Wednesday, June 14, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Slogans dump MC for garbage menace
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — In an unusual way to get heard, residents of Shaheed Major Shivdev Singh Marg and Maya Nagar near Nehru Rose Garden in the town have painted catchy and satirical slogans outside an unauthorised garbage-dumping ground in their locality.

"Come and see the great Pig Park" — begins a slogan painted on a board specially erected outside the dumping ground. The punch line "developed and maintained by the Municipal Corporation Ludhiana" follows this along with the satirical "entry free" sign.

For those more comfortable with Punjabi, residents have painted "Rose Garden De Naal Naal Sur Park Da Vee Anand Maande Jao" in bold red and black on one of the boundary walls of the vacant plot. Another slogan in Punjabi says further — "Atey Municipal Corporation Di Wah-Wah Karde Jao" (and praise the Municipal Corporation).

At an arm's length from the Nehru Rose Garden which is called the lungs of this otherwise polluted town, the garbage-dumping ground is not only an eyesore but also a perpetual breeding ground of flies, germs and bacteria of all kinds. The pungent smell emanating from the garbage heaps makes it difficult for persons to pass through the ground. One can well imagine the miseries of the nearby residents.

The apathy of the Municipal Corporation towards the problem of the residents is evident from the fact that the dumping ground is at a stone's throw from the residence of Mr A.S. Grewal, Mayor of the Municipal Corporation here.

Proximity to such places has done no good to us, says Dr Anshu Vatsayan who lives just beside the dumping ground. "All our requests and representations to the corporation for getting the garbage removed have been fruitless. As a result, we had to resort to such a measure to attract the administration's attention," she says.

Almost 2000 sq yard wide plot is used for dumping by residents of the affected and the adjoining colonies. Residents say that because the MC has not placed garbage bins in the area, they have no other place to deposit the waste. Dr Anshu said if the corporation could not place bins in the area, it should remove the garbage regularly.

Ms Rajni Nayyar, another resident living near the garbage dump, said it was ironic that it existed near the entrance of Nehru Rose Garden which was called the lungs of the town. While persons throw litter here, pigs moved all around the place. The place has become so popular with stray animals that they have begun spending days together here. At times, the place is used to bury dead animals. Some labourers also defecate here.

Ms Indu Dua, another nearby resident, said she had rarely seen an MC sweeper in the area. "We have complained several times to the authorities concerned, but, no action has been taken," she said. She hopes that things improve with the painting of such slogans near the dump.


PAU to close down college for school
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — Punjab Agricultural University has formally decided to close down a 22-year-old constituent institution, the College of Home Science at Kaoni in the Muktsar district. It has decided to upgrade a primary school in the village to the senior secondary level instead.

It has also been decided to introduce a three-year information technology course in the college, besides some certificate IT courses. This decision was taken in a meeting of the Academic Council of the university headed by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, here today.

According to the information gathered here today, the decision was taken in view of the huge losses suffered by the college in the past couple of years. This was because the four-year and six-year courses offered by the college had not been attracting enough students.

It is learnt that the college had an estimated budget of over Rs 80 lakh, including the salaries of the staff and the maintenance costs. Besides this, about Rs 2 lakh was also being spent each year on the infrastructure. Compared to this, the number of students seeking admission to the college had been on the decline. Initially, the course had 70 seats which sources said were never filled. The university authorities had decided to bring down the number of seats to 40 a couple of years ago.

"However, the need for winding up the college was felt in the year 1995-96 when half of the students of the college either flunked or left the college. The student-strength of the college declined from 38 in the year 1998-99 to a meagre 13 in the last academic year, while it had 40 seats," said a senior functionary of the university.

When contacted, the Registrar of the university, Mr Alok Shekhar, said the decision had been taken to keep pace with the changing trends in education." The Kaoni campus was established mainly to cater to the needs of the south-western educationally backward districts, but, somehow the college could not do well. Since most of the families in the region do not even provide basic education to girls, it has been decided to instead upgrade a model school in the village. Students can also later undergo an IT training on the campus."

He also said the university would create extra seats on the PAU campus for the college students. He also said the plan adopted by the university two years ago had been mooted by residents of Kaoni only.

Meanwhile, the university has decided to collaborate with any of the big computer-education companies to introduce degree, diploma and certificate courses in IT on the Kaoni college campus. Mr Shekhar said though no concrete decisions had been taken in this regard, the university would fund the institute.

The foundation stone of the school was laid in the year 1979-80 when Mr Parkash Singh Badal was the Chief Minister, but, the project could not take off. Two years ago, after Mr Badal again became the CM, he asked the university authorities to adopt this school. Now, the college funds will be used for running the school.


