Saturday, April 7, 2001,
Chandigarh, India
L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Aged couple commits suicide
Cops, factory owners charged with harassment
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
In a shocking case of police high-handedness, an old couple living in Chotti Haibowal committed suicide today early morning by consuming some poisonous substance after they were allegedly harassed by the focal point police and owners of a factory. The couple was also upset at the social stigma attached to them after they were picked up by the police in connection with a fraud case.

Devinder Sharma, a retired employee from the Maintenance Department of PAU, and his wife Pushpa Sharma were found lying unconscious in their house in street No 3 of the colony in the morning by the neighbours, The couple aged 65 and 61, respectively, was rushed to the DMC Hospital, where they died. A suicide note accusing the factory owners of the cause of their death has been recovered from the house. It was signed by both of them.

The Haibowal police has registered a case of abetment to suicide under Section 306, IPC, against the owners of the factory Ind Tech Apparels Ltd. The FIR does not names the owners.

According to the FIR lodged on the complaint of Mr Sham Bihari, the police and the factory owners were allegedly pressurising them to tell the whereabouts of their only son Vishal who was absconding after committing a fraud of Rs 16 lakh in the factory. It has been alleged that the old man was picked up by the focal point police and illegally detained for 2 days.

According to neighbours and Mr Sham Bihari, brother of the deceased, Devinder Sharma was upset ever since owners of the factory got a case registered against his son Vishal of duping the factory of Rs 16 lakh. The case was registered on March 31 and Vishal was absconding since then. The FIR sates that the couple was constantly harassed by the factory owners who wanted either Vishal or their money. The whereabouts of Vishal and his wife are not known.

The couple was then repeatedly harassed by the factory owner and the police. The neighbours said that some people from the factory came to their residence and misbehaved them yesterday. They also received some threatening phone calls also.

The old couple, according to neighbours was depressed. The man after release by the police yesterday did not meet anyone and later ended his life. Besides Vishal, he has three daughters, all happily married to well-to-do families in Himachal Pradesh.

The suicide note clearly mentions the harassment by the factory owners. It says: “Hum is duniya ko chohd kar ja rahe hain. Factory walle bol rahe hain ki hame girraftar karwa denge. Vishal ka hame koi pata nahin.” ( We are leaving this world. The factory people are threatening to get us arrested. We do no know the whereabouts of Vishal ) The note was signed by both of them.

Mr Waryam Singh, SHO Haibowal, said the police had registered a case and investigations were own.

Interestingly, while the deaths took place in the morning, the bodies were sent for postmortem only in the evening. The neighbours and certain friends of the victim family alleged that the police was pressurising them to cremate the bodies without the post-mortem. They said the police only relented when they remained adamant.



Chinese goods capture Ludhiana market
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, April 6
After capturing the western markets, Chinese goods are all set to give Indian products a run for their money — all thanks to the opening up of imports as part of the GATT agreement. In a matter of days, several enterprising businessmen have targeted the Ludhiana market for obvious reasons, where craftware costing over a lakh sells in five minutes flat.

Not days, but barely hours after the first such exhibition of foreign goods received a tremendous response, local enterprenures have put up “Porcelain Panorama” — an exhibition of collection of oriental wonders from China. Not surprisingly, the craze for Chinese items among Ludhianvis has been a tremendous hit.

This particular exhibition being held at a local ladies club for three days is offering products ranging upto Rs 75,000 and the response is claimed to be tremendous.

It may be mentioned that this has been second such exhibition of chinese products organised in the city in the last three days. The things that are display for the city residents include tea sets, coffee sets, dinner sets, bath sheets, table sets, gift sets, black beauties in porcelain , screens and portraits, centre tables with stools and artifacts for casual interiors.

The organisers of the exhibition expressed their happiness over the tremendous clientele. One of the organisers said that only after a few hours of the exhibition, 20 per-cent of the items had already been sold.

