Thursday, August 31, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cases of missing children on rise
Parents worried about safety of their wards
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — Cases of ‘missing’ persons, mostly of children, are on the rise in the city and its vicinity spreading panic among parents about the safety of their wards .

While the police has yet to ascertain the whereabouts of a 20-year-old NRI missing for the past two days, a report lodged by the parents of the two 11-year-old missing children of Mushtaq Ganj area on Tuesday has brought to the fore the growing incidence of missing persons.

According to a report lodged with Division No 2 police station here, Krishan and Vikram, both friends, used to play together every evening near their houses. However, on the evening of August 25 the two did not return back in the evening and have been missing since then.The parents in their complaint have not named anyone as suspect as they say they do not have enmity with anyone.

Alleging slow pace of investigation by the police, sources of the affected families allege that the police takes up the case seriously only when considerable time has passed.The parents say that the police first follows the theory that the persons might have gone on their own due to some family problem or for an adventure.

The sources said this theory is followed in spite of the recent dreadful murder of Aman Sood of Khanna who had also vanished in similar fashion. Yesterday the body of a married woman reported missing for the past two days was recovered from the Sidhwan Canal.

The 20-year-old NRI Rajiv Sharma has been missing since Sunday though the report was lodged in the Kotwali police station only two days back. The NRI was reportedly depressed for the past few days. Mr Shiv Bhanot, the uncle of the youth, has not named any suspect, according to the police.

While most of the cases of missing persons do not have a happy ending, police personnel are quoting cases like that of 10-year-old Kaaki to support its line of investigation. The girl vanished from her Mochpura residence on August 16.

A police official of the Division No 2, preferring anonymity, said they had launched investigation about the missing children of the Mushtaq Gunj area. He said the parents had informed them only yesterday about the disappearance of the children and an early result could not be expected. He also denied police inaction in such cases.

While SSP Kuldip Singh could not be contacted, a senior police official wishing not to be quoted, allayed fears of the parents of the missing children. He said the police had dispatched information about the children throughout the state and was hopeful of recovering them soon.


Cop’s ‘brutality’ unpunished
From Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — To travel by train holding a valid ticket is a fundamental right of every Indian. But some policemen think otherwise. On August 20, Reshma was going back to Bangalore after attending her mother’s funeral here. Her two nieces, one of them pregnant and the other with an infant, and her sister had come to the railway station to see her off. They had reached well in time, but the Karnataka Express was so packed that she could not get in.

The train was about to move when a policeman on the beat cornered Reshma, her two nieces and her sister and asked them to follow him to a police chowki at the station near a godown. He asked Reshma to show her ticket and promptly tore it when she showed it. Then he searched her baggage. Finding nothing objectionable, he got angry. Reshma alleges that the policeman, Gyan Chand, was in an inebriated state. He pushed Reshma aside and told her nieces to go in a small room inside the godown.

According to Reshma, Gyan Chand and some other policemen who were drunk too ignored their protests and Gyan Chand pushed the girls inside the room. When the girls protested, he slapped them. He tore the shirt of one of them. Reshma had a scuffle with Gyan Chand and the scared girls ran away.

On seeing the girls running away Gyan Chand started beating me with a stick, Reshma said. According to doctors at Kapur Hospital, where Reshma is admitted, she has sustained three fractures for which she was operated upon a few days ago. The incident has created a furore in the city.

Says Reshma , “The policeman put me in a car and brought me to Kapur Hospital at mid night. In the morning, Gyan Chand offered me Rs 15,000 to keep my mouth shut.”

According to Reshma, she did not want to take the money, but to pay for the cost of operation and the hospital bill, she accepted the money. She still owes the hospital Rs 1500. Her nieces have gone to their in-laws to ensure their safety. Reshma’s sister, Kailash, is finding it difficult to provide her with a good diet, buy medicines and pay the hospital bills which are mounting steadily.

Ms Bubble Sandhu, wife of the Deputy Commissioner, was informed of the incident by Kailash. Ms Sandhu then directed two members of ASHI to visit Reshma in the hospital today.

