Saturday, August 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Transport Minister unfurls Tricolour
Tribune Reporters

Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, inspects the parade after hoisting the National Flag at an Independence Day function in Ludhiana on Friday.
Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister, Punjab, inspects the parade after hoisting the National Flag at an Independence Day function in Ludhiana on Friday.
— A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 15
The 57th Independence Day was celebrated far and wide in the district. The administration, government departments, colleges, schools, private organisations, political parties and shopkeepers all organised functions to mark the day.

The district-level function was organised at the local Government College for Boys. The Transport Minister, Punjab, Mr Tej Parkash Singh, unfurled the Tricolour and took the salute at an impressive march past followed by a cultural programme presented by the schoolchildren on the occasion. He announced a grant of Rs 1 lakh for the schoolchildren.

Subdivision level functions were organised at Khanna and Jagraon also. They were presided over by Mr Rakesh Panday, Minister for Printing and Stationary, Punjab, and Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Minister for Jails and Housing Development, respectively.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh stressed upon the need to make all out efforts to carve out India as envisaged by the martyrs and freedom fighters, who laid down their lives and underwent terrible hardships during the freedom struggle to liberate the country from the Britishers.

He said although patriots from all parts of the country had contributed in the freedom struggle, Punjabis had remained in the forefront with exemplary enthusiasm and accounted for 80 per cent of the sacrifices.

He paid rich tributes to all martyrs and patriots and especially mentioned the names of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, Shaheed Udham Singh Suman, Sukhdev, Lala Lajpat Rai and added that they enthused a new and decisive spirit in the freedom movement which ultimately threw out the foreign rulers.

He said after the independence the Punjabis had also made enormous sacrifices while fighting to safeguard the frontiers during a number of wars forced the country and wiping out terrorism which claimed more than 25,000 lives.

He exhorted the people to remember the sacrifices of the martyrs and seek inspiration from them so that the younger generation could inculcate the spirit of nationalism. She said during the past 56 years, India had emerged as the largest democracy of the world with formidable achievements at the international level.

He, however, added that with the manifold increase in population and poverty, the intensity of its problems had reached at the alarming situation and stressed upon the need to make united efforts at all levels to tackle them.

Referring to the steps taken by the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh, the minister said concrete steps had been taken to eradicate the corruption at all levels and provide transparent and efficient governance.

He said during the past one and half years the government had succeeded in substantially improving the economic of the state by inducting strict financial measures and the current financial year was being observed as the development year.

He asserted that the state government, with a view to ensure the full participation of the people in the governance had hold free, fair, and peaceful elections to the Zila Parishads, Block Samitis, Municipal Corporations and Panchayats in the state.

The Transport Minister said during this year more than Rs 15,00 crore were being spent for the over all development of the state and a large number of infrastructured projects and Rs 250 crore were being released to the panchayats through the District Planning and Development Boards in the rural areas. He said the state government had also initiated the process of giving more powers to the panchayats by implementing the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution. He said the government would provide a dependable transport system to the people and modern bus stands with the latest facilities would be constructed in all big cities of the state.

The minister exhorted the people to rededicate themselves for strengthening the unity and integrity of the country and mutual brotherhood among different section of the society so that the country could fully concentrate on finding solution to the major problems being faced by the people.

On the occasion schoolchildren presented a cultural program and mass PT show. Among others who were present included Mr Anurag Verma deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Narinder pal Singh SSP, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Nahar Singh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Mr S.M.S. Mahal, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Air Vice-Marshal, Mr P.P. Singh, Mata Jaswant Kaur, wife of Late Beant Singh, Ms Davinder Kaur, wife of Mr Tej Parkash Singh.

Several political parties, social organisations, trade bodies and groups of citizens observed the Independence Day with fervour and enthusiasm. National flags were unfurled in various localities of the city and patriotic songs were played at various functions organised in this connection.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) President, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, hoisted the Tricolour at Congress Bhavan. He presented shawls to a number of freedom fighters in recognition of their contribution towards the freedom struggle. Later in the day, the DCC (U) chief presided over a number of Independence Day functions in the city.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sharma paid tributes to those who laid down their lives to attain freedom from British rule. He asked the youth and party workers to be prepared to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country.

