Sunday, May 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


Blood bank sealed for gross violations
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 25
Like water, blood is also on sale here. Surprised? Don’t be. The needy will have to just shell out Rs 1,000 for each unit and can take as many units as required. But, sorry, one cannot check or be sure of the details regarding the date of bleeding, expiry, registration no, bag no etc, as they are usually missing.

Moreover, the blood collected may not have the required haemoglobin (hb) and it could have come from the professional blood donor. The racket in blood has been unearthed recently by a team of drug and health officials which conducted a raid at the blood bank of a prominent private hospital in Sector-16-A here. The officials have sealed the bank and recommended proper action against the management of the bank.

The drug control authorities took the action against the bank after the detection of gross violations of norms by the bank.

The raid was conducted by a joint team of health officials led by the Additional State Drug controller (ASDC), Mr G L Singhal.

The investigation followed a complaint by a resident of Baghola village of Palwal subdivision who reportedly purchased four units of blood from this bank for Rs 7,200. While the bank issued a cash receipt of Rs 800 per unit, it allegedly charged Rs 1,800 from the applicant.

It is suspected that the bank entered the name of four fake donors against the supply of the units. As per the rules, the bank should ask for donors from

the applicant for each unit of the blood supplied and should charge not more than Rs 800 as the cost of storing and testing the blood.

However, it is alleged that the bank used to collect blood from unknown sources and then supply to the needy by charging Rs 1,000 per unit extra. The drug officials found that there were several units of blood stored in the bank which had no information about the date of collection, expiry, bag no or registration number in contravention to the provisions made under the Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1940. The possibility of sale or supply of outdated blood cannot be ruled out, said an official. Suspecting an ulterior motive of the bank, the authorities have sealed more than 20 such units and directions have been issued to the bank to furnish details of the donors or collection of these units.

The team which conducted an analysis on some of the units stored inside the refrigerator found that some of them had HB content of only 6 or 7 gm, while it was shown as 13-14 on record. It is alleged that the bank is engaged in receiving unethical and illegal blood from undisclosed sources. The units were stored for days together and the required details needed to be filled or displayed at the time of collection, were labelled by someone at the time of issuing.

The team has recommended the cancellation of the bank’s licence and strict action against its owner. The report of the investigation has been submitted to the deputy commissioner and the health authorities in Chandigarh.



As usual, girls outshine boys
Our Correspondent

New Delhi, May 25
The class XII CBSE examination results were declared last night. The pass percentage in the Capital is 71. 04 per cent as against 71.9 per cent last year. This has to be seen against the backdrop of an increase of 15 per cent in the number of candidates that took the examination in March this year. As far as statistics go, this year, 3,42,851 candidates enrolled for the examination out of which 1.34 lakh took the exam from Delhi alone.

While the public schools have done well with a 90 per cent pass percentage, the Kendriya Vidyalayas and Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas have notched a score of 86.40 per cent and 83.53 per cent, respectively. The Government schools with their 71.22 pass percentage have shown a marginal increase over last year’s 70.7 per cent. Keeping the tradition alive, girls fared better than the boys. In the Capital, the pass percentage of girls is 77.74 per cent while for the boys it stands at 64.86 per cent, a plunge from last year’s 66.7 per cent. The pass percentage of the candidates who took their examinations from Patrachar Vidyalayas and as private candidates is a dismal 27.65 per cent.

The number of students who have been placed under compartment is 19291, making it 14.76 per cent. Around 113 cases were booked under unfair means in the Capital, which is the highest in six regions. Addressing the media here today, Chairman, CBSE, Mr. A K Ganguly, said that the board wants to declare the results in the second week of May as it gives students a chance to apply to various institutes of higher studies across the country. He expressed his inability to divulge details about region-wise toppers. He said, “It is an unhealthy practice. On the one hand, we are talking of introducing the grading system and, on the other, we still want to know who the topper is. It should be enough that 2195 candidates have scored more than 90 per cent marks”.

There is also an increase in the number of students who will be awarded merit certificates.



For some students, it was a night without end
Smriti Kak

New Delhi, May 25
For 1,34,221 students in the Capital, it was the longest night. Anxious and bleary- eyed, they sat blinking at their monitors for a glimpse that will decide their future.

“It was a nightmare. I sat down at midnight and it took me three hours to get logged in. Thanks to the net traffic, it was just not possible to get access. My parents wanted me to wait till the next morning, but there was no way I was going to go to sleep without knowing the result,” gushed Monika, a student of Delhi Public School, who “could breathe only after finding out the score”.

