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


World White Cane Day
Protect rights of disabled: Governor
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — Punjab Governor Lt-Gen (retd.) JFR Jacob today called upon people to ensure that human rights of people, particularly the disabled, are protected. He emphasised the need to strive for the recognition and protection of human rights of all in the new millennium. He regretted that the basic human rights were denied to a major section of the population, including 600 million disabled children, women and men in the world.

The Governor was addressing a function after inaugurating Disability - 2000 Millennium and International World White Cane Day, organised at Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Centre here, today.

Gen Jacob said that even in the developed and developing countries people have been consigned to the lowest rung of social and economic ladder and said that in the 21st century "we must insist that disabled person had the same human and civil rights". He said that the disabled persons were in no way inferior to the others, but if they were given required training of a particular vocation, they could bring even better results than other people.

Pointing out the importance of the World White Cane Day, the Governor said that the White Cane was being considered as a guide, friend and companion for the blind to move about and in western countries, there was a special importance of White Cane in traffic rules. He said, "On this important day we must pledge to extend our solidarity with the disabled persons and to strive for extending all kin d of assistance for their rehabilitation".

The Governor while appreciating the work being done by VRTC Ludhiana for the rehabilitation and vocational training of disabled persons, said that the whole team under the leadership of Dr E.M. Johnson, Director, VRTC, had done excellent service in imparting vocational training, based on advance technology and scientific methods for both rural and urban disabled persons. He said that the VRTC, Ludhiana, during the past 35 years since its inception had resettled more than 13000 disabled person after imparting them training in different trades and this institution had also performed exemplary service for the disabled Army persons of different wars after Independence.

The Governor on this occasion presented best service award of 20th Century to about 18 organisations and individuals and also presented certificates to 24 doctors for rendering excellent medical services for the disabled persons.

Earlier, the Governor inaugurated an impressive exhibition based on the creations of the students of different vocations and took deep interest in it.

In his welcome address, Dr. E.M. Johnson, Director VRTC, said that in the world every day more and more children and adults were being added to the number of persons whose disabilities result from the failure to prevent preventable diseases and failure to treat treatable conditions. He informed that established in 1964 VRTC had provided excellent medical and rehabilitation services to the war disabled followed by its advanced technological and scientific rehabilitation services to those persons both in the urban and in the rural areas with disabilities.

During the last 35 years of its establishment, this vocational rehabilitation training centre for blind and disabled has achieved many goals in the field of rehabilitation of persons with disabilities and has resettled more than 13000 people with disabilities and restored them to independence and self-supporting status.

Major-General (retd.) Ranbir Bakshi proposed a vote of thanks.

Among others present on the occasion included Mr. S.K. Sandhu, Deputy Commissioner, Mr. P.S. Sandhu, DIG, Ludhiana Range, Mr. Kuldip Singh SSP and Mr. Manjit Singh Brar, SDM (West).


MC men sore at losing office vehicles
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — The order of the state government to take back office vehicles from officials of all municipal corporations in the state have created a difficult situation. Apparently, the decision will create more problems than it will solve.

The Local Bodies Department had issued instructions that, except the commissioners and the mayors, all other municipal corporation officials should surrender their office vehicles. The order said they should use their own vehicles to commute in the office hours, for which, they would receive a fixed monthly sum as reimbursement of the expenses on conveyance. The office vehicles, thus spared, would be kept for use for special purposes. These purposes include the collection of octroi, removal of encroachments, enforcement and inspection.

This austerity measure has surprised many persons here because the financial health of the MC in the city is supposed to be good. Most of the MC officials and councillors criticised the decision. The councillors’ support to the MC officials is strange because they have never failed to flog bureaucrats on the slightest of pretext.

Many councillors said the government was interfering in the functioning of the MC. “If the government wanted to use the vehicles for the other purposes, the MC should have been taken into confidence. Most of the MC officials will be reluctant to use their own vehicles for office work and the public will suffer in the long run.”

Most senior officials of the local civic body refused to comment on the decision. According to an information, 15 to 20 vehicles of the MC have now been parked in the MC workshop on Rajpura Road near dairy complex at Haibowal. These will be used for various special purposes.

An MC official said, each vehicle cost the MC about Rs 20,000 per month. The expenses include salary and allowances of the driver. All drivers will have to be retained and paid as usual. Besides, officials will have to be paid Rs 5,000 per month for using their own vehicles. The net saving will not be more than Rs 5,000 per month. This will be neutralised by way of slack control over development works and vehicle advance on a low rate of interest.

