Monday, August 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Farmers unhappy with drought compensation
Favour introduction of crop insurance, natural-calamity fund
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The state government’s announcement of Rs 700 per acre compensation for drought-hit farmers has failed to enthuse them. Farmers have rejected the compensation calling it insufficient, inadequate and a cruel joke.

In a survey conducted by Ludhiana Tribune, it was found that farmers were fed up with such temporary measures adopted during any natural calamity. They were in favour of crop insurance or introduction of a special natural calamity fund.

“The compensation is of no use”, said Charanjit Singh, a farmer in Pakhowal. He said even if the expenses incurred on preparing a field for paddy crop is calculated, it comes more than double the amount announced per acre by the government. Charanjit Singh said one has yet to calculate the price incurred after the plantation of the crop.

Mr Devinder Ashok, an Akali leader, said he went around Pakhowal and surrounding villages where a number of farmers had cultivated the standing paddy crop because of drought-like condition. He said on an average, a farmer had invested Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre and was being given only Rs 700.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Mandiani, a farmer from Mullanpur Dakha, said no one was happy with the compensation amount. ‘‘This year the expenses on diesel had increased by four times due to use of diesel motors to irrigate the fields. The peasantry is in for a bad time and unless the government introduces crop insurance policy, the situation may not improve”.

He also suggested that the farmers would benefit if some special natural calamity fund was set up. Such a fund, he said, would prove handy to the farmers in such circumstances. He said the farmers pay market fee to the government, which is mostly used in areas other than agriculture. The government should contribute some part of the market fee to the natural calamity fund.


DMCH faculty seeks PM’s help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
The faculty of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has sent a memorandum to the Prime Minister regarding the July 13 incident and sought his intervention in bringing back normalcy to the hospital.

Mr Sat Pal Gossain, a former Deputy Speaker of Punjab, sought an early release of the arrested DMCH employees. The doctors said cases should be registered against policemen guilty of committing excesses during the clashes. They also want an inquiry to trace out the body of a man who allegedly fell to the police bullets on that day. “If he is alive, the police should produce him in court,” doctors said.

The doctors said the reaction of the police and district administration was not only unjustified but also inhumane. Whatever happened on July 13 was mob frenzy. Several employees of the DMCH among the bystanders, including watchmen, canteen workers and many other persons, had suffered police brutality and found themselves charged with attempt to kill. “If convicted, they will have to serve a life term,” said the doctors.

The doctors said Mr Gossain had told them that every effort would be made to normalise the situation. Mr Gossain would visit New Delhi to submit the memorandum to the Prime Minister. “Patients, students, employees and the faculty — all are sufferring because of the closure of the hospital,” said Mr Gossain.

Meanwhile, the DMCH employees on strike postponed the burning of the effigies of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner and the Senior Superintendent of Police, for the time being. Ms Amardeep Kaur, senior staff nurse of the DMCH, said the administration had called the hospital employees for a meeting in the evening. The DMCH employees staged a sit-in in Chatar Singh Park near the bus stand today and sought the withdrawal of the cases against their arrested colleagues.


Panjab University VC inaugurates IT wing
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
“In the 21st century, the world needs intelligent students and demand of the century is for the students who are skilled in computer technology”, said Dr V.N. Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, while inaugurating the new IT wing of Master Tara Singh College this morning.

He said, Information technology is a broad term that engulfs in its fold collection of data, storage retrieval and dissemination. This can bring in a lot of transformation in the field of education. It can make life more comfortable. The Government of India has decided to give IT education to all by 2008”.

The college has started two new labs and have installed 40 computers. The courses introduced are BCA, PGDCA, BA ( IT), B.A. (computer science), diploma in IT, diploma in computer education and several other short courses. Addressing the audience, Mr B.S. Ghuman from Department of Public Administration, and Dr Ramesh, Dean Development College Council, congratulated the college management and the Principal Ms Madanjit Kaur Sahota, for setting up computer labs.

Dr Pathak said the vocational courses in the colleges would be turned into diploma and certificate courses from next year. He further said many colleges have started technical courses within the colleges and are seeking affiliation with both the PU and the PTU too but the dual affiliation would not be permitted.

