Saturday, August 23, 2003, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


CM opens 400 KV line: More power to the people
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
The supply of electricity to Najafgarh, Mehrauli, Vasant Kunj and Pappankalaan is expected to be streamlined after the inauguration of the Rs 64 crore 400 KV Banauli–Ballabgarh line by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday.

The Banauli–Ballabgarh line marks the completion of the Rs 120-crore Mandola–Bawana–Bamnauli–Ballabgarh–Dadri–Mandola ring. The Principal Secretary (Energy) and Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Delhi Transco Limited, Mr Jagdish Sagar, said the Banauli–Ballabgarh line was commissioned in 1992-93.

The work on the Banauli–Ballabgarh line took a decade to complete on account of litigation and procedural hurdles. (Sources said several court cases and the delay in getting clearances from the Department of Forest, Government of Haryana, also contributed to the delays.) Another reason was the deaths of nine persons in an accident during the construction of the line.

Talking to mediapersons after inaugurating the transmission line and a second 315 MVA transformer at the Bamnauli sub-station, Ms Dikshit said it would boost the supply of electricity in NCT of Delhi. “It will take care of voltage fluctuation and transmission problems,” she said. She said the distribution system would be upgraded within a year.

Ms Dikshit said there was no dearth of electricity and that load-shedding was more due to problems in the distribution of electricity than availability of power. She said the power cuts in certain areas of the Capital were also due to the surge in demand. The spurt in demand, she said, had caused wear and tear of the infrastructure like cables and transformers.

Power Minister Ajay Maken in turn said the NCT of Delhi now had “surplus power.” “It is a historical achievement,” he said, “Things have undergone a considerable change and in the last one year we have added nearly 900 MVA transmission capacity to the existing system.”

The minister praised the Delhi Transco Limited for successfully completing the project despite facing several problems. “This is really commendable considering the obstacles they faced. They are also doing a great job dealing with problems like power theft,” he said.

The minister said the Government of NCT of Delhi had undertaken several programmes to streamline the transmission and distribution of electricity. Detailing the steps taken to empower the people, he said the Tariff Order Regulatory Commission had revised and simplified the rates so that more consumers could be roped in. 


HSEB to involve masses in anti-copying drive
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 22
The Haryana School Education Board (HSEB), which often remains in the news for its failure to check mass copying during examinations and poor pass percentage, has now launched a drive to involve the masses in order to contain the problem.

The drive, which is not new, aims at holding seminars and meetings at various levels in the state besides creating awareness about the menace of copying. The newly appointed chairman of the HSEB, Brig O. P. Chaudhary (retd), said at a function held here yesterday that as part of the anti-copying campaign at least two such seminars would be held in two districts daily, covering all 45 subdivisions in the state. He said panches and sarpanches would be involved in the drive, adding that without the cooperation of the teaching community, students and parents the problem may not be checked properly. He admitted that teachers in a majority of the schools had not been discharging their duties and responsibilities and were shirking taking interest in teaching and guiding their students. He said the teaching community must resolve to take up this cause sincerely. Mr Chaudhary informed that in order to check corruption and inefficiency in the board as many as 176 officials and employees had been transferred recently. He said about 42 private schools which had submitted more application forms of examinees than what was declared by them had been detected.

The drive launched now is not the first such attempt in the history of the board. The HSEB, which has seen a large number of chairmans and secretaries, so far has not been able to achieve the end results as far as copying and poor results was concerned.

The board, which spends crores each year on education and holding examinations, has also been charged with rampant corruption, nepotism and inefficiency. The board officials often talk of new measures to curb copying and improving the result but there has hardly been any attempt to improve the performance and working of government schools and the large machinery involved in these, says Mr Kailash Sharma, an office-bearer of the Abhibhawak Ekta Manch (parents’ association), here. He claimed that there was no method or system to analyse the performance of teachers in schools.

Stating that there were a large number of schools where there was an acute shortage of teaching staff, he said many schools located in the urban areas were overstaffed. He said the transfer of teachers had become an industry and often political interference and corrupt practices had been a cause and effect. He said more parents in rural areas were going for private school education because proper teaching and facilities were not available. He said private teaching shops not meeting norms would be closed.


