Tuesday, May 28, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Exodus of doctors from CMC
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, May 27
Perceived as a major setback to the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), about a dozen senior faculty members from this prestigious institution have quit over the past few months to join a new upcoming super-speciality medical institute at Pondicherry. Started with the resignation of former Principal, Dr Abraham Thomas, there has been a large-scale exodus of the doctors ever since.

According to reliable sources, senior faculty members who have joined this new institute at Pondicherry include Dr Abraham Thomas, former Head of the Department of Plastics and Micro vascular Surgery, Dr Sharad Samson, a neuro surgeon, Dr Robin Thambudarai and Dr Simon Desiah, both general surgeons, Dr Mohini Sood, Professor, Department of Anatomy, Dr M.Z.Mani, Professor and former Head of Department of Dermatology, Dr Anna Mani, Professor of Internal Medicine, Dr Sharad Ramdas, a micro vascular surgeon and his wife Dr Ms Anita Ramdas, a pathologist.

One of the senior doctors at CMC, on the condition of anonymity disclosed that this mass resignation by so many senior doctors has indeed caused a setback for the institution. Accusing the CMC management of not looking after the interest of the doctors, he said. “Those who are working hard are not getting the recognition by the management, which was being manipulated by ‘politically influential’ people. This particular ‘lobby’ wants to maintain their hold over everything, even if it is at the cost of a setback to the institution”.

When contacted at Pondicherry by Ludhiana Tribune, one of the doctors said that the doctors at the CMC were disgruntled due to low salaries and politics among the faculty in the institution as a result of which many decided to quit. “The Director (Dr Silas Charles) is away to the USA and the institute is being run by his deputies, who indulge in petty politics and promote mediocrity. The institute at Pondicherry is run by a church and is a nice peaceful place to work.”

“Many people protested when Dr Thomas, the renowned plastic surgeon had resigned but the management paid no attention. Thus the institute lost one of the best plastic surgeons of the world”, she said.

Dr T.M. Jaison, the Acting Director, CMC, when contacted denied all allegations against the management of the CMC saying that the doctors who left CMC hailed from South India and they preferred to live closer to their home. “There is no politics involved but people have freedom to express their views. The people who have joined the medical institute at Pondicherry must be getting good incentives there. But I am sure that as far as patients of CMC are concerned, good medical care is being given to them. We still have an expert faculty in the institute. In institutes like the CMC, so many people work and there will definitely be scope for criticism”, added Dr Jaison.



Was the polling staff allowed to vote?
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 27
A presiding officer in the recently-held Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections has made a ''serious'' allegation of polling staff having been denied the right to vote as the Returning Officer had not issued postal ballots.

''Postal ballots were not issued to the employees on duty and they were debarred from their right to vote,'' Mr Ashwani Syal, presiding officer on booth number 1 of ward number 22, alleged in a complaint to the Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr Y.S. Ratra, and the Director General of Police, Mr M.S. Bhuller.

The copies of the complaint have also been sent to the state Election Commissioner, Mr C. L. Bains, the Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, and the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Mr A.B. Saharya. When contacted, Mr Bains termed the denial of postal ballots as a ''grave irregularity'' but said he had not received the complaint and when it would come he would ask for a report from the Deputy Commissioner.

The Returning Officer and Sub Divisional Magistrate, Ludhiana, (West), Mr M.S. Jaggi, said the presiding officer did not ask for postal ballots and had done a shoddy work after the elections were over.

Mr Jaggi said: “I admonished Mr Syal for submitting ‘incomplete’ forms related to elections as part of my duty and Mr Syal had made this admonition his ''prestige'' issue to hit back with a number of allegations”.

Mr Syal has alleged that the SDM had threatened him with ''consequences'' when he complained about ''poor'' facilities for the polling party in the building of Government Primary School at Daba road.

Mr Syal alleged he had to go without sleep in the intervening night of May 18 and May 19 as the school building did not have doors, fans and the polling party was not given even cots.

The presiding officer said he had to keep awake to protect the polling material and the police staff on the duty was ‘’tipsy’’ in the night. Mr Syal said his complaint against the policemen on duty was not entertained by the Deputy Superintendent of Police against the drunk policemen.

