Monday, August 21, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mixed response to RBI guidelines
From A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — The Reserve Bank of India has revised the guidelines for the recovery of dues related to non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks in the country.

The new guidelines issued by the RBI earlier this month have evoked a mixed reaction from thousands of sick small-scale industrial units at Ludhiana and elsewhere in Punjab and Haryana. Mr A. Ghosh, Chief General Manager of RBI, has said that after a review of the compromise settlements of NPAs through the Settlement Advisory Committees (SACs), the progress of the recovery of the NPAs this way has not been found to be encouraging.

The recovery position with regard to the categories of borrowers other than small-scale units has also not been satisfactory. While banks should take effective measures to strengthen the credit appraisal and post-credit monitoring to arrest the incidence of fresh NPAs, a more realistic approach is needed to reduce the stock of existing and chronic NPAs in all categories.

For this reason, it has been decided to modify the guidelines to provide a simplified, non-discretionary and non-discriminatory mechanism for recovery of the stocks of the NPAs. All public-sector banks should uniformly implement these guidelines, so that maximum realisation of dues is achieved from the stock of NPAs within a stipulated time.

The revised guidelines will cover the NPAs related to all sectors, including the small-scale sector. The guidelines will not, however, cover cases of wilful default, fraud and malfeasance. Banks should identify such cases and initiate prompt action against defaulters. Accordingly, in modification of the guidelines in a circular issued on May 25, 1999, the revised guidelines for recovery of dues related to the NPAs of public-sector banks are as follows: A) Guidelines for recovery of the NPAs upto Rs 5 crore: Coverage — The revised guidelines will cover all the NPAs in all sectors irrespective of the nature of business, when these have become doubtful or declared loss on March 31 with outstanding balance of Rs 5 crore and below on the cut-off date.

— The guidelines will also cover the NPAs classified as substandard on March 31, 1997, which have subsequently become doubtful or entered the loss category.

— These guidelines will also cover cases pending before courts/DRTs/BIFR, subject to consent decree being obtained from courts/DRTs/BIFR.

— Cases of wilful default, fraud and malfeasance will not be covered.

— The revised guidelines will remain operative only upto March 31, 2001.

Settlement formula: Amount and off date — NPAs classified as doubtful or have shown loss on March 31, 1997.

— The minimum amount that should be recovered under the revised guidelines in respect of the compromise settlement of the NPAs, classified as doubtful or have shown loss on March, 31, 1997, would be 100 per cent of the outstanding balance in the account on the date of transfer to the protested-bills account or the amount outstanding on the date or happened earlier, as the case may be.

The NPAs classified as substandard on March 31, 1997, which became doubtful or showed loss subsequently — The minimum amount that should be recovered in respect of the NPAs classified as substandard on March 31, 1997, which became doubtful or showed loss subsequently, would be 100 per cent of the outstanding balance in the account on the date of transfer to the protested-bills account or the amount on the date on which the account was categorised as doubtful NPAs, whichever happened earlier, plus an interest at the existing prime lending rate from April 1, 1997, till the date of final payment.

Payment — The amount of settlement arrived at in both cases as above, should preferably be paid in one lump-sum installment. In cases where borrowers are unable to pay the entire amount in one lump-sum instalment, at least 25 per cent of the amount of settlement should be paid upfront and the balance amount of 75 per cent should be recovered in instalments within a year along with an interest at the existing prime lending rate from the date of settlement upto the date of final payment.

Sanctioning Authority — The decision on the compromise settlement and consequent sanction of waiver or remission or write-off should be taken by a competent authority under the delegated power.

Non-discretionary treatment — The banks should follow these guidelines for compromise settlement of all the NPAs covered under the revised scheme, without discrimination. A monthly report on the progress and details of settlement should be submitted by the authority concerned to a higher authority and the central office.

Banks should give a notice by August 31, 2000 to the eligible defaulters to avail themselves of the opportunity.