While the results this year have been comparatively commendable, the news for the Patrachar and private candidates has hardly been good. With a pass percentage of just 27.65 per cent, they need to really catch up with their counterparts in public schools.

“Our results have been good. We have 88 distinctions, and more than six students have scored above 90 per cent. The result is 100 per cent and there are no failures and compartments,” informed Ms Madhu Chandra, Principal, Birla Vidya Niketan.

Though the CBSE refused to be drawn into the nitty-gritty of announcing the toppers, dubbing it an unhealthy exercise, the inquisitive had only one question on their lips: Who is the brainiest kid in the Capital?

“It is essential that we applaud all the children. There is no need to group them as the best, the second best and so on. Every child is a winner in his or her own right,” said Ms Renu, a teacher, concurring with the CBSE’s decision not to reveal the name of the topper.

But for Kanupriya Bhardwaj of Delhi Public School, R K Puram, the day is special. Kanupriya has topped in the school, notching a cool 97 per cent. “I really did not expect to top. But it is a thrilling experience. My parents and teachers are all happy and the feeling is gradually sinking in.” When quizzed about the number of hours she toiled, she replied, “I never kept a count, but I would put in eight to 10 hours daily.”

Interestingly, most of the students from the science stream told this correspondent that they started studying for the board exam only sometime in December. Most of them were busy preparing for their entrance exams. “If you study well for the entrance, you are automatically ready for the boards,” was the general refrain.

For Kshitij Sood, who topped in Amity International with 93 per cent, it was IIT first and the boards later. “Initially, I was preparing for the IIT screening exam, but when the crunch (read December) came, I studied putting in about 10 hours daily,” said the IIT aspirant.

Meanwhile, the counsellors have their hands full. “Since last night, I have attended more than 20 calls from the students who have received their results. While most of them have been calling to seek career guidance, there have been quite a number of calls from those who have got compartment. These students are worried that they might not get admission in regular colleges,” said Ms Mala Sharma, a counsellor.



Exam’ II: Students struggling for dream course, college
Tarun Gill

New Delhi, May 25
Even before the agony and ecstasy of Class XII exam results has sunk in, students and their wards have already got into the apparently more difficult task of getting into the right college compatible with their marks and career objectives.

With more than 80 colleges in Delhi University and thousands of seats, students and their wards are already seen cudgelling their brains about the right course. They have started brainstorming the list of the cream of colleges.

In addition to the conventional courses offered by most of the colleges in B.A., B. Com. and B. Sc., several colleges have started offering vocational and professional courses. Apart from Delhi University, specially structured professional courses are also being offered by the newly instituted Indraprastha University.

Lady Sriram College, for instance, offers an honours graduate course in journalism. Among others, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce and Indraprastha College for Women also offer similar courses in journalism.

Academicians in the university said that while the courses such as Economics (Hons), Physics (Hons), B. Com. (Hons), English (Hons) continue to attract the best of students on the campus, there has been a significant growth in the number of students applying to professional courses in recent years.

“There has been a distinct tendency towards professional courses in recent years, primarily because the graduates today seek to equip themselves with some specialised skills. In the past, the civil services were the most sought after career. However, with the changed economic scenario, the focus is gradually shifting towards professionalism,” a lecturer in a Delhi University college said.

Similar views were echoed by the prospective freshers, who felt that getting trained with specialised skills was necessary. “I would prefer to do a course which lands me a job after I graduate,” Jaspreet Kaur, who cleared her XIIth standard examination, said. Academics appear to be low on the priority list of most of the students.

To meet the growing demand for the professional courses, a new university, Indraprastha University, has been set up recently, which offers only specialised professional courses – ranging from engineering, computer technology, bio-technology, pharmacology to medicine and physiotherapy.

In addition, National Institute of Fashion Technology offers special courses on fashion designing and technology. In Delhi University itself, as a precursor to the MBA course, the College of Business Studies offers an honours course in Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).

While for the star performers, securing marks in excess of 85 per cent, the options are well cut out, the so-called middle rung performers are the ones who are usually called upon to make compromises–either in the choice of college, or in the course.

The ‘elite’ campus colleges – St Stephen’s, Hindu, Shri Ram College of Commerce, Hansraj, Ramjas, Miranda House – continue to remain the most sought after, several colleges on the South Campus such as Sri Venkateswara, Lady Sriram College for women, Jesus and Mary College, and Gargi College also attract talent in the chosen disciplines.