Rest assured, no CAS before polls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
Delhi Pradesh BJP President Madan Lal Khurana on Friday said he was “convinced” that the Conditional Access System (CAS) for cable television would not be introduced in the NCT of Delhi from September 1.

Mr Khurana told mediapersons he had spoken with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister and that he had almost been assured that CAS would not be implemented prior to the elections.

“We will not allow CAS to become another onion issue,” he said, recalling what the onion did to the party’s fortunes in the last elections. He favoured the introduction of CAS in the other metros first and later in Delhi.

He said he would like the drawbacks of implementing CAS to be assessed prior to introducing it in the Capital. He clarified he was all for CAS but it should be implemented after the elections.

Meanwhile, Mr Khurana today posed a series of questions to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. While kicking off the BJP’s Parivartan Yatra he had declared that he would pose five questions everyday to the Chief Minister.

Referring to the Lokayukta’s probe into the advertisement scam, Mr Khurana sought to know if the Lokayukta had in his September 25, 2001, order observed that “a very powerful politician and government officials are behind the scam… Issuing of advertisements has become a big money spinning business these days”.

The posers also dwelled on the alleged cases of corruption involving certain legislators of the Congress and officials. 


IT men swoop down on blanket unit
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panipat, August 22
It was panic stations in Asia’s biggest blanket market here following income tax raids on the premises of a prominent manufacturer here last evening.

According to information, Income Tax Department teams from Chandigarh and Delhi raided the residence, showroom and two factory premises of Mr Ramesh Bansal. The raids, which started around 5 pm, continued for several hours.

Mr Bansal was questioned by the IT sleuths at Palam Airport in Delhi a few days back. A sum of about Rs 12 lakh was found on his person. At that time, Mr Bansal had claimed he had got this money from his customers. The IT teams had reportedly come to verify whether Mr Bansal had evaded income tax or not. The team reportedly took certain documents with them for verification. Panic gripped the blanket manufacturers here as soon as news of the raids spread. Several prominent entrepreneurs went underground, allegedly with account books and records of the raw material and finished products. An eerie silence prevailed in the otherwise noisy “kambal bazaar”.


SC notices on large-scale felling of trees
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
The Supreme Court today issued notices to the DDA Vice-Chairman, the Delhi Government and Forest Department officials on a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against them for not being able to protect the Jahanpanah protected forest in south Delhi. A Bench comprising Mr Justice Y. K. Sabharwal and Mr Justice B. N. Agrawal issued the notices on a contempt petition filed by the NGO, Friends of Jahanpanah City Forest, alleging that large-scale cutting of trees and encroachments along with other illegal activities were being carried out in the protected forest despite a 1991 directive of the apex court for its protection.

The sprawling 800 acre forest in Greater Kailash-II had come under the scrutiny of the apex court, which on August 13, 1991, had ordered that “no tree in the protected forest shall be felled except in the case of diseased trees and even before such a tree is felled the DDA will take permission of the head of the Horticulture Department of the DDA.”

The petitioners alleged that in complete disregard of the 1991 directive a dargah, a temple, a taxi stand, several slum clusters and dhabas had come up and poachers had been killing peacocks and other birds and animals in the forest.


Three Noida engineers suspended
Our Correspondent

Noida, August 22
The Chief Executive Officer of Noida, Dr Om Prakash, has suspended three engineers for dereliction of duty and delay in executing works during the inspection of a site on August 18.

The three engineers, belonging to the Public Works Division (Civil), are Project Engineer M. P. Sharma, Assistant Project Engineer Sherpal and Assistant Engineer R. K. Sharma.

They have been found guilty of dereliction of duty and delay in the completion of work on footpaths in Sector 6 Noida.

Basically, this work was being got executed by the UP Jal Nigam but the Noida Authority officials have been supervising and monitoring it. Some one, it is learnt, had complained to the CEO that the work of footpaths in Sector 6 was being unnecessarily delayed. The CEO, therefore, inspected the work himself and suspended the officials.

This was done without any inquiry being conducted by any other official.

Six ROs get suspension orders

The District Magistrate, Mr Babu Lal Meena, has suspended six recovery officials (amins) for poor recovery of revenue and called for an explanation from 12 others. The recovery officials in the seven zones have been impressed upon to speed up their recovery operations.

