C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


IB education comes to city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Attempting to change the way children think and to build their emotional skills along with the academic, the International Baccalaureate (IB) system of education for schools, a curriculum developed in Geneva and recognised world over, is all set to take off in the city.

“We are here to launch one such school, the first in this region with truly international character. While a number of schools have used the ‘international’ tag to their advantage without actually being one, the implementation of the IB programme is a must for any such school,” claims Mr Raj Mohindra, an educational consultant from Mumbai, during an interview in Sector 10, here today.

Speaking of the three programmes being offered by the IB system, he said the Primary Years Programme for children upto 12 years, the Middle Years Programme till Class X and the Diploma programme till Class XII, was rapidly gaining ground and schools were switching over from the Indian Council of Secondary Education (ICSE) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) patterns to the IB system.

Mr Mohindra adds that any school can seek accreditation for any of the three courses or all three together. "However, a degree is given only at the end of a diploma which is equivalent to the plus two level of the Indian system. It is recognised by the Association of Indian Universities as well,” he adds.

Most schools affiliated to the IB system offer an alternative system of education simultaneously to deal with students who are unable to follow the IB system on account of regular shifting of schools.

“The IB system is different in the sense that it teaches a student concern for his fellow human beings through creativity action service besides teaching a child to explore and learn rather than cram. Under creative action service, we are building a spirit of volunteerism where every child is involved in some kind of social service. He is denied his diploma if he fails to deliver with regard to social service,” explains Mr Mohindra.

The academic mentor of the IB system, Ms Marga Buhrmann Singh, says,”In the Indian system of education, children are merely learning to pass examinations and parents are pushing them more and more. They can’t apply in life whatever they learn in class. The IB system would provide a chance to the students to express themselves,” she holds.



Cultural feast at school’s annual function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
A cultural feast awaited the audience at the annual function celebrations of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Sector 35, here today where students showcased the essence of Sikhism, its scriptures, the 10 Gurus, their messages and their five main gurdwaras. The programme began with shabad “Kadre har kaar Gur Gobind Singh”.

In a programme, boys and girls danced to the beats of the “dhol” to celebrate the harvesting season. Resonating with Punjabi folk songs, the item was a lively presentation.

Tiny tots of the school, dressed in satin and laces, doled out nursery rhymes and action songs for the audience much to their parents’ delight. This was followed by an item that saw the stage come alive with sounds of birds and animals, as children disguised as members of the animal kingdom skipped and hopped around on to the stage.

A qawali in praise of the city, the completion of 50 years and the golden jubilee celebrations, came in for applause, while another item “Living in Harmony” took the audience from the creation of the sun and the moon to the forming of religions leading to the beginning of communal tension and strife in society. The item ended on the note that there was need to bring about harmony.

“Holia mein ude re gulal” was a peek into the Holi celebrations in Rajasthan, while a play, “The Giant’s Garden”, conveyed the message that selfishness begets hatred.

The chief guest and MP, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, appreciated the school for its original ideas in the presentation and gave away awards to 35 meritorious students. He also gave Rs 35 lakh to the school.

Earlier, the Principal, Ms S. Ahluwalia, read out the school report and highlighted the achievements of the students in academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

Fete held: Fun and frolic marked the open fete at St Joseph’s School, Sector 44, here today. As many as 50 stalls of games and eatables dotted the school ground, which attracted over 600 visitors.

The tattoos corner drew huge crowds, while the camel ride on the school campus proved to be the biggest attraction for tiny tots.

The fete was inaugurated by Mr R.S. Grewal, managing trustee.

The request stall and dance floor elicited tremendous response from students and visitors.



Saikapians hold get-together
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
Alumnae of Sainik School, Kapurthala, organised a warm get-together at Shivalik Officers’ Institute, Chandi Mandir, last evening.

Prominent among the “Saikapians” or as members of the school’s old boys association call themselves, were Chief Signal Officer, Western Command, Maj Gen A.S. Bakshi, who along with former Advocate-General, Punjab, Mr H.S. Mattewal are from the school’s first batch, and two IAS officers, Mr J.S. Sandhu and Mr J.P. Singh. At least 200 persons, including family members of the old boys, attended the get-together.

Mr Jatinder Singh, one of the first teachers to join the school when it was established in 1961 was also present. For him it was a nostalgic experience as he met a couple of his students for the first time since he left the school in 1964. “Associating with my students makes me feel younger even though some of them have as many grey hairs as I do,” he remarked.

Recalling his good old days, he said in 1961 five sainik schools had been set up at Kapurthala, Kunjpura, Jamnagar, Chittorgarh and Sitara to serve as feeder institutions for the newly established National Defence Academy. The response to the Kapurthala school was so good, he said, that they used to send students from here to other schools.

