Sunday, November 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Jeweller got himself robbed for insurance money
Focal Point robbery case solved, prime accused absconds
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The local police today solved the mystery behind yesterday’s robbery at Neelmani Jewellers in the Focal Point area. The police said the robbery had been masterminded by the owner of the shop, Sukhminder Singh, to get the insurance money for paying off debts. It has turned out to be a hoax robbery.

The police today sent its teams to Panchkula to catch the two “robbers” who had executed the plan on behalf of Sukhminder. The prime accused and the owner of the shop, Sukhminder Singh, has absconded.

Earlier, the owner of the shop, Sukhminder Singh, had confessed that only about 40 tolas of gold jewellery had been stolen from his shop and not 8 kg as claimed before. Sukhminder Singh had presented himself before the police yesterday and had been asked to report to the police today as well. Nobody has seen him after 8 am today.

Yesterday, the owners of the shop had reported that gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 35 lakh, besides Rs 2 lakh in cash, had been stolen at about 12.30 pm from their shop on the busy Metro Tyres Road in the Focal Point area.

Allegedly, at the time of the robbery, the owner of the shop, Sukhminder Singh, was at Jalandhar and his wife, Amanpreet Kaur and mother, Manjit Kaur, were in the shop when the robbers struck.

Reportedly, a clean-shaven man came to the shop and said he wanted to buy jewellery for his wife. He asked the women to show him a few sets of gold jewellery. After examining the sets, he asked the women to keep three sets aside. He said his wife would join him shortly and she would select the sets.

The person also said his wife knew the way to the shop from the other entrance that was through the house of the owners. After this, he received a call on his mobile telephone and talked in monosyllables. When the doorbell from the other side rang, Manjit Kaur went to open the door, thinking that it was the person's wife.

However, when she opened the door, she found another clean-shaven man there with a pistol in his hand. He reportedly threatened Manjit Kaur and locked her up in one of the bathrooms, before entering the shop. The two men then threatened Amanpreet Kaur and took away all the jewellery that was in the shop.

When the police arrived on the spot after the incident, the two women told them that only about 40 tolas of gold had been stolen. However, when Sukhminder Singh returned from Jalandhar, he said he had lost 8 kg gold in the robbery.

The police sources say that an employee of the jeweller has also been questioned. He said the shop there had never been more than about 40 tolas of gold in the shop.

Sukhminder Singh had recently got a Matiz car financed and has not paid some monthly instalments. Reportedly, the finance company had taken back the car as the jeweller was a defaulter. However, the jeweller then paid a part of the instalment and got his car back. Sukhminder’s bank account showed that he was almost broke and his cheques for amounts as small as Rs 250 had been dishonoured many times.

Sukhminder Singh had a mobile telephone earlier, but because of the non-payment of bills, his connection had been snapped by the company. He had bought a new cash card only yesterday. When the “robbery” was taking place at his shop, he reportedly called up at his home six times. Later, he called up his neighbours from his cellphone and told them that no one was picking up the telephone receiver at his shop.

The shop had been insured by the owner only two months ago for Rs 50 lakh. He had also been operating committee funds and had lost about Rs 25 lakh in these ventures. He owed many persons a lot of money — about Rs 4 lakh to one jeweller alone.

The police has registered a case against the two unidentified persons under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC.


MC approves projects worth Rs 6 crore
From Kuldip Bhatia

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The Finance and Contract Committee of the Municipal Corporation has approved the allotment of development work and estimates of work regarding construction, surfacing and widening of roads. It also approved lining of streets and lanes, laying of water supply and sewerage, acquisition of forest land for widening of highways and creating infrastructure for sports in the city worth over Rs 6 crore.

The committee, which met on Friday evening, accorded approval for surfacing of several roads through the MC hot-mix plant in various city localities, including the Link road from Bharat Nagar Chowk to general bus stand, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Shastri Nagar, Dugri, Model Town, Lakkar Pul to district courts, both approaches from Durga Mata Mandir to Jagraon Bridge, New Madhopuri, the Radha Swami road in the Gill road area and all roads leading to Domoria Bridge from Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Mata Rani Chowk and Clock Tower. These work would incur an expenditure of Rs 59.66 lakh.