This time round, the DU authorities are expecting 16 lakh forms to be submitted. “Last year we were overwhelmed to receive thirteen and a half lakh admission application. This year, we are expecting at least sixteen lakh due to the effective functioning of our website,” she said.



DSGMC protests eviction of widows
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25
The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee officials and the `84 riot victims today held a demonstration to protest against the sealing of the flats allotted to riot widows in Shivaji Colony, West Delhi, by the Delhi Development Authority.

“It is unfortunate that the riot victims have not been properly settled even 18 years after the incident, despite their agitation,” said the president of the DSGMC, Mr Avtar Singh Hit.

Holding a demonstration outside the residence of the Delhi Chief Minister, Ms Sheila Dikshit, the DSGMC president said the authorities had forcibly removed the riot widows from the DDA Janta Flats before sealing them.

“It is not clear why the authorities have sealed the flats instead of regularising them in the name of the riot widows,” he said, adding, “It is high time they are settled permanently in the flats, where they were accommodated on a temporary basis.”

Mr Avtar Singh demanded that the Congress-led Delhi government should immediately withdraw its orders to seal the flats and warned that the state government would be held responsible for the consequences.

As the DSGMC general elections are scheduled to be held next month, the emotive issue of sealing of flats could gain momentum in the coming days with a section of the Akalis trying to extract political mileage.

Meanwhile, DSGMC member, Mr Rajinder Singh Techno, said about 6,000 new names have been added to the electoral rolls in Vishnu Garden ward, following the intervention of the DSGMC.

“If the names of so many persons have been added in one ward, there could be similar results in others too,” he said.

The sealing of the flats allotted to the 1984 riot widows on the orders of the DDA yesterday is clearly acquiring political overtones. The two factions of Akalis and the Congress are caught in a game of one-upmanship.



Opposition MLAs told to resign
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 25
Mr Pratap Singh Chautala, president of the Haryana Nirman Morcha and an elder brother of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, has urged the opposition party MLAs to resign from the state assembly en masse and join the ongoing agitation of farmers if they really intended to extend support to the protesting farmers. He also alleged that Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, MP and son of the Chief Minister, had influenced the authorities to oblige his relatives in a controversial land deal case in Sirsa district.

Addressing mediapersons here today, the former MLA held the farmers’ agitation genuine and said the unrest among the farmers had been generated because the government had failed to fulfill its pre-poll promises. He said the Chief Minister would have to face the music as the latter used to instigate the farmers not to pay their electricity bills while he was in the Opposition.

Mr Pratap Singh Chautala suggested the demonstrating farmers to gherao the ruling party MLAs and ministers to pressure the government for accepting their demands instead of holding captive the government employees and officials. He said the government should release all the arrested farmer leaders and withdraw the cases registered against them at different police stations as a ‘good will gesture’ to start dialogue with them.

He alleged Mr Ajay Singh Chautala had influenced the authorities to oblige his relatives in a controversial land deal case in Sirsa district. He alleged a large piece of land of the ‘dera’ of Baba Bhumman Shah in Sirsa district was given on lease for 99 years at an extremely cheap rate to a close relative of Mr Ajay Singh Chautala. Providing documents in this regard to the mediapersons, Mr Pratap Singh demanded that Mr Ajay Singh should resign from Parliament on moral grounds.



Waterless Sonepat: Official adds to residents’ woes
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 25
The old section of the city, inhabited by more than 1 lakh people, remained waterless today for several hours after the stoppage of water supply by the sub-divisional engineer of the Public Health Department. Hundreds of people, particularly women were seen carrying pitchers on heads and fetching water from distant places. Many people alleged that the water supply was erratic and the pressure was always low. Their complaints to the officials concerned had fallen on deaf ears to date.

Meanwhile, the SDO of the PHD stopped the supply to the old boosting station from where the old section of the city was served. This resulted in denying water for several hours to the residents. When the irate residents and a junior engineer of the PHD in the area approached the SDO and pleaded for releasing the water to the old boosting station, he took offence and even threatened them with dire consequences. As a result, the taps in the old section of the city remained dry for most part of the day. The residents of the area assembled at various chowks and places and shouted slogans against the SDO and the state government for stopping the supply. They demanded action against the SDO and his immediate transfer. The residents announced that they would gherao the SDO and other officials if the PHD failed to ensure regular supply of drinking water.