All the crockery items, including tea sets, coffee sets and full plates, were gold plated. The dinner sets ranged between Rs 5,000 to Rs 27,000 depending on the number of pieces and work done on them. There have been more than 200 items at display in the exhibition.

The main attraction of the exhibition was the variety of vases. The price for the vases started from Rs 750 to Rs 75,000 depending on the silver and gold carving done on them. Colourful gold baskets were available for Rs 9500.

The musical clowns and dolls crafted in porcelain were the attraction for the children in the exhibition. There were dressing table dolls, boneless clowns, banana jokers, long fairies, jhunjhunas and masked magnet dolls. The range of the toys varied between Rs 125 to Rs 1550.

The Chinese artisans had really worked hard on porcelain candles. The leaf candles, masked candles and cartoon candles ranged between Rs 75 to Rs 225.

The chirping of birds, the blossoming tulips, the rising sun and other abstract designs on screens and portraits were adorned by the visitors in the chinese exhibition.

One of the organisers said that the porcelain was first made in China in the 7th century AD and all the things were made by three types of porcelain-true or hard paste, artificial or soft paste and bone china. 


Kiddies’ clubs keep mums happy!
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, April 6
In Ludhiana, it is not just the parents who need to move out to clubs to get relieved of day-to-day stress, even tiny tots have formed clubs where they interact, dance, paint and have lots of fun.

Several such clubs have come into existence in the past few years and their ever-increasing membership clearly indicates the involvement and interest of the children and the parents. While kids enjoy novel activities and new friends, parents are happy that their child is developing new skills and gaining confidence.

A club at Sarabha Nagar has enrolled 100 children between the age group of three years to 10 years. The children meet on Saturday evenings and enjoy activities like dance, music and drawing. Quiz and declamations are organised. Besides, children are given lessons on personality development and spoken English. ‘‘To inculcate good manners, we arrange dramas where the kids taught ways to talk to elders, teachers and guests. Mock phone calls are made to them by way of which the kids are learn how to attend to a telephone call,’’ said Ms Pritima Behl, in charge of the club.

It’s not just fun, kids also get lessons on general knowledge. ‘‘Quiz contests similar to ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’ are arranged and questions are given to them on the basis of their age group. Questions are asked and four options are given to them. Visual rounds are also held, in which kids are shown video-clippings in a projector and on the computer screen. Following each visual round, which includes movies on animals, birds and cartoons, questions based on the video are asked. This way the children develop inquisitiveness, competitiveness and learn a lot,’’ said Ms Behl.

Monthly competitions are held and all the children are given away prizes so that they feel encouraged. ‘‘My seven-year-old son, Amitoj, used to be very shy and felt hesitant while talking to guests. But the day he joined the club, his confidence has increased. In school, he did not get a chance to participate, but at club all the children are involved and his stage fright is gone. Recently, my three-year old daughter has also joined the club, ’’ said Ms Roopinder Bedi, mother of two.

Dancing and painting are two activities for children, who are members of an entertainment school at Aggar Nagar. At the club, children are taught a variety of dances, including all types of Indian classical dances. The children from the age group of three years to 18 years have been enrolled in the club which started two years ago.

At the club, children are taught pencil sketching, oil painting, glass painting and velvette painting. ‘‘While three-year-olds learn dot-to-dot sketching and more time has to be devoted on them, teenage students are quick learners,’’ said Ms Rosy Chhabra, in charge of the club.

Besides, several private schools have opened up activity clubs for children. Kids from different schools learn skating at a school in Model Town. ‘‘Evening classes are held in which nearly 300 students turn up for skating,’’ said Ms P. Kahlon, principal of the school. The membership increases manifold during vacations at the end of session and during summer break and classes are held in several batches from morning to evening, she further said. 


Mob gheraoes police post
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
A mob comprising residents of Kirti Nagar here gheraoed the Vardhman police post last night and also blocked traffic for about half an hour in protest against the alleged delay by the police in registering a case against a man, who was allegedly forcibly injecting some drug into another man’s arm at a nearby tea shop.

