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PAU launches save water campaign
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Coinciding with World Water Day, Punjab Agricultural University launched statewide Save Water Save Punjab campaign from Gurdwara Mastwana, near Sangrur, here yesterday.

A large number of farmers who had gathered for the one-day seminar were briefed by the Director of Extension Education, Dr S.S. Gill and the Additional Director of Research (Agriculture), Dr G.S. Hira, about the gravity of the situation.

Giving a bird’s eye view where Punjab stands in respect to scarcity of water, the participants were shocked to hear that in 2004-05 water table fall in all 12 blocks of Sangrur district ranged from 1.7 to 8.7 feet. The fall in 12 blocks ranged from 47 to 91 feet in 2005.

Dr Gill and Dr Hira were explicit and blunt in telling the farmers that if they did not adhere to the scientific schedule for paddy sowing then by 2023, Sangrur would be in deep waters. Dr Hira is the principal investigation officer of a Rs 2.6-crore ICAR project has studied the water table fall in Sangrur district in detail. He said the water table would range from 88 to 247 feet by 2030.

Farmers were impressed upon to go in for timely sowing of paddy and avoid early sowing. While farmers demanded the government intervention by way of some act or legislation, Dr Gill asked them why not involve panchayats and farmers’ unions and associations in putting social pressure on farmers who usually go in for early sowing of paddy?

In fact, he said several factions of the Bharati Kisan Union and the Farmers’ Association had approached the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission requesting stern steps to stop the practice of early sowing of paddy.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Mr Harnek Singh, endorsed the views of PAU experts and said given the grim water table scenario in the district, administration would walk-in-step with PAU to create awareness among farmers on undertaking timely sowing.

The university has been educating farmers as to how early sowing causes fast depletion of water table. For instance paddy sown on May 1 caused the water table to fall by 70 cm in a year, one sown between May 10 to May 20, led to a fall of 60 to 50 cm, respectively, and as the sowing was delayed, the fall slowed down.

For instance, paddy sown around May 30 caused a fall of just 28 cm per year and the one around June 10 only 10 cm. Therefore, it would be ideal and in the interest of ecology, economy and production to go in for timely sowing after June 15.

As part of the world theme “water and water culture”, PAU is perhaps the only institution to have taken up cudgels to create awareness among the farmers on the appointed day about the need to preserve and conserve water, and re-fortify the aquifer for posterity.

In this campaign, a specially designed wall poster was also released. Copies of this would be pasted in all villages of the state.

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From Schools and Colleges
St Bawara honours Manu Sachdeva
Our Correspondent

A scene from the play ‘ Jadon Bohal Ronde Hun’, staged at the SCD College, Ludhiana, on Friday
A scene from the play ‘ Jadon Bohal Ronde Hun’, staged at the SCD College, Ludhiana, on Friday. — Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, March 24
The students, staff and management of St Bawra Public High School, New Lajpat Nagar, Ludhiana, celebrated the success of one of its alumnus, Dr Manu Sachdeva, here today.

Manu, after completing her education from the school, did her Bachelors in Naturopathy and Yogic Science from Rajiv Gandhi University and Masters in Acupuncture from the Colombia University.

She was a topper throughout her education in the school as well as the university.

She was ranked first in Physiology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Nutrition and Dietetics.

Manu is the first girl in Punjab to have a graduation in this field. She has got a placement in Abu Dhabi and is working as a doctor.

The Principal, Mrs Chander Prabha, and the Director, Mr Satish Soi, gave a warm welcome to her and guests and asked other students to follow her example

Expo on food craft: MGM Public School held an exhibition on food craft today to educate students about nutritious food.

An inter-house declamation contest was held in the school yesterday. The results are as follow:

Sapanpreet stood first , Kareena Gill second, and Ashween third.

The topics were ‘Let the girls be born and bloom’, ‘Let us have a positive attitude in life’ and ‘Globalisation’.

Theatre fest at SCD: The SCD College today held a theatre festival . The Punjabi Department of the college and Lok Kala Manch, Mansa , staged plays written by Prof. Ajmer Singh Alok.

The play titled ‘Anehri Kothri’ kept the audience spellbound. Another play staged was 'Jadon bohal ronde hun ' and it depicted the anguish of small farmers of Malwa region over financial crises they face.

The third play revolved around the relationships of landlords and siris who are landless workers.

The Natak Academy has honoured Prof Alok after presentation of his play 'Insaan Milao'.

Prof Nachitar Singh, Head of Punjabi Department, and Principal Darshan Singh both welcomed and said words in honour of Prof Alok. Mr S.N.A.Chowdhry, Income Tax Commissioner, presided over the function.

