Thursday, August 2, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


  • Chowkidar: under-paid & overworked

  • A fight against being branded

  • Free medical camp at Abohar


PROTEST RALLY: Workers of the Lok Janshakti Party staged a dharna and held a rally in protest against the “anti-people policies" of the SAD-BJP government in front of the District Courts here on Wednesday. Mr Mohinder Singh, district president, Mr Mangat Ram, Mr Om Parkash Jakhu and many others participated. Later, they presented a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to be forwarded to the President of India.

WOMAN DEAD: Tanu Sharma of Bhawani Nagar locality succumbed to her burn injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. She was seriously burnt in a gas cylinder blast in her kitchen on July 24 while she was cooking.

ONE ARRESTED: The Talwara police has arrested Amar Singh of Boh-Chuher village and seized 12 bottles of rum, four bottles of whisky and 23 bottles of wine from his possession.

THEFT CASE: The Dasuya police has registered a case under Sections 380 of the IPC against Sandip Singh of Berchhan village for breaking open the golak of a gurdwara of the village and stealing Rs 1,000 from it.

2 COMMIT SUICIDE: Sukhdev Singh (35) of Urmur died at Civil Hospital, Tanda, on Tuesday. He had consumed some poisonous substance. Mangal Singh (25) of Morian died due to excessive drinking of liquor on Monday night. Balbir Singh of Nasrala died at Civil Hospital, Hoshiarpur, on Monday. He had consumed celphos tablets.

MINISTER’S CLAIM: Mr Balbir Singh Miani, State Minister for Higher Education, Punjab, said sarpanches and panches of 35 to 40 villages of the Tanda segment, being represented by him, had shown their unwillingness to get any type of grant for development purposes. He said almost all development works had already been completed in these villages and they told him that they did not needed the grants anymore. He said he had recently distributed cheques for Rs 2 crore in 165 villages of his segment for development works.

4 DIE IN ACCIDENTS: Jagdish Singh and Parshotam Lal of Guwal Chuck Shangru died on the spot when a truck hit their scooter while they were going to Pathankot on Monday. In another accident, one unidentified scooterist was crushed to death by a speedy vehicle at Adda Talwandi Kalan on Monday evening. A cyclist, Piara Singh of Kalra, village was also crushed to death by a Punjab Roadways bus.

BODY FOUND: The Tanda police has arrested Hari Dass of Urmur and seized 7930 ml of illicit liquor from him. The Mahilpur police arrested Mehnga Ram of Pragpur and seized 27 litres of rum from him on Monday.

COACHES: The new LHB German-designed coaches being manufactured in the Rail Coach Factory here will have the facility of controlled discharge toilets. These toilets will help reduce the problem of hygiene at the Railway stations as the new design involves storage of waste and subsequent discharge when the train lowers its speed to 30 km and less. This was disclosed by the RCF General Manager, Mr K.R. Govindarajan to the Railway Passenger Amenities Committee Chairman, Mr Bashist Narain Singh, during his visit to the factory on Tuesday.

EYE CHECK-UP CAMP: More than 400 students were examined in an eye check-up camp organised by the Lions Club (RCF Royal) at Government Middle School in the factory on Wednesday, according to the project chairman, Lion Sanjeev Sehgal. A team of eye specialists headed by Dr Ramesh Mahna examined the students. Medicines and spectacles were distributed to the ailing students free of cost.

TRIBUTES PAID: Tributes were paid to martyr Udham Singh on his martyrdom day on Tuesday at a function organised by the New Punjab Welfare Society at Shimla Puri. Mr Neel Kamal Sharma, president of the society, said Udham Singh retained the memory of Jallianwala Bagh massacre close to his heart for 21 long years before finally killing General Dyer in London. Floral tributes were paid to the martyr by a large number of people.