Cinema owners warned 
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — In order to curb the display of obscene posters in the city, the district administration today warned the cinema owners and asked them to stop it. A meeting was held after a number of social organisations had protested against the vulgar display of nude posters throughout the city by the cinema owners. The meeting was chaired by the Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.L. Kaler, and attended by the cinema owners from Ludhiana, Khana and Phillaur.

Mr Kaler sought the cooperation of the cinema owners to prevent the obscene and vulgar display of posters. The instant impact could be felt as most of the posters were painted by this afternoon only.

The cinema owners were asked to submit the synopsis of the new movie. These would be screening before 48 hours to the district administration for evaluation. They would also need to furnish a copy of the certificate awarded to the movie by the Central Board of Film Certification.

Mr Kaler brought to the notice of the owners the black-marketeering of tickets. He said the cinema owners should ensure that the black-marketing was curbed. Moreover, they were also bound to provide other facilities. Each cinema owner would need to install at least 10 water taps for providing drinking water to the cinema-goers.

The provision of fire-fighting and cleanliness was also discussed at the meeting. The cinema owners also sought the cooperation of the district administration and the Ludhiana municipality for maintaining cleanliness outside their theatres.

The Assistant Commissioner (G), the SDM (East) and the SDM (West) will monitor the functioning of cinemas and their screening of movies in the city.

Listing their problems, the cinema owners said most of the boards for which they were paying regular monthly rents had been damaged and the municipality was not repairing them. They also pointed out the illegal screening of new movies which reduced the cinema viewership.

The Cinema Owners Association was represented by Mr Paramjit Singh.


Release Sikh youths from jails: BKU
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The Bharatiya kisan union (BKU) , Punjab, has urged the Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, to impress upon the state government and the Shiromani gurdwara Parbandhak committee (SGPC) to initiate immediate steps to secure the release of Sikh youths who were languishing in jails for a long time without any trial.

In a joint statement released here yesterday, the BKU supremo, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, and the general secretary, Prof Manjit Singh Kadian, while lamenting on the fate of a large number of Sikh youths detained on charges of 'terrorist activities', made an appeal to the Akal Takht head priest to issue a hukamnama (edict) asking the Punjab government and the SGPC to explain in details the steps taken by them so far to get the youths released from jails.

The BKU leaders hailed the Jathedar for his historical move to observe martyrdom day of those who lost their lives during operation Bluestar, but at the same time mere ceremonial tributes to the ''martyrs'' would not resolve the pending issues of the Sikh community. "Only determined and resolute efforts in this direction would achieve the desired results,'' they added.

Mr Lakhowal was critical of the union government, which, he said, was going allout to intervene and establish peace in Sri Lanka and was repeatedly initiating a dialogue with militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir to bring back peace and normalcy in the valley, but had shown scant concern for the innocent Sikh youths in jails without any rights of appeal and argument. The indifferent attitude of the SAD leadership, which was a constituent of the ruling NDA alliance headed by the prime minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, towards the Sikh youths could create doubts in the minds of the Sikh masses, the BKU leaders observed.

They further urged the government to take up with the centre the matter of the Sikh reference library, the contents of which were taken away by the armed forces during operation Bluestar. Conflicting statements of the union defence minister, Mr George Fernandes, and CBI officials had further confounded the confusion which should be cleared without further delay, Mr Lakhowal and others remarked.


Recalling anecdotes

A little poem entitled Awwal tan Ludhiana jayieye na... about the ways and life of Ludhiana in the days gone by published in the columns of Ludhiana Tribune last week appears to have triggered off old memories among many a Ludhianvi.

An oldtimer, Mr Sham Singh Harike, recalls how unscrupulously trade, business and commerce were conducted in Ludhiana in the 50s. The traders and shopkeepers were always on the look out for an opportunity to make a quick profit, ethics be damned.

He recalls a tale related to him by his late father about a trader, who on spotting in Chaura Bazar a prospective customer from another city, alerted his sons to somehow induce him to make purchases from him. The sons lost no time in declaring that the customer was none other than their late grandfather who had somehow come back to life and come to pay them a visit and make certain purchases at his own shop because of divine intervention.

The puzzled customer was given such a persuasive and VIP treatment that he had no option but to make purchases from his “own shop”, of course, at a price. It is another matter that when the customer returned to their shop after making enquiries about rates of goods elsewhere in the market, the sons and their father refused to recognise him.

The non-existent hospitality of a Ludhiana trader, says Mr Harike, was also wellknown. A trader would place orders for refreshments, including malaiwala doodh for the customer while trying to lure him to make purchases. The malaiwala doodh would never actually materialise.

