C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Teacher honoured at old boys meet
Tribune News Service

Mohali, March 21
Students of the 1966-67 Class X batch of students of Khalsa High School, Sohana, met today at the Amb Sahib Gurdwara here to relive their memories of the school and to honour the first teacher of the school.

The meet was organised by two former students, Mr Thakur Singh Basati, founder president of the Punjab Cultural Society, Chicago, and a senior journalist, Gurdev Singh Bhullar. The students who met on the occasion decided to take up the improvement in the standard of education being imparted by their school, which was one of the earliest schools to be established in the region. A former Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board and president of the Punjab Heritage and Educational Foundation, Prof Gurbakhsh Singh Shergill, was the chief guest.

Lal Bhagwan Das, one of the first teachers of the school, was honoured by the students. 


Techfest-2004 concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
The two-day Techfest-2004 came to an end at Punjab Engineering College here today. Addressing students at the concluding function, the Principal of the college, Dr Baljeet Kapoor, said he was happy with sense of maturity and finesse exhibited by the students of the ISTE chapter of Punjab Engineering College.

The event was held under the guidance of Dr Neena Gupta, Assistant Professor and Coordinator, Technical Societies, Ms Ritika and Ms Gurjit. The concluding day saw a lot of innovation by the participants. As many as 700 students took part in the event.

Major attractions of the event were technical papers on topics such as computational fluid dynamics, image compression using artificial neutral networks. 


Hamara School
DAV, Mohali, ensures change with continuity

Children of DAV School, Mohali, perform at a school funcion.
Children of DAV School, Mohali, perform at a school funcion.

In a playful mood on the school campus
In a playful mood on the school campus

IT’S a big no to the usual bookish studies at DAV, Mohali, as the faculty here believes in bringing modern educational skills coupled with rich tradition to students. As suggests our motto, we at no point of time detach ourselves from the pedigree of our heritage in order to create an atmosphere, conducive to the needs of a future citizen here at our institution.

We also do not believe in the run-of-the-mill methods to train our students to take on the challenges. Instead we strengthen our students enough to take on any challenge which they come across during their way to success. All this is possible because teaching at DAV, Mohali, is not a medium to earn livelihood but a mission. Professional and pragmatic approach to impart education are other salient features that orient the student towards the world that awaits him after he completes his educational qualifications.

The students are instilled with a tremendous sense of sportsmanship not only on the playground but on the larger canvas of life, as their abilities are subject to a severe grind while they enter the world of cut-throat competition to wade in their way to achievement.

Any institution today is incomplete until equipped with all the modern gadgets to support the educational process. Our computer lab boasts of the machines which are updated simultaneously with the growth of technology worldwide. The school website is designed to enable a perfect glimpse into its activities on wire. We also plan to introduce e-learning in the coming session. Effort is on to provide the students all appropriate information regarding all areas of studies and information technology.

The school library is not only unique in its design but is keeping pace with the growing needs of students. We would ensure that this session equips this coveted part of the school with all facilities required to be met with here. The staff is undertaking extra efforts to bring all information regarding the library on computer so that pupils get everything while on their desktop when they come to study in the library.

With the time changing fast, no school can afford not to explore the hidden talent of the students. Realising this in its true spirit, we at DAV, Mohali, hold regular counselling to bring out the latent talent out of the boundaries of hesitation and reluctance. The flower of talent blooms here to spread its aroma to inspire others to join the stream of artists and sportspersons the school has so far produced in its short span of time. A cricket club and a skating rink are on the agenda of the management of the school. A yagyashala as per the norms of Arya Samaj is also in the offing on the school premises.

The existing school campus that has created a perfect ambience for studies and extra-curricular activities would be expanded this year to accommodate more students.

Besides these future proposals, we have on our list all modern facilities at our institution, including a spacious campus, an exclusive children’s park, a well-equipped laboratory, computer lab, a rich library, a student-parent friendly faculty and above all a perfect atmosphere for development of the child.


‘We consider students our asset’

IF education is redemption in its final and most important meaning, it also has wordly aspects. The modern vision of education is lop-sided. Either education is thought to be only spiritual in its nature and aims, and all other forms of education are branded information gathering. Or the transcendental aspect of education is totally lost sight of while we happily click our way through a materialistic learning.

To reconcile these seemingly opposite ideas is not only challenging but also require lots of endurance to sustain it through the educational routine. We at the DAV, Mohali, have managed to keep our feet planted firmly on the ground while also not losing sight of the effulgence of the stars. Students are seen as the most precious asset. It never seemed easy to us to keep a balance between the tradition and modernity. Yet we try to ensure change but with continuity. The idea was so prevalent while we sat heads down to formulate the policy to run the school that it turned out to be the motto of the institution. Also, the umbrella organisation, the DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, demanded from us to maintain certain traditions related to our rich Arya Samajist background. A weekly havan was introduced to inculcate the spirit of Arya Samaj in the children.

