Monday, December 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pension for disabled from Jan: Kanjla
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 3 — A demonstration by the blind marked the state-level function to observe World Disabled Day here today. Speaking at the function the Minister for Social Security and Woman and Child Development, Mr Gobind Singh Kanjla, announced that all disabled persons would get a pension from next month.

Students of the government-run School for the Blind held a peaceful demonstration outside the gate of Braille Bhavan, airing their grievances over a public address system, set up for the function.

As soon as Mr Kanjla arrived at the venue he was surrounded by the agitators who wanted their grievances addressed at the earliest.

But before the minister arrived, the staff of Braille Bhavan deprived the agitating students of their carpets and the PA system in an attempt to dislodge them from the venue. Infuriated at the attempt to disperse their gathering, they blocked the road and started raising slogans against the Punjab Government , the Panjab police and the minister. Vehicular traffic towards Chandigarh was held up for about half an hour. When the minister arrived on the scene, the protestors again resorted to slogan shouting. Mr Kanjla told the students that they could go on agitating for months together if they liked . He invited them for a dialogue after the function.

The agitating students were demanding, among other things, free travel by KM scheme buses, jobs for the totally blind, free Braille books for the blind irrespective of age considerations and other concessions. They had a twenty-five point charter of demands signed by Mr Sadhu Singh, president, Rashtriya Netraheen Sangharsh Samiti and Mr Malkit Singh, president, Bharat Netraheen Sangharsh Samiti and a large number of blind students. Mr Sarwan Kumar, chairman, Nishkam Sewa Society, asked the Braille Bhawan officials to return the carpets to the agitating students.

Physically challenged persons, including men women and children, started arriving at Braille Bhawan soon after 9 am. Many of them were being literally carried by relatives. A couple of workers were busy at the back of the building fitting tricycles to be distributed to the challenged persons at the function.

Mr Kanjla distributed wheel-chairs to 40 persons and tricycles to 120 persons from various districts of the state. Three hundred ninety seven disabled persons were given pension-sanction papers entitling them to a pension of Rs 200 per month.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Kanjla said artificial limb manufacturing centres were being set up at Jalandhar, Ferozepore and Patiala.

Mr R.L. Kalsia, Director, Social Security and Women and Child Development, told The Tribune that the state government had launched a national scheme for disabled persons, National Programme for the Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (NPRPD). To begin with, the scheme has been started in Ropar and Sangrur districts. It will be extended to other districts as well in the near future, he added.

A regional rehabilitation centre for spinal injury cases would be set up at Mohali at a cost of Rs 5 crore next year, he said. However, the proposed centre will start functioning temporarily at Government Medical Hospital, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in this month itself.

He disclosed that according to a survey conducted by the Health Department, 2,47,594 persons had been identified as disabled which hardly constituted 1.2 per cent of the state's total population.


Parents, teachers team up to raise school building
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — This project, the first of its kind in Punjab, may set the ball rolling for other government schools in the state operating out of buildings that are dilapidated.

The parent-teacher association of Government Model Senior School, Dholewal, has launched a novel project to renovate the school building at a cost of Rs 3 crore collected through donations.

Presently, the school building is on the verge of collapse. There are nearly 10 rooms and most of them are without proper light and ventilation. Since the building is quite unsafe, most of the classes are being held in the open for quite some time even during adverse weather conditions.

The parents and teachers of the school held meetings and chalked out a new plan for renovating the entire building. They collected some money from the public, contributed their share and a major share from came from the state government.

Speaking about the plans of the new building, Mr Didar Singh, president of the association, said, ‘‘The new building will house 45 new classrooms, a computer room, a library, an underground hall for holding functions, science laboratories and an administrative block.’’ He also said the school would be merged with the Government Senior Model School, Millerganj.

Mr Avtar Singh Sohal, secretary of the association, said there would be no hike in the fee of the school even after the completion of the project.

The foundation stone of this building was laid by Mr Tota Singh, Minister of Education, here today. His announcement that the school would be upgraded as a senior secondary school this year brought cheer to all the students and teachers.

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Minister of Technical Education, lauded the efforts of the PTA association and said other government schools should also adopt a similar path for their welfare. Lala Lajpat Rai, Member Parliament, announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the school building.

On the occasion, the school students presented a cultural programme. They recited a shabad Deh Shiva bar mohe ehai, followed by a group song Aao saathio. Class VIII students sang a group song Sare jahaan se achha, Hindustan hamara.

