Friday, August 3, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Transferred govt teachers complain to Director
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
In less than a week after 850 government school teachers were transferred, the UT Education Department has flooded with requests, ‘sifarish’ representations and complaints of ‘various hues, colours and claims.’

Making a change from the past practice this time the Director, Public Instructions (Schools), UT, got the applications for transfers of teachers processed from a committee of three educationists, including the District Education Officer, the Assistant Director, Vocational Courses and the Deputy District Education Officer. Earlier these applications were processed by the staff of the directorate.

A delegation of government teachers union met the Director, Public Instructions (Schools), UT, Mr D S Saroya, today. They brought into his notice various complaints about the recent transfer orders of teachers.

The complaints included issue of certain teachers being shifted with less than seven years of service in a particular school. They alleged that there were cases of other teachers who were not shifted even when they had completed more than seven years stay in a particular school.

Several other complainants alleged that the teachers were shifted from one rural school to another without being granted an opportunity of serving in a model, or even a non-model school, in urban areas.

Out of 850 teachers, who were transferred, about 40 teachers had sent their representations for review.

Mr Saroya, after listening to the grievances, asked the teachers to furnish specific instances by name so that their cases could be examined by the committee on merit. The delegates promised to give the details within a couple of days.

The general secretary, Dr Vinod Sharma said,‘‘we have appealed to the teachers to submit their applications for review till August 3. We are hopeful of a positive response from the Director, Public Instructions (Schools), UT. We will have a general body meeting on August 6 after the decision of Director. Public Instructions.’’

The chairman of the government teacher union, Mr Khushali Ram Sharma, alleged,‘‘Some of the teachers, who were on the verge of retirement, were also transferred in violation of the laid policy. Few teachers have also not been given the schools of their preference.’’

Sources in the Education Department said, ‘‘There is an inbuilt system for redressal of grievances of teachers where in as many cases are referred to the committee of educationists.’’

The sources added,‘‘Unmindful of the conduct rules and having knowledge of the policy guidelines, eight out of 10 requests are being received in the Education Department, which are not covered under policy. Teachers also go to the extent of getting the help of politicians and senior bureaucrats for getting transferred in the schools of their own choice.’’

The sources said, the complaints in most of the cases were uncalled for. They added that the teachers, being privileged class, were asked for the schools of their choice before the transfer orders were issued. ‘‘Otherwise also, Chandigarh is a small city and public transportation is quite cheap. One can reach from residence to school within 20 minutes without spending much,’’ they added.


City teachers go on mass leave today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh August 2
The Chandigarh District Council of Panjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) met at the GGDSD College here to chalk out a plan for responding to a call given by the PCCTU to go on mass casual leave tomorrow.

As per the directions given by the PCCTU, the teachers working in aided colleges in the city would assemble near the Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Patiala, at 10.30 am to participate in a protest march up to the DC’s residence.

Teachers from the colleges of Patiala, Ropar, Mansa and Fatehgarh Sahib are also likely to participate in the rally.

In a statement given to the Press, Prof N.P. Manocha and Prof Karamjit Sandhu, president and secretary of the Chandigarh District Council of the PCCTU, respectively, said that the teachers from the aided colleges in the city would participate in a big way in the rally-cum-march.

The teachers had also decided to participate in the dharna organised by AIFUCTO at New Delhi on August 6.


Personality development programme for kids
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
Quiz master Derek O Brien introduced a new concept, KQ School Advantage, a personality development programme, to principals of different private schools here today.

A total of 480 students chosen from the city’s 20 schools would be participating in the programme. Each school has been allotted a limited number of seats depending upon the strength of the school. The concept would be launched in the city from September. Two schools, St John’s High School and St Stephen’s School, would be the host schools for the programme.

The intensive 24 sessions of a little above one hour each, would aim at developing the complete personality of the child.

There are three levels being made available of the course: the first called primary for students of Classes IV to VI, secondary for Classes VII and VIII and career ready from Classes IX to XII. A successful launch in the city would lead to launching of a similar course in more than 25 cities of the country by end of 2002.

Only 480 students will be chosen initially on first come first serve basis and every course will have a strength of 40 students each and would be divided into groups of eight each. The students will be in an intensive but fun-filled programme be taught time management, effective habits,creativity skills, human relation skills, functional skills, memory skills etc.

The facilitators will be from the team of KQ Advantage who were being specially trained to teach the students taken up for the course. “This course is aimed to ensure that the child has a well developed personality and we every child is a bright child, all that is required is to help that brightness shine,” Mr Brien explained.

Mr O’ Brien visited Tribune Model School, Hansraj Public School and Carmel Convent today and interacted with the students and their parents regarding the programme. In a lively interaction, he answered every query of students at Tribune Model School.

At the function in Hansraj School, two students who had participated in the Bournvita Quiz Contest, Bharat Jakati and Aditya Singh, were given a cash award of Rs 5,000 each by the Chairman, Justice Amarjeet Chaudhary, for their performance. The manager of the school, Mr R.C. Jeewan, presented a memento to Mr Brien.