Reshma is scared that Gyan Chand may return to harass her and threaten her to keep silent about the incident.


Ludhiana ‘needs’ fashion institute
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — A seminar on Product diversification in fashion technology held here, emphasised the need for integrated approach for the small-scale industry in meeting challenges, particularly those resulting from the policy of liberalisation and globalisation.

The seminar was jointly organised by the Garment Manufacturing Technology Department of the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Knitwear Club, Ludhiana. Experts from the garment industry and NIFT presented their papers. Speaking on the occasion Mr Carlo Belitti, a UNIDO expert from Italy, suggested adoption of cluster development programme. He claimed that the Ludhiana knitwear industry, which mostly consisted of small-scale units, could learn from the Italian experience. He revealed that in Italy, there were units with just five workmen, which combined together and formed a cluster, leading to phenomenal success in quality and quantity.

Mr S.K. Bhardwaj, Chairperson of the Garment Manufacturing Technology Department of NIFT, emphasised the need for technological innovation. He pointed out that the changing scenario of the economy and development of technology all over the world had posed a multifaceted challenge to the Indian textile and clothing industry in terms of mass customisation, resource optimisation, trade methodology and communication infrastructure to maintain its competitiveness. He said to face these challenges, there was need to understand the future competition and to chalk out the priorities for re-engineering the business, keeping its strength of employment, lower cost and aesthetic skill intact. He pointed out that there was need for constant innovative efforts, which might take many forms, like cost reduction, higher product versatility, improved process ability and performance in use.

Mr Chaman Danda from UNIDO said his organisation had been providing necessary support to small industrial units by bringing these together when these were not capable of doing things individually. The UNIDO, he said, also helped these industrial units to develop linkage with service and support agencies at local, national and international levels. In Ludhiana, the UNIDO was working in close cooperation with the Knitwear Club, Apparel Exporters Association and Knitwear Development Association.

Mr Vinod Thapar, President of the Ludhiana Knitwear Club, made a strong case for a fashion institute on the pattern of NIFT in Ludhiana, for producing trained manpower for the knitwear and garment industry. He said the annual turnover of the industry was worth Rs 7500 crore, which included exports to the tune of Rs 1000 crore. He said there was acute shortage of trained manpower, which could be overcome only when people were trained here.

He listed several problems related to the industry and also the apathy of the government. He blamed the government for closure of several small-scale industrial units. He pointed out that despite the knitwear industry being categorised as green, the Punjab State Electricity Board would demand NOC. He said this was only an example of the harassment faced by the industry.

Mr Thapar drew the attention towards double taxation. He said while they had to pay tax on yarn, they had again to pay tax on the finished products. He claimed all these factors contributed to failure of the industry.

Mr S.K. Sandhu, the Deputy Commissioner, was the chief guest on the occasion. He shared the concern of the industry and assured total support and cooperation from the government.


She leaves her indelible mark on stained glass
From A.S.Prashar
Tribune News Service

FOR Anu Aulakh, a housewife, it began as a rather unusual hobby. Her passion for stained glass has now turned into a profession. And it is paying too.

But the transition was not easy. It all began when her family had to shift from Ludhiana to Delhi in the early nineties when terrorism was at its height in Punjab. "My husband, Sunil, is the maker of a wellknown brand of sewing machines. But because of the unsettled conditions in Punjab, the business was badly affected. So we shifted to Delhi. That is where I came in touch with certain people who were into the business of stained glass..."

Anu joined training classes in stained glass conducted by a lady at Vasant Vihar in Delhi. "She was a Bengali and used to come from Calcutta to run the classes. I learnt fast. Before long, what was just a hobby turned into a profession". Later, Anu also took a short course of over a month in stained glass in London.

Glass is a magical material, adding comfort as well as beauty to our lives, says Anu. One of its great advantages is that when heated, it becomes soft and can take on varies sizes and shapes. Whether colourless or coloured, transparent or opaque, glass can be formed into many decorative and useful objects.

