Monday, May 8, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

PU official convicted of result tampering
By Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — Chinks in the examination system of Panjab University have been confirmed with conviction of an official in at least five different cases of result tampering.

Justice G.S.Chahal has convicted Mr R.S.Nagra of 'serious misconduct' in all different cases of inquiry. Formal inquiries on discovery of tampering of results found at least three more 'innocent' persons to be part of the process. Ms Kiran Bala, Ms Urmil Sharma and Ms Chander Sakhi have, however, not been found to be involved.

Sarabjit Singh, a candidate of BA I, appeared for the annual examination in 1996 and was declared pass. He submitted his admission form for BA II in 1997. The form, on scrutiny, was found that in BA I, the candidate had not cleared a single paper. The result was to be tabulated by Mr Nagra.

It has been pointed out that the result slip was prepared by Mr R.S. Nagra and signed by Ms Kiran Bala. 'A' certificate was signed by Ms Urmil Sharma and the result slip was declared under directions of Ms Chander Sakhi.

Sources said that subsequent to the discovery of possible mala fide intentions, explanations were called for from all in the list of the total process. Mr Nagra in his statement recorded after evidence pleaded guilty.

Ms Kiran Bala pleaded not guilty. Ms Sharma said she gave the certificate on the basis of results shown to her. Ms Sakhi agreed to sign the certificate, saying it was not her duty to physically verify all results.

The enquiry officer said, "I absolve Ms Mukhi, Ms Sharma and Ms Bala from all charges. Charges against Mr R.S.Nagra stand proved'.

Another interesting case pertained to a BA I student, Indu Bala. Her result was shown as RLA and RL(fee). However, subsequently, 'fake marks had been recorded in the marks sheet', it was pointed out.

The process once again involved the same officials. Ms Kiran Bala denied her signatures. Mr Nagra pleaded guilty and admitted to all the facts. The rest named for the enquiry were absolved of the charges.

Mandeep Singh, a student of first year who did not clear first year, was also shown as being pass. Signatures of the scrutinisers were said to be 'wrong'. Mr Nagra once again was held responsible for 'serious misconduct'.

Jaswinder Singh applied for a duplicate marks sheet. The one issued to him transformed 14 marks in one subject to 41. Another case pertained to faking Jai Prakash's result. It was noted in one of the cases that a woman colleague who was absolved 'to have probably acted in good faith' which resulted in change of the result.

The matter was scheduled for the university Syndicate meeting held recently. However, the cases have been deferred till the next meeting.

Sources said that the university needed to take strong steps in order to curb 'corrupt practices". However, it was an interesting issue worth consideration that only one among five employees in the list of inquiries was actually involved because the process was not the effort of a single person. This calls for personal checking of the records on papers which the employee signs.Back


Domicile-based reservation “unfortunate”
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — Resentment is brewing among parents of students who are ready for admission to professional colleges this year, over the issue of reservation of seats for those who have domiciles in various neighbouring states, including Punjab.

The President of the Chandigarh Nagrik Sabha, Mr Chaman Lal Sharma, said 85 per cent reservation for those having domiciles in Punjab for admisson to medical colleges in the state was "unfortunate".

"Where would the children of Punjab officials living in Chandigarh go ?" he said. He said the Punjab Government should review its policy and follow the accepted formula of a 60:40 ratio for students from Punjab and Chandigarh for admission to various professional colleges in the state.

Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar, Secretary of the Nagrik Sabha, also criticised this reservation policy in professional institutions, including medical colleges. He said the state government had been very inconsiderate not only towards its own employees posted in Chandigarh, Delhi and the other states, but also towards of those serving in the armed forces, central services and the other government organisations.

"Does it mean that the children of all such Central Government employees, who either belong to Punjab or Chandigarh, will be denied an opportunity to study in professional colleges because they did not study in Class XII in the state?"

"The students cannot be held responsible as they have to go wherever their parents are posted. Therefore, they should not be discriminated against on the pretext of one rule or the other. Rules are made to facilitate people and not to harass them."