Tenders called by the MC for various development work worth Rs 1.75 crore were also approved by the committee. The Chandigarh road from Puda Nursery to octroi post will be widened at a cost of Rs 1.16 crore. The MC has also sanctioned Rs 8.20 lakh for diversion of forest land for widening of this stretch. Another Rs 15.15 lakh were proposed to be paid to the Forest Department for transfer of 10.017 hectare land to be used for construction of foot path, service lanes and parking places on the Ludhiana — Ferozepore road from Jagraon Bridge to Sidhwan Canal.

The major work for which estimates of around Rs 2.18 crore were submitted by the Buildings and Roads Branch of the MC were: 4-laning of a part of the Tajpur road, brick flooring in Gita Nagar streets, construction of central verge on the Chandigarh road up to the Metro road, construction of parking place in Transport Nagar, surfacing of roads from Daresi Cremation Ground to Valmiki Ghati and the Gaushala road to the Circular road, besides road markings for traffic safety.

In a bid to improve the existing sport infra-structure for the forthcoming national games, the allotment of work for water proofing of Shastri Hall (Rs 3.60 lakh), providing flood lights in basketball stadium (Rs 6.21 lakh) and providing lights along the synthetic tracks (Rs 5.37 lakh) in Guru Nanak Stadium were also accorded approval.

The committee further granted sanction for widening of Sidhwan Canal Bridge on the Jawaddi road at an estimated cost of Rs 47.81 lakh. The work will be carried out by the Sirhind Canal Circle.

Other major work approved at the meeting of the committee included desilting of sewer lines from Transport Nagar, laying of water supply and sewerage in different areas at a cost of Rs 11.19 lakh and the construction of a road along nullah on the Tajpur road to the Bhamian road at a cost of Rs 25.27 lakh.

The committee also discussed and approved many other proposals of grant of building loans, medical reimbursement to MC employees and purchase of new equipment for different MC departments.

The city mayor, Mr Apinder Singh Grewal, the Commissioner, Dr S.S. Sandhu, the Senior Deputy Mayor, Mr Jagdish Prasad Loomba, the Deputy Mayor, Mrs Santosh Aneja, and Mr Jai Prakash, councillor, attended the meeting.



Gurpurb celebrated with fervour
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with religious fervour in the city today.

All gurdwaras of the town witnessed hectic activity since early morning. Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, was full of devotees by 6 am. After the bhog ceremony of an Akhand Path at 7 am, a captivating kirtan darbar was held where shabads from Gurbani were recited by a number of Hazoori ragis of the Golden Temple.

The three-day long celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev birthday at Gurdwara 6th Patshahi, CMC Chowk, also ended with Mahan Gurmat Samagam in which several kirtani jathas took part.

Other gurdwaras of the town namely Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib, Gurdwara Kalgidhar Sahib, Field Ganj, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Subzi Mandi, Gurdwara Model Town extension, Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Jamalpur Housing Board Colony and several other gurdwaras remained full of devotees throughout the day. 


Bad command also caused breakdown
From Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The breakdown in the Bharat Nagar telephone exchange here on Thursday was due to not only a faulty card but also a wrong command given by a senior official to the computer.

The Divisional General Manager at Dharamsala, Mr Charan Dass, had rushed to the city on Thursday to repair the fault in the computer system at the exchange.

The exchange began functioning partially that night only and the cards from Merrut arrived after that at 6 am. This proved that faulty cards were not the only reason for the breakdown that affected more than 10,000 lines in the city.

The GM of the local Telecom Circle, Mr V.S. Srivastva, confirmed that the Dharamsala DGM had arrived in the city to repair the fault. He said the primary reason for the breakdown was a faulty card only. Sources, however, said if it had been so, the Dharamsala DGM need not have been called. According to them, Mr Charan Dass was a member of the team that had installed the Japanese exchange in 1997 and knew how to repair it.

The fault had virtually paralysed the work in a number of departments of the district administration as well. The Telecom Department had not said anything about the visit of the Dharamsala DGM and the wrong command given by a senior official to the computer.

The department had also send an urgent message to the Japanese suppliers through the BSNL authorities, seeking a quick supply of spare cards.

Sources said the exchange had never worked properly and the department always had to keep about 150 telephones dead, otherwise, the entire exchange of 13,000 lines would collapse.

Sources said the issue had been raised several times at the department meetings, but nothing had been done.


Rose Garden to be given a facelift
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The Rose Garden is in for a facelift. The final conceptual plan for redevelopment of the garden has been approved.

