N C R   S T O R I E S


Yet another case of ‘food poisoning’ in school
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Even as the Bharatiya Janata Party today held a dharna against the sub-standard mid-day meals being supplied to the MCD schools, 61 students of a corporation school at Malkaganj fell ill after eating their meal this morning. They were admitted to Hindu Rao Hospital, where doctors on duty said that their condition was stable.

Sources in the corporation said that Ananya, an NGO, had supplied the meal to the school. An inquiry has been ordered to examine the quality of the meal. The NGO had supplied wheat porridge.

Sixty students of the MCD school today reported stomach ache and vomiting after eating their mid-day meal. They were in the age group of 5 to 12 years. The school is located at Vishwanathan Street in Malkaganj.

‘’The children are now stable, but they are being kept under observation,’’ said Casualty Medical Officer K. L. Sudhakar.

The children, carried by their parents, began arriving at the hospital at 11.45 am, a little while after eating porridge at the school, Dr Sudhakar said.

The children were treated into the emergency ward of the hospital, he said.

Yesterday, 281 students of two MCD schools were hospitalised following food poisoning. They too took ill after consuming their mid-day meal.

The chairman of the MCD education committee, Mr. Farhad Suri, said that the corporation was waiting for the report of the laboratory, where samples of yesterday’s mid day meal was sent for examination. Once the reported is submitted to the department, action would be taken against the supplier of the meal. He said that the contract of the supplier would be cancelled, if found guilty.

The police would also take action against the culpable NGOs. Today’s dharna was in protest against similar incidents at Kadipur and Jaunapur villages, where around 281 students were hospitalised after they reported stomach ache and vomiting.

All BJP councillors, including Dr Harshvardhan, President of the Delhi BJP unit, and Leader of Opposition in the corporation, Mr Subhash Arya, sat on dharna in front of the Town Hall.



Sheila sees a poll conspiracy

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said she suspected a conspiracy behind such a large number of students falling ill in the past 24 hours after eating their mid-day meals in the MCD schools.

‘’The students were taken to hospitals, but they showed no sign of food poisoning. How does one explain such a large number of students falling ill in just two days. A conspiracy cannot be ruled out,’’ Ms Dikshit told reporters here.

Last time MCD students took ill when Assembly elections were approaching in the Capital, she recalled. The incident has recurred just when the Parliamentary elections are around the corner, she added. She disclosed that the Delhi Chief Secretary, Mrs. Shailja Chandra, had a meeting

with the health authorities today to take stock of the situation. ‘’We will soon know how the students fell ill,’’ Ms Dikshit said. TNS



21 DCPs moved in major shakeup
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Delhi Police Commissioner, Dr K K Paul, has undertaken a major reshuffle of deputy commissioners of police; the order is with immediate effect.
Dr Paul has promoted two DCPs — Manoj Lall and Arvind Deep — as Additional Commissioners of Police.

This is the second major reshuffle since Dr Paul took over as commissioner. Earlier assistant commissioners of police and station house officers were transferred. The current order will affect 21 officers.

The two promotions are that of Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Manoj Lall, who has been promoted as Additional Commissioner (General Administration); and that of Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Arvind Deep, who has been promoted as Additional Commissioner (PCR).

The other changes are: A K Singh, DCP, 7th Battalion of DAP, has been transferred to the 1st Battalion; Kewal Singh, DCP (Supreme Court Security) as DCP (Headquarters); Anita Roy, DCP (Security), as DCP (New Delhi); R L Meena, DCP, 1st Battalion, as DCP (Security), M M Oberoi, DCP (PM Security); as DCP (Central), Neeraj Thakur, Additional DCP (PM Security); as DCP (PM Security); David Lalrinsanga, DCP (CAW Cell); as DCP, 7th Battalion; and Chhaya Sharma, DCP (DE cell), as Additional DCP (Central).

Among the DANIPS officers, A A Farooqui, Principal (PTC), has been transferred as DCP (Supreme Court Security); K C Dwivedi, DCP (Vigilance), as DCP (CAW); G C Dwivedi, DCP (Licensing), as DCP (Vigilance and DE cell); V Renganathan, DCP (Headquarters), as Staff Officer to Commissioner of Police, R S Ghumman; Additional DCP (Railways) as DCP (Legal Cell); V V Choudhary, Additional DCP (Security), as Principal (PTC); and Arum Kampani, DCP (Traffic) New Delhi range, as DCP (Licensing).

