C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Amid exams, sms campaign on against reservation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
If the anti-reservation sms campaign among city students is anything to go by, the end of examinations in the university and city colleges could witness a repeat of August 1990, which was the time when the entire country erupted in a wave of strong anti-reservation protests, resulting in the death of several protestors.

“With the examinations on, there is no organised protest which has been planned. But students are almost feverish about the sms campaign. I am receiving many such messages each day. There are at least five different sets of such messages which are doing the rounds among students across the university and colleges in the city,” said Amandeep Singh, president of the Panjab University Campus Students Council.

“However, there is an all India protest call for April 17 by the student leaders of IIMs and IITs. Since our students at the University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET) and University Business School (UBS) here are directly affected, we might join in the protest. But we are still talking to the students and would take a final decision soon,” he added.

The students of Punjab Engineering College (PEC) have started mobilising support through their own sms campaign. The students are gearing up to collect on April 13 at the Verka booth in the campus and plan their next move.

Members of the Students Federation of India (SFI) are on the other hand completely in favour of the reservation. Harmandeep Singh, president, SFI, said, “We are not against reservation. We want that there should be reservation in order to bring about social justice in the country. Reservation is not just for economic upliftment but also for social upliftment”.

Members of the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) are yet to finalise their strategy. “We are still consulting students and going through the finer clauses of the announcement regarding increasing the number of seats under reservation. We are against reservation as such and such announcements which are done keeping the vote banks but at the same time we do not want to divide the students by launching a protest,” said Mukta, national secretary of the ABVP.

“We are against reservations and would plan a protest after the examinations finish on April 26,” said Pranay Pratap Singh, general secretary of the DAV College Students Union.



From Panjab University
BA (III) Hindi paper out of syllabus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Students of BA (III) Hindi have in a representation to Panjab University complained that a part of their question paper B was out of syllabus. According to Senators R.P.S. Josh and Mukesh Arora, both Hindi teachers, questions worth 30 marks were out of syllabus.

Refresher Course ends: The three-week Refresher Course in English organised by the Department of English, Panjab University, with support of the Academic Staff College concluded here today. Prof Pushpinder Syal, specialist in ELT and linguistics, delivered the valedictory lecture. Speaking on “The Possibilities and Potential of English Teachers”, she emphasised the need for coming out of the traditional moulds of thinking and being innovative in teaching practices.

Swami’s lecture: Swami Bodhananda, Spiritual Director and Founder of the Sambodh Society, will deliver a special lecture on “Personality Re-Engineering and Work Effectiveness” on April 12 at ICSSR Complex, PU. 



DAV school’s building inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The new building of DAV Public School, Sector 8, for primary students was inaugurated at Sector 39 today. A havan was conducted to mark the occasion. Mr Justice A.L. Bahri, chairman of the school, presided over the ceremony.



Murder accused acquitted

Chandigarh, April 10
The Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr M.M. Sharma, today acquitted Sukhdev Singh, a resident of Burail, in connection with the murder of Prem Lata, a resident of Sector 21.

The woman was murdered in 2001. The deceased had an alleged affair with the brother of the accused. The accused was acquitted as the prosecution failed to prove the charges. — TNS



After bitter protest, Amit relents on promise of fair play
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Amit Dutta, the “warring” student of Government Art College, finally scored a point over the authorities today. Not only did he convey what he wanted and in the way he wanted, he even managed to turn the authorities around and get them to speak his language.

On the third day of his no-holds-barred manner of protest, this final year applied art student littered the campus with his artworks and dared the authorities by threatening to set them ablaze.

Refusing to sit for the final exams, which started today, Amit said, “The management must start addressing real issues concerning art. They must start teaching us the real syllabus. We are applied art students and we must get to study animation at all levels. This college still does not teach mural making, ceramics and animation. It does not have enough space for practical work. There are hardly any studios. What is the use of a degree that lacks relevance?”

Among the works that lay scattered all over the campus were fine animation images and paintings which Dutta has created over the past four years. As his desperation reached a new height this morning, he toed his trunk to the college, and unloaded its contents on the campus, telling everyone that he had already completed his PhD by way of self study. The college hardly teaches relevant text, he said, his voice finding a resonance in other students’ voices.

Where Amit’s act mobilised art college students who confirmed the academic rot in the system, the management rushed to pre-empt rioting. The Principal called in Sector 3 police personnel who remained on the location of drama for at least two hours. As for Amit, he abandoned his artworks and fled the college only to resurface after an hour.

That was when he had the much-awaited conversation with college Principal Brahm Prakash who convinced him to sit in examination. Interestingly, those very lecturers, who are in the eye of storm because of Amit’s revelations about the stink in college, paid his examination fee today and ensured that he sat for his examination.