Education these days cannot be detached from the society as it in fact leads to preparing the future citizens. The child has to be face to face with the good and bad prevailing in society. Our effort is to shape him in a way that he takes the better decision in his sphere of the life besides tackling effectively the social evils.

With the optical fibre cable laid underneath to thin the boundaries of the world, the IT education becomes part and parcel of the school education. The world is only a click away and the generation is net savvy. We have endeavoured to provide all facilities to the children from the junior level so that our students do not lag behind while paving their way to success.

This all, however, was not simple. Still we are managing it. How? It will be anybody’s guess who steps into our school and takes a peep at a normal day here. With the help and guidance of Padma Shree Gyan Prakash Chopra, president, DAV College Managing Committee, New Delhi, we have pulled out all stops to turn his vision into reality. 


Children’s craft on display
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20
“Art and craft bonanza 2004” was held at Aanchal International School, Sector 35, here yesterday. Children in the age group of 3 to 12 years displayed their works on the occasion. 

Students of LKG and UKG classes made table lamps, gancu goggles, wall hangings, photo frames, message pads, letter holders, bangle stands and decorative pots. The students created wonders by making school bags for themselves.


“Tab Shayad” released
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 21
“Tab Shayad” is a collection of short stories that captures the emotions and experiences of women in this male-dominated society. The book authored by city-based writer Madhur Kapila was released at a function by Mr Vijay Sehgal, former Editor of Dainik Tribune and a short story writer, here on Sunday.

The book comprises 13 short stories, many of which have appeared in various newspapers and periodicals. The book starts with “Wapsi” — a story that depicts a woman’s biases towards her son, an attitude which is a creation of the male-oriented society. Another story “Ek Lamha Zindagi” portrays a woman’s struggle to fit into the traditional role of a woman at the cost of her soul.

The author has based her stories on the facts of life and the narration comes in a simple language with the right amount of dramatising effect. Stories like “Anayas Ek Din”, “Kich Panne Tejpal Ki Dayeri Se”, “Tab Shayad” included in this volume are thought provoking.

The author has also penned down novels like “Bhatke Rahi” and “Satwa Sur”, besides a short story collection titled “Beechon Beech”. Her second novel “Satwa Swar” was run as a series in Dainik Tribune in 1993.

Also known as an art critic, Madhur Kapila has been awarded by Dr Lakshmi Narayan Lal and the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademi for contribution to Hindi literature. Her forthcoming works include an untitled novel, a short story collection and a book on vocalist Pandit Jasraj. 


Marriage is here to stay
Ruchika M. Khanna

Harkiran Singh and Nirmaljit Kaur Kahlon
Harkiran Singh and Nirmaljit Kaur Kahlon

Amit and Monika Bansal

Dr Roshan Lal Chopra and Mrs Sheel Chopra
Dr Roshan Lal Chopra and Mrs Sheel Chopra

Marriage may not be such an insipid affair, after all. From the hip ‘n liberal 70s and 80s, through the feminism of the 90s and into the happening 21st century, the institution of marriage has managed to survive and evolve.

The new-age marriage still has the old-age value system of caring and sharing, and mush has certainly not been thrown out of the window. Being single has never been the fashion; rather, it is an aberration. Though individualism has crept into today’s marriages, wives have become more assertive and the metrosexual husbands are willing to pitch in with the odd jobs at home, the “shaadi ka laddoo” is just as it always was.

For the folks sitting on the fence, weighing the pros and cons of taking the plunge, we draw trace the concept of marriage as it has evolved through the past 50 years.

Explain Dr Roshan Lal Chopra and his 78-year-young wife, Mrs Sheel Chopra, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary last month, “The romanticism associated with marriage has been lost as individualism has come in. When we were young, it took us some time to get to know each other. And since we were living in a joint family, we were always looking to steal a few moments together. That is how the bonding grew.”

Adds Mrs Chopra, “When my husband went to England for his post-graduation in medicine, I was not allowed to move with him. There were many barriers: telephones were rare, so we could not talk. We would communicate through letters, and, as they say, distance made the hearts grow fonder.”

Agree Mr Raghbir Singh and Mrs Swaran Kaur, who say that their love and bonding has only increased over the 53 years since their marriage. “Maybe because the roles of the husband and wife were very well defined, the husband being the decision-maker and the wife accepting her role in home and at the hearth, marriages in our times were more successful. With personality and ego conflicts now being common because expectations are high and none of the partners is ready to make adjustments, the success rate has come down.”

He recalls the first time he walked hand-in-hand with his wife in public was in Paris; and that too after a few years of marriage. “For us that was a very romantic moment. Materialism has pervaded every aspect of life, and marriage is no exception,” he adds.

But does today’s generation agree with the charge that marriage has lost the charm? Well, the old-world charm indeed is lost, but it has been replaced with new-age romance, they say emphatically. Mr Amit Bansal, a businessman and a son of Member of Parliament Pawan Bansal, who has been married for over a year, says marriages have not degenerated, just evolved to suit the needs of today’s generation. “Both the partners are now equal. If I expect my wife to do things for my family and me, I ought to help her around, ensuring there is no conflict. On the other hand my wife, who is a typical modern woman, maintains equilibrium between her home and social responsibilities to avoid any conflict. But I strongly believe that arranged marriages are better, as expectations before marriage are few, and after marriage easy to fulfil.”

His better half (to use an old-world expression), Monika, agrees: “Most men want their wife to be Durga, Luxmi and Saraswati, all rolled into one, while the wives expect their husbands to make adjustments and help around.”

Lawyer Harkiran Singh Kahlon, and his wife Nirmaljit, barely a month into matrimony, say marriage is still about sharing and caring just as it always was. And sharing includes the wife sharing the financial burden and the husband lending a hand in the household work. “Though women have become financially independent and more assertive, we still believe that the value system in marriage has not changed. Even if relatives have only a ceremonial role, and are by and large non-interfering, we believe that one marries the entire family and not just an individual.”


Morning Chatter
What good are ‘baba schools’?
Taru Bahl

“PERSONALISED attention” is the USP of all so-called new-age schools. They promise “holistic learning”, “ideal student-teacher ratio” and “customised processes catering to individual needs and comprehension levels” of students. Much like it happens in fairy tales, they promise to transform children’s educational and behavioural psyche and bring out their latent talent.

Being an educational consultant yourself, this hypothesis made perfect sense. After all, how can teachers do justice to students who are packed into classrooms like sardines in a tin? Surely, this negatively impacted overall growth of the children since they existed as a faceless mass for the teachers.

Small numbers had to be the key to not just improved academic scorecards but also to attitudinal, psychological and behavioural components of development. Enter new-age schools, which model their infrastructure, curriculum, teaching methodology and assessment parameters to give today’s child everything which earlier conventional schools did not.

Dripping with child-friendly lingo, cheerful furniture, attractively designed classrooms, creative play areas, chirpy teachers, in-house counsellors, informal assessments and minimal home work, they have attracted the fancy of every aware parent.

As such, even those from the middle class are willing to juggle resources to pay for the enhanced fee structures in these “different” set ups. For the apple of their eye, they want the best “global education.”

Well, this was your view too and made a lot of sense till a friend pointed out the demerits of the “individual attention” phenomenon touted by upmarket schools. According to him, these schools are geared towards nurturing humans who would ultimately be misfits in society. Quite a strong point of view! You ask him to elaborate.

“What kind of society are we creating by letting these children grow up with the feeling that they are entitled to individual attention at all times? Do you think they will ever grow up to be patient, empathetic, considerate and tolerant? Used to being heard all the time, they are unlikely to accept another point of view and will be unwilling to wait for their turn. There is every likelihood of these kids demanding instant attention from all and sundry and if they don’t get it, they will resort to tantrums, sulking or indulging in deviant behaviour.”

The friend continued emphatically, “These ‘baba schools’ will create people who will be unable to take a ‘no’ for an answer. These schools will instill in them the feeling that they are special and the world revolves around them. However, such attitudinal grooming will be far removed from reality and when they will encounter it, they will use violence and abuse to have their way. These will be one type of children. The other will be the ones who would be gentle to the extent of being ineffective softies or wimps.”

There may be some merit in being one amongst many rather than being the chosen one always. For then, one would do things to develop one’s personality, try to grab and hold on to teacher’s attention, deal with situations where they have met with disappointment and unfairness of life. Too much comfort and too much mollycoddling may do more damage than good. Sanitised environment cannot substitute for the heat and dust of life, which no one can escape — VIP or VVVIP


Making tourism a ‘people’s industry’

Rajasthan Tourism accords high priority to domestic tourism and as a strategy to attract more tourists, the state is marketing itself more aggressively within the country by taking part in exhibitions like India Travel Mart and organising road shows.” This was stated by the Additional Director of Rajasthan Tourism, Mr Manoj Sharma, at a press conference, here today.

To make tourism a “people’s industry”, the government was planning initiatives like enhancement in the current budget, a liberal tourist-friendly excise policy for 2004-05 and the introduction of a 100-day and one-year action plans, besides identifying tourism as a key sector for investment, said Mr Sharma.

Besides restoration and beautification of heritage places like the Amber Fort, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC), in collaboration with The Railways, has started “Fairy Queen”, a steam engine-driven luxury train which will operate between New Delhi and Alwar. “RTDC is also offering attractive holiday packages to suit different pockets.

Rajasthan tourism was organising two-day Gangaur Festival and Mewar Festival in Jaipur and Udaipur, respectively, from March 23, said Mr Sharma. Artistes from Rajasthan presented folk songs and dances at the venue of India Travel Mart. OC


All by themselves, extras slog it out
Aditi Tandon

NOT used to ogling onlookers, the extras in filmmaker Anil Sharma’s unit felt absolutely out of place in Chandigarh today. There were about 20 of them, huddled together in the vehicle that brought them to Forest Hill Resort where shooting of the film, “Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyon” went on for the whole day.

Supposed to feature in the dance number, with Amitabh Bachchan and Sandali Sinha, the girls were dressed skimpily. They, however, had little idea about Chandigarh, which is not so used to watching meagerly dressed girls casually moving around the sets. Right after the first shot in the morning, many of them had problems getting away from curious glances from onlookers.

Conscious of the surroundings, some of the girls were seen hunting for uppers, so that they could be seated comfortably till the next shot. Some seemed more daring in their moves. They simply stared back at the gawking public , forcing it to withdraw.

Engaged in a typical conversation, that reminded one of Mumbai’s uninhibited language, the girls had their own way of dealing with everyone. Not ready to be quoted, they said that they were under no pressure to work. “We like it this way. You would not believe but we keep busier than most of these big stars. We have just returned from a show in Dubai,” said one of the girls.

Many of these dancers are paid Rs 5,000 per day, as part of the package deal that their manager strikes with the filmmaker or the dance director of the film. But the deal demands that they wear whatever the scene requires them to.

Today’s sequence was a Punjabi number. And by no chance did it require skimpy dresses or vulgar display. However, most of the girls (they all looked not more than 20 years of age) wore little apparel and waited in the sun for long before the shot was ready.

When asked whether long shoots bogged them down, they said they had adapted themselves to tiring schedules. “Ab to yeh sab na ho to maza hi nai aata hai,” said a girl, who insisted not to be photographed. One among the 20 girls was enraged when a photographer tried to shoot her. She blasted him saying, “Mujhe nahi chhahiye photo. Tum bade stars ki lo naa. Vaise bhi tumhare akhbaar mein meri photo aane se meri shaadi to hone se rahi”.

Fending for themselves on every front — from food to make up — the girls remained in the background. But in the end, the dance sequence would have looked bland without them, as one of them reasoned, “Hum jo bhi hon, jaise bhi hon. Hamare bina to dance hoga nahi”.

Later one discovered that all of them were trained dancers.


Collectors with a stamp of pride
Rajmeet Singh

It was in 1967 that a group of young philatelists of the city joined hands to set up the Philatelic Cub of Chandigarh, the first such in the North.

But as professional and family responsibilities increased in their lives, activities of the club suffered. Now, relatively free from their obligations, the members have revived the club.

Says Mr Avinash Luthra, president of the club, “From 11 members we have today grown to 50. Between us we have one of the finest collections of stamps in the country.” Talk on any subject from the Indian culture to flora and fauna, the members have something to show. One can even see a prized collection on the pre-Independence period, the First War of Independence of 1857, Indian saints, history of aviation, miniature stamps and five paise surcharge stamps.

However, many of those possessing these rare stamps are not serious philatelists, says Mr Rakesh Chawla, secretary of the Youth Philatelic Club, who displayed an interesting collection of five paise surcharge stamps at a two-day exhibition of stamps, Chandipex-2004, which concluded in Chandigarh today.

Collecting stamps since his early schooldays, Mr Chawla was able to lay his hands on stamps from the UK, Germany and the erstwhile Soviet Union, thanks to his uncle in the Indian Foreign Services. These days, Mr Chawla is busy holding stamp quiz in schools.

Says Mr Luthra, “Philately is a serious and educating hobby. At the exhibition, he displayed his collection on the aviation history. But he laments that the Department of Posts is not doing enough to popularise the hobby. Instead of issuing more stamps on political personalities, the department should come out with stamps on major events, landmarks, Indian plants and animals.

The Philatelic Club has demanded that more philatelists should be put on the National Advisory Board, which decides the subjects or themes on which stamps are issued. It would help highlight the diverse aspects of the country.

A class six student, Jannat Talwar, the youngest of the philatelists at the exhibition, has a good collection on miniature sheets. She says that using miniature stamps while posting is a rare thing in India. But it is common practice in the West. Jannat says she has been able to improve her general knowledge from her hobby. Another philatelist, Mr Mohinder Singh, has a rare collection of stamps on Sikhs and their history. 

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