Monday, September 11, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Controversy surrounds PUDA booths
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 10 — Controversy has shrouded the recently constructed 108 booths by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) in Sector 64 market here for riot-affected Sikh migrants. The occupants of illegal shops adjacent to Amb Sahib Gurdwara in Sector 62 had to be rehabilitated in the booths constructed by PUDA.

While the Danga Peerat Parivar Committee has accused PUDA of changing the allotment price of the booths, PUDA in a public notice issued recently said the cost for the riot-affected victims will be Rs 4 lakh and for other applicants it would be Rs 6 lakh. Members of the society of riot victims allege that earlier the PUDA authorities never mentioned riot victims and non riot-victims as two separate categories while agreeing on the price of Rs 3,28,970 for a booth.

Sources in PUDA said that the issue already approved in the finance meeting of the authority on November 1997, was again referred in the finance meeting of the authority held in July 2000 — under agenda no. 23.07 — wherein the price difference of two categories was approved. Questioning the move of PUDA, the riot victims have in representation to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, sought that all applicants should be clubbed under one category instead of two.

Giving proof of the correspondence of PUDA with the occupants of the illegal booths, Mr Makhan Singh, president of the Danga Peerat Parivar Committee, said in April 1997, the then Estate Officer of PUDA had demanded Rs 10,000 from each of the shopkeeper as earnest money for allotment of alternative booths in the Sector 64 market. Subsequently, around 55 persons deposited a total of Rs 55 lakh with the Estate Office. In the terms and conditions of allotment offer made through the letter no mention of the two categories — riot victims and others — was mentioned. But in a letter dated July 13, 2000, the beneficiaries were made aware of the new decision.

Meanwhile in the public notice inserted by PUDA in a local English daily (dated September 9, 2000), the authority has stated though the price of the alternative booths varied between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 12 lakh, the booths were being offered at subsidised rates. If the occupants of the illegal booths fail to take pay cost of the alternative sites, the same would be disposed through an open auction. 


Muscle building via drugs can be dangerous
By Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — If the idea of muscle building has just dawned on you, and you have recently joined a gymnasium or are already a regular then be careful before you are asked to take that harmless looking pill before coming to the gym everyday. If you are already taking one or the other pill as suggested by your instructor, consult your doctor before it becomes too late.

A survey of the starters at some health clubs of the city conducted by Chandigarh Tribune revealed that instructors were asking their clients to swallow pills of paracetamol, ibuprofen etc and in some cases stronger ones also before starting the workouts. These were suggested in order to combat pain during the workouts and make the muscle work tirelessly for a longer time.

Not only painkillers but anabolic steroids, called muscle-building drugs in the layman’s, language were also suggested by instructors.

According to Dr VK Bhargava of the Department of Pharmacology in PGIMER, “The anabolic steroids are no doubt known as muscle-building drugs but these are actually a supplement of male hormones that are used to cure certain diseases. Their use as muscle-building agents is a misuse and this is known as doping. The misuse is banned as it may lead to problems. Anabolic steroids are known to produce an abnormal muscle mass but this kind of use is certainly a misuse.”

“The muscle mania has grown so strong among youngsters that they are ready to pay any price for it. Their obsession for muscles is being cashed by various gym instructors. They are suggesting all kinds of drugs to show them the results no matter what adverse effects these can have on the human body,” said a city doctor who did not want to be named.

He quoted an incident when he received a patient with anal bleeding. “The bleeding was so severe that the patient went in a state of shock. He was given two bottles of blood before he could recover from the blood loss. Later after inquiring from him he told me that he was given ibuprofen tablet by the gym instructor and after having it he suffered gastric irritation. The problem became so acute that it started bleeding from his anus,” the doctor added.

“It is not the case that every body will suffer in the same way after having this medicine. That patient was sensitive to this drug. So he suffered,” said the doctor.

Not only anabolic steroids but pain killers that are taken to combat pain during the workouts can be harmful for the body. Dr S. Verma of the PGI said, “This is not the right method to increase the workouts. Painkillers are no way. The workouts should be increased gradually rather than rapidly. This type of drug dependence is a drug abuse.”

Another doctor said that exercising after taking a pain killer was working a muscle without its will. It may damage the muscles. Moreover, the whole joint could be affected due to the damage. He also said that steroids had innumerable side effects like allergies, bleeding from any body opening, osteoporosis etc. These even affect the resistance of the body.