During inspection, the work of six recovery officials (amins) of Garh Mukteshwar, Hapur and Modi Nagar was found to be unsatisfactory. They were, therefore, placed under suspension by the DM.

The District Magistrate has warned that strict action will be taken against those amins who show dereliction in recovery of revenue. Only Rs 18 crore has been collected so far against a target of Rs 37 crore, says the ADM (F).


Spate of thefts leave Faridabad residents worried
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, August 22
While the rising incidents of thefts, looting and robberies have left the residents worried and shocked, the police is yet to take any measures to instil confidence among the people.

At least three incidents of crime in the past 24 hours, including a daylight dacoity in Sector 7-A have sent a shock wave here. According to information, three armed youths knocked at house no 165 in Sector-7A at about 12 noon. When a woman came out to inquire about their identity, one of the youths brandished a revolver and pushed her inside. The accused reportedly tied up the two women in the house and took away cash, jewellery and valuables worth Rs 80,000 at gunpoint. The police have been unable to trace them so far.

In another incident that took place last night, certain robbers made their way into a house in Sector 9 and took away the Zen car parked inside the premises. It is reported that the thieves opened the lock of the gate and the car with a master key. The car belonged to a teacher of DAV Public School here.

In the third incident, certain persons made their way into a house in Sector 55 at midnight and escaped with some cash and jewellery. Thieves also entered a house in Dabua Colony here and took away Rs 3,000 and a mobile phone kept in a safe. The house was locked and its occupants had gone somewhere at that time. A case has been booked. While many such cases have occurred in the past fortnight the police have not been able to provide a regular patrol team in the residential areas. There are a large number of families here where both husband and wife are working and no one stays at house during the daytime.

Illegal arms factory unearthed

GHAZIABAD: With the arrest of two persons, the Indirapuram police have unearthed an illegal arms manufacturing factory near Sun City.

According to the SSP, Mr Chander Prakash, a countrymade rifle, 12 revolvers, cartridges and gadgets and machinery for arms manufacturing have been seized from the factory which had been making arms for quite some time.

The police had raided the area on a tip-off. In one of the incomplete houses the police nabbed Sanna Ullah of Kola Bhatta and Farooq of Meerut while they were engaged in manufacturing arms. In all, the police have recovered one rifle of 315 bore, five revolvers of 12 bore, two countrymade revolvers of 32 bore and a number of half finished revolvers and other equipment.

The SSP said both these criminals had earlier been to jail for committing murder, indulging in looting and manufacturing illegal arms in areas under the City Kotwali, Hapur and Sahibabad police stations as well as for recovery of stolen goods from them.

Manufacturing a revolver would cost them between Rs 100 and Rs 200 and they would sell the same to their clients between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000. OC


Auto thieves nabbed after encounter

GHAZIABAD: The Sihani Gate police have nabbed six members of an inter-state auto thieves’ gang after an encounter. The police claim to have recovered a stolen car and a motorbike from the gang. They used to sell stolen cars in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

The arrested criminals have been identified as Neeraj, Deepak, Vikrant, Yogesh, Vakil and Tahir. OC


Meerut Divisional Commissioner Nepal Singh Ravi today clarified that the remarks attributed to him in the report about decrease in the number of voters were actually those of the District Magistrate. The correspondent was apparently confused by the spate of statements. The error is regretted.


Chautala, Bhajan looked after only their districts: RLD leader
Our Correspondent

Jhajjar, August 22
State secretary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal Jagdish Rai Kaushik accused Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala and former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal of taking care of only their home districts in development works when in power. He alleged that the districts falling in south Haryana were being neglected by these two politicians.

Mr Kaushik said that the Union Government had sanctioned Rs 342 crore for various canal-based irrigation projects for the state. Of the total fund, the state government had allotted as much as Rs 320 crore only to Sirsa, the home district of the Chief Minister, and its neighbouring Fatehabad district.

“It is a matter of great concern that districts of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani, Sonepat and Jind districts were given only Rs 22.60 lakh while Rewari, Mahendragarh, Gurgaon and Faridabad situated on the southern part of the state are neglected completely,” rued the RLD leader.

