L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Spurned, ex-DSP’s son makes obscene MMS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
A man “tampered” with porn to make an MMS of a girl after she declined his friendship. The accused, son of a retired DSP, along with his two friends have been booked by the police following the complaint of the girl.

Station House Officer (SHO) Jatinder Singh said the accused had been identified as Kuljeet Singh, a resident of Hazuri Bagh Colony near Bhatiya village.

Kuljeet and his friends Hardeep Singh, alias Happy, and Hardeep Singh, alias Ladi, had made the MMS and were blackmailing the victim.

The girl lives near the house of the accused. She said her mother had a monetary dispute with the accused and the three accused had even thrashed her mother.

A few weeks ago, Kuljeet told her that he wanted to be friends with her, but she declined the offer. Later, the accused made the MMS and started blackmailing her. “They used to threaten my daughter that if she did not comply with their demands, they would circulate the MMS among their friends,” the victim’s mother stated. The matter was brought to the notice of the Commissioner of Police following which a probe was initiated and a case registered against the three.

While Kuljeet Singh managed to flee, his accomplices have been nabbed. The SHO said the police had launched a manhunt to nab Kuljeet.

Relatives of the accused admitted that there was a monetary issue, but alleged that the girl’s mother was giving it a different colour.

Schoolgirl raped by ‘boyfriend’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
A local youth allegedly raped his purported girlfriend, a class 8 school student, after her took her out of the city on a motorcycle ride. The incident came to light when she narrated it to her parents, who promptly reported the matter at the Salem Tabri police station.

The complainant told the cops she had “fallen in love” with a young man, identified as Pawan Kumar and a resident of Savroop Nagar near Salem Tabri. “He (Kumar) duped me by offering to take me out on a drive outside the city. But instead he took me to a room somewhere in the city and raped me”, she stated.

After raping her the boy reportedly dropped the girl near her home and fled the scene.

The officer investigating the matter stated soon after receiving the complaint the police booked the suspect under sections 376 & 506 of the Indian Penal Code and launched a massive search operation to nab him.


Surrogacy business wracked by legal issues
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
With no laws governing surrogacy India has become a favoured destination for infertile couples and singles seeking children from all over the world. However, the phenomenon has given rise to multiple problems pertaining to the health of surrrogate mothers and the citizenship of the offspring.

Speaking on the issue of surrogacy, the “most important aspect” of the artificial reproductive technique (ART), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) deputy director Dr RS Sharma said the central health & family welfare ministry had already cleared a bill drafted by the council and is was now awaiting clearance from the law & justice ministry being presented in Parliament.

Addressing delegates attending the national congress of andrology at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital here, Sharma referred to the “unethical practices” that he said a large number of "infertility clinics" were indulging in. "It (proposed law) will largely be based on the surrogacy guidelines currently in use for ART clinics in India laid down by ICMR. Unfortunately, a majority of ‘infertility clinics’ in the country are not complying with the norms that were laid down in 2005," he observed.

Referring to a recent incident, Sharma said a couple from Japan went in for surrogacy in India but the child when born was refused Japanese citizenship as surrogacy is not allowed in that country.

“Quality service is missing in ‘infertility clinics’ as many of them engage only a single gynaecologist who performs multiple tasks, whereas it’s mandatory to have an embryologist and radiologist for such procedures”, Sharma went on to add.

In vitro fertilisation

An embryo is created through the in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure where an egg from the genetic mother and sperm from the genetic father are taken and an embryo is created in the laboratory.

Thereafter the embryo is put in the surrogate mother’s womb. After nine months, when the baby is delivered, the surrogate mother hands over the baby to the couple and in return the couple compensates the surrogate for her “services”.

Renting wombs for money

Women from economically weaker sections of the country’s population are identified by health workers in “infertility clinics” who act as the mediators. Thereafter they are lured with offers of substantial amounts of cash that these women find difficult to turn down. The money paid to surrogate mothers varies from US $6,500 to $10,000 and even more in some cases. 



