Sunday, July 23, 2000,
Chandigarh, India

C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


UT better in health care: Jacob
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Administrator, UT, has claimed that both in terms of health care facilities and demographic profiles, Chandigarh is better off than its neighbouring states. He made this point while delivering a speech at the first meeting of the National Commission on Population in Delhi today.

The infant mortality rate in Chandigarh is 32/1000, as against the national average of 71/1000. However, some of the recent surveys have brought out that in slum areas, the infant mortality rate is substantially higher. Nearly half of these babies die in the first month. About 33 per cent of the toddlers in the city suffer from malnutrition and anaemia. The maternity mortality rate in Chandigarh is 290 per lakh, as against the national rate of 450 per lakh.

He pointed out that the Reproductive and Child Health programme (RCH), being implemented in the city since the beginning of last year, was aimed at improving the health of women and children. As many as 250 doctors, paramedics and other community leaders had been trained under this programme. Training in laproscopic sterilisation and non-scalpel vasectomy will be given to surgeons in the near future.

General Jacob disclosed that emphasis was being laid on the provision of specialised services in slum areas and a number of welfare activities had been started. Priority had been given to basic education for children in these areas. The setting up of 16 slum schools, having 15,823 children on their rolls, including 7641 girls, had been a major achievement, he added.

It was also highlighted that quality health care was accessible to a majority of the population due to the excellent network of primary, intermediary and tertiary health care institutions. But approximately 3 lakh of the total 10 lakh population continued to live in slums and this adversely affected the quality of life and lack of basic facilities, including health care and education. Eight mini-health family welfare projects, run by NGOs, were doing a commendable job in slums and rural areas.

The city did not report any case of paralytic polio this year as most of the children under the age of five years were immunised during the rounds of intensified pulse polio immunisation last year from October 1999 to January 2000. The family welfare programme had brought about significant reductions in infant mortality rate, increase in couple protection rate, reduction in crude death rate from 25 in 1951 to 9 in 1998 and increase in life expectancy from 37 years to 70 years. Highlighting these statistics, General Jacob pointed out that for the first time during this decade, there had also been a demographic decline, which was manifest in the reduced birth rate and total fertility rate.

He later emphasised on the issues which needed to be focussed upon to achieve population stabilisation goals by the target year of 2010. This includes major gender inequities and inequalities, particularly in respect of mortality and education; adverse sex-ratio against women; rectification of the rather high maternity mortality rate and improvement of the quality of health care.

General Jacob lauded the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for formulating long overdue National Population Policy. It highlights that in order to achieve population and sustainable development goals, it is necessary to adopt a multi-pronged strategy, which includes promotion of gender equity and equality and education. He said with the concerted efforts and convergence of health and family welfare programmes, Chandigarh would be able to achieve the national objective in respect of population stabilisation much earlier than the target year of 2010.


The trauma of visiting the OPD
By Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — On both sides of the narrow corridor leading to Orthopaedic Out Patients Department at the PGI lie patients writhing in excruciating pain on the cold hard stretchers.

As you jostle your way through the passage, careful to avoid a broken leg held straight with help of nuts and bolts, or the arm loosely hanging from the armrest of the wheel chair, a stench of antiseptics, mingled with painful shrieks nearly make you feel sick and miserable. Welcome to the OPD.

A visit to the OPD this morning revealed that the rush of patients has increased manifold during the last few years following an increase in the number of road accidents, but the authorities have not made any special effort to increase the existing space in the waiting areas. In the given situation, hordes of patients and their attendants have no choice but to wait for their turn in the hot and humid conditions.

Patients start queuing up near the registration window since 7o’clock even though officially it remains open from 8 am to 11.00 a.m. “We come early so that our card is made well in time and we are among the first few to be seen by the doctor on duty,” said Surjit Singh, a patient from Rajpura. An hour later, the place becomes overcrowded since most of these patients are accompanied by atleast two or three attendants. So much so that even doctors find it difficult to walk through the passage to reach their rooms.