Prominent among those present at the function were Mr Sushil Parashar, chief organiser, Congress Sewa Dal, Mr Vidya Sagar Rampal, Mr Om Parkash Angrish, Mr Tarsem Lal Rampal, Dewan Jagdish Chander, Mr K.K. Garg, Mr Kulbhushan Sharma, Mr Manpreet Grewal, Mr Sham Sunder Malhotra, Mr Som Nath Grover and Mr Vinod Gogi.

The PPCC secretary, Mr Parminder Mehta, presided over Independence Day functions at Islam Ganj, Jodhewal Basti and Jalandhar Bypass. Speaking on the occasion, he called upon the district and civic authorities to maintain all memorials of martyrs and take stern action against those defacing the memorials.

The state unit of the Panthers Party burnt the effigy of “drug demon” to mark the Independence Day after the state president, Mr Gurinder Sood, unfurled the national flag at a function held at Clock Tower Chowk. Mr Sood urged the masses to fight against drugs, intoxicants and other social evils.

The SDP College for Women, in association with SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, SDP Senior Secondary School, Basti Jodhewal, and SDP Model Senior Secondary School, Kila Mohalla, celebrated the day on the college campus. Mr Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP Sabha, was the chief guest and Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor was the guest of honour. Ms Sushil Verma, principal of the college, and Mr H.K. Chugh, general secretary of the college management, were also present.

Traders and residents in Mochpura Bazar paid rich tributes to martyrs and freedom fighters in an impressive Independence Day function. A Youth Congress functionary, Mr Vikram Luthra, while addressing the function asked the people not to forget the martyrs who had made great sacrifices. Mr Paramjit Singh, Mr Gulshan Malhotra, Mr Deep Singh, Mr Rajvir Singh, Mr Manoj Kumar, Mr Om Parkash Malhotra, Mr Raju Malhotra and Mr Surinder Singh, among others were present.

Shopkeepers celebrated the day with enthusiasm at Kup Road, Malaudh, near Ludhiana. Mr Tejinder Singh Pamma, councillor of Malaudh Nagar Panchayat, hoisted the flag. In his speech, he asked the people to remain on guard against nefarious designs of disruptive and anti-national forces. Dr Jaswinder Singh Saharan Majra, Mr Mohammed Hassan, Mr Ajmer Singh, Mr Satish Kumar, Mr Mohammed Hamid, Mr Kishan Singh, Mr Sanjeev Mintoo and Mr Jasvir Singh were also present.

The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) district unit and Prerna Kendra International also organised functions to observe the day in the city.

The Subdivision level function was organised on the grounds of Government Girls Senior Secondary School here today. Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, state Minister for Jails, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab, hoisted the National Flag and took salute from the contingents of the Punjab police, Home Guards, Scouts and Guides.

Remembering the martyrs of the freedom movement, Mr Birmi said only because of these great sons the people was enjoying the freedom and participating in the formation the government of their choice.

The minister said after independence Punjabis had sacrificed their lives during different wars and while fighting terrorism. He said it was Beant Singh who brought peace and laid down his life for the unity and integrity of the country. Mr Birmi exhorted the youths to follow the footsteps of the great martyrs and strive hard to take the country to new heights in all fields.

Mr Birmi claimed that the state government during one and half year of its rule had substantially improved the shattered economy and put the state on the fast track of development . He said Rs 2,000 crore was being spent on the development and welfare of the rural and urban areas and execution of the major infrastructure projects in the state.

Reiterating the commitment of the Congress government for providing clean and transparent governance to the people, Mr Birmi asserted that the tirade against corruption would continued till the corruption was rooted out of the lower levels. He said cooperation of the public was needed for eradicating the corruption from the state.

He said PUDA had chalked out a comprehensive plan to construct administrative complexes in all major cities and to provide basic amenities in all residential colonies developed by it. The minister also stated that the Congress government would improve the facilities in all Jails in the state and Rs 30 lakh had already been received by this department in this regard.

Among others who were present on the occasion included Mr Shamsher Singh Dulo, MP, Ms Harbans Kaur Dulo MLA, and chairperson, Punjab Forest Corporation, Mr Jaspal Mittal, SDM, Mr Ajmer Singh, SP, (HQ), Mr Bhalinder Singh, vice-chairman, Zila Parishad and chairman, Improvement Trust, Khanna.

