N C R   S T O R I E S


Children prefer books to being couch potatoes
Tribune News Service

PERCEPTION V/S REALITY: Harry Potter is still the rage and Popeye and Tom & Jerry all-time favourites. — Net Photos

New Delhi, February 28
A unique survey, conducted among 500 students between 8 and 18 years of age, spread in private, government and other schools, supported by religious bodies across the national Capital region of Delhi, Noida, Ghaziabad, Faridabad and Gurgaon, has revealed that children spend their leisure time reading books which enhance their knowledge.

The nearest competition to the books is from television. Even while watching television, children prefer channels which provide information and enhance knowledge: Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet.

Delhi’s schoolchildren spend time reading books other than prescribed textbooks daily (33 per cent) or over the weekend (31 per cent). Children mostly prefer to read light. Thus, they spend more time reading comics, books on adventure, detective stories, quiz books and sports related books. Literature emerged as the least preferred choice (7 per cent) amongst all genres, according to Bridging Borders, which conducted the survey.

Amongst characters that left a lasting impression on the child’s mind, cartoons (49 per cent) scored over books (20 per cent) and comics (13 per cent). Tom and Jerry, Popeye and Pokemon are the top three cartoon characters, Chacha Choudhary, Archie and Tintin are the top 3 comic characters, Harry Potter, Mowgli, Satyajit Ray’s Feluda/Cindrella are the top 3 book characters.

Conversely, the reading habits of the parents of the schoolchildren surveyed indicated that while 88 per cent parents like reading, 59 per cent read newspapers and 22 per cent read magazines and 7 per cent read both newspapers and magazines. Only 14 per cent parents read books. Similarly only 74 per cent like their children to read beyond schoolbooks, while 34 per cent parents are the main source of books for children. Children either get books from library (30 per cent), or buy them with their pocket money (14.5 per cent) and exchange books with friends (13.5 per cent).

Only 8 per cent children get books as gifts from a category other than parents.

Harry Potter phenomenon highlights the role of publicity (19 per cent) and book reviews (20.5 per cent) as a major factor in the success of a book. However, recommendation by parents, friends, teachers and book vendors also play a critical role (27 per cent).

Harry Potter is known (73 per cent), has been read (32 per cent), seen on big screen (71 per cent) and the most preferred as a gift option (13 per cent). On the other hand, only 8 per cent have heard about President APJ Abdul Kalam’s book ‘Ignited Minds’ and even less of Eragon (4 per cent) and JRR Tolkein’s `Lord of the Rings’.

Publicity plays a role, but of a different kind. While there was great buzz surrounding both Harry Potter and Ignited Minds, the survey indicates that the subject matters. Harry Potter scored because of romanticism associated with the character and children’s penchant for light reading.

One of the most revealing findings has been that very few children want to become writers (29 per cent). Even those who want to write, will pen on areas such as Fiction (15 per cent), Adventure (14 per cent), Detective stories (9 per cent) and sports (5 per cent). This again reinforces the fact that children are moving away from serious writing/reading to lighter stuff.

Call it the effect of publicity, parental disinterest, lack of marketing, there are no Indian authors or Indian books in the `favourite’ category. J K Rowling, Willam Shakespeare and Enid Blyton are the top three favourite authors amongst children. Rabindranath Tagore (No 4) and Premchand (No. 5) are the favourite Indian authors, followed by R K Narayan, Ruskin Bond and Harivanshrai Bachchan (No. 7).

Similarly, Harry Potter series is the favourite book (22 per cent) in the sample, followed by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (2 per cent) and Lord of the Rings. Ramayan is the only listing of Indian origin.

Bridging Borders is a specialist research agency which aims at narrowing down the difference between the existing perception and reality on issues ranging from reading habits to marketing to poll related research.


Teachers manhandled at DU convocation venue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Delhi University annual convocation was today marred by manhandling of teachers by the police, chaos outside the convocation venue, and the teachers’ tirade against the vice-chancellor.

It all started in the morning. The DUTA executive members converged at the convocation hall, sporting black strips on their hands. They also resorted to a black flag dharna outside the venue with black strips pasted on their mouths; and all this in protest against the VC’s functioning. Since the teachers had cordoned off the main gate, the VC avoided them and made a back door entry from the Law faculty gate.

The DUTA office bearers, however, came to know of the VC’s backdoor entry after the convocation had started. Taking a cue, some of the teachers, too, entered the hall with their mouths sealed, as if to demonstrate that the voice of the faculty had been silenced by the dictatorial policies of the VC.

The teachers lamented that the VC had called the police force to intimidate the teachers. “This is the first time any VC has called the police force for (reining in) the teachers,” said a teacher.

According to Aditya Narayan Mishra, DUTA president, “Ours was a silent protest, but the police forcibly stopped the entry of some of our colleagues and also manhandled them.”

It all happened when Sadhana Sharma, a member of Academic Council, was entering the convocation hall. As she reached the main entrance, the policemen stopped her. She flashed the invitation card, but the cops refused to relent.

