Thursday, July 12, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



PAU CET coordinator changed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
More heads have rolled in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) following the CET imbroglio. The coordinator of the CET has also been changed for the examination which is being re-conducted on July 16 here.

Dr G.S. Chahal, Professor of Plant Breeding at College of Agriculture, has been appointed the new coordinator, who is following Dr Darshan Singh, Head, Department of Entomology. Earlier the PAU had changed the controller of the examination following the cancellation of CET amidst allegations of irregularities and discrepancies.

Although the version of the authorities was that they could only change the controller of the CET and the rest was up to the newly appointed controller. They had then said that according to rules, the controller was supposed to select his own team which can shoulder the responsibility of conduct of the examination fairly.

But the biggest question that stares in the face of the PAU is that if Dr S.S. Chahal, new controller, is selecting his own team why was Dr M.S. Tiwana, former controller, was not asked to select his own team. It should be mentioned here that when Dr Tiwana was appointed the controller all members of the team were already selected by Dr K.K. Dhingra, the former controller.

Ludhiana Tribune had earlier carried a news-item indicating that Dr Tiwana was made the scapegoat as he was the only one who was changed from the team. The university had not fixed the responsibility for the CET fiasco except that they had declared that the controller would be changed. The evaluators, who on condition of anonymity had exposed the irregularities in the examination, had even named another senior member of the team in anonymous letters dispatched to the Registrar as well as the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

Dr Tiwana had joined as Dean, College of Agriculture, on June 1 when Dr K.K. Dhingra was the controller. Later it was said that Dr Tiwana, who was appointed Dean, was senior to Dr Dhingra and the responsibility of the test was shifted to Dr Tiwana. But Dr Dhingra had already selected his team at that time and Dr Tiwana was not given any chance to re-appoint his own team.

Inquiries revealed that there were some persons in the CET examination team who did not do their duty honestly due to which not only the students were harassed but the university suffered an unwarranted financial burden, besides loss of image.

Informed sources in the evaluation team revealed that Dr Tiwana had been shifted merely because he was heading a team which was not performing duties assigned to it properly. Sources indicate that a mischief was played by certain team members opposing his appointment as Dean, College of Agriculture.


Chaos at centralised admission centre
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
Utter chaos prevailed among the reserved category candidates seeking admission to BCA at the Khalsa College for Women where centralised admissions to Panjab University colleges began here today.

Students and parents alleged that admission rules were being flouted by teachers and principals of different colleges on duty. They said that students were not being given preference according to the merit list and, instead, rules of Punjab Technical University were being imposed for admission to PU-affiliated colleges.

A student with 74.6 per cent marks and applying for admission in the defence category, said that she could not get admission in the Khalsa College for Women which was her first preference, and instead a student with 70.4 per cent marks was given admission. The latter student however, said that since her father was disabled during his services, she was eligible for admission. However, after much deliberations among the staff of different colleges, one of the students was given preference while the other was given admission in the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, her second preference.

Similarly, Renu who was second in the merit list among sports category students with 76.4 per cent marks could not get admission and instead a student ranking fourth in the merit list and securing 74.2 per cent marks, got through. Much confusion was created at that time when arguments ensued between the staff on duty and her parents. Renu said that she was optimistic of getting admission but was disappointed to know that she could not get admission in the college of her preference. She said that the incident caused her mental agony, and that she had decided to not to go in for BCA and instead seek admission in BCom.

Another student who did not want to be named said that due to non-availability of information brochures at the time of filling admission forms, he did not know that there was a category for terrorist victims. He said that had the college given complete rules at that time, he could have easily got admission in the college of his choice.

Another student in the defence category was seen arguing with the teachers at admission counter when she was refused admission for not getting her attendance marked in the morning.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr V.K. Mehta, Principal of Arya College, and on admission duty, said that there was some confusion in the beginning regarding admission process. ‘‘We thought we would give admission according to the PTU pattern and also the recommendations of the Government of India. However, later we were told that Panjab University had not sent recommendation of the government and we resumed the old process of giving admission on the basis of merit,’’ he said.

However, it was noted that most of the students who had been pointing out that admission should be given on the basis of merit had gone away without seeking admission by the time the final decision was taken.

