Monday, September 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Guru Nanak’s teachings are their living ideals
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

THE opening of Guru Nanak Public School, Sector 36, was a dream fulfilled and an ambition realised for a group of luminaries almost 26 years ago. With its name figuring among the top schools of the city, the institution has grown in stature with every passing year.

Chasham, Class VII-A

From a humble beginning in 1974 from a house in Sector 36, the school is set on a sprawling campus of 19 acres since 1976 when it was inaugurated by Giani Zail Singh, the then Chief Minister of Punjab.

Though the school began under with Chairmanship of Sardar Ujjal Singh, former Governor of Orrisa and Tamil Nadu, upto Class VIII on January 1, 1974, it was upgraded in 1976 to Class X and then, again, in 1987 to Class XII.

Founded with the aim to provide a public school open to all Indian youth without any distinction, the idea was to promote all round development of the child in the background of Indian culture and religious heritage, and, thus, inculcate respect for moral and ethical values—all this in the light of the universal teaching of Guru Nanak.

Navneet Kaur, Class X-A

Run by an education trust, the school has over 30 classrooms, well-equipped laboratories, a well-stocked library and open fields for promoting sports activities. Catering to the needs of nearly 1300 students is a faculty of 62 members divided between the junior and senior wing which is run at separate locations.

While the school in Sector 36 houses Classes from VI to XII, the junior wing, recently shifted to the new building in Sector 37, holds upto Class V at its premises. One of the few schools of the city to provide residential accommodation to its students, the school has a separate hostel for boys and girls. In the hostel, the boarders have games in the evening and duly supervised study-periods every day.

Affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary education, education is imparted through various audio-visual aids and computers. In addition, the school provides a wide range of co-curricular activities and arrangements are made for pursuit of hobbies such as electrical gadgets, commercial art, folk dance, music, clay modelling among others.

Sandeep Kaur, Class IX-A

The school also provides standard track for athletics, obstacle course and games like football, hockey, handball, tennis, basket ball to name a few. Plans are also on to provide a squash court at the premises.

All matters of the schools are managed by the members of the Governing Council. These include Justice Ranjit Singh Narula, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, as the Chairman, Dr GS Randhawa, former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University as Vice Chairman, and Ms Pritpal Kaur Vasu, former MLA as the General Secretary.



Application is the essence of teaching’
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

SHE spends her day shuttling between the senior wing and junior wings of the school to carry out surprise checks to maintain discipline. Right from the morning assembly to evening , Principal Jasminder S Singh, the fourth head of the school since its establishment, divides her limited time between office work and students.

On where the Indian Education system is lacking

We tend to lay a lot of stress on memorizing lessons and little on their application, thereby defeating the whole purpose of teaching. There is greater need to go into practical details to leave an indelible impression on young minds. Though some institutions have made conscious efforts in this direction, most are yet to realize the importance of first hand experience and its benefits in teaching.

On the role of co-curricular activities and sports

Bookish knowledge is certainly no barometer for the intelligence of child. How a child presents and carries himself counts in the ultimate analysis. This is where the role of sports and co-curricular activities comes in. Contributing to overall development of the personality of a child, he gets to explore other facets of his personality as well as hidden talents.

On individual attention to students

Every child has different needs and unless we can identify and cater to these, only half the battle is won. At school, we follow a rigourous study schedule as well wherein extra classes are held to ascertain shortcomings of students and rectify these well in time. Parents are called in from time to time to review a child’s progress, communication being a two-way process at our school where we get back to them on our problem sin handling their child.

On Future plans

While we are fully equipped to take on the challenges, the coming times may present, there is always ample scope for improvement. While renovation work is already on in the school, we plan to improve upon the hostel facilities being provided by the school as well as expand our collection of books in the library.

On the school’s mission

The school carries forward its tradition of producing students ready to rise to the occasion in any demanding situation. Moulding them to meet the present needs of society, we train them to lead disciplined lives with emphasis on moral education. The school seeks to do everything to give each child the opportunity and environment to realise his full potential in terms of social adjustment, development of wide-ranging skills and develop love of learning, living and sharing.



My school

A mellow red brick edifice greets you. An indefinable air of sanctum sanctorum surrounds it like a halo, impressing the visitor. Welcome to Guru Nanak Public School.

The first day I entered school, I felt scared and dwarfed by the magnitude of it all. But my teachers and nursery helpers helped me adjust to it and my school became a friendly entity, a sheet anchor. I feel a sense of comfort and happiness as I enter its gates, and its something special that only a few schools can give their students.

Our school throbs with life. You wouldn’t find an apathetic student here. The atmosphere is vibrant and creative. The cozy art and craft and music rooms are bubbling with activity, and the computer and science labs (nerve centers of the school) as well as the library are always full of brainy students.