According to the in charge, Mr Jaswinder Singh Bilga, the plan has incorporated existing elements and structures, with sufficient modifications. The idea is to make Rose Garden a model garden with adequate display and experience elements. Mr Bilga says the implementation of the plan is expected to be completed by April next.

A 3.5-km track along the periphery of the garden will be for joggers. This footpath will be covered by trees and shrubs. The back portion of the garden will be redesigned. A separate parking place will come up near the back entrance. This is expected to streamline the traffic near the front gate. An open air theatre will come up adjacent to the entrance.

The rear of the garden looks more like a dumping ground at present. But once the new plan is implemented, the place will wear a new look. Instead of piles of refuse, roses and rolling lawns will dot the place.

The plan conceptualises a display of roses near the back entrance, close to which will be a semi-circular display of roses. A linear display of roses will also adorn the garden. The roses will be arranged in such a manner as to make the garden appear ringed with roses of different hues. Roses will be displayed in beds, on rocks and on earth forms, besides low walls of roses.

Few people are aware of the planetarium near the boundary wall of the Rose Garden, which is languishing in anonymity. In the redesigned Rose Garden, it will occupy a pride of place.

Children will have much to look forward to in the newly designed Rose Garden. A novel concept of children experience area will be developed. Small boats rollicking in shallow ponds will be another attraction.

There are innovative ideas to educate children about issues like traffic rules and cleanliness. From time to time, special educative programmes for children will be held within the precincts of the garden.

A separate alcove will be constructed for senior citizens. This will offer them solitude in the company of nature. The garden kiosks will be a favourite for those interested in memorabilia related to Punjab.

There will also be a restaurant. The historical chimney near the entrance will be highlighted. Care will be taken to flush away stagnant water from ponds at regular intervals.


Postal complaints via Internet
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 —The Department of Postal Services has started accepting complaints on the Internet in Ludhiana.

Mr M.K. Khan, Senior Superintendent of Post Office (SSPO), told Ludhiana Tribune here today that the department had started two E-mail accounts in order to provide speedy redress of public grievances.

The E-mail addresses are: and The complaints send to these E-mail numbers will land directly in the office of the SSPO, who will immediately take action on them.

Mr Khan said that it had come to his notice that the complaints were not reaching him or delayed in the way. He hoped that the E-mail accounts would provide proper feedback to him about the problems being faced by the public.


Unforgettable Dr Kapoor and his hospital

Animals and birds leave footprints on sand, only to see these get washed away. It is only men of vision, decision and action who leave footprints on sands of time that cannot be erased. Such men leave a legacy, enrich heritage, establish institutions, symbolise human spirit and glorify human kind. One such person was Bisheshar Lal of Chiniot.

He balanced his idealism with a matching degree of realism. His elder brother looked after the vast family land and inspired his siblings to reach the top in professions of their choice.

Jiwan Lal’s field of specialisation was law. His genius made him Mr Justice J.L. Kapoor of the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Dalip K. Kapoor of the Delhi High Court is his son. Bisheshar Lal chose a career medicine and surgery. He visited Germany to obtain the MD degree from the prestigious Berlin University in 1910. He came back to serve the nation. He realised that women needed special medical care during pregnancy. He established Lahore Maternity Hospital on Chamberlain Road at the backside of the office of The Tribune (Nisbet Road) there. This hospital was also near Mayo Hospital and King Edward Medical College there.

The sincerity of Dr B.L. Kapoor attracted many donors for the cause. Among the foremost was the family of Malhotras — men of means and compassion. Old-timers can easily recall Swai Mal Sant Ram Flour Mills that used to be near Shalimar Gardens at Baghbanpura.

On July 25, 1910, Sir Ganga Ram laid the foundation stone of the 25-bed nursing home that came to be known as Lahore Maternity Hospital.

Sir Ganga Ram had himself built a hospital at Lahore called Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. His life-size statue stood on Mall Road during the Raj along with those of Lord Hardinge and the others. After it was removed by communal forces, it was restored by some wise men.

Dr Kapoor’s hospital gradually grew in size, status, service and wings. Dr Gopi Chand Bhargava and Dr Satyapal Anand, besides many others like them, practised in Lahore and knew Dr Kapoor well. Such men helped him a lot.

Come 1947, and everything turned upside down. Dr B.L. Kapoor took refuge at Ludhiana and so did his beloved institute.

