R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


  • No support for bamboo art
  • Fighting odds to come on top

SUSPENSION DEMANDED: The Government Classical and Vernacular Teachers Union on Wednesday sought the suspension of Mr Sarabjot Singh, Principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Chheharta, who had allegedly severely beaten up three students of class XI on October 18. The union alleged that the Principal was trying to hush up the case.

WELCOMED: Staff and students of Government Medical College here on Wednesday welcomed the election of Dr Kuldip Singh Kular, a 1972 passout of the college, to the provincial assembly of Ontario, Canada, and his appointment as the Minister for Health and Medical Education. College Principal P.S. Bedi hoped the college would benefit from better ties with the advanced health set-up in Canada.

TEMPLE DISPUTE: The local Shastri Market Cloth Dealers and Manufacturers Association on Wednesday said it would not allow anyone to grab the land of an ancient temple situated in Bazaar Acharjan in Shashtri Market here. The association, headed by Mr Prem Parkash Khanna and Mr Sanjay Kapur, demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged tempering of municipal corporation and revenue records in which one Raj Kumar, a resident of Tilak Nagar, was shown the owner of the land.

BOOK RELEASE: A book by Punjabi writer Kulbir Singh Kang will be released by the Sahit Vichar Kendra and the Akhar Sahit Manch at Guru Teg Bahadur College here. Titled “Dood De Dariya”, it will be released by Prof Nanak Singh. Dr Daljit Singh, eminent eye surgeon, will be the guest of honour at a function to be held on October 26. A seminar has been organised on the occasion.

ROAD MISHAP: Mr Ram Murat, a local resident, died on the spot while his brother, Mr Brij Bhushan Sharma, was seriously injured when their motor cycle met with an accident on the Bathinda-Gidderbaha road on Thursday. Meanwhile, an NGO found two unidentified bodies in water channels in the district and cremated these.

Fatehgarh Sahib
PADDY PURCHASE: Around 90 per cent process of paddy procurement had been completed, with the purchase of 4,00,212 MT paddy in the 32 purchase centres of the district, said Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, here on Thursday. He said the purchase was 48,831 MT more than the last year. He said out of the total purchase, 40,108 MT had been purchased by private millers. 

AWARDED: The District Writers’ Association conferred the “Hakim Allaha Yaar Khan Jogi Award-2002” on Dr Sukhpreet Singh Udoke for his book “Ganj Shaheedan” at Bachat Bhavan here on Sunday. Dr Madan Lal Hasija, Director, Language Department, Punjab, was the chief guest. 

DOWRY CASE: The local police has booked a husband, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law on the charges of attempt to murder and demanding dowry on the complaint of Ms Baljinder Kaur of Tira village. According to the police, Ms Baljinder Kaur, after her marriage to Jaspal Singh, was subjected to harassment by her husband, father-in-law Daljeet Singh, mother-in-law Harbans Kaur and sister-in-law Ranjeet Kaur. On October 22, she was allegedly beaten up and an attempt was made to strangulate her. No arrest has been made so far.

Awareness camp: The New Shivpuri Shopkeeper Ekta Club, in collaboration with the New Friends Club and the Vishva Yoga Sansthan, organised an eye-donation awareness camp at Kedarnath Dharamshala, near the Samrala Chowk here on Wednesday. Dr Ramesh, an eye surgeon, delivered a talk on eye donation and examined 125 patients. As many as 51 persons pledged their eyes on the occasion and 85 patients were tested for blood sugar by Dr J. William. Those present on the occasion included Mr Vijay Sharma, Mr Deepak Arora, Mr Achharu Garg and Mr Jagmohan Sharma. 

BAN DEMANDED: In a statement here on Thursday, Mr Dewan Jagdish Chandra, general secretary, Freedom Fighters Association, Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, and Dr S.K.Prabhakar, a psychiatrist, demanded a ban on advertisements of soft drinks of a particular company in which three monkeys of Bapu had been made fun of “for commercial interests”. Dr Arun Mitra said Mahatma Gandhi had preached the ideas of a value-based society and making a mockery of his ideology could have long-term repercussions. Dr Mitra and Dr Prabhakar said that in another advertisement, the company had tried to humiliate India’s scientific institutions.

EYE CAMP: More than 700 patients were examined for cataract and other eye problems during the 5th annual free eye treatment camp, organised by Mr Harcharan Singh Ranautta of Milton Keynes and Mr Harbinder Singh Ranautta of South Hall here recently. According to a press note, Dr Virdi, using phacoemulsitication, performed 160 operations. Dr Virdi and Dr Shairy Gupta and their team provided consultation to patients. 

CAMP CONCLUDES: An eye donation camp organised by the Atri Times Research Foundation and People for Common Cause in Ragbag concluded today. It involved 1,200 students from colleges, schools, besides NCC cadets. The students filled forms and pledged their eyes for donation. Mr Atri said Dr Dinesh Garg from Dayanand Hospital was the resource person who appealed to the students to donate their eyes. 