Saikapians have a strong presence in the armed forces. At present eight officers of the rank of Major General and equivalent, including an Air Vice Marshal and a rear admiral are serving in the forces, with over a hundred officers of the rank of brigadier.

Officers said of the six Brigadiers directly involved in the Kargil conflict, six were from this school. In fact, one of the Brigadiers later got posted as Station Commander, Kapurthala, which put him on the managing committee of his alma mater.



Scintillating fashion show by tiny-tots
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 7
The first annual day of Anee’s School, Sector 69, was celebrated with fanfare at the NIPER auditorium here today. Starting with the formal inauguration of the function by the chief guest, Mr Harold Carver, Principal St Stephen’s School Chandigarh, school kids presented a colourful and enthusiastic show before their parents and the guests.

A majority of the children were in the 2-4 age group and presented action songs which were greatly admired by the audience. Every student of the school participated in the show presenting a scintillating fashion show.

The winners of the various competitions held in the school were given prizes by the chief guest and the guest of honour, Sister Maria Christie, Principal Carmel Convent School, Chandigarh.

The school principal Mrs Divjot Kaur welcomed the guests.



Child model contest
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 7
A contest for children was held at the Sukhna lake here today. The colourful event, organised by Bell Ceramics, a floor tiles manufacturer, was organised to select child models to promote the company’s range of ceramic tiles.

Nearly 1000 children participated in the event. The kids seemed to enjoy the show as they sang, danced and presented several items. The promotional campaign focused on children’s pranks.



Using modern aid to impart education
Tribune News Service

Inderjeet, 12th (arts)

Indu, 5th-B

Deeksha, 5th-B

THE passion of making a difference in the lives of the students by providing them an education with a difference to cater to the ever-changing needs of the world paved the way for the foundation of Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School, Sector 38. Founded in 1974 by a philanthropist, late Harbans Kaur, the school has achieved recognition in academics and other activities.

Managed by a registered body comprising eminent educationists and public men from all walks of life, the school is recognised by the Education Department, UT and affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.

With 1,000 students on its rolls and a staff strength of 40, the school has spacious and comfortable rooms for learning, a multipurpose hall, modern science labs and a well stocked library. Computer education and multimedia room is equipped with latest configuration systems with networking, projection system for imparting technology aided learning (TAL). For students keen on sports, the school provides for training in roller skating, lawn tennis, basketball, volleyball and kho-kho.

The school recognises the role of Information Technology and multimedia as the tools of imparting education in the modern world. Strongly believing in integration of information technology and education, the school is a founder member of the Intel Master Trainer’s Club — Koshish, encompassing 245 schools of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula.

The school boasts of computer literate teachers, keen on learning more to teaching more using technology. A unique concept of on-line Multimedia Assignments is being followed to make students comfortable with working on the computer. Ample opportunities to the teachers for upgradation of their knowledge and skills. Five teachers of the school have been short-listed for Intel Awards 2003 for implementation of technology aided lessons in their classrooms from a total of 75 projects all over India.

The school management is of the view that the technological boom in recent times can be used for the benefit of students with special needs and earmarks a special budget provision to provide facilities for students with physical and learning disabilities and include them into mainstream education.



We equip students for competition

Harpreet Kaur, PrincipalA regular speaker at various forums of the teaching community, sharing the success of TAL in school and spreading the message of ‘Give Technology A Chance In Classrooms’, Ms Harpreet Kaur was one of the 40 principals selected by the CBSE to participate in the six-day training programme ‘Strategic Leadership for Schools in Changing Environment’ held at the IIM, Ahmedabad.

On the role of education: Education is the discovery of a person’s true self, enabling him or her to develop the inherent qualities of mind, body and spirit, and to use these abilities effectively in the outer world. It is the role of the school to provide child with ample opportunities to explore, discover, develop and learn the skills necessary for today’s competitive environment but at the same time not lose his individuality.

On the tuition menace :I feel strongly that a child does not need tuition but his parents’ time and attention. A child who is anxious and scared about the exams and entrance tests needs reassurance and confidence in his abilities. Ultimately it is one’s own efforts and self-study that pay in the end and no amount of tutoring or coaching helps.

On the importance of co-curricular activities: Besides academics, a child needs extra-curricular activities that are important for his all round development. Participation in sports and other activities like debates, declamation helps the child gain confidence, brush his communication skills and inculcate leadership qualities.

On future plans: ‘Little Hearts — The Fun School’ is a new block coming up exclusively for the little ones. The section will have facilities like a children’s library, activity centre, dance floor, toy section, story room. A separate multi-media theatre for junior section is nearing completion. An international standard sports arena with state-of-the-art skating rink, lawn tennis court and basketball court is coming up in the next session.