Who said that Banaras alone abounds in thugs?

Of course, things have undergone a sea change in Ludhiana now. Trade, business and industry have acquired a dynamism of its own in Ludhiana and business worth crores of rupees is conducted every day without any problem. Many of its industries produce world-class goods and export to destinations all over the globe.

Banking with a difference: We, the people of the old order, are accustomed to irritable, complaining, passing-the-buck types and the ‘why-have-you-come-to-me’ attitude on the part of bored officials during our routine visits to commercial banks. Anything different would be pleasant surprise.

In the course of a visit by an acquaintance to the Sarabha Nagar branch of the State Bank of India in the city for a banking transaction not very long ago, the very first impression on entering the “fully computerised” personal banking branch was a pleasant surprise. The waiting customers were comfortably seated and were being properly attended to by the bank employees and officers. The documents carrying messengers shuttling between one table and another and jittery customers restlessly waiting for their turn, a common scene in most of the banks, were nowhere to be seen.

The acquaintance who had undergone this experience, perhaps for the first time, says he was overwhelmed when “an all smiles” bank employees attended to him with great courtesy and even requested him to take a seat while his transaction would take a few minutes to complete. His work done, another exchange of pleasantries followed between the bank employee and the customer and the later departed with a refreshed mood and a novel banking experience.

Are the other bank functionaries listening?

The headstrong fairsex: Who’s headstrong? Men or women. The women indeed. That is what the tired traffic cops on the roads of Ludhiana have been told, rather made to understand. Had it not been so, the traffic cops would not have been made to watch helplessly the pretty young women zooming past them, helmetless and still confident. How dare a traffic cop stop them, as they do with the other sex. One wonders as why the fairsex has been exempted from putting on the helmet on its head, particularly when it is meant for safety. Maybe, the heads are too delicate to bear the iron burden or they are too strong to need it. Debatable.

Strange and surprising indeed. Male two-wheeler riders have to necessarily wear helmets for the safety of their “precious” heads. Lest they may be challaned or fined. Most of the people wear helmets not for the safety point of view, but to immunise themselves against the onslaught of the traffic cops that only ends at their pockets. If safety were the reason for people to wear helmets, then job of the traffic cops, at least vis-a-vis the two-wheeler riders would have been over. Economically speaking, for them, fortunately it is not so.

Men take solace in the thought that their heads may be more precious than those of their female counterparts. Otherwise, why should police cops be bothered about their heads alone. Or may be the heads of women are more strong than men, with the reason they are being exempted from this burden. The latter argument is not unacceptable (to men) either, although it may defy biological logic. The “head” of women may be as strong as that of men, but cannot be stronger than that. But men seem to have lost on this count, at least on the roads of Ludhiana. For they have to accept the women are more headstrong!

Survival kit: One needs air, food and shelter to exist in any part of the world, but one has to have a generator, a water drawing motor along with a purifier as well as all kinds of skin protecting creams in order to survive in this megacity whose ground is packed with humans and the air is filled with all kinds of dirt and pollution.

Most of the Ludhianvis keep these devices in right earnest as the power and water supplies play truant with them. They have grown so used to their presence that the ear-splitting sound made by the generator is hardly disturbing to them. But for an outsider the presence of these generators is amazing as well as disturbing for the loud noise they make definitely do not lull one to sleep. And then there is the pollution factor as well. These generators emit such deep black smoke that the auto-rickshaws, most notorious for such pollution, will be shy of their destructive capability.

But as far as a thing or machinery brings comfort, dear old Ludhianvis do not mind.Says Gurpreet Singh a resident of Bharat Nagar: “We keep such things because we can afford these. Power supply is worse in this city than in other cities, but while others pray to the PSEB for early relief, the hard-working Ludhianvis just switch on the gadgets and enjoy the luxuries.”

If anything sells like hot cakes other than generators in this industrial hub-bub of the state , it is face creams and all kinds of lotions. And here the gals face tough competition from the beauty conscious guys. For, the other day this writer toured the city with one of his young Ludhianvi friends to get a feel of the place. After reaching home, the friend dashed straight to his dressing room to have an immediate chemical treatment of his seemingly dust-ridden face. “Oh , in Ludhiana you have to do such facial daily, otherwise the skin will be damaged without redemption” he explained to the astonished writer.

World Conference: Dr Gurdip Singh Sidhu, Chief and Director of Surgery, Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, had gone to attend the seventh world congress of endoscopic surgery at Singapore by the Endoscopic and Laparoscopic Surgeons of Asia and the International Federation of Societies of Endoscopic Surgeons. The conference was held from June 1 to 4 and delegates specialising in the field of laparo-endoscopy from all over the world participated in this conference.