This correspondent made several attempts to contact the senior officers of the PHD but in vain as Saturday was a declared holiday. The SDO was not found even at his residence.

In the meantime, the representatives of various political parties, social and voluntary organisations as well as the trade unions protested against the SDO and urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, to order a strict action against the officials responsible for the residents’ plight.



Recalcitrant’ truckers warned of punitive action
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Gurgaon, May 25
The district administration cracked the whip on the truck unions warning them of strong action if they continued to engage in alleged unfair trade practices.

The Deputy Commissioner, Gurgoan, Mr Anurag Rastogi, asked the city magistrate to look into the allegations of the industrialists against the unions active around the industrial hubs in the city. The city magistrate will speak to both the sides and try to bring about a rapprochement.

The main grouse of the industrialists is that the unions do not allow them to hire trucks of their choice and charge exorbitant rates for the services. The industrialists opine that the private truck operators charge rates which are 50 per cent more than those prevailing on the market.

In fact, the Deputy Commissioner had convened a joint meeting on Friday of the members of various truck unions and industrialists led by the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA). The district administration made it clear to the unions that it would have no other option than to initiate an action against them if it found them indulging in unfair trade practices. The Deputy Commissioner is said to have argued that fair practices are important on the part of all concerned for the industrial growth and peace of the area. Significantly, the police were also represented in the meeting. Although the industry has appreciated the proactive measure of the administration, many in the industry opine that the administration had earlier also intervened on a number of occasions, but of no avail as the truck union showed recalcitrance.

According to the industry, since the government does not recognise the legal status of the truck unions, they should be banned. The successive governments have often paid a lip service to the industry’s demand by proclaiming publicly that it does not recognise the unions. However, the view in the official circles is that it was difficult to take legal action against the ‘private’ individuals for forming unions. In case of punitive action for forming unions, the private truck unions could move the court for violation of their fundamental rights.



Trader-official nexus deprives farmers of MSP
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 25
While there is a glut in the mandis in this district, which are choked with heavy arrivals of wheat, a ‘nexus’ of traders and officials of the procurement agencies has reportedly been active cornering a huge profit. Taking advantage of the glut, the farmers are denied the minimum support price (MSP) for their produce.

Although the wheat arrivals and procurement this season seem to have broken previous records, still a large number of farmers are forced to sell their produce below the MSP. According to sources in various mandis, the private traders have been purchasing wheat from the farmers in bulk at Rs 580 per quintal and sell the same to the official procurement agencies at the MSP of Rs 620 per quintal, thereby making a good profit. The profit amount is allegedly being shared between them and the officials of the agencies.

Another interesting fact that has come to light is that small and marginal farmers from Uttar Pradesh are being offered between Rs 550 and Rs 580 per quintal of wheat by private traders. This has led to the distress sale by these farmers, who prefer to sell their wheat to such traders than to go through the harassment at mandis and to incur extra expenditure on transportation.

Another point brought to the notice of officials is that farmers producing other rabi crops like sarson and barley are forced to sell their produce to private traders much below the MSP.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is believed to have taken a serious note of the nexus between the traders and the officials of the procurement agencies who have already duped the government of lakhs of rupees on account of the distress sale of wheat by the farmers of UP. He has ordered a high-level inquiry into the scandal. This has caused panic among the traders and the officials of the procurement agencies.

Meanwhile, at least 2,96,767 tonnes of wheat have arrived in the mandis so far in the district, as compared to 2,56,004 tonnes during the corresponding period last year. The bulk arrivals were purchased by the official procurement agencies. At least 105 tonnes of wheat were purchased by the private traders.



Organic farming to help set up agri-export zone
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 25
In a to bid to promote organic farming and create an ‘Agri-Export Zone (AEZ)’ in the Samalkha block of the district, an NGO has announced an 11-day rural awakening programme from May 26.

To be undertaken by the Health, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Innovation and Technology for All-round Transformation (HABITAT), an agency of the Manav Seva Samiti, the programme is aimed at creating productive involvement of various organisations from the public, government, corporate and foreign sectors.

The AEZ scheme was a comprehensive model of integration of tools of science, technology and business management with a total emphasis on principles of “ecosystem management”, Dr Jagveer Rawat, HABITAT advisor, said here on Friday.

“By promoting such types of economic activity, we have kept a strong focus on employing agri-ecological principles. In India, besides HABITAT, the Haryana Progress Initiative has been advocating the organic farming for a long time but without much success,” he added.