The government orders are not being observed in letter and spirit. Certain senior MC officials are still using office vehicles, not only for field visits but also for commuting from office to their homes. An employee of the local civic body alleged that the wife of a senior MC official used an office vehicle for her morning walk.

The government order said vehicles that were surplus should be auctioned. However, the MC seems to be in no hurry to do this. “Who knows, the government might review the decision. We will wait and not sell the vehicles now. This will save us from purchasing new vehicles if the government changes its mind,” said an MC official.


Wife’s ‘affairs’ force man to end life
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — A man allegedly committed suicide here after being reportedly humiliated by his wife and her paramours. The police has booked the man’s wife, her brother and two paramours on charges of inciting the person to commit suicide.

According to information available, Mewa Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Awana, disappeared from his house on October 14 after he had had a quarrel with his wife, Laddi, brother-in-law, Sarabjit Singh, his wife’s brother-in-law, Hukum Singh and the latter’s friend, Surinder Singh Billa. All these persons are alleged to have beaten up the complainant on October 7.

In the FIR registered at the focal point police station under Section 306 of the IPC, the father of the deceased, Dial Singh, has alleged that ever since his son went missing, he and his other son, Surinder Singh Shinda, had been looking for Mewa Singh. They informed that it was only yesterday when they had gone to look for their son near the canal, that they found his body floating in the canal.

Police sources reveal that Mewa Singh had also left a suicide note, wherein he had accused his wife, Laddi, of having illicit relations with her own brother-in-law, Hukum Singh, and his friend, Surinder Singh, alias Billa, a scooter mechanic. It is alleged that Laddi was having relations with both these persons for the past couple of years.

A few days ago, on October 7, Mewa Singh along with Hukum Singh and Sarabjit Singh were having drinks together when they had a minor altercation and the two beat up Mewa Singh. After this, they took Laddi along with them. They later returned in the night alongwith Surinder Singh and again beat up Mewa Singh.

Humiliated at being beaten by his wife’s paramours, the man allegedly decided to end his life.


Mohan Singh Mela a big draw
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — The two-day 22nd Professor Mohan Singh Mela began here today. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, and the city Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, garlanded the statue of the great Punjabi poet at Aarti Cinema Chowk on Ferozepore Road. Mr Sandhu said the 22-year-old literary and cultural event had now become a mass movement.

The Mayor said the Municipal Corporation planned to install a statue of Prof Mohan Singh outside the Punjab Agricultural University campus. The local book market near the poet’s ancestral house would also be named after him. Mr Pargat Singh Grewal and Mr Gurbhajan Gill, President and General Secretary, respectively, of the Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, welcomed the guests.

The mela was inaugurated in Punjabi Bhavan here. Many writers, poets, artists and students were present at the venue. A seminar on the writings of Prof Mohan Singh marked the beginning of the mela. Mr Amrik Singh Pooni, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab and President of the Punjabi Sahitya Akademi, said the poet was a yug kavi who promoted progressive thinking Punjabi in literature. Writer Prof Kirpal Singh Kasel said Prof Mohan Singh was the greatest poet of all times. Dr S.N. Sewak, Dr Sutinder Singh Noor (Delhi), Prof Surinder Singh Narula, Dr Kulwant Kaur (Patiala), Mr Sardool Singh and Surjit Pattar also took part in the deliberations.

The Mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, released a book written by Dr Navjot Kaur Kasel and presented its first copy to Mr A.S. Pooni. Mr Pooni released a collection of poems Ambari Akhan penned by Prof Ravinder Bhattal.

Prof Ravinder Bhattal, later, coordinated a poetic symposium, in which, Mr Pooni, Kanwar Imtiyaz, Sukhminder Rampuri, Inderjit Hassanpuri, Prof Gurbhajan Gill and Sardar Panchhi participated. Students of more than 15 local schools participated in a poetry recitation competition that was dedicated to Albel Singh Grewal and Amarjit Singh Grewal.

In the evening, the Moga unit of the Baba Farid Foundation and a cultural troupe of England, regaled the audience with a performance of bhangra. Artistes of the North Zone Cultural Centre of Patiala presented ghoomar. The other items that drew applause from the audience were malwai gidha and Vande Matram.



Mini-buses, major discomfort
From D.B. Chopra

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — In this ever-expanding industrial city, simple rules of the road like keeping to the left and giving way to an overtaking vehicle, it seems, apply to every road-user except the privileged lords of the road — the yellow mini-local buses.