Mr Jauhar said the Punjab Government should revert back to its old policy and allow students in Chandigarh to compete at par with those in Punjab in the entrance tests.Back


Polytechnic for rural women gets Centre nod
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — The Department of Secondary Education and Higher Education of the Ministry of Human Resource Development has accepted a UT Administration proposal for setting up a community polytechnic for providing vocational education to rural women at their doorsteps.

According to the UT Home Secretary and Municipal Commissioner, Mr M.P. Singh, the scheme should be operated through the Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, and the college Principal would coordinate it. The process will commence shortly as the first instalment of Rs 14.25 lakh has already been received for this scheme funded by the Centre.

He also said according to the scheme, the polytechnic should be able to function effectively in a providing training in number of fields like agriculture, promotion of agro-industries, small-scale and village industries, road and village transport, development of human resources and the training of manpower in technical courses, besides

public health and sanitation etc."However, the extent to which the polytechnic will be able to undertake such activities, will depend upon the identified needs of rural areas, resources of the polytechnic and the efforts of the other government and non-government agencies associated with rural reconstruction."

Giving details of the scheme, Dr S.K. Aggarwal, Director of Technical Education, said the scheme would help teach rural women basic skills and the entrepreneurial attitude. Under the scheme, a survey would also be conducted to identify the actual technical needs of women, girls and school dropouts of the nearby villages. Based on the surveys, students would be enrolled in various full-time or part-time courses as desired by them. These would include beauty training, tailoring and cutting, embroidery, tie and dye, electricity repair and welding courses etc. Classes will be held regularly by trained persons in villages to avoid the alienation of the work force.

Dr Aggarwal said there was no specification regarding the qualifications. The duration of the course would be six months or one year. Back


Multi-level approach to primary education
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — With a view to improve the quality of education at the primary level, a new concept focused on ‘’child centred’’ approach instead of the conventional ‘’teacher-centred’’ one is being advocated.

A research paper prepared by Mrs Sushmita Malik, presently a consultant with the Punjab State Education Board (PSEB), has stressed upon the need to adopt a teaching pattern which aims at developing a child’s imagination, thinking ability and perception.

The paper forms part of a two-volume document — the primary years, towards a curriculum framework — prepared by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to review primary education.

Mrs Malik spent about years with the NCERT before taking up an assignment with the Board in September 1999. She has also authored several books, including a maths and a science series which have been prescribed in schools in Chandigarh and Delhi. Presently she is engaged in developing material for the English curriculum to be introduced in Punjab schools.

Talking to TNS, she said the teaching approach and curriculum which needs to be adopted at the primary level should allow for flexibility in pace and style of learning, keeping in mind that children within a class have varied levels of intelligence, maturity, learning profiles, interests and with abilities which place them above or below the average level of their grade.

The present teaching approach, where the teacher is the centre of all activities, the children are assigned the same task and allotted the same time for completing it throwing up a question — How much are they actually absorbing and understanding a subject. ‘’Under the present teaching approach, the bright students are becoming brighter while the weak students are getting weaker in their studies,’’ Mrs Malik commented.

It is the primary years of education that lay foundation for further learning and need to be carefully attended. In this context, a ‘’multi-level child centred’’ teaching-learning process needs to be introduced.

Mrs Malik said such an approach involves varied methods of teaching, different tasks and activities and different allocation of time frame for an assignment, which would cater to the varied intellectual and psychological levels of children within the same class.

Having taught in schools in the United Kingdom (UK) for three years besides in public schools in this country for about 12 years, she said that such an approach to teaching is the practice in schools in that country.

Implementing the multi-level approach in classrooms would, first of all involve identifying children falling in similar sub-groups, and here it becomes vital for the teacher to cater to the different kinds of intelligence and learning levels of children while planning the curriculum. Groups provide an opportunity to children to interact informally and learn from each other while they work together on a specific task. Sub-grouping is also an effective strategy for facilitating children’s learning and understanding of concepts and developing attitudes and values in the context of living together.