Among the Additional DCPs, A S Cheema, Additional DCP, (North-East district), will take over as DCP (Traffic) New Delhi Range; Ajay Kumar, Additional DCP (EOW), as Additional DCP (Railways); K K Vyas, Additional DCP (CAW), as Additional DCP (EOW); and O P Mishra, Additional DCP (Licensing), as Additional DCP (PM Security). 



upping the ante
BJP objects to setting up of water body
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The BJP Delhi unit has strongly objected to the constituting of the Water Regulatory Commission in Delhi, stating that it’s earlier apprehensions have come true.
On one hand, the Delhi government had failed to provide safe drinking water to half of Delhi’s population; on the other hand, the government was handing over its primary responsibility of supplying drinking water to private companies. BJP Pradesh president Dr Harshvardhan said that BJP had seen through this conspiracy and warned Delhiites in this regard. The handing over of the Sonia Vihar Water Treatment Plant to a foreign company would be the first step of the Congress government towards privatization of water supply.

Now, by constituting the Regulatory Commission, the task of placing Delhi’s water supply in private hands is almost complete. Dr Harshvardhan said that the role of a regulatory commission is to bridge the gap between the consumer and private companies.

Whenever private companies take an exparte decision, bypassing the consumer, or they fail to provide proper services, the regulatory commission acts as an arbitrator.

The Delhi Government’s decision to constitute a Water Regulatory Commission, therefore, fully confirms its intentions of placing Delhi water supply in private hands.

Dr Harshvardhan said drinking water is a basic human right and the government must make it available to the people. There was no harm in seeking foreign technical assistance for improving the quality of water, but to bestow the right to sell water on a foreign company was detrimental to the interests of the nation. In the Centre’s water policy framework, too, privatization had not been accepted. It is the opinion of the Prime Minister that privatization of water is not only against human pride but also contrary to our ancient tradition.

Dr Harshvardhan alleged that the people of Delhi were perturbed over the corruption in the privatised power sector. Private companies only had profit motives; often, they show losses so that they can induce a tariff increase. He urged Mrs Dikshit to stop playing with people’s sentiments, stating that BJP will not compromise in any manner on its stand to oppose privatization of water supply.



EC nod to legal proceedings against Kirti Azad

New Delhi: The Election Commission (EC) has directed initiation of legal proceedings against Kirti Azad, a BJP member of the dissolved Lok Sabha, for violating the law by unauthorisedly printing campaign material on behalf of his wife and party candidate Poonam Azad during the recent Delhi Assembly Polls. His wife had fought the election from Gole Market assembly constituency. The EC ordered the District Election Officer-cum- Deputy Commissioner, New Delhi, to start proceedings against Azad under section 171H of the IPC (illegal payments in connection with elections), which entails a maximum fine of Rs 500, EC sources said today. In its order, the EC has said that Azad had issued an election pamphlet, published in his own name, urging the electors of the Gole Market assembly constituency to vote in favour of Poonam Azad, the sources said.

“A mere look at the pamphlet shows that it must have cost a considerable amount to Kirti Azad. Poonam Azad, in her reply to the EC, has categorically stated that she had not authorized anyone, nor had she any idea about anyone printing or distributing any election material”, the sources added. Thus, the sources said, it was evident that Kirti Azad had published the pamphlet without any authorisation from Poonam Azad and thereby violated the provisions of the IPC. TNS



Using wastepaper to brighten slum dwellers’ lives
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
It is not always necessary for a person wanting to help the poor to put his hand into his pocket. Here is an excellent example of an NGO which is helping the poor by paying their insurance premium the cost of which is met by selling the waste paper collected from Delhi University students.

There are 100 slum dwellers in the university area. They subsist below the poverty line and are working as either rickshaw pullers or domestic help. They even do not have the money to deposit their insurance premium of Rs 200. (The government has introduced a special insurance policy in which half of the premium is paid by the government and the rest is to shelled out by the insured person).

The volunteers of People’s Caravan, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working among the slum dwellers in the national Capital, pick up old newspapers from the university hostels to pay the insurance premium.

The NGO has set up an ‘insurance premium fund’ by selling the old newspapers and magazines donated by the students. The commission its volunteers get by selling big policies to the rich also contribute to the fund. People’s Caravan, launched in August last year by a group of young professionals, began its work by informing the residents in the slums of north Delhi about the benefits of insurance. It didn’t take much time to convince the poor families about the benefits of joining an insurance scheme which gave them Rs 50,000 each in case of an accident leading to permanent disability or Rs 20,000 in case of partial disability.

The volunteers said that the scheme was wonderful and when they approached the students, they also cooperated and gave the waste paper like old magazines and newspapers. Inspired with this NGO, some of the students who are not living in the hostels, have also started helping the poor on the same pattern.

According to Ruchika, a first year student in Hindu College, “I got the idea from some students who were discussing about this matter. I also collected money by selling the waste paper and other items from my house and even from my neighbouring friends’ houses and purchased some clothes and food item for poor living near to our colony.” 



Metro ready to cross another milestone
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Delhi’s Metro Rail started trial runs on the Inderlok-Rithala section from today. This section is to be thrown open to the public from March 31.
The trials, it is expected, will be completed by March 20, after which the Commissioner for Metro Railway Safety would inspect the section to clear it for commercial traffic. This is one of the important routes as it covers the most populated areas.

