L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Speeches, seminars mark Women’s Day celebrations
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 8
A large majority of women got up here today like any other day and carried on their usual chores and never remembered that March 8 was specially dedicated to them and was universally acknowledged as International Women’s Day. Their husbands , too, oblivious of the significance of March 8 carried out ordering and accepting services from their better halves.

“But things will soon change as the men will bow sooner or later before women not for her looks but for her good qualities like patience and wisdom. Then only this day would become meaningful for the women. Till now it is a farce only,” said almost all women Ludhiana Tribune spoke to about their view point on the significance of this day.

Ms Sucheta, a housewife, said, “The imbalance between the two sexes can be squarely put on society. Men have exploited women as she was considered a weaker sex. The financial dependence on men makes her more vulnerable. But the things are changing now as women are coming into their own”.

Ms Gita Williams, a schoolteacher, said, “We have noticed that even the educated parents do not treat their daughters and sons at the same level. The boys are always given preferential treatment at home. The parents boast that they send their sons to better schools while the daughters are sent to government schools.This kind of treatment makes the boys feel superior and this attitude continues throughout their lives.”

Prof Nirmal Guleria said, “Yes, the women are standing on their feet and deciding for themselves whether they want to get married or stay single and savour their freedom. The society is biased and looks at these women sceptically and wonders what is the cause of their unmarried status. But gradually the society is accepting these fiercely independent women though grudgingly.”

“The men feel quite unsettled at the financial independence the women are getting through their jobs. Men are jealous of this “woman” who is performing the dual role of running the house and doing jobs. They are jealous of this modern female brimming with confidence”, said Ms Neelam, who runs a boutique.

“Thousands of women working in the fields, brick-kilns, engaged in the making of roads bring up their children on roads. They have no security of any sorts. They labour, produce children, work and die young. Their existence leaves no mark. What should be done of these women? Who will think of their rights, their education?” asked agitated sociology student Ms Neha.

“Sadly despite being educated girls are being burnt for bringing less dowry. They are being raped in broad daylight. The way women were treated during the Godhra riots, one feels beasts are less bestial than human beings. All this will change. The winds of change are blowing but it is like blossoming of a desert, a very tough job. I urge the girls to rise, shake off their inferiority complex and feel that they have the power of Durga and they can trample the villains under their feet and then only Women’s Day will have some significance. The women will have to broaden their mental horizon”, said Ms Audery working in a tele communication company.

Meanwhile, a spate of functions were held to celebrate this day and pay homage to the women. The District Ludhiana Mahila Congress took out a rally in the morning to make women aware of their rights. Ms Usha Malhotra led a Chetna March through important areas of the city. A function was organised by the Ekjot Welfare Society at Community Bhavan, Aggar Nagar. Ms Gurkanwal, MLA , was the chief guest on the occasion. Women from different fields were awarded. Bharat Gaurav Award was given to Ms Rakhi Gupta Bhandari an IAS officer, whereas Punjab Gaurav award went to Ms Aruna Sharma, MD, Shri Mahila Udyog Lijjat Papad.

The other awards are as follows: Ludhiana Gaurav Award — Ms Kanwaljeet, ATP, Nagar Nigam Ludhiana, Madame Marie Curie Award — Mrs Manjit Kaur- SMO, Ludhiana. Lok Naiyka award — Ms Asha Garg — Councillor Ward No. 1. Punjab di Koel Award — Parminder Sandhu, Bhaini Bhaini Award , Ms Suvarsha Kalra, Hony secy, Deaf and Dumb School. Lady Diana Award — Ms Meenakshi Saini Mother Teresa Award was bagged by committed social worker — Ms Neelam Davar.

In another function to observe this day , hundreds of women from the Ludhiana constituency took out Istri Chetna Yatra. As many as 2000 members of Istri Shakti wing of the Lok Bhalai Party participated in the yatra said the party president Mr Ramoowalia. The march started from Dukh Nivaran Gurdwara Sahib through main bazar, carrying banners and raising slogans in support of women’s rights. The main demands were focussed on giving a place of honour and dignity to women in their homes and society, free quality education to girls, greater employment opportunities for women, simple marriages, eradicating of dowry system and enforcing a strict ban on female foeticide.

The SDP College for Women held an interactive session today. Topics like gender equality, career consciousness were discussed. The girls were exhorted to develop self-confidence.

A function was also held at the office of Civil Surgeon. Dr SN Tiwari, Civil Surgeon, made the women aware of female foeticide.

Members of the Bharti Nepal Jagurak Sangh also organised a function at Chattar Singh Parkta function was arranged by CMC and Hospital and Nursing College . The topic discussed was “Women in politics”.

The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), expressed dismay and disgust over the way a lot of women “sell” themselves, including certain cinestars on TV channels, videos and CDs etc.

This was stated in a press note issued to the media by the IHRO after its core group met here and resolved that the abuses included gender violence, female infanticide, sex trafficking, rape, neglect and abuse of girl children, wife murder and sexual assault as well as the denial of civil, cultural, religious, legal and economic equality with men.

Meanwhile, the Women’s cell of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation called upon the women employees to come forward to play a more active role to strengthen the unions in order to fight back the onslaught of privatisation and liberalisation in the financial sectors.

Mr Naresh Gaur, secretary of the federation, said that the structured adjustment programmes being carried out on the dictates of the World Bank and the WTO regime had hit the working masses adversely, affecting job security, increase in the price of essential commodities and rising costs of education and health. Women and children were the worst victims of the emerging scenario, he said.

Mr Ashok Awasthy, president, said impact studies from countries of the Latin American continent and South East Asia had showed that women were deprived of secured jobs, pushed into contract and casual work, which amounted to their exploitation. He said violence against women at workplace, outside and in the families was on an increase. He said that the women were the first ones to be fired in downsizing strategy of the managements.

Mr Praveen Modgill, convener, said the export promotion zones being developed by multinational companies in collaboration with local exports in which women were the majority workforce were devoid of minimum basic labour law protections.

International Women’s Day was celebrated here at Civil Hospital today.

Many women spoke on this occasion. Ms Surinderjit Kaur told about the importance of the day and motivated women to come forward in various fields. Dr Bali stressed that girls should be provided equal rights. Ms Chander Mohini, Principal, DD Jain College of Education, stressed that women were equal to men in each field and they should be well aware of their strength.

Workers of the District Youth Congress today celebrated Women’s Day at Chawni Mohalla near Domoria Bridge.They burnt the effigies of the doctors who indulge in female foeticide. The workers raised slogans ‘Stop female foeticide’, ‘Respect the women’ and ‘We would have not been in this world, if there was no woman’ etc.

Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) organised an inter-class declamation competition on the topic ‘Women in politics’. Ms Rajinder Kaur Bulara was the chief guest of the event. Fourteen participants took part in the declamation in three categories — Punjabi, Hindi and English. Sharing her experiences, the chief guest, Ms Bulara said, “There is news in the newspapers every day about exploitation of women. Even the Constitution has laid fundamental rights of women, like 33 per cent reservation for women in political parties. But the male-dominated society has never let them get their rights”.

She said women could perform better in politics than men as the fairer sex was more honest. She also quoted examples of successful women in politics and said that women should rise above their limitations to get a position on a par with men.



3 of family die in strange conditions 
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Mohinder Kaur in coma at DMC Hospital
Mohinder Kaur in coma at DMC Hospital. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, March 8
Three grown-up children, including two girls, were killed and their parents taken seriously ill after they consumed milk suspected to be laced with poison in Issewal village, 22 km from here, last night.

Mohan Singh, who owns two trucks, was the only member of the family to regain consciousness this afternoon. His wife, Mohinder Kaur, is in coma at DMC Hospital here. His three children — Mandeep Kaur (21), Hardeep Kaur (19) and Jaswant Singh (17) — died midnight last.

The family took the dinner together at about 9 p.m. According to Naresh Pal, a karyana shopkeeper in the neighbourhood, the family members began to fall sick after they took milk at about 11 p.m. All started getting a shooting pain in the stomach. Helped by neighbours, they were rushed to a local hospital and later to DMC Hospital. The children died on way to the hospital.

Mohan Singh, in his statement recorded under Section 164, CrPc, before Mr J.S. Chauhan, Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, said he suspected that a reptile or some other toxic substance might have fallen accidentally into the milk. He said he had enmity with none.

DSP Jatinder Singh Khaira told The Tribune as per investigations, the family was well-off and had no enemies.

“There was no reason for suicide as they lived in comfort. There was no marital discord, nor had any villager seen or heard them fighting.” He said the police has conducted proceedings under Section 174, Cr Pc.

Naresh Pal and other villagers corroborate the police findings. “There was a fight in the neighbourhood and Mohan Singh’s family was awake till 11 p.m.,” they said.

Mohan Singh reportedly woke Naresh Pal up at midnight, saying all of them were vomiting and writhing in pain.

The SSP, Jagraon, Mr H.S. Bhullar, said the police had taken samples of the milk and food and sent these to a laboratory for examination. He said the police would act as per the evidence.

The villagers were all praise for the children. Mandeep helped her mother in household affairs after finishing the 10+2 examination. Hardeep was studying in BSc at Sudhar college. Her brother, Jaswant, was studying in Class X in the village school.



Youths duping villagers in name of Reliance?
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 8
Two youths from a nearby village, Nathumajra, have been accused of duping a large number of local residents by selling mobile connections issued in their names to unknown persons. Police sources confirmed having received such complaints but no action has yet been taken against the accused.

According to a letter written to Reliance InfoComm Service by Mr Madan Lal, a local trader, Gagandeep and Harnam Singh of Nathumajra had duped a large number of local residents “booking” Reliance connections, charging Rs 500 from each client.

Mr Madan Lal also booked a connection. “Though we were to receive a connection immediately, Gagandeep assured us that we would receive one after some time. Despite repeated reminders we were neither issued a connection nor our money was returned,” he said.

When a shocked Mr Madan received a bill for a massive amount in the month of November, 2003, he brought the matter to the notice of the Sadar police, where Gagandeep and Harnam Singh made a written agreement to pay the pending bills and refund money.

Investigations revealed that Gagan and Harnam had “booked” a large number of connections. The mobile phones received from the company were sold at a premium to unauthorised persons who misused the phones and left bills to be paid by actual subscribers. The number (0161-3117664) had reportedly been used by a cop. Mr Madan Lal asked the company to get a case registered against the accused.



Former Deputy Director (Sports) dead
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 8
Mr Bhupinder Singh Sandhu, former Deputy Director, Sports, Punjab, died after prolonged illness at Chandigarh yesterday. He was 82. He is survived by his wife a son and two daughters.

During his long service, Mr Sandhu produced a number of hockey players of national and international repute.

Mr Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Mr Sukhbir Grewal and Ms Surinder Dhir, president and general secretary, respectively of the Ludhiana Women Hockey Association, and Mr Sohan Lal Lotey, District Sports Officer, have condoled Mr Sandhu’s death and expressed sympathies with the aggrieved family.



Notebooks that distract pupils
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 8
The title pages of various note-books and exercise books, replete with stars, movies and particular scenes from hit movies, affect students and their studies adversely.
Says Premdeep, a BA (II) year student of a local college, “The publishers of these books in order to increase their sale resort to such tactics.” Megha, another student says the students are often distracted by the pictures during lectures.

“Many students are psychologically affected by these images and try to imitate them,” feels Ramandeep.

Sandeep Kumar of BA (II) and Jagroop Singh of MA (I) feel that note-books with such type of titles should be banned.

Some students buy such specific note books that contain pictures of their favourite heroes and heroines. “They even go to the extent of keeping these under their pillow at night.”

Some teachers, too, have expressed concern at the matter. “Many a times we find back-benchers lending further colour to these already colourful pictures with their pens or making comments.”



New panel for waste management
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
The Department of Science, Technology, Environment and Non-Conventional Energy, Punjab, has appointed five local members in its newly constituted State Environmental Council for the management of hazardous waste.

The 26-member council, which will be headed by the Chief Minister, Punjab, will have five members from the city, including Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Mr S.P. Oswal of Vardhaman Spinning and General Mills, Mr Kamal Oswal of Nahar Enterprises Limited, Dr Arun Mitra of Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha and Mr Pawan Dewan, leader of the District Youth Congress.

The members of the council will provide planning and other inputs in advisory capacity on issues and matters which will be placed before it by the Department of Science, Technology, Environment and Non-Conventional Energy.



Pandhi seeks ban on cold drinks
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 8
The municipal councils of towns along G.T. Road have allotted bus stands to private contractors who levy heavy toll tax (adda fee) from buses plying on the road, said Mr Dalip Singh Pandhi, former minister, while talking to mediapersons here yesterday, he cited the examples of Kartarpur, BaghaPurana, Phagwara, Raiya and Khanna bus stands.

He sought a ban on manufacture of adulterated cold drinks. He also sought deployment of the CRPF in the Lok Sabha elections so that booth-capturing and fake voting was checked.



Readers write
Saving medical community from PPCB

I am very sorry to state that people from Panipat Pollution Control Board are defying the basic theme of your government on which Capt. Amarinder Singh came to power. Pollution control people are coming to doctors and demanding money. They themselves are not clear in their minds about the various rules. Previously they had been stating that clause Liquid waste does not apply to hospitals less than 50 beds, but suddenly now they say that it is compulsory for every body. Same is applicable to other clauses. This has produced utter confusion in doctors. Their employees visiting the various hospitals are demanding money openly. We as an association highly respect your government plank of Eradication of corruption. So I request you to go into the details of the things and order an enquiry and punish all those people who do not bother to follow the path shown by the Chief Minister.

Dr Gursharan Singh, Ludhiana

MC water and sewerage bill

For the last four years I have been receiving wrong inflated water and sewerage bills under account no. IDA 35/AL 35/1413-17908. Though I am making payment as due regularly, yet arrears of non-payment of previous bills are included. Several requests by me to the department concerned had no conclusive effect. Will the Municipal Corporation look into this serious matter.

Gurdev Singh, Ludhiana



Aged man run over by train
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 8
An old aged man, Ujagar Singh (74), a resident of Dehru village, was crushed under a train this morning.
According to sources, Ujagar Singh was crossing the railway track at about 7 a.m. on Monday when a train hit him. He died on the spot. His body was handed over to the family members after a post-mortem.



One killed, another injured in Holi brawl
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
Ram Bachan, an industrial worker, was killed while another sustained injuries in a brawl which took place during Holi celebrations in Ram Lal Vehra in Deep Nagar locality under the Focal Point police station on Sunday.

According to the police, a group of people were celebrating the festival of colours on the roof of a three-storeyed building when a verbal dual ensued. Amidst frayed tempers, some persons pushed Ram Bachan and Sigma down. A grievously injured Ram Bachan was rushed to Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital, where he succumbed to injuries.

Sigma, who sustained a fracture in the leg, is undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital here. Sonu and Sant Lal have been booked under Section 304, IPC.


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