He said the DSP was requested to get his staff medically examined for alcohol but the police officer did not do so. Mr Syal said when he did not get any response from police officers against alleged misbehaviour of their staff, he approached the people who pressurised the SHO to register a complaint but no FIR was registered in the matter.

Mr Jaggi refuted the charges and said every facility was given to each polling party.



Civic poll leads to polarisation in Cong
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The MC elections in Ludhiana seem to have led to polarisation within the Congress with various factions in the party pulling up in different directions. The recent charges levelled by the Ludhiana Rural MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, against the District Congress Committee (DCC) president, Mr K.K. Bawa, and the local MP, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, have further complicated the problem for the party.

Mr Birmi was sulking over his being ignored during the selection process of the candidates for the elections. He was kept away during the entire electoral process as he wanted that only the candidates sponsored and supported by him be nominated by the party. There are 26 wards, largest number in any segment, in his constituency. This would have given him a decisive edge in the corporation and he would obviously have got a final say in the selection of the Mayor.

Although he had been levelling charges of “tickets having been sold”, in private, only yesterday he said on record that the money had changed hands during the selection process. He also demanded an impartial probe into the assets accumulated by some Congress legislators. He seems to have opened yet another front in the faction-ridden DCC.

On the other hand, the Minister for Stationery and Printing, Mr Rakesh Pandey, whose loyalty to the Agriculture Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, is unambiguous, has also been going of his own. Although Mr Harnam Dass Johar, former Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and MLA from Ludhiana West was also considered a Bhattal loyalist, he has already affirmed his faith in the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

In the latest alignment of the leaders, the DCC presidents, both rural as well as urban, Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran and Mr K.K. Bawa, respectively, MLA from Dakha, Mr Milkit Singh Dakha and Mr Nahar Singh Gill, a former general secretary of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) and now a strong contender for the post of Mayor, have put their weight behind Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib. And it is this group, which besides enjoying the patronage of Capt Amarinder Singh, is emerging stronger in the district. No wonder, the group had a final say in the selection of candidates for the MC elections and is now lobbying hard for getting Mr Nahar Singh Gill appointed as the Mayor.



Ticket issue: Congress rules out probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Mr Lal Singh, senior Congress leader and the Minister for Finance, Planning and Food and Civil Supplies, said here today that any inquiry at this stage into the allegations of corruption in the allotment of tickets for the recent municipal elections was ruled out. He said it was an internal matter of the party which could not to be discussed in public.

At a press conference here today, Mr Singh played down the allegations levelled by some local leaders against each other. In reply to a question on the charges levelled by the MLA from Ludhiana Rural, Mr Milkit Singh Birmi, that money had exchanged hands in the allotment the tickets, the minister said nobody had come to him with a complaint in this regard, so far.

He said an inquiry was ruled out because the allegations were not on record. However, he hinted that an inquiry might be conducted against those who had broken the party discipline. Mr Lal Singh said the problem was minor and local; besides, it was natural for leaders of any political party to have differences among them.

Meanwhile, 33 candidates of the Congress who tasted defeat in the MC elections gave a memorandum to Mr Lal Singh. They said they could have won, if some senior party leaders had not worked against them. They blamed the Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, and Mr Birmi for their defeat. The defeated candidates sought an impartial inquiry by senior leaders in this regard.

Regarding the Zila Parishad and block samiti elections, Mr Lal Singh said the Congress would contest these on the party symbol. He said 500 applications had been received for 202 seats of block samiti and 23 seats of Zila Parishad. A committee of the MPs, the MLAs and defeated candidates has been formed to finalise the candidates for the elections ahead.



DC reviews arrangements for Zila Parishad poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The district administration has made arrangements for the smooth conduct of elections for 23 members of the Ludhiana Zila Parishad and 201 members of 12 panchayat samitis in the district to be held on June 9. For this purpose, 1,115 polling booths have been set up and around 7,500 government officials put on duty.

Giving details about the arrangements, Mr Anurag Agarwal, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electorate Officer, said Mr S.R. Kaler, Deputy Director, Local Bodies, have been appointed Returning Officer (RO) and provided with 12 Assistant Returning Officers (AROs). The nominations for all the zones of the Zila Prishad would be received by Mr Kaler in his office in Mini-Secretariat, Ludhiana, from May 27 to 30. Mr Agarwal informed that out of the total 23 zones of the Zila Parishad, five are reserved for SCs, three for SC women, five for women and 10 for general category.