Most of the students who got admission did not know that they had to pay fee on the spot, while others were not aware of the exact amount to be paid. Several students said that they had to make calls to their parents from colleges and tell their parents to come to the college with fee charges. Alka Pandey, a student who got admission in backward class category, said that she had called up her father who brought Rs 10,000, which was half the amount to be paid. Her father said that he did not know that the fee charges could be that high. He said that he had to borrow money from his friend for paying the fee of his daughter.

The students also said that the repeated confusion at admission counter caused much delay in the whole process. Najma Jain, who got admission in the Khalsa College for Women, said that she had come to the college at 9 am. She was selected for admission at 12:30 and till 2:00 pm, she was unable to pay the fee. While the admission for general category students of BBA was to begin at 2 pm, it was delayed by more than one and a half hour.

Besides, there was widespread resentment among the teachers of different colleges against the staff of the host college. The teachers at the spot alleged that the staff of the Khalsa College for Women had been promoting their college by taking meritorious students to their computer centre. Even the non-teaching staff had their grievances who said that they were being discriminated by being served separate lunch from the teaching staff.


SHO transferred on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The state Police Department has ordered immediate transfer of an SHO, while an inquiry has been ordered against another SHO for allegedly not taking legal action against a gas agency which was selling under-weight LPG cylinders. The two cops had also fought with each other over graft amount, as the gas agency fell under the jurisdiction of only one of them.

Sub-Inspector Balwinder Singh, SHO, Basti Jodhewal, the main accused in the case, has been transferred to PAP, Jalandhar. An inquiry to decide legal or departmental action against him and Sub-Inspector Salem Tabri, Dilbagh Singh, has also been instituted. SP (D) Girkirpal Singh has been entrusted with the inquiry.

While the local police officials remain tight-lipped over the reasons for the action against the cops and only confirmed the transfer and the inquiry orders, highly-placed sources in the Police Department said Balwinder Singh had been penalised for taking a bribe of Rs 80,000 from the owners of the gas agency that was selling under-weight LPG cylinders. Sub-Inspector Dilbagh Singh, who surprisingly continues as SHO Salem Tabri, has been accused of fighting with Balwinder Singh over his right over the graft amount.

The gas agency fell in the jurisdiction of the Salem Tabri police station. However, Sub-Inspector Balwinder Singh, intruding the area of another police station, raided the premises of the agency and seized a number of under-weight gas cylinders. However, after the alleged payment of Rs 80,000, he let them off. Later, SHO Dilbagh Singh came to learn about the deal and fought with Balwinder Singh on why he had intruded his domain, and demanded his share in the booty.

SSP Ludhiana Kuldip Singh confirmed the action against the policemen regarding some case involving a gas agency. He refused to divulge more details. He said the orders had come from the Central Police Officer, Chandigarh.

While senior police officials confirmed the allegations about the deal, the Ludhiana Police, it is learnt, has been directed to hold an inquiry for taking further legal and departmental action against the accused cops. Sources said as evidence against one of the cops was strong he had been immediately transferred so that he may not influence the inquiry. The sources said some persons complained about the incident to senior Punjab Police officials who took the action after verifying the facts. The shocking part was that when Dilbagh Singh came to learn about the deal he, instead of informing the police officials, fought with Balwinder Singh over the graft amount.

It may be pertinent to mention here that local police officials had not taken any action on the confession of a head constable arrested by the Vigilance Department on corruption charges that the SHO Balwinder Singh of his police station was involved in the corruption charges in which he has been arrested. The head constable had been arrested by the vigilance police as he used to first implicate auto-mechanics in vehicle theft cases and then take money from them for not taking action against them.


Village being killed by its panchayat
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Lalton Kallan (Ludhiana), July 11
Infected by conflicts among the nine members of its panchayat, this model village has not lived upto its status. A poor drainage system and thatched-roof mud houses, besides narrow and dark alleys still dot the village.

Lalton Kallan is one of the few villages of Punjab that have a population of about 10,000. There are about 5,000 registered voters here, which makes the village a “darling” of political parties. The Punjab Government declared it a model village because of a “phenomenal development” here.

Most roads of the village have been paved with bricks and there is a sufficient supply drinking water and electricity, besides a senior secondary school and a dispensary. However, there are still some families here who live below the poverty line and present a sharp contrast to an otherwise affluent countryside.

