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Every Wednesday and Friday

Young drug addicts seek to break free
The age profile of those addicted to drugs has changed dramatically in the recent years with children as young as five taking narcotics in the town. But all is not lost yet. Now, teenagers and college students are initiating measures to help people get rid of the drug habit.

E-books gaining popularity
Conventional study methods have undergone a sea change. The old trend of cramming is on its way out. As the new generation adopts contemporary methodologies like learning with the help of CDs and online education, study hours have become more interesting.


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Lost glory
Fatehabad, once the capital of Ahluwalia Misl, is crying for attention today. Sadly, not many are aware of the historicity of the town. Varinder Walia reports
Situated on the old Lahore-Delhi road, Fatehabad was home to a large number of heritage buildings, including imperial serais, but many of them have simply disappeared.

Of kings, temples and Huns

A view of the majestic gates of the serai built by Sher Shah Suri at Fatehabad.
—  Photo by Rajiv Sharma
A view of the majestic gates of the serai built by Sher Shah Suri at Fatehabad

Residents flay NC over poor water supply
Upset over poor water supply for over a week now, residents of Guru Nanakpura locality, irked male and female residents came out of their houses in scorching heat, held protest and shouted slogans against the Nagar Council and the local NC president today.

Partition still haunts Channo Devi
The traumatic memories of Partition continues to haunt 73-year-old Channo Devi who had to leave Salepur Chaprar village in Sialkot, Pakistan, along with her parents on August 14, 1947. Channo Devi, talking to the TNS, said she did not know the meaning of independence then, as she was only 14 years old. She said her family was already in a state of shock as her elder sister who was married in Chhamb Jorhian in Akhnoor Sector of Jammu and Kashmir had expired a few days back.
Channo Devi

Pak scholar attempts to trace origin of Lohani Pathans
A professor from the Lahore University of Management Services, Dr Furrukh A. Khan, visited a number of places in the border region to trace the two-century old origin of the Lohani Pathans in Gurdaspur district.


Dr Furrukh Khan, Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management Science, visited Amritsar on August 17


Dr Furrukh Khan, Assistant Professor, Lahore University of Management Science, visited Amritsar on August 17

Baba Seechewal’s efforts draw praises from different quarters
Leaders of different political parties of Punjab, including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the leader of the Opposition Parkash Singh Badal praised Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal for his imitable effort of cleansing 160-km-long Kali Bein.

Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Young World
Talent Hunt organised at Apeejay College
Talent hunt 2006, a competition for various cultural and literary events, was organised at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, on Friday and Saturday. Students took part in contests for music vocal, instrumental, dance, debate, poetry, sculpture-making, poster and cartoon-making, rangoli, fancy dress, fresh flower arrangement, phulkari-making, painting of still life and landscapes.





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Young drug addicts seek to break free
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Illustration by Sandeep JoshiThe age profile of those addicted to drugs has changed dramatically in the recent years with children as young as five taking narcotics in the town.

But all is not lost yet. Now, teenagers and college students are initiating measures to help people get rid of the drug habit.

According to NGOs, counsellors and doctors, earlier people between the age group of 30 and 40 used to seek help as the after-effects of the addictions surfaced.

But now, there is a 25 per cent increase in young people between the age group of 16 and 25 visiting various drug de-addiction centres or seeking help from a helpline.

Apart from the rise in awareness about the effects of drug addiction in later life, other factors like the prospects of marriage, job and going abroad drive many youths to head for the town’s various drug de-addiction centres and camps.

A source in a private hospital drug de-addiction and treatment centre said that on an average, 500 new patients undergo treatment every year. “The ratio of youngsters coming on their own for treatment is high. Also, to clear the medical tests required for a visa clearance, many go to de-addiction centres,” he added.

Such is the anguish of those who want to free themselves from the enslavement to drugs that a helpline being run for AIDS patients every year receives calls from people addicted to narcotic substances. The helpline has already received 280 calls this month, mainly from teenagers.

“It’s mostly college students who call us seeking help. We assure them the benefit of confidentiality. As there is no interpersonal contact, people don’t hesitate to discuss their problems,” Mr M.M. Khattar, former Secretary, Punjab AIDS Control Organisation, said.

