Thursday, August 30, 2001, Chandigarh, India


R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

  • He serves leprosy victims
  • Mountaineering her forte
  • A beacon of inspiration


REFRESHER COURSE: Guru Nanak Dev University has organised a three-week refresher course in English for college and university teachers under the auspices of Academic Staff College of the university. Prof O.P. Garewal, a retired Professor of English from Kurukshetra, formally inaugurated the course.

WORKSHOP: Universities are our role models and they should set new trends in imparting quality education in the wake of increasing globalisation and privatisation. These observations were made by Dr Bhagat Singh, Principal Secretary of Higher Education, Punjab, while inaugurating a five- day workshop on management of university administration here on Monday at the conference hall of the university.

DANG’S ALLEGATIONS: Mr Satya Pal Dang, a senior CPI leader, has alleged that a seven-year-old-child of Mr Jagdish Parshad and Ms Radhika Devi of Chheharta, was electrocuted by a live electricity wire of the PSEB on April 17. He alleged that the death was entirely due to the negligence of the PSEB and mischief of two officials of the board. He alleged that a suitable compensation had not been paid to the victim’s parents, nor was a criminal case registered against the guilty officials.

BEATEN TO DEATH: A farmer, Amar Singh, of Mehna village in Moga district was beaten to death over a trivial dispute relating to a part of a tractor that was stolen. According to the Mehna police, Amar Singh went to the fields of the accused Dalip Singh and demanded that his tractor’s part, which he suspected the latter of having stolen, be returned to him. In the ensuing scuffle, Amar Singh received serious injuries when he has allegedly beaten by Dalip Singh and his son. He succumbed to his injuries on way to the Civil Hospital.

ELECTROCUTED: A newly married girl identified as Gurpal Kaur (20), was allegedly electrocuted by her in-laws at Selakalan village under Garhshankar police station on Monday. Mr Baru Ram, father of Gurpal Kaur, alleged that on reaching her in-laws’ home, he found his daughter lying dead on a cot with a live electricity wire besides her. A case has been registered under Section 302, IPC, against Vijay Kumar, the deceased’s brother-in-law, Prem Lal, her husband, Garib Das, father in-law, and Larkari Devi, mother-in-law.

CASE REGISTERED: The local police has registered a case under Sections 15, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and arrested Bahadur Singh and Sukhdev Singh, alias Kaka, for possessing and transporting poppy husk in a tractor-trailer. The police has also taken into possession the tractor trailer. The police is on the look out for two other suspects who fled the spot.

CAR STOLEN: A white Maruti car with registration number PB-10 AAB-224 has been stolen from the parking, near Gurdwara Mehdiana Sahib, when the owner Harchand Singh along with his relatives went to the gurdwara. The local police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

SCHOLARSHIPS: The local Book Bank will hold its 14th annual function on Saturday at Kakkar Palace. Deserving students from various institutions will be awarded scholarships and books free of cost to enable them to continue their studies.

‘REHRIS’ IMPOUNDED: Local municipal corporation officials on Wednesday imposed fine on more than 25 “rehri” owners for selling fruits on the main road near Guru Amardass Chowk here. The “tehbazari” staff led by its superintendent Santokh Singh impounded the “rehris” full of fruits for hindering the road traffic near Guru Amardass Chowk and imposed a fine of Rs 500 each. On the “rehri” owners.

NUTRITION WEEK: The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, will organise the 20th National Nutrition Week from September 1 to 7 at Pakhowal block. Throughout the week, women will be taught to cook nutritions meals to break the cycle of malnutrition and to improve the women’s health. Talks will be held to educate the women about proper diet, and for this, exhibitions and demonstrations on nutritive snacks will be organised.

SEWING SCHOOL: The Nishkam Seva Ashram Sewing School distributed certificates of five-month stitching course to 55 girls of Shimla Puri. In another course of a fortnight, girls were trained in food preservation methods like making of pickles, jams and chutneys. They were also trained in the art of henna application.

CULTURAL SOCIETY: Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation and the International Cultural Society has started preparing for the 23rd Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Mela. The first meeting in this regard will be held at Punjabi Bhavan on Saturday. The Chairman and founder of the foundation, Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal said written suggestions for the changes in the mela arrangements were welcome.