The decorative art of combing small pieces of glass together to make a picture or pattern is called stained glass. This technique was discovered in the 14th century. The use is so varied that it is impossible to even count the number of things that can be made by using stained glass in one form or the other. In houses, the most common place to use this is a window or a door.

"You can never cease to be amazed at the transforming power of light, as it is channelled through a stained glass window. There is always an element of surprise when the final window is set in place and you see the sunlight reflecting through it. Beautiful doors can be made by this craft of sand carving etching, painting, staining, bevelling and fusing.

"Other than homes, this medium is widely used in commercial outlets like shops, hotels, bars and restaurants. Armed with the knowledge of this craft, a glass artist must show off the glass to its potential and have the technical mastery to build a structurally sound panel for installation while handling the limitation of the medium keeping in mind the form, colour, texture and light, all singing in harmony. Glasswork in these days has become more than a living. It is a personal lifestyle. It relates to architecture, interior design and fine art".

She says there is a great demand for stained glass in Delhi. And one can charge as much as one wants depending, of course, on the workmanship. "Once I did the roof of the bedroom at a farmhouse. It was a hexagon-shaped roof and the stained glass work on it had to very meticulous. Since the glasswork was very meticulous, it took me a long time to complete the roof. I charged at the rate of Rs 4,300 per square foot."

Indian glass is rather inexpensive but Italian glass can cost you a world. Her charges also vary between Rs 2000 per sq ft and Rs 6000 sq ft.

She has set up a workshop in Delhi which she is running in partnership with a friend. Even after her family shifted back to Ludhiana, she continues to remain in touch with the scene there. She visits Delhi every 10 days to look after her work.

She feels that there is great potential for the use of stained glass in Ludhiana. "It is such a big industrial city where people have so much money to spare. People with taste do not mind spending on such fixtures. Unfortunately, awareness about the potential of stained glass is not much in Ludhiana. But I have no doubt in my mind that in the days to come, people will develop a taste for this too..."


Trees, plants improve environment
From Surbhi Bhalla

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — Tremendous increase in urbanisation, industrialisation and use of electricity has exerted a great deal of pressure on the environment. The growth of population and industry has thrown many challenges to the central, state, local government bodies and environmentalists to provide proper healthy environment for human, animal and other lives.

Extent and nature of pollution may vary with the dominance of special type of industry in a particular locality affecting the air, water and soil. Most of the industrial towns have more or less similar problems.

According to Dr J.S.Arora, Department of Floriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, under such circumstances the trees, shrubs and other plants play an important role in improving the environment. Trees serve planet in many ways. These are air purifier, reduce temperature, regulate rainfall, modify microclimate, improve soil fertility, protect soil from erosion and provide shelter, shade, ornamental flowers, fruits, timber and medicines.

A survey of species of ornamental trees growing in four climactic zones of Punjab-- humid zone, sub-montane zone, sub-humid zone, semi arid and arid zone-- was done. Trees of the rural areas have been found in the urban areas of Punjab too, whereas several new introduction of trees have been observed in the urban areas. Ludhiana topped having 71 kind of trees reflecting the impact of PAU in beautification of Punjab. The performance of these trees has been recorded in relation to the air and water pollution. It has been observed that 60 to 70 years old trees of pipal and bor were found growing well near water bodies.

Primary dominating species found are pipal, bor, shesam, jand, falahi,safeda, mulberry, amb, jamun, neem, dharek, lasoora, sukhchain, whereas secondary dominating species found are silver oak, scholar tree, kanak champa, polyalthia pendula, amaltas, sausag tree, maror phali, rubber plant, ashoka, pink cassia and jor tor. Highly prized trees i.e. monkey puzzle and royal palm have also been recorded beautifying many compounds and houses.

