N C R   S T O R I E S


legal corner
HC quashes DU appointment for IInd time
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
A division bench of the Delhi High Court today quashed for the second time the appointment of Prof. Rajiv Bharagava as the Head of Department of Political Science in the Delhi University.

The court’s order came after the Delhi University filed an appeal against the court’s earlier order, seeking the appointment of Prof. Bidyut Chakravarty as the Head of Department. Prof. Chakravarty had moved court in December 2002, seeking his appointment as the HoD on the ground that Prof. Bhargava is an outsider.

Prof. Bhargava joined the university in July 2001 on deputation, his parent organisation being the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He was promoted to the post of HoD in August 2002, following which Prof. Chakravarty, who was eligible for the post owing to his seniority in the department, filed a case in the court.

“The court’s decision of December 2003 sought the removal of Bharagava and directed the DU authorities to appoint me as the HoD. The DU then filed an appeal in the court against the order”, said Prof. Chakravarty.

But the order of the Division Bench comprising Justice B A Khan and Justice Mukul Mudgal seeking the appointment of Prof. Chakravarty has come as a major blow to the DU, which has gone to extent of saying that Prof. Bhargava is not an outsider.

“The DU’s claim that Prof. Bhargava is not an outsider has been rejected by the court earlier as well. In the latest order the court has asked the DU to appoint me with immediate effect,” said Prof. Chakravarty.

Parliament shootout victim seeks relief

A man, who lost his job because of the injury received during the December 13 attack on Indian Parliament, has moved court.

The victim, who was allegedly hit by an AK-47 bullet in the exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists during the attack on Parliament, has approached the Delhi High Court for a compensation of Rs five lakh, claiming that he has lost his job due to the injury.

Acting on his petition, Justice Manmohan Sarin today asked the Centre, the PMO, Delhi Police Commissioner, SHO PS Tughlakabad and the petitioner’s employer, Ms Kelki Sood, proprietor of Rupayan, to file their replies to the petition within four weeks. 



LS jitters: MCD may spike new tax proposals
Syed Ali Ahmed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is planning to withdraw the proposed taxes given in the estimated budget proposal for the year 2003-2004. The taxes were proposed and tabled before the all-powerful Standing Committee by the Municipal Commissioner, Mr Rakesh Mehta.

The proposed taxes are being withdrawn because of the parliamentary elections, tentatively scheduled in April and the protest by the opposition and public alike which had termed the move as anti-public.

The proposal has been discussed in the meeting of the corporation and will be made public probably on January 15. According to the sources in the corporation, the taxes – betterment tax, professional tax, duty on transfer of property and parking fees—were proposedd to generate income for the corporation.

The corporation estimated to get Rs 258 crore by imposing the new taxes. It calculated to fetch Rs 70 crore by imposing the betterment taxes; Rs 120 crore from professional taxes; Rs 48 crore from transfer duty; and Rs 20 crore from parking taxes. However, the corporation has yet not decided how to cover up this income.

This is the decision of the Congress that is ruling the corporation. However, the Municipal Commissioner is insisting on imposing these taxes as there is financial crunch in the civic body. The corporation has to pay Rs 300 crore to the contractors who have stopped working. Consequently, all the construction work is held up. Other development work is also delayed due to financial crisis.

The truck owners, whose vehicles have been hired by the civic body to carry garbage from ‘dhalao’ to landfill sites, have not been paid either for one year, the sources said.

The Municipal Commissioner has proposed Rs 2,400-crore estimated non-planned budget for the year 2003-2004. The income shown from the new taxes is also included in this amount.

The proposals for betterment tax and parking fees have drawn much flak from the members of the opposition. It is felt in the ruling party circles that it is hardly an opportune time to impose new taxes, especially since Lok Sabha polls are around the corner. It remains to be seen whether the proposals will be renewed after the elections. 



r-day security
Despite thaw in Indo-Pak ties, Delhi 
cops taking no chances
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
Despite the thaw in Indo-Pak ties, the Delhi Police is taking all possible security steps to ensure a trouble-free Republic Day this year.
The police have raided several places in the Capital, following reports that half-a-dozen militants had infiltrated into the city. Several special teams have been constituted to check guest houses, ISBT and railway stations. The airport authorities have also been alerted to in view of the threat perception. Crowded market areas are being checked and residents have been told to be cautious and report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood.

“We have started working on the security arrangements two weeks ahead, because there is an enormous threat to the VVIPs this year and we didn’t want to take any chances. The terrorists generally target VVIPs, because the strike is sensational enough to scare the general public,” said a senior security official.