This was perhaps for the first time that specialists from northern India (two people from Ludhiana district were invited to attend this conference and the other being Dr Kuldip Singh from DMC) had been invited to attend the world congress and asked to deliver guest lectures on laparoscopic surgery.

Says Dr Gurdip Singh: “It is almost like a dream come true, considering the fact that finally the West and other developed nations have started recognising the excellence and the achievements of Indian doctors in various fields.”

Ice candies: With the summer in full bloom, ice candies have become a favourite with the children and grown-ups alike for keeping cool. Photo at the top of the page shows the colourful ice candies available with street corner vendors in Ludhiana. A note of caution: try them at your own risk. Parts of the city are already in the grip of gastroenteritis and cholera.

Tailpiece: An appeal made by Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, for a two- year baby holiday in the country as a measure to control unchecked population growth, has excited considerable comment in Ludhiana. Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja, a leading physician of the city, who runs a successful nursing home specialising in producing babies among the childless couples, has the following dream sequence to relate in which he has a dialogue with God himself:

God laughed loudly and said, “Doctor, you have been caught in the web. Lala Lajpat Rai, MP, is trying to put you out of your job. What will you do if there is a baby holiday for two years?”.

I thought seriously for a moment and then declared: “God, I will become a Member of Parliament!”.

— Sentinel


Nirdosh School needs help
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, June 13 — Nirdosh School, an institution for the socially deprived children, today needs the help and cooperation from society as well as from the administration. For an industrial city like Ludhiana and rich people like Ludhianvis, providing regular aid to these innocents is not a big thing. Only a voluntary effort is needed to provide all possible services to the destitutes of society.

Nirdosh School was started about 18 years ago at Deepak Hospital. Initially the school was started in one of the rooms in the hospital. It remained there for about 10 years. Nirdosh School, basically the chapter of the Inner-Wheel Club, grew slowly under the guidance of the then President, Mrs Sudershan Khanna, who approached the administration and requested the Rotary Bhavan people to provide space at the back of their building.

In the year 1990-91, Mrs Parveen Narang, with the help of Mr Avinash Khosla, started with two more rooms. Since then with the endless efforts made by the members of the Inner-Wheel Club, Nirdosh School has won recognition amongst the common people.

As these children need a lot of supervision, Dayanand Medical College provides free required medical aid to the children. The school organises a number of workshops.

Mrs Praveen Sobti, a pediatrician, Mishra, a psychologist, Dr Kalra, physiotherapist, and Dr Monica, speech therapist, all the doctors from the DMC, give constant help to these children. According to the Nirdosh School management, the credit goes to Dr R L Narang for providing medical facilities free of cost.

Mrs Abha Ranjan, famous occupational therapist, gives her continuous support, assistance and training to the teachers of Nirdosh School, all on charitable basis. The school authorities have also arranged government identity cards, income-tax rebate, government certificates for these children with which they can travel free all over the country. They are also able to get a pension of Rs 200 to Rs 300 per month.

The school runs on donation basis, which is collected by the Inner-Wheel Club members. An expenditure of about Rs 16,000 is incurred on the school every month. If the government or some voluntary organisation could provide this amount, it will function more smoothly. The school children also keep doing rehabilitation work according to their mental aptitude. They learn candle-making, stitching, the concept of counting, paper painting. The greeting cards and shagun envelopes made by the “nirdosh students” are kept in stores and shops. Then during the festival days like Divali and Karva Chauth, the things made by the children are kept for sale and exhibitions. The students are also involved in various extracurricular activities.

One of the greatest achievements made by the management and students is that as a result of endless efforts made by the school, two boys are now able to get employment in a card-board factory. After two three months they will be able to get Rs 1,000 each.

The Nirdosh School students also participated at the state-level games which were held at Patiala, Chandigarh and Punjab Agricultural University. They won gold, silver, and bronze medals with consolation prizes.Back


Social health body to get new life
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The district administration has decided to revive the local unit of the Association for Social Health of India (ASHI) with immediate effect, filling a big gap in the social services available to the people of Ludhiana.

This was announced here today by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, in a talk with TNS. A meeting of the one-time members of the Ashi, which is traditionally headed by the wife of the Deputy Commissioner, has been convened here tomorrow after a gap of nearly two years to discuss ways and means of activating this body. The fact that the Deputy Commissioner will himself be attending the meeting indicates the importance the district administration is according to the organisation.