The mob relented only when the police convinced it of taking due action against the alleged culprit. A woman claiming to be a leader of a nearby colony also intervened in the matter.

The man was caught by certain persons when he tried to inject some medicine into the arm of Mr Ashok, who along with certain other persons was taking tea at a shop. The victim raised a hue and cry and he along with other persons present on the spot pounced on him. The man who seemed to be a drug-addict was given a thrashing and later taken to the police post.

However, the mob reportedly gheraoed the police post and blocked traffic when the police allegedly dilly-dallied on registering a case.

Later, a police official said that their investigation had found that the man was an addict and had accidentally pricked the victim. The official denied he was a member of the alleged pin-pricking gang.

The official said it seems that the agitating people resorted to such extreme measure as the fear of the activities of a pin-pricking gang, rumoured to be active in the area last year was, in their minds. The gang had allegedly caused death of certain persons last year, besides spreading terror among city residents and certain villages also.

Interestingly, the role of the woman in the incident remained a mystery as her exact identity could not be ascertained. The police said the woman was a leader of a residential colony and also owned a medicine shop, and the alleged culprit had bought medicines from her shop. 


As prosperous as their masters

BULGING stomachs of Ludhiana domestic servants is the index of the prosperity of the households where they work. Coming from far off places from Nepal, Bihar, UP and other states, thousands of servants have become an integral part of the city. No one can even imagine a city life if all these household servants decide to call it a day.

When these servants come to the city first time, most of them are badly nourished and only possession they have is a small bag packed with few clothes. A good number of them have no experience of working in the kitchen and do not know even ABC of cooking. Thanks to their learning skills, in few months only they learn the basics of cooking and become an important part of the households. Starting from cooking, ironing and cleaning, they do scores of work in the home and virtually become master of the kitchen. Most of these servants prefer to work in small nuclear families and have a special preference for the households with working couples, that gives them complete freedom to work. They do not like to work where there are joint families and the elderly keep on interfering in their work. Gone are the days when servants used to eat leftover food and the lady in the kitchen decided what they had to eat. In most of the houses these servants are the first one to separate their food and decide for themselves what kind of meals they have to take. They can be regularly seen eating desi ghee-soaked paranthas or mega sized omlettes with bread.

Thanks to the well established tradition in Ludhiana, each household is regularly flooded with sweets and dry fruit boxes, during marriage seasons and festival days. It is virtually impossible for any household to consume all the sweets available to them. Most of the sweets are consumed by the household workers, and what is the end result? The rise in their weight and prominently bulging tummies are becoming their prominent features. In posh localities these servants have become quite choosy regarding the quality of the sweets they take. They have developed a special preference for Khushi Ram sweets, dhoda sweets and khaniya sweets. Even Bikaner sweets have also become popular with them. They do not like to even look at the sweets coming from the many ordinary shops or those which do not carry popular brands.

Kitchen gadgets like microwaves, new models of mixies and dish-washers have made the jobs of the servants quite easy and have considerably reduced their workload. Many well-off families prefer to take frequent dinners outside their house in restaurants or clubs and invariably these servants have little work left for the evening. Thanks to the fast multiplying fast food corners in the city and their highly efficient home delivery services, youngsters have developed special taste for these foods and it has further reduced the burden of domestic servants.

In the city, hardly any old domestic Nepali servant is willing to clean the house. So on the whole most of them have become victims of high calorie food intake coupled with sedentary lifestyle. Some of the servants do enjoy a weekly feast of drinks and heavy non-veg food. So, what results is the development of obesity, high blood pressure and joint pains.

When these servants return from their native places after a month long leave, most of them are reduced to skeletons and it becomes quite difficult to recognise them. But in following 1-2 months only physical signs of their prosperity start returning.

Dr Rajeev Gupta



Cong gearing up for April 11 rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
A former Punjab Minister and Vice-President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), Mr Lal Singh, has claimed that the party rally to be held here on April 11 will be a historic event with the participation of party ranks and members of public from all over the state.