MOTHER SHOT DEAD: A resident of Gharangana village of the district is alleged to have shot dead his mother in a land dispute. According to police sources, Ms Amarjeet Kaur, a widow, owned 6 acres of land in the village which she used to give on lease to Mr Mishra Singh as she lived with her nephew, Mr Jagtar Singh, at the nearby Manbihrian village. On Tuesday, Ms Amarjeet Kaur came to Mr Mishra Singh’s house to collect payment of lease money when Amrik Singh shot dead his mother as he suspected that she had come to sell the land. A case has been registered.

INAUGURATED: Mr Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh, local MLA, on Wednesday formally inaugurated the sub-tehsil at Bhikhi. He said the work on a water supply scheme for the village at an estimated cost of Rs 30 lakh would commence next week, adding that a Barnala-Bhikhi bypass road costing Rs 20 lakh would also come up shortly.

UNPAID SALARIES: More than 1,000 government school teachers of the district have not received their salaries for the past three months. It is learnt that the District Education Officer (Secondary) did not sanction drawing and disbursement powers to the heads of the schools from the government treasury in time causing hardship to the government school teachers.

POPPY HUSK SEIZED: The Bareta police recently seized four bags of poppy husk lying in a field in the Sirsiwala village area. On investigations, the police found that the poppy husk was stored there by four labourers. The police is reported to have let off the farmer in whose field the poppy husk was found.

RALLY: The Punjab Medical Laboratory Technicians Association will hold a rally at Bannur, the Assembly constituency of the Punjab Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, on September 9. This was stated here on Wednesday by Mr Sikandar Singh, state president of the association. He said the Finance Department had been ignoring the recommendations of the Health Department and the demands accepted by the Finance Minister in their meeting with him had not been implemented.

BRAIN CAMP: About 200 patients were examined at a charitable kidney and brain camp organised by the local Lions Club at Mittal Hospital and Heart Centre. The camp concluded here on Monday evening. Brain and kidney specialists, including Dr Parveen Nath, a neurosurgeon, and Dr Rajan Issac, a nephrologist, examined the patients, Mr S.K. Bansal, president of the club said. 

INAUGURATED: Mr Mohan Lal, MLA, Banga, inaugurated newly constructed streets and drains, Balmiki and Dalit dharamsalas and gave a cheque for Rs 1 lakh to the gram panchayat at Langeri village, about 25 km from here, on Monday. He also laid the foundation stone of Kotli Khakhrain - Dosanjh Kalan link road to be constructed at a cost of Rs 8 lakh.

‘RU-BA-RU’ PROGRAMMES: Kala Sampark, a local institution devoted to preservation and promotion of art, culture and literature, organised ‘Ru-ba-Ru’ programmes at Government Senior Secondary School, Kariha, and Government Middle School, Sauna, on Saturday and Monday, respectively. Mr Avtar Singh Sandhu, renowned writer, addressed the students.

FRAUD: A local finance company, Bhabuta Financiers, has allegedly swindled crores of rupees from the residents of the town and Mr Kasturi Lal Bhabuta, proprietor of the company, has reportedly left the town along with his family. The residents alleged that Mr Bhabuta had sold his immovable properties. The company was running several auction groups and had huge deposits of people with it. The cheques issued by the financiers were being dishonoured by their bankers.

DEAD: Dr Puspha Dhanwant Singh, a retired Professor and Head of the Anaesthesia Department, Government Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, and wife of Padam Shree Dr Dhanwant Singh (known eye surgeon) passed away after heart ailment and was cremated on Wednesday. 

INAUGURATION: A new branch of Aptech Computer Centre was inaugurated on Wednesday by Dr R.K.Sharma, Principal of Government Bikram College of Commerce, on the college campus here. Addressing the staff members and college students, Dr Sharma said the centre would be offering government recognised courses exclusively to the students of the college during the college hours while the latter hours would cater to the outside students. Dr Sharma said it was the need of the hour to impart computer education to the students in colleges through institutes of repute so that the students can be made aware of the fast changing technologies. Mr Vikram Gupta, Centre Head said the institute had trained more than 1200 students on career courses in city and more than 1500 people from corporate sector and students requiring short term courses. 

NAMBARDARS’ VACANCIES: A special drive has been launched to fill 82 vacancies in nambardars and 11 of chowkidars to Phagwara block. A press note issued by the SDM, Mr Amarjit Paul, on Tuesday said according to a report by the field staff, 39 nambardars had died while 43 had settled abroad. Their files had been sent to the Deputy Commissioner for necessary action.