ASHI, which came into being nearly two decades ago, was very active till a couple of years ago, rendering a yeoman’s service in the field of women welfare. It would meet every Tuesday in the Red Cross hall to listen to the grievances of women involved in various types of disputes, including marital, family and in-laws. In most cases, ASHI would make an immediate intervention, calling the other party to the dispute before it and using every means available to it to solve the matter to the satisfaction of the aggrieved party. Frequently, ASHI members would visit the residences of the affected women to make an on-the-spot study and having a first-hand knowledge about the situation.

“The presence of the Deputy Commissioner’s wife on the ASHI was a great help,” recalls a former member of ASHI, who prefers to remain anonymous. “It invested the body with a sort of official sanction and authority and helped its members to deal with recalcitrant parties in a more effective manner. The presence of ASHI in the district became a big deterrent to those who behaved unreasonably or in a high-handed manner in family and marital disputes.”

“We must have saved hundreds of homes from breaking up,” recalls the member. “We also provided psychological support to hapless women who had no one to turn to for help and succour.”

But then one day two years ago, they were peremptorily told that ASHI would no longer function. Instead, all cases involving marital or family disputes would be referred to Lok Adalats. “We were taken aback,” says the former member. “No reason was assigned for this change, but we learnt later from other channels that the decision to deactivate the ASHI had been taken because some party to a dispute had filed a court case against the DC, his wife and other members of ASHI. The DC felt that he could not give up important official work to make court appearances in family disputes of individuals.”

“But I think this reasoning was faulty. All that the DC had to do was to engaged a lawyer in such cases. How can the ASHI allow an offender in a family or marital dispute to get away just because he had filed or was threatening to file a suit against the DC,” adds the one-time member.

The decision to refer all such cases to the Lok Adalat was most unsatisfactory. No woman, howsoever harassed by the husband or in-laws, would like to relate her tale of woe in public. In many cases, the cases involved extramarital relations. Therefore, not many women were forthcoming at the Lok Adalats.

The Lok Adalat met once in three months. There were numerous cases which required urgent and immediate intervention by the proper forum, which was not available, with the result that in dozens, if not hundreds, of cases, situation tended to get out of hand, resulting in the suicide or murder of the woman concerned.

Who should be held responsible for their deaths and prolonging the miseries of their family, asks the former member. “We are lucky that the new DC has been quick to grasp the gravity of the situation and order immediate revival of this important body.” In order to avoid the situation in which the ASHI found itself because of a lawsuit, the DC plans to associate a couple of lawyers also with ASHI.Back


Janata Dal assails government policies
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The state unit of the Janata Dal (Secular) has assailed the increasing lawlessness in Punjab, rampant corruption in all government departments, financial mismanagement of the state government and many other policies of the government, which were detrimental to the interests of the masses and the party has decided to submit a memorandum to the Governor highlighting the misgovernance.

A meeting of the party held on Monday with Mr Harish Khanna in the chair expressed its strong concern on the worsening law and order situation in the state. Incidents of abduction, killing and rape of minor children, robbery and snatching, drug trafficking and other crimes were on the rise and the state government as well as the law enforcement machinery had virtually become mute spectators to the unabated crime wave. In this context, the party has welcomed the CBI probe ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the mysterious death of Harpreet Kaur, daughter of SGPC President Bibi Jagir Kaur as in all probabilities the state government would have hushed up the matter.

Decrying rampant corruption among political leadership, bureaucrats and all government departments, the party has demanded a CBI probe into the “disproportionate” assets of all important government functionaries, ministers, the Chief Minister and prominent leaders of the ruling parties.

According to Mr Khanna, the meeting observed that while the coffers of the state were empty, the state government was finding it difficult to wriggle out of the deep financial crisis and all development works were hit in the absence of financial resources at the disposal of the government.

The party criticised the government policies of liberalisation under directions of the WTO which had led to inundation of domestic market with foreign goods, thereby adversely affecting small farmers, dairy units, small traders and small scale and tiny industrial units. The Union Government decision to dole out free telephone facility to the employees of Telecom Department also came under sharp attack at the meeting, Mr Khanna added.


Congress councillor trades charges with BJP men
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The Congress party councillor in the Municipal Corporation here, Mr Sat Pal Puri, today joined issue with the Bharatiya Janata Party legislator, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, and his close associate and BJP councillor, Mr Pran Bhatia, charging them with adopting pressure tactics and intimidation of senior civic officials to secure favours for their favourite contractors and financial gains for themselves.

