Friday, December 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Harassment case: principals’ representative 
meets lecturer
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 12
A representative of the Principals’ Association of the state, was in the city today to look into the issue of sexual harassment of a young teacher of Satish Dhawan College for Boys.

However, the representative failed to meet the victim even though he claimed of conducting a thorough probe into the case.

The committee comprising five principals, including Ms G.K. Jaggi, Principal, Government, College for Girls, Patiala, Prof H.S Punia, Principal, Brajindra Government College, Faridkot, Prof J.R. Ahuja, Principal, Government College, Nial Patran, Dr Raj Kumar Sharma, President of the Government College Principals’ Association, had urged Dr Tarsem Dhaliwal, Principal, Government Ranvir College, Sangrur, to look into the matter and submit the report to the association.

Dr Dhaliwal met several faulty members of Boys College and collected all the relevant documents. He however, did not meet the teacher, Ms Anurag Gill, who alleges that she was a victim of sexual harassment.

Ms Gill while speaking to The Tribune said nobody not contacted her personally or on the phone. She said she was hearing for the first time that the representative was in the city to conduct an inquiry into the case.

Talking to the mediapersons, Dr Dhaliwal said the inquiry report would be submitted within a week. All principals of the committee would meet in Patiala tomorrow and take stock of the situation.

The issue has been hanging fire since mid November. While the college authorities termed it as a disciplinary issue, the teacher Ms Gill, called it ‘sexual harassment’. Ms Gill had gone to take the English class the BA Ist year, Section F, Compulsory English, when she found obscene caricatures bearing her name drawn on the wall of the classroom.

The Principal, Mr VP Gaur, claimed that he was not informed about the incident. He only came to know when the 16 boys expelled from class threatened to go on strike.

Advised by Professor Sohi, they decided to talk to the Principal.

The Principal told them to write an apology letter. Soon after, Ms Gill lodged a complaint against the boys.

The Principal said she would get the apology letter from the boys. But she demanded that an inquiry committee should be constituted as per the landmark judgement of the Supreme Court under Vishaka vs State of Rajasthan case.

The college accepted the demand and constituted a five-member staff member committee comprising all women teachers.

The college authorities decided to change the section of the boys but the teacher tendered her resignation on the grounds that boys were let off scot free.



‘Education for all is the need of hour’
Naveen S. Garewal and Surinder Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 12
Education is the right of every individual, and every citizen of the country ought to be concerned about the quality of education being imparted. Non-governmental organisations and other voluntary organisations must come forward to improve the standards of education as everything cannot be left for the government to do.

This was stated by Mr Hari Jaisingh, Editor of The Tribune while delivering an address at the 4th annual day celebrations of the Om Parkash Bansal Modern School here today.

Mr Jaisingh suggested a close interaction with teachers and students who form important part of society to get a feedback on what can be done for improving the educational system. “We all have to join hands in ensuring the right to quality education and in this regard much voluntary effort is required”, he observed, while lauding the role of the Om Parkash Bansal Educational Trust in promotion of education in the area.

Emphasising the need for providing education to the underprivileged, Mr Jaisingh pointed out: “We have to think about the havenots and poor in society as their children cannot afford good education like those belonging to the privileged class although they are in no way less capable”. For a nation to go forward and compete with the rest of the world, we have to ensure that lakhs of flowers bloom and education is not restricted to a limited few, he said. “We must, therefore, shift the focus of education away from the government to voluntary efforts to generate opportunity for the poor and backward in society”, he observed, while regretting that even after 54 years of Independence, 40 to 50 per cent of the people still lived below the poverty line and could not even think of educating their children.

The students presented a spectacular and colourful cultural programme on the occasion. This included kits, plays, dances and shabad gayan. It is worth mentioning that all the 715 students of the school participated in one event or the other. They captivated the audience keeping it spell bound with their outstanding performance.

Later, they were presented awards by Mr Hari Jaisingh. The best student award was bagged by Preeti Gautam. Priyanka Pathak and Kudrat Cheema got awards for their academic excellence. The best house trophy for the year was given to Radha-Krishan House. The Editor congratulated the students for their outstanding performance in studies and extra curricular activities.

Mr Jaisingh advised the children to develop an inquisitive mind and added that people with inquisitive minds have made most discoveries in the world. He asked the teachers not to take questioning from children as lack of discipline. He invited children to contribute to the columns of The Tribune and express their talent and creativity. He said that their feedback was valuable to an institution like The Tribune in fulfilling its role as a guardian of the society

He pointed out that The Tribune has never shied from its social responsibilities, adding: “Whenever we feel social injustice is done we bring it before the people in the right perspective”. He pointed out that The Tribune took a stand on the aberrations in the judicial system recently and added that there was an overall drift everywhere in society and “we have to collectively strive to reverse it”. The Tribune, he promised, would continue to play a role as a guardian where it sees that enough is not being done for the good of the people.

Earlier, the school principal, Mr P. K. Dhar, raised fundamental questions about education for all and the need for quality education. Mr Dhar urged the media to make people aware about the importance of quality education, the lack of which was spreading like a slow poison in our society harming future generation.

Mr Hukam Chand Bansal, Chairman of the Om Parkash Bansal Modern School Trust, described how in a short period of less than four years the school had become a centre for quality education where the quality of education took precedence over commercialisation. Mr Chaman Lal Garg, Vice-Chairman of the school while presenting the annual report said that the school was trying to become a centre of excellence and impart education to children of this small town so as to make them feel that they can control the destiny of the nation.



The girl next-door who made it big
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 12
A former Miss India, Manpreet Brar, is not just glamorous but graceful as well. Looking ordinary as a girl next-door and yet being not so ordinary as she chooses to be. She certainly does think big and great. And this extraordinary disposition was at full display while she was fielding the questions by scribes after inaugurating an exclusive Duke showroom in the city. Manpreet is the brand ambassador for the Duke.

Unlike so many of her tribe, she did not opt for films. “It is not that I had no offers from the film industry. But I had to decline them politely as I made a conscious decision that I will not be going into the films”, she explained. But she is doing some television programmes mostly related to health and fitness. In fact she is herself starting a health and fitness centre in Delhi as she feels people are growing to much health and fitness conscious.

Manpreet is not into full time modelling as well. Except for some campaigns like one for the Omega, internationally acknowledged brand of watches and the Duke, she has not had many projects. And for these two concerns she has been working as the brand ambassador only. She claims to be selective and choosy about this business.

Although having been brought up in Pune, where her father, an army man, was posted, Manpreet conveniently switched, over to her mother tongue, Punjabi, much to the delight of people she was talking to. She said, she was a good hockey player and had played hockey in her school. She has represented Maharashtra in the hockey. She is currently doing a programme on Indian golf on DD Sports also.


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