Dr J.S. Arora said that the survey was also done in the industrial belt of the city and it was observed that 15 ornamental species were growing pre-dominantly and did not show toxic effects on foliage due to the air pollution. These trees were pipal, bor, sahtoot, darek, silver oak, polyalthia pendula, polyalthia longifolia, rubber, kanak champa scholar tree, bottle brush, kachnar, semeil , morpanki. However, the trees of safeda and dalbergia sisoo were found drying.

The trees which were found suitable for combating the noise pollution are also present. The canopy of tree, size of the leaf and density of foliage are determining factors for checking the noise pollution. For better combating the noise pollution, the trees should be closely planted so that it acts as barrier, double or triple row planting of trees provide better check than single rows. It has been recorded that single row of polyalthia longifolia reduces noise pollution from 107 db to 83 db. The trees which have been highly suitable are: ashoka, polyalthia pendula, silver oak, jor tor, scholar tree, molsari, kanak champa and jiva puta.

Also the survey of arid and semi-arid zone was done which revealed that the trees like neem, dharek, jor tor, parkinsonia aculeata, amaltas, flame of forest, mahua, lasoora, sukh chain and siris have been found growing well.

On the other hand many ornamental tree species have been found declining. The survey observed that on majority of roads the trees of shisam, prospis juliflora, acacia nilotica exhibited higher decline followed by eucalyptus tercticornis. Decline of the trees have reached alarming proposition. If suitable measures are not taken immediately,whole environment may jeopardise. Other trees found declining are amaltas, kadam, gold mohr, fountain tree, australian wattle tree, siris and ashoka. This decline in many cases specially in shisam is due to the attack of fungus, a serious root parasite. In older dried trees, the fruiting bodies of gynoderma lucidium might be visible. Other reason might be due to standing water and high water table near the road due to rice cultivation. Roots of trees die due to lack of oxygen and later on fungus appear. In eucalyptus, incidence was higher in saline soil and boundary plantation affected more than block planting

In urban areas, the tree decline also is due to making concrete floor around tree or root injury during widening of roads. Trees are also wrongly planted under live wires of electricity. Such trees are mercilessly cut by the Electricity Department. Under such situations, tall ornamental shrubs should be planted.


Dearth of persons with a heart, says NRI
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — India is not short of intelligentsia or resources, but there is dearth of persons with a heart who are willing to come forward to work for the welfare of their nation. This is the observation of Dr Rajan Gupta, an NRI who visits India twice a year with an aim to bring awareness on social and environment issues among the masses here.

Dr Gupta believes that the problems of health, illiteracy and inequitable development are the greatest challenges before mankind. If left unchecked, these may lead to suffering on an unprecedented scale. During his visits, Dr Gupta gives lectures on humanitarian issues to students of various schools and colleges. He interacts with sociologists and environmentalists to gather current information in the Indian context.

Dr Gupta is a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US. Explaining the reasons of motivation, Dr Gupta says, ‘‘It is my duty to utilise my education for the welfare of the masses and as a scientist, I am trained to solve such problems.’’ During his visit to India this time, Dr Gupta motivated school students to prepare and give multimedia presentations on social issues. A presentation on Ill effects of smoking was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir. Two similar presentations were held at Vasant Valley School and Modern School, both in Delhi. Dr Gupta believes that these presentations have been successful as these have not only created awareness among school students, but have also helped them develop communication skills.

During his last visit, Dr Gupta worked with the George Foundation, a non-government organisation at Bangalore, to find out the driving factors behind emotional and sexual abuse of children. He also held talks with students of Dayanand Medical College. Dr Gupta will leave for the US in two days. During his next visit to India in January, he plans some more research and arrange some more presentations in schools and colleges.


Colourful start to police meet
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — The first-ever Punjab police inter-zonal meet got off to a colourful start at the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, here yesterday.

Mr M.S. Bhullar, ADGP, Punjab Armed Police, inaugurated the four-day event today. Participating teams presented a march past on the occasion. Inspector Santokh Singh, captain of the host team, took oath on behalf of all players.

