L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pre-empting water blues
City may get canal water to quench thirst
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Thinking Ahead

According to the proposal, which has been sent to the Union Government for approval, the department will supply canal water to 892 villages of the district by spending over ` 30 crore in case of an emergency.

Ludhiana, March 9
If all goes well, city residents would be drinking treated water from a canal. The water supply department is forming a water scarcity plan to ensure the optimum utilisation of canal water for providing drinking water to more than 800 villages of the district. The water table has dropped to over 200 ft.

As the groundwater level of the district is in the dark zone according to the data of the groundwater commission, the department of public health and sanitation has drafted a water scarcity plan proposal.

According to the proposal, which has been sent to the Union Government for approval, the department would be supplying canal water to 892 villages of the district by spending over Rs 30 crore. The department would supply water through pipelines to the villages if the need arises. Department officials said the proposal had been put forth to ensure that in case of an emergency, water from the canal could be used for drinking purposes.

They said though the district fell in the extreme dark zone, the chances of the water table drying up were slim. But since the water table was getting polluted and its depth had sunk to over 200 feet, the proposal made sense.

Executive Engineer JS Chahal said the proposal was part of the future planning of the department. “We have made the plan keeping in view any emergency requirement in future,” he said.

The department has also started replenishing the water table by converting non-functional tube wells in villages into rain harvesting points. A pilot project for setting up eight such points has been earmarked. Ponds are also bring constructed and upgraded by the department in villages in this regard. For this project, the grants are being shared by the World Bank, Punjab Government and the Union Government.


‘Sample’ anti-impotence drug satchets stun residents
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Notice to firm

The leaflets also glorify other products of the outfit including oils, capsules and powders that have been priced from Rs 200 to Rs 500. District ayurveda officer Narinder Dhand said he had already served a notice on the firm and a copy had also been forwarded to the Punjab ayurveda director

Ludhiana, March 9
Leaflets advertising an ‘ayurveda’ (traditional Indian medicinal system) product along with “sample sachets” claiming to cure erectile dysfunction came as a shock to residents of several city localities. The leaflets and sachets of the concoction, manufactured by a local outfit, Aadya Mahalaxmi Herbals, were distributed together with some English dailies.

The leaflets carry details of various kinds of “oils” used in the product along with claims of “instant remedies", which are a clear violation of provisions of the Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955. The pictures and words used in the leaflets and on the sample sachets of the concoction were also an assault on the sentiments of the largely conservative residents.

Taking “strong note” of what he called the “indecent display” of words and visuals, Sudha, a resident of Pink Flats, said: "I was shocked beyond words when my 11-year-old daughter brought the leaflet and accompanying sachet to me and asked me about its utility. The authorities concerned should bring charges against the product’s manufacturers as well as the advertising agency for this immoral act”.

The leaflets also glorify other products of the outfit including oils, capsules and powders that have been priced from Rs 200 to Rs 500. However, undeterred by the prospect of possibly facing unpleasant consequences, the firm has gone to the extent of putting up stalls displaying its products in some exhibitions recently held across the city.

Expressing resentment, Ravinder Vatsyayan, a leading ‘ayurvedacharya’ (‘ayurveda’ practitioner) in the city, called such advertisements misleading. "Some unscrupulous elements are selling ‘ayurveda’, an ancient Indian medicinal system, as a cheap commodity. There’s no mention of oils or other ‘medicines’ in the ‘Charak Sutra’ that can remedy impotence, and people making false claims should be taken to task," he averred.

On the other hand, Praveen Goyal, managing director of Aadya Mahalakshmi Herbals, said the firm had been putting out advertisements for a year and a half in a vernacular newspaper in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bombay and various other cities. “The leaflets and the sachets attached with them were only meant to be distributed with vernacular papers and not with English dailies. This was the mistake of the hawkers”, he claimed. However, he refused to speak on the issue of the advertisement being unethical.

Meanwhile, district ‘ayurveda’ officer Narinder Dhand said he had already served a notice to the firm and a copy had also been forwarded to Punjab ‘ayurveda’ director Rakesh Sharma. "The firm was served notice for violation of provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 as also those of the Drugs & Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1955. I’ll again take up the matter on prohibiting unethical promotion of such products with the authorities," he stated.