But for the internal disputes of the panchayat, these mud houses could have been of concrete. After some villagers approached the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, at a ‘sangat darshan’ programme, the DC ordered the local Block Development Officer to conduct a survey of the village. The BDO asked the panchayat to submit a proposal for seeking assistance for the poor families of the village, so that, they could have brick-and-mortar houses. The villagers can get upto Rs 25,000 each for this purpose, but only after the panchayat recommends their case.

The nine-member panchayat has three groups who are always in disagreement with each other. Due to this, they have not convened any meeting of the panchayat for a long time now. Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, a local resident, said the panchayat had not met for more than five times after its constitution.

This infighting has affected the civic life of the village. The village drain is blocked at several places, causing dirty water to overflow, particularly in rains. The worst hit are school children, who have to wade through knee-deep dirty water to reach their school.

Many lanes of the village are narrow and can be expanded, but only if the panchayat desires so. One lane is too narrow to let two bicycles cross it simultaneously. This has led to many brawl between persons who want to cross it at the same time.

Most families here have at least one of their members working or settled abroad, which has brought wealth to the village. There are air-conditioners, refrigerators and colour TVs, besides imported cars in a number of houses here.


English floors 1,000 in PU BA (I) examination
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
With more than 1000 students of BA (I) from the district placed in the compartment list in English, the situation seems to be alarming for the Panjab University authorities and local colleges.

As per the university gazette for BA (I) which was available in the city yesterday, 1,043 students out of the total 8,427 students who appeared from the district this year have failed to pass the English examination. Of the total 1,522 compartments in different subjects, nearly 70 per cent are in English.

At the Guru Hargobind Khalsa College for Women, Gurusar Sudhar, 95 of the total 507 students who appeared this year have got compartment in English. Nearly 87 of the total 583 students at Arya College, 82 students from Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, 68 of the total 361 students from the AS College for Women, Khanna, 67 of the total 466 students from the Lala Lajpat Rai DAV College for Women, Jagraon, 58 of the total 571 students from Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Civil Lines, 57 of the total 425 students from the Khalsa College for Women, Sidwan Khurd, 55 of the total 744 students from the Khalsa College for Women have got compartments in English.

Similarly, 48 of the total 570 students from SCD Government College, 43 of the total 204 students from the Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Kotan, 35 students each from Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College, Raikot, and Guru Nanak College, Gobindnagar, Narangwal, 32 of the total 111 students from the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, 31 of the total 289 students from Ramgarhia Girls College, Millerganj, 30 students each from the SDP College for Women and Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, 28 of the total 109 students from Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College, 26 of the total 122 students from the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Jhar Sahib, 24 students from the Mai Bhago College for Women, Ramgarh, 23 of the total 133 students from Government College, Karamsar, 22 of the total 112 students from Guru Teg Bahadur College, Dakha, 18 of the total 265 students from the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women and 14 of the total 413 students from the Government College for Women have got compartments in English.

Even though subject-wise details of the result are yet not available in the city, there are chances that majority of the students of BA (I) who could not get through this year have failed to pass the English paper. Professor K.B.S. Sodhi, Head of the Department of English at GGN Khalsa College and president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, said that several students are not able to clear compartment in English even after repeated trials and, hence, they decide to drop the course. He said that concerned over the issue, the union had requested the PU VC to spilt the subject into two papers for the ease of students. However, nothing as been done so far.

Commenting on the situation, Mr A.S. Bahia, Principal, A.S. College, Khanna, said that the major reason for high rate of compartment in English was that the majority of students admitted to the course in the college were weak in the subject due to their rural background. He said there was a need to introduce special classes in English for such students. He also said that most of the district colleges were not making use of the UGC scheme to introduce remedial classes for 10-15 hours per month for weak students. If such classes are held in English, the situation could be improved, he said.


Man found dead in hotel room
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
Dinesh Kumar (34) a resident of Model Town, was found dead in room no 119 of Hotel Vikrant in the Bhadaur House area near Clock Tower this morning.

The owner of the hotel said that Dinesh had hired a room in the hotel on Tuesday at around 12:35 pm.

He was carrying a bag which he kept in the room before leaving. He came back in the evening again and did not go out.

This morning, a house-keeper of the hotel saw the man hanging from the ceiling fan with a rope and informed the hotel owner about the incident.

The deceased had given address of his friend in Panchkula even though he was a resident of Ludhiana. Nobody had been seen entering the room of the deceased and it appeared as if the deceased had committed suicide.

The police found celphos tablets from the body which indicated that he might have consumed the poison.

