Saturday, September 8, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



SC dismisses plea on enhanced water,
sewerage charges
MC claims earlier order misinterpreted
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 7
A Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India, consisting of Mr Justice S.C. Bharucha and Mr Justice Y.K. Sabharwal have dismissed the application for staying the recovery of enhanced water and sewerage charges from the city residents, fixed as per a government notification dated August 11, 1993.

According to Mr Raminder Singh, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, the MC Legal Adviser, Mr Ashok Bazaz, appeared in the apex court and filed a counter affidavit against the special leave petition (SLP) filed by Mr Rakesh Pandey, MLA. The MC pleaded before the court that huge funds, at times diverted from other heads, were spent to provide safe drinking water and sewerage facility to public, while the revenue generated from the water and sewerage charges was only a small percentage of the actual expenditure.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Raminder Singh said that the water and sewerage charges were enhanced in accordance with a government notification in August 1993. Opposing the hike, two separate civil writ petitions were filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The petitions were dismissed through a detailed order on September 10, 1998, by a single judge and the decision was later confirmed by a Double Bench of the High Court.

Thereafter, one of the petitioners, Mr Rakesh Pandey, a Congress legislator representing Ludhiana North constituency, filed an SLP in the Supreme Court of India on April 26, 1999. While issuing the notice to the MC, the court ordered that ‘‘pending further orders, no recovery of the enhanced tax shall be made pursuant to the order under challenge from the petitioner.’’ The SLP again came up for hearing on December 6, 1999, when the court granted leave to appeal to the petitioners and it was also ordered that ‘‘the interim order passed on April 26, 1999, shall operate pending the disposal of appeal.’’

The MC Additional Commissioner further observed that it was at this stage that certain vested interests deliberately misinterpreted the interim order of the apex court and issued press statements to the effect that the Supreme Court had accepted the appeal and stayed the recovery of enhanced charges from all city residents. However, the fact remained that neither the appeal of the petitioner was allowed nor recovery of the tax, except from the petitioner, was stayed.

The prayer of the petitioner, made through an interim application, to stay the recovery of enhanced water and sewerage charges from all city residents in view of the fact that the petition was filed in public interest, was disallowed by the court after considering the documents on record and pleading of the contesting parties.

Mr Raminder Singh made an appeal to the general public to deposit the water and sewerage charges, including arrears if any, in time and avail the statutory rebate to avoid the payment of penal interest and other consequences. The MC, he added, would stand by its commitment of providing best possible services in all civic fields.


Monthly exams in govt schools from now
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
Poor performance of students of government senior secondary schools in annual examinations has forced the District Education Department to direct principals of all these schools to conduct monthly examinations from now on.

The decision was taken at a meeting between than 70 principals and Ms Manjit Kaur, Deputy District Education Officer, and Ms Samishtha Bawa, District Science Supervisor, in Nauhria Mala Jain Senior Secondary School of Bharat Nagar here today.

The principals were given date-sheets for science and mathematics examinations for this month. According to the schedule, Class XI students will take the physics test on September 13, chemistry test on September 15 and mathematics test or biology test on September 18. Class XII students will take the mathematics or biology test on September 13, chemistry test on September 15 and physics test on September 18. The schools have been told to hold examinations for the rest of the subjects between September 12 and 20.

For conducting the examinations, the principals have been asked to collect Rs 25 from each science group student and Rs 10 each from students of mathematics. This is the examination fee for August to December and the fee for the remaining three months will be charged later. The funds are being collected from students to buy answer-sheets that will carry the stamp of the respective school and the principal’s signature. Marked answer-sheets will have to be kept in school records for at least six months.

The principals have been directed to check that practical classes are held regularly and complete records are maintained. They have also been told to ensure that no students is short of lectures before the examinations and each of them takes the tests. These tests will be held between 8 am and 9 am in summer and between 9 am and 10 am in winter. The principals have been told not to alter the date of tests of science and mathematics because District Education Officers, the DPI (schools) or other officials will visit schools for inspection on these days.

The principals have also been told to prepare monthly progress reports of students, where each report should mention the total number of students and their marks in each subject. Schools will also have to specify the number of students who get more than 80 per cent marks, 60 per cent marks to 80 per cent marks, 45 per cent marks to 60 per cent marks, 33 per cent marks to 45 per cent marks, besides the number of students who fail to clear the tests. The number of absentees will also to be specified in each case.