Even the selected underprivileged students would be a part of the course without paying any fee.


Nescafe complex opens at Students Centre
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Students Centre, the most haunted venue by students at Panjab University will now have a more trendy look with opening up of a Nescafe complex here today. Prof K.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, also attended the inaugural ceremony.

The new structure having two portions, one having light refreshments and the other having soft drinks and coffee, has a uniform clad staff. Already there exists a shop for eatables and two canteens for tea, coffee and soft drinks. It also has a card and a gift shop.

“This structure is decent but there should be no more increase in shops at the venue as it would make the area congested,” a senior student leader said.


Anthropology interviews on August 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, will interview candidates for the one-year (evening) diploma course in forensic science and criminology on August 8 to fill 15 seats available this year.


Screening of ‘Gadar’ challenged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
On a petition seeking directions to Zee Telefilms Private Limited and other respondents against the screening of Hindi movie “Gadar” a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today fixed August 9 as the next date of hearing.

In his petition against Union of India and other respondents, Sant Eshar Singh of Sangrur district had stated that he, along with other Sikhs, were of the opinion that the Nishan Sahib had been misused. He had added that the symbol in the movie had been used for looting and other “ignoble purposes”.

The petitioner had added that in another scene Amritdhari Sikhs, along with Nihangs, were seen going along with a mob to abduct a Muslim girl. Quoting The Tribune, the petitioner had asserted that as per a report, the movie was spreading hatred among the masses.

Directive to SSP

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed Khanna’s Senior Superintendent of Police to be present in the court on a petition seeking probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the kidnapping and subsequent murder of a five-year-old student.

In his petition, victim Aman Sood’s father, Mr Naveen Sood, of Khanna, along with 12 members of an action committee, had earlier stated that the police, for reasons best known to it, had failed to nail the culprits despite registering a first information report under Section 365 and 302 of the Indian Penal Code.

Going into the background, the petitioners had alleged that a phone call demanding Rs 10 lakh as ransom was received by the family after Aman Sood was kidnapped in broad day light while returning from school on August 1 last year.

Arguing on behalf of the petitioners, counsel Ranjan Lakhanpal had added that the boy’s body was found in the fields after six days. The child, as per the postmortem examination report, had been strangulated. He had added that despite the lapse of one year, the culprits had not been apprehended.

Vote recount

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday held that the recounting of votes cannot be ordered on mere asking. The reasons for recounting have to be “adequately stated”.

Pronouncing the orders, Mr Justice V.K. Jhanji of the high court held: “Recounting cannot be ordered on mere asking. Reasons must be adequately stated and the Election Tribunal must be prima-facie satisfied that in order to decide the dispute, and to do complete justice between the parties, inspection of ballots is necessary”.

The Judge also dismissed an appeal filed by Mr Shamsher Singh, initially elected as sarpanch of Naruana village in Bathinda district. His election was set aside after the Election Tribunal came to the conclusion that the counting was “unfair”.

After going through the documents and arguments, Mr Justice Jhanji observed: “In this case, the Election Tribunal has not directed recount of votes in routine manner. It has given good and valid ground for ordering recount”.

Order reserved

The high court on Thursday reserved orders on a petition filed by two lawyers alleging that Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, was not entitled to hold public office as he had violated the oath taken by him by acting with malice and ill-will in ordering an inquiry against former Chief Secretary V.K. Khanna.

In their petition taken up by the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Mr Justice M.M. Kumar, the lawyers — Mr Karam Chand and Mr A.P.S. Shergill — had earlier stated that the High Court had held that the state action in ordering an inquiry against Mr Khanna was not bonafide.

They had added that the allegations of mala fide made against the Chief Minster were upheld by the Supreme Court. The petitioners had further claimed that the CM, while appointing Mr R.S. Mann as Chief Secretary, had again violated the oath by granting “undue favour to Mr Mann as he had superseded 10 senior officers”.

Notice issued

Issuing notice of motion, a Division Bench of the high court on Thursday directed Haryana’s Inspector-General (Telecommunication) to be present in the court on Friday on a petition filed by a wireless operator.

In her petition taken up by Mr Justice S.S. Sudhalkar and Mr Justice A.K. Goel, constable Usha Devi had earlier alleged that she was transferred from Panchkula to Kaithal on March 23. After the submission of a representation, she was transferred back on July 13, but the very next day she was re-transferred.


Court helps YWCA hostelers
Kiran Deep

Chandigarh, August 2
A local court has come to the rescue of two residents of the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) who were directed to vacate the hostel by the authorities without giving them a seven-day notice. The court directed the hostel authorities to maintain status quo regarding possession of the complainants at the hostel and objection, if any, be filed before the court on August 4.

The two residents, Ms Sayra Bano Kureshi and Ms Jatinder Kaur, had filed a complaint against the YWCA through its chairman and establishment secretary, Sector 11-B, for permanent injuction restraining the authorities from dislocating the complainants forcibly and illegally from the hostel.