Classroom arrangement with specific ‘’well-equipped learning corners’’ where children can sit and experiment, play games, solve puzzles and problems, construct, draw, colour, paint read converse or write is an important aspect of this approach.

Also, incorporating special measures for children with special needs, or to put it in a better way, children who are differently abled, is required. This may include preferential seating for children who need more individual attention, regular peer tutoring, using parent volunteers and para professionals, providing remedial classes, developing functional and vocational skills in children suited to their needs, matching teaching approach to the specific needs of children and appropriate modifications in examinations for different kinds of impairment.

As far as the implementation of this approach in the country is concerned, Mrs Malik said a few non-governmental organisations have been experimenting with this approach at micro-level in a few schools for the past few years, and they have found it to be a useful strategy for a multigrade teacher.

The approach can be more feasible if the teacher-pupil ratio is low, that is 30-40 pupils per teacher, graded material as well as plenty of self learning material is available, adequate teacher training and teaching practice and continuous on-site support is provided to teachers to help them solve their day-to-day problems.

One of the basic problems in adopting this approach is that the teaching community is ‘’quite averse’’ to change and a substantial infrastructure has to be put in place. ‘’If we want the quality of education at the primary level to improve, teachers have to accept change,’’ Mrs Sushmita Malik remarked.Back



AFTER an early and rapid arrival of summer, the city has got much needed respite from the scorching heat thanks to a prolonged spell of cool and inclement weather. Though rain always brings problems for the city and its residents, yet the relief from heat is much more welcome. It was during the last week that the city had the mercury soaring past 42 degrees Celsius mark. Immediately afterwards, the city and its surrounding areas were lashed by a squall accompanied by intermittent showers. The showers have been continuing intermittently for the past 72 hours.

The rain brings with it a plethora of problems. Power supply, for example, has been the worst hit this time. Many Sectors, including 30 and 32, have remained without power supply for at least 60 of the past 72 hours.

Some of the feeders broke down leading to the plunging of the city in darkness.

The damage was equally heavy to greenery in the city. Hundreds of trees had their stems and branches either twisted or blown off. A number of big trees collapsed. In Sector 33 for example, a couple of old eucalyptus trees were uprooted and they fell on scooter sheds of the Chandigarh Housing Board dwelling units adjoining the dispensary. A couple of two-wheelers parked inside the sheds were crushed beyond recognition (see photograph)

In Sector 34, a couple of old eucalyptus trees were uprooted during a storm that preceded rains on the second day i.e. Friday. The 33 KV transmission lines were damaged. A couple of electricity poles were uprooted and transmission lines snapped leading to complete disruption in power supply to Sectors 34, 35 and parts of Sector 45.

Workers of the horticulture wing of the engineering department of the Municipal Corporation had field days. They not only got sufficient stocks of fuelwood during the past two days but remained busy in clearing the city roads of uprooted trees, broken branches and twisted tree stems. One of the uprooted trees fell on the boundary wall of the house of a senior journalist of The Tribune group of newspapers.

In certain areas roads remained blocked because of uprooted trees.

Another major problem faced by people was the choking of storm water gulleys. Because rains were preceded by felling of dry leaves, most of the storm water gulleys all over the city have been blocked. As a result, the rain water did not clear immediately.

Bougainvillaea: The engineering department of the Chandigarh Administration undertook a major drive to plant bougainvillaea plants on central verge and road dividers on all major roads of the city, including Madhya Marg and Dakshin Marg. Now after a month, the drive appears to be fizzling out. Many segments of Madhya Marg, for example, have already lost their new plantation. Take the case of the stretch of Madhya Marg dividing Sectors 26 and 27 which was earlier fenced by mild steel barricading. Though the entire stretch had new plantation done last month, hardly any “sapling” is left behind.

Same is the case with Dakshin marg. The central verge dividing Sectors 35 and 22, for example, has lost a large number of fresh bougainvillaea saplings. The reason is that there is no after-care, though the task was divided and entrusted to junior engineers, road inspectors and supervisors of the engineering department. As a result, the huge effort appears to be going waste. Some steps should be taken to revive this project of greening the road dividers and central verges with colourful bougainvillaea plants.