We are encouraged to excel in academics as well as extra-curricular activities by our Principal and teachers. The focus is not only on winning prizes or scholarships-it is being a well-integrated strong personality who inspires admiration.

Value-based education is the fundamental concept behind our school and we taught the importance of respecting our heritage. My school is a place where I have grown up and it has never failed in supporting me. Our successes have been celebrated and even the most dismal failure seen as starting point for hope. It has imbibed in all of us a spirit of courage and independent thinking. It has made us proud to call it alma mater. Vive La GNPS.

—Sukhmani Sangha, Class XI-A



Poems by students

Kaun Banega Successful

The one who gets up early in the morning.

The one who does exercise daily.

The one who does his homework regularly.

The one who respects and obeys his elders.

The one who never shirks work.

The one who never tells a lie.

The one who works very hard.

The one who loves his country.

—Devbir Singh, Class III

I wish I knew the reason

I wish I knew the reason why

Nature is so beautiful,

Why creations so wonderful,

But its wrath most dreadful.

I wish I knew the reason why

The night comes after day,

Or is it the other way?

For the answer I’d highly pay.

I wish I knew the reason why,

To many, life is so dear,

Why the people are filled with fear

When they know they have to die here?

I wish I knew the reason why,

Death does come,

Late to others, early to some,

Leaving everything silent and numb…..

—Rinita Singh, Class XI-B

A world that is beautiful

You live in a modern world,

I am often told

But I know too, that this is a world too bold

Too bold a world it is ,

where your dreams and hopes are sold

Ah! This world is so cruel and cold!

No, no, I can’t live here

Please God, change this world,

Please change us humans,

Do change our attitudes, too.

Often I dream, and in my dreams

I see a world embedded with flowers

Where a silent breeze blows

And only the chirping of birds can be heard.

I dream of a world without wars,

Where all people are just humans,

Who speak the language of love

Where only one religion is worshiped, that of humanity.

It is a world full of joys, happiness and delight

Where life faces no sorrow or plight

Ah!Yes! A dream world it is

Quite impossible for us to achieve

But at last we can try and try we should

To turn this hell into heaven,

To carve out of this ugly scene,

A world that is beautiful.

—Japinder Kaur, Class IX-B



Learn about UK scholarships
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 8
If you wish to study abroad but do not have the resources, the British Library, Chandigarh, has “some real valuable information” for you. For Indians hoping to pursue academic dreams in the UK, there are over 120 Chevening Scholarships on offer.

The details about these scholarships were provided to about 125 aspirants during an open house session organised at the British Library in Sector 8 yesterday.

A detailed presentation was given on all scholarships and training schemes managed by the British Council with main emphasis on Chevening scholarship.

Addressing the gathering, Assistant Manager Scholarship Nita Dey said the scholarships would be awarded under three different schemes: long term (open) scholarships, short term (professional) scholarships and long term (shared or joint) scholarships.

She revealed that long term (open) scholarships were applicable for one year postgraduate study at any UK university. Different programmes were available under this scheme. Some of them were open human rights scholarships, open social science scholarships and open management scholarships. The short term (professional) scholarships were for working professionals to attend tailor made courses of up to three months. The professional group targeted journalists, lawyers and corporate managers in different sectors. Last date for applying for both the courses was November 30 this year.

The long term (shared or joint) scholarships were applicable for one year postgraduate study at specific UK universities and last date for applications was March 31 next year. The general age of the candidates was normally under 35 years.

Other scholarship schemes included Commonwealth Scholarships, Fellowships programme, British Overseas Industrial Placement, Scheme International Networking Programme, Charles Wallace India Trust Programme were introduced to the aspirants. Ms Nita Dey answered the queries of the candidates. The manager of the library, Mr Sushanta Banerjee, gave a welcome note to the candidates.


Association formed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A regional chapter of the Association of British Scholars, a forum to facilitate the networking of those who have had education or training in the UK, has been set up in Chandigarh. The ABS aims at encouraging information-sharing, contact-making and social interaction as well as strengthening Indo-UK relations by harnessing resources, expertise and potential of every British scholar.

Persons interested may contact either the British Library or Mr D.V. Bhatia, 2116, Sector 21-C, Chandigarh. The British High Commissioner to India will formally inaugurate the Chandigarh chapter on September 12.



Functions, rallies mark World Literacy Day
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, September 8
World Literacy Day was observed in Government High School, Mauli Colony, here today. A function was organised by the Regional Resource Centre for Adult Education, Panjab University, in collaboration with the Adult Education unit of the UT Administration.

Prodh Vikas Sammelan, which linked livelihood activities with literacy, was the highlight of the programme. A number of development agencies participated in the programme.

Mr M. Ramsekhar, Deputy Commissioner, inaugurated the programme.

Case studies were presented by learners of adult education centres. Masses were informed that there were about 360 continuing education centres functioning in different parts of the city. They were also sensitised to link development with literacy.

Earlier, rallies were held on September 6 in this connection. Ms Manjeet Paintal, Director of the PU Regional Resource Centre, and Ms Sudesh Kalra, Deputy Director of the Female Literacy Cell, and Mr Arjun Kamboj, coordinated the camp.

Among the best model ‘preraks’ the first prize was awarded to Ms Urvashi Sharma, Mr Jasbir Singh was second, while the third prize was bagged by Ms Sharda Sharma. Usha Srivastava, Noor Jahan and Manjit Kaur were also awarded on the occasion. The best learner awards were bagged by Muni Devi, Manjit Kaur and Rooma. Taranjit, Pooja and Sudami were given prizes for excellence in handwriting.

Meanwhile, school and college students as well as local community leaders participated in large numbers in a rally organised to mark World Literacy Day, here on Sunday at Khuda Alisher village.

Organised by the Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension, Panjab University, in collaboration with Government Home Science College, the rally was flagged off by the Director of the department, Dr Ajaib Singh.

He said the literacy rate in India had increased from a mere 16 per cent to 65 per cent, but even now India had the highest number of illiterates in the world. He said it was the duty of every individual, especially college and school students, to teach adult illiterates.

The sarpanch of the village, Ms Jasbir Kaur, said the panchayat was ensuring that every child attended school and a centre for imparting education to adults had also been opened.

A senior lecturer of Government Home Science College, Ms R. Brinder Singh, said their college was catering to the needs of local women by organising various educational courses.

Ms Renu Gandhi, project officer, said social development was related to education of the masses.

Mr Surinder Verma, chairman, Citizens Awareness Group, an NGO, flagged off a rally from Government Senior Secondary School, Ram Darbar, Phase-II, Chandigarh, on Friday. About 200 new-literates, ‘preraks’ and nodal ‘preraks’ of Adult Education Centres of Sectors 40 and 21, run by the District Literacy Council of Chandigarh Administration, participated in the rally.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Verma appealed people to come forward and join hands to make the National Literacy Mission a success as it was high time that Chandigarh joined the group of cities having 100 per cent literacy. He exhorted the target group to bring literacy awareness among the masses. Illiteracy was the main cause of poverty and unemployment, he said.

The rally was organised to mark World Literacy Day. Ms Chanderkala, nodal ‘prerak’ of Ram Darbar Phase-I and II, and Ms Santosh, nodal ‘prerak’ of Hallomajra, led the rally.



HPU recognises Vidya Bhavan courses
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The one-year postgraduate diploma courses in journalism, public relations and mass communication conducted by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan have been given recognition by Himachal Pradesh University.

These courses have been recognised by the university as eligible qualification for its master’s degree in mass communication, the Principal of the college, Dr P.K. Vasudeva, said here today.

At a seminar on the implications of the WTO in higher education, he said that the Bhavan’s postgraduate diplomas in journalism and public relations had also been recognised as condition for admission to the master of mass communication course of Guru Jambeshwar University, Hisar, through distance learning.

The IMT, Ghaziabad, a management institute of the country rated amongst the top 10 institutes, has exempted the subjects already passed by the students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan for its postgraduate diploma in management, he added.



Seminar on role of teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
The NSS unit of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, organised a seminar on the “Role of teachers and students in eradicating illiteracy” to mark World Literacy Day here today.

The Director, NSS, Panjab University, Dr CL Narang, emphasised the motivational and inspirational role that teachers could play in the lives of students and that it went a long way in moulding their lives. He stated that it was the duty of each citizen and teacher to contribute towards the campaign started to eradicate illiteracy.

Over 10 speakers participated in the seminar and raised issues like student-teacher relationship, incentives to children for education, transforming effects of education, urgency to spread education, among others. All participants were given prizes. These included Mansi, Satpreet, Ruchi, Jyoti, Sarabdeep, Hemlata, Kaneka, Aarti, Vineeta and Harpreet.

The Programme Officers, NSS, Ms Mini Grewal and Ms Jatinder Kaur, and other volunteers took a pledge to fight social evils.



Students threaten self-immolation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
With the strike by students of Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College entering the 32nd day today, the Students Welfare Council gave a memorandum to the Administrator, Lieut-Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd), threatening self-immolation if the matter was not resolved by tomorrow.

The council in its memorandum, copies of which have been given to the Punjab Chief Minister, the Adviser to the Administrator and the police, has threatened that students would self-immolate themselves in front of the principal’s office tomorrow morning. They said despite their repeated requests to various quarters to intervene, nothing had been done so far.



Arts and crafts from the lagoon land
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
For the sixth time in a row, the office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, is organising Kairali, an exhibition of Kerala’s rich arts and crafts at Panchayat Bhavan here.

Aimed at generating resources for poor artisans who are preserving the age-old arts despite pressure of commercialisation, the exhibition will be on till September 17. Participating in the show are about 20 artisans from Kerala along with some others from Delhi and other parts of the country. On the display are a variety of handloom, handicrafts and art products like Kerela’s traditional lamps, special cane furniture, special chandan battis and dhoop battis, Thazhapaya, Pullupaya rags and mats, along with a host of other traditional items from the land of lagoons.

In the section of handloom, all varieties of Kerela’s as also of south silk are on display. Also, weaved cotton garments have their own nostalgic charm. Silk sarees with traditional motifs woven into the fabric by master craftsmen are equally enchanting.

Apart from this, there is a wide variety of traditionally-woven satin bedcovers and bedsheets, apart from the huge traditional Kerala lamps, which are created by artisans over period of many months. The exhibition will sell products at 10 per cent discount from the normal price. The idea is to establish a direct link of the customer with the artisan.


An affair of grace and rhythm
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
A host of traditional and folk dances made the evening at Pracheen Kala Kendra worthwhile yesterday. Put together by the students of the kendra, the variety show was a big success, as it featured Manipuri, kathak, Rajasthani and harvest dance.

To begin with, Rupinder, Navdeep, Kavita, Nidhi and Gurdeep presented single hand and both hand gestures, quintessential to any classical dance form. These included the pataka, ardhapataka, kartrimikh, shatak shankha and many more gestures. This was followed by Lai-haruba, literally meaning a dance of joy in Manipuri. The presentation was the result of three-month training imparted to students by M.L. Koser, during the three-month long period.

In the second part of the show, Priya Dutta, Shobha Koser’s student, presented kathak recital bringing the vigour of the dance form alive. Beginning with the invocation of the Lord, Priya went on to explain through her movement the rich technique of this North Indian classical dance style. After classical dances. children between 5 and 11 years of age presented a Rajasthani dance, which was choreographed by Samira Koser. Thereafter a harvest dance was presented by Rupinder, Kavita, Nevdeep and Nidhi. Bringing out the joy of harvesting, the dancers looked graceful on the stage.



Punjabi in essence, emotional in content
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 8
For long, the world of Punjabi films has been searching for a script which can appeal to a wider audience. And whereas romance, as the content of any good film, is eternal, it is high time script writers thought beyond that. At least so thinks the Delhi-based producer and writer of ‘Sajna pardesi,’ the latest Punjabi film.

With a director in Ashish Khurana, who has assisted Ravi Rai, and a dialogue writer in Punjabi playwright Bhupinder Bali, Parveen Kakkar is all set to tread a new path. The film is essentially emotional, with its content having been drawn from true case histories of displaced Punjabis, who, in the urge of leaving their land and making it big in foreign lands, are often taken for a ride by the mafia involved in illegal immigration.

To be set in Punjab, the film will trace the pain of families of people adamant on seeking a living abroad. In their urge to make money, they fall into the trap of the mafia, which uses them to its benefit, never helps them settle in an alien land and more often than not, leaves them to fend for themselves in countries where they are strangers. The film will capture the pain which illegal immigrants go through.

Kakkar, currently in town to hold auditions for his film, talked about the script, which took six months to be completed.”I was myself living abroad for a long time. And during my stint abroad, I came across various Punjabis who told me heart rending stories of their displacement from their homeland. They talked of how they were robbed off their money by immigration agents. Touched by their pain, I felt it was important to put across a message that if you have enough land to till back home, why do you want to earn few bucks by washing utensils in alien lands? We are making an attempt through cinema. Let us see how far we reach,” he said.

Kakkar added, “We have been wondering why no film-maker has ever picked up this topic, which touches every Punjabi heart simply because we have the largest number of immigrants from Punjab, especially the Malwa beft and the Doaba belt. There it is a tradition to send one son abroad, little realising how much a family can lose in the bargain.” To be shot entirely in Punjab, the film will be released by March, 2003. It will have music by Harpreet Singh and playback by Lucky Singh.

A challenging script as it was, Kakkar required an intense professional to handle its screenplay. In Bhupinder Bali, the playwright who has authored ‘Mitti da bawa,’ ‘Ais chowk ton sheher disda hai,’ ‘Usnu kahin,’ and now ‘Srijna,’ Kakkar got the man he needed. Talking about the needs of dialogue writing, Mr Bhupinder said, “When you are writing a story as a playwright, you are at an intellectually high level. But when you are writing dialogues, you have to compromise at various levels. However, this story is different. It is highly sensitive and touching. Doing dialogues for this film is as good as writing a deep, intense play.”

Casting for the film is the next big thing. Talk is on with stars of the order of Rajeshwari Sachdeva, Divya Dutta, Rakesh Bedi and others. The film will have six lead characters, out of which two will be the ones who will play displaced Punjabis.


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