At this, the Joint Proctor, Mr Gurmeet Singh, went inside the hall to ask the VC whether to allow her or not. “I have an invitation card from the university. How can the VC not allow us to enter the hall,” she demanded.

The matter got out of hand and pandemonium reigned for 15 minutes while the convocation was on. According to the DUTA President, Aditya Narayan Mishra, “This is the first time that there is no Visitor at the convocation ceremony of Delhi University. Usually, either the President or the Vice-President is invited for the convocation but this time the students were denied an opportunity to get their degrees from the aforesaid.”

As many as 116 gold medals were distributed to the students. An additional 354 PhD degrees, 5,689 MA degrees and 62,800 under-graduates degrees were also distributed.

According to UR Anant Murthy, the chief guest at the convocation, “Values are the only assets of human beings. As a student, we not only learn about subjects, but also about human values. Education without values is useless.” Murthy is the chairman of School Education Commission, Kerela.

He said that with passage of time, the education standards had improved among the students, but the values had declined to some extent. He asked the students to inculcate the values.


Three arrested for taking bank, borrowers for a ride
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) has arrested three persons who cheated a bank of Rs 45 lakh. The accused were identified as V P Aneja (70), Joginder Kapoor (45) and Sohan Lal Kapoor (65).

The EOW had received a complaint from H C Arora, Manager, State Bank of Patiala, Kalkaji branch, that some persons had cheated the bank of Rs 45 lakh by misrepresenting facts and by submitting fake documents.

Accordingly, a team was formed and during investigations it was found that Joginder, Sohan and Kuldeep Kapoor, in connivance with V P Aneja and the then bank manager K G Gupta, had hatched a criminal conspiracy to cheat the bank on the basis of fake documents.

The accused identified six persons — Barinder Singh, a resident of K M Pur, Sonia, a resident of Amrit Nagar, Surat Singh, a resident of Gobindpuri, Daina Bhandari, a resident of Noida, Harsh Kumar, a resident of Gandhi Nagar, and Pushpa, a resident of Gandhi Vihar — and promised them Rs 50,000 each as bank loan on easy installments.

For that, the accused also charged them 10 per cent commission.

All the borrowers were taken to the Kalkaji branch and the accused introduced them to the manager who promised them loans on easy installments.

The borrowers were then asked to sign some documents, the contents of which were not revealed.

During investigation it was found that the signed documents included application forms and agreement to sell three properties — Shed No 66, Masood Pur, Vasant Kunj; Plot No 71, Faridabad; and I-1651, C R Park. However, no property was intended to be sold. In fact, the documents submitted to the bank did not pertain to grant of loan but related to purchase of above mentioned properties by the borrowers..

The authorized valuer of the bank, V P Aneja, also submitted fake valuation reports to facilitate the grant of loan. After the loan was sanctioned, the accused persons withdrew the amount and distributed it among themselves for personal use.


Cheats try to sell land to its owner
Parmindar Singh

Greater Noida, February 28
Two tricksters tried to sell a 40-bigha piece of land in Noida’s Kondli village on the basis of tampered and fake documents. The Kasna police have nabbed the tricksters, who were trying to sell the plot to the very person who was its bona fide owner. The value of the land, according to a Noida Authority estimate, is about Rs.2 crore.

According to Vidha Ram of Kondli village, the plot of Khesra No.12 was registered in the name of his maternal uncle. One Jeet Singh of Chhalera village attempted to sell this land with the aide of doctored documents. However, he made one mistake: He tried to sell the land to Vidha Ram, the bona fide owner. When Vidha Ram probed the matter, he found Jeet Singh had procured the power of attorney of the said land in an illegal and fraudulent manner.

Vidha Ram informed Kasna police about the uncanny case on Friday and the police immediately swung into action, arresting the cheats Jeet Singh and Goverdhan. When the land had been purchased by Vidha Ram a few years ago, it had been registered in the name of his maternal uncle.

In May last year when he went to get the land transferred in the name of his sons Ravinder, Inderjit and Amit, he discovered some anomalies in the documents. Since the Patwari (revenue official) did not provide the needed information, he tried to buy the land from Jeet Singh. It was at this stage that the fraud came to light, leading to the arrest of both the cheats.

Ill-fated bus was on unauthorised trip

The roadways bus, which plunged into the Ganga Canal in Muradnagar on February 26, killing four passengers, was on an unauthorised trip, it is learnt.

There was no entry in the Meerut depot about the trip. Narinder, who is working as a fitter in a roadways workshop in Meerut depot, officiated as the driver on this trip.

Subash, the driver of the ill-fated bus, is said to have had a “contract” with a Delhi sports firm for ferrying its goods in a clandestine manner.

Normally a bus is authorized to make four trips between Delhi and Meerut in a day. But, in gross violation of rules, the driver started on the extra fifth trip a little short of the depot.

For this trip, instead of the regular driver, a fitter officiated as the bus driver. He had been suspended in a similar case earlier. The accident happened because the “driver” was in a hurry make the fifth extra trip.