During a news conference here last week, the BJP legislator and the councillor had levelled allegations against Mr Puri of having illegally constructed 16 shops on land belonging to the civic body in New Shiv Puri area in the old city. Terming these allegations as baseless and a part of blackmailing campaign, Mr Puri told mediapersons here last evening that the land on which shops were constructed belonged to him and was entered in his name on revenue record. “I have paid house tax for the building and TS-I form (municipal record of ownership) also stands in my name,” he said.

He alleged that Mr Bhatia was time and again raising the matter of the shops in the general house of the MC and elsewhere because the ‘approved building plan’ of the shops had mysteriously disappeared from the municipal records and the BJP councillor had demanded that one shop in the market be given to him but Mr Puri had refused to give in to the demand.

Mr Puri further charged Mr Gosain and Mr Bhatia with systematically levelling serious allegations of corruption against all and sundry, including senior leaders of their own party and MC officials and then retreating back after their ulterior motives were achieved or they were rebuffed. This had happened in the case when threatened with expulsion from BJP, Mr Gosain had reportedly apologised for having blamed Punjab Minister for Local Bodies, Mr Balramji Das Tandon, and state party chief, Mr Daya Singh, with corrupt practices.

The Congress councillor said in addition to seeking undue favours for certain contractors, some of whom were his benami partners, the BJP councillor’s son Mr Pankaj Bhatia, and his cousin, Mr Vipin Bhatia, were working as contractors in the Municipal Corporation in violation of rules that no kith or kin of the councillors could be enlisted as contractor in the civic body.



Blood transfusion to cost less
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — With a view to lowering down the expenditure on treatment of patients suffering from thalassemia, a genetic disorder which causes a severe form of life threatening anemia, the blood screening kits and blood collecting bags would be provided free of cost to the DMC, the CMC and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. This will reduce the costs of each blood transfusion by about Rs 175.

This was decided at a meeting of the Punjab Thalassemic Welfare Society, representatives of different hospitals and officers of the health department held here today under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu.

The representatives from the DMC, the CMC and Guru Tegh Bahadur Charitable Hospital informed that transfusion per unit blood charged was relatively high and the poor were unable to bear this cost. The Deputy Commissioner urged these hospitals to reduce the cost and assured that the District Red Cross society would provide sufficient number of blood units for these patients.

The Deputy Commissioner disclosed that every year about 10,000 children were born with this affliction and half of them were of Punjabi origin. He directed the Civil Surgeons to identify the extremely poor patients who were unable to bear the charges so that they could be suitably helped through the District Red Cross Society and other charitable hospitals.

Mr Sandhu said that the functioning of the District Red Cross Society would be streamlined and more and more blood donation camps organised to collect sufficient blood. He appreciated the efforts initiated by some of the doctors and private individuals by forming the Punjab Thalassemic Welfare Society.

Dr Praveen Sobti of the DMC said the management of thalassemia required a multi-pronged approach and consisted of blood transfusion, iron chelation, regualr monitoring and prevention through screening. Such specialised treatment was available at 20 centres across the country. In Ludhiana both the DMC as well as the CMC had this facility.

Among others who attended the meeting included Mr Tejveer Singh, additional deputy commissioner (D), Mr S.P. Malik, secertary, Red Cross Society, Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon and representatives from various city hospitals.


Two caught for selling spurious drink
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The police has arrested two persons who used to sell coloured water in the guise of a cold drink. A case under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC, Section 7 of the EC Act and Sections 57 and 69 of the Copyright Act has been registered against them.

According to the police sources, the two accused — Gopal Das and Rajesh Kumar used to sell a coloured liquid by calling it sharbat. A police team led by the SI Jaswinder Singh, SHO of the Salem Tabri police station, arrested these two from Bhadurke Road here. It also seized one soda machine, two gas cylinders, one motor, two vacuum-operated sealing machines, 182 filled bottles of the drink and 200 empty bottles.

The accused had been in this business for almost two years and were selling this fake drink in bottles under the trade names Lemon, Pepco and Abhi. Reportedly, the accused used to buy the bottles at Rs 2 each from a junk dealer. After this, they used to sell these to unsuspecting persons at Rs 3 per bottle. Since customers returned the bottles to them, they were incurring a profit of Rs 1 per bottle.

These persons also used to sell their wares to rehri-owners and general merchants in the area. They usually sold as many as 200 bottles in a day.

Liquor seized: The Excise Department again raided liquor smugglers at Dhokkan Mohalla here past night and seized two cases containing 18,000 ml of illicit liquor.

According to the information available, a team of four excise inspectors was on a patrol near Dhokkan Mohalla when they saw a person on scooter (PJL- 4246) who was allegedly carrying some boxes of illicit liquor. The driver ran away, leaving behind the liquor cases. The police has registered a case under Sections 61, 1 and 14 of the Excise Act.