Reporting to the board: Under the revised guidelines, the banks should submit a quarterly report on the progress in the recovery of the NPAs to the board of directors. A copy of this quarterly progress report should also be sent to the RBI.

Guidelines for recovery of the NPAs over Rs 5 crore — The CMDs should personally supervise the NPAs of Rs 5 crore and above on case-to-case basis. A list of such NPAs should be prepared and all cases should be reviewed by the CMD personally. The course of action should be decided in terms of rehabilitation/restricting, one-time settlement or filing of suits by August 31, 2000. The matter should be placed before the board of directors which should finalise a course of action by September 30, 2000, in each such case.

— The board of directors may evolve policy guidelines regarding one-time settlement of the NPAs over Rs 5 crore, covering the computation formula, realisable amount, cut-off date and payment conditions with reference to factors of security and disposability etc. It should do so as part of its loan recovery policy, including the setting up of the SACs, staff accountability and other relevant aspects and decide individual cases in accordance with such policy. A copy of such policy should also be sent to the RBI.

— Whenever a suit is required to be filed against the defaulters who have not volunteered for time settlement, or where restructuring is not feasible, suits must be filed in all such cases by October 31, 2000. Banks should follow up suit-filed cases vigorously and effectively in courts to enable the DRTs to decide the cases within six months as laid down in the DRT Act and realise the dues at the earliest. A quarterly report in regard to this should also be sent to the RBI.

Deviation only by Board of Directors — Any deviation from these settlement guidelines for any borrower should be made only by the board of directors.


Big haul of poppy husk, 4 arrested
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — The city police has arrested three persons at two different places and seized 325 km of poppy husk from their possession.

The focal point police has nabbed Malkiat Singh, alias Meeta, Avtar Singh Tari and Balwinder Singh, alias Jayjee, who were carrying 30 kg of poppy husk.

During preliminary interrogation, the accused revealed that one of their accomplices, Tarsem Lal, had escaped. The gang was reported to be involved in trading in narcotics in the Doaba region, the police said.

In another case, the sadar police has arrested Hem Raj, along with 305 kg of poppy husk. An accomplice of the accused, identified as Avtar Singh, gave the police the slip and efforts were on to apprehend him.

All the accused were booked under the NDPS act and further investigation was in progress.


Idols of Krishna beckon buyers
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — With Janmashtami a few days away, people want to buy idols of Lord Krishna. In Ludhiana, Rawat Ram, a 50-year-old artist of Jodhpur, makes beautiful idols of Murli Manohar. You can buy colourful idols Lord Krishna and Radha at a little price. The idols on roadside fill you with admiration for Rawat Ram and his team.

Rawat Ram has been in Ludhiana for the past 40 years. Idol-making is his family profession. Rawat Ram and his family live on roadside in small jhuggis covered with black tarpaulin. Infants sleep peacefully in make-shift cradles, oblivious of the humdrum of passing traffic.

Chuni Lal, Sewa Ram and the family womenfolk assist Rawat in making of these idols that are made of plaster of Paris. For making these idols, a right proportion of water and plaster of Paris has to be mixed. This mixture is then poured in moulds to give a shape to it. After it has dried, it is painted to enhance its beauty and make it more saleable.

The prices are rather low; the highest price of an idol of Lord Krishna is only Rs 80. In spite of this, there is a slump in the business, but Rawat and his clan expect a brisk sale in the next two days.

If you are fond of elephants and horses, you can buy these and if peacocks attract you, those are also available at Rs 10 a pair. Idols of Hanuman are also attractive and encourage persons to buy these.

To improve sales, Rawat Ram has decided to send the idols in rickshaws to the nearby villages. He has spent 50 years of his life on road. It is a pity that those who create beautiful idols have to live in ugly conditions.


New painless cure for kala motia
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — Dr Rajinder Singh, surgeon, of Rajinder Eye Hospital today claimed to have made a major breakthrough in treating cases of glaucoma, commonly known as kala motia.