Thirty-five-year-old Ranjit Singh, hailing from Jalandhar, has been undergoing treatment at PGI for the last one month for multiple fractures in the leg. Following an accident, he was admitted in the emergency ward and later shifted to the male surgical ward after the surgery. He is presently putting up in the PGI serai as he works as a driver in PCI, Mohali and his family is not around to take care of him. He was brought to the OPD for a routine check-up today this morning by his friend. Ranjit kept lying in pain on the hard stretcher till his turn came. His friend, Pritam Singh said. “We have been waiting for over three hours even though we had come at 8o’clock.’’ Since we are coming to the OPD to the first time, we did not even know that a fresh card had to be made. Now that the card is made, God only knows when will we be called in.

It was an endless wait for sixtyfive-year-old Surjit Kaur, who had travelled four hours from Mansa to get herself examined for hip joint replacement. Walking on crutches, she said, “I am in great discomfort due to travelling and then I have had nothing to eat or drink since morning since we were in a hurry to reach here. I am not even able to go to the toilet for fear of missing my turn.” Her son-in-law pointed out even though we reached in time, we have been waiting for over two hours for our turn.

Ram Avtar, a railway employee from Ambala was getting restless on the stretcher and was repeatedly requesting his son to wheel him in the doctor’s room. Holding his loosely hanging left arm, he said that “Iam in pain for the last one month. And the pain becomes unbearable when one has to wait her for long hours.”

The waiting areas on both sides of the corridor were also full to their capacity. The place becomes very suffocating if the light goes even for a little while. Rajwant Kaur, mother of an accident victim from Abohar was trying her best to keep her son occupied as he waited for his turn. “He keeps fiddling with the nuts and bolts on his arm and I am worried he will just remove it,” she said.

Prem Chand, a labourer from Muzaffarnagar ( UP) lay in one corner of the corridor waiting for his turn. He has in the PGI serai for over an year now following an accident with a truck. He lamented that there has not been much improvement and many a time doctors do not even examine you. They just talk to the attendant and ask them to continue the medicine. “I have been waiting here since. And when my turn came, the doctor called my brother and simply asked him to continue with the treatment for another six weeks without personally examining my leg”, he said.

Even the rooms where the doctors sit and examine patients are overcrowded. The rooms are small yet the patients and their attendants just manage to make place for themselves. The common man is the worst affected, for the rich and the influential do have the “right” connections to get themselves examined from the doctor of their choice without waiting. The long waiting in case of the general public sometimes even extend beyond lunch hour.

The head of the department, Prof O.N Nagi, when contacted admitted about the problem since nearly 150-200 patients visit the OPD on all six days of the week. The problem is likely to be solved once we shift to the new OPD block end of this month, since there is provision of sufficient waiting area for patients and their attendants. He further said that senior citizens and freedom fighters are given preference over others even at the time of making cards as they do not need to wait in a queue and can get straight to the registration window. Though by and large, we do see the patients by turn but serious trauma patients or other follow-up patients who complain of pain are always called in earlier.

Another senior official when contacted said that even if we increase the number of doctors on OPD duty to meet the increased rush of patients, we do not have additional rooms to do so. 


Abhinav’s portrait installed
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — The life-size portrait of ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, who has been selected for the Sydney Olympics, installed in Sector 17, is drawing a large number of admirers and onlookers since today morning.

Commenting on the decision to honour the local champion, Mr Tejbans Singh Jauhar of Tejee’s Studio, said they came to know that Abhinav had been selected for the Olympics at about 11 pm and immediately started work.

It took them more than nine hours to complete the project as a previous negative had to be magnified and enlarged 6,000 times.

He said the 20 inch wide and 6 feet tall portrait was the handiwork of a team of six workers who worked all night long.

It was prepared in the shortest possible time on a German make special Agfa enlarger and printed on Kodak paper. A special processor was also used in the process. Back



Aarti, Jasvinder lead
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — Aarti Mehta was ahead in .22 prone (NR) senior women’s category with a score of 213/300 on the penultimate day of the 25th Chandigarh State Shooting Championship at Patiali Rao Shooting Ranges, Sector 25, here today. She was followed by Priti Sharma at a score of 190/300. The four-day meet was organised by the Chandigarh Rifle Association. The final results and prize distribution will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m.

In .22 std rifle 3 position junior men, Amtoj Singh scored 156/300 and was leading. Daleep Singh Chandel was ahead in air pistol (NR) in senior men’s category with a score of 355/400. Gurparnit Singh Sekhon surged ahead in air rifle (OS) (NR) sub-junior category with a score of 285/400.