Manager Meerut Roadways, PP Singh, who inspected the accident site, admitted as much. He told the Muradnagar police that the bus was on an unauthorised trip for which the driver will be suspended.


Tension after killing of BSP leader
Our Correspondent

Meerut, February 28
Communal tension gripped Abdullapur town on the outskirts of Meerut city, after a Dalit leader of the town was shoot dead on a busy road on Friday evening at 7.15 pm.

There was heavy stone pelting and firing of ammunition by the members of both the communities. Al this happened in the presence of the District Magistrate and the SSP.

According to some eye-witnesses, an unidentified youth approached Shoraj Singh, a Dalit and BSP leader at noon and requested him to ensure the release of his Ambassador car, which had been allegedly seized by the local police. Shoraj Singh accompanied the youth to the local bus stand where three other youths were waiting. One of them pumped bullets into his face.

As the news of the death of the BSP leader spread in the Area, a large number of Dalits rushed to the spot of crime. However, the killing was greeted with bursting of fire-crackers in one part of the area. This, in turn, triggered the stone-pelting and the firing.

Later, the crowd manhandled senior police and administration officials when they tried to remove the body for medical examination. Rioters also torched two shops. Finally at 9.30 pm the officials were able to remove the body. A company of RAF and PAC has been deployed. On Saturday, Dalits blocked the Meerut-Pauri state highway, demanding immediate payment of compensation for Rs 3 lakh to the victim’s family.

Seven arrested in murder case

Sonepat: The Kharkhauda police today claimed to have arrested at least seven persons in connection with the alleged murder of Mr Maman, a contractor and the President of the Brick Kilns Owners Association, committed on February 14 last at Sehoti village in this district.

According to a report, Mr Maman was shot dead by the culprits when he, along with his associates, was standing in the brick kiln at Sehoti village. The alleged culprits came in a car and shot him dead before escaping in the same vehicle. The police have not yet provided the names of the culprits arrested in this connection.

According to another report, the police today claimed to have solved the alleged murder of a person whose body was found in a water pipe in Murthal waterworks of the Public Health Department on September 19 last year.

The body of the victim was identified as Mr Balbir, a resident of Bohli village in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The arrested culprit was identified as Harish Chander of Dev Nagar area of Sonepat city.

It has been revealed that Mr Balbir had given Rs. 2 lakh to the culprit for recruitment in the police department. OC


Dereliction of duty paralyses postal services

Jhajjar, February 28
The postal services in Bahadurgarh subdivisional town are in complete disarray, as the main post office of the district situated here, has been ridden with employees’ negligence in performing their duty. The ultimate sufferer are the consumer of the postal services here who waited endlessly for their letters, which remained dumped in the official bags bundled in the GPO.

According to the sources in the General Post Office here, mismanagement prevailed in the office and the work culture seems completely missing here. Shortage of postmen coupled with the inefficiency of the employees is the root cause of the prevailing chaos in the office, which has become the nightmare for the residents of the town waiting for their most important and urgent posts.

The office sources said that nearly 10 persons come to the office daily in search of their urgent documents, which got delayed and missed in many cases, but no one was here to help such persons. The bag-fills of the posts have been dumped in the corners of the office and the consumers had to search himself to get their posts occupied. There is no system to deal with such harassed consumers. The migrant labourers are the worst suffers of the slackness of services, revealed these sources.

More than 10 thousand migrant labourers are in the town, who sent the money to their family in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bangal via money orders. When the money did not reach to their families in time and these harassed labourers make inquiries in the post office, but to no avail.

Other services, including sending registered letters, purchase of tickets, letters and cards have been ridden with official apathy. Some students of the PDM engineer college complaint outside the GPO that they had to get their posts wait from outside, as the waiting machine attendant was not available. Another major problem was the non-availability of the postal orders. Thousand of youths, who applied for the state and Central Government jobs, need postal orders every month. Due to unavailability of the post offices, they have to rush to Delhi. Even ticket counter attendant could not be found at the counter after 3 pm, whose duty is up to 6 pm, the post office sources informed.

The main reason of the woes of the consumers and laxity of services is the agents sitting outside the office, the sources said. These agents fixed their commission with the employees and entire work is done by them who charged exorbitantly from the consumer, particularly illiterate migratory labourers. According to sources, some employees who have been posted here for last 10 to 15 years vitiate the atmosphere in the office. The sources said that some of these employees are tainted in many frauds cases detected in the post office. However, despite the recommendation of the vigilance department to transfer such employees, the SPM did not transfer such tainted employees.


Festival to bring back memories of legendary K L Saigal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
A four-day festival of legendary singer and actor Kundan Lal Saigal’s films is being organized at the Habitat Centre, by Saigal Sangeet Sarita in collaboration with India Habitat Centre and National Film Archives of India, Pune.

The festival will be inaugurated by Parminder Chopra, the grandson of K. L. Saigal on March 2 at 7 pm.