The Metro Rail officials are expecting a good number of passengers once the line becomes operational. The Inderlok-Rithala section will increase the total length of this line, starting from Shahdara, to 23 km. Once the Metro becomes operational on this line, the number of passengers is expected to double from the existing 80,000 per day. It is also proposed to increase the number of trains to 16 with the opening of the new section, which means a six-minute frequency at peak times.

This section includes eight stations — Kanhiya Nagar, Keshav Puram, Wazirpur, Kohat Enclave, Pitampur, Rohini East, Rohini West and Rithala. It is a fully elevated section with the Metro running 12 meters above the ground level. The officials are expecting the entire Phase 1 of Metro, covering 68.30 km, to be opened in September 2005. The DMRC is currently running seven trains with a capacity of 1,500 each for the Shahdara-Indralok section. 



killer roads
Four passengers killed as bus falls into canal
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, February 27
On the heels of the serious Qaulis accident on February 25 in which nine young men had lost their lives, another four passengers were killed when a roadways bus under Murad Nagar police station area, fell into Ganga Canal last night. Five passengers were seriously injured and rushed to hospital by police. None of the passengers could be identified yet.

The accident occurred at 12.30 last night at Ganga Canal bridge when a Delhi-bound roadways bus No.15D-3206 from Meerut depot, carrying nine passengers apart from driver Subash Chand and conductor Narinder Sharma, plunged into the canal after smashing the side grill on the bridge.

The driver is said to have suddenly lost control of the bus while it was on the canal bridge. Driver Subash Chand is reported to have fled after the accident.

The Police from Murad Nagar and Modi Nagar police stations rushed to the accident spot. The bus was lying in the canal. The police started the rescue work. The injured were pulled out of the canal with the help of cranes. One passenger had died on the spot while three succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

Five were identified as Naushad, Sunti, Ramphal, Naushad Ali and Saad Ali. The driver had escaped unhurt. Police are trying to identify the passengers.

Jeeps collide

Sonepat: At least three persons, including a woman, were killed and 20 others injured, some of them seriously, in a head-on collision between two jeeps on the Sonepat-Gohana road near Bidhal village, about 25 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, two persons died on the spot and they were identified as Sunil of Bidhal village and Mukesh of Majra village (Delhi). The woman, Mrs Mewa, died at the PGIMS Rohtak. The accident happened on the Gohana-Sonepat road. OC



Haryana Congress leader evolves a win-win formula 
Our Correspondent

Rewari, February 27
Thakur Attar Lal, a prominent Congress activist of South Haryana and president of the Haryana unit of the All India Rajput Mahasabha, has devised, after an indepth study of the electoral arithmetic of the past few decades, a formula for allotment of party tickets to ensure a landslide victory for the Congress in Haryana.

He has sent a copy of the formula to the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, for her perusal.

Copies of it have also been forwarded to Mr R.K. Dhawan, general secretary, AICC and incharge of the party affairs in Haryana and Mr Arjun Singh, chairman of the seven-member screening committee for Haryana.

Furnishing details in this regard, Thakur Attar Lal said that after a comprehensive review of the poll results, he concluded that the Congress received a severe drubbing in the previous Lok Sabha election in Haryana, mainly because of an erroneous distribution of party tickets.

He went on to explain that over-indulgence was shown to the members of certain castes and communities while certain others were completely sidelined in the distribution of tickets.

Such allotment of party rickets eventually led to alienation of the neglected castes and communities which had otherwise traditionally supported Congress in the past, he added.

The Rajputs, Brahmins, Punjabis, Baniyas and the Dhanak community among the scheduled castes were now annoyed with the Congress on account of such treatment, he opined.

Emphasising the urgency of revamping the traditional caste and community-based vote bank of the party, he pointed out that Sonepat, Rohtak and Hisar seats needed to be allotted to the nominees of the Jat community while Karnal should go to a Brahmin, Kurukshetra to a Baniya or a Punjabi, Mahendergarh to a Yadav, Bhiwani to a Rajput and Faridabad to a Meo Muslim. Similarly the two reserved seats of Ambala and Sirsa be allotted to a Dhanak and a Chamar (SC) respectively, he added.

Thakur Attar Lal asserted that if the party high command adhered to his above formula in letter and spirit in the distribution of tickets, it could secure rich dividends at the hustings in the forthcoming election.



Congress to go solo in Haryana: Bhajan Lal 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president and the former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhupinder Singh, have announced that the Congress would contest the Lok Sabha election on its own in Haryana and the names of the party candidates would be announced shortly by the party High Command.

Talking jointly to the mediapersons at the helipad of Motilal Nehru School of Sports at Rai, about 13 km from here late last evening, they also hinted that the national as well as the local issues would be the main issues for the party in contesting the Lok Sabha elections. They claimed that the ‘road show’ of Mrs Sonia Gandhi has improved the image of the party as thousands of people have greeted her throughout the state during her two-day mass contact campaign.