GRIEVANCES COMMITTEE: The third meeting of the sub-divisional-level grievances committee will be held on September 7 on the premises of the Nagar Council under the presidentship of Mr S.S. Brar, SDM, Samrala, said Mr Hari Singh, Tehsildar, Samrala.

LIONS CLUB CAMP: The local Lions Club organised a free dental care-cum-check-up camp on the premises of the local Government Girls Senior Secondary School on Tuesday. The camp was inaugurated by Mr R.N. Dhoke, SSP, Khanna. Dr (Ms) Pradeep Kaur Benipal examined the students. The club distributed toothpastes, tooth brushes and a set of note books among 100 poor students. Mr Rajbir Singh Mangat, president of the club, said a first-aid box was donated to an ambulance of the police first-aid post.

TRAINING CAMP: A farmers training camp, regarding tractor servicing will be held at Bagli Kalan, 5 km from here, on Thursday on the premises of Punjab and Sind Bank, said Mr Shamsher Singh, Manager of the bank. The camp will be inaugurated by Zonal Manager Tarlok Singh and 100 credit cards will be delivered to the farmers on the occasion.

SCHEMES OPENED: Mr Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Excise and Taxation Minister, Punjab, on Tuesday inaugurated various developmental works at Chuslewar, Assal and Kulla villages. Sangat darshans were also held in these villages.

MAN SHOT: Surjit Singh a resident of Valtoha village was shot dead, allegedly by six persons of the village. Surjit Singh was reportedly helping a group of the village against another. Members of the rival group allegedly shot him on Tuesday. The suspects have been identified as Balwinder Singh, Sukhdeep Singh, Surinder Singh, Tejbir Singh, Jasbir Singh and Deep Singh.


AUDIT OFFICERS ASSOCIATION: The local Audit Officers Association urged the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, on Wednesday to proceed against those officials who were opposed to the introduction of pre-audit system. A press note issued by the association said this system had been operative since 1932. In this system payments are made after these are scrutinised and checked in audit as per rules and regulations and excess payments running in crores are brought to the notice of the Punjab Government. This also reflects misdeeds of these organisations. The Local Government Department is trying to abolish the pre-audit system as well as control of the state government . In order to misuse council funds at their own will, they treat the Local Audit Department as a hurdle. 

RESERVATION FOR SCs AND STs: The Director of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes wrote to the Director Principal of the Sector 32 Medical College on Wednesday requesting him to maintain prescribed percentage of reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in all posts and cadre. He said this aspect might be kept in view while filling the post of senior lecturers so that due representation might be given to them. The Director also asked the medical college to apprise him of the maintenance of rosters for each cadre. He asked him to furnish list of post cadre for which rosters have been maintained in your organisation and duly checked by the competent authority. The National Commission wrote this letter to the Sector 32 Government Medical College in response to a representation made by Mr K.K. Addiwal, a former Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. 

QUIZ CONTEST: Net Vision Web Technologies will conduct “Net Vision Mega Quiz Contest” for college students from August 30 to September 6. Students from Amritsar , Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Muktsar, SAS Nagar, Panchkula and Chandigarh will participate in the quiz. The company will award gift coupons worth Rs 2 lakh and the winner college team will be given Rs 25,000, said Mr Parveen Sharma, Regional Manager, Net Vision. Around 12,000 students from these colleges are expected to participate in the quiz said Mr Sharma. Prizes and gift coupons will be sponsored by Hot Millions, Slim n’ Shape, Inter Card and Gilco Ironage. 

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the LIG Allottees UT Employees Welfare Association, Sectot 41: president —Thakur Kunwar Singh; general secretary—Mr Dharam Singh; chairman — Mr Gurnam Singh;vice-chairman—Mr Gurmail Singh; adviser—Mr Shakti Sharma; joint secretary—Mr KC Rana; senior vice-presidents—Ms Nirmal Kaur, and Mr Puran Singh; propaganda secretary—Mr Mohar Singh; and treasurer—Mr SS Sajwan. 

JD(U) CALLS ON IG: A delegation of the Chandigarh Territorial Janata Dal(U) called on the IGP, Mr BS Bassi. Expressing concern at the growing incidents of theft, the delegation urged the police to control the open sale of drugs and liquor. A survey of the colonies and revival of the police advisory committee was also demanded. 