Introduced about a year ago, ostensibly to counter the menace of noisy and smoky three-wheelers virtually crawling all over the city, these mini-buses are proving to be a much bigger nuisance, traffic-wise as well as pollution-wise. These buses are perhaps more smoky than the three-wheelers and much more noisier with their ear-splitting pressure air horns, which are used recklessly with utter disregard to the sensibilities of sound-sensitive citizens.

According to the District Transport Officer, Mr Bhupinder Singh, there are 125 licensed buses plying within the city limits. But at the same time, a large number of illegal buses are also on the road. Though checks are carried out from time to time by the DTO and illegal buses impounded, the same are got released by the owners after paying a fine that ranges from Rs 5000 to 10,000. However, nothing is done to ensure that these buses do not ply again.

Back on the road again after paying the fine, the operators of these buses are obviously bent upon making good their losses by way of fleecing the hapless commuters who have no choice but to travel by these buses from one part of the city to another. Buses are leased out to various conductors every morning by these operators on a daily basis for anything between Rs 900 and 1200 depending on the vehicle. The conductors, under such circumstances, have little option than “robbing” the passengers to pay the owners. For example, the buses running between Metro Tyre in Focal Point and Ghanta Ghar Chowk charge Rs 5 as fare for the full journey. But it has been noticed that passengers hopping in at Samrala Chowk on the way, which is about half the way from either side, are also charged the same fare for either end. Haggling, bitter at times, between these conductors and passengers is a frequent occurrence. The conductors win invariably in the end because of their aggressive behaviour that involves the use of rough language and bullish attitude.

Buses passing through the congested old city parts like the Brown Road deserve special mention because of their unscheduled stops anywhere on the road. Other road-users, have to be constantly on their toes as they do not know when and where the drivers of these buses are going to apply brakes, which they do so often.

Most of the drivers of these buses are rash and negligent, especially while negotiating difficult curves and rounds as at Samrala Chowk. Recently there was a scuffle between a local-bus driver and the owner of a Tata Sumo, which was damaged to some extent by the impact of the bus. A clear case of negligence on part of the bus driver that was. Following intervention by traffic cops, the passengers of the stranded bus had to go away without getting any refund or whatever.

The Corporation Commissioner, Dr Sandhu, says the job of the corporation in relation to these buses was to provide stops wherever possible in the city, (there are not many anyway), which had been done long ago. It was the job of the traffic police to monitor and regulate the behaviour of these buses on the road, he said.

Challans of these buses on counts of speeding and reckless driving are few and far between, going by the friendly attitude of traffic cops on duty. Mr S.S. Bhatti, Traffic Superintendent, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts to know about the exact number of such challans.

Another sore feature of these buses is the haphazard manner in which these are parked at different places in the city.




THE city is wearing a bridal look, with most of the marriage palaces brightly illuminated. The ambience in markets is cheerful as people have begun their Divali shopping sprees.

After Karva Chauth, comes Hoi. Women seek the blessings of the Goddess for a long life of their sons. Unfortunately, there has never been such a day for the girl child in religious calendars. Female infanticide is on an increase. Do not observe a fast for your daughters, but give them a chance to live at least. MTV and Tara Punjabi were in the city yesterday to scout for new talent. Hans Raj Hans was the anchor of Tara Punjabi Talent hunt show. On the same morning, MTV Video Go Go contest hit the city. VJ Asif Seth went to Khalsa College, Aptech Centre and Sarabha Market to scout for talent. He was looking for talent and at Tara Punjabi talent hunt, participants were waiting for their turns in Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan. Both Hans and Asif were pleasantly surprised. They had thought that there would be a paucity of talent in Ludhiana. However, they were thrilled to hear brilliant young voices.

Ludhianvis refuse to show any civic sense. After the Karva Chauth celebrations in Satluj Club, the club lawns could be seen littered with paper cups, plates and napkins. It was a similar sight after Tara Punjabi show in Guru Nanak Bhavan. The upkeep of the Bhavan is not upto the mark.

Sorry, Cinegoers, no new movie is to be released this week ,so, you will have to make do with the old ones.

Custard apples have flooded the market. Now is the time, when fruits and vegetables are available in plenty and one can indulge in stretching one’s appetite a bit.

On the fashion front, women are experimenting with shararas, straight lehngas, mermaid dresses, whereas, men are wearing lapelless suits. A high neck shirt worn with a collarless coat is in. Achkans, sherwanis and dhotis are also popular men’s wear.