Ferozepur road turns deathtrap in wedding season
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, February 20
Two fatal accidents on Ferozepore Road, which claimed three lives including those of a three-month-old child and a woman Saturday, has yet again brought to fore how the city’s busiest artery is proving to be a virtual killer stretch during the current wedding season. An average of 20 to 25 mishaps occur every day on the 35 km stretch from the West End mall to Jagraon. Interestingly, with several more cases left unreported.

Mushrooming residential colonies in Baddowal and Mullahpur have also added to the chaos on this road that is invariably teeming with traffic. Repeated requests by residents to civic officials to widen the stretch from Baddowal to Jagraon have fallen on deaf ears.

With about 90 “marriage palaces” (banquet halls) situated on this stretch alone, the police feel helpless in keeping a check on traffic and parking violations. Most of the accident victims are wedding guests who are either in a hurry to reach the venue or return home after attending the party.

The poor visibility on the road and heavy movement of trucks carrying rice husk as well as intercity buses have made matters worse for the guests attending wedding functions.

Meanwhile, banquet hall owners are busy minting money and give scant regards to provide proper parking space to the people. "However, the owners have provided security guards to regulate traffic outside the marriage palace, but instead of regulating traffic, they are usually found busy seeking tips from the vehicle owners for parking," said Gurmeet Singh Lovely, a guest at a wedding party.

With no blinkers or other warning signs on the side of the road it has become difficult for commuters to navigate in the dark. A cop remarked that during rain the road becomes a killer stretch by getting slippery, resulting in accidents increasing. Scooter and motorcycle riders and pedestrians are the worst hit as most of them have been victims of accidents.

On Saturday Kuldip Singh, 28, his wife, Jaswinder Kaur, 25, and their three-month-old son who were riding a motorcycle were crushed to death by an overspeeding pickup truck. In another incident six people were injured in a vehicle pileup near Baddowal village close to Mullahpur.

Jagraon senior superintendent of police Gursharna Singh said: "We’ve asked owners of banquet halls located on Ferozepore Road to provide adequate parking space and also deploy enough manpower to regulate vehicles of guests on the road during functions. Strict action has been taken against rice husk trucks that are overloaded. We’ve also stepped up patrolling on this stretch. The numbers of pickup trucks have been increased t clear the stretch following the accident.”

Another senior police officer said on condition of anonymity guests drinking liquor during weddings is another common cause behind the spurt in road accidents.

Overspeeding vehicles

Intercity buses run by private operators as well as commercial vehicles driven at high speed, with drivers often losing control of the wheel has resulted in the increasing number of fatal accidents.



It’s chaos all around on GT Road

Ludhiana, February 20
Authorities seem to have no solution for the traffic chaos on the Old GT Road in the city, causing much inconvenience to the general public. While commuting on the Old GT Road, starting from Jagroan Bridge to Kapur Hospital, one can judge how traffic in the city has been creating a mess in the life of the people.

The smoke and noise from auto-rickshaws adds to noise and air pollution in most parts of the industrialised city. Besides, they add to traffic chaos in the city and also cause frequent traffic jams. To add to the woes of commuters, temporary and permanent encroachments by shopkeepers on both sides of the road make it difficult for vehicles to move. Even slip roads constructed by Municipal Corporation (MC) in front of its headquarter at Mata Rani Chowk and Clock Tower Chowk have failed to fulfill its purpose of decongesting traffic.

Traffic virtually crawls in this area due to which commuters have to face a lot of problems. Even pedestrians moving on this road have to face a lot of problem while crossing the road. Despite repeated complaints, officials never bother to find solutions regarding problems being faced by people. Several anti-encroachments drive, conducted in erratic manner, have proved to be of no use.

Similarly no traffic management had ever been conducted in the whole area to give some relief to the residents. Auto-rickshaws are allowed to park their vehicle anywhere on the road to pick the customers. Even the warnings of authorities regarding action against illegal parking of vehicles in the area have also not done any good. But result of all this is sheer inconvenience to general public and now whether the authorities wake up from deep slumber is yet to be seen. 



