Wednesday, May 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Move on privatisation of water supply, sewerage
MC drops stand on free civic facilities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Dropping its earlier stand on waiving water supply and sewerage charges, which is yet to be approved by the state government, the local Municipal Corporation has brought in a new proposal for privatisation of these services. Privatisation is proposed to be introduced the way it has been done in Thiruvananthapuram and Pune.

The scheme, which is called Private Sector Participation (PSP), includes qualitative and quantitative improvement and expansion of services, long-term infrastructural development and installation of treatment plants for disposal of sewerage water.

According to sources in the MC, the proposal will be discussed in the House on May 18. All political parties support the proposal for providing free water-supply and sewerage facility in the city. However, the MC administration has taken an opposite stand on the issue.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is part of the ruling combine in the MC here, has been pressing for free water-supply and sewerage facility to urban population for a long time now. In view of the civic-body elections that are scheduled to be held next year, the issue has become hot. The party also wants to break the general impression that, while its alliance partner, SAD (B), has given several concessions to rural population, the BJP has failed to fulfill its promises to urban population.

A Rs 105 crore loan for the MC by the Housing and Urban Development Corporation Ltd (HUDCO) for expansion of sewerage facilities here might block the move to provide residents with free water supply and sewerage facilities. According to the conditions of the deal, the MC will have to make a provision in its budget for a 30 per cent contribution to the sewerage schemes funded by HUDCO.

The MC will have to take effective measures for the recovery of water-supply and sewerage-service bills and arrears, besides detecting and regularising unauthorised water and sewerage connections.

Sources said the other issues that would be discussed at the meeting included a hike of Rs 100 per hour in the fire-fighting charges outside the municipal limits, strengthening of the police force, setting up of a children’s park in front of New Civil Hospital in the old city, construction of a school building in Dugri, grant of diet money to gaushala, construction of a bridge over Sidhwan Canal, increase in the number of wards, payment to the octroi staff for working on Saturdays and a holiday for the other MC staff.


Karamati Kot gets magical response
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
‘Karamati Kot’ is a hot favourite among all the films that are being screened as part of the Children’s Film Festival in theatres here. The Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) and the District Red Cross Society have brought this festival to the city.

The festival that began on Friday, includes six Hindi and English movies for children. ‘Karamati Kot’, a comedy based on the world of magic, is being shown in Shingar Cinema here. The festival that will conclude on May 18 includes some other good movies like ‘The Goal’, ‘Ek Ajooba’, ‘Kabhi Paas Kabhi Fail’, ‘Maali’ and ‘Netrahin Sakshi’.

‘The Goal’ is being shown in Aarti Cinema, ‘Ek Ajooba’ in Society, ‘Kabhi Paas Kabhi Fail’ in Sangeet, ‘Netrahin Sakshi’ in Manju and ‘Maali’ in Preet and Malhar. The show timings are 8 am to 10 am.

Students have been coming here with their teachers to enjoy the movies. Students of local Everest School, Malwa Girls High School, Jain School, Atam Public School, Malwa Khalsa School have watched these movies. School students of far-off villages like Badewal, Ayali Kalan, Ayali Khurd and Sargodha have also been coming to enjoy the festival. Students of Ramgarhia Girls School and Kalgidhar Girls School have also been brought here for the festival.

Owner of one of the cinema halls where these movies are being screened, said the festival had received a good response from students. On an average, about 600 students have been coming here for each show.


CPI calls for movement against NDA govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Dr Joginder Dayal, Secretary, CPI, Punjab, today called upon all secular and democratic forces to unite to build a movement to expose the present NDA government led by the BJP and ultimately “throw this communal and reactionary government out of power”.

The election results in the five states were a referendum against this government where the BJP had not been able to obtain even a single seat and their alliance had been washed out. He was addressing a big rally at Pandher Kheri village, near here, to pay homage to Com Gurmail Singh Hounjan and his associate Joginder Singh, who were gunned down by militants 12 years ago in the village. This government, he said, which had come to power by misusing the name of Lord Ram and through spreading communalism, and had vowed to provide clean government had been thoroughly exposed after the Tehelka episode. The economic policies being pursued by this government under the diktats of the infamous WTO-IMF-WB combine were detrimental to the interests of the nation and its people.

