N C R   S T O R I E S


Expect better life now: DPCC
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Welcoming the election of Sonia Gandhi as leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) has said that the people of this country can expect the party to find solutions to their problems now and make their life worth living.

“There was no better-equipped candidate than Ms Gandhi to become prime minister at this critical juncture as she had steered the party through a difficult phase to unseat the BJP-led NDA Government from the Centre,” DPCC president Prem Singh said in a statement.

Singh said that those who questioned Ms Gandhi’s nationality have been inflicted crushing defeats at the hustings.

This, he said, has sent out a clear message that Ms Gandhi is the only leader who is acceptable to the majority of the people in the country.

He had a word of praise reserved for her dignified campaign. “She campaigned in a dignified and diligent manner, adhering to decorum, taking up people’s problems and issues of national relevance instead of indulging in cheap personal attacks.”

The DPCC president said that the minorities and the economically challenged sections of society can now hope that the government headed by Ms Gandhi will find solutions to their problems and make their life worth living.


St. Stephen’s
Alma mater of 11 new MPs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
It is often pointed out that the Delhi University is the cradle of politicians and that the students unions have been the kindergarten of many well-known political entities, former Law Minister Arun Jaitley being one. But the recent Lok Sabha elections have been given the university, particularly St Stephen’s College, a reason to rejoice. Of the brigade of newly elected Lok Sabha members, 11 are ‘Stephanians’.

Leading this band is the Gandhi scion, Rahul. Others in the list include Manavendra Singh, son of former Union Minister Jaswant Singh, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep, Congress leader Rajesh Pilot’s son Sachin and Madhavrao Scindia’s son Jyotiraditya.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vijayaraje Scindia’s son Dushyant Singh, late Congress leader Jeetendra Prasada’s son Jatin Prasad, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah’s son Omar and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh’s brother Laxman are also in the list. Kapil Sibal and Mani Shanker Aiyer, who have also made it to the 14th Lok Sabha, once studied in the college established in 1881.

Besides, college alumni Arun Shourie, Sitaram Yechuri and Chandan Mitra are in the Rajya Sabha.

However, college Principal Anil Wilson refuses to acknowledge both the college and the university as a school for grooming politicians. Since St. Stephen’s does not permit any students unions, he says, “The theory that party politics is important in college and university level is wrong and is totally misplaced, as is clearly evident from the fact that the largest number of parliamentarians today come from a college where it is a policy not to have any party politics.”

The secretary of the college’s Old Students’ Association Arvind Malhotra said it would soon host a get-together to felicitate the newly elected parliamentarians.


Teach life skills creatively, ‘not from textbook’
Smriti Kak Ramachandran
Tribune News Service

The MCD schoolchildren
The MCD schoolchildren

New Delhi, May 15
While it is not just imperative to impart life skills, the process of doing it is just as significant, say experts. They claim that life skills should not be made part of the learning by rote, instead these should be taught more creatively and ingeniously.

“Working with the children in primary schools run by the government, we have discovered that the teachers intended to teach life skills are not even aware of these themselves,” says Dr D Anand, president of Sakshi, an NGO, which carries out exercises in imparting life skills to the students.

Dr Anand admits, “Life skills cannot be taught from a textbook.”

These, he qualifies, are “learnt through illustration and instance”. Working with over 200 primary MCD schools under the Universal Elementary Education (UEE), Sakshi began to involve the community, the teachers and the parents alongside the children to “respond to promote student’s interest and physical environment”.

“In India, most programmes turn mechanical. In Delhi alone, there are over 200 NGOs working for UEE, but their teachers are unaware of life skills. UEE is a wonderful programme and its appendage includes just what we need in the country,” says the president of Sakshi.

He elucidates, “We have to tell the children why it is important to wash hands, why they should go to toilet instead of defecating on the roads. And these things cannot be read out of a book. We need to establish an example wherein children can understand and learn.”

Having concluded that “children are the agents of change”, Sakshi is banking on the fact that “children learn more and readily from each other”.

“While it is true and we have seen from our own experience that children learn more from their peers, we also need to train the teachers. They have to be explained how one has to move from teaching to learning. Life skills have to be learnt,” says Dr Anand.

Stressing the need to “build a centre for excellence where teachers can see for themselves the basics of life skills”, Dr Anand wants international agencies to fund projects, which are aimed at the health and education aspects of schoolchildren.

