Thursday, February 15, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

  • A shame to our heritage
  • He believes more in pen power than gun
  • A correction

CHEQUE PRESENTED: American Sikhs studying at Miri Piri Academy presented a cheque for Rs 10 lakh to Mr Parkash Singh Badal for the Gujarat earthquake victims. This was stated here on Tuesday by the Director of the academy, Mr J.S. Bedi.

QUAKE RELIEF: The Coca Cola bottlers here have despatched 15,000 blankets and 1,200 tents for the Gujarat earthquake victims. The Managing Director of the company said 10,000 more blankets would be despatched by the next week.

MOCK PMT: The DAV colleges of the state have decided to conduct a mock test on the pattern of pre-medical test (PMT) this year. Mr S. Marriya, Principal, DAV College here said three DAV Colleges of the state had been selected to conduct the mock PMT. Mr Marriya said the test would be held on April 15 at the DAV colleges at Amritsar, Bathinda and Chandigarh.

BLOOD DONATION: As many as 177 units of blood was donated at a camp organised by the local unit of Bharat Vikas Parishad here on Monday. Mr Sushil Vyas, president of the parishad, informed that 60 students of government college were among those who participated in the noble cause. Mr Kewal Garg, former president of Dera Bassi Industrial Association, was the chief guest at the occasion. 

ENCROACHMENTS: Municipal employees along with the police on Tuesday launched a drive to clear the encroachments from the Municipal land. These areas include Main Bazar, Hanuman Chowk and Amambaraw chowk.

MURDERED: Pargat Singh (25) of Dhingarian village was found murdered on the outskirts of the village on Tuesday. A case has been registered.

COMPETITION: The Madan Gopal Chopra memorial inter-school shabad, bhajan and patriotic song competition was organised on the premises of AS Senior Secondary School, here on Wednesday. The first prize in shabad gayan was bagged by Hindu Putri Pathshala and the second prize by AS Modern Senior Secondary School. The consolation prize was bagged by AS Senior Secondary School. In the bhajan gayan contest, DAV Model stood first and AS Modern School stood second, while the consolation prize was won by Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School. The first prize in patriotic song was won by AS Modern School and the second by Hindu Putri Pathshala, while the consolation prize by Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School. The SDM Khanna, Mr S.S. Gill, was the chief guest and the function was presided over by Mr Des Raj Mehta. Mr Vinod Ghai, manager of AS Senior Secondary School, Mr Ashok Tewari and Mr Nirmal Sofat, among others, spoke on the occasion.

UK EXPERT: Prof Jane Challenger Gillette from the School of Information Science, University of Brighton, UK, will visit PAU for two weeks to teach students of PG diploma in information technology. Her visit is covered under the British Council project strengthening the diploma under the Higher Education Links Scheme. This was stated by Dr H.S. Sekhon, Dean, College of Agriculture Engineer. He said the Project was scheduled for three years under which faculty from Brighton University would teach the students, faculty and provide books and related software.

CONDEMNED: The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has condemned the government's reported move to tax the withdrawal of provident fund and small savings as per the recommendations of the Dave Committee report. Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, CICU, in a press note issued here on Wednesday has condemned the proposal. He said,‘‘Such a legislation will leave a permanent dent on the morale of the salaried class. It will adversely affect the saving rate and investment in the country.’’ He has urged the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to shelve the proposal.

ALLEGED: The Middha Chowk Market Association has alleged that the sales tax officials were blackmailing shopkeepers in the city. In a letter written to the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Mr G.S. Middha, president of the association, alleged that the officials were issuing sales tax certificates only to the shopkeepers who “offered” them money. Mr Middha also said it was difficult for the shopkeepers to keep an account of each and every purchase. The shopkeepers, who were unable to maintain an account were being unnecessarily harassed. They were not given the certificates by the department officials.