Both the leaders denied any rift in the party and said that all the party leaders of Haryana accompanied Mrs Gandhi during her tour in the state. The presence of thousands of people during the tour of Mrs Gandhi showed that the people of Haryana were behind the party and they wanted the Congress Government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress leaders also claimed that the people of Haryana were also fed up with the INLD Government and they were waiting for the Assembly elections to dislodge Mr Chautala from power.

Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, president of the All India Youth Congress, Miss Sheilja, a former Union Minister, Mr Birender Singh, a member of the Central Election Committee and other party leaders were present at the helipad when Mrs Gandhi left for Delhi.



Poor disbursal of funds by Zila Parishad
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, February 27
The Zila Parishad of the district has not been ‘able’ to distribute all the funds that it got for development of various Panchayati Raj schemes for the current financial year. According to reports, the parishad had received about Rs 20.72 lakhs for the schemes but the authorities concerned told the members of the parishad at its meeting held at Ballabgarh yesterday that over 50 percent of the funds, which comes to about Rs 11 lakhs, were yet to distributed.

It is reported that the parishad’s share in the rural employment schemes, which comes to about Rs 34,6800, was also still be fully utilised while the financial year is only about a month away from close. It is stated that the parishad has spent Rs 1,04,3800 on various development works so far. The body proposes to use about Rs 30.30 lakhs from these funds for the benefit of the people living below poverty line. The members have been asked to submit their suggestions and recommendations for the use of the remaining funds.

The District and Development and Panchayat officer, in the meeting yesterday, asked the Block Development and Panchayat Officers to submit their estimates of the schemes and identify the works where the remaining funds could be utilised. The parishad also decided that the funds that were received for development will first be deposited in the account of the parishad before being disbursed to the members or being earmarked for various schemes . It was announced that unless the concerned elected member of the parishad do not countersign the completion certificate, no work or scheme would be considered as complete. It also called for keeping a proper check on the quality of the foodgrains that were being given under the ‘foodgrains-for-work’’ programmes. The body was told that the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner had received funds worth Rs 25 lakhs under a scheme of development works, to be carried out by an agency connected with the Union Rural Development Ministry.



It’s just not on to cold-shoulder 
migrants in democracy: L-G
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The Lt-Governor of Delhi, Mr Vijai Kapoor, said that the migrant population in the Capital should be taken as a challenge, not as a scourge. Delivering a lecture, “Problem of Delhi and Related Research Priorities” at Observer Research Foundation (ORF), the Lt-Governor described Delhi as the ‘’powerhouse of the North Indian economy’’.

Concrete steps, however, need to be taken to provide infrastructure and job opportunities to people flocking the Capital from other parts of the country in search of a living.

He said, “Since freedom of movement is a fundamental right, we cannot stop anyone from coming to Delhi. There has been an addition of at least 40 to 50 lakh people to Delhi’s population in the past four to five years. This should not be taken as a scourge but as a challenge. We need to upgrade the employment avenues.’’

Addressing a gathering at the ORF here, Mr Vijay Kapoor said, “De-industrialisation is taking place. Many industrial concerns in Najafgarh, even if they adhered to safety and environmental norms, were relocated or closed down. Now where do the people get their income from? Will the government or the tertiary sectors be able to fulfil their needs? Delhi is not a centre for information technology. What are the employment avenues for the Capital? These are areas one needs to look at more deeply,” he said.

Though a number of steps have been taken for the infrastructure development, much more needs to be done, he added.

“Apart from the Delhi Metro, at least 45 flyovers have been constructed across the city. Urban extensions like Rohini and Dwarka have been developed too,’’ he said, listing the measures taken.

On the issue of regularisation of illegal colonies, Mr Kapur said these colonies should also be provided with water and power as other areas.

To a specific query on Sainik Farms getting a legal status, the Lt-Governor said, “Its regularisation cannot be clubbed with the other unauthorised colonies as that is a colony inhabited by the well-off.’’

On increasing crimes against women in the Capital, he said, “In 94.5 per cent on the rape cases, the rapists had prior acquaintance with the victims. While in the rest 5.5 per cent cases, there was use of force or abduction. To tackle this problem, women are being trained for self-defence.’’



Mechanics turn roads into makeshift workshops 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
Unauthorised makeshift workshops on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh, Sonepat-Gohana, Sonepat-Rohtak and other main roads, have caused a serious traffic hazard in the city.

According to a report, scores of automobile spare parts shops and motor repair workshops have mushroomed. Almost all of them are unauthorised. Virtually from 8 am till late in the evening, hundreds of vehicles can be seen parked on the main roads, occupying nearly half of the roads’ width span. Most of these vehicles are there for repair. The Atlas Road and a stretch of the Railway Road between the PWD (B and R) Rest House and the railway station are the worst-hit.

Local mechanics with the help of their counterparts from other areas have turned even the main roads into veritable workshops.

The automobile parts shops and the makeshift workshops run a brisk business together at the cost of the motorists.

The Sonepat-Bahalgarh and the Sonepat-Murthal roads, initially meant to accommodate fast-moving traffic, have been reduced to a narrow corridor of slow-moving traffic.

During the peak hours, the high traffic congestion results in bumper to bumper driving.

The civic authorities and the traffic police seem to be ineffective in either curbing the flourishing unauthorised workshops or the illegal parking on the roads which handle the biggest traffic stream of the city. This is apparent in the carefree manner encroachments of parking and repair centres here continue unchecked.

A glaring example is the three-km stretch between the railway crossing near the Hindu College and the ECE factory roundabout. At any time of the day, scores of trucks are parked on the main roads along this stretch.

There are more than 100 spare parts shops situated along the side road. While the side road is used by the shopkeepers as sit-in places and for tool containers, the trucks and other vehicles are parked on the main road blocking more than half of the road.

Some of the shopkeepers said this is the biggest truck repair centre in this city. They admitted that it was completely unauthorised.



Speaking out


Do you have a grouse against the apathetic attitude of the authorities? Are you fed up with the dilly-dallying tactics of officialdom and the stranglehold of red tapism? If so, please write to us. We have a full half page every week reserved just for you. The letters should be clearly marked, Speaking out, NCR Tribune, First Floor, Dyal Singh Library Building, 1 Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, New Delhi-110002.

This is in reference to the decision of the Ministry of Human Resource concerning the reduction in fee structures of the various Indian Institute of Management (IIM). Sometimes back, the Ministry of Human Resource had also taken the decision to increase the number of seats in the management courses. While the decision to increase the number of seats in the management courses is a right one, it is questionable whether the reduction in the fee structures will fulfill the greater purpose of the institute-to produce quality managers.

I believe that reduction in the fee structures will directly affect the quality of the IIM’s and the quality of the product produced by the institute.

I think the very rationale for reducing the fee structure is questionable.

According to the Ministry of Human Resource, this decision was based on the recommendation of the U R Rao Committee. However, my understanding of the U. R Rao Committee report is totally different from what the Ministry of Human Resource is propagating.

To the best of my understanding, U.R. Rao Committee stated that while studying the status of technical education in India, they had not specifically looked at the IIM’s. As such, the people are at a loss to understand the intentions of the government in this regard. In the absence of any other clear-cut rationale, the whole episode seems to be nothing but an election stunt.

However, for the common man such crude political calculations make little sense.

Should the IIM’s suffer because the government wants to play politics with the education system in the country? It is clear that if this step is implemented, the IIM’s would totally depend on the government for fund.

And we all know very well about our governments varying promises.

Today the government is proudly saying that all necessary funds would be made available and the IIM’s will not be allowed to suffer. However, if history is any indications, the “roll back government” can go back on this promise too.

What will be the state of affairs at these premier institutes if government is unable to sanction enough finances for them in the future?

Will it not affect the quality of managers produced by the IIM’s? In effect, it will have a direct impact upon the management of Indian industries.

Moreover, if the government wants to help the underprivileged sections in the real sense, it should implement this formula at the initial stage of the education system in the country. In India, a large number of children are working in factories, coal mines etc., and are unable to complete even their basic education due to economic factors.

It is amazing that the government is doing very little for them. Many of these children have the capability to become scientists, engineers, doctors etc., but have to face the hard reality of life.

Proactive initiative by the government can go a long way in producing not only responsible citizens but productive citizens for the country.



I am a poor and helpless victim of callous and indifferent attitude of officials of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), Faridabad and Panchkula.

Since I have to get my daughter married, I had applied for the refund of my deposits regarding plot no. 1955 Sec-2, Palwal, to HUDA, Faridabad, on December 25, 2003.

However, despite repeated reminders and personal requests to the officials of HUDA, Faridabad, I am yet to receive my refund. Today, I am a very worried woman, since the marriage of my daughter is approaching fast.

I request the authorities concerned to take a sympathetic view of my case and refund my deposits immediately.


Development over democracy

In the modern period, the conflict between western and Islamic world over the concept of democracy is a much-discussed subject.

Irrespective of the side one takes, what is clear is that ignorance is the predominant theme on both side of the divide.

China is yet another model today. Few can vouch for the democratic credentials of communist China.

However, communist China has preferred to strengthen its human resources and economic parameters. In effect, it has preferred economic progress over democratic credentials.

In effect, literacy, development of human resource, social stability, economic well being etc. has nothing to do with the democratisation process.


Stress buster

Principal Madhu Chandra in her article, “Stress can be managed” (NCR, February 16), has rightly observed that stress is one of the byproducts of modern lifestyle.

