Sunday, June 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


52 city students score over 90 pc marks, beating rivals from other towns
‘Single-minded attention and fixed working hours ensured us success’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June,3 — Improving upon their performance of last year the city students have done it again in the matriculation examinations conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education. Against the best performance of 94 per cent last year, the city topper this time has aggregated 95.2 per cent marks as more than 52 students have scored 90 per cent marks this time beating all previous records. The credit goes to the city students who left no stone unturned to outscore their rivals from nearby towns.

Manav Khullar of D.R.A. Bhavan Vidyalaya has topped the list of successful candidates in the Union Territory. He has scored 95.2% marks.

Smart, intelligent looking ,healthily built city boy, Manav was overjoyed after he confirmed his position. “First of all I want to thank the God for my success. The credit for my glory goes to my encouraging parents, very supportive teachers and friends who created a very healthy competition.” He has opted for medical subjects and wants to become a surgeon. Visibly very much excited he said, “There is no substitute for hard work and certainly in a student’s success, teachers and parents play a leading role.”

His father, Mr Ashok Khullar, a law officer in State Bank of India said that he had no words to express his happiness, “I will be throwing a party to celebrate my son’s success and I will buy him a bike as a reward for his hard work and dedication.”

R. Arun of Shishu Niketan High School has managed to secure a second position in UT by scoring 94.8% marks. A confident boy, he wants to take up non medical stream and wants to choose software engineering as a career. He owes his success to his teachers and his parents. He claims to have not taken any tuitions and has depended on self study. He used to put in around five hours on the daily basis and 10-12 hours during examinations.

Girls have once again outshined boys in the city in bagging the top positions. There are around 60% girls securing more than 90% marks in these results. Swati Bansal of Bhavan Vidyalaya has secured 94% marks and is a topper among the city girls. Aspiring to become a software engineer she has opted for non medical stream. She is really excited to be placed among the toppers and is fond of watching T.V. and reading books. She says,”Hard work coupled with patience and luck is what matters the most.”

Shivani Garg of same school has secured 93.8%. She also wants to become a software engineer and has taken up non-medical stream. She feels quite satisfied with her success and says’” All the credit goes to my teachers and my parents who inspired me and bore with me during those difficult days of examination.”

Juhi Tiwari of Bhavan Vidyalaya has scored 93.6%. She gives all the credit to her hard work and the blessings of her parents. She finds career in computers most alluring and there is no dearth of opportunities in this field as she deciphers it. So she has taken admission in non-medical and is looking forward to become a software engineer.

Paromita Dutta of Bhavan Vidyalaya has achieved success by scoring 93% marks. Aspiring to become an aeronautics engineer she has joined the non-medical stream. She loves music and drawing pictures she doesn’t believe in taking tuitions and finds if teachers are dedicated, students can do well with self study only.

Another boy, Amit Agrawal from St. Anne’s, has scored 93% marks. A firm believer in hard work he has scored 100% marks in science and 99% in maths. He emphasises on self study instead of the coaching. An STSE topper in the city and a winner of Council of Promotion of Young Talent Award, he has topped his school. Software world attracts him and he aims to work as a computer engineer.

Prapti Mittal of Bhavan Vidyalaya scores 92.8% in the exams. “You shouldn’t depend on the intelligence alone. Regularity and hard work are equally important.” She is another aspirant of software engineering.

Beant Kaur of Govt. Model School, Sector-20-D has scored 92.6%. She is opting for non-medical for further studies.

Arpita Garg of Sacred Heart has joined the chain of students getting 90% and above by getting 92.6%. She is one of very few students who are opting for medical subjects as she wants to become a doctor like her mother who is a doctor. A daughter of an IAS officer she derives inspiration from her parents who according to her have been of great help to her. She loves reading and listening to music and playing basket ball.

Amneet Kaur of St. Anne’s has scored 92%. An IAS aspirant she has taken up non-medical she is a firm believer in the God and owes her success to hard work and the blessings of the almighty.

Mandeep Kaur Sodhi of St. Anne’s is another one in the line in scoring 90% marks. Although her favourite subject is social science she has opted for medical subjects. She wants to become a doctor as the job brings satisfaction. She loves writing poetry as she has inherited the art from her father who is a writer.