Doctors welcome end to mercy killing dilemma
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Do terminally ill have right to die?

A senior nurse at a private hospital working in the neurological ward, referring to the recent Bollywood film ‘Guzarish’, said: “It wasn’t just a melodrama of a celebrity sharing his agony with the viewers, but an insight into the helplessness of a paralytic”. While speaking in favour of active euthanasia, she said she had a patient who couldn’t walk, talk, move or eat and had become completely dependent on nursing and artificial feeding. “It’s inhuman to deny him (patient) his death wish in such circumstances”, she added.

Ludhiana, March 9
The Supreme Court's decision to allow passive euthanasia in the case of individuals judged to be “brain dead” has apparently come as a boon for terminally ill patients and their families as well as doctors who till now were caught in the moral quandary over the best medical course of action to adopt in such cases.

A large number of patients in the city’s hospitals have been in a persistent vegetative state and are only breathing because they are on life support systems. However, neurologists taking care of such patients were unable to permit withdrawal of these systems despite knowing the fact the latter’s condition would not improve.

The neurologists feel it was an emotional trauma for the family members of the terminally ill in addition being a financial burden that they had to bear - willingly or unwillingly. However, the Supreme Court’s ruling has now given a new direction to physicians as well as patients’ relatives.

Every month the neurology wards of the major city hospitals including Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMCH) and Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) admit an average of three to six brain dead patients who remain in a persistent vegetative state.

Said Dr Gagandeep, a neurologist at DMCH: "It’s an ordeal for the family members to see their loved ones just breathing without feeling anything. A large number of people after learning their relatives were brain dead used to insist on taking the patients home, which we didn’t permit without an undertaking. But the Supreme Court's consent to passive euthanasia will make things easier now”.

On the other hand the Supreme Court's refusal to active euthanasia for rape victim nurse Aruna Shaunbaug on the demand of some NGOs has spurred a debate among the medical fraternity as well as the public. Most people appear to be in favour of active euthanasia while some feel it is unethical and immoral to take someone’s life.

The United States, Britain, Germany Australia, France, Japan, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Luxembourg, Albania and Thailand are some countries that allow active euthanasia, depending upon the nature of the case.

Narrating the desperation of a terminally ill patient’s wife, another physician said that unable to see her 75-year-old husband in a vegetative state she requested him (doctor) to go ahead with active euthanasia to which he refused.

Similarly, Dr Jeyaraj D Pandian, a neurologist at CMCH, said ICU (intensive care unit) treatment has become very expensive and it is often impossible to afford it for brain dead patients who have no hope of improving. "Hence the apex court’s ruling will be welcomed by educated people who are aware of the underlying implications," he opined.

Spouses of terminally ill patients have been among the most vocal in demanding euthanasia - active or passive - for their partners.



PAU students, staff to boycott kisan mela
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Students and the non-teaching staff of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) have decided to boycott the two-day kisan mela to be held on the campus from March 17 if their demands are not accepted by the government.

About 3,000 teaching and non-teaching employees of the PAU have not got their salaries as the government failed to release the grant on time.

The employees union, including more than 350 women, have started protesting against the government for adopting a casual attitude in disbursing salaries to employees.

The vice-president of the PAU employees’ union said: “We are going to boycott the kisan mela to be held at the PAU grounds on March 17-18 if the government fails to release the grant till then. It is a sorry state of affairs in the PAU. We have to take to agitation every time we want our dues.”

According to sources, the state government provides Rs 120 crore annually to the PAU. The financial year is coming to a close, but Rs 60 crore are still pending with the government and the employees have not got their salaries.

Meanwhile, students protested near the examination hall today and said since the government had failed to notify the verbal acknowledgement for vacant posts in various disciplines in the agricultural department, they would boycott the kisan mela.

In a meeting of PAU students with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on February 12 in Chandigarh, the CM had assured them that before March 4, about 300 posts (out of a total of 800 lying vacant in the agriculture department, Punjab) would be advertised in the media, but nothing has been done so far.



MC Commissioner visits AC Market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
After getting directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to personally visit the AC market to look into the gross irregularities there, the Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner AK Sinha visited the market here today. MC officials from almost all branches reached the market, which has been in news for irregularities. Sinha, along with Municipal Town Planner (MTP) Hemant Batra, also reached the spot to take stock.