After all possible efforts under those trying circumstances, the hospital was renamed Ludhiana Maternity Hospital. A bare minimum piece of land at Naulakha Gardens, an abandoned property, was provided for the hospital. The space was inadequate. Dr Gopi Chand Bhargava, the first Chief Minister of Punjab, knew the need and importance of the hospital. He allotted an abandoned property at Roshni Ground for the hospital. After several years of hard work, the hospital was ready.

The compassion, intellect and imagination of Dr Kapoor did wonders for the hospital. Dr Kapoor served the hospital till his death in 1969. Wise men after him provided direction to the local managing body of the hospital. Mr Kundan Lal Malhotra, Honorary Secretary of the body, Mr Mohan Lal Jhanji, its Chairman, and the other members of the body renamed the hospital after Dr B.L. Kapoor. Many organisations like the Lions Club and the Rotary Club collected funds for the hospital.

The hospital is running a couple of free dispensaries also. For the past several years, it is running a training school for nurses. It will later be made a College of Nursing.

Ludhiana will always remember late Karam Chand Thapar, late Om Prakash Prabhakar, Ms Anjana Gopal Majhail, Mr Nayyar, Mr Dumra and some other businessmen for their contribution towards the hospital.

Dr B.L. Kapoor studied in Germany. Now, medical students from Germany come here to receive training.


The problem of air pollution

Ludhiana has gained notoriety as the most polluted city of Punjab. In the morning hours, open places like Rakh Bagh and the Rose Garden are covered with dense smog and the air has a toxic smell. In the absence of winter rains, the polluted air settles down to the ground level. Enter Ludhiana from any side, and you are confronted by a thick layer of smoke which covers the city like a dark cloud.

Unregulated industrial growth and the increasing number of vehicles have contributed to this high level of air pollution. Old, dilapidated autos, which should have been discarded ago, are a common sight on the city roads. Most of the auto drivers use a mix of petrol and kerosene and leave a trail of black, poisonous smoke. Vehicles with diesel engines add to the pollution. Shops and the residential houses on busy roads bear the brunt of the problem. Untreated thick smoke emerging from industrial units is a painful sight in the industrial areas. Enforcement of anti-pollution laws is a far cry.

Dry and irritating cough has become the hallmark of Ludhiana. Residents of all age groups suffer from chest infections, broncho-nasal and skin allergies, and bronchial asthma. The number of young children carrying inhalers for asthma is growing. It is common to see pedestrians and drivers of two wheelers covering their faces with pieces of cloth in an attempt to protect themselves.

People generally keep windows on the front side of their houses but such is the smoke and noise let out by vehicles on the roads that hardly anyone ever opens these windows. Now people have started having fixed glasses on windows that face the road.

It is clear that the residents of Ludhiana lack environmental awareness and have not geared themselves sufficiently to create pressure groups in the city. If they want to secure their own lives and the lives of their future generations, they will have to rise from their slumber and take concrete steps to reduce the menace of air pollution.

Rajeev Gupta

Cruelty to animals

Animals cannot raise their voice against the cruelty perpetrated on them by human beings. Millions of animals are routinely battered and dissected and left to die. Cows and buffaloes are force-fed steroids to increase their yield of milk. Few of us even care to notice this.

Over 2,50,000 illegal slaughter houses are reportedly flourishing in this country. Horses, donkeys, bullocks are made to carry heavy loads and spanked to make them run faster. They are condemned to a life of back-breaking toil and, in their old age, are sent to slaughter houses or abandoned on the streets.

It is high time we took steps to stop this inhuman practice. A visit to the veterinary hospitals can show how callous we are towards animals.

The cart-men should be made to carry only the prescribed load on their horses and bullocks which according to the law should not be more than 1,000 kg for a bullock, 750 kg for a horse and 50 kg for a donkey.

We can make a small beginning in creating a more humane world for these helpless animals.




Yoga — the way of living
By Deepti Bhatia

LUDHIANA: YOGA, taken from a Sanskrit word, means linking oneself with the Supreme. It is the philosophy that offers instructions and insights into every aspect of life: the spiritual, the mental and the physical – through its eight-fold system and many paths. As practised traditionally in India, yoga includes a set of ethical imperatives and moral precepts, including diet, exercise, and meditative aspects. In the West, yoga focuses primarily on postures (gentle stretching exercises), breathing exercises, and meditation.

