C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


‘Involve community in stopping drug abuse’
Pratibha Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 29
With drug abuse in parts of rural Haryana emerging as a major public health problem and the fact that more and more teenagers are getting hooked to alcohol and tobacco, the PGI's Community Medicine Department has recommended the launch of community-based intervention, with special focus on schoolchildren.

A study undertake by the department to assess the extent of drug abuse in two villages in Haryana, indicated that 48 per cent of the male population was consuming tobacco and as such there was an urgent need to launch control strategies with the active involvement of women and schoolchildren.

About 28 per cent men were consuming alcohol, an equal number taking both alcohol and tobacco while 19 per cent were taking bhang and other drugs.

The fact that 48 per cent male population was consuming tobacco(smoking and chewing) and 28 per cent alcohol, and many of them taking both highlights the need for launching a community-based intervention at the village level in order to overcome the limitations of hospital-based approach of de-addiction and training centre.

Interestingly, 75 per cent of this population want to overcome their dependence on alcohol and drugs, with many of them hooked to both.

Though drug abuse has been found mostly among the male population, but it is the women folk who face the brunt as it leads to quarrels, domestic violence, reducing family income, bad effect on children and lowering of the family prestige.

A team of doctors and workers from the PGI, which has been running a comprehensive health service programme in the villages, organised a series of interactive sessions with villagers along with members from the Alcohol Anonymous group.

The villagers were made to understand the ill-effects of alcohol, tobacco, bhang and in some cases drugs like nitrazepam and spasmoproxyvon on the human body and the kind of ailments that it could cause.

The villagers discussed medical and other related problems being faced by them due to drug abuse which included cough, breathlessness, trembling, poor vision, weak heart, irritability, acidity, indigestion, weakness and reduced capacity to work.

Those associated with the field study said one of the question they were frequently asked was the contradiction in the societal attitude towards alcohol consumption, which the villagers failed to understand.

They felt when the government was itself promoting drinking by supplying it to the soldiers posted on the borders and high altitude areas, how could it talk of the harmful effects of alcohol consumption.

In India, alcohol and drug abuse has been a cause of concern for policy makers and majority of the drug de-addiction centres are located in the psychiatry wards of bigger hospitals in urban areas.

The field workers found that the villagers were receptive to the remedial action suggested and realised that the drug abuse was having very adverse effect on their health and well being.



Strengthening of health facilities suggested
Tribune News Service

The recommendations include...

  • Improvement in literacy levels and education standards
  • Providing better health facilities in rural Punjab
  • Increasing job opportunities in the non-farm sector
  • Involving experts from universities and NGOs for better implementation of programmes
  • Carrying out a survey to identify BPL families

Chandigarh, January 29
The strengthening of health facilities, employment generation, improving literacy levels in the rural sector and increasing the old-age pension was suggested to make the Special Component Plan (SCP) effective on the concluding day of the two-day workshop on “Impact of SCP and schemes for the Scheduled Castes in Punjab.”

These recommendations, made at the workshop held at Golden Jubilee Hall of Panjab University here today, would be submitted to the government for action. The recommendations are a consequence of intensive discussions among bureaucrats, state functionaries, teachers, trade unionists and non-government organisations.

Stressing on improving school education, the speakers lamented the sorry state of affairs in government schools while pointing out that 70 per cent SC and ST students study there. It was also recommended that a survey be conducted to identify households below poverty line, since a large number of bogus yellow cards, meant for BPL families, were in circulation in rural Punjab. The real poor were left out of the purview of the developmental schemes, it was mentioned. The workshop suggested that instead of surveys, the government should organise public gatherings in villages, to be attended by 50 per cent households of the village which, the participants claimed, was a better way to reach the real poor.

The participants were of the opinion that all developmental schemes should be participatory, involving potential beneficiaries, rather than be framed by bureaucrats in offices without knowing the ground reality. It was added that government machinery had miserably failed in this regard. The speakers at the workshop also sought publication of schemes in Gurmukhi and its organised dissemination among the SC population.

The recommendations included a demand for creating greater employment opportunities outside the farm sector and sprucing up the health facilities in districts and villages where good doctors are hard to get.

Maintaining that the government was target-oriented and not result-oriented, zila parishad members from various districts of Punjab said SC and STs had no access to agricultural land and no arrangement for supplying fodder to their cattle.