The selected films, which will be screened at 7 pm each day, are ‘Amar Saigal’ (March 2), ‘Devdas’ (March 4), ‘Dushman’ (March 9) and ‘Tansen’ (March 10).

Saigal Sangeet Sarita, founded by Dinesh Sharma in 1972, is an organization singly dedicated to perpetuate the memory of K. L. Saigal. It has been organising a series of functions to mark the birth centenary year celebrations of K. L. Saigal, which were inaugurated by Najma Heptullah, president, ICCR on April 28, 2003, at FICCI Auditorium.

Saigal was born on April 4, 1904, at Jammu. Amar Saigal (March 2), produced by B. N. Sircar in 1955 and directed by Nitin Bose, is a feature film based on the life of K. L. Saigal in which the role of Saigal was played by G. Mungheri.

It contains 20 songs taken from old films of Saigal like ‘Main Kya Janoo Kya Jadoo Hai’, ‘Ik Raje Ka Beta Lekar’, ‘Ik Bangla Bane Nyara’, ‘Kahe Ko Rar Machayee’, ‘So Ja Rajkumari Soja’, ‘Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya’, ‘Ai Katibe Taqdeer’, ‘Babul Mora Naihhar Chhuto Hi Jaye’ and ‘Jhulna Jhulao Ri’.

‘Devdas’ (March 4) is based on Sarat Chander Chattopadhya’s novel ‘Devdas’ and was produced by B. N. Sircar, proprietor of New Theatres, Calcutta, in 1935.

It was this film, which established Saigal as the first superstar of the Indian cinema. In this film, the character of Paro was played by Jamuna and that of Chandramukhi by singing star Rajkumari.

The songs of this film, “Baalam Aye Baso Morey Man Mein’, ‘Dukh He Din Ab Bitat Nahin’, ‘Piya Bin Nahin Aawat Chain’ could be heard throughout the length and breadth of India. The film was directed by Pramthesh Barua with lyrics by Kedar Sharma and music by Timir Baran.

The cast also includes K. C. Dey and Pahari Sanyal.

‘Dushman’ (March 9) is a social film and was produced by B. N. Sircar in 1939. It is directed by Nitin Bose, lyrics by Aarzoo Lakhnawi and music direction by Pankaj Mullick.

Besides, Saigal, the cast includes Leela Desai, Nimmo, Manorama and Prithvira Kapoor. The popular songs of the film are ‘Karoon Kya Aas Niras Bhayyi Diya Bujhe Phir Se Jal Jaye’ and ‘Preet Mein Hai Jeewan Jokhon Ki Jaise Kolhu Mein Sarson’. Tansen (March 10) was produced by Chandulal Shah, proprietor, Ranjit Movietone, Bombay, in 1943 and is based on the life of legendary singer Tansen, one of the navrattans in the court of Mughal emperor Akbar. The famous songs of the film are ‘Bagh Laga Doon Sajni Tore Nainan Mahi He Ri’, ‘Diya Jalao Jagmug Jagmug’ and the duet with the film heroine Khurshid ‘Morey Bacapan Ke Saathi Chhaila Bhool Jaiyyo Na’.

The lyrics of all above songs are by Pt. Inder, set to music by Khemchand Parkash. The film is directed by Jayant Desai.

Saigal acted in 36 films-28 Hindi, 7 Bengali and 1 Tamil. Till 1939, Saigal was based in Calcutta but shifted to Bombay in 1940. In Bombay he acted in films like ‘Bhakta Surdas’ (1942), ‘Tansen’ (1943), ‘Kurukshetra’ (1945), ‘Omar Khyyam’ (1946), ‘Tadbeer’ (1945) and ‘Shahjehan’ (1946). His last film was ‘Parwana’ (1947) in which the singing star Suraiyya was the heroine. In all, Saigal sang about 150 film songs and 50 non-film songs. He died on January 18, 1947 at Jalandhar. He had a son, Madan and two daughters, Nina and Bina. None of them is alive today.


Sonepat – Can we call it a stinking city?
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 28
The historic city of Sonepat is stinking due to callous neglect and insensitivity of the authorities towards the basic needs of the people. Rampant corruption and petty politicising by the officials concerned makes them least concerned about providing basic amenities.

The sanitary conditions are worse in the walled city. The residents cannot remember the last time the roads and lanes of the inner city were cleaned or repaired. The safai workers of the Sonepat Municipal Council are hardly ever seen.

With the formation of an elected body of members in the municipal council, the residents hope that things might take turn for the better. Unfortunately, most of the members have been busy politicking from day one.

Most of the sewerage pipes have stayed choked for years together. The drains are not cleaned and piles of garbage are left on the roads aggravating the problem. Those living in the slums are in a bad shape. Heaps of garbage, pot-holed roads and absence of drainage facilities have resulted in the outbreak of malaria and other water-born diseases.

There is hardly any traffic regulation in the city. Encroachments on government and municipal land with the help of certain unscrupulous elements in the administration, have become the order of the day.