In the new technique, he uses topical anesthesia to remove kala motia. It is aimed at obliterating the need of giving painful injections for anesthesia to the patient to perform the surgery. The technique is, incidentally, already being used in cataract (white motia) cases in which the outer part of the eye lens is affected while in kala motia, the deeper part of the eye was affected.

Addressing a press conference here today in his clinic before showing a live surgery operation using the new technique to reporters, Dr Rajinder Singh claimed that the method used by him, to the best of his knowledge, was not used earlier by doctors. Two senior ophthalmologists, Dr S. K. Chopra and Dr G. S. Bajwa, supported the claim. They said they had neither heard nor read about the use of such a technique for treatment of kala motia.

Dr Rajinder Singh said he had performed eight operations using the new technique. From now, glaucoma surgery will become a very simplified procedure. He said now there was no need of using 4-6 cc of painful injectable anesthetic medicine which many times led to unwanted complications and in certain cases even the surgery had to be abandoned.

According to him, there were side effects of using injections. Moreover patients of hypertension, diabetes and a few other ailments could not be given the injections. He said the new technique demands putting a few drops in the damaged eye which numbs the portion to be operated upon.

With this technique, even the time consumed before, during and after the operation would reduce to a large extent.

The patient, Ms Balwinder Kaur of Kot Mangal village, near here, told reporters after the operation that she was feeling fine and had not experience any pain during the operation.

The doctor said he was preparing a detailed report and would soon send it to prestigious medical journals for publication.


New Rotary and Innerwheel teams installed
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — Thousands of crores of rupees have been spent worldwide by Rotary clubs on the eradication of polio. Due to the untiring efforts of members of Rotary and Innerwheel clubs, Ludhiana, Mid Town, in Rotary District 3070, no polio case has been detected this year, said Mr Arun Jain, Governor of the district, at the installation ceremony of both the Rotary and Innerwheel Club of Ludhiana Mid Town here last night.

The outgoing President, Mr Ramesh Goel, paid rich tributes to Mr Paul Harry, who started the Rotary Club to help the needy people with the motto ‘Service above self’. Mr Arun Jain, chief guest, installed Mr Ravi Mahajan as the President. Dr (Ms) Asha Jairath, chief guest of the Innerwheel Club, installed Ms Jaspal Kaur as the President. Both the presidents introduced their teams to the audience.

Mr Ramesh Goel, a former President, donated a keretometer, a machine for testing the eyes, worth Rs 1.25 lakh to Krishna Charitable Hospital where the Rotary Ludhiana Mid Town started a project of Eye Care Centre in 1998-99 and is continuing till date. The equipment of the OPD ward and operation theatre worth more than Rs 10 lakh was given by the Rotary Mid Town. The latest project is to provide the facility of eye operation free of cost to the needy.

The surgeons using an imported lens implant in the eye operation, each of which costs Rs 2,000. As many as 50 operations will be performed and the cost will be borne by the members of these two clubs.

The donation of 37 points of blood to the Thalassemia Welfare Society is also worth mentioning. The club has set up a science laboratory.


Beant Singh's anniversary
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — As part of preparations to observe the fifth death anniversary of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in a befitting manner, a meeting of congress functionaries was convened by a former vice-president of the Punjab youth congress, Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri, at Dugri village last evening.

Addressing the meeting, the district congress committee (rural) president and party legislator, Mr Harmohinder Singh, observed that not only the congress or its front organisations, but the entire people in the state should observe the occasion together because it was only due to a relentless war waged against terrorism by the then Chief Minister that peace and normalcy could be restored in this border state.

A former Punjab assembly speaker, Mr Harnam Das Johar, said that Mr Beant Singh had laid down his life for the sake of bringing back peace to Punjab and his sacrifice was unforgettable.