Official function on the subdivision level was organised in Grain Market here on Friday. Mr Amarjeet Singh Shahi, SDM, unfurled the National Flag. Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, the Council chief, Mr Baldev Singh Aulakh, the Tehsildaar, Mr Kulwant Singh, the SHO, Mr Gurcharan Singh besides school heads, teachers, panches and sarpanches were also present on the occasion. Mr Shahi highlighted the importance of the day. Schoolchildren presented cultural programme and PT show.

Earlier Mr Dharamsot hoisted the National Flag in the municipal complex.

Independence Day was celebrated at different places in the town. Council Chief, Joginder Pal Singla, unfurled the National Flag at municipal complex. In A.S. Secondary School, Mr Bachan Lal Bassi, general secretary of the managing committee, in Anand Vidya School, Dr Manmohan Kaushal, president, Lions Club (Supreme), and in Model School Sangatpur, Mr Narinder Pal Gupta, president Induction Furnace Association, unfurled the National Flag and distributed sweets.

Mr Rajnish Sharma Guddoo, president, Municipal Council, hoisted the National Flag at local town hall and MGMN Senior Secondary school where function was celebrated jointly by all educational institutes. An elaborate cultural programme marked the celebration and students of Janta College for Women, Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Sacred Soul Public High School, Islamia Public High School, Dyanand Adarsh Vidyalya High School and host Sehal presented songs and skits based on the National integration and freedom movement.

Mr Ravinder Kumar Aggarwal, president local congress committee, hosted the tricolor at the Bhagat Singh Chowk. Leader garlanded the statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, Chairman Guru Nanak Ayurvedic college and Research Institute, presided over the function.

Mr Sandeep Hans, SDM, Phillaur, hoisted the national flag in Government Senior Secondary School here today. He took the salute of the march past, and honoured prominent citizens, including freedom fighters of the area. In his address, the SDM inspired the audience to work for the national integration and brotherhood A colourful cultural programme was also presented by schoolchildren.

In another Independence Day function held in the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, Dr G.S. Aujla, Director of the academy unfurled the national flag. Several police officials besides prominent citizens were honoured on the occasion.


Awards for children of a lesser god
Tribune News Service

The achievers

Name and Achievement

1. Anu Sharma, a housewife Showed exemplary courage and foiled a robbery bid at her residence in Model Town

2. Inspector Mukhwinder Singh, Brilliant performance in checking crime

3. Mr Ravinder Kumar, Exemplary work in dousing fire at Sub Fire Officer, MC. different places in the district

4. Mr Sukhbir Kumar Tewari, JE, Commendable work in flood pro- Canal Department section

5. Mr Gurmeet Singh Saving lives in Khud Mohalla fire

6. Tulsa Secured second position in PSEB Class XII examination

7. Payal Sharma Topped university in BSc-II (non medical)

8. Harpreet Topped university in BSc-III (medical)

9. Jasdeep Kaur Topped university in MA II

10. Shikha Topped university in MA-II (Fine Arts)

11. Gagandeep Singh Stood second in PSEB Class XII examination 

Ludhiana, August 15
This year’s annual Independence Day awards presented to 11 persons at a district-level function were with a difference. The district administration chose real heroes for the awards at a function at Government College for Boys here today. The list did not include staff of senior civil or police officers, as had become a norm in the past.

Tulsa, daughter of a security guard and a peon, who had stood second in the Class XII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board, was one of the 11 recipients of the awards.

She had attracted a lot of attention with her exceptional performance in the examination despite belonging to an economically weak family. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Verma, had announced her name for the award. She was among six students who were awarded for their good performance in academics.

Payal Sharma received an award for topping the university in BSc-II (non-medical) examination. Harpreet, a topper of the university in BSc-III (medical), and Jasdeep Kaur of Government College for Women, a topper in MA-II, were also awarded. Shikha of GCW received an award for topping the university in MA-II (Fine Arts). Gagandeep Singh, who stood second in Class XII examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board was also honoured.

Anu Sharma, a resident of Model Town, was awarded for showing exemplary courage while foiling a robbery bid in her house and saving her children. She took on four armed robbers and forced them to flee.

Physically challenged children who received tricycles during Independence Day celebrations in Ludhiana on Friday.
Physically challenged children who received tricycles during Independence Day celebrations in Ludhiana on Friday.
  — A Tribune photograph

Gurmeet Singh a resident of Khud Mohalla, was honoured for risking his life to save several others from the raging flames in the Khud Mohalla fire incident. He suffered burn injuries in the process.

Mr Ravinder Kumar, Sub-Fire Officer, Municipal Corporation, was awarded for doing a yeoman’s job in fighting fire incidents in the city.