Another striking reality is the easy availability of narcotic substances that lead to drug addiction. “All the efforts to reduce the demand get nullified as the supply of such products is in abundance and these are readily available. So how much reduction in the drugs related cases could take place?” Mr Harbans Lal, president, Punjab AIDS Control Organisation, an NGO running various drugs-related projects in the city, said.

Mr Mukesh Dang, project secretary at the Drug Awareness and Counselling Centre, said the two key areas where action should be taken were home and school. “Peer pressure, curiosity, media exposure and lack of supervision are the reasons that force people to experiment with drugs. We should teach children about health living along with making them manage emotions,” Mr Dang added.

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E-books gaining popularity
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Conventional study methods have undergone a sea change. The old trend of cramming is on its way out. As the new generation adopts contemporary methodologies like learning with the help of CDs and online education, study hours have become more interesting.

Many international book brands and publishers are now targeting the students’ segment. Recently, Oxford and Orient have introduced cassettes and CDs of dictionaries to make the web of words easy to comprehend.

“Books have their own charm, but CDs and online study material are in demand. Actually this new technique is adding a new dimension to the style of study. Students are more comfortable going through CDs,” says Mr Satish of Satish Book Depot in Phagwara. He says ample matter is available with them, which generates good sales.

Now with excitement added to studies, the students are happy adopting these methods. Studies are fun. “Generally the book only gives an idea about the issue. But here it’s different, and the facts are substantiated with examples,” says BA student Jaishree Mitra.

“Separate sessions are conducted where audio cassettes are used to rectify spoken English. This different experience makes studies easy for students,” informs a school principal. He says they plan to provide the study material to the students as it helps them in grasping information.

The electronic version of books has a good market. Many bookshop owners and video parlours are actually renting out CDs of course materials. Sources say the pirated versions of e-books are selling at cheap rates. Market insiders inform that shops are flooded with study material. One can even go and browse the net for online assistance.

Many of the schools in the city, which follow an international study pattern, are emphasising excessive net usage. An online dictionary plays a vital role in honing skills. Divya Verma from the Kamla Nehru College for Women says, “Study material is easily available. Most people are reaping its benefits. Slide shows and rigorous training sessions prove fruitful.”

Parents feel that these futuristic methods will help students to carve out their own niche. Mr Amar Lakhanpal reveals, “I bought a PC for my son. And now he is actually devoting time to reading.” He says the development is positive. “Different course material and other general information-based documentaries always add to your knowledge.”

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Lost glory

Fatehabad, once the capital of Ahluwalia Misl, is crying for attention today. Sadly, not many are aware of the historicity of the town.
Varinder Walia reports

Charnjit Singh Fatehabad pointing towards the crumbling building that once housed General Mohan Singh, brother-in-law of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, at Fatehabad
IN RUINS: Charnjit Singh Fatehabad pointing towards the crumbling building that once housed General Mohan Singh, brother-in-law of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, at Fatehabad. —  Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Situated on the old Lahore-Delhi road, Fatehabad was home to a large number of heritage buildings, including imperial serais, but many of them have simply disappeared. Today even their ruins are non-existent.

Fatehabad is probably much older than Amritsar and Tarn Taran. It is rich with Mughal and Sikh architecture, and blessed with the visits of Guru Nanak Dev and Guru Arjun Dev.

It was Sher Shah Suri (1472-1545) who first linked Painam near Dhaka, now in Bangladesh, with Peshawar that was in Afghanistan until Maharajah Ranjit Singh annexed it by stitching together several existing roads.

The entire road was finished during Akbar’s reign. Kos (1 kos is roughly 3 km) minars were built to show the way and after every 20 kos or so, a serai was built. Cubicles with verandahs for travellers to stay in were built along the walls.

Even in these utilitarian serais, the Mughal rulers could not resist adding vast mosaic flourishes to gates. Mr Jagmohan Dayal Singh, a resident of the ancient town, says that a large number of serais existed during the early part of the 20th century.

For the safety of the trade route, garrison was stationed at Fatehabad Fort since the times of Mahmood Ghazni. The imperial serai was built for night halt of Mughal armies and carvan.