In the wake of WTO regime, the ‘Samalkha Model’ had certain inherent advantages, he said. The primary products such as baby corn, cucumber, tomato and Mozarella cheese, desi wheat and mushroom are routinely used in the “fast food” sector. Since the requirements could be sourced from a single area and single agency, the buyers would be attracted to this zone. Besides, the increasing awareness among the Western people about the indigenous Indian food products would clinch the issue in favour of the Samalkha block, Dr Rawat said.

Giving details of the programme, Dr S. N. Singh, president of the scientific committee, said the whole campaign was centred around four basic principles — need, awareness, interest and deliberation. Each day, a new theme would be taken up. For instance, on May 26, the problem of falling water level and its adverse effects on the crops would be taken up in Machhroulli village.

The programme, which had been supported by the Agriculture Produce Export Development Agency (APEDA), was designed in such a way that farmers, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders could indicate their preferences, choices and interests before the AEZ was actually implemented. The 11-day programme had been so designed that the ecological farming would provide effective opportunities for farmers, entrepreneurs and rural people.

The programme coordinator, Mr Pradeep Hooda, said that women, Dalits and youth would be specially involved in the programme.



PHDCCI favours policy of mixed land use
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25
The PHDCCI has suggested that in view of the increase in demand for commercial activities, a policy allowing mixed land use should be adopted while formulating the Master Plan for Delhi (MPD) 2021.

It is felt that the policy for development of trade and commerce as indicated in MPD 2001 has failed largely on account of a poor vision on the development of commercial activities and lack of transparency. It focused more on controls rather than promotion, the chamber has said.

The chamber has suggested to the Delhi Development Authority that the land use for existing residential areas being used for commercial use, specially the main roads like that in South Extension, should be reviewed and considered for Mixed Land Use. Accordingly, other such areas need to be identified where infrastructure can be created by levying user charges. There is a need to identify more property in the existing commercial areas for planned development through the private sector. This would curtail the prevalent misuse of residential areas. The Floor Area Ratio for trade and commercial activities should also be increased to realistic levels taking cognisance of the ground realities, PHDCCI has suggested.

The land lying vacant subsequent to the shifting/closure of `H’ (Hazardous) category industries offers availability of vast area for development as commercial hubs. According to the PHDCCI, the policy should allow the usage of this land for commercial purposes to meet the current shortages and future demands for planned commercial activities. In recognition of the fact that complete shifting of trade and commerce is not practical, emphasis should be laid on provision of adequate incentives, giving adequate timeframe for shifting and provision of required infrastructure in the new areas, PHDCCI has pointed out.

In the development of new commercial areas, adequate provision should be made for parking, sanitation and bigger size plots to accommodate the growing need for showrooms, shopping malls etc. The planned development model of Greater Noida should be replicated. Also in the current scenario, the security aspect needs to be taken cognisance of. It is imperative that the MPD 2021 should integrate trade and commerce activities with the development of the Metro and National Capital Region to facilitate free flow of goods, PHDCCI says. Also, potential areas should be identified to be developed as hubs for trade and commerce by private builders.



BKU stir anarchist: INLD leader
Our Correspondent

Panipat, May 25
The district president of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) women’s wing, Mrs Krishna Gahlan, today described the ongoing agitation by the Bharatiya Kisan
Union (BKU) anarchist and warned the society would have to suffer serious consequences is such hooliganism of taking hostage of government officers and police personnel along with their families were allowed.

In a press statement issued here today, she said that anti-social elements were deriving benefit from such misdeeds and were instigating even schoolchildren by giving them weapons, which could prove to be damaging to the entire society.

She also alleged that the agitation was at the instance of the Opposition despite the reduction of 75 per cent in power bills paid before May 31, which is beneficial to farmers. She urged the BKU to stop the agitation, which appeared to have been taken over by anti-social elements due to which the society would suffer.

Similarly, Mr Prakash Chand, advocate and deputy general manager of Arya Educational Institutions and a leader of farmers, condemned the burning of roadways bus and taking hostage of government officers and their families. He termed such acts unconstitutional and illegal, particularly when the country was witnessing communal riots in different parts and facing many other challenges like cross-border terrorism and external aggression.