This monthly report will be collected by the department on the last Tuesday of the month. Each school will get question-papers for the next monthly examination on the same day. The department will monitor the progress of students of different schools for two months and suggest ways to improve the results.

Ms Manjit Kaur and Ms Samishtha Bawa said the test were aimed at ensuring that school students were regular in their studies. They said teachers would also feel concerned and motivated to improve their results. As principals have been made accountable, they will check that classes are held regularly and students attend these regularly.


Arya College closed for two days
Students’ agitation continues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
Anticipating trouble by the students who are agitating against the suspension of Principal V.K. Mehta of Arya College, the gates of the campus were closed by the management today.

The students and teachers who came to attend the college were told that the college would remain closed for two days and reopen on Monday. The members of the management maintained their hold on the administrative block of the college with their own locks.

The students went on strike yesterday to protest against the suspension orders issued to Mr V.K. Mehta for ‘‘disobeying lawful orders of the managing committee’’. Mr S.S. Verma, Head of Physics Department, had been appointed officiating principal of the college by the working president of the Arya Pratinidhi Parishad, Dr K.K. Pasricha. Besides, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP and president of the college committee, had favoured the orders passed by Dr Pasricha.

Mr V.K. Mehta said that he felt as if he was caught in the fight between the two factions of the management. He said that the college management committee may rethink over the issue and he was waiting for its final decision.

Meanwhile, at a meeting of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), it was decided that the managing committee of the college be urged to reopen the college to maintain academic environment on the campus. Stating this in a press note, Mr Sandeep Kapoor, president, ABVP, said that students should not be made to suffer because of the tussle between two groups of the management.

Mr Mohit Goyal, general secretary, said that the ABVP had also decided to organise a one-day camp on survey of demands of college students in which the students would be told to list their problems and a memorandum regarding the major demands of the students would be given to the principal.

Besides, a meeting of the Arya College Old Students Association was also held in which they decided to urge the college management committee to solve their differences outside the educational institute. Mr Jiwan Dhawan, senior vice-president, said that politics should be kept out of the college and conducive atmosphere should be restored in the college.


Undertrial died of poisoning: report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
A seven-month old mysterious death of an undertrial, dismissed as a normal case of death due to illness, will be examined in new light as a chemical examination report has claimed that the man died after consuming some poison and not because of some illness as claimed by the jail staff.

In what might put some employees of the local Central Jail in the dock, the new findings based on the examination of the viscera of the deceased, said that the cause of death was spreading of poison in the body after the consumption of a strong insecticide, suspected to be Celphos. The new findings meant that the undertrial’s death was not as normal as it was reportedly made out to be by the jail staff.

Police sources said this new turn in the case had raised some pertinent questions, including how the poison was brought into the jail despite the fool-proof security claims by the jail staff and whether the case was of suicide or murder as the relatives of the deceased had alleged some foul play behind the death of the undertrial. A police official, requesting anonymity, said a fresh inquiry would have to be launched into the case as after the new report it had taken a complete U-turn. He said whether the undertrial committed suicide or was administered poison but laxity on the part of the jail staff was definitely there.

Surjit Singh, an ex-serviceman, was found dead under mysterious circumstances on January 30. He was facing trial in a dowry death case. According to the statements of the then Jail Superintendent, the undertrial was not keeping good health and had died due to some illness. However, the relatives of the deceased had accused the jail staff of playing a dubious role in the case.

The relatives had alleged that the undertrial had a tiff with some other inmates of the jail and was having some problems with some jail employees. The relatives were quoted in press reports as saying that as Surjit Singh was in good health, they found it impossible to digest the shocking news of his death due to some illness. Police sources said the post-mortem report could not decide the cause of the death and thus the viscera and the heart of the deceased had to be sent to the State Chemical and Examiner’s Laboratory, Patiala. While the viscera examination report was received after seven months, one other report was still awaited. Sources said the heart was sent for examination as there was suspicion of death due to cardiac arrest.

A doctor in the Civil Hospital here said though it was almost certain that the death was due to poison, but still the heart examination report would be required for final decision. Mr G S Sidhu, Superintendent Jails, when contacted, said he was not in a position to comment on the case.


Mobile-phone thefts set the bell ringing
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
Persons carrying mobile telephones in cinema halls will have to be careful. A large number of persons have recently lost their mobile telephones while watching movies in a theatres. A gang of pickpockets, that prefers to steal electronic gadgets than wallets, is active these days in cinema halls here.