The Amritsar Gazetteer mentions that the serai at Fatehabad is also of the same design as that of Naurangabad, Serai Amanat Khan and Serai Noordin. During the Mughal period, the “Badshai Road” passed from Attari to Goindwal Sahib via Serai Amanat Khan, Noordi, Naurangabad and Fatehabad, all of which are situated in Tarn Taran district.

The serais are almost of similar design and dimensions. These places virtually form fortified habitations, the whole population residing within the four walls of the serais that had two gates on the opposite sides.

While the boundary walls of the majestic serai-cum- fort have been demolished by residents, only two ornamental gates and royal mosque could be saved. Many small mosques that dotted the ancient town (Fatehabad) have lost their existence. Many houses have mushroomed within the fort complex.

The grand buildings with decorated walls, water tanks, wells and fountains surrounded by orchards once made this place the most beautiful place in the region. The inner and outer walls of the serai were sculptured with green and blue stones.

The rest of the monuments with rotting doors and crumbling masonry present a sorry state of affairs. In fact, these monuments may collapse any time.

Now Fatehabad, with crumbling old havelis and alleys, still retains the pre-Partition mix of Sikh, Hindu and Muslim architectural styles.

The fifth Sikh Guru frequented Fatehabad. The first Sikh Guru also visited this place and penned Gurbani in praise of nature.

Mr Barinder Dyal Singh claims that Fatehabad had one of the oldest schools of the state established in 1870s. Earlier, it was a madrasa that was later converted into school by the British administration. The old building of the school has lost its existence now.

Telling about the history of Fatehabad, Ms Meenu Sharma, a resident, claims that Fatehabad and its adjoining areas were once inhabited by the Khokhar tribe. According to “A glossary of the tribes and castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province”, authored by Denzil Ibbetson in 1883, based on census report for Punjab: “It mentions the Khokhars in the Mohammadan historians of India as a tribe which resisted the invasion of Mahmood Ghazni with bare heads and feet armed with spears. These Khokhars had settlements on Beas and Sutlej, especially in the settlements of Varowal (about 12 kilometres from Fatehabad), Bharowal and Kaluwahan (now known as Kahnuwan in Gurdaspur district).

According to the account of writers of Mahmood Ghazni, the Khokhars were constant source of trouble for the Governor of Lahore appointed by Ghazni, and to control them, a fortress was constructed on the banks of Beas between Bharowal and Verowal, which was called Serai town of Fatehabad.

The name Fatehabad signified the sign of victory against the Khokhars. According to Griffin Lepel, the fortress of Fatehabad during the Sikh Misl period was besieged by the forces of Ahluwalia Misl under the command of Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia. As the fort was quite strong, it held out for many days. Then the commander of the fort, on the condition of safe passage to Lahore for the entire garrison, decided to relinquish the fort to Ahluwalia forces. It remained the capital of Ahluwalia Misl until Nawab Fateh Singh shifted his base to Kapurthala due to the increasing power of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The ancient town of Fatehabad is full of history. Mr Charnjit Singh, who is the direct descendant of General Attar Singh, a great Sikh warrior, said that after defeating the major rajas of the Indian subcontinent, the conditions were peaceful for Mohammad Ghauri, but in Punjab they were not satisfactory. In this region, the Khokhars, contemporaries of Mohammad Ghauri, used to rebel. So, Mohammad Ghauri came to this region to punish them. He let loose terror on the Khokhars by destroying and burning their strongholds near Lahore and on the banks of Beas.

The Muslim historians say that a few raiders who were Khokhars and had joined Mohammad Ghauri’s army in disguise attacked him and he was assassinated along with his three guards. Mohammad Ghauri was killed brutally.

He had sustained 22 wounds on his body.

The ancient village of Fatehabad was completely destroyed by “shahi” (royal) forces of Emperor Jahangir for support given to Khusro by the local population. Later, the residents moved to Fatehabad Fort, reportedly built by Sher Shah Suri.