Mr Sukhbir K.Tewari, JE, Canal Department, was awarded for meritorious service, especially his commendable work in flood protection. Inspector Mukhwinder Singh was honoured for his brilliant performance in checking crime in the district.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune the awardees were all praise for the administration. They said earlier also several people had achieved similar feats but only those persons close to the authorities got recognition. They said the Deputy Commissioner personally analysed the work of all of them.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh, Transport Minister Punjab, presented the awards to these persons. He also honoured 16 freedom fighters. He presented 13 tricycles to physically challenged persons and 15 sewing machines to the needy women on behalf of the District Red Cross Society, besides presenting appreciation certificates to 11 outstanding personalities of the district who had made excellent achievements in different fields.


Patriotic spirit ruled city schools
Our Correspondent

Students of GMT Public School in traditional attire during the Independence Day celebrations at the school in Ludhiana on Friday.
Students of GMT Public School in traditional attire during the Independence Day celebrations at the school in Ludhiana on Friday. 
Photo Inderjeet Verma

Students of Greenland Public School take oath to preserve national integrity at the school in Ludhiana on Friday.
Students of Greenland Public School take oath to preserve national integrity at the school in Ludhiana on Friday.

Ludhiana, August 15
Various educational institutes organised cultural programmes to celebrate Independence Day here today. The day was marked by paying of rich tributes to freedom fighters and hoisting of the national flag with patriotic fervour.

At Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Sekhon, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, hoisted the national flag and inspected the guard of honour. Addressing the gathering, he said political freedom without economic freedom was meaningless. He exhorted the scientists to reprioritise research to face the burning problems in agriculture in order to maintain economic independence. He asked the them expedite the pace of research so that country could claim a share in the international market besides achieving self-sufficiency.

The day was celebrated at New Era High School, Urban Vihar, by Lions Club Ludhiana North. Mr J.P.S. Saluja, a club member, hoisted the national flag. Cultural programme was presented by school students. Sweets were distributed among children by club members. Ms Raj Kanta, Principal, staff members and club members were present.

Celebrations were also held at Child Heart Day-Boarding School, Gobind Nagar. The programme began with a parade, followed by singing of shabad. Patriotic songs like “Badhao dost zor kadam” were sung by schoolchildren. Folk dances were performed to show national integrity. A Haryanvi dance was the main attraction. A skit based on terrorism was also presented. Other cultural items like bhangra and giddha were also performed. Fancy dress, declamation and painting competitions were also arranged.

Recalling the sacrifices of hundreds of countrymen who laid down their lives for the freedom of the country, the day was celebrated at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar. Brig Sunil Dhawan, Commander 715AD Brigade, was the chief guest. The unfurling of the Tricolour was followed by a march past and band display. Group songs, speeches and dance items were presented. Students also displayed their skills through yoga, tae kwon do show, PT and gymnastics. Another spectacular event was a dance item, ‘Tiranga’, that won a lot of attention. Students attired in colourful outfits danced to the tunes of foot-tapping music. Ms Paramjit Kaur, Principal, and Mr Satyanand Munjal, president of school management committee, emphasised the need to follow the footsteps of great leaders.

The day was celebrated at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School with fervour. The Tricolour was hoisted by Mr Rajesh Rudhra, chairman, and his wife, Ms Usha Rudhra. Students sang patriotic songs like “Sare jag se nirala apna Hindustan”, “Hum naujawan watan ke un shaheedon ko apna parnaam” and “Mere desh diya khil gaya gulzaran”. Students of junior section sang “God bless India, my sweet home”. Ms Baldeep Pandher, Principal, asked the students to promote the spirit of brotherhood and follow the path of righteousness. The function ended with the taking of oath.

Festivity marked the Independence Day celebrations at GMT Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bye Pass. The Directors, Mr K.S. Thind and Mr J.S. Thind, hoisted the national flag and inspected the guard of honour. They recalled the sacrifices of great leaders. Ms Heema Jassal, Principal, stressed the need for inculcating self-discipline and moral values while sharing responsibility towards society. A newly constructed KG block was inaugurated by the directors.