Seminar: GHG Khalsa College, Guru Sar Sadhar, conducted a seminar on "Women Empowerment" here today. Dr Sushil Kaur was the coordinator of the seminar.

The Principal, Mr Manjit Singh Khattra, Director of GH Khalsa Institutions, presented the keynote address and stressed the need to awaken the women about their rights.

Various learned scholars presented their papers and views. Prof. Surinder Pal Kaur Sidhu spoke on the recent ‘Sati’ and child marriage incidents that have engulfed India. Prof Anup Kaur introduced the audience with the historical position of women.

Dr Sushil Kaur , librarian of the college,unfolded the pages of Sikh history to make people aware of the rich place of women in the society. Miss Nav Deep Kaur said women were masters of their fate, other things being constant.

Prof Balwinder Pal Singh (HOD Economics) shared cultural and social aspects of women empowerment.

Prof Rita Rani presented her own composition "Yeh Ladkian" while Prof Rupinder Singh (Political Science) informed the audience about legal provisions for women empowerment at the same time highlighted the question why could not these be implemented?

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Karan Veer wins Space contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Karan Veer Goyal (only one from Punjab), a city resident, pursuing mechanical engineering from Bathinda, has won a trip to Turkey in a contest organised to watch a total solar eclipse from the Tyrkey Sea on March 29 . The eclipse would be partially visible from India.

The contest was organised by the Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (Space), an NGO involved in the promotion of astronomy and scientific temper.

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Dr Vijay Asdhir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
Commerce and management scholar Dr Vijay Asdhir joined as the Principal of Kamla Lohtia S D College on Wednesday. On behalf of the staff, Prof Deepak Kaushal welcomed Dr Asdhir. Mr Navin Mittal, president of the managing committee, was also present

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Bar chief visits Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 24
Punjab and Haryana Bar Council chairman Harish Rai Dhanda on Tuesday visited the local Bar association. He was accompanied by District Bar Association, Ludhiana, president Nawal Kishor.

He was given a warm welcome by the Bar members. Mr Dhanda assured help to deceased advocates’ widows and the Bar associations for maintenance of the library.

He also invited the members to apprise him of their grievances so as these were looked into promptly. Bar Association, Jagraon, president Didar Singh Gindra thanked the chairman.

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Breastfeeding vital for infants
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
The newborn should be breastfed for the first six months as it is sufficient in all nutrients essential for growth. This was emphasised by Dr Rajinder Gulati, head of pediatrics Department at the ESI Model Hospital, delivering a talk on “Infant and child feeding ”, during the ongoing five-day training programme on nutrition education organised here by the Food and Nutrition Board for the CDPO's and supervisors.

He said, however, the period between six months to two year was also of critical importance in child's growth and development. In many countries, feeding of these children did not receive adequate emphasis in child health programmes. As a result, malnutrition in children was very common. Undernourished children did not grow and develop optimally,regardless of food, they consumed in later years.

"Malnutrition is also associated with deficiency of iron and Vitamin A and other nutrients, which effect their development. Children who do not grow well have increased risk of illness and take longer time to recover from illness."

Dr Gulati, drawing attention on the importance of complementary feeding, said that from about six months onwards there was a gap between total energy needs and the energy provided by breast milk. The gap increased as the child grows .

Therefore, children who started complementary feeding after six months of exclusive breastfeeding, grew well and were found to be active and content. In addition, at this age the digestive system of the baby was strong enough to digest a range of foods.

Complementary feed could be deleterious for both the mother and the baby,if started early. He added that in such a condition complementary feed took the place of breast .This might also increase the risk of illness and diarrhoea because less of the protective factors in breast milk were consumed and the complementary feed might not be as clean as breast milk. Moreover, the mother's risk of another pregnancy was increased if breastfeeding was less frequent.

Giving details on the type of complementary feeding ,he observed that family foods with a thick, soft consistency nourish and fill the child. Animal foods were special foods for children as they were high in protein and other nutrients. For the vegetarians, legumes such as peas, beans and lentils, as well as nuts and seeds, were good source of protein. Legumes were a source of iron as well. Pulses, dark green leafy vegetables were also a source of iron. Iron absorption was increased by eating iron rich foods at the same meal with foods rich in vitamin C such as tomato, guava, mango, pineapple, orange and other citrus fruits.

Another important nutrient, he said, was Vitamin A. Vitamin A could be stored in child's body for a few months. The child should be given foods rich in Vitamin A like dark green leafy vegetables and orange coloured fruits and vegetables, ideally every day.