Referring to the panchayat samities, the Deputy Commissioner informed that for Dehlon panchayat samiti 19, Doraha 15, Jagraon 20, Khanna 16, Ludhiana 118, Machhiwara 15, Pakhowal 16, Samrala 15, Sudhar 15, Sidhwan Bet 17 and from Raikot 15 members were to be elected. He said out of the total 201 panchayat samti zones, 45 have been reserved for Scheduled Castes, 24 for Scheduled Caste women, 43 for women and 89 for general category. The Returning Officers appointed for the conduct of elections for the different panchayat samitis include Mr Kuldeep Singh, SDM, Ludhiana (East), for Ludhiana-II, Mr Manjeet Singh Brar, AETC, Ludhiana-I for Ludhiana-I, Mr Malwinder Singh Jaggi, SDM Ludhiana (West), for Pakhowal, Mr Prem Chand Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, for Machhiwara, Mr Ajmer Singh, SDM, Raikot for Raikot, Mr Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, for Jagraon, Mr Mukhand Singh Sandhu, DTO, for Sidhwan Bet, Mr B.K. Gupta, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, for Sudhar, Mr Sucha Singh Mast, SDM, Payal, for Doraha, Mr Gurlovleen Singh, SDM, Khanna for Khanna, Mr Jaspal Singh, SDM, Samrala, for Samrala and Mr Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies for Dehlon.

Mr Agarwal informed that the nomination papers for the election to the different panchayat samities would be accepted by the Returning Officer/Assistant Returning Officer at concerned block samiti office from May 27 to 30. The scrutiny for the nomination papers would be carried out on May 31 from 11 a.m. onwards and June 1 has been fixed as the last date for the withdrawal of the nomination papers. The elections would be held on June 9, 2002, (Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The District Electoral Officer further said the model code of conduct of the State Election Commission would be effective from May 27 to June 13, the last day for the completion of the election process. He directed all the Returning Officers to hold the meetings of representatives of different political parties and prospective candidates to abide by the model code of conduct. He said for these elections around nine lakh voters have been listed to cast their vote. The Deputy Commissioner also informed that for the efficient supervision of the election process, apart from the polling staff, 100 supervisors have been appointed and each supervisor would be the in charge of 10 to 12 booths.

He further said that there would be two ballot boxes of different colours. The colour of the ballot box for Zila parishad elections would be pink whereas, it would be white for panchayat samities. Elaborating about the counting of votes and results, Mr Agarwal disclosed that the counting of votes for both panchayat samities and zila parishad elections would be held panchayat samiti vise. The result of the panchayat samitis would be declared by the concerned Returning Officers and for the Zila Parishad zones, the result would be compiled and declared by Mr S.R. Kaler, Returning Officer for the Zila Parishad.

The Deputy Commissioner appealed to the leaders of all the political parties and prospective candidates to cooperate with the electoral machinery and to abide by the directions of the Election Commissioner under the model code of conduct during campaigning and polling to ensure the peaceful and impartial elections in the district.



Rahul tops in science, Kajal in commerce
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Rahul Arora from SD Government College and Kajal Gupta from the Government College for Women have bagged the first positions in science and commerce streams, respectively, from the district in Class XII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board this year. While Rahul has scored 397 marks out of the total 450, Kajal obtained 364 marks.

In the science stream, Chetna Sony from the Government College for Women has stood second with 381 marks. The third position has been shared by Varun Chhabra and Bhavna, both students from Bharatiya Vidya Mandir, scoring 377 marks.

Among commerce students, second position has gone to Chinu Luthra from the Government College for Women and Nancy Raval from Atam Public Senior Secondary School with 362 marks. Mandeep Kaur from Government Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines, has stood third with 360 marks. Fourth position has been shared among Swera Khullar from Atam Public Senior Secondary School, Manisha Jain and Priyanka Chopra, both from the Government College for Women, all with 359 marks. Amandeep Kaur from the Government College for Women has been declared fifth with 358 marks, followed by Sweety from the same college, with 357 marks.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Rahul Arora, topper in science stream, said he was not expecting very good result. ‘‘In fact I was sleeping this morning when my friend who had read my name in the newspaper called me up and told me that I had stood first in the district and 13th in the state. It was hard to believe till I went to a book shop and read my name in the gazette.’’ Regarding his aim, Rahul said he wanted to do engineering in electronics and communication from the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala.