The Palace of Sardar Ahluwalia, called “Mai Deori” was sold recently and the purchasers have razed the great Sikh heritage to ground. The old and historical building of “Nanak Padao” has been razed and a new building has come up. This was the place where Maharaja Ranjit Singh had come to condole the death of Nawab Bhag Singh, father of Nawab Fateh Singh (nephew of Sardar Ahluwalia). Both Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Nawab Fateh Singh exchanged their turbans in this holy shrine. However, Fateh Singh developed differences with the Maharaja and he migrated to Kapurthala and made that town his capital.

The 250-year-old haveli of General Rattan Singh that was later converted into the court by Sarkar Basant Singh (great-grandson of Gen Rattan Singh) has been given a new look.

Now this building is the abode of Mr Charnjit Singh, Senior Vice-President of the Bhartiya Kisan Union. However, Mr Charnjit Singh, the direct descendant of Gen Attar Singh, possesses a “patta” (revenue deed), written in Persian script and signed by Nawab Bhag Singh, the first cousin of Jassa Singh Ahluwalia.

This deed that begins with “Akal Sahai”, signed on 1812 AD, reads, “With the grace of Almighty, the 22 villages from Jandiala to Harike are granted to Bibi Sahib (daughter of Nawab Bhag Singh) on the above-lined military conditions and will remain so until the above conditions are met.”

As per “The Rajas of Punjab” written by Griffin H Lepel, Under-Secretary, Government of Punjab, published in 1870, Jassa Singh Ahluwalia captured Raikot from the Pathans and Rajputs of Verowal in 1771 .

Jassa Singh had two daughters, one of them was married to Raja Maha Singh of Fatehabad, and the second was married to Raja Amar Singh of Tnungwala, near Amritsar. The Samadh of Raja Mohan Singh, the walls of which are adorned with beautiful frescos, is in a dilapidated condition. The frescos have been plastered and have lost their elegance.

Adina Beg, Subedar of Jalandhar, was defeated by Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia near Khaddor Sahib and Fatehabad. Ahluwalia remained present at Fatehabad till his death.

He liberated about 2200 innocent girls from the clutches of Ahmad Shah Abdali and handed them over to their parents and earned the name of “Bandi Chhor”. This incident happened near Goindwal Sahib.

The daughter of Ahluwalia was married to one Mohan Singh, alias Mahan Singh, of Fatehabad whose house and samadh are still at Fatehabad. Ahluwalia’s cousin and blood sister of Nawab Bhag Singh was married to Gen Rattan Singh Bhar whose palace is still situated in Fatehabad.

Of kings, temples and Huns

Hazoori Ram, who was the caretaker of the Samadh of Nawab Bhag Singh, had asked the Maharaja of Kapurthala to build a temple. Adjoining the temple is the samadh adorned with beautiful frescos of the Sikh School of Art. But today these frescoes are in bad condition. The temple has 1500-page hand-written granth in Gurmukhi script and Brij language. The granth, Satya Parkash, is written in Brij language, presumably by Pt Het Ram. It is dedicated to his Guru, Sant Gulab Dass. The index of the granth shows that the author had left the government job to serve his religious master.

Another interesting historical point is that “Khokhar” or “Khokar” (who once lived in this region) is a gotra of Jats found in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. In Pakistan, the Khokhars are considered to be a Punjabi tribe. “Khokhar” is a derivative of “Kukar”. The Khokhars’ place of origin is believed to be Central Asia. They are considered to be descendants of Huns, who repeatedly attacked northern India.

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Residents flay NC over poor water supply

Upset over poor water supply for over a week now, residents of Guru Nanakpura locality, irked male and female residents came out of their houses in scorching heat, held protest and shouted slogans against the Nagar Council (NC) and the local NC president today.

Agitated over the shortage of drinking water, residents displayed empty utensils and alleged that though they were not getting proper water supply for about a week, nothing was done by the officials. They also threatened that if water supply was not restored within in a week, they would gherao the NC office, for which NC administration would be held responsible.

“What to talk about bathing, we are not even getting sufficient water for drinking. If we get the water, it’s muddy,” alleged some residents.

“All our protests have been falling on deaf ears as nobody has come out to our rescue so far,” Ms Charan Kaur, a resident, said. She added that though the problem had been there for over a month, it had turned unbearable for past about a week.

Mr Yogesh Prabhakar, a social worker of the locality, alleged that he had lodged complaints with the NC authorities, but it had failed to yield any tangible results.

