R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Seminar inaugurated
: Ms Rakesh Sachdeva, principal, DAV Public School, Chandigarh, Dr B. C. Josan, Zonal Director, Schools, and Mr Dev Mittar Ahuja, chairman of the local managing committee, jointly inaugurated a two-day seminar on communication skills in teaching of English at LRSDAV Senior Secondary Model School here on Saturday. The faculty of DAV schools in Abohar, Fazilka, Jalalabad West, Guruharsahai, Malout, Gidderbaha, Bathinda, Mansa, Kot Kapura, Jaitu and Bareta also attended the seminar.

Four bookies held
: Four persons — Vimal Kumar, Rakesh Kumar, Dharminder Sharma and Parmod Kumar —were arrested by the police for betting on Friday’s ODI between India and New Zealand. The CIA staff raided the house of Pramod Kumar where the accused were reportedly found gambling. The police seized records containing details of bets placed by various people. A case has been registered.

Annual convention held: The Punjab State Services Federation, the PSEB Employees Federation and the Punjab Kirti Kisan Mazdoor Dal on Saturday organized their district annual convention here. The convention was held under the presidentship of former MP Charanjit Singh Walia, who is also Chairman, Punjab Khadi and Gram Udyog Board. He assured the members that fresh recruitments would be made soon. 

Farmers compensated: The Army, the Agriculture Department and the Revenue Department jointly distributed compensation to farmers of Khemkaran sector whose land was used to lay landmines in 2002. According to a press note, Rs 8.52 lakh was distributed in Mehandipur village, Rs 1.18 lakh in Mianwal village, and Rs 9.37 lakh in Rajoke village and other villages. The farmers were given Rs 6670 per acre of land.

Section 144 imposed
: Keeping in view to maintain law and order during the supplementary examinations of class X and XII beginning from September 6, District Magistrate has imposed Section 144 by which the gathering of more than five persons have been banned around all examination halls from September 6 to September 23.

Forgery case registered
: On a complaint by Mr Gurdev Singh a resident of Mewa Miani, the police registered a case on Saturday against Harbans Singh, a resident of Rihana Jattan. Mr Gurdev Singh had alleged that Harbans Singh had sold off his land after preparing fake documents.

Office-bearers appointed
: Mr Pardeep Kalia has been appointed president and Mr Deepak Madaan vice-president of Kapurthala unit of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray). This was stated by Mr Jagdish Kataria, chief spokesman of the Punjab Unit of the Sena. 

Police party attacked: Police party attacked: The police has booked Sukhdev Singh and arrested Charan Singh, Kala Singh, Kuldeep Singh and Sahib Singh, residents of Toganwala village along with Nirmal Singh of Sidhwan Dona village for allegedly manufacturing illicit liquor and attacking the raiding police party. Charan Singh, Kala Singh and Sukhdev Singh allegedly attacked the police party when it raided the site on Saturday. ASI Joginder Pal and ASI Bhupinder Singh were injured. A case has been registered. 

Suicide victim recovering: The condition of Ms Rajwinder Kaur, a resident of Surukhpur village, who tried to commit suicide by taking poison on Thursday, is out of danger. Her father, Gurbux Singh, has alleged that her husband, Gurcharan Singh, his mother Balbir Kaur, and brother Manna forced Rajwinder to swallow poison after tying her hands and left her alone. He also alleged that the accused used to torture her for bringing more dowry. A case has been registered.

Poor water supply
: The residents of Defence Avenue, Sujanpur, are facing the problem of inadequate supply for over two months. Despite their numerous complaints to the civic authorities, residents allege that no action had been taken. The officials concerned have attributed the inadequate water supply to the irregular electricity supply. 

Pahwa joins SAD
: Mrs Paramjit Kaur Pahwa, an independent councillor, on Sunday joined the Shiromani Akali Dal in the presence of its President and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD organising secretary-cum-SGPC member Jarnail Singh Wahid, among others, at the Pahwa residence in local Guru Hargobindnagar. With the joining of Mrs Pahwa, the strength of SAD councillors in the 28-member Nagar Council had risen to four.