Pickets have been erected at entry and exit points and the security on inter-state borders has been reinforced. Besides vehicles entering the Capital from other states are being subjected to intensive checking, to avoid smuggling of arms and ammunition.

The security in the sensitive New Delhi district has been reviewed and the vigil in and around vital installations has been tightened. Additional security persons have been deployed in and around India Gate, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhawan, embassies and other establishments.

The district Deputy Commissioners of Police have also been directed to ensure that the Republic Day celebrations are not marred by any untoward incident.

They have been asked to deploy plainclothesmen in their districts to develop local intelligence as militants might take refuge in residential colonies.

The security ate the residences of VVIPs like the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Union Ministers and other top officials has also been tightened. Especially the PCR vans have been told to undertake intensive night patrolling and stay alert for unforeseen contingencies.

The Delhi Police are in contact with the police officials of neighbouring states and have sought their help in nabbing infiltrators who might try to disrupt the R-Day in the Capital.

Youth gunned down in Nahal village

Ghaziabad: Murders are committed in the Wild West UP at the drop of a hat. A youth was shot dead on Sunday night in Nahal village under Mussori police station by three assailants. The victim himself was reportedly involved in several cases of murder, wire theft and cow slaughter.

Police have not arrested any accused so far. Shabir, 32, son of Alisher of Nahal village, was shot at while he was standing in front of his house by three young men of the same village. The youths were reportedly his friends.

Seriously injured Shabir was rushed to Hiralal Hospital where he died after a while. SP rural, B.K. Shekhar who rushed to Nahal, said there were a number of cases of murder, cow slaughter and wire theft against Shabir. OC



Commuters still have to reckon with roadblock at Badarpur border
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, January 12
The residents of Faridabad felt that they were on the road to recovery, so to say, when the Union government had announced its decision to begin work on an eight-lane expressway “with no redlight at Gurgaon.” Those who commute to Delhi daily also felt happy that the bottleneck on Badarpur border would soon be removed.

But it was not to be. Despite assurances by the state and the district officials, there seems to be no likelihood of relief for the motorists and travellers in the near future. The reason? The agency, asked to conduct a survey and submit a detailed report, is still to complete the task.

The Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr B.D Dhalia, who was here yesterday to supervise various development works in the district, also deliberated upon the issue.

In the meeting, he was told by an official of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) that the work of preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) was being done by RITES. The report might be prepared by March-end and further progress in this matter was possible only after that.

However, the authorities concerned were unable to say more about the project or when the construction of the much-awaited flyover would begin. But the officials declared that the NHAI would take up the widening of all the main crossings or redlights falling on the highway between the Badarpur border and Ballabgarh town very soon. The tenders for the work had already been floated.

It has been announced that a survey is on for the construction of a two-lane service road along the National Highway, passing through the town, so that the main road could be decongested. Interestingly, this scheme has already been announced on several occasions. A meeting, held in 2002, had also decided to start the work on this project, but the authorities failed to make any headway.

The NHAI officials had reportedly asked the local administration to first remove the encroachments on the existing portions of the service lane earlier provided, but the problem could not be removed. As a result, thousands of auto rickshaws ply on the main road and cause inconvenience to the motorists and other vehicles. It is not known how the NHAI would be able to build a new service lane, when the encroachments are still to be cleared. It is also reported that the work of widening and repairing the Faridabad-Gurgaon Road, which was to start in November-December last, is yet to take off. The authorities now say that it would be taken up from January 25 and cost about Rs 20 crore.

The government has also decided to build two bridges over the Gurgaon and Agra canals and the work is likely to begin soon, an official said. Mr Dhalia asked the authorities to start the survey work for widening the existent Bhadkhal flyover to four lanes. The bridge is two-lane at present and witnesses traffic jam at all times of the day.

He said the government had allocated Rs 6.02 lakh for development works in the Municipal corporation area under the Sarkar Apke Dwar Programme this year.

It may be recalled that at least three seniormost officials of the state government have visited the district to examine the development works in the past 10 days. “These visits signal that the elections are near and the ruling party government wants to show how concerned it is about development,” claimed a Congress leader. 



Fog in other parts continues to disrupt trains
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The foggy weather prevailing in different parts of the country continued to affect the train services to and from the Capital today. Around a dozen trains leaving New Delhi have been rescheduled and quite a number of them arriving here are running late by several hours, besides eight staying cancelled. The New Delhi- Patna Shramjeevi Express has been rescheduled to leave at 1650 hours as against its scheduled departure at 1315 hours.