Mr Hira Singh Gabria, MLA, Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, ex-minister, Ms Usha Sidhu, District Education Officer (secondary), and Ms Harbans Kaur, Headmistress of the school, were also present on the occasion. 


Tota Singh spells out new exam plan
By Deepkamal Kaur

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — The Punjab Government has decided to increase vigil during the next Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) examination with a view to eliminating copying. The State Education Minister, Mr Tota Singh, said the government was concerned over the growing number of complaints of cheating in the board examination.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune about the new schemes for streamlining the board examination from this year, he said four hot lines would be set up in control rooms of the board that would oversee the smooth functioning of the examinations with the help of flying squads. Anyone coming to know of any anomaly would be able to report the matter to the board officials, who would immediately deal with the complaint.

Mr Tota Singh, who was in Ludhiana for the inauguration of a new school building said no applications for new centres for examination would be accepted now and only those which were sent before November 7 would be considered for approval. He said this rule had been implemented so that there was no confusion among the students regarding the centre and roll numbers later on. ‘‘Last year we faced similar problems at various centres as we were accepting application forms even a few days before the commencement the examination,’’ he said.

Mr Tota Singh said: ‘‘This year we have ensured that the five sets of one paper are of the same level so that none of the students feels that he had to answer a difficult set. This year we will have one paper setter for all five sets.’’

He said all vacancies in high schools of the state had been filled, however, 7,000 vacancies at the primary level still remained vacant. ‘‘These posts will now be filled in the next session,’’ said the minister.

He said the grant of Rs 20 lakh would be sent to all constituencies for the renovation of schools falling under them. For bringing about development changes in villages, he said 2000 rural development committees had been set up with a sarpanch, a retired teacher, a retired Army officer and a headmaster as its members. These committees would work without any political involvement. 


Campaign to bring light to the blind
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — Eye donation is the supreme gift that one can bestow on humankind. In fact, it is one of the best ways to outlive oneself, was the message of Mr N.K. Grover, District Governor, Lions Club, on the occasion of the ‘Journey for Sight Rally’ organised by the Lions Club International, District 321- F.

Speakers stressed the need to launch an awareness campaign about eye donation after death. They said unless misconceptions regarding eye donation were removed, not much could be done. It was necessary to involve children in this as they were the future of our country. Another point that was highlighted was the need to create traffic awareness among the masses.

The rally was flagged off from Guru Nanak Stadium and passed through Fountain Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Bhai Bala Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk and culminated at the stadium itself. Nearly 600 children from seven schools of the city participated.

After the rally, members of the Lions Club and students reassembled at the stadium. The next part of the function was a seminar. Interesting discussions about the ways to generate awareness were held by students. The thrust of the seminar was on removing wrong notions about eye donation. Another thing that was discussed was the need to make concerted efforts to involve the members of the family of those who pledge their eyes for donation after death. 


Elevated road project in soup 
By Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, Dec 3 — An ambitious project of 2.5 km long elevated road, the first of its kind in the region, proposed to be constructed over the existing GT Road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand cinema, appears to have run into trouble, even before commencement of the work.

The Rs 41 crore project was taken up by the municipal corporation to ease the chaotic traffic conditions and increasing vehicular congestion on the national highway passing through the main commercial area of the city.

Even though the detailed survey and soil exploration for the project having been completed by the Rail India Technical and Engineering Services (RITES), the process of calling tenders and allotment of work, was taken by the MC. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), a partner in the ruling SAD-BJP combine in the civic body, has taken a divergent view and appears all set to lock horns with the civic administration over the issue, describing the massive funds to be spent on it as wasteful expenditure.

The group leader of BJP councillors in the civic body, Mr Pran Bhatia, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said his party was not opposed to the project as such. We know that timely measures have to be initiated to improve traffic management. But at the same time the MC has to do within resources available with it and priorities have to be evolved.

"It is a norm that for all major roads and flyovers, the cost is shared by the state government and the Centre with the civic body. For the elevated road, estimated to cost over Rs 41 crore, not a single paisa would come either from Punjab Government or the Union Government. But still the MC was going ahead with this project, perhaps to achieve distinction and to please their political masters," he said.