The conditions of the roads do not seem to bother either the PWD (B and R), or the Municipal Council, or the HUDA or the market committee. Almost all the main roads and the inner ones are equally bad. Though they are repaired from time to time, the work is of such poor quality that it lasts only for a few days. Moreover, because of the poor planning, the roads get damaged frequently. Laid lower than the surrounding ones, which is contrary to the basic rules they get clogged with dirt and water.

Frequent digging for laying of underground cables by different departments and keeping construction materials on berns, also damages the roads.

At times, the earth is not adequately strengthened before the concrete premix is put on it so it gives way soon.

The historic city and a district headquarters in Haryana has a population of more than two lakh, but it only has about 13 tubewells for supplying drinking water, which cover nearly 50 per cent of the population.

Moreover, most of the water supplied is not fit for drinking. Hardly five per cent of the city covered with a proper open or underground drainage system.

The unplanned growth of the city has created a very serious storm drainage problem. In most of the areas, the storm water is disposed of through underground sanitary sewers, which not only take a long time to do so but often get choked with silt and dirt. The covers of the manholes at most places are missing and in the absence of proper street lighting these become death traps. The silt, which has been piled on to the roads due to rains, stays put thus narrowing the roads and causing bottlenecks in traffic.

The areas earmarked for the development of parks have gradually have become dumping grounds for the garbage due to the failure of the authorities to maintain these parks.

Such a situation persists in Sectors 14 and 15, the residential colonies of the HUDA and the Haryana Housing Board.

The mushrooming of unauthorised colonies on the periphery is seriously affecting the development of the city. There are about 50 such unauthorised colonies within the municipal limits, which are fast growing into slums.

The embankments of the drain no 6, passing through the city, have been illegally occupied by the squatters and big residential houses and shops had been constructed on either sides of the embankments of the drain in the absence of any action taken against the land grabbers.

Almost all the residential sectors developed by the HUDA and the Haryana Housing Board present a pathetic picture. As the roads are in a bad shape, even a brief spell of rain is enough to leave them inundated.

Meanwhile, the district administration has launched a number of schemes to give a facelift to the city. The present deputy commissioner has shown a keen interest in this connection.


What on earth are we here for? And for what purpose?

What on earth am I here for? Even if you may not have phrased a question in those words, within all of us, there is this quest for meaning. Each of us would like to make a difference, find fulfillment. We want our lives to count. Though existence is only brief here, we want to make a contribution.

In his novel, Brothers Karamazov, Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky speaks thus through one of the characters: ``Gentleman...look around you at the gifts of God, the clear sky, the pure air, the tender grass, the birds; nature is beautiful and sinless, and we, only we, are godless and foolish. And we don’t understand that life is a paradise, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty; we shall embrace each other and weep.’’

Another Russian, Leo Tolstoy, searching for the meaning of life, concluded: ‘’Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God.’’ Albert Einstein, Nobel prize winning scientist: `` How strange is the lot of us, mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn: For what purpose, he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people—first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependant, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy.’’

These views on life’s all-absorbing purpose can all be summarized in one word: love. We are on this earth to express this love to all others and by implication to God who created everything. We may not have a complete understanding of all the issues concerning life, but there is no mistaking that we should have a purpose and that purpose has to do with love. Rick Warren, a popular author of the West, has written a book, The Purpose Driven Life, in answer to the oft-repeated question: ‘What on earth am I here for?’ He believes with many others that you are not an accident.

Even before the universe was created, God had you in mind and he planned you for his purposes. These purposes will extend far beyond the few years you will spend on earth. You were made to last forever. With most religions, it is an accepted truth that God is love. The author says that because God is love, the most important lesson he wants us to learn on earth is how to love. Life is all about love. But this learning to love is not as easy as it sounds. It runs counter to the self-centered nature of man. It takes a lifetime to learn it. Khalil Gibran, for instance, is realistic when he says: ‘’ For even as love crowns you/ So shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth/ So is he for your pruning.’’

‘‘Love should be your top priority, primary objective and greatest ambition,’’ reflects the author. This, in turn, means that relationships must have priority in your life above every thing else. St Paul had said that life without love is really worthless. ‘’No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I am bankrupt without love.’’ Then again, it is not enough just to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. How does love affect human relationships?

By meeting the emotional needs: all of us, in our innermost selves, crave for acceptance, affection, appreciation and approval. Responding to a hurting person with words, feelings and touch constitutes another function of love. Encouraging others in their pursuits of higher goals, supporting people in their struggles and providing appropriate assistance are ways in which love meets life’s emotional needs. The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses. It is focused attention. Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice and sacrifice is the essence of love.

The author says that love means giving up—yielding one’s preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy or time for the benefit of some one else. Agrees another author, Walter Rauschenbusch :``We never live so intensely as when we love strongly. We never realize ourselves so vividly as when we are in the full glow of love for others.’’ ``The person who has made the most spectacular success, but who reaches life’s end without learning love has totally failed. Do not envy those in the limelight of publicity, those with scintillating intellects, or those who have accumulated great wealth and all that it affords. If one has not learned love in the process, his life is a disaster, opines Paul E Billheimer, in his delightful book, `Don’t Waste Your Sorrows’. We need to hold before us daily that true happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose and that learning love constitutes that purpose willed by our very Creator for our lives.