Similarly, the Chautala government had also distributed Rs 51 crore as compensation to the drought-hit farmers in only three districts — Sirsa, Fatehabad and Bhiwani — out of a total of Rs 63 crore while the remaining 16 districts in the state got only Rs 12 crore, he alleged. This was highly condemnable and shameful.

He said that the Centre had granted Rs 164 crore from the relief fund to compensate the drought-affected farmers of the state, but the state government utilised only Rs 63 crore.

Levelling similar charges against the former Chief Minister and president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Bhajan Lal, the RLD leader said that youths from his constituency were given preference in the government jobs when he was the Chief Minister.

Taking strong exception to such tactics by the politicians, he said that while Mr Bhajan Lal had paid the price for his discriminatory policies in the elections, a similar treatment was awaiting the present incumbent, Mr Chautala, when the state will go to the polls next time.

Talking about Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal, Mr Kaushik alleged that these two politicians were the biggest hindrance to its completion as irrigation water, which was being diverted to Sirsa and Fatehabad districts, would then be diverted towards south Haryana. He alleged that water was being released in the canals only for seven of the 42 days on rotation basis in twelve districts of the state while a couple of districts were getting canal water for 30 days.

Mr Kaushik said that only the RLD was serious about the completion of the SYL canal and called upon the people to extend their support to the Jal Yudha campaign launched by the party.

He said that leaders of his party were mobilising people for the proposed rally on August 26 in Mahendragarh town, which would be addressed by party president Ajit Singh.


Surender Singh sees pro-HVP wave
Our Correspondent

Rewari, August 22
Mr Surender Singh, secretary-general of the Haryana Vikas Party, has asserted that a pro- Bansi Lal wave is sweeping Haryana, particularly in Ahirwal, in sharp contrast to the declining popularity of the Chautala regime.

He was addressing a meeting at Kapriwas village, about 20 km. from here, on Wednesday evening. Commenting on the impressive turnout at his meetings in almost all 30 villages of the Rewari, Bawal, Jatusana and Salhawas Assembly constituencies during the past four days, he said this showed that the pendulum had again started swinging in favour of HVP supremo Bansi Lal. Besides, it also gave one the impression that the masses were expecting early elections.

He said disenchantment with the Chautala regime had been growing among farmers, traders, employers, youths and various other sections of the society due to its various acts of omission and commission. It could now be anybody’s guess what fate the Chautala-led INLD was going to meet at the hustings next time in Haryana, he said.

He outlined the “stupendous” developmental works carried out by Mr Bansi Lal during his total tenure of about 12 years as Chief Minister. He claimed that it was Mr Bansi Lal who had made the JLN canal, the Mahendragarh canal and various other channels of irrigation possible in Ahirwal and it would again be Mr Bansi Lal who would do the utmost for the people of the region.

Mr Surender Singh called upon the people to participate in Mr Bansi Lal’s Rewari rally on August 25, which, he asserted, was going to be a historic one on several counts.


Ex-minister seeks CBI probe into PDS atta overpricing
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, August 22
Mr Jagbir Singh Malik, former Haryana minister and secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP), has demanded a CBI probe into the alleged overpricing of wheat flour meant for the BPL families by the depot-holders in Sonepat district. He termed the ongoing inquiry by the Chief Minister’s flying squad as eyewash.

Talking to mediapersons at Gohana town, 35 km from here, yesterday, he said that the officials of the CM’s flying squad were trying to unearth the irregularities by only checking the records of the fair price shops when everybody knew how these owners maintained their records.

He said that an inquiry should be made into the allegations that the depot-holders had sold atta to the BPL families at the rate of Rs 5.65 per kg instead of Rs 4.15 fixed by the government. He suggested that the officials of the CM’s flying squad should record the statements of the BPL families whether they had been getting the supply of subsidised ration from April onwards or not.

The HVP leader alleged that the officials of the Food and Supplies Department were in league with the depot-holders and hence they should not be associated with the inquiry. He demanded immediate transfer of all officials of the department to ensure an impartial probe into the scandal.

