Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Youth distorted by quacks
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 12
The hope for Mahinder Singh, perhaps, has come too late for him to be sire of a child. He has been treated by doctors to fulfil his wish to have a child. He had struggled, and faced a lot of humiliation back home at Ghalib Kalan village, near here, as he lacked hair on his body, especially on the face, a symbol of a masculinity. He had been unable to “enjoy” his married life. Villagers used to tease him because of it.

He had been running from pillar to post to get treatment for his asdrogen deficiency (missing male hormone) for the past four decades, Quacks, who are available in almost every street in urban areas in the state, befooled and fleeced him for years by promising that they would treat him. He is now 60 years old.

However, now when qualified doctors of the local Dayanand Medical College here have cured him, his wife, already over 56 years, is unable to bear a child.

“I had left the hope that I would be able to lead a normal life because I had approached over a dozen

vaids at different villages but to no avail. I consider myself lucky that I came to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital to get treatment for severe backache. The doctor attending me listened to my problem patiently and told me that I would first be cured for my astrogen deficiency due to which the problem of backache had arisen”, said Mahinder Singh.

Mahinder Singh had visited many self-styled doctors to seek treatment. He had lost interest in life and developed a low sense of well-being. He led a stressful life because people, including family and friends of his village, teased him and his wife for not bearing a child.

He said: “The quacks gave me local medicines and some oils on which I spent thousands of rupees. But they were all useless as I hardly saw any development in myself. I became an irritable and depressed person. I had thoughts of even ending my life”.

Dr Parminder Singh, the consulting doctor and an endocrinologist at DMCH, said the astrogen deficiency could occur at any age. Mahinder Singh could not achieve puberty. He was unable to enjoy his married life either. The problem, PADAM (partial androgen deficiency in adult males), according to the World Literature, is prevalant in 7 to 10 per cent males above 60 years of age.

“But his case is altogether different. His life has been spoiled by quacks, who did not let him go to any qualified doctor. He is responding to the treatment and there are chances that he may be able to produce if he continues with his treatment. Unfortunately, the wife of Mahinder Singh is now unable to reproduce as she is 56”, said Dr Parminder Singh.

The doctor said that treatment of the disease was costly as the patient had to spend Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000 per month on injections and medicines. The life of Mahinder Singh has been changed in the recent past. He has developed moustache and beard. He has started enjoying married life. But he says,”I love my wife. She has always stood by me in good as well as bad times. If now she is unable to produce a child that does not mean I should go for a second marriage, said Mahinder Singh.



Construction goes unabated at Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 12
Flouting the orders of the municipal corporation and the district administration, the construction is going unabated on an encroached piece of land in Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar and Bhola Colony on the Tajpur road here.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had issued orders a few months back that no construction would be allowed on the spot and no cash in the form of instalments would be given to the “owners” who sold the government land illegally. He had even written to the Punjab State Electricity Board and the municipal corporation for not providing any civic amenities to the residents who were occupying the land illegally.

A visit by Ludhiana Tribune team at Baba Jiwan Singh Nagar, one of the four illegal colonies on the Tajpur road, here today revealed that new houses were being constructed despite the orders. While a Tribune lensman tried to click pictures the persons present at the spot tried to stop him.

The residents are quite aware of the fact that something is wrong with the land they are constructing houses on. But they don’t know that this is an agricultural land belonging to provincial government that was allegedly sold to innocent people by land-grabbers in connivance with the officials of the Revenue Department.

The complainant, Mr Rakesh Sharma, who claims to own a piece of land in one of these colonies, alleged that although there was no power supply to the area the residents were drawing electricity through kundi connections.

He said although the MC was directed by the DC not to provide any connections there was no check on the illegal construction that was going on unabated. Despite the fact that the administration and the Police Department were made aware of the grabbing of the land by the complainants and the media, nothing substantial was done by the officials to bring the guilty revenue officials to the book.

The police and administration had even conducted inquiries into the case and subsequently, cases were also registered against certain private persons but no case was registered against any revenue official. The revenue records showed that it was an agricultural land while there was not even a single plot that was being used for agricultural purposes. It was turned into a residential area.

The role of officials of the Revenue Department was questionable as a dead man was shown tilling the agricultural land in the revenue records. Why the officials did not come to know that the agricultural land belonging to the government was sold in the form of residential plots and why no action was taken against them still remains unanswered. 


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