SELECTED: The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, a socio-religious, cultural- academic organisation, has been selected as the state representative for organising, coordinating and leading activities of drug abuse prevention among various NGOs of Punjab. The honour was given to the study circle during the three-day National Conference of Federation of Indian NGOs for Drug Abuse Prevention held recently in Chennai. According to a press note, over 300 NGOs from all over the country participated in the conference. The study circle is also running a de-addiction-cum-rehabilitation centre ‘Aas-Kiran’, where more than 250 patients have received free de-toxification treatment till date.

RELIEF MATERIAL: Ms Raji P. Sirivastava, Deputy Commissioner, on Wednesday flagged off five trucks loads of relief material for the earthquake victims of Gujarat. Meanwhile, Mr Kalu Ram, president, Labour Union, on Wednesday, flagged off a relief truck and send 12 volunteers for Gujarat.

TELECOM DEPT: Residents of the town have complained that the Telecom Department was damaging the newly laid roads of the town. Mr Jaspal Goyal, advocate, alleged that the department was not working in accordance with the norms of Bharat Sanchar Nigam ltd.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Bareta Press Club: president — Mr S.P. Singla; vice-president — Mr Madan Lal Gupta; general secretary — Mr Harmesh Singla; joint secretary — Mr Jagdish Garg and treasurer — Mr Sanjay Mahajan.

SCHOOL SOUGHT: Residents of Bappiana village in the district have urged Mr Tota Singh, Education Minister, to establish a Senior Secondary School in the village. At present their is one Government Middle School in the village of more than 2,500 residents. Students have to go to Mansa or Phaphre Bharke village to attend the school.

POPPY HUSK SEIZED: The local police on Tuesday seized eight bags of poppy-husk from a car near the Binaheri chowk, about 6 km from here. Two occupants of the car were arrested while the other two managed to escape. Those arrested have been identified as Raj Paul and Hardev Singh. A case has been registered.

COMPETITION: Rajiv Kaplish and Dharminder, both students of Amandeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, have won the first and third prize, respectively, at a state-level geet\gazal\lok geet competition held at the Red Cross Bhavan, Jalandhar, on Monday. It was organised by the Punjab Art and Culture Promotions Organisation, Jalandhar Mr Jang Bahadur Goel, Director, distributed the prizes. This was stated by Dr Surjit Singh Bhatti, Principal, of the college, in a press note issued here on Tuesday.

COLLECTED: The local Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Naujawan Sabha have collected Rs 51,000 from the public and presented the draft to Dr Roshan Sunkaria, Deputy Commissioner, the for Gujarat earthquake relief fund.

DOWRY CASE: On a complaint of Ajit Singh of Dheera village, the Sadar police has registered a case against Narinder Kaur and Jagtinder Singh. According to police sources , Kuljit Kaur was married to Jagtinder Singh about four months ago and her in-laws allegedly used to torture her for bringing insufficient dowry. When the demands were not fulfilled, Kuljit was allegedly murdered by the accused.

RELIEF FUND: The students, teachers and employees of Yadavindra Public School (YPS), Patiala, collected an amount of Rs 2,18,000 to show their solidarity with the people of Gujarat. They presented the cheque to the Deputy Commissioner. 

TICKETLESS TRAVELLERS: On the introductions of the Divisional Railway Manager, Mr J.S. Marwaha, a campaign was launched in Ferozepore division to keep a check on ticketless travellers. The Senior Divisional Commercial Manager , Mr Harbhagan Ram, along with others raided about 100 trains at different railway stations between Ambala and Amritsar during the past four days and caught 1,200 ticketless travellers. A sum of Rs 2 lakh was collected from them.

OBSERVED: On the call given by the PSU, trainees of the local ITI observed strike today in protest against the decision of the Punjab Government regarding two shifts of the institute and no facilities of bus pass for students in the KM scheme buses. Earlier, the students held rallies which was addressed by Raminder Singh Patiala, Parminder Singh, Amandeep Singh, Malvir Singh, Sunil Kumar and Gurinder Singh.


CAMP: A two-day awareness camp by the Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation Limited ended at Bapu Dham Colony and Burail, here on Tuesday. The camp was aimed to boost the development activities for women and physically handicapped persons. Various loan schemes for self-employment and training programmes of the corporation were listed out and forms were distributed. Various training programmes in tailoring, and computer were also explained. 

DISASSOCIATED: The Auto Mechanics Federation, Chandigarh, on Tuesday disassociated itself from the Joint Action Committee and would work for the interest and welfare of the federation independently. This was announced by Mr Sukha Singh, general secretary of the federation in a press note. 

ELECTED: The following have been elected the office-bearers of the Electricity Street Light Employee’s and Worker’s Union: president — Mr Parkas Chand L M; vice-president — Mr Kashmir Singh; general secretary — Mr Vachespati; joint secretary — Mr Anand Singh; press secretary — Mr Sandi Pans; propaganda secretary — Mr Bakshish Singh; and cashier — Mr Gurbinder Singh. 

PLAY STAGED: The Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, in collaboration with the NSS unit of the Government College of Education, Sector 20, staged a play “Kavita di Maut” directed by Gursharan Singh and Shrikant here on Wednesday. The college principal, Ms Surinder Tangri, talked about the social menace of female foeticide and urged educated people to start a crusade against it. 

CONTEST: As many as 82 students participated in the paper-reading contest on environment protection organised by Environmental Society, “Prakriti” of the Government College for Girls, Sector 11, here on Wednesday. According to a press note, Amrit and Deepti got the first prize, Taruna and Sheetal the second and Latika Sakhuja and Jessica the third prize in English. In Hindi, Jaya and Charu got the first prize, while the second prize was bagged by Shruti and Nidhi. The third prize went to Janki and Amrit. In Punjabi, Amarjit and Amanpreet won the first prize, Monica Sethi, second prize and Lavneet Brar and Asha the third prize. 

MEETING: The Panjab and Chandigarh Teacher’s Union (PCCTU) has decided to call an urgent meeting of its office-bearers on Thursday to discuss the delay in the implementation of the commitments of the Education Minister. According to a press note, the General Secretary PCCTU, Mr Charanjit Chawla, stated that on December 29, Master Mohan Lal, Minister, Higher Education, Punjab, had assured a high-powered delegation of the Union that the Pension-cum-Gratuity Act along with some other pending issues would be implemented within a month, but till date nothing had been done in the said direction. 

NOTICE ISSUED: Acting on a writ petition filed by the Godrej GE Employees Union, a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notice of motion to the Labour Department and the management of the Godrej factory for March 12. The union in its petition, had prayed that the Punjab Labour Department had failed to resolve their dispute with the factory management. The dispute had arisen due the workers being stopped at the gate of the factory by the factory management in January this year. 

WELFARE SOCIETY: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Housefed Complex Residents Welfare Society of Phase X: president — Mr Naurang Singh; vice-president — Mr Hardeep Singh; general secretary — Mr RK Gupta; and secretary finance — Mr Ajit Singh Mavi. 


MAN SHOT AT: A man was shot at in Naraingarh on Tuesday. The incident took place when Ved Prakash was returning home after closing his shop. Three scooter-horne assailants accosted him. They shot Ved Prakash, who has been admitted to the local hospital. The police suspect an old enmity behind the incident. At the time of the incident, there was no electricity supply in the area. By the time power was restored, the assailants had managed to make good their escap. 

ANNUAL FUNCTION: The annual function of Dev Samaj College, Ambala city, was held here on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Commissioner of Ambala, Mr D.D. Gautam, said the education is not just for getting a job, but also for character building. He said that while a family improves if a boy studies, two families improve when a girl is educated. He announced Rs 2,100 for the students who presented the cultural show. About 150 students of the college were given prizes for their achievements in various fields including studies, sports, NSS, youth festival and cultural programmes. 