Rape victim
: The district administration has issued a cheque for Rs 12,500 to a 16-year-old girl who had delivered a baby boy after she was subjected to rape by her uncle. The cheque was released from the Red Cross Society fund. Giving details, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr H.I.S Garewal, said the amount would be handed over to the victim’s family. 



FUNCTION: As part of the Teachers' Day celebrations, the Bharat Vikas Parishad (South I) organised a “Guru Vandan Chhatar Abhinandan” at Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 32, on Sunday. The AGM of the State Bank of Patiala, Mr Amrish Aggarwal,was the chief guest at the function, where several teachers and students were honoured.

SUPPORT TO CONG: The Capital Road Workers Union on Sunday decided to extend its support to Mr B.B.Bahl, president of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress Committee. The union urged Mr Bahl to take up the long-pending demands of the members of the union with the authorities concerned.



PGDCA exam
: Students of Hartron workstation, Punjabi Mohalla, have done well in the PGDCA exam of Kurukshetra University. Seven students have scored more than 70 per cent marks. Puja Gupta scored 77 per cent marks.

Project week concludes
: A project week based on the theme, “We love our India”, concluded at Darshan Academy School here on Saturday. During this week, students learnt the geographical, historical, economical and administrative systems in the country. Students from Uttaranchal, Orissa, West Bengal, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Delhi and Nagaland also participated in the project

Students protest: Students of the RKSD College organised a procession and disrupted traffic at Pehowa Chowk here on Saturday. The students were protesting against the arrest of those persons who were accused of torching houses of Dalits in Gohana in Sonepat district on Wednesday. They also demanded that the cases registered be withdrawn and those arrested released. They handed over a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, Mr B.S. Malik 

Fire in factory
: Cotton worth Rs 8 lakh was gutted in a fire which broke out in the export oriented unit (EOU) of Pashupati Spinning and Weaving Mills, Kapriwas, about 20 km from here, on Friday. Electric sparking seemed to be the cause of the fire. 

Two booked in dowry case: Following a directive by the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Baljeet Singh, on a petition filed by Laxmi Devi, a resident of Toomna village, about 35 km from here, the police has booked her husband Akshay Kumar and her father-in-law Som Dutt on charges of harassment for dowry, criminal intimidation and for an attempt by her father-in-law to outrage her modesty. 

Illicit liquor seized: The police on Friday seized 1,380 bottles of illicit liquor from the house of Bhim Singh in Lilodh village near Kosli. A case has been registered.

Motorcyclist killed
: A motorcyclist was killed when he was hit by a truck on the Kharkhauda-Sampla road near Rohna village, 20 km from here, on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Satya Parkash, alias Pope, of Hassangarh village. He was returning home from Kharkhauda town where he had gone to drop a relative. The police has registered a case against the truck driver. 

Mess fee withdrawn: The management of Hindu Girls College announced the withdrawal of the hike in the mess fee and hostel charges here on Sunday following settlement between the Principal and the agitating girl students on the issue. Mr Subhash Chander, DSP (Headquarters), and leaders of students were present during the talks held between the principal and the students.



Mathematician who adds to the green cover

Prof S.L. Saini’s Haryana Environmental Society is spearheading the green campaign in the Yamunanagar area
THE DRIVING FORCE: Prof S.L. Saini’s Haryana Environmental Society is spearheading the green campaign in the Yamunanagar area.

For this professor of maths, it’s tough keeping count of the number of saplings that he has planted to add to the green cover in Haryana.

Prof S.L.Saini, who teaches at MLN College, Yamunanagar, planted his first tree sapling in 1996. Over the next nine years, this small gesture has grown into a full-fledged movement. Professor Saini has so far planted more than 42,000 saplings of 60 varieties in Yamunanagar, Ambala and Panchkula districts. Thanks to this effort, the twin towns of Yamunanagar and Jagadhri now wear a green cover.

Even dignitaries and foreigners have been planting saplings under the aegis of Saini’s Haryana Environmental Society (HES).

“I had started this project of making Haryana green with a mere Rs 15,000 and the help of a few friends”, recollects Professor Saini, also known as the ‘Green Man’. Today, he has a fullfledged team of volunteers, who are working for this cause. The Principal of his college, Dr Ramesh Kumar, too, has done his bit by providing him a nursery in the college hostel.

His green campaign started from Model Town in Yamunanagar. Today, the 18-km-long stretch of dividers on various roads in Yamunanagar and Jagadhri townships and other public places, including the cremation grounds, have a green look.

He has received several awards for spearheading this green movement. He has succeeded in his efforts because he makes sure that every sapling grows into a full-fledged tree, say local residents. If a sapling is damaged, he ensures that it gets replaced immediately. With the help of various members of the society and commercial organisations, he has also managed to get tree guards for most of his young trees.

He has also set up a ‘dada–pota’ park in Yamunanagar, where there are saplings planted by residents spanning three generations — grandfathers, sons and grandsons. Now, he is planning to use the services of eunuchs to spread his cause further and set up a bird sanctuary at one of the parks in Yamunanagar. He has also developed a herbal park in the town.

He depends less on government funds and more on the public’s contributions. “The government contribution is less than eight per cent in the total budget, but it is increasing every year,” says Prof Saini. His message to the public: plant a sapling on every occasion, be it a marriage anniversary, birth of a child and so on.

With strings attached

Gurpinder is among the few women santoor players in the country
SOUND OF THE SANTOOR: Gurpinder is among the few women santoor players in the country. — Photo by S.S. Chopra 

She welcomes the day with soft, lilting notes of the santoor that waft through the air with melodious ease. Gurpinder, one of the very few women santoor players in the country, feels that music transcends all boundaries. It just strikes a discordant note if some musical instruments are considered out of bounds for women musicians, she says.

This Jalandhar-based young artiste from the Indore Gharana is taking her training under Dr Arun Mishra. She has been the recipient of the first prize in santoor vadan for five consecutive years in the All-India National Youth Festival. Though a student (MA II Music Vocal), she has performed at various music festivals and even done a jugalbandi with noted sitarist Ustad Sayeed Khan.

The sound of the santoor gives her a unique feeling of being in communion with God. “When I play the santoor, it seems as if I am engulfed in a warm glow of peace and serenity,” she sallies, adding, “All jarring notes vanish when music plays. I do my riyaaz daily for six to eight hours. I practice santoor vadan both in the mornings and evenings. Once in four months, I go in for the rigorous Chilla practice — for 40 consecutive days, my riyaaz has to adhere to a decided schedule, come what may.”

Gurpinder’s dream is to follow in the footsteps of santoor maestro, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, though she says her guru, Dr Mishra, is her “guiding force”.

River of letters

‘Iravati’ is the new literary offering from the hill state of HP
‘Iravati’ is the new literary offering from the hill state of HP.

The gap that is created when literature and art do the vanishing trick from mainstream media is not something to lament, for it often leads to small and valuable efforts by a breed that will not let the soul starve for food and thought.

Little magazines fall in this little tradition and a very good effort has come from Dharamsala in the shape of a little magazine called ‘Iravati’.

The first issue of this literary bi-monthly, that promises to delve deep into creativity and provide food for thought, comes with a bright and beautiful painting on the cover by Satish Verma.

This venture is the baby of Rajendra Rajan, who has put his heart and soul into bringing out a quality literary bag from the hills of Himachal Pradesh.

The inaugural issue has some big names in literature from the national scene and from the region. The magazine is a fine mix of poetry, fiction and essays.

One wonders about the choice of the beautiful name. The Editor says, “Iravati is the name for Ravi as it flows through Chamba in Himachal Pradesh. Rivers spell life around them and so does literature and thus this name was chosen keeping the regional flavour in mind.”

So, one hopes this river of letters will flow on gathering more writers and good writing. Contributed by Nishikant Dwivedi, Nirupama Dutt and Minna Zutshi


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