L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC bends rules; gives contractors more time
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Ignoring norms in bids involving Rs 17.1 crore, the MC has extended the time limit for “completion of technical bids” by a week.

The civic body received tenders of six works for the construction of roads at Focal Point on November 11, under the two-cover bid system, and a committee was formed for the scrutiny of the bids being headed by Joint Commissioner MS Jaggi.

However, the committee failed to scrutinise 34 bids submitted by 13 contractors in 20 days, raising eyebrows.

Though the delay in opening tenders is not new for the MC, sources revealed that political pressure was being witnessed and efforts were being made to allot tenders worth crores to contractors close to Akali leaders.

“Since strict terms and conditions have been laid for the allotment, it is causing delay in completing the formalities,” they added.

When the SE, AK Singla, was asked about the reason for the delay, he said: “There were some documents that needed clarification and were incomplete. So, the committee had one-to-one meeting with some contractors and told them to give explanations.”

However, experts from the B&R branch that have worked with the MC for years, said: “MC officials have a habit of bending rules, but extending time frame is a new thing.”

One cannot keep extending the time and ask bidders to make corrections or ask them to complete documents. For tenders, it’s either a yes or a no.

If the MC officials are taking the plea of change in terms and conditions, it means re-inviting tenders and the whole process would take around 30 days. “If you ask us, it should have not taken more than a week for the entire process,” he said, suggesting cancellation according to the rulebook.

Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha said: “Yes, we have given time to contractors to complete some formalities, after which the bids would be opened. Since specifications were laid after recommendations of GNE College, it’s taking a little long.” He claimed that there was no chance of tender tampering.


Industrialists threaten to move HC
‘Illegal’ notices by excise dept
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India (FASII), Punjab chapter, has threatened to move the High Court if “illegal” notices served by the excise and taxation department of Punjab were not withdrawn.

The recently issued list of about 30,621 units for the scrutiny of accounts by the department has invited criticism from industrialists. The business community said the government had surrendered to the wrong policies of bureaucrats, who were not in favour of the growth of the industry.

Badish K Jindal, president of the state FASII, said the excise department had issued the list on its website to scrutinise their accounts for 2005-06. Among these, Ludhiana was leading with 11,130 units.

He said in 2005-06, the total number of VAT registered units in Punjab were 1,53,000, which showed the scrutiny of about 20 per cent of the total number of units. Whereas in Haryana, the cases chosen for scrutiny for the same period was only 9,769 among the total number of 1,10,000 VAT dealers, with an average of about 8 per cent. The selection of cases in all other states was also between 5 per cent to 9 per cent.

Terming the notices as illegal, he said these were served under Section 29 sub-section 3 that says: “An assessment under Section 29 sub-section (2) or sub-section (3) may be made within three years after the date when the annual statement was filed or due to be filed whichever is later. Where an assessment is to be made under this Section, the designated officer shall serve a notice to the person to be assessed and such notice shall state the grounds for the proposed assessment and the time, place and manner for filing objections, if any”.

As per act the last date for issuing the notices was November 20, 2009, but when the department failed to issue notices within time, it cleverly put the list of selected units on the website. “Such policies are not in favour of the smooth running of the industry in Punjab,” Jindal said, adding that the government must take note of the reasons for picking the 250 per cent more scrutiny cases as compared to other states.

The business community felt that the industry of Punjab was already facing difficulties due to recession and poor facilities and infrastructure.



Atta, too, out of reach
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The state government may have decided to distribute fortified atta to the needy at subsidised rates, but it is fast going out of the reach of even the middle class.

A bag of 10 kg of whole wheat fortified flour, which was available for Rs 145 two months ago, is now being sold for Rs 185. Branded flour was even more expensive.

Regular whole wheat flour (local make) was available with retailers for Rs 180-185 for 10 kg. Branded flour like Shaktibhog was available for Rs 200, 5-Star for Rs 185-188 and Ashirwad for Rs 210. There has been an increase of up to Rs 50 on a 10-kg bag in the past two months.

Dev Raj Gupta, a karyana store owner, said the middle and upper middle class buyers preferred branded flour, but even they were feeling the pinch.

Flour mill owners said the government procured wheat every year and decided the prices on its own. “We just buy the wheat from markets/mandis. We have nothing to do with the prices. If wheat becomes costly, the end product has to be costlier. There is no need to panic as the rates are expected to stabilise soon,” Satya Narayan of a flour mill at Maharaj Nagar stated.

Pratima Beri, a resident, said inflation had upset her monthly budget. Rates of sugar, edible oils, vegetables and fruits had increased manifold and only flour was left out, but now, atta was also going out of the reach of the common man. “The middle class is finding it difficult to survive due to inflation, what to talk of the poor,” she added.



Protests ahead of Ashutosh Maharaj’s visit
Mohit Khanna /Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Protests and meetings were held here today ahead of the three-day visit of spiritual guru Ashutosh Maharaj on December 5. His followers and members of other religious organisations opposing him came out on the roads and gave a tough time to the police.

The protesters took out a peaceful march and urged the authorities to cancel his visit. Some protesters went on the rampage and tore his posters.

On the other hand, his supporters convened a meeting and welcomed the visit. A spokesman for the supporting group said: “How can we stop someone from entering the city. It is his democratic right and he can to go anywhere in the country. It is the responsibility of the police to make proper security arrangements.”

The police made elaborate arrangements in the wake of brewing tension between the two groups. About 1,300 cops were pressed into service for the visit.

Police checkposts have been installed at key locations and vehicles entering the city are being checked.

Concerns are being raised over the issue of procession, which would be conducted in various parts of the city before the arrival of the guru. Some Sikh organisations have objected to the procession.



Woman, son held for immigration racket
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The police has nabbed a woman and her son, travel agents, for duping youths on the pretext of sending them abroad.

Kulwant Kaur and Raj Kumar were on the run for the past six months after they were booked by the Jodhewal police for cheating Harjeet Singh of Rs 2.80 lakh on the pretext of sending him to Hong Kong.

According to the police, Kulwant Kaur was running the alleged immigration racket for the past seven years at Jagraon. Her sons Rashem Singh and Kuldeep Singh, who were settled in Hong Kong, would help her in the business. Harjeet Singh complained that they took Rs 2.8 lakh from him, but neither sent him abroad nor returned the money. He then lodged a complaint with the police, who booked them for fraud.

Gurwinder Singh, in charge of the economic offences wing, said the duo would assure the youths that once they reached Hong Kong they would be given jobs. They used to charge a premium for illegally sending them abroad.



Four get jail for smuggling heroin
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 2
Four drug peddlers have been convicted of possessing 8.6 kg of heroin worth over Rs 50 crore. They have been sentenced to undergo 10-year rigorous imprisonment.

Those convicted include Malkeet Singh of Ganga Nagar(Rajasthan), Balbir Singh and Manjinder Singh, residents of Mahalpur (Hoshiarpur), and Gurcharan Singh of Khajuwala (Rajasthan). They were also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh each.

The court of Additional Sessions Judge JS Chouhan held that the prosecution had proved the guilt of the accused and the court turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused. The orders were pronounced by the court while deciding a complaint filed by the directorate of revenue intelligence under the NDPS Act.

Intelligence officer Kamaljit Singh had got secret information regarding the transportation of narcotics by the accused in a Tata Sumo from Jalandhar to Delhi via Ludhiana. He informed the joint director, who ordered action.



Demolition drive in congested areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Continuing with its drive against encroachments, the demolition squad today undertook an operation in various inner and congested areas of the old city.

The team started its work from Master Tara Singh College and went towards Subzi Mandi, where JCB machines demolished structures extending out of the building line.

The squad also went to Shivpuri and Jodhewal Basti before culminating its operations at Sunder Nagar.

Due to the consistent drive being undertaken by the MC, officials did not find face any opposition and people assisted them quietly.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, DSP Amandeep, who had been a part of the drive from Day 1, said, “There has been a marked difference in the attitude of the public. On the first day, people made groups and got involved in a spat. While some of them took the plea of area councillors, others tried to oppose us, quoting their political connections.”

However, she expressed satisfaction that people had now realised that it was for their betterment and would help the city.

The demolition squad removed extended stairs, footpaths and display boards in the old city area, that often used to hamper traffic movement.



Govt urged to amend industrial policy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial & Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has termed the industrial policy of the state government anti-industry, with the steel consuming engineering industry like bicycle and spares bearing the brunt of the policy.

He urged the Chief Minister to review new proposals made by a committee for their total withdrawal to save the industry, which was already facing adverse scenario due to economic impediments and adverse industrial policy of the state.

In the proposals, a surcharge of 10 per cent on the present rate of VAT levied had been proposed and recommended, which was not bearable.

As an impact of the 10 per cent surcharge on VAT, the prices of steel inputs would increase from Rs 200 to Rs 300 per metric tonne and the refunds of the industry would decrease.

In spite of assurance given by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that the rates charged in power bills would be charged on old rates and the increased power rates made by the PSERC would not be applicable, the PSEB had charged the revised higher rates in the electricity bills issued to consumers.

This was again a blow to the survival of the industry of the state, said the CICU.

The general secretary added that due to delayed submission of forms “C” & “H”, the VAT refunds had abnormally been delayed by the state government.

This way, the liquid capital of industry was bound to go to the government treasury and the engineering industry in the SME sector would have to close down their units, as they would be rendered unfit to compete in the local as well as the global market.

The industrial policy of state was proving to be destructive for the SMEs and it had to be reviewed, urged Avtar Singh.



Dasam Granth Row
Tense moments ahead of seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Timely intervention of the police averted a clash between Sikh Student Federation (Mehta) and Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat International members after the latter organised a seminar on Dasam Granth, which has become a bone of contention between the two organisations.

The Shiromani Kahlsa Panchayat International had organised a seminar on Dasam Granth, as the panchayat supported the view that the Granth had not been written by Guru Gobind Singh.

The seminar had to be addressed by former Jathedar of Akal Takht, Prof Darshan Singh Khalsa who supports the above view.

Professor Kahlsa had earlier been summoned by the SGPC and refrained from speaking publicly on the matter.

The SSF (Mehta) differed in opinion as it believed that Dasam Granth was written by Guru Gobind Singh.

Around 20 members of the SSF (Mehta) led by state president Paramajit Singh Khalsa were on their way to the venue of the seminar this morning when they were intercepted by a police team headed by a DSP.

The DSP stopped the federation members from going to the venue and forwarded their request to refrain Darshan Singh Khalsa to speak at the seminar.

Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat International in order to avoid clash cancelled Darshan Singh Khalsa’s visit.

Thereafter, the seminar was organised in the presence of around 20 policemen and was addressed by Prof Inder Singh Ghagga.

Addressing the gathering, Giani Kewal Singh, former jathedar, Takht Sri Damama Sahib, supported the view that the controversy should be brought to an end through deliberation by laureates.

Prof Sarabjit Singh from Gurmat Gyan Missionary College called upon the SGPC to take an initiative for the same.



CPI’s state-level protest on Dec 12
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 2
Lashing out at the Centre for unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities, weakening of food security, deteriorating law and order situation and ailing economy, the CPI has announced a state-level rally here on December 12.

Addressing a news conference here yesterday, Dr Joginder Dyal, member of central executive committee of the party, said the government claim of negative inflation was a fraud with people as the prices of essential commodities were soaring with each passing day, touching a new high during the past few months.

“The claims of the government on economic growth are belied by the UNDP report that has ranked India 132nd in the human development index.”

Referring to the report of Arjun Sengupta committee, appointed by the previous government, that 77 per cent of population survived on less than Rs 20 a day in the country, he observed that no wonder a majority of Indian population was under-nourished as with prevailing prices minimum cost of food necessary to just sustain life was Rs 50 per day.

“This amount is barely sufficient to cover the cost of basic food items like flour, rice, pulses, vegetables, tea, edible oils and spices.”

The CPI leader said the government had failed to check hoarding of food stocks.

The government was watching the deteriorating situation like a mute spectator as hoarders and profiteers held the country to ransom.

“It is high time the government looks after the interest of the low income groups who deserve a balanced food and a quality life.”

Dyal added that with skyrocketing prices, coupled with job cuts, contractualisation of employment with low wages and no job security, the life of people had become miserable and it would worsen in time to come.

By pursuing a policy of privatisation in every sector, the government was running away from its responsibility of even providing education and healthcare to the masses.

He expressed concern at the grim food security, worsening economic as well as law and order situations.



Banda Bahadur trust reviews bhawan project
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 2
The maiden meeting of the newly set up Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Charitable Trust, held here last evening under the presidentship of its chairman Krishan Kumar Bawa, reviewed the progress and proposed facilities to be provided at the Baba Banda Bahadur Bhawan being constructed at Rakba village in the district.

Giving details of the deliberations, Bawa said on completion, the bhawan would have a well-stocked library, a museum depicting glorious cultural and religious heritage of Punjab and a four-storey hall having seminar rooms.

It was proposed to involve youth, especially women, with the activities of the trust so to undertake awareness and education programmes against social evils like female foeticide and drug addiction.

He added that among other facilities proposed to be made available by the trust at the bhawan included a guest house for NRI members of the Bairagi community, an ayurvedic dispensary and a boarding school for poor but deserving children.

Trust general secretary Bikramjit Singh Rauni said elaborate preparations were being made to observe the third centenary of “Sirhind Fateh Diwas” at Sirhind on May 12, 2010 by the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Manch.

Surjit Singh Manki, Canada-based press secretary of the manch, was felicitated by the functionaries of the trust.

Those present at the meeting were Hari Das Bawa, Ravinder Nandi, Baldev Bawa, Rajinder Bawa, Bikramjit Singh Rauni, Surjit Bawa, Rajinder Bawa, Jiwan Das Bawa, Buta Singh Bairagi, Chet Ram Bawa, Mangat Bawa, Ravinder Bawa and Bhagwan Das Bawa.



Chrysanthemum blossom at PAU
Tribune News Service

A visitor takes a picture of chrysanthemums in full bloom during an exhibition at the PAU in Ludhiana
A visitor takes a picture of chrysanthemums in full bloom during an exhibition at the PAU in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 2
A two-day chrysanthemum show, exhibiting different varieties of flowers, began at Punjab Agricultural University today.

The show is jointly being organised by the department of floriculture and landscaping and estate organisation and is dedicated to eminent Punjabi poet Bhai Vir Singh, whose birth anniversary falls on December 5.

Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, member, PAU board of management, inaugurated the show.

He said commercial flower cultivation had a great scope for Punjab farmers and offered a good option for crop diversification.

Dr Kolar expressed satisfaction over the fact that the PAU had developed several hybrid varieties of the flower and desired that these varieties be registered.

He urged PAU scientists to evolve tissue culture techniques for fast multiplication of flower plants.

According to Dr Ramesh Kumar, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, over 150 different varieties of chrysanthemum of varied colours, shapes and flower size had been exhibited at the show.

He said the PAU had developed around 50 hybrid varieties of chrysanthemum, of which 15 had been released for general cultivation in Punjab and the remaining were under testing stage.

PAU director of extension education Dr MS Gill said floriculture would be promoted as the best diversification option for Punjab farmers.

For this, floriculture discipline would be made an integral component at all KVKs.

A large number of people from the campus as well as from outside visited show. The show will remain open for visitors till 5 pm tomorrow.



Tajik ambassador visits PAU
Seeks collaboration for cotton farming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Dr Saidbeg Saidov, ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan in India, visited Punjab Agricultural University yesterday to explore possibilities of collaboration in the area of agriculture, especially cotton farming.

He was accompanied by first secretary Ashish Sharma.

Interacting with inter-disciplinary scientists-breeders, bio-technologists, pathologists, husbandry specialists working on cotton, Dr Saidov said the land and weather scenario in Tajikistan and Punjab were broadly similar.

He extended an invitation to PAU scientists and Punjab farmers to visit their country in relation to exploring the possibility of working there for promoting cotton cultivation.

The farmers interested in cotton farming in Tajikistan could get land on lease for 49 years through making the necessary formalities, he said, adding that farmers could plant, sell or export their produce as well.

He said in his country, cotton crop remained in the field during March/April to August/September.’

He said PAU technologies could also be useful in successful cotton growing in Tajikistan.

Dr Saidov said the agriculture university in Tajikistan catered to the technological and educational needs of growers.

In his message to the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Saidov invited him to bring delegations of scientists, extension experts and progressive growers to carry forward the possibility of collaboration in agriculture.

Visit coordinator Inder Ikbal Singh Atwal, former MLA of Punjab, said the collaboration between the PAU and Tajikistan for promoting cotton-based agriculture by involving PAU scientists and growers from Punjab held immense potential.

He said the delegation had earlier discussed the issue with Punjab Chief Minister, finance minister and agricultural minister.



Anti-drug campaign by cops
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 2
One of the biggest threats India is facing is the rise in consumption of intoxicants by the youth. This was stated by Jagraon SSP Harinder Singh Chahal during his visit to Daddahoor village.

He was present at the government senior secondary school to attend a seminar on ‘Drugs- biggest enemy of the youth’. He sought the co-operation of the public to uproot drug menace from society. Litterateur Ram Sarup ‘Ankhi’ also addressed the students on the ill-effects of intoxication and advised them to keep off drugs.

The Ludhiana rural police seemed dedicated in the successful completion of the anti-drug campaign ‘Jago’. It also organised a play at the school, which was largely attended by residents of the village.

A theatre group from Amritsar presented the play ‘Shikhar Dhupere Hanera’.



Amalgamation of art forms on display
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
An exhibition of eclectic paintings by Dona Dhami, which can be termed as an amalgamation of contemporary and conventional forms of art, has mesmerised the visitors at the Artmosphere gallery here.

Apt to its name ‘Daiquiri’, a blend of rum, lime and sugar, the exhibition is pure pleasure to the eyes of art amateurs while it is being noticed and admired by art connoisseurs of the city.

Every piece of art exhibited at Artmosphere will be “owner’s pride and neighbour’s envy”, claims Raashi after taking a close look at the paintings.

“This young artist has a long way to go as she has a depth in her work even at such a young age. Such artists with a passion to portray the vibrancy of life should be promoted by individuals as well as organisations,” the art lover goes on to add.

Unlike many artists, Dona believes that an artist should not stick to one technique, adding that experimenting with different techniques not only breaks the monotony, but also stimulates the instincts of an artist, who thrives on being different from the rest of the world.

She has used used different techniques, including drip, knife and water colour, giving her work an upper edge to celebrate the richness of life through her paintings.

Gurshaminder, a school principal, while giving remarks in the visitor’s book, has written that paintings are a rich riot of colour, wherein Dona seems to be coming to terms with her inner turmoil, and the commotion within her has helped her to give new dimensions to her art.



Caste Quota
College bandh on Dec 15
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The Anti-Reservation Front has given a call for a college bandh in the city on December 15 against caste-based reservation in colleges.

Members the front will register their protest with the support of college students that day in a peaceful manner.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mukesh Abrol, a member of the front, said caste-based reservation in colleges was unjustified as deserving candidates lost the chance to pursue their studies many times because other candidates from the reserved category managed to secure seats in the institution though (s)he might have scored less marks.

Abrol added that the call for the bandh had been given in the wake of widespread resentment among students about caste-based reservation in colleges.

“We have decided to fight for the students’ cause and students have expressed solidarity with our endeavour,” he said.

Deepak Ahuja, president of the front, said, “Our students represent India in front of the entire world on various platforms. The image of our country depends on them to a large extent. It is the duty of educational institutions to ensure that only deserving candidates are selected to study in the best institutions of India, for which they have strict admission procedures in place.”

However, caste-based reservation in such institutions defeated the purpose of the selection procedure, he said.

“While general category candidates have to earn their seats, those from reserved categories get it on a platter. This is not fair. If admissions are given on the basis of caste, creed, colour or race, how will educational institutions ensure quality of passouts who will go onto to represent India at the international level,” he added.

He argued that if it was the duty of the government and the people to improve the lot of the backward and reserved classes of the society, there were other means which could be adopted.

If reserved category candidates were worthy of seats in any educational institution, they would get those anyhow, he remarked.



From Schools & Colleges
Seminars on AIDS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
A seminar on AIDS was conducted at Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha. Principal DP Thakur highlighted that HIV was transmissible through sharing of needles and other injecting equipment.

The State AIDS Control Society was targeting injectable drug users through 15 targeted intervention projects. The aim was to emphasise that access for all to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support was a critical part of human rights.

Similarly, Doraha College of Education in association with District Health Administration, Ludhiana, and Sant Kishan Singh Ji Education and Welfare Society, Kishanpura Sidhsar Bhikhi, organised a seminar on World Aids Day. Institute principal Dr Sandeep Sawhney welcomed the resource persons and guests.

Dr US Soch, district health officer, Ludhiana, Satish Sachdeva, district mass media officer, and Dr SK Walia, Payal SMO, were among those who highlighted the launch of various AIDS awareness campaigns and their latest results on the general public.

The speakers focussed on AIDS, its social and emotional repercussions and the need to change the thought process by adopting a positive approach towards the afflicted.

Gursharanjit Singh, project director, and Dr Geetanjali, district AIDS officer, shed light on causes, symptoms and preventive measures. Gagandeep gave a presentation on the issue.

Lovepreet discussed the historic importance of the day and Ramanpreet prepared charts and models to signify the importance of the day. Posters and pamphlets focussing on the theme were displayed and distributed among students.


The semifinal of SAGA Contest 2009 was organised by Kes Sambhal Prachar Sanstha in association with GMT College of Education on the college premises. Eight boys and three girls participated in the competition, which comprised three rounds.


The placement cell of the Quest Infosys Regional Centre of Punjab Technical University (PTU) under the distance education programme organised a seminar on job opportunities here today.

The seminar was organised at GGNIVS, PTU learning centre. Representatives of Maruti Suzuki explained about the career opportunities in the company, current openings and procedure of selection, hiring norms, recruitment process different services, assets and turnover.


The department of Sanskrit of SDP College for Women organised a ‘Shlok ucharan pratiyogita’ here today under the guidance of department head Dr Manju Bhasinee.



Woollens distributed

Mullanpur Dakha, December 2
Major Singh Deol, an NRI from the USA, has distributed woollens among the needy. About 500 blankets and other woollens, including shawls, loi and sweaters, were distributed among people from Boparai and Raqba villages, near here. A grant of Rs 11,000 was also announced by him as shagun for marriage of each girl of the village.

Deol said he had been influenced by Jassi Khangura’s selfless work for rural Punjab. Along with the families of Harjeet Singh Khalsa and Deol, around 10 other families of the village joined the Congress in the presence of Jagpal Singh Khangura, in charge of the Kila Raipur constituency, and other local leaders. — OC



Disabled pledge to fight for their rights
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
On the eve of the World Disability Day, members of the Voice of Handicapped Association have called upon all people to ‘live together in peace and harmony, ignoring all physical, social and economic differences’.

Vowing to fight for their rightful place in society, they have decided to take an oath on this endeavour tomorrow to encourage others like them to stand up for themselves and their rights.

“Every person has a special place in society, one just needs to realise his or her importance. We are determined to help the disabled to come out of self-pity, social stigma and not being accepted by society and realise their real potential and place in the world,” said Gurvinder Singh Punaini, president of the association, which was set up in 2008 with the aim to assist the physically challenged with social, psychological and financial support.

He said the association intends to widen its scope and bring people from all walks of life under its umbrella.

“Whoever is keen to work for the welfare of the disabled is welcome to join us,” said Punaini, a national award winner who has three postgraduate degrees as well as an MPhil degree. His disability has failed to act as an impediment in his life.

Punaini suffered a polio attack that affected both his lower limbs as well as the upper left limb. He is presently running a coaching centre and is actively involved in social activities. He said his group’s aim was to make the disabled realise “if we can, why can’t they”.

Since its inception the association has been helping needy physically challenged people financially and plans to hold motivational seminars for them this month. It will hold a meeting tomorrow to commemorate World Disability Day at the Rose Garden.



Reporters' Diary
Passion for Hinglish

NRIs on a shopping spree are indeed a non-stop entertainment, especially when it comes to shopping for heavily embroidered suits. Despite having kept his fingers crossed, a young doctor’s nephew could not escape from his father’s order to accompany his NRI aunt to a leading a showroom to shop for suits and sarees.

The aunt, in her sixties, had a long list of suits that she wanted to buy for her daughters and a daughter-in-law, but it was her passion for “Hinglish” that gave the doctor’s nephew a tough time. The woman from Toronto started with “good and fast colouran wale suit show karo” (show me some suits with good and fast colours) and on seeing six, she said “Oh no, eh sare taan merian frienda paa chukian hei, I want kuch nawein trendan walla” (all these have already been worn by my friends, I want something of latest trend).

The doctor’s nephew, in order to save himself from embarrassing moments, whispered in his aunt’s ear to stick to “pure Punjabi”, to which the NRI aunt spontaneously added, “Kaka you just keep quite I know how to talk English, hun tan mainu tere uncle de Canadian friendan ne wi meinu speaking waste complimenta deniyan shure kar ditiyan hai” (Son you just keep quiet as now your uncle’s friends also compliment me for my English).

Childhood innocence

A young canine lover was out in the park with her cute little pup, which apparently, was not too keen on taking a walk. The pup was throwing tantrums, tugging at its collar every now and then in an attempt to dissuade its mistress from forcing it to walk against its wishes. Annoyed at her pet’s grumpiness, the girl threatened the pup. “If you do not behave yourself, I will throw you into that dustbin,” she shouted at her silver pup, pointing towards a waste bin in the corner of the park.

At this, a four-year-old child, who was taking a walk with her grandmother, stopped and rubbed her hands in glee. “Granny let us go near that dustbin and wait for the aunty to throw her dog. As soon as she does so, we will pick up the cute puppy and take it home,” chuckled the child in excited innocence, invoking a hearty laughter from her granny as well as the dog owner.

Political blackmail

The pressure being mounted by a local SAD legislator for getting municipal limits increased towards the Mullanpur side on the Ferozepur road has failed to bear fruit and the proposal has received the treatment it deserved (being outrightly rejected by the general house of the civic body). The move, as every one could see through the intentions of the MLA, smacked of vested interests and was nothing but political blackmail in a desperate bid to woo the electorate and at the same time, earn favour of a few colonisers who had developed unauthorised colonies outside the existing MC limits.

The crocodile tears shed by the SAD leader in the house meeting while pleading for basic amenities and infrastructure for the residents of “unauthorised colonies” deservingly evoked scorn rather than any sympathy from the councillors and senior functionaries of the civic body. The councillors, at least this time, rightly maintained that any proposal for increase in municipal limits ought to be discussed only after the basic amenities were made available to the city population.

Love for sweets

At a time when city residents are discarding Indian sweets due to adulteration, NRIs are getting hooked on to sweets these days. Recently, my US cousins came to the city with their US-born-and-brought-up brides, who came along with their relatives. They discarded chocolates and were passionately eating “jalebis” and “rasgullas” and when it came to “chat”, they just pounced on the stall.

As I was aware about the side effects, it was my duty to give them a word of caution, but they were too obsessed with Indian sweets and dishes. After tasting everything for two days, three of them had to be taken to the doctor. Yesterday, when they were offered sweets, they said they were satisfied with the chocolates and lime juice, best suited for Indians!

Toxic lifeline

The Budda nullah may be the river of sorrows for Ludhianvis, but it is a lifeline for a number of scavengers, who fish out stuff from the polluted water body to sell it and earn bucks. A number of children can be seen inside the water body to look for scrap and plastics that can be sold in the market.

Be it cold or a sunny day, these children do not mind jumping into the toxic water body and catch hold of scrap, unmindful of the danger the polluted water can pose to their lives. There seems to be no social organisation that can make these children aware of the danger it poses to their health. They suffer from skin ailments and nobody knows what the polluted water can gift them in the years to come.

Sunday chill out

Sundays are the days when city residents want to do something unique and different from normal routine. Two friends told their wives that they were going to attend an important meeting and will not be able to join them for lunch. The wives, who too, were good friends, thought that since it was holiday, they should also have lunch outside. They went to a leading hotel where a live band was being performed by a group of four women foreign artistes.

While they were enjoying the lunch, one of them saw their husbands too, enjoying the live band and buffet. Not playing a spoilsport, wives got up and joined the husbands, who were too shocked to react to the situation. One of them just said, “Actually, we had heard so much about the band. We were going to call you to join us as the meeting got cancelled.”

Cornering elders

No doubt, people of every age group enjoy weddings, but it is the kids who enjoy the most on such occasions. Unaware of what people say, they do what they want, whether it is pouring of a glass of cold drink or dancing. Recently, while I was at the wedding of my colleague, a three-year-old girl caught my fancy.

Apart from being chubby and cute, this girl was so talkative that almost everyone sitting on the table could not resist her gossip with her mother. One of abstracts of the conversation is like this. “Ma, papa authe ki pe rahe ne. Mainu, apne kol aun hi nahi dinde (Mother what is father drinking over there. He does not allow me to come there).”

The mother replied, “Authe sirf uncle te papa log hi jande ne (That place is visited by men only since it was a cocktail corner).” The girl sweetly replied, “Apa apni tha baniye, jithe mummy te gudu hove (Shall we make a corner for ourselves, where mothers and daughters can be there).” Her statement led to peals of laughter among all those sitting at the table.

Contributed by Anshu Seth, Charu Chibber, Kuldip Bhatia, Mohit Khanna, Kanchan Vasdev, Shivani Bhakoo and Jyotika Sood



Septuagenarian woman dies after police raid
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 2
A septuagenarian woman reportedly died following a cardiac arrest after a police party raided her house at Jhorran village, near here. The deceased has been identified as Gurdev Kaur (72).

A police team had raided the house of the victim on Monday evening to arrest her son, Nachhatar Singh. On seeing the police team on her doorstep, she collapsed.

The guardians of the woman took her to a hospital in a critical stage, where she later died. The police team had to return empty-handed.

Raikot SHO Wariam Singh said Nachhatar Singh had several cases registered against him under the NDPS Act.

He added that Gurdev Kaur had been suffering from hypertension for over 15 years. He, however, denied any harsh behaviour of the police team towards the woman.

A deputation led by senior Left leaders of the area reportedly met SSP (Ludhiana rural) Harinder Singh Chahal and sought action against the police team that raided the house.

MLA Tersem Jodhan said the police team had allegedly terrorised the old woman and menacingly asked her the whereabouts of her son.



Sambar found dead
Tribune News Service

Khamano, December 2
A sambar was found dead on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road this morning. It was hit by a speeding truck near Todarpur village and died on the spot.