At Kundan Vidya Mandir, the day was celebrated with zeal and patriotic fervour. The function was presided over by Dr Lajpat Rai, an eye surgeon, and Lala Lajpat Rai, MP and president of school committee. Dr Lajpat Rai inspected the guard of honour presented by members of the Iron Eagle Club. He hoisted the national flag and the students joined together to sing the National Anthem. This was followed by a march past by physical education students, NCC and Iron Eagle contingent. The school band added glory to the grandeur by playing the tune of “Sare jahan se achha” followed by flag song “Jhanda uncha rahe hamara”. The tiny tots paid tributes to the national heroes through their tableau “Eh vatan, tum ko meri kasam”. Anubha Khera of Class XI and Mehak Wadhera of Class VIII spoke of the responsibilities of a free India. The school came alive with the singing of “Apni dharti apna ambar apna Hindustan”. The highlight of the show was a choreographic representation of “Tu mera India” which saw the participation of around 200 students of middle and senior sections.

Ryan International School also held celebrations on the school premises. The function was presided over by the chief guest, Mr Kulwant Singh, Additional SHO, Focal Point. Mr Dalbir Singh Panesar, chairman of Resident Welfare Society, was the guest of honour. The Tricolour was hoisted and chief guest received the salute by marching students. A short cultural programme depicting various shades of Indian culture was also staged. The students took the pledge to safeguard the freedom and cultural heritage of the country.

Tiny tots of Sheen-Shine Playway School, Haibowal Khurd, celebrated the day with fervour. They presented a cultural show, which included various music, dance and drama items. The school Principal hoisted the national flag, followed by the National Anthem, which was sung by students and teachers.

Parents of students were invited to attend a function at Vatika Nursery School, BRS Nagar. A poem, “Chhoti chhoti bache”, was recited by the kids. They participated in a poetry recitation contest in which they recited two poems each. Ricky Gupta was declared first among pre-nursery kids. Bhavika of nursery section won the first prize. Sehajleen Kaur was declared second. Besides, various other cultural programmes were arranged in which Paharai group dance was presented.

At Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, a function was held to mark the day. Mr Baldev Raj Jain, president, school committee, hoisted the national flag. Mr O.P. Arora, Principal of boys’ wing, recalled the sacrifices during the freedom struggle. Ms Usha Arora, Principal of girls’ branch, exhorted the students to imbibe patriotism and nationalism while making efforts to preserve the rich Indian culture.


Senior citizens celebrate Independence Day
Our Correspondent

Senior citizens celebrate Independence Day at a function organised at Sita Mandir, Daresi, Ludhiana, on Friday.
Senior citizens celebrate Independence Day at a function organised at Sita Mandir, Daresi, Ludhiana, on Friday.

Ludhiana, August 15
Senior Citizens under the aegis of the All-India Senior Citizens Organisation (regd) celebrated the Independence Day at Sita Mandir, Daresi Grounds. The function was attended by more than 500 senior citizens.

The National Flag was hoisted by the chief guest, Lala Lajpat Rai, MP (Rajya Sabha). Mr Dalip Bharati, Dr Mahesh Bhaskar, and Mr Sham Lal Kalia sang patriotic songs.

Mr Rattan Lal Pambi, general secretary of the organisation, said they want the pension process to be simplified. The senior citizens face a number of problems when they go to get their pensions. They should get pensions through the post offices and not through insurance companies. He also said senior citizens should also be made members of the District Grievances Committee formed by the Punjab Government.

Mr Kuldip Singh Brar, social security officer, Ludhiana, was the guest of honour.

Water conservation

The students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women pledged to conserve water. Everyone is aware of the depliting ground water level and the students would make others aware of it. The function was presided over by Mr Prem Chand Mittal, senior Deputy Mayor of the city. After lighting the traditional lamp, he unfurled the flag and later inspected the parade. The NSS, NCC, and youth club members marched smartly. The Principal, Ms Madanjit Kaur Sahota and the College president, Mr Swaran Singh, honoured the chief guest. The students sang patriotic songs.

Friends Dyeing and Finishing Mills Pvt Ltd, Mehaban village, Rahon road, also celebrated Independence Day. On the occasion, the factory workers were honoured and given sweets. About 150 factory workers participated in the function. Mr Balbir Singh, factory in-charge and the director, Mr Chetan Sharma, were present on the occasion.


Freedom fighters celebrate I-Day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 15
All India Freedom Fighters Successor’s Organisation celebrated Independence Day at Dewan Hospital here today.

