Thursday, August 17, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


7 road mishap victims cremated
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — Seven of the nine pilgrims killed in a road mishap near Raikot late last evening were creamated here amidst heart rending scences. The bodies of the victims were brought to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem examination today.

Nine persons died while 31 were injured when the tempo truck they were travelling in fell off the road around 7 p m last evening. The tempor was reportedly overcrowded and slipped into a deep ditch when the driver lost control.

Deputy Commissioner S. K. Sandhu accompanied by senior officials had rushed to the spot and supervised the rescue operations. He had also ordered for two ambulances for transporting the injured to the hospital. Mr Sandhu today announced an exgratia of Rs 10,00 each to the family of the deceased and free treatment to all injured.

The victims belonged to Sibia Colony in Ludhiana and were coming from Guga Mahrhi after performing the pilgrimage.


Luring people with male child bait
From Shivani Bhakoo

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — Though it may defy natural and genetic logic, a number of doctors here have been luring hundreds of gullible persons by promising them a male child. They have been exploiting the desire among such parents to have a male child by offering medicines.

Different doctors offer different packages, as they call it, to ensure that a woman bears a male child. The charges range between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000. Some doctors have been reportedly charging Rs 50,000.

There are about 12 such doctors in the city, who have launched a vigorous campaign, luring people to get treatment for ensuring a male child. These doctors are practising mostly in the posh colonies of the city. One has been practising near Ghumar Mandi, two near Rakh Bagh and one in Model Town. Most of them refused to explain as to how medicines could change the sex of a foetus.

Some gynaecologists of the city have also adopted this practice. One of the patients of one of these practitioners disclosed that after she underwent an abortion of female foetus, the doctor advised her to accept his package for a male child. Under this package, the doctor said both the woman and her husband would need to take certain medicines before conception, besides observing some prescribed discipline and precautions. The package would cost her Rs 20,000. The treatment starts at least four months before conception.

On persistent efforts one of the doctors has explained the procedure, claiming that the sperms are treated with a solution which settles the X chromosomes at the base of the container, while the Y chromosomes float on the surface. He informs that it is then that the solution rich in Y chromosomes is injected into the uterus, which ensures the conception of a male child.

The doctor claimed that the success rate was 99 per cent. "In case a male child cannot be conceived through this procedure, there is little chance of a male child in the future," the doctor claimed. Without naming the solution meant for the treatment of the sperms, he claimed it was being imported and was too expensive. The entire process is done through artificial insemination. The doctor disclosed that on an average, he treated three or four couples in a month. He claimed that a male child was conceived in all cases.

Another gynaecologist had a different procedure to suggest. She claimed that she did not advise the procedure for money as she would offer it voluntarily. This included giving up all milk products for the would-be mother and consumption of citro-soda packs by the father at least two months before conception. Though she did not claim 100 per cent results, she said she had found the procedure quite useful and fruitful.

As the doctors insist on concealing the identity of their patients, it is difficult to confirm the authenticity of their claims. This does not prevent them from advertising their claims widely. This is despite the Indian Medical Association having time and again objected to any type of advertisements by doctors, particularly those relating to claims of ensuring male children.


Woman tortured, foetus killed
From Our Correspondent

SAHNEWAL, Aug 16 — A woman is reported to have been physically tortured by her dowry seeking in-laws, resulting in the premature death of her unborn child.

Ms Jasbir Kaur of Chander Nagar, Ludhiana, was married to Jhamman Singh of Miawal village last year. All was well for some time, but after a few days, the in-laws allegedly started showing their true colours. It began with the demand for a scooter. The inability of the girl's parents to fulfil it complicated the situation.

Ms Jasbir Kaur had to undergo regular beating and torturing by her husband, father-in-law and mother-in-law. Finding no way out, she returned to her parents. The panchayat of Miowal village was consulted. The case was resolved by the panchayat and the in-laws were warned not to pressurise Jasbir.

Hardly 15 days had passed after the compromise was arrived at when the demands resumed. On August 11, Jasbir was physically tortured, beaten and kicked in the stomach by her father-in-law, Kala Singh. So severe were the kicks that these resulted in the death of a seven-month old foetus in the womb.

Fearing any further developments, the father-in-law admitted her to CMC, where the victim had to undergo an abortion. She is still in hospital. A case has been registered at the Sahnewal police station under Section 498-A, 406 and 313 of the IPC. Mr Jatinder Singh Khera, the incharge of the police station, said strong action would be taken against those responsible for the incident.