DONATION: Mr Lajpat Rai, the BJP MP from the city, on Tuesday donated Rs five lakh to the People For Animals, Ludhiana, for construction of a veterinary hospital at Khwajke village on Rahon road. The proposed veterinary hospital-cum-animal shelter for which the PFA has already acquired a plot in Khwajke village is expected to cost Rs 47 lakh. A project report was sent to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment by the PFA sometime ago. The ministry has already sanctioned Rs 22.5 lakh for the project. Half of it has already been released. The rest of the cost would be raised through donations from public and PFA members. Mr Rai also planted a sapling at the hospital site to inaugurate the vanamahotsva organised by the PFA. About 100 sapling were planted by members of the PFA, panches sarpanches of the area.

ELECTED: Mr Jarnail Singh Sahota was unanimously elected president of the Punjab Local Bodies Employees Union at a general house meeting of the union here on Tuesday, stated a press note of the union. He was also authorised to nominate an executive committee of his own choice.

TRAINING PROGRAMMES: College of Basic Sciences and Humanities , PAU, Ludhiana, organised three training programmes in July. These programmes included a three-week refresher course in Research Methodology in social sciences, a four-week advanced training in biological sciences and a day workshop in web-designing and editing. The refresher course was organised by the Department of Economics and Sociology from July 10 to 30, 2001. Forty-five faculty members from the various departments of the college participated in the course which pertained to advances in research methodology in subjects such as economics, sociology, business management, journalism and languages, mathematics and statistics and home science.

MUSICAL PROGRAMME: ETC Punjabi Channel will organise a programme Monsoon Hangama on August 3. Popular Punjabi singers like Sirdool Sikander, Surinder Shinda, Ashok Masti, Karan Jasbir, kamaljeet Neeru will problem at the show. Gurpreet Ghuggi will host the show.

SHYAD MEETING: The Sarb Hind Youth Akali Dal (SHYAD) has urged its rank and file to gear up for the coming assembly elections and to work for elimination of the Congress. Addressing a party meeting at Karnail Singh Nagar on the Pakhowal road here, the district president of the SHYAD, Mr Sohan Singh Goga, said the masses would not be misled by false promises of the Congress. The party secretary general, Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, asked the youth to play a constructive role in the rebuilding of a just society. Among others, Mr Surinder Singh Sohal, president, Labour Wing, Mr Mandeep Singh Sidhu, Circle President, Mr Manpreet Singh, Mr Gurcharan Singh, Mr Kuldip Singh, Mr Gurjit Singh, Mr Varinder Singh, Mr Dilraj Singh and Mr Devinder Singh attended the meeting.

SEWERAGE PROJECT: Work for laying sewerage in Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar, Phase II, has been taken in hand by the Municipal Corporation and the construction of the Gurdwara road, the foundation stone of which was laid a day before, has been put off for some time till the sewerage project was completed. This was stated by the area councillor, Giani Baldev Singh, while presiding over a meeting of the Welfare Society, Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar, Phase II. He said the project was given precedence to avoid the likely damage to the newly constructed road. Once the sewerage was laid in the area, the road work would be taken up immediately. Among others Maj Sher Singh Aulakh, president, Mr Inderjeet Singh Sekhon, Patron, Mr M. S. Brar and Mr Sohan Singh, vice presidents, Mr Bhajan Singh Gill, general secretary of the society, Mr Hardev Singh, Mr B. S. Mangat, Mr Amarjit Singh Latala, Mrs Sukhwant Kaur, Mrs Charanjit Kaur and Mr Buta Singh were also present on the occasion.

RESENTMENT: Residents of Rajguru Nagar locality here have taken strong exception to demolition of a bus stand outside the colony by the Municipal Corporation authorities. A meeting of the residents of Rajguru Nagar (Flats), convened by Mr K.K. Bawa, chairman, Labour and Employment Cell of the PPCC, deplored the high handedness of the civic administration, in demolition of the bus shelter, which was constructed by MC itself about 5 years ago, with the funds provided by Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MP.

RED CROSS CAMP: Nineteen tricycles, four wheelchairs, 16 hearing aids, 18 artificial limbs and 28 sewing machines were distributed free of cost to needy persons at a Red Cross camp organised at Gurdwara Shri Guru Singh Sabha, Urban Estate, Dugri, here on Tuesday. This was stated in a press note released by Dugri-Urban Estate Religious-cum-Educational Society.

