Tuesday, September 17, 2002, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


City school tops in small savings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS) in Sector 46 here has been adjudged the overall best school in the country for the financial year ending March 2002 in terms of small savings. The school had garnered a deposit of Rs 23.35 lakh from students who are members of small savings schemes.

The honour for the school was announced as the Chandigarh Administration in association with the National Savings Organisations and the Directorate of Small Savings celebrated Sanchayika Day (children’s own bank) at Government Model Senior Secondary School in Sector 10 here today.

The Finance Secretary, Mr Karan A. Singh, while presiding over the function stressed the need to promote savings, especially at young age, as is being done in the case of the Sanchayika scheme. He commended the efforts of small savings officials for achieving their target in the past several years.

The Regional Director, National Savings, Punjab and UT, Mr M.K. Malhotra, talked about the role of Sanchayika in small savings. He said in Chandigarh, as many as 119 schools with 90000 students had been covered under the scheme and an amount of Rs 2.88 crore had been deposited.

Among ordinary schools, the first trophy went to Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 22-B, whereas Government. Senior Secondary School, Dhanas, was adjudged the best school among the rural areas of Chandigarh. Similarly, among private schools, Vedic Girls Senior Secondary School, Mani Majra, was awarded the trophy for its best performance.

The District Savings Officer, Mr Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, said the targets given by the Government of India during the past five years were achieved. Small savings agents played vital role in collecting Rs 200 crore as gross deposit in 2001-2002.


Role of ozone layer highlighted
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
A paper-reading contest was organised at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, to mark “Day for the preservation of ozone layer”, here today.

Three schools participated and the best entry from each participating school was awarded a trophy. The winners were Rimpi of Government Senior Secondary School (Banur), Gagandeep Singh of Government Model Senior Secondary School (Mohali) and Maninder Singh Dhaliwal of D.A.V. Senior Secondary School, Sector 8.

On this occasion, Dr Anjani Kumar, Director, Global Biotech, interacted with the participants and made them aware of the role of vegetation in the preservation of ozone layer. He gave a speech on different categories of soil and the importance of different plants like jamun, guava and amla that help in the preservation of global environment.

Later, the school captain of the Eco Club, Devianshu, helped the students understand the significance and need of ozone layer with the help of slides of graphs, pictures and diagrammatic representation of the earth’s atmospheric layers, effect of solar radiations on the ozone layer and the ozone hole.

The students were also taken to the ‘green house’ which is located on the school premises to guide them regarding the use and importance of the herbal plants like kasturi and haldi.

Earlier, the programme began with a welcome address by Dr Vikas Kohli, general secretary, Indian Council for Environment Education. He also spoke on the importance and preservation of ozone layer.


Bronze casting workshop gets under way
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
A 12-day regional bronze casting workshop organised by the Government College of Art, in association with the Lalit Kala Akademy, Regional Centre, Garhi, has brought 10 experts to the college, giving the students an opportunity to learn about this ancient form of art for the first time in the college history. The camp was inaugurated at the department of Sculpture of the college in Sector 10 here today.

The 10 artists hailing from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh will demonstrate various techniques used in metal casting in an interactive manner. “The camp aims at disseminating information about bronze casting techniques,” said Mr Awanti Kany Deo, in charge of the Lalit Kala Akademi, Regional Centre, Garhi.

“The college has been chosen as the venue for this regional camp as a large number of students will have access to the expertise of the participating artists” said Mr Brahm Prakash, Principal of the college. He also said it was for the first time that the college students would participate in a metal casting camp.

The participating artists include Paramjit Singh Rana from Punjab, Chander Parkash and Bishamber Mehta from Jammu and Kashmir, Shubhika Lal and Partap Chander Sena from Haryana, Amitava Bhowmick, K P Soman and Ajay Kumar Rana from Delhi and Gurpreet Kaur and Manmadha Rao from Chandigarh.

Though each artist will follow his own signature style in bronze casting, most of them seem to have chosen environment as their theme. Bishamber Mehta is using a globe and few symbolic representations from nature, while Gurpreet Kaur is working on a landscape. Paramjit Singh Rana from Punjab has started with a sketch of self, portraying himself as a half tree and half human, which he plans to convert into a statue.

Some have explored themes like childhood and others are working on abstract like Ajay Kumar Rana who is capturing the nostalgic memories of his childhood. However, most interesting of them all is Amitava Bhowmick’s sculpture combining human and insect through which he tries to apologise for the sins he had committed against the nature.