The New Delhi-Howrah Poorva Express will leave around four hours late at 2000 hrs and the Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani Express will depart at 2150 hrs, late by 430 hrs. The New Delhi Howrah-Janata Express which leaves at 1530 hrs, was also around four hours late, rescheduled for departure at 1920 hrs. Six trains have been rescheduled for tomorrow. They include the Magadh Express, which has been put back by 13 hours to leave at 0500 hrs as against its scheduled departure at 2000 hrs today; the New Delhi-Kashiwishwanath Express, which will leave at 0430 hrs; the Delhi-Raxaual Satyagraha Express, which will leave at 0030 hrs; the Delhi-Guwahati Brahmputra Mail, to leave at 0500 hrs; and the Delhi-Sultanpur Sadbhavna Express, to leave at 0600 hrs.

Besides, the Varanasi-New Delhi Kashivishwanath Express was running late by 18 hrs; the Sultanpur-Delhi Sadbhawna Express by 1230 hrs; the Guwahati-Delhi Barhmputra mail by 13 hours; and Guwahati-Delhi Awadh Assam Express by five hours. The Darbhanga-Delhi Saryu Yamuna Express was indefinitely late and the Azamgarh-Delhi Kaifiyat Express, the Kalindi Express, the Lal Quila Express and the Unchahar Express remained cancelled.



sign of times
Arrest of burglars nets booty in laptops, CPUs 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The North-West district police claim to have apprehended two Nepalese burglars active in West and South Delhi. A large number of computer gadgets worth lakhs of rupees were recovered from their possession.

The police, during a routine check near the Ryan Public School, Rohini, spotted two persons lingering in suspicious circumstances and, when apprehended and frisked, button actuated knives were recovered from their possession.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West) R S Yadav said that the accused were identified as Vishnu Bahadur (30), a resident of Nepal, and Ravi Popli (22), a resident of Hastsal Village, Uttam Nagar. When they were questioned, Bahadur said that he was residing in a rented house in Nangloi.

During a search of the house, the police found a booty in computer gadgets, including loaptops, keyboards, CPUs and monitors. When he was questioned about these items, he broke down and confessed to having stolen them from Mehrauli and Hari Nagar areas.

During interrogation, the accused told the police that they were part of a larger gang of Nepalese burglars operating in the city. Two of their gang members, Kishan Bahadur and Lokender Bahadur, were recently booked by the Malviya Nagar police under the Arms Act.

The accused used to choose their targets in South Delhi, based on input provided by their associates, Karan and Kavi, who were staying in Mahipalpur. Bahadur, in turn, used to commit the burglaries.



Sore with BJP, Chautala says party will contest all Lok Sabha seats
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 12
Angered over recent outburst of the state BJP leaders against the INLD government in the state, the INLD supremo and Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala has asked his party workers to get ready to contest all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the coming parliamentary election.

It is perhaps for their first time that Mr Chautala made such announcement at a district level party workers meeting here Sunday evening. Taking an indirect dig at the recent statements of state BJP leaders that the party was ready to contest all Lok Sabha seats, Mr Chautala said: “If they want to contest the election on their own, we do not have any objection, but people will show them their capacity and place.”

Stating that his party has always stood for a strong Central Government, but some leaders had been lashing out at his government for the last four years and claiming that they would fight the elections on their own. He asked the party workers not to think much about the political alliance and strengthen party set up for winning all the Lok Sabha seats and create a record.

He categorically ruled out the speculations that the Assembly elections might be ordered with the Lok Sabha polls and announced that come what may, the state elections would be held on scheduled time in 2005. The government was yet to complete number of pending development works before going to the people in the Assembly elections.

He expressed his anguish over the rumours that Lok Sabha elections could be ordered in the months of March and April and said that these months were not suitable for elections as these months were very hectic for the students to appear in the examinations and for farmers to get engaged in Harvesting of the rabi crop. “In my opinion, the elections can be held in May,” he added.

He claimed that his government had completed record number of development works in last more than four years, but some people were attempting to misguide the over the government achievements. He asked the party workers to get equipped with development information and fan out in the villages to inform and motivate the people. He also did not spare the media in his 45-minute speech in which he conceded that he could not give jobs to every party worker.

In the meeting, the party workers authorised him to take final decision on any political alliance in the elections.