Ms Anita, a sister of the deceased who lives in Phagwara, said that his brother was married four years ago and he was very disturbed due to some problems with his wife and in-laws.

It was alleged by Satyawati, mother of deceased, that the in-laws of his son had beaten him up and his wife always used to threaten him that she would register a case against him under the dowry Act.

She further alleged that her son committed suicide under the fear of his wife and in-laws.

The police has registered a case under Section 174 of Cr P C. The post-mortem report was awaited.


Rally marks World Population Day 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
The World Population Day was observed by school students, who participated in a rally organised by the District Education Department here today.

Nearly a thousand students from seven schools, including Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School for Boys, Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School for Girls, Government Boys Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, Malwa Girls Senior Secondary School and R.S. Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, participated in the rally.

The rally started from Bharat Nagar Chowk where Ms Usha Sidhu, District Education Officer (secondary) hoisted the flag. It proceeded towards Bhai Wala Chowk to RS Model Senior Secondary School via the Nehru Sidhant Kendra.

Meanwhile, the District Health Department, also observed the World Population Day by organising a seminar at Punjab Agricultural University. Speaking at the occasion, Dr Rajinder Kaur, Civil Surgeon, said that the department was organising family welfare camps where the masses were made aware of advantages of having small families. She said that the sex ratio in the district had been going down and efforts were required to improve the situation.


Decline in sex ratio alarming’
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 11
Sex ration in the state has declined due to female foeticide, whereas, at the national level, it has improved, said Mr R.L. Kalsia, Director for Social Security, Child and Women Development, at a seminar on the occasion of the World Population Day here today.

He said that government could not solve this problem without the support of society. He said educated persons were misusing science to kill girls before they were even born. He said the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (Prevention of Misuse) Act of 1994 had not been implemented properly and no case had been registered under this Act, so far.

Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner said it was a matter of concern for the district administration that this was one of the ten districts of the country where the sex ratio had declined alarmingly to 751 at present. He urged social bodies to help the state control female foeticide. He said the PND Act would be strictly enforced in the district. He urged doctors to educate the persons who approached them for sex determination and female foeticide. He said religious bodies should issue edicts condemning female foeticide.

Dr G.S. Goyal, Civil Surgeon, said all ultrasound centres of the district had been registered and signboards with messages that urged visitors not to go for sex-determination tests had been put up at these places.

Mr Manmohan Sharma, Chairman of the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, also spoke on the occasion.

Dr Bawa and Dr Mohinder Singla of the Indian Medical Association said doctors of the district would not conduct sex-determination tests. Mr Jagtar Singh, a representative of the youth, Ms Baljinder Kaur, a women’s rights activist, and Mr M. P. Arora, ADC, also spoke on the occasion.


Threat to sue Telecom Dept 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
The Urban Estate Welfare Association has threatened to file a suit in the District Redressal Consumers Forum for claiming damages and refund of advance rent from the Telecom Department if the defective phones were not made operative within three days.

Dr Shiv Kumar Gupta, general secretary, in a press statement today said that the telephones of Urban Estate Dugri had been out of order due to rain and underground fault for the past 15 days. He said that the linemen were also non-cooperative and they refused to listen to the complaints of the residents.

The members alleged that department, which had already charged the advance rent from the customers, was not providing proper services to them.

Dr Gupta informed that association members had also sent their representation to the Chief General Manager, Telecom, Punjab Circle, Chandigarh, the Minister for Communication, Mr Ram Bilas Paswan, and the Directorate of Public Grievances, New Delhi, for taking appropriate action into the matter.

The subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) had a tough time and the workings of businessmen, officials and residents remained paralysed in the affected areas.


Police inquiry finds gunmen guilty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Following a police inquiry, the gunmen of Namdhari guru Jagjit Singh have been found guilty of intimidating an Army official and his friend by firing at them after an avoidable altercation near Jagraon road on Monday and also of lodging a false complaint against them with the police.

Upholding the version of the victim, Army official Capt Jagwinder Singh, about the sequence of events, an inquiry into the case conducted by DSP Naginder Singh Rana has stated that Head Constable Amar Singh had fired shots at the Army official and had later lodged a false report against the Army official with the police accusing the official of having attacked them.

Following the acquittal of the Army official in the inquiry, the case of attempt to murder registered against him and his friend is likely to be withdrawn. The district police was also discussing the kind of action to be taken against the Head Constable for harassing, intimidating and falsely implicating the victims.