In .22 free rifle 3 position (ISSF), Jasvinder Singh was leading at 234/300, followed by Parminder Singh at 231/300. In centre fire pistol event open category, Parminder Singh of Chandigarh Police was leading with 66/100, followed by Harvinder Singh at 48/100. In centre fire (CIVS) category, Manish Jain was leading with 48/100, followed by Daleep Chandel with a score of 48/100. Tie was broken with extra shot.

CBSE workshop: The first CBSE workshop for physical education teachers concluded at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, with Dr A.K. Uppal and Dr S.N. Sharma putting forth their viewpoints. Dr Uppal explained the course content of new curriculum followed in the area of health fitness and training procedure of sportspersons regarding their general and specific fitness. He advocated the inclusion of athletics care and yoga in the curriculum. He said yoga contributed the relaxation part.

Dr Sharma explained the role of sports psychology in physical education and sports. He stressed that the child should be studied as one unit of body and mind for effective teaching and learning process. He further spoke that in sports psychology, the coach played a significant role in the effective teaching of theory along with practical use of physical education and sports. The two-day programme was summarised by Dr Sharma, while the vote of thanks was proposed by Dr G.P. Gautam.

Gymnastics trials: The Chandigarh Gymnastics Association will hold selection trials in artistic, rhythmic and aerobic gymnastics on July 30 at ITBP Gymanstics Hall Coaching Centre to select UT gymnastics team, men and women, for taking part in the 41st Senior National Gymnastics Championship, to be held at Ambala from August 19 to 23. Entries close with the Secretary of the CGA on July 29.

Tennis coaches: The 10th ITF Asian regional coaches workshop in tennis will be held at Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from October 16

to 22, which will be hosted by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia. The workshop was designed for national coaches and others coaches working closely with the National Associations in Asia. According to information received by the Chandigarh Lawn Tennis Association, those interested may give their names. The closing date of applications is August 7 at All India Tennis Association, New Delhi.

Football tourney: The Chandigarh Football Association will hold UT sub-junior football championship for DAV trophy from August 4 to 7 at Football Stadium, Sector 17, according to Mr Ravinder Talwar, President of the association. Entries close on August 1. The players born on or after January 1, 1985, are eligible.

Swimming meet: A swimming tournament will be organised at the Sector 23 yoga centre swimming pool on July 28 and 29. The boys and girls have been divided into four groups. Events to be conducted include 25 m freestyle, 50 m freestyle, 25 m backstroke, 25 m breaststoke, 25 m butterfly, 100 m freestyle, 50 m backstroke, 50 m breaststroke and 50 m butterfly. Those interested may contact Mr Anil Kalia, Organising Secretary, along with birth certificates.


Squash circuit from August
By Our Sports Reporter

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — Squash lovers of the region will have something to cheer about with introduction of squash circuit from August. According to Mr Amitoj Inder Singh, Regional Director, Alchemy Sports Promotion Network (ASPN), the tournament will be sponsored by the Bank of Punjab, which has agreed to provide prize money, amounting to Rs 40,000, in two tournaments during this circuit tournament, in October 2000 and January 2001.

He said the objective of this circuit would be to have an organised system, where players would compete on weekly basis. He told that all the participating schools and squash centers would have internal ranking matches every Saturday and a certain number of players’ names would be displayed on the venue’s ranking ladder. These top-ranked players would have common ranking ladder for Chandigarh.

A similar procedure will be followed in all sub regions. — Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. After 6 to 8 weeks, a few selected players from each subregional ladder will compete for the main ladder. The ASPN programme head, Mr Cedric D’ Souza, along with sports medicine expert Dr P. Kannan, left after visiting the city to study the impact of their last visit in April this year.

The last squash tournament was held in August 1999 at Yadavindra Public School, SAS Nagar. Convent schools of the region, such as Bishop Cotton School, Shimla, Lawrence School, Sanawar, St Stephens’and St John’s School have evinced interest in the game. Mr Amitoj said ASPN would sponsor the players at the Sector 23 Squash Training Centre who could not afford to buy equipment, but had the potential to become good players. At present, nine boys and five girls are regular trainees at the centre.

Amitoj disclosed that at St John’s High School, two squash courts would be functional next week. Tomorrow, parents of more than 100 children of this school have been called for an interaction regarding their queries for the new sport.


