Kidney to ADC
Prospective donor goes missing
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
In a surprise development, the prospective donor, Sunny (23), an unemployed youth, who was supposed to donate his kidney to Tarn Taran ADC Kirpal Singh, reportedly went missing.

The family members of Sunny reportedly took up the matter with the Punjab Human Rights Commission and the police to initiate steps to ensure the safe return of their son while stating that the ADC was not related to them.

They further said they had come to know about the whole affair only through the newspapers and added that they did not have enough money to provide proper medical care to their son after the operation.

Baffled over the whereabouts of Sunny, police sources confirmed that they had also received the complaint written to the PHRC. Interestingly, the police sources also disclosed that he (Sunny) was not present in the meeting of the authorisation committee held to allow the kidney transplantation.

However, the authorisation committee members had claimed that they had told Sunny about the repercussions that might occur during the transplantation or after the operation which could even be a danger to his life.



In city, overbridges have failed to serve purpose
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
City residents seems to care little for their precious lives when they prefer to jump over the dividers instead of using the foot overbridges provided by the administration on busy roads.

The city has three foot overbridges - near Gurdawara Shaheedan, outside railway station and near Goal Bagh connecting the GT Road. Out of these three, only Goal Bagh bridge is being used properly.

Amrit Lal Mannan, general secretary, Amritsar Vikas Manch, talking to The Tribune said is the fun of spending the money collected through tax payers if the bridges are not to be used. He said the government makes the bridges, but don’t bother to make them functional. People cross the road jumping divider without caring for their lives besides causing traffic jam. Even the traffic policemen remain mute spectators and hardly direct or advise the commuters to use the overbridge, he added.

Mannan said most of the citizens are not law abiding and prefer to take shortcuts thus putting theirs and others’ lives in danger. He said only strict vigil of law can mend their habit of flouting traffic rules.

However, the authorities concerned seem to be interested only in generating funds by displaying large and ugly hoardings on the overbridge established outside the railway station for the convenience of passengers to cross the busy GT road.

He said that the corporation authorities should install high fences on road divider near the overbridges so that nobody is able to cross road without using the bridge. He said there should be no gaps in these fences, otherwise problem will remain as it is. The police should take strict action against those who break the law or break the fence on divider, he added.

When contacted, D.P.S. Kharbanda, commissioner, municipal corporation, said he has instructed his officials in this regard and soon barricades would be put on the road dividers near railway station and Gurdwara Shaheedan.

He said the corporation officials should initiate steps for at least putting up fence on the road dividers in front of the entrance gate of the railway station so that the commuters could be forced to use the overbridges. He said this would also help in the smooth flow of traffic as the auto-rickshaws would not stop and wait for passengers creating traffic congestion.



No one remembers first Hindi novel’s
author on his birthday

Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
None of the organisations in Amritsar thought of Pt Shardha Ram Phillouri on his 171st birth anniversary. The man who authored the first Hindi novel in the holy city in 1888 was remembered by none.

To enter into administrative service or become deputy commissioner of Amritsar during the time of British rule, it was mandatory for the ICS officers to clear the comprehensive test based on “Punjabi Baat Cheet”, a book specially written for the British to understand the local dialect.

This was perhaps the first book written in the Gurmukhi script which was transliterated into Roman script. The unique book was written by Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri, a versatile personality. Only a few people are aware of the fact that Shardha Ram was the creator of the most popular prayer (aarti) Om Jai Jagdish Hare… sung by almost every Hindu family the world over.

He was a powerful literary figure of the 19th century. Incidentally, his work became the first book on Punjabi linguistics which mentioned “folk culture”, customs of the Majha region (Amritsar and Gurdaspur) and other parts of the state, including the adjoining hilly areas.

A reader can find many rare words in “Punjabi Baat Cheet” which have disappeared from the modern Punjabi dictionary. “Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia” and “Punjabi Baat Cheet” are the two notable works of Shardha Ram in (Gurmukhi) that earned him the title of “Father of modern Punjabi prose”. The books contain the story of Sikh religion and politics.

Pt Shardha Ram Phillauri was born in a Brahmin family in the town of Phillaur in 1837. He was married to Sikh woman Mehtab Kaur. He learnt Gurmukhi script in 1844 at the age of seven. Later, he learnt Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology and music in 1850. He met Christian priest Neutan in 1858 and translated one part of the Bible in Gurmukhi for the first time in 1868.

He wrote the controversial book, “Sikhan De Raj Di Vithia” (the sad story of Sikh rule) in 1866. He died on June 24, 1881, at Lahore. His father, Jai Dyalu, was an astrologer by profession. Pt Phillauri himself was a great astrologer and frequented Amritsar in this connection.

He was charged with conducting propaganda against the British through his forceful lectures on the Mahabharata and was exiled for some time from his home town, Phillaur.

A Sanatani missionary, he used to visit Amritsar and Lahore very frequently. Pandit Brij Kishor Sharma, an ayurvedic doctor, writes that Phillauri would frequently visit Amritsar city in connection with astrology.

He had earned a big name as an astrologer in Amritsar during those times. A social reformer and trendsetter, as he was called, he wrote a number of books in Hindi too. Phillauri’s creation, “Bhagyawati”, the first Hindi novel, has caused the history of the Hindi novel to be rewritten. Earlier, “Priksha Guru”, written by Lala Sri Niwas in 1902 was considered as the first Hindi novel.

Interestingly, the book used to be given to daughters at the time of their marriage as part of dowry. It is just a coincidence that the first Punjabi novel “Sundri”, authored by Bhai Vir Singh, was written a decade after the publication of “Bhagyawati”.

The main character of both the novels is a woman.

It was a revolutionary step on the part of Shardha Ram to advocate widow remarriage and condemn child marriage in “Bhagyawati”.

From both first novels of Hindi and Punjabi, it is clear that a movement for women’s emancipation was launched from Punjab.



Desperate Call
‘Punjabi artists have been ignored’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
The Indian Academy of Fine Arts (IAFA) exhibited rare works of the great painters of 20th century and contemporaries of renowned artist Sobha Singh during its platinum jubilee celebrations which concluded on September 27.

Dr Neeta Mohindra, secretary performing arts, said the exhibition was organised to salute the great masters, including Hari Singh 1894-1970, SG Thakur Singh 1899-1976, Master Gurdit Singh 1900-1981 and GS Sohan Singh 1914-1999. She said six paintings of each artist were displayed in the exhibition. She rued that Punjabi artists have been ignored in comparison to their Bengali contemporaries.

“The exhibition was an endeavour to give the great artists from Punjab their due,” asid Mohindra, adding that the postcards of their works were also released and later the prints of their works would also be made available for the general public.

A national workshop for postgraduate students was also arranged during the three-day event in which 26 students of 13 colleges and universities participated.



Trust for pro-poor health strategies
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
Organising medical camps for the poor, downtrodden and rural people is his mission and for achieving this he established a trust in the name of his grandfather Bua Ditta.

The Bua Ditta memorial organisation, set up by Dr Gaurav Sharma is doing yeoman’s service for society.

As many as 200 doctors from various countries, including the UK, the USA, Norway and Australia, have now proposed to help the organisation for this noble cause after learning its objectives on the website launched by him. Dr Sharma organised a medical check-up camp at the local Blind School recently.

Talking to The Tribune, he said his mission was a success owing to the support of his doctor friends, volunteers and family. He said during his preventive social medicine course at the time of his MBBS, he visited the leprosy centre near Jammu where he was disturbed to see the conditions of the poor patients and decided to serve humanity and society by reaching out to the public which needs attention and but cannot visit the centre due to poverty or other reasons.

Working as a medical officer at a prestigious multi-speciality hospital, Dr Sharma said he was recently approached by a Nagpur-based organisation to arrange such camps in the rural areas of the district.

He said pro-poor health strategies were need of the hour. Meanwhile, the memorial organisation held a medical camp at local Andh Vidyalaya and carried out thorough check-ups of students, employees and their families and gave free medicines, besides conducting free laboratory tests.

Doctors from the AIIMS, New Delhi, and the PGI, Chandigarh, also participated in the camp. Dr Sharma said they were also contemplating to organise awareness camps of drug de-addiction, female foeticide and other social evils in the rural belt of the district.



It’s kids’ day out at Langooran wala mela
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
A huge influx of children dressed in bright red clothes, with silver and golden stripes, seen in the Bada Hanuman Temple on the Durgiana Temple premises, announced the commencement of the unique and world-famous “Langooran wala mela” on the first Navratra here today.

Dancing to the beats of drum, the kids, along with some couples who came to the temple in the hope of Lord Hanumana granting them the wish of a male child, formed a procession to express gratitude to Lord Hanumana.

The ancient temple has an idol of Hanumana sitting in a relaxed mood. Except the temple, only the Hanumana gaddi at Ayodhya has such an idol in which the lord is seen in a sitting position.

According to legends, the twin sons of Lord Rama, Luv and Kush had tied Hanumana to a banyan tree situated here when he had come to defend Ashwamedha horse freed by Lord Rama after Ashwamedha yajna to claim the territories where the horse went. The ancient banyan tree still stands on the temple premises where couples who wish to have a male child tie a thread and after fulfilment of their wish they come to the temple to express gratitude.

All-India Shiv Sena president Surinder Kumar Billa said the “langoors” remained barefoot for a period of 10 days and sleep on the floor. On the first day, they bring some sweets, coconut and flowers after seeking blessings from the head priest. On their part, the parents or the devotees sleep on the floor, observe fast, avoid footwear, eat vegetarian food uncut with knife and recite verses from the Ramayana during the entire period. The mela concludes with Dasehra when “langoors” finally take off their langoor outfits near the banyan tree.

In case of illness only “vhibhuti” from the temple is used for cure. The childless couples, who are gifted with the male child, untie the thread on the ancient tree only after the fulfilment of their wish. He said thousands of langoors visited the temple.



Campus Buz
4 MNCs offer jobs to 46 varsity students
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
Forty-six students of Guru Nanak Dev University have been placed in four multinational companies in the past two weeks, taking the tally of 349 students of batch-2009 who have got job in different national and multinational companies through campus placements before completing their studies in June 2009.

Director (placement) Sukhdev Singh said 32 students - 20 of B. Tech computer science and engineering, seven of MCA and five of B. Tech electronics and communication engineering - had been selected by the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), Noida, at an annual salary package of Rs 3 lakh each. Similarly, seven students of the computer science department had been offered jobs by the NIIT, Gurgaon, and among the other seven students of B. Tech (textile chemistry), five had been placed in Vardhman, Ludhiana, and two in Welspun, Gujarat, through campus placements. These students would join their jobs in June 2009 immediately after their final examinations, he added.

Singh said that a multinational company, SAP Labs, Bangalore, would visit the university campus on October 7 for selecting students of computer science and electronics department of the university. Many more companies were also likely to visit the university in October and November for campus placements, he added.

Mohinder’s secy to VC

Mohinder Singh, a retired deputy registrar, today took over the charge as secretary to the vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University. Mohinder had retired from the office of the deputy registrar (Conduct) after putting in a total service of 34 years in various capacities. Before joining the varsity, he had served at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana for 6 years.

On the top

Ridhima Arora, student of Advance Diploma in French, has grabbed first position by securing 92.5 % marks in the annual university examination.

NSS Day celebrated

Law department of the varsity celebrated the NSS Day by organising a blood group testing camp. As many as 400 students on the campus got their blood group tested. Dr Jaspal Singh, NSS programme officer said the NSS units of the law department were maintaining the blood donors’ directory for the last 15 years. The needy patients in various hospitals in and around the city were also being provided blood, he added.

Satkal awards

Annual Satkal awards-2008 would be organised by the Satinder Kaur Ramdev Memorial Trust for Advancement of Librarianship (Satkal) on the Guru Nanak Dev University premises on October 3.

Vice-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh would be the chief guest, while Kalpana Dasgupta, chairperson (libraries) of the National Knowledge Commission, New Delhi, would deliver the keynote address.

A panel discussion on “Information communication technology and academic libraries” would also be held on the occasion.

Set up by Prof Jaginder Singh Ramdev (NRI) in memory of his wife, the main objective of the trust was advancement of librarianship, including promotion of research by giving scholarships, fellowships and stipends to deserving students and in-service library professionals.

It also organises annual lectures, library related seminars, training programmes and workshops.

‘Punjabi a must’

Guru Nanak Dev University has made Punjabi its official language. The instructions in this regard have been issued to the heads of non-teaching departments and the offices as well as branches of the administrative office of the university.

The decision has been taken in the light of the recent resolution adopted by the Punjab government, informed registrar Dr R.S. Bawa. From now on, all the official work would be carried out in Punjabi and all forms and certificates would be printed in Punjabi or English, he added.



City to host Asian ball badminton tourney
P.K. Jaiswar
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
The holy city will host the Asian Ball Badminton Championship which will get underway on October 4. The event would be held at the Khalsa College, which would also be the venue of the sub-junior national ball badminton tourney.

Citing details, HS Mann, AIG (Intelligence) and president of State Amateur Ball Badminton Association of Punjab, said besides India athletes from Malaysia, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan would participate in the championship. More than 40 teams from across the country would take part in the sub-junior tourney.

He said the Asian event would greatly help in promotion of the game at state, district and block levels.

He urged the government to appoint coaches in all the districts, with special emphasis on schools, so that more and more players could be groomed for future in the game which was very popular in the southern states.

“A large number of players of the game have bagged placements under sports quota in Railways and other central government departments,” said Mann, adding that the government should start gradation of players.



Healthy heart on canvas
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
To raise awareness on heart diseases, a declamation and on-the-spot painting contests were organised by the Fortis Escort Hospital. The declamation topic was “Heart Disease - Risk and Prevention”, while the painting contest theme was “Healthy Heart”.

Students from prominent city schools participated in the activities. Kudrat Pannu from Spring Dales School stood first, while Arushi from Holy Heart Presidency School and Manvi Sharma from Holy Heart High School were second and third, respectively, in the declamation contest. Similarly, in the painting contest, Amritbir of Holy Heart Presidency School was first, while Gurvi from Manav Public School and and Anupreet Kaur from Harkrishan Public School came second and third, respectively. The prizes were distributed by Sunil Kapoor, executive director of the hospital and Dr HP Singh, medical superintendent.



Seminar on ad hoc network
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
A UGC-sponsored national seminar on “Ad hoc network” was organised by the postgraduate department of computer science, Khalsa College for Women, in which more than 20 delegates from parts of the country presented their studies.

The main objective of the seminar was to provide a common platform to the people from industry and academics to exchange ideas and give exposure to the latest trends in the network technology.

The seminar started with an inaugural session followed by two plenary sessions. Principal Sukhbir Kaur Mahal started the seminar by extending warm welcome to chief guest Sarbjit Singh Chahal, director of research and dean of faculty of agriculture, Guru Nanak Dev University, Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, honorary secretary, Khalsa College Governing Council, Amritsar, resource person and delegates.

Keynote speaker was Dr K.S. Kahlon, head of the department of computer science and engineering, Guru Nanak Dev University. He discussed various issues related to ad hoc network.



Biz Buzz
Kohler showroom
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 30
Kohler, a global leader in kitchen and bath design, plans to open 70 showrooms across the country, said company MD Sharad Mathur. Mathur was here to inaugurate its first showroom in the city. He said Kohler had launched its innovative range of bathroom products in the city. Mathur said that with the phenomenal growth of avenues surrounding the real estate, Amritsar city was very promising in the sanitaryware segment.



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