SSP Kuldip Singh said he had received the inquiry report from the DSP and was taking legal opinion regarding taking action against the Head Constable.

The inquiry report stated that the accused youths did not have any arms licence and were not carrying any weapon as alleged by the gunmen. The inquiry report quoted a number of eye-witnesses to the incident who also did not corroborate the allegations leveled by the gunmen.


SSF for drug-free Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president, Sikh Students Federation (Mehta faction), has expressed grave concern over the menace of drug addiction in society and called for a mass movement to eradicate this evil from the state.

Addressing a meeting of the federation organised at Gurdwara Dukhnivaran here, he expressed deep concern over the increasing tendency of drug addiction among the youth of Punjab. Some important decisions were also taken and resolutions passed at the meeting, said federation secretary general Sarchand Singh Khyala.

Mr Grewal announced that the SSF (Mehta) would launch a nasha-mukt Punjab campaign from July 23 to save the youth from the menace of drug addiction. Akal Takht Jathedar Joginder Singh Vedanti would formally launch the campaign after performing ardas. He observed that the main cause of the drug addiction among the Sikh youth was the impact of foreign TV channels. He said it was essential to awaken the youth to its deadly influences. During the campaign, the federation would organise chetna marches in the schools, colleges, cities and towns, hold seminars, distribute de-addiction literature, hold individual contacts and kirtan darbars to make the programme meaningful and effective.

In another resolution the federation demanded the status of holy city already granted to Amritsar Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, and Anandpur Sahib be implemented immediately with religious sanctions.

The meeting of the federation executive passed a significant resolution demanding uniformity in the fee structure in the private and government schools, colleges and universities in the new academic session and opening no-profit-no-loss canteens and provision stores in colleges and universities and recruitment to vacant posts there. 


Complainant seeks transfer of case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
A resident of Talwandi Kalan village, near here, was detained from June 10 to June 16 at Laddowal police post in connection with a land dispute case. On his release, he wrote an application challenging his arrest and presented it to Mr Suresh Arora, DIG, on June 18.

The DIG ordered a probe by a DSP. The man was satisfied hoping that soon the guilty would be brought to book.

But Mr Puran Parkash Singh’s initial euphoria is slowly giving way to despair in view of the current inquiry, which he alleged was being deliberately delayed by the DSP (Rural).

The DSP had ignored the “illegal detention” part of his complaint and asked the complainant to be present at the disputed site for physical verification of facts. A number of such meetings took place and all the relevant revenue records, proving the complainant to be the owner of the land, were shown to the investigating officer but to no avail. 


FCI workers to join CITU stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
The Food Corporation of India workers and palledars of this district plan to join the Centre of India Trade Unions (CITU) rally at Jalandhar on July 24. Mr Amar Nath Koom Kalan, General Secretary of the Punjab unit of the FCI Workers and Palledars Union, said this at a meeting of depot-level heads and the other activists of the trade union here today.

At the meeting, Mr Chander Shekhar, General Secretary of the state unit of the CITU, said such rallies would be organised all over the country to prepare for a nationwide strike against the economic policies of the Centre and state governments. He said the government had been delaying the disbanding of the FCI due to political compulsions.

The CITU activist said the organisation would oppose any move to privatise the FCI and the other procurement agencies. Mr Chander Shekhar said the government had succumbed to the pressure of the multinationals and the WTO regime, ignoring the interests of farmers.

He said the government had initiated this move to do away with the public distribution system and ownership of the food grain business to handover these jobs to multinationals and big business houses.

He stressed the need for enforcing labour law and flayed the exploitation of workers. Mr Amar Nath Koom Kalan said the condition of the working class was pathetic. In particular, the palledars who work in procurement agencies and grain markets, were even denied minimum wages and security of service.


Bahujan Samaj Morcha flays Kanshi
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 11
A meeting of the local unit of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha was held at Kheri Nandh Singh under the chairmanship of the district president of the morcha, Mr Raghvir Singh Badla. Among others, it was addressed by the district general secretary, Mr Rajwinder Singh Bhalmajra, and the tehsil president and general secretary, Mr Surinder Singh Farour and Mr Gurbachan Singh Dhiman, respectively.

Flaying the double standards of the BSP president, Mr Kanshi Ram, they said while on one hand he opposed “siri pratha”, on the other he was supporting a landlord for the chief ministership of Punjab. The leaders said he was visiting various deras, mandirs and melas in an attempt to ‘strengthen’ his party. They alleged that he was fighting only for his personal interests.

The leaders claimed that hundreds of BSP leaders and workers had joined their morcha due to wrong policies of the BSP. they stated that those who had joined the morcha included Bibi Amarjit Kaur, president, Bag Sikander unit (mahila wing); Ms Nachhatar Kaur, president, Bathan Kalan unit; Ms Kulwant Kaur, president, Mohan Majra unit; Ms Bhupinder Kaur, president, Bathan unit; Ms Nirmal Kaur, president, Chari unit; Mr Darshan Singh, president, Kotla unit; Mr Kulwinder Singh, president, Ajner unit; Mr Dharam Singh, president, Malakpur unit; Mr Babbi Singh, president, Ucha Jatana unit; and some other former members of the BSP.


New devices for elderly women
Asha Ahuja

A bottle holder for the elderly.
A bottle holder for the elderly.

Ludhiana, July 11
The aged in society are a neglected lot. When women reach their 70s, a lot of problems occur both at the psychological and physiological levels. To ease the physiological stress in elderly women, especially in urban Punjab, devices to reduce the stress have been developed by Ms Pushpinder Kokri, a research scholar at PAU. She conducted research under the supervision of Dr Rupa Bakshi, Family Resource Department, PAU.

She took an account of their living conditions, participation in work and their general problems, after conducting a survey in six cities of the state. Based on the result of the survey, physiological stress on some selected elderly at a mean age of 72 years were assessed while they performed 24 routine household and personal activities. Later, few devises were developed to reduce the stress and to make daily living easier for them. Help-aids for elderly, designed with the help of carpenters, were a few labour saving devices, ergonomically suitable furniture and working heights, work simplification techniques and congenial environment. For example use of climbing stick to climb stairs was instant hit among the participants, a few of them confessed that they were able to climb again after many years (due to stiff joints and knee pains, they had stopped climbing all together).

A stick has been devised to help the elderly climb stairs.
A stick has been devised to help the elderly climb stairs.

Use of trolley and tray to carry items from one place to the other, use of picker to pick up small items from floor and use of reacher to reach out for items placed on shelves beyond normal reach, were other successful devices. To simplify their kitchen-related tasks, another useful item designed was a cushioned high stool with lumber support and footrest, on which they could sit for cooking and cleaning utensils, etc. Other interesting items introduced in their kitchen included free-lever peeler, rocking knife, grater support (for easy hold on grater) and chapati puffer.

Clothing-care was made easier by the use of a high chair with adjustable footrest for ironing. Seam ripper, easy squeeze scissors and threader were introduced to make stitching and mending work managable for them.

It was observed during the survey that no matter how old these women were (even if they were not involved in any other household work), they still took their personal care themselves, viz. taking medicine, bathing and dressing etc. Introduction of pill cutter to split tablets and the use of weekly pill box was welcomed by them.

The use of a hot water bottle holder was also liked by them. Rail support to get up from toilet seat, use of a low towel stand and high patra were the items introduced in their bathrooms for ease and safety.

Long handled wide teethed comb, velero-taped shoes, elastic in salwar, button-aid to help in buttoning their garments were the items used to help them to get dressed.

A static duster made dusting managable without much bending. They were satisfied with the devices, which were tested on them. The devices were successful in reducing physiological stress viz heart rate, energy consumption, and blood pressure.


SAD (A) opposes Devi Lal memorial in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Sticking to its radical stand, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) led by Mr Simranjeet Singh Mann, opposed the setting up of a memorial to Devi Lal in Punjab.

Addressing a press conference after attending a meeting of the party workers at Gurdwara Akalgarh, the SAD (A) leaders, who included Mr Charan Singh Lohara, general secretary, and Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, president of the youth wing, alleged that Devi Lal had opposed the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab and sharing of river waters.


SHYAD convention on July 15
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 11
“During the days of Dharam Yudh Morcha, the Sikh youth had come forward in large numbers to make sacrifices in the name of ‘sikh panth in danger’, at the call of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, but after coming power, he left them in the lurch. As a result, many Sikh youth are still lingering in jails,’’ alleged Mr Karnail Singh Panjoli, president, Sarb Hind Youth Akali Dal, while talking to mediapersons .


BSNL subscribers a harassed lot
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 11
Over 70 BSNL subscribers in Roshan Market have condemned the department for being callous and non-cooperative to them. Mr G.S. Nagi and Mr K. Lal Bhatia, representatives of Roshan Market, Vishkarma Chowk, said that the subscribers were facing a tough time as most of the telephones in the market had been out of order for the past 20 days. They alleged that despite repeated requests, the telephones remained non-operational.


Stolen drafts recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The Sherpur police recovered drafts for Rs 93 lakh that had been stolen from the office of First Flight Courier here a few months ago. A man named Davinder Kumar has been arrested on the charge of stealing these drafts. However, his alleged accomplices — Surinder Kumar, Pankaj and Lalit — are yet to be caught.

Fraud alleged: Owners of Neelam Commercial Centre here have complained to the police that two of their employees, Nazi and Salim, have duped the company of Rs 75,000 by bungling the accounts. The police has seized certain documents and began an investigation. The accused have absconded.

Woman cheated: The Focal Point police has registered a case against a man named Ram Sharad on the charge of cheating a woman in a property deal. The woman, Krishana Devi, a widow and resident of Guru Arjun Dev Nagar here, complained to the police that Ram Sharad, a resident of Housing Board Colony, had cheated her in plot-purchase deal.


Minor raped, case registered
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 11
A girl (nine) of Raian village was allegedly raped by a man of the same village on Tuesday afternoon.

Satpal Singh, father of the victim, alleged that Kuldip Singh (25) stopped his daughters near his tubewell, and offered to give them mangoes when they were returning home after meeting their friend. When the girls went inside the tubewell room, he raped the elder one.

A case has been registered under Section 376 of the IPC. However, the accused has absconded.

Dowry case: A case has been registered under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC at Sahnewal police station on a complaint filed by a woman regarding physical and mental harassment by her dowry-seeking in-laws.

According to the complaint, Sunita Devi, a resident of Miani village in Koom Kalan, got married to Laimbhar Ram of Garah village in Phillaur on October 10, 1999. Soon after the marriage, her husband, his father Ram Asara, and mother Vidya started forcing her to bring more and more dowry till she left the house for good. The case has been handed over to the Marriage Dispute Cell.


Industrialists confused over power cuts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The industrialists of the Khanna circle are under confusion with respect to the imposition of power cuts in the area. On one hand, Mr P.S. Jindal, Chief Engineer, System Operation and Control, PSEB, at Patiala, confirmed that there had been no power cuts on the industrial feeder in Punjab while power cuts were imposed in the area between 12.30pm to 2.00 pm daily. He said that the industry sector was under category-2, and the power cuts were only for rural feeder under category 2.

However, according to Mr. Vinod Bhatia, S.E., Khanna Circle, he had no information that industry was being exempted from the power cuts and that in Khanna most of the feeders were common for rural and industrial supply. The industry representatives demanded that the system should be re-structured so that the industrial consumers were segregated from other consumers to take benefit of power cuts as available in other parts of Punjab.

Mr Vinod Vashisht, vice-president, All India Rollers Association said,‘‘ The Punjab State Electricity Board has collected crores of rupees from the middle supply industrial consumers by introducing voluntarily disclosure scheme. Almost all M.S. consumers, after declaring their load, under the said VDS scheme, were now covered under large supply category. Due to change of category, the consumers were required to install their own transformer, higher capacity meters and CTPT units. The board, while introducing the VDS scheme, had assured that these units would not be subject to charges of transformer for the period of three months, but that relaxation had not been provided for so far.’’

According to Mr Vinod Vashisht, the board was charging Rs 70,000 per meter from the company, while these meters were available in the market at a rate of Rs 30-32,000. He demanded that the board should allow consumers to install their own meters along with a CTPT unit. A deputation of small-scale steel re-rollers association had already met Mr J.S. Chawla, Chief Engineer Commercial, PSEB, Patiala, who had assured them that these units would be allowed to install transformer of 315 KVS so that in future they did not have to change the transformer on further extension of load.

The local staff was however, not allowing these units to install higher capacity transformer. The communication gap between the board and field staff was putting hundreds of industrial unit to hardships.

The industrialists have urged the board authorities to issue proper instructions to the field staff so that they do not have to suffer these kind of problems.

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