Another student of Bhavan Vidayala, Manish Choffla has scored 92% marks. A lawn tennis player Choffla believes that teachers and parents are really helpful and all the credit of one’s success goes to them.

Arshdeep from Sacred Heart gets 91.8% and stands second in the school. A scholarship holder of Center for Cultural Resources and Training, Arsh has performed Bharat Natyam on stage. She wants to join her family profession of doctors and wants to become a surgeon.

Shilpa Devgan of DAV Public, Sector -8C has snatched 91.8%. An all rounder she has been awarded the ‘most motivated child of the school’ by P.G.I. people who had conducted by the institute.

Shallu of Govt. Model School, Sector-26 has scored 91.6%. Kriti and Ravleen from GMSS, Sector-16 have both scored 91.4%.

Sidharth Chhibbar of St. John’s School stands first in school by scoring 91.4% marks. He is all really to pursue his career in electronics and communication. Sunny Gambhir from GMSS, Sector 38 is also in the line of scores with 91.4%.

Sharmila Chatterjee of DAV Model Sector-15, Ivy Anne Sebastian and Anuja Dadhwal, both from Sacred Heart, Mallika Sarkaria from Vivek High School, Ginni Sharma of Bhavan Vidalaya and Rachna Kukal have all made a place for themselves with 91.2% marks.

Two girls from Manav Mangal, Divleen and Richa Garg and Saurav Goyal fom Bhavan Vidyalaya have all secured 91% marks each.

K. Bhawna Bhatt of Manav Mangal, Mayank Mathuria of St. John’s and Varun Gupta have all scored 90.8% marks.

Sachin Kaushik of Bhavan Vidyalaya gets 90.6% marks and has opted for medical subjects to become a doctor. Students with same percentage are Vikul Goyal form Vivek High School, Jasjeet Kaur of St. Anne’s, Amit Sharma and Neha Mahajan, both from Shishu Niketan.

Navneeraj Sharma and Harmeet Kaur of Shishu Niketan, Kunal Jindal of 35-Model and Karan Bansal of Vivek High School are all at 90.4%.

At 90.2% are Preeti Behl of Carmel Convent, Ritu Sood of Govt. High School-36, Pooja Singla of Sacred Heart and Shelly Garg of Shishu Niketan.

Charu Puri of Vivek High School and Vishal Goel of Shishu Niketan have also scored 90.2%.

Himanshu Sharma of Manav Mangal, Mittee of Shishu Niketan, High School and Ruby Jain of Vivek High School have all scored 90%.


Sticking to regular working hours and self-study ensured the top berth for 25 students who scored 90 per cent and above to come out with flying colours in the Class X CBSE examination whose results were declared, here today. The girls outshone the boys completely with as many as 17 placed among the first 25 in the township. Most students attribute their success to a blend of classwork and homework and limit their choices of further study to the two science streams.

A student of Hansraj Public School, Sector 6, Komal Arora has topped in the township with 93.2 per cent to her credit. She says, “Being regular in my study schedule worked its magic. Beyond school hours, all it took was four hours of study to take on my boards. All credit for my success goes to my school and teachers who worked equally hard.’’

Missing the first place by one mark with 93 per cent, Anish Garg of Manav Mangal School, Sector 15, says he was expecting his marks in the 90s and began studying only after December. “I am very satisfied with my performance and will go in for non-medical,’’ he opines.

Vartika Nijhawan, a student of Chaman Lal DAV School, Sector 11, secured 92.8 per cent. Advocating self-study for success, she is quick to add that being regular in class is also a must after which each student must set his own routine three to four months before the exam. From the same school, Tarun Mittal has 92.6 per cent to his credit and is placed fourth.

Three students share the fifth spot which include Narinder Puri and Vikas of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sector 15, and Bharti Gupta of DAV School, Sector 8. All of them share a common goal-to make it to IIT as computer engineers. Narinder and Vikas contend that their families worked very hard with them, boosting their morale when they felt low and were always by their side right through the examination season.

