C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Another male bastion stormed
Rubinder Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With women regularly storming male bastions, it seemed appropriate that 19-year-old Jahnavi Upadhyay should enter the MRF National Motocross Championship-2004 at the Circus Ground, Sector 17, here.

She grabed attention as she was the only woman rider among 94 entries. Riding a Yamaha in the novice class, she exuded confidence of an old-timer. Another male citadel bit the dust on Sunday.

A collision with another rider during practice on Saturday did not deter this young rider. She was raring to go today.

"It was a minor accident. Just scratches and bruises, but I am ready."

She finished ahead of three riders, but it was not the result that was important. It was her competing against the men.

A student of BA-II at Kanoria Girls College, Jaipur, she rides a Pulsar to her college. Riding is her passion. It has to be if she is to compete with the best riders of the country.

If she can be as good as the men, she comes out with a quick, "Why not?"

"If I get the requisite back-up support and sponsorship I think I can compete with the best. "

Yamaha prepared her motorcycle and she had their technical support but total support is still to come by. She will probably have to prove herself more, if she has the capability to withstand the pressure of competitions before sponsorship is forthcoming.

Jahnavi is upbeat about her performance though. After the race she said, "I think that I should have taken part in two events, not just one. I am not really satisfied with my performance today. Should have overtaken a few more riders."

What ever the result, she is ready to walk the path she has chosen for herself. With one leg of the National Motocross Championship 2004 behind her she is raring to ride in the other events of the national championship. "There is no question of my not participating in the other events. I will compete in all the other events of the championship," she says with finality.


Chicken sales pick up as flu scare ebbs
Poonam Batth
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 29
With the phobia of dreaded bird flu dying down, consumers have once again started enjoying their old-favourite chicken leg pieces, thereby registering a 20 per cent increase in the prices of these products during the past two days.

The price of chicken has gone up from Rs 50 a kg to Rs 60 a kg, thereby bringing down the exhorbitant prices of meat and fish, which were till recently being sold at Rs 150 and Rs 280 per kg, respectively.

The crippling effect of the flu had brought the prices of chicken broilers to an all-time low of anything between Rs 35-Rs 40 per kg and that of leg and chest pieces to Rs 50 per kg in the city and surrounding areas. However, a visit to the Sector 21 meat market and a few big meat shops in the city and surrounding areas by TNS today brought out that prices of poultry products had started increasing with the sales picking up. While the rate of broiler chicken has gone up to Rs 60 per kg, leg and chest pieces were being sold for Rs 70 per kg.

Mr Sunil, who sells fish in the Sector 21 meat market, said the sale of Singhara boneless fish, which recorded significant sale during the past few days following a drop in the sale of chicken, even at exhorbitant prices ranging between Rs 250- Rs 280, had started declining. While the prices have come down to Rs 160-Rs 180 per kg, a change in weather coupled with people beginning to consume chicken had affected the sales, he said.

Jaipal, a meatshop owner, said the prices of meat had also fallen from Rs 150 per kg to Rs 120 per kg and the sales had also gone down. Following a considerable rise in demand, the price of red meat in the supermarkets had gone up to Rs 150 a kg. Similarly, there a steep hike in the price of fish, said Nitin Mittal of a supermarket in Sector 9.

The president of the Meat Market Traders Association, Mr Vijay Kumar Sonkar, said in the event of farmers of various poultry belts having destroyed eggs in large numbers after taking these out from incubators, the supply of chicken was less compared to its demand.

Mr Sunil Parthi, who didnít give up eating chicken even after the bird flu scare, said with the change in weather, the sale of fish and meat was bound to go down and people avoid feeding their children with non-vegetarian dishes during the examination days.

Meanwhile, the business of chicken eating is getting back to normal in clubs and restaurants.

This will also bring cheer to Chinese restaurants in the city as chicken is the preferred meat in the Chinese cuisine. Earlier, chilly paneer and veg manchurian were the common orders in restaurants.

The sale of eggs is yet to show any changing pattern, may be because of the scare in the neighbouring states of UP and Bihar. Eggs, which were being sold for Rs 22-24 per dozen till December, have witnessed a steep fall in prices, and are now available for as low as Rs 12-15 per dozen.

However, a distributor of herbal eggs in Panchkula claimed that the sale of their products had picked up during the past two months even as they were priced at Rs 36 to Rs 44 a dozen.

They claim that people were lured by their USP, which promises low cholestrol, no eggy smell, more Vitamin-E and more Omega-3.

This alone explains more and more people taking to products like Smart eggs and other such new organic and bio eggs.


City players enter handball tourney semis
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, February 29
Hosts Chandigarh made it to the last four of both womenís and menís section of the North Zone Handball Championship being played on the DAV Senior Secondary School grounds Sector 8 here.

Later, in the menís tie between Punjab and Himachal Pradesh, the former outplayed Himachal Pradesh by 25-16 with the half-time score of 14-7. The main scorer for the winners side was Harpinder 10, Gaurav 5, Sachin 4. For losers, Munish scored 6, Sunil, Sahil and Vivek scored 3 goals.

Earlier, in the league matches, in the menís section, Punjab defeated Haryana 33-21 with half-time score 18-10. For winners, the scorers were, Sachin 10, Sanjay seven, Harpinder 4, Rajnish 4 and Harneet 3. For the losing team, Shamsher and Sunder scored 7 each, Amit, Vijay Pal and Parvesh scored two goals each. In yet another tie, Punjab overpowered Delhi 37-19 with half-time score of 18-14. Scorers for Punjab ó Jaswant - 12, Sukhdev - 6, Lachman and Pawan - 5 goals each; Losers - Narinder Mann - 8, Ramesh - 5, Sunil - 3 and Jaipal - 2.

In the womenís section, Punjab defeated Delhi 17-13 and half-time score was 10-7. Scorers ó winners: Gurpreet Purewal 11, Saroop Kaur 2; losers -Suman, Renu and Purnima - 3 goals each.

In the second league tie for the womenís section, Punjab defeated Himachal Pradesh 31-21 with half-time score 11-3. Scorers: Punjab - Saroop Kaur and Karamjit - 8 goals each, Harvinder - 7, Sandeep 3. Losers - Sneh Lata - 6, Kumari Reeta - 5, Savita - 4, Mala Rani and Sapna Sharma - 3 goals each.


Spikers get cash prizes
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, February 29
City spikers, who had created history few days back by winning the coveted junior national volleyball title in West Bengal, were honoured by the Chandigarh Volleyball Association last evening.

They were given cash prizes at a felicitation function held on the premises of Shivalik Public School, Sector 41.

Mr Som Prakash, president of the association, announced a cash prize of Rs 25,000 to the team. Mr Vijay Pal, secretary general, announced Rs 10,000 grant to Balwinder as diet money. Mr P.R. Kapta, a volleyball lover, also announced a grant of Rs 10,000 to another promising spiker, Gurvinder Mavi. Lalit and Vinod Negi, two other spikers, were also given Rs 10,000 by the association.

The president of the association was all praise for the encouragement and support provided by Shivalik Public School.

He said the volleyball academy being run in the school, with Mr Mohan Nagreta as its coach, had been doing a good job.

Mr D.S. Bedi, Principal of the school, said for the past 18 years, SPS-41 had been laying emphasis on sports and produced players of repute in various sport disciplines like hockey, wrestling, athletics, football, badminton, basketball and volleyball.

He said under the sports academy scheme, the players were being provided with free lodging, boarding, education, sports kits and coaching.

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