Dr Narottam Dewan, Chief Surgeon, Dewan Hospital and general secretary, Freedom Fighter’s Successors Organisation of India, Punjab branch, while addressing the gathering said independence was the result of struggle and suffering of the people over thousands of years. “This is the fruit of their blood and sweat,” stressed Dr Dewan.

Dr Dewan suggested," the freedom fighters and their successors in a meeting held at Jalianwala Bagh had suggested to make replica of Jalianwala Bagh in every district, we repeat the suggestion”.

In another function, Independence Day was celebrated at Ambedkar Colony, Rishi Nagar, today. Dr Arun Mitra, Assistant Secretary, CPI, Ludhiana, hoisted the flag. He called upon the people to beware of the communal divisive forces that were about to sabotage the unity and integrity of the country. To safeguard hard earned freedom, it was essential to forge unity among the people since they were constantly under attack as laws were being changed in the name of labour reforms. Others who addressed the gathering include Guram Singh Sidhu, Jit Kumari, Shanti Bawa and Saroj Kumar.

All-India Youth Federation observed Independence Day by hoisting the flag and held a meeting at Isru Bhavan, Ludhiana. The meeting was addressed by Gulzar Gorea, Arun Mitra, Vijay Kumar, and Kuldip Singh Binnder. Mitra spoke at length on the history of freedom struggle. He gave a detailed account of glorious role of the communists in the freedom movement.

The students and staff of National Child Labour Project School Number 5, Jamalpur celebrated the Independence Day. They exhibited the products prepared by them. They also presented cultural programmes. The chief guest, Dr Arun Mitra, called upon the children to plant saplings to safeguard the environment. He also asked the teachers to teach history in proper perspective so that come to know of the sacrifice made by the people. To celebrate the day, several functions were held at Chaand Colony and Bhagat Singh Colony, Dhandra Road.

Punjab National Bank celebrated Independence Day at the local zonal office. The National Flag was hoisted by Mr H.L.Arora, Deputy General Manager, PNB (Punjab zone). Staff members of the bank sang the National Anthem on the occasion.

Mr Arora addressed the staff members and said the country had attained freedom due to the sacrifices made by great patriots. Mr Arora remembered that the sacrifices made by soldiers during 1971 war and Kargil conflict and paid tributes to soldiers who laid down their lives for the nation.

Bairagi Maha Mandal celebrated Independence Day at Haibowal today. Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president Bairagi Mahan Mandal Punjab, said the nation should remember the sacrifice made by Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chander Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Rajguru, Sukhdev and Shahid Bhagat Singh. Mr Bawa said during the Kargil conflict, many people sacrificed their lives and the BJP was blamed for the loss. “It is the duty of all people to sustain the independence and put in all our energies for the prosperity of the country”, Mr Bawa added.


Martyr’s family living in penury
Tribune News Service

Issru (Ludhiana), August 15
Even as the “grateful” state remembers the contribution of Shaheed Master Karnail Singh Issru in the Goa Liberation Operation every year, what remains hidden is the plight of his family which living in penury for the past several decades.

What is painful for the family is that they are ceremonial props who are dutifully dusted every year and then promptly forgotten till the next event.

It is an ‘ordeal by martyrdom’ for his aged wife and a sister-in-law, who continue to live in penury at the martyr’s ancestral house in the village. Though the Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the family members of the martyr today, they are, however, keeping their fingers crossed till they actually get the money.

The tale of struggle for the existence of the Issru’s wife, Ms Charanjit Kaur and his sister-in-law, Ms Swaranjit Kaur is a tell-tale evidence of how the nation treats the surviving relatives of martyrs. Masterji as the village remembers the martyr, was killed by the Portugese army at Goa on this day 48 years ago, when he had hoisted the National Flag there.

The family showed its anguish over the treatment given to them by the respective governments in the state. They have never received an invitation from anybody to attend the function. The martyr’s house is situated a few meters away from the main pandal where the function is organised every year but no political leader has ever visited their house till date except the former President, Giani Zail Singh.

“Every year I come to attend the function on my own. They have never sent an invitation to me. Even if I don’t come here it won’t matter anybody,” said his wife showing her anger at the treatment meted out to her.

The family has been running from pillar to post for the past six years urging upon the district police to trace the martyr’s nephew, the only male member in the family, who had gone missing six years ago. Martyr’s sister, Karnail Kaur and his wife also met the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh today and narrated their tale of woes.