Mr Kishan Singh Sangwan, MP and vice-president of the Haryana BJP, it may be recalled, had already made a similar demand and alleged that the depot-holders had not supplied wheat to the BPL families in the district. Instead, they had supplied atta in violation of the government orders.

Meanwhile, officials of the CM’s flying squad had completed the work of getting photostat copies of the records of the depot-holders in this city. The officials have also recorded the statements of all depot-holders in this regard by calling them one by one at the PWD (B and R) rest house during the past two days.

The officials had also called the owners of fair price shops in the rural areas but most of them reportedly did not turn up for submitting the records and giving their statements.

The flying squad would visit every village and check the records of the depot-holders and record their statements. If any irregularity is detected, the officials would call the holders of yellow and pink colour ration cards for an inquiry. If the allegations are proved right, the officials would record the statements of these witnesses in a bid to punish the erring depot-holders.

The flying squad would submit a detailed report to the state government soon after the completion of the inquiry.


Open Frame 2003, festival of reality films, begins
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
Open Frame 2003, a festival showcasing 50 challenging productions from Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Asia, organised by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust and UNESCO in association with Prasar Bharti, has begun at Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, in the Capital. It will be on till August 25.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated the festival yesterday. The inaugural function was attended by chairman of the PSBT Adoor Gopalakrishnan, managing trustee Rajiv Mehrotra, CEO of Prasar Bharti K. S. Sarma, Mrinal Sen, Ms Rosa Gonasalez from UNESCO and trustees of the PSBT Ms Sharmila Tagore and Mr Kiran Kamik. Other eminent persons present included Ms Aruna Vasudev of Cinemaya, Ms Nalini Singh and Mr Tarun Tejpal.

Appreciating the efforts by the PSBT in the direction of promoting public service broadcasting, Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “It has become important in the times of today’s lives to have a space for the public’s own opinion to become a voice. The festival of reality films being showcased here will be able to narrow the gap between fiction and creativity.”

Foreign directors from far away countries like Senegal, Iran, Palentine, Tongo, Namibia and Pakistan are taking part in the festival. The film, `S21, The Khmer Rouge Killing machine’, by Rithy Panh on Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia was appreciated by one and all on the opening day. Trisha Das’ `Diya in the Dargah’ on Hindu-Muslim relationship in Gujarat was another film that gathered appreciation from everyone.

The festival will continue till August 25. There will be a scriptwriting workshop by Mr Peter Lee Wright, from National Film and Television School, the UK, on August 26 and August 27.


Suppliers charged more from MCD for
mid-day meal items
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has alleged that tenders for the supply of mid-day meals were awarded at higher rates in comparison to the rates of such items being procured by the Government of NCT of Delhi’s Department of Social Welfare.

Replying to a question, Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Sanjay Paswan told the Rajya Sabha that the MCD had also made allegations about poor quality of food items.

“There is no match between terms and conditions of supplies being procured by these two agencies in terms of requirement of calories, protein value and mode of packaging,” the minister said, quoting the information furnished by the MCD.

Mr Paswan said the Ministry had asked chief secretaries of states and administrators of Union Territories (UTs) to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary / Additional Secretary / Development Commissioner to oversee the implementation of the mid-day meal programme.

He said states / UTs had also been asked to set up appropriate supervision and monitoring mechanisms to ensure that there was no misappropriation and misutilisation of foodgrains allocated for the programme.

Violation of SCO

Fourteen exporters, including two from NCT of Delhi, have diverted sugar meant for exports to the domestic market. The names of these exporters have been forwarded to the competent authority for taking appropriate action for violation of Sugar Control Order (SCO) under the Essential Commodities Act, Union Minister of State for Civil Supplies V Shreenivasa Prasad informed the Lok Sabha. A case of diversion of rice meant for exports to the domestic market has also been found, the minister said. Among the 14 erring exporters were Shivnathrai Harnarain (India) Ltd, New Delhi and Nielson Overseas Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.

WB loan for ICDS

Union Minister of State in the Ministry of Human Resource Development Jaskaur Meena told the Rajya Sabha there were 3,842 anganwadi centres in NCT of Delhi. The minister informed that the World Bank had extended a loan worth 185.6 million US dollars for the ICDS programme in the last three years. The money is spent on running the anganwadis in the NCT of Delhi and elsewhere. The Union Government has also contributed Rs 3,950.24 crore in the last three years.

