Saturday, May 24, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


De-freeze wheat, paddy prices: BKU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) has demanded de-freezing the prices of wheat and paddy since the current prices were not adequate to cover the costs of farm inputs of the farmers of the state.

According to Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal and Prof Manjit Singh Qadian, president and general secretary of the unit, in view of the adamant attitude of the government, they will organise a mass protest aided by like-minded farmer outfits from UP, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

They said this was being on the dictates of the World Bank and the WTO. The farmers of the country are being systematically harmed so that agriculture no longer remained a paying proposition and the entry of foreign produce could be facilitated.

The government should also initiate measures to compensate the farmers whose yield had gone down by more than 20 per cent. Ironically, the government was yet to acknowledge this aspect and had resisting all demands to de-freeze the MSP of paddy.

The kisan leaders said this was not the end of the woes of the farmers. The government was yet to announce any relief for the farmers. The prices of diesel had increased more than one-and-a-half times, the prices of pesticides and insecticides had increased between 25 - 45 per cent but the government was unwilling to do anything.

In addition to this he said that the government had not done anything for settling the dues of the sugarcane farmers. The faulty policies pursued by the state had resulted in the closure of the sugar mills in the state.

The non- payment also strengthened the feeling among the farmers that the government was not serious about its policy of urging the farmers to break out of the wheat-rice monoculture, he added. 



70 farmers attend seminar on fish nutrition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 23
The monthly meeting of the Punjab Fish Farmers’ Club (PFFC) -cum-seminar on fish nutrition, jointly organised by the Departments of Extension Education and Zoology and Fisheries, was held at the PAU. The meet was sponsored by Godrej Agrovet Ltd.

As many as 70 farmers from all over the state, fisheries’ scientists of the university, representatives of the state fisheries department and regional centre of the CIFA, executives of Godrej Agrovet, American Soyabean Association (South Asian Division ) and Aquacare participated in the meet.

In the meeting, Dr SK Batish, Professor-cum-Head, Department of Zoology and Fisheries, highlighted the importance of the club and said there was a need to prepare a directory of farmers’ needs. Dr J S Bhalla, convener of the club, conducted the meeting and explained the success story of the PFFC.

Dr H.S. Sehgal, senior scientist (Fisheries) and Technical Coordinator of the club, emphasised the need for proper feeding of fish with nutritionally balanced feed for achieving higher fish yield and suggested the farmers to feed their fish according to university recommendations.

Dr Pradeep Sharma, Assistant Manager, Godrej, informed the farmers about the fish feed “Jalpari” launched by Godrej. Dr Dinesh Bhosle of the American Soybean Association shared his experiences about fish farming in China which tops the world in fish production and explained why fish production was higher in that country.

Dr Vijaya Anand of the Aquacare shared his experiences about high-yield fish and prawn farming in Andhra Pradesh. Wing Commander S.S. Grewal (retd.), a progressive fish farmer, extended the vote of thanks.

The election of the club was also held on the occasion. Mr Baljinder Singh was elected as the president, Mr Pavitarpal Singh as vice-president, Mr Hardev Singh as secretary and Mr Harmit Singh as treasurer of PFFC. In addition to this, seven executive members were also elected.



‘Need to reduce’ cattle population
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
The Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulakh, has said the development in agriculture is being negated by the geometric progression in human and animal production. He was speaking at the inauguration of a scientist-farmer interaction meet on dissemination of nutritional technologies for intensive dairy farming at the PAU. The meet was organised by the Animal Nutrition Society of India (North Zone) in collaboration with the Department of Animal Nutrition, PAU.

He said India topped the world in milk production not because of high per capita milk production, but due to the high density of cattle which stands at 299 million at present with a growth rate of 1.1 per cent . He stressed the need for reducing this population, which was taxing resources, by way of segregating sterile and diseased animals and maintaining high-production animals. He suggested options like generating export-oriented products like ossein and gelatin along with animal protein supplements to boost the GDP.