PAU indroduces career advancement scheme
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — Punjab Agricultural University has decided to introduce career advancement scheme for its teachers with respective effect from January, 1996. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Board of Management of the university held recently.

According to well placed sources, about 250 teachers will be benefitted by the scheme. Dr Hari Singh Brar, president, PAUTA, said here today that PAU was the only university where the scheme had been introduced with effect from January 1, 1996, while others had implemented it from March 99, the date of notification by Indian Council of Agricultural Research. (ICAR)

The merit promotion scheme has been withdrawn. The career advancement of teachers, according to Dr Brar, will help the teachers to enjoy a higher designation in shorter time span.

These statutes will apply for the advancement of career of assistant professor as assistant professor senior scale, assistant professor selection grade as associate professor and associate professor as professor.

The career advancement of a teacher will be made on his/her own post without addition to the number of faculty positions on the basis of assessment of his/her performance through the prescribed procedure.

The direct recruitment and the promotions will be made by the Vice-Chancellor.

An assistant professor will be eligible for placement in the senior scale of Rs. 10,000-325-15200 if he/she has completed six years of service. The person needs only four years of service if he/she possesses Ph.D. degree at the time of appointment as assistant professor or obtain Ph.D degree while in service.

The person will be eligible, if he/she has completed five years of service having M.Phil/M.Tech. or M.E degree. It is mandatory for him to be a participant in one refresher course.

An assistant professor senior scale and assistant professor selection grade will be eligible for promotion to the post of associate professor in the pay scale of Rs 12,000-420-18300. A service of five years in the senior scale and Ph.D. degree is essential. He/she must have participated in two refresher courses and made a mark in the area of scholarship.

An associate professor will be eligible for promotion as a professor in scale of Rs 16400-450-20900-500-22400 if he/she has completed eight years of service as associate professor. This condition will be relaxed if the total service as assistant professor/associate professor is not less than 17 years.

Self appraisal reports, research contributions, articles published, seminars attended, teaching contributions, field activities will all be considered for promotion.

Project on fisheries

The Department of Fisheries, PAU, Ludhiana, has been selected as one of the four centres for implementing multi-locational research project, “Fisheries management in the lentic water system: stocking of reservoirs with fish seed”, sanctioned by the ICAR under National Agricultural Technology Project.

The total cost of the project is Rs 83.56 lakh of which 20.6 lakh are sanctioned for the PAU centre. Dr. H.S. Sehgal, scientist, fisheries is the principal investigator of the project. The co-investigators are Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, professor and Head, Department of Fisheries and Dr Gurpreet Kaur Sehgal, Assistant Reproductive Physiologist. The major objective of the project is the fisheries management in reservoirs to resolve the problem of fish productivity, biodiversity and environment, and exploiting them usefully for meeting challenges of food security sustainability and poverty. The project is initially sanctioned for three years.

Non-teaching staff meeting

The Punjab Agricultural University non-teaching Employees Union held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss its demands. The union will support their colleagues at the rally at the Mini Secretatriat on Thursday.


Life ‘learning process’
From Ruchika Mohindra
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — For the dynamic Principal of Guru Nanak Polytechnic College, life is but a “learning process” and each day comes with its own challenges, joys and sorrows.

One of the first women in the region to introduce fashion as a subject in her college, Ms Manmeet Sodhia has carved a niche for herself as the fashion guru of the city who teaches the basics of fashion to all young and aspiring designers.

“Stagnation in any form is bad. One has to be on the move all the time, mentally as well as physically, in order to grow both professionally and mentally. It is with this principle in mind that I have made my life a learning process,” says she.

After doing her graduation in the medical stream, she did her Bachelors in Education and diploma courses in dress designing from South Delhi Polytechnic; fashion designing from IITC, Mumbai; and Textile Designing and Garment Export and Marketing Management from IIFT, Chandigarh. Apart from this, she has also appeared for her Masters degree in English and is now planning to learn French.

She says to satisfy her creative instinct and quest for knowledge she keeps making efforts to acquire new skills.” Life has so much to offer and one can live life to its fullest only if one is willing to learn more. It is this urge to live a complete life that drives me.”