When contacted, Ms Paramjit Kaur, councillor of the locality, assured the residents of an early solution to the problem and said that a new tubewell would soon be installed in the park of the locality for which groundwork would be started within a day or two. — A.J.

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Partition still haunts Channo Devi
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

The traumatic memories of Partition continues to haunt 73-year-old Channo Devi who had to leave Salepur Chaprar village in Sialkot, Pakistan, along with her parents on August 14, 1947.

Channo Devi, talking to the TNS, said she did not know the meaning of independence then, as she was only 14 years old.

She said her family was already in a state of shock as her elder sister who was married in Chhamb Jorhian in Akhnoor Sector of Jammu and Kashmir had expired a few days back.

She added that they had returned from the bhog of her sister on that fateful day when in the evening, an announcement was made by the drummers that Pakistan had been created.

For a moment, she gets lost in the past memories and suddenly tears start rolling down.

But soon she recomposes herself to further narrate her story saying that the family had got confused about what to do.

She said after a few hours, her parents decided to leave Sialkot and after walking for the whole night entered India through Chhamb Jorhian the next day.

Channo Devi said that after a few days, they moved further, onto Jammu, where they were later allotted a custodian house in Peer Mitha in Lakhdata Bazar. She said on reaching Jammu, the main concern for her parents was her young age and they wanted to get her married. She said her maternal uncle who also belonged to Chhamb Jorhian asked her parents to marry her with the husband of her deceased sister. And she became a bride.

Reminiscing an interesting incident, Channo Devi said one of their labourers had brought along a Muslim girl who also wanted to get married to him. She said the next midnight, announcements were made by people from across the border to return the girl or be prepared to face the consequences.

She said in the morning, the elders held a meeting and talked to the girl and requested her to return to her parents to save their lives. She said initially she hesitated but later agreed. She said the persons who accompanied her to the narrow bridge, which was the only passage on the Indo-Pak border, on their return to the village narrated the harrowing experiences.

According to them, as soon as the girl reached the middle of the bridge, people across the bridge shot her dead.

She said they started their life from scratch as everything was left behind.

They had four shops of kitchenware and a huge house and some land, but all was lost due to the Partition.

She said her family, which was staying in Chhamb Jorhian, later shifted to Chheharta due to continued conflict on the border.

On the question of revisiting her ancestral village in Sialkot, she said nearly 60 years had elapsed and moreover, it was not easy for her to recognise the people there.

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Pak scholar attempts to trace origin of Lohani Pathans
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

A professor from the Lahore University of Management Services, Dr Furrukh A. Khan, visited a number of places in the border region to trace the two-century old origin of the Lohani Pathans in Gurdaspur district.

Dr Khan, who had already prepared a documentary– ‘Stories of Broken Self’— about Partition, said that certain Lohani Pathans who had set their footholds in Bengal about two-and-a-half centuries back had moved to some hamlets of Punjab, in Gurdaspur district including Kalupur and Bahupur, near the Pakistan border.

He said his mother Shamshad Begham and her ancestors belonged to Kalupur and hence it was his earnest desire to trace the history of Lohanis.

He met one Dalip Singh who took Dr Khan to old mosques of Kalupur village, now in dilapidated conditions. He did videography of the area and documented the facts based on verbal facts collected from the area.

Dr Khan said his maternal grandfather Nazir Khan Lohani who hailed from Kalupur village had fought in World War I. He said his grandfather had also recorded the history of two generations (father Farid Khan Lohani and grandfather Munim Khan Lohani) and all of them belonged to this village. However, after Partition, the Lohani Pathans moved to the newly-created country of Pakistan and with this, their places of worship remained disused since then.

Talking about his 39-minute long video film – ‘Stories of the Broken Self: Holocaust of Partition’, a documentary he produced, Dr Khan said it was based on the interviews of at least 50 women who were witness to the Partition.

Giving details of the documentary, Dr Khan said that Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 served as the foundation of the modern history of Pakistan. This event divided the hitherto united and colonised India into two independent countries, India and Pakistan. In the ensuing bloodshed and forcible dislocation, by some estimates, over 14 million people moved from one part of the country to the other, the largest single human migration in history, with the causalities of those killed and wounded to be well over a million.

