Thursday, February 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Indian culture impresses visitors
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 16 — The vast melting pot of Indian society has blended five Americans in its own culture and given them an Indian ‘colour’ and identity. They are enjoying every bit of the attention they are getting.

Ms Kimberly O’Donnell, managing children with behavioural problems, exclaims, “The most impressive thing about Indian students is that they are very respectful. We hardly get to see any of this in the States. Discipline is exemplary, unlike back home. Anybody who has studied in such a school will be shocked on entering an American school.’’

Ms Carla Kennedy, teaching in a school for the blind and deaf, could not agree more. “It is amazing how there is pin-drop silence in the class as the teacher goes on with the work. It is unusual for us,’’ she adds.

They are appreciative of the system of a national curriculum. “In our country, shifting schools is a major hassle in the absence of a national curriculum. Each school is teaching whatever they think is right for the child at a particular age and ‘thinking pattern’ is a relative term. Hopping from one school to another has its own risks,’’ they explain.

Though the trend is towards interactive teaching, which has come up in a big way in public schools in the US, they contend that there is a need to streamline the education process. “A national curriculum will ensure the students know the specifics at a particular age. Homework culture is sadly missing. I will love my students to get back homework to me but they do not do it,’’ Ms Kimberly comments.

“Nearly 90 per cent of the communication with my students is non-existent since my students are deaf and blind. My effort is always to open up communication channels with them and to build trust to make a beginning’’, Ms Carla says. She adds that society is gradually beginning to accept these ‘special children’.

Ms Kimberly informs that her students are primarily emotionally disturbed due to insecurity, lack of support of families, neglect at home and family problems. “They are hard to handle and require individual attention. Though they are allowed to mix up with other students, it usually varies from person to person and is usually seen in public schools,’’ she adds.

The team leader, Dr Indira Desai, working for a rehabilitation and nursing centre, deals with elder people, most of whom are homeless. “While we engage specialists for treatment of the homeless at our centre, depending on the nature of the problem, we are in regular contact with the police to inform them of those who choose to slip out of our centre to be homeless”, she explains.

None of these is a government undertaking. Government teams assess each centre every year to renew licences to them. “If we fail to deliver the goods, we run the risk of having our licence cancelled. I have visited a government-run centre in the township and the condition is lamentable”, she observes.

Another team member, Ms Nanda Shewmangal, involved in the Asian task Force against Domestic Violence, has made her own observation of Indian society. “In America, women are more vocal of violence against them and have the support of the community. Asians are much more subservient and keep physical and emotional violence to themselves,’’ she says.

She says that she has had the opportunity to visit an orphanage in township. “I was surprised to find that the organisation was functioning as a catalyst in churning out responsible citizens. The motto behind any vocational and educational training being imparted at these places is to make the children independent,” she opines.

The fifth member of the team is Ms Renee Graviello, who has a business-related vocation in the States. Her job is confined to establishing accounting departments and computer connections. She is enjoying Indian hospitality to the fullest.

The team from the USA has come under the Rotary group study exchange programme and is scheduled to leave India on March 15. They are putting up with Indian Rotarians at their houses. Back

American team visits local school
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Feb 16 — A five-member team of the Rotary International Group accompanied by members of the local Rotary Club visited Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, here today for a peep into the education system of the country.

Led by Dr Indira Desai, the team was welcomed in the traditional Indian style. The members of the team participated in a havan held on the premises. Later, they went around the school and witnessed the recently released prospectus of the school on the CD-Rom in the multimedia room.

After the visit, two visitors, Ms Carla Kennedy and Ms Kimberly O'Donnell, stayed back in the school for a deeper insight into the functioning of the education system and to familiarise themselves with the Indian system of imparting education.Back


Teacher hurt as ceiling falls
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Feb 16 — Students of a class in Government High School at Landhran had a miraculous escape when a portion of a ceiling of one of the rooms in the school building gave in today. A social studies teacher, Ms Rajinder Kaur, received minor injuries.

According to information available, the school building was in a dilapidated condition and the school authorities had been pressing upon the authorities concerned to repair the school building.Back


Course on research methodology
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — A two-day orientation course on research methodology for research students of Panjab University concluded here today. The course was organised by the Department of Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, PU.