Basically, yoga teaches that a healthy person has a harmoniously integrated unit of body, mind and spirit. Therefore, good health requires a simple, natural diet, exercise in fresh air, a serene and untroubled mind and the awareness that man’s deepest and highest self is identical with the spirit of God . One basic principle of yoga sutras is that the body and the mind are part of one continuum of existence, the mind being more subtle than the body. This is the foundation of the yogic view of health. The interaction of body and mind is the central concern of the entire science. It is believed that as the body and mind are brought into balance and health, the individual will be able to perceive his true nature; this will allow life to be lived through him more freely and spontaneously.

A businessman who is in his early forties said, ‘‘I have been doing yoga since the age of twentytwo. I joined Swami Dev Murti’s ashram in Kanpur because I was curious. But over the years, I learned that nothing is better than yoga. It’s the best thing that could happen to me. I owe my good health , successful business , mental peace and equilibrium — all to yoga.’’

According to a yoga teacher, yoga first attempts to reach the mind, where health begins, for mental choices strongly affect the health of the body. Choices of food, types of exercise, which thoughts to think, etc. all affect the body. Thus, the first priority is to get us into a relaxed state. Yoga therapy begins with relaxation. Yoga employs asanas, pranayama and meditation or visualization.

Practicing of postures (asanas) provides gentle stretching and movements that increase flexibility and help correct bad posture. Breathing patterns (pranayama) can affect the spine in various ways, such as movement of the ribs and changes in pressure within the chest and abdomen. Exhaling can help relax muscles. Yoga breathing also improves brain function (intelligence and memory), as well as increasing the elimination of toxins from the system.

Relaxation or meditation provides a physiological antidote to stress. Visualising techniques may also be used. For example, imagining a movement before it is actually performed makes it easier to move the muscles that are being used.

A busy doctor who had been suffering from backache before he took up Yoga confessed, ‘‘I read a book named — an autobiography of a yogi — written by Swami Parmahans Yoganand. It inspired me to do yoga exercises. Now I have been doing yoga for past two years and I feel much better. My backache is gone. I feel a lot more energetic and stress free. I have more self-control too.’’

Asanas are designed to help balance the mind and body. Yoga postures help rejuvenate the brain, spine, glands and internal organs. For example, gomukh asana affects lungs, ardh machndra asana is very good for sugar patients , mayur asana helps organs of the digestive system, dhanur asana is for spinal cord, mathasya asana helps blood circulation to brain and surya namaskar made up of sevn asanas is very good for entire body. All these asanas work by increasing the blood and prana (air) supply to the related organs and by stimulating them with a gentle squeezing action.

The yoga asanas produced their beneficial effect on the organs and glands in three ways, explained Mr Amrit Pal Singh, a yoga enthusiast. He said the position of the asana caused an increase in blood circulation to the specific target organ or gland. It also produced a slight squeezing of the organ or gland. This had the effect of massaging the organ or gland and stimulating it.

Yoga’s effect on the spine is to increase its flexibility. This ensures a good nerve supply to all parts of the body, since the nerves from the spine go to all the organs and glands. The total effect of yoga asanas and breathing is to produce a state of high vitality and rejuvenation.

Yoga slows down the ageing process by giving elasticity to the spine, firming up the skin, removing tension from the body, etc. Longer life often results from following yogic ways of health maintenance.

Yoga is also known to be beneficial for disorders of different kinds like such as, asthma backache, cold, constipation, depression ,diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), insomnia, menstrual disorders, migraines, rheumatism, sexual debility, skin diseases and stress. Yoga is very effective for treating alcoholism, heart disease management, ulcers and managing cancer. Yoga is also being assessed for its potential in treating illnesses such as: multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and osteoporosis,

The benefits of the ancient yogic science are amazing. It has taken the west by storm. Thousands of foreigners spend millions every year to join yoga and meditation camps. But it is sad that we Indians are ignoring it and running towards aerobics. 


Coffee culture taking root
By Asha Ahuja

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — A chirpy old man in the coffee house in Bhadaur Market narrates his 25-year-old association with the eatery. He and some other “regulars” have formed a Coffee Friends Club and they assemble here in the evening. The members include young and old alike. There are lawyers, businessmen and other professionals also. At these meetings, they recite poetry, discuss politics and a host of other things till it is closing time and the staff asks them to call it a day.