Everyone is eyeing cash-rich Indian diaspora
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
To mark the 2nd Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the NRI Institute celebrated the NRI Day today. It was inaugurated by the former Prime Minister, Mr I. K. Gujral.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Jagmohan Singh, the secretary general of the NRI Institute, said: “Coming to the investment opportunities NRIs offer, it is mind-boggling. The prosperous 20-million strong Indian diaspora has an annual income of some 160 billion-dollar. The new generation IT professionals, who are cashing on the boom in the IT field, have virtually taken over the Silicon Valley in the United States. According to an estimate, as many as 750 American companies are being run by Indian community in the Silicon Valley alone. It is a tribute to them and every Indian should be proud of it. But, there is a need to ponder, why the Indian is so much innovative, productive and successful abroad than in his own country. And to understand this, the NRI investment potential and their business acumen need to be channelled into Indian economy in a big way.”

The buoyant state of Indian economy and the various other feel-good factors should serve as a big incentive to encourage the Indian diaspora to invest in India. When the global economy was spluttering in 2002-03 in India, there was a turn around on the horizon and the top Indian companies netted Rs 70 thousand crore in exports. The year 2003 saw the economy grow at its fastest, and India together with China now has one of the fastest growing economies in the world today.

Also present on the occasion were: Mr S. S. Dhindsa, Union Minister for Fertilisers and Chemicals, Mr R. L. Bhatia, MP, Member, Committee of Indian diaspora. The NRIs from 20 countries were present on the occasion. Prominent among other were: Dr H. S. Narula, Mr Karan Billimoria, Cllr. Indira Patel and Mr Rasik H Patel, Dr Karnail Singh Sher (UK), Mr Bharat Bhargava (USA), Mr Randeep Agarwal (Netherland), Mr Jamal Amir Sultan (Hong Kong), Mr M. Y. Khan (India), Dr Chandrakant Sardeshmukh (Japan), H. R. Ramdhani (Fiji), Mr R. K. Pillay (Malaysia).

The basic aim of the event is to promote NRI investments in India and paves the way for them in this regard with an effective approach to the government and other authorities. To look after NRIs interest in India and other countries, where they may face sudden difficulties or crisis. And this is the right forum for Indians living in India and abroad to get-together and cultivates the spirit of brotherhood. The objective of the event is to honour such NRIs and People of Indian origin who have achieved success and brilliance in different walk of life, and to familiarise the people in India with the same.



Police pat themselves for better detection rate in 2003 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
Despite an increase in the number of cases registered in 2003 in the New Delhi range- comprising of New Delhi, East and North-East districts-the police claimed to have achieved a better detection rate. The detection rate in 2003 was 58.16 per cent in comparison to 53.12 per cent in 2002.

While the New Delhi district police worked out 46.48 per cent of IPC cases registered in 2003, the police in North-East district and East district worked out 67.68 per cent and 57.16 per cent of cases respectively.

Of the total number of 9,633 IPC cases registered in the three districts in 2003, 5,603 cases were worked out as against 5,318 cases in 2002.

In 2003 466 heinous crimes were registered as against 456 cases in 2002. As many as 390 cases were worked out during 2003.

In the non-heinous crimes category, as many as 8,788 cases were reported in 2002 as against 9,177 cases in 2003. As many as 5,213 cases were worked out in 2003.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range), Mr Maxwell Pereira, said “there has been a better detection rate by the police in 2003 despite being busy with handling of VVIP security, crime prone and communally sensitive areas in the East and North-East districts.”

The New Delhi district houses important buildings like Parliament House, Supreme Court, Delhi High Court, Patiala House, Rashtrapati Bhawan, various ministries, defence establishments, embassies and other vital installations, which were prone to terrorist threats. The East and North-East districts is faced with problems arising from large-scale migration, including Bangladeshi criminals residing in Seema Puri, Seelampur and Kalyan Puri.

Both these districts also face problems arising out of the deteriorating law and order in the neighbouring towns such as Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar.

The registration of crimes against women also increased in 2003. As many as 1,726 cases, including rape, molestation and eve-teasing were reported in 2003 as compared to 1,018 cases in 2002.

Mr Pereira said that efforts were being made to make women feel secure and claimed that the Buddha Jayanti Park rape case on October 6, where a 17-year-old college girl was raped by the Presidential body guards, was “unfortunate”.

During 2003, the New Delhi district police handled at least 6,591 demonstrations and rallies, 84 religious processions and 1,837 visits of top dignitaries. 



