Thursday, October 18, 2001, Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S
 
REGIONAL  POTPOURRI
  • Lottery — business for some, ruin for many

  • Ford foundation project for Yamunanagar FPAI

  • Pinnacle fall sign of impending danger?

PUNJAB

AMRITSAR
PCCTU DHARNA: On a call of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), its activists will hold a dharna in the constituency of Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, on Friday in protest against the non-implementation of accepted demands of college teachers.

SCIENCE FAIR: A district-level science fair will be held from Thursday to Saturday at Gyan Ashram Senior Secondary School here. According to the District Science Officer, Mr Gurpartap Singh Guri, the Mayor, Mr Brij Mohan Kapoor, would inaugurate the fair.

RECRUITMENT: A recruitment drive for wards of ex-servicemen and serving soldiers will be organised at Sainik Rest House on Friday, informed Mr J S Mann, Deputy Director, Sainik Welfare. He said the medically fit candidates between the ages of 18 to 21 years desirous of joining the Army and paramilitary forces should report to the Director, Sainik Welfare, a day earlier along with the matriculation certificate and the Army Discharge Certificate of their parent.

SEIZED: The police has seized 24.75 litres and 11.25 litres of illicit liquor from Kashmir Singh of Inban Kalan and Harvinder Singh of Fatehpur, respectively. A case has been registered at Sadar police station. The Chheharta police has seized 7.5 litres and 9 litres of illicit liquor from Harbans Singh of Kale village and Jaswant Singh of Kartar Nagar, respectively. A case has been registered under the Excise Act.

CAR STOLEN: A car (PB02-A-1813) was stolen from the house of Sunil Kumar, a resident of Kesari Singh Bagh on Monday. A case has been registered under Section 379 of the IPC.

BATHINDA
MEDICAL CAMP: A medical check-up and health awareness camp was organised at Khane Ki Dhab village in Muktsar district on Tuesday. As many as 314 patients were examined during the camp organised by the Dashmesh Social Welfare Club of the village. The medicines were given free of cost.

“SANGAT DARSHAN”: The Deputy Commissioner said the “sangat darshan” programmes being organised by the administration in the district were aimed to redress the grievances of the people. He was presiding over a “sangat darshan” programme at Rampura Phul on Tuesday.

AGGARSEN JAYANTI: The Aggarwal Sabha here celebrated 5125th jayanti of Maharaja Aggarsen. In a press note issued here on Wednesday, Mr S. Bansal, press secretary of the sabha, said Mr Kulwant Rai, former president of the city Municipal Council, Mr P.D. Goyal, a social worker, and Mr S.K. Mittal, executive officer of the Municipal Council, garlanded the statue of Maharaja Aggarsen.

FEROZEPORE
VOTER I-CARDS: The process of making of voters’ identity cards will commence from Thursday, stated Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner. He said no person would be authorised to vote without the voter identity card. He said the voter identity cards could also be used to apply for government jobs and old-age pensions.

SPORTS: The district administration has decided to provide sports gear for different games to all villages and sports clubs, stated Mr S.R. Ladhar, Deputy Commissioner, at a function organised at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Stadium here. More than 40 sarpanches of various border villages were provided with the sports kits.

BUS SERVICE: The Punjab Roadways has started a new bus service between Ferozepore and Chandigarh keeping in view the problems being faced by the public. The Deputy Commissioner said the bus would start from Ferozepore at 5 a.m. and the return journey from Chandigarh would begin at 4 p.m.

GURDASPUR
GOVT PERFORMANCE: Ms Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, senior Congress leader, talking to mediapersons here on Wednesday said the performance of the SAD-BJP government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal has been absolutely dismal. The government has made no achievement of which it can boast of. She alleged that the importance of the religious institutions like the SGPC and the Akal Takht had denigerated under the leadership of Mr Badal.

HOSHIARPUR
FOETICIDE: Registration of all disease scan centres in Punjab will be done and their regular checking will be conducted by the Health Department, stated Mr Tikshan Sud, Minister of State for Excise and Taxation, while addressing a seminar organised to stop foeticide at Jatpur village, 8 km from here, on Tuesday. He said according to the new law introduced in the state three years’ imprisonment each would be awarded to the motivator, the doctor responsible for foeticide and the mother. Besides, a fine of Rs 10,000 each could also be imposed upon them.