According to Mr A.A. Siddiqui, Director of the academy, the DGP, Punjab, has issued special instruction to hold such meet every year to select various teams to represent the Punjab police in the All-India Police Duty meet to be organised later this year.

The event will comprise shooting, scientific aids to investigation, police photography, computer awareness, police dog squad, anti-sabotage check, videography and band competition.

The meet will conclude on September 1.


Declare Banda Bahadur’s birthday a holiday”
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — Bairagi Maha Mandal, Punjab, yesterday urged the state government to declare a holiday on October 16, the birthday of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur and also release a postal stamp in his honour as early as possible.

Addressing a special meeting of the mandal, the mandal president, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, said, apart from these, the government should allot a suitable site, either at Ludhiana or Chandigarh, for the construction of a memorial to Babaji.

It was unanimously decided at the meeting that if the government did not accept the demands by September 15 the mandal would resort to agitation.

Mr Bawa said meetings were being held all over Punjab in connection with Babaji’s birthday celebrations on October 16. A committee headed by Dr Rajinder Pal Singh has been formed to supervise the arrangements for the birthday celebrations.

Today’s special meeting was attended among others by patron Mahant Niranjan Dass Zira, Mr Narain Dass Raikot, Mr Devinder Dass Bawa, Faridkot, Dr Gurcharan Singh Punwan, Sangrur, Mahant Dwarka Dass Ludhiana, Mr Charanjit Bawa Alipur, Mahant Bishan Dass and Dr Krishan Baldev.


Litigants inconvenienced
From Our Correspondent

JAGRAON, Aug 30 — The city had two judicial courts till August 14, when Mr Kishore Kumar, Additional Civil Judge (Senior), relinquished charge. On that day, all the 2000 civil and criminal cases in his court stood transferred to the court of Mr Ajaib Singh, Additional Judge, raising the total number of cases to about 3850.

The list has now almost double. The fate of guardian and succession cases hangs in the balance as the court of Mr Ajaib Singh is not vested with powers to decide the same. The litigants standing in the scorching heat have to wait for hours together and can be seen sending up fervent prayers for the appointment of a second judicial officer immediately for the redressal of their grievances.


Nothing is too dear for our dear ones

PARENTS are willing to spend a fortune on their kids. It doesn’t matter if the dress for their darlings costs Rs 2000. It doesn’t matter that the child would outgrow the dress in a few months, or the dress is made of synthetic material. It could cause rash on the body and could be very uncomfortable to wear, but it should smack of money.

In a survey done by this correspondent, it was found that if you have to welcome the newly born baby in style then all these things are needed. First of all, a plastic sheet covered by nice fabric and two round pillows to prevent the baby from falling which costs Rs 350. Then you have to buy a baby bag which costs Rs 300 or more. The diapers also cost Rs 300 a dozen. Earlier, the diapers used to be stitched at home but now people consider it too passe. The small vest for the new born costs Rs 60 onwards. A baby’s quilt costs more than 1500, and a baby’s blanket is priced at Rs 200 and more.

Mrs E. Ali who has a kid of two years says, “I find ‘pampers’ very expensive. For 30 ‘pampers’, I pay Rs 500, and if I go out I use two ‘pampers’ which would mean I have to spend Rs 1000 on pampers alone. “ Why ‘pampers’? They are very absorbent and convenient as they are disposable. I do not spend much on clothes as I get hand-me-downs from my nieces and nephews. I think it is a sheer waste to buy a Rs 600 baba suit for my son, who would outgrow it in six months. Similarly, my daughter’s frocks cost more than a thousand. But, I get a lot of frocks as gifts.”

Kitty says, “I keep 3 to 4 party dresses for both my son and daughter. Imagine the frocks are always above Rs 1000 and the range can go to Rs 2000 too. With matching shoes the whole outfit can really cost a packet. Daily wear clothes are not less than Rs 400 to Rs 500.”

Why not get them stitched by tailors? “No way”, Kitty says, I do not like clothes stitched by the tailors, then how would my child like it.

The shops are full of accessories, and toys to entice the children. It has become a status symbol to dress the kids in hi-fi clothes with matching boots, hats and purses. The maxim, ‘simple living high thinking’ has receded in our memories. Why cannot the parents allow their children to play freely in cool cotton clothes reasonably priced than to be constantly warning them “Do not spoil your clothes.” When they do spoil the clothes, they do get a spanking from the mother.

“Let children be children and not grown up adults, always conscious of their clothes and their looks and hair styles,” says Mrs Bhakshi, a grandmother. — AA


Camp on environment awareness
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — The Youth Development Unit of the Department of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, organised an environment awareness camp at Nav Bharat Model High School, Virk. Addressing a massive gathering, Mr Alok Shekhar, Registrar, PAU, advised the teachers to spend a part of their study time with the students in discussing the problems faced by them and by society. They should give special emphasis on the environment pollution and steps to be taken to prevent it. He advised the people to grow plants.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, advised the rural youth to work hard. He advised school teachers to raise the standard of education in rural schools. Mr Jarnail Singh, Divisional Forest Officer, Phillaur, highlighted the relationship between man and plants. He advised the villagers to plant at least one sapling on the birthday of a family member or a marriage. Highlighting the ill-effects of environment pollution, he advised the people to grow maximum number of plants to make Punjab green. He cautions the people that the area under forest cover in Punjab was about 5.6 per cent, whereas the requirement was 35 per cent.

Dr G.S. Momi, Professor and Head, Department of Extension Education, PAU, advised the rural youth to develop an appreciation for dignity of labour and to get involved in different projects to gain knowledge and earn money.

Dr G.S. Saini, Professor of Extension Education (Youth Programme), advised the teachers and rural youth to develop direct and close relation with nature. He said the youth was the only force which could reckon with the social evils being confronted by the people. Ms Ravi Datt Sharma, Sarpanch of the village, proposed the vote of thanks.


Kahlon invited to biotech conference
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — Dr R.S. Kahlon, Professor of Microbiology, Punjab Agricultural University has been invited to present his research work at Biotechnology 2000: the world congress on biotechnology, scheduled for September 3 in Berlin.

The theme of the congress is “Molecular key to biotechnology”.

Dr Kahlon is to present his work on development of a novel bioreactor for treatment of coloured effluents of textile industry.

Dr Kahlon also has one of his paper accepted at the European symposium on" Biochemical Engineering Science-3", being held at the Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, from September 10 to 13.


Forecasts: how true?

MANY persons seem to be crazy about the weekly forecast column in newspapers. They feel happy at the positive predictions and upset at the negative ones.

Can predictions prove true for millions of persons who have the same zodiac sign? How is it possible that the details mentioned will apply to everybody, so that everybody undergoes the same type of experience?

An astrologer opines that these may stand true to some extent, but one should not take these seriously. According to him, collective forecast cannot cater to the needs of every individual as detailed information about an individual's birth is required.

Meena Sharma, a student of M.Sc. II year, has firm belief in every word which is written in the column. She says it applies to her every time. It is the first thing she likes to read when she picks up a newspaper and she plans her routine accordingly.

Abhinav never likes to read a horoscope column. He says the future is more exciting if it is hidden. Ajay Thukral, a businessman, says he goes through the columns if he gets time. Kiran Verma says she goes through the column out of curiosity, to see if her predictions match with those of the astrologer.

Uma Sethi, a working woman, feels it is better to be aware if something negative is going to happen. Mohit Bansal, a businessman, says he reads it just to pass his time. Nitin does not know why she reads the column. For Arachana, it is a guiding force. She tends to believe in it as for her, these usually come out to be true.

Bharat Khurana, an engineer, says, " I read because I want to know about my next week. If the predictions are good, I feel happy. Otherwise I do not care as I know that it is not true." — SR


Jain Biradari to celebrate Harmony Day
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — The local S.S.Jain Biradari would organise an all-religions’ harmony day here on September 24 coinciding with the birthdays of five Jain acharyas that day, according to Parvin Rishiji Maharaj.

