Saturday, September 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Charity collection by students disapproved
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — A majority of parents of school children are harassed on account of the practice of school managements asking students to go from door to door, asking donations for various charitable institutions.

It is a common sight to see students distributing pamphlets of some social organisation, asking for money. The students are told that it is for a noble cause, but the method is not approved by most of the parents. The students are offered sops by way of gifts.

Many schools indulge in this practice and through their students help Helpage, Global Cancer, Society for the Blind, and many similar institutions. While some students opt for serving the society by mutual consent, others feel that the practice was being imposed on them.

Some parents and their wards told The Tribune that most of them really didn’t like going from door to door, asking for money. Mr Vikas, father of a student, said, “it is nothing but begging by the children. We are against this kind of charity and don’t want our children to indulge in it,” he added.

Attractive prizes are given to lure students. If one student collect Rs 100 he is issued certificate on behalf of the centre, if the student collects Rs 500, he is given a shield. The teacher who collects the maximum charity is also honoured, ” said Mrs Sulakshna, another parent.

Kids collect money without knowing the case or reason. Sometimes, parents collect money for their wards from their offices to save time and energy of the children.

This practice should be eradicated. My daughter was also given a form, but we refused to send her door to door asking, for charity because it disturbed her studies. It is not worth her while that she should go out in the sweltering heat. Most of the people also refuse to give anything to the children.” lamented Gunwant Kaur.

The school principals, when contacted, said that nothing was imposed on the students. It was done to merely inculcate the feeling of helping each other. In fact, going door to door is not encouraged. The students are asked to take help fromBack close relatives and friends.


Dharna by SOPU, others continues
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The dharna held by the student organisation (SOPU) and students of various Science departments entered its ninth day today. They insist on the acceptance of the following demands, firstly, table checking or external checking to avoid all discrepancies; secondly, revaluation results should be out as early as possible; thirdly, semester system should again come to existence and finally promotion of students of BSc (Honours School) from 1st year to 2nd year and 2nd to 3rd year.

The MSc (HS) pass-course students and many other students have also joined the strike. They are asking for the promotion of students of MSc, Mathematics 1st year to 2nd year to provide improvement opportunity to BSc and that the syllabus should be revised.Back


Aero-modelling classes for schools
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — With the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI) joining hands with city schools to introduce aero-modelling hobby classes, young minds will now have greater exposure to the thrilling world of flying machines besides being involved in a unique and innovative activity.

While Vivek Public School in Sector 38 has already started work in this direction, two other schools, St Kabir in Sector 26 and Sutluj Public School in Panchkula will follow suit soon. The AeSI had approached 15 schools in the city and its vicinity and responses from some are still awaited. This is for the first time that such a venture has been undertaken in this region.

According to the chairman of the AeSI’s Chandigarh chapter, Air Cmde Arvinda Agrawal, the society shall give the schools assistance by way of providing aircraft charts, diagrams and balsa wood kits, besides organising wire-controlled and remote-controlled aircraft displays. Members of these hobby clubs will also be taken on familiarisation visits to air force establishments.

Director of the Aero Academy, Wg Cdr D.P. Sabharwal, who is also associated with the hobby clubs, said that club members would be familiarised with aviation history and important aspects of aircraft flight, various parts of an aircraft and their functions, materials used in aircraft manufacture and construction and assembly of aircraft models. The academy is also hiring staff for conducting aero-modelling classes.

The success of the club in Vivek can be gauged from the students’ enthusiasm. Although every student was already a member of some hobby club or the other, about 90 students from class VII and above wanted to change over. The school then formed two batches of about 30 students each.

“This was something new, exciting and different from the other stuff,” said Gurbani Judge, a class IX student, and the only girl so far to join this club. Some have opted for it because they are fascinated by aircraft and want to learn more about them, while some are more serious about its future prospects.

“I want to be an engineer and this is one club which deals directly with physics and its applications, ” said Amitoj Singh, a Class IX student. “The hobby is quite innovative and at the same time scientific. One can grasp the basics and lay the foundations for a career in engineering or aviation,” adds Sargun Singh, a class VIII student.

“We lay great emphasis on extra-curricular activities. While our school already offers students a choice of 26 hobbies, we considered introducing aero-modelling as a hobby because we liked the idea instantly as it was something novel and unique,” said Vivek School’s principal, Mrs P.K. Singh.Back


Project on vermiculture biotechnology 
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The Indian Council for Environmental Education in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, UT Administration, started a project on vermiculture biotechnology here today at DAV Sr Secondary School, Sector 8.

Principal Ravinder Talwar, President of the Council, welcomed the Chief Guest, Mr P.J.S. Dadwal, and others who attended this workshop. He also made people aware regarding this project.

Dr Rajesh Grover, Senior Scientific Officer, Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, explained how home waste could be converted into manure and utilized .He discussed two methods of preparing African manure by earthworms. Mr P.J.S. Dadwal, Senior Scientist, Department of Environment, UT, spelt out as how we could make our surroundings clean through Solid Waste Management. He congratulated Mr Talwar for starting this project for first time in the city. He said 500 tons waste was generated everyday in the city which could be used as a manure.