Dr N. Balaraman, president of ANSI, highlighted the need to strike a balance between the producer and consumer in dairy farming. Animal research should be prioriated keeping in view the farmers’ perception with special regard to commercialisation of agriculture, he said. Dr Balaraman brought forth key issues for deliberations like clean milk production, viability and superiority of animal bio-technology, dairy product technology and information technology of animal sciences. 



Another KVM teacher’s services ‘terminated’
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, May 23
The Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) school here is once again in the news. This time one more teacher, Mr Sanjeev Kumar Nagpal, who claims to have been appointed against a permanent post for political science teacher, has become the 11th victim who has been issued marching orders after a two-month teaching stint.

Mr Nagpal has sought the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, pointing out what he calls the ‘‘recent cases of harassment being meted out to the teachers by the principal”. Mr Nagpal has written that he had been working in the school for the past nearly two months after being selected against a permanent post. He said he gave a demonstration and appeared for interview but as he joined, the post was changed from permanent to ad hoc and he was made to work for two months without getting any appointment letter.

Mr Nagpal has alleged that even though he was appointed in the grade of trained graduate teacher (TGT), he was told to teach higher classes meant for Postgraduate Teachers (PGT). On May 19 and 20, he said he took medical leave but on May 21 when he went to the reception of the school to mark his attendance, he was not given attendance register and instead told to meet the Principal. Without giving him any notice, the Principal told him that his services were terminated, he said.

Ms Neena Khanna, Principal, when contacted, said Mr Nagpal was never appointed by her as a teacher. Instead, he was told to give a few demo lessons to students. In the meantime, she said, she received a letter from the Principal of a school in Panipat where he was teaching previously informing her about his misbehaviour there. In light of that letter, Ms Khanna said, she told Mr Nagpal to quit.

Contradicting Ms Khanna’s statement on not appointing him as a teacher, Mr Nagpal said that if he was appointed only to give demo lessons, how was it possible that he was told to act as an additional in charge for a set of 1200 answer sheets of Plus Two history students that were sent to the school for checking by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) He claimed that all these papers sent back by the school to the board bore his signatures. A fact that could be verified from the CBSE records.

Mr Nagpal refuted allegations levelled by the Principal regarding his adverse records at the school in Panipat. He questioned, “Does a school ever keep track of people who have left and send letters highlighting things of the past?”

It may be recalled that in a probable attempt to remove the surplus staff, services of as many as 10 teachers of Kundan Vidya Mandir have been terminated in the past seven months. The majority of these teachers were from the nursery as well as primary sections of the school who were appointed in March last year. The teachers said they were not given any prior information regarding their termination and were told to immediately submit their no dues certificates. They said had they been told about this at least 15 days before their termination, they would have been mentally prepared for it and applied else where. The move has created panic among the existing schoolteachers who have become very cautious in their working.



ABVP flays arrests, threatens stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
The Ludhiana unit of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad has condemned the Punjab Government for yesterday’s the arrests of its activists during a peaceful rally against the fee hike.

The unit president, Sandeep Kapoor, today told reporters that yesterday the Ludhiana unit activists had been going to meet the Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, regarding the fee hike. The ABVP activists had also decided to sell their books on the road because they had no other option after the fee hike.

“It was a peaceful march, in which, girls had also participated, but the Higher Education Minister ordered the police to arrest the innocent students, rather than accepting their memorandum. We have every right to place our demands before the government and no one can stop us,” said Rohit Sharma, Ludhiana unit secretary. He said the students agitation against the Punjab Government would intensify after the reopening of the colleges.

“From the beginning of this academic session, the government should be ready for another JP movement. The government should remember General Suharto in Indonesia was overthrown by students. Arrest of the ABVP activists is just a beginning and, if the government does not roll back the fee hike, students will not allow Mr Harnam Dass Johar to live in Ludhiana,” he said.

The district vice-president of the ABVP, Rajat Sood, condemned the role of police and said, yesterday, there had been no women police on the spot to arrest protesting girl students. He also urged other student bodies to protest against the Punjab Government. 



In-house review of departments at PAU
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, May 23
While continuing the in-house review of the functioning of various departments of Punjab Agricultural University, review of more than five departments of the College of Agriculture has been completed and the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh, has set up two committees to suggest more cohesiveness and coordination among various departments.

The review of the Departments of Soils, Agronomy and Agro-meteorology, Genetics and Biotechnology, Plant Breeding, Horticulture, Vegetables, Floriculture and Landscaping and Extension Education has been done during the past one week according to Dr Aulakh.

The Vice-Chancellor said during the review it was found that there was some overlapping in the research work on plant-nutrients in the Departments of Soils and Agronomy and the Agro-meteorology. Similarly, there was lack of coordination between the Department of Plant Breeding and Department of Genetic and Biotechnology. The Department of genetics and biotechnology had done excellent basic work but the same was not shared properly.

He said a committee comprising Director Research, Additional Director Research (Agriculture), and the concerned heads of the departments of the four departments had been set up to suggest ways for more integration of the work.

Dr Aulakh said another committee under the chairmanship of Dean, College of Agriculture, and consisting of Additional Director Extension Education (Training) and the head of the departments of the of extension education had been set up to study the courses being offered by the Department of Extension Education. This department had been organising correspondence courses for the farmers training which seemed to have outlived their utility. It had also formed youth clubs in rural areas to involve youth in the agriculture. The same also required inclusion of latest innovations. The committee would study if the youth clubs had their relevance.



A range of summer workshops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
Loaded with an array of activities ranging from music, painting, aerobics, personality development and computer education, many schools of the city are planning to start summer workshops for children.

At Hollyhock Nursery School, there will be classes for developing and nurturing creative skills along with social skills. There will be classes for art, craft, singing, dancing, rhymes, confidence-building, personality development, improvement of cursive writing and fluency in English language.

There will be plays, meditation and activities involving team work. Ms Priti Garewal and Ms Vineeta Bhogal, organisers of the workshop, said the activities would go on from May 26 to June 21.

At Swiss International Public School, Model Town, there will be a set of different activities for the students of different age groups. Beginning from June 2, there will be classes on making pen-holders, wall hanging, saw dust painting and stensil painting for children between four and six years of age.

For children of age group six to nine years, there will be activities involving making of book marks, wall hangings, “shagun” envelopes, flowers, rangoli and theme cards for parties. For children aged between nine and 14 years, there will be flower-making, paper bag-making, wall hangings and photo frame-making.

There will be classes for nozzle painting, stensil painting, free hand drawing, spray painting, pot painting, glass painting and tile painting. Classes on aerobics, bele dance, western dance, personality development, computers and casio playing will also be organised. Ms Daisy Pruthi, Principal, said the classes would go on till June 21.

At BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, there will be several activities to tap the talent in kids. For three-year olds, there will be classes for free hand drawing and painting, making screen cards, Japanese lantern, collages, paper mache, mosaic making, doll making, stained glass pictures and water games.

For the age group between eight and 12 years, there will be classes on calligraphy, creative writing, cooking pizzas and kebabs, etiquettes and table manners and computers. For budding artists, classes for creative painting, mehndi designing, skating, gidha, bhangra, casio, music, tabla and harmonium will be held.

Summer classes will begin at Kiddies’ Paradise from May 26 to June 7. There will be indoor games and block-making. A day has been kept for different activities such as watching movies, disco party, fruit and salad preparation, medical check-up and exhibition.

Mr Viney Verma and Mr Amit Verma of the Indo-British Institute of Arts and Fitness said there would be workshops, camps and cultural events based on yoga, aerobics, meditation, martial arts, theatre performances, dances, choreography, plays and non-verbal movements.



NSS seminar on health, hygiene
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 23
A 10-day seminar on health and hygiene is being conducted at an NSS camp being organised at the local Guru Nanak National College, from May 15.
The seminar, which was conducted in the college yesterday, was organised by the NSS in charge and 75 volunteers. Principal Jaswant Singh Gill welcomed the newly elected municipal council chief, Ms Raj Rani, and Mr Gursharanjit Singh, general secretary of the Apex Body of NGOs (Punjab), who were the guests on the occasion.

Ms Raj Rani stressed upon the necessity of potable water. She said women should have the courage to face the male-dominated society, only then could she be able to be economically and socially independent.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh spoke on de-addiction and urged NSS volunteers to come forward and help reconstruct society. He said, “We have appointed 120 volunteers for Doraha town, along with the active support of UNICEF, for ensuring health and hygiene. The volunteers went from door to door and enquired about the health of the family and ask them to use chlorinated water.

Later, the NSS volunteers held a procession. 



40 cases settled at lok adalat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 23
A labour lok adalat was held today under the chairmanship of Mr S.K. Aggarwal, Additional District and Sessions Judge-cum-presiding officer of the labour court, in which a number of cases pending for several years were settled.

As many as 40 cases were disposed of out of 50 placed before the lok adalat. A sum of Rs 1.2 lakh was disbursed to employees and labourers on the spot.

Sadhu Singh, a litigant, said he had filed a case in 1997 against the Giddarwindi Cooperative Agriculture Service Society without serving a notice. His case had been lingering on for seven years but today he was paid a lump sum amount in the lok adalat.

Similarly, Jagdev Parshad got Rs 15,000. Mr Aggarwal urged the public not to indulge in unnecessary litigation as it was a waste of time and money. He said if disputes arose, these should be settled through lok adalats.



Hassanpuri pens new progressive songs
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 23
“Jot nayan di jagoni hai zaroor jag te,

mare na koi be kasoor jag te,

ek vi ghar jina kol,

ithe lakhan hi insaan,

Ek bhagwan de lakh ghar ne,

rahe vi ek vich na bhagwan.”

This is an excerpt from one of the poems that will be the part of Inderjit Hassanpuri’s newly published book of poems. Hassanpuri after living in Bollywood and contributing to the world of Punjabi films has come back to Ludhiana. He belongs to Hassanpur village, a few km from here.

“An anthology titled, ‘Kirtia Kirt Krendya’, comprising more than 50 progressive songs in Punjabi is going to come out in the market shortly,” said Inderjit Hassanpuri.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said, “It is my 12th book of Punjabi songs.”

Hassanpuri has written famous songs like ‘Kurti mulmul di, dhai din na jawani rehndi’ sung by ghazal singer Jagjit Singh while his wife, Chitra, gave her voice to Hassanpuri’s song ‘charkha mera rangla, vich sone dian mekhan, ne mein teno yaad karan, jad charkhe nu dekhan’.

Hassanpuri has had a chequered career as a movie producer, director and film song writer and especially Punjabi folk songs. He has produced and directed ‘Dahej’, ‘Dukh Bhanjan Tera Naam’ which had tackled various social issues. He has made many documentaries concerning serious topics. He made an educational documentary on the ‘blue revolution’, titled ‘Machali te Paani’. He made another one on ‘development of sugarcane’. His documentary on Kandi Area and its development shot in a very authentic manner was well liked.

His lyrics have been sung by all the top Punjabi singers, including Gurdas Mann and Hans Raaj Hans, who sang “Tera Nahin Re Jag Te Jawab Tera”. Actor Dharmendra had released his book, “Dasam Granth”, chiefly meant to educate Sikh children on the lives of the Gurus. This book has been appreciated by the Sikh community overseas.

The Punjabi Sahitya Akademi has conferred the Kartar Singh Dhaliwal Award on Hassanpuri for his works whereas the Professor Mohan Singh Foundation has conferred the Puran Singh Award for the best song writer on him. Hassanpuri has won innumerable awards, written many songs and has served the cause of Punjabi literature.


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