Shopkeepers complained that though an RO plant had been installed for shopkeepers, the water was being sold to shops outside the market.

Sinha enquired why only one lift out of the two installed for taking vehicles to the top floor was working. He also inspected the fire-fighting equipment.

He asked Amarjeet Sharma, Additional Divisional Fire Safety Officer (ADFSO), to give him a report regarding the working condition of the equipment on Monday. He also inspected the ongoing work of installing lifts in the market at a place where a demolition was undertaken by the MC recently. He said they would look into the approved site plan and match it with the present market.



Cops fail to curb city’s growing begging menace
Hemdeep Kaur

Ludhiana, March 9
“Don’t encourage beggars. If you do Ludhiana will become a city of beggars within 3 years”, warns a board put up by the city’s municipal corporation at the Bhaiwala Chowk. That it has not had the desired effect is substantiated by the fact that the proportion of beggars in the population has been rapidly increasing.

It appears the admonition on the board is only for the public and not for the police or civic officials as beggars can be frequently seen at the traffic lights at busy intersections, outside shopping malls and temples, at the bus and train stations and any other place where they can get a good amount of alms. Many of those who beg are children who try to melt people’s hearts with their innocent eyes and pitiful expressions. It is primarily due to the negligence of the authorities that beggars are flourishing.

When contacted district deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari said: “The central government has been planning to open the homes for beggars for a long time. However, this task can be accomplished only if NGOs join in the effort. Though we’ve advertised earlier seeking the help of NGOs to shelter beggars none has come forward yet.”

When asked why the cops are not taking any steps to prevent kids from begging on the streets, city police commissioner Ishwar Singh replied: “We can’t expel them (children who beg) from the city. Only if they are forced to beg is it a crime but if they’re roaming on the streets of their own free will we can’t stop them.”

If the police and civic officials are not able to put an end to the begging menace then who else will?



Excise Exemption
Pranab promises to look into demand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee today said that he would look into the demand of various industrial associations seeking withdrawal of the excise duty on bicycles, hosiery, blankets, garments, sewing machines and other products.

The assurance was given to a group of delegations of the industry which met him in New Delhi today under the leadership of Ludhiana MP (Congress) Manish Tewari.

In a statement, Tewari said Mukherjee assured them that he would look into the matter and that the interest of the industry would not be harmed.

Tewari said the excise duty regime should be made optional like it existed prior to the 2011-12 Budget and readymade garments, bicycles, sewing machines and blankets should be retained under the optional excise duty regime.

He said Cenvat had been withdrawn in 2004 and P Chidambram, the then Finance Minister, had made it clear that there was a demand to free the handloom and powerloom sectors from the Cenvat regime and he had done so.



‘Nanotechnology to change veterinary research’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The advance training on “Nanotechnology: opportunities and applications in veterinary sciences,” started here at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The training will continue till March 12. Experts from Electron Microscopy and Nanoscience (EMN) Laboratory of PAU, CMC Hospital, Medicity Hospital and National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, would equip the trainees with the in-depth knowledge of nanotechnology. The training involves participation of 10 veterinarians from various parts of the country.

Inaugurating the programme, the chief guest Dr SS Gosal, director research, PAU, said the most striking feature of nanotechnology was that it had broken traditional barriers of scientific disciplines. It provided tools and technology platforms for the investigation and transformation of biological systems and biology offered inspiration models and bio-assembled components to nanotechnology. Pointing out that nanotechnology in veterinary sciences was going to revolutionise the diagnostics and research, Dr Gosal added that with the help of smart drug delivery systems, it allowed judicious use of drugs through molecular coded address labels.

The guest of honour Dr SS Randhawa, Dean PGS-cum-director of research, GADVASU, said: “This is first nanotechnology training for veterinarians in the country.” He set the goal of veterinarians in the areas of pathogen and contaminant detection, identity preservation and tracking, smart drug delivery systems, disease diagnosis and treatment, animal breeding, multi-colour optical coding for biological assays, and tumour destruction via heating to explore possible application of nanotechnology.



Watch out, water is highly contaminated
Residents demand rural water supply, sanitation project
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 9
Residents of the localities here which are in Sangrur district are being made to drink water with an alarming percentage of contaminants and undesirable components. The falling water table has compounded the problem.