The workshop was inaugurated by Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Public Relations, Chandigarh Administration. It will conclude on September 27 with the display of the final products.


‘Vivekananda’s teachings more relevant today’
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Making an impassioned plea to check the erosion of values, integrity and commitment, the Secretary, Rama Krishna Mission, New Delhi, Shri Gokulananda, said Swami Vivekananda’s teachings were more relevant in today’s world and could help retain its lost glory.

He was speaking on “Message of Swami Vivekananda” at the inaugural function of the UGC Centre for Vivekananda Studies at ICSSR, Panjab University, here today.

Complimenting the university for initiating steps to start the centre, the Swami recalled the significance of the four values — “shraddha”, “virya”, “atma-jnana” and “seva” — propagated by Swami Vivekananda.

Elaborating on these values, he highlighted the need for having faith in elders, teachers, one’s own self and in the greatness of Indian culture. He said there was a need to overcome the weakness of body and mind and attain physical as well as spiritual strength.

Swami Brahmeshananda, Secretary of the Chandigarh unit, said Vivekananda should not be seen as a mystic or spiritual leader alone but as a great sociologist, economist and nation-builder.

He said Swami Vivekananda emphasised the need to realise the divine nature. He added that education should help people to practise all great moral virtues in life and to structure a society in which a man of integrity could live and prosper.

In his presidential address, Prof KN Pathak, Vice-Chancellor, said the objective of the centre was to study great Indian thinkers who had helped to provide a cultural and ethical identity to the country.

The Coordinator of the centre, Prof Rekha Jhanji Brar, said Swami Vivekananda was devoted to the life of reason and insisted that even in religion, nothing should be accepted without experiencing it. She said the centre would bring out a volume on the philosophy of Swami Vivekananda by the end of this year.



Aspiring air hostesses felicitated
Our Correspondent

TV personality Savita Bhatti interacts with a batch of air hostesses
TV personality Savita Bhatti interacts with a batch of air hostesses and flight stewards at a function organised by the National Institute of Technical Education in Chandigarh on Monday. 
— Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, September 16
At least 25 aspiring air hostesses and flight stewards were awarded certificates by TV personality Savita Bhatti at a hotel in Sector 35 here today. The function, called “Flying Colours”, marked the culmination of a 10-day workshop organised by the National Institute of Technical Education.

The workshop focused on fundamental information about various airlines, grooming, etiquette, communication, teamwork and the technical aspects of flying like safety and emergency procedures. Another such workshop will be conducted by the institute from October 3 to 20.


Talk on developing self-esteem
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
Develop self-esteem and self confidence. This was the message conveyed to youngsters by Dr Pitanjanli Dev Nayar, resource person, adolescent health, World Health Organisation.

Addressing a gathering during an interactive talk on “Body image and related issues amongst adolescents”, Dr Nayar said Cooperation of parents, teachers and adolescents themselves in this regard is required. The talk was organised by the Paediatrics Department of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Along with the GMCH-32 Director Principal, Professor S.B.S. Mann, students and teachers of Sector 22 Shishu Niketan school, Sector 42, Girls College and Sector 46 Government College were also present.


Training programme for NSS officers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Inaugurating a three-day UTA training programme for NSS programme officers here today, Vice-Chancellor K.N. Pathak exhorted teachers and students to play a vital role in creating awareness about AIDS.

Addressing 50 NSS programme officers and peer educators drawn from various universities of North India, he said it was a national programme and the NSS ought to contribute in the awareness activity.

The Assistant Programme Adviser, NSS, Dr Gopal Ji said teachers were the only hope to meet the challenge of the disease. Mr S.M. Kant, State Liaison Officer, said it was essential to inculcate moral values among students for the creation of a healthy society.

The Director, NSS, Panjab University, Dr C.L. Narang, presented the vote of thanks. He said the media should play a responsible role for the creation of a healthy environment.



ICWAI results

The result of the ICWAI exams was declared today and the candidates with following numbers have been declared passed for the exams held in June 2002: Final complete pass: 903088, 903141, 903168, 903520, 903782, 903918; Final stage III: 903192, 903328, 903440, 903512, 903758, 90392; Final stage IV: 903379; inter complete pass: 503642, 504176, 504441; inter stage I: 503757, 504168, 504221 and for foundation course: 37602, 37603, 37605, 37615, 37616, 37619, 37620, 37625, 37626, 37627, 37630, 37632, 37635, 37637, 37639, 37641 and 37643. TNS


Take action on lapses in amusement parks
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
Taking a serious view of a report submitted by an expert committee regarding safety lapses in certain amusement parks spread in the state of Punjab, a Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the authorities concerned to inform why action should not be initiated on the basis of the report.

Issuing the directions, the Bench, comprising Mr Justice G.S. Singhvi and Ms Kiran Anand Lall, also issued notice to the state of Haryana in this regard. The High Court had earlier directed the shutting down of all operations at Thunder Zone Water Park Resort near SAS Nagar following the death of a six-year-old boy. The court had also directed Punjab’s Chief Secretary “to have the matter thoroughly investigated and to fix the responsibility of officers concerned who granted-licence for opening the amusement park without safety arrangements and which have proved to be a death trap for an innocent child”.

Rishab Kapoor, enjoying a picnic with his family, was drowned on June 28 in a pool at Thunder Zone, a few kilometres from SAS Nagar on Sirhind road. The family had alleged that there was no one to guide the family and to inform them that the pool was six-ft deep. They had further alleged that there was neither an ambulance nor a doctor at the spot.

Complainant must link firm to accused

It is essential for the complainant to specify that an accused in a fertiliser case is in any manner responsible for the management and control of the manufacturing concern, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled in a significant judgement.

Delivering the verdict, Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the High Court ruled: “I find that before any evidence is led by the prosecution, it is essential for the complainant to specifically aver in the complaint that a person being accused of Fertiliser Control Order violation is in any manner responsible for the management and control of the manufacturing concern. In the absence of any such averment, the person cannot be arrayed as an accused in the complaint”.

Referring to the petition filed by a Kurukshetra district resident, Mr Justice Mittal added: “Since in the present case no averment has been made against the petitioner.... In these circumstances, I quash the complaint against the petitioner along with all consequential proceedings against him. However, the quashing of the complaint against the petitioner would have absolutely no bearing or any other effect upon the continuation thereof against the remaining co-accused”.

In his petition, Mr Deepak Kumar had contended that there was no averment in the complaint against him and he was not in any manner responsible for the management and the control of the manufacturing concern.


Fraud case: man sentenced
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
A 52-year-old man, Besseria Ram, was sentenced to two years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000 in a case of cheating by the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, today. In case of default of the fine the accused has to undergo two months more rigorous imprisonment. However, the court has acquitted Jeet Ram.

The case against the accused was registered under Sections 420, 406 and 120-B of the IPC at Sector 36 police station on the complaint of Mr S.N. Kumar.


Pammi Bai is committed to traditional folk
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 16
He is one Punjabi singer who wants to stick to his roots. Unnerved by the waning popularity of Punjabi folk, Paramjit Singh Sidhu aka Pammi Bai, refuses to go by the popular diktats of churning Punjabi pop.

“Let the winds of change sweep past me, I refuse to be swept off my feet by any of them, he reiterates.” There is no creativity involved in giving a westernised treatment to folk songs. But it is certainly difficult to follow the rules of folk music in letter and spirit , and even then win acclaim, “ he says.

Pammi Bai, the singing dancer (as he describes himself), was here to promote his latest album, ‘Kisda Ram Kisda Allah.’ Like all his earlier works, this album too is a traditional folk, with a deep message for humanity. The album which features devotional songs and songs giving social message was released on September 15.

The singer says he insists on folk music and dance because he wants the new generation to understand and appreciate their culture. “ What they see is more of disco bhangra. They do not know of the rich art forms like Jhoomar, Malwai Giddha or Dhandas. So I am making efforts to document these for the next generation through my cassettes and music videos., “ he says.

Lambasting the artistes in Punjabi music world , he says that they have desecrecated the folk music and dance of Punjab. “ Where in Punjab would one see a skimpily clad woman dancing to bhangra beats ? I have waged a war against such projection of Punjabiyat, and so far feel that I have been successful.” he says.

Pammi Bai began his career as a class I officer in North Zone Cultural Centre (NZCC) , Patiala. After working there in different capacities, he worked as director, culture, Punjab Police.” It was then I realised that there was more to my life. I decided to pursue my dreams of carving a niche for myself in Punjabi music world. The initial years were full of struggle till I got a break with HMV music recording company, “ he says.

Till date, he has released three professional cassettes — Dance with Pammi Bai’, ‘Majhe Malwe Doabe Diyan Boliyan’ and ‘Nach nach pauni Dhamaal’ . He has performed in several countries and his performance has been appreciated. “ Punjabi music is so enriching and universal that even foreigners automatically dance to the beats, “ he says.

Talking of his future plans, he says that he plans to open an academy to train folk singers and dancers. “I see myself in this line for another five years and will then give way to budding artistes,” he says. 


Treasure left in oblivion
Parbina Rashid

Chandigarh, September 16
If you want to peep into the history of this region, there is a treasure house of information right here. The Punjab State Archives in Sector 38 houses authentic information on almost all events that took place between 1872 and 1947 and later in the region. However, despite having about 10 lakh files in the form of gazettes, secreteriat records and manuscripts in its possession, the archive has yet to make its presence felt both to casual visitors and research scholars.

Housed in a two-floor building, the archive lacks basic amenities like proper indexing of the material or proper ambience to encourage visitors. Stacks of ageing files lined up in dark rooms, devoid of necessary furniture present a sorry figure to anyone visiting the archive for the first time. Though the enthusiastic staff members are there to help out the scholars in their hunt for necessary documents, without a catalogue to guide them, the scholars are often left in the lurch.

“Many a time we have no idea where to look for a particular piece of information, as catalogues have not been maintained,” says a research scholar from the Department of History, Panjab University. However, the woes of research scholar do not end here as the Punjab State Archives is operating under two branches with no clear cut division of material in both of them.

The other branch of the archive in Patiala offers information on erstwhile princely states that include Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Kapurthala, Faridkot, Nalagarh and Malerkotla, while the main branch in Chandigarh deals with the overall Punjab scenario. It is open confusing even for the staff to tell its readers about where to find the required information, said a source.

The department had mooted a plan about six years ago to shift the Patiala branch to the headquarters, but due to financial problem the proposal never materialised. “The Department of Cultural Affairs, Punjab, under which the Punjab State Archives falls, was given the final nod to shift the contents of the Patiala archive into the main building here as soon as the construction of all six floors of the present building was completed,” said the source, adding that it never got completed.

“The archive has a lot to offer both to the common man and research scholars but it needs to be revamped in order to encourage visitors,” said Prof Indu Banga from History Department of Panjab University. “Besides adding the necessary infrastructure to make it pleasant, the archive authority should also encourage college and university students to make educational trip to their library and portrait gallery,” she added.

To overcome the indexing problem, Panjab University had suggested the archive authority to engage Library Science students so that they could get a first hand information on indexing, said Prof Banga. But as there was no response from the authority, the suggestion was never enforced into action.

“To collect research material and the necessary information, one needs to spend about five to six hours in the building, which could be made more pleasant if certain arrangement for tea and other refreshments are provided by the authority for a price,” said another research scholar.

The archive, which has a commendable collection of freedom fighters and martyrs in their portrait gallery, has practically no visitors. According to information available, even the number of research scholars that visit the archives does not exceed beyond 50 per year. “Earlier, to popularise the archive among common masses, the department used to hold exhibitions, but this also has been discontinued due to financial constrains,” said another source.


Who will buy Husain’s painting?
A.S. Prashar
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 16
One of India’s most celebrated modern painter, M.F. Husain, has promised to keep his date with Chandigarhians next month. But a missive from him has sent the office-bearers of the Aruna Asaf Ali Trust in a tizzy and put a question mark on his visit.

Husain is scheduled to visit Chandigarh in the first half of next month to rise funds for the cash-strapped Aruna Asaf Ali Memorial Trust set up by the Punjab Istri Sabha in 1996 in memory of one of the leading lights of the Quit India movement. As a part of the understanding with the trust, Husain will paint on the spot during a function to be organised by the trust next month. He will then allow his painting to be sold to the highest bidder and hand over the proceeds to the trust for use for charitable purposes.

Husain has, however, now conveyed to the trust that he will come to Chandigarh to paint only if the members of the trust can ensure that his painting will be sold for not less than Rs 15 lakh. It has been emphasised on behalf of Husain that his paintings sell for a minimum of Rs 25 lakh in the open market. In the case of the trust, he is willing to make an exception and allow it to be sold for Rs 15 lakh. But before doing that, the trust must find a buyer for his painting.

This has naturally created a stir among the trust members who include its president, Mr P.H. Vaishnav, retired Chief Secretary to the Punjab government, Ms Oshima Raikhy, managing trustee, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, M.P., Ms Vimla Dang, honorary secretary, Punjab Istri Sabha Relief Trust, Ms Sheila Didi and Mr Anupam Gupta, lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Ms Mahinder Sambar, general secretary, Punjab Istri Sabha, and Ms Nomita Singh, a leading architect of the City Beautiful.

They are now doing their best to locate for a proper buyer for Husain’s painting. The search in Chandigarh has drawn a blank. As one observer put it, Chandigarh is a city of babus...they neither have the will nor the inclination to spend that of money to buy a painting, even if it is a Husain. The search has, therefore, now shifted to Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab which alone generates the kind of wealth needed to buy a Husain painting. But as the date of visit to Chandigarh comes closer, there is a certain amount of desperation among the trust members.

“We don’t want to miss this chance to be associated with M.F. Husain and raise the much-needed funds for the trust”, says Ms Raikhy. “We have already finalised arrangements for his stay and a dinner party to be attended by the leading lights of the city. He will paint the next morning and is expected to finish the job by mid-day. The painting will then be auctioned. But the Rs 15 lakh-rider by Husain has made the situation rather delicate for the trust members.”

A close of friend Husain and an eminent dialogue writer, Mrs Uma Rakesh Nath, has already donated four autographed prints of paintings by Husain. These prints are being put up for sale at Art Folio (House Number 351, Sector 9) at bids upwards of Rs 10,000. These may not be difficult to dispose of. It is the sale of the original, on the spot painting by Husain which is a different ball game altogether and forcing the trust members to keep their fingers crossed.


‘Balle Balle Boys’ doing balle balle business

MUSIC album ‘Laddoo Kha’ was released in January, 2001. The song ‘My name is Manjeet’ topped the charts and had been on Channel V, MTV, B4U and other music channels on the highest rotation. ‘My name is Manjeet’ has been rendered by ‘Balle Balle Boys’ (two brothers Vineet and Navdeep Singh) from Bangalore. ‘Balle Balle Boys’ have come up with yet another album, ‘B’ for Balle Balle Boys. It is the only album in the world with all songs beginning with the same alphabet ‘B’. The first video of this album ‘Baabe Karade Ishq’, a parody on Devdas, Spiderman, Bend it like Beckham and Men in Black, is already on the air.

Though the duo of Vineet and Navdeep sport a different look, their music is also different. Vineet also doubles as executive vice-president with Saatchi and Saatchi, while Navdeep runs a music studio doing ‘Jingles’ for television and radio. ‘Laddoo Kha’, album of ‘Balle Balle Boys’ sold more than one lakh discs.

‘Balle Balle Boys’ have a unique sound, ‘bhangra rock’, that blends energetic rock with a unique bhangra flavour, giving rise to a sound that is original and has become popular with music lovers.

‘Balle Balle Boys’ were the only singers chosen by Channel V and B4U for their live shows across 11 cities of India in 2001. Both brothers got a good response for their song ‘My name is Manjeet’.... They exposed the audience to their simple and fun-loving songs. “Our songs are totally fun, no deeper meaning than that. We usually use Punjabi , English and Hindi effectively. Our music has helped to build a perfect bridge between Punjabi folk and western contemporary rock”, say Vineet and Navdeep.

All the songs in the new album ‘B’ for Balle Balle Boys’ begin with the same alphabet ‘B’. A special song is dedicated to FM radio ‘Balle Balle radio’ and a song in English ‘Boom’! ‘B’ for Balle Balle Boys’ was conceived in New York. The presentation in this album is young, pacy, naughty, urban and down to earth and is guaranteed to bring laughter. D.P


Touching the theme of female sexuality
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 16
Manchan, a well-known theatre outfit of the region, staged one of its production “Main Taan Ik Sarangi Haan”, a Punjabi play, that captured the agony of suppressed souls in form of three middle-aged women characters, who yearn to be free. The play, treating female sexuality at a peripheral level, probes deeper into female independence.

The play revolves around three main women characters — the calm faithful Geeta, the practical Pal, who adopts a middle path to satisfy her desires remaining within the social gambit, and the extreme amoral Meena, who thinks nothing wrong in exploiting men for her own benefits. The separate threads of their lives are skillfully woven together to unravel their dark designs yet hitting at the reality. The play was written and directed by renowned playwright and director Atamjit. The three major characters were played by Sangeeta, Anita Shabdeesh and Preeti Sakhuja. The set designs and special light effects were created by Ashok Sagar Bhagat. 


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