In another case, 28 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from a person called Hem Raj from the Bahadurke village.

Fraud alleged: A person has accused a pager-company employee of defrauding him by wrongfully claiming his lucky-draw prize. In an FIR registered at the Division No. 5 police station, Joginder Singh Bhatti alleged that he had bought a pager from Randhir Singh, an employee of Max Page. Later, he had won a pager in a lucky draw, but, the employee got it for himself.Back


Making beeline for IT courses
From Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, June 13 — With several Ludhiana youngsters opting for professional computer courses, Information Technology (IT) seems to have become the most lucrative career. Despite charges being quite high, there is no looking back. More job opportunities in India as well as abroad and high income are two big attractive factors.

Says Mr Sandeep S. Virdi, Centre Head, Asset International, “These days demand for IT professionals is on the rise and their availability is less. Therefore, most of the individuals who choose this line get well-placed.” Simerat Baweja, who aspires to be a web-page designer, is doing an e-commerce course. “Almost all the people engaged in business want to have a website designed. With this growing demand, several website designing companies have come up. Therefore, soon after I complete this course, I do not think I will have problem in finding out a good job,” she says.

Rajvipan is BE computers. He too is doing an e-commerce course. He has opted for this course for he believes that this is the in-thing. He explains, “There are so many vacancies in this field and so I hope to be well-placed.” Ashish Dua is also doing an e-commerce course because this will help him in his export business. He plans to develop his website and, therefore, expand his business. Rohit Sood is doing a three-year GNIIT course. Though the charges are quite high, it does not really matter to him. He thinks this course is in demand and a job will be easily available.

Interestingly, several NRIs are also in town for doing professional courses. The reason is basically low cost in India vis-a- vis abroad. Rajeev Sharma has come from the US and has put up at his grandparents’ place. He is doing an MCSE course here. He is interested in working as networking administrator in the US after clearing the examination here.

Information Technology has taken into its grip people from all professions. “Doctors, engineers, accountants, businessmen and journalists have registered themselves for computer courses here,” informed Aarti Mahajan, Technology Consultant, Asset International.

Mankirat Gill, a freelance fashion designer, is doing graphic designing at Arena Multimedia. She says, “It is easier and cheaper. I want to learn computers because I believe if one has to survive in this tough competition, computer knowledge is a pre-requisite. Knowledge of computers helps me surf the Internet and find out the latest fashion trends in the West.”

Suguna Bhasin has done BFA from Chandigarh and is doing a multimedia course. “I plan to get into advertising for which computer knowledge is a must. Designing on computers has replaced manual work which is much laborious.” Packed computer centres which are open for almost 12 hours a day clearly prove as to how IT has become the number one profession everywhere these days.Back




Tuitions — a bane of education system
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The education system is getting commercialised day by day. No stress is laid in the schools to strengthen the base of children. The teachers mostly deprive the students of basic education. There are many flaws in the present education system.

The main cause which hampers the education system is private tuitions. The teachers of today are so self-centered that they are least bothered for the progress of children. The main motive of teachers today is to grab more and more tuitions.

A cross-section of people The Tribune talked to observed that the growing selfish motives in most of the teachers make students the main sufferers. Students also pay less attention in the class and are more prone to tuitions. It is a trend among children of all ages to go for tuitions. Children are send for tuitions at a very tender age. The children get used to tuitions from childhood.

Private tutorials is a kind of business for the new generation teachers. Most people feel that in the past, teachers were more dedicated towards students. Average middle-class people find it difficult to make their children compete in the present education system. The cost for the education is getting high. At present, the teachers are charging excess money for petty subjects also.

It is alleged that some teachers compel students to opt for tuitions. The students are not imparted complete knowledge about the particular subject in the class and so they rush for tuitions to the teachers concerned. With this type of education system cropping up, students are going to suffer a great loss.

The teachers carry on different groups consisting of ten to fifteen students in a day. The charges of such groups is not less than Rs 1,500. If one opts for an individual private tuition for maths or any science subject, it is around Rs 3,000.

The profession of a teacher was supposed to be a noble one. But today it has turned as a money-making project. Whatever good school you may be reading in, but in today's time tuition for almost all subjects is a must.

Some teachers have hampered the education system to a great extent by giving importance to tuitions. The parents are also responsible for the practice. With the rapid speed of life and the growing tensions, the parents have less time to devote to there children. To shirk their responsibilities, the parents also prefer to send the children for tuitions.

Even the toppers go in for tuitions. Some of the toppers feel that it is impossible to compete if one is not attending tuitions. These private tutorials have given a bad shape to the mindset of children. They have a notion that private tuition is the key to success. But still there are some teachers who feel that if students concentrate in the class, no tuitions are needed to score better marks.