Kamal Singla and Sonam Nagpal of Manav Mangal School and Chaman Lal DAV School respectively with 91.6 per cent in the aggregate opine that the edge over the other students comes from self-study since each student evolves his own way. “Classroom teaching is alike for everybody and that is where the importance of self-study comes in and has a bearing on the final result,” they claim. Bhawna Pahwa of Manav Mangal gets 91.2 per cent and contends that she only revised whatever was done in class for her result. “The result has been beyond expectation and my family is thrilled,’’ she adds.

With 91 per cent, Rishu Tayal from DAV School, Sector 8, and Nidhi Talwar of Chaman Lal DAV, are of the view that regular study with concentration after school hours is enough for a “reasonably” good score. “However, accompanied by attentiveness in the classroom, it can do wonders for one,” Rishu informs while Nidhi opines that self-study is the only way to success. Megha Rungta of Hansraj Public School secured 91 per cent and says she owes her success to her parents and teachers who made it possible to give the examinations her best shot.

Varun Uppal and Sucharu Aggarwal of DC Model are ecstatic about their success and are staunch supporters of self-study in the few months before the examination. There daily schedule revolved around their books till the examination season got over and secured 90.6 per cent in the aggregate.

At 90.4 per cent, Jaishree Seth of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan began “serious study” as late as February and put in nearly eight hours everyday once she was on the job with most of the emphasis on self-study to clear her basics in various subjects. Bracketed with her is Deepak Gupta, a student of Blue Bird Public school, Sector 16, who has also secured the same marks.

Aman Gupta of DC Model, Divyanshu Sood from DAV School, Sector 8, and Payal Mittal of Hansraj Public School, have an aggregate of 90.2 per cent and contend that the self-study of nearly five hours a month before the exam is what has actually borne fruit in their case. They both want to pursue separate branches of the science stream.

Veenu Gill of Hansraj Public School, Gaurav Singhal, Amrita Aich and Anuradha Arora of DAV, Sector 8, and Nidhi Sharma of Chaman Lal DAV have all got 90 per cent in the boards. They are of the unanimous opinion that classroom study followed by its revision at home suffices for success in the examination.


Few challenge their fate and turn the circumstances in their favour. One such student is Neha Garg, who has topped in the town in the CBSE matriculation examination by securing 89.2 per cent marks.

Life has not been a bed of roses for Neha, a student of Gyan Jyoti Public School in Phase 2 here, who lost her father and was prepared by her mother, Veena Garg (a housewife) to face the competitive world. Neha even earned while taking classes. About her future plans, Neha says: “I want to be a computer engineer and will sit in the IIT entrance test”.

Trailing her are two students, Sumeet Kaur and Vivek Gupta of Gyan Jyoti Public School, who secured 87 per cent marks each. For a change, Vivek Gupta wants to be a cardio-surgeon. He says to pursue a career in medicine has been his dream.

Sumeet Kaur, who also secured 87 per cent marks, is not satisfied with her performance in the 10th class results. She wants to become a software engineer and is all set to prepare for the IIT entrance test. Back


Improved medicare for soldiers
By Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — High altitude pulmonary edema, frostbite, snow blindness, mesenteric vein thrombosis — disorders known to the Indian Army formations deployed in high altitude areas for decades. But it took a war to jolt the services out of their lethargy, taking stock of the situation and working out appropriate measures.

About a year after ill-equipped and unprepared army formations were inducted hurriedly to evict intruders along the Line of Control in the Kargil sector, troops can now look up to better medical care and significantly improved facilities.

‘’The Kargil conflict has resulted in significant changes in standard medical procedures, besides introducing new equipment,’’ an Army doctor here said. ‘’Besides an overhaul of the system, there has been a change in the approach to administering of antibiotics,’’ he added.

A major development is greater stress on training of para-medics as well as an increase in their authorised strength. ‘’The number of battlefield nursing assistants in formations deployed at high altitude has gone up substantially,’’ an Army Medical Corps officer said.

“While earlier the authorisation of a battlefield medical assistant was one per platoon, efforts are being made to have one medical assistant in every major post along the LoC,’’ a source said, adding that more troops were also being trained in first aid procedures,’’ he added.

As far as improving facilities at forward hospitals is concerned, more hi-tech gadgets such as x-ray, ECG and ultra-sound equipment has been made available.