WELFARE SOCIETY: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Panchkula Estate Welfare Society, Sector 7: president — Dr SK Chhabra; senior vice-president—Mr JL Maair; vice-presidents—Mr Shambhu Nath Gupta,.Thakur Vijay Pal Singh; advisers—Col D.C. Bhalla and Mr IP Behl;general secretary—Mr M.L. Sachdeva; treasurer—Mr Bal Kishan Bansal; and members — Mr Sham Lal Verma,Mr Baldev Bansal, Mr SC Mahajan,Mr Madan Lal Khetarpaul, Mr B.D. Rikhi and Mr ML Malhotra. 

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the House Owner’s Welfare Association, Sector 20, Panchkula: president — Dr P.K. Bansal, senior vice-president — Mr Jai Singh; vice-president — Mr S.C Gupta, general secretary — Mr Tilak Prakash Kataria; finance secretary — Mr Sanjeev Aggarwal; organising secretary — Mr G.P. Gupta and joint secretary — Mr Dalip Sharma. 

RALLY: The Ropar unit of the Rashtriya Raksha Dal (RRD) organised a rally at Ladheri near here on Tuesday. As many as 250 ex-servicemen, farmers and local traders participated in the rally. Addressing the rally, the President of the RRD, Col Harsharan Singh Sandhu, criticised the Punjab Government for supplying poor quality seeds, for not extending the benefits of the WTO to the farmers and non-payment to sugarcane farmers in Morinda since March. 

DHARNA: The Punjab School Education Board (non-teaching) Karamchari Association organised a dharna in support of its demand to regularise the services of the daily wage and contractual employees in the board. Mr Gurmel Singh Mojhewal and Mr Bhagwant Singh Bedi, leaders of the union sat on the dharna. Mr Amar Singh Dhaliwal, joint secretary of the association, said due to death of a junior assistant of the board, Inderjeet Kaur, no slogans were raised against the board management. A condolence meeting would be organised in the board premises on Thursday. 

RELAY FAST: The relay fast by the Punwire Employees Union at the Balongi rotary in support of its demand entered its tenth day on Wednesday. Mr Harchand Singh, Mr Sarbjeet Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh, Mr Jasbir Singh and Mr Balwinder Singh participated in today’s fast. Addressing the employees, Mr Balram Ji Dass, Secretary of the Trade Union Council, said in the cases of misappropriation of funds registered by the police, no arrests had been made and no recovery had been made. Mr Saheed Ahmed, president of the union, said a convention would be organised on September 14. 


SEMINAR: A state-level seminar was organised at the polytechnic (boys), Ambala city, which was presided over by the Chief Secretary, Haryana, Mr L.M. Goyal. Among others, the Commissioner, Mr Maha Singh, IG, Ambala Range, Mr Hari Singh Ahlwat, Deputy Commissioner, Mr D.D. Gautam, the SP Mr Sandeep Khirwar, and the ADC Mr Mahinder Kumar, were also present. Mr Goyal said technically qualified personnel were available in the state and efforts were on to invite foreign companies, a release said. Mr Goyal said in the last two years, Rs 1,223 crore of direct investment took place in the state while Rs 28,000 crore were expected to be invested in the state through foreign investment. He stressed on providing quality technical education. 

EXPORTERS' ASSOCIATION: The Haryana Exporters Association Chairman, Dr N.C. Jain, met the Himachal Pradesh Governor, Mr Suraj Bhan, regarding export of apples on Wednesday. Dr Jain requested Mr Bhan that the export of apple and apple juice from Himachal Pradesh should also be organised through the association since there is a big demand in the international market, a release said. He pointed out that for the promotion of export of fruit from Himachal Pradesh, a team of experts is to visit foreign nations for the export through the Export Promotion Council of Himachal Pradesh for the promotion of apples and apple juice. 

DAIRIES TO BE SHIFTED: The district administration has formulated a plan to shift dairies from the city. Stating this here on Tuesday, Mr Hawa Singh Dhankhar, Deputy Commissioner, said the dairies would be shifted as part of the beautification campaign in the city. He said 604 dairies had been identified in the city which would be shifted under the plan. He said about 40 acres of land was required for setting up dairies outside the city.

REVIEW: A review of voters’ lists of the five Assembly constituencies of the district on the directions of the Election Commission will be undertaken. This was stated on Tuesday by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-district electoral officer, Mr Phateh Singh Dagar. The voter lists in Kaithal, Pai, Guhla, Pundri and Kalayat Assemblies constituencies would be reviewed from September 12 to October 22, he added.

COMMISSIONED: A 1,000 line RSU (remote Switch Unit) was commissioned at Thol village, 25 km from here, on Tuesday. Stating this here on Tuesday, the Kurukshetra Telecom Area manager, Mr R.K. Dawra, said the commissioning of the unit was an extension of the Ismailabad telephone exchange. Similar RSUs would also be started at Anaj Mandi, Ladwa, and Kaithal Road, Pehowa, shortly, Mr Dawra added.

ROBBERY: Three motor cycle-borne armed robbers looted Rs 16,000 at gun-point from a petrol station at nearby Bhalaut village on Tuesday. Police sources said the robbers reached Fateh Chand Kapoor Chand petrol station on a motor cycle at around 8 a.m. Two of them reportedly went inside while one kept standing near the vehicle. The robbers snatched the cash from the salesman Ajit and rode away towards Rohtak. A case has been registered.

SAPLINGS PLANTED: As many as 200 saplings were planted at Government Senior Secondary School, Khidwali, under a tree plantation programme on Tuesday. The principal of the school, Mr T.P. Boss, highlighted the importance of trees at a meeting held before the plantation ceremony.


OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Himachal Vikas Congress (ex-servicemen cell): president - Subedar Mehar Singh Thakur; senior vice-president - Havildar Baldev Singh Thakur; vice-presidents — Capt Daleep Singh Dhiman, Capt Prakash Chand, Capt Prabhdyal Thakur and Capt Dhaniram; general secretaries — Havildar Rattan Lal Sharma, Subedar Dilawar Singh, Havildar Dhaniram; secretaries - Havildar Nikkaram, Havildar Ramjidass, Capt Hoshiyar Singh; joint secretaries — Havildar Vijay Singh Thakur, Havildar Amar Singh Chandel, Subedar Ishwar Singh Chandel; and treasurer — Subedar Diwan Chand.

INAUGURATED: The Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal, on Tuesday inaugurated the newly constructed building of a 10-bedded Ayurvedic hospital at Kadhyar village.

MEETING HELD: A meeting was held at Dharamsala on Tuesday. Mr Harsh Gupta, Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh, presided. Progress of various rural development schemes was assessed. Mr Probhod Saxena, Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, spoke about various activities of the district administration.

TENANCY ACT: Residents of Bargo have demanded that Section 118 of HP Land Reforms and Tenancy Act be amended. They alleged that due to the imposition of Section 118, commercial activity at Barog had virtually come to a halt. To promote development in Barog, the authority to sanction the purchase of land up to a limit by the non-Himachalis should be given to the district administration, said Mr Sanjay Kumar, convener of Jan Hit Sangathan.

CHARGE DENIED: Mr Ranjit Bakshi, a former local MLA, in a statement here on Tuesday took strong exception of the reported statement of Mr Rakesh Pathania, chairman of the HP Tourism Development Corporation and local MLA, in which he had threatened that the BJP activists would hold a demonstration against former Chief Minister, Virbhadra Singh, and gherao him in the Nurpur Assembly segment, as he had allegedly discriminated against Kangra district during his regime. Mr Bakshi said the Virbhadra Singh government had never discriminated against Kangra district.

FEE ON KHAIR WOOD: The Himachal Government has decided to impose export fee on khair wood following the lifting of the ban on its export. A spokesman for the Forest Department said export fee would be charged at the rate of Rs 250 per quintal on billets and Rs 175 per quintal on logs. He said fee would be charged only on the khair wood transported to markets out of the state and not on sales within the state.

TRAINING COURSE: Mr S.S. Parmar, Secretary, Agriculture, inaugurated a 12-day training course on ornamental crops at Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Nauni, near here, on Monday. The course has been jointly sponsored by the Embassy of Israel. The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the university. Thirty scientists from different parts of the country are participating in it.

ELECTRICITY THEFT: Ashwani Kumar and Joginder Pal of Badoli village, 10 km from here, have been caught stealing electricity and fined Rs 14,835. Mr M.S. Reyat, Deputy Chief Engineer, Operation Circle, HPSEB, Una, said on Wednesday.



He serves leprosy victims

IN recognition of the services rendered by Mr Prem Singh Bhutte for the rehabilitation of leprosy sufferers in this region, the Punjab Government has given him a state award comprising Rs 11,000 in cash, a gold medal, a shawl and a citation. The award was presented to him by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a function held recently in Ferozepore.

Born in a poor family, Prem Singh utilises his spare time to locate leprosy victims and arranges their treatment and rehabilitation. He works at the office of Accountant-General.

Prem Singh says that his mission is remove a sense of aloofness among people towards leprosy victims. The disease is curable and people should help its victims to mitigate their suffering. He has worked at Ropar and Dasuya kusht ashrams. Early this year he provided succour to quake victims of Gujarat.

Mountaineering her forte

Mountains lure her to climb higher and higher. They inspire her to write too. So when she’s not climbing, she’s writing, successfully combining the two diversities.

‘‘Both my perspiration and inspiration are drawn from the mountains,’’ reveals 26-year-old Kasang Oikki Sherpa, a Nepalese mountaineer-cum-journalist.

It’s hard to believe that this Kathmandu-born woman, who speaks German fluently with a smattering of French, has done a course on mountain rescue operations in Austria at the invitation of the Alpine Club in 1997, a subject very relevant to Nepal. She has learnt to cope with people stranded in avalanches especially in crevices, give first-aid to the frost-bitten and accident cases, manage ropes, pitch tents, etc. ‘‘In cities one can call for help but in mountains, one is alone and has to act fast. You just can’t afford to be late’’, she asserts.

The Austrians called Kasang again, this time to play the role of a Sherpa woman in a film on Sherpas produced by them.

Kasang felt thrilled to be in an all-woman Everest expedition last year. One and a half-month’s climbing up to 6,200 metres was a great achievement. Earlier she climbed Nepal’s Mera peak.

‘‘Mountaineering brings a mountain of problems’’ — like sharing a tent with men, loneliness, exhaustion, and acclimatising, constantly eating canned food, etc. which Kasang faces with sheer grit and determination. ‘‘Team work is wonderful. Ten persons in an expedition mean 10 different minds who have to think and act with the same objective’’. In the end, it’s the adventure that wins.

What’s more, Kasang pens her experiences of various lands and it’s peoples in Nepal Traveller. She finds that it’s not a language or food problem which Westerners face: It’s lack of hygiene, clean water and modern gadgets. But culture and friendliness of the east attracts them to come again and again. Writing for Woden, a bi-monthly related to development programmes of Nepalese women, also interests her. Besides she is studying for a master’s degree in sociology.

‘‘Mountaineering and journalism are difficult for Nepalese women. One has to fend for oneself. If you are young, people just shrug you off, not taking you seriously. Double standards exist.’’

Kasang advises: ‘‘Just forget that you are a woman, push yourself ahead.’’ For Kasang is soon flying to Florida as a member of a five-person team of cultural representatives of Nepal for a south-eastern Asian countries’ meeting organised by Walt Disney.

A beacon of inspiration

The maxim ‘‘work is worship’’ is frequently preached by politicians and bureaucrats, but rarely adhered to. But here is a government primary school headmistress, Mrs Raj Kumari Arora, who not only translated it during her 37 years of service but inspired her colleagues and students to observe this principle.

Mrs Raj Kumari, who was born in a middle class family, had to face hardships from the early stage of her life. She lost her parents and her two brothers, who were still studying in the school, had to manage the family and meet all expenses. They managed to get a government teacher’s job for her. She later married Mr R.L. Arora, a lecturer from a college in this district.

Mrs Raj Kumari was moved at the pitable condition of her students. She took her husband to poor students and gave financial help to them. She established personal contact with her students’ parents and persuaded them to allow their wards to continue their studies. She assured them that she would provide the tuition fee, free text-books and woollen clothes herself. The response of the parents was encouraging. Whenever she saw any student in a sad mood, she called him to her room and tried to know his problems. The parents were relieved of the financial and other burdens. Her move paid dividends.

Throughout her working life she dedicated herself to the school and to the welfare of her students. She is an inspiration not only to her students and colleagues for her devotion and selfless service but to the residents of the area as well.

Contributed by Sarbjit Dhaliwal, Roshni Johar and R.D. Sapra

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