh by exhibiting 1200 titles in an exclusive show of language books, put up in collaboration with the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi at the State Library, Sector 34. Complimenting the exhibition today was a film show on Harbhajan Singh and Devinder, two main contributors to Punjabi literature. The Akademi has brought out films on 35 great writers, including Amrita Pritam and Bhisham Sahni.

The collection is peculiar in its emphasis on Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu and English. There is a special focus on Punjabi, which is struggling for readership like other regional languages. The Akademi representative, Mr Pradip Chabra admitted, “Globalisation has shifted the focus to English and left the regional languages struggling for readers.

They are also losing out because they don’t guarantee jobs. Even the writers are switching over to English. Nevertheless, some regions like West Bengal and Kerela still lap up works in regional languages.”

To reverse the unhealthy trend, the Akademi is offering 50 per cent discount to anyone who buys language books, besides floating book clubs and holding exhibitions.

For the first time the Akademi is experimenting with exhibiting language books all over India. In Chandigarh, it is exhibiting 1200 books. Out of these 300 are Punjabi books, 700 each are in English and Hindi and 350 are in Urdu. The Hallmark of the collection is its rare appeal.

It has books like English translations of Tagore’s works, collected by the Akademi for the first time; a series on Punjabi folklore including Waris Shah’s Heer and biographies of writers from Ghalib to Tagore.

In Punjabi, the Akademi is catering to the rising demand in particular areas. Yesterday the chairperson of the Chandigarh Sahitya Akademi, Lt-Gen Himmat Singh Gill (retd), released 10 books covering the 20th century Punjabi literature in all aspects like criticism, Punjabi plays, women in Punjabi writing, Punjabi classics like Mirza Sahiba and Sassi Pannu and Baba Budh Singh’s classics like Hans Chog, Koyal Koo and Bambiha Bol.

The Akademi has also brought rarest collections like the biographies of sufi poets Baba Bulle Shah and Waaris Shah (available just for Rs 10 each), as also of Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, Guru Teg Bahadur and Guru Arjun Dev. Informed Mr Chabra, “The Punjabis are mainly interested in religious books and biographies of contributors like Bhai Veer Singh and Dhani Ram Chatrik.” These books are available in Chandigarh till July 26. The next show will be held in Ludhiana.


Saplings planted at GMSSS-19
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
A sapling plantation function by the NSS volunteers of the school, the Parent-Teacher Association and the Eco-Club of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 19, was organised here today.

The DPI (Schools), Mr D.S. Mangat, the chief guest, planted the first amla sapling, followed by the Principal, Ms Saroj Gupta, members of eco-club and the PTA, who also planted a sapling each on the school premises.

Addressing the students, Mr Mangat expressed concern over the depleting green cover in the city. He encouraged the students to plant trees and take care of existing ones.

While welcoming the chief guest, Ms Gupta lauded the sincere efforts of the school students in making the environment green and clean. She praised the students of the club and NSS units of the school who have been looking after the saplings and plants at school.

To mark the occasion, a programme to highlight the importance of vana mahotsava was presented. This included a welcome song, declamation and poetry recitation by the students.

Others who stressed the need for sapling plantation were area municipal councillor, Rajesh Gupta, PTA president, Balram Aggarwal and Deputy District Education Officer, Chanchal Singh.

Nearly 80 saplings of medicinal trees were planted on the school premises which include neem, maulsari, Bahera, Harar, Shahtoot, Silver Oak, Gulmohar, Amartas, Chandini and Suhanja.


Huen Tsang comes to In-tu


Given the complications of pronouncing and inscribing a non-European word into English Huen Tsang’s name has been spelt in various ways. Xuan Zang, Hieun Tsang, Hiuen Tsiang, Huen Tsang, Yuan Chwang are some of the spellings with which we are more familiar.

Huen Tsang’s observations, comments and analyses are an important source of information on life in ancient India.