Some passersby informed the police. Forest department officials were informed, who took the body for postmortem examination.

Earlier this month, four such animals had been caught from various villages along the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road.

Forest department officials said the sambars arrived in large numbers from hilly areas during winter.

They were chased by stray dogs and other animals, as a result of which they met with accidents on highways or got entangled in bushes.

A sambar was seen being chased by stray dogs and was rescued by villagers at Gunia Majra village. Similar incidents had been reported at Thablan and Todarpur villages.



Woman dies of swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Tejinder Kaur of Model House, who was undergoing treatment for swine flu at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, died here today.

Tejinder Kaur was admitted to the hospital on November 27 and was put on treatment soon after. She died of multiple organ failure today.

District epidemiologist GP Mangla said she tested positive on November 27 and had been administered medicines under the supervision of health officials from the department.



Purse containing Rs 20,000 snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Two motor-cyclists snatched a purse containing Rs 20,000 in cash from a woman in broad daylight in Ghumar Mandi, here today.

The incident took place this afternoon when two youths riding a black Pulsar motor cycle snatched the purse of Alisha, a resident of Model Town, while she was sitting in a car.

According to the police, the youths knock the door of the car and told the woman that she had dropped her money on the ground.

The moment she opened the door, the accused snatched her purse and sped away. A case has been registered.



Two killed in mishaps
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 2
Two persons were killed while two others were struggling for life after getting seriously injured in different accidents in the past 24 hours.

In the first incident, a motorcyclist was run over by a tempo. Raghubir Singh of Mohanpur village was on his way to meet some relatives on his bike.

He was hit by the tempo near the Doraha barrier and died on spot. The tempo driver, Sukhdev Singh of Rajpura, was booked in this connection.

Similarly, Kala, a resident of Jatana village, met with an accident late last night when his bicycle was hit by a truck. He, too, died on the spot.

In yet another accident, Mohan Singh and Kirpal Kaur of Khanna received serious injuries when their car was hit by another car.

They were undergoing treatment at a hospital in Khanna.

The police registered a case in this connection.



One held with liquor
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 2
The police has arrested one person with countrymade liquor.

The accused has been identified as Ajit Singh of Amloh Road, Khanna.

He was arrested from Galwaddi village with 10 bottles of liquor. A case under various sections of the Excise Act was registered against him. The police is investigating the matter.



Fund Crunch
School shows the door to 40 hockey players
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The fate of around 40 hockey players of the hockey wing of the Punjab sports department, who have been staying at Malwa Khalsa School in Model Gram, hangs in the balance owing to fund crunch.

Only a few days ago, the players were given a hero’s welcome when they secured second place in the inter-school hockey competition.

As the competition got over, so was their need. Now these 40 players may not be able take their respective examinations.

They have reportedly been told to go home due to fund crunch. Sources in the sports department say funds have not been received from the sports department for the past few months due to which it is getting difficult for the school to run its sports wing.

According to the sources, the players had requested the school authorities to allow them to stay in the school, as they feared that once they left they school they might not be allowed to enter it again.

However, school authorities remained firm on their decision and told the students to leave the premises without any delay. The school authorities kept the matter a secret and did not disclose it to anyone.

The matter came to light today when certain former hockey players learned about it.

“That is what has been happening to players for years. Once their need is over, they are thrown away like tissue paper. There is no one to voice their grievances. Now they are sitting home and some may skip their examination. Their only fault is that they are hockey players,” said Hardeep Grewal, a hockey players.

The sources in the sports department said these students had been living in the school without a warden for the past two years.

Malwal Khalsa School principal Khagesh Sharma said: “I cannot comment on the issue. You better ask the sports department.”

In spite of repeated attempts, neither the DSO nor the sports director was available for comments.



Athletics meet concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
A two-day athletics meet of Vardhman International Public School concluded here today. Mahinder Pal Jain, executive member of the school, had declared the meet open.

The symbolic torch giving out the message of peace and brotherhood was led by Amanpreet Singh. The first day of the meet witnessed races for the kindergarten section, including frog race, while track and field events marked the concluding day, including banana race, three-legged race, sack race, 100m, 200m and relay races. School vice-president Sushil Malhotra declared the meet closed by lowering the school flag.

Meanwhile, a joint annual athletics meet of SDP Senior Secondary School and its branches was held here. Balraj Kumar was the chief guest.

Athletes marched with the traditional torch and vowed to abide by the rules and regulations of the meet. Principal Jasvir Singh Chauhan read out the annual report of the schools.



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