Gates of residential colonies to remain open till 11 pm
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 12
The Sonepat Municipal Council will ensure the opening of gates installed by the residents in different residential colonies for the purpose of security from 5 am to 11 pm as the closure of these gates in the daytime had caused serious problems for the passers-by.

This assurance was given by the Executive Officer of the Municipal Council to a deputation of the Citizens Alliance for Promotion of Responsive Governance headed by its president and a former governor of Rotary International, Mr S. P. Sachdeva, which called on him today to air the grievances of the residents. Other members of the deputation include Dr Gulshan Rai Paruthi, Mr D. S. Khanna and Mr Deepak Saluja. The members of the deputation alleged that these gates always remain closed for the whole day and create chaos in the movement of traffic. The residents felt inconvenience when they happen to pass these gates particularly in the Model Town area. They also assured that the residents are ready to keep a chowkidar for night patrolling.

The members of the deputation also expressed their grave concern over the use of sub-standard materials in the construction and repairs of the road and sought the copy of the tenders with detailed specifications to enable them to check the malpractices in the ongoing works. They also requested the Executive Officer to inspect the sites of the work and see himself the discrepancies in it.

They also expressed their unhappiness at the insanitary conditions and non-removal of the garbage and filth from the filth depots at various points and places in the city.

The Executive Officer assured that he would take necessary steps for the removal of garbage and filth by the sanitary staff appointed on the tractor-trolleys for this purpose.

The members of the deputation told the EO that the residents have already arranged bags and containers for putting the garbage and filth in them but the tractor trolleys meant for the removal of garbage and filth failed to stop in front of the houses of the residents and this has resulted in the dumping of garbage and filth in the open which had scattered here and there causing inconvenience to the passers-by.

The EO promised that he would direct the drivers of the tractor-trolleys to stop at more points where the people want to put their garbage and filth in them. He, however, asserted that there has been an acute shortage of staff and this was the main cause of accumulation of garbage and filth at various points in the city.

The members of the deputation also expressed their grave concern over the poor arrangements of streetlight and informed the EO that darkness prevails during the night and this has been causing accidents resulting to the injuries to the people.

The EO has maintained that the supply of electricity materials was the responsibility of the municipal council, but the maintenance is under the control of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN).

He, however, assured the deputation that the municipal council would ensure the supply of bulbs and tubes to the Nigam officials for replacing the damaged or burnt bulbs and tubes.

The members of the deputation also demanded the capturing of wild animals like monkeys and stray dogs, but the EO expressed his inability to do immediately. He assured that he would take steps to find out some way out to solve this problem.



SAFTA to usher in a new era: Jatiya
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Mr Satya Narayan Jatiya, said that the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) at the SAARC summit would usher in a new era in this part of the world. It would also help improve ties between India and Pakistan, he said.

Speaking at a seminar on “SAFTA and the Future of South Asia” organised by Integrated Academy of Management and Technology (INMANTEC) held here today, the Minister said that following this agreement, the South Asian nations would need to reduce tariffs from 25-30 per cent over the next 5 to 10 years.

Mr Jatiya said that India and Pakistan’s 1.5 billion dollar trade, which now passes through unofficial channels and other Third world countries, could double with the free trade zone.

A free trade deal has been discussed for years, but India-Pakistan rivalry and fears among other nations that they might be swamped with cheap goods had delayed any moves on this front.

He also hoped that with this agreement, the strained relations between India Pakistan would improve.

A free trade zone would encompass the seven-member nations-India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The region holds about 25 per cent of the world’s population, but the average annual per capital income is just 450 US dollar.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Yogesh Munjal, director of Hero Honda group, said that the signing of SAFTA would have a “great impact” on the geopolitical situation in the region. The best part of the whole thing is that Pakistan, which has been averse to free trade for fear of being swamped by cheap Indian goods, was equally keen on the agreement.

Mr Pankaj Gupta, director of INMENTEC, was of the view that infrastructural deficiency is a common problem of the South Asian countries, and a major obstacle to higher growth and broad-based development. The shortages of infrastructure were both quantitative as well as qualitative.

Frequent power cuts, for instance is common in the entire region. Infrastructural bottlenecks contribute to high cost and affect economic activities in the region. A large number of students from Jamia University and (INMANTEC) attended the seminar.



Media needs to entertain and enlighten the masses: Paswan
Tribune News Service

Minister of State for Human Resource Development Sanjay Paswan after inaugurating the new session at the Asian Academy of Film and Television
Minister of State for Human Resource Development Sanjay Paswan after inaugurating the new session at the Asian Academy of Film and Television. 

