Thursday, November 2, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Regional Potpourri

Premier public school turns 40


PROTEST: On a call given by the Punjab District Attorney Service Association, law officers working in various courts of the district wore black badges and observed a pen-down strike against the anomaly committee’s discrimination. The law officers had not been granted the time-bound scale whereas vet doctors and engineers had been getting the same, the District Attorney pointed out in a press note issued here.

FOUNDATION DAY: Guru Nanak Dev University, which was founded in 1969, will celebrate its 31st Foundation Day on the campus on November 24. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr, Harbhanjan Singh Soch, presided over a meeting of the foundation day committee constituted to celebrate the function here on Tuesday in which senior teachers, officers and principals participated.

EYE DONATION: Dr Surjan Singh on Tuesday addressed a gathering at Government Primary School in Rasulpur Kaler village. He spoke on awareness about eyecare and eye donation. Twentythree villagers pledged to donate their eyes. Ms Parvesh Rani, councillor in the local municipal corporation, took the lead in signing the pledge.

SEMINAR: Guru Nanak Dev University and the Press Council of India will jointly organise a one-day seminar on “Future of print media — problems of regional press” on November 5 at Guru Nanak Bhavan on the university campus. Stating this, Dr S.P. Singh, coordinator of the seminar, said Lt-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), Governor of Punjab, would inaugurate it.

ROAD BLOCKED: Hundreds of activists of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Ekta, blocked traffic on the Bathinda-Barnala road near Lehra Dhurkot village for about three hours on Tuesday. Mr Harnek Singh, vice-president of the BKU (E) demanded an inquiry into the lathi charge by the police on women activists of the union at Kokri Kalan village.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank Employees Union: president — Mr Parampal Singh Sidhu; general secretary — Mr Baljinder Singh; senior vice-president — Mr Gurcharan Singh; and cashier — Mr Tarsem Lal.

ONE KILLED: One person was killed and another injured seriously when their motorcycle collided with a stationary tractor-trailer on the Bathinda-Goniana road near the octroi post on Monday night. Police sources said Mandeep Singh succumbed to his injuries at the Civil Hospital. The other injured identified as Anil Kumar was under treatment.

LAW AND ORDER: The Janata Dal (United), while expressing its concern over the bomb blast in a passenger train near Rama Mandi in Bathinda district, has criticised the state government for its failure to maintain law and order in the state. An emergency meeting of the district unit of the party urged the government to grant adequate compensation to the victims of the bomb blast, and to deal firmly with the disruptive and terrorist forces. The meeting was presided over by the district President, Mr Jagdish Anand, and the state Vice-President, Mrs Veena Rani. The meeting authorised Mr Anand to nominate the office-bearers and the working committee members of the district unit. The district administration and the Health Department came under severe criticism at the meeting in the wake of the outbreak of dengue and malaria in the city localities. The party expressed its solidarity with the farmers who, it said, were continuously being exploited and the government agencies had miserably failed to make smooth and timely procurement of paddy. 

MEETING: The state executive of the Punjab State Pensioners' Confederation will meet at the Bharatiya Kisan Union office in Ludhiana on November 3 to chalk out a phased programme of dharnas and rallies all over the state against the "biased attitude" of the state government towards the pensioners. Mr B.R. Kaushal, President, PSPC, in a press statement informed that the demands of the pensioners as recommended by the Punjab Fourth Pay Commission had not been implemented. Mr Kaushal flayed the government for the raw deal meted out to the pensioners.

HEPATITIS-B CAMP: The Rotract Club, in association with the GGN Khalsa College, organised a hepatitis-B vaccination camp at Grewal Hospital under the guidance of the Zonal President, Mr Dalbir Singh Makkar. As many as 1,047 patients were vaccinated at the camp. The children up to the age of 15 years were vaccinated for Rs 70 and above 15 years for Rs 135. 

PADDY PROCURED: The paddy procurement in the district till October 29 had touched 12,08,983 metric tonnes as against 11,55,492 tonnes during the corresponding period last year. Giving this information, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, said the total procurement in the district was expected to exceed 13 lakh metric tonnes. Of the total purchase so far, the government procurement agencies had procured 10,65,660 tonnes (88 per cent) which included 3,90,391 tonnes by the Food Corporation of India, 1,03,388 tonnes by the Food and Supplies Department, 1,30,093 tonnes by Markfed, 2,27,303 tonnes by Punsup, 1,46,090 tonnes by the Punjab State Warehousing Corporation, 68,405 tonnes by the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation and 1,43,323 tonnes by millers. 