Our politicians

Oh! These leaders and politicians

They are good at their power game

Who befoul the trust of people and opt

Undue means to get name and fame.

Have surpassed all their predecessors

Who feel ashamed of their successors

They have no regard for living or dead

Lure the voters when election is ahead

Promise medical facilities and water

blame Centre when weather turns hotter

One party or the other, all are same

Involved in scams, but have no shame

If happens to meet one when not in power

Lot of affection and concern he will shower

Will delineate you with long tales and raga

Of his social service but changes his saga

If wins election and hesitate to recognise

His values are deceit, corruption and avarice.

Oh! God, give us leaders who work hard

Who help the country grow and play his card

Make it prosperous in never-say-die fashion.

Who live and die for the sake of nation

who may guide the youth to be building block

To grow like a tree and not to fall like a log.



World has changed a lot

Many new things we have got

So have got new diseases too

Can’t get rid what ever you do

What to do? What to do?

One such disease is AIDS

Which opens the death gates

Spreading in the world like a fire

One virus will take you to pyre

What to do? What to do?

Untested blood never arrange

Must not use used up syringe

To avoid the antigen from any corner

Have protected sex and loyalty to partner

We all know What to do? What to do?

If contracted show the courage

Don’t lose hope or share rage

You may live a normal life

With diet, treatment and a supporting wife

We all know what to do. What to do.

Ayush Mahajan-X

Pardon Me

What wrong have I done?

Why are you angry with me?

What wrong have I done?

I want to see the world

I promise to be a herald

Don’t pay the doctor to slaughter

I love you mom; I am your daughter

I will help you in household cores

Will not blemish you or give sores

Please tell papa, I will not be dependent

Ask him to love me and make me prudent

Give me life as you gave to my brother

I will obey you and will not bother

These days girls score more than boys

To their parents they bring real joys.




Man gets 1-yr RI

Chandigarh, December 7
A city resident, Vinod Mittal, was yesterday sentenced to one year’s rigorous imprisonment in a case of food adulteration Act by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate(CJM), Mr C.L Mohal.

The accused was also fined 2000. In a case of default he has to undergo two months, further rigorous imprisonment. Meanwhile the other accused in the case, Pavinder Singh, was acquitted. — OC



Providing income, dignity to HP artisans
Renu Manish Sinha
Tribune News Service

How many of us give back something to the place where we have grown up and which has nourished us. Most of the time we take maximum out of the place where we put our roots and then just take wings and fly away to greener pastures. How many times we have thought of doing something for the people we have left behind.

But for this group of four young friends who had their roots in Himachal Pradesh, this was not the case since they always had this desire to make life better for these hilly people.

On their routine visits home the four friends, Sujata, a human rights professional working with a Delhi-based NGO, her husband Navqirti, an IT professional, Anahita, an MBA, and Amber an architect, were pained to see traditional artisans switching over to other professions due to lack of sustainable income. Traditional crafts were dying due to the lack of salability. There was hardly any promotion of these arts because of which the grassroots worker was facing economic crisis which was affecting the social fabric as well. So these four, during one of their brainstorming sessions, decided to set up Friends of Nature (FON), which would provide a platform to the traditional Himachali weavers to market their products.

So they pooled resources, took personal loans to achieve this dream. The idea started taking shape last year. Initially they employed a group of 20 rural women to weave Kulu patti and other traditional motifs. FON provided these artisans with designs, threads, motifs etc. It also gave training to rural artisans in giving a better finishing to their weaves and patterns so as to increase the salability of their products.

Other workers involved then used these motifs, weaves, hand-spun fabric in different products like Himalaya caps, shawls, stoles, bags, jackets etc.

The artisans work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are paid between Rs 100 to Rs 250 per day as per their skills. Women weavers in the interiors of the state, who do not work as daily wagers, are paid according to their productivity at the rate of Rs 6 to Rs 20 per metre, according to the intricacy of the design.

FON has been making efforts to market these products in the national as well as international market. They also promote these products at various exhibitions. Response from Germany has been good, says Navqirti. FON has got order for caps and bags from Berlin and Heidelberg.

But sadly there has not been much government help or subsidy available apart from providing space at government-sponsored exhibitions and state emporias, says Navqirti. For that also FON gives commission to the government for number of items sold.

The main objectives of FON have been to provide sustainable and regular income to rural artisans through gainful employment and to propagate products and services which are eco-friendly. Another objective has been to provide human-friendly and healthy work environment to these artisans.

Sujata says our objective will be achieved when we revive faith in traditional arts as sustainable and regular source of income. We say amen to that Sujata.