Talking about her childhood, she says she was in awe of her mother, Ms Manjit Sodhia, former Principal of Government College for Women. She says her mother has been a dynamic woman and an authority in her own right. Therefore, she has always seen her as a role model.

“I have not valued money or power. I always wanted to get recognition for my own abilities, and this has always been the driving force in my reach life. During my childhood, I used to stitch clothes for my dolls and this hobby soon became a profession.”

Other than teaching fashion designing, Ms Sodhia has also written a book on the subject “Dress Designing”. The book deals with traditional embroideries and textiles besides giving theoretical information on the subject. She is now writing a sequel to the book.

Ms Sodhia is also a Counsel In charge at Guru Nanak International Public School and teaches English to senior classes. She has twice won the best teacher award by the Ludhiana Citizens Health Council and the Rotary Club besides being nominated as the member of the Committee for Youth by the Union Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs.


Independence was an anti-climax
By Prof N.S. Tasneem

It was after a long struggle by the freedom fighters that India gained freedom on August 15,1947. On that day when I went to my housetop, I looked up at the sky. The sun had risen but it was bereft of its shining rays. In our neighbourhood, the entire locality had been gutted a day earlier and the smoke was still swirling up at some places. Then my eyes fell on the national flag that somebody had unfurled on the roof of a tall building. Smile flickered on my lips but it faded away too soon.

Surely it was not the realisation of the dream of the freedom fighters. The partition of the country had converted it into a nightmare. It had brought bloodshed, loot and arson in its wake. Shortly after the red-letter day, the streams of refugees started pouring in from across the border. The Principal of Hindu College, Amritsar, asked the students to provide succour to the people who had been uprooted from their hearth and home. I remember that in the last months of 1945 we had organised protest rallies in our college against the internment of the INA heroes (Sehgal, Dhillon and Shahnawaz ) in the Red Fort.

The students of all the colleges in Amritsar converged on Jallianwala Bagh whose soil had been hallowed with the blood of the martyrs. At that time time, Independence appeared to be round the corner. The atmosphere had been so much surcharged with enthusiasm that no sacrifice seemed too great for the attainment of freedom.

Dr Saifuddin Kitchlu was not in Amritsar in those days but his companion, Dr Satyapal was there to address the rallies. Both of them had been present in Jallianwala Bagh on the day of the bloody Baisakhi of 1919. Tears rolled down our eyes when someone recited the geet of Nand Lal Nurpuri Main watan da shaheed haan ; Meri yaad bhula deni".

On August 15,1947, Independence did not appear to us a dream come true. At the most it was an anti-climax. Partition had undone the gains that might have immediately ensued freedom. Now to look back to those days is like tracing the lost dream.


Convent Road : lovers' paradise
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — People may have changed, the venues may have changed and times too may have changed.

But one thing is, has been and will be constant for all times to come. The constant steady factor is the natural, though sometimes fatal, attraction between the two opposite sexes.

In Sahir Ludhianvis' time, the lovers' lane was a narrow dim-lit lane connecting the Government College for Men to Ghumar Mandi. Sahir used to meet his lady love there. He was caught and shunted out of college. He said hum nikle nahin hai, nikale naye nain.

Now the lovers lane is Convent Road starting from Convent School and ending a few meters away from Deepak Hospital. The hospital was not functioning for the past two months. So the road was clear for the lovers to meet.

No streetlights in most of the roads, thick foliage and massive growth of congress grass give ample privacy to the lovers who converge there. In the sprawling congested city, there are only a road or two left where these love starved people can meet each other and pour sweet nothings.

Vickey, a chemist adjacent to Deepak Hospital, had a lot to reveal, "Earlier we used to be very interested in who is coming and who is going but now it is every day routine."

"What kind of people come and at what time?" You will be surprised that at times, teenagers of 10th or 11th standard come in the cars, park the vehicles away from the prying eyes of people and stay for half hour or so and move away. You will be surprised, he said, a lot of middle aged people come besides the young people. Sometimes they open the bonnet of the car to show that the car is stalled. We cannot see anything, for there is a black film on the glasses, sometimes the music is on."

Does not the police come and round them up? Mohit, another shopkeeper said, "Yes there used to be a naka here but it no longer exists. We have seen the police taking these couples away at times, but we do not know what happens afterwards. We have never read about it in the newspapers".