This 39-minute documentary provides the audience with an opportunity to hear a perspective, which has been systematically erased from the state’s version of history. Women talk about their experiences of living in a multi-religious society, and how the events of Partition unraveled the bonds of love and prejudice that had existed in their societies.

The documentary attempts to build up a narrative of Partition by using stories of women, who, as a collective, were most adversely affected by the events that took place in 1947. He said Pakistan had not provided any public forum for these women to either to talk about their experiences or to take their opinions into any serious consideration.

He further said that this was an attempt to hear how women create a private and public identity for themselves after crossing borders from their place of birth to a new country.

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Baba Seechewal’s efforts draw praises from different quarters
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Leaders of different political parties of Punjab, including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the leader of the Opposition Parkash Singh Badal praised Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal for his imitable effort of cleansing 160-km-long Kali Bein.

It was another thing that they could not attend the function organised at the time of President APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit to Nirmal Kuteya in Sultanpur Lodhi of Kapurthala district on August 17, despite invitation.

However, their messages have been published in the 64-page souvenir published by the Ek Onkar Charitable Trust, of which Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal is the Chairman. The President released the souvenir, which was published in dedication to the kar seva of the holy Kali Bein.

In his message, Mr Amarinder Singh terms it a matter of pride for the Punjabis that Sant Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal had accomplished the kar seva of the sacred Bein with the help of his followers. Each disciple of Guru Nanak Dev is well aware of the religious importance of the Bein as Guru Sahib gained enlightenment after spending three days in the Bein. The Kar seva done by the Sant and his team continuously from 2000 to 2006 is not less than ocean churning, the Congress leader adds.

Similarly, former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal appreciates the Sant’s great efforts and that of the Gur Sangat Nirmal Kuteya, Seechewal, for doing kar seva of the historic Kali Bein. “Santji has done a yeoman’s service by restoring the cleanliness of this historic rivulet,” the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Chief adds.

In his message, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Chief Jathedar Avtar Singh states that the efforts of the Sant to cleanse and take care of Guru Nanak’s Bein are praiseworthy. “Sant Balbir Singh has not only make pollution free the Bein belonging to the Gurughar, but he has also made an attempt to restore its traditional glory by cleansing it methodically,” he remarks.

Governor of Punjab, General (retired) S.F. Rodrigues, expressed happiness that the historical rivulet, Kali Bein, associated with the life and philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, is being remodelled and beautified through the concept of kar seva, under the patronage of the Ek Onkar Charitable Trust headed by Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal.

The governor states that it is heartening to note that the people of the area, irrespective of their caste, creed and religion, have joined the thousands of volunteers to contribute in the unique cooperative movement, dedicated for restoring the pristine glory of Kali Bein.

Mr Rodrigues states that the visit of the President to this sacred place would go a long way in giving a fillip to this cause, and further help in mobilising the people for transforming this entire area into a model for our environmental heritage.

In his message, Sant Jagjit Singh Lopon, Chief Sevadar, Sant Darbara Singh Sampradaya, states that Sant Avtar Singh Seechewal and his successor Sant Baba Balbir Singh’s kar seva to cleanse Kali Bein is an exemplary service. Congratulating Sant Balbir Singh for the kar seva, he assured him of full cooperation for the purpose.

Guru Nanak Dev University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jai Rup Singh, congratulated the Ek Onkar Charitable Trust Seechewal for undertaking such a massive project of environment importance.

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Young World
Talent Hunt organised at Apeejay College
Deepkamal Kaur & Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service




ODE TO MUSIC AND DANCE: Students of KMV College, Jalandhar, presented a cultural programme on the college campus on Tuesday. For the audience, it was the time to savour different glimpses of the Indian culture. — Tribune photos by Pawan Sharma

Talent hunt 2006, a competition for various cultural and literary events, was organised at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, on Friday and Saturday.

Students took part in contests for music vocal, instrumental, dance, debate, poetry, sculpture-making, poster and cartoon-making, rangoli, fancy dress, fresh flower arrangement, phulkari-making, painting of still life and landscapes.