The Chief Minister directed the SSP, Ludhiana, Mr Narinderpal Singh to look into the matter and do whatever possible for the family. Talking to the TNS on the spot, Ms Karnail Kaur said the 26-year-old-man had gone missing and they had even pledged their land while trying to look for him. Today the family was not left with a single source of income. A pension of Rs 2,000 by the state government to his wife every month was too less to help the three women in the family.

“I arrange for the money from here and there. Though I hate to accept the money from my relatives, I am forced to do it. There is no one to look after me. One of my daughters is also staying with me. And we have no source of income. So Charanjit stays with her parents in a village near Ambala most of the time,” Ms Swaranjit Kaur said.

His wife, who was 17 years old at that time had not even lived with the martyr for a day. They got married when they were adolescents and she was yet to leave his parents house when he attained martyrdom. His widow decided to live with the honour of being his wife and never remarried.


Bloopers in billing a nagging problem
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 15
The computerised billing of water and sewerage charges and reconciliation of accounts of the Municipal Corporation notwithstanding, city residents are still at the receiving end as far as inflated bills of civic charges are concerned. The complaints of water and sewerage bills, showing arrears, which in most cases stand already paid, are mounting and the affected residents are made to go from pillar to post for no fault of theirs to get the bills corrected and make payments.

There have been instances when relevant entries of payments received towards water and sewerage charges as well as house tax have not been credited to the account of the consumers for years together and it is only at the time of the residents concerned needing a “no objection certificate” (NOC) or going for transfer of title in property that the glaring mistakes come to notice and rectification is done. In many cases, the residents, who do not care to preserve the receipts of payments already made in the past, have to repay for the ‘bogus’ arrears in order to get clearance certificates.

A local resident, Mr Jagpal Singh Dara, who wanted his ancestral property in Model Town transferred in the name of legal heirs, was in for a shock of his life when he was told that the water and sewerage bills for the property had not been paid since 1985.

Fortunately for the consumer, all receipts of the bills paid till the current period were available with him and the staff concerned made relevant entries before the request for transfer of property was granted. Had it been otherwise, the MC would have recovered the entire amount from the applicant.

Mr Dara, an advocate, in a representation to the Secretary, Local Government, has said that his case was not an isolated example as there were thousands of other instances when entries of payment received towards water and sewerage charges were not credited to the relevant accounts of consumers. In these circumstances, how were the accounts reconciled and audited, more so when the accounting system was computerised.

A factory owner got a similar treatment when a staggering amount of Rs 45,000 was shown as arrears in the current house tax bill. It was only after a couple of visits to the zonal office and production of receipts of payment that the bill was corrected.

Another resident who had to visit the MC office several times to get his inflated water and sewerage bill rectified observed that the very purpose of computerisation of accounts was defeated if the payments made by consumers were not automatically credited in the relevant account. He said not only immediate steps should be taken to make suitable alteration in the computer software but the responsibility for negligence should be fixed with erring employees and officials should be punished to save the public from “avoidable” harassment.


Man sets himself afire

Ludhiana, August 15
Upset with the refusal of his wife to return to her in-laws house, a 23-year-old man set himself ablaze in front of her house in Amarpura Colony here this afternoon. He was admitted to the local Civil Hospital in serious condition.

The victim, Deepak of Basti Jodhewal, had gone to the house of his wife Manpreet Kaur to convince her to return home. They were married a year ago. Both had quarrelled over some issue and the woman had gone to her parents’ house.

Deepak first tried to convince his wife and her parents but when the threat failed to work, he went out of the house, doused himself in petrol and set himself on fire. TNS


No respite for Sant Nagar residents
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 15
Residents in New Sant Nagar locality on the Chuharpur road in the Haibowal area are a miserable lot, as they are living in insanitary conditions. The irony of the situation is that they have no one to turn towards for a helping hand.

Hapless residents of the area like Mr Bhagwan and many others like him lament that the entire locality is in a pathetic condition with no amenities worth the name. Though piped water supply has been made available, the streets are unpaved, there are no drains, no sewerage, no street lights and no one to take care of the sanitation.

In the absence of facilities like drainage and sewerage system, the waste water, and sullage flows out directly into the streets. The conditions become worse during the rainy season when the residents have to wade through mud and slush.

