C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Experts to discuss impact of science
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
With focus on the “Impact of science on society in the 21st century”, the 91st session of the Indian Science Congress, to be jointly hosted by Panjab University and the Institute of Microbial Technology, will include various activities like plenary sessions, science for schoolchildren and science expo.

In the plenary sessions, experts will deal with subjects like science and evergreen revolution, challenging frontiers in biomedical research, information science in future of India and ethics and responsibility in science.

Eminent scientists, including Dr K. Kasturirangan, Prof M.S. Swaminathan, Prof N.K. Ganguly, Dr R.A. Mashelkar, Dr P. Pushpangadam, Dr Manju Sharma, Prof Arun Nigavekar, Dr Vikram Sarabhai and Prof M.G.K. Menon, will chair the session.

Currently there are 14 sections, each of which focuses on a specific area of sciences.

The panel discussion will include topics such as “Women and Sustainable development”, “Child development and nation building”, “Global warming and environment”. Experts, including Dr G. Talukdar, Prof M.K. Bhan and Dr A.P. Mitra, will chair these discussions.

A special session, “Science for Schoolchildren”, will bring together up to 500 children from various schools. They will participate in various scientific activities, exhibitions and talks. Science Expo ISC 2004 will be organised to showcase major scientific exhibits. The exhibition will be based on the theme “Pride of India-Science Expo”, “Agrovision” and “Genesis and Vigyan Jyot”.



Kids’ brush with creativity at workshop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 30
Taking a bunch of perky kids through a variety of activities, tingling their imagination, exposing them to the thrill of outdoors to develop leadership qualities, the week-long winter workshop at Ananda International School concluded, here today.

The week-long workshop combined indoor and outdoor activities for children in the age group of three to 13 years concluded with an afternoon party, games and creative props done up by the participants themselves.

“Speak Easy” was designed to develop public speaking skills, simple word games which involved quick thinking were strengthened by a series of exercises which helped children develop ideas, find words to express these ideas and muster confidence to speak in front of an audience. Making them hear their recorded presentations gave then an opportunity to indulge in healthy critical analysis, highlighting the importance of diction, pronunciation, voice modulation and expression.

The “Flying Riders” students were taken to the Lake Club for orientation in horse riding. The focus of the workshop was to get the children to work collectively by developing team spirit, pooling resources and sharing laurels.



Warm up to winter with tandoori delights
Rajmeet Singh

IN this age of fast food joints offering sumptuous tandoori dishes, the roadside tandoors in the city still hold attraction for many. Not lured by the warm hospitality and attractive decor, a cross section of the city residents prefer to sit on the ground by the side of a tandoor to “relish” the traditional menu of chapatis and mah chole ki dal.

For years together, young and old regularly visit 150-odd road side tandoors, located in every sector. On cold wintery days, many customers come specially to sit by the side of the heated earthen oven, said Mr Makhan Singh, who has been in the business for the past 20 years. To cater to the rush of customers, Makhan is helped by his teenaged son. Mr Jagdish Kumar, an employee with a local cable channel said, “I have seen the roadside tandoors survive the evolving food culture of the city”. Mr Kumar was having his dinner at a Sector 20 tandoor, when he was quizzed by the Chandigarh Tribune.

Ms Satwanti Devi, a housewife living in Sector 19 sees the tandoors as a cheap and hygienic alternative to the restaurants and dhabas. “I often get chapatis and dal from a tandoor when do not find time to cook at home”, she adds.

Listing their advantages over the dhabas, Mr Narinder Singh, who runs a tandoor in Sector 19-D, said most of his clients were salaried class and students. A thali, comprising chapatis and dal, is available for Rs 10 each, he said adding that despite the increase in the price of the raw material, especially wood, the association of the roadside tandoors decides on a nominal rates. “Our biggest advantage is that we cook pure vegetarian food in front of out customers”, said Mr Makhan Singh.

Few years back, a thali was available for Rs 5, then the price was increased to Rs 6 and then Rs 8. The existing rates were revised three years back, said Mr Swaran Singh, a leader of the local association of tandoor owners.