This is the type of clientele that keeps the Indian Coffee House in business. Coffee culture is gradually growing in Ludhiana, even “lassi” and “kesar milk” remain the main attractions, besides of course, the ubiquitous tea. Since its inception in 1970, Indian Coffee House has carved out a place for itself with its dosas and filtered coffee. The decor has remained unchanged over the years, even if the tables look rather worn out.

Besides members of the Coffee Friends Club, it has other regulars like Mr S.N. Vinayak who, along with his wife, is seen there every day, to savour its hot dosas and cold coffee. “I have been coming here since 1970”, he recounts. he took voluntary retirement as a railway guard and settled in Ludhiana “I find the behaviour of the waiters good. The rates are reasonable. Prices have, of course, gone up over the years, but the increase has not been abnormal”, he asserts.

This coffee house is a unit of a cooperative chain, run by the Indian Coffee Workers Cooperative Society, headquartered at Bangalore. All employees have a share in the profit, in addition to their salaries. Waiters in all the units wear the same uniform. An employee is first taken on daily wages. When he is made permanent, he also becomes a member of the cooperative.

The jobs are transferable. One of the waiters has seen posting in Chandigarh, Shimla, Allahabad and Jaipur, before coming to Ludhiana.

Dosas, vadas, idlis and cold coffee are in great demand. In winter months, hot special coffee, laced with cream, is the favourite. Office goers, tired shoppers and students walk into the coffee house for dosa or idli with a refreshing cup of coffee with cream. Sometimes, shop-owner in the neighbourhood, send for their favourite snacks, which the coffee house staff willingly delivers without any extra charge.

Even if the residents have not developed particular taste for the strong aroma of brewed coffee, coffee culture is picking up and the Indian Coffee House has established itself as a unique institution.


A market with a glitter
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — To break the monotony of humdrum life, people in the city throng the local Sarabha Nagar Market in the evening. The motley crowd comprises people of all age groups and children. The hustle and bustle reaches its peak at around 8 p.m.

The market is fast becoming a favourite haunt of the young. A group of youngsters said they came here to eat and entertain themselves for a few hours in the evening, especially on Sundays. ‘‘We feel relaxed after a visit to this market and are ready to face the next week,’’ they said.

A group of girls said they used to go to Ghumar Mandi earlier, but they could not find what they wanted there. ‘‘So we come here to buy things, but the crowd here puts us off. The boys are not well-behaved and use vulgar language. They keep ogling at girls which annoys us,’’ they said.

The shopkeepers say their sales touch an all-time high during the holidays and week-ends. They said all eateries were jam packed and people had to wait for their turn. The most annoying part of a visit to this market is the horde of beggars who gather around you and beseech you for alms. A lot of visitors to the market said the Municipal Corporation should rid the market of this menace.

The residents near the market, however, are annoyed at the behaviour of the youngsters who visit this market. They say boys and girls come zooming in their cars creating a safety problem for the residents. A woman living in the area said, ‘‘They play loud music. Life has become unbearable for us, especially on Sundays. There is so much noise in the street that one gets a headache. When we go out for a walk, we find cars parked in our lane.’’

She said they had complained several times to the police, but it came reluctantly and was able to disperse the crowd only temporarily. It is back to chaos on Sundays. Many residents were surprised that parents give their children such big cars.


Library that reaches out to people
From A Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — Instead of people reaching out to the libraries, the books reach out to you. That is what Indira Gandhi Mobile Library’s purpose is, to go to almost all the localities of Ludhiana as well as the localities on the periphery of the city to felicitate the readers, specially the housewives, to read books, and browse through magazines while the mobile van is parked there. This mobile van is being run courtesy the Municipal Corporation.

The mobile library looks shabby from inside. The bus looks shabby from outside. The bus is full of dust. The glass that covers the book shelves is broken. Two or three racks were empty.In the centre of the bus is a cupboard displaying latest magazines. The library subscribes to 37 magazines.

Mr Ranbir Raja, the librarian, said, “We issue 50 books every day, so the shelves get empty.” But that could not account for the length of empty shelves. He further said, “The dust is there due to the dust on the roads. We travel to five or six localities every day. Moreover, our cleaner has been promoted to the post of driver, so we are short of a cleaner. We have written to the corporation to appoint a cleaner, but so far we have not got one. There are 250 members of this library. We generally park at a prominent place in a locality and blow horn. The housewives come out and browse through the magazines and get the books issued. We store mostly English, Hindi and Punjabi fiction. We generally do not have books of modern authors. We got a sanction of Rs 1 lakh last year. The library has 1600 to 1700 books.”