Special stretchers for lifting casualties with spinal injuries have also been acquired. These stretchers can be disjoined and slipped under the casualty, thereby allowing him to be lifted and transported without the posture of his spine being disturbed or changed.

Besides, state-of-the-art user friendly pneumatic splints have also been introduced in forward areas. These can be used by any lay person. The pneumatic splint, which comes in various sizes for different limbs, is wrapped around the injured limb and inflated, thereby securing the affected part.

HAPO chambers, meant for treating casualties suffering from high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPO) a condition when prolonged deployment at high altitude results in fluids entering the lungs, have also been made available. The only treatment for HAPO is immediate descent to lower altitude, which at many times is not possible. The HAPO chamber, working on the oxygen therapy concept, simulates low altitude climatic conditions.

Several new types of intravenous (IV) fluids with different applications, specially those related to high altitude sickness, have also been made available in forward hospitals.

A significant fallout of the Kargil crisis has been the impetus given to the Army’s ambitious telemedicine project. Automation of various hospitals is under way and the Western Command Hospital is in the process of being linked through data communication lines with several field hospitals in the northern sector.

The tele-medicine project will allow doctors in forward areas to obtain advice in ‘’real time’’ on complex medical matters from specialist surgeons posted in bigger hospitals located further down the echelon. This will reduce the need of evacuating casualties to bigger hospitals, thereby saving costs and manhours.

Meanwhile, the Base Hospital at Siachen is yet to become fully operational. This hospital, which will be centrally heated, will be fully equipped to tackle high altitude sickness and frostbite.

The prime reason for frostbite, as in several high altitude sicknesses, is inadequate protection. Soldiers posted in Siachen or in areas along the LoC where temperatures are extreme, are issued with a 53-item kit, most of which is procured from Europe. The kit includes extreme climate clothing, protection gear and other operational equipment such as pick-axes and special ropes.

Though Kargil was a recent episode, Indian troops have been deployed in Siachen for about 14 years. Despite this prolonged experience in extreme weather operations, about two dozen key items in the troops’ kit such as down jackets and trousers, windcheaters, boots, gloves and snow goggles are yet to be indigenised by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, leaving the country still dependent on foreign suppliers.Back


Bodies of 2 jawans reach city
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — The mortal remains of two jawans, who were killed in a forward area, were accorded full military honours at the N Area here this morning. Wreaths were laid on the Tricolour draped bodies by Col Shakti Parshad, Commander, N Area, and his officers. The bodies were airlifted from Thoise and Leh today.

Lance Naik Shyam Singh, who was deployed at the Chandan post in Siachen Glacier, was part of a three-member link patrol carrying supplies to be handed over to another party but were buried in an avalanche on January 21. While the bodies of his team mates were retrieved earlier his body could only be recovered now.

He hailed from Linguria in Pauri Garhwal and is survived by his wife, Manorama, two sons — Hira Singh and Chandra Singh — and a daughter, Sheela. Lance Naik Raghubir Singh hailed from Jajusar of Jhunjhunu and was killed in a road accident in a forward area beyond Leh on May 31. He is survived by his wife, Santra Devi, a son, Vikas, and a daughter, Anuj.Back


Virdi’s Battle On A Blue Steed released
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Renowned journalist and Sikh scholar, Khushwant Singh, today released a book entitled Battles On A Blue Steed authored by Mr Harbans Singh Virdi at a function organised in the local Press Club this morning.

After the release of the book, Mr Khushwant Singh said that he was impressed by the contents of the book. He made it clear that he had not come to release the book under any influence but decided to release it, as after reading it he found valuable material in it. He said that Mr Virdi had a deep knowledge of the Sikh history as was apparent from the text of the book.

Mr Khushwant Singh said that he would like to inter-act with Mr Virdi personally to discuss certain important details mentioned in the book about battles fought by Guru Gobind Singh and to also know that why the writer picked up this particular aspect of Guru’s life to write about.

He advised Mr Virdi and other Sikh historians to carefully read the books of non-Sikh writers of Sikh history. Mr Khushwant Singh was of the view that most of the material for writing historical accounts was available from the writings of Mughal writers. But as they had a bias, it was required to analyse such material carefully and also look at other sources to write an exact version of history.