Courts for women

NCT of Delhi is among the few states / Union Territories to have set up exclusive courts to deal with cases pertaining to women. Andhra Pradesh has set up three courts, Karnataka 22, Rajasthan four and NCT of Delhi six courts for women.

Union Minister for Law and Justice Arun Jaitley told the Lok Sabha that the Union Government had recently approached the High Courts to set apart an exclusive fast track court at the district level to deal with cases pertaining to atrocities on women. 



Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism?
If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

BEFORE the reorganisation of the erstwhile Punjab state into Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, administration of education was one of the best in the country, and was worth emulating.

Teachers, headmasters, principals and inspectors of schools were dedicated and committed. The students were obedient and law-abiding and the use of unfair means in the examination was hardly heard of. No wonder, the academic performance was of high standard.

The evaluation system was reliable, fair and foolproof. The mark sheet reflected the true calibre of the candidate’s ability. The system of entrance examination to professional courses were unheard of.

The Punjab University and later on, the Punjab Board of School Education, Chandigarh, were responsible for holding High School/Higher Secondary Examination.

Results of the examinations were easily available either in The Tribune or through special phone enquiry system. In all, the errors in exam results were negligible. They could be easily reconfirmed, and certificates were available in the schools the very next day.

The Postal Department deserves special praise for its efficient service.

Today, even in the midst of telecommunication revolution, Internet, E-mail and cyber café, one struggles to reconfirm ones doubts.

The prevalent system/directives of the examination board to collect the results and the certificates from the District Education Offices is cumbersome and encourages corrupt practices. Red-tape procedures will multiply.

The logic of the board that it will save Rs 1 lakh annually by the new system is misleading. The credibility of the Haryana Board of School Education has suffered.

My appeal is that the board should revert to its old and trusted pattern.


Tackling the menace of ragging

Educational institutions, particularly professional institutions-medical and engineering colleges-have earned the dubious reputation of having extreme cases of ‘ragging’.

Fresh students have experienced so much pain, ignominy and humiliation at the hands of their seniors that a few of them have abandoned their course and some have even committed suicide.

Almost all the institutions are badly afflicted with this malaise.

Freshers go through nightmarish experience during the early days in these institutions. It is time that stricter laws should be made and implemented. Wardens and principals should be made responsible and accountable if any incident of ragging is reported by freshers.

Really, ‘ragging’ is a slur on the name of education. Instead of welcoming and guiding freshers in a proper manner, the so-called seniors terrorise them and torture them physically and mentally.

Students even in the most reputed institutions like AIIMS, (New Delhi), AFMC (Pune) and IITs are found indulging in it. Freshers should take a pledge not to repeat the folly of their seniors when they succeed them.


Two faces of our society

The recent ruling of the Supreme Court has vindicated the two-child policy for candidates at the panchayat level. Another landmark policy of gender sensitisation is the ongoing Devi-Roopak Yozna’, which provides incentives for family planning.

It provides cash incentive of Rs 500 per month for 20 years to a couple who get themselves sterilised after the birth of the first girl child and Rs 200 per month for 20 years to a couple for 20 years who get themselves sterilised after the birth of the first male child or two female children.

These two decisions of the government reflect the brighter side of life in Haryana. Haryanavis are simple people, who often take revolutionary step in certain matters of national significance. The above examples are true testimony to our national consciousness.

On the contrary, an anti-social ‘cracker culture’ is becoming predominant in our cities. It has become a kind of ‘social evil’ amongst the newly-rich, particularly in the urban areas. The use of crackers has acquired a nuisance value, particularly during the various festivals. These people hardly care about the pollution and destruction that they cause by their irrational behaviour and habit.

Clearly, the festival of Teej is a festival of joy and happiness. The use of crackers on such festival is a disgrace and disturbs the spirit of the festival.

Who will check such deviance visible during festivals? Even as our government and other concerned citizens are busy planting trees to save our environment, others are playing havoc with the same. This paradoxical situation is now percolating to the suburban towns and villages. Clearly, there is two side to our social life, one the good and the other, quite ugly.