New Delhi, January 12
The Minister of State for Human Resources Development, Dr. Sanjay Paswan, said that our traditions and rich cultural heritage are “surely and steadily leading to the Indianisation of many societies across the globe”.

Inaugurating the new session at the Asian Academy of Film and Television, Dr. Paswan called upon the film and television professionals to use the extraordinary power of these media to properly entertain and enlighten the masses.

He urged the students to pay attention to acquiring knowledge and sharpening the skills while they are at the academy. Dr. Paswan complemented the AAFT head, Dr Sandeep Marwah, for taking the initiative to start a film university.

Dr. Paswan also released a book on the occasion published by the documentation centre of the AAFT. Among those who were present included Dr S Mahalingam, chairman of the high-powered committee on professional education of UP technical university, film producer Boney Kapoor and Naresh Shokin.



Bhakti Parv Samagam held
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
True devotion begins after God realisation, and once a devotee knows the Ultimate Truth, he reflects it in every word he speaks and every action he does. He leads a pious life that is a source of happiness for one and all.

This was observed by the head of the Sant Nirankari Mission, Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj, here yesterday. While addressing a huge gathering at the Bhakti Parv Samagam, he delivered a thought-provoking discourse. A large number of devotees from Delhi and the adjoining states of Haryana Punjab and Uttar Pradesh participated in the samangam. The one-day samagam was celebrated by the mission to recall the services of those who expressed their devotion to God through ‘Sewa’ or service to others.

Baba Hardev Singh Ji Maharaj said that rites and rituals performed without attaining the knowledge of God remain futile and adds only to one’s illusions. Such a devotee only gropes in darkness and stumbles at every step. He must know the God he worships. Devotion, he said, is not to impress others, but to purify self.

Baba Ji said that devotion to God is not a one-day affair once the Ultimate Truth is realized, it fills every moment of the devotee’s life. He speaks observed that true devotion to God is free from desires of worldly rewards. If at all, a devotee seeks only to strengthen his devotion to God so that he can make his life more beautiful, more useful.



Teaching, a hobby and mission

Ms Asma Malik, a teacher, spends her time and money in imparting knowledge to the girls and women living in jhuggi clusters. Her mother who was a well-known social worker inspired her.

She belongs to an affluent family of the walled city and taught a number of girls of her age group there and also older women in the nearby jhuggi clusters. She firmly believes that by taking up teaching as a profession, one has to sacrifice many other things and pursue the profession relentlessly regardless of the hurdles. A teacher should always devote her time for teaching the needy. It is an ideal profession. If one's aim is to earn money, then one should leave this profession to the more dedicated ones. Corruption is everywhere but teaching is a unique profession. A teacher should avoid being involved in unscrupulous activities as they are the guides and builders of society.

Asma did her secondary school of education from Sommer Ville School, Senior Secondary from Francis Girls School, Darya Gunj and Diploma in Basic Teachers Training from Jamia Millia Islamia. She did her master's degree in the English literature from Anna Malai University.

Employed as a teacher in a government school in East Delhi, Asma is quite a known face in the jhuggi clusters. She says that she attains peace by helping the deprived to become literate so that they may stand up in society and become good citizens. Unmarried, she devotes most of her free time to this noble cause.


What kind of social work do you do?

I teach illiterate housewives and girls in jhuggi clusters in Tughlakabad area in south Delhi. I go to the clusters with old women that have experience of working in such localities and talk to the inhabitants of the locality. When they open up with me, I encourage them to take up studies and become literate. When they understand this, I start teaching them from the books of primary schools. I generally concentrate on Hindi and mathematics. I make centres in the area in the locality and enrol women in these centres. I enrol 10 women in one centre. I teach only Hindi and mathematics, keeping in mind that their children go to the government schools and Hindi and mathematics will eventually enable them to help their children. These women are very busy in their household work. Some of them work in the nearby posh localities. Still they spare time for lessons. They are crazy about becoming literate. They want to learn and they come to the centre regularly.

You are so young. Can you tell when did you start social work?