Narrating briefly various aspects of Guru Gobind Singh’s life, Mr Khushwant Singh said that the Guru was a remarkable personality. There were certain doubts and question marks about the period of Guru Gobind Singh which required to be cleared by making a collective effort by all historians concerned making a deep research in this connection.

Zafarnama authored by Guru Gobind Singh was a rare document but he said that he was doubtful whether it was delivered to Aurangzeb before he breathed his last by representatives of Guru Gobind Singh. In fact, Mr Khushwant Singh said that history should be based on hard evidence whether the facts be liked or disliked by anyone concerned.

Earlier, Prof Darshan Singh, an eminent Sikh scholar, gave a brief account of Guru Gobind Singh’s life and his struggles and sacrifices to maintain certain principles in social life. Guru’s works reflect a very rich cultural heritage and explain in detail and depth the meaning of life and the meaning of future for the humanity.


‘Scribes have the right to privacy’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Writer-Journalist Khushwant Singh today said that mediapersons all over the country would strongly oppose the draconian measures against journalists in the draft of the Prevention of Terrorism Bill, 2000.

He said that earlier also journalists had fought unitedly against such Bills and other anti-Press measures initiated by various governments. Journalists would not allow to take such Bill the shape of Act.

Khushwant Singh was of the view that it was a right of the journalist to maintain strict secrecy about the source of news and such right should be protected at every cost by all concerned. If draconian measures were translated into the Act, these would be got abrogated, he added.

It had been reported in a section of the draft of Terrorism Bill 2000 imposes an obligation to inform the police as soon as reasonably practicable any information he has. In case of failure, he can be convicted up to one year. More over, the police can seek any sort of information from journalists regarding terrorism.


‘Sensitivity needed in writing’
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — “I think that writers cannot be created, they are born as one”. This was stated here today, by noted Punjabi novelist and Jnanpeeth Award winner, Padam Shri Gurdial Singh. He said he was yet to come across a writer or a poet who had been trained to become one.

Mr Gurdial Singh has nine novels, 10 collections of stories, plays and translations to his credit. More recently, he has penned his autobiography entitled “nayan mattiyan’.

Addressing a gathering of writers and others in the Punjab Kala Bhavan, at a face-to-face programme, he said that it was his quest for knowledge which prompted him to write.”To be able to write, one has to have compassion and sensitivity. And unless one doesn’t experience the pain himself, one cannot write about the feelings of others.

The eminent Punjabi writer asserted that to be able to write was not a child’s play. “You have to do a lot of hardwork and “tapasya’,” he added.

Talking about his journey as a writer, Gurdial Singh attributed his success to his mentor Master Madan Mohan.” I have worked hard throughout my life, at times through abject poverty and hardships. It was he who guided me like a guru and later even helped me to get a job as a primary school teacher. In fact, whatever I know about human relationships, is all because of him,” he said.

Talking about awards and prizes in the contemporary world of literature, he said these should not be considered as the fruit of a writer’s hard work.” In fact, I have always wondered why Tolstoy was never given the Nobel Prize.” Elaborating further, he said although awards were not important, but it would not be correct to say that they don’t bring happiness.”For me, more important is that Punjabi is recognised as a literary equivalent of Malayalam and Bengali.”

About liberally using “malwi” words in his work, the writer said that although he has been accused of contaminating the language, the feelings and trauma of a character are shaped according to the words.

In a answer to a question, he said that in today’s world, writing is the best form of assertion for the middle-class. “It is not as if only rich people are able to get their books published. Those who don’t have the money may have some initial problem.”

Dr Kesar Singh Kesar in his introductory speech about the writer talked about his latest work, ‘Nayan Mattiyan’.

He said the Punjabi literature was just 100-year old but Gurdial Singh can be called as the writer of the century. He said the writer had been able to assimilate the rural and social Punjab with all its contradictions and present them as such in his novels.

He said the writer has always highlighted the rural poor and the downtrodden. “His work is symbolic of his social commitments. He doesn’t write about his pain but that of the others which make his characters very very real.”


HC moved on saving Mata Jayanti Devi Temple
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Pained by the constant threat to 550-year-old Mata Jayanti Temple from soil erosion, a devotee has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court here seeking directions to the state of Punjab, the Archaeological Survey of India and the Ropar Deputy Commissioner to “maintain” the house of worship.