HUDA suffers avoidable loss of Rs 33 lakh
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 10 — The Haryana Urban Development Authority has suffered a loss of Rs 33.07 lakh on account of encroachment on land allotted to customers by a draw of lots in Sector 21 of the city. This was stated in the CAG report recently tabled in the Haryana Assembly.

The report states that a scheme was initiated in January, 1987. It was specified that physical possession would be given once the development of the area was completed.

According to the report prepared by the Estate Officer, it was mentioned that the 25 allottees selected between July and September, 1987, were not given physical possession of the plots even though they had paid the full amount. This was on account of non-removal of encroachments which had taken place in 1986-87.

The CAG report further adds that the allottees filed a case in the District Consumer disputes redressal forum which ordered in June, 1997, that the allottees be given the land after removal of encroachments and completion of development works, sanction of 18 per cent rate of interest on the amount deposited with the department as payment for plots, besides compensation for harassment and proceedings of the case.

However, HUDA appealed to the State Consumers Disputes Redressal Forum where it was dismissed. Consequently, not only did HUDA have to give alternative sites to the aggrieved party, the department ended up paying Rs 26.74 lakh, Rs 6.25 lakh as compensation for harassment, besides cost of proceedings.

The report points out that the loss, which could have been avoided, was paid since the Estate Officer was unable to check the encroachments and remove these before the allotment of land. This has led to a loss of Rs 33.07 lakh and blocked as much as Rs 22.04 lakh. 


Gang of chain, purse snatchers busted
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — In a major breakthrough, the local police claims to have busted a gang of chain snatchers, including a women, operating in the city for the past two years. Property worth over Rs 3 lakh has been recovered from the gang.

According to the police, Raghbir Singh, a resident of Phase II, SAS Nagar, and Randhir Singh, a resident of Phase VII, SAS Nagar, were earlier arrested and gold chains, purses and cash, having a total value of over Rs 1 lakh recovered from them.

The two were arrested again by the Crime Branch in another case of chain snatching and their police remand was obtained from the court.

The accused were subject to intense interrogation by the special team of the Crime Branch headed by Mr J.S. Cheema, Inspector, Mr Gurnam Singh and Mr Bhupinder Singh, both SIs, under the supervision of Mr S.C. Abrol, DSP (Crime).

Similarly, Sukhdev Kaur, mother of accused Raghbir Singh, was also arrested and interrogated. She used to dispose of the chains snatched by them.

The police said the gang had been operating in the city since 1998, mostly in the southern sectors. They admitted to have committed a large number of chain and purse snatchings. In some of the cases, they took out the money and threw the purses immediately after commiting the crime. In all, 36 cases of snatching in the city had been worked out with their arrest. Recoveries worth over Rs 2 lakh had been made now.

Both the accused are students and good friends. They used to spend the money lavishly. They had been playing billiards and snookers and enjoying themselves in hotels and had been chatting on the Internet also. Their time of operation was mostly in the evenings.


HRD Ministry sends in experts to search child talent
By Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — A lot of mature talent is seen at the Chandigarh Bal Bhavan, where 65 children from all over the North India have converged for a specific purpose — a purpose so significant that many among the gathered children have chosen to forego their regular examination to be part of the North zone level camp which concluded here today.

The two-day camp, an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, was meant to judge children at their best in four major categories of performing arts, creative writing, creative art and creative scientific innovations. Those who will be selected by a team of 12 experts will stand a chance to own the prestigious President’s Balshree Award 2000, which will include a prize of Rs 10,000 apart from the honour of presentation by the First Lady of India, Mrs Usha Narayan. The award presentation is scheduled to be held in December.

It is significant that unlike in the past five years when the respective Bal Bhavans from all over the North used to send in direct entries, this year the HRD Ministry has decided to conduct the talent search on zonal level. The search has begun from Chandigarh which is acting as a host for teams of the North Zone, and later the experts from Delhi will conduct camps in Mumbai (West zone), Calcutta (East zone), Bhopal (Central Zone) and Chennai (South zone). For the North Zone, the Bal Bhavans of Delhi, Chandigarh, Rohtak, Gurgaon, Kurukshetra, Bhiwani, and Jammu.