He said Ludhiana was being made Regional Centre of Panjab University and would function from the PU Extension Library. From next July, a three-year LLB Course would commence. Moreover, orientation course for college teachers would also be held in Ludhiana for the first time which would facilitate the teachers of in and around the city as earlier such courses were held in Chandigarh.


Ek Prayaas’ to help mentally challenged kids
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, yesterday visited ‘Ek Prayaas’ an institute for children with special needs, run by the Social Action Group. Ek Prayaas is a day care centre for children who are mentally challenged having different IQ levels. The school is situated near octroi post on Ferozepore Road .

While going around the school, Mr Aggarwal was briefed by Mrs Samira Bector about the functioning of various groups of children divided according to their mental abilities and age. He was also informed about various training programmes which stresses upon self-help activities, social, functional academics and various vocational training courses to make these children independent . Physiotherapy and speech therapy training helped these children to speak clearly and helps in muscular co-ordination.

The children presented a colourful programme which was appreciated by Mr Aggarwal. Mr Rakesh Mittal patron of the group and members of the managing committee — Mr Ashok Arora, Mrs Maninder Kaur, Mr Manjit Singh, Mrs Sunanda Goel, Mrs Asha Arora, Mr Ajay Bector and Mr Vijay Jaitwani were also present.

On behalf of the managing committee, the principal, Mrs Mannan, thanked Mr Anurag Aggarwal for his visit.


Judicial remand
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 4
Jinder Kaur, a Punjabi teacher of Government Sr Secondary School, Pakhowal, whose punishment to a student resulted in the death of the student, was remanded in judicial custody till August 17, 2002 by the court of Mr H.S. Grewal.Back


Home Guards Commandant’s arrest raises hopes of ‘victims’
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The arrest of the controversial district Home Guards Commandant, Daljit Singh, by the Vigilance Bureau on corruption charges has reopened the wounds of several of his alleged victims, who due to his clout, could not get justice. The arrest has revived their hopes.

Encouraged with the action against the Home Guards Commandant, the victims have now demanded reopening of old cases, while stressing that action should also be taken against those officers who had allegedly abetted the accused.

“Ludhiana Tribune” met two such victims, Mr Ram Singh Sohi, a property dealer and owner of an orchard in Threeke village, and Ms Krishna Devi, a resident of Raj Guru Nagar.

Both had to fight lengthy legal battles but could manage negligible results.

Mr Sohi is fighting a property dispute case with the accused. Several inquiries were held in his case and even though the Commandant was indicted, he managed to get the report modified in his favour.

“The Tribune” had also carried a report exposing his illegal activities and the registration of a case in this regard, but a few days later another inquiry was ordered and Daljit Singh was acquitted of all charges. Instead, a case of cheating was registered against the complainant, Mr Sohi.

Mr Sohi, who had been accusing the Home Guard Commandant of forgery and cheating by preparing fake documents of his property, said all these years no one had been able to nail the accused and give him justice.

Similar had been the plight of Ms Krishna Devi. According to her, Daljit Singh and his relatives got her family falsely implicated in a case because she had dared to stop them from playing near her house.

She had accused the Commandant, of trespassing and threatening but the Ludhiana police registered a case against her, following which she had to fight a lengthy legal battle. Talking to “Ludhiana Tribune” she said with the arrest of the accused, she was hopeful of getting justice.


Hanspal’s appointment brings relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
The appointment of Mr H.S. Hanspal as the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) has come as a relief for the local Congress leaders. Mr Hanspal, who is considered to be close to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, is unlikely to effect any changes in the district Congress, including that of the DCC president, Mr K K Bawa.

Mr Bawa, who was appointed the acting DCC president for Ludhiana (urban) after the then DCC president, Mr Surinder Dawer, was allotted ticket from Ludhiana East, is also a staunch loyalist of the Capt Amarinder Singh. His appointment was resisted by some dissident groups. However, now with Mr Hanspal being the PPCC President, Mr Bawa should find himself firmly in saddle.

A change in the PPCC leadership was in the offing after the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, offered to resign owing to his preoccupation with the government. An atmosphere of uncertainty had cropped up among the local leaders apprehending that they may lose their post in case some person not loyal to Capt Amarinder Singh was made the PPCC President.