According to him, such acts appeared to have been undertaken by the BKU after been misled by the Opposition. He further stated that Haryana Government had granted remission of 75 per cent of power dues to farmers on depositing the dues before May 31 and the purchase price of wheat and sugarcane had been fixed at Rs 620 and Rs 110 per quintal respectively. He was of the view that such misdeeds adversely affected the society.



BKU faction tells farmers to shun violence
Tribune News Service

Panipat, May 25
Even as the stand-off between the agitating farmers and the Haryana Government in Kandela in Jind district continues, the president of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Khokhar), Mr Hari Singh Khokhar, has appealed to the farmers to shun the path of agitation.

Mr Khokharm, who heads a parallel BKU having some influence in Panipat, Sonepat and Karnal districts, said here today that violence could not solve any problem and the farmers and the state should solve the problems amicably. Answering a specific query on the support to the agitating farmers, he made it clear that the decision to support or oppose the farmers would be taken by the working committee on May 28. He was not authorised to take the decision on his own, he quipped.



Kailash Mansarovar: A heady yatra to God’s abode
Our Correspondent

The breathtaking view of Mansarover lake
The breathtaking view of Mansarover lake.

New Delhi, May 25
In the mountains of Kailash that are robed in the pristine snow lies the abode of Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati. Kailash Mansarovar has fascinated the people of this world not only due to its almost singular splendour and magnificence but also because it has something for everyone.

For those who wish to seek unity with the almighty, the place is the religious haven; for those who wish to have a communion with the mysticism of nature, the place abounds in the metaphysical.

‘Kang Rimpoche’ or the precious jewel of snow-bound Mount Kailash and ‘Mapham Tso’ or the unconquerable lake Mansarovar lie in the autonomous Region of Tibet and can be accessed after a trek of about 80 to 100 km from the Kumaon hills.

The trek to the mountain standing at 14,950 meters above sea level is an arduous one, but the lush green forests and the composure of nature make it an ideal and exhilarating one. The complete ‘yatra’ involves about a 300-km trek to be covered on foot or ponies or yaks. Four-wheelers are also allowed to go up to a certain point. As the yatris have to pass through difficult terrain and high altitude, physical fitness is a pre-requisite.

Starting from Delhi, the yatra has to manoeuvre some sharp turns and steep climbs through the mighty Himalayas. The last camp before crossing over to China is set up at Nabhidhang, at a height of 3,987 m. The slopes of the peak of this mountain represent the symbol ‘OM’. Lake Mansarovar, at 14,950 feet high, is also said to be one of the highest fresh water lakes in the world.

It takes three days to complete the parikrama of Kailash and longer to complete the parikrama of Mansarovar, which is easier on account of the plain terrain.

Earlier, the yatra was organised by the Ministry of External Affairs, but now private tour operators have also been allowed to conduct tours. The travellers, however, have to put up with numbing cold at night, the fierce sun during the day, the bitter winds all the time, but the fact that you are shortly going to be where the God’s have showered benevolence keeps you going. Comfort stations, basic lodging facilities and teahouses can be found on the way up.

Getting away to Kailash this year has its own advantages. If you believe in astrology, then this year, which according to the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Horse, occurs once in every 12 years and is considered supremely important for pilgrimages to Kailash and Mansarovar. According to Tibetan scriptures, a trip to the Kailash-Mansarovar during the Horse Year is considered as virtuous as 13 rounds made during other years.



Factory employee roughed up ‘for taking part in stir’
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 25
Mr Rajinder Singh, a checker in the quality department of the Hindustan Tins Works Limited was roughed up by some persons outside the factory at Dhaturi village, 12 km from here, on Friday.

According to a report, the security guards remained silent spectators and did not come to the rescue of the factory employee. The police have also not yet registered any case against the alleged assailants at the behest of the management of the factory, it is alleged.

Mr Rajinder Singh alleged that he was beaten up as he had joined the dharna being staged by the employees in front of the factory since May 2 to press their demands. The agitating workers alleged that the management had locked the main gate of the factory banning the entry of workers and other employees. The management, they also alleged, was also contemplating to declare a lockout in the factory because of the ongoing agitation launched by the workers against the transfers of some employees.

The District Labour and Conciliation Officer, Mr Kaushik, has already referred the ongoing dispute between the employers and the staff to the Deputy Labour Commissioner, Panipat for settlement.

Meanwhile, the representatives of various trade unions have urged the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to immediately intervene in the case and direct the authorities of the Labour Department to take stern action against the management responsible for the agitation of the workers.