“We have completed a year of promoting UEE in Delhi, through our centres in Okhla, which cover about 800 children. Our experience of working with the MCD schools over four years has helped us identify three things, one that health cannot be taught, it is learnt; students are the agents of change and social marketing efforts help mobilise students, teachers and community to promote hygienic practices amongst children living in slums or low income communities”.

Dr Anand adds, “When we begin the process of learning life skills, we have to involve the stakeholders, the parents and the community. The students are willing to learn and they are agents of change at no extra cost.”


Faridabad dogged by pot-holed roads, water shortage
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 15
The district administration, busy in the election process for more than a month, has a lot of work at hand now. The Model Code of Conduct had been coming in the way of various development works.

The administration will have to gear up from Monday to take up various projects aimed at providing better civic amenities and infrastructure. The city with a population of over 22 lakh is crying for basic facilities.

Most of the roads in the urban and rural pockets in the district are in disrepair.

The unseasonal rains in the past three weeks had led to the peeling off the metalled cover of the roads with large potholes in several places.

It is learnt that the repair of the damaged roads might need several crores in the municipal limit only.

“The elected members of the Municipal Corporation, including the Mayor had been busy in the election campaign. Hardly anybody associated with the civic body had time to look into the problems of the civic amenities,” says an office-bearer of the Manav Sewa Samiti, a social organisation here.

It may be recalled that the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Dr Attar Singh, has also been the district president of the ruling Indian National Lok Dal Party.

There are many colonies in the town which had been facing shortage of drinking water. Although the authorities had launched the much-publicised “Renniwell water scheme’’ last year, it has not proved beneficial to many colonies in the NIT area. Hardly a day passes when there is no protest on this issue on the premises of the Municipal Corporation.

A few days ago, a group of women who had come from Jawahar Colony had broken their empty pitchers outside the office of the Commissioner and the Mayor.

According to the residents of the ward number five and six, people in many of the colonies had to buy water from the private tankers at exorbitant rates in summer as there was no water supply from the Corporation.

The safai workers of Sulabh, a voluntary body engaged on contract, were not seen for weeks together in most of the sectors. “Many residents have to employ workers of the private contractors to carry out cleaning of the choked sewer lines as the service of the civic body had not been proper,” says Raj Kumar, a resident of Sector-15–A here.


Rip: Post offices becoming a part of history
Cecil Victor

The post office has disappeared from the Eastern Court.
The post office has disappeared from the Eastern Court. — Photo by Cecil Victor

New Delhi, May 15
Operating from the Lutyens’ colonnaded architectural masterpiece and for decades maintaining connectivity between the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and the rest of the Empire, the post office in Eastern Court has disappeared from the face of the earth.

Its social purpose of enabling the urbanised villager to maintain contact and sustain families in the far-

flung rural areas is largely usurped by the cellphone and the private courier. The “Post” in the Posts and Telegraphs Department has become an endangered species.

The bifurcation of the “Post” and the “Telegraph” departments in 1972-73 and the proviso that the post offices must become self-sufficient by 2007 or close shop has already led to the closure of seven posts offices within the National Capital Territory.

The latest being Eastern Court and more are to follow shortly.

The case of Eastern Court was particularly pathetic: It could not fork up to the Department of Telegraphs a monthly rental of Rs 5 lakh for the premises it was occupying in the northern portion of the complex on Janpath as its income from the sale of stamps, stationery and postal services amounted to only half that.

So the Department of Posts cut its losses and shifted its operations to the central circle in M Block in Connaught Place. But to the important financial district was lost the facility of late evening operations of counters for sale of stamps and stationery, registration, speedpost and accepting telegraph money orders (TMOs) up to 8 pm and foreign postal articles up to midnight. It has been economising by not recruiting new staff since 1982, computerisation and utilising its existing manpower to take on odd jobs for a fee like collecting telephone bills for the MTNL for which it earns a tariff of Rs 5 per bill; it received Rs 1 crore from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for creating the data for its property tax assessment; selling passport and UPSC forms; and introducing electronic (e-post) on the V/Sat.

The withering away of postal services is attributed to an unequal distribution of assets, particularly office space at the time of bifurcation. This is particularly true of the post office in Eastern Court. The edifice, constructed as a twin to Western Court across Janpath (which was to be the abode of legislators) with facilities for internal and international connectivity just across the road.