While Mr Hanspal’s appointment is seen as a prelude to better functioning and the coordination between the party and the government in the state owing to his proximity with the Chief Minister, all leaders, particularly the district presidents, are feeling relieved hoping that they will not be replaced. Moreover, Mr Hanspal has developed a strong rapport with the local leaders. In fact Ludhiana is considered to be his home district also. Mr Hanspal visited Gurdwara Bhaini Sahib late last night, his first visit after assuming the charge of the PPCC President.

Several local leaders, including the DCC president, Mr K.K. Bawa, senior vice-president of Pradesh Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan and Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka met him in Delhi yesterday to offer their congratulations.


Friendship Day in Satluj Club
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 4
Youngsters danced continuously for over three hours on the specially created dance floor on the sprawling lawns of Satluj Club on the eve of Friendship Day, yesterday night.

The club was decorated with multicoloured balloons and the youngsters, dressed in their best, could be seen enjoying every minute on the floor.

Wearing latest styles, including skirts, trousers, minis and short suits, girls could be seen exchanging greetings and gifts with friends.

The DJ of Studio 69, Bhanu, played the latest hit numbers. Well-versed with the taste of youngsters in the city, Bhanu played their favourite English, Hindi and Punjabi numbers.

The ones appreciated the most were ‘‘sharara shrara and aayo re aayo re maro dholna’’. Children, as well as elders, also took part in the celebrations.

Mr Sunil Jain, general secretary of the club, said that keeping in mind the importance of the day, special arrangements had been made.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, was the chief guest on the occasion.


Mob attacks house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
In a blatant example of lawlessness, nearly 300 armed men attacked a house in Sunder Nagar with an aim to forcibly occupy it this morning. While the police arrived late to rescue the trapped family, the family members, four in number, were left to defend themselves.

Both the parties threw stones and bottles at each other before police came and took away 10 unidentified attackers.


Tractor-trailer crushes child to death
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 4
A child was crushed to death at Shamashpur village, four kilometre from here, on Sunday by a tractor-trailer laden with bricks.

On the statement of Mr Hardyal Singh, a resident of Shamashpur village, the police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304A and 427 of the IPC against the tractor driver, Pritpal Singh of Sounti village.

According to the statement, Hardayal Singh and his nephew, Jiwan Singh (7), came out from a shop after purchasing some articles, when a tractor without number plate, crushed the child. The tractor driver escaped after the accident.

One more held
With the arrest of Balwant Singh Mann today, the number of arrested persons by the Amloh police reached upto 12. Seventeen persons were named in the FIR lodged by Mr Rajesh Khokhar, Executive Officer, Municipal Council, Amloh, on July 13 for damaging the PWD truck and attacking the employees during a campaign against encroachments. They were booked under Sections 353, 186, 427, 148 and 149 of the IPC.


Casio recovered
On the statement of Kalu Ram of Chhauni Mohalla, Ludhiana, a member of the musical group, who had come here to present the show on the marriage in Victoria palace at GT Road that their ‘casio’ had been stolen at about 11.30 pm when the music party was engaged in their dinner police registered a case under Section 379 and 411, IPC. Later, the police arrested Hem Raj, a resident of Railway road and recovered the ‘casio’.



Where education is a mission
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

WITHIN a span of a little over three and a half decades of its birth, Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, has become one of the top educational institutions of the mega city. Every one who is desirous of giving the best education to his wards, wants to get them admitted to the school. In a city where people like to flash their money, palatial houses, big factories and sleek cars, education for the kids in Sacred Heart has become a part of the overall status symbol profile of the family.

Cent per cent results, strictly disciplined children, fluent in English speaking trained to face problems with confidence and equanimity, what else can anyone want? Little wonder them that school education for the children is among the most discussed topics on the social circuit of Ludhiana.

The school which made a humble beginning nearly 35 years ago now has an imposing 134-room building in the city’s trendy Sarabha Nagar. Unlike the Sacred Heart School in Chandigarh, the one in Ludhiana is a co-educational institution with a total strength of about 4,000 students.

Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, has been established and administered by the Bethany Educational Society, Mangalore, Karnataka, India, a Christian Religious Minority Institution. The society was registered in 1948 (Reg. No.17 of 1948-49). Its office is at Bethany Convent, Mangalore. All members of the Bethany Educational Society are Catholic Nuns belonging to the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany.

The school was founded on July 2, 1965 by Mother Macrina B.S., the then President of the Bethany Educational Society and the Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Little Flower of Bethany. The school was established primarily for the education of the Catholic youth. It is open also for all others irrespective of caste, creed and religion. The school is affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, Delhi, for the All-India Senior Secondary School Examination. As such, it follows the syllabi as laid down by the board from time to time.

The school is spread over an area of 9.585 acres. It has 134 rooms, including the administrative. block and the fully equipped laboratories. The school has a KG section. It starts with the LKG class going up to the senior secondary class XII. It has five sections to each class with the four streams in the class XIth (Non Medical, Medical, Commerce and Humanities). A sprawling playfield joins the KG and the High School section of the school. The school has a well-stacked library, with the latest books and journals.

It was at the request made to Sister Violette by Mr. Isa Das, the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, through Father Hyacinth O.F.M.(Cap.), the missionary priest serving in Ludhiana at that time, that the project was initiated. Once the project received the approval and blessings of Mother Macrina BS, the then Superior General of the Congregation, there was no looking back and the school was founded on July 2, 1965. Mgr. Swarbirck O.F.M.(Cap.) Prefect Apostolic of Jalandhar, whom Sr. Violette first approached, not only gave the project his enthusiastic blessing, but also volunteered to help into spadework.

The Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana assigned an abandoned engineering college site for the new school. Since then the school could be conveniently opened on the feast day of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it was christened accordingly. The need for more spacious building was felt soon in view of the rapidly increasing number of admissions. At this juncture, Sister Violette left for USA handing over the reins to Sister Genevieve, the Superior of the Convent, who continued with this pioneering task in new premises. Sister Miriam, a person of vision and a dynamic personality, took over as Principal and rendered yeoman service in the progress of the school. The subsequent Principals, Sister Marie Therese, Sister Rosalie, Sister Maria Leena and Sister Chantal, with their progressive charismatic leadership, continued to hold the Sacred Heart torch aloft. Just when the school had carved a comfortable niche for itself in the society at Ludhiana, the need for a plus two wing was felt and through her determined and consistent efforts, Sister Chantal set the ball rolling. The dream became a reality and gladdened the hearts of many worried parents when Sister Agnella, the Superior General of the Bethany Congregation in 1997, inaugurated the wing. The senior secondary wing of the school offering non-medical, medical, commerce and humanities streams is today a premier institute.Back


I always say my grace in the mornings and in the evenings

Principal Sister Helima’s day begins at four in the morning. And despite her best efforts to do her job quickly, efficiently and diligently, she must remain on her toes till midnight. Running a premier educational institution of Ludhiana with a student population of nearly 4,000 is not an easy task.

Excerpts from an interview with her:

On facing pulls and pressures during admissions to the school

I always say my grace in the mornings and in the evenings. In the morning, I pray to God to give me the courage and moral strength to do my job honestly and without fear and favour. And in the evening, I thank Him for helping me to do just that.

On education’s role in shaping an individual’s personality

Education is not merely the task of transmitting accumulated stock of knowledge, skills, beliefs and wisdom from one generation to another. The overall objective is to explore the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual potentialities of children in order to equip them to adjust themselves to the world in principles and values they have assimilated in the course of their education.

On role of society

The school is, of course, a place for learning but the education which one receives is influenced by the structure of the society and the children, the habits and ideals of the individuals who comprise it. Obviously, the school alone cannot be responsible for the young.

On divine role

No person, situation, accident or illness comes into our lives by mistake. Everything has been carefully planned. We write a script which we then produce, direct and act out. We are a community of people devoted to personal development and healing the planet. No matter what happens in the future, we must understand that the purpose of life is spiritual growth. Nevertheless, we must plant love in hearts frozen by fear. Then we will be privileged to usher real healing in a hurting world.Back





Listen to the

Life calling you

Listen to what birds sing

The splash of water

When runs across your face

Listen to what

Those droplets say

When the loo flowing

Touches your face

Listen to what it says in your ear

When at night clock ticks around

Listen to what it

Has to say to you


And you will hear

Even the speechless

Talking to you

For every time you listen

You will find for sure That

Life will be calling for you.


Sirjana Singh Sodhi, Class XI, Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, LuhdianaBack

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