JATHA FOR PAK: A jatha of Sikh devotees to visit gurdwaras in Pakistan will leave from the office of the Guru Gobind Singh Sevak Jatha, Civil Lines, on November 6 morning. According to Mr Kartar Singh Garib, mukh sevak of the body, devotees from various parts of Punjab and other states will reach Attari border on the same day. The devotees will pay obeisance at the gurdwaras Sacha Sauda, Rori Sahib, Aminabad, Tambu Sahib, Panja Sahib, Chuna Mandi and the birthplace of Guru Ram Das in Pakistan on the occasion of gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev. 

BLACK DAY: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has termed Punjab Day being observed on November 1 as ''black day''. In a joint statement, the party district President, Mr Rashpal Singh Gill, Senior Vice-President, Mr Ramesh Nanchahal, and the youth wing President, Mr Ashwani Bhalla, have said that Haryana and Himachal Pradesh might have valid reasons to rejoice on the day but Punjab was trifurcated and truncated on this day. It was ridiculous and beyond comprehension that Punjab Day should be observed at the state level with much fanfare. 

WIDOW PENSION: The 39th widow pension distribution function will be held at the Shri Gyan Sthal Temple on November 5 under the chairmanship of Mr Som Nath Maini. Mr Jagdish Bajaj, President of the temple management committee, informed that about 351 widows would be benefitted. 

AUTHORS' MEET: The recipient of the Shiromani Sahitkar and Sahitya Akademi awards for his contribution to the Punjabi literature, Prof Niranjan Tasneem would deliver a lecture at the authors' meet at Bhasha Bhavan, Patiala, on November 5. Prof Tasneem has retired from the Postgraduate Department of English, Government College, Ludhiana. 

POLICE-PUBLIC MEET: A police-public meeting was held on Tuesday at the local Sadar police station with SHO Jaimal Singh chairing and 150 panches and sarpanches attending it. Village elders were urged to start ‘theekri pehra’ in view of the rise in cases of crime involving the Kale Kachhewale gang in the neighbouring areas of the Phagwara block. The SHO sought public cooperation and assured quick response in case of any eventuality.

SAD MEETING: The local unit of the SAD on Tuesday decided to hold village and mohalla level mini-conferences for carrying constructive policies of the Badal government to people’s doorsteps and countering canards being spread by its detractors. Mr Gurmukh Singh who chaired the meeting made a plea to the Chief Minister to fill vacancies in government bodies.

CONDEMNATION: The All-India Kashtriya-Tonk Pratinidhi Sabha held a meeting here on Tuesday which was chaired by Dr Sukhdev Singh Lauka. The sabha condemned the remarks about Sant Baba Namdev in the book ‘History of Medieval India’, in which he was called a dacoit and a killer. The sabha demanded the deletion of the objectionable remarks.

ARREST DEMANDED: Ms Satinder Kaur, daughter of Mr Kuldeep Singh, a lecturer in Government Senior Secondary School, Kasel, has demanded the arrest of her husband Amarjit Singh and other members of her in-laws’ family against whom a case under Sections 406, 498-A, 506 and 452 of the IPC was registered at the local Civil Lines police station on October 16. She said her husband and in-laws had been torturing her and demanding dowry since her marriage.Top



NAGAR KIRTAN: A colourful nagar kirtan procession will be taken out here on November 9 in connection with the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev. According to Mr Sardool Singh Vilkhu, chairman of the Nagar Kirtan Tal Mel Committee, the procession will start from the Sector 19 Gurdwara and move through Sectors 19, 27, 28, 29, 30, 20, 21, 22, 23 and 37 before terminating at the Sector 40 Gurdwara. 

SEMINAR: The Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, will hold its annual seminars on November 4-5 at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Kanthala, on the topics: Sikhism and Caste System and Punjab and Autonomy. The seminar will be inaugurated by Justice Kuldeep Singh (retd). Prof Harinder Singh Mehboob and Mr V.T. Rajshekhar will preside. Leading intellectuals, scholars, lawyers and eminent personalities will participate, according to the secretary, Major Gen Narindar Singh (retd). 

EXHIBITION: Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi and the All-India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, New Delhi, are joining hands to bring a superbly varied collection of works to town. The exhibition, titled Millennium All-India Arts Exhibition is going to open at the local Punjab Kala Bhavan, at Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Thursday. The exhibition will remain open between 10 am and 6 pm. 