The chief guest of the show was the noted ghazal and playback singer Vinod Sehgal who has lent his voice to more than 58 films, including Machis, Train to Pakistan. He gave prizes to the winners of the contests in different categories. His rendition of popular numbers from the title tracks of serial “Potli Baba” and movie “Machis” in a jam-packed hall had the audience asking for an encore. He was presented memento by the Principal, Dr Sucharita.

The winners of the contest were:

Cartooning: Gursimar (1) and Jaspreet (2)

Poster-making: Gurneet (1), Varinder (2) and Jasleen (3)

Collage: Ashima (1) and Latika (2)

Still life: Jyotsana, Manjit (1) and Sandeep, Lovepreet (2)

Landscape: Geetu (1) and Anupreet (2)

Sketching: Nidhi Srivastava, Chander (1) and Shruti and Gurlal (2)

Fresh flower arrangement: Priyanka Khurana (1), Amrita (2)

Rangoli: Bhawana (1), Neha Srivastava, Arvinder Kaur (2) and Swatee Seth (3)

Quiz: Isha, Paawan, Divyanshu (1) and Neha Rishi, Vivek (2)

Poetical symposium: Sangeeta Sharma (1)

Debate: Deepti (1) and Gagandeep (2)

Bhajan/ shabd: Gagandeep Singh (1), Gagandeep Kaur (2) and

Kanika (3)

Folk song: Divya Seth, Amit Sharma (1) and Manjit, Nrippan Jain (2)

Dance contest

A solo-dance contest was organised for LKG kids at St Joseph Convent School, Cantonment Road, on Monday. Kids danced to the tunes of various numbers, including “Just chill out”, “Chhote chhote shehron mein”, “Mayia Yashodha”, “Kajarare”, “Dafli wale” and “Maar udaari”. Naaz was declared the best dancer.

Quiz contest

Sanskriti KMV School organised an inter-house quiz contest in which students of Classes IV to VI participated. There were six rounds in the quiz that included questions from science, social science, current affairs, personalities and mental ability. The participants enjoyed the visual round in which pictorial questions were asked on the computer screen.

Drug awareness

A seminar on drug abuse was conducted at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts on Monday. Addressing the students, Mr Ishwar Singh, SSP, elaborated the causes which compelled the youth to resort to drugs — lack of parental supervision, inferiority complex, peer pressure, frustration, lack of good role models and over-exposure to wrong practices. The SSP told them that anyone getting any information about people dealing in drugs could contact him on his phone number 94176-14444. Dr Manjit Singh, neuro-psychiatrist and de-addiction expert, talked about unconventional drugs being used by the addicts including iodex, toothpaste, shoe polish, pesticides and tails of lizards.

Science seminar

The District Education Department organised a district-level science seminar on “Conservation, possibilities and worries over bio-diversity” at SD Phularwal Girls’ Senior Secondary School. Mr Hari Dutt Sharma, district science supervisor, Mr S.S. Dadhwal, science master and district coordinator on bio-diversity, and Mr Parveen Bhardwaj, Principal of the host school, organised the event. Uday Thakur of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Ladowali Road, stood first. Jigyasa Cheema of Shiv Devi School, Sanya of Government S.S. School, Cheema Kalan and Vishal Kumar Parshar of Government S.S. School, Bundala, were declared second. Manpreet Kaur of Government S.S. School, Gumtala stood third.

Magazine released

Lyallpur Khalsa College released its magazine, “The Beas”, focusing on major events of Sikh history. Dedicated to the quadric-centenary of the martyrdom of Guru Arjan Dev, the magazine contains 14 articles contributed by students and teachers on the life, philosophy and martyrdom of Sri Guru Arjan Dev.

Campus placement

The CT Institute of Engineering, Management and Technology organised a joint campus placement programme of Sasken Technologies, a Bangalore-based telecom company. As many as 400 students of 2007 batch with 75 per cent marks and above appeared for the interview. Nearly 40 per cent these candidates of IT, electronics and communication engineering, computer science engineering and MCA got placed with the company.