Punjabi cuisine, irresistible, indeed

This ‘bulbul’ enjoys the winter sun in Ludhiana
ON TOP OF THE WORLD: This ‘bulbul’ enjoys the winter sun in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Known for their discipline in eating, doctors have their weak moments, which they do not want to reveal to their colleagues and spouses.Delegates from the South, the East and Central India to a three-day conference at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here were bowled over by the Punjabi cuisine and hospitality.

Every lunch and dinner added to the dilemma of the doctors, who were neither able to resist the gastronomical pull, nor able to give up to the temptation of the ‘pooris’, ‘kheer’, ‘saag’ and ‘gajrela’.

Some acted tough and stuck to their salads and rice-yogurt schedule while others treated themselves with all the richness of Punjabi cuisine.

The best was the wife of a noted scientist giving her husband the slip and piling up her plate with ice-cream and ‘gulabjamun’.

When caught, she disarmed her hubby by saying, "I can miss sweets for a month, but not the chance to taste the delicacies while being in Punjab.”

Simply stumped

The ongoing construction of the down-ramp of the Lakkar Bridge, near the Bhadaur House, has created havoc. It has become difficult to drive a car from Deepak Cinema to Society Cinema.

While driving in between these two cinemas, commuters just lose their temper. They bang vehicles into each other, argue and abuse. When they see a woman driving, they create more panic.

As the windowpanes of a car remain shut, people feel that they can say anything to a woman driver. A woman colleague got stuck in a jam and three young boys on a motorcycle started commenting.

She just opened the door and stared at them, one boy jumped and said, “Sister, I will help you in turning your car. Do not panic, they are all stupid.” The poor driver was just stunned.

On feverish pitch

People in India are crazy about cricket. They have planned their days according to match schedules. Some are getting World Cup tattoos on their bodies while some are getting hairstyle in the shape of the trophy.

Whenever India play a match, city roads wear a deserted look. Cashing in on the cricket fever, companies have launched specific products for the World Cup. Potato chips in the name of six countries have been launched.

Restaurants are offering drinks and dishes on the name of players. People are buying replicas of T-shirts that will be worn by the Indian team. No other game creates so much excitement. India is a cricket-crazy nation.

‘Bhag-Daur’ House

Recently, this reporter got an opportunity to attend a function of retired Army officers. Listening to their tales of bravery, a retired Colonel asked the address of The Tribune’s local office.

This reporter promptly replied, “It is located at Bhadaur House, near Clock Tower, where the flyover project is currently in progress.” The word ‘Bhadaur’ was enough for the Army officer to take a jibe.

He said witnessing the traffic chaos and the flyover project going on at a snail’s pace, the place should be named ‘Bhag-Daur’ House. He said the place was to Ludhiana what Sector 17 was to Chandigarh.

Over the years, the place was encroached upon by vendors and cloth traders, he stated. The construction of a shopping mall had also added to the traffic woes, he added.

Equating journalists with soldiers, he said approaching the place was like going to the battlefield. In case they managed to manoeuvre their vehicles, they would fall into the trap of chaotic traffic.

Contributed by Anshu Seth, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander and Mohit Khanna



System for predicting late blight launched

Ludhiana: The department of plant pathology, in collaboration with the department of agrometeorology, has developed a decision support system (DSS) for predicting late blight in potato, based on the duration of relative humidity at a range of temperatures.

After launching the system here on Thursday, university Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said the farmers would find the facility useful in managing the disease, which was common in potato crop. He said the DSS was a need-based programme that would provide useful information to growers in undertaking timely and effective disease management of their crop.

Dr Kang said similar models for predicting crop yields would be required. He congratulated the inter-disciplinary team of scientists involved in developing the dynamic system for predicting the disease. He said the web-enabled support system would help in quick dissemination of information even to distant potato growers.

Director of research Dr SS Gosal said late blight was a serious hindrance to the successful crop production programme. He said the PAU had chalked out a plan for potato seed production for which effective disease management was required. — TNS



250 school students given prizes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 20
A total of 250 students of the Green Valley Public School were given prizes yesterday for their performance in academics and co-curricular activities during the annual function at Jandali village, near here.