LIFE IMPRISONMENT: The Additional and District Session Judge Ambala Ms Anita Chaudhary, has sentenced to life imprisonment six persons in a murder case which occurred at Ganoli village near Naringarh about five years ago. Those who have been convicted include Mohinder Singh, Rishipal, Pawan Kumar, Joginder Singh, Budh Ram and Babu Ram . According to the prosecution Balak Ram, Budh Ram and Anant Ram and three other persons were attacked by the accused on October 19, 1996. A case was registered against the accused in this regard. Later, on October 20, when Balak Ram returning from his field, he was again attacked by the accused and was injured. Two of his relatives, who came for his rescue, were also injured in the attack. Balak Ram, who sustained serious injuries in this attack was rushed to PGI, Chandigarh where he succumbed to his injuries after three weeks. The Judge observed that the next kin of the deceased should also be granted compensation. 

ARRESTED: The police on Wednesday arrested Bhola Ram, a drug trafficker, at Ganda village in the district and seized 100 kg of poppy husk from his possession.

SUGAR PRODUCTION: The Bhuna Cooperative Sugar Mill has broken all its previous records of sugarcane milling. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anil Malik, said here on Tuesday that the mill had so far milled 1,380 quintals of sugarcane and 1,13,000 quintals of sugar this year.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Badopal subdivision of the All-Haryana Power Corporation Workers Union: president — Mr Jagdish Prasad; vice-president — Mr Het Ram; secretary — Mr Dharam Singh; and assistant secretary — Mr Om Parkash.

KISAN CLUB: The Deputy Commissioner, Ms Jyoti Arora, has constituted a Kisan Club in association with Krishi Vigyan Kendra and the Department of Agriculture. Speaking at a meeting of the club held in mini secretariat on Monday she said a platform had been created for the farmers and those associated with the agriculture sector.

MEDICAL CAMP: The local unit of the Indian Medical Association organised a free medical camp at Jain Dharmarth Hospital on Monday. According to Dr R.K. Sethi, president of the local unit of the IMA, 275 patients were examined at the camp.

SHOPS CLOSED: All commercial establishments remained closed at Ganaur mandi, 16 km from here, on Tuesday in protest against the looting of an arhtiya shop by three youths on Monday.

ARRESTED: The Kharkhauda police on Tuesday arrested Satish of Bandepur village following the recovery of a 315 bore countrymade pistol and a cartridge from his possession. A case under the Indian Arms Act has been registered against him. According to another report, the police arrested Satish and Sanjay near Kanwali village and recovered a pistol and a knife from their possession.

GAMBLING: The police has arrested Bhim Singh Batra of Sikka Colony for gambling in the garb of selling lottery tickets following raids carried out at some lottery stalls on the railway road. Mr Paramjit Singh Ahlawat, SP, said on Wednesday that Rs 745 in cash and other articles were seized from him. Four persons were arrested from a gambling centre near Shani Mandir. They have been identified as Yameen, Hanif, Lala and Vakil.

LIQUOR SMUGGLING : The Kundli police on Wednesday arrested Diwan Singh Thakur of Prempuri (UP) and Anesh of Mukbara (UP) on the charge of liquor smuggling in violation of the Excise Act. At least 324 bottles of English wine were seized from them.

MEETING: The Haryana Rajkiya Adhyapak Sangh has decided to convene a state-level meeting on February 27 at Jind. In a press note the State Senior vice-president of the Sangh, Mr Jarnail Singh Sangwan, said here on Tuesday that the decision taken by the Haryana Government to handover government’ schools to Zila Parishad had been condemned by the teachers .

RELIEF FUND: The Yamunanagar-Jagadhari Chamber of Commerce and Industry (YJCCI) has decided to donate Rs 7.5 lakh towards the Gujarat earthquake relief fund. Mr Shyam Sardana coordinator of the YJCCI, in a press note issued here on Tuesday said 125 tents would be sent to Rapar, Bacchau and Bhuj and added that Yamuna Gases and Chemicals Limited had donated Rs 1 lakh.