Ducks at lake: A team of scientists from the Zoological Survey of India recently complimented the department of forests and wildlife of the Chandigarh Administration for flourishing wildlife in the Sukhna and Kansal sanctuaries. The experts also held that a large number of migratory birds, including pintail ducks and spot bills numbering about a thousand, have preferred to stay back than return to Siberia at the end of winter.

The reason they gave for staying back of the some of these migratory birds was availability of food, good and protected environs and the continuous inflow of silt carrying some nutrients for them. The experts found some small shrimps and prawns in the area. If this be so, the ducks, too, would have survived on this food. But the Environment Society of India claims that out of 24 ducks released by it in the lake some time ago, only a handful are left behind.

In the Sukhna Lake area, one of the reasons at times for disappearance or death of ducks could be presence of snakes and other poisonous reptiles. And if the presence of ducks was attributed as a reason for the migratory birds to stay back, then how can ducks themselves be unsafe in the same environment?

The officials of the wildlife deparment maintain that no one ever contacted them about the “disappearance” of ducks.

Shramdan: Sukhna Lake, a major tourist attraction of the city, and a popular spot for both morning and evening strollers, would be a beehive of activity for the next couple of months as the next edition of “shramdan” gets underway on Monday. This time both manual and mechanical desiltation of the bed of the lake will start from the regulator end of this artificial waterbody.

After a gap of three years, the Army has agreed to provide both men and machinery for the desiltation. Both Punjab and Haryana governments, too, have decided to lend a helping hand as before by providing some machinery for the desiltation operations, which would continue until the onset of the monsoon.

After the monsoon, if all goes well, wet dredging of the lake would also start. The administration is in the process of finalising a site measuring about 35 acres of land where the silt removed from the bed of the lake could be deposited.

After a gap of one year, the administration has appealed to all voluntary organisations, NGOs and others to participate in the “shramdan”. The manual desiltation would be confined to morning hours while mechanical desiltation would continue throughout the day.

Another blow: Last week K.L. Saigal fans assembled in the office of the Environment Society of India (ESI) to mourn the death of his eldest daughter, Mrs Neena Merchant. She was ailing for a long time at her Mumbai residence. She lost her husband in 1992.

K.L. Saigal, popularly known as the Tansen of 20th century, passed away on January 18, 1947, at Jalandhar. About three years later Saigal’s son-in-law, Mohinder Chopra, and in 1982 his only son, Madan Mohan Saigal, both accomplished singers, died. The family met with another great tragedy. Saigal’s only two young grandsons, Sanjeev and Benny, were killed in a serious road accident near Surat on December 28, 1996.

K.L. Saigal’s youngest daughter, Beena Chopra, lives at 75 Mandakini Enclave, New Delhi. She has two sons.

— SentinelBack


Dual policy of HUDA

HUDA has initiated an intensive drive to remove encroachments from the residential areas in Panchkula. It is being done to implement the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It is a different matter that in this process Panchkula is losing its beauty and ambience. Wherever the encroachments (fencing-hedges) have been removed, the lawns which were once lush green, are giving a desolate look.

HUDA is adopting a dual policy as far as removal of encroachments is concerned. A visit to the Sector 7 market will testify this fact. All shopkeepers have occupied verandahs by displaying their goods. Not only this, they have encroached upon about 10-15 feet area even beyond verandahs. The pedestrians cannot walk through any of the verandahs and paths. Is it not an illegal encroachment by these shopkeepers, which is causing a lot of inconvenience to the public?

I am sure many of the officers concerned of HUDA are frequently going to the Sector 7 market. Why they have not taken any action against these erring shopkeepers so far?


D’Souza’s tips

Being a hockey player myself, I can understand what the name Cedric D’Souza means. A former international player, D’Souza visited our school recently to give tips on physical fitness. We were all thrilled.