In a joint press release, they also warned that if no action was taken against the management of the factory, they had no alternative but to intensify the agitation.



The spirit can overcome infirmities

RAJINDER Johar, 53, has been lying on bed at his Janakpuri residence for the past 16 years. An occupational therapist with the King George Medical College, he did not know until March 1986, when he was totally incapacitated in an accident, that he would be dependant on others for the rest of his life. Initially, he was inclined to weep and lament his fate, expecting the worst. Then it dawned on him that he must make the best of an unenviable situation and thought of ways of making a positive contribution to life. Today, he is “active’’ in rehabilitating disabled people, working through an NGO, the Family of the Disabled.

Suffering in life takes many shapes and forms. Many are denied a good start in life because of poverty, lack of education, disease and disability of all sorts. Life is sweet when one has an abundance of the good things of life; but what happens when loss, frustration, poverty and disease become one’s lot? How does one turn one’s minus into a plus? History presents many examples of people who responded to their adverse circumstances with heroism, hope and patience and come out victorious. Some of them have even acknowledged that the denial of the “good things’’ of life had even worked to their advantage. Dale Carnegie, in one of his books, points out that Milton wrote better poetry because he was blind and that Beethovan composed better music because he was deaf. If Dostoevsky and Tolstoy had not led tortured lives, they would probably never have been able to write their immortal novels.

Only last year, the visit of ace physicist Stephen Hawking to India had hit the headlines not merely because he was a great scientist but as President K.R Narayanan put it, he was “a symbol of human hope personifying the triumph of human spirit over matter.’’ The scientist, now around 60 years, was afflicted by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at the age of 21. In 1963, the doctors had predicted that he might live only three more years. And he lives on defying medical science. Staying alive is a greater achievement than even his status as a super scientist. In 1985 pneumonia nearly suffocated Hawking; a tracheotomy done to save his life resulted in his loss of voice. But these crippling ailments sit lightly on his frail shoulders.

The world of the disabled, as we normal people try to sense it, must be one of unending ordeal and sorrow. Considering the numbers involved all the rehabilitation schemes in our country may not be bringing succour to a small minority. Besides their rehabilitation, we need to learn to respect them as people who are no less capable than normal beings.

Vinod Kumar Misra, an electronics engineer with a Central government undertaking, has known what it is to suffer disability having been afflicted by polio since the age of three. But, he was fortunate enough to get encouragement from his parents and get a good education. He has written a book, Eminent Disabled People of the World, cataloguing the achievements of some of the prominent men of the world, who had made a mark overcoming their particular disabilities. Among them are the blind, the deaf and dumb, those with multiple disabilities; they belonged to various countries and lived in different times. By their achievements and struggles against their limitations they have established the power of the human spirit to overcome physical limitations.

A decade of research has gone into the book, which gives life sketches of those who lived long ago as also of those who are present in our midst today like Baba Amte, Major Ahluvalia, Ved Mehta, Rajendra jain, Dr Raghuvansh, Anjalki Arora and Sudha Chandran. We all are aware of the immense benefits conferred on the human race by the great inventors like Thomas Alva Edison, musicians like Beethovan, poets like Milton, novelsts like Dostoevski and Sir Walter Scott and statesmen like Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Franklin Roosevelt. These were men with severe disabilities and few actually know the stories of their battles with adversity and their pains and sorrows. The book needs thorough editing but there is no doubt that the biographical details provided therein could be of great value even for normal people who these days get frustrated even by seeming difficulties in the way of achieving their goals. Many drift through life without having a sense of direction. The author says that the purpose of the book is to motivate the disabled to fight against the odds and win victories.

Instead of indulging in self-pity, reconciling to their fate or cursing the limitations imposed by circumstances, these brave souls, dealt with in the book, persisted with determination to achieve their goals and won great victories. Their examples should today inspire others who are going through the same thorny paths. They are then bound to be drawn to the self-reliance philosophy of Emerson: “There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that thought the wide universe is full of good, no kernal of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground, which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried.’’




3 killed as Tata Sumo rams truck
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, May 25
Three persons were killed and two others injured in an accident involving a truck and a Tata Sumo at Balambha village in Meham subdivision this afternoon. The deceased have been identified as Mr Shyam Lal, Mr Rajat and Ms Shakuntala Devi, residents of Jind district. Two occupants of Tata Sumo, Mr Pradeep and Ms Vandana, sustained serious injuries and were admitted to the PGIMS here. According to information, the occupants of Tata Sumo were coming from Hisar to Rohtak to attend a marriage party when their vehicle rammed a truck which was taking a turn towards a roadside hotel.