Indian cricketers are there and yet far. After raising the hopes of Indians by reaching the final in Nairobi by defeating some of the strongest teams in the world, the lost to an unfancied side. People have to gamble and are betting heavily on cricket these days. . Everyday newspapers publish reports of police raids on hideouts of gamblers, but that is just a tip of the iceberg. It is Divali season. Let us become philanthropists and help out those who are less fortunate than us. — AA



District Courts need overbridge 
By Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — The need for a pedestrian overbridge to connect Old District Courts and the new complex across the fountain chowk and courts chowk near the Punjab Agricultural University Extension Library, is being strongly felt these days.

Not only the lawyers , but also the large number of litigants and people who have to travel daily on the road demand such a facility for safe commuting between the two blocks of the courts. Besides proving beneficial to these people, the bridge will also end a major traffic irritant on the road and help in managing the flow of vehicles.

Though there is a proposal to shift the district courts to an under-construction building behind the Mini-Secretariat, but gauging the slow pace of work on the project , one can assume that it will take some more time. Till then, the problem of crossing over the road will persist and accidents continue to occur at the problematic site.

A number of lawyers while talking to Ludhiana Tribune agreed that the overbridge would be the only solution. According to Mr Pardeep Sharma, President of the Young Lawyers Forum, the place has become accident prone. While the numbers of vehicles plying on the road is increasing, the number of people to and fro between the complexes is also high.

Explaining the need for litigants and lawyers to commute between the two blocks, Mr Harpreet Sandhu another advocate, said while there were 12 courts of Judicial Magistrates in the old district courts another six of Additional Sessions Judge were located in the new complex. The chambers of lawyers were also located in the old complex.

The lawyers have, thus, to cross the road several times a day in order to attend to the hearing of cases. Similarly, the litigants also have to shuttle between the two blocks. Mr Sandhu said due to the presence of traffic lights near the courts, vehicles from the traffic chowk side rush towards the court when the red light changes to green. This, he said causes accidents at the place.

According to Mr Rana Surat Singh an over-bridge is the need of the hour. Not only will it be beneficial to the persons commuting between the two court blocks, but would also relieve anxiety of the drivers on the road.

He said the lawyers had repeatedly urged the district administration and the municipal corporation to find a solution of the problem, but till date nothing has been done in this direction. 


Villagers demand shifting of poultry farm
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — Residents of Lalton village near here have expressed resentment over the setting up of a poultry farm near their village. They have also criticised the ‘attitude’ of some officials of the Deputy Commissioner’s office who had not forwarded their complaint for inclusion in one weekly Sangat Darshan programme.

According to a press statement signed by villagers including Mr Gurmeet Singh Bassi, Mr Shiv Lal, Mr Kuldeep Singh and others, the district administration should act promptly as the building of the poultry farm was complete and it could start functioning any time.

The villagers said they were opposing the farm as it was setup very near to the village. They said besides spreading foul smell, it was also feared that the farm may also spread diseases in the area. Moreover, under the rules, such poultry farms should be located at least one km away from the residential areas, but in this case the farm is situated at not more than 200 yards from the residential places.

The villagers urged the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.S. Sandhu, to intervene in the matter and save them from the ordeal.


Hans happy to find talent in city
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — Tara Punjabi channel held a talent-hunt contest Tara Suran De Hamsafar here. The compere of the show was Hans Raj Hans. The event was held in Guru Nanak Bhavan by past evening and continued well past 2 a.m. It was a memorable night. Hans took digs at himself and demonstrated his tremendous knowledge of Punjabi folklore. However, he presented only one song.

The audience was told that the talent hunt would be a week-long event. From here, the channel team will travel to Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Delhi. The 24 singers will be picked from these cities and the final winner will cut an album for Tara Punjabi.

Hans was supported on the stage by Satinder. He said, “We are trying to ape the West, but need to go back to out roots. The voice that inspired me was that of Ustad Lal Chand Yamla Jat.”

He said it was a pleasant surprise for him to find so much talent in the city. He said, “I used to worry for the future of Punjabi singing. I am glad that we have no dearth of talent.”

When one contestant was asked to sing a song based on a classical raaga in the first round, he could not tell Hans on which raaga the composition was based. The other compere, Satinder, said, “Maybe there are not enough albums of classical music in the market.” There were 18 contestants, three in each section. The rounds were based on classical music, folk songs and pop songs.

Vani, Bhupinder and lucky Lakhbir sang in the first round. Before the pop round, Hans said, “On every channel, you will hear similar kind of songs. The media is not friendly to classical music. Programmes of classical music and dance are aired in the late-night slot when everyone is asleep.”

In the second round, Harleen Kaur, Jaspinder Lalli and Vickey participated. The third round contestants were Jyoti, Mandeep and Amit, followed by Harpreet in the next round. The next round featured Harpreet, Ravinder Singh and Hardeep. In the fifth round, Amandeep, Garima Jain and Anand Sagar participated, while in the last round, Rosy, Lal Mukesh and Nitesh took part.

After midnight, Hans left and so did the crowd. 



13 held for gambling
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — The police has arrested 13 persons for gambling in four different cases and recovered a sum of Rs 23,925 from them.

According to information available, the CIA Staff team arrested three persons — Mangat Rai Gupta, Anil Kumar and Jusaf — while they were gambling in Hotel Tip Top near the local bus stand here last night. A sum of Rs 8700 was also recovered from them along with a pack of playing cards.

In another case, the police from police station division no. 4 arrested four persons and recovered a sum of Rs 3465 from them. It is alleged that the accused were gambling in Chwk Saidan last night.

Harjit Singh, Daljit Singh and Harvinder Singh were arrested by a police party from Kharadian Bazaar last night. A sum of Rs 4710 was also recovered from them.

A recovery of Rs 6950 was also effected from Bodhi Bhadnari, Inderjit Singh and Lalit Kumar while they were gambling in Hindi Bazaar.

In all these cases, the police booked the accused under Sections 13, 3 and 67 of the Gambling Act.


Stress on poverty alleviation 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — To discuss the achievements of the Annual Credit Plan 2000-2001, the Punjab and Sind Bank convened the district consultative committee (DCC) meeting for the quarter ending June 2000.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) appreciated the efforts of bankers for disbursing loans to the tune of Rs 575 crore under priority sector against the annual targets of Rs 1118 crore. Credit Deposit Ratio of the district was calculated to 73 per cent against the norms of 60 per cent with total advances of Rs 4594 crore to total deposits of Rs 6302 crore.

The ADC laid emphasis on the implementation of Swaranjyanti Gram Swarozgar Yojna, a poverty alleviation scheme of the Government of India so that self-help groups concept could be floated to bring about collective efforts of rural population for the eradication of poverty. 


Tempting readers with gifts

LUDHIANA, Oct 20 — The readers of magazines never had it so good. They have been flooded with offers of a wide variety of gifts that go with long-term subscriptions. The offers are so tempting that many are willing to pay the lump sum subscription.

Some of those who have paid five-year subscriptions to magazines of their choice are happy for two reasons. First, they save money in the long run, though it is tough to pay the money at one go. Secondly the reader is assured of the magazine reaching him regularly without his looking for the new issue in the market every time.

A magazine which is celebrating its fourth anniversary has invited the readers to buy a five-year subscription within October to be eligible to participate in an lucky draw which offers a 18-carat gold set with pink fire opals and diamonds worth Rs 40,000. Other prizes include stereo sets, clocks, silk and leather bags, and a book that tells the reader how to fix cocktails. With a two-year and one-year subscriptions go smaller prizes, attractive nonetheless.

Another magazine is tempting its readers with gifts, for five-year and three-year orders.

A magazine devoted to economy and commerce, offers a concession for a three-year subscription and a book from a list of five.

Another business magazine has offered a stylish trolley with a five-year subscription. A three-year subscription entitles the reader to a desk top lamp, and a one-year subscription yields a clock-cum-torch set. A journal which addresses teenagers, offers with a one-year subscription, a snazzy travel bag which teenagers can use for various purposes. Subscribe to another magazine and take a world clock with five different time zones and also make a saving in the ultimate cost. A magazine devoted to computers offers with a five-year subscription a high technology mouse phone, built in hand free phone, ear plugs and a mouth piece.

Another magazine celebrates its silver jubilee year by offering a concessional five-year subscription and eight music CDs. There are three CDs with a three-year subscription and two with a one-year subscription. The reader also saves on subscription. Besides, there are 500 consolation prizes.

A magazine on advertising and marketing offers daily and monthly draws. There also are gifts of different values depending on the period of the subscription.

Thus the magazines are trying to induce people to read. So, go ahead, read and enjoy the gifts.
— AA

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