NOMINATED: Capt Amarinder Singh, President, PPCC, has nominated Mr Om Parkash Saini, Baba Naranjan Singh Miani, Mr Pankaj Kirpal, advocate and Mr Amarjit Singh Sahi, all of Hoshiarpur district, as special invitees of the PPCC, according to the press note issued by Mr Charanjit Singh Channi, the local MP, here on Tuesday.

KHAMANO
DHARNA HELD: A dharna-cum-rally was organised in front of SDM office, Khamano, by the PWD Field and Workshop Workers Union, Punjab branch, Khamano, under the chairmanship of branch president Malagar Khamano for acceptance of their demands which include to regularise workers working in PWD, B and R in the Forest Departments for the last 16 years and above and to start technical grade after adopting them technicians to grant bonus for the last four years. The rally was addressed among others by Mr Kulwant Kaushal, Mr Kulwinder Singh, Mr Sukhram and other leaders of the union.

ELECTED: Ms Surinder Kaur was elected vice-president of the nagar panchayat, Khamano, unanimously. A meeting was held on Tuesday in this connection at the office of the nagar panchayat under the chairmanship of nagar panchayat President Dharmpal. The EO nagar panchayat, Mr Rajesh Khokhar, was also present on the occasion.

MEETING: A meeting of Aarti (a social organisation) was held at Malwa Public High School, Amrala, under the chairmanship of Mr Surinder Singh Bath. It was decided at the meeting to organise a medical camp at Simran Hospital, Sanghol, on October 28. Patients suffering from different diseases will be examined at the camp by expert doctors. The medicines will be given free of cost by Aarti. The Assistant Registrar, Punjabi University, Patiala, Mr Mohinder Pal, will attend this camp.

MANSA
DAIRY FARMING: Mr Dev Raj, Deputy Director, Dairy Farming, said here on Wednesday that matriculates in the age group of 18-45 years should be trained in dairy farming. A month-long training camp of dairy farming will be held at Sardulgarh in the district from October 30, he added.

PRIVATISATION: The privatisation of education came in for criticism at a convention organised by the United Teachers Front here on Tuesday. Mr Darshan Singh Dhillon, district convenor of the front, accused the government of not being serious about education.

SUB-STANDARD SEEDS: Mr Bogh Singh Datewas member of the District Agriculture Production Committee, has in a letter written to Mr Ajit Singh, Union Minister for Agriculture, pointed out that the certified seeds of ‘narma’ and ‘kapas desi’ supplied by the National Seeds Corporation were sub-standard. He urged the minister to take stern action against the corporation officials who certified these seeds.

SALARY: Intensive Care Unit (ICU) workers of the government hospitals in the state have not been paid their salaries for the past five months, alleged Mr Mohan Lal Goyal, a pharmacist working in the ICU of the local Civil Hospital.

APPOINTED: Capt Amarinder Singh, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), has appointed Mr Balwinder Narang, former general secretary, Punjab Youth Congress, as a special invitee to the executive committee meeting of the PPCC.

FARMERS’ CAMP: The district-level farmers’ training camp-cum-seminar organised by the Agriculture Department here on Tuesday ended in a fiasco. Ms Raji P. Shrivastva, Deputy Commissioner, who came to inaugurate the camp was unhappy over the attendance of farmers and condemned the department for organising such camps. 

MANDI GOBINDGARH
TRAINED TEACHERS: The DIET Students’ Welfare Association, Punjab, in a meeting held here on Tuesday, urged the state government to appoint ETT trained teachers on vacant posts. The meeting chaired by Mr Varinder Singh Khehra alleged that the state government had deliberately appointed untrained persons on contract-basis though 5,400 trained teachers were unemployed and another 4,000 were to complete their training next year. The students opined that the present policy of appointing teachers on contract-basis would affect the education in government schools where students from low income group came to study. They termed it as discriminatory and unjust. The association has threatened to launch an agitation if the government failed to adhere to its demands.

PATHANKOT
MEDICAL CAMP: Dental Research Institute of Versatile Education (DRIVE), state unit of the Indian Dental Association and Department of Health and Family Welfare jointly organised Dr Varinder Singh Baskhi memorial dental check-up, health awareness and education camp here on Tuesday. Mr Mohan Lal, Higher Education Minister, inaugurated the camp.

SAPLINGS PLANTED: Members of the local Lions Club planted more than 100 saplings on the premises of Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School here on Monday. More saplings will be planted to make the town pollution free, said mr Baljeet Singh, member of the club.

SAMRALA
EYE CAMP: A three-day free eye operation camp commenced at Kubbe village, nine km from here, on Tuesday. It has been organised by Mr Devi Dayal, a well-known kabaddi coach, in memory of his son Toni Alankar. Dr Ramesh, Director of Eye Bank, Mansuran, examined the eyes of about 300 patients, and successfully performed operations on 25 of them, on first day of the camp. Besides, about 100 men and women of the village filled the required forms for donating their eyes. Corneas of Sukhvinder Kaur, a young girl who had died of heart attack, were also taken out on request of her parents.

 WELCOMED: Mr Sardara Singh Ghulal, general secretary of the Retiree Co-operators’ Association, Punjab, has welcomed the Punjab Government’s decision to lower the age limit for old-age allowance and to extend the benefit of increase in DA to 45 per cent to its pensioners. Talking to mediapersons at the local Civil Rest House, he demanded other demands of pensioners, recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission should also be accepted.

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CHANDIGARH

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the National Integrated Medical Association: President — Dr Sanjeev Goyal; vice-president — Dr G.D. Mehta; general secretary — Dr Ashwani Malhotra; joint secretary — Dr Sukhjinder Kumar; finance secretary — Dr Varinder Khanna; press secretary — Dr Anoop Goyal; central council member — Dr Jagjit Singh; and legal adviser — Dr R.K. Gupta. The association has also elected eight members of its executive body and Dr S.P. Singla has been nominated as the patron of the association.

SCHOOL FUNCTION: The St Kabir Public School celebrated its founder’s day on Tuesday. A press note issued by the school authorities said students, who had done well in the ICSE Board examination held in March this year, were presented mementoes on the occasion. A cultural programme was also organised. Sweets were distributed among students. The Principal of the school, Mr J.P. Singh, proposed a vote of thanks.

BABY SHOW: The Mohali unit of the Ranbaxy Community Health Care Society will organise ‘‘Healthy Baby’’ show at Sahaurran village in Ropar district on Friday. The show will be a part of the Ranbaxy’s ongoing ‘Reproductive Child Health Programme’ to reduce infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MMR). The Civil Surgeon of Ropar, Dr R.S. Saggu, will preside over the function.

ORIENTATION COURSE: A two-day orientation course on “ research methodology’ for research students of Panjab University commenced here on Wednesday, according to a press note. Among those who addressed the gathering included Prof Gopal Krishan, Dr Ajaib Singh and Dr Harish Sharma.

PANCHKULA
GURDWARA BODY: The following have been elected office-bearers of the managing body of Gurdwara Sahib, Sector 12: president — Brig S.S. Kahlon; vice-president — Lieut-Col D.S. Uppal; general secretary — Col P.S. Bains;’ and secretary — Mr Harbant Singh Pannu.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Maharaja Agrasen Sangh, Panchkula: President — Mr V.K. Bansal; general secretary — Mr Anil Goel; and finance secretary — Mr Vipin Garg. The office-bearers greeted the local residents on the occasion of Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti.

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HARYANA

AMBALA
ELECTION OFFICE: Mr Ratan Lal Kataria, president of the Haryana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday inaugurated the party election office at Ward No 29 in Lal Kurti, Ambala Cantonment. He said the BJP was working hard for development of the country. The Union Government had launched several development programmes for the benefit of common man, he said.

CANTONMENT BOARD: A meeting of the local Cantonment Board was held here on Tuesday in which elections for sub-committees took place. Building and health committee: chairman — Mr Umesh Sahni, members — Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Rakesh Kumar, Mr Lalit Kumar, Brig A.K. Sinha, Col G.S. Sisodia and Major S.C. Gaur. The finance and general sub-committee: chairman — Mr Rakesh kumar; members — Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Umesh Sahni, Mr Prithvi Singh, Col G.S. Sisodia, Major S.C. Gaur and Mr O.P. Ranga. The law and education sub-committee: chairman — Mr Prithvi Singh; members — Mr Ashok Kumar, Mr Umesh Sahni, Mr Lalit Kumar, Col G.S. Sisodia, Major S.C. Gaur and Mr O.P. Ranga.

BRAHMAN SABHA: The president of the Jangid Brahman Sabha, Haryana, Mr Amar Gopal Jangid has said a special meeting of the Sabha will be held on Sunday at Hisar. He said members of different Jangid Sabhas, Block Sabhas, Gramin Sabhas and State Sabhas will participate. Different issues will be deliberated upon in the Sabha meeting, Mr Jangid said.

PANIPAT
YAMUNA POLLUTION: The Yamuna Action Plan division of the Public Health Department and an NGO, Samaj Seva Sansthan, Saharanpur (UP), have jointly launched a ‘‘Yamuna bachao campaign’’ here to create awareness among the people against polluting the Yamuna. The campaign was kicked-off on Tuesday by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr M.R. Anand. A ‘‘Jan chetna rally’’ of around 200 schoolchildren was organised on the occasion.

ROHTAK
QUIZ: The Institute of Management Studies and Research (IMSAR) team of Maharshi Dayanand University has won the prestigious national-level quiz contest organised at Yamunanagar recently. The team, comprising Pankaj Sharma and Vikram Mohan, emerged winner in a gripping contest. As many as 19 prominent management institutes of Haryana, Punjab, UP and Chandigarh took part in the contest which was organised by Tilak Raj Institute of Management of Technology, Yamunanagar.

LECTURE: Well-known novelist and winner of Sahitya Academy Award Chaman Nahal addressed the participants of UGC refresher course in English on the MDU campus here on Tuesday. A former professor of English at Delhi University and fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University, UK, Prof Nahal, delivered lecture on “Modern Indian Mind” and Fictionalising Gandhi.

YAMUNANAGAR
POLICE-PUBLIC MEETING: The state government will spend Rs 250 crore, out of which Rs 125 crore will be provided by the Central Government, to make police administration more effective, said Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, MP and president, Indian National Lok Dal (Youth), while presiding over a police-public meet at the local Maharaja Agarsain College on Monday. Mr Chautala stated that a police academy was being established at Bhaundsi (Gurgaon) on 320 acres of land provided by the state government. He exhorted the police personnel to adopt more humanitarian approach while dealing with the public.

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HIMACHAL PRADESH

BILASPUR
AIDS AWARENESS: An “AIDS awareness workshop” for journalists was organised by the state Health Department here on Tuesday. It was presided over by Dr M.L. Mahajan, Chief Medical Officer. The state Programme Officer, Dr C.D. Sharma said since there was no treatment for AIDS, its prevention was the only remedy. Dr Sharma said 83 per cent HIV infection cases in the state were of those who had practised unsafe sex.

KULU
‘‘DHARAM YUDH’’: Mr Virbhadra Singh, a former Chief Minister and leader of the Opposition in Himachal Vidhan Sabha, said he had received an overwhelming response from the people of the state for his ‘‘Dharam yudh’’, started to expose the corruption in the BJP-HVC government led by Mr Prem Kumar Dhumal. He was addressing a press conference at Kasol village in the Manikaran valley on Tuesday after finishing his two-day tour of the Banjar constituency in the district.

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REGIONAL  POTPOURRI

Lottery — business for some, ruin for many

Mansa, a backward town of Punjab, has turned into a gambling and betting hub, resulting in thousands of persons, mostly from the lower classes, becoming paupers. A win on a lottery, whether being run by the government or private parties, is a pipedream.

Men, women and even school-going kids buy lottery tickets and scan newspapers and drawsheets, dished out every day, to find their fate. Several shops have mushroomed in different parts of various towns in this district, to sell ‘‘dreams that inevitably go sour’’.

It is big business for the government, private lottery sellers and their agents but a loss for buyers who are largely labourers, small businessmen and professionals and sections of the middle class. Boys and elders can be seen selling tickets at bus stands, railway stations and markets.

Social organisations want the Centre to enact a law to stop the growth of lotteries and check gambling. Lotteries which are becoming brisker by the day, may augur well for those in the trade, but threaten to become a menace and casts an evil spell on greenhorns keen on making a quick buck. Persons who buy lottery tickets gradually become die-hard gambling addicts and consequently ruin themselves. They generally comprise poor rickshaw-pullers, labourers and schoolchildren.

The most popular lottery is the single digit which has a draw daily. It is pertinent to mention here that no ticket is sold on these stalls, only the number are booked. Lottery tickets are displayed just to attract customers. According to sources, certain lotteries, which are not authorised as the parties running them are not paying tax to the state government, are also being sold. The areas in Mansa where the lottery trade is flourishing are Gurdwara Chowk, Sabzi Mandi and the bus stand.

People say that the business is going on with the connivance of the police. Sources reveal that previously a head constable of the Mansa city police station, who was caught red-handed by the Vigilance Department, was authorised by the department, to collect money from stall-holders. When contacted Station House Officer of Mansa City police station, Harpal Singh said: ‘‘I took charge of this police station a few days back. I am watching the in activities now and would take action shortly’’.

Ford foundation project for Yamunanagar FPAI

The Family Planning Association of India (FPAI), Yamunanagar branch, is one of the largest and oldest non-government organisations working in the field of family planning and reproductive health. It was established in 1972 under the chairmanship of Dr Nina Puri. She continued in the chair for 26 years. She is at present the President of Family Planning Association of India for a second term. She has also been elected the Chairperson of the South Asia Region of International Planned Parenthood Federation for the third consecutive term.

In recent years the organisation has expanded its activities to women’s development, gender issues, literacy, education of youth, skill training and income generation activities for women, male involvement in family planning programmes and community work in the village.

Mrs Renuka Sachdeva, present President of the FPAI, Yamunanagar branch said the organisation was continuously exploring new programme areas and had been in the forefront in experimenting new approaches and strategies in the field of population, sex education and counselling and community participation. The branch had undertaken a very challenging project titled “Reproductive Rights and Community Action” given by the IPPF and funded by the Ford Foundation of USA. The project aims at creation awareness about the reproductive rights of women as human rights. India is one of the three countries to which this project was sanctioned; the other two being Columbia and Malaysia. Yamunanagar was identified for its implementation because of its low social indicators like sex ratio, literacy rate, age at marriage and overall low status of women. Mrs Sachdeva said project was being implemented in 23 villages of Yamunanagar covering a population of 30,000 people.

Mrs Sachdeva said “In its endeavour to involve more and more men in family planning programmes, it organised a very successful NSV (non-scalped vasectomy) camp in November last in which a record number of 91 cases were performed. Keeping in view the phenomenal success of the last camp, another camp is being organised in the branch premises from October 28 to October 30. The camp has been sponsored by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Pinnacle fall sign of impending danger?

The pinnacle erected on the centuries-old Hanuman Temple located within the precincts of the ancient Lakshmi Narayan Temple complex in Chamba abruptly fell down and broke into three pieces last month.

Locals, especially conservative, are taking this incident as a “divine manifestation” and linking the tumbling down of the pinnacle with the horrible devastation in USA.

Elders say that they rarely experience such divine instances in their lifetime, which take place only when there is some imminent danger or a catastrophe.

Since the Archaeological Survey of India protects this temple, its officials have kept the broken pieces of the pinnacle of the temple in safe custody. They say that the ASI headquarters in Chandigarh has been informed accordingly so that an another pinnacle could be put up.

Contributed by K.K. Goyal, Ashwini Dutta and Balkrishan Prashar. 

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