Charging the senior MC officials with putting more pressing and needed projects on the back burner, Mr Bhatia observed that the project of outer ring road, which would have played a vital role in easing the traffic congestion in the city, had virtually been shelved. Similarly, almost 50 per cent of the outer city colonies were devoid of basic amenities of sewerage and water supply. He said the party would bring all these issues in the next general house meeting of the MC.

While the councillors belonging to the ruling SAD and other Akali factions have not come out openly against the administration on this matter, those from the Congress and certain independents were apparently willing to go along with the administration. A former Congressman and now an independent councillor, Mr Jai Prakash, who is also a member of the Finance and Contracts Committee of the MC, contested the claim of Mr Bhatia that the elevated road project had not been cleared by the MC general house. He said the proposal was first of all cleared by the FCC and later it was ratified by the MC general house.

Making it clear in no uncertain terms that the opposition to the project by the BJP was politically motivated and aimed at winning the support of certain groups among business and trade community, who apprehended disruption of business activity during the prolonged period of over two years that the project would take to complete, Mr Jai Parkash maintained that if timely remedial measures were not taken to drastically improve the prevailing traffic conditions in the city, people would not be able even to walk on the roads in the days to come.


Man held for burning wife
From Our Correspondent

KHANNA, Dec 3 — The Khanna police has arrested Kala Singh, a local resident, on the charge of attempting to murder his wife.

According to a police press note , Ms Jinder Kaur was married to Kala Singh of Kartar Nagar a few years ago. On November 24, Kala Singh demanded Rs 500 from her. She told him that he would get the amount on December 15. In the meantime, their relative Hans Raj reached there. Jinder went into the room. Kala Singh allegedly poured kerosene on her and set her afire.

Hans Raj put a blanket, but she received serious burn injuries. Instead of admitting her to hospital, she was kept at home. The next day her parents were informed. They admitted her to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, from where she was referred to the Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. The police has registered a case under Section 307, IPC.



Woman booked for ‘abducting’ husband
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — The police has registered an FIR against a woman and some of her relatives for allegedly kidnapping her husband with a motive to kill him.

Mr Hari Singh of Haibowal Kalan said his son Gurpal Singh was married to Gurmit Kaur in 1992. She allegedly kidnapped her husband with an intention to kill him. A case has been registered against Gurmit Kaur, Harprit Singh, Gurjit Singh, Kiranjit Kaur and Gurmohan Singh. No arrests have been made so far.


Husbands’ night out
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 3 — It was one night in the year, when the husbands were really pampered. To give them all the attention and a few memorable moments that they miss all through the year, the members of Niharika Ladies Club organized a “Husbands’ Nite” here last night.

Filled with fun, music and dance, the programme by the women included dance and dinner for the hubbies, who are otherwise barred from entering the premises of this all women’s club.

The office-bearers of the club were honoured by Dr Ruchika. Dr and Mrs Iqbal were the chief guests on the occasion whereas Dr and Mrs Chawla were the guests of honour.

Dr Chawla had prepared surprise games for the couples, which proved highly entertaining. The young as well as old couples enjoyed the ‘balloon couple dance’ the most. Mr and Mrs Sachdeva won the first prize by defeating more than 50 couples.

There was another surprize prize for the “heavy weight” couple who weighed more than 180 kilograms together. Mr and Mrs Chabra were the prize winners. Two ‘best couples’ were chosen from among more than 85 couples on the basis of their outfit, their wit and humour. Mr and Mrs Manjit Makkar, and Mr and Mrs Arshbir Gandhi were declared best couples on the occasion.

Mrs Dolly Chabra was given the ‘best tenure’ award for her services to the club. To add colour to the night, bhangra was performed by the children of the club members. Mr Arora won the prize for wearing maximum gold on the occasion. 


Dog show a big draw
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — Hundreds of people today thronged Shaheed Bhagat Singh Stadium to watch the third and fourth Twin All Breed Dog Show organised by the North Star Kennel Club, Ludhiana. About 250 dogs belonging to 32 breeds participated in the show.

A variety of dogs, including big and fierce looking Boxers like Rambo, Gugoo, Hitler, Tyson, Jackson, German Shepherd like Rocky, Hero, Badal, Booja, Boojo, Jimmy, Gomes and big dogs like Saint Bernard, including Tyson, Dennis and Jinnie were too attractive for most of the visitors.