Varun Chhabra, third position holder, said he wanted to do computer engineering. He said he had first gone to a book shop to see the gazette and later when he went to school, his principal, teachers and friends congratulated him. This made him feel very proud. Bhavna from the same school said she wanted to be a cardiac surgeon.

Kajal Gupta, topper in commerce stream, said she had done well but she had never imagined that she would be standing first in the district. She said she was surprised when she read her name in the newspaper. She said that she would opt for civil services after completing BCom. Chinu Luthra, second among commerce students, said she had followed the footsteps of her elder sister, Indu, who too had secured good marks in the same class.



MC clerk caught taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Ludhiana Vigilance Bureau caught Devinder Kumar, a clerk in the office of the Registrar Births and Deaths of the Municipal Corporation, here today on the charge of demanding bribe from a person for issuing a birth certificate.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police (Vigilance), Mr Simarjeet Singh, said in a press note issued here today that the raid had been conducted on a tip-off from some leaders of the Congress. The clerk was caught in the act of demanding Rs 2,000 for issuing the birth certificate. The clerk has been arrested and a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him.

Meanwhile, Mr Parminder Mehta, president of the District Youth Congress (Urban), said in another press note issued here today that his party had learnt that the clerk was taking bribes for doing his work. He said Mr Jatinder Jain, a man who lived here, had already paid the clerk Rs 1,500 for obtaining the birth certificate, but the clerk had demanded more money.



Mini Rose Garden issue: YC activists hold dharna, seek probe
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Activists of the District Youth Congress, led by senior vice-president Sarbjit Singh Bunty and general secretary G.S. Arora today took out a protest march and later staged a dharna near the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the premises of the civic body to press for a demand for a high-level inquiry into development of Mini Rose Garden in Kidwai Nagar locality here.

Addressing the party workers, the YC functionaries alleged that massive funds had been siphoned off in the development of the park by several key persons in the erstwhile ruling combine, in connivance with certain officials of the Municipal Corporation. ‘‘Almost Rs 1 crore had been shown as expenditure for development of the park whereas the actual cost was not more than Rs 25 to Rs 30 lakh,’’ they alleged.

The YC activists further said that the party had been carrying on an agitation for a vigilance probe into the misappropriation of MC funds but the then ruling party functionaries had used their influence to keep the racket under wraps.

The speakers asserted that the party was committed to bring out the real truth and expose the misdeeds of the previous government in the wake of war against corruption, launched by the Congress government, headed by Capt Amarinder Singh.

The party urged the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation and the state government to immediately order an inquiry into the affair of development of the park and to bring the culprits, both political and non-political persons behind the fraud, to book. The party activists threatened that the YC workers would be forced to intensify the stir and resort to chain fast if their demand was not conceded by the civic administration.

Prominent among those present were Mr Ashok Arora, Mr Raj Kumar Kashyap, Mr Inderjit Singh Makkar, Mr Arun Joshi, Mr Rajinder Nihala, Ms Neelam, Ms Tarlochan Kaur, Mr Sarbjit Singh Bhatti, Chairman, SC/ST Cell and Mr Ali Mohammed.



Govt to announce austerity measures soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Punjab Government would shortly be announcing several austerity measures to bring the state out of the present financial muddle. Notwithstanding the opposition raised by the PCMS and other associations of the medical fraternity, the state government is in a strong mood to allow the doctors employed in state hospitals to do private practice and thus save about Rs 80 crore per month which is paid as non-practising allowance to the doctors.

This was stated by Mr Lal Singh, Finance, Planning and Food and Supply Minister, Punjab, while addressing participants at the first meeting of the District Development and Planning Board, here today, after he has been appointed its Chairman. Mr Lal Singh asserted that the state government would shortly overcome the serious financial crises caused because of gross mismanagement of the previous SAD-BJP government headed by Mr Badal during the last five years.