After high drama that dotted the campus for about three hours, Amit finally relented on promise of fair play and literally obliged everyone by taking the first practical exam. It was surprising to see how well he could concentrate on his examination work despite a three-day-long turmoil which left him completely unsettled.

Between him and his friends, he won a battle, literally. 



Football trainees get a coach, finally
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
The long wait of the trainees for a coach at the Football Stadium, Sector 17, is finally over with the appointment of a new coach.
The UT Sports Department has appointed Tajinder Kumar as a temporary coach to impart training to the upcoming players of the centre, who had been practicing without a coach since July last year.

“Appointing Tajinder here is a step to cover up the post, which is meant for Sports Authority of India’s coach”, said Mr I.S. Sandhu, Director, UT Sports Department.

Last year, the SAI coach, Dinesh Sharma, who imparted training to the players here, was transferred to Patiala in July 2005. Since then, neither the SAI nor the department appointed any coach here. Consequently, the number of trainees, which was over 50 last year, has reduced to just 15 to 20 these days.

Elated over the appointment of the coach, an upcoming footballer Harminder Singh said, “The absence of the coach, irregular training schedules and indiscipline have started prevailing upon our game. The non-availability of coach was the only reason behind the reduction in the number of the trainees”.

Terming the appointment the need of the hour, talented player Gopal Thapa said, “The presence of a coach in the field is the biggest source of motivation for every trainee. Only the coach can show the right direction besides looking after the needs of his players”.

Thanking the administration for the appointment, Suraj Prakash and Kartik Bhardwaj, both trainees, viewed that the administration should conduct a minimum of three league tournaments in a year with high cash prizes to promote the game in a professional manner. 



Pioneer in cricket matches for mentally challenged children
G.S. Paul
Tribune News Service

B.S. Chavan
B.S. Chavan

Chandigarh, April 10
They share a complete world among themselves and demand no sympathy, but love and affection, but they are treated as if they have a social stigma.
This led Dr B.S. Chavan, Joint Director, Government Institute for Mentally Retarded Children, Sector 32, to make these special children self-sufficient.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Dr Chavan said, “I observed that hardly anybody in their neighbourhoods used to like them, may be due to fear that they could harm them. These children used to watch normal children play.

“Being slow because of deficiency, they were not able to understand rules and regulations of the game, but were keen to play. I decided to organise sports events for them.”

Dr Chavan and members of his team designed special rules and organised cricket matches for them.

He contacted institutes for mentally challenged children and planned sports events at the national level.

The first all-India cricket tournament for mentally challenged children was organised in Chandigarh in December, where 20 teams participated.

Dr Chavan said, “Once I saw them watching a cricket match on television. I noticed that they were enjoying the game like us. They were able to recognise players and knew rules of the game somewhat. That is how the idea of cricket tournaments for them cropped up in my mind.

“It was amazing to see children playing in the sportsman spirit in a disciplined way and enjoying the game. This effort not only enhanced their quality of life, but also gave a boost to their self-esteem. The activities are therapeutic in improving their coordination skills.”

Dr Chavan had experimented by letting them play with normal children and the results were remarkable.

He said, “It took me some time to convince normal children that the special children would not harm them. We succeeded in winning their love and affection by organising sports events for special children.

“We have designed special programmes to hold sports events on an international scale. I have requested social secretaries of all states to constitute a committee of three persons, who will head special institutes for mentally challenged children and will make state cricket teams in their respective states.

“We plan to have inter-zonal tournaments shortly and ultimately, the idea is to have a national team. We are approaching the BCCI and the ICC for approval to modified rules for these children to conduct cricket matches.”

Dr Chavan clarified that not all mentally challenged children could play all games.

He said, “Only those who come under the mild category, where they have an IQ of between 50 and 70, can play games like cricket, volleyball, basketball, hockey and badminton. Those who have an IQ of between 35 and 50 come under the moderate category. They can play floor hockey (dragging the ball with specially designed sticks). Then comes the severe category, where children have an IQ of between 20 and 35. They can play soft games like water ball games and swings.

“The disability, particularly mental retardation, has been the most neglected field in India. A majority of them have failed to receive respect for and protection of their human rights. There are only a few special schools and institutions in our country.

“There is no dearth of funds, but our system is responsible for this. There is no budget provision for holding sports activities. All sports events we organised were funded from our efforts. We will carry it on as my aim is to make these children self-reliant.”



Taekwondo trials today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 10
Trials to select Chandigarh’s taekwondo team of junior boys and girls (14 to 17 years) will be held at MDAV School, Sector 22, here tomorrow from 9 am onwards. The selected team will participate in the 26th National Junior Boys and Girls Taekwondo Championship 2006 to be held at Thiruvananthapuram from May 19 to 21.

In the trials, only identity card holders of the state and Taekwondo Federation of India will be allowed to participate.


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