APPEAL: Mr Arun Atri, president of the People for Common Cause, has made an appeal to the students not to burst crackers. He was addressing students of Nirmal Public School and Era Public School at Jawaadi here on Thursday. He told the students that there was a lot of pollution in the city, which had increased the number of illnesses. He said the money to be spent on crackers should be distributed among people.

COUNCILLOR’S GESTURE: Mr Raju Thapar, Congress Councillor from Ward No 70, on Thursday invited 100 safai karamcharis and had breakfast with them. He wished them a happy Divali and distributed clothes and sweets among them. Ms Suman Pame, vice-president of the women’s wing of the Valmiki Sabha, said other councillors should follow the example of Mr Raju Thapar to remove differences between classes.

INJURED: Three persons, Sukhwinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh and Happy, were injured seriously when the car in which they were travelling collided with a truck at Adamwal village, near here, on Wednesday. They were admitted to a local hospital, their condition was said to be out of danger.

CAMP: A dental check-up camp was organised under the intensive dental healthcare programme of the Punjab Health Department at Mandial village, near here, on Wednesday. According to Mr Munish Jindal, incharge of the camp, nearly 350 patients were examined by Dr Mohammad Shabbir, CMO, Dental, Civil Hospital. Medicines were distributed free of cost.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Mohalla Sudhar Committee, Shanti Nagar, at a general body meeting here on Thursday. President — Mr Jaswant Singh Bhangar; vice-president —Mr Balbir Singh Walia, treasurer — Mr Bhagat Singh; general secreatry — Mr Baljinder Singh; auditor — Mr Sukhdev Singh; advisior — Mr Malkit Singh; propaganda secretary — Mr Malkit Singh; and executive members — Mr Harbhajan Singh; Mr Lakhvir Singh, Mr Mahinder Singh, Ms Gurdev Kaur and Ms Shamsher Kaur.

SUICIDE: Jagrup Singh, Head Constable, posted in the District Treasury Office, Mansa, committed suicide on Wednesday night using his service gun. Police sources said he was facing domestic problems.

PANCHAYAT MEMBERS: Mr Raj Kamal Chowdhary, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, Mansa, said on Thursday that 17 panchayat members had been elected unanimously after 26 persons withdrew their nominations. Elections would now be held to elect nine members as per schedule on October 29. There were 26 vacant seats in all.

FAST UNTO DEATH: The fast unto death being observed by leaders of unemployed linemen entered its 36th day on Thursday. The lineman also blocked traffic on the Mall Road for nearly four hours. They were separately visited by the President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amristar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, general secretary, Shiromani Akali Dal, Capt Kanwaljit Singh.



CELEBRATIONS: Divali was celebrated at DAV Public School, Model Town, Ambala City on Thursday. The school Principal, Ms Meenakshi Dogra, said card-making, candle-making, diya and thali decoration competitions were held to mark the festival. A fete was organised by the staff members for the students. Sweets and toys were distributed among the children at “Anganwadi”.

JUDICIAL CUSTODY: Seven persons, including six women, who were arrested on Wednesday on the charge of immoral trafficking were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days by a local court on Thursday. According to the police, DSP Uday Shankar had raided a house in Sainik Vihar, near Jandli village, on a tip-off and arrested the seven. However, their eight accomplice managed to escape. 

CASE REGISTERED: Bullet injuries have been found on the body of a youth which was found beside a nullah at Ambala Cantonment on Tuesday. The police said the post-mortem examination report of the youth revealed that he was shot dead. The police has registered a case under Section 302, IPC.

VACANT POSTS: Haryana minister Risal Singh has stated that 3,600 vacant posts of JBT teacher will be filled. Speaking at the annual function of Vidya Mandir Model School on Thursday Risal Singh said 1,550 posts of teacher in senior and middle schools would also be filled. He said English had been introduced in Class I, while computers had been introduced from Class VI. Later, the minister distributed cheques at Tandwal and Budhio villages for various development projects.

CONDEMNED: Narendra Pal Singh Shera, president of the Block Congress Committee, Ambala Cantonment, on Thursday condemned the arrest of Congress MLA Jai Prakash. He said the case against the arrested leader was politically motivated. He demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter. 

PROGRAMME: Hartron workstation, Punjabi Mohalla, on Thursday held a cultural programme at Hargolal Dharamshala. Students of the workstation presented a variety entertainment programme. While Mr Ashok was declared Mr Hartron, Ruchi was declared Miss Hartron. 



CHARAS SEIZED: The police arrested Kuldip Singh of Alnera village under the Bharmour police station in Chamba district and seized 14.5 kg of charas from him on Tuesday. The Superintendent of Police, Chamba, Mr Ajay Yadav, said the charas was valued at Rs 2.80 crore in the international market.

EMPLOYEES’ UNION: The following were elected office-bearers of the Tissa unit of the PWD and IPH Employees Union; president Mr Manohar Lal; senior vice-president — Mr Gajinder Rana; general secretary — Mr Nand Lal Thakur; and chief adviser — Mr Masoom Khan.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the HP Judicial Employees Welfare Association, Kangra division : president — Mantleek; senior vice-president — Mr Kartar Singh; vice-president — Mr Dinesh Sharma; general secretary — Ms Madubhala; joint secretary — Mr Mohinder Singh; and treasurer — Mr M.C. Hindustani.

SARPANCH SUSPENDED: Mr Daleep Singh, president of Gram Panchayat Dhartikkary, Madan Singh, President, Gram Panchayat Jaihar under the Pachchad Development Block of the district and Om Prakash, Secretary of these Panchayats have been suspended by Sirmaur Deputy Commissioner, M.L. Sharma for the misappropriation of funds. Mr Sharma said directed that Vice-Presidents of these Panchayats would look after activities of the panchayats.

ILLEGAL FISHING: The Department of Fisheries has reported 425 cases of illegal fishing in Maharana Pratap Sagar in Jawali subdivision this year. According to Mr Gurcharan Singh, Deputy Director, Fisheries, a sum of Rs 1.32 lakh was collected as fine from the erring fishermen.

BJP POLL: Mr Vinod Sharma, a Dhumal loyalist, was elected president of the Nurpur mandal of the BJP on Thursday. He defeated his rival, Mr Ajay Pathania, a Shanta loyalist, by 365 votes.

BAIL PLEA DISMISSED: Mr Justice K.C. Sood of the HP High Court on Wednesday dismissed the bail plea of a constable, Randev Singh, who has been charged with sodomising a six-year-old boy at Paonta Sahib.

REPAIR ROAD: The horticulture road which connects Madhawani to Bhutti needs repair. The road connects Madhawani, Kanihar, Kotgarh, Mehlan, Kirti, Shamatla and Bhutti panchayats. Mr Sudhir Bhaik, District president of the DCC, urged the Deputy Commissioner to allocate funds for the metalling of the horticulture road.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Balh block: president — Mr Adan Singh; vice-presidents — Mr Jay Chand, Mr Megh Singh and Ms Jaybanti; general secretary — Mr Hem Pal Rana; secretaries — Mr Kishan Chand, Mr Ramesh Sharma and Ms Gita Devi; and treasurer — Mr Nihal Chand.

BOY DROWNED: A Class X student, Banti Singh of Makrehar village under the Bangana police station drowned in the Govind Sagar Lake on Thursday while taking a bath. Banti had gone to a school at Mandli village to participate in a sports tournament.

CRACKERS BANNED: Una Additional District Magistrate Abhitab Awasthi has issued orders, prohibiting the use of crackers in public places within the municipal limits of the town, the Nagar Panchayat, Mehatpur, Santoshgarh, Gagret and Daulatpur Chowk.




No support for bamboo art

Traditional arts are losing their charm, thanks to lack of interest shown by government agencies to help those engaged in their traditional business of making "ban", "chiks","tokaris" and articles of bamboo sticks.

However, there are many persons still engaged in their traditional businesses. One of them is Surendra Kumar (36)of Amtar village in Nadaun revenue subdivision of Hamirpur district.

He deals in articles made of bamboos, aided by his wife. However, his children are not keen on following this art as it fetches a low margin of profit.

The family makes baskets "chicks" and "khares" ( big baskets to keep boiled rice during functions) from bamboo sticks procured from Kangra district.

Surendra Kumar rued "this trade is not enough to meet the daily requirements of the family. We have to work in the fields to supplement our income".

Father of four children, including one son and three daughters, Surendra Kumar was pained to say that despite tall claims by the successive governments to help the poor living in villages, no ‘‘help has come our way as most schemes and programmes of the government are just on paper’’.

He asserted ‘‘If timely and adequate help is given he can also make other articles from bamboos’’.

Will the government agencies concerned come forward to help people like Surendra Kumar and keep traditional vocations alive?

Fighting odds to come on top

Desertion by in-laws andpoverty of the parental family could not shatter the strong will of 30-year-old Poonam Chhabra, a resident of Hoshiarpur, to become self-sufficient. An exhibition of her artistic and handicraft works was organised with the help of some social activists at Hotel Shiraj Regency from October 17 to October 19 in Hoshiarpur.

Married two years ago, she was deserted by her husband and in-laws. She was forced to return to her parental house within three months of the marriage with severe burn injuries. She struggled for survival for one and a half years but severe burns disfigured her, especially her face. Poonam lost her father, the sole breadwinner of the family, when she was a child. As a result the responsibility of running the family, including her younger brother, fell on the shoulders of her mother. Her mother used to stitch clothes, besides doing domestic chores in various houses, to run the family.

After she was discarded by her in-laws, Poonam engaged herself in artistic and handicraft work. Strong willpower helped her sharpen artistic skills, culminating into the exhibition.

Contributed by Chander Shekhar Sharma and Ravinder Sood


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