In a public interest litigation taken up by Mr, Justice R.S. Mongia and Mr Justice K.C. Gupta, petitioner Rajinder Sharma stated that the temple was “at mother nature’s mercy” as the soil continued to be washed away from under it. The petition will come up for hearing on July 18.

Accusing the respondents of negligence, the petitioner also stated that necessary repair work had not been carried out “allowing soil erosion beneath the temple”. A news item appearing in Chandigarh Tribune of August 13, 1999 was also enclosed.

Seeking carrying out of a feasibility study for conserving the temple, the counsel for the petitioner stated on his behalf that efforts had been made only on papers.

The counsel added that the respondents would be “solely responsible” if the temple was allowed to perish without making efforts to save and maintain. “All possible efforts, must be made to maintain the dignity of such like structures, he stated.

The counsel concluded that the “emotions and sentiments of countless followers of the hilly temple were likely to suffer if the prayer as asked for was not granted”.


Competition ‘healthy’ for newspapers
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, June 3 — There may be five new Hindi and English newspapers in Chandigarh but they pose absolutely no threat to those already existing in this region. This was the conclusion drawn at a seminar on ‘Challenges before journalism in the new century,’ organised by the Panchkula Press Club here today.

At a function largely attended by journalists it was observed that the new newspapers have, in fact, created a new readership. Earlier, every household used to be satisfied with just one newspaper. Curiosity to know more and quest for knowledge has resulted in each household subscribing to more than two newspapers.

Presiding over the function, Mr S.S. Bhuller, Deputy Editor, Punjabi Tribune, said although the electronic media had a lot of glitz and glamour associated with it, it was the print media which had more readability and reliability.

Quoting a recent example, he said that a leading national news channel had to apologise because of unsubstantiated reporting in a particular case. “Total news telecast on an average TV channel in a day is not more than two columns of news in a newspaper,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest, Mr Govind Singh Kanjala, Social Justice Women and Child Development Minister, Punjab, said that new newspapers mean healthy competition for every one in the business. “It also means that now all newspapers will have to give priority to news reporting with reliability.”

Mr Radhey Shyam Sharma, Adviser, Dainik Bhasker, said advances in information technology have created a new readership. He cautioned against the proposed opening of the print media by the World Trade Organisation by 2004. “There are 20 multinational companies in the world which have a budget equivalent to our country,” he cautioned, “they have the monetary power to influence the thinking of not only society but also the government.”

Mr R.C. Chaudhary, Chairman, Planning Board, Haryana, and the guest of honour, cautioned the print media against the challenge to our culture by the electronic media.

The function was also attended by the Deputy Commissioner of Panchkula, Mr S.K. Monga.

The journalists took this opportunity to demand a piece of land or place in some existing community centre for the Press Club.Back


People in city worried about son of Haryana

MAHENDRA CHAUDHRY, the Prime Minister of Fiji, has been kept captive by George Speight in his endeavour to suppress Indians and to deprive them of their legitimate rights. The Indians. who have been living in Fiji for the last 200 years, have made tremendous contribution towards making that country prosper. But even then the ethnic Fijians consider them as ‘foreigners’ and a section is bent on snatching political power from legally elected government at gunpoint. People in Chandigarh and Haryana are worried about the future of Fiji Indians in general and Mr Mahendra Chaudhry in particular. But few have bothered to know about Fiji in detail.

Comprising of 320 islands scattered in South-West Pacific, Fiji is located between 15 & 22 south latitude and 177 west to 175 east latitude. The main portion of its eight lakh population lives in three islands, namely Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Toveuni. This small island country, with a total area of 18376 sq. km, has a tropical climate. May to November is the winter when south east trade winds make the climate cold & dry. December to April, Fiji is wet. English is the official language of that nation, but Fijian and Hindi are also widely used.

Tourism forms one of the major sources of income for Fiji. Its underwater world and its tribals form two main attractions for tourists. “There are few places remaining on our planet as beautiful as Fiji. In half a century of exploring water systems kall over earth, I’ve found Fiji’s coral reef communities to be among the most vital. Fiji’s islands offer an unparalleled range of dive sites and the sheer diversity of life is overwhelming”, says Jean-Michel Cousteau, film-maker and writer.