Dr Ajiab Singh, Director of the department, said the objective of the course was to acquaint research students with modern techniques in research methodology and statistical methods.

Dr B.S. Ghuman from the Department of Public Administration discussed the research process in social sciences. Prof A.C. Julka, Dr Anand Bhushan and Ms Renu Gandhi also delivered lectures on the subject.Back


Foundation stone of school laid
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, Feb 16 — The Shivalik Bharati Education Society of Chandigarh laid the foundation stone of its Shiv Mandir Shivalik Bharati Public School in Mubarikpur, 2 km from here, today.

Mr Avtar Singh, Director, of a chemical manufacturing industry, who was the chief guest, said that the new school would be an addition to the enterprise of Shivalik Bharati Senior Secondary School, Dera Bassi.

He donated Rs 50,000 for the construction of the school building.

Mr Gurbaksh Singh, former Deputy Director, NIS, Mr Sat Pal Vaid, a Congress leader, and Dr Krishan Lal highlighted the dedication and the struggle of the society to establish quality institutions here for the students of a backward area.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Mr S.D. Sing, President, Shiv Mandir Khera Society. Back


Function to promote Sanskrit
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — To promote national awareness on the use of Sanskrit a function was organised under the aegis of Kendriya Vidyalaya No.1, Chandi Mandir, today. An aura of the Vedic atmosphere prevailed during the celebrations of Sanskrit Year 1999-2000.

The function was inaugurated by Dr Anirudh Joshi, Head of the Sanskrit Department, Panjab University, Chandigarh, who was also the chief guest. Ms Bushra Ahuja, Principal of the host vidyalya, gave the speech in Sanskrit highlighting the significance of the language.

About 70 students from 11 Kendriya Vidyalayas of Chandigarh region, participated in an inter-school Sanskrit declamation, poetry recitation,essay writing and one-act play contests.

The following were the results:

Poetry recitation: Srikant, KV No 2, Chandi Mandir, 1, Usha Bisht, KV, Sector 47, 2, Annie, KV, Sector 31, 3; declamation: Rinku Bala, KV No 1, Chandi Mandir, 1, Isha, KV, Sector 31, 2, Sashi Prabha, KV No 2, 3 BRD, Chandigarh, 3; essay writing: Deepanjana, KV, Sector 47, 1, Pratima Roy, KV No 1, Chandi Mandir, 2, Anshu Gautam KV No 2, 3 BRD, Chandigarh, 3; one-act Play: Richa Singh and party, KV No 1, Chandi Mandir, 1; Isha and party, KV, Sector 31, 2 and Darpan and party, KV, Sector 47, 3. Back


Bar poll war hots up
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The battle of advocates is on before the final war for supremacy.

The District Bar Association elections are three weeks away, but handouts have already been circulated and announcements affixed on dingy pillars of concrete.

The poster campaign started with a “clarion call” asking the advocates to “restore the lost glory of the Bar”. “It should be everybody’s earnest effort to elect the most deserving and dedicated candidates who will fulfil their commitment,” the handbill had stated.

The unsigned “call” was given by the “convener” of the Committee for Accountability of Bar and Bench. The identity of the convener was obviously not revealed.

Soon after, posters announcing the name of an advocate as the committee convener appeared all over the District Courts. The lawyer was quick to react. He gave out a signed clarification claiming that the appeal had not been issued by him.

Describing the ongoing campaign as “usual gimmicks”, senior Bar Association members, however, believe that handling of certain sensitive issues, including the mysterious disappearance of advocate Parveen Kumar Sharma, will eventually decide the contestants’ fate.

The Bar Association has issued “missing notices” in the newspapers and gone on strike to express solidarity with the advocate’s family, besides contacting the authorities every other day, but it recently came under mild criticism for mixing the disappearance issue with the problems being encountered by Panchkula lawyers.

The chamber issue, too, will play its role in electing the office-bearers on March 10.Back

Shopkeeper jailed for adulteration
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — Holding a Burail village shopkeeper guilty of keeping insect-infected besan, the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash today sentenced him to rigorous imprisonment for one year, besides imposing a fine of Rs 2,000.