Many old timers in the city remember the days when the roadside tandoors were among the few sources of cheap food. “We used to buy dal and chapatis on weekends. Standing by the tandoors waiting for our order was a favourite past time”, recalled Mr Ajaib Singh, a senior citizen living in Sector 20.

It is not that the owners of the roadside tandoor have not been swept away with the changing times. To interact with other members of our association we use our mobile sets, said Mr Makhan Singh.



It’s my life
Life is what you make of it

LIFE is what you make of it. An introvert by nature, I always take life as it comes. My father is an advocate and my brother had also chosen the same profession, so I was also expected to choose the same career but was motivated to take up non-medical stream by my teachers and with the blessings of the Almighty, I could do justice to my studies. Then came the time to make a decision for my career and I had the choice to go for either engineering, management or law, which were all prestigious as well as totally distinct. Subconsciously, management was my choice and I eventually did my post graduation in HRM, which was academically a drastic change for me. I joined the NIFD, for administrative job two years back and since then I have realised that I am on the right path. As told to ASP



Exercise restraint at New Year Eve parties
Saurabh Malik

Bonfires illuminating the night sky on December 31, cool winter breeze carrying with it the whiff of invigorating beer, a live band churning out hit numbers one after another and all that sizzling stuff to savour…. Can you really blame someone if dance and drink parties can turn wild in the open? Even if you exercise complete restraint and bang the door when temptation calls, others can drag you in trouble. So here is a complete party-survival guide complied just for you to avoid unnecessary complications on New Year Eve.

First of all, do not go overboard. The idea is to enjoy the bash, not to make a victim of yourself. If people force you to drink, do not be rude. Do not get drowned in drinks either, even if you believe in combining dancing with guzzling.

Ensure wine does not force you to whine. Drink according to you capacity. Just because your friends are seasoned drinkers, you should not try to catch up with them. Go slow. Do not gulp.

Do not drink on empty stomach empty. It produces huge swings in blood sugar levels. The result is there for all to see. You become drunk quickly and suffer that dreadful morning-after feeling. Always go in for snacks. Fresh cottage cheese is a good item to order. It is delicious and nutritious. Drink a lot of water too.

Anyway, during the party stick to salads. All that twirling around the polished dance floor to the thumping beats of high-wattage music can make you hungry. Chances are you will end up over-eating or munching stuff you will regret later on.

Also, do not go to parties you are not sure of. Don’t just drive down to a bash with a friend if you know nothing about the organisers.

Be sure of the crowd before selecting your dress. Please do not wear a short skirt at a ball attended by revelers who have never seen “Baywatch” in their lives. Be sure, you can look alluring in other apparels also. Lastly, remember to enjoy as New Year comes after 365 days.



Hectic day for youngsters
Monica Sharma

As the dying year struggled for last few breaths, excited youngsters toiled throughout the day for securing invites to New Year Eve parties. Others rushed to the arcades for last day shopping. Some purchased dresses in pink and black for the grand bash, others picked up compact discs for organising their own little open-air parties with barbecue and bonfire. Eager to look gorgeous with glowing complexion, some girls even went to parlours for “complete beauty treatment”. Since morning the youngsters eagerly talked over the phone for arranging passes to a world of excitement. Some even hunted for partners to twirl around the dance floors.

“They all wanted to shake, rattle and roll their way into the New Year at the discotheques,” commented disc jockey Rahul. “That is why friends and their pals kept on calling me up throughout the day for passes. I had none, well, that’s another story. ”

Salina and her “gang” reached a beauty saloons in Sector 35 this afternoon for getting “themselves pampered with professional help”. Even as a make-up artist worked on her complexion, the confident first year student uttered, “I know I will look good after the treatment”.

Explaining the trend, parlour owner Neeru Sidhu said, “Gone are the days when the youngsters used to sit in front of the television sets to watch all those boring programmes. Nowadays, they go out and cut foot loose on New Year’s Eve.”



Dietary changes can combat high BP

Diseases like diabetes, spondylitis, ulcers, heart diseases escalating blood pressure, normally associated with the 50-plus generation, are afflicting individuals in their 30s.