No member could be interviewed. The annual subscription is Rs 15 and Rs 50 is charged as security, which is refundable. If the library is better maintained, the members are bound to increase. The M.C. should put in one more mobile library van in service as Ludhiana’s population has increased manifold. This van should also go to slums and help children and adults enjoy books.

The Indira Gandhi Mobile Library being run by the Municipal Corporation in Ludhiana.



Sangh to carry on struggle
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — The Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) today resolved to carry on its struggle to safeguard the rights of the working classes.

Addressing the biennial session of the district unit of the BMS at Cheema Chowk, Industrial Area A, activists including Mr Shravan Kumar, president, Mr Kartar Singh Rathor, general secretary, and Mr Ramesh Palta, secretary, focussed on the pending demands of workers and warned the state government to grant justice to the workers, failing which the sangh would be forced to resort to agitational methods.

The speakers demanded bonus at the rate of 12.5 per cent for all salaried employees without any upper ceiling, regularisation of services of ad hoc workers who have completed 240 days of service, streamlining the provident fund accounts and checking its misuse and hike in minimum wages for unskilled, semi-skilled, skilled and highly skilled workers.

Mr Vir Abhimanyu and Mr Khelar Chand Gupta were reelected president and general secretary of the district unit in the session. Other office-bearers elected were: vice presidents — Mr Jagdish Datt Sharma, Mr Amarjit Miglani (Samrala), Mr Ashok Kumar (Raikot), Mr Doodh Nath (Ladhowal), Mr Gopal Thapa (hotel union), Mr Lovely Pal Dasawar; secretaries — Mr Diwan Singh Bisht, Mr Harbhajan Singh (Doraha), Mr Bharat Singh, Mr Sat Pa Saini, Mr Rajinder Yadav, Mr Dhananjay Kumar; treasurer — Mr Krishan Lal Jaggi; assistant treasurer — Mr Shiv Prasad Singh; propaganda secretaries — Mr Dara Singh, Mr Lekh Raj Chauhan, Mr Shiv Kumar, Mr Narsingh Khetihar; organising secretary — Mr R.K. Aza; and press secretary — Mr Nageshwar Singh.


Craze for designer wear
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — Boutiques and showrooms selling designer wear, both for men and women, are adding a new dimension to the fashion scene of this city.

People here do not mind spending on clothes and they do not settle for anything less than the latest designer label, according to Mr Deepak Dhanda, who along with his wife, Neelam, runs a boutique on Pakhowal Road. They had started with women’s wear but have now diversified into men’s wear as well.

Ms Sharanjeet Arora who also runs a boutique says some of her clients buy a new dress every week. “Women belonging to the high economic group want to be seen in a new designer dress every time they go a kitty party or visit a club”.

Mr Harpreet Narula and his wife, Harveen, whose showroom is popular with fashion-conscious women, says that earlier flairs and A-cuts were in vogue, but now the straight look is preferred. Bright colours like lime green, lemon, pink burned coal have replaced the earthy colours. Black, white and pastel colours are evergreen, they say. Under western influence, figure-hugging styles and cuts are preferred to traditional embroidery, according to the Narulas. They now plan to include designer footwear to match the dresses.


Mohan Singh Foundation to have unit in Sweden
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — Noted Punjabi writer Ninder Gill, who had recently taken voluntary retirement from the Audit Department of the state government to permanently settle in Sweden, has been nominated convener of Prof. Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation there.

Speaking at a function, organised by the foundation, to bid him farewell, Mr. Pargat Singh Grewal, president of the foundation, remarked that setting up a unit in Sweden would be a step towards bringing Punjabis settled abroad, a little more closer to the rich cultural and literary heritage of Punjab. The foundation, he added, would nominate more and more cultural ambassadors to achieve this objective.

Dr Avtar Singh, Associate Director of Communication Centre, PAU, observed that regional and national boundaries did not matter for the writers but if they could, at the same time, promote their mother tongue and their own cultural, it was all the more better.