The World Bank authorities, appreciating the efforts of the zila parishad, Ludhiana, in providing clean water to residents of over 100 villages, had recommended extension of the scheme to other parts of the state, but the administration did not bother to initiate steps to provide safe drinking water to residents.

The Central Ground Water Authority had identified the region as overexploited. The residents urged the authorities to extend the Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project to their localities, too.

Accusing successive governments of showing lack of concern towards providing basic amenities, residents of the area urged the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister and the Minister for Local Bodies to implement the scheme for clean drinking water in their localities.

Referring to observations by some government agencies, the residents alleged that samples of water tested for establishing purity were found to have alarming percentage of contaminants and undesirable components.

While alkalinity was found to be four times higher than desired, the total dissolved solvents exceeded thrice the threshold limit and fluoride content was found to be doubly higher.

The Blue Baby Syndrome, flourosis and gastroenteritis were cited as possible threats of drinking water having higher content of nitrate, fluoride and total dissolved solvents.

The problem had been compounded with overexploitation of water by farmers of the area. The Central Ground Water Authority was reported to have directed the civil administration to regulate the ground water level.

The areas identified as overexploited included Sangrur, Malerkotla-II (Ahmedgarh), Mahal Kalan in Barnala district, Moga-I and Moga-II.

Residents regretted that the government had ignored recommendations of the Implementation Support Mission, appointed by the World Bank to assess success of the Punjab Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project.

Appreciating the efforts of Ludhiana district in providing clean drinking water to the residents, the mission had recommended he project for other districts of the state.

The mission had also appreciated the support received by the District Water Supply and Sanitation Committee. Civic bodies at Malsian Bhaieke, Jodhan, Detwal and Beelah villages were appreciated for the outstanding involvement of villagers.

The chief coordinator of the World Bank for water supply and sanitation), during her visit to Malsian Bhaieke village, had emphasised the need to extend the scheme to the areas not covered yet.

Investigation revealed that almost all localities here in Sangrur, Barnala and Ludhiana districts, including 425 Ludhiana villages, had been receiving faulty supply before the launch of the World Bank scheme in the state.

Sources in the department maintained that water in the area was contaminated till a depth of 250 feet and the deeper layer, at about 400 feet, was fit for drinking. A thick layer of clay, which was about 200 feet, separated the two layers of water and prevented intermixing, otherwise situation could have been more serious.



Judge: Crime rate among women up
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 9
The increasing crime rate among women is a matter of concern, stated SP Bangarh, Sessions Judge, at the district courts complex here yesterday.

Addressing a function organised by woman lawyers, he said women should not be party to dowry demands, female foeticide and drug abuse.

The judge said women must be aware of their rights and in case of infringement of their rights, they must knock the door of justice.

He said any woman, in case of need, was entitled to avail herself of free legal service from the Legal Services Authority.

Payal SDM Neeru Katyal and Judicial Magistrate Deepti Gupta also spoke on the occasion. A seminar was also organised at the local jail for women.



Liquor vend on public park
Building branch told to submit file
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
After The Tribune highlighted the presence of an illegal liquor vend on public land in BRS Nagar yesterday, the top brass of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC) has asked its staff to present a file related to the matter for further action.

The issue was raised in a meeting of the encroachment monitoring committee today, which was presided by Municipal Town Planner (MTP) Hemant Batra.

He said he would visit the site of the vend.

Members of the committee expressed their concern over the increase in illegal encroachments in the city, especially in areas like Jawahar Nagar, tyre market and service lanes on the Ferozepur road.

The members also took up the issue of the presence of huge generators on major roads, obstructing traffic. They said the MC must begin the process of removing them.

The violation of building bylaws also came up. They said the MC should conduct a survey to identify how many building owners had flouted norms and were using roads for parking.

They asked Batra how many encroachments had been removed by the civic body in the last two months.

The members also pointed out that despite the directions of the MC Commissioner, the civic body staff had not yet provided them with information regarding the cropping up of encroachments on public land.