The policy of privatisation was a total sellout of the country's assets to a handful of people at throwaway prices — Balco being an example. With the new education and new health policies in the offing, these two services would also become extremely expensive and out of the reach of the common man.

Mr Jagjit Singh Anand, Editor, Nawan Zamana, quoting the “dramatised” arrest of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal, criticised the government's policy of appeasement towards militants responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent people. This would lead to deterioration in the law and order situation. It is high time that the Congress and the Communists join hands as they did during militancy to defeat such nefarious designs of the Badal government.

Mr Hardev Arshi, leader of the CPI in the Punjab Assembly, pooh-poohed Mr Parkash Singh Badal's claim that the distribution of a huge amount of money at sangat darhsan was meant for development purposes. This was just a political stunt, he said. Hardly any meeting of the development committees had been held. The fora where people could redress their grievances like the Vidhan Sabha, grievances committees are virtually non-functional. The money being distributed had been drawn from various schemes which had been a non-starter. This would lead to unprecedented economic burden on the state in the time to come. Such an act, he said was totally unconstitutional.

Mr Bhara Parkash, member, National Council of the CPI, criticised the government for throwing the country in the trap of the military designs of the USA. While nearly whole of the world had either opposed or kept reservation about the missile defence programme of the USA, our government has unashamedly come out in support of this. This would lead to an increase in the already existing tension in the region and alienate us further from our neighbours.

Former Punjab Minister Malkit Singh Dakha, while lashing out at the anti-people policies of the governments at the Centre and in the state, stressed upon the unity in action of the secular and democratic forces and parties.

Mr Rachhpal Singh, member secretariat of the CPM's Punjab unit, said that the victory of the Left Front in West Bengal had proved that the Left had really worked for the uplift of the poor people in the state.

The function was presided over by Ms Sharanjit Kaur, widow of Com Gurmail Singh Hounjan, and Ms Harbans Kaur, widow of Joginder Singh.

Mr Kartar Singh Bowani, Secretary, CPI, Ludhiana district, thanked the gathering and called upon it to be ready for a struggle against the anti-people policies of the present government. This, he said, would be the real tribute to Gurmail Singh.

Among others who spoke at the function included Dr Arun Mitra, Mr O.P. Mehra, Mr Bant Singh Brar, Mr Gurdev Lapran, Mr Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri and Mr Gulzar Singh Gorea.


Prompt action by admn saves two lives
Surinder Bhardwaj

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 15
With the timely intervention of the Deputy Commissioner, lives of two tubewell diggers, who had been buried alive, were saved after a long struggle of 7 hours, which continued till late last night.

Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, told The Tribune that he got a message on the telephone from villagers that two labourers who had been digging a tubewell at Sadhugarh village, 7 km from here, had been buried alive as a heap of earth collapsed around them. He immediately directed the SDM and Tehsildar, Fatehgarh Sahib, to rush to the spot for rescue operations and ordered a fire brigade, a team of doctors, along with other labourers to accompany them. He said after a long struggle of seven hours, the team succeeded in digging out the two labourers alive.

According to villagers, two labourers, Amrik Singh, 50, and Sona Ram, 18, of Hansali village were digging a tubewell at a site owned by Dalip Singh of Sadhugarh village along with other labourers. Both of them climbed down the well, while the others remain outside. All of a sudden a mound of earth fell into the well and both were trapped inside. The villagers tried to dig them out on their own but in vain.

Villagers said they informed the Deputy Commissioner about the mishap and to their surprise, within half-an-hour, a team of officials, accompanied by a team of doctors, fire brigade and cranes reached the spot. A large number of labourers and cranes were put into service for the rescue operation.

Mr T.S. Dhaliwal, SDM, and Sanjeev Kumar, tehsildar, said as the news of the incident spread a large number of persons gathered there and joined the rescue operations. They revealed that when the labourers were dug out, they were unconscious and after giving them first aid on the spot, they were rushed to the civil hospital and had recovered now.

The nearby villagers appreciated the efforts of the district administration in saving the lives of the two labourers.


Writ against Aulakh disposed of
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 15
A writ petition filed by two doctors for quashing the appointment of Dr K.S. Aulakh was today disposed of after counsel for Punjab Agriculture University stated that the respondent was no longer discharging the duty of Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

Delivering the verdict on the petition filed by Dr Balwant Singh and Dr Amarjit Singh Grewal, Mr Justice R.L. Anand observed: “It is conceded case that by virtue of an order dated March 16, Dr Aulakh is no longer discharging the function of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor. In these circumstances, the writ petition has virtually become infructuous”.