In this regard, I wish to say that stress is a very wide term and has its roots in tension, worry, strain, anxiety, failure, rivalry, fear, insecurity and nervousness.

Doctors believe that modern lifestyle is a major cause of stress these days.

Today a person either takes too much stress or is unable to cope with the ordinary anxieties of modern lifestyle. When the stress is overwhelming, they collapse.

The only way to ward off nervous breakdown is to take it easy at home, school and office or workplace.

The golden virtue of ‘moderation’ induces us to keep our balance. It is indeed an effective way to unwind our nerves, so that instead of suffering stress, we sail along smoothly and efficiently. “When we have the ability to laugh, when we see our own absurdities, how droll our ambitions are, how comical we often are, we automatically become more sane, less self-centered, more humble and stress-free”.

RITU SHARMA, Faridabad

Burden of love

This is with reference to M.P.K. Kutty’s article, “Love promises a crown, if willing to bear its cross” (NCR Tribune, February 15). In this regard, I wish to say that love is indeed a very powerful force. It can take us to great heights and leave us light and airy.

Yet, it has been the most abused and misused force. Many degraded things pass for love. What the world actually needs is an accurate and correct understanding of love. True love is based on understanding, mutual trust and respect, not simply on emotions.

Love is selflessness and is not an emotional state confined to whims and fancies.

Let’s ponder on the following observations made by eminent thinkers on love: Love is the sun, which does not charge for its rays; Love is the air, which fills all recipients inside and out; Love is the ocean, which accepts all manners of rivers without questioning their origin; Love is the tree, which does not boast of giving shade and shelter and bends to offer its fruits; Love is the water of the sea, which melts the rocks of inflexible arrogance; Love is the sweet water of the river, which quenches the thirst of all who come to her shore; Love is universal, it has no limits; Love of God makes you love all mankind and hate none; Love that hurts, is not love at all.

Without love, all of life’s treasures are locked away from our vision and experiences, for indeed “love is the key”.


Caring for the elderly

The British Government is seriously thinking of sourcing out services to India, particularly in sectors that looks after the elderly people. They hope that they would get good care from Indians, known for their care towards the elder people.

However, India is itself undergoing a cultural revolution due to a dramatic transformation in social lifestyle.

In effect, nobody has extra time to look after the elderly in our society today. The elderly in our country are quite amazed and annoyed that the youngsters have forgotten their cultural traditions and heritage and are ignoring them and failing to take good care of them.

Moreover, everybody is emotionally attacked to their motherland and would like to get ‘nirvana’ and laid to peace in their own homeland.

It is true that Indian traditional cultural heritage of respect and sympathy for the elderly is still alive to some extent. However, as things are moving, the day is not far when it will be part of history.


Power of faith

The 169th Tithi Puja of Sri Ramakrishna was celebrated on February 22. However, such an important event was ignored by most of the mediapersons. Sri Ramakrishna is described as a spiritual teacher par excellence.

He used to make the fundamentals of spiritual life easy through the medium of parables and stories, thus ensuring their usefulness in day-to-day life.

He would not make his parables obscure. Therefore, the morals they convey becomes quite obvious to comprehend and easy to follow.

Thankur used to say that nothing is impossible in faith. And a true devotee has faith in everything, the formless reality, God with form, Rama, Krishna and the divine Mother. God can be realized through child-like faith and guilelessness.

Talking about the simple secret of faith, Thankur used to narrate that a certain person on coming across a sadhu begged him for instruction. The advice of the sadhu was, “Love God with all your heart and soul.”

Thankur was also fond of narrating another story, which revealed the enormous power of faith. He said that Rama had to build a bridge to cross the sea to Ceylon. But Hanuman, trusting in Rama’s name, cleared the sea in one jump and reached the other side. He had no need for a bridge.

According to Thankur, absolute faith in God was the root of all miraculous deeds. If you have true faith and earnest longing, you will get everything by the grace of the Lord.

Tish Malhotra, Rohini, Delhi

Uniform policy for retirees demanded

The news ‘Khalsa College felicitates Justice Kuldip Singh’ (NCR, February 24) makes a delightful reading.

Dr Amrik Singh, a distinguished educationist, was once the chairman of the college.

The appointment of Justice Kuldip Singh as the new chairman of the college has liberated the prestigious institution of the stranglehold of the Jathedars, who would descend on the college in their medieval attire once in a while, mainly at the time of admissions and appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff.

Presently, the retired teachers of the college are facing hardship on account of the new regulations adopted by the college authorities. The retired employees living within Delhi are now required to appear in person (unlike the past practice) before the accounts branch of the college during certain days in a year and sign the prescribed life certificate.

Interestingly, those living outside Delhi can send the life certificate by post duly attested by an official of a public sector bank.

It is amazing why the same facility is being denied to the retirees living within Delhi?

It is simply disgusting to see a woman pensioner above seventy years appearing in person with a urine bottle and the attached catheter and signing the prescribed performa of the life certificate.

The chairman of the DSGMC, Mr P S Chandok, deserves applause for persuading Justice Kuldip Singh to join the college.

N. S. Kapur, New Delhi



Three killed in road accidents
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Three persons were killed and two seriously injured in three different accidents in the city during the last 24 hours.

In the first incident, three persons Shamsuddin (40), resident of Nand Nagari; Rakesh (40), resident of Tilak Nagar and Ram Dayal (37), resident of Trilokpuri, were hit by an unknown vehicle near Janpath Lane last night. The three were immediately rushed to the RML Hospital where Shamsuddin was declared brought dead and the other two have been treated for their injuries.

In another incident, one 60-year-old Radhey Shyam, resident of Prashant Vihar, was hit by a Blue Line bus plying on route No 901 between Mangolpuri and Kamla Market, while he was crossing the road opposite Old Lajpat Rai Market. The police have arrested the erring driver Tejpal Singh (45), resident of Jhajjar, and registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent driving against him.

In the third incident, one unidentified man was hit by an unknown vehicle last night opposite Durga Mandir on Captain Gaur Marg. The victim was declared brought dead in AIIMS.



Daffodils for children of a lesser god
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
Sun organisation, a charitable organisation of the Sun Group has launched a charitable institution ‘Daffodils’, an orphanage for the poor and destitute children. Sun Foundation is already supporting “Educate a widow’s child fund” in India for the education of more than 1,000 children of poor widows.

According to the Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Chairman, Sun Foundation, “It is the responsibility of every corporate citizen to come forward and help the economically weaker section of society. We are committed to the cause and will ensure that we are able to help as many orphans as possible.”

The announcement was made at a mega fashion show “The Begam’s Legacy”, which was organised with the idea of attracting the attention of the general public towards the issue of homeless orphans. 



NCR briefs
Students urged to donate blood, eyes
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
The Haryana Health Minister, Dr M L Ranga, gave away the prizes to the students of the Hindu Girls College here yesterday.
Speaking on the occasion, he asked the students to donate blood and eyes. He also urged them to work hard and pass their annual examinations without copying.

Dr Mohini Giri, former Chairperson of the National Commission for Women, also exhorted the students to take a pledge for dowryless marriages and face the challenges posed by the greedy grooms.

She also asked them to take a training in self-defence and lend a hand in social service to help the victims of communal riots in Godhra as well as other places, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and Vrindavan in UP.

She also promised support in rendering help to the widows of the riots victims. She made a fervent appeal to the people to stop the problem of female trafficking in society.

Dr Shamin Sharma, Principal of the college read out her annual report and highlighted the achievements of the college in education and sports.

A colourful cultural programme was presented by the girl students of the college on the occasion.

A large number of distinguished guests and the office-bearers of the governing body of the Hindu Educational Society, including Mr Siri Bhagwan and Mr Pawan Mittal, were present on the occasion.

One-time syringe only

New Delhi: To avoid the hazardous effects of the reuse of syringes, the health departments are now increasingly using AD syringes. Used once, this syringe automatically locks the plunger making it unfit for a reuse. Presently 175 state dispensaries are using these syringes.

According to Dr RN Baishya, Director, Health Services, “Our dispensaries and health centres are in remote areas where it is not possible to keep a tab on the possible malpractices by the staff, including the reuse of syringes by them. We will test them in these dispensaries first and then introduce in hospitals.” TNS



NCERT workshop on girls
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
The NCERT organised a two-day workshop for building confidence among girls. Academicians, practitioners, educators and NGOs of different areas took part in this workshop.

The workshop also gave some of the recommendations. It stressed the need to involve parents, teachers, NGOs and even the mediapersons who should facilitate in building confidence among the girls.

Poonam Agarwal, Head of department of women’s studies said, “We need to prepare action-oriented strategies to equip girl child. She said that though the vision was clear, the social attitudes did not often go in concurrence with the progressive thoughts.”

Baucon India 2004: The second international trade fair for construction machinery and building materials, Baucon India 2004, is all set to be organised in Pragati Maidan during September 9-12, 2004. This mega event is being organised jointly by IMAG/Messe Muchen International, Germany and Tafcon group, Italy.

According to the Chairman of Tafcon Projects Indiam, Mr M. L. Wadhwa, this mega event would present an ideal opportunity for the construction industry in India to interact with their global counterparts. It has been conceptualised to be a complete showcase of the construction equipment, machinery, building materials concrete, technology, infrastructure development and interiors for the region.

The total size of the Indian construction industry is estimated at Rs 2,40,000 crore growing at 7- 8% per annum. With the economy on a firm path and the increase in the number of overseas projects, the future looks bright for the Indian construction industry.