MOURNED: The death of Master Sukhdev Singh manewal, district unit vice-president of the Congress was mourned with the observance of two minutes silence today, here, in the local Civil Rest House by Congress workers under the leadership of former minister Mr Ishar Singh Meharban. Mr Meharban said law and order condition was in deteriorating in Punjab and nobody feels safe. Mr Meharban demanded an inquiry into Manewal’s murder by the CBI.



ACADEMIC SESSION: Mr R.P. Sehgal, Executive Director of Punjab Tractors, on Wednesday inaugurated the academic session of the Centre for Management Training and Research (CMTR). In his inaugural speech, Mr Sehgal focused on the need of customer orientation in the era of global competition. He said for long-term survival and growth, customer orientation had to become a way of life for every individual in any organisation. A press note issued by the company stated that Mr Vijay Aggarwal, chairman, CMTR, welcomed the new batch of students. He stressed upon the need for continuous improvement to achieve academic excellence. A strong liaison with the industry had enabled the CMTR to successfully place its graduates with well-known commercial organisations. A three-day orientation programme to equip new students with demands of the management profession would be organised shortly. As a part of orientation, a panel discussion on “What industry expects from MBAs” was also organised.

CHALLANING FLAYED: The Chandigarh Parents Association on Wednesday flayed the ruthless challaning of those violating traffic rules by the police. A press note issued by Mr Bhim Sen Sehgal, chairman of the association, stated that it was unfortunate that senior police officers, like IG, SSP, SPs, DSPs and even SHOs, rarely observed the traffic rules. He demanded that all police personnel must adhere to traffic rules. He alleged that the police personnel rarely wore helmets and crossed red lights with impunity. He complained that PCR vehicles were always parked on the wrong side. The PCR motor cycles never switched their head lights on at nights. He said VIP vehicles were driven fast, unmindful of heavy traffic on roads.

BAN ON CARRYING FIREARMS: The carrying of licensed firearms in public places has been banned in the city following an order by the District Magistrate, Mr M. Ramsekhar, issued on Wednesday. The orders would remain in force till September 29, 2001as some members of the public had been seen moving around with small weapons, tucked under their waist belt. The order would not apply to police or military personnel and other government servants if called upon to carry firearms in the line of their duties.

MEDICAL CAMP: The Rotary Club on Wednesday organised a homoeopathic medical camp for inmates and families of the Lepers Colony in Sector 47. A press note issued by the club stated that 55 patients were examined by the club’s homoeopathy doctor, Dr Shekhar Jindal. Free medicines were also given to patients. The patients were educated to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness and preventive measures to safeguard children from the disease.


SHORTAGE OF BLOOD: An acute shortage of blood in the local blood bank could cause serious problems for patients seeking blood in various hospitals and nursing homes in the district. The blood bank, located in the Civil hospital, is the only blood bank in the district. Civil hospital, primary health centres and private nursing homes get the blood tested from the bank. Generally holding stock of around 150 units of different blood groups, only limited units of blood are available in the blood bank these days. The authorities said the shortage of blood was generally faced during the months of May, June and July. the main sources of blood were social organisations and colleges. The colleges remained closed during these months, hence no blood donation camp could be organised.

DEPUTATION: In pursuance of the extension of Punjab privately managed recognised aided school retirement benefits scheme, 1992, a deputation of the retired teachers, led by the president of the Government Aided School Teachers Union, Mr Surinder Nath Shori, met the UT Administrator on Tuesday seeking an extension of the scheme to the government aided school teachers in the city on the Punjab pattern. The administrator assured the delegation of getting the case examined.

INQUIRY: The UT Director Health Services, Dr Rameshwar Chander, has taken a serious note of the reports that certain nursing homes and ultrasound clinics in the city were conducting antenatal tests for sex-determination. An inquiry was initiated by him against two city doctors who were reported to have been allegedly carrying out the tests despite existing ban under the Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act 1994. Two doctors of the UT Health Department, were assigned to conduct a preliminary inquiry into the case. The result of the inquiry was not yet known.