Both the complainants are young working women and members of the YWCA. They came to the city in order to pursue further studies. As they did not have any facility of accommodation, they enrolled as members of the YWCA. They were allowed hostel facility at the YWCA in October, 2000, on payment of necessary charges by hostel authorities for a period of 11 months which will expire on August 3. As per the rules of the hostel, the period of occupation of hostel can be renewed only after the expiry of the initial period of 11 months. The period of 11 months is going to be expired in the month of August. The complainant had already applied for renewal for a further period of 11 months.

They had already cleared all the charges on account of monthly charges of the accommodation and there is no infringement of any of the rules of hostel. The complainants said a hostel resident can be asked to leave the hostel premises only after giving a notice of at least one week. But the authorities had issued a notice on July 26 for terminating the permission to stay in the hostel with the direction that the complainant should vacate the hostel on July 31.


Consumer Courts to have new premises
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
The UT District Consumer Courts will shift from Sector 17 to the new court complex building in Sector 19. Sources said the court was likely to shift in March 2002.

The sources said that officials of the Consumer Court had earlier met the officials of the UT Administration and informed them about the need of more courts.


Bail in fake passport case
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 2
A local court today granted bail to Dayal Massih allegedly involved in preparing fake passports. The accused was granted bail on furnishing a bail bond for Rs 25000.

The accused along with others was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing on July 10 on the complaint of Baljit Singh. Later the police had seized fake passports, forged identity cards and birth certificate from the accused.


Play fails to make impact
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
Gursharan Singh’s latest play, Aawaz-e-Kashmir, staged here today at Punjab Kala Bhavan, did not make the kind of impact it was expected to. The script, the depiction and the message — all seemed to have been a little personalised, much against the common opinion.

The playwright, who also directed the play, did make point in dealing with the fallout of the sensitive Chattisingpora massacre of 35 Sikhs on the occasion of Clinton’s visit to India, but the script seemed to be a bit biased. There were dialogue which tantamounted to controverting certain facts which have been reiterated by India time and again on the Kashmir issue. The entire focus was on referendum for Kashmiris and the play declared that Kashmir issue should be left to the Kashmiris alone.

The plot revolved around a Muslim family wherein the father’s role was played by Sulaiman Bhat, the mother’s role by Jaspal Deol, the son’s role by Bashir Li and the uncle’s role by Sagar. The scene opens with a Muslim man going over to a Sikh family to commiserate for the killing of Sikhs on the ominous day. This man, however, is picked up by the Army the next day. The next news that flows is that he has disappeared. Subsequently, even this man’s son is killed during a firing on a mob.

Towards the end, the characters underline the importance of “aazadi” on their own terms and in their own way.


An ensemble straight from the heart
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 2
The ensemble which went on display at the Punjab Kala Bhavan here today is straight from the heart. Strokes, colours, mediums and feelings — all get together on the canvas to lend a touch which tickles the senses, intrigues the mind and provokes the thought.

On display here are works by four painters, with strong connections with Jammu — the land of Gods. However, none of their works exhibit rosy side of life for obvious reason — there is nothing really rosy about the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In each work, the artists paint memories of the days gone by or other facts about life, which are generally bitter.

Participating in the show are four artists — Rohit Verma, Vinay Khajuria, Masarat Mehboob and Sunanda Khajuria — all holding Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from the Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Jammu. Rohit’s 11 works abound in self-expression. The artist seems to be conveying man’s relation with his surroundings quite effortlessly. The colours used are languid to do justice to the theme. “It’s all about self-realisation,” says Rohit, who has also taken MFA from College of Arts and Crafts, Lucknow. His works are powerful in that these combine figurative and abstract forms to create a visually-appealing facade.

Vinay Khajuria’s artistic concerns revolve round Kashmir’s turmoil. Affected immensely by death and desperation, which have become synonymous with the Valley, the artist produces some highly-sensitive works. All his themes stem from a common root — that of the strength of Kashmiri people, who are passing through fire with a smiling face. Red, saffron and blue have been employed to lend credibility.

Sunanda Khajuria exhibits maturity in her own right. She uses her brush as a medium to weave stories around varied themes. Her collection is bright and generally gay. Ask her how she could keep herself immune from the Valley’s pain, and she smiles back with a promise: “I am more interested in portraying that Kashmir’s ethereal beauty still remains and no amount of destruction can ever undo it.”

Sunanda employs oil and acrylic colours and tells stories which reflect lifestyles of an average Kashmiri family. Sometimes she chooses to exhibit scenes from an art college where youth are engrossed in creative endeavour; sometimes she paints virgin snow which adds to the natural beauty of Kashmir. In the end, all works combine to underline one truth — that the Valley has learnt to bear its pain.

Masarat Mehboob’s creative forms come across as concerns of the woman in her. She limits herself to female forms and paints them in all their moods and roles. So while in one canvas the focus is on children importuning the mother for a favour, in the other the theme is lost identity of women in the Valley. The feeling of hope remains hidden behind the pangs of desire, which assumes shape in colour on canvas.

The show was inaugurated by Additional Secretary, Parliamentary Affairs, Punjab, Mr Samir Kumar, and will continue till August 6.

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