Let all deserving be rewarded

In the epic Mahabharat, Guru Dhronacharya discriminated against Eklavya so as to make his favourite disciple Arjuna the best archer.

Similarly, our sports ministry has discriminated against many of our talented sportsmen.

The Arjuna Awards were instituted at the initiative of Maharaja of Patiala, Yatwinder Singh, to honour sportsmen who brought laurels to our country.

With the passage of time, these awards brought job, fame and money to the sportsmen. To overcome any controversy, the Sports Ministry has set up a committee to nominate the awardees.

However, inspite of all precaution, these awards have been surrounded by controversies. This year, the awards committee under the chairmanship of Mr P. K. Banerjee, had nominated 21 names for the Arjuna Awards and 2 for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.

But the Sports Ministry directed the committee to limit their nominations to 15 for Arjuna Awards and one for the Khel Ratan. The ministry explained this cut to budgetary compulsions. Reportedly, this would save the treasury a burden of Rs 20 lakh.

The government justified this step by stating that they had spent nearly Rs 1 crore during the bidding process for the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

We are looking for medals in Athens, hoping to host 2010 Commonwealth Games, spending crores of rupees for the promotion of the games. These are expected to produce a sports environment, which will promote sports in the country and provide a decent status to our sportsmen. Our Sports Ministry should keep in mind that the awards should be based on performance. When we cannot accept the cost of Rs 20 lakh to reward our sportsmen, what is the need of spending crores of rupees on hosting international games?

After all, these games are for player, at the end of which our aim is to recognise their talents.

Therefore, the government should reconsider its decision and let all the deserving sportspersons be rewarded.

Hopefully, the Sports Ministry will rectify this mistake. If we want that people should stop saying, “Nation of one billion people with a single bronze medal”, then we should all start taking sports seriously.


Encouraging children to overcome fear

Teenagers generally have a propensity to develop a fear syndrome in their minds during exams. They may not say it, but during exams, their behaviour will reflect it.

They loose their self-confidence, which even affects their performance in the exams. Why do the students develop a propensity of being fearful during examination period?

One of the reasons could be due to the extra load of syllabi during exams.

Secondly, the constant pressure from their parents, who link their social status with the performance of their child in the examination.

It only helps to develop a fear psychosis among children. In my opinion, there is surely a solution to this problem. Parents should prosaically and very calmly discuss the problems with their children. They should not just preach to them, but understand their unique problem.

Moreover, children must also freely share their feelings with their parents and teachers so that they can overcome examination fear.

Thus, instead of ‘baying’ at them, parents and teachers should help the students get over their fear. The children should be encouraged to be optimistic so that they can perform well in all their activities.


Value education

Principal Seema Bhandari in her article, “Importance of value education in schools” (NCR July 21, 2003), has observed-”Personality development and etiquette also help to foster the basis of good grooming and upright personality of the children.

Parents remain the pivot point at home, where children consciously or subconsciously emulate the examples set by them.”

If children everywhere were given the right kind of home training, (another term for value education), conflicts in the world would certainly be reduced.

Almost all the problems that afflict the human race can be traced to wrong environment and training during childhood. Proper home training by parents develops a balanced personality among the children.

The parents should, therefore, keep the following observations made by a child psychologist in mind:

“Children learn what they live. If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world”.

— O. P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Ministry to tackle traffic jams?

While visiting Shahdra and Madhuban Chowk in Delhi recently, I have come to the conclusion that it is time the Delhi Government created a ministry to tackle traffic jams.

There are so many traffic jams in this scorching heat. Normally, one can reach Shahdra from ISBT in twenty minutes. However, to my utter surprise and agony, I reached the destination in 80 minutes.

Similarly, there was a traffic jam at the Madhuban Chowk for one full hour. It is necessary that the Delhi Government tackle this problem on a war footing. No one can wait in scorching heat for hours together.

Imagine the fate of passengers in crowded buses or in their own vehicle.

People who break traffic rules must be fined heavily so that others may fear the consequences of violating it.


Importance of primary education

If our leaders had paid proper attention to education, especially primary education at the grassroots, most of the ills that plague our society today would have been absent. Unfortunately, our leaders since Independence have neglected the development of human resource in our country.