Speaking Out
Residents favour active euthanasia

A majority of people feel that a law should be made in favour of active euthanasia in India as passive euthanasia is a relief for just brain-dead individuals who are on life-support systems. There are various other conditions, wherein people are physically immobile and mentally unresponsive, irrespective of the fact that they breathe without ventilator support, they argue. Talking to Anshu Seth, some of them say allowing active euthanasia on humanitarian grounds will not be a wrong step

Sat Paul Bansal, a volunteer blood donor, feels that active euthanasia should be permitted in India as it will be a service to the individuals who have no hope to live a normal life. Confining them to hospital and ventilator is depriving them of quality life, which needs to be reviewed by the legislators, he says.

Rishab, a young entrepreneur, phrases active euthanasia as a blessing for terminally ill patients, who have been cramped to their beds and are just restricted to inhaling and exhaling air. According to him, a person whose brain is dead, but is breathing without ventilator support, should be considered a case fit for active euthanasia.

Ranjit Rai, a social activist, thinks that granting the wish to die to terminally ill patients will be a service to them. He says preventing suicide is understandable, but not granting the wish to die of a patient who cannot perform normal functions for the rest of his life is illogical.

Major Amarjit Singh (retd) opines that once a person has reached the stage of no-return in terms of illness, he or she should be given the right to decide whether to live or not. As we pray to God to give him or her relief from pain and suffering, active euthanasia should be allowed, he says.



Compartment Exam
Wrong picture on roll no slip puts candidate in a tizzy
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 9
“Why are students forced to pay for the blunders committed by the Punjab School Education Board,” questions Preeti who is yet another victim of board’s negligence.

Preeti (roll no- 222016, registration-B-09-LDH.S-682905), who was to appear for her compartment exams of middle standard, got her roll no. slip last evening. To her astonishment, she discovered that though the particulars on the slip were correct, it didn’t have her picture, rather the picture was of some boy.

Confused, she went to her school Khalsa Senior Secondary School at Doraha from where she got a reply that she could try if the necessary changes were made at Punjabi Bhawan, Ludhiana, or she would have to go to Mohali to get the needful done.

Ironically Preeti is appearing for the examination in which she had been placed under compartment last year and her first paper of mathematics is on March 11. She has just one day left to either prepare for examination or make rounds at Punjabi Bhawan or PSEB, Mohali. “I don’t know what documents I should carry and whom shall I approach. No one is ready to guide me and I am scared if I will be allowed to sit in the exam,” said Preeti.

“I am already weak in maths and this additional tension at the last moment is sure to affect my results for the second time also. I am sure that this blunder must be giving trouble to other students, especially the one whose picture has been mistakenly put on my roll number slip. He, too, must be running from pillar to post to get the necessary changes made,” she added.

“I have never been to Mohali Board and my parents, too, are illiterate. I am really disturbed as my exam is in the morning,” cried Preeti.

However, DO Harbhajan Ram said the school where she had been a regular student must certify and send the same for identification to the board. He had, however, nothing to say about the time involved in the process.



GADVASU signs MoU with Canadian varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
A Canadian delegation led by Dr Karen Chad, vice-president, research, University of Saskatchewan, visited GADVASU here today.

Canadian delegation, including Peggy Schmeiser, director of government relations, University of Saskatchewan, Dr George W Maslany, vice-president, academics, University of Regina, Brad Michinik and Lionel Labelle from Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership etc were impressed by the progress made and facilities available at GADVASU.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, during a meeting with representatives of various institutes of Canada said emphasis would be on faculty and student exchange in the field of food safety, water quality, public health, environmental pollutants and infectious diseases.

It may be mentioned that GADVASU has also signed an MoU with University of Saskatchewan to undertake a collaborative research project on “Environmental Pollutants and Zoonotic Pathogens in Punjab: their Impact on Animal and Human Health.”

To strengthen the ties between the two universities it was felt that more collaborative research projects be initiated on the interface area of animal health, human health, quality control of food, food safety, public health, emerging infectious diseases etc.

The representatives from University of Saskatchewan, Canada, have also shown interest to have a collaborative research project with GADVASU in the field of fishery science.



150 crafts on display at GCW
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The Indian Nari Development Avam Improvement and Advancement of Nation (INDAIAN), New Delhi, organised a handicrafts fair at Government College for Women (GCW) here today.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda inaugurated the craft festival.

The fair will continue from March 8 to 17. Aleem Ahmed, general secretary, INDAIAN, said such fairs were organised to promote handicrafts artisans and Indian handicrafts. They can sell their art crafts directly to consumers or buyers.