The Finance Minister disclosed that on the recommendation of the Cabinet sub-committee formed by the government to suggest the ways and means to over come the financial crisis, the austerity measures would be announced shortly and the aim was to curtail the unnecessary expenditure of the government amounting to Rs 550 crore.

Referring to the manifold increase in the security expenditure during the SAD-BJP tenure, the expenditure on the security has become double than the expenditure during the previous Congress government when more security expenditure was required to tackle the terrorism. He claimed that Mr Badal alone had raised a big unnecessary security umbrella around him based on 1100 security personal and 129 vehicles. He claimed that the present Chief Minister had cut down the number of security personnel and vehicles for him and his ministers to the half and also withdrawn all the security men appointed, just as a status symbol, with the politicians and other people.

Commenting on the large-scale expenditure on foreign trips of ministers during the Badal’s tenure, he said an amount of Rs 2 crore was wasted on 30 foreign trips of his Ministers, whereas, during the previous congress government only two ministers had gone abroad and a meagre amount of Rs 2.45 lakh was spent.

Mr Lal Singh also informed that the state government was also planning to allow the doctors to do private practice and to discontinue the NPA (non-practising allowance) which would save Rs 80 crore. Elaborating on the mobilisation of sources, the Finance Minister said the tax collection machinery had completely been geared up and complete transparency have been put in.



Electrification work to be finished by Sept’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
“By the end of September this year the electrification of rail track from Ludhiana to Jalandhar would be completed as part of the Ludhiana to Amritsar electrification project”. This was stated here today by the recently appointed Divisional Railway Manager of Ferozepure division, Mr S.C. Punia, during his first visit to the city railway station.

While talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Punia said the Ludhiana-Amritsar project would now be completed by March, 2003. He said, “not only the commoners but we are also eagerly waiting for the completion of this project as it would save more than half an hour that is wasted while changing the engines of express and super fast trains destined for Amritsar.”

When asked about any possibility of running new local electric train on the pattern of Delhi and Mumbai, Mr Punia replied, “Ludhiana is an industrial town and every day thousands of people come to this city from distant places for their livelihood and return back in the evening. We would work on running new electric trains once the electrification project is completed.”

Talking about poor railways services, Mr Punia said, “Railways is not an exception as the quality of services is deteriorating in other government departments and organisations. But I feel that lack of discipline is the main reason. I would try and do the necessary to improve the condition.” Besides this, Mr Punia asserted, “transparency would be assured at every level and we would appreciate the feedback required to improve the quality of service through any medium.”

Mr Punia opined, “During my visit to this division I found sanitation problem, besides maintenance and basic amenities problem in coaches especially first class AC and second class AC. The condition of basic amenities would be improved and necessary action would be taken against those who do not work properly .”

On the matter of fire in trains, Mr Punia was of the view that it happened due to climatic conditions. On derailment of trains, he said the scheduled maintenance would be done. Commenting on the Doraha bomb blast incident, Mr Punia said, “Track patrolling is being done and other railways security measures are being taken to avoid any untoward incident.”



Choice of city Mayor: minister meets councillors
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 27
In an elaborate but non-productive exercise to select the city Mayor, the Punjab Finance, Planning and Food and Supplies Minister, Mr Lal Singh, interacted with the party councillors for more than two hours to have an idea about the possibility of consensus over the new Mayor.

He got a unanimous resolution approved from the newly elected councillors that the choice was left to the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh. It was only after the resolution was adopted that the minister met every councillor individually to know their views on the probable candidates.

The Congress MP and Chairman of the selection committee for party nominees in the MC elections, Mr Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, the Minister of State for Printing and Stationery, Mr Rakesh Pandey, party legislators Mr Harnam Das Johar, Mr Surinder Dawar and Mr Malkiat Singh Beermi were also present at the occasion.

Even though the councillors collectively resolved to accept the choice of the Chief Minister, there were many voices of dissent over the method of selection. In particular, some of the contenders for the coveted post were agitated over the fact that the party leadership had already made up its mind and attempts were being made to impose its choice upon them. Many of them, requesting not be quoted, said the election should have been conducted in a democratic manner and the councillors must have been allowed to elect their leader at their own rather than being made to bow their head before the high command. One of the councillors, making it to the MC for the second time, remarked that the exercise was a farce and an eye wash.