Yet another interesting point of the camp was that there was no limit fixed for the number of children to be selected. Informed one of the experts, Mr Y. Gaur, “We are here to search for talent and we will take all that we get. We may take all children if they are promising enough. We might not take any in a reverse case. But going by the level of imaginative ideas and creativity which the children are displaying, I am sure we are due to have a hard time.”

In each category a team of three observers was at work: one from Delhi and two local resources persons so as to avoid any impediment on account of language. In the category of creative writing, the HRD Ministry has specified no language bar. The state language is also allowed.

As for the camp, the zeal was evident from the fact that none among the participating children looked even a little flustered. As this reporter took a round of the four halls where young artists were at work under four different categories, a dominant feeling that stayed was — skill knows no bounds.

The first hall housed children inclined towards performing arts: dance drama and singing. And one was quite amazed to find that a child as young as 8 was also participating. Said a jubilant Mohit Gupta who has come all the way from Jammu to underline his talent, “I will perform like Hrithik Roshan and even better than him.” There was another sister pair, Vidushi and Nandini Vashisht (12 years old) who had come from Bhiwani.

In this category the children were being judged by Jagdeep Bedi from Delhi, Asha Vashisht and Richa Sharma from Chandigarh.

Another important feature of the camp was that it did not conduct the search at a formal level. Informed Mrs Tejinder Bajwa, one of the observers in the category of creative writing, “On the first day we just had them playing casual games so that they shed the fear of competition and feel at home. It was later that we gave them our topics which were also a class apart from the routine essay stuff.” The 16 children who participated in this category introduced their partners in “rhymes”. Said Mrs Sneh Saxena, “We have had children write beautiful poems on pictures as also on their friends.”

The creative art category saw some 18 contestants who were seen on the tables with painting brushes, or with clay or with any other medium they wanted. Said the main observer from Delhi, Mr Satnarayan Lal Karan, “There is no restriction of medium. The children are feeling at home.” The Bal Bhavan also roped in Mr Prem Singh, Principal, Government Arts College, Sector 10, as one of the judges in this category.

Yet another section was that of scientific innovations where they were asked to correlate two scientific topics, and also conduct experiments. Said Mr S.K. Sharma, the expert from Delhi, “We have received 15 entries and the children are enjoying a lot.” Other judges in this category were Mrs Leena Sharma and Mr Polly Shera, both from the city.


Fashion consciousness invades schools
By Monica Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — “Looksmania” has not spared even schoolchildren and they are following every new trend with enthusiasm.

The changing fashions can be seen not only in the normal dress code, but also in schools. Students do not wear simple clothes anymore, they have become more fashion conscious. Earlier, they could not be distinguished from each other because they used to wear the same uniform. Now, they wear stylish shoes and smart trousers of the colours of their uniforms.

The attitude of parents and teachers has also changed and they do not object to whatever the children wear. “The teachers have also realised that the ways of living have changed,” said Ms Sandeep Ahluwalia, a teacher.

“Students spend more time in getting dressed and less in studies. Girls of the age of 12 have started applying lipsticks and nail paint, even though these things are not allowed in schools,” said Ms Renuka Shah, another teacher.

Young girls use colourful hairbands, light lipsticks, thin eyeliners and artificial nails, besides various other type make-up, mostly to attract boys. The length of the skirt has gone up with time. Now, children carry perfumes and deodourants to school.

“Girls often apply mehndi on their hands and nowadays, it is tough to guess who among them is married and who is not,” said a teacher. There is a lot of difference between students of today and yesteryear. For students, wearing short skirts has become normal and it is not usually a fashion statement.

“In some cases, even parents are not aware that their children carry fashion accessories in schoolbags and remove the make-up before leaving for home,” said a senior teacher.Back


Sikh bodies condemn IG’s statement
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — The Joint Action Committee of the gurdwaras and Sikh institutions of the city has condemned the statement of the IG, Police, Mr Bhim Sen Bassi, regarding compulsory wearing of helmets by the Sikh women riding two-wheelers.

In a press note issued here today, they pointed out that while on one hand the IGP talked of respecting the Sikh sentiments and, on the other, he was raising such sensitive issues. They stated that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, during his last visit to the city, had publicly announced that if the BJP came to power, the necessary amendments in the traffic rules would be made.