In my childhood, I lived in the walled city. In some families there, girls do not get a chance to go to school. They just learn reading religious book-the Quran. My mother, who was also a teacher, used to teach such girls at home. Seeing my mother teaching them, I also developed this hobby and started teaching the girls of my age group. I did my schooling from Sommer Ville School. In the evening after doing my homework, I went to play with the girls of my age group. While playing, I used to teach them in the manner I was taught by my teachers in the school. Though I belong to a well-to-do family, I could have pursued any career but I joined the teaching profession considering that in this profession, I can spare half of the day for social work. Since 1997, I have been fully engaged in helping the needy women and girls. Besides Tughlakabad, I have also worked in Okhla area, Mustfabad in Trans-Yamuna area and in clusters located at the bank of the Yamuna. If you survey the walled city area, you will find that a number of girls have not even seen a school. Their parents have money but they are chained in social restrictions. However, with the some help of my mother and myself, a few of them went to school and now they are well educated.

Why do you teach only women and girls?

They are the depressed lot in society. They are kept busy in the household work. Parents think that the girls have no concern with the education. It is a male domain. Frankly speaking, girls are better than boys in studies. You can see the board results every year. Moreover, we cannot rise without the help of one another in society. Women can be of help only if they are themselves literate and educated.

Do you face any problem while working in the jhuggi clusters?

Yes. The main problem is of those men under the influence of liquor. I have seen quite a few men having drinks even during the day. They misbehave with the women social workers, thinking that they come to the jhuggi clusters to misguide their womenfolk. They stop their women from coming to the centres.

How do you spare time for social work?

Doing social work is my hobby. I don't do this for earning money like other social workers who are associated with the funded NGOs. I do this after my duty hours. In my profession, people are generally free in the afternoon and they do part-time teaching job in the educational institutions or give tuition to the students at their homes. But I do not like this. I devote myself for the betterment of womenfolk living in the clusters.

In the government schools, you can see teachers generally keep books, bags and some other material for their own use. The government provides this material. However, I distribute these things among the students.

In the government schools, children of the poor families are enrolled. In some families, parents are unable to provide books and other stationery items for their children. Reading material provided by the government should be given to them in order to make them better citizens.

I also provide medicines to the students when they suffer injuries while playing in schools.

You are young and work in jhuggi clusters. Don't your parents object when you come home late?

I go to the clusters to help the poor. One who helps the needy human beings, God helps them. You know my mother is a highly educated woman. She understands me.

In fact, she encourages me to help the poor women. I think I should share the knowledge with others. 



ncr briefs
Kidnapped man rescued from well 
Our Correspondents

Sonepat, January 12
A man was rescued alive from a well three days after he fell into it on the Sonepat-Rathdhanna road, about 7 km from here today. According to a report, the man, identified as Bhopal from Almora (Uttaranchal), was in a semi-conscious condition. He was immediately hospitalised and is progressing well. It is suspected that he was kidnapped and pushed into the well beating him up.

A youth, Amit of Rai village, heard the man crying while he was passing near the well. The police have started investigation into the case.

Peacock found dead

Quite a stir was caused when a peacock was found shot dead at Garhi Mehndipur village, about 10 km from here last evening. According to a report, the residents of the village have informed the police and the Forest Department officials in this connection. There is, however, no clue about the person who killed the peacock.

Theft committed

Thieves reportedly broke into a stall and decamped with goods worth several thousands of rupees. According to a report, the owner of the stall has informed the police about the theft. However, no case has been registered in this connection.

Demand for rail link

Jhajjar: A delegation of the ‘Sarve Dal Sangharsh Samiti’ called on the Deputy Chairperson of the Planning Commission, Mr K. C. Pant, to raise their demand for linking their district headquarters with railway line.

Mr Naseeb Singh Kadian, president of the Samiti, said here today that the Deputy Chairman responded positively and assured them about the construction of railway lines connecting Jhajjar.

He said that the member of the Planning Commission, Mr Sompal Shastri, and Prof Sher Singh accompanied them in the meeting with Mr Pant.

Other members of the samiti who were part of the delegation included Acharya Vijay Pal of Gurukul, Jhajjar, Rajpal Singh, Pyare Lal Kataria, Dr Ashok Nagpal, Swami Bijanand, Om Prakash Gupta of Haryana Pradesh Vyapar Mandal and Joginder Singh Jakhar. Mr Kadian said that Mr Pant assured the delegation that their case would be taken up with the Railway Ministry if there were no legal hurdles involved.

INLD would be defeated: HVP

The state president of women cell, HVP, Ms Usha Ahlawat, claimed that the popularity graph of the INLD government had decline to an all time low. She said that the INLD would never again be voted to power in Haryana.