Although the choice was left to the party leadership, many names including those of the leader of Congress councillors in the outgoing house, Mr Surjit Singh Ahluwalia, PPCC general secretary, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, former Deputy Mayor (1992-1997), Mr Prem Mittal, and party councillor, Mr Balkar Singh, were doing the rounds for the post.

Quite a few Congress candidates, who had lost the civic elections, also met the minister and complained to him that they were victims of conspiracy as certain senior party leaders had worked against them to ensure their defeat.

The induction of an independent councillor, Mr Bhagwan Das, into the party at the occasion created a flutter as the party nominee who had lost to him was also present and he made known his opposition and displeasure to the minister at the move in no uncertain terms.

Mr Lal Singh, while leaving the venue, told mediapersons that he had talked to the councillors at a meeting as well as in private and he would convey their sentiments to the party high command. “The final choice of the City Mayor will be made by the Chief Minister in the light of the sentiments of the party councillors,” were his remarks when asked about the outcome of the meeting.



A dearth of principled persons

LIFE and news coexist. News-worthiness is decided by experts who study the validity of a scenario and the requirement of readership. No news is good news as time-tried axiom. A news is a news, good or bad. A bad news supersedes the good one. The newspapers are primarily news-based, the periodicals are views-based. The editorial makes you think, articles are opinion-makers.

The air is thick with scams and scandals. Wise men build institutions, great men maintain these and common man has faith in them. Vigilance Bureau is unearthing facts. People are observing keenly the Vigilance Bureau. The involvement of the Bar provides more hope.

During militancy, the much- delayed Panjab University examinations were conducted. I was a centre superintendent. After an afternoon session, I returned home late under police guard, as usual. There was mid-night knock. I found three strangers: an old man with a young boy and a young lady. I was told that the girl had lost her costly diamond ring. Her ring-ceremony had taken place a week earlier. She had put it on the desk to write the answers conveniently. Perhaps, while attaching extra sheets, she dropped it on the floor of the hall, reached home and started crying. They had come from Jalandhar. It took time. I consoled them, offered my help and asked them to come to the centre the following morning.

Chaudhary Bant Ram, safai sewak who was a Class IV employee, had swept the hall and dusted the desks. He collected the forgotten articles as per his duty. He rolled them all in a brown paper packet. It was handed over to Jagdish Lal, the centre clerk, who locked the almirah. The lost ceremonial ring worth Rs 7000 was found intact. They profusely thanked us, especially Chaudhary. He was offered a reward of Rs 200, which he politely declined. Swindlers and scamsters are you listening? Bant Ram is dead. His honesty survives.

Principal R.G. Bajpai was the incumbent Principal, his son Ram was a BA student with Sanskrit as elective subject. Dr S.D. Joshi headed department. His son, too, had Sanskrit. Both boys were class-fellows and got friendly. Ram thought that he need not attend the class. His father could teach him or the professor would come home to teach. Dr Joshi’s son was a little father-shy sort of boy. He, too, would miss the period. Dr Joshi, as was his principle, went to the class. Waited for the students for 40-odd minutes. Marked absent, filled the general absentees’ chart and signed. He reported the fact to the college office to strike off the names Also to inform tutors and parents. It was done. Principal Bajpai was upset with his son, happy with Dr Joshi. Mrs Joshi was upset more with her husband than son. This step worked. Boys attended classes for some months. They again reverted to old game. By December, both boys fell short of lectures. Warning given, panic signals worked. The boys mended their ways and returned to class and did the rest. Imagine a teacher fining his own son and father paying money from his own pocket! Also, imagine, a principal appreciating submission to rules and regulations. No surprise, Dr S.D. Joshi elicited excellent report from an exacting principal.

We have sad news from Punjabi University, a Vice-Chancellor is shown the door. We have a painful news from Panjab University, a senator figures in the disgraceful list of touts. Bhai Jodh Singh was a prominent fellow of PU (Lahore) besides syndic, PU (Chandigarh). He was the founder VC of Punjabi University (Patiala). He was a meticulous follower of rules and regulations. Old-timers quote many interesting instances. Once a lengthy correspondence took place over clearing of a bill. The university sent more against a lesser claim by a few paisas. Bhai Sahib eventually succeeded in getting less, upholding the sanctity of rules. ‘I am part of finance committee, I must obey rules. I am party to their formulation, as Fellow,” said the man.