“They can directly interact with the exporters to get orders. They can avoid the middle men and increase awareness about Indian handicrafts,” said Ahmed adding that the artisans or the craft persons exhibit and market their products and also demonstrate their skill and techniques through such festivals.

More than 150 crafts were exhibited during the festival, including jewellery, patch work, chikan work, panjadari, mojdi craft, chikan zari, Kashmiri shawl, Gujrati embroidery, wood craft, agarbati, sea shell, wooden toys, blue pottery, tilla juti, terra cota, jute craft, art work, metal jewellery, bras metal, fashion creation and polystone painting etc.



Ways to store grains discussed

Ludhiana, March 9
As per government estimates, India lost 70,000 tonnes of foodgrain last year due to inadequate storage. The total procurement of foodgrain in the previous season was 93 million tonnes. The state-run Food Corporation of India (FCI) and the Central Warehousing Corp (CWC) have a capacity to store just 87 million tonnes of grain. The country will be adding 17 million tonnes more in the next five years. To check heavy losses incurred during conventional storage, the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) organised an interactive session between Canadian and Indian manufacturers to find solutions for local conditions.

A five-member Canadian delegation gave a presentation on smart bins, and portable temporary grain storage where grains could be stored in bulk without the use of gunny bags. These are made of different materials, including plywood, tarpaulins and steel. — TNS



From Colleges
Farewell Time
SDP College

LUDHIANA: Students of BA, BCom and BCA (II) of SDP College for Women bid warm adieu to the outgoing students of BA, BCom and BCA (III) here today.

An audio visual feast was presented by students of all classes. The students spent the afternoon of fun and frolic presenting cultural bonanza of songs, dances, games and other thrilling items.

Miss SDP was the attraction for the day. The show was presented by the students of outgoing classes. Wearing ethnic dresses, decked with traditional and modern jewellery, the students walked the ramp, exhibited their talent and answered the questions to win the title. Geeta Verma was declared Miss SDP College, while Kritika and Rajni Verma were first and second runners-up.

In other categories, Nidhi won the title of Miss Catwalk, Harvinder Kaur Miss Beautiful Hair, and Navdeep got prize for beautiful smile.

DD Jain College

A farewell party was organised by the students of BA and BCom (II) for the final year students at Devki Devi Jain College here today.

A colourful and lively programme was presented by the students. Students of final year presented a modelling show. Shilpa was adjudged Miss Farewell whereas Sukhpreet and Gagan were first and second runners-up, respectively. Surinder Dua, officiating principal of the college, wished luck to the students.

Govt College for Women

A farewell function was organised by BA (II) students to bid farewell to the outgoing students of BA (III) at Government College for Women here today.

College principal Gurminder Kaur was the chief guest. BA (II) students presented a cultural show comprising events like classical dance, hip-hop, modelling, medley to songs etc.

Gurminder Kaur encouraged the students to be good human beings first. She said they should work hard to get good marks in the annual examination and urged them to keep up the glorious tradition of the college.

“We must respect women. The society that does not respect women cannot make any social, cultural and economic development. In the West, women have an equal and important place in the society, which is the main reason of their development,” said the principal.

Manisha was crowned Miss Farewell and Arsheen and Naina were adjudged first and second runners-up, respectively. Arsheen was crowned Miss Beautiful Smile, Shagufta was crowned Miss Confident, Naina was crowned Miss Panache, Tanvi was crowned Miss Best Dressed and Manisha was adjudged Miss Elegant. — TNS



Disability no bar for master on canvas
Hemdeep Kaur

Ludhiana, March 9
Disability cannot be a hurdle if one is determined to succeed. This has been proved by Hardeep Singh, an artist who is speech and hearing impaired.

It is said that God does not leave one empty handed. Blessed with an artist’s hand, Hardeep is a shining example of this saying.

Painting since the age of six, the first sketch made by him was that of his mentor, Dalbag Singh. He has painted about 100 oil paintings and 300 sketches. His source of inspiration is Sobha Singh.

Among his creations are sketches of Bhagat Singh, Shiv Kumar Batalavi, Meena Kumari, Hema Malini, Kalpana Chawla and Sobha Singh and paintings of Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh.