Three students from the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (Mechanical Engineering Department) — Ajay Pal Singh Kahlon, Ajay Sharma and Arshdeep Singh — have been placed with engineering construction and contracts division of Larsen and Toubro with a starting package of Rs 2.74 lakh per annum. The company had held a joint campus placement drive at the institute on August 6 and 7. Harminder Singh (Electronics and Communication Engineering) has secured placement with Sasken Technologies with a starting annual package of Rs 2.75 lakh per annum.

Dance show

Krrish-2006, a dance show was organised by Folk and Rock Dance Academy at Red Cross Bhavan on Saturday. Kids presented various dance forms, including folk, classical and group items. Comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi, singers Jassi Sohal, Sunny Babbar and Teji Sandhu also attended the show.

Award ceremony

The Rotract Club West organised function for installation of newly-formed unit of the Rotract Club in the PCM SD College for Women. Mr G.S. Virdi, President, Rotary Club West, was welcomed by the Principal, Ms Kiran Arora. Ms Anita, student president, apprised the members of the club activities.

College topper

Meenakshi, a student of the MGN College of Education, has got third rank in Guru Nanak Dev University by securing 771 marks out of 1000 in B.Ed examination held in April this year. Dr Amit Kauts, Principal, has congratulated the student.

Training camp

Nineteen NCC cadets of the PCM SD College for Women attended annual training camp in Kapurthala organised by 2nd Punjab Girls Battalion NCC. The cadets received instructions in map reading, signals, parade, and rifle training and participated in a number of competitions. The college won second prize in group-dance contest.

Prize distribution

Delhi Public School organised its annual prize distribution and scholar badge ceremony. Girls of Class II and III invoked the blessings of Goddess Saraswati. Principal, B. Banerjee, addressed the gathering while praising the performance of the students. Mr A. Venu Prasad, Deputy Commissioner, was the chief guest. Deepakshi Madaan, a student, was honoured for her prize-winning essay published in a book that won appreciation from President of India. Aniket Joshi, a Class I student, was honoured for saving the life of a three-year-old child.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt show was organised by the students of Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara. A skit “Fark” was staged by the students of the Science Department that depicted the difference between the village life and the city life. Besides the skit, a dance was also performed by the 10+2 students. Ms Kusum Verma, Principal of the college, applauded the role of the organisers of the show, and was all praises for the participating students of the college.

Merit list

The results of M.A. I and II (English) of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, are 100 per cent. All students had passed with flying colours, claimed a press release issued by the college authorities. Gurpreet Kaur of M.A. II has been placed eighth in the university merit list.

Van Mahotsav and Teej celebration

The Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, celebrated Van Mahotsav and Teej in association with the Phagwara Environment Association, Rotary Club Phagwara Central, Forest Department and Phagwara Nagar Council on the college premises on Monday. Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Mr Raminder Singh, and his wife, Ms Napinder Kaur, were the guests of honour, while Mr Joginder Singh Mann, local MLA and Chairman, Punjab Foods and Agro Corporation, and Ms Baljinder Kaur were the chief guests.

On this occasion, the students of the college attired in traditional apparels, danced to the tunes of folk songs.

Mr I.K. Sardana, President, Kamla Nehru College Managing Committee, and college Principal, Ms Kusum Verma, were also present on the occasion.

Fancy dress

Children of age group three years to eight years participated in a week-long cultural programme organised by the Bharatiya Vikas Parishad that concluded on Sunday.

On this occasion, fancy dress, one-minute show and other cultural activities were presented by the school children.

Among the participants in the fancy dress competition (age group 3-5 years), Aparna won the first prize (Baba Ramdev), while Gokul (Krishna) and Suhana (bride) got the second and the third prizes, respectively. Among contestants in the age group of 5-8 years, Akshit Ohri (porter) was declared the winner, and Ishav Arora (toy-seller) and Srishti Gupta (model) got the second and the third positions, respectively.

Mr Malkiat Singh Ragbotra, President, Phagwara Nagar Council, was the chief guest, and state organiser of the Parishad, Mr G.D. Kundra, was the special guest on the occasion.

Plantation drive

The Government Girls Senior Secondary School in Ladowali Road organized a tree plantation drive in the school campus recently. Students planted saplings of various species. School principal Nany Bala and professor Sukhwinder Kaur encouraged the students to keep the environment green.

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