Mr Sukhwant Dugri announced that a big public rally would be organised in Grain Market at Payal, the native place of Mr Beant Singh in Ludhiana district on August 31, which would be presided over by the PPCC president, Capt Amarinder Singh. Many senior party leaders from the Centre and the state were also expected to participate in the rally to pay homage to the former chief minister.

Among others present at the meeting were Mr Gurbir Singh Baku, Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Mr Jagjit Singh Lambra, chairman, block samiti, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, Mr Manjit Singh Humbran, president, DYC (rural), Mr Kirpal Singh Aujla, Mr Dinesh Tak and Mr Suresh Rudra.

Mr Sukhwant Singh Dugri addresses a meeting at Dugri village in Ludhiana to finalise the programme for a state-level function to mark the death anniversary of former Chief Minister Beant Singh. 


DYC honours Indian spy
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — The District Youth Congress (urban) organised a function to honour Indian spy Baba Lachman Singh who had been in Pakistan jails for 18 years and had twice escaped the death sentence.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President, Capt Amarinder Singh, presented him a gold medal, shawl and memento. The leader of the Congress legislature party, Choudhry Jagjit Singh, a Congress MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, the Punjab Youth Congress President Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, the DYC President, Mr Pawan Diwan and the PPCC Secretary, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, were also present on the occasion.

The PPCC President said Baba Lachman Singh was a “living martyr” who had served his motherland in the face of great personal risk. He said patriots like him deserved honour from society. He said the government had neglected Baba Lachman Singh, who was living in abject poverty in the town.

Choudhry Jagjit Singh and Mr Ghalib, congratulated the Youth Congress for honouring the Indian spy.

The PPCC Vice-President, Mr Sant Ram Singla, its General Secretary, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, the District Congress Committee President, Mr Surinder Dawar, the DCC (rural) President Mr Harmohinder Singh, former Punjab minister, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha and Gopal Monga were among those who spoke on the occasion.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President, Capt Amarinder Singh, honours Indian spy Baba Lachman Singh at Ludhiana on Sunday. — RB


Cong, YC pay tributes to Rajiv Gandhi
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — Former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi's birthday was celebrated by the congress and the Indian youth congress at two different functions in the city in which the party activists paid rich tributes to him, saying the slain leader was instrumental in bringing about a scientific and technological revolution in India.

Speaking at a state-level function organised in the Sherpur locality to remember Rajiv Gandhi, the Punjab pradesh congress committee (PPCC) president, Capt Amarinder Singh, described the slain leader as a great visionary, with a scientific mind, who had literally prepared the ground for the nation to proceed towards the computer age and the 21st century.

He recalled that the entire family, right from the country' first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had made invaluable contributions to build the modern India and to lead the country towards scientific and technological advances, industrial progress, agricultural revolution, which had made India a significant nation in the world.

The PPCC chief observed that the nation was indebted to the Gandhi family because in an almost unparalleled sequence of events, the mother (Indira Gandhi) and the son (Rajiv Gandhi) had sacrificed their lives in an identical manner for the sake of unity and integrity of the country.

The congress legislature party chief, Choudhry Jagjit Singh, the PPCC general secretary, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and the district congress committee president, Mr Surinder Dawar, were among those who paid tributes to the former prime minister.

Addressing another function organised by the DYC in Shaheed Bhagat Singh stadium at Pakhowal Road, the state president of the IYC, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, remarked that under the regime of Rajiv Gandhi, the nation had ushered in an era of development and progress. It was the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who had strived hard to create computer awareness and a massive communication breakthrough in the country.

Other speakers, including Mr Bawa and Mr Diwan, focused on various other major steps like more powers to panchayats and reduction in the age for voting rights, taken by the then congress government under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi.

IYC activists present at the function vowed to work for creating an atmosphere of brotherhood and amity where there was no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, religion or language.