YC workers protest against worsening law and order
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The District Youth Congress (DYC) organised a protest march from Jagraon bridge to Mini Secretariat here today against the deteriorating law and order situation and ‘non-functioning’ of the police.

The party, through a memorandum submitted to the Punjab Governor, demanded immediate effective steps for screening and revamping of the police force in order to restore the confidence of the people in the law-enforcement machinery and to check the ‘unabated crime wave’ in the city.

Addressing a well-attended party workers’ rally at the Mini Secretariat, the DYC president Mr Parminder Mehta focussed on several specific cases of police excesses and several incidents of murder, robbery, theft, kidnapping and other heinous crimes to drive home the point that rule of law no longer prevailed, and the criminal elements were having a field day. He alleged that the police were not only harassing innocent people and complainants but certain police personnel were conniving with the criminal and anti-social elements.

Mr Mehta alleged that the government was least concerned over the law and order situation going from bad to worse.

Even the move initiated by Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal in sending the Home Secretary and the Director General of Punjab Police to Ludhiana to assess the ‘crime wave’ in the mega city proved a non-starter. What the two officials did while in the city, he added, was just an ‘eyewash’ and operation ‘cover up’.

Describing the claims of senior police and civil officials on the law and order situation in the city as ‘far from truth’, Mr Mehta charged the police force with callous and indifferent attitude, which had emboldened the criminal elements and the incidents of murder, rape, crime against women, robberies and kidnapping had registered an alarming increase.

“The ruling alliance has completely politicised the police force and senior police officers were mere puppets in the hands of politicians.”

The DYC chief, commenting on rampant corruption in police administration, said it was ridiculous that the Police Department was unable to make payments for petrol and telephones while even petty police functionaries could be seen carrying mobile phones and changing their personal motor vehicles frequently. “It is a strange phenomenon of the department (police) being poor while its officers are rich. Further, the police force had not only become a terror for innocent and law abiding citizens but was also shielding and conniving with criminals,” he alleged.

Mr Mehta took strong exception to harassment caused to migrant workers and charged the ruling party with masterminding a systematic campaign against migrant labour to the extent that they (the migrants) should leave Punjab.


CM pushing state into debt trap: Tohra
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 15
“The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has taken a loan of Rs 400 crore from the Oriental Bank of Commerce to distribute the grants at ‘Sangat Darshan’ programmes. He is ruining the economy of Punjab for his political interests,” alleged Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, President of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal. He was talking to mediapersons in Baba Banda Singh Engineering College here today. He was here to inaugurate the Mata Sahib Kaur Girls Hostel of the college.

Mr Tohra said Mr Badal was doing this to gain popularity before the Assembly elections in Punjab. He said Mr Badal was cheating the people to win the elections. He also said the people of five states had rejected the BJP and its allies in the recent Assembly elections.

He alleged that the CM was not allowing panchayats, zila parishads planning board, MLAs and ministers to work freely. He said the debt of the state had increased to Rs 30,000 crore due to such policies.

Mr Tohra said he wanted more funds for Fatehgarh Sahib and amnesty for the Sikh youths who wanted to return to the mainstream.


BJP leader pleads for health, social justice
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
A veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader and member of the Rajya Sabha, Lala Lajpat Rai, has pleaded for effective action to provide better health and education facilities and social justice to the people.

Addressing a religious function at the Bhai Ladha Ji Paropkari Ashram in Aman Nagar, near Jalandhar bypass here, he said the prevailing big gap between words and action had led the humanity away from the path of truth and righteousness.

Reiterating his commitment to providing basic amenities to the residents in the underdeveloped and undeveloped city colonies, he announced that adequate funds would be made available from his constituency development fund for setting up a dispensary and providing other civic amenities in the area.

Lala Lajpat Rai, along with Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, member, Punjab Public Service Commission, Mr Raminder Singh, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, and Prof Gurbhajan Gill, Vice-President, Punjabi Sahitya Academy, formally released the first copy of a photograph of Sri Guru Granth Sahib prepared by noted photo artist Tej Pratap Singh Sandhu.