While some of the victims have approached the police, local cinema-hall owners are upset at the incidents. At least one of them has even put up caution notices outside the hall to warn cinegoers about the risk of carrying sets inside the hall.

Sources said about 15 mobile telephones had been stolen from a local cinema hall in the past one month only. Most incidents took place on Fridays and Sundays when the hall is packed. Sources said hall owners did not know how to stop the incidents as they could not identity the thieves. Most of the time, the theft is reported at the end of the movie, by which time, the thief has already vanished from there.

While owners of the other cinema halls have not put up such boards, similar incidents have been reported from their halls as well. Some of them said on the condition of anonymity that pickpockets were always active in cinema halls, but lately, they have developed a fancy for mobile telephone sets.

A cinema-hall owner said, “Mobile telephones are usually attached to waist-belts and thieves simply cut the case and slip away with the set.” Hall owners said they felt relieved on a day when no theft was reported. They said, “While jewellery and wallets were often stolen earlier, mostly from crowded places outside the halls. However, the stealing of mobile telephones has given them a reason to worry.


Burglary under the nose of cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
A shop of readymade garments, located in a market on the road that leads to the Kotwali police station, was burgled yesterday evening.

It seems that the burglars made a boy enter the shop through a small exhaust-fan hole, after dismantling the fan.

Sources said owners of Rajindra Readymade Garments had lost about Rs 50,000 in the theft. Apart from some valuables, cash was also stolen from the shop.

Shop owners came to know of the theft when the opened the shop today. Fingerprint experts and dog squad were also pressed into service. Sources said the burgalry, that took place right under its nose, was embarrassing for the police.


Indian cotton highly contaminated: expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The cotton contamination survey 2001 conducted by International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) has observed that the Indian cotton is highly contaminated. This is due to high dose of insecticides being used by the Indian farmers to check the high rate of multiplication of the pests. This was stated by Dr Jaspinder Singh Kolar, Director, Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, while giving guidelines to the farmers here.

Addressing the farmers, Dr Kolar said, ‘‘Continuously changing environmental conditions with increasing rains during the past couple of years have become a serious threat to the cultivation of cotton in Punjab and the adjoining states. Such a weather is highly conducive for the multiplication of insects and pests as a result of which American bollworm has become a very serious pest. The farmers are using too much of insecticides which, besides causing development of resistance in pest, has increased the cost of cultivation of cotton. Such a heavy investment on insecticides is making cotton an uneconomical crop under the prevailing market prices’’.

He further said that cotton being the raw material of spinning mills was priced according to the quality of lint determined mainly by the properties of fibre. But external contamination in the form of cut seeds, soiled and damaged bolls, dry leaves, hairs, plastic, feathers, paper and white and coloured threads, sand, dust etc. drastically lower its spinnability as a result of which mills offered very low price to the farmers, he said.

Dr Kolar said that in such a situation cotton was not only being sold at low price but even the mill owners had been forced to import clean cotton from other countries.

While telling the farmers about some precautionary measures, Dr Kolar said, ‘‘Picking of cotton should be started in the morning only after the dew gets dried. The cotton should not be stacked on the ground in the field. Instead a clean cotton cloth should be used to spread the cotton so that it gets dried and does not mix with dried grass and leaves. Jute bags should not be used to stack cotton’’.

Dr Kolar also advised the farmers to pick all lower-most opened bolls so that dry leaves may not fall before picking upper-opened bolls. Only well-opened bolls should be picked because half-opened bolls had immature seeds, which get pressed with lint while ginning, he said.

He further suggested that the trolley should be thoroughly cleaned before loading cotton and it should be covered with clean cotton cloth and the store should be kept closed to avoid dust and other impurities. Cotton of different varieties should not be stored at the same place but should be kept separately, he said. 


Someone put brakes on truckers’ rivalry
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
The killing of person, Jang Singh, here yesterday, is the result of an old dispute between two factions over the control of a truck union of Sahnewal. There are about 400 trucks registered with this union and owners of these vehicles mostly belong to Sahnewal and its surrounding villages.

The head of the Sahnewal Truck Union is Avtar Singh Chahal of Harnampur village who has now settled at Sahnewal. He is already facing trials on several charges, including the murder of a youth at Doraha.

The rival factions of the union are headed by Gurdeep Singh ‘Bhola’, who is one of the accused in the murder case, and Charanjitjit Singh ‘Charni’, brother of Jang Singh. Both have been heads of the union earlier.

Past year, the rivalry between these groups had reached a flashpoint when the groups threatened each other. Some neutral persons made the groups reach a compromise, after which, Avtar Singh Chahal was unanimously elected the union head.

However, the Bhola faction did not enjoy good relations with Chahal as he reportedly played into the hands of the Charni group. When the union elections were to be held on July 20, the Charni group wanted to renominate Chahal the head, but the Bhola group opposed this move. Somehow, Chahal was renominated to the post, which was not accepted by the Bhola group that wanted the union president be elected democratically. Subsequently, the Bhola faction appointed Pappu of Sani village the union president on its own, which led to a confrontation.

The rivalry made the factions file separate tenders for the FCI contract for the lifting of paddy. Due to the rivalry, the union could not dictate its terms and had to lower its rates, mainly because, now, there were two contenders for the contract.

Yesterday, representatives both groups had come to file the tenders when an altercation between Bhola and Charni led to the clash. Charni was with his brother, Jang Singh. Reportedly, the brothers stepped out of a car and tried to assault Bhola, who was sitting in his Alto car, with hockey sticks. They also broke the windscreen of his car. When Bhola allegedly fired in the air, Jang Singh reportedly tried to grab his rifle. The next shot that Bhola fired allegedly hit Jang Singh and he died because of it.

Past year also, there had been a scuffle between two factions at the time of filing separate tenders. Even then, the police had registered cases against members of both groups and released them only after they had reached a compromise.

The Sahnewal Truck Union, like many other such unions, is not a registered body and it has been formed with a view to getting better rates for the service. However, the body got divided soon as interests of some leading truck owners clashed. The killing is likely to further intensify the enmity and lead to more violence. Leading transporters have expressed concern over the incident.


Badal making state bankrupt: Dullo
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 7
Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, MP, distributed cheques worth Rs 25 lakh to 40 villages at a function held at Chanarthal Kalan village of Amloh constituency on Thursday. Speaking on the occasion, he deplored the SAD-BJP government for forgetting all demands of the people of the state, including corruption-free government, full right of Punjab over water of state rivers, and transfer of Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas to Punjab, after coming to power. He said when Mr Badal was out of power, he had organised morchas on these issues, and thousands of his supporters had gone to jails, fighting for these issues. Mr Dullo lamented that though both SAD and the BJP were constituents of the Central Government, the state government had failed to get any of its demands accepted by it.

Coming down heavily on the Chief Minister, the MP said while unemployment had acquired alarming dimensions during his regime, his family was busy in amassing wealth. All posts, from peons to officers, were auctioned, he alleged, adding that those appointed on keyposts and given desired postings were made to pay a large amount of money monthly. He said Mr Badal had made the state bankrupt, and added that it was under a debt of Rs 28,000 crore, which it owed to the Central Government.

Mr Dullo claimed that the Congress would come to power after the assembly elections. Criticising the ‘sangat darshan’ programmes, the MP said it was just a political stunt started by Mr Badal in the election year.

Speaking on the law and order situation in the state, Mr Dullo said incidents of robberies, kidnappings, contract killings, etc, had increased during SAD-BJP regime. He resented that instead of attending the bhog of innocent people killed by the militants, Mr Badal chose to attend the bhog of militants killed by the police.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, a former minister, Mr Sadhu Ram Bhatmajra, block president, Sirhind, Mr D. R. Sood, Mr Lakhbir Singh Advocate, Mr Gurdev Singh Amloh and Mr Gurdev Singh Khanian also addressed the gathering. 


Congress charged with political opportunism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The Bharat Ekta Council has lambasted the Congress leadership in Punjab for resorting to mean tactics and false propaganda to gain political ground in its desperate bid to regain power in the state.

The president of the council, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, said in a statement here today that the farsighted electorate would deliver their verdict once again in favour of the SAD-BJP combine and Mr Parkash Singh Badal would form the next government after the coming assembly elections. He said the Akali Dal-led government had successfully completed its full term for the first time, creating a new history. But this also went on to prove that it was the Congress which somehow or the other would “engineer” the removal of the Akali government in the past. The government headed by Mr Badal had completed its term only because the Congress was not in power in the Centre.

Mr Aggarwal claimed that the state had achieved allround development, peace and prosperity under the regime of the present government. 


Pay kharcha or we cut your parcha’
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, September 7
On Tuesday night, some gambling enthusiasts decided to have a game somewhere in the Vishwakarma colony in Focal Point. During the course of the game one of them, who lost everything, was shooed out of the game by others. But the loser would not allow them to take away his money. So he went to cops with the information he had.

And the cops, who are always on the lookout for easy money, executed a fine swoop, not allowing any of the gamblers to slip away. All of them were asked to empty their pockets. Having no other alternative, the gamblers obeyed and thanked God that they were not taken to the police station and booked under the Gambling Act. Obviously, the cops were satisfied with having got about Rs 6000 as a result of the brief operation carried out by them.

The incident is not one of its kind. Large amounts of recovery are never shown in cases under the Gambling Act which are few and far between compared to the volume of gambling that goes on unabated in the city. In most of the cases, the booty is divided amongst the members of the raiding party according to the ranks.

In fact, this seems to be the motto of the city cops, “Pay up kharcha”, or we cut your parcha, meaning, pay up our expenses or get booked. No matter what crime you are doing, you can ensure your safety if you meet the ilaqa thanedar and work out a settlement. But if you want to carry on with your criminal or illegal activity on the sly without bothering to pay the cops’ “due share”, you would be inviting trouble.

Only about a week ago, some satta bookies, who had been operating in a particular area of the city, without paying any money to the thanedar concerned, were called to the police station. They were asked to collect Rs 15,000 every month amongst themselves as “kharcha pani” for the cops. The bookies held mutual consultations and arrived at the decision that they were not in a position to pay such an exorbitant ‘monthly’. So when they expressed their inability to raise the hefty amount every month, a “Parcha” booking all of them under the Gambling Act was sprung upon.

More and more gambling dens are coming up in the city in view of the approaching Divali season, which is also the gambling season. And just as the gambler fraternity of the town is gearing up to have a busy time ahead, the city cops are also twirling their moustaches in anticipation of their share in the business.


DYC urges police to check gambling, betting
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
The District Youth Congress (DYC) has urged the police to launch a crackdown against bookies, single digit lottery system, sale of intoxicants and obscene literature in the city and to initiate effective measures for improvement in chaotic traffic conditions in the city.

In a memorandum submitted to the district police chief, Mr H.S. Sidhu, here yesterday, the DYC President, Mr Parminder Mehta, said over 40 per cent of the city’s population was heading towards financial ruination as a result of their direct or indirect involvement in gambling, betting and lotteries. The menace was so widespread in several city localities that it smacked of active police connivance at various levels.

The DYC activists further drew the attention of the police authorities towards unrestricted sale of drugs and other intoxicants, illicit liquor and banned medicines all over the city, which were playing havoc with the young generation. Similarly, the unabated sale and distribution of obscene literature and exhibition of dirty movies also needed to be checked with a heavy hand.

Mr Mehta made a fervent plea with the SSP to streamline the system of division level police-public meetings, which had, of late, been reduced to a farce. “More often than not, certain select persons, often dubious characters are called at these meetings, who waste the time in praising the police officers, while the genuine members of the public, who could raise matters of public interest, are kept away.”

The DYC also focussed on chaotic traffic conditions in the city, which called for drastic and immediate corrective measures. Mr Mehta pointed out that lack of coordination between the traffic police, MC staff and the Transport Department had led to complete failure of several plans for improvement in traffic conditions in the city. Violation of traffic norms by mini bus drivers and three wheeler operators within the old city, coupled with massive encroachments, all over the city, had resulted in frequent traffic jams and congestion even on main roads and the flow of traffic had been seriously restrained. The DYC made a plea for modernisation of traffic cops and to provide them better means of communication and conveyance for effective enforcement.


Women still vulnerable to indecent behaviour
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 7
As the nation prepares to celebrate the World Literacy Day, when special emphasis is paid to education of women, various studies and statistics from different sources reveal that the violence against women is on the rise. Most women are still prone to indecent behaviour against them at their homes at the hands of close relatives and in public places too.

This indecent behaviour refers to various forms of sexual abuse directed at women, including verbal, psychological, physical, suggestive remarks, looks or jokes and in extreme cases include unwanted touching, eve-teasing, molestation or even rape, according to a recent study on violence against women.

No wonder than that headlines like, ‘Man attempts to rape sister-in-law’, ‘Student allegedly molested by advisor’, ‘Minor girl abducted and raped’, ‘Dalit woman raped and murdered’, or ‘Woman paraded naked’ and similar other stories have become a routine. This is happening at a time when much is claimed about emancipation and empowerment of women. Despite tall claims women continue to be vulnerable to these kind indecent behaviour.

Now as the nation prepares to celebrates the World Literacy Day, social and voluntary organisations hope that efforts will be made to educate people to respect women.

A recent study conducted by Rainuka Dagar on ‘Combating violence against women in Punjab’ conducted by the Institute For Development And Communication, Chandigarh, shows that in Punjab the reported crimes against women from 1991 to 2000 reveal a phenomenal increase. In 1991, 34 cases of rape were reported to the police which increased to 310 in 2000 — an increase of over 800 per cent. In a similar timespan, molestations increased from seven to 323. In a study of atrocities against women, it was found that for every reported rape case, 68 rapes went unreported, for every reported molestation, 374 went unreported and for every reported case of eve teasing as many as 9,177 went unreported.

There has been a gradual increase in crime against women in Ludhiana district itself. Twentyfive cases of abduction and kidnapping were reported to the police in 1992. In 1996, 33 such cases were reported whereas in 1999, the number of cases increased to 51. The cases of abduction and kidnapping had almost doubled during these years.

Seven cases of rape were reported to the Ludhiana police in 1992 whereas in 1999, 42 rape cases were reported, which meant there had been five times increase in rape cases in the district.

Ms Asha Singh, a Patiala-based lecturer in Psychology, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said in Punjab the indecent behaviour against women was institutionalised and supported by the deep-rooted social norms and beliefs. Sexuality was still considered to be the domain of man. If indulging in such activities, man was considered to have real masculine qualities, she added.

Ms Rajesh Gill, Reader in the department of Sociology, Panjab University, believed there had been a change in the society. The women had become more expressive and less tolerant. ‘‘They are no longer submissive and have learnt to defend themselves. Such cases happened earlier also but were not visible as the females did not retaliate. The media also did not highlight the crime against women. But now the cases against women violence are reported almost every day,’’ added Ms Gill.

A city-based psychiatrist said that causes of indecent behaviour against females included the influence of alcohol, female appearance and beauty, lapse in conduct of women, uninhibitive female movement, absence of fear of reporting, laxity in legal and government processes and lack of protection. 


Selfless service to humanity
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 7
A person with a lot of compassion in his heart started distributing khichri among the poor patients in the Civil Hospital a decade ago. Mr Nihal Chand Gupta had a soft corner for the children too and gave books and mats to school for the children. Seeing his selfless service, later a handful of like-minded people who also believed in the service to mankind joined the mission. From 1990 to 1998 they worked with dedication serving khitchri to the destitute patients of the ESI and civil hospitals.

In 1998 they christened their organisation as Banke Behari Sewa Samiti as they wanted to do service in God’s name. The society is engaged in multifarious activities. The volunteers get up early in the morning and serve milk to the poor patients of the ESI hospital. They serve “khichri” to the patients. They feed 125 patients on an average.

The other volunteers serve porridge or khichri, tea and paranthas to the needy patients of the Civil Hospital. They then serve the evening meal to the patients. The meal comprises dal and chapati. They have hired a room and employed a cook to prepare food, tea, etc.

All the members contribute Rs 1,000 to the cause of feeding the poor patients. But according to Mr Nihal Chand, president, there is no dearth of people who are ready to supply sackfuls of rice and dal. Many people provide the patients with medicines too.

Sometimes the patients just walk off with the blankets of the hospital. The society members make it a point to take rounds of the hospitals in the thick of night to find if any patient is without a blanket.


Kribhco organises nutrition week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (Kribhco), a national-level fertiliser society, celebrated 20th national nutrition week at Purrain village on September 4 and 5. This week is being celebrated from September 1 to 7 at the national level to educate rural women on the breaking of the cycle of malnutrition and to improve Women’s Health.

Experts from the Department of Home Science, Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, delivered lectures on nutritional tips, food for different age groups, diabetes and its management. Dr B.R. Jindal, Professor of sociology, dealt upon the menace of social evils in society. He stressed upon the participants to help eradicate the evils of drinking alcohol, smoking and drugs and to eliminate dowry, superstitions, casteism, foeticide and corruption.

Dr S.S. Sokhi, Additional Director, Extension Education, PAU, emphasised the need to give proper education to rural girls. About 200 farm women, farmers and schoolchildren participated in the function. Mr B.S. Brar, senior area manager, Kribhco, explained about marketing and educational activities of the organisation for the adopted village. Prizes were distributed among students and rural women, who secured the first and second positions in a quiz contest, and a competition of making sevian was organised on the occasion.

Teak plants were planted to mark the occasion among the villagers. 


PNB organises coin distribution mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
Punjab National Bank, Industrial Area, organised a coin distribution mela here today to improve the availability of coins to the public. Mr Surendra Kumar, Regional Officer, Reserve Bank of India, Chandigarh, inaugurated the mela. Mr Surendra Kumar distributed coins of the Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 denominations among traders, shopkeepers, retailers and other customers.

Mr Keshav Agarwal, Deputy General Manager, PNB, said the bank was going to designate 51 branches at the block level in five lead districts for exchange of soiled notes of Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 with coins.

Mr Surendra Kumar, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, said that the RBI had enough stock of coins and assured to send more consignments to Ludhiana if there was demand from the currency chest branches. 


Driver without leg
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 7
The Humbran police has seized a driving licence from Darshan Singh of Sujanpur village issued by the Licencing Authority, Muzaffarnagar, though his left leg has been amputated. The police has booked him under Sections 307, 279, 337 and 427 of the IPC.

According to the information provided by Mr Paramjit Singh Goraya, DSP, a police party stopped a truck at a naka. The driver of the truck, whose left leg was amputated from near the knee, showed only the driving licence and on the pretext of bringing documents of the vehicle he ran away after breaking the naka.

The Dakha police was then asked to nab him but the driver foiled their attempts and tried to run over the policemen. A police vehicle was damaged and some policemen were injured in the process. Later he was caught at the level crossing near Chowkiman village which was closed for road traffic.The accused has been remanded in judicial custody till September 10.


Youth kidnapped
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, September 7
In a broad daylight attempt, four unidentified persons kidnapped a youth of an industrial family.

According to sources, four persons came to a cattlefeed factory situated on the Dhulkot road and enquired about the rates of feed. They left the factory on the pretext of bringing money.

They repeated the exercise twice and ultimately came in a maruti car and forcibly threw Abdesh Kumar (20), son of Mr Kulbhushan Rai, and fled. 


Workshop on computer designing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
There is now no need to keep experts for designing new products as the computer aided designs (CAD) and computer aided management (CAM) softwares are available in the market which can easily be used by the manufacturers to develop new products according to the tastes of the consumers, said Mr J.S. Kullar, Director, Small Industries Service Institute (SISI), here today.

He was addressing the engineering manufacturers at a workshop on new computer designing for engineering industries. The workshop was organised by the SISI to create awareness among the small engineering units for manufacturing cycle, machine tools and auto parts.

He said the software will make possible to create, simulate, optimise, document and build products. The institute has also purchased three machines, horizontal, vertical machining centre and CNC lathe, to help the industry. Speaking on this occasion, Mr Ranjeet Singh Bir, Deputy Director, SISI, said, “In today’s open economy and competitive world, battle for share is becoming more and more fierce. In this competitive battle, Darwin’s principle of ‘survival of the fittest’, will truly hold well. Organisations will survive by adopting and adapting latest technologies.”

He said the SISI has set up a centre of excellence in CAD/CAM on ideas (software) in technical collaboration with Structural Dynamic Research Corporation (SDRC), USA. This centre has become operational and will be ready to pass the latest CAD/CAM techniques/solutions to the industry. The ideas software is best suitable for conceptual design and reverse engineering. Detailed product design, drafting, mould design, tool design and multi-access manufacturing.

Mr Satish Kurup and Mr Atul Marwaha, designing experts of the SDRC, Gurgaon, presented demonstrations of the computer designing. Mr Neeraj Sood, director, Digital Infosys, Ludhiana, appealed to the entrepreneurs to adopt these technologies. Mr Bir informed that the SISI would soon launch training programmes on computer designing for the manufacturers. 


Productivity award to Vinay textiles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 7
Vinay Textile Mills of Ludhiana has won the first state productivity award for 1995-96. Prof Jagir Singh Bhullar, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Industries, Punjab, presented the award to Mr Vinay Sood, MD of the company, at a function here yesterday. The award consists of a trophy, a merit certificate and Rs 1 lakh. The unit has been awarded for the second time by the Department of Industries and Commerce.

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