M P K Kutty


Industrial houses contribute their mite to adult literacy
Tribune News Service

Kalwadi(Gurgaon), February 28
With an aim to contribute to the adult literacy campaign in Gurgaon district, the Gurgaon Industrial Association (GIA) in conjunction with the Confederation of Industries (CII) and Tata Consultancy Services (TCI), has adopted this village falling in Taoru bloc. The thrust of its campaign is to provide computer education and through it, initiate the learners into the basics of reading and writing.

The TCI has developed a software whereby a learner can read and write after attending 200 hours of classes.

To start with, the GIA will open one centre, though the goal is to open two more either in this village or at other place.

Today, the GIA handed over one computer hardware to the first centre in this village where 20 persons have registered themselves for the programme. The village has a population of 5000, with a literacy rate 60 per cent.

According to the president of GIA, Mr Jagan Nath Mangla, a woman from the village has been trained for the purpose of training others. She will be paid a monthly salary of Rs 1,000.

He said that the GIA’s campaign would be amended after analysing the success of the programme at the first centre.

The idea of adopting a village came up at a meeting of CII, a couple of months ago. The GIA representatives, who were present on the occasion, took interest in the proposal and decided to take the initiative with the moral support of the CII.

The GIA’s initiative has been well appreciated by the residents of this village and its nearabouts. An elderly resident of Kalwadi said that it would be a good idea if all the industrial units in Gurgaon district undertook some social activities. This would go a long way in improving the human resource development of the hinterland of this district. This, in turn, would only help the industrial units in the long run when they would need manpower from the local population.

There were others who advocated that the government must intervene and make it mandatory upon the industrial units to take up social causes.


Asian Paints donates medical van to Helpage India
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, February 28
The Asian Paints, Kasna in Greater Noida, donated a mobile medical unit (van) to Helpage India for the service of the aged and the destitute in the area.

At a simple ceremony at the factory of India’s largest paint company, Asian Paints in Kasna, a MMU (Van) was presented to Maj-General Inderjit Singh Dhillon (Retd) by factory manager Jalal Sharma.

The mobile unit will enable the Helpage India to provide health care at doorsteps of the deprived and destitute of the region.

Equipped with key medical equipments, doctors and staff the mobile unit will cover villages around the area and cover at least 100 patients per day, some 30,000 poor and needy people a year. Asian Paints will also provide for the maintenance and running cost of the MMU. The Asian Paint will spend Rs 33 lakh on the running MMU for the next three years.

Speaking on the occasion, Helpage India Director-General Maj Gen I. S. Dhillon called it a gift of love from Asian Paint to Helpage India. He said it would be the 55th mobile unit joining service with Helpage India across the country.

The Helpage India programme serves a lifeline providing 12 to 15 lakh treatments each year, which makes it the only medicare programme of its magnitude in Asia.

Maj-General Dhillon said other organisations and industrial units should also come forward like Asian Paint to assist Helpage India in its stupendous and holy mission of wiping every tear from those who are in pain and suffering.

The Helpage India provided assistance to 40,000 cataract operations annually, runs 193 old homes and supports about 17,000 AG programmes in the country, Major-General Dhillon said.


Employees sustain burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 28
Three employees, including a foreman, were injured when the sulpharn plant started leaking and this caused an explosion in the Chaudhary Devi Lal Sugar Mills at Ahulana village about 40 km from here on Thursday.

According to a report, the injured employees were identified as Mr Siri Bhagwan foreman, Mr Mahvir, a mechanic, and Mr Bijender Singh, a helper. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and stated to be out of danger.

The incident occurred during the darkness and Mr Bijender lit the stick of the match and this caused a fire in the plant. All the three injured employees were in the plant and they sustained burn injuries. The fire broke out when the gas plant leaked profusely.

Other employees immediately rushed to the site and plugged the point of the gas cylinder in a bid to control the fire. A SOS was sent to the municipal fire brigade, but the employees succeeded in bringing the fire under control before the reaching of the fire brigade.

The incident has caused resentment among the employees as the officials of the mills reached there after a long time even they were informed immediately about the incident. The angry employees are demanding stern action against the officials who reached late there.


Four women injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, February 28
Four women were injured in a group clash at Pai village, about 15 km from here last night.

According to a report, all the injured women were hospitalised and stated to be out of danger. The police are still investigating into the case. A dispute over a theft is stated to be the main cause of the clash.

According to another report, five persons were seriously injured in a clash that took place between two rival groups at Rathdhanna village, about 6 km from here last evening. A dispute over the reaping of crops is stated to be the main cause of the clash. All the injured persons were rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and were stated to be out of danger.