It was also suggested that 15 per cent of the total budget of the SCP should be used for research and developmental programmes whereby experts from universities and NGOs can be associated to devise strategies for effective implementation of programmes and their constant monitoring.



Sacred Heart, DAV School overall winners
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, January 29
Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sector 26, and DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, have been adjudged overall winners in the UT Inter School Sports Tournament held in different disciplines in girls and boys categories, respectively, during 2003-2004. These events were held in athletics, badminton, basketball, ball badminton, lawn tennis, table tennis, yoga, roller hockey, kabaddi, handball, hockey, football, kho-kho, softball, volleyball, cricket, throwball, netball and fencing.

Sacred Heart School Girls secured 43 points, while DAV School boys secured 48 points. Mr Inderjit Sandhu, Director Sports, UT, gave away prizes at a simple function at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 18, today. Mr D.S. Mangat, DPI Schools, UT, and Mr Prem Puri, Assistant Education Officer, were also present on the occasion. Mr Mangat later said the function of this nature could not be held on two occasions in the past and it was for the first time that every winner was being awared a medal each. The overall athletics trophy in boys category was also grabbed by DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8, while in the girls section the trophy went to Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37.

Later Ms Elsi, Principal of Sacred Heart School, said this was for the second time consecutively that the school had won the overall trophy. She said girl students were encouraged to take part in physical activities as to build overall personality. Mr Ravinder Talwar, Principal of the DAV School, said the school offered many in-house facilities for games like cricket, basketball and handball.

The overall position holders are: Girls:Sacred Heart School, Sector 26 (43) 1, St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44 (38 pts) 2, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10 (23 pts) 3, Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 (21 pts) 4.

Boys: DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 (48 pts)1, St Stephen’s School, Sector 45 (41 pts) 2, St Joseph’s School, Sector 44 (30 pts) 3, Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, and Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 10 (both 26 pts)- Joint third.

Sacred Heart eves had also won a gold medal in under 14 tennis, silver medals each in badminton and carrom events. In under 17 groups, Sacred Heart School girls cornered glory in lawn tennis by clinching gold medal. They also won silver medal in badminton.

In under 19 section, Sacred Heart eves won gold medals each in foil and sabre event in fencing. In netball, its team won a gold medal. Sacred Heart won a silver medal each in cricket and badminton.

The boys section winners DAV Senior Secondary School won a gold medal in under 19 badminton, lawn tennis and cricket and silver medal in handball. In under 17, it won titles each in lawn tennis, handball and cricket. In under 14, it won a gold medal in cricket and a silver medal in basketball.



SGGS-26 beat DAV-10 in handball
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, January 29
Hosts SGGS College, Sector 26, Chandigarh, beat DAV College, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 41-39 in the Panjab University Inter-College Inter-Zonal Handball Tournament here today. The winners were leading 16-15 at half-time.

For the winners, Shiv Dayal scored 14 goals, followed by Bhupinder Singh with 10 goals, Hardeep Singh nine, Rajnish four and Sukhdev and Amrinder Pal Singh two each. For the losers, Shaminder Singh scored 12 goals while Narinder Singh and Ramesh Kumar scored six goals each, Mandeep Singh five, Rajnish and Ram Nath three each and Sanjay Kumar and Nand Lal two each.

In another tie, Panjab University Campus lost 20-52 to Government College, Ludhiana. For the winners, Mohinder Singh (15), Avtar Singh (10), Davinder Singh (6), Pardeep Sharma (4), Rajdeep (4), Amarjit (4), Rajiv Rawat (4), Jaswinder (2), Parminder (2) and Puneet Rana (1) were the scorers. For the losers, Sunil Kumar (8), Narinder (3), Guriqbal (3), Rajnish (2), Paramveer (2) and Krishan Kumar (2) were the scorers.

Cycling prodigy: Aashi of PML SD Public School, Sector 32, won a bronze medal in road races at the ninth National cycling meet last month. She had earlier won a gold medal in the under-14 section in time trial race, a silver medal in under-14 massed start race and a bronze medal in under-18 section in massed start race in the National meet at Anandpur Sahib in September last.

Badminton team: Neeraj Ahuja will lead the Haryana Civil Services badminton team for the All-India Civil Services badminton meet, to be held in Delhi from February 2. The other members of the team are Rajesh Bhardwaj, Anil, Mitesh, Surinder Jatarana, Pawan, Nafe Singh, Jai Singh Dhiman and Jai Singh Chhikara.


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