The presidium, which met today, warned the Chandigarh Administration to desist from hurting the Sikh sentiments. The committee also appealed to the Sikh women not to wear the helmet and defy the anti-Sikh order boldly.Back


Working class plans struggle against price rise
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — A mass convention was held here today jointly by the local units of the Trade Union Council (TUC) And the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

The convention was held to organise the employees and the industrial labour against the anti-labour policies of the Government of India and to build up a united struggle of the working class against the price rise, closure of industries and exploitation of labour by way of retrenchment and lockouts.

Employees and their representatives from various industries like banking, insurance, telecom and various departments of the UT Administration, the Punjab Government, the PGI, Panjab University, industrial workers, CTU workers and footpath workers participated in the convention.

Various speakers condemned the policy of privatisation, contract labour system, closures and lockouts of the industrial units and attitude of the government, which was a mute spectator. Prominent among those who spoke were Mr Madan Lal Didi, leader of AITUC, Punjab, Mr Raghbir Singh Sandhu, President of the local unit of the TUC, Mr Devi Dayal Sharma, General Secretary of the local unit of AITUC, Mr H.S. Gambhir, General Secretary of the Hotel Workers Union, and Mr Ramesh Kumar Chandolia, President of the UT Subordinate Services Federation, Chandigarh.

Mr Chandershekar, leader of the bank employees, was unanimously elected General secretary of the local unit of the TUC after the resignation of Mr Rakesh Chopra from the post. The leaders of various unions and associations honoured Mr Chopra for his relentless struggle for the working class. Mr Gambhir was unanimously elected President of AITUC.

In separate resolutions, the working class condemned the price hike, demanded reopening of the industrial units like Punwire, Punwac, Molins of India Limited, reversal of the policy of privatisation and the contract labour system. The convention also demanded a CBI probe into the financial irregularities in Punwire.

It was unanimously decided to launch a united struggle to highlight the issues concerning the salaried class and it was decided to hold a mass dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office on October 12.Back


Panel to help murdered men’s families
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — A joint action committee has been formed to get compensation for the families of the two employees of a liquor vend in Sector 24 who were murdered recently.

According to a press note, representatives of various local associations, including the Himachal Jan Hit Sabha, the Himachal Students Association, the District Mandi Janata Sewak Sabha, the Uttaranchal Ramlila Committee, the Himachal Sanskritik Samiti, the Uttaranchal Vikas Parishad, the Navyuvak Mangal Datt Kumaon and the Kumaon Sanskritik Samiti met at the Bal Bhavan today in this connection.

The representatives, while criticising the gruesome murder, expressed concern over the financial condition of the families of the victims Roop Lal and Nand Kishore. The families had to borrow money to complete the “kirya” ceremonies of the deceased as no financial assistance was provided either by the Ladda group or the Chandigarh Administration, the press note alleged.Back


No money to get kidney transplant
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — Disillusionment and pain have added years to Ram Murti’s actual age. With both his kidneys having failed, he is not sure of what life and future have in store for him. Today, Ram Murti awaits a helping hand in the gurdwara on the premises of the PGI.

The only hope for him is a kidney transplant which will increase his life span for another few years. However, despite having a relative as a ready donor, there is no money for the operation which might cost him around Rs 1.50 lakh.

Being the only earning member of his family, Ram Murti has a wife, two sons, a daughter and a old mother to look after. His youngest son, Rinku, is just eight years old. It is their survival which worries him more than anything else. With absolutely no savings to speak of, this roadside vendor, belonging to Sanor village in Patiala district, was managing to make just about Rs 35 to 40 a day.

About eight months back, a roadside accident, left him with a broken leg. His neighbours and helpful villagers collected money for his treatment. However, his condition deteriorated as he came down with a persistent cough and cold.

There was no improvement in his health even after following treatment at Rajindra Hospital in Patiala. Thereafter, the doctors in the hospital referred him to the PGI. The doctors here, following intensive investigations, informed him that his both kidneys had failed.

Ram Murti and his wife, Harmail Kaur, have been in the PGI gurdwara for more than three months now . The wife used to do domestic chores in the village to supplement family income, which she has since stopped.

His family members are ready to donate a kidney, but for the operation Ram Murti requires money which is quite beyond his means. Any person or organisation who wishes to contribute for his treatment can contact the PGI authorities or the office of the Medical Superintendent.Back


France brings a week of science
By Supama Saraswati

Under the patronage of the Embassy of France the Alliance Francaise de Chandigarh is organising French Service Today, a programme based on popular service, specially designed for non-specialists, students and scientists, but also of interest to specialists.