The Department of Telegraphs gained control of the Eastern Court and decided to collect rent for the portion occupied by the Department of Posts in Eastern Court. The post office was shifted about six months ago putting an end to the late evening facilities which are now available only at the Gole Dakkhana about three kilometers from Connaught Place.


Power plays truant in Noida, Dadri
Parmindar Singh

Noida, May 15
The power crisis appears to be growing grimmer with each passing day.

Many sectors in Noida and whole of Dadri are reeling from power crisis. The deficient power supply is also adversely affecting the water supply.

The Jal Nigam squarely blames the power corporation for prolonged power cuts which had rendered the water supply to trickles. The shortage of power and water has literally made people’s life miserable in the hot summer days.

Even normal functioning of hospitals has also been affected in the town, while choked drains and heaps of litter and wastes have made people’s life miserable.

The repair of 220 KV transformer of the UP Power Corporation in Sector-20 was to be completed by Thursday.

A BHEL team of engineers was summoned from Bhopal. This had affected the power supply to a number of sectors like 25, 21, 20 and 26 for about a week.

Besides, it has also affected the water supply of the area for many days now. The work in hospitals has also been adversely affected by this power-water crisis.

The tube wells are lying idle for want of power to energise them and pump water to overhead tanks. Some of the water reservoirs have been provided with small diesel-operated power pumps to throw up water to the overhead tanks, but others are at the mercy of the power department.

Even in Sector-62, the water-power crisis is acute.



GNIDA to develop new industrial sector on 500 acres
Our Correspondent

Greater Noida, May 15
The Greater Noida authority has decided to develop a new industrial sector over 500 acres of land.

This is understood to be a sequel to the apex court’s decision that all industrial units in residential areas of New Delhi must be shifted outside the Capital forthwith.

Keen to cash in on this court decision, the Greater Noida authorities have reportedly submitted a proposal to the state government for permission to acquire 500 acres of land near Kasana village. This will be Greater Noida’s fifth industrial sector.

The Greater Noida authority will develop plots of different sizes to suit the requirements of various industries.

The Supreme Court’s recent order to close down 1.25 lakh industrial units in Delhi seems to have provided a god sent opportunity to the Greater Noida authority. The authority has simultaneously decided to speed up the development of Echo Tech 3, 4. Echo Tech 5 is name given to the new sector which is being developed as a new industrial town.

Three industrial sectors have already been developed in Greater Noida vide which 1240 plots have been allotted so far, says the GM, Mr A. K. Sirohi. Most of the allotees of industrial plots here are foreign industries. The authority is reportedly having another 1200 industrial plots in its kitty which have to be allotted to industries.

According to Mr Sirohi, the authority is making special efforts to attract all units being dislocated from New Delhi to Noida. The development and construction work in the four industrial sectors is also being speeded up.

As soon as the authority receives the green light from the state government, the procedure to acquire 500 acres of land will be set in motion.

After preparing the layout, the basic infrastructure viz roads, power, water, drainage etc of the sector will be planned and taken in hand.

After this the applications for allotment of plots will be invited from industrialists.

No polluting units will be allowed in this area at any cost. The Greater Noida Authority has already allotted plots in 500 acres. In Echo Tech 1 large factories of Honda Siel, Control Switch Gear, Asian Paints etc are located.


SP-RLD alliance reaps rich rewards in western UP
Our Correspondent

Meerut, May 15
The friendship and alliance between Mr Ajit Singh and Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav in western UP took such a beautiful shape that the BJP’s “Kamal” went down in the entire western UP.

The Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal alliance stunned the BJP by grabbing 14 seats out of 26 of the four divisions of Meerut, Moradabad, Agra and Bareilly. Candidates of the RLD won on three seats while the SP alone took over 11 seats.

The Congress could only get four while the SP and RLD alliance compelled BJP to limit itself to only six seats. An Independent, Harish Nagpal, won from Amroha while the BSP had to remain satisfy with the lone seat of the Meerut-Mawana constituency.

The BJP suffered huge losses in western UP while Harish Nagpal from Amroha turned upside down all equations in the area by defeating several stalwarts.

The SP and RLD alliance gained four seats this time in western UP. The BSP lost one and the BJP two seats. The Congress got four seats this time also. This time only one Independent candidate won from Amroha while two Independents won last time.