Raju had to say, "Any time is good time for them. Sometimes, they park their cars at 2 o'clock in the afternoon only. Sometimes, two couples come in two different cars. Generally cars are used. But at times, the boy will come on a scooter from one direction and the girl from another road. They will stand under the shade of a tree and talk".

"Usually, the cars are parked away from the Convent School gate and also Deepak hospital. Now that the hospital is going to restart, the road would come alive. Maybe, Romeos and Juliets will have to find some other lovers' lane".Back


Schedule for kisan mela announced
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — Punjab Agricultural University has declared the schedule for kisan melas to be held during September this year. The main mela will be held here on September 21 and 22.

The regional kisan mela at Ballowal Saunkhri (district Nawanshahr) will be held on September 8, at Rauni (Patiala) on September 14, at Bathinda on September 26, and at Gurdaspur on September 29.

According to Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, the main focus of these melas was to educate the farmers to get the maximum profits through the application of recommended scientific practices. The farmers will also be given field demonstrations on the sowing of rabi crops. Apart from this agro-industrial exhibition, question-answer session, produce competition and diagnostic services would be other salient features of these melas.

Technical knowhow about livestock production, horticulture, farm machinery, and other allied areas would also be provided to the farmers.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, has appealed the farmers to participate in these melas and have interaction with the university scientists. Back


Independence Day observed with enthusiasm
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — The Independence Day of the country was observed with great enthusiasm in the city, with all major political parties organising functions.

The District Youth Congress (Urban) activists, led by their President, Mr Pawan Diwan, held more than 12 Independence Day functions. Mr Diwan observed that the state government had failed to tackle increasing unemployment and the youth were feeling frustrated over lack of employment opportunities.

Speakers observed that revolutionaries and martyrs like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chander Shekhar Azad and Netaji Subhash Chander Bose had made unparalleled sacrifices to attain freedom of the country, but certain communal forces, patronised by the ruling NDA coalition at the Centre, were conspiring to disturb the secular fibre of the nation. The Youth Congress, under the leadership of its national president, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, was committed to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country, they said.

The Congress and Youth Congress workers took out a peace march from Jagraon Bridge to Mata Rani Chowk in the city to mark Independence Day. The participants resolved to defend peace in this border state and to foil the evil designs of disruptive elements and militants outfits, inspired by Pakistan. Former Secretary of Punjab Youth Congress, who led the march, garlanded the statues of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at Jagraon Bridge. The Congress and Youth Congress workers later offered floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in old Town Hall building.

A former president of the DYC and member the the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Parminder Mehta, presided over Independence Day celebrations at Basti Jodhewal, Salem Tabri, Shiv Puri, Gill Road and Kusht Ashram in the city and unfurled the Tricolour. Speaking at the functions, he called upon the people to keep strict vigil against the activities of separatist and disruptive forces, who were out to disturb the peace and communal amity in the state.

Shri Valmiki Sabha ladies wing, Punjab, and Mahila Congress organised a joint function at Deepak Cinema Road here. The Nationalist Congress Party also organised a number of functions. Speaking at the main function held at Daba-Lohara road in Simla Puri, the district president, Mr Rashpal Singh, paid tributes to the martyrs and freedom fighters. He said even after 54 years of independence, governments had failed to solve problems like poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and rising prices. The party activists also celebrated Independence Day in separate functions in Mundian Kalan, Sector 32 LIG Colony, Housing Board Colony, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Chhawni Mohalla and Dakha.

The Mazdoor Union, affiliated to the Indian National Trade Union Congress, held the celebrations at Gaushala Road. Lt Col H.S. Kahlon (retd), chief coordinator of Atma Raksha Sangh, unfurled the National Flag near Railway Hospital at a function jointly organised by the Northern Railway Pensioners Association, the Railway Welfare Pensioners Association, the Uttari Railway Mazdoor Union, the Punjab State Pensioners Confederation and the Punjab Government Retired Teachers Association.

Members of Bangiya Samsad visited the leprosy colony at Islamganj, where over 100 families of leprosy patients are staying. They provided financial assistance to the patients.

According to Mr A.K. Paul, President, Bangiya Samsad, helping lepers was the best way to remember the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. President of Leprosy Colony, Ram Samajh Pandey, invited the members of the samsad to celebrate Janmashtmi Utsav with them.