There were also small and beautiful dogs in the toy category. These included the Pug, Affen Pinscher, Maltese, English Toy Spaniel, Pomeranian Papillon, Italian Greyhound, Japanese Chin and others. In the Hounds category, there were fierce and deadly looking Afghan Hound, Blood Hound, Harrier, Fox Hounds of American and English breeds. In the working dogs category there were Akita, Bull Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Boxer, Brirard German Shepherd and others.

According to Mr Reet Inder Singh Bindher, senior vice president of the North Star Kennel Club, Ludhiana, the main purpose of the show was to “encourage the man dog relationship”. He pointed out that the interest of people in dog shows was increasing. 


Mahashas demand 33 pc reservation
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — “Even 53 years after Independence, we have failed to get a reservation of 33 per cent, which Dr B R Ambedkar had recommended for our community, out of the total reservation for the Scheduled Castes,’’ Mr Chaman Lal Jaswal, president, All-India Mahasha Welfare Association, said at the fourth annual conference of the Mahasha Employees Welfare Association here today.

Mr Jaswal further said Scheduled Castes constituted 37 per cent in India’s population. Out of which 13.5 per cent belonged to the Mahasha community. It was demanded that at least 15 MLAs and two MPs should be from the Mahasha community and one member of the community should be a member of the Rajya Sabha. Another demand was the inclusion of Mahasha community members in all selection committees.

Mr R P Kalhotra, district president, of the association, said the members of the community had cleared the Army test but were denied jobs because they were Mahashas.


PFA activists rescue 200 hens 
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — Activists of the People for Animals (PFA) today claimed to have rescued about 200 hens, which were being taken to a meat shop. The hens along with the rickshaw-puller who was carrying them were being taken to a police post at Basant Park.

According to a PFA press note, the vice-president of the association, Dr A.P.S. Gogia, spotted a rickshaw carrying these birds near Gill Chowk. He intercepted the rickshaw and with the help of some traffic police personnel took it to a nearby police post.

The birds were provided water and fodder at the police post. Five birds died, probably due to illness. The PFA activists claimed that the birds could have died of injuries as these had been bundled on the rickshaw.

It was learnt that the birds were being taken to a meat shop. The shopkeeper was summoned and warned against carrying these birds in such a way.


College teachers stage dharna
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — Fifteen teachers of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women along with members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union staged a dharna in front of the college here yesterday to protest against the extension given to the Principal of the college, Ms Kuldip Kaur.

The teachers took two classes in the morning. Later, they came out and joined the members of the union from Samrala, Doraha, Dakha, Khanna, Raikot and other local colleges. They raised slogans against the management and said they would continue their protest till the services of the college principal were terminated.

The students of the college were panicky as the members of the union said they would not let the university authorities accept the examination forms, but the principal said she had sent the examination forms.

Later, teachers and members of the union staged a dharna in front of the house of Mr Arjan Singh, president of the management.


Widows given relief 
From Our Correspondent

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — A total of 351 widows were given free rations and household items of daily use at the monthly pension disbursement function by Shri Gyan Sthal Temple Sabha here today.

A 15-day free cooking course aimed at making girls independent will start on the temple premises tomorrow. Recognised by the Government of India, it will be conducted by Mr Anant Ram, according to the sabha secretary, Mr Naresh Goyal.


Nagi’s tips on make-up
From Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, Dec 3 — Make up is for adding to the beauty and not spoiling it. One should apply such make up only which enhances beauty. These observations were made by Mr Neeraj Nagi while giving tips on the latest make up and hair styles to the members of Geetanjali Club, here today.

Mr Nagi prepared six models of the club in different hair styles and make up. They took the ramp.

The club had arranged a sponsored tambola for the members and guests. Various queries regarding hair problems were answered by Mrs Sonica Nagi. Mr Nagi also gave tips matured women on hiding wrinkles. Mr Nagi taught the women about different buns to be made for different occasions. New techniques of hair colouring and the latest party make up was also demonstrated to the audience.

Those present on the occasion included Asha Miglani, president, Geetanjali Club and Dr (Mrs) J. Bindra, chairperson of the club. More than 150 members attended the demonstration. 


Mr Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

LUDHIANA, Dec 3 — Nearly 200 well-built youths most of them in their teens or barely out of their teens displayed their muscles at the annual Mr Ludhiana 2000 Competition organised by the Ludhiana Amateur Body-Building Association. The competition was held for both the senior and junior titles.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Chandershekhar, presided over the function.

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