Mending shoes whole day for a pittance

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — 

Cobbler, cobbler mend my shoe

Have it ready by half past two

The cobblers on the Ferozepore Road, Sarabha Nagar, Civil Lines do keep the shoe ready by half past two, but most of the time the people do not come to collect at the scheduled time. Since they do not have shops, they have to lug the shoes to their homes and bring them back the next day. Very inconsiderate.

Their tools of trade are very simple. Some leather pieces, an anvil, nails, a hammer and a plier-like instrument to bring out the nails, a mat, and a box to store the uncollected shoes.

Rajesh plies his trade on the Ferozepore Road. He buys discarded pairs of shoes, repairs them and sells them at a profit of Rs 25. He hails from Bihar. Kapil is also from Bihar. Their working hours are long — at least eight to 10 hours a day.

Bhisam, an old cobbler, sits on the Pakhowal Road. In the past 25 years, his face has become weather beaten. He has bent double, but even at 70, he is a good craftsman. He has not involved any of his sons in his ancestral trade as he says, "First of all there is not much money and then we have to work in the open. We hardly get any protection from the elements. Moreover, there is no dignity left in this work."

Puran has been sitting under a neem tree in Civil Lines for the past 25-26 years, mending, repairing, polishing shoes and earning only Rs 50 to Rs 60 per day.

Their income varies. But on an average, they can earn about Rs 50 to Rs 60 only. They cannot afford to bring their families here, so they leave them back in their villages.

In the USA, people just throw away broken things as to get them repaired, costs a lot of money. But in India, we do not do it. We do not have the heart to do it. So in this context, the cobblers assume importance. By giving around Rs 10 or so, we can continue using the same shoe and save a lot of money.

The cobblers have to bear the vagaries of weather. Some of them are so poor that they cannot even afford an awning. So let us not haggle with them over petty sums.

Rajesh sits under a bargad tree just opposite Park Plaza. What an irony it is! People walk into Park Plaza and spend Rs 60 on a coke whereas poor Rajesh has to slog eight hours to earn that much money.

All of them said that they had no time for entertainment. Their life was work, work and more work of a similar kind.

Another cobbler, Rajesh, roams on his cycle calling out, 'polish-polish'. To the query why he did not have a permanent sitting place, he replied, "Moving around on my cycle gives me a lot of freedom. Moreover, when the marriage season comes, I join as a waiter with any caterer. Who wants to do the job of a cobbler then? I am doing it these days because it is the lean season." — AABack


In defence of the medical community — I

Of late, the medical profession has come under close scrutiny by the media in Ludhiana. Doctors have been called commission agents and blamed for being insensitive to the needs of the community.

In one of the recently published articles, an appeal was made to the local administration to monitor the fee structure as well as the functioning of private hospitals in the city. There has also been an attempt by a few medical professionals to wash their dirty linen in public. Such reporting by the media, tends to depict the medical profession in a poor light and undermines the good and dedicated work done by the city doctors under difficult circumstances in a commercial city like Ludhiana.

In this connection, I want to pose a few questions to the media, administrators and the citizens of Ludhiana.

How many times have the government officers and local politicians visited the civil hospital and the dispensaries run by the government of Punjab for their own and their families’ treatment? If they do not repose trust in state-run medical centres for their own health, how can they expect the general public to take medical treatment from such places ?

Ludhiana has one 200-bedded civil hospital and another 100-bedded ESI hospital of the government sector. For a city where population exceeds 25 lakh, why has the government not added even a single bed for the last so many decades? How does the state government intend to take care of the health needs of such a large population ? There are more than a dozen medical departments where not a single specialist or superspecialist has been appointed. Almost the entire burden of the city’s health care is shared by the dedicated private sector and the charitable hospitals.

Many high-ups and everybody, who is a somebody in the city, come to private clinics and hospitals and many of them hardly make any payment.