In the race for becoming the most developed nation within the global circuit a country like France plays a key role in defining the parameters of its future scientific existence. Even after Marie Curie and Louis Pasteur, there have been distinguished French scientists like De Genner (Nobel laurette for Physics in 1991), Charpak (for Physics in 1992) and Montaginer (to whom goes the credit of having discovered the HIV virus in 1983). At the moment when France is taking over the presidency of the European Union, it is an occasion to know more about the predominant themes and issues of contemporary French scientific research.

With the purpose of stirring intellectual awareness and promoting culture of science regarding its latest achievements and discoveries, the network of Alliance Francaise in India has brought a week of science from September 18 to 23 all over the country. Through 24 lectures delivered by eminent guests in 14 main Indian cities, six documentaries produced by the biggest names in scientific cinema and via a travelling exhibition of posters and photographs, the programme invites the Indian public to an encounter with comprehensive French research in science and in a broader perspective, to an authentic Indo-French dialogue on the status of research, its progress and the people involved in it. The highlighted events of this week will be lectures on cognitive material earth, human, universe and life sciences themes. Dr Serge Laroche from the University of Paris will deliver the opening lecture on learning memory and communication essentially in a film titled ‘‘Music in the Mind’’.

His lecture will discuss the film ‘‘Music In the Mind’’. Besides these discussions, the people of Chandigarh will be given an opportunity to inform themselves about radioactivity through an exhibition at the Alliance art gallery. The purpose being to familiarise society with the elements of scientific and technical culture enabling the viewers to make a personal judgement on the problems of society raised by the application of scientific discovery.

The final event of highly informative programme is the screening of movies every evening at 6.30 p.m. the gallery premises, with English subtitles. Naming a few recommended ones, “Forbidden Jungle of India (Sept 21) is about the life of the tribes of Orissa. “Infinite Curve” (Sept 22) revolves around a new perception of space and universe with scientific explanations an geometrical dimensions and notions of gravitation etc. This enterprising venture under the auspices of the local chapter of Alliance Francaise could do with all the popular support that Chandigarh can provide.Back


On the threshold of adulthood

BOTTOM-hugging, faded jeans, the more faded the better, purple lipstick, and a sensual friendship, all add up to make the modern defiant girl.

She has grown in years but emotionally, she is an infant. She tries to imitate different personalities, for she does not know which one she is or wants to be.

She imitates fashion models, beauty queens, movie stars or fictional heroines in her fumbling search for identity. She falters, even falls. Sometimes she ventures too far and pays the price.

She acts adult because she wants to initiate herself into the adult world. In fact, she is on the threshold too old for the juveniles, and too young for the grown-ups.

So, she feels lonely, gets cut of and is misunderstood. She has the emotional fuel to run her life but lacks the experience that keeps a fledgling from making mistakes.

She needs understanding, not condemnation. Understanding must come from the mother as well as the daughter. If it takes two to make a quarrel, it also takes two to communicate. The girl needs understanding from the mother on issues she feels touchy about.

Privacy is a sensitive area for the girl. She looks upon herself as an adult but is haunted by the feeling that an invisible moral judge is passing judgement on all her actions. The mother may ask herself: “Am I picking on her? Am I prying on her life too much?”

Once the mother understands this, she may help the daughter develop an adult conscience; give her enough free air to breathe so that she does not feel emotionally suffocated. She must mother her, not smother her.

Understand her mistakes so that she does not repeat them. Stand by her in a crisis. A mother who raises a barrier of silence in such a situation, complicates the matter. If the girl is ridiculed she feels that the world has turned against her, including her mother.

A lecturer who has a grown-up daughter says. “A ‘bad’ girl is often the product of parents who have failed to perform their responsibilities. If a girl has a good motherly model to imitate, she is likely to grow into that person.”

The youngster is searching for a path. She acts wisely if she is given the facts in a reasonable way. She wants to know the reasons for decisions taken on her behalf. Most of the mothers, however, give only reprimands. They are niggardly in paying compliments but are generous in nagging.

Praise her. Words like “I appreciate that you returned home before dinner last night,” can work wonders. If a girl looks upon her home as a warm place, there is no need for her to hang around shady or less respectable places.

Respect her as a person. This is the secret of wholesome parenting. The girl often thinks that duty is a one-way lane. That the mother must do her job and do it well. She too has a duty, as important as that of the mother. She does not have to wait till she has a daughter of her own to experience what it is to be a mother.

The mother also needs warmth and understanding. Will you treat your friends the way you treat your mother? If you do, will your friends remain friends? What will you think of a friend who ignores you or shuts herself for hours in self-created isolation. Chat with your mother as you do with your friends. You can change your friends but you are struck with your mother.

Think of issues on which confrontations occur frequently and reduce the areas of friction. If your mother starts an argument on the way you scatter your things, she is right. Admit this to yourself. Your ill temper, the tone of your vice and your body language signal your rejection of your mother which upsets her.

Tell your mother about the friends you are mixing with. The more she knows about them, the more comfortable she feels about your being with them.

Mother’s ideas may seem old-fashioned but they make sense. Life offers no substitute for experience. Says Seema, a young girl “I feel uneasy when I disregard my mother’s advice. Unconsciously I accept her values. I feel she is right.”

Appreciate what your mother has done for you. There are many ways of telling her that you care. If you want to be treated like an adult, prove with your conduct that you are one.
— I.M. SoniBack


Is it problem of plenty?
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 10 — For some the poor basic amenities are the cause of problem and for some it is a problem of plenty. The victims of plenty are the residents of a pocket in Phase X (Sector 64) and the cause is the streetlights being maintained by the Electricity Department. The streetlights on the main road dividing Phases IX and X are non-functional for the past few weeks.

Mr T.S. Teer, President of the Residents Welfare Association of Phase X, said the streetlights in his locality remained switched on during day time. When he rang up, officials of the Electricity Department and the council said it was the duty of the electricity board. However, promise of action by officials of the Electricity Board did not yield any results.Back


No afternoon water supply
From Our Correspondent

SAS NAGAR, Sept 10 — Owing to urgent repairs being carried out at the Kajauli waterworks, the afternoon supply of water here will remain suspended tomorrow and it will be at low pressure in the evening.Back


‘Check growth of congress grass’ 
Tribune News Service

PANCHKULA, Sept 10 — The Citizens Welfare Association has demanded action to control the spread of congress grass in the Panchkula extension, comprising sectors 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28. In a press note issued here today, the association alleged that the office concerned was quick to follow orders in connection with the removal of hedges and grills but had miserably failed to check stray cattle menace, garbage disposal and spread of congress grass.

The president, Mr SK Nayar, said the problem had assumed serious proportions since there was complete lack of coordination between the departments concerned. He lamented that the departments were blind to the welfare of the people while the grass was spreading in open spaces and is a major cause of allergies.Back


Workshop on animal protection
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — The Go Bananas Kids Club organised an interactive session for children on the protection of animals and conservation of environment here today. The workshop, organised in association with the People For Animals (PFA), was attended by about 25 children in the age group of five to 12. The workshop concentrated on important issues like animal exploitation, environment protection and recycling the waste. Later, children in a lively interactive session, children shared their experiences on the issues. 

The representatives from the PFA, with the help of posters and pictures, encouraged the children to help motivate the people to recycle and conserve their natural resources and environment. According to Ms Anu Vala, Director of the club, said that the children should be moulded from the very beginning and encouraged to take an active part in spreading meaningful awareness in society on the subject. The club, which regularly holds weekend workshops for its members, plans to hold awareness camps on social causes like cleanliness and helping senior citizens.Back


Astrology festival concludes
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — Palmistry is a computer science, said Jyotish Mahamopadhya from Jamsedhpur on the concluding day of the second International Astrology Festival at the English auditorium in Panjab University here today. Hands speak for themselves and there are areas of uncertainty in prediction, and people should avoid predicting to create sensationalism, he added. There are seven main lines on the hand covering different aspects of human life, he added.

Pt Sunder Lal Vats from Faridabad, writer of Nine planets in pain healing spoke on related aspects of shani. The planet was very powerful. It announced worldly gain if used honestly. Dishonesty here made man suffer. Prof A.K.Prasad, a former DUI from PU, and Prof Shankerji Jha from the Sanskrit Department spoke on issues related to tantras. Mr K.M.Basavarajaiah from Karnataka, Khilanath Vastakoty from Nepal and Col T.P.Tyagi from Bombay were few among key speakers.Back


'Make city clean and green' 
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — The Lions Club Mani Majra Model Town, Mid Town, in association with the State Bank of India, Sector 41, celebrated vanamahotsava on the premises of Ajit Karam Singh International Public School here today. About 41 saplings of neem and gulmohar were planted on the occasion. Mr Satish Seth, District Chairman, Public Relations, stressed on the need to protect the existing trees. He said that rather than just planting a large number of trees, efforts should also include ensuring their survival.