Dr Vikas Kohli, General Secretary of the Indian Council for Environmental Education, stressed that there is tremendous scope to convert the bio-degradable waste into organic manure through vermiculture biotechnology as compared to open dumping. A practical demonstration of the project was given to the participants by Dr Rajesh Grover. About 100 students of various schools participated in this workshop.Back


Facts to learn about village schools
By Nishikant Dwivedi

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The noise by the tiny tots is deafening. Some of them are sleeping, some eating their lunch. Others are playing with whatever they can lay their hands on. Some are writing on their takhtis. The scene is one of the government primary schools in Roopnagar district villages.

Primary schools in the villages are without furniture, electricity and water taps. The school buildings are not in proper condition.

“Kids have been given jute mats to sit on and this is the practice in all the schools of Punjab”, informed Ms Manjeet Kaur, Head Teacher, with the primary school at Bharaunjian village.

The school, like others in the area has a hand pump for water. Villagers believe that the water is not safe for drinking. “But there is no alternative”, says one of the teachers. They sometimes have to fetch water for themselves from the nearby tubewells.

Pupils attend classes under the open skies or in verandahs as the schools do not have a sufficient number of classrooms. Otherwise also, classes are held in the open as most of the schools do not have electricity connection.

Conditions become worse when it rains. “Since we have only two rooms, we cannot adjust all the students. We are left with no other option but to send pupils of the lower classes back home”, said one of the teachers on condition of anonymity.

The District Education Officer (Primary), Mr Dev Singh, agrees that pupils face problems when it rains and adds, “Rain is a natural calamity for us, what can one do about it!”.

The worst part is that the schools are without sufficient teachers. “The number of teachers depend on the strength of the students”, said a teacher. According to her, for 50 students a school has one teacher and for 70 students two teachers.

This sounds ironical as all the schools have five classes and simple logic says that at least one teacher should be allotted to each class. But that is not the case. Teachers have been left on their own to deal with this problem. The common practice is to take two classes at a time. “Actually there is one teacher for class V and the other classes are managed somehow”, said a teacher.

What happens when one or more teachers are on leave? “At times one teacher has to manage the entire school”, said Ms Usha Sharma of Ferozpore Bangar village school. But the DEO says in those cases, there is a provision of sending another teacher from the nearby school. Then what happens to that school from where the teacher is deputed as most of the schools face a staff crunch!

And again, none of the school has any clerical staff. In fact the office work is too left to the teachers only. The schools do not have even a peon. “Thank God they have provided us with a sweeper”, remarked a teacher at the Mullanpur-Garibdas school.

As far as the buildings are concerned, they too, are not in a good condition. The school at Ferozpore Bangar village which lies on the Chandigarh-Siswan road has no boundary wall. Villagers say that it is ironical that everyday one or the other minister passes by, but none of them has bothered to stop at the school and have a look at it. The local MLA was not available for comments.

The school at Mullanpur village tells a story of its own. They have a two-room building, but it is not being used. Reason: Villagers throw garbage near the school and at times they use the place for defecating. “The building has become a refuge for the drunkards of the area”, accused a teacher.

The DEO claims that managing the schools is the primary duty of the panchayats and not the government. He says, “In fact, the sarpanches never take interest in the affairs of the schools”. But the sarpanches do not agree. As Mr Mewa Singh, sarpanch of Ratwara village, says,”What can a sarpanch do if he does not get any grant from the government”.

The teachers of these primary schools accuse the DEO, who never bothers to visit the schools and instead asks the block officer to make the routine visit. The BDOs, on their part are least interested in the schools. The DEO, however, counters the accusation and claims, “Saturday is a holiday but on the last Saturday, I visited 14 schools”.

Senior citizens of the villages blame the problem on different directorate for primary and middle schools. “See how well the schools at Chandigarh are managed under one DPI”, commented one of them. But the DEO says “It is government policy and I cannot do anything about it”.Back


Last date for admissions extended
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The last date for admission to graduate and post-graduate courses in Panjab University, with a late fee of Rs 625 has been extended to September 11, an official press release said here today.

No further extension in last date will be allowed, the release added.

Earlier during the day, Principal P.S. Sansha, general secretary of the Federation of Principals Associations of Non Government Colleges (Punjab and UT) gave a representation to the Vice-Chancellor seeking an extension in the last date. Due to Result Later and delay on other accounts, a sizeable number of students came to the doors of colleges seeking admission each day.Back

College teachers organise dharna
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union organised protest dharnas in front of the offices of principals all over Amritsar district today, an official spokesperson said. The main grievance is the non-implementation of the pension scheme.Back




Lawyer moves human rights panel
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — Gurpal Singh, a resident of Kharar, filed a complaint in the Punjab State Human Rights Commission against police harassment. The complainant stated that he was practicing lawyer and was preparing the affidavit of Jasbir Singh regarding his marriage with Samriti.

He alleged that the police had falsely implicated him in a girl abduction case. The police searched his house without any search warrant and he was then taken to the police station. Further, he alleged that he was illegally detained and subjected to inhuman treatment. His case will come for hearing before the Punjab State Human Rights Commission on September 28.Back



2 get RI in food adulteration case
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — Two city residents Sanjiv Jain and K.C. Kapoor, were sentenced to six months rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1000 today by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Sant Parkash, in a food adulteration case.

The complainant, a food inspector, alleged that the accused Sanjiv Jain was present at the shop of Gainda Mal Hem Raj, Sector 17, and had in his possession, about 20 packets of ‘Rasna’ (pineapple flavour) for sale, when the shop was inspected. Three sealed samples of Rasna (pineapple flavour) were taken, one was sent to the Public Analyst, Chandigarh and the other two were handed over to the health authorities. The sample was found adulterated containing brominated vegetable oils. The other accused, K.C. Kapoor was the supplier and had supplied the adulterated product to the shop.Back


Discharge plea of Sodhi Ram dismissed
From Our Correspondent

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — The discharge application moved by the Panjab University Controller of Examination, Sodhi Ram, was today dismissed by the UT Additional District and Session Judge, Mr Justice Lakhbir Singh.

The CBI counsel said the decision of the Panjab University Senate of not granting it permission to prosecute Sodhi Ram and produce evidence against him in the court.

Sodhi Ram had filed a discharge application on August 28, soon after the Senate had refused to allow the CBI prosecute him.Back


Simple, rugged nature captured
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — Vividity is the dominant attribute at the creations on show at Art Folio, which looked vibrant today. The hall seemed to have come alive with 22 frames by a young Saharanpur-based artist, Shuchi Kubba.

The girl, inspired by art, believes that “Art is inherent, and that it is an amalgamation of gifted skills and one’s own imagination.” Shuchi is a first-time entrant to the world of exhibiting, but going by the depth of her works, it is difficult to discount her talent because of her informal association with art.

The creations on display clearly reflect streaks of a professional in the girl who has never had any formal training in art. “Art cannot be taught. It is this very belief that I have nurtured all my life. And keeping hope alive, I have practised, learnt and tried to master the skill of painting,” said Shuchi.

Her frames, are all oils on canvass. The experiments of the artist are not only vivid, but also sensitive. The collection can broadly be divided into three categories — nature, people and flowers. The works are all powerful in both content and expression, and more so, they reflect freedom of thought and feelings.

As Shuchi herself admits, “I never decide the form of what image I want to paint. I take a strong cue from my imagination and then I let myself be, allowing the colours to have their own way, and letting the brush decide which direction it want to head to. I think liberation in art is very important. It gives a sense of maturity to your work.”

One of her best painting is of the veiled woman, in which the artist uses white and black to create a magical effect. While the woman’s face is veiled, her eyes are shown to be powerful. The work shows the power of silence.

Among the other faces which Shuchi has painted, is one of an old man whose flowing white beard hides his wrinkled face. Then there are some travellers painted in browns and mustards, a group of Rajasthani women dressed in traditional attire which is not very well pronounced, but is appealing to the eye.

Nature has also been painted, in its simplicity, starkness, and ruggedness. Most of the time the artist has captured autumn trees, waiting to be loaded with leaves once again. The hues used range from dull to bright matching the mood of the nature.

Then, there are sunflowers at their dazzling best. “Flowers have this power to brighten moods. I paint them to give meaning to life,” said Shuchi.

Apart from the play of colours, another stark feature of the works on display is their simplicity and serenity. “The expressions are simple and honest and they say a lot through simple gestures. The painted faces sometime bare the pain and sometimes glow with bliss. The people are shown to be in motion mostly. That gives the works a lot of momentum.

When asked, the artist said that “Chandigarh was chosen with a specific purpose. It is neither a big town, nor a small one. I wanted an average place to start with until the day I really become seasoned enough to take on any gallery”. The exhibition will be on till September 8.Back


NIFD students display creations
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 1 — More than 300 students of the National Institute of Fashion Design (NIFD) yesterday exhibited a variety of garments created by them during the last academic session. About 40 stalls had been set up by the students from the departments of textile design, fashion design and interior design ranging from attires rooted in the ‘Aqua Marine’ theme, to decor and home furnishings.

The designing and decor, managed by the students was quite powerful, both in content as well as in presentation. The exhibition was well presented and reflected a clarity of theme among students, who experimented widely with the fabric as well as with mediums of construction for furniture and decor.

In the section on fashion designing, students displayed garments which they were taught to create as part of their curriculum. The range of prints and fabrics was immense. In the section on interior designing, students dealt extensively with the initial furniture layouts and finishing of rooms, along with accessories and furnishing materials.

The range on display was exclusive, with students bringing out products inspired by musical notes, Jungle book and Dreamland. While the fashion designing students’ Aqua Marine theme showed works inspired by hues of the deep sea, the interior decorators showed how a prospective departmental store would look and how can a discotheque could be created by putting in place small things.Back


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