Speaking on this occasion, Mr Raminder Singh announced that the MC would prepare a comprehensive and time-bound development plan for Aman Nagar and its adjoining localities to ensure civic amenities for the residents.

Jathas of Bhai Devinder Singh Sodhi, Bhai Gurcharan Singh Rasia, Bhai Manjit Singh Bombay Wale, Bhai Sahib Swarn Singh Mitha Tiwana Wale, Bhai Avtar Singh Multani, Bhai Daler Singh Josh, Giani Pinder Pal Singh and Dhadi Giani Tarlochan Singh Bhamaddi recited kirtan gurbani while Bhai Harjinder Singh proposed a vote of thanks to the distinguished guests.

Prominent among others present were Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, President, All-India Sikh Students Federation, Mr Pritpal Singh Pali, President, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, and Mr Tejinder Singh Dang.


Relay fast by traders
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 15
After the fourth successive day of an indefinite strike and dharna staged in the main bazar here today by industrialists and traders, the action committee formed by them decided to start a five-member chain fast from Wednesday, at the Loha Bazar to protest against the manhandling of Mr Danesh Kumar of Neel Kanth Ispat on Friday.

In the meanwhile, Mr Tikshan Sood, State Minister for Excise and Taxation, called a meeting of the eleven-member action committee at the Municipal Council office on Monday evening. According to members of the action committee, the minister assured them that he would talk to the Excise and Taxation Minister, Punjab, for the transfer of Mr Manglesh Sethi, Excise and taxation officer (ETO) and Capt P.S. Shergill, AETC, from mobile enforcement wing. He would also look into the case of the 60 loaded trucks impounded from Sunam and Nabipur checkposts in Fatehgarh Sahib, to be released after verifying their documents.

According to information, Mr Shergill, AETC and Mr Sethi, ETO have been transferred to their respective head-offices today by Mr Sood, but the action committee rejected this decision as “insufficient action taken” and decided to turn the mode of agitation from general strike to chain fast of five persons daily, to avoid hardship to the families of labourers till their demands for the suspension of and registration of a case against the ETO and withdrawal of powers of Mr Shergill, AETC, was not fulfilled.

Today’s dharna was addressed by Mr O.P. Gupta, President, Beopar Mandal, Mandi Gobindgarh; Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, a former Punjab minister; Dr Harbans Lal, MLA, Sirhind; Mr Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, a former Punjab minister; Mr Surinder Singhi, president, Steel Chamber of Commerce, Mr Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, member SGPC; Dr Joginder Singh Maini, senior vice-president District Congress Committee; Mr Balmukand Gupta, former president, Municipal Committee, Mandi Gobindgarh and various other industry nad trade leaders who demanded the suspension of the concerned ETO and AETC with immediate effect. They also demanded that the DDR lodged at the local police station be changed to an FIR. They threatened that if their demands were not considered then the chain fast would continue and call for Punjab Bandh would be given shortly. Later, the traders and industrialists held a demonstration in the main bazar and shouted slogans against the Sales Tax Department.


Pensioner alleges harassment at the hands of bank staff
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Eighty-year-old Mr Harbans Lal, a pensioner, is a harassed man after his recent experience with officials of the State Bank of Patiala. He receives his pension of Rs 600 every three months from one of the branches of this bank.

The old man was granted an old-age monthly pension of Rs 50 in 1988. It was later raised to Rs 200 a month. He was getting Rs 600 every three months.

Meanwhile, his first pass book got filled so another pass book was issued to him.

And that was the beginning of the ordeal for this frail old man. The balance amount transferred to his new pass book was just Rs 20 whereas according to Mr Lal it should have been Rs 620.

So Mr Lal asked for his first pass book from bank officials. After a lot of dilly-dallying, he was told by an irate bank employee that his first pass book had been burnt so that the old man should stop pestering them.

Mr Lal then wrote a complaint to the higher bank authorities describing his ordeal. Following the complaint, he received a letter from the bank asking him to sign an enclosed application which stated that he had forgotten that he had withdrawn the money. But he refused to sign the application which would have absolved the bank officials concerned of any responsibility.

Later, as he narrated his story at the Ludhiana Tribune office, he said, he was invited to the bank. He was treated quite solicitously and was reportedly told that if he gave his left thumb impressions at three places on a plain paper all his troubles would be over and his complaint would be dealt with sympathetically. He did so thinking it would end his ordeal and in believing what he was told. But once he gave his thumb impressions, the attitude of bank officials underwent a sea change. A peon was summoned to reportedly push the old man out of the bank. He was told he could do nothing as his thumb impressions had been procured and that was that.

After this humiliating experience at the hands of the bank officials he lodged a complaint with the SSP describing the brutal incident and demanding action against the guilty officials. However, it could not be ascertained what action the SSP’s office had taken in this regard.


VHP seeks abrogation of Liberahan Commission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The firebrand leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Ms Sadhvi Ritambra, has declared that the Ram temple would be constructed at the same site in Ayodhaya but not before another mass movement was launched. She was speaking here at a public function organised to mark the birthday celebrations of the VHP Secretary General, Mr Ashok Singhal.

In her usual rhetoric she regretted the erosion of moral values in society and also expressed concern over the attempt to weaken the patriotic sentiments in the country. She expressed grave concern over the rise of anti-national forces in the country and announced that the Bajrang Dal will recruit 30 lakh volunteers to take on the anti-national forces.

Referring to the construction of the Ram temple at Ayodhaya, she claimed, it was related to the history and culture of the Indian people. She declared that the VHP will abide by the verdict of the Dharam Sansad during the Kumbh Mela about the construction the temple.

Earlier, while addressing a press conference, the VHP Vice-President, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, sought the abrogation of the Liberahan Commission, probing the demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992.


Misleading world of advertisements’
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 15
The advertisers had never been so aggressive as they have become today to sell their product among the teeming millions of India. Various advertisements are not only misleading, but full of disinformation, much beyond the comprehension of a rational mind. Little Ayesha, who has seen the advertisement of a popular brand of refrigerator, where it is shown the water is freezing in no time, asks her mother,‘‘Mummy, I put my glass full of ‘sherbet’ to freeze, but it has not frozen though it has been more than two hours and the ad said that it will freeze in half an hour.’’

A sure example of misleading advertisement. Advertisements are the fine art of exaggeration and leave a great impact on the viewers. For little kids they project the gospel truth and like little Ayesha this truth, when proven otherwise, proves to be disappointing.

These days most of the advertisements are being targeted at women and children — for they are naive and easily taken in by the aura, colour and contents of the advertisements. The kids are being bombarded by these advertisements shown on a large number of television channels.

No wonder the children pester their parents to buy them chips of a popular brand that have small monsters and tattoos as gifts which may be worth Re1 but for which the parents have to shell out Rs.15. These chips which come under the junk food category are bad for health. But thanks to extensive advertising the children are getting addicted to them and becoming obese. To attract more people, the manufacturers use popular film personalities or cricketers to endorse their products, The lure of money is so powerful that even the big stars lend their name to all sorts of products without even knowing validity of the product they advertise.

These fairness creams also attract gullible girls. Madhuri used one such cream and instead of becoming a fair beauty, her face broke into a severe rash. A dermatologist told her that the bleach used in the fairness cream had caused severe allergy. The full treatment of three months cost her Rs. 30,000. Unlike the foreign countries where all ingredients of a particular cream or lotions are prominently displayed, most Indian products do not have the names of the ingredients on the bottles.

The advertisements of some clinics that promise loss of weight or gain of weight, gain in height and many other ailments are the most misleading and dangerous. Dilvar Singh desirous of putting weight, started eating these capsules. Instead of gaining weight, he landed in a hospital with the haemoglobin level of 4. The doctors in the hospital told his relatives that it was the after effects of those capsules. He had to be given 3 pints of blood. Similarly, many companies advertise drugs that can make a person free from diabetes and blood pressure. Many people , who take those remedies, land in serious trouble. Diabetes has to be monitored whereas these advertisements never advise any blood tests or any diet restrictions-a must for a diabetic. ‘‘These kind of medicines even lead to renal failures. I have seen many patients with kidney problems after eating what they call ‘desi dawaian’ which some ‘vaids’ have advertised,’’ says Dr Avtar Singh, a nephrologist.


ITI employees stage dharna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Employees of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) of Ludhiana Zone staged a dharna at the Mini Secretariat here yesterday to protest against the anti-employee policies of the government as well as to highlight their outstanding demands.

ITI employees from Jassowal, Gujjarwal, Samrala, Bassi Pathana, Otalan, subsequent Nangal, Ropar and Nawanshahr, besides those from the city participated in the dharna and the rally, which was addressed, among others by Mr Gurdev Singh Nagra, state president; Mr Bhupinder Pal Puri, general secretary; Mr Navjot Singh Dhoot, state secretary of ITI Employees Union; Punjab and Mr Joginder Singh Kailey, president, Ludhiana Zone.

The protesting employees later submitted a memorandum to district officials, demanding immediate settlement of their long pending demands. According to Mr Nagra, the ITI employees would further intensify their agitation and dharnas would be staged at Ferozepore on May 21, Jalandhar on May 28 and Patiala on June 4.

Prominent among their demands are a high-level enquiry into purchase of machinery and construction of buildings by the Directorate of Industrial Training and Technical Education; removal of anomalies in the pay scales of instructors; effecting overdue promotions of group instructors, head masters, vice-principals and principals; adjustment of 15 per cent quota of class IV in class III; filling up vacant posts of instructors; revival of discontinued trades; restoration of weekly holidays on Saturday and Sunday; issuance of revised seniority lists of all categories; computerisation of GPF branch at headquarter and assured salaries to employees, working under World Bank schemes.


Cows shall loiter no more
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 15
The foundation-stone of a gaushala was laid by Sant Shri Krishna Nand Brahamchari at a function organised by residents of Doraha.

A sum of Rs 20 lakh has been earmarked for the gaushala. Mr Dhanpat Rai, a prominent person of the area, has donated nearly two-and-a-half bighas of land for the construction of the gaushala.

According to Mr Anil Parbhat Mehta, president, Gaushala Committee, “soon we will be able to complete the construction of the gaushala so that loitering cows may get a permanent abode.” The committee comprises Principal Jasbir Singh, Chairman, Mr Manoj Goyal and Mr Jatinder Sharma.


Oases in concrete jungle
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
Thanks to places in the city like the campus of Punjab Agricultural University, Rakh Bagh and Rose Garden. These give space to citizens of the mega city to breath easily in wee and evening hours. The places remain overcrowded in the morning and evening. It appears that Ludhianivis are becoming more health-conscious.

The scene in the morning is quite encouraging. Old men and women, children along with their parents go for walks here and take exercises.

“This is paradise for us. We come in the morning here to get set for the whole day. The morning walk gives me time to think to do things in a better way,” says Mr Kemati Lal Jain, a businessman.

For Satinder Kaur (20), this is the time when she recharges herself for the tight academic day ahead. She regularly walks 6 km. She thinks that a physically unfit student can not perform up to the mark in studies.

Jagroop Singh (24), a postgraduate student, has been playing so many games but morning walk on the campus is something which he can not afford to miss. His objective of going for a morning walk is not only fitness but to enjoy healthy environment. He thinks that in the morning, he forgets all his worries and problems of life and his mind gets space to think about other aspects of life.

Varinder Kaur an Associate Professor in the PAU, goes for a walk daily because fitness is her first priority.

“To remain fit is not the only reason to go for a walk in the morning and evening. This is the best time in my daily routine. Moreover, I like the environment of the university where everything is organised and motivates one to do work in the best possible manner. In the absence of the walk, the life would have been hell”, says a senior Akali leader Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.


Kitties for kids: no kidding!
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
In Ludhiana it is not just the parents who go out for kitty parties or to clubs, tiny tots, too, have formed their own kitty groups here where they interact, play various games, dance and have a lot of fun, sans the presence of elders.

Earlier, children used to request their parents to take them out to some amusement park, theatre, zoo or even a children’s park. But of late, several kitty groups of tiny tots and young children have come up and their ever increasing membership indicates the growing involvement and interest of more and more children in such activity.

While children enjoy interacting and playing games with their friends, parents feel that their children are developing new skills and gaining confidence.

These kitties have members between the age groups of five to 13 years. The children meet once a month, either on Sundays or on weekdays in the evenings after school hours. Some children go out to watch a movie, while others go to a restaurant. Children have given names to their kitties such as ‘‘Campa Cola kitty’’, ‘‘movie kitty’’, ‘‘snacks kitty’’ and ‘‘tombola kitty’’.

Ms Guneeta, whose seven-year-old daughter is a member of one such children’s kitty, feels happy over the interaction between tiny tots. She says, “Kids should be given the right to enjoy life. They get bored and tense, especially after examinations. They need some entertainment and activity. My daughter plays several games and dances with her friends at her kitty party”.

The mother of eight-year-old Rahul, Ms Aarti, says that she really does not like the idea of organising kitties for children, “but Rahul’s friends and their mothers insisted and I let him join one of his friends’ kitty”, said Aarti.

Children play tombola and eat a variety of dishes cooked by indulgent mothers. They sing, dance and chat for hours together.

One of the mothers of these kids said the money they got from the kitty was spent by them as it pleased them. She said, “My 13-year-old daughter got Rs 2,000 from her kitty and spent the money on her clothes and friends. I do not ask her about the details. She has her own circle friends.”

A retired school teacher, Ms K. Kahlon, says that such kitties should not be encouraged. Children should be taught to do something for the betterment of society rather than made to waste time on such frivolous activities. They should go in for trekking or do something like that. “Why waste time and money on such activities like kitty parties? Kids should join dance classes, drama classes and should be taught moral values,” she adds.

Though there may be others with such views, right now it is fun time for city kids. Who cares for tomorrow? 


AISSF takes exception to ‘cultural pollution’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The All-India Sikh Students Federation (Badal), headed by Mr Tejinder Singh Sandhu, has taken strong exception to “vulgar and provocative songs and video albums” dished out in the name of Punjabi pop by satellite channels and cable TV networks.

Mr Harinder Singh Narang, president and legal adviser of the AISSF, has said in a statement that Punjabi singers should take moral responsibility for curbing the cultural pollution and should desist from singing such songs that feature obscene and indecent video clips or provoke violence or other social evils.

According to Mr Narang, a Punjabi song by Babbu Mann “Chak lo revolver, rafflan, kabza laina hai” and another “Shaman pai gayeean. meri botal mere wal karo”, being telecast on various satellite channels were worst examples of polluting minds of the youth through songs. While the former provoked violence and bloodbath, the latter promoted liquor.

He pointed out that if the state government failed to take immediate notice of such songs and video albums, these would cause irreparable damage to peace, in the state, lure youth towards social evils and would negate the efforts of the government and various non-government organisations (NGOs) to motivate youth away from alcohol and intoxicants.


Razing of shops in Sarabha Nagar: case registered
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The police has registered a case under Sections 457, 380, 447, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Sections 25, 52 and 59 of the Arms Act on the statement of Mr Naresh Kumar, son of Mr Ram Saroop, a resident of Maharaj Nagar, in connection with the shop razing incident in Sarabha Nagar on Sunday night.

According to the FIR, the accused, Ajaib Singh, a resident of Giaspura, along with eight to 10 other persons armed with kirpans, gandasas and a crane operator, demolished the two shops rented by the complainant. The accused, according to the FIR, also took away Rs 5,700, 60 kg of rice, a spray pump, etc. causing a loss of rs 18,000. The case has been handed over to ASI Manjinder Singh, but no arrest has been made so far.

The Sarabha Nagar police registered a similar case under sections 336, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC and Sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act against Narbeant Singh Gill and Dilpreet Singh and some other persons on the complaint of Mr Balraj Bhasin, son of Mr Ram Lal Bhasin, a resident of Aggar Nagar South. The complainant alleged that the accused who were armed with rods, sticks and weapons damaged his residence at 1 p.m. on Monday. When the complainant reached the spot with some other persons, the accused fired in the air and damaged the complainant's house. No arrest has, however, been made so far.

The Haibowal police has registered a case under section 379 of the IPc against Harbhajan Singh, alias Sonu, son of Mr Baldev Singh, a resident of Partapsingh Wala (with knife), Bagga, a resident of Chhoti Haibowal (with a stick) and Happy (with a kirpan). According to the complainant, Jeet Singh, son of Baldev Singh, a resident of Hambran Road, the accused forcibly stopped him in the back lane of Y-Block in Haibowal Kalan on Monday and threatened him.

Dowry case
The Jodhewal police registered a case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC on the application of Manjit Kaur, daughter of Mr Joga Singh, a resident of Tibba Road, against Balbir Chand, Baisakhi Ram, Surjit Kaur, Amita Rani and Kamlajit Kaur, all residents of Indira Colony, Ludhiana, for harassing the complainant and demanding more dowry from her.

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