Mr Lal Singh, who is the party observer for this district and in charge of the rally, said that the party units were holding meetings and mass contact programmes to focus on failures of the SAD-BJP government in Punjab and the NDA government of the Centre. The rally would prove to be the commencement of a mass movement against the non-governance and rampant corruption in high places, both in Punjab and at the Centre.

Mr Surinder Dawar, President, District Congress Committee (DCC), informed that the office-bearers of the DCC, block and ward Congress committees had been asked to mobilise workers for the rally.

The urban development cell of the DYC held a meeting in Congress Bhavan. Addressing the party workers, the Chairman of the cell, Mr Akshay Bhanot, charged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, with hobnobbing with the anti-social elements and militant groups for his political survival.

The other speakers, including Mr Dawar and former Punjab minister Malkiat Singh Dakha, observed that the involvement of senior leaders of the constituent parties of the NDA like Mr Bangaru Lakshman, Ms Jaya Jaitley and Mr George Fernandez, had exposed the real face of these self-seeking parties and their functionaries.

While the NDA government at the Centre had betrayed the masses and had committed an unpardonable crime of compromising the security of the nation, the SAD-BJP government in Punjab was no better. Reports about a safe hideout being provided by certain Akali ministers to Wassan Singh Zaffarwal had created apprehensions and a feeling of insecurity in the minds of the people of Punjab, the Congress functionaries alleged.

Speaking at a meeting organised by the DYC (Urban) at Sherpur Kalan, the district President of the party, Mr Parminder Mehta, lambasted the SAD headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for what he termed as attempts to play up the religious sentiments of Sikh masses to draw political mileage. A resolution, adopted in the Punjab Assembly in condemnation of Operation Blue Star and involvement of Akali ministers in trying to stagemanage the “surrender” of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal had amply brought in the open the nefarious designs of the SAD functionaries, he added

Meanwhile, party activists led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP, held a protest march and burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in Mandi Mullanpur, about 15 km from here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ghalib charged the Union Government with bringing a bad name to India in whole of the world. The BJP, which claimed itself to be more patriotic than other political parties, stood exposed before the public in the tapes. Mr Lal Singh, Mr K.K. Bawa, Secretary, PPCC, Mr Harmohinder Singh, MLA, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, General Secretary, PPCC, Mr Manjit Singh Humbran, President, DYC (Rural), and Mr Manjit Singh Malerkotla also addressed the meeting.



Warring club factions compromise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
After several hours of a heated debate, the election of the Lakshmi Ladies Club was scrapped after the two warring groups agreed to have their representatives take turns on the post of chairperson.

According to information, Mrs Subhashini Verma has been nominated chairperson for 2001-2002, while Mrs Santosh Nalwa would be the chairperson sans any election for 2002-2003.

The matter over the election of chairperson was resolved to avoid an ugly situation arising due to lack of any rules to run the club.

A member of the advisory committee on condition of anonymity said that the group backed by the ruling party tried to force their nominee on the club, but this move met with stiff opposition. Sanity prevailed only after some neutral members suggested a way out wherein both nominees of the warring groups would take turns on a yearly basis.

Mrs Verma belongs to the ruling faction, while Mrs Nalwa commands support from several quarters.

At one stage, it was suggested by one of the members of the advisory board that the control of the club be passed over to the administration with Mrs Bubbly Sandhu, wife of the Deputy Commissioner, taking control.

But one of the past chairpersons resisted by saying, “The club will go in the hands of sarkar (administration)”.


Punjabi folk songs of love and mirth

WHEN there is mirth and laughter, common people in the countryside express their emotions in the form of folk songs. Popularly known as Bolian in Punjab, these folk songs provide an index to the domestic situation and social condition. Much is left unsaid in human relations, mostly due to inhibition and reticence. Human mind relishes metaphors, symbols and innuendos as these provide aesthetic pleasure. Something is left to the imagination and the imaginative flight fills the gaps and supplies the missing links. In an expansive mood, the folks indulge in the luxury of dancing, accompanied by lilting music and evocative songs.

What we have in plenty in the regional language is a rarity in English language. And rightly so. It is not easy to render a folk song into a foreign language without distorting it. The flavour is gone, the essence mutilated and the aroma evaporated. What is left behind is an uneasy feeling, apart from an unresolved dilemma. Still the attempt has to be made to save as much as is possible while conveying the intrinsic meaning of a folk song. This is what Ajit Khullar has done in his recently published book, Folk songs of love and humour (Punjabi Bolian), published by Virgo publications, New Delhi.

Ajit Khullar is a poet, with four collections of poems in English to his credit. He is a translator and reviewer of repute. He teaches English in Dyal Singh College, Delhi, and remembers the good old days he spent in Punjab. He says so very succinctly — “Translating Bolian, for me who had left Punjab after breakfast, has been like homing at supper time. I enjoyed it with orgasmic thoroughness.” Indeed it is like homecoming in the metaphoric sense. Only a person who is away from home for a long time can feel nostalgic so intensely and so expressively. This intense expression is evident in every line as he translates or treanscreates, keeping an eye on the Rhyme-Scheme, so delightfully the robust sense of humour and compulsive naughtiness of the people of the land of five rivers.

Longings for the object of one’s desires spin the yarn that ultimately forms the warp and woof of one’s mind. The ebullient desires and sensual craving embark on an odyssey in the turbulent waters of fulfilment. The tone indicates the unravelled skein of emotions and the wording explores the unknown areas of gratification. In some Bolian, personal feelings are paramount-

Your tressed pigtail proffers stairs

To lift a seeker to the lofty layers

Those who still prefer to meditate

Are fools condemned to vegetate.

* * *

These damned dangling drops

Will make dents in your cheeks

You had better get rid of these,

These sinister golden sneaks

* * *

She flagged her dupatta

and tripped away;

The diva went off

But not before

She winked at him

To follow her way.

In the domestic life there are many restraints and constraints. The movements are detected and the rendezvours are forbidden. Still there are attempts to hoodwink those who keep a vigil. Even in such cases, there is more playfulness than reprimand-

where have you been

Dear sister-in-law,

Your pigtail bristles

With cattle-feed straw?

and then the same old story of the elder one and the younger one. One is like sour-buttermilk and the other like sweet-milk

When I carried the mid-day meal

To my deour so cute,

I ran into my Jeth instead

that goofy goatish brute!

This volume comprises more than 200 hundred Bolian which reflect an inside view of a fairly broad spectrum of Punjabi culture.



Effigies of Vajpayee, Badal, Bangaroo burnt
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 6
The congress party held a rally against the NDA government headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, at Doraha under the presidentship of Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, vice-president of youth wing of the Congress . The leaders not only criticised and charged the existing government with corrupt and wrong policies, but also burnt the effigies of Mr Vajpayee, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and BJP President, Mr Bangaroo Lakshman.

Addressing the rally, Mr Lal Singh, former Punjab Minister, who is also the vice-president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, said that the NDA government had created a hellish situation for India in the whole world and we as Indians are being looked down upon by the people around the globe. He added, “We would not sit quiet now. We would raise our voice at block and district levels and bring before the people the actual picture of the corrupt government.”

While talking to newspersons at the residence of Mr Bant Singh Duburjee, chairman sugar Mills Buddhewal, Mr Gurkirat Singh Kotli, said that the state government has failed on all fronts. People from all walks of life are a frustrated lot and their rule has rendered instability and oppression to one and all.

The Congress leaders then appealed to Congress workers to participate in the dharna to be held at district headquarters in Ludhiana under the presidentship of Mr Harmohinder Singh, in order to mobilise public opinion against the government.

Apart from others, Mr Malkit Singh Dakha, former Minister, Mr Harmohinder Singh, district president, Congress, Mr Bant Singh Durburjee, chairman, sugar mills, Buddhewal, Mr Gurmit singh, former secretary , Mr Najar Singh Lapran, Doraha block president, Mr Sudarshan Kumar sharma, president Nagar Council, Doraha and Mr Parminder Singh Ghudani actively participated in the rally.


Using bonus years of life
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, April 6
“I feel like using bonus years of my life for serving society by working in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum. After my retirement as District and Sessions Judge from Faridkot, I have been gifted by God with an opportunity to serve the people. I consider this job more than a job and my work is as sacred as worship of the God.” said Mr Hardial Singh, President of the forum.

“There is a great need of consumer awareness in our country because most of the time the consumes do not get the right worth of their money. The consumer is often cheated by profit makers. Despite paying for an article as per the wish of the seller, the consumer gets substandard goods and services,” he opined

He said that when he took the charge of the forum in February. 1999, the maximum number of cases were of the Telecom Department, but in the due course of time the case against it reduced. When asked about the rising complaints and decision against the Punjab State Electricity Board, he replied, “In most of the cases the board officials do not comply with the rules of the department. As evident from many cases, they do not charge the dead meter for years and the department has to pay for the mistake of the officials.”

He was of the view: “There should be some free legal help of the consumers because consumers do not know about the proceeding of the forum”. “As per the Consumer Protection Act, the consumer can plead his case himself and the Act was drafted in such a way so that the consumer gets the justice without any extra expenditure. But there are some mediators who are making big bucks by representing on behalf of the consumer, but the forum is helpless in this matter as they cannot do anything about it because as per the Act anybody can represent on behalf of the consumer.”

He hopes that in future the cases would increase and there would be a great need for another forum in the city to serve the people as the population of the district is the largest in the state. He said: “We are working hard despite lack of facility, staff and poor work culture we are provided. The forum solves about 125 problems of the consumers on an average. “The financial position of the forum is not very good but anyhow we are managing our work.” 


Flavour of the week
Our Correspondent

SUFI traditions are one of the richest ingredients of India’s composite cultural heritage. The study of Sufism has become all the more necessary in today’s strife-torn world. Keeping this in mind, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, is organising a three-day programme, comprising Sufi singing, a seminar and a mushaira, to which eminent Sufi poets have been invited 2,600 years ago Lord Mahavira gave the message of peace and non-violence to humanity. Surprisingly with the spread of civilisation, wars have increased instead of decreasing. Religion gives the message of peace, yet most wars are fought on the basis of religion. In this context, the message of Lord Mahavira is relevant as it propagates peace and non-violence and also kindness towards animals. On this day, many of his followers organise ‘free community kitchens’ and ‘chabeels’ for one and all.

The graduates and post- graduates are in the grip of examination fever. Coaching centres are flourishing as they make package deals and take money in advance. The syllabus is not completed as both the teachers as well as students are not interested. So ‘April is the cruellest month’ for them as they then realise the vastness of the course and their own inadequacies. Many of the students start taking drugs like amphetamines to help keep them awake and alert. The tension, lackof sleep and loss of appetite wrecks havoc in their lives.

The market is flooded with imported consumer goods. Though consumers never had it so good, it is the small manufacturers, who are bearing the brunt of the liberal import policies. Even fruits like plums and pears from other countries arrived in Ludhiana’s fruit shops. There are not many buyers, as they are exorbitantly prized. The elite buy them, for they always have to be one up on others.

Cricket fever has gripped Ludhianvis again. So betting is back too. Guess some things never change.


‘Animals are our friends, not food’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
“Cruelty towards animals amounts to sinning. Every human being should be kind to animals which are not meant for eating. Animals are our friends, not our food (Hain jeev manav ke mittar, aahar nahin hain)”. This was stated here today by Shri Sahyog Muni ji Maharaj at a function to mark the beginning of the 2600th Janma Kalyanak Mahotsav of Bhagwan Mahavira Swami and observe the first Ahimsa Day.

The function , held at Shri Jain Muni Shyam Vihar Charitable Trust, New Kirti Nagar, Opposite Vardhman mill, Chandigarh Road, started at 9 a.m. with the recitation of Navkar Mahamantra, lasting an hour. It was followed by a two-hour session of sermons by munis. Prizes to people who have been extending their services and cooperation to the Trust on a regular basis were also given. Boys and girls presented songs before the audience. A bhandara was also held.

Various S.S.Jain Sabhas of the town, Acharya Atma Ram Sewa Sangh, Mandal All India Jain Conference, Mahavira Sewa Mandal, Sundar Nagar, Baba Jai Ram Dass Sewa Mandal, S.S.Jain Biradari, New Grain Market and Shri Gyan Muni Jain Trust also participated in the function.

Free treatment to a large number of patients was given today at the wing of the DMC Hospital attached with the charitable trust. An X-ray machine in the hospital was also inaugurated.

Various speakers at the function congratulated the gathering on the auspicious occasion and tried to highlight the cruelties being perpetrated against hapless animals. The killing of animals for the sake of satisfying one’s appetite was condemned. They stressed the need for better care and concern for the animals as also for creating more awareness among the public .

An exhibition of charts and pictures depicting various kinds of cruelties to which the animals were being subjected was also put up at the venue by the People For Animals. Visitors to the stalls, especially the children, evinced keen interest in various theme illustrations. Elders also took a great deal of interest in the exhibition.

Mr Sandip Jain, president, PFA, while welcoming the Deputy Commissioner’s orders to close meat shops in the district for the day today, wondered whether the orders would be followed or implemented thoroughly or not.

Functions to mark the auspicious occasion were also held at other places in the city, including the Jain Sthanak, Rupa Mistry Street, Sundar Nagar and several other places. It was a holiday for the entire Jain community today and a large number of its members were seen engaged in distributing free langar and sweets to the passersby all over the city.


Tight security for Karbla conference
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Mr Kuldeep Singh, SSP, has assured tight security for the Shaheed-e-Karbla conference which is being held for the first time in the state here tomorrow.

According to Mr Ateeq-ur-Rehman, President, Indian Muslim Council, Punjab, the police chief had directed the officials concerned to ensure that adequate security arrangements were made for the smooth conduct of the conference, particularly in view of the fact that certain mischievous elements had tried to create communal tension in some cities.


Good Samaritan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana April 6
Here is an example of A.G. Gardiners’ honest bus conductor. As per a report, an octroi contractor, Taranjit Khullar, of Samrala took a bus for Ludhiana from here in Nangal Depot and got down at Ludhiana and went to meet his relative. After having tea, he was shocked to find, that Rs 30,000 were missing from his pocket. He rushed to the bus stand and his joy knew no bounds when he found that the bus conductor,‘Lala’, was searching for the owner of the money found in this bus. After due verification, the conductor handed over the money to Mr Khullar, who in turn thanked him and offered some money as reward, which the conductor politely refused.


Cheating case against cycle dealer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The Focal Point police has registered a case against Mr R.S. Bhatia and his son, Mr Sanjeev Bhatia, dealers of Avon Cycles, for not paying an amount worth more than Rs 2 lakh and issuing a cheque that was bounced by the bank. The case has been registered under Section 138 of Negotiable of Instrument Act for cheating the firm.

According to Mr G.S. Chauhan, General Manager of the company, Pardeep Cycle Store, Faridabad, dealer of the company had cheated company for not paying more than Rs 2 lakh since October, 1998.

Later the company decided to register a case against the dealer. The police has brought the dealers to Ludhiana. 


Potters gear up for summers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 6
Come summer and people flock to potters to buy earthen pots or gharas, matkas and surahis. Though a mind boggling range of refrigerators is available in the market, yet the cool water of earthen pitchers is more satisfying than that of the fridge. The earthen pitcher has been used since ages and has certain romance about it. Remember the importance of a ‘ghara’ in the love story of Sohni and Mahiwal.

The famous ‘Ghumar Mandi’ was full of ‘ghumars’ or potters, who supplied the matkas and smaller matkis or ‘chattis’ for making ‘lassi’ or for cooking ‘sarson da saag’.

But in the present times gone are the potters and their potter’s wheels, and barely two or three potters can be seen selling pots in Ghumar Mandi. Times have changed and so have the attitudes of the people, so the artisans making pots are being edged out slowly. So much so that in whole of the city there are not more than a dozen potters. They live on the periphery of the city.

Most of the ‘gharas’ come from Moga. One city potter Mr Ram Singh has employed an apprentice to help him cope with the increase indemand for the poor man’s ‘fridge’. He told Ludhiana Tribune that they had to get special ‘chikni mitti’ found near the river banks. Being wet, it can be kneaded well. And then their adept hands mould the clay in any desired shape. He said, “We have a clay oven to bake the pots. We use cow dung cakes and small wood pieces. We leave them to bake over night. Baking hardens them and makes them more durable. Then we fill colours in the grooves to make them more attractive. But when one colours the ‘ghara’, then the porous holes which help in the evaporation of water get clogged and water does not cool as much as it should. The more the evaporation the more the cooling. We make special big ones for the golgappa and jaljeera sellers.”

Some times one sees very pretty designs on ‘surahis’. These came with the Mughals as they liked ornamental things. In Rajasthan, the pitchers assume different shapes and are mostly made of metal as these are more practical on long journeys. In Maharashtra, most of the households have a ‘matka’ with a tap. The tap facilitates the drawing of water. Of course, in the villages where refrigerators are not as common, ‘gharas’ and ‘surahis’ are still great favourites. They use ‘chattis’ for churning the curd to form butter.

Ms Anita Kalia says,”I always keep a matka at home as fridge water invariably results in a bad throat. But Matka water is safe.”

The potters are, however, a vanishing breed, though many high society women have set up their own studios and are making exclusive designer pottery. The broken remains of pottery of Harappan Civilization makes one realise that men may come and men may go but pottery will remain an all time favourite.


LSE trade recovering from Parekh effect
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 6
The trade at the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) appears to be slowly limping back after six consecutive black Fridays in the share market. The market seems to be recovering from the impact of Ketan Parekh’s arrest by the CBI for manipulating the market and the panic caused due to the raids of income tax officials on about 30 brokers here for disclosing their income.

Mr R.C. Singal, president, LSE, said: “The trading at the LSE had considerably dropped after the arrest of Ketan Parekh by the CBI and Income Tax Department’s raids. The daily volume of the trade that was around Rs 7 crore before the arrest of Ketan Parekh and raids, had declined to a few lakh rupees a day. It has again recovered today as the trade volume reached around Rs 7 crore.”

No doubt, the trade at the LSE used to around Rs 45 crore before the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) put restrictions on the short term trading. Consequently, the trading volumes had fallen to Rs 6-7 crore per day. The management sources said it had hit hard the finances of the brokers and the LSE itself.

The major source of the LSE is the listing fee recovered from the companies that they pay for listing their shares at the exchange, and the brokerage fee of about Rs 75 per one crore trading volume. Mr Jatinder Kumar, an employee of a leading investment company said: “The rise in trading volume today is not due to any internal factor but due to the overnight rise in the index at Nasdaq exchange. The BSE index today opened at 3615 points, an increase of more than 100 points as compared to 3500 points in the past week.”

But by the evening the market came down and the BSE index closed at 3574 points, a rise of 9 points as compared to the day before yesterday. The exchange had remained closed yesterday. The market watchers felt it was a good sign of recovery. The LSE expects to gain in trading volumes in the coming day.

The brokers who are being questioned by the IT Department have also started normal trading. A broker, on the condition of anonymity, said: “Now we cannot wait for too long for the settlement of the cases. The management has decided to cooperate with the IT Department in conducting investigations, but we are sure that there is nothing such as shoddy dealings at the LSE. The market will become normal soon as far as the impact of IT raids is concerned.”

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