Senior citizens celebrated Independence Day at Rose Garden by taking a pledge to crush corruption in every form and to unite the people of all faiths and persuations. Mr Mahendra Pratap Nayyar, a freedom fighter, set the tone of the function with his eloquent speech, underlining the need for national unity. The Mayor of the corporation hoisted the National Flag and a BJP leader, Mr K.K. Jain, asked the senior citizens to show the way to the youth.


Don't postpone anything that you can do today
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — This proverb literally means that if a tear in the cloth is immediately mended, it would require only one stitch. If neglected, the tear would surely become bigger and require nine stitches.

A young-18-year old boy lies a few inches from death in DMC Hospital. His family has spent Rs one lakh on him. Now no money is left for his treatment, for the piece of the land the family had, had already been sold. The doctors need another one lakh, he is on the respirator. The hospital threatens to throw him out, as he does not have money. They will remove his respirator and he would die.

What precipitated this crises? A very minor thing. A rusted nail had gone into his foot. He neglected it. Had he just spent Rs 10 in getting a tetanus shot, he would have been fine. Due to the neglect, the tetanus poisoning has spread into his system. His life hangs by a thread. A young life will be lost for lack of timely action.

Many a life have been ruined for having neglected small things which were small, yet of paramount importance. Atul is the case we are quoting as an example. He had forgotten to set the alarm at five o'clock for an important job appointment. As a result he got up late, reached late and obviously did not get the job.

People in all walks of life like to put off the work with the result it piles up causing stress and tension. Atul says, "I revise my lessons every day, even if the lesson is easy. But I go through it with the result, I do well in examination as I do not have to cram. I am cool and confident."

On the other hand, his brother Rahul says, "I do not waste my time revising lessons every day. Do not I have to play, go for geris etc? My brother is a fool with his nose in the books all the time. His life is so boring?

'But what will happen Rahul during the examinations?" Atul inquires. Rahul say, "Nothing. I am not nervous. My friends and I have rehearsed how we are going to cheat and we do that. Rarely have we been found out. So I am having the best of both worlds". But Atul said that the he would definitely be caught one day and then I shudder to think of the consequences. I think my parents would die of shame.

Most of the times we keep thinking, we will communicate with our friends today, then tomorrow and then forget. One day we sit up and cry for we learn from the newspaper that our friend had died in a tragic incident. No amount of kicking, no amount of remorse can take away the guilt.

All the accidents happen in a blinking of an eye. If and if only one had concentrated instead of looking here or there, they would have been alive and not dead or living as disabled.

If we take care of pennies, pounds will take care of themselves. So if we are careful and take care of small things promptly, the big things will take care of themselves.

We have to become more careful about our attitudes and take the first stitch promptly so that there is no need to put nine stitches.


Aarushi Saksena — a budding artist

THESE days a number of organisations are holding summer workshops for children. But do the children gain by joining such workshops? “Definitely,” says Rajendra Saksena of SCL, whose nine-year-old daughter is learning painting in one of such classes. “Such workshops serve dual purpose for working parents. Apart from enhancings the knowledge of children and instilling in them a sense of self-confidence, they keep them active and busy. It also helps in taking a part of load off the minds of working parents”.

“Catch them young” is an old saying. Who knows today’s budding artists may become tomorrow’s M.F. Hussein, Manu Parekh or Satish Gujral. “I want to become a great artist when I grow up,” says Aarushi, a class III student of Sacred Heart School. She is very enthusiastic about special painting classes at a summer workshop. But can such short term training sessions be really useful?

“These workshops are not meant to teach each and every aspect of art to a child,” says Prem Singh, Principal of Government College of Arts. “These are meant to initiate a child into the realm of art, to stimulate him to express his free flowing ideas in the form of drawings and paintings.”

There is a basic difference between learning in school and learning in a workshop. In the former case, one has to adhere to the prescribed syllabus and maintain strict discipline. So, children feel happier in the relaxed atmosphere of a workshop. The teacher is friendlier and the taught enjoy the time spent in a workshop. A number of workshops are held in summer holidays every year. These may be considered as an extension of what is done in a school. However, it is the duty of the parents to check the capability of the instructor before their ward joins a workshop. An instructor with a good command over his subject, and a genuine interest in bringing out the best in the children, should be selected. A true artist realises that when he interacts with children, it is two-way traffic. There have been occasions when the teacher has learnt from the taught.

Every child (or for that matter, every human being) has an urge to express himself — through words or through visuals. Visuals constitute the first language of humans for which no formal education is required. This language is far more communicative than the language of words.