EXPEDITION: Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu, Punjab Youth Services Welfare Minister, on Wednesday flagged off a 12-member team of mountaineering expedition under the aegis of the Trekkers and Mountaineers Club, Civil Secretariat, led by Mr Vinod Sharma, president of the club, from Chandigarh to Leh.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Supervisor’s Association of the Public Health wing of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh: chairman — Mr Teja Singh; president — Mr Munshi Ram; general secretary — Mr Ram Krishan; joint secretary — Mr Balwinder Singh; and cashier — Mr Moti Singh.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the PGI Residential Complex Welfare Society: president — Mr Subhash Chander; senior vice-president — Mr Prem Chand; vice-president — Mr Dass; general secretary — Mr Satish Gupta; joint secretary — Mr Subh Karan; organising secretary — Mr G.S. Kumbra; and cashier — Mr Bal Krishan.

MEMORANDUM: The Haryana Excise and Taxation Ministerial Staff Association has sent a memorandum signed by its members to the state Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, demanding amendments in their service rules. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, the state president of the association, Mr Amar Singh Yadav, and the vice-president, Mr Risal Singh, said most of their demands did not put any financial burden on the government, adding that in many cases, the clerical staff had not got a single promotion in the past 20 years.

RED CROSS FUNCTION: Ms Kanta Dagar, chairperson, Red Cross Hospital Welfare Society and wife of the local Deputy Commissioner, distributed 12 sewing machines and 15 tricycles to handicapped persons at a function organised by the District Red Cross Society here on Monday. Mr Phateh Singh Dagar, Deputy Commissioner, called upon the people to voluntarily donate blood in the camps organised by the Red Cross Society.

SAPLINGS PLANTED: Mr Kamal Choudhry, chairman, Municipal Council, inaugurated a tree plantation campaign at a function organised by the Rotary Club here on Monday. Mr Choudhry planted a sapling at Jawahar Park. He expressed concern over the use of polythene and said its use was dangerous to the environment.

TELEPHONE LINES: As many as 2,000 lines have been added to the main telephone exchange of the city with immediate effect. Giving this information, Mr R.C. Hooda, General Manager, Teleco told mediapersons here on Wednesday that this would facilitate the BSNL to grant connections to more subscribers on the waiting list.

YOUTH STABBED: A youth was allegedly stabbed with a knife by two youths of Garhi Brahmanan village on the Sonepat-Kakroi road here on Tuesday. According to a report, the injured has been hospitalised. The police has registered a case.

SEVEN INJURED: Seven persons were injured when the autorickshaw on which they were travelling overturned on the Sonepat-Murthal road, near Shu-bham Garden, about 3 km from here, on Wednesday. According to a report, breakdown of steering is stated to be the cause of the accident.

SNAKE BITE DEATH: Chikan Singh, a Bihari youth, died of snake bite while he was asleep at Jharothi village, about 10 km from here, on Tuesday night. According to a report, this is the 10th case of snake bite in the district during the past one month.

RECONSTRUCTION: The Irri-gation Department will reconstruct the ghat in Jataula minor, following a series of public complaints about the use of substandard materials in the construction work. According to sources, the ghat developed cracks just after one week of construction.

WATERLOGGING: Nearly 600 acres have become unfit for cultivation on account of waterlogging at Mohammadpur Majra village in the district. Many farmers allege that the authorities of the Agric-culture Department have failed to take any step to check the waterlogging in the village.


WATERSHED PROJECT: A two-day watershed management project of the Salasi watershed area was held at Salasi recently in which about 300 farmers were present. The camp was organised by a voluntary organisation, “Sandesh”, in collaboration with Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan. While addressing the participants, Dr R.P. Awasthy, Vice- Chancellor of the university, said efforts should be made to adopt diversification and innovative techniques in the field of horticulture.