The function started with ‘Saraswati vandana’, wherein students presented a dance prayer. This was followed by a welcome song. A cultural programme was also presented.

The skits and dances kept the audience spellbound. Choreographies on social evils, including illiteracy, female foeticide, dowry and environmental degradation, were appreciated.

Tarsem Lal Gupta, chairman, Kaushalya Devi Memorial Educational Trust, presided over the function. Anil Kumar Aggarwal, chief managing director, Shryans Group of Industries, was the chief guest. Usha Sood, president, municipal council, gave away the prizes to the students.

The speakers said parents should focus on the education of their wards instead of providing them luxuries. Principal Kavita Kapoor read out the annual report. Yash Bhusan Gupta, secretary, proposed the vote of thanks.



Ex-soldier booked for suicide bid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
A retired solider sustained burn injuries following a quarrel with his neighbours near the Shepur chowk here last evening.The police rubbed salt into the retired soldier’s wound by booking in an attempt-to-suicide case. According to the police, the retired Army officer tried to set himself afire following a quarrel with a woman living in the neighbourhood.

The victim allegedly poured kerosene on himself and sent himself ablaze. The accused was rescued by his relatives and rushed to the Civil Hospital.

The Sherpur police swooped into action and booked Avtar Singh in an attempt-to-suicide case.

On the other hand, the retired soldier said the woman and her accomplices tried to set him on fire.



300 students felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 20
Around 300 students of Guru Harkrishan Girls College were felicitated at the annual function organised on the college campus yesterday.The function was presided over by Labh Singh Ahluwalia, chairman, while Arvind Khanna, chairman, Umeed Foundation, was the chief guest. According to SP Sofat, convener, students were felicitated for their outstanding performance in academics, sports, extra-curricular activities, NCC and NSS.

A cultural programme was presented by students. Songs, poems and skits highlighting effects of social evils, including female foeticide, dowry and addiction, were appreciated by all. Malwai giddha and bhangra thrilled spectators.

Speakers, including Amarjit Singh Sidhu, managing director of the trust, Dr Saroj Rani Sharma and Rachna Sidhu, principals, and Sukhdev Singh Walia appreciated the role of teachers.



Sarabjit, Jugraj adjudged best speakers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 20
Sarabjit Kaur, Jugraj Singh and Rajjie of Government College, Karamsar, Rara Sahib, were adjudged best speakers in Hindi declamation organised by the Hindi Sahitya Sabha of the college on Saturday.

Kulwinder Singh presided over the function, while principal Nirmal Singh gave away prizes to the winners.

Around 30 students participated in the competition. Jugraj Singh, Sinder Kaur and Narinder Singh stood second, while Jaspal Kaur, Pawandeep Kaur and Rajinder Kaur secured the third position. Aman Gill, Gurdeep Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur were the judges.



PU tightens noose around colleges
Conducts surprise checks
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
In a bid to tighten noose around colleges, committees constituted by Panjab University are conducting surprise checks at various colleges in the city.Though the committee members term these as “routine” visits, teachers and employees of these colleges maintained that the members met them individually.

The committee members comprise nominated and elected senators of PU, Chandigarh.

A senior lecturer at Kamla Lohtia SD College, on condition of anonymity, disclosed that committee members comprising VK Sibal (senior advocate) and Gurmeet Singh-both nominated senators of PU, visited the campus on February 5.

“Both the members held a meeting with teaching/non-teaching employees. We kept our problems before them. They gave us a patient hearing,” said a teacher.

Similarly, another committee with RPS Josh (elected senator) and Gurmeet Singh visited SDP College for Women in the second week of February. Teachers of the college discussed their problems with the committee members.

A teacher of the college said, “All issues were discussed at length. The college management has still not implemented the Sixth Pay Commission. Besides, teachers are not getting salaries regularly. Not just that, experience certificates and No Objection Certificates have not been issued so far. A simple leave has to be passed from the management.”