Doctors attribute this to the fact that today’s generation is subjecting itself to the cumulative trauma of work stress, irregular eating and sleeping habits, lack of recreation, relaxation and physical activities. Plus the Indians are genetically predisposed to coronary risk factors. Add to this the north Indian diet of paranthas dripping with desi ghee and butter. Today’s generation also loves the cheese-dripping junk food and we have in hand a fatal cocktail of all risky ingredients in place just waiting to let in the silent killer — high blood pressure .

Blood pressure (BP) is the force of blood against walls of arteries. When blood pressure stays elevated over time it is called high blood pressure or hypertension. BP is recorded as two numbers — the higher number or the systolic pressure (heartbeats) and the lower number or the diastolic pressure (as heart relaxes between beats). Three consecutive readings of 140/90 within a week to three weeks is considered high blood pressure.

According to Dr Akhil Bhargava of Silver Oaks, Mohali, people who are at potential risk include individuals with a family history of high BP or have risk factors like obesity, smoking, drinking (alcohol), chronic stress, sedentary lifestyles, excessive intake of salt, fat and cholesterol-rich food. Dr Bhargava says people having Type-I or Type-A personality (aggressive, impatient, loose cool easily) are also potential target.

While doctors aver that hyper hypertension does not have any distinct symptoms but a few common symptoms can include headache, heaviness in head and eyes, lethargy, irritability, general weakness, dizziness, palpitations, nosebleed, bleeding in urine or pain in chest. But since these symptoms can be of some other diseases, the easiest way to detect high BP is through regular check ups.

Hypertension can be of two types — primary that is genetic, hereditary or unexplained — or secondary that is result of other medical problems like diabetes, high cholesterol levels, renal (kidney) problems or hyper thyroidism.

Dr Sarvsheel Arora of BRS Institute of Medical Sciences, Panchkula, says that hypertension patients are initially advised non-drug or lifestyle modifications before being put on any medications.

He advises a simple remedy involving lifestyle fix, including exercise, weight loss, a regulated fat-free diet, less intake of salt, regular rest and distressing techniques like meditation, deep breathing, yoga etc.

Dr Arora says that NSAIDs (non-steriodial anti-inflammatory drugs), steroids, oral contraceptive pills (for females) may also be the culprits in several cases in escalating the BP.

He says high BP can lead to complications related to heart, kidneys and eyes. It can lead to strokes. It also leads to complications in 5 to 10 per cent of all pregnancies.

We also talked to a few dieticians to put together a diet, which can prevent or control hypertension. A high-fibre, low sodium and low fat diet is ideal for hypertension patients.

Dr Neelu Malhotra, a diet consultant with Silver Oaks, Mohali, recommends less intake of salt. She says sodium is major component of Indian diet in the form of papad, pickle, and chutney, achar that should be avoided at any cost. Most of the canned and processed foods also use sodium as a preservative.

To regulate BP

  • Reduce intake of salt.

  • Avoid using baking powder or soda bicarbonate while cooking.
  • Reduce the intake of meat and processed meat, as it is rich in sodium.
  • Sunita Bhargava, a therapeutic diet consultant at VLCC diet clinic, recommends a limited use of saturated fats as they settle down in arteries. According to her ideal ratio of fat intake should be PUFA+MUFA+SFA (1:1:1).
  • PUFA or polyunsaturated fatty acids are sunflower oil, safflower oil.
  • MUFA or monounsaturated fatty acids include olive oil, mustard oil, and groundnut oil.
  • SFA or saturated fatty acids are butter and ghee.
Handy tips
  • Alter cooking methods. Add salt at serving stage.
  • While using canned products throw away the brine and wash thoroughly with fresh water.
  • Before using boiled meat, processed meat and fish in water and then throw away the water. Much of the sodium in these foods is leached away.
  • According to the Indian Council of Medical Research the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for salt for normal persons is 2 gm to 4 gm per day. For hypertension patients it should not be more than 2 gms.
  • Even loosing a moderate amount of weight can help in lowering the BP. So include brisk walking or any exercise of 45 minutes at least five days a week.
  • Remain calm and find ways to distress your life.
  • A pharmaceutical company has launched a low sodium iodised salt LONa. It contains 19.6 per cent sodium as against 39.3 per cent in common salt. 


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