RELIEF: Employees of the Himachal Pradesh School Education Board, on Tuesday contributed Rs 1.6 lakh, for the Gujarat earthquake victims. A draft worth Rs 1.6 lakh was handed over by the Education Minister, Mr I.D. Dhiman, to Mr P.K. Dhumal. The contribution will go to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for the earthquake victims.

VETERINARY DISPENSARY: Dr Rajiv Bindal, MLA, inaugurated a veterinary dispensary at Kwarag, in Kandaghat tehsil of the district on Tuesday. He said the 24 km-long Kandaghat-Chhausa road linking over 20 villages with the National Highway would be completed by March. He said the state government had earmarked Rs 8 crore for the construction of micro-check dams for meeting the irrigational needs of the villagers.



Regional Potpourri
A shame to our heritage

PRAGPUR, a sleepy hamlet under Dehra subdivision of Kangra district, has emerged as the country’s first Heritage Village. This village, which came into being 350 years ago, shot into prominence three years ago, when it won the prestigious honour. Its ancient buildings with elegant patterns of typical hill architecture, cobbled streets, shady walks have been highlighted by litterateurs and travel writers alike. It is a Mecca for tourists from home and abroad. Despite being such an attraction, this village is without a bus stand.

As many as 300 light to heavy vehicles, en route to various tourist destinations, including Dharamsala, Baijnath, Palampur, Dalhousie, Chamba, pass through this station daily. At times it turns out to be an ordeal when one has to drive through a maze of private taxis and other vehicles parked haphazardly. Shops, kiosks and other business establishments, which have sprung up over the years, aggravate the problem and cause frequent traffic snarls.

Worst still are sanitary conditions, with the area’s waste spilling over the road. Heaps of garbage can be seen scattered all around which, besides emitting a nauseating stench, make the lives of passers-by and waiting passengers a nightmare. The makeshift public toilets provided there are open to the public and have no doors. A cursory look reveals that these have not been cleaned for days. Ironically, there is no provision for women in the absence of which they are left with no option but to look for open spaces.

Frequent visits by the Governor, Chief Minister and certain other government functionaries to Pragpur in connection with the heritage-related functions, held from time to time, too, have proved to be eyewash as Heritage Village still remains without a bus stand, despite verbal assurances.

He believes more in pen power than gun

Sukhchain Singh Bhandari’s Punjabi play “Marhi ka Dard” selected for the award of first prize by All India Radio, is another feather in his cap. Bhandari has won several awards for his other plays “Adhure Sapne”, “Ekraran Wali Raat” and “Berian”, all in Punjabi.

Sukhchain Singh Bhandari, hailing from Sirsa, has made a mark in the field of literature by his Punjabi plays which have been aired by All India Radio, Jalandhar. He has brought the region a name by winning various awards. His recently awarded play will also be broadcast from Jalandhar and from other AIR centres in its adapted form.

Bhandari’s passion for writing dates back to his college days since 1962. He participated in many plays of AIR, Jalandhar, as a casual artiste which inspired him to write radio plays.

Explaining the difference between stage and radio plays, Bhandari says that the latter is more difficult because the dialogue and its delivery must contain in themselves what can otherwise be done through body language. Hence script writing for radio plays is more arduous and the writer has to be more conscious with the use of words.

Bhandari has written about a dozen books, of which four collections relate to radio plays. With a Haryana Sahitya Akademi award to his credit for his plays as well as collection of short stories, his short story “Cross Te Latki Aurat” bagged the second prize in the All-India Short Story Writing Competition.

The ink on the pen of this prolific writer has not yet dried.

Owner of a gun shop Bhandari has made pen his weapon to win fame and name. The long sequence of his awards proves his potential as a writer with which he has carved a niche amidst men of letters in the north.

A correction

Referring to the item headlined “Literary award for Punjabi writer” published in this column last week, the prize amount was inadvertently given as Rs 11 lakh while the correct amount should be read as Rs 1 lakh.

Contributed by Ramesh K. Dhiman and Bhupender Dharmani

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