Modelling is not just fun and games

IT is late, and the night is chillingly cold. Watching the cameramen, and other technicians is a pretty girl who is sitting at the far end. She has been on location since nine in the morning, and now although 14 hours have passed, not a single shot of her’s has been taken. She can’t complain, she can’t go home; all she can do is wait. Modelling is not easy.

This is Shama Verma, a young girl who grew up in Moga, but has now moved to Chandigarh in search of work in the world of glamour.

Endowed with an hourglass figure, it was natural for Shama to try a shot at modelling, and she began by taking part in beauty contests and fashion shows. She was chosen Mega Model Punjab 2001, Miss Upper India 2002, Ludhiana, Jasmine Miss Winter Queen 2002, Chandiagrh, Miss Glam ‘n’ Glory, Super Model Punjab, Best Model Rajasthan. But, before getting into modelling, Shama did a brief stint in theatre with Prof Pali in Moga. And the theatre experience has stood her in good stead, as she understands the requirements of the stage, and knows to carry herself well. Apart from her good looks, she also as a great voice which will certainly help her in her future career.

As she made her presence felt in this highly competitive field, Shama was invited to do a screen test for Alpha TV, and was declared winner. This was followed by albums like Punjabi Akh Teri for T Series, Haan Kar De.

And now Shama’s appointment book is rather full. “Work is aplenty, but, as the industry is rather disorganised, payments are not good,” she laments. “Sometimes we don’t get what we were promised, and often we don’t get anything. Besides, there are all sorts of people out there. We have to be very careful. Some guys look very decent in the beginning, but soon they show their true colours. It is very annoying, because you respect and trust someone, and then he turns out to be a creep. But then these are the hazards of this profession, and we have to learn to deal with such situations. Fortunately, there are also some very nice people there. But a girl must be aware of the potholes before the embarks on the road to success.”

Not the one to give up because the path is difficult, Shama’s latest achievement is the Telefilm Rahit pyari mujhko in which she played the lead.

— Text and photo: Kay D



MCM College alumnae rekindle ties

Chandigarh, December 7
It was a trip down the memory lane for old students of MCM DAV College for Women, Sector 36, here today, who gathered on the college campus for their first alumnae meet.

With nostalgia reigning the day, these students relived their college time and interacted with teachers. The meet also provided them an opportunity to catch up with the latest in the lives of their friends. They rekindled their friendships, exchanged contact numbers, and also remembered the contribution of their alma mater in achieving the goals.

“What I am today is because of my college and teachers. I passed out in 1995 and at present doing Ph.D from Panjab University. Though I did not meet many of my batchmates, I enjoyed the return to the college”, said Gangandeep Gulati, who was accompanied by her daughter to the alumnae meet.

“I had the opportunity of being in the best college of the city. I enjoyed the cultural programme, spoke to my teachers, informed them of the progress I had made since college. It was fun being back in the college and I felt like a collegiate all over again”, were the thoughts of the chirpy Harpeet, a 1999 alumnus who presented a song also.

Navneet of the last batch of the college said,”I am happy we have organised ourselves into a group. I am thankful to the college for providing a platform to bring together old students. This means we can meet at least annually if not monthly. It feels great to be back.”

Amandeep, an old student who now teaches at the college, said she had very high expectations from the first meet of the old students. "While I met a few of my batchmates, I met a lot of my students. It felt good to be a student and teacher at the same time,” she added.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by old students which was attended by the Principal, Ms Puneet Bedi, and staff members. — TNS



It’s my life
I believe in fate

“AN introvert by nature, one who likes to wear a smile on his face and takes life as it comes”. This is how I define myself.

I belong to Dharamsala a beautiful hill station in Himachal pradesh. I did my schooling from Sacred Heart. Childhood was fun for me, carrying school bags which were heavier than me.

Teenage was fun, too, but I had to study hard. Me and my friends would play a lot of soccer and try to impress girls with our skills. I got my first responsible job when I was appointed the sports captain of the school and soon I realised what actually being responsible means. Sometimes I thought of myself as an engineer. I took up science for this purpose, but nothing materialised. I joined a degree college and did a short-term computer course. My biggest achievement came when I designed a website for a hotel with my friends. But destiny had something else for me.

Then NIFD happened to me and I left my home town to settle in Chandigarh for my B.Sc degree in textiles. This subject gave me the satisfaction I wanted and I realised my true potential lies here only. Bit by bit I am learning the skills to be a good designer. I believe in fate and I don’t know what fate has got for me, still I have to work hard. I believe in the saying, “Trifles lead to success and success is no trifle”.

— As told to A.S. Prashar


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