In the 1999 Lok Sabha elections the BJP won from Bulandshahr, Khurja, Hapur, Bijnore, Bareilly, Aligarh, Mathras and Mathura seats. Mrs Maneka Gandhi from Pilibhit and Mr Chandra Vijay Singh from Moradabad won with BJP support. This time both contested on the BJP ticket but the Moradabad seat was lost. This time the BJP also lost Hapur-Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Mathura and Bijnore. This time the Congress won Hapur, Mathura and Aligarh while the RLD won Bijnore.

In the last election the Samajwadi Party won Aola, Badaun, Sambhal, Agra, Etab-Ferozabad, Maenpuri and Jalesor seats. This time the SP won four new seats, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Rampur and Moradabad. In the last general election the Congress won Rampur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Sahajahanpur.

This time the Congress lost three except Sahajahanpur where Jitendra Prasad’s son Jitin Prasad won while the Congress won three new seats, Hapur, Aligarh and Mathura. Last time, the RLD only won from two, Baghpat and Kairana. This time they added another one, Bijnore. The BSP last time won Saharanpur and Amroha and lost both seats this time while it won only the Meerut-Mawana seat.

If we look at things division wise the SP got two of Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar, the RLD got Baghpat and Kairana, the BJP got Bulandshahar and Khurja, the Congress got Hapur-Ghaziabad while the BSP won the Meerut-Mawana seat of Meerut division. In Moradabad division the SP got three, Sambhal, Moradabad and Rampur, the RLD got Bijnore while an Independent won from Amroha. In Bareilly division the BJP won Aonla, Bareilly and Pilibhit. The Congress got Sahjahanpur and the SP got the Badaun seat. While in Agra Division the SP got five seats, Agra, Etab, Mainpuri, Ferozabad and Jaleshar, the Congress got Mathura and Aligarh while the BJP limited itself to one seat, Hathras.

If we look at the partywise position the SP got the maximum five seats in Agra, three seats in Moradabad, two in Meerut, while one in Bareilly division. The BJP got maximum three in Bareilly, two in Meerut, only one in Agra. The Congress won two in Agra and only one each in Meerut and Bareilly divisions. The RLD got two in Meerut and one in Moradabad division.

The BSP could not get a single seat in Bareilly, Agra and Moradabad divisions and got only one
Meerut-Mawana in Meerut despite playing the Dalit-Muslim card in western UP.


Not forming an alliance cost INLD, BJP dearly
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
Though many reasons are being given for the rout of non-Congress parties, mainly the INLD, the BJP and the HVP, in the concluded Lok Sabha poll in the state but according to discussions with prominent citizens from various sections of society the lack of initiative on the part of the leaders of these parties to form an alliance was the major factor for the defeats of their party candidates.

“Had there been any alliance between the INLD and the BJP or the HVP and the BJP the results could have been different. The leaders of these parties forgot to take lessons from the results of the 1991 Lok Sabha elections when all parties contested on their own and gave all seats to the Congress, remarked some senior members of the Bar Council, leaders of the INLD, the HVP and the BJP and retired officers of the state government while talking to NCR Tribune on Friday.

A number of BJP and HVP activists on condition of anonymity pointed out that the voters sympathetic to the HVP and BJP believed up to the last minute that there would be an alliance between the BJP and the HVP but the HVP supremo remained adamant on contesting independently and both the parties suffered humiliating defeats.

Bar Council members attributed the defeat of the INLD to many factors, including non-redressal of public grievances at the local level, scant regard for the MLAs in the administration, free hand to the police in the administration and imposition of heavy taxes on business community. “Though the Chautala government completed a record number of development works mainly under the Haryana Rural Development Fund schemes but it could not overcome the other negative factors,” said a former Bar Council president, adding that the Chief Minister could not get proper feedback of the public sentiments on his style of functioning.

A former INLD leader who has recently switched over to the BJP said the CM visited every village under his “sarkar aap ke dwar” programme but the administration hardly allowed the public to express their views in these programmes. “ Grievances were listened to but not redressed,” he added.


Ten of 13 women candidates forfeited security
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
A total of 13 women candidates jumped into fray to try their luck in parliamentary elections from different constituencies in the capital. While 10 forfeited their security, only one managed to win from the Karol Bagh reserved constituency. Sadar Bazar is the only constituency in the national Capital from where no woman contested the elections.

The national Capital consists of seven parliamentary constituencies and Outer Delhi, from where Sajjan Kumar emerged victorious, is the largest one.

Surprising majority of the women tried their luck from the Jat and Gujjar dominated area. Of them, Amarjeet Kaur secured maximum votes, 3,772; Swati Bhatnagar, 2,644; Sushma, 1,459; and Kesar secured only 513 votes.

Three women contested from Karol Bagh – Krishna Teerath from Congress, Anita Arya from BJP and Saroj filed her nomination as an independent candidate. Krishna Teerath won the election while Saroj secured only 987 votes.

Two women, Vimla Joshi and Dr Nina Dey Gupta- tried their luck from the New Delhi constituency, from where Ajay Maken won the election. Vimla was polled only 107 votes and Nina 125. In the beginning, it appeared that the BJP candidate, who was sitting MP from the area, Mr Jagmohan, was a strong candidate. But the election result surprised everyone. The clean image of the Congress candidates played a positive role.

Of the seven parliamentary constituencies, South Delhi is the only seat that went to the BJP. Two women also filed their nominations from South. Of them, Kalpana Chuadhary secured 372 and Sumitra Kundo 412 votes. Satya Rani was the only woman candidate who fought from East Delhi and she was polled 131 votes.

The most famous of the women candidate, Smriti Irani, was from Chandni Chowk, who fought the election on BJP ticket, too did not manage to win majority voters. Her rival, Congress candidate, Kapil Sibbal won the election with heavy margin.

A total of 116 men jumped into the fray to try their luck. Barring five party candidates, all forfeited their security.


Arunachal Pradesh children on National Integration Tour
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
Enthusiastic about their new role as agents of goodwill and national integration, a group of 15 children from the Upper Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh are presently on an Army-sponsored National Integration Tour, which will take them to various parts of the country.

An Army spokesperson said here, the aim of the 30-day tour is to create goodwill amongst the youth of the remote Tuting Subdivision of the northeastern state, enhance their national awareness, and motivate them to join the Army. The children will visit, among other places, Delhi, Agra and Kolkata during the tour.

The youngsters today called on Lt Gen Shantonu Chowdhury, Vice Chief of the Army Staff, here. Tuting is the remotest subdivision of Upper Siang District in Arunachal Pradesh. It has a mixed tribal population, the Adis and the Buddhists, of approximately 6,000. The local populace assist the Army as porters and guides during patrolling of difficult stretches in this area.

The spokesperson said the cordial relationship with the troops posted at Tuting has created a strong bond of friendship and goodwill. The local youth hold the Army in high esteem and often express their desire to know more about the Army.

Looking forward to being assimilated into the national mainstream, the youth often express their inquisitiveness about the life in the country beyond their state, about journey in a train, about the national Capital and a glimpse of the ocean. The inter- actions with these children motivated the Army Brigade to conduct an educational tour for the youth.

The spokesperson said the National Integration Tour for the youth of Tuting was expected to go a long way in creating goodwill and harmony between the Army and the people of one of the remotest areas of the country besides assisting in motivating the youth of the region to join the Army.


Gambling, a major social problem in Sonepat
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
With the trade of gambling and betting flourishing in Sonepat, many, particularly from the lower segments for the society, are becoming paupers.

Though most of those admit that lottery, whether by the government or private parties, is only a pipe dream, the number of those getting in to this trap is increasing daily.

Not only the working class, even housewives and school goers throng to buy lottery tickets and then minutely scan the numbers from newspapers and draw sheets, dished out every day.

Several shops scattered in different parts of the cities and towns have mushroomed to sell “dreams that inevitably go sour”.

It is a big business for the government, private lottery sellers and their agents, but a loss for all those who buy.

The new scheme of daily lottery, has managed to hook more people than ever.

Lottery business which is becoming brisker day by day, may augur well for those in the trade, but, to the discomfiture of the local police, the practice is threatening to become a menace as it casts its evil spell on some of the greenhorns who are on look out for quick buck.

The sad fact is that these newcomers in this arena, who gradually become die-hard gambling addicts and consequently ruin themselves, comprise mostly the poor rickshaw-pullers, labourers and school children.

No wonder the lottery stalls remain cramped, busy places thronged by such ready customers.

The police attribute the growing popularity of the trade to the disquieting fact that certain illegal activities are being carried out in the garb of the lottery business in the city.

The most popular lottery for this kind of activity is the single digit wherein the result is declared by the end of the day.

According to sources, certain lotteries, which were not authorised to be sold in the city, as the states running them were not paying any tax to the state government, were also being sold.

The areas where lottery trade is flourishing are Model Town, railway road, Sarang Road bus stand, Sector 14 and almost all other colonies in the city.

According to information, the daily trading in the lottery business in the city is worth several lakhs of rupees.

The state government has, however, not imposed any ban on daily lotteries.

Since it seemed easy money as one could get a prize if the last digit of one’s ticket number tallied with the drawn number, even school children get addicted. The daily lottery replaced satta gambling.


Villages facing drought-like conditions
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
A long dry spell, dry canals and non-availability of sufficient power to tubewells have created drought-like conditions in many villages of this district, particularly in the Khadar tract along the Yamuna river.

According to a report, the supply of water through the canals has also not been regular. Notwithstanding the high cost of operating a diesel pump, a large number of farmers are using these pumps to irrigate their fields in view of the erratic power supply to the tubewells.

The erratic power supply has adversely affected sowing of the Kharif crops, including paddy in the district. The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has given an assurance that tubewells in the rural areas would be supplied power for 10 hours daily.

However, the farmers complain of frequent trippings, unscheduled and unorganised power cuts and breakdowns, on account of which the tubewells get electricity for only three to four hours in a day, which is insufficient.

According to many farmers, it has become necessary for every paddy grower to maintain a diesel pump as a standby during the Kharif season. This has added to their expenses.

Meanwhile, a large number of ponds in the villages falling under the jurisdiction of the Rai Water Service Division had gone dry and the officials had failed to fill them with canal water. Even the water tank in the Motilal Nehru School of Sports at Rai has always remained empty, causing shortage of drinking water in this institution.

The students had brought up this issue several times, but to no effect.


search within
Find your joy in the here and now

You must have by now become familiar with the usage of a term now in common use: the “now generation.” It is meant to point to the instant satisfaction that the youth look forward to and to their impatience with any delay in the path of realizing their goal of enjoyment. Something akin to readymade mixes with which you make edibles with the least time and effort. Instant two-minute noodles for example.

We are all aware that the term has a meaning critical of the “instant” pleasure seekers. It is generally the contention of our elders that all good things take time and efforts. “Rome was not built in a day!”

But there is a sense—more than one—in which the “now generation” is perfectly right. That is a right attitude to take when it comes to attending to things of immediate importance. There are those who are not capable of making a “stitch in time” and keep losing opportunities because they postpone everything for the morrow. This habit is called “procrastination.” In the case of youngsters and others engaged in enterprises in which success is vital, there is nothing more lethal than the habit of procrastination.

The student who is habituated to postponing his study to the eve of the examination, the businessman who disappoints the customer repeatedly by asking for more time to fulfill a commitment, the job seeker who turns up late for the interview are all perfect examples of failure.

The habit of postponing things for the morrow could be an indication of a lack of courage to act or an inclination to evade responsibility.

They often end up paying a heavy price for their delayed responses.

This is one of the pitfalls in character we must guard against constantly. “Do it here and now” should be our slogan. If you love someone, now is the time to show it. Conversely if some relationship is hurting; if you are at odds with someone now is the time to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. If you want to make this world a better place, now is the time to act. Right now, while you have life in your body, you must set right all relationships and make a difference in this world. You only live once and you cannot be sure of the morrow. Today is the day of salvation, tomorrow is not guaranteed.

“If a man is lazy, the rafters sag; if his hands are idle, the house leaks.” If you are too lazy to work on things that need attention, your house starts to fall apart. And ‘indifference’ to matters of human relationship cause damage to friendships and family. If you are wise, you will attend to problems as they arise and seek to solve them while they are still small. If you are foolish, you will say, “It is no big deal. I can attend to it leisurely!’’ And before you know it, things are sagging, leaking and collapsing around you.

There is another sense in which people try to postpone “living.” The grass is greener always on the other side. Why does it often look so much more appealing to be in some other situation than the one you are in? One of the surest ways to miss out on happiness is to be so busy looking across the fence at unreal fantasies that you never enjoy what is right under your nose.

For some of us, looking to the future ignoring the present, has become second nature. We are always waiting for some future event to make us happy.

For instance when we were students we thought life would be better once we settle on a good job after graduation. This train of thoughts run something like this piece received through Internet:

“We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another, get a new job, get a new house. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now! If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with... And remember that time waits for no one! So, stop waiting…until your car or home is paid off ...until you get a new car or a new job ...until you go back to school ...until you lose ten pounds ...until you gain ten pounds ...until you finish school ...until you get married ...until you get a divorce ...until you have kids ...until your kids leave the house ...until you retire .’’ Practical wisdom? It is also the spiritual truth. When you retire, you will be challenged by health problems. You would be attending more funerals of friends and relatives. Instead of waiting for the future, you will be looking back to “good old days.” You may even long for the thrill of first love allover again. You may long to be on the job again instead of being “retired and useless.”

The fact is that life consists in enjoying the present—the here and now. And happiness should come from within and regardless of circumstances.

Neither looking ahead nor looking back is the answer. But looking up to God, making the best use of the present opportunity. Use your time really to live, doing to the best of your ability “what your hands find to do.”

M.P.K. Kutty


Man gets 11 years’ RI for possessing charas
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
The Additional Session Judge of Sonepat, Mr Dharamvir Singh, yesterday convicted an accused, Rajbir, of Rajlu Garhi village under the NDPS Act and sentenced him to undergo 11 years’ rigorous imprisonment with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. In case of default of payment of fine he was to undergo further 14 months’ rigorous imprisonment for possessing contraband charas.

According to the prosecution story, the officials of the special police staff were on patrolling duty near Rajlu Garhi village on September 6 last year when the accused was spotted with a bag. On seeing the police he tried to escape but was overpowered. During the search operation, the police seized 2.5 kg contraband charas from his possession and arrested him consequently. A case under the NDPS Act was registered against him and the police had sent the challan to the court.

UHBVN employee thrashed

Mr Balraj Singh, an employee of the Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam, was beaten up by a son of the sarpanch at Bhatgaon village, about 15 km from here, on Friday night.

The injured employee was rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment and police investigations were in progress. However, no arrest has been made in this connection. It is stated that the employee was alone in the powerhouse when the son of the sarpanch arrived with a complaint. When the employee declined to accompany him the sarpanch’s son became furious and started beating him.

Sleepwalker falls from roof

A youth, Munna Lal, was seriously injured when he fell down from the roof of his house in Govind Nagar here on Friday night.

The injured youth was immediately hospitalised and stated to be in a serious condition as he sustained head injuries and his one foot was fractured. It is stated that he was in the habit of sleepwalking. This was the main cause of the incident.



Phones go dead as cables cut
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 15
A large number of telephones went dead during the digging of earth by the employees of the PWD (B and R) for the construction of a nullah at Thana Kalan and Thana Khurd villages, about 16 km from here, on Saturday.

The telephone cables were cut during the digging operations and the telephones went dead on account of this.

The telephone subscribers have approached the officials of the BSNL for the repair of cables and the restoration of telephone services in both the villages.

SP given memo on assault

Resident of Gamri village on Saturday submitted a memorandum to the Superintendent of Police demanding immediate arrest of the culprits allegedly involved in the case of a murderous assault on a youth, Ramesh, of the same village on April 29 last.

Ramesh was assaulted by some youths with knives and he sustained multiple injuries during the attack.

The residents alleged the Baroda police had failed to apprehend the culprits so far.


Father-son duo held for plotting murder
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 15
The Greater Noida police have arrested Nizam, alias Munim, and his son Sajad for planning the murder of Nizam’s former business partner and scrap contractor of LG Company, Farman Ali.

The father-son duo had hatched a plan for Farman’s murder and given a contract for Rs 5 lakh to Bulandshahr’s dreaded criminal, Hanif, for Farman’s murder.

The SO of Surajpur police station, Mr Sher Bahadur Singh, learnt that Nizam and his son Sajad, who had planned Farman’s murder were visiting the New Holland factory. The police nabbed the father-son in a quick operation. They confessed during police interrogation that they had indeed given the contract to dreaded criminal Hanif for the murder of Farman Ali.

Hanif was killed in a police encounter in the Greater Noida area recently.

Farman and Nizam, who were related, were business partners initially but later Farman had set up his own business separately. It is learnt that though all business was in Nizam’s name it was practically handled by Farman who gradually started calling the shots. Nizam found this too much to tolerate.

As the scrap contract for 2005 was about to be given, Nizam thought of eliminating Farman because with Farman present on the scene Nizam could never hope to wrest the contract.

Farman’s neighbour, Irshad, was also roped in the conspiracy to murder Farman. Hanif was contacted by Nizam through Irshad and given a contract of Rs 5 lakh to murder Farman. Irshad had delivered an advance of Rs 1 lakh to Hanif.

Hanif had then along with his companions shot Farