Tuesday, November 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India

 

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


 
HEALTH
 

Quacks in the service of the poor
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, November 26
Scene I: Outside the old district courts towards the Lakkar bridge, there sits a roadside pain-healer who is surrounded by a host of people from all walks of life. The man has a number of little bundles of herbs arranged before him and he is stirring up a white lump which he says is the magic remedy for all kinds of joint pains, backache or a sprained leg. Whatever the cause, mere application of the white ointment would remove the pain, claims the roadside medicine man. The gullible among the curious crowd are trapped as they listen to the continuous, glib but convincing tongue of the clever guy.

The man does not sit there for the whole day. He is through with his business within a couple of hours as he fills up little plastic jars one by one for eager buyers.

Scene II: A little roadside shop along the boundary wall of Master Tara Singh College with little signboards in front claims to have the remedy for a number of diseases concerning the stomach, piles, sugar, blood sugar and so on. A little tin trunk and some glass bottles containing powders and liquids make up the rest of the shop. The man has two half naked children who look after the shop, whenever he is away on an errand.

Scene III: A complete tent which is big enough to accommodate not only the shop but living space as well. A couple of women and some children are watching from the background while the roadside vaid is holding a patient by the wrist and studying his pulse with all the attention in the world. The vaid is surrounded by an array of big plastic and glass jars containing some really weird-looking herbs. The cloth signboard outside the tent suggests that apart from all kinds of weaknesses, physical or mental, treatment is available for some other chronic diseases as well including non-fertility and so on. Treatment for impotency consists of three different courses which cost anywhere between Rs. 600 to Rs. 2000.

Scene IV: On the road leading from Mata Rani chowk to Meena Bazar, there sits a man with a typical tribal cap and a number of herbs and framed pictures all around him. In these pictures, the man can be seen with Rajiv Gandhi, Sachin Tendulkar, Maninder Singh, film stars, and so on. While some of these pictures appear to be real, others are doubtful. Looking at all those pictures, one wonders what all these people might have bought from the man. Nevertheless, it is a fine gimmick to attract and convince the gullible that he has treated all those personalities.

The business of roadside and other quacks in the city is flourishing at a brisk pace, thanks to a sizeable population of poor migrants who cannot afford to get a systematised treatment at a proper hospital. With diagnostic charges alone running into thousands of rupees these days, these poor migrants prefer spending a couple of hundred rupees on a prescription devised by these roadside quacks. The Focal Point area has perhaps the greatest number of quacks who are flourishing in various labour colonies and clusters in various phases of the industrial area. Even though these quacks come under fire for ill-treating the poor people, they are filling a void and serving a definite purpose, of providing cheap medical aid to the poor which is the secret of their success as well.

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Sahodaya athletics meet
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Students from over 20 schools affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) participated in the 10th annual Sahodaya School Athletics Meet which began at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School here today.

The NCC cadets from the participating schools presented a march past, following which the meet was declared open by Mr Kuldeep Singh, SDM (East). Harmanjit Singh Malhi and Harjit Singh Malhi, both national athletes, lit the torch at the school. Cultural programmes included Marathi dance, butterfly dance and yoga display.

In the 800 metres under-19 boys race, Ravinder Singh from Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS) stood first, followed by Harpreet Singh from AS Modern School and Navkaran Singh from GNPS. In 800 metres girls’ race, Gursharan Kaur from GNPS stood first, followed by Amandeep Kaur from GNPS and Shruti from the host school.

In shotput, Amuldeep Singh from GNPS, Chetanbir from GNPS and Anish Goel from Mandi Gobindgarh School stood first, second and third, respectively, among the boys. Among girls, Pushpinder Bassi from DAV Public School stood first, followed by Neha Jain from Green Land Senior Secondary School and Navjot Kaur from Shamrock Christian School. 

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PNB forms sports, cultural panel
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 26
To inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship and for smooth conduct of sports and cultural activities in the region, Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana region, has formed a sports and cultural committees under: patron — Mr J.K. Bhargava; president — Mr V.K. Sharma; vice-president — Mr Kanwar Singh; secretary — Mr P.C. Sharma; joint secretary — Mrs Baljit Kaur; treasurer — Mr Pankaj Mohan.

During its first meeting today, the committee decided to hold the annual Punjab PNB Ludhiana region Inter-Officer Sports competition on December 2 at 9.30 a.m. at PAU grounds.

The competition will be in the items of Cricket, Football, Basketball, Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Kho-Kho, and Carom besides athletics events.

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Injured cycling coach discharged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 26
Mr Subhash Chander, a cycling coach from Sonepat, who was admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital due to some minor injuries he had received by falling from a scooter here last evening, was discharged today from the hospital.

Dr R.K.Kaushal, a neurosurgeon at the DMCH, said the person was brought in the Emergency last night but his condition was not serious. His CT Scan was conducted and the reports were normal.

He had to go to Delhi and his condition was also normal so they discharged him in the morning, the doctor added.

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