OFFICE-BEARER: The following have been elected office bearers of the Baba Vishvakarama Charitable Trust, Maloya village, UT: chairman — Mr Gian Singh Matharoo; general secretary — Mr Karam Singh; cashier — Mr Mohan Lal; trust members — Mr Surinder Singh, Mr Charan Singh, Mr Jagdish Kumar and Mr Harbans Singh. 

PLANTED: Thirtyfive medicinal and ornamental saplings were planted under tree plantation drive inaugurated by Ms Satinder Dhawan, Municipal Councillor, Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, at the Government College of Education, Sector 20, here on Wednesday. Ms Dhawan stressed upon the need to preserve environment and maintain ecological balance to check growing population. This was stated by Ms Saurinder Tangri, Principal of the college, in a press release. 

ELECTIONS: Mr Lalu Ram Bhaora, president of the Class IV Government Employees’ Union, announced that the elections to the union will be held on November 12 at Muni Mandir, Sector 23. He asked all the members to participate in the election. 

AWARENESS WEEK: The Krishak Bharti Co-operative Limited, Punjab, celebrated Vigilance Awareness Week at their Chandigarh Office, on Tuesday. All participants took an oath formulated by Central Vigilance Commission. Mr G.I.S. Bhullar, Inspector General Police (retd), was the chief guest. This was stated by Mr V.S. Garcha, Senior Assistance Manager (Mktg.) in a press release. 

CELEBRATED: The 34th Union Territory Day of Chandigarh was celebrated by the local unit of Nationalist Congress Party under the leadership of Mr Gurbachan Singh, president of CNCP, at Sector 45, here on Wednesday. He felt that if Chandigarh was declared a separate state like Delhi, it would be very beneficial for the City residents. The party appealed to the Central Government to declare Chandigarh as separate state on the pattern of Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The party also decided to visit either any colony or village of the city, every Saturday to hear the grievances of the residents. 

LAUNCHED: Canara Bank, Chandigarh circle, launched the vigilance awareness week to eradicate corruption, with administering an oath to its employees at its circle office premises at Sector 34, here on Tuesday. Mr G Narayanamoorthy, Deputy General Manager of the circle, administered the oath to employees by reading out the message of Central Vigilance Commission. 

MEETING: The executive body meeting of the Purvanchal Welfare Association, Chandigarh, will be held on November 29 at Arts Block No 1, Panjab University at 3.30 p.m. This was stated by Mr Rajendra Singh, general secretary of the association, in a press release, here on Wednesday. 

DHARNA: The UT Building Maintenance Workers Union will participate in the mass dharna to be organised by the Federation of UT Employees and Workers, in protest against the alleged adamant attitude of the Chandigarh Administration towards their long-pending demands. This was stated by Mr Jai Pal, president of the union, in a press release, here on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Federation of U T Employees and Workers, held gate meetings at three departments Road Store, Sector 26, Maintenance Booth, Sector 26 and Mechanical Workshop, Sector 26. 

PERFORMANCE PROGRAMME: The students and artists of Swami Ram Tiratha Cultural Centre, Sector 24 will hold its monthly performance programme to celebrate the birthday of Swami Ram Tirtha, on Thursday. This was stated by Hans Raj Sharma, president of the centre, in a press release. 



CAMP: A hepatitis vaccination camp is being organised in Jandli by Dr A.K. Sharma and Mrs Sharma at Krishna hospital and Nursing Home. In this camp, vaccines at the cost of Rs 65 and Rs 125 to children and adults, respectively, will be administered on every Sunday and Thursday before 2 pm, a release said. A special feature of the camp is that in case the due date of the vaccination does not fall during the camp period, the case will be registered in the camp and the vaccination administered even afterwards. 

CLUB: A golden friends club has been formed by the local youth. At a meeting held in Lal Kurti Bazar Cantonment Board member Umesh Sahni was chosen as the chairman of the club. President is Mr Lalit Chaudhary, working president is Mr Sanjeev Chaudhary, general secretary is Mr Vasudev Sharma, vice president is Mr Inder Singh, secretary is Mr Rajvinder Singh Titoo, treasurer is Mr Raju Arora and press secretary is Mr Rajesh Sharma (Lal), a release said. 

VISIT: The international general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr Pravin Bhai Togadia, will be visiting Ambala on November 4. Mr Togadia will be attending the Prakash Utsav of Swami Kalyanji Maharaj. Besides VHP, Bajrang Dal activists will be present during the function, a release issued by the general secretary of Ambala Cantonment unit of the VHP, Mr Madan Lal Bhola said. 

ORDERS: The district administration has imposed prohibitory orders within a radius of 200 metres of the examination centres for the DPE examination to be conducted by the Haryana Subordinate Staff Selection Commission in this district on November 5, it was officially stated here on Tuesday.

HELD: The Hansi police has nabbed three persons who had freed a criminal Ranbeer Fauji from its custody near Madina village in Rohtak district on Monday. They were caught at Garhi village on Tuesday night and three countrymade pistols seized from them. According to the police, after freeing Ranbeer these persons were returning to Hansi in a Maruti van.

FOUR HELD: Under the Gambling Act, Ram Kishan, Panna Lal, Puran and Kala of Bapoli were arrested on Monday by the chowki in charge of New Anaj Mandi. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered and the suspects remanded in judicial custody.

ONE KILLED: One person was killed when a car coming from Delhi hit him on the G.T. Road near the old bus stand, Samalkha, on Monday. The body has been sent for a post-mortem examination.

HONOURED: ‘Manvata Premi Samman Samaroh’ was organised by the All Regions Ekta Mission at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, G.T. Road, Panipat. Babu Parmanand, Governor of Haryana, honoured social workers on the occasion. Ms Brij Rani Sharma, chief patron of the local Bharatiya Mahila Kalyan Samiti, was among those honoured.

PROTEST: Workers of the Riba Textile Mills held a procession here on Tuesday in protest against the declaration of the lockout by the management of the factory on July 22 last. The procession was led by Mr Howa Singh, president of the district committee of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions and other leaders of the Textile Workers Union. They submitted a memorandum to the District Labour Officer.

SUICIDE ATTEMPT: A housewife, Anju, is reported to have made an attempt to commit suicide by consuming an insecticide at her house in Rai village, about 15 km from here, on Tuesday. According to reports, she was admitted to the Civil Hospital here where she is stated to be out of danger. A family quarrel is stated to be the cause.

BEATEN UP: A youth, Rakesh, was beaten up allegedly by the parents of a girl while he was teasing her. He was caught red-handed by them in the Sunder Sanwari area here on Tuesday. Later, the youth was hospitalised.

BURNS: A labourer, Yunis, sustained burns when he touched electricity wires in Tara Nagar area here on Tuesday. He was immediately hospitalised. He is stated to be out of danger.


LIQUOR SEIZED: The local police in a campaign against bootleggers has arrested four persons and seized English and countrymade liquor during raids conducted in different parts of the district during the past 24 hours, the police said here on Tuesday. This was disclosed by the district police chief, Mr Prathviraj, on Tuesday.

FOUNDATION STONE: The foundation stone of a veterinary dispensary in the upper Danotoo village in the Shahpur tehsil of the district could not be laid down on Tuesday as residents of the lower Danotoo protested against ignoring their village. They blocked the Pathankot-Mandi highway at Chambi for two hours. The police said the SDM, Dharamsala, had rushed to the village.

ARREARS DEMANDED: The Himachal Pradesh State Pensioners Welfare Association has urged the government to release the arrears of additional dearness allowance to pensioners in cash. The association pointed out that the pensioners should not have been tagged with the employees whose arrears would be deposited in the provident fund.Top


Regional Potpourri

Premier public school turns 40

THE British on leaving India in 1947 left a large fund to be utilised for rehabilitation of ex-servicemen who had fought World War II. This was called post-war reconstruction fund (PWSR). By the late fifties all the ex-servicemen had been rehabilitated and there were a few crores still left.

Col Naunihal Singh Man and Gen Kalwant Singh approached the then Chief Minister of Punjab, Partap Singh Kairon, a visionary. It did not take the duo long to hit upon the idea of starting of a school on the model of public schools to educate children of ex-servicemen with scholarships from the PWSR.

After studying the functioning of the best schools of India, a Sainik School was started in Nabha within the buildings of the erstwhile state. Mr J.K. Kate who was later awarded Padma Shree was picked up as founder-headmaster. A Maharashtrian, he had made his reputation as an administrator while serving as bursar at Lawrence School, Sanawar.

When this team approached the then Defence Minister, Mr Krishna Menon, for the help of a physical instructor and a doctor from the Army, he quickly grasped the idea and started Sainik Schools all over India on the lines of this school. However he refused to help the school at Nabha unless the head of the institution was a defence officer. Mr Kairon was an excellent judge of men he decided not to let go of Mr Kate and turned the school into what is called Punjab Public School, Nabha. This was in 1960.