Half of the present-day population of Fiji comprises of Indians — the descendents of Indian labourers brought in by the British in 1800s to work in cane fields. Comprising of Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims, these Indians have retained their ancient traditions of dress, language and culture.

Most Fijians still live in village communities in extended family groups know as Mataqali. Each such group owns a common land, and a number of such groups combine to form a broader group or clan under a paramount chief. To celebrate social occasions like births, marriages and funerals, clans from distant lands gather and exchange gifts. A large feast is arranged, where men & women sing & dance in traditional styles.

Sharing music and telling stories is part of everyday life in Fiji. Everything that matters is discussed and decisions on various issues are taken around tanoa, the kava bowl. (Kava may be described as a kind of indigenous tea). This is done amid the strumming of a guitar and the crooning of an island ballad.

Fiji is a nature lover’s paradise. Adrift in the splendid isolation of the blues of South Pacific, the islands have escaped the ravages of industrial man. The islands have more than 300 species of native orchids as well as hundreds of varieties that were brought there from around the world.

The electoral system of the country is so designed that it does not allow any race to dominate. However, the native Fijians have special rights under which they own all the land, thus calling themselves as Taukei or the owners. A large number of Indians are top class businessmen and professionals. They dominate the commercial activities and work on the land. In spite of their significant contribution of creating political awareness and making Fiji a regional leader, native Fijians consider them superior to them and do not wish to share political power with them.

The most economically advanced and racially mixed nation in its

region, Fiji is facing one of its worst racial conflict. The British put in great efforts, when Fiji was a colony under them, to create racial harmony. They succeeded well and the

good efforts were continued by Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, who created a congenial racially-tolerant environment. But alas! good things don’t last longer. — By Thakur Paramjit


Jagmohan visits Phase III sectors 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 —The Union Urban development Minister, Mr Jagmohan, returned to the union Capital this afternoon after his maiden two-day visit to the city.

Accompanied by senior functionaries of the Chandigarh Administration, Mr Jagmohan visited Phase III sectors which the administration proposes to develop. Various problems, including encroachments on the acquired land, were explained to the minister. According to sources, a decision to shift the Colony no 5 was also taken during discussions with Mr Jagmohan. Various problems faced by the administration in urban development programmes because of encroachments and other issues were also explained to him by the officials.

Mr Jagmohan also met several delegations. A delegation of the Kashmiri Sahayak Sabha apprised him of the problems being faced by the Kashmiri migrants.

Mr Rajinder Kumar, a councillor, in a memorandum submitted to him demanded rehabilitation of Colony No 4 said the administration was yet to take a decision about rehabilitation of this colony. Back



Two hurt in road mishaps
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Two city residents were hospitalised after being involved in road accidents.

According to police sources, Sector 15 resident Archana Sharma, was going on her bicycle when she was hit by a car, CH-OI-T 1111, near the cricket stadium. She was admitted to the PGI and a case under Section 279\ 337, IPC, registered.

Sector 27 resident Satpal reported that he was going on his scooter when a three-wheeler, CH-O3-B 5373, hit him near the ITI turn. He was admitted to the GMC, Sector 32, while the driver of the three- wheeler fled the spot with his vehicle. A case under Section 279 \ 337, IPC, has been registered.

Abducted: Industrial area resident Daya Ram alleged that his minor daughter had been abducted by Rocky, a resident of Mani Majra. A case under Section 363 \ 366, IPC, has been registered.

Car stolen: Panchkula resident Chaman Lal Kapoor reported that his car, CH-OI-E 0097, had been stolen from the Sector 17 market. A case under Section 379, IPC, has been registered. 



Goods worth lakhs of rupees gutted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Computer terminals, scanners, printers, air-conditioners, pieces of furnitures, wooden partitions, furnishings, records, files, fax machines, electric fittings and other goods worth lakhs of rupees were damaged or destroyed in a devastating fire that broke out on the top floor of a showroom in Sector 35-B, shortly after midnight last night.

According to Mr Amarjit Singh Sethi, owner of the building, he was informed about the fire at about 2.45 a.m. "By the time I reached the spot, the fire brigade had controlled the fire," he said.

According to Fire Brigade officials, a telephonic message was received from a resident of Sector 35-B who had noticed smoke billing out of the top floor of the building. Soon the entire top floor was in flames.

The top floor housed offices of a security agency, three chartered accountants and a web designer-cum-hosting company. Immediately after the fire was reported, fire- engines of the Chandigarh Fire Department descended on the spot and took about an hour to control the leaping flames. The damage was more because of highly inflammable material stacked in the building.

The damage to the computer peripherals, printers, scanners and fax machines was mainly because of high temperature generated by the flames. Most of the terminals were damaged beyond repair.

The officials suspect it to be a cause of short-circuiting. They, however, could not pinpoint how the short circuiting take place as the entire building was closed and locked at the time when fire broke out.

The owner of the web designing and hosting company said that he was last to leave the building at about 11 p.m. and everything was normal.

The top floor of the building, electric fittings and wirings were badly damaged in the fire. 


3 members of family hurt in attack
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, June 3 — At least three members of a family of Mohali village were injured when they were allegedly attacked by Baisakha Singh, a resident of the same village, on Friday. The injured, Devi Singh, Jaswant Kaur and Tejinder Singh, who have been admitted to the Phase 6 General Hospital, had a dispute with the suspect over a common boundary wall between their dwelling units. The police is investigating the matter. 


Minister asks women to be self-employed
From Our Correspondent

LALRU, June 3 — “Women are an important part of society and need self-dependence and self-employment besides education”, stated Capt. Kanwaljit Singh, Finance and Planning Minister, Punjab, addressing a gathering at a function of Industrial Training Centre at Dappar village near here today.

Organised by the Chetna, a social organisation, 47 girls of the training centres were also given certificates by the minister.

He said a majority of the women of Dera Bassi block were less educated. There was an immediate need to educate the girls of this block about self-employment. The minister also assured the ‘Chetna’ of opening five more training centres in the subdivision.

Earlier, the minister laid the foundation stone of a main gate over the village link road. This gate is being constructed in the memory of martyr Sub Balbir Singh who died during the Kargil operation. He also laid the foundation stone of a Muslim dharamshala and a 24-hour electricity supply scheme in the village.

Mr Jagir Singh, father of Subedar Balbir Singh, was also honoured on the occasion.

Ms Surya Pandit, secretary-general of the Chetna, said three training centres were being run by the society in the block. Keeping in view the interest and the cooperation of the villagers, the number of centres would be increased. Ms Vanita Gupta, president of the society, said the aim of the Chetna was to educate and make the uneducated women self-dependent.

Those who spoke included Mr V.C. Gupta, Secretary, Employ-ment, Punjab, Mr Deepak Karmakar, Director, ATI, Ludhiana and Mr P.H. Vaishnav, Director SOSVA.

Besides a number of residents, Ms S.S. Sidhu, SDM, Col A.J.S. Gill and Mr Raghubir Juneja, social servants and Mr Labh Singh, sarpanch of the village, were also present on the occasion.

A Souvenir of the Chetna was also released by the minister.


Party time for kids
By A Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, June 3 — Exhilarated teenyboppers, illuminated by colourful intelligent lights, twisted and shouted to the thumping beat of electrifying music at Kids Party Zone, inaugurated at Fun City, near here, this evening.

For the excited kids, heaven was a place on earth as they twirled around the nicely polished dance floor covered under a carpet of cheerful glittering balloons.

The party started about an hour late. For “time pass”, the “kiddos” had plastic balls to toss around. And a massive air-filled Mickey Mouse to shake hands with. The joker was there too.

Then it all started at about 7 p.m. As the impressive speakers, mounted on the decked-up walls, boomed with Lou Bega’s “Mambo Number five”, excitement broke loose. It was time for some wild ‘n’ wacky dancing for about 120 revelers in age the group of 2 to 19.

There were prizes too. For the best dancer. After every 10 minutes or so, glaze paper wrapped gifts were handed over to the dextrous little John Travoltas and our own Karishma Kapoors.

“The discotheque is first of its kind. A joint for the kids to rock and roll, away from the daily grind of studies,” said Fun City Managing Director Kamaljit Singh.Back

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