Paramjit Kaur, principal of the college, however, said the teams had visited several colleges in the city. She added,

“I am not aware of the issues that the staff took up with the committee members, as I have joined recently.” RPS Josh, one of the committee members, said these were routine visits and not on the basis of any complaint.

“But we discussed everything with staff. Their problems, salary issues, whether colleges were following the PU calender properly or not. We met principals of the respective colleges as well. This is an exercise by PU to learn about teacher strength and vacant posts in colleges. The committees will be visiting more colleges in days to come,” said Josh.



World relishes Punjabi food
Indian cuisine ranks 5th in popularity survey
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Not only do Punjabis love ‘dal makhani’ and butter chicken; people around the world relish Punjabi food. A recently conducted gastronomy survey by Hotels.com has brought out some interesting insights into the dining habits of various nationalities across the globe. It states that Indian cuisine is loved by tourists across the world and is fifth in the list while Italian cuisine remains the world’s favourite food.

According to the survey, Aussies, Brits, Dutch and Kiwis love Indian fare, as do our countrymen. However, it is no surprise to note that Indians also enjoy Chinese food the most after their ‘ghar-ka-khana’. The numerous Chinese restaurants in Mumbai and other cities of the country bear testimony to that.

The French, though, seem to prefer Indian food over Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and Greek cuisine. Their affinity to Indian food follows their fondness for French and Italian cuisines. Our Asian counterparts, Koreans and Japanese, surprisingly, seem to prefer Indian food the least.

Italian cuisine, renowned for its pizza and pasta, ranks as the most popular fare among the survey respondents worldwide, followed by French, Thai, Chinese and Indian food. Of the major Asian cuisines, Chinese, Thai and Indian, Thai cuisine finds the most fans among international travellers.

Apart from Indians, who enjoy ‘dal makhani’ and ‘roti’, Aussies travellers have rated Indian food among the tastiest cuisines. However, although ‘chicken tikka masala’ (originally an Indian dish) is very popular among Brits, they seem to like Italian food more than Indian.

It seems that Brits cannot travel without tea. Vegemite has a similar place when Aussies travel. Among the French respondents, coffee and chocolate are seen as essential travel food accessories. ‘Paranthas’ and spicy food also rank as the food Indians miss the most when travelling (43 per cent), followed by ‘masala chai’ (26 per cent).



Akalis can’t look beyond Bathinda, says Tewari
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari today said that the Akalis had ceased to look beyond Bathinda. Addressing a series of meetings in villages of Jagraon and Dakha Assembly segments, he regretted that the government had failed on all fronts.

He said the Akalis claimed themselves to be the guardians of the interests of farmers, but when it came to delivering at the grassroot, they had let down the farmers. The government had failed in procuring crops on time and the payments had been delayed by weeks.

He said during the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, the farmers did not have to wait for more than a day to get money for their produce.

He also said the Akali government had not provided electricity to farmers.

The previous Congress government had purchased power on high tariff to provide it to the farmers and ensured regular power supply to them while the Akalis could not even provide two-hour electricity to the agriculture sector.



Industrial production index dips
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The index of industrial production (IIP) in India last December has fallen to a low of 1.6 per cent which is alarming, making it difficult for exporters and manufacturers. It has dipped from 16.1 per cent in April last year.

The fall is in sharp contrast with the trends of the previous year when the IIP had accelerated from 1.1 per cent to 18 per cent in the first nine months. The manufacturing sector accounts for almost 80 per cent of the IIP.

“Exporters and manufacturers are facing a tough time with respect to the cost of raw materials. In the labour intensive industry in particular, the cost of raw material is very high. Wrong policies of the government and cartelisation are the ruling trends in deciding the prices of raw materials. The prices of steel, cotton, yarn, rubber and plastic materials are rising sharply,” said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The ministry of industry and commerce have taken measures to reduce the transaction cost of exporters. Of the 44 issues identified, closure has been achieved in 23. This is only a token relief to exporters. The recommended measures are expected to save Rs 2,100 crore for exporters every year. This amount represents about 0.02 per cent of India’s exports. On the other hand, the finance minister has stated that exporters suffer transaction costs to an extent of 7-10 per cent. Accordingly, the transaction cost to the exporters roughly amounts to $13-18 billion.

Exporters incur transaction costs not only in the transportation of goods and dealing with banks, but also in complying with various laws and procedures, besides meeting onerous documentation requirements. The costs involved in getting benefits of various export promotion schemes are also high.

“At every stage of obtaining excise rebate, refunds of unutilised Cenvat and VAT credit, verification of duty credit scripts, proving discharge of export obligation, release of bonds furnished to customs, fixation of input-output norms, etc. exporters have to grease channels to get their work done. This invisible cost is becoming heavier by the day,” claimed GS Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.

“In respect to steel, our exporters/manufacturers pay about Rs 5,000 per tonne more than the global price. The government should consider the facts that impinge on the competitive cost of exports,” Sharma added.



Focus on treatment of male infertility
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The three-day 16th national congress of andrology and reproductive medicine (ANDROCON-2011), organised under the aegis of the Society of Andrology, India, concluded at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here today.

At least 300 delegates from India and abroad attended the conference, wherein subjects related to male sexuality and infertility and their treatment were deliberated upon.

Dr Tritto Giuseppe from Italy, uroandrologist with specific expertise in genital reconstructive surgery and microsurgery, and Dr SK Guha, president, Society of Andrology, India, were the keynote speakers during the conference. The organising chairpersons, Dr Sandeep Sharma and Dr BS Aulakh, proposed the vote of thanks to dignitaries and delegates.

The organising secretaries, Dr BS Shah and Dr Parminder Singh, said the concluding day of the conference was marked by informative lectures on by Dr John Parmodh, Dr Surender Kumar and Dr Giuseppe.

The legal aspects of artificial reproductive techniques were discussed in detail by Dr RS Sharma from the ICMR, New Delhi. Dr Ranjive Mahajan, professor and head of psychiatry at the DMCH, spoke on the role of psychiatry in erectile dysfunction.

Dr Kim Mammen from the CMCH spoke on surgical management of peyronies’ disease. This was followed by lectures on alternative medicine and alternative therapy in andrology by Dr KC Sharma.

The experts opined that sexual medicine was a new speciality and different training programmes should by started by policy makers in this particular field. The highlight of the conference was the launch of the Society of Ageing Male, for persons aged between 40 and 60 years.

The scientific sessions held today also included “Overview of androgen deficiency in ageing male” by Dr Rattan Kudyar and “Testosterone replacement therapy” by Dr NS Ujwal.

During the conference, the delegates got to know of various physiological aspects and options of surgical treatment available for male sexual disorders, which were a major cause of mental and physical trauma to the affected patients.

A session on stem cell was also conducted, with special reference to the use of amphical stem cell and future aspects of stems cell therapy in various diseases.



Course on feed manufacturing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The department of veterinary and animal husbandry extension, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, organised a refresher course on feed manufacturing, balanced and quality feed for milch animals in collaboration with the dairy development department, Punjab.

Around 39 feed millers from various parts of Punjab attended the course. They were apprised of the quality of raw material, formulation of ration for different categories of animals and care of feed machinery.

Dr HK Verma, head, veterinary extension, said a feed manufacturer must know all details about the manufacturing technology, including quality of food, ingredients, storage, ration formation, standard set-up of plant, machinery maintenance and unconventional feed stuffs.

For the renewal of licence of feed manufacturers, the training is mandatory for all. The course is compulsory for those manufacturing mineral mixtures for cattle and buffaloes.

Dr KS Sandhu, director, extension education, said the dairy business was flourishing.



Late marriages causing infertility: Experts
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Late marriages followed by late child bearing has become a major cause leading to infertility among young couples and people working in the IT Industry are the worst sufferers, observed Dr NK Lohiya and Dr Sujoy K Guha, eminent scientists of India.