The HVP leader was addressing public meetings in Raiya, Dawla, Hasanpur, Majra, Surheti villages of the district as part of the ‘contact programme’ initiated by the party. She alleged that INLD was afraid to hold the Assembly elections with the Parliamentary elections as it was afraid of the people’s verdict.



delhi digest
Course in latest techniques on 
interventional cardiology 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
An Acute Myocardial Infarction Intervention course (AMI) is being held to educate interventional cardiologist to use the latest techniques to improve their results when they get acute heart attack cases.

This two-day programme is being organized by Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre at their premises in Okhla, here on January 17-18, 2004.

“The faculty of this course consists of interventional experts and leading interventional cardiologist from USA, Europe, Asia-Pacific and India”, informed Dr Praveen Chandra, course director and senior Interventional Cardiologist, Escorts Heart Institute.

There will be a live video transmission and videoconference from Willian Beaumont Hospital, Michigan, and National Institute of Health, Bethesda, USA.

Both these centres are foremost in development of new strategies and new policies in treatment of myocardial infarction.

About 500 cardiologist and physicians from India and neighbouring countries are scheduled to attend this conference.

Talking about the importance of primary angioplasty in treating AMI (heart attacks), Dr Praveen Chandra, said, “This is supposed to be the best and most ideal treatment of heart attack, especially if done at experienced centres by experienced interventional cardiologists”.

Foundation day celebration: On the eve of Makar Sankranti, the ‘Haryana Maitri Sangh’ will celebrate its 9th foundation day at Talkatora Indoor Stadium.

The former Speaker of Delhi Vidhan Sabha, Mr Charti Lal Goel, will be awarded the Sangh’s prestigious ‘Haryana Ratan Award.’

The well-known social worker, Mr Roshan Lal Aggarwal, will be honoured with ‘Haryana Gaurav Award,’ Actress Dolly Sohi will also be honoured on the occasion.

The Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Mahohar Joshi, will give away the awards.



P & SB executive director presents 
calendar to Chandhok
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 12
The Executive Director of the Punjab and Sind Bank, Mr Prakash Singh, presented a calendar and a traditional diary to Prehlad Singh Chandhok, president, Nirwair Singh, senior vice-president and Harbhajan Singh Matharoo general secretary of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee.

The calendar has been released and dedicated to 400th year of first installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib in Golden Temple, Sri Harmandir Sahib, Sri Amritsar in 1604 by Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji.

Prehlad Chandhok Singh appreciated that the Punjab and Sind Bank has been continuing preaching the Sikh traditions ever since the bank was established by late Sardar Inderjit Singh, former Chairman and Managing Director.



Youth admitted to hospital after being shot at 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 12
A youth, Krishan Kumar, sustained bullet injuries when two armed youths fired shots at him while he was easing himself in a field at Krewri village, about 10 km from here late last evening.

According to a report, his associates who hid themselves in the nearby fields took the injured Krishan Kumar to the local civil Hospital from where he was referred to a trauma centre at Delhi for treatment.

The police have registered the case in this connection and launched a hunt to apprehend the alleged assailants, who managed to escape immediately after the incident.

According to another report, a major part of Kurar village in this district continued to remain powerless for the past 21 days following defects in the electricity transformer in the area.

According to a report, the officials of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) had failed to replace the burnt transformer inspite of repeated complaints made by the residents of the village.

Many residents pointed out that the supply of drinking water was badly hit and had to fetch water from distant places to meet their requirements.

Moreover, the students have been facing hardships on account of non-supply of power as it has adversely affected their preparation for the annual examinations.

The residents demanded immediate suspension of the officials of the UHBVN found responsible for the delay in replacing the burnt transformer.

They also threatened to launch an agitation against the officials if the burnt transformer was not replaced immediately. They also warned that the traffic on the G T road will be disrupted if the officials failed to meet their demand soon.



Two workers burnt
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, January 12
Two workers, identified as Rajbir of Delhi and Bhura of UP, sustained burn injuries when they were trapped in a fire while working in a steel factory at Bahalgarh village, about 10 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, both the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital from where they were referred to a trauma centre at Delhi for further treatment.

The police have registered the case in this connection and further investigations were in progress.

One killed, one injured: A youth, identified as Rajesh of Nangal Kalan village, died on the spot and his brother, Vijay, sustained serious injuries a truck rammed into their motorcycle on the G T Road near Kurar village, about 10 km from here last evening. According to report, both the brothers were going to Shahzadpur village to meet their sister. The injured youth was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment by Mr Jaipal Maan, a resident of Karnal, who happened to pass through the road at the time.


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