These cops cannot make out-going calls
From Our Correspondent

DERA BASSI, July 22 — Due to non-payment of telephone bills amounting to Rs 50,000, the Telecommunication Department has withdrawn the out-going call facility to the Dera Bassi police station, besides the two police posts at Mubarikpur and Lohgarh, resulting in inconvenience and harassment to people for the past week.

Sources in the department said the police department had not cleared arrears of Rs 47,339 for the past one year. The police had also failed to pay bills amounting to Rs 29,255 from May 1999 to April 2000 for the Dera Bassi police station and Rs 13,234 for Mubarikpur police post. This is in addition to a pending amount of Rs 4,850 for the DSP’s residence.

Due to paucity of funds, the state government has not released the money for the police department to pay the telephone bills, according to sources in police department. The department always pays the telephone bills in instalments and that too beyond the due date for the submission of the telephone bills, according to sources in the Telecommunication Department. The telephones of police station and chowkis have been cut on the directions of senior officials.


Keep strict vigil on civic amenities: Shanta
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — Alarmed at the deteriorating condition of the civic amenities in the wake of the incessant rain a couple of days back, the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, today urged the officers of the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC) to take precautionary measures to thwart the occurrence of such incidents.

At a meeting of senior officers of the corporation here presided over by the Mayor, it was decided to keep a strict vigil on the civic amenities which were exposed in the recent rain.

While deliberating on the status of the sewerage system, roads, storm water drainage and cattle catching activities, the Mayor emphasised on the cleanliness of the city, recarpeting of the roads damaged in the recent rains and clearance of the sewerlines and drains.

The officers were also directed to take necessary steps to thwart the rain-related problems in the rehabilitation colonies and slums.

It may be recalled that a newly-built road in Sector 22 caved in as an underground storm water pile running under the road caved in during the rain. Similarly, a bus queue shelter in Sector 18 collapsed injuring two persons.

Besides, hundreds of tenements in the low-lying Mauli Jagran Colony were flood putting the residents to a lot inconvenience. The colony was also flooded last years as the earth filling was not properly done and this had led to the suspension of a couple of middle-rung officials.

And there were also complaints of the blockade of sewerage and storm water drainage system, thus flooding the different parts of the city.

Councillor’s charge: The councillor from Ward No 1, Ms Satinder Dhawan, has condemned the change in priorities regarding the recarpeting of roads in different wards of the city.

In a representation to the Mayor, Ms Shanta Abhilashi, she alleged that the schedule of the recarpeting work in Ward No 1, which was to commence in second week of May, was changed at the 11th hour on the directions of the Chairman of the Road Committee.

Ms Dhawan, who is also a member of the Road Committee, alleged that no priority order regarding the work was discussed at the meeting of the committee on June 5. “The sectors such as Sector 22, whose rough cost estimates have been approved only last month, are being taken on a priority basis whereas the work in my ward was suspended though the estimates were passed by the Road Committee and the Finance and the Contract Committee (F&CC) long back”, she added.

Strongly objecting to the “partisan” attitude of the civic body, Ms Dhawan said that in the new priority list her ward figured at the end by which time the funds were likely be exhausted. The Chairmen of the committees should not be authorised to take decisions on their own, she said, adding that the respective committees should set the priorities.


8 Principals transferred
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, July 22 — The UT Education Department has transferred eight Principals from different schools. Mrs Indira Dhingra, Principal of GMSSS, Sector 32, has been transferred to GMSSS, Sector 21, Mr Yoginder Sandhu, of GMSSS, Sector 40 to GMSSS, Sector 32 and Mr Rajesh Chowdhary, of GMSSS, Sector 18 to GMSSS, Sector 40.

Mr Rajesh Minhas, Principal of GSSS, Sector 38 has been transferred to GMSSS, Sector 18, Mr Gulzar Singh of GMSSS, Sector 22 to GMSSS, Sector 19, Mr Dilbagh Singh of GMSSS, Sector 19 to GMSSS, Sector 22. Ms Sudesh Malik of GGSSS, Sector 23 is going to take charge of State Institute of Education, (SIE), Sector 32 and Ms Swarn Lata of SIE-32 has been transferred to GGSSS, Sector 23.Back

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