KISAN PASSBOOKS: The HP Education Minister, Mr Ishwar Dass Dhiman, has said the kisan passbooks would prove to the successful for the farmers as all valuable data about them has been incorporated in these. He was presiding over a function at Mahre Kaswa on Tuesday. He claimed that the state government was adopting the policy of equitable development of the state. He gave kisan passbooks to 500 farmers of the 43 patwar circles of the area.



Chowkidar: under-paid & overworked

THE chowkidar, the busiest man in the village, is also the most poorly paid one in Haryana today in terms of what he gets as salary and allowances in exchange of his services being rendered to panchayats.

A chowkidar, who works under the block development and panchayat office, has been charged with a wide range of responsibilities including registration of births and deaths in his village, collection of taxes and revenue on behalf of the patwari, nambardar or sarpanch, providing assistance to the panchayat and police, besides being an official messenger of the village sarpanch. To cap it all, no working hours have been assigned to him.

But despite having to perform such onerous tasks what he gets is a paltry Rs 400 per month. Even this amount is not given to him from the BDRO’s office on time. It also needs prior clearance from the sarpanch and panches.

Chowkidars usually belong to the class below the poverty line (BPL). It is widely acknowledged fact that most of the sarpanches use them as domestic help.

 However, this deprived lot seems to have woken up to its miseries and got themselves united to get facilities. They have been holding demonstrations throughout the state under the banner of Haryana Gramin Chowkidar Sabha in support of their demands such as grant of status of government employees, increase in uniform allowance to Rs 800 and payment through the tehsildar, issuance of yellow cards for getting essential commodities of subsidies rates, passes to travel free on Haryana Roadways buses and allotment of houses under the Indira Awas Yojna.

According to official figures there are around 300 village chowkidars in the district who has organised demonstrations, at Jhajjar and Bahadurgarh recently. They also handed over a memorandum to the ADC, who directed the BDPOs to release their monthly allowance which they had not been getting for the past three months. He also assured that their demands would be taken up with the Deputy Commissioner.

A fight against being branded

A communications professional, Renu Ghosh, is no ordinary person. Not only because she has come out with her book “Branded” published by Bridge, an organisation floated by the author herself, facilitating interaction between the police, public and media. The book is a compilation of articles on topics that should interest crime reporters, crime busters as well as crime victims.

The fact that Renu Ghosh has been able to convert a personal tragedy into an impersonal one goes to her credit as a mother, which has been “sullied” by the media. She chose to fight the undesirable practice of painting someone black, leaving the victim to fend for himself or herself even when “innocuous” expressions like “alleged” or “accused” make their appearance with a story filed only to take care of libel.

Mahesh Bhatt, the noted film personality, released “Branded” at the India International Centre, New Delhi, on July 21, on her son Vikram’s birthday, seven years after his death.

With the agony of a mother, Renu says: “Vikram had died two deaths—one physical, and the other the loss of his name. At times I still find myself wondering which of the two pained and hurt me more.”

“For a media person, the story may end when the last word has been printed or the last soundbite recorded. For a police officer the case may end with the conclusion of the investigation. But, for the accused and victims of crime, and their families, there is rarely any closure.

”Renu organised seminars and workshops for an interface with crime reporters, investigators and the general public and invited articles from experts in their respective fields to be used in her book. Even the book release function was another forum for interaction between professionals related to these fields.

Free medical camp at Abohar

An Abohar-based philanthropic body,Seth Shankar Dass Daulat Ram Nagpal Charitable Trust, organised a medical camp in the town recently where patients suffering from various diseases were examined by a team of medical specialists from Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Fazilka and Abohar besides this town. Pathological tests were conducted and medicines distributed free of cost. The team of specialists included some eminent doctors from Fortis Heart Institute, Oswal Hospital and the PGI.

Mr Jagdish Chander Nagpal, president of the trust, said a mobile dental van from the CMC, Ludhiana, came to Abohar for the first time and examined more than 150 patients. The photo shows Mr Nagpal (speaking on mike) thanking the doctors who made the camp a success.

“A multi-facility charitable hospital is soon to come up on Malout Road,” he added.

(Contributed by Deepender, Chander Koumdi and P.C. Nagpal)

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