Addressing newsmen here today, he said the Dalai Lama, Shankaracharya Madhavashram, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and religious Sikhs, Muslims and Christians were being invited to take part in Sarv Dharam Samanvya Divas in which thousands of people from all over the country were expected to participate.

Meanwhile, a function will be organised on September 2 at Devki Devi Jain College in connection with World Friendship Day.

On September 2, nearly 3000 persons would participate in a mass confession as a self-cleansing exercise. Neelam Behanji, who has been living on boiled water for the past 32 days, would also break her fast that day. A tap sadhna Camp would be held on the college premises.


Widow pension function on Sept 3
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — The Shri Gyan Sthal Mandir Sabha will hold a 37th widow pension distribution function here on September 3, according to Mr Naresh Goyal, press secretary of the sabha. During the function as many as 301 widows will also be given ration items.

Mr Baldev Chawla, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, both Punjab ministers, Mr Som Nath Maini, a prominent philanthropist of the city, and Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, MLA, Amritsar, are among the special invitees on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Mr Som Nath Maini has been unanimously elected as president of the sabha.


Cheema heads SDEs’ association
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — Mr Sukhdev Singh Cheema was unanimously elected the president of the Subdivisional Engineer’s Association, Punjab PWD, B&R.

According to a press note released here, the following were elected other office-bearers of the association: vice-president — Mr Jagdish Singh Gill; general secretary —Mr Virinderjit Singh Dhindsa; finance secretary —Mr Rakesh Garg; and press secretary— Mr Charanjit Singh Bains,

Mr Bains alleged that the interests of the SDEs were not being watched properly by the PWD Minister.

The central executive committee of the association will follow-up the cases regarding allocation of business rules, framing of the Class I rules and delay in promotions of various posts.

The members also highlighted the prevalent stagnation in the department.

The members were also informed about the website of the association: www;network


He irons away wrinkles

YOUR presswallah irons the wrinkles away from your clothes. With power charges going higher and housewives getting busier, it is difficult to iron clothes at home. In order to get started in this field, one needs an initial investment of Rs 5000.

Ramesh of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar says the best thing about this business is that with an investment of Rs 20 to buy 2 kg of coal each day, one can make between Rs 200 and Rs 250 a day. The only competition is from fellow dhobis, he adds. On an average, each presswallah stands for eight hours and irons from 100 to 200 clothes every day. Suran Singh has come from a village near Agra. He wants his sons to be presswallahs. There are about 15,000 presswallahs in the city. They apologise when they burn the clothes and promise never not do it again.

They have election for pradhans, with Suresh and Chander being pradhans these days. There is canvassing and the candidates offer liquor and eatables to win. The elections are held after five years.

Most of them are dissatisfied with the schools they send their children to. They used to run committees of Rs 1 lakh, which meant that each fellow would give Rs 1,000 and when they needed money, they would incur a loss of some per cent. But it was better than taking money on interest. Some presswallahs took the money and disappeared. Now they are wary of committees. Madan invests Rs 1,000 in such a committee and will get Rs 25,000 at the end, which will enable him to build a house. — AA


5 booked in YC leader’s abduction case
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Aug 30 — A former joint secretary of Punjab Youth Congress was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint by five persons from his factory in Moti Nagar here last evening.

He was got released later by his friends. On his complaint the Focal Point police station has registered a case against five persons allegedly involved in the crime.

The alleged kidnappers Amrit Bhakhri, Suresh, Bittu Atwal and two unidentified youths have been booked under Sections 364, 365, 342 and 306 of the IPC and also under the Arms Act.

The kidnapped person Rahul Dua told reporters that Suresh owed him Rs 8 lakh but was not returning the amount in spite of several reminders. He said the five persons came to his factory and forcibly took him to another factory in Basti Jodhewal area where about 30 other persons terrorised him. He said he was slapped and hit by gun butts. He said he was forced to sign on a paper on which it was written that he had got all his money back.

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