His father Rajinder Singh says, “He is mad about painting. Art has been his companion since childhood. He used to draw sketches of persons to tell me about visitors in our absence. He is the proud father of a four-month-old daughter.”

Hardeep gives credit to his teachers Dalbag, Manmohan Singh, Sukhpreet Singh and Daniel Connell for helping him in making a real artist out of him.

Explaining through gestures, Hardeep says, “I wanted to become a singer if I could speak. Art is my life. I paint when the thought comes from the Almighty.”

His masterpiece is a sketch of Jagjit Singh. He is a perfect example of devotion and optimism. His paintings speak for him. Painting is food for his soul.

Hardeep was recognised in the field of art for the first time in 1999, when he held an exhibition along with Dalbag at the PAU. A tailor by profession, he has stitched 2,000 ladies suits so far.



Back for second flick
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 9
‘Yara-O-Dildara’ is different from previous Punjabi movies, claims film actor Jonita Doda, confident of another Punjabi hit after ‘Chak Jawana’.

She was in the city for the final stages of shooting for her second Punjabi movie, ‘Yara-O-Dildara’, opposite Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann, with Jaidev as music composer and Shitij Chowdhary as movie director.

She debuted in films through the Kannada hit ‘Minchi’ (‘bijli’) in 2008 and became a successful actor down South.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune before shots, Jonita said, “The movie has been shot at various foreign and Punjab locales. This movie is totally different as it is not based on the ‘come back home’ slogan.”

Brimming with enthusiasm, she that though this was her second Punjabi movie, she hoped that people would like her work. “People appreciated me in ‘Chak Jawana’ opposite Gurdas Maan,” she claimed.

“This is a romantic and action film. My character ‘Harleen’ is modern and fashionable, but still, gives importance to social relationships,” she said, adding that Harbhajan Mann was performing lots of action in the movie.

Appreciating Harbhajan Mann, she said he had done good Punjabi movies and ruled the hearts of Punjabi people. She said, “He would talk to me on the sets to make me more comfortable. His new face as an action hero will definitely pull crowds to multiplexes.”

Jonita also praised Kabir Bedi, who was doing his first Punjabi movie, but refused to share anything about his character.

“My movies ‘Makal Padai’ in Tamil and ‘Adhikaram’ in Malayalam are all set to be released within two months,” Jonita said. “I am doing two Bollywood movies and one each in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu,” she added.



Billu Murder Case
Group clash at court complex

Ludhiana, March 9
A clash took place at the courts complex at the mini secretariat here yesterday when supporters of the main accused in the Billu murder case attacked one of the witnesses.

The statement of the witness could not be recorded due to the clash between the two groups outside the Court Complex.

Jaswinder Singh, the main witness, along with his friend Hardeep Singh were going to appear before Judge KS Kang for deposition when they were reportedly stopped by the supporters of Lovely, the main accused in the case pertaining to 2008, who coerced him not to depose against the accused.

But the witness did not stop, which led to heated arguments between the two groups. The sources added that Hardeep Singh was attacked with iron bars and sustained a head injury.

The murder took place in 2008 in the jurisdiction of the police division No. 8. The witness’ statement could not be recorded due to which the public prosecutor and reader of the judge reportedly exchanged heated arguments. — TNS



Prizes distributed at commerce college

Ludhiana, March 9
Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management organised its seventh annual prize distribution function here today.

Deepak Kapoor, Dean, faculty of business management and commerce, University Business School, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest.

The chief guest gave away prizes to meritorious students. Swati Thapar won the trophy for securing the third position in Panjab University in BBA (I).

Amanjot Singh and Amandeep Singh won the trophy for securing the top two positions in BCom (II) in Panjab University and Dilraj Kaur won the trophy for getting 10th rank in BCom (II) in Panjab University exams. Dr Deepak Kapoor lauded the efforts of the college. — TNS



Thieves strike at phone exchange
Steal equipment worth Rs 7 lakh
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
Thieves broke into a telephone exchange at Chaunkiman village, near here, and stole equipment worth over Rs 7 lakh late last night.

Though a security guard was deployed at the exchange, the thieves, who were more than 10, overpowered the guard and beat him up before locking him up in a room.

The incident came to light this morning when exchange employees came to the office and found the guard locked in the room.