Akanksha, a student appearing for board exams this year, feels, "I always fear that if a good tutor is not going to teach me, it is very tough to get good marks in the exams. The teachers never lay stress on improvement of a student in a particular subject in the class."

On the other hand, Ish Garg, a Class X topper, says, "It is useless to say that tuitions are a must. It depends more on concentration in the class for a student to get success."

Mr Arora, a serviceman, says, "I find it too tough to get both of my children good tuitions as my pocket does not allow me to do so. It is a matter of great difficulty for an average person to afford expensive tuitions."


PAU to have placement centre
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 13 — Punjab Agricultural University will soon have a placement centre so as to equip all the students to get a good job in their field of specialisation. This was disclosed by Dr S.S. Chahal, Coordinator, PAU, placement cell, who is also professor of plant pathology.

The placement centre will be set up in the Students Home of the university. The centre will have a notice board on which the job opportunities in various fields will be displayed. It will also be equipped with books for preparation of competitive examinations, in addition to a photostat machine. Internet facility is also likely to be provided. “On the internet, students can have access to more job opportunities in India as well as abroad,” says Dr Chahal.

While talking about the aims of this centre, Dr Chahal said, “Our objective is not only to provide suitable placement to the students but also prepare them for interviews and other eligibility tests. On the basis of their aptitude, we help the graduate students to decide as to which line of specialisation they should follow for their master’s degree.”

Though a proper placement centre is yet to be set up, a cell with a similar purpose is functioning from more than six years. With Dr Chahal as the Coordinator, there are five professors in each of the five colleges who have been made the placement in charge of their respective college.

From the past four years, 27 campus interviews have been held. On June 7, a team from Professional Assistance for Development Action (Pradan), New Delhi, had visited PAU for a campus interview with 10 vacancies. Twentyfour candidates had applied of which 13 have been listed and screening is yet to take place. On June 24, a selection team from Mahyco Seed Co, Jalna will visit PAU for a campus interview. Guest lectures will also be held.

Dr S. K. Mann, Dean, College of Home Science, informed, “We have a placement cell in our college but we are able to help only the postgraduate students of the college. There are no good job opportunities for the graduate students. I want the girls to go into only reputed firms.”

However, placement activities in the College of Veterinary Sciences and College of Basic Sciences seem to be a little sluggish from the response of the students from these two colleges.


Dharna by trade union council
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, June 13 — Trade union activists staged a dharna to raise a voice of protest against privatisation, liberalisation and price rise at mini-secretariat here today in response to a call given by joint council of trade unions.

Members of PAU Employees Union, led by Mr D.P. Maur and Mr Amrit Pal, Government Transport Workers union, led by Mr Manjit Singh, Government School Teachers Union led, Sarabha, All-India Trade Union Congress, led by Mr O.P. Mehta, Railway Technical Employees Union, led by Mr Jasbir Singh, Safai Labour Union, led Mr Walaiti Ram, PSEB Employees Union, led by Mr Tejinder Mohi, IV Class Government Employees Union, led by Mr Kuldip Kaul, AGTECH, led by Mr Rajinder Aulakh, and many other trade union bodies took part in the dharna.

Trade union leaders, speaking at the occasion, charged the Union Government with kneeling down before the dictates of the WTO and handing over the public sector to private parties at throwaway prices, which had in turn given rise to the widespread unemployment. Further, the Government had, under its policies of liberalisation and globalisation, given a free hand to multinational corporations to exploit the domestic market and wreck the Indian economy. The speakers flayed the sky-rocketing prices of essential items like power, water, sewerage, cooking gas, and PDS foodgrain and resolved to carry on a relentless fight against anti-employee and anti-labour policies of the Government.


Online licensing by DGFT
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, June 13 — The Directorate-General of Foreign Trade has launched online licensing process in Ludhiana. Ludhiana is the seventh port office in the country to have this facility after Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. The facility was launched by union export commissioner, Mr Anil Swarup, here yesterday.

Earlier, it will take at least one week for exporters to get the export licence. Now the process will take not more than 24 hours. Moreover, the exporters will need to visit the office only once just to collect the licence.

The exporters can submit their application online. It will be processed within a few hours. They can collect the licence next day. The demonstration was given by Mr Swarup at the inaugural function organised in the local office of the DGFT, which was attended by several exporters and senior officials of the DGFT. Mr Swarup also issued one licence to a local exporter on the spot.

According to Mr Swarup, Ludhiana was on the top priority of getting connected with the computers as it was a major export centre.

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