The scientists were in the city to attend the 16th National Congress of Andrology and Reproductive Medicine at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Dr NK Lohiya, scientist, Centre of Advanced Studies, department of zoology at University of Rajasthan, said despite settling down in their careers, young girls and boys are reluctant to get married. “Thereafter, the women are reluctant to bear children fearing them to be obstacles in their careers and as a result they end up with complications like blocked fallopian tubes and other complications causing infertility,” Dr Lohiya elaborated.

Dr Guha pointed towards the hazards of long working hours in the IT Industry that is causing multiple health problems, including “infertility”.

The major factors contributing to the problem are long hours of sittings before the computers and laptops, heating at the workstations, artificial lighting, eating fast food and consuming excessive caffeine, observed the scientist.

Obesity is another causative factor behind the reproductive health disorders faced by men and women as Dr Lohiya referred to a case wherein a young couple despite getting all their tests “normal” was unable to bear children. “The girl was overweight and they were asked by the gynaecologist to proceed on leave for a month to a hill station, where she ended up shedding some extra kilos and conceived soon after,” said Dr Lohiya. Infertility is not just restricted to “reproductive health” as it brings along psychological and psychiatric problems after a certain stage. It is important to take right decisions at the right time so as to avoid stress, another cause behind infertility, advised the scientists.

Papaya seed set to do wonders
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
The whole world is waiting for the plant-based contraceptive to be made from “papaya seed” as it is in the second phase of clinical trials supported by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

“It will be cost effective, orally effective and will have low toxicity, said Dr NK Lohiya, emeritus medical scientist, Centre of Advanced Studies, department of zoology, University of Rajasthan.

Dr Lohiya, while addressing a gathering at the ongoing conference of Andrology in DMCH, stated that pharmaceuticals had failed to extend support to research in plant-based contraceptives. He said, “The time for conducting studies is very long and a huge amount of money is involved.”

“Four compounds have been isolated from papaya seeds. The compounds, which have been isolated by a complex process of extraction, act at the level of epidydimis, a part of male reproductive system, by making the sperms immobile,” explained the scientist.

The previous study was carried out by China on Gossypol plant as it had emerged as an effective contraceptive in the early phase of trials, but in the later stages, side effects like hypokalemia (low level of potassium) surfaced, thus the chapter was closed, revealed the scientist.

Pointing towards the major problem faced by scientists and Ayurvedacharyas in mass application of a particular plant extract or its formulation, the expert said it should be tested in at least three to four laboratories. “It is equally important to exercise precision in terms of the area from where the plant is plucked and also it should be done in the right season followed by a careful storage,” said Dr Lohiya. 



Punjabis bowl over Surrey Mayor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
“Surrey is like another Punjab, with so many Punjabis living there. It was because of their warm-heartedness that I made up my mind to visit Punjab. During my maiden visit, I have found that people here are extraordinary, loving and warm-hearted. I believe that exchanging ideas, adopting new technology and initiating trade will be beneficial to both countries,” said Dianne L Watts, Mayor, Surrey BC Canada, who was in the city to promote Oxus Nexus, a Canadian corporate services business that supported India by providing job opportunities through Canadian projects.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Watts said she had visited several cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar, with her trade delegation. “There are many opportunities here in India. If the two countries exchange ideas, views, technology and business, it will be beneficial. My aim of visiting India is to see where we can mutually expand and grow. In this direction, I signed a memorandum of understanding with the Mayor of Jalandhar yesterday, wherein we could exchange clean and green technology,” she said.

She added that many developed countries had understood that India would emerge as a powerful nation and so, several companies were coming and investing here. “We will continue this exchange programme. I have invited Indian counterparts to Surrey, Canada, to get first-hand information on several other avenues,” she said.

Upkar Tatlay, managing director of Oxus Nexus, said the company would provide an annual endowment for education to a poor and needy student. “The first winner of endowment is a 10-year-old-girl, Pooja Maurya, enrolled in class VII at a government school in Kajheri,” said Tatlay, adding that with the help of annual scholarship (1,000 Canadian dollars), the family would be able to provide continuous education to Pooja and her three siblings.