They then informed officials of the Jagraon Telephone Exchange about the theft. The guard, Major Singh, said someone knocked at the main gate of the exchange after midnight. When he opened the gate, he found no one there.

He closed the gate, but was overpowered by six-seven persons who had entered the premises by scaling a wall. The attackers covered his face with a cloth and beat him up.

They then locked him inside a room and stole the equipment. He said the thieves remained in the exchange for over three hours and left at about 4 am. The exchange is situated at a stone’s throw distance from the Chaunkiman police post.

The Jagraon Telephone Exchange SDO, Mall Singh, said the thieves stole some batteries, wires and other valuable equipment worth Rs 7 lakh.

The police has registered a case.



Two arrested with opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
The Ludhiana (rural) police have arrested two persons and recovered 250 grams of opium from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Sukhwinder Singh, alias Bhola, and Gurpreet Singh, alias Peeta, residents of Behniwala village, near Jagraon.

Sadar SHO Rachpal Singh Dhindsa said they were arrested near Dalla village yesterday afternoon. Giving details, he said a police party led by ASI Sawran Singh set up a checkpost near the village.

They saw two persons coming from Behniwala village on a scooter. On seeing the police, they turned back and tried to flee, which made the police suspicious.

The police chased and nabbed them. The police recovered 250 grams of opium and impounded the vehicle.

The accused admitted that they were going to deliver the drugs to a customer. They also confessed that they had been indulging in drug peddling for a long time.

The police registered a case under the NDPS Act against them. The police produced the accused in a local court, which sent them to two-day police remand.



Bus conductor run over by train
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
A man was run over by a train near the Sherpur level crossing here this morning. He has been identified as Mishra Singh (55) of Sherpur Kalan village. He was a bus conductor with the Punjab Roadways in Jagraon.

According to his family, he left for work in the morning, but was run over by the Ferozepur-bound Satluj Express. The train remained halted for more than an hour due to the incident.

The railway police has registered a case under Section 174 of the CRPC. The body of the victim was handed over to his family after a postmortem at the Civil Hospital.

He is survived by his wife and five children.



3 nabbed with 17-kg poppy husk

Khanna, March 9
The Khanna police have claimed to have recovered 17 kg of poppy husk from the possession of three persons in the area.

Avtar Singh and Gurpreet Singh were nabbed with 10 kg of poppy husk in their possession following a tipoff. They tried to flee, but were nabbed by the Issru chowki team. In another raid, a police party nabbed Satnam Singh near Gobindpura village and seized 7 kg of poppy husk from his possession. They were booked under the NDPS Act. — OC



Man defrauded of Rs 82 lakh
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 9
The Khanna police have booked two officials of a Delhi-based spinning mill for defrauding a local cloth merchant of about Rs 82 lakh.

Vijay Ghai, running business at the GTB market, has complained that he gave an order of jackets and jeans worth about Rs 82 lakh to the Delhi-based Anci Private Limited.

He alleged that even after the stipulated time, the firm failed to deliver the clothes and refused to return his money. He finally reported the matter to the police.

After inquiry, the police registered a case under Sections 406, 420, 506 and 120-B of the IPC against Deepak, manager of the firm, and Deepak Malhotra, its director.



Punjab Games
City athletes hog limelight
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 9
Though Jalandhar district finished at top of the medal tally and sportspesons from Patiala secured the second position and Ludhiana had to content with the third place in the inaugural edition of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games held recently, athletes from Ludhiana performed exceedingly well to hog the limelight and occupied the top spot in athletics.

In athletics, Ludhiana district stamped its superiority over others in the track and field events held between March 1 and 5 at Guru Nanak Stadium here. Satinder Singh, an internationl athlete from Ludhiana, bagged a gold medal in 110m hurdles and 400m hurdles races while hammer thrower and Maharaja Ranjit Singh awardee (2006), Hardeep Kaur, got a gold medal.

National record-holder and gold medal winner in long jump and 4x400m relay race in the World Police Games in Canada in 2009, Amritpal Singh (who had been nursing an injury) missed the top honours last week and won a silver medal.

Another upcoming athlete from Ludhiana, Navjot Kaur, competed in the 100m sprint and gave a tough fight to her opponents to win a silver medal. These athletes played a major role in Ludhiana’s performance to accumulate 26 points in athletics and top points tally.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |