Wednesday, August 6, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Unofficially, more suffer from HIV
Monica Sharma

Chandigarh, August 5
Deadly facts about HIV: In the region more people are suffering from the disease than given out by the authorities. Officially, there are just 765 patients in the region. Off the record, the authorities admit the number is higher. Moreover, anti retro viral medicines for the treatment of the patients are still costly.

Social and human rights organisations, fighting for the cause of the HIV victims, agree. Though they cannot say for sure, they insist that the number of patients suffering from HIV in the region could have easily crossed a thousand mark.

As per a survey carried out by a social organisation the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab — there are almost one or two victims in each village around Rajpura. In the Ropar area, a large number of children are now orphans due to the deadly virus. This is not all. Several residents in Bathinda have acquired the disease due to intravenous injections. Association’s Executive Director Manmohan Sharma, back in Chandigarh after filing a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court of India, confirms, “The figure is actually more than what is being projected by the authorities”.

The reason behind the disparity in the figures is not hard to see. For calculations, the authorities rely on the data available with the government run hospitals carrying out the tests for HIV.

“We essentially take into consideration the number of patients visiting the government hospitals for check-up. The information given out by them is taken to be authentic,” a doctor with the State AIDS Control Society asserts. “If a person says he is from Bihar, we have to believe it as we are not in a position to verify the facts”.

The reality, however, is different. “A large number of residents, especially the ones belonging to the affluent families, avoid going to the government hospitals. They prefer private laboratories for getting themselves checked for the virus”.

The story does not end here. As a stigma is attached to the disease, several residents go to hospitals outside the state to get themselves tested for the malady. The possibility of correct names and addresses given by them cannot be ruled out.

Regarding the treatment, Mr Sharma adds, “Until recently, HIV infection spelt a rapid countdown to death. But in the past few years, with the development of a new class of medicines AIDS has ceased to be such a fatal affliction.



Ershad, Suguna pocket carrom titles
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 5
Mohammed Ershad thrashed Parminder Singh, 25-6, 25-12, while Suguna Dewan of the Sector 16 Government Model Senior Secondary School had to toil hard to beat Saroj Chandel (RBI), 25-4, 5-25, 25-3 in the men’s and women’s categories, respectively, in the sixth St. Stephen’s Carrom Ranking Tournament here today. The meet was organised by St. Stephen’s School, Sector 45, under the aegis of the Chandigarh Carrom Association.

The other winners are Taranpreet Pahwa in the boys’ sub-junior and junior categories, Pallavi Piplani in the girls’ sub-junior category and Suguna Dewan in the girls’ junior category.

The prizes were given by Mr Samson Masih, Vice-Principal of St. Stephen’s School. Certificates were awarded to all 185 participants.


Jagjeet, Lalita win
Two students of MDSD College, Ambala City, have done well in the district badminton championship.

College Principal Dr Kiran Angra said Jagjeet of BA (III year) won the first prize while Lalita of B.Com (III year) won the second prize. Dr Angra said the college students had done well in badminton in earlier competitions too.



UTI counters to issue PAN cards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 5
The Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, North-West region, Mr Vijay Khanna, today said the existing assessee who had earlier been allotted a Permanent Account Number (PAN), but were still to get the PAN card, could now apply at the centres opened by the Unit Trust of India (UTI).

In a press note, the Chief Commissioner said the UTI counters function from 9.30 am to 2 pm. As per the new procedure for PAN allotment and preparation of cards, the UTI has opened counters at the following places in Chandigarh, SAS Nagar and Panchkula.

*Ground Floor of the Income Tax Office, North-West Region, Sector 17

*Sector 17 office of the UTI, India Investor Service Ltd, Jeevan Parkash Building, opposite KC Cinema, Sector 17

*M/s Bajaj Capital Ltd, SCO No. 341-342, Sector 35

*Lt Col KS Parmar, H.No. 741, Phase 2, Army Flats, Sector 54, SAS Nagar

*Mr Ishwarlal Vohra, H.No. 659, Sector 7, Panchkula

In case of any difficulty faced by tax payers in obtaining PAN cards, the following officers can be contacted at the following numbers

*Mr Sanjai Kumar Verma, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax (Computer Operations); 722186

Mr Munish Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax (Computer Operations); 722240

Mr S.L. Pardesi, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax (Computer Operations); 722185

The Income Tax Officer Ward 2(4) has been designated as the assessing officer for new PAN application in the Chandigarh region.



Cattle catching banned

Chandigarh, August 5
The cattle catching in the city was today banned. The ban has come on the request of the incharge of the cattle pond as he has shown inability to take more animals in the enclosure that has 313 cattle heads against a capacity of 150. TNS


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