Samuel Beal wrote the Life of Hiuen Tsiang, published from London in 1911.

Huen Tsang [born 603, died 664 CE] left China in the year 629 CE and returned in 648 CE. Other Chinese pilgrims who visited India: Fa Hien, I Tsing, Ou Kong.

The search for knowledge, looking for an appropriate teacher who can guide an ardent student through the mysteries of life was once a very serious affair. Very different from the procedure nowadays when the search is only for a school with a brand-name and the aim is to finish the syllabus prescribed by the government in order to procure a piece of paper saying that the student has passed an examination. Huen Tsang was born in 603 CE, in China at a place called Chin Liu in the province of Hunan, during the reign of the Tang dynasty. The son of a bureaucrat, he decided against becoming a file-pusher. Instead, he spent his life searching for a good teacher. His search for knowledge began at the age of 13 when he persuaded his father offered him to the Buddhist sangha as a monk. He became a Bhikku at the Tsing-tu temple. For the next 13 years he travelled all over China in search of a teacher. He met many senior monks but none could answer the queries of young Huen Tsang. So, at the age of 26 he decided to go to the land of the Buddha. He hoped to find answers to his questions in that mysterious land where Buddha, almost a 1000 years earlier had found that knowledge, which all monks were ordained to spread. His logic was simple, and Buddhists have followed that logic for many centuries now. ‘If I were to follow the footsteps of Buddha perhaps I would be able to better understand His teachings’. There was one further incentive to visit India. till now the Chinese knew very little about the life of the Buddha and the discussions that had gone on among the Buddhists. Huen Tsang hoped to become better acquainted with the life of Buddha and the discussions about his teachings.

Right from a young age Huen Tsang showed signs of being both, curious and independent minded. He began his journey to India without taking the permission either of the Chinese emperor [which all good Chinese were supposed to do] or of his then teacher. The emperor was most upset but could do little to punish Huen Tsang since the monk was already gone on the Silk Route to India.

As Huen Tsang moved about he also kept a detailed diary about the people he met, the places he visited, the curiosities that he saw and the various things that struck him as out of the ordinary. In fact he asked questions about the most ordinary of things as well. He was curious even about the name of the country. Why was it called by this name?

He writes that every outsider is perplexed by the various names given to this land of India. He himself, in the beginning, calls the land Tien-chu. In earlier times, he says, it was also called Shin-tu and also Hien-tau. But the right pronunciation of the name, he insists, is In-tu. This, we notice, is also the name used by the Arabs when they came to this land a little after Huen Tsang; the Arabs called it the land of the Hindu.

Dwelling a little more upon names, Huen Tsang was wonder struck that the people of India called their land with different names depending on the district that they came from. That is, while outsiders could notice that this land had a single name, the local people did not. However, he insisted, that he would call this country In-tu, for that was the best sounding. It also meant something nice. In Chinese it meant ‘the Moon’. Like the moon the country of In-tu too provided light and guidance to people when they were in the dark, moreover its light was both cooling and soothing. Hence, the best name for this place would be In-tu.

Dr M. Rajivlochan, Department of History, Panjab University, Chandigarh, can be contacted at



School World Helpline

I have received several e-mails and requests regarding how best to discipline and manage behaviour problems in young children. Very often “discipline” is considered synonymous with punishment which is simply not true. Disciplining encompasses all those activities that encourage appropriate behaviour and deter misbehaviour in children. The ultimate goal of discipline is to help the child to achieve competence, self-control and self-direction.

An effective discipline system must contain three salient characteristics: a learning environment which is characterized by positive, supportive, and a warm parent- child relationship, methods to teach and strengthen desired behaviour and methods to decrease undesired behaviours. Disciplining can only work if children share a warm relationship with their parents. Parents who spend quality time with their children, pay attention to their needs, monitor their behaviour, and provide regular feedback are more likely to be successful in bringing about a positive change in their child’s behaviour. Moreover, children whose parents provide regularity in time and patterns of daily activities, as well as consistency have more positive outcomes such as competence, autonomy, and achievement orientation. Coercive parent-child interactions such as yelling, nagging, scolding, parental attention to deviant behaviour and inattention to prosocial behaviour can lead to the development of aggressive, antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents.

An important aspect of effective disciplining involves the consistent use of rewards by caregivers to help children learn appropriate behaviour. The simplest and the most powerful positive reinforcer is the social reinforcer of parental attention. Children feel important and loved when parents consistently attend, listen to and praise them. For example, praising the child’s acts through statements such as “that was a nice thoughtful act” or attributing good behaviour to the character of the child “you are a kind, honest child” or a simple hug and pat on the back increases the frequency of the behaviour that is consistently praised and reinforced.

On the other hand, children who are ignored at home may learn to attract parental attention through whining, crying, temper-tantrums and an increase in demanding, stubborn behaviour. Surprisingly, children prefer negative attention to none at all, and are prepared to elicit often unpleasant and frankly painful reactions from their parents. Since parental attention is an important reinforcer, annoying behaviours can be managed by simply withdrawing parental attention. However, it is important to keep in mind that the impact of ignoring is not immediate, and may produce a transient increase in the frequency and intensity of the problem behaviour.

Appropriate behaviour can also be taught through modeling. Children learn to behave in a manner that is consistent with the value system of their parents by observing and imitating them.

The third essential component of effective discipline is to deter misbehaviour by following it with unpleasant consequences. Consequences should be graded, prompt, reasonable and age-appropriate. Simple logical consequences should be devised and consistently reinforced. For example, if a child refuses to eat dinner there would be no pudding, if the child breaks the toy, he loses access to play with it. The consequences should fit the misbehaviour, should not be punitive or long term. Physical punishment should be avoided.

There may be several barriers which impede effective disciplining. For example, some children due to developmental problems, diagnosable mental health conditions and difficult temperament may be more difficult to manage. Marital discord, lack of social support, multiple life stressors, mental health problems in parents, and social disadvantage may also impede the parent’s ability to establish and maintain a system of discipline. Thus, the childs’ entire social context is important while advising parents on behaviour management.


Guidelines for parents

Promote a warm parent-child relationship by providing special time to the child daily.

Pay attention to the child’s appropriate behaviours, praise liberally, and ignore all minor misbehaviours.

Role model desirable behaviour.

Apply age-appropriate, logical consequences for misbehaviour.

Do not rely on explanations or reasoning alone to change child’s behaviour.

Avoid physical punishment at all costs.

Dr Prahbhjot Malh, Associate Professor, Child Psychology, APC, PGIMER



70 cases settled in Lok Adalat
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
As many as 70 cases were settled and Rs 30.64 lakh outstanding dues of Punjab and Sind Bank was recovered in a special Lok Adalat organised by the State Legal Services Authorities on its premises in Sector 9, here today. Meanwhile, Rs 1.68 lakh was awarded as compensation to the litigants.

Mr Justice N.K. Sodhi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court-cum-Executive Chairman, SLSA, along with the Judge permanent Lok Adalat-cum- member SLSA. Mr Sant Parkash, settled the cases in the Lok Adalat.

Giving details about the aims and objective of the State Legal Service Authority, Mr Sant Parkash, informed that following persons were entitled the free legal aid for filing or defending a case in any court of law — a member of a Schedule Caste or Schedule Tribe, a victim of human trafficking or a beggar, a woman or a child, a mentally challenged or disabled person, a victim of a mass disaster, ethic violence, caste atrocity, flood, and industrial workman, person in custody, including in a protective home, juvenile home, psychiatric hospital or a nursing home, a person whose annual income from all sources does not exceed Rs 50, 000.

While giving details about the facilities being provided to the litigants, Mr Sant Parkash, added that a permanent Lok Adalat was also functioning daily in the district court premises in Sector-17 where all civil cases, including matrimonial disputes, bank loan matters, land acquisition cases, matters relating to industrial disputes, landlord tenant controversies, revenue matters, motor accident claim cases and criminal cases of compoundable nature were being settled. 


District Court
Media Ad Link owner gets bail
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
Bhavna Karir, owner of a Delhi-based Media Ad Link company —who had allegedly cheated several persons on the pretext of providing them modelling assignments was today granted bail by a local court after she furnished a bond of Rs 20,000.

Bhavan’s counsel stated that she was falsely implicated in the case and had not cheated anyone.

The local police had registered a case against Bhavna Karir and Monica, in charge of the local branch of the company, on July 6 on a complaint of Sandeep Singh, a resident of Sector-36.

Bail granted: Rajesh who was arrested by the local police in a murder case was today granted bail by a local court. The police had arrested four persons for allegedly murdering a resident of Sector-38, Randeep. The complainant, Harish Kamboj, brother of the deceased, had alleged that Randeep was murdered by youths in Sector-38.

The counsel for Rajesh argued that the name of Rajesh was not mentioned in the FIR. Only the supplementary statement made by complainant contains the name of Rajesh and alleged that he had hit Randeep with sticks. The counsel further argued that he was falsely implicated in the case.


Graduating from television to films
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Susheel Parashar keeps coming to the city where he has his roots. And every time he comes, he has many fresh concepts to talk about and many fresh contributions to highlight.

The man who has played many a character role in prime time Zee, Sony and other channel serials, Susheel can currently be seen in the best Zee soap — Astitva — where he plays the father of the male lead, Abhimanyu. In love with strong roles, which he often plays, Parashar is now diversifying into other roles and other channels.

He is also featuring in Dhaba Junction on SAB Television and in Khushian on Doordarshan.

But that is not the end of the story when it comes to him. In town on a private visit, Parashar talked about his new-found role in Hindi cinema. He is featuring in three most-awaited productions, including Subhash Ghai’s Jogger’s Park, Jackie Shroff’s Boom and Raveena Tandon’s Pehchan. Talking about the three roles, he said, “Jogger’s Park is a delightful film about a young girl falling in love with an old man. I have a comic role in this film which features Victor Banerjee and Perizaad in the main roles. In Boom, I have a small role of a manager. But since Boom is being marketed internationally, I feel it proper to mention that I am a part of this Jackie Shroff-Ayesha Shroff production.”

The next in line after Boom is Pehchan, a Raveena Tandon production which features Raveena and Vinod Khanna. “In this film I play an assistant to Vinod Khanna who is a leading lawyer. I have an eye on his seat and that is why I don’t want him to pay heed to Raveena Tandon who plays Vinod Khanna’s daughter-in-law in the film. She is also a lawyer,” said Susheel Parashar.

With many roles waiting to be taken, Parashar is satisfied with the way his life has shaped up. Films have given him another reason to keep happy.



Sahit Sabha fellowship for Tera Singh Chan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 24
Honouring Tera Singh Chan is like honouring the spirit of the Punjabi literature itself. So when the Delhi Sahit Sabha today conferred its lifetime fellowship on this great Punjabi writer, the entire fraternity of Punjabi writers was present at Punjab Kala Bhavan in Sector 16 to celebrate his achievement. The fellowship carries a monthly honorarium of Rs 2,500, a memento and a shawl.

On his part, the octogenarian writer, credited with taking Punjabi opera to great heights, kept his humility as always. He let the others do the talking, including writers Gulzar Singh Sandhu, Mohan Bhandari, Kana Singh, Jasbir Singh Bhullar, Devinder Daman, Santokh Singh Dhir and Dr Harcharan Singh.

In focus were the outstanding achievements of Tera Singh Chan who is especially known for structuring and staging operas. The most famous works which he has scripted in this genre include Lakkad Di Lat, which became the most famous. Phollan Da Saneha and Sanjha Veda, the other operas, are equally famous. The other work he is famous for is his book, Kaan Samay Da Boleya.

As the writers spoke on the life of Tera Singh Chan, another interesting aspect of his life came to light. He was the first among Punjabi playwrights to have brought the women to act in his plays. The legendary folk singer of Punjab Surinder Kaur, often played the lead in Tera Singh Chan’s works. Not just that, it was Tera Singh Chan who hosted the first ticketed show of Punjabi theatre at Amritsar.

Apart from being a very famous playwright, Tera Singh Chan is also famous as a poet. His collection of 400 poems is rated highly on the scale of literary acumen. Extremely active in the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), which he enriched with his contributions throughput his life, Tera Singh Chan is still working as vice-president of the IPTA. He has long been on the board of Kendriya Lekhak Sabha as general secretary.

However, his most glorious achievement has been his contribution in revival of interest in Punjabi theatre which was still in its fledgling state in the 1950s. It was Tera Singh Chan who took plays to rural Punjab and to the national fora at the same time.



Anjuman-2003’ a feast for dance lovers
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, July 24
“Anjuman-2003”, a programme of light classical and regional folk dances, showcased budding talent at Tagore Theatre in Sector 18 today. The programme was organised by Shri Sai Arts in association with the Department of Cultural Affairs, Haryana, and Department of Public Relations and Cultural Affairs, Chandigarh Administration, as part of its silver jubilee celebrations.

The programme started with “Ganesh Stuti” by Gaurav Sharma, which was followed by a “Taandav Nritya” by a group of four dancers — Ashish, Manish, Apurva and Ekta, a performance that received wide applause from the audience. Next came a patriotic song, Vande Mataram, by Sarishti Choudhury.

The programme included several film numbers like a “Thumri” based on a song, from the movie, “Devdas”, which was presented by Amardeep Cheema. Shikha Rana presented a Russian ballet on a popular Hindi song, from another Bollywood blockbuster “Kaho Na Pyar Hai”.

In the light classical and semi-classical category, Lawika Jain presented a light kathak dance based on the composition, “Sur ke Shungru”, while Sahiba Madan presented “Chal Sajan Chalun Tere Sang”, another kathak-based semi-classical item.

The programme concluded with an interesting fusion dance, “A Theme Dance”, which incorporated the finer points of kathak and Bharatnatyam. The concluding item was presented by Apurva, Drishti, Sarishti, Renu, Ekta and Jyotica.


New Release
Six bone-chilling stories in one

THE most versatile among contemporary filmmakers, Ramgopal Varma has introduced a variety of cinematic genres. He comes up with offbeat films unfamiliar to Hindi cinema. After directing “Company”, “Bhoot” and producing “Road”, Ramgopal Varma this time around has turned his attention to the horror zone as a producer. “Darna Mana Hai” opens today at Jagat, Chandigarh, and Suraj, Panchkula.

“Darna Mana Hai” marks the debut of a young director, Praval Raman, from Ramgopal Varma’s camp. The film, a bone-chilling horror that comprises six stories, may be successful at a time when thrillers are getting a good opening at the box office.

Based on Hollywood’s “Tales of the Darkside”, this edge-of-the-seat is touted as a blockbuster. The film has six stories moving to a powerful climax and rumours of a psycho aboard. A highlight of the film is the unusual casting of which Aftab Shivdasani, Antara Mali, Bomen Irani, Nana Patekar, Revati, Sameera Reddy, Isha Kopikar, Shilpa Shetty, Fardeen Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Vivek Oberoi, Sohail Khan, Raghubir Yadav, Rajpal Yadav and Sushant Singh are a part.

Salim Suleman has come up with a fine score. With a top-class star cast and Ramgopal Varma’s production, as cinegoers can expect something new from the film. The promos and the pre-release report are good. D.P.


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