This Ms India has roots in Doaba
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 5
Femina Miss India 2008 has a typical, tall, bubbly Punjabi Jatti appearance. And why not? She has her roots in a primitive Doaba village. Simran Kaur Mundi’s family hails from Mundian Jattan in Hoshiarpur.

“I have been brought up in Mumbai, but my parents are thoroughly Punjabi. My mother belongs to Amritsar. After my father set up his petrol pump business there, we have been in Punjab just twice,” said the damsel who took time off from her busy schedule preparing for the Miss Universe contest to attend a motivational session with the underprivileged children and women of the city at Mayor World School here this morning.

“I feel proud calling myself a Punjabi Jatti,” she said, adding that Patiala salwar was one of her favourite attires. Even today, she came wearing a maroon and black pyjami suit.

Talking about her plans ahead, she said, “The only major assignment before me is to prepare for the Miss Universe pageant. It is not just me but also a battery of experts from the glamour world, including dress designers, fitness and catwalk trainers who are working 24x7 for helping me get there. I am also open to films, modelling assignments, commercial shoots or anything that comes my way but a little later.”

Discussing the recent changes in her life, she buzzed, “Before I won the crown, I was like any other girl next door muttering out anything, anywhere. But now I have to exercise constraint even while uttering a single word out of my mouth.”

Calling her mum as her mentor, she said, “It was my mother, a Feng Shui expert, who got me there. Ever since I was a child, she kept on telling me that I have got to achieve it. That is why I consider myself one of the luckiest person on the earth for I have made my parents realised their dreams.”

A B.Sc (biotechnology) graduate, she said she was just planning to join MBA this year. “But I do not think it will be possible now and may be not even later. I feel contended for I have been able to attain the milestone that I had been waiting to reach otherwise,” she replied. Asked if she was wearing contact lenses or had a natural, light brown eyeball colour, she quipped, “Let that remain a mystery.”

Simran interacts with slum kids

Jalandhar, June 5
Femina Miss India Simran Kaur Mundi today interacted with children from three National Child Labour Project schools, six urban schools and two slum area schools. The programme was organised by Singapore Airlines in association with the Sports Goods Foundation of India, a Jalandhar-based NGO, and self-help group Reach. She sat with them chatting on issues like the importance of aiming high in life and working towards achieving it, citing examples from her personal life. She also talked with them about the importance of protecting nature, highlighting the importance of World Environment Day celebrated today. The damsel along with organisers of the event then visited Tajpur village, near Lambran, where they intermingled with 80 women from self-help groups. Sewing machines were distributed among women, mostly engaged in stitching footballs, so that they could have an alternative source of income. — TNS



Water Table Depletion
19 paddy fields ploughed
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 5
The Punjab government is leaving no stone unturned to make its Preservation of Sub-soil Water Ordinance-2008 a success in the region. In a bid to save the depleting water table, the department of agriculture is ploughing one paddy field everyday to prevent farmers from sowing paddy.

According to the ordinance, officials have been directed not to allow nursery sowing and transplantation of paddy before June 10. In case a farmer sows it before June 10, he would be liable to pay expenses for uprooting plants incurred by the agriculture department.

The department had ploughed 19 paddy fields in the district till now, which include one each in Cheema, Nauli and Dhariwal villages. Besides, eight fields in Punia village were destroyed while the number was two each in Khandala Guru and Mulewal Khaira.

Talking to The Tribune, chief agriculture officer (CAO) Swatantar Kumar Airi said the depleting water table was a great concern in Punjab and there was a need to take strict and effective measures to solve it. “Early paddy sowing is a major reason for the decline in water level and if the trend continues, it may cause major problems,” he added.

He said the researchers of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had proved that if paddy was grown between June 10 and 15, it would help in raising the water level. “Initially we decided June 15 as the final date but due to good rain the date was changed to June 10”, he added.

He said the process of destroying fields was a part of the “Save Water Campaign,” which was flagged off by Punjab minister for agriculture Sucha Singh Langhah in 10 blocks of the Jalandhar district. Airi said, “Timely action by his department would help in maintaining the water level and further increasing it in the years to come.”

Besides, paddy transplanters, a mechanised crop growing system in the district would be introduced by the agriculture department soon to solve sowing problems of the farmer community. 



Bad Man comes to town

Jalandhar, June 5
The city residents today had an opportunity to see the ‘Bad Man’ of Bollywood up close and personal. As he moved past the GT Road from Company Bagh to near the Lilly Resorts in an open jeep waving to the crowds, Gulshan Grover wooed the city janta.

The youngsters, children and elderly all cheered him as he and his entourage of bikers made a grand entry into ‘The Loot’. Donning a sky colour striped designer coat, a matching, plain cravat around the neck and black shades, he looked stunning.

Even at the store, people hounded him for a glimpse, to listen to him, getting his autograph or posing with him for a picture.

Jay Gupta, MD, said the store would offer 25 per cent to 60 per cent discount all through the year on various brands like Pepe, Puma, Fila, Red Tape, Wrangler, Van Huesen, Liiliput, Giny and Jony, Disney, Little Kangaroo, Lee, Lee Cooper, Arrow, Turtle and others. “There is a right mix of formals, semi-formals, casuals, kids-wear and sports stuff that is not shop-spoiler or a seconds’ stock”, he said. —TNS



Small village girl makes it big
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

Jalandhar, June 5
It was not an easy job for Manpreet Kaur to attain the mammoth score of 95.6 per cent (just one mark short of the local topper) in the recently held plus two CBSE examinations. Belonging to a remote village in the Bholath township, it is a huge accomplishment for Manpreet, especially given her limited resources and family background.

No one in her family has studied beyond class X. Her father, Jasvir Singh is a small farmer. Her elder brother is taking training to become a car mechanic and her mother has very little exposure to life beyond her home at Karnail Ganj village, a small, primitive village that does not even have access to cable TV.

Getting tutorial lessons from around her place was a far-fetched dream for the CA aspirant who had to commute more than 20 kms daily to reach her campus, St Soldier Divine Public School, Bhogpur. “I had bus service from the school and in case I missed it, I had to change two tempos and walk a bit to attend my classes”, she said.

“The financial constrains of our family often came in as a hindrance in my studies as well. But tiding over these adversities, my determination became stronger as I realised that if my parents were doing so much for me, I too need to prove myself before them”, Manpreet said.

“I understand that the B.Com studies, which I am planning to pursue, would be a burden on my parents. I will start preparing for CA along with the studies and look for an accountancy job in some firm so that I too am able to contribute towards my parents’ earnings”, she revealed her plans.

Right now, Manpreet is putting up at her aunt’s place at Surya Enclave in Jalandhar, where she is taking coaching in computer classes. “I am still learning the basics for my experience in handling computers is almost negligible”, she said. “Also, I have my cousin here, Kamalpreet, who attained 92.2 per cent in plus two (commerce). We share a good rapport. We have learnt a lot discussing various problems in the plus two syllabus and trying to solve them together”, she added.

Manpreet is also looking for offers in case any college offered a scholarship or a fee concession.



Young World
Seminar, rally mark Environment Day
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, June 5
The Punjab Pollution Control Board organsied a seminar on World Environment Day at Apeejay College of Fine Arts here on Thursday. Department of science, technology and environment secretary Dr A.S. Chhatwal presided over the function. He said, “While the figures speak of large scale environment damage all over the world, the good news is that the situation can be redeemed and for doing this no great steps are required”.

Board chairman Yogesh Goyal said simple steps like less use of fuel and air conditioners at individual-level could help in conserving environment.

World Environment Day was also celebrated at Manav Sehyog School. An assembly was held by the students of class X. They highlighted the importance of environment and took out a rally from the campus to Lambra village.

Meanwhile, municipal corporation mayor Rakesh Rathour released a note highlighting various activities being carried out by the MC.

He said the city had been selected for a Rs 36.04 crore non-motorised transportation project.

“As many as 10,000 trees are being planted in parks, green belts and road sides. Besides, a city bus service is being started to reduce carbon level and energy saving schemes were being encouraged,” the press note stated.

Summer camp

MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar, organised a three-day two-night summer camp for classes I to VIII.

The camp aimed at inculcating spirit of unity and cooperation among the students. Real masti jumped in as students visited Wonderland. On the second day, magic show and Go Karting were the main attractions.

These were followed by a dance competition and a DJ party. Rain Dance was the main attraction on the concluding day.



‘Save environment before it’s too late’
Dharmendra Joshi/TNS

Kapurthala, June 5
There is a dire need to save the environment from further degradation because the increasing levels of air, water, noise and soil pollutions are going to make human life virtually miserable. This was revealed by Prof Arun Deep Ahluwalia during a function organised on the occasion of World Environment Day at the Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC) on Thursday.

Prof Ahluwalia, who is a geologist from the Panjab University, Chandigarh, said the time had come when every individual needs to contribute in conserving environment. He said if the measures to save the eco-system were not taken now, the unique planet earth would become a hell one day.

Describing how people can contribute, he said small initiatives like using bicycles for short distances and use of solar energy in daily life could make a big difference. Besides, these steps would keep people fit and healthy, he added.

Earlier, PGSC director general Dr R.S. Khandpur urged the industrial owners to adopt state-of-the-art techniques to minimise environmental pollution. “Use of pressure horns by youngsters is beyond the permissible limits of decibels and it is affecting their health,” he said. Holding environmental pollution responsible for global warming and climate change, he said there were enough evidences to show that the increasing temperature during the past 50 years was an outcome of human activities.

He said, “Climate change is posing threat to the public health globally and in India particularly. People living in coastal areas would be at risk from the rise in sea level, whereas those in mountains would be prone to flash floods. Even heat stress and water scarcity in desert area would affect life.” The PGSC honoured Puran Dhiman of M/s Raagni’s Little Kingdom, Ludhiana, with the best business associate award for bringing maximum number of visitors to the science city among the tour operators.



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