Illegal hoardings deface city
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
An illegal hoarding in Ludhiana.
An illegal hoarding in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 20
Despite tall claims of Municipal Corporation (MC) officials, the civic body seems to be helpless when it comes to politicians as a result a large number of illegal political hoardings are a common sight here.

With less then a year left for Assembly elections in the state, the political temperature in the city is already on the rise due to which top politicians in the state have increased their rounds in commercial hubs of city.

 But their rounds are causing a lot of inconvenience to general public besides defacing the city.

 In order to extend welcome to their political masters, the political leaders don’t hesitate in installing hoardings, banners or placards at any part of the city, causing mess on the city roads, chowks, street lights and even the overhead signage boards are full of political advertisements.

Unfortunately, those officials responsible for removing such illegal hoardings and banners are least bothered.

However, due to such an attitude of the MC officials not only the city even the civic body has to suffer huge losses.

With MC staff almost defunct there seems to be no end of such a practice as the situation will be worst during election time.

Sources in the civic body said it was not that MC could not take action against these violators, but they don’t want to initiate any action, which could offend the politicians.

The sources further said MC officials know it well that one day or other these leaders would be in power so they don’t want to offend any of them.

There is no concrete policy with MC to deal with such illegal advertisements and moreover fearing adverse consequences the officials don’t dare to take action against political leaders, the sources added.




Workers urged to join Feb 23 march
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 20
Leaders of various trade unions, including AITUC, CITU, INTUC, NTAI and AICCTU, have called upon workers to participate in the workers’ march to Parliament on February 23 in large numbers.

The march is being organised jointly by all Central trade unions, industrial workers, construction workers, federations and associations of employees of banks, insurance, railways, telecom, electricity and state and Central government employees.

The unions, deploring the Central and state governments’ failure to check price rise of essential commodities, are demanding a universal public distribution system, provision of cheap rations, a check on hoarding and black marketing, end to future trade in grains and a system of price fixation, among other steps, to control prices.

The leaders alleged that labour violations such as resistance to unionisation, non-implementation of equal pay for equal work and minimum wages and denial of maternity benefits to more than 90 per cent of working women were rampant in the country.

The leaders said this protest to Parliament would press upon the government to fill all vacant posts on a regular basis and to regularise service of daily wage workers, contract workers and workers employed throughout outsourcing.



‘Sustainable growth of service sector needed’

Doraha, February 20
The two-day UGC-sponsored national conference on “India an Emerging Service Economy: Issues and Challenges”, organised by the postgraduate department of commerce and business administration of Guru Nanak National College at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of the college, concluded here today.

Prof Deepak Kapoor, University Business School, Panjab University, Chandigarh, called for sustainable growth of the service sector in India. He said although the service sector was contributing largely to India’s GDP, a balance between the primary, secondary and service sectors was essential.

Dr Tejinder Singh, associate professor, department of commerce, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, discussed the present position of higher education in India. He threw light on the inadequacies and challenges. Overcoming those, higher education could achieve its targets and pave the way for sustainable development of the country, he asserted. Former principal Jaswant Singh Gill, director, GNN College, Doraha, talked about education and health services, which he opined, were in state of flux and needed to be regulated and made accountable. “The two factors on which these services depend are transparency and trust, but both are missing in the present set-up,” he stated.

Dr Parmod Aggarwal, department of economics, Punjabi University, Patiala, said India had emerged as a professional sector in the globalised world with a diversified range of services. He suggested balanced development for the economic growth of India. Mandeep Singh, manager, Axis Bank, Ludhiana, focused the growth and prospects of the banking and insurance sector in India.

Prof AK Vashisht, university school of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Suresh Kumar Chadha, university school of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Ajay Suneja, associate professor, department of commerce, Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, and Dr Rupinder Singh Sodhi, head, department of economics, Khalsa College, Patiala, who were resource persons, gave their individual views on India’s growing service sector. — OC



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