After giving tips on various exercises and how to do these, we were asked to take rounds of the ground. We started doing as instructed . Most of the students stopped after a few rounds but two of us continued. After we had completed more than 10 rounds, he came to us and asked us to stop and counted our pulse rate. It was 160. He asked us to train in a manner that it was 140. Thereafter, he gave us more tips on teamwork. Sure, it was an excellent experience.

Udit Narula

Panchkula water supply

A few days ago, there was news in two local English dailies about the inauguration of a tubewell in Sector 6 in Panchkula to boost the low pressure of water in the sector. There was announcement of some more tubewells in other sectors to augment the supply — this being the first in the series.

This was announced about a week or so ago. People in Panchkula, particularly those in Sector 6, were jubilant. But imagine that there was no water supply till May 1 up to 7.53 p.m. Would the authorities give reasons for this.



Newspaper staff strike today
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — Employees of various newspapers, news agencies and hawkers of Chandigarh have unanimously decided to observe a complete strike tomorrow in protest against the delay in the implementation of the Manisana Singh Wage Board.

A decision to this effect was taken at a joint meeting of newspapers, news agencies and hawkers’ unions under the chairmanship of Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu, Coordinator of the Chandigarh coordination committee of newspapers and news agencies.

The meeting was attended by Mr Mukhtiar Singh, President of the Chandigarh Hawkers Union, Mr Gurcharan Singh, President of the Panchkula Hawkers Union, Mr Roshan Lal, General Secretary of the PTI Employees Union, Mr Vinod Kohli, President of the Chandigarh Union of Journalists, Mr Pradeep Saurabh, President of the Journalists Association, Chandigarh, Mr Ashok Malik, President of Chandigarh Journalists Association, Mr Balbir Singh Jandu, President of the Tribune Employees Union, Mr R.K. Srivastava, Vice-President of the Indian Express Employees Union, and Mr Prabhjit Singh from the UNI Employees Union.

Employees of various newspapers, news agencies and hawkers will hold a protest march from The Tribune Office, which will culminate in a rally in Sector 17 piazza, after which a memorandum will be submitted to the Punjab Governor, who is also UT Administrator.

The committee appealed to all newspapers, news agencies and members of the hawkers’ unions to join hands and make the strike a complete success and participate in the rally in full strength.

The committee also decided that it would not allow the distribution of newspapers coming from other cities of the region. If any attempt was made by the newspapers managements, the committee will not hesitate to take serious action.Back


200 astrologers attend jyotish sammelan
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — Over 200 astrologers from different parts of the country attended the “jyotish sammelan” organised by the Akhil Bharatiya Saraswat Jyotish Manch in collaboration with the Indo-Global Astrologers Association in Sector 33 here today.

An internationally-renowned astrologer, Mr Ajay Bhambi, who presided over the sammelan, stressed the need for including astrology in the curriculam of the schools, colleges and universities in the country. He also emphasised the need to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the country. The Punjab Minister for Civil Supplies and Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, was the chief guest.

Ms Devinder Rai Kaushal, president of the women’s wing of the manch, was of the opinion that the introduction of astrology as a subject would lead to the revival of the moral values in society.

Dr Trilok Sharma from Nalagarh, while emphasising the need for accurate calculation for right predictions, was against the introduction of astrology as a subject at the school level saying that it might be “misused”.

Different speakers discussed the problems of astrologers and the general public and suggested remedial measures. A special attraction for the general public was computerised horoscope at subsided rates for which the people thronged the venue in large numbers.

Free consultation camp for the individual problems of general public was the another highlight of the sammelan, according to Mr Gurtej Singh, general secretary of the manch.Back


Journalism ‘reduced to vocation’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — The Governor of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab-cum-Administrator of Chandigarh, Mr Vishnu Kant Shastri today expressed concern over the journalists’ diminishing sense of sacrifice and ability to lead.

Unlike leaders like Mahatma Gandhi who brought out newspapers to arouse a strong sense of patriotism, journalism now had not merely become a vocation but also a mode of profiteering. Leading by example and generating public opinion towards nation-building were things of the past.

Mr Shastri said it was incorrect for English newspapers to call themselves as national press. In reality language newspapers had a much wider reach and deserved to be described thus.

He was speaking at the launch of a Hindi daily, Bhaskar, in Sector 25 this afternoon. The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, who was scheduled to launch the newspaper could not reach here. His flight from Jammu and Kashmir could not take off for Chandigarh because of inclement weather.

Others were spoke at the function included the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala, deputy leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Madhavrao Scindia, Vice-President of the Bharatiya Janata Party Ram Dass Aggarwal and Mr Ramesh Chander Aggarwal, Chief Editor Bhaskar.@@Several Punjab and Haryana ministers, legislators and senior functionaries of Punjab and Chandigarh were present.Back


Najma, Vittal, Bedi to speak on corruption
By Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — What do the Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Dr Najma Heptullah, the Chief Vigi-lance Commissioner, Mr N. Vittal, and former Indian skipper, Bishen Singh Bedi, have in common?

Perhaps nothing.

But they all will be here on May 13 to share a platform offered by the Bradlaugh International Centre for its second colloquium on “Corruption”.

While Bishen Bedi will give his impressions on “corruption in cricket”, Dr Najma Heptullah will talk about “corruption in politics”. Mr N. Vittal, who heads the Central Vigilance Commission, and has been in the news after he put the names of senior bureaucrats invol-ved in corruption cases on the website, will share his impressions about “corruption in the Govern-ment”.

Match-fixing in one-day internationals and betting hit the headlines after the Delhi police tracked down the case involving South African skipper. It is not only corruption in cricket alone which has been in news these days. There are serious cases of corruption being reported in media from Bihar and other places.

It may be recalled here that the Centre had organised its first colloquium on “Terrorism” that featured Mr K.P.S. Gill, Dr Farooq Abdu-llah, Mr Inder Kumar Gujral and Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd).

According to Mrs Anuradha Gupta, Secretary of the Centre, the purpose of this colloquium is to generate a healthy debate over the growing menace of corruption in every sphere of life, be it politics, governance, or even sports.

Everyday newspapers are full of news stories about corruption. Even top officials of the government, including both politicians and civil servants, figure in the news items involving corruption cases.

Claims and commitments to fight corruption and root it out from public life notwithstanding, the menace has assumed serious proportions in Indian society.

“We have invited only those who have been in the forefront in fighting this menace with their honesty, integrity and outspokenness,” she said, maintaining that they would share their experiences of their crusade against this national menace with members of the centre. The venue of the colloquium will be Sector 22 Hotel Aroma.

Besides these three eminent speakers, the centre also proposes to organise an exhibition of cartoons and caricatures on “corruption” by both Mr Sandeep Joshi of The Tribune and Mr Satwant Singh.Back


Compassion and benevolence, Army style
By Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

PINJORE, May 7 — A tiny hamlet some six km away from Pinjore, Grinda Jattan, on the face of it, is no different from the picture a village conjures up — open fields, kutcha and pucca houses dotting the landscape and the musty smell of cowdung all around.

However, the first indication of the “difference” comes by way of a huge board which says the village has been adopted by the 119 ASLT Engineers Regiment, which is making a difference to the lives of these villagers for over an year now.

That, the villagers contend, is secondary compared to what the “men in green” are doing for them now. With 18 handicapped children among the 100-odd families staying in four bastis, the village awoke to their suffering only when the Army men raised them from their slumber and offered to step in a few weeks back.

They have successfully managed to get these children to smile again with the help of a social worker, Lt Gen JL Malhotra (Retd), aiding them in the project, the first of its kind in a village, by getting them artificial limbs and shoes from the Nevedic Prosthetic Centre in Zirakhpur.

Life for 12-year-old mentally challenged Surinder Kaur was a drag until help came by way of a fitting on her polio-affected leg. “She does not go to school anymore and without the fitting she would prefer being confined to the room. The shoe has given her confidence and she does not limp any longer. Now, she wants to go out and be a part of the village “gang” which has children of all age groups,” her father says.

For Husan and Najma, aged between 6 and 11 years, going through the routine chores was humiliating since they were forced to limp owing to their handicap. “Now we go to school and have no hesitation mixing with the rest of the children. Though there were many rude enquires by my classmates about the support to my leg, these gradually died down and they have accepted me for what I am,” Najma says.

And at 17, Rani is as eager for her turn to visit the prosthetic centre to repair her polio-hit leg. Aided by a walking stick, she limps down the muddy village track to reach her house. “She is approaching marrigable age but I want her to be able to stand straight on her feet before that. Nobody has been able to help and we are now counting on Army support. Such was the effect of the handicap on her psyche that she dropped out from school in Class IV itself,” a worried Hazoora Singh, her father, rues. She is likely to accompany the lot of children visiting the centre on May 9.

Similar is the story of the other children out of which seven have already been treated and the next batch of five will go on May 9. The sarpanch of the village, Raghbir Singh, explains,” The villagers had neither the inclination nor the finances to help these children. They went on with their life morose and melancholic. Being poor, even their families did not bother to explore possibilities of making their life better. The Army men came as mesihas and helped us out of a tight and helpless situation.”

Speaking of how the project came about, Gen Malhotra says, “I was already into providing artificial limbs to handicapped who came in my contact. On learning of the adopted village, I asked the Commanding Officer of the regiment, Col P.K. Mangal, if there were any handicapped children in the village. Following a positive response and their willingness to help, we worked out the programme to help these children.”

Once this was settled, the Army personnel identified the handicapped in the village and a list was prepared. The army was entrusted with the task of taking the children back and forth from the prosthetic centre while Gen Malhotra arranged for the fittings for the children and finances involved by tapping his donors. Now, things are looking up for the children who are on the road to a normal life with help from the Army.Back


A nightmare for Sector 70 residents
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, May 7 — Inhabitants of Sector 70 and the visitors to the sector had to bear the brunt of lack of preparedness of the local development agencies when a repaired portion of a road caved in after intermittent showers yesterday.

Some persons who happened to pass by the particular stretch of road linking Sector 70 with the Chandigarh — Sohana road were injured. Much to the inconvenience of the road users, no stop sign or preventive step had been taken by the department concerned. Enquiries reveal that the road portion had caved in after a portion of earth dug up to lay a water supply line gave way.

Mr Inderjit Singh, a resident of Super MIG flats in the sector received head injuries after his scooter fell in a ditch on Friday night. He had to be hospitalised and his scooter was damaged. Some goodsamaritans took upon themselves the task of filling up the damaged road portion with sand and gravel.

Mr Singh stated that an autorickshaw driver, Mr Nirmaljit Singh, and occupants in it were rescued yesterday after it got stuck in the road cut. A woman occupant in the autorickshaw had received a head injury. Ironically, no one from the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) or the public Health department visited the site even after two days of it being damaged. As a routine the departments concerned undertake a survey to know any damage caused to essential services by intermittent showers.

The residents lamented that the intermittent showers had exposed the pre-monsoon preparedness of the local authorities. A round of the town revealed that at certain points cesspools of water had been created. At a particular site in Sector 70 the cover of a storm water chamber was missing.

The storm water gullies had not been cleaned. At several places the dug up portions of earth along the foot paths had caved in. In Phase 3B 2 portions of earth dup up to construct new storm water gullies were lying incomplete.Back


Nigerian falls from roof, dies
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — A Nigerian national, Suzi, was seriously injured when he fell from the roof of a house in Colony number 5 last night.

According to sources, Suzi was sleeping on the roof of the house when it began to rain. As he tried to come to the ground floor, he slipped and fell, resulting in serious injuries. He was rushed to Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, where he later died. The police has registered a case.

Duped of 1 lakh: Mr Madan Gopal of Ludhiana reported that Surjit Singh of Sector 8-A had taken Rs 1 lakh for sending his son abroad. He neither sent his son abroad nor refunded the money. A case has been registered.

Held for drinking: The police arrested Prem Inder Singh and Varinder Singh of SAS Nagar for drinking at a public place near a wine shop in Sector 55. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against the duo.

Eve-teaser caught: Kamaljit Singh Ali Pur in Ropar district was arrested for eve-teasing near Batra Cinema in Sector 37. A case has been registered against him.

Thief arrested: The police arrested Kuldip Singh of Sector 19-C for stealing the purse containing Rs 50 and the driving licence of Mr Gajraj Singh of Ram Darbar, at the ISBT in Sector 17. He was caught red-handed. A case has been registered against him.


Car stolen: A Maruti car was stolen from in front of a house in Phase 6 here last night. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the basis of a complaint lodged by Mr Rajinder Singh.Back


Mani Majra resident faces cops’ wrath
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — A resident of the Modern Housing Complex, Mani Majra, had the first-hand experience of high-handed approach of the local police when he was allegedly assaulted by an ASI and two Cons-tables near the railway crossing traffic lights last evening.

Mr B.K. Gupta, a Punjab and Haryana High Court advocate, alleged today that he was stopped by a police party, led by Gurdev Singh, ASI, Varinder Singh, Cons-table, and another unidentified Constable and asked to part with his driving licence, while he was on his way to his house from the Industrial Area here along with his friend, Mr Gagan Kapoor, in his car (CH-01-X-5911).

On asked why the Constable wanted the licence when he had not jumped the red light, the rude cop replied that he had thrown a burning cigarette butt on the road and for that he was to be challaned. But repeated pleas by Mr Gupta that he did not throw the cigarette butt on the road since he was not carrying any pack of cigarette fell on deaf ears. And at this time, the Constable was joined by another Constable and the ASI and Mr Gupta’s nightmare began.

A visibly-shaken Mr Gupta told TNS that the ASI grabbed his collar and forcibly made to sign the challan which read “smoking while driving”. The Constable sat on the bonnet of his car and prevented them from leaving from the scene.

In the meantime, Varinder Singh continued to abuse him, he alleged, adding that he was detained for more than 30 minutes.

“Does this kind of behaviour behove the so-called custodians of law, asked Mr Gupta. I will not take this lying down and bring the matter to the notice of senior police officers tomorrow,” added Mr Gupta.Back


Residents on dharna
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, May 7 — About 50 residents of Housing Board Colony in Sector 19 alleged that illegal activity was being carried out by a resident of the colony. They sat on a dharna outside the colony till late in the evening. They also alleged that a Chandigarh police personnel was also involved in the racketBack


Women trained in food preservation
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — In its endeavour to promote entrepreneurship among women, Canara Bank has organised a free workshop for 38 women of Dadu Majra Colony in Chandigarh. Officials of the Food and Nutrition Board imparted training to the women.

The trainees were made aware of the nutritive value of food, balanced diet, food fallacies, methods of cooking, preservation of food and practical training on making ketchups, sauces, squashes, jams, chutneys, pickles and kaddu barfi.

Speaking at the valedictory function, Mr C.T. Purushothama, Divisional Manager of the bank, motivated the trainees to start their own units in food preservatives with support from the bank.

Mr N.P. Jain, Technical Adviser to the Food and Nutrition Board, informed the women about the importance of the nutritive value of food.

Mrs Geeta Goyal, Manager of the bank's Centre for Entrepreneurship Development for Women, interacted with the women and told them about various schemes of the bank which could help them realise their dream of entrepreneurship.

The YWCA, Chandigarh, helped identify the trainees and provide space for the classes.Back


Coke fest ends today
From A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, May 7 — “The Coke Fest-2000”, involving 2,000 students of 10 schools of Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula in slogan writing, painting and games at the Coke bottling plant in Baddi, will conclude tomorrow.

The children will be treated to nutritious snacks and a lunch along with Coke.

The expense of costs of the children of government schools has been borne by Kandhari Beverages.

Punjabi group dancing, singing and ballet competitions will mark the concluding function.Back

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