Goods gutted

Goods worth several lakhs of rupees were gutted in two separate fires here today morning. In the first incident, three godowns of Paliwal Overseas on G. T. Road were gutted in the fire. Carpets and foot mats worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in the blaze. In the second incident, a furniture shop was reduced to ashes in a fire on Railway Road. Fire tenders struggled for hours to put out the blaze. However, no loss of life was reported.

Youths snatch cash

Three unidentified motorcycle-borne youths snatched a packet containing cash from a trader near the Railway crossing at Ballabgarh town here on Friday. According to a complaint lodged by the victim, Mr Shyam Aggarwal, a resident of Badarpur, the incident took place near the Railway crossing as he was walking towards the bus stand. He said the money had been in a plastic packet which was snatched all of a sudden by three youths who came on a motorcycle from behind. He said that he had been going home after collecting the payment.

New inverters

Su-Kam Communication Ltd, claimed to be he leading manufacturer of invertors and power protection systems (PPS) in the country, today launched here its new range of products. According to an executive of the firm, having its manufacturing plant here, the new range of PPS and invertors are based on the futuristic ‘DSP Sine Wave Technology’ developed in technical collaboration with Analog Devices Inc (ADI) of the USA.

Boy crushed

Rahul, a 12-year-old boy, was crushed to death by an unknown vehicle on G. T. Road near Bahalgarh Chowk, about 10 km from here, on Friday evening. According to a report, he was crossing the road after offering a `prasad’ at a Pir Baba shrine when the accident occurred.



Bid to snatch cash foiled
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 25
The North-East district police foiled a robbery bid with the arrest of a youth, Rajiv Thakur, on the Shahadra-Mandoli Road this morning. The suspect, who is a resident of Shiv Vihar, tried to snatch a bag of a shopkeeper, Devinder Kumar, in which he was carrying money. The incident occurred when the victim was going to his shop. The shopkeeper raised a hue and cry following which the suspect was arrested by a constable who was on patrolling duty, the police said.

Man knocked down
Jagdish (20), a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, was hit by an unknown vehicle near Andheria More on Friday evening. He was taken to Safdarjang Hospital where the victim was declared brought dead. A case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving has been registered against the erring driver in Vasant Vihar police station, the police said.

Snatcher arrested
Manoj alias Sonu, who was involved in a number of snatching cases, was arrested on Friday evening from Mall Road in North Delhi. He used to operate in West and South-West districts. He was asked to stop while he was going on a two-wheeler on Mall Road. He stopped his vehicle and tried to run away. But the police party chased and arrested him. He was going on a stolen scooter with a fake numberplate. His other accomplices were absconding, the police said.



Four who looted Kavi Nagar petrol station nabbed
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 25
The Kavi Nagar police have arrested the criminals who had allegedly looted building materials worth over Rs 1 lakh from a petrol pump on the Mehrauli road under the Kavi Nagar police station on Friday night. The arrested criminals, from whom the looted material has also been recovered, had confessed to the loot, said new SSP Chander Prakash. The loot was solved within four hours, the SSP claimed today.

According to the SSP, Anil Sharma’s petrol pump was under construction on the bypass road in the Kavi Nagar area. A gang of criminals came there in the night, beat up the security guard and tied him up. They loaded the iron rods (sarya) into a truck (No UP 81-H.9639) and decamped with some other valuable material. On Anil Sharma’s report, the police swung into action and tracked down the gang and seized the sarya from them after arresting four members.

The leader of the gang, who has been identified as Hanif Khan alias Manager, is still absconding. The criminals had looted over Rs 1 lakh worth of sarya and other materials, SP City Srivastav said.

According to Mr Sunil Samanya, Station Officer of Kavi Nagar police station, the arrested criminals had been identified as Jatendra of Meerut, Narinder of Hapur, Tahir of Mussori and Sharif. They had all confessed to their role in the loot and had also admitted their involvement in many other incidents of loot and dacoities of factories and petrol pumps in which they specialise, the police SP said.

The truck used for the present crime was taken from one Bhagwan Singh of Aligarh, a property dealer, who is still at large.

The criminals had stolen a double-barrel gun and had sold the same in Aligarh for Rs 2,000.

The police also recovered some country-made pistols from the arrested criminals.


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