“I love painting” chirps five-year old Devina Aggarwal, “It is great fun, but I have to keep my paintings away from the reach of my little brother Vardaan. He is very naughty and spoils them in his attempt to paint himself.”

“Every child, irrespective of his age, is an inborn artist. He is innocent and honest. The teacher needs vision and expertise to understand the psychology and sensibility of the child, and sensitives him to art, nature and his surroundings. A workshop is successful if it transforms children into better human beings,” says Prem Singh.

— Thakur Paramjit


Endless wait for reimbursement
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — It has been a long wait for 70-year-old pensioner Radha Krishan Gandhi to get his medical bills reimbursed from the Government Institute of Textile Chemistry. Although he has submitted the bills three years ago, he is yet to receive the payments.

According to Mr Gandhi, after he underwent the medical treatment in Civil Hospital here, he submitted all medical bills and vouchers duly signed by the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, to the Principal of the institute from where he had retired. The bills were submitted in 1997.

Mr Gandhi stated that he had made several representations to the Principal and the Director of Technical Education and Industry, but no action had been taken in this regard. He said it was difficult for him to make the payments of the expenditure he incurred from his meagre monthly pension.


Website on Punjab becoming popular
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — The website,, launched this Saturday by a Ludhiana-based company, has achieved a hit rate of more than one lakh. The site has information about Punjab and Punjabis.

The site gives information on Punjabi culture — festivals, music, dance, cuisine, marriage, attire, jewellery, rural games, handicrafts and agriculture. Illustrations accompany every subject. Photos of old folks sitting under a tree, a farmer ploughing his field, jats performing bhangra and girls in a trinjan doing phulkari work are lively.

There is a separate photo gallery, in which pictures have been divided subject-wise. The site has information on Sikhism. Hukumnama from the Golden Temple is posted everyday. Sikh history is available with pictures. Illustrated information on historic gurdwaras is given. Each section gives the option to send information and pictures to the site for being posted on the site.

Non-resident Punjabis have been alloted a separate section. The section includes information on how to invest. Income tax details have also been given. There is a separate column in which queries have been answered. A helpline for them will shortly be launched.

Several non-residents Punjabis from the USA, Canada, Europe and Asia have visited the site and signed the guest book. There will soon be an opportunity for NRIs to select gifts and send these to their relatives in Punjab. Those NRIs whose relatives do not have any e-mail address can send e-mail to, which will be posted to their relatives here.

The site gives the history and the map of Punjab. Telephone numbers of important offices in districts have been given, besides a list of businesses in Punjab. Owners of the site want to concentrate on the news part.


Man with instinct for innovation
From Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — Mr Patwant Singh Bhogal has to his credit several inventions, the latest being a low-cost automatic machining solution, for which he has used indigenous components.

The machine, with low-cost computer numeric control system, is available at a nominal cost against the market cost of Rs 10 to Rs 25 lakh. Since the cycle industry spare parts manufacturers are not able to spend such a huge amount, Mr Bhogal has decided to devise a new method, which will make the machine more economical and productive.

Mr Bhogal claimed that it was for the first time in the state that such a machine had been produced. He has used indigenously developed mechanical, electrical and electronic components. He has integrated the electronic components available at nominal cost.

This model can have a tremendous potential for the manufacturing industry, such as the bicycle industry and the sewing machine industry, which are in need of low-cost automation. The main feature of the machine is that one can customise the machining solution to one's requirements. A programme can be fed to the machine and it will work on its own, without the need of any attendant.

Mr Bhogal heads the Research and Development unit of the Bhogal Group of Industries, a manufacturer and export house in cycle spare parts. He said his purpose was to invent machines which would be beneficial to the people, particularly small-scale units.

He has other inventions to his credit. He invented the flexible bicycle handle bar in 1959. Normally the cycle has a fixed handle. He invented the flexible and adjustable handle bar, which was convenient to the rider, whether for racing or for ordinary use.

He came out with bicycle brake power store and power acceleration system in 1965. The benefit of this system was that when a rider applied brakes, the energy would not be wasted, but stored and after restarting, would give about 45 per cent extra energy.

Mr Bhogal developed a battery-operated bicycle in 1968. He operated this bicycle for about a year and a half. The bicycle was demonstrated to several manufacturers.

