Monday, June 24, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ghati Ravidassian sans regular water supply for four years
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
For the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC), Ghati Ravidassian does not exist. That is the opinion aired by residents as they have not been getting a regular drinking water supply for the past four years. ‘‘Is it because of our caste because the adjoining locality, Bajwa Nagar residents, do not face the same problem, ’’ questioned some residents. Interestingly, both the localities are located barely half a km from the LMC office in Daresi Grounds.

According to residents, their locality is one of the oldest in the city but their condition is yet to reflect in the scheme of things even after 50 years of Independence. Even a basic amenity like drinking water has been denied to them, they added. Repeated reminders to the authorities had evoked no response. ‘‘If at all, the response of the officers has been outrightly dismissive and contemptuous,’’ alleged some residents.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Manjit Singh, a resident of the locality, said, ‘‘The supply is erratic and most of the time the water supplied is muddy. We have lodged numerous complaints with the authorities concerned but nothing have been done so far. No satisfactory response has ever been given to us for this perennial problem,’’ he alleged.

He further lamented, ‘‘Despite paying all dues, we are being discriminated against. Imagine doing without water in the scorching summers. It sounds strange but most of the time of our womenfolk are busy storing water from the house of neighbours who can afford to sink handpumps and tubewells. We pool in finances for getting water tankers to meet out needs. A water tanker comes thrice a week which is barely enough to meet our needs.’’

The women are understandably more vocal. A housewife lamented, ‘‘What is the use of staying in a city when you cannot even have regular water supply. Unlike our sisters in the posher localities, we wake up in the morning with the worry whether there is enough water in the house for sending the kids to school and the men to work. Then we have to go to the houses of our more affluent neighbours who have tubewells and handpumps to fetch water. It is humiliating, but then what is the alternative,’’ she added.

It was beyond reasoning to imagine as to why did the neighbouring localities have uninterrupted supply while they had to beg for drops of water. The authorities from time to time proclaimed that all the old areas of the city were getting regular water supply and the focus would be now on the colonies on the outskirts of the city, but in out case it was just the opposite, the residents added.

‘‘But enough is enough. After today’s protest, we have now decided to go on an indefinite dharna in front of the LMC office to get the needful done,’’ the women of the locality resolved. 



Council finds discrepancies in homoeopathy exams
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, June 23
The Council of Homoeopathic System of Medicine (CHSM), Punjab, has sought comments from the Controller of the Examination and the Principal of Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College on various discrepancies found during the fourth year practical examinations of the BHMS course conducted at the college in February 2002.

In a written communication to the Principal, Dr Ravinder Kochhar and the Controller of Examination, Dr K.C.Garg, the Registrar of the CHSM, Punjab, Dr Sunil Gautam, has stated that the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH), New Delhi had found certain discrepancies during the inspection of BHMS fourth year examination held in February 2002 at Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College center.

The CHSM, Punjab, on behalf of the CCH, has sought explanation from the Controller and the Principal of the college as to why Dr K.C.Garg, Professor, Department of Physiology, Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College, who had been appointed as the Controller, was not present during the whole course of examination at the centre. Dr S.K.Chalotra, Vice-Principal of the college, was present on January 29 and 30, 2002 during the examination of various subjects. The Registrar has stated in his letter number 2208-2209 dated June 7, 2002, that the council had not appointed any person to act as Controller or Supervisor for conducting oral and practical examination on the said day of the examination. Another irregularity pointed out in the letter was that Dr Sweety Mahajan working as Emergency Medical Officer (EMO) at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital was made to examine the candidates in the absence of internal examiner.

The explanation sought said that no X-ray plates were available with the examiners to put up questions on X-ray findings. No practical verification of the clinical findings of the allotted cases was done by the internal examiner to verify the findings noted in the allotted case history sheet. The allotting of one bed patient to one student was also not followed.

According to the council, the case worked up on the allotted bed was not according to the principles of homoeopathy and did not contain homoeopathic therapeutics as 95 per cent of the questions (oral) asked were concerned only with the practice of medicine and only 5 per cent were from the homoeopathic therapeutics.

The inspection report of the council said that no candidate could answer questions on ECG. The performance of the candidates as observed during the examination was not satisfactory in view of the Homoeopathy BHMS Regulations, 1983, which seemed to be due to a lack of proper teaching faculty, both clinical and theoretical, in the subject concerned.

The council also found that the recording done by majority of the candidates in the practical record book maintained by them was not proper as required under the BHMS Regulations 1983.

Dr Ravinder Kochhar, Principal of the college, when contacted said that he had not received any such letter from the Registrar and in case he got the letter, he would send an appropriate reply in due course.

Meanwhile, the Registrar, Dr Gautam, said that the council had already dispatched a letter number CHSM-Pb/Exams-BHMS-IV/Annual-02/2001/2208-2209 on June 7, 2002, to the Controller and the Principal of the college.



Family Welfare Project rendered sterile
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
A major challenge to the National Family Welfare Project is the rural practice of putting children to work. Though the Health Department is trying hard to popularise family planning, for the rural masses and the poor, more children still mean more money.

Dr N.C. Bassi, District Family Welfare Officer, said awareness regarding family planning had increased in recent years, but a lot remained to be done. “We can only urge, not force anyone,” said Dr Bassi.

He also said, every Friday, family welfare camps were organised in nine community health centres of the district. The centres are at Machhiwara, Sahnewal, Koom Kalan, Payal, Malout, Sudhar, Hathaur, Sidhwan Bet and Manupur (near Khanna). Such camps are also organised in Civil Hospitals of Khanna, Jagraon, Ludhiana and Samrala, besides Dr B.L. Kapoor Memorial Hospital here. Voluntary organisations associated with the work include the Rotary Club and the Lions Club.

Health workers say that illiteracy was also detrimental to the project. “Uneducated villagers believe in having more children as investment for their better future, so, they never adopt family-planning measures,” said a health worker.

Ms Saroj, a multipurpose health worker, said, earlier, the department used to give motivation fees to health workers who promoted family planning and to couples who adopted it, but not any longer. “Motivating couples has become difficult without this motivation,” she said.

Dr Bassi said, in some religions, family planning was prohibited. “We have been urging religious leaders to help us create awareness regarding benefits of small family system,” he said. The department had to scrap the motivation fee because couples started believing that motivators were forcing them to adopt family planning only because of monetary incentives.

Dr J.S. Bhullar, district Civil Surgeon, said, in the year 2000-2001, 17,807 persons had been sterlised and 70,143 couples had adopted the IUD. The users of the OP and the CC had been 22,847 and 66,554, respectively.



Urdu mag in English shows what’s wrong
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
It seem strange, but ‘Urdu Alive’, a journal of creative and critical writing in Urdu, is published in English — tragedy, as you would say... for a language originally conceptualised to be Hindustani by Amir Khusrau. However, the journal seems to be serving its purpose well by promoting current trends in contemporary Urdu literature.

The journal edited by Prof Bhupinder Parihar, who is popularly known as Aziz Parihar, received deserving appreciation from eminent scholars, writers and critics at the release of its Summer 2002 issue. These gathering included Prem Kumar Nazar, Mr S.V. Kapil, Station Director of the AIR Jalandhar, Mr Harbhajan Singh Deol, a former commissioner of linguistic minorities, Prof M.S. Cheema, Prof N.S. Tasneem, Mr N.S. Nanda and others. While most speakers raised concern over general indifference towards development of Urdu, they sought relief in the observation that Urdu was still popular among people of all ages and cultures. They also said Urdu would, soon, reclaim its due position in lingual and literary circles as earlier.

Mr Kapil said Urdu still enjoyed tremendous appeal among masses, which is why all programmes of the AIR ended with messages in Urdu. He said television culture had led to weaning of general interest in books and, resultantly, in literature.

Speaking from his experiences as the commissioner of linguistic minorities, Mr Deol said not only Urdu, but also most other languages were in deep trouble, since there was no language policy. He said a language policy was as important as the national economic policy.

Aziz Parihar, however, was optimistic and said, of late, masses have become increasingly interested in Urdu, which was indicated by a number of books that were being published in this language.

A prominent feature of the programme was presentation of ‘ghazals’ by Randhir Kanwal and budding singer Ashima.



CICU flays toll collection
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has flayed the collection of toll at the Doraha barrier.

Mr I.S. Pardhan and Mr Avtar Singh, president and general secretary of the chamber, respectively, said three posts had been created on the National Highway No. 1 from Jalandhar to Ludhiana, at Doraha, Shambhu and Karnal. They alleged that the toll rates were very high. For example, a commuter travelling on the highway from Ludhiana to Delhi and back would have to pay Rs 270 as toll for the journey. This was more than the fare for a railway journey between the two places, they said.

For transport vehicles carrying industrial goods, the toll would come to Rs 1, 035 for the same journey. This would push up the freight charges to be paid by the entrepreneurs which in turn would make their goods costlier in the local as well as global market, they pointed out. They urged the government to withdraw the toll immediately.


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