This year — the last of the second millennium and of the 20th century — PPS completes 40 years of existence. The best way to judge a school is from the students it turns out. The ONA is an association of the old students of the school. They celebrated a well-planned rendezvous on October 22.

The spirit of Old Nabhaites, can be gauged from the fact that in spite of six counters for registration at “Rendezvous 2000,” the reception was packed till late afternoon. They had trooped in from the eastern states, Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and even the UK and the USA. Professionally they were a mixed bag of doctors, engineers, journalists, executives, businessmen, farmers, defence officers and even teachers.

The day started with a welcome address by Navin Talwar, president of ONA, then Mr Punia, an ex-headmaster associated with school for 31 years, conducted the assembly with singing of the school song by old students and a prayer.

The programme reached its zenith with honouring of three martyrs’ families. Mrs Jatinder Cheema and her daughter received the honours for Major Rajwinder Singh Cheema who single-handedly captured an enemy post and then held it all night long repulsing many counter-attacks in 1971 and getting a Vir Chakra. Mrs Harpal Singh was honoured for her husband, Capt Harpal Singh of the Para Commando regiment, who was fatally wounded by LTTE while firing at them to protect his colleagues.

Capt Vardip Singh Bhinder (hony) received the honour for his son, Capt M.S. Bhinder, an ace rider of India who won four golds, one silver and one bronze at the Bangalore National Games and was declared best rider. Capt M.S. Bhinder had died with his wife and son in the “Uphaar” cinema fire in Delhi while trying to save the lives of those trapped inside. The photo shows Capt Vardip Bhinder (right) being honoured by Mr Y.P. Bhardwaj, an ex-teacher of the school.

There was a video show on the history of the PPS using computerised slides from old photographs lasting more than an hour. One was glad to see Rajendra Prasad’s Presidential train entering Nabha railway station in 1961 to inaugurate the school.

The spirit of the great Partap Singh Kairon must be smiling with great satisfaction in the heavens when it looks down upon the success of his “creation”.

A corporator with impeccable credentials

Had there been a `best councillor’ award on the pattern of best parliamentarian, Mala Singh would be the unanimous choice amongst all the councillors of the Shimla Municipal Corporation. This suave, pretty and energetic young woman is so intensely committed to her job that even her male counterparts appear as pygmies when compared to her high standards.

A staunch Virbhadra Singh loyalist, Mala Singh’s deep concern on the environment, unauthorised constructions and lack of cleanliness have been appreciated by one and all irrespective of party affiliation. A first-time corporator, Mala Singh does not believe in petty politicking and calling a spade a spade is her forte. She is always on the move, be it in the field or inside the corporation. The developmental works done by her and close rapport with the public amply manifest her versatility. And she has a special word of praise for the Chief Minister, Prof Prem Kumar Dhumal, for having banned plying of all vehicles in her ward (around the Ridge and Lakkar Bazar) to the relief of pedestrians.

It is quite amazing that while Mala Singh’s female colleagues are nowhere to be sighted after being victorious at the hustings and despite their dismal performance during the past three years, she has struck a fine balance between her public commitments and family affairs. She is M.A. ( Public Admn.) married to an HPSEB Executive Engineer and has two kids.

The corporator is a strong votary of banning polythene bags and other plastic materials as she considers these to be the biggest hazards responsible for abysmal hygienic conditions in the town: she wants the Municipal Corporation to take the initiative to distribute cotton and jute bags to replace polythene products in phases.

Among her future plans and priorities in the ward, she is getting a parking place built near Amar Bhavan to tide over this ever-growing problem. Besides, she will also strive hard to create strong public opinion against multi-storeyed buildings, especially in her Jakhu ward. She also firmly believes leaving alone the safai karamcharis’, it is the common man who is primarily responsible for the deteriorating public hygiene. “Heavy penalties must be imposed on all such offenders, who throw waste, garbage and rubbish at public places. Stringency in this regard is the only resort keeping in view the gravity of the problem,” she asserts. She sounds highly critical of the cumbersome and preposterous laws governing the corporation at present. “These laws can be bent any time, to any extent to suit vested interests. Unauthorised constructions, encroachments and tree felling that have taken place during the past are all due to unbridled bureaucratic and political pressure”, she asserts.

Mala Singh deserves a lot more. She does not regret that she lost the race for coveted post of the Mayor by a whisker last year owing to party bickerings. But she has firm faith in “karma” and stoically goes about her job of serving the public without expecting rewards.

— Contributed by Jashanjot Singh Bhangu and Som Kirti


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