The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

A youth, identified as Parveen, sustained serious injuries when he was assaulted with lathis by one Dilawar Singh, father of Ravinder at Chitana village, about 9 km from here last evening. A quarrel between Ravinder and Parveen led to the assault.

The injured Parveen was hospitalised and stated to be out of danger. The police have registered the case and further investigations were in progress. Meanwhile, Harish, a youth, was allegedly attacked by a group of people at Deepalpur village, about 13 km from here last evening. He sustained injuries and was immediately hospitalised. Similarly, one Dharam Chand was attacked by another person in Dahiya Colony here last night.

The injured Dharam Chand, who was under the influence of liquor, was immediately hospitalised.

Clashes were reported from Mehlana and Barwasni villages in which five persons were injured. All the injured persons were immediately hospitalised and the police are investigating the case.

Protest against encroachment

Residents of Kheri Manajat village held a demonstration in front of the office of the Deputy Commissioner office here yesterday in protest against the illegal occupation of the gram panchayat land by some influential persons.

According to a report, the agitated residents shouted slogans in support of their demands and submitted a memorandum to the DC for the removal of the encroachments on the panchayat land.

Girl missing

A minor girl, studying in Class VIII at Shriram Modern Day

Boarding School was reportedly kidnapped by a youth from her house in Dev Nagar area here last evening.

According to a report, the parents of the girl have lodged a complaint with the police in this connection.

However, the police have failed to trace the girl and the alleged kidnapper. It is stated that the girl left her house for going to the bazar but failed to return.


206 villages to be transformed into model units
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The Delhi Urban Development Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Chauhan, today announced that the government had decided to transform 206 villages in the Capital as model villages. Development works will be started in 40 villages in the initial stage.

He said that the concerned departments would construct drains, sewer lines and link roads of the villages would be developed.

Besides, potable water and regular power supply would be provided to the residents.

Apart from this, schools, dispensaries, panchayat ghars, parks, playgrounds and sufficient transport facilities would be provided to them. The works would be undertaken by the Delhi Village Development Board.

The Minister said that the Delhi Village Development Board had been sanctioned Rs 60 crore for the development works in the villages.

The purpose for the development of the villages was twofold: to develop the villages so that they become picnic spots for the urban residents; to stop the migration of villagers to the urban areas. Residential accommodations in the villages would be increased, the Minister said.

Classical singers from Pakistan

Classical singers from Pakistan revived memories of high standards prevalent in Amritsar. The event was organised in the national Capital to mark the 400 years of the Guru Granth Saheb.

Renditions by Ustad Ghulam Hassan Shagan, an octogenarian son of Rababi Bhai Lal Ji, who sang at the Golden Temple with his stringed instrument and trained a number of Sikh Raagis. Bhai Balbir Singh from Amritsar, rendered compositions sung at the Golden Temple by his forefathers.

Loadshedding announced

The North Delhi Power Limited has announced loadshedding in Pitampura, Civil Lines and Mangolpuri areas on February 29 and March 1 from 10 AM to 6 PM due to maintenance work.


Man killed, wife injured as truck rams motorcycle
Our Correspondents

Jhajjar, February 28
A man was killed and his wife seriously injured when a truck rammed into their motorcycle on the Gurgaon road here today.

According to information, Sudam, a resident of a Bhiwani village, was going to Gurgaon with his wife, Promila, on the motorcycle.

The truck driver lost control of the vehicle after its tyre burst.

While Sudam died on the spot, his wife was rushed to the PGI at Rohtak in serious condition. The couple was married just three months back.

Harassment of workers

The senior vice-president of the HVP, Mr Manphool Singh, has accused the state government of harassing his party workers preparing to attend the Jind rally tomorrow.

The government has been impounding their vehicles. The police have been trying to create hurdles for their party workers by impounding their vehicles illegally in Jhajjar, Dujana and Bahadurgarh, he said.

Alleging that utter lawlessness was prevailing in the state under the government of the INLD, he claimed that about 15,000 people from the district would attend the HVP rally tomorrow in Jind.

Youth crushed to death by Haryana Roadways bus

Sonepat: One youth, identified as Joginder of Bhatgaon village, was crushed to death by a Haryana Roadways bus while waiting for a bus near the Railway flyover here last evening.

According to a report, the victim was a student of the Industrial Training Institute (ITI), Sonepat, and was going to his village. The bus was coming from the Rohtak side. The bus driver, however, managed to escape leaving the bus at the spot. The police have registered the case and sent the body for the postmortem examination. A hunt is on to apprehend the bus driver.

Downpour in Sonepat

Sonepat and its surrounding areas were lashed with heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds last night. According to a report, the rain caused waterlogging in most of the area on account of defective drainage system.

Almost all the main roads and streets were submerged with knee deep water and a number of vehicles were seen stranded.

The rain lasted for about half-an-hour. Also, the entire city and its suburbs were plunged into darkness due of breakdown in the power supply. The rain is considered harmful to the standing Rabi crops, particularly gram, mustard seed and vegetables. The power supply was, however, restored after midnight.