M.S. Cheema 



He visions clean city, smooth governance
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 27
The newly appointed Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, Mr S.K. Sharma, brings with him the reputation of a “wonder man” with particular reference to the matter of mobilisation of revenue and resources. With a rich and varied experience behind him, he has proved his mettle in various capacities in different departments of the state before joining as Additional Commissioner in the civic body here about two years back, a position which he has occupied with great competence and deftness.

In an exclusive interview with Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Sharma, who is to take charge of the office in a day or so, outlined his various priorities to set the MC administration in order and to come up to the expectations of the government and the city population. “Among my top priorities are cleansing the civic body of all its ills and providing a clean governance as well as striving hard to make available reasonably good civic amenities to the residents.”

He asserted that rather than patronising only selected colonies in posh areas of the city, the MC would endeavour to work for a uniform and all out development of this industrial city, which had its own peculiar problems especially those relating to sanitation, public health, roads, vehicular traffic, streetlights, water supply and sewerage and biggest of all rampant encroachments.

Unlike his predecessors, the new Commissioner is at an advantageous position because he has had a long stint in the city in various capacities like District Transport Officer, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner and Additional Chief Administrator in PUDA. He would not need much time to acclimatise himself with the city and its problems before getting down to business and the two years that he had spent as Additional Commissioner in the MC, handling major cogs in the civic body like house tax, water and sewerage, octroi and sanitation, would help him make a mark.

Mr Sharma’s style of working in the MC so much endeared him to the elected representatives that perhaps for the first time in the history of the MC his performance was lauded and placed on records in one of the general house meetings early this year.

Hailing from a family of educationists, Mr Sharma has a master’s degree in economics with a University Gold Medal and before joining civil services he served as a lecturer in DAV College at Ambala and later as a probationary officer in a nationalised bank. Known for his impeccable integrity, efficiency and an enviable track record, Mr Sharma fully realises the responsibility that had been entrusted to him. “I know every inch of the city and have interacted with all sections of the people at one time or the other, which has made me aware of the problems that concern the city. The problems are enormous and different from those experienced in other major towns and call for different solutions.”

Contrary to the impression that appointment of a PCS official to the post was unprecedented, the fact remained that more than one PCS officials have occupied this post not only in Ludhiana but in other towns of Punjab as well on earlier occasions. Incidentally, when Mr Beant Singh assumed office of the Chief Minister in Punjab way back in 1992, he had appointed PCS officials as commissioners in all the three MCs in Punjab.



A visually challenged visionary
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 27
A middle-aged professor, whose life revolved round reading , writing, and teaching loses his eyesight due to ‘eales disease’. This disease causes haemorrhage from the cornea and gradually one loses vision. Prof Kirpal Singh Kasel, lecturer of Punjabi in Government College, with an excellent academic record, found himself sightless even after an able doctor from Holland, Dr. Simon Frinkin, Head of the Ophthalmic Department in Christian Medical College & Hospital, tried to save his eyes by three successive operations. This was in in the year 1964. That year is etched in his memory.

Dr E.R. Johnson took Prof Kirpal Singh as his first student in his Vocational and Rehabilitation Training Centre for Visually Challenged the same year. Professor Kirpal says,” Though I was under shock, but when I learnt that Johnson himself was visually challenged, I took heart. Both of us visited villages, identified ruralities with eye diseases and rehabilitated them. I forgot my own suffering by helping others. I felt I had rehabilitated myself well. I returned to teaching Punjabi.”

He worked in the Language Department in Punjabi University, Patiala, for 8 years and contributed 10 books which are recommended in the Punjabi Postgraduate Colleges. He taught for the next 13 years.

Though he learnt Braille from Dr. Johnson, he dictated his books. His most popular book is history of Punjabi literature, which is used as a referral book in the university. Besides this , he wrote ‘Ward No 10’. This book revolves around 10 number ward of CMC where he was confined for a few months and deals with the activities and the people of the ward. His second book ‘Pushpban’, has Dr Johnson as the protagonist. So impressesd was Kirpal Singh with Johnson’s zeal and dedication towards his job that he was the central character of his book.

He wrote ‘A History of Namdhari Sikhs’ after a great deal of research. The book runs into 500 pages. Punjabi Bhasha Vibhag has awarded him with Shiromani Sahitya Akadmi Award. He is the biographer of Prof. Sampooran Singh, a great writer, and has titled the book Raj Hans. To his credit is the translation of Gita Govindam.



Mobile shops’ at traffic lights
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 27
Shopping is not restrained to the markets or footpaths only, but one can shop these days sitting inside a car or from bus windows when the light turns red at crossroads. A horde of young boys, men and women surround your car and cajole you into buying. The stuff they are selling is varied. The season has to do a lot with the things being sold at crossroads. Moreover, the wholesalers from Delhi’s Shakur Basti, that manufacturers cheap things, supply the goods to various dealers. If at one time, masks are being sold, then at other times, it is the turn of feather dusters, toy handpumps, yellow dusters for cleaning the cars. These days the latest commodity being sold are sidescreens for cars. Slices of coconut and ‘rice chiki’ adorned with coloured coconut slices are being sold.

Bholu who sells sidescreens for cars says, ‘‘Many of us, who are unemployed, take to selling things on the roads as it helps us to earn daily bread. Moreover, the dealers supply us the material, and we get a little commission. As you can see, there are many competitors as the dealers want to make the maximum profit. In this hot weather, we are on the roads the whole day relaxing only when the light turns green. As soon as it is red, we all race towards cars begging the drivers to buy sidescreens. A lot of haggling goes and in desperation at times we sell without any profit as we have to sell a fixed amount of the stuff. It is a dog’s life we lead, but for the sake of our families, we have to do it.’’

Raghu and Dipu have a similar story to recount. They get the sliced coconuts and chiki in the morning. In the evening after showing the amount they have sold, they get their commission. Life is riddled with constant struggle to be better salesperson. For the shopper, after haggling , he is tempted to buy the stuff. The sidescreens being sold are of inferior quality. Moreover, coconut slices have been exposed to dust, grime and carbon monoxide fumes of cars. After eating it, many would certainly end up with gastritis.

Sona, who ate rice chiki from these vendors said, ‘‘After eating it, I was violently sick and threw up. Never have I ever vomited in the bus like I did that day.’’ ‘‘If these people are working so hard, then why can’t they supply better quality of things? They deserve to make money after being exposed to the sun the whole day, but the customers also deserve a better deal,’’ said Sona’s mother.



Amway opens Ludhiana office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Amway India Enterprises, the country’s largest direct selling company, inaugurated its new office in the city. According to Mr William S Pinckney, Managing Director, Amway, the opening up of a new office at Ludhiana is in accordance with Amway’s philosophy of being present where customers are.

Addressing a press conference here today, Mr William said: “Punjab is a very important market for us. By opening an office at Ludhiana, we have acknowledged the achievements of our independent business owners of Punjab. I am confident that the new office will help us serve our customers better.” On this occasion, Mr Pinckney also launched Persona Talc and Persona Junior Toothbrush. In coming months, Amway plans to launch more products and, therefore, offering more choices to consumers.

To a question on the Punjab Agricultural University disputing the Amway claims, Mr Williams said: “Amway did not make any exaggerated or crazy claims...but some aggressive dealer may have made some claims which were not found correct”. He said Amway worked in a transparent manner and its products were certified by leading institutions of the country.

Mr Williams claimed Amway’s success in India rests on the high quality products, vast distribution network and a highly efficient delivery system. He added: “We are constantly working to reach out to more and more people and serve them better. To that end, we have expanded our operations to 41 cities catering to over 400 locations across the country. We plan to add 7 more offices by September 2002 and cater to over 450 locations.”

Amway offers a low cost, low risk business opportunity to men and women from different walks of life, with varying socio-economic and educational background. Amway India currently has 3,00,000 active distributors. All Amway distributors receive free unlimited training throughout the year. In 2001 alone, Amway India conducted 21,000 training sessions. In 2000-01, Amway India recorded a turn over of Rs 533 crore, an increase of over 100 per cent over the previous year.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |