Tuesday, September 5, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Teachers’ Day goes mod
From Deepkamal Kaur

You had been a guiding light,
who taught me everything right;
who showed me the way to success,
and the way to avoid excess;
who proved that the pen is
mightier than the sword
and revealed the magic that
lies in the written word.
You are a wonderful teacher
and my all time favourite.

For the past one week, school and college students have been crowding gift shops here, searching for the best greetings and other gift items for their favourite teachers.

Many attractive gift items are on display in market. There are soft toys with Teachers’ Day greetings on them. Several pen stands and slip pads are also available in special packing. There are also available some hangings which carry illustrations and quotations on them.

Says Mr Gulbir Garewal, owner of a gift shop, ‘‘Most of the students not only go for greeting cards but also demand gift items. This time we have had maximum demand for dry flowers, pen sets and show pieces with quotations on them.’’

It is not only the school children but also college students are equally excited. Most of the collegiates are full of bright ideas for celebrations. ‘‘I shall buy fresh flowers today evening for my English teacher and my friend Sonia will prepare a cake,’’ said Supriya, a graduate. ‘‘All my class mates have decided that will not attend any class tomorrow and instead insist our teacher to show us a movie in the afternoon,’’ said Manisha, another graduate, with enthusiasm.

Then there are some college pass-outs who want to wish their teacher. Said Pooja, working in the personnel department in a private firm, ‘‘Though I shall not be able to meet my school time teacher because of a busy schedule, I shall make it a point to send her e-greetings tomorrow morning.’’



A day of reflection for teachers, students
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Every school will be singing paeans of praise to the teachers on Teachers Day. Teachers will be paid compliments and many students will pay them tributes and praise them by terming them ‘‘nation builders’’ and so on and so forth. Teachers will be given flowers and cards, cultural programmes will be organised and teachers in return will thank the students. And another Teachers Day would pass without any gain either for teachers or for students.

In the past, there were examples of exemplary teachers and ideal students. Eklavya gave his Guru Dronacharya his thumb as gurudakshina. What qualities are students looking for in a teacher? Gagan Aggarwal, a student of sixth standard of G.R.D., says, ‘‘I want my teacher to know her subject well. I don’t want her to show any partiality. I wish my teacher to be kind.’’

‘‘Have you found a teacher who has all these qualities?’’

‘‘Yes. I had a teacher who possessed all qualities,’’ Gagan replied.

Saurabh, a second-year college student says, ‘‘Are teachers interested in teaching?’’ Teachers only take 50 per cent of the classes. Rest of the time, they keep sitting in the staff room and chatting.’’

‘‘Are you interested in studying?’’

‘‘Not really. We find the courses to be quite boring as we think there is no practical use of our studies. So when the teachers give us a free period, we are happy, who wants to listen to their boring lectures? They hardly ever make their lessons interesting. I wish one had some interesting teachers who would be more interested in us, rather than in pay rise or in rivalries with their colleagues.’’

Sumit, another college student studying in second year, said,‘‘I have been waiting to be taught by a friendly, loving and understanding teacher, but I havn’t come across any.’’

Most teachers, when asked, what message does the Teachers Day bring, were not very forthcoming. Most of them were at a loss for words. Some said it meant a holiday and relief from teaching, while others said that it didn’t really make a difference.

Teachers Day should be a day of reflection, a careful thought for planning teaching methodology, for updating knowledge of the subjects by teachers. This correspondent asked a few teachers about the relevance of Teachers Day. All teachers requested their identities to be kept secret. One Mrs K. Singh of a private school said, ‘‘What do we get from the school? The school authorities pay me Rs 2000, and make me sign on a register where my salary is shown to be Rs 3500. I feel suffocated. If I complain to the authorities, they show me the door. They say that there is no dearth of teachers.’’

‘‘Are you satisfied with the students?’’ ‘‘Satisfied,’’ she grimaced. ‘‘The students have made our lives hell. They speak way rudely, neither do they do their homework, nor do they bring the text books. We write notes in the diary, but the students are too clever for us. They maintain two diaries. One diary is for the parents, which is without any remarks from the teachers, and the other diary is kept for the remarks . There is no joy in teaching. I am doing this job to help my husband to make both ends meet. If I get into some money, I’d quit it within a minute and without any regrets.’’

She was not an isolated example of bitterness against both the authorities and students. Mr Parkash Dhand of a private school said, ‘‘I am teaching in the school because I get tuitions. Tuitions make me life comfortable. Every day, I do four hours of tuition work. Since I am a Maths teacher, I am in demand. I charge Rs 1000 per hour per student, who cares for the measly salary?

‘‘What do you resolve to do on Teachers Day?’’

‘‘Nothing! What does anybody do on UN Day, AIDS Day etc. Lecture baazi, talks and sessions. This is the usual tamasha.’’

Where are they going to find teachers who are going to lead the young ones of the nations on to the right path? Where have the students gone who would follow Kabir’s words:

God and teacher standing before me,
whom should I pay obeisance.
I bow before my teacher,
For he led me to God.

‘‘There is paucity of ideal teachers and students. The government has to step in to change the education policy. It has to make it nor vocationalised so as to interest the students. The teachers should be awarded and given a better status in society. The teachers have to treat their profession as a vocation, and be ready to sacrifice a lot. The students have to be grateful to the teachers for the knowledge they receive. Then and then only, will the education standards of India rise,’’ opined 
Mr V. C. Bansal an ex-principal of a school in Nabha.