The foundation general secretary Prof Gurbhajan Gill, recalled that 17 years, spent by the Ninder Gill in PAU, were significant for Punjabi literature, since most of his writings were created during this period.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Nirmal Jaura, Tarlochan Lochi, Dr Gulzar Pandher and Mr Parduman Singh Bedi.


1.5 lakh stolen from scooter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Nov 11 — In spite of the tall claims made by the local police regarding efficient use of ground force for curbing the crime rate, sporadic incidents of theft and robbery continue to be reported.

A sum of Rs 1.50 lakh was reportedly stolen from a scooter parked in front of SP Steel Trading Company yesterday. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Chander Mohan.

In another incident, cash and valuables worth Rs 45,000 were stolen from the resident of Dr Ajay Shahi in Phase-I, Urban Vihar, Dugri, on November 8. The police has registered a case under sections 454 and 380 of the IPC.

The third case pertains to the robbery attempt in Bhadaur House on November 9. It is alleged that a group of 20-25 unknown persons snatched a diamond ring from BJP leader Subhash Verma, another ring from his brother, Harish Kumar, and cash from his son Yogesh Kumar. A case under Section 382, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered.

In another case of theft, a motor cycle (PB-29B-5240) was stolen from GGN Khalsa College. The police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Manpinder Singh.

Ex-students booked

The Principal of Industrial Training Institute, Gill Road, Mr S.C. Madken, has accused a few former students namely Sarabjit Singh, Raja and others of interfering in the internal affairs of the institute and threatening other students by making speeches on the loud speaker.

A case under Sections 452, 290, 506 and 34 of the IPC registered yesterday after an application was submitted to the SSP on November 7. The principal urged the police to deploy a few police personnel in the institute to avoid any untoward incident.

One booked

A former Postal Assistant at Abdullapur Basti, Garib Das, has been accused of embezzling Rs 6,52,978 of recurring deposit and savings bank accounts during his posting. A case has been registered under Section 409 of the IPC on a complaint of the Assistant Superintendent, Post Office, North City sub-division, Ludhiana.

Case registered

The police has booked G.S. Chawla, a resident of Partap Nagar, for smuggling kerosene meant for the PDS quota. Four drums of kerosene were recovered during a raid by Mr Piara Singh, Assistant Food and Supply Officer, Khanna Camp, Ludhiana, on Friday. The police has registered a case under Section 7 of the EC Act, but the accused managed to escape.

Liquor seized

The police has seized around 18 bottles of illicit liquor from two persons during the past 24 hours. While 12 bottles of illicit liquor were seized from Gurjant Singh, a resident of New Sabzi Mandi, and nine bottles of liquor from Baldev Singh, a resident of Charik village. The police has registered cases.

Man beaten up

Darshan Singh, a resident of Phullanwal, was allegedly kidnapped from the house of a fellow villager, Bant Singh, on Wednesday night and beaten up with a hockey stick. It is alleged that the accused Nirmal Singh, Jagdeep Singh, his father, Balbir Singh, Kuldeep Singh and others beat up the complainant because of an altercation with him on November 4 during a jagrata. A case under Sections 323, 325, 365, 342, 452, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC has been registered at the Sadar police station.



Shawl makers an envied lot
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Nov 11 — While most of the industry is facing a slump, the shawl manufacturers appear to be an envied lot. The shawl industry has witnessed a boom.

Despite the domestic market shrinking fast, the shawl manufacturers have made up the losses from exports. Earlier, about 90 per cent of the product was sold in the domestic markets while only 10 per cent was either exported or sold to foreign tourists.

According to Mr Rajan Jain, it was foreign tourists, mostly from European countries, who popularised the shawls. Moreover, the Indian shawls had not been facing any competition from any other country.

Ludhiana and Amritsar are the two leading centres for the manufacture of shawls in the country. In Ludhiana, there are about 3000 units involved in the manufacture of shawls. Of these, 20 are mostly involved in exports.

China and Nepal are also entering the field. The world-famous Italian shawls, being two costly, do not pose any challenge.

There is a difference between the shawls used in the domestic market and those sold in foreign countries. The length of shawls sold in the domestic markets is slightly more than those exported.

Shawl manufacturers appear optimistic about the domestic market also. They pointed out that the influence from the West on dressing habits had led to diversification here. With more and more girls opting for jeans and trousers, local manufacturers expected good demand for scarves here also.


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