The shopkeeper, Gurcharan Lal, was further directed by the CJM to undergo rigorous imprisonment for another three months in default of payment. He was earlier booked under Section 7 (1) of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act after the sample collected by Food Inspector M.K. Sharma was found to be infested with 30 live insects.

According to the prosecution, the Director of Central Food Laboratory had observed that the sample was “not free from foreign ingredients identified as corn-starch”.

The accused, when confronted with the incriminating evidence against him, had, however, denied the allegation. Claiming to have been implicated, he had asked for a trial.

Arguing before the court, the defence counsel had stated that the accused had no concern with the shop. Seeking acquittal, counsel had stated that the besan had not been thoroughly mixed before taking the sample.

The CJM, after hearing the arguments, observed: “Taking into consideration the totality of the circumstances, I am of the considered opinion that the sample of besan taken from the possession of the accused was found to be adulterated as it was insect infected”.

The CJM further observed: “The accused, however, cannot be held guilty of the presence of foreign ingredients in the sample as the quantity was not mentioned. Accordingly, the accused is held guilty of keeping adulterated besan in his possession”.Back


Blast case committed to Sessions Court
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — The Sector 34 blast case trudged ahead with the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr A.K. Bishnoi, today committing it to the Sessions Court for trial. The case will now come up on February 29.

Today, two accused in the case — Gurbax Singh and Sher Singh — were produced before the Judicial Magistrate. Mr Bishnoi, it may be recalled, had declared accused Rattandeep Singh a proclaimed offender in the case.

Earlier, the prosecution had alleged that investigations had revealed the handing over of the bomb, used in the blast, to accused Sher Singh and Gurbax Singh by Rattandeep Singh.

The prosecution had submitted challan against Sher Singh of Jind district and Gurbax Singh of Kurukshetra district under Sections 307, 323, 427 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, besides Sections 3, 4 and 6 of the Explosives Substances Act.

The two had been booked by the Chandigarh police after a resident had sustained injuries following the blast in an unmanned parking lot near the Sector 34 Milkfed office on June 30 at about 12.35 p.m. As many as 14 vehicles were damaged.

The impact was so powerful that the windowpanes of several multi-storeyed buildings in the sector were shattered. Panic had gripped the staff of the organisations housed in the commercial centre as the people rushed out of the buildings.

A team of experts from the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory in Sector 36 had soon reached the site for collecting samples and parts of the damaged vehicles for ascertaining the nature of the explosive and the intensity of the blast. Back


Paintings on humanity
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — An exhibition of paintings in oil and acrylics by Saru Rana, a student of Arts College, opened at Punjab Kala Bhavan here yesterday. It was her first exhibition.

Her work depicts humanity, its degeneration and hope for restoration of goodness. Her 23 works give the impression of her great visualisation and insight into human behaviour. About 40 per cent of her works were sold the very first day.

The favourite work of the artist has been displaced at the last spot. It potrays a man who has had a carefree life and only such persons can leave the shadow behind, she asserts. She doesn't dream big but says: "I want to be the best."Back


One-yr RI for van driver
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Feb 16 — A Sector 24 resident, accused of injuring a scooterist, has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for one year, besides being fined Rs 500, by the UT Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Baljinder Singh.

The accused, Rakesh, was earlier booked by the Chandigarh police for endangering human life by driving rashly and negligently under Sections 279 and 338 of the Indian Penal Code after Panipat businessman Vasdev sustained injuries.

According to the prosecution, the accused, driving a van rashly, had rammed into the scooter Vasdev was riding on September 26, 1998, dragging the two-wheeler 15 to 20 feet. The businessman, who was in city for collecting payment, had borrowed the scooter from a client, the prosecution had added.

The accused, when confronted with the incriminating evidence against him, had, however, denied the allegations. Claiming to have been implicated, he had asked for a trial.

After hearing the arguments, the Judicial Magistrate observed in the open court: “The prosecution has been able to prove its case against the accused beyond any shadow of doubt and finding him guilty of an offence punishable under Sections 279 and 338 of the IPC, I convict him accordingly”.Back

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