Tuesday, May 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


St John’s boys’ date with ‘Annie’
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
In true Shakespearian style, boys of St John’s High School enacted the roles of women characters with elan in the light-hearted musical play “Annie” staged at Tagore Theatre this morning.

Sitting on comfortable seats opposite the stage, no one among the audience, not even the class fellows, could say for certain that the role of Annie, and other women characters, was in fact being played by 40 boys from class IV to X of the school. As many as 180 students were involved in the making of the play staged as a part of the bicentenary celebrations of the school. Christian Brother Education made by Edmund Ignatius Rice in 1802.

According to school Principal Pushpinder Cheema, the two-act play was staged for the students of the school today. “On Tuesday and Wednesday, it would again be staged for the parents at 10 am and 6 pm,” she added.

The play set in New York of 1933, is all about an orphan, Annie, who leaves the orphanage to encounter people belonging to different strata of society. The theme of the little orphan girl cherishing through the years the hope of her parents’ return, her dreams of what they must be like,’’ maybe far away, or maybe real nearby’’, are well known to all who have come in close contact with deprived children.

To all such children, Annie, in her straightforward childlike manner, brings the message of hope, “The sun will come out tomorrow”. In all, the play had about 14 songs.

The evils of greed, cruelty and hypocrisy are lightly touched upon in the play as it is a “comedy”. As an announcement is made regarding the reward of $ 50,000 for a couple who can prove to be Annie’s parents, hundreds rush forward, but without the “locket” that can prove their claim. As Annie awaits her parents with much apprehension, President Roosevelt arrives with the good news that the FBI has traced her parents who had died a long time ago.

All villains are later sent off to jail. In the end, “a new deal for Christmas” is promised not only for Annie, but for the rest of USA also.


5-day orientation programme begins
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
A five-day orientation programme for Hindi and mathematics teachers started at the State Institute of Education in Sector 32 here today.

About 65 maths teachers from various schools in the city took part in the programme which focused on the changes introduced by the NCERT for the Class X syllabus this year. Welcoming the participants, Ms Asha Gupta, Head, Department of Education in Science and Maths, said teaching and learning was a two way process and teachers need to develop understanding with the student community to make learning a joyful experience.

Four resource persons that included Mr Dilbagh Singh, Principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 22, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Lecturer, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 35, Mr Vijay Singla from Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, and Mr Brahmjeet Kalia, former District Education Officer, UT Chandigarh, addressed different aspects of the subject.

However, the programme for Classes IX and X Hindi teachers drew lukewarm response as only a few teachers turned up on the inaugural day. The resource persons who talked on the subject matter included Dr R.B. Yadav, Dr A.K. Srivastava, Dr P.K. Pandey and Ms Kamla Bain.


Tiny tots splash around
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 5
It is that time of the year when students of Strawberry Fields look forward to experiencing the thrill of getting into their very own paddling pool. This is an activity which promises not just a break in routine and a cooling of the body and mind but also an occasion to socialise, befriend and bond with one another.

A casual visitor is pleasantly surprised to see bikini-clad little girls and boys in the smartest colours and shapes of trunks. They splash around with gay abandon, freely expressing their verbal delight at being allowed complete freedom to play in water without being reprimanded about creating a mess or taking a little too long in the bath tub. The icing on the cake is that their teacher too is in the pool with them making those who are unfamiliar with swimming, comfortable and at ease.

By incorporating the paddling pool activity as an integral part of the summer curriculum, Strawberry Fields has ensured that students ride high on enthusiasm and unadulterated joy. With water being a scarce commodity they have also devised a mechanism whereby the used water can be recycled for gardening. Hygiene standards remain un-compromised. The only complaint is by genial parents who sometimes say: “We wish we too could hop into the pool with the kids!”


Portable planetarium at YPS
Our Correspondent

SAS Nagar, May 5
More than 50 children belonging to the under privileged section of society had a wonderful time here today when they were taken to view some wonders of the universe at the portable planetarium installed at Yadavindra Public School (YPS). These children have been adopted by YPS.

The children, who were not aware about various aspects of the universe, were told about the “Akash Ganga”, from which direction the sun rises etc.

Two special sessions were organised free of cost for the children who belonged to Colony No. 4 and Guru Nanak Ashram by the Constellation Mobile Education and Learning Technologies (CMeLT). 


School on ‘public ground’ opposed
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
Resentment prevails among residents of Sector 29 over the reported allotment of a school site on a “public ground”. They claimed that the site was being used by them to “share their joys and sorrows”. They alleged that swings in the ground had been uprooted.

They said a school in the area would mar the planned concept of the city, besides being a traffic hazard and a nuisance. The allotment of the site to a school in the residential area would be against the needs of the residents.


About Australia

The Opera House in Sydney, is Australia’s most popular landmark.

The Great Barrier Reef is the worlds most extensive reef system, having a collection or around 7,500 species of corals, fish and mollusca. It is a popular tourist attraction.

LOCATED in South - West Pacific Ocean, Australia is an island country. To its west lies the Indian Ocean and the island of Tasmania. Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea lie to Australia’s north, separated by the Timor and Arafura seas. To its east lies the Great Barrier Reef and the Tasman Sea.

The neighbouring country of New Zealand is located about 1,800 kms to Australia’s south-east across the Tasman Sea.

Covering an area of 7,686,850 square kilometres, the Great Dividing Range lies along the island country’s east coast, where Australia’s highest point, Mount Kosciusko, rises 7,316 feet above sea level.

The Western area is a plateau, with an altitude of 2,000 feet. In between lie the Great Sandy and Great Victoria deserts. The north western parts of the country are arid and dry, while the eastern parts get heavy rainfall.

The country harbours many plant and animal species not found elsewhere, including Kangaroos, Koalas, Platypuses, dingos (wild dogs), Tasmanian Devils, wombats and barking and frilled lizards.

Australia’s principal rivers are Murray, Darling, Iachlan, Flinders, Diamentina, Ashburton and Fitzroy. Natural resources include bauxite, coal, copper, iron, lead, tin, uranium, zinc and crude oil. About 6 per cent of the total land is arable.

Agricultural products include live stock, forest products, grains, sugar beet, potatoes, grapes and wine. Its agricultural success makes it the leading exporter of beef, lamb, wool and wheat.

On the industrial front, mining, iron and steel, chemicals, machinery, paper and pulp, food processing and fisheries top the list.

Australia’s major trading partners include Germany, Japan, United States, European Free Trade Association countries as well as eastern European nations.

It exports iron and steel products, timber, paper, textiles, electro-technical machines, chemical products and processed food, while it imports machinery, vehicles, chemicals, raw materials, metal goods, fuel and food stuffs.

Australia’s gross national income is in the vicinity of 400 billion dollars, with an annual growth rate of around 3 per cent.

Geography: Fact File

Official Name : Commonwealth of Australia

Capital: Canberra

Population: 19.4 million

Currency: Australian Dollar

Type of Government: Democratic, federal state

Language: English

Major cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart, New Castle, Wollongong, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Cairns, Launceston

Continent: Australia

Websites: www.austemb.orgwww.abs.gov.au



CM case: next hearing on June 13
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
In a civil suit filed against the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh, by the former Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and his son Sukhbir Badal, accusing him of defaming them through the publication of “defamatory” advertisements in various newspapers during Assembly election, was adjourned for June 13 by a local court.

The case came up for hearing before the UT Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr C.L. Mohal, who adjourned the case for the production of documents required to support the claims made by Mr Badal.

Earlier, the counsel for Capt Amarinder Singh demanded supporting documents from Mr Badal’s counsel to prove the allegations leveled by Mr Badal against Capt Amarinder Singh in the suit.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son have sought recovery of Rs 5 crore as damages along with interest for allegedly defaming them.

Accusing Mrs Gandhi of being responsible for the “defamatory” advertisements, they alleged that the then PPCC chief got the advertisements published with her consent.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son also alleged that the advertisements had wrongly conveyed the message that Badal had mortgaged the state’s interest in the SYL canal, besides the future of Punjab farmers, in favour of the Haryana CM in lieu of a gift of 22 acres in Gurgaon worth Rs 500 crore.

Regarding the land in Gurgaon, they claimed that the allotment was made after the Haryana Government followed due procedure. No favour was shown either in the rate of land nor procedures and formalities relaxed. “Moreover, the allotment had withstood the scrutiny of the courts and nothing irregular had been found about the entire transaction.”

They claimed that the allegation levelled by the Congress through advertisements had harmed them. They further alleged that the Congress had done it with the motive of getting votes, knowing that the material published was completely false.


Sombre mood marks Batalvi show
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 5
The evening at Pracheen Kala Kendra here had a sobering effect on the audience as a few local upcoming singers got together and sang the soul-searching compositions of Shiv Kumar Batalvi. The programme was organised by the kendra to pay tribute to the legendary poet on his 30th death anniversary that falls tomorrow.

Starting the programme with one of his most popular compositions, “Aasan ta joban rutte marna...,” Rajan, a local singer, reminded the audience of the poet’s strong craving for death, a wish that was granted when he was just in his early 30s.

As the evening advanced, other singers like Shaloo, along with a group of three other singers — Chitvan, Poonam and Paramjeet — sang the other popular numbers: “Mayen ni mayen” and “Aasin kachiyan anaaran diyan tahniyan”, followed by “Mein kandyali thor...” by Jaishree.

A solo rendition, “Wasata e mera...” by Chitvan was followed by Hemant Kumar, a well-known singer from Kalka, who sang one of the most popular numbers of Batalvi: “Mainu tera shabab le baitha...” Another popular number, “Gama di raat...” was sung by Munish.

Batalvi, popularly known as “Birha da sultan” and “Keats of Punjabi literature”, gave Punjabi poetry a new dimension. It was his sensitivity that underlined each of his creations, winning him the highest literary awards, including Sahitya Academy Award. His compositions have been sung by famous singers like Ghulam Ali, Asa Singh Mastana, Jagjit Singh, Hans Raj Hans and Jasbir Jassi.

The singers at tonight’s concert were accompanied by Rajinder on guitar, Deepak Nayak on tabla, Titu Nayak on dholak, Subhash Nayak on percussion and Vijay Chauhan on flute.

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