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TB Day message: guard against symptoms
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
Dr Dinesh Goyal, consultant pulmonologist at SPS Apollo Hospital here, has asked the people not to ignore symptoms like cough for more than 3 weeks duration, weight loss and fever, which could be manifestation of tuberculosis (TB).

Speaking at a function to mark the World TB Day at the hospital here today, he remarked that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared March 24 every year as World TB Day. The purpose was to focus on TB, one of the largest infective killer disease which was rampant in developing countries, including India. TB was responsible for more than 3 million deaths annually. Though the disease most commonly affected lungs, it could also attack other body parts like bones, abdomen, brain and lymph nodes.

“The situation is particularly alarming in an industrial city like Ludhiana where over-crowding, air pollution, influx of huge migrant population from neighbouring states, is responsible for increased prevalence of disease.”

Dr Goyal informed that TB was fully preventable and curable disease, provided it was diagnosed at an early stage and treated properly under the supervision of qualified medical professionals, preferably chest physicians. He added that increasing incidence of HIV, Aids and rampant drug abuse, prevalent in this region of state, had lead to development of drug resistant tuberculosis which further complicated the problem.

Dr Goyal stated that the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Union Government had launched ‘Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme’ all over India in 1987, under which more than 50 lakh patients were initiated on anti-tuberculosis treatment, saving more than 9 lakh additional lives every year since then.

Meanwhile, the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised a free tuberculosis prevention and smoking de-addiction camp at Shivpuri here today to mark the World TB Day.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary of the association, said that NIMA aimed at creating awareness about the disease keeping in mind the principle of ‘prevention is better than cure’. The NIMA action plan was holding such project so as to target the causative factors like smoking, which was considered to be one of the major cause of tuberculosis.

He said persistent cough, loss of appetite, low grade fever and loss of weight were striking features of the disease. “Ludhiana, being predominantly industrial city, workers in hosiery or other industrial units are mostly un-educated, unskilled, smokers and mostly have the habit of tobacco chewing. Due to this TB has affected these poor and migratory inhabitants.”

Dr Rajeev Gupta, senior psychiatrist and former consultant at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, examined the patients, along with members of NIMA. Dr Rajesh Thapar, NIMA president, Dr S. Kakkar, Dr K.K. Sharma, Dr M.M. Verma, Dr Pardip Nagrath, Dr Diwaker Sharma, Dr Khangoora, Dr N. Saggar, Dr Inder Sharma, Dr Ashok Puri, Dr D.P. Goyal, Dr Sarjeevan Sharma and Dr Sarbjit Singh comprised the medical team which conducted the examination of patients at the camp.

The visitors to the camp were advised change of lifestyle, to keep away smoking and all other type of intoxicants. Emphasis was given on other stress relieving measures to patients because in today’s busy life, one could very easily become a prey to addictions.

Interacting with the patients, Dr Rajeev Gupta mentioned that the only solution to the vexed problem of tobacco-addiction was persuasion of the smoker to leave this habit by de-addiction techniques. This could be achieved by voluntary exit, or by medicinal treatment modalities in which the addict was put on nicotine replacement therapy.

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Blood donation camp for thalassaemics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
The department of Transfusion Medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), in collaboration with the Thalassaemia Welfare Society, organized a blood donation camp at Khattuji College, Jalalabad in district Ferozepre yesterday.

According to Dr Amarjit Kaur, Head of Transfusion Medicine, DMCH, it was a matter of great satisfaction that all the donors were highly motivated and showed an exemplary enthusiasm, as well as concern for the victims of thalassemia.

The DMCH team, led by Dr Wishwdeep Singh Dhillon collected 63 units of blood from voluntary donors, comprising students and faculty of the college, besides other sections of the community.

Further highlighting the contribution of the DMCH towards the welfare of thalassaemic children, Dr Amarjit Kaur said that blood collected at the camp would be screened for transmissible diseases and thereafter issued to thalassaemic children at highly subsidised charges.

All expenses for screening and investigation of blood would be borne by the hospital. 

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Cardiologist gets AV Gandi award

Ludhiana, March 24
Dr T.P. Singh, consultant cardiologist with the Escorts Heart Institute and presently working with the Delta Heart Centre here, has won the first AV Gandi Memorial Award for excellence in cardiology.

The award carries an amount of Rs 1 lakh and a certificate. It is given for original research paper or thesis. In addition to the cash award to the winner, the Department of Cardiology, PGI, Chandigarh, where Dr Singh conducted his research, will also receive a research grant of Rs 50,000. OC

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