A good teacher gives his best
 Harpreet Kaur Gill

A good teacher gives us his or her unconditional love without labelling students good or bad, clever or dull, hardworking or lazy, rich or poor because the latter are very much his or her own. He is a positive person, an optimist, has full self-control and does not display anger. He practises what he preaches.

A good teacher is a quiet worker and gives all his/her time, energy, warmth to the students. A good teacher does not seek any reward. He is a dedicated and devoted person.

He is somebody to whom we can confess and confide and who can counsel us, has a heart-warming smile and a sunny temprament. His voice is gently and soft, falling on our ears like manna from heaven. He has a sense of humour and can laugh at him but never at other’s cost. He allows students to let off steam. He is a good team -mate and a good learner.

It is not a equation of driver and the driven, not even of leader and the led; it is a question of team mates. He has a sense of proporation and perspective and views things as a whole and not as unrelated parts. He is a visionary, a dreamer, an idealist and a philospher. He is proactive rather than reactive. He can motivate and stimulate students’ thinking process. Having put the tools of thinking in their hands, heleaves them to explore and enquire of their own.

He fires students with enthusiasm and challenging spirit. He is a pillar of courage and strenght. Above all, he is human just like us with his failings and not a paragon of perfection. Such a teacher, whatever his/her economic condition and social status richly deserves respect and affection of all.

The candles of greatness he/she lights shine back to cheer and say, “I love my teacher.”


Computer centre inaugurated
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 4 — Infopark, an institute of computer education, was inaugurated by Dr D. J. Singh, Deputy Director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, at the Focal Point here yesterday.

The centre will provide all types of computer courses, including multimedia and e-commerce courses. Customised courses for specific needs will also be offered. ‘‘We will provide 100 per cent job placements to our students,’’ claimed Ms Anuradha Mehra, Centre Manager.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Rakesh Kapoor, Director of the centre, said, ‘‘We especially chose this locality for since there were not enough computer training institutes here.’’

On the occasion, Mr D. J. Singh called upon the masses to not only become aware of the latest computer technolgies, but also to equip themselves against cyber crime. He said, ‘‘Information technology has brought about a revolution in the day-to-day working. Updated information can be had from the Internet any time. The e-commerce has even allowed marketing and sales through the Internet.’’


ICAR grant for PAU
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Sept 4 — The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has sanctioned Rs 7.14 crore to Punjab Agricultural University for the payment of arrears of the revised UGC scales to the teachers for the year 1996-97. The council has also sanctioned Rs 60 lakh as development grant and Rs 60 lakh for one-time catch-up grant to the university.

The Punjab Government has also sanctioned Rs 12.94 crore for the payment of 50 per cent arrears to the non-teaching staff and 20 per cent state government share for the payment of arrears to the teachers for the revised UGC scales from 1.1.96 to 31.3.2000. Mr S.K. Bhatia, Comptroller of the university, said that this amount would be transferred to the CPF/GPF corpus to clear the backlog.


Consumer court penalises contractor
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 4 — The three-year-long determination of a retired professor finally paid off when an overcharging parking contractor was penalised by the consumer court.

Mr R.L. Aggarwal, a retired professor, has won a case in the State Consumer Court against a parking contractor and the railway authorities and has been awarded Rs 17,000 as compensation, including Rs 2,000 as costs of the litigation.

According to Mr Aggarwal, he had parked his scooter at the scooter stand of railway station, Ludhiana, on July 26, 1997. He was asked to pay Rs 3 by the contractor against 50 paise as displayed on the board. His protest resulted in manhandling and insult by the contractor. Consequently, he complained to the railway authorities which imposed a fine of Rs 500 on the contractor. The fine was paid by the contractor after about five months when his contract expired without giving any relief to the complainant.

Mr Aggarwal was again overcharged at the same place by the second contractor, Mr Suresh Manchanda. On this, Mr Aggarwal filed a case in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. The forum dismissed the case on October 21, 1998, stating that “overcharged amount was too trivial to be taken note of.”

But Mr Aggarwal decided to appeal to the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Punjab. The commission recently gave its decision pronouncing the railway administration equally guilty which had failed to get the contractor implement the order in letter and in spirit and awarded the compensation to the complainant to be paid jointly by the Railways and both the contractors within one month from the receipt of order.


City youth dance till dawn
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Sept 4 — At Hotel Park Plaza, venue of the Night of the Bat bash sponsored by a liquor company, a huge crowd was there to dance to the tunes of DJ Bhanu.

The bash continued till early morning. A large number of persons had come from as far as Jalandhar and Chandigarh. The IG, Mr G.S. Aujla was also seen enjoying himself at the bash. Besides youngsters, many old persons were also on the dance floor.

The elderly persons danced with as much vigour as youngsters. An elderly woman said, “You only need to be young at heart for this, with a little bit of physical strength as well.” She had been dancing since 10 pm and it was already well past midnight.

The mix of Hindi, Punjabi and English music added to the momentum of the evening. The desi numbers of Kishore Kumar like Apni To Aise Waise, Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai and the others scored over the angrezi ones.

The organisers found it tough to handle the crowd. Many persons who did not have passes for the show, were also at the hotel. The General Manager of the hotel, Mr Ranjan Gupta, was himself at the gate to check the passes of visitors. Though the entry was earlier restricted to couples only, individuals were also allowed in later. One of the persons present there, Vineet, said if there were more such events, the venues would not be so crowded. However, Ludhiana has not developed a party culture as yet and dance nites are not common here.

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