Land prices in Ludhiana are the highest in Punjab. In order to construct a 30-40 bedded hospital, one has to invest Rs 50 lakh to 80 lakh for land, while a matching amount is needed for constructing the building and providing essential facilities. In the past 50 years, how many plots have been allotted by various government agencies to doctors to make clinics, nursing homes and diagnostic centres? When the government regularly allots land to the industry at a highly subsidised rates, why has a similar facility not been extended to the medical community? For most of the doctors, it is a nightmarish experience to build, maintain and run their nursing homes. Costs are prohibitive and doctors keep paying off debts throughout their lives. It is a hard fact that the cost of running a nursing home is becoming a strong deterrent in the establishment of new medical centres. One has to visit private nursing homes and see that in many such centres, workload is fast declining and many such hospitals present a deserted look.

Only recently, in one of the major hospitals in the city, the authorities expressed serious concern over the falling number of admissions and procedures in the hospital. In another premier medical centre in the city, bed occupancy rate had fallen to such a low level that it was becoming difficult to run the hospital. Many doctors feel that rising competition in the medical sector will force closure of many nursing homes in the near future. In many places, since doctors are unable to open their own hospitals, it is the business community that has taken over financing of the medical sector in a big way.

What is the contribution of the Punjab Government in encouraging the private sector in medicine? Are there any subsidies or tax holidays for the medical sector in Punjab? The state charges them commercial rates of house tax, electricity, water and sewerage. Recently, there has been talk of imposing an additional professional tax. Although, It is an accepted fact that the medical community is one of the best tax-payers in the country.

(To be concluded)
— Dr Rajeev Gupta


Graduating from driving schools
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — Every day about 100 new cars are coming on to the roads of Ludhiana. The craze for acquiring new cars is growing among the people of Ludhiana.

Obviously when certain sections of society possesses more than one car, rather there is one car per member, it becomes a necessity for everyone to learn driving. These days housewives, teenagers all want to zoom off in their own personal cars.

Now who is going to teach driving? The father, a business tycoon or a busy professional. No way. They do not have the time. Even if any family member agrees to teach, sparks fly between the instructor and the learner. Accidents happen when the brother says ‘brakes’ and the sister ‘accelerates’. The novice can damage the car, or even cause serious casualties.

In contrast driving schools provide expert guidance and safety while learning. One of the very popular schools right in the middle of a busy bazaar has a number of clients. When asked whether the clients are nervous to take off amidst so much of traffic, the instructor said, “That is the beauty of it. We give them the confidence. We get rid of their fear psychosis by talking to them and explaining to them about the two clutches, and two breaks fitted in our cars. The cars are so designed that the instructor can apply the brakes or press the clutch to change the gear and thus the learner feels quite confident right from the first day.”

This particular driving school is a recognised one. After the completion of the course, a certificate is issued by the principal. On the basis of that certificate, the learners can get the temporary and then the permanent driving licence.

The owner said, “These days driving has become more of a necessity than a luxury. 90 per cent of our clientele is from the upper middle class or middle class. Only 10 per cent is from those belonging to the lower middle class who wish to take up the job of a driver.

The course lasts 21 days. Everyday the student is allowed to drive for 30 to 35 minutes. For the first seven days, the instructor’s hand is constantly on the steering wheel. After a week, when the learner becomes more confident, he/she is given a free hand.

Training in theory is also imparted on three consecutive Sundays for two and a half hours each. In the theory classes, the learners are given information about different car parts and their uses. They are taught how to change the tyre and detect the faults in the engine.

There are many unlicensed motor driving schools flourishing in the city. The DTO can order their closure anytime. In one such school the instructor picks up the learners from their homes. He picks about 4-5 students, takes them to a traffic park in Model Town. Then he takes one student at a time for a 10-km-drive and brings the student back and in this way he satisfies all his clients. The instructor also promises to get his clients a learners’ licence after taking certain amount of money from them.

There is only one school near the bus stand which teaches driving of heavy vehicles. Rest of the driving schools concentrate on teaching driving of light vehicles.


Are we e-ready?