The Principal of the school, Mrs J. Sekhon, assuring protection of the trees planted today, said that each class would be asked to look after a couple of trees and proper guards provided for them. Mr H.S. Chauhan, manager of the Sector 41 SBI branch emphasised on the need to save the environment from pollution. He assured the Lions Club of cooperation in the future on such projects.

The other prominent speakers who expressed their views on the topic included the Project Director and members of the club, Mr K.K. Monga, Prof I.K. Sharma, Mr S.P. Kalia. They all stressed on the need to protect the city's environment from deteriorating further and making it clean, green and pollution-free. Back


Tribune employee bereaved
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — Kiran (25), wife of Mr Chander Prakash, a trainee operator with Dainik Tribune, died here today after a prolonged illness. She is survived by her husband and two children. Her funeral procession will start from 3078-A, Tribune Colony, Sector 29, at 10.30 a.m. tomorrow.Back


The competitive world of ads
By Binny Sharma

CHANDIGARH, Sept 10 — Not many years ago. Chandigarh had hardly any advertising business — only a few companies that somehow managed to stay afloat. Today the city has nearly 100 agencies catering to the demands of the business and there is always room for more. This indicates the awareness the trade and commerce in the city has developed in the value of advertising to popularise their products and services.

The mushrooming of the agencies has, however, resulted in a tough competition for securing business. Offering a discount to the client is an age-old tactic. Several new factors are being added to the public relations exercise of the companies. Marketing executives of the agencies are swarming the market with offers such as free designing, preparing visuals and graphics, and above all building a personal rapport with the clients.

Mr R.K. Ohri who started his advertising agency in 1987 finds a vast difference in the work culture of that day and now. “ There was hardly any competition then, but now the client has a vast choice and we have to offer extra facilities to stay in the market. I appointed visualisers, graphics designers and marketing executives. The results were amazing,” he says.

In the face of the stiff competition, some of the old players are apparently upset. Complains Mr A R Sharma who set up his business in 1980, “These new companies have made a simple pursuit complex and competitive”. But the big players do not seem worried. An executive of an agency which has branches all over the country, says there may be competition, but that does not bother them. They are getting business as usual.

About the tactics employed by the new companies, a marketing executive admitted that despite strict instructions of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) not to offer any discount, some were offering discounts up to 13 or 14 per cent. The company gets a commission of 15 per cent of the value of the advertisement.

Comments the director of an advertising agency, “ When I opened my agency, I tried to follow the norms set by the INS. Soon I realised that at this rate I will have to close down my business. The client openly demands a discount, without caring for your credibility or the additional facilities such as free designing that you may offer.” But there certainly are those who disregard clients who demand a discount. Only they are in a minority. According to one of the operators in the field, there may be in the city four or five agencies that do not offer discounts. The rest employ any trick that can bring business.

While the inter-agency war remains hot, the tribe of marketing executive is having a field day. No doubt it is a test of their ability to win over the clients. Says one of the young executives: “To attract a client we have to make things look as he wants. And that is what I am learning.” He thinks he is made for this profession and is enjoying every moment of it. These young professionals are accepting the challenge of this demanding profession. They look forward to a fruitful career since several new publications are coming to Chandigarh and every big advertising company is opening its office here.

And in the new atmosphere of IT explosion, the companies are looking forward to the concept of Internet advertisements.Back


Property dealers’ demand
Tribune News Service

SAS NAGAR, Sept 10 — The Mohali Property Consultants Association has urged the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, to include their trade in the category of consultancy services allowed in residential premises in the town. PUDA allows using of 25 per cent of the covered area of residential premises for running consultancy services.

Mr Bhupinder Sabharwal, a member of the association, said they were issued licences by the Estate Office and their trade did not create any sort of nuisance. The association had cited the example of the Chandigarh Administration and the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) which had included the property dealers in the category of consultancy services.Back

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