Ghee containers stolen

Thieves reportedly broke into a halwai shop in the Ganj Bazar area here last night and decamped with ghee tins and other electronics goods worth several thousands of rupees from it.

According to a report, the owner of the shop informed the police about the theft. However, no case has been registered so far.

The spate of thefts in the recent past has caused panic among the residents and shopkeepers of the city.


Six persons arrested for supplying weapons
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
In a major seizure, the Delhi Police Narcotics Branch has arrested six persons in Delhi and Agra and seized 16 weapons, 48 live cartridges and half kg of heroin from their possession. The gang had supplied weapons to many criminals in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan for committing crimes.

The sleuths received a tip-off that members of a gang would be coming to Delhi from Uttar Pradesh for supplying weapons and drugs. Accordingly a trap was laid on February 25 near Sarai Kale Khan. At the assigned hour, the team spotted three suspicious persons in their 20s with canvas bags; they were immediately overpowered.

According to Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Sudhir Yadav, they were later identified as Devinder alias Devi (25), Rajiv Dixit (25) and Lalit Sharma (26), all residents of Agra. During the search, the sleuths recovered five country-made pistols, two pistols of .32 bore, 25 live cartridges and half kg of heroin from their possession.

Under interrogation, they revealed that they had joined hands with Bittoo and Pankaj and used to procure weapons from two brothers, Pawan and Keshav of Agra, for supplying the same to other places.

Based on their information, a special team was formed and dispatched to Agra for securing their arrest. After reaching Agra, the team managed to arrest Mohit Khanna (35), Pankaj Sharma (24) and Krishan Kumar alias Bittoo (24), all residents of Agra, and busted an illegal gun house used for manufacturing illegal weapons.

The sleuths seized hammers, screws, indigenous magazines and barrels from the illegal unit. The accused revealed that they used to procure weapons called ‘Darra’ from a person in Jammu and Kashmir.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Narcotics) D L Kashyap said that the sleuths had already identified the supplier of ‘Darra’ in Jammu and Kashmir. ‘‘We will soon send a team to arrest the supplier and some more arrests and seizures are likely,’’ he said.

It also came to light that the gang had supplied weapons to some criminals. Having procured weapons from them, in December 2003 one Hemant was involved in a daylight shootout in Gurgaon court complex and one Ashok Malik murdered professor M N Singh of Swami Shardhanand College in December 2002.


Man arrested for human trafficking
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 28
The East district police have arrested a cheat, identified as Kunal Chopra alias Sanjay Chopra alias Bunty (24), resident of Delhi, for his involvement in duping people on the pretext of sending people to UK and the US. He was accused of cheating people to the tune of Rs 32 lakh.

The police also seized one stolen Honda City car (No. UP-14-J-7804) and one mobile phone from his possession. The accused used to cheat innocent persons by affixing fake visas in passports. He was wanted in several cheating cases in Delhi and Punjab.

3 sentenced to RI for snatching

Three persons were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of varying terms by a Delhi court today for their involvement in a robbery case in a blue-line bus near Maulana Azad Medical College on the Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg here in February 2001.

The three accused, identified as Manoj, Rajesh and Sunil, had snatched Rs 32,000 from one Mukesh and had threatened to kill him by brandishing a knife.

According to the prosecution, Rajesh snatched the money from Mukesh at ITO in a blue-line bus and jumped off the bus near MAMC on February 3, 2001.

However, Mukesh also jumped off the bus and tried to grapple with him.

Seeing Rajesh in trouble, the other two accomplices came to his help.

However, after a scuffle, the people overpowered Rajesh and his two accomplices and handed them over to the police.

Manoj has been sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment. Rajesh and Sunil have been sentenced to three and two-year rigorous imprisonment respectively.


Cattle merchants’ loot case solved, one held
Our Correspondent

Ghaziabad, February 28
The police claimed to have solved the Rs 17 lakh loot case in Vijay Nagar police station with the arrest of one criminal after an encounter. A sum of Rs 4 lakh has been recovered from him. The police launched a hunt to trace the other three accused, SSP J. N. Singh said. Some assailants had looted two cattle merchants, Rashid and Hanif, a fortnight ago.

SO Vijay Nagar police station Anil Somanya checked the vehicles near Pratap Vihar last night. When the maruti car was signalled to stop, its driver sped away after firing on the police.

They were able to nab the criminal in return fire. The arrested criminal Yunus alias Pappu, s/o Munna Khan of Jahangirbad, Bulandshahar. Rs 4 lakh and a local pistol have been recovered from his possession, Mr Somanya said.

Mr Somanya said that Yunus was wanted in Rs 17 lakh loot. Yunus has disclosed the names of his other accomplices. The car had a fictitious number HR 26B-0717. The real number of the car is 0564, which was stolen in Kavi Nagar police station area on February 9. Yunus had served as the driver of the cattle merchant, who had dismissed him. The cattle merchant had been looted later by the same driver, Mr Somanya said.

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