It took two weeks for Europe to hear about Lincoln’s assassination, and only 1.3 seconds to get word from Neil Armstrong that man could walk on the Moon. Neil Armstrong had rightly said that it was a small step for a man, but a giant leap for mankind. That was the first time technology touched our lives.

The Internet revolution has swept into our life in a way unimaginable till some time ago. Whether it is a Class X student or a film star, a taxi driver in Chennai or a surgeon at the AIIMS, the Internet had redefined the notion of collecting information. It has changed the environment from that of bricks to the world of clicks.

Akash Bansal of Ajanta Exports, a business entrepreneur, collects all information on the Internet. “All that I have to do is to log on to and I get all the information about the yarns or buttons which I require. It saves a lot of time as I get addresses of 50-60 manufacturers and through e-mails I place orders”. However, this is just the beginning as more companies become e-enabled, e-business will soon rule the roost.

Even the shy and coy “bahu of Bihar” is logging on to the, a website for daughters-in-law who log on to get a number of useful tips on household chores. As Pershant Sareen,a lawyer, says, “I never knew how much I could learn from the Net till I started browsing various sites. Now I can prepare my case even better if I get to know that such a case existed before or what was the the weakness or strength of a similar case.”

Insurance and banking have also been touched by the Internet, has brought together a number of competing companies offering financial services on their websites to provide advice to customers. Here they get to know about the latest insurance policies of different companies.

Internet, is now an integral part of our life, like a cup of tea every morning. Dr S C Ahuja, Principal of Dayanand Medical College shares his views: “It is because of the Net that we have access to the vast medical literature and if I ever have a problem, I put it on the Internet and get opinions and cross consultation from other doctors from other parts of the world”.

Thus, time has come for conventional bricks businesses to adapt to the change in the environment and become Internet E-enabled

— Shikha Puri


Designer wear for handicapped
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Aug 20 — Most of the time, the disabled wear clothes which do not cater to their individual requirements. As the task of dressing, undressing and manipulating buttons and hooks is too cumbersome for many of them, they tend to develop inferiority complex.

On the other hand, well-designed and attractive clothing can greatly enhance their appearance, comfort and self-esteem. Students of the Department of Clothing and Textiles, PAU, have been working in this area since 1995.

Beyond the fulfillment of their high physiological needs, the physically challenged people also need safety, recognition and self=esteem. Well-designed clothing adds to their self-confidence.

According to Dr N. Grewal, handicapped people have six types of physical limitations to their clothing requirements. These include those of the upper torso lower limb, lower torso, neck, hands and arms.

These limitations may be due to paralysis, poliomyelitis, arthritis, cerebral palsy or others. Researches have shown that their clothing needs are similar. Certain features need to be added to their clothing to increase ease in wearing and fastening for comfort and for camouflaging the disability. At the same time, care has to be taken that the clothes do not deviate too much from what is being worn by the peer group.

Incorporation of features such as large necklines, large armholes, regular sleeves, large sleeve openings and full front openings make the process of donning and doffing easier.

Similarly, side openings with zippers, Velcro in trousers, salwars, pyajama and knickers are ideal for people having stiffness on lower limbs.

Reinforcement at the point of maximum abrasion such as the pelvic area, knees and thighs for people compeled to crawls essential. Such pepole often use a chappal to protect their hands, but reinforced denim or leather mittens are not only protective but look smart as well.

Comfort of the wearer can be increased by using appropriate fabrics and making looser garments. For weelchair, users it is better to wear garments that have shorter back length so that the person does not sit on the extra fabric.

It is observed that drooling is a very common problem with persons having cerebral palsy, due to which the shirts get wet very soon. Meena, an M.Sc student, says that in such cases, detachable yokes can be used, which can be removed when wet. It increases comfort for the disabled and reduces stress for the caretaker.

Quoting a few more examples, Dr Grewal said, an additional flap at the biceps can be put, so that the rolled back sleeves do not fall time and again.

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