He developed an electronic safety device against the hand-chopping wheat-thrashing machine in 1972. The machine was demonstrated before the then President of the country, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmad, and the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Giani Zail Singh.

He developed a video game in 1991, where four children could play simultaneously. This was followed by the invention of an auto sun-tracking solar cooker in 1996. This solar cooker needs no manual orientation. Once the cooker is placed against the sun, it rotates automatically with the movement of the sun.

Mr Bhogal, popularly known among his colleagues and employees as Fauji Sahab, does not develop these machines for commercial interest. He gives free demonstration and describes techniques to anybody who seeks it. He claims that he is doing it out of interest and not with a purpose to get monetary gains.


Traders hail cut in ST rates
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — The recent announcement of the Excise and Taxation Department, Punjab, to slash the sales tax rates over 24 items has come as a great relief to the trade and industry circles.

The Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association hailed the decision of the department to cut sales tax on tractor and combine parts from 8 per cent to 4 per cent. However, it regretted that the auto parts manufacturers and traders would not benefit from this decision.

The general secretary of the association, Mr Charan Singh Kohli, said that at present sales tax on auto parts was 8.8 per cent, including the surcharge, which was hitting the trade and industry badly. He pointed out this sector was already passing through great recession and was facing problems and struggling for survival.

He revealed that prior to it, items like tractor, combine and auto parts, 8.8 per cent sales tax was applicable, but with a notification, the Punjab Government had raised sales tax on auto parts, including tractor and combine parts, from 5 to 12 per cent which was applicable from June 5. After resistance from the industry the government had reduced it from 12 to 5 per cent. But again it was declared that 8.8 per cent sales tax (including surcharge) will be applicable from May 18.

Appealing to the government to include auto parts manufacturing industry also in the notification, the association said it was quite possible as the decision was yet to be approved by the Cabinet. 


Shares, unlike diamonds, are not forever’
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 16 — At 29, Mr Vishwa Nath Dhiri, is the youngest president of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange. At present he is in his second term as the president. During his first term (1989-1992) he spent most of his time supervising the construction of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange building.

The presidentship of the exchange has made his own business suffer. The job of president is demanding. I cannot do justice to it if I pay full attention to my company.”

He was an average student in both school and college. But he says, “it has been found that average students excel later on.” He was given the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award in 1996 by the International Economic Forum, New Delhi. Some of the other feathers in his cap are: Outstanding Alumni Award in 1992 by Management Alumni Association of Business Management, PAU and Outstanding Young person award, 1991 by the Ludhiana Chamber of Jaycees.

Under his leadership, the LSE because the first regional exchange to set up Depository Participant (DP) Services for dematerialised securities for its members in 1998. The LSE has provided full-fledged DP Services to the Investors, again for the first time in the country.

The LSE commissioned its new building in 1992. This project was completed in time, despite obstacles such as scarce funds, shortage of material, electricity and the turmoil in Punjab.

Mr Pradeep Satija, one of his childhood friends and a broker, describes him as a good friend who takes his duties very seriously. His own business has suffered on account of his total commitment to the exchange.

Mr T.S. Thapar recalls that Mr Dhiri won the election for the post of president by a thumping majority. Mr Rajesh Kalra another stock broker describes him as a silent worker who not show off.

Another broker who did not want to be named, however, felt that Mr Dhiri could not take quick decisions. “He ponders over a problem for too long and when a decision is taken, the problem has already blown off. He is not bold enough to take tough decisions.”

Contrary to this Mr Tarvinder Dhingra, a director of the exchange, said, Mr Dhiri is a democratic person. After analysing a situation, he takes the directors into confidence before taking a major decision. Mr Pradeep Satija said, “He takes time to take decision but that is because he goes by the rules and is never in haste.”

His family has got used to the fact that he cannot devote much time to them, but they are relieved that in September he will relinquish his duties. Then, they hope his business will also pick up as he will have more time to devote to it.

His advice to the investors is!

1. They must understand that investing in the stock market needs skill. To trade in the market may look easy but it can be a tricky business.

2. Develop analytical skills, or consult a professional.

3. Do not go by rumours, or unauthentic information.

4. Professionals do not charge much. Only 5 paisa to 15 paisa a hundred rupee. According to the latest estimate, over 27 million people directly or indirectly have invested money in shares. So if the people follow advise they can’t lose money.

Anyway shares are not like diamonds which are for ever. They have major ups and downs.

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