The personality of an individual is developed during the early years. It is the time when a person is groomed easily. Values, rights and duties can easily be inculcated when the child is young.

Much of the violence that is common today would have been unheard of if we had groomed our children well.

An individual with good grooming (not necessarily from only rich background) will not pick up arms unnecessarily at the slightest pretext or provocation and get misguided easily.

Our President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has provided the right signal by emphasising that the parents and teachers together can make a difference in the society.

In this context, I have a suggestion to make. The cream of our society, the most brilliant of minds, join the IAS, IFS, IPS, Medicine, Engineering, Business Management etc.

Unfortunately, for education, we are left with “left overs”. Those who are unable to find any job join the teaching profession. If we institute a test like the IAS, ‘Indian Primary School Teachers Services’ and provide best emoluments and facilities to them, the best talents will be attracted to serve.

Then we will not have ‘sleepy’ primary school teacher in the classroom and children whiling away their time or primary school teachers using the students for farming and other personal chores.

Government has been spending a lot of money on higher education. May be it was right at the time when we got our Independence. However, today it shows the ill planning in our education system. Had we paid the right kind of attention to our primary education, we would have had a literate nation today.

Unfortunately, we have neglected our primary education over the years. Even now, if the government puts the right emphasis on primary education, we will manage to solve many of our day to day problems that our society is grappling with.



One killed as tractor rams mobike
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, August 22
One person was killed and another injured when a tractor rammed a motorcycle, near Mela ground, on Badli Road, in Bahadurgarh, last evening.

According to information, Sandeep and his cousin Sonu were going towards Sabzi Mandi from their house on their bike when a tractor coming from opposite direction rammed into their vehicle. Both fell down from the bike and the tractor run over Sandeep, who was rushed to the local Civil Hospital in serious condition. He was declared brought dead.

The tractor driver reportedly escaped from the spot after the accident. The police have registered a case against him in this connection.

BSF jawan electrocuted

Two persons died in separate incidents in the Bahadurgarh sub-division today. According to information, a BSF jawan, who had come to his home on annual leave, was electrocuted at his residence in Arya Nagar colony here.

In another incident, a labourer died of snakebite in a factory in Bupania village.

Factory Gutted

Faridabad: Fire broke out in a chemical manufacturing unit in Sector 24 here today. While the cause of fire is still unknown, no casualties were reported.

32-year-old widow strangled

Noida: A 32-year-old widow, Rukmani Devi, was strangled to death here yesterday.

The elder brother of her husband, with whom she was living, has been arrested by the police.

According to city SP Vijay Bhushan, Rukmani Devi, a resident of Sector 20, was living alone after her husband expired last year. However, her brother-in-law, Ganga Ram, who also lived in the same sector, was looking after her. This created discord in his family, following which he started living with Rukmani Devi, the police said.

When Ganga Ram returned home late in the evening yesterday, he found Rukmani on the floor, and blood was oozing out from her mouth.

When the police reached there, she had already breathed her last and there were some wounds on her body.

The police have taken Ganga Ram into custody and are investigating the matter.


Spurt in chain snatching, but no cases registered
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 22
A spate of chain snatching incidents has been reported from different areas of the Capital but no case has been registered so far. To make their work easy, the police closed the cases with a statement that the victims did want investigation into the cases.

Sources said that a youth entered the house of Vasanto Kumari at Sector 5, R. K. Puram, when she was watching TV and snatched her chain. In another case, Dilpreet Kaur, a resident of Paschim Vihar, reported to the police that two youths snatched her chain while she was boarding a bus near Peeragarhi Chowk. Yet another incident took place in Nangloi where Omvati (50) lost her chain to a snatcher. The incident occurred when she was going to a hospital along with her son. Incidents of the same nature have taken place in Peetampura, Pandav Nagar, Mayur Vihar and Krishna Nagar, the police said.

Murder solved

The South district police today claimed to have worked out the murder of a Nepali youth. The youth was found murdered in a park in Defence Colony a few days back. The suspects were identified as Lalit and his wife Aasha alias Meena. The police said that Meena allegedly had an affair with the victim, who had some odd habits. She was fed up with his habits and allegedly stabbed him to death with the help of her husband.

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