Sunday, September 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kalam casts spell on students
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, September 6
September 4 has been a day that at least 650 students from 23 schools of the city will not never forget. They had never imagined that they would watch President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam from so close and even interact with him.

Even two days after the visit of the President, it is their interaction with him that has left an indelible mark on their minds. As they share their experiences with their friends, teachers and relatives, a feeling mixed with pride, confidence and self-esteem reflects on the faces of these students.

The students see the day as a lifetime opportunity since they feel that they might never be able to get a similar chance. They also hold Dr Kalam in high respect since it was for the first time that a President took an initiative to interact with the students directly, listen to their queries and give them suitable advice. The students also feel much convinced with the answers given to them by the “Missile Man”.

In fact Dr Kalam has become a role model for most of the schoolchildren who listened to him on the day, as Diljot Grewal, Class XII student from GRD Academy, says: “I want to be like him. He rose from a small village in Tamil Nadu, aimed big and made tremendous strides to finally occupy the highest position in the country. During the interaction, he narrated various anecdotes from his life, about the hardships he faced, the people who inspired him and led him to success. I also want to achieve success and be big like him one day.”

Recalling the day, Nidhi, a Class XII student from BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, said it was simply wonderful. “Talking to a multi-faceted man who is just not the President of the country but also a scientist, humanitarian and a great patriot, simply makes me feel out of this world.” Even the girls of the school who sung the National Anthem on the occasion are excited to have presented it before the President of the nation.

It is not just the students, even their Principal, Ms Paramjit Kaur, who seemed much excited as she said it was the greatest day in her life. She said she listened to him for almost one and a half hours, once at the function of Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) and second during the students’ interaction. She said the President had indeed ignited their minds, as they seem much motivated after the meeting.

Nearly 10 visually impaired students from the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre (VRTC) who were also invited for the interaction feel thankful to the district administration for giving them a chance to be with the President. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Puneet Soni said he listened to each and every word he spoke. “When I asked him about any development programmes for the visually impaired, he suggested me not to wait for any such chance and rather accumulate strength within myself and move forward to achieve my goals. I will follow his command,” he said.

Mr E.M. Johnson, Director of the centre, said children were so excited that it was difficult for him to describe in words. Children keep on talking about him and saying: “Sir, he is so intelligent. He is a gem. We want to meet him again. We want the meeting to be personal this time.” The director said he assured them that he would arrange for a meeting and take them to New Delhi soon.


Honour for three teachers
Our Correspondent

Mr Ranjit Singh, Headmaster of Government High School, Salem Tabri, receives a national award from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Mr Ranjit Singh, Headmaster of Government High School, Salem Tabri, receives a national award from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday.

Ludhiana, September 6
It was a rare honour for three teachers from the city who received national awards from Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, at a Teacher's Day function held in New Delhi yesterday.

The three teachers returned back this morning after attending the function. These included Mr Ranjit Singh, Headmaster of Government High School, Salem Tabri, Ms Gurcharan Kaur Kochhar, Social Studies Teacher from Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, and Ms Amarjit Kaur Gill, Principal, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Gill village.

The teachers said it was indeed a rare privilege of enjoying tea with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee, getting award from the President and enjoying best comforts on a day dedicated to them.



Students to observe strike in colleges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 6
All arts, engineering and technical colleges will remain closed on September 9 following the failure of the Punjab Government to accede to the outstanding demands of students. This was stated by Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal, president, Ludhiana Students Union, while talking to mediapersons here today.

The decision was taken after the government’s failure to take note of their demands submitted in a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, which were to be forwarded to the Chief Minister, and Education Minister on September 2.

Tanveer said all student bodies would join the agitation. The students would also request teachers to lend their support to the movement. He added that they had informed the college principals of the impending strike. In girls colleges, the students have been asked to request the principals to let them join the strike.

He said many students from Doraha and Jagraon had come to show their solidarity with the students here and join the agitation. He said they would hold a rally, but the venue had not been decided. The students of polytechnic and ITIs are already up in arms over the government decision to privatise these institutes. This, he said, was an “anti-student” decision as the fee had been increased almost threefold. Children belonging to poor and middle class families were finding it hard to go in for higher education. He said the ITIs were set up to offer vocational courses to students so that they could gain self-dependence and the privatisation of these institutes would defeat the very purpose for which these were established.

The students of arts colleges were agitated at the failure of the authorities to pay back the money deposited as fee, which was rolled back earlier. While the hike in the fee of technical and engineering colleges had not been withdrawn. The student leader threatened that if the government did not pay heed to their demands, student bodies would unite and call for college bandh in the state.

The other members present on the occasion were Gurpreet Singh Babal, vice-president, Gagan Preet Singh Gagan, general secretary, Kulwinder Gill, Harpreet, Beant Kaur, Dolly, Raj, Navdeep Kaur, Harpreet Singh Mankat, Harinder Singh Doraha, Pradeep Singh Galib, Kamal Preet Singh, Arvinder Singh, Sukhminder Singh Kala, and Amandeep.


Mehndi, embroidery contests at college
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 6
Inter-class mehndi and embroidery competitions were organised by the Home Science Department of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, here on Thursday and Friday. Fifteen students participated in the mehndi competition, while 22 students displayed their creativity in the embroidery competition. These competitions were organised as part of preparations for the forthcoming inter-college competitions.

The judges for the Mehndi competition were Dr Rajwinder Kaur, Ms Gursharanjit Kaur and Ms Arvinder Kaur.

Onkardeep (BA III) won the first prize, while Gagandeep (BA I) was declared second and Jasbir (BA I) stood third.

In the embroidery competition, Ms Gursharanjit Kaur, Ms Manpreet Kang and Ms Harjeet Sehti were the judges. They selected Pawanjit Kaur (BA II) as the first prize winner, while Baljeet Kaur (BA III) and Teena Verma (BA II) got the second and the third prize, respectively.

The prizes were given away by the college Principal, Ms Charanjit Mahal.

A song competition, which was open to students of all streams, except members of the college music team, was also organised by the Music (vocal) Department of the college. In all 36 students participated in the contest. Ms Sharma Pathak from Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School and Mr Devinder Pal Singh from the host college were the judges.

Satbir Kaur of Class XII was adjudged the best singer. The second prize was jointly shared by Shikha (BCom I) and Manpreet (BA III). The third prize was also jointly shared by Ramandeep and Sandeep (BA I). Consolation prize was given to Gagandeep (BSc III), while a special prize was given to Pawandeep class XII.


Prez leaves ‘mark’ on their paintings
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, September 6
It has been a very exciting day for six budding artists from various city schools who finally got to know that they were those lucky students whose paintings were signed by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India, at Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan on Thursday. The paintings were sent to the students by the district administration in their schools today.

Along with his signatures, the President had written ‘‘great’’ atop two paintings, of which one has been made by Harmeet Kaur, a class XII, commercial arts student from Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar. She had prepared a poster with a message of unity in diversity.

The second painting with a similar remark was prepared by Nitin Gogna, a Class X student from Sacred Heart Convent School, Jamalpur. She had depicted a Punjabi couple atlied in traditional dress dancing in the fields.

The four other paintings that bore his signature were made by Purva from DAV Public School, Jaspreet Kaur from RS Model Senior Secondary School, Sofia from Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, and Sheena Goyal from Sacred Heart High School, Jamalpur. Purva had presented a Punjab village scene with three figures in the fields. Jaspreet made a poster on unity in diversity, Sofia made a portrait of Dr Kalam standing with a missile and national flag in the backdrop. Sheena Goyal had also made a poster on unity a diversity.

The administration had received hundreds of entries from over 50 schools of which 22 were screened and put up on the backdrop of the stage at Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan.

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