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R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Choosing nature over science

  • Savera has dawned

  • Then captive, now VVIP


PUNJAB

ABOHAR
Motorcyclist killed
: Pawan Kumar (27), a resident of Maujgarh on the Abohar-Sriganganagar road, on Friday was crushed to death as a Canter hit the motor cycle he was riding on. The Canter driver was handed over to the police. A case has been registered.

3 held for satta: IPS probationer Paramjyoti raided a shop in the neighbouring Sriganganagar area on Friday night and arrested three persons for indulging in satta over the World Cup cricket in the Gajsinghpur area. More than Rs 1 lakh was recovered from the arrested persons — Ashok Mittal, Narender Sharma and Manoj Garg.

Minor raped: Three persons have been booked for sexually exploiting a minor girl at Leelawali village in the neighbouring Sangria area, sources said on Saturday. The girl, aged 13, had been raped and sexually exploited by Hans Raj, Gulab Singh Leelawali and Kala Singh Manaksar for the past five months.

AMRITSAR
Notice to SGPC chief: The Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission on Friday issued a notice to SGPC chief Avtar Singh and four other senior functionaries to appear in court on April 18 on a petition filed by Baldev Singh Sirsa, a leader of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), for having failed to appoint information officers as per the Right to Information (RTI) Act-2005.

BATALA
Probe sought: Chief parliamentary secretary Jagdish Sawhney on Saturday demanded a probe into the development projects worth Rs 22 crore undertaken by the local MC. He said no grant was given to the council for the projects that were distributed among the kin of ex- MLA of Batala Ashwani Sekhri.

BATHINDA
Youth commits suicide: Gaurav Jaura, a married youth of about 27 years, who was residing in the town, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself in his house. Police sources said Gaurav, who was running a jewellery shop in the local Dhobi Bazar, was found dead in his house on Friday morning by his family members. A case was registered.

Fake notes seized: The district police arrested three persons for manufacturing and possessing fake currency of Rs 7,000 on Sunday. The arrested accused have been identified as Amandeep Singh and Pritam Singh of the Sharifpura area and Harpreet Singh of Khairabad. A case under sections 489-A, 489-B, 489-C, IPC, has been registered.

JALANDHAR
Car-lifter held: The police on Saturday arrested a car lifter and recovered a stolen Tata Sumo from him. Bhupinder Singh of Hoshiarpur was caught at a naka on the Bachowal T-point in Phillaur. He confessed during preliminary interrogation to stealing the Sumo vehicle from a marriage palace in Aurh on March 28. He also admitted that he had lifted at least a dozen cars from different parts of the state.

Nawanshahr
Camp organised
: A lok suvidha camp was organised at DAV Senior Secondary School, Kathgarh.

Tarn Taran
Watchman dead
: Sukhdev Singh (23), a watchman at the Government Secondary School, Bhuchar Kalan, 30 km from here, died of cardiac failure on Saturday evening. According to close relations of the deceased, Sukhdev, who was reportedly a drug addict, went to the school as usual but soon after complained of chest pain and died on the spot. The police has registered a complaint in this regard.

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Regional potpourri

Choosing nature over science

Vivek Kumar in his self-developed bonsai garden on the first floor of his house in Sector 15, Hisar
Vivek Kumar in his self-developed bonsai garden on the first floor of his house in Sector 15, Hisar.

Many a time we come across people pursuing their hobbies as a profession. Such persons even inspire us to adopt some interesting venture as a career. Vivek Kumar of Hisar is one such individual, who was trained to be a microbiologist but ended up as a painter, landscape consultant and bonsai expert.

“I never wanted to get entangled in the set routine of going to office," says Vivek, who is happy with his present vocation. “Now, I am actually paid by others to pursue my hobby,” he laughs.

But then, his passion for his chosen field of activity is unmatched. For instance, once on returning home, Vivek and his family found their house on fire. The first thing he did on seeing this was rush to his bonsai garden on the first floor.

No wonder, this sort of commitment and dedication has fetched him a series of HUDA awards for best bonsai entries for six consecutive years. An MSc and PhD in microbiology, Vivek presently works as a landscape consultant.

He feels that apart from deriving creative satisfaction and handsome returns, his hobby-cum-profession gives him a chance to remain in close contact with nature.

Interestingly, this landscape consultant and bonsai expert is a gifted painter as well. The multi-faceted artist specialises in the realm of knife-painting and has organised some exhibitions to display his creations.

Owing to his expertise, Vivek is frequently invited by Haryana Agriculture University and other institutions to deliver lectures on horticulture and related disciplines.

Thus, this creator of living sculptors — as bonsai plants are called — continues to carve out a niche for himself in his chosen field of activity.

Savera has dawned

Keeping in view the decline in sex ratio and increase in the practice of female foeticide, activists of Savera, an NGO for social awareness, is doing its bit for society. In October 2004 it had launched a special campaign for creating awareness among people about the ill-effects of lopsided sex rati,o which was now posing a serious problem for the Indian society. Savera released a leaflet titled “ajanmi beti ki garbh se maa ko pukaar”in this connection.

Following this, a seminar on “Parents, have a heart for the daughter”, was organised at Hoshiarpur on November 1, 2004, in which Swami Agnivesh, a social reformer, delivered the keynote address. It was largely attended.

During his last visit to this city recently, Jagat Guru Shankracharya Swami Nischalanand at a congregation at the local Shaki Temple not only blessed the activists of Savera for the success of their campaign but also briefed the participants on “nari shakti”. He said female foeticide was a stigma on the Indian society which worshipped women in the form of Durga. He appealed to the people not to indulge in the most heinous crime.

Savera also organised a special exhibition at the local Roshan Ground on female foeticide in which paintings on this subject attracted a large number of people.

Ajay Bagga, a social activist and general secretary of Savera, has also published a book titled, “Kanya Bhrun Hatya Kyon”. The book has a number of articles and poems by eminent social and religious luminaries with an attractive title on the subject. The book also carries PNDT Act in detail. It had been released recently by deputy commissioner D.K. Tiwari. The book is being distributed free of cost.

Contributed by Sunit Dhawan and Ravinder Sud

Then captive, now VVIP

Mehar Singh, caretaker of the Katori Rest House
Mehar Singh, caretaker of the Katori Rest House. — Photo by S.S. Chopra

The Katori Rest House of the PWD on the Pathankot-Dalhousie road in Gurdaspur district has a leaf of history attached to it. It was constructed by the PWD in the seventies. Not many know about it as well as the fact that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was kept there under house arrest for more than two months in 1992 when the Akalis boycotted the Vidhan Sabha elections.

Caretaker Mehar Singh, who was posted at the rest house at that time, is now awaiting the same person again, not as a "captive", but as a state guest this time. Mehar Singh was given an appreciation letter by Badal for taking special care of him during his stay.

Recalling those days when Badal was kept here, Mehar Singh says Badal's family stayed in Dalhousie during his confinement (Dalhousie is 30 km from the rest house). The family daily visited the rest house to take care of the senior Badal. Even the delicacies were specially brought from Pathankot daily.

Mehar says that Badal loved to sit in the lawn of the rest house in the morning and evening. One day his chair got stuck in the lawn. He complained to the then deputy commissioner, who immediately ordered the PWD to construct a plinth in the lawn. A special cemented watch tower was also constructed so that he could enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

However, when the previous government had registered corruption cases against Badal, the government renovated the rest house. At that time speculations were rife that Badal could again be kept there.

Even during the recently held Assembly elections, Badal visited the area, but not the rest house.

— Vishal Gulati

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