Tafcon with the help of National Productivity Council (NPC) is also going to hold a two-day-long technical seminar on ‘Productivity, Development and Competitiveness in Construction’ on the occasion.

Cash counter of BSES Yamuna: All cash counters of BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani will remain open on all days including Saturdays and Sundays during regular working hours till March 31, 2004.

The step has been taken keeping in view customer convenience and will provide substantial benefits to the consumers in terms of making cash payments.

BSES Yamuna and BSES Rajdhani also have several easy payment options for the consumers. Besides, consumers can also make cheque payments through 350 Easy Bill outlets located at grocers, chemists and STD booths.

Online payments can also be made through www.billjunction.com.

NDMC chairman gives awards to students: Mrs Sindhushree Khullar, chairperson of the NDMC, distributed over 200 prizes among the students of NDMC-run schools for their outstanding performances in annual sports, curricular and extra-curricular activities for the academic year 2003- 04 in a function organised at Talkatora Indoor Stadium today.

The education department of NDMC organised many sports competitions like football, hockey, cricket, kabaddi, kho kho, badminton, etc. and in the curricular activities, various competitions like essay writing, painting, mono action, poem citation, debate, story-telling etc were held. Mrs Kullar said on the occasion that these students should be prepared for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games slated to be held in our country.

She also said that most of the NDMC schools have well-developed playgrounds and which are deprived of this facility, playgrounds would be developed for them. The prize distribution function was also attended by Mr M. P. Chawala, member, NDMC along with senior officers of the civic body. The students of these schools also presented colourful programmes on the occasion. 



Class IX student burnt to death 
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 27
A 14-year-old girl student of Class IX was burnt to death in her house at Bega village about 25 km from here last evening.

According to a report, household goods worth several thousands of rupees were also burnt to ashes in a fire the cause of which was not known. The police are investigating the case.

Neighbour attacked: A youth Mukesh Kumar was seriously injured when he was allegedly attacked with the sharp-edged weapons by his neighbour Tej Singh at Juan village about 10 km from here yesterday.

According to a report, he was immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger. The alleged assailant, however, managed to escape. The police have registered the case in this connection and a hunt is on to apprehend the assailant.

Power cut in entire city: The entire city and its suburbs remained powerless for 35 minutes today following the enforcing of unannounced and unscheduled power cut by the UHBVN.

According to a report, the loadshedding started from 5.45 am and continued until 6.20 am. Many residents alleged that unscheduled power cuts have become a routine in the city for the past two months, causing resentment among them.



Lid off sex racket, two women among five held 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 27
With the arrest of five persons, including two women, the North-East district police have busted a sex racket in the Seemapuri area last night.

Based on a secret information that some women were involved in flesh trade, a decoy customer struck a deal with one woman Madhuri (35), resident of DDA flats, New Seemapuri for Rs 1,000.

After fixing the deal with the woman, a police raided the premises and arrested another woman Sangeeta (23), resident of DDA flats, New Seemapuri.

During the raid, the police also arrested three male customers Onkar Prasad, resident of Moradabad; Sanjeev Kumar, resident of Baghpat; and Arun Mehta (30), resident of Shahdara.

The police have registered a case and are investigating the matter to find out other persons involved in the trade.

Shahtoosh shawls seized: The Delhi Police Crime Branch has arrested one Akhtar Ghussain Mir, (23), resident of Lajpat Nagar and seized five Shahtoosh shawls worth Rs 7.5 lakh on the international market.

The sleuths received a tip-off that one person would be coming on a two-wheeler No DL-3S-J-7765 to Sunder Nagar. At around 7 pm, the team spotted the person and apprehended him.

During interrogation, the accused revealed that he is originally from Srinagar and has been staying in Delhi for the last two and a half years.

Robbers caught: The East district police claimed to have apprehended a gang of robbers who had been active in the district. The police also claimed to have recovered two countrymade revolvers, three live cartridges, one motorcycle, one mobile phone and a gold chain from their possession. The accused were identified as Dinesh, alias Tony, resident of Lajpat Nagar; Kishore, alias Rahul, resident of Badarpur; Hari Prasad Gupta, resident of Madanpur Khadar; and Muni Dev, alias Sunder, resident of Lajpat Nagar.

Three inter-state drug pushers held: The Special Cell officials have arrested three inter-state drug traffickers and seized five parcels weighing 48.2 kgs of ganja.

The sleuths received a secret information that one Mohammad Shahid, alias Antony Baba, resident of Taimur Nagar, was receiving parcels from the post office in Sriniwaspuri. Based on the information, the sleuths laid a trap on February 26 and apprehended Mohammad Shahid (60), Mohammad Aslam (24) and Mohammad Abdul Malik (20), resident of Taimur Nagar. During interrogation, the accused said they were getting the ganja parcels from Assam and West Bengal and collected them from the post office in Sriniwaspuri. 


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