Though the residents of the colony are living in pitiable conditions but the fact is that they are partly responsible for the situation they find themselves in. Enquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune from the civic authorities revealed that it is an unapproved residential colony and like other undeclared areas and slums, is not entitled to lay claims for civic amenities from the Municipal Corporation. Even though the residents might have purchased the plots from some coloniser, the houses have been constructed without any approved building plans and payment of development charges to the municipal Corporation.

The area councillor, Ms Amarjit Kaur, told Ludhiana Tribune that the water was being supplied to the residents by the municipal corporation on humanitarian grounds and for that too, the residents were reluctant to pay. Since the colony was unapproved, the MC was not expected to provide facilities like paved streets, sewerage and other amenities until a policy decision was taken for all similar unapproved colonies in the city. “Sometimes back, a proposal was forwarded to municipal corporation administration for granting approval to the colony so that basic civic amenities can be provided to the residents but in the face of the reluctance of residents to pay stipulated development charges, nothing came out of it.”

Like hundreds of other unapproved colonies in the mega city, the only hope of the residents lies with the government coming out with a blanket approval scheme for all such residential colonies or the corporation taking up development work under its proposed slum development plan for the city. In any case there is a long wait ahead for the suffering residents of the colony.


Cong bigwigs lock horns over complex inauguration
Our Correspondent

Amloh, August 15
The cold war going on between Mr Jasjeet Singh Randhawa Minister for Public Health, Rural Development and Panchayats, and Mr Sadhu Singh MLA, further escalated when Mr Randhawa in a press note alleged today that MLA had sabotaged the function which was organised on August 13 to inaugurate the newly constructed samiti complex. Mr Randhawa was an invitee the function.

It was stated in the press note that the function was fixed by the District Administration in consultation with the MLA and he being the minister of the department concerned was invited, he himself contacted the MLA on the telephone and the latter had confirmed the date.

The Executive Engineer and the BDPO of the department had chalked out the programme in consultation with the MLA, he asserted.

Mr Randhawa pointed out in anguish that he had always supported the MLA in spite of the alleged complaints of anti-social activities brought to his notice by the people. Now the recent conspiracy hatched against the official function has exposed his real face, he added.

Earlier Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, MLA, had declared the decision of the supporters in press conference on August 13 in the presence of 10 samiti members, including the chairman besides the block Congress chief, that he himself would again inaugurate the complex.

The offices would not be allowed to be shifted in the new complex till it was inaugurated by him. Mr Shingara Singh, block Congress chief, said he along with his supporters would approach the high command against the minister for interfering in the block without taking them into confidence.

The people of the area are confused whether to side with the MLA or the minister as Mr Randhawa belongs to this area.


Familiar sound, unique origin
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 15
When one hears the tinkling of ‘ghungroos’, one expects the sound to be coming from the ghungroos attached to the feet. But yesterday, Ahsan Bharti did the unbelievable. He produced different sounds of ‘ghungroos’ from his throat. The audience was mesmerised to hear sounds of the bells tied on the bull’s neck, the tinkling of broken ghungroos, the dancing ghungroos and even a jugalbandhi of anklets and ghungroos. An amazing performance indeed! For his unique performance , his name was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1992. Ahsan Bharti, qawwali artiste was in the city yesterday to celebrate the spirit of freedom on the eve of 57th year of Independence.

In an exclusive interview to Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Bharti said,” I belong to Meerut and have been singing qawwalis from past 25 years. About that time only I met a ‘pir’ in Meerut. He told me that if I wanted to beat the top, then I would have to do something outstanding. He then produced the sounds of ghungroos from his throat. I closed my eyes to enjoy the extraordinary performance.

I decided to imitate the pir. For five years, I stayed in one room and reduced my contact with the outside world. I only came out of the room after I had learnt to play ghungroos with the throat .Rest is history . Now I am training my son.” He said he was going to appear in a Hindi movie titled ‘Yadshantra’. He said Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Indira Gandhi had conferred awards upon him for his works on national integration’. My first name is Ashan but I have decided to add Bharti as I am Indian first. This is my message on the eve of Independence that we are Indians first and Punjabis, Muslims, or Sikhs later.

Ahsan performance charged the atmosphere. He was accompanied by Ms Gulzar Bano and Ms Sunita Chaudhry. He started with a few couplets devoted to god . He sang “Allaha Tujhe Keh do, Ishwar Tujhe Keh Do’. and he invoked gods of all religions in his devotional song. He sang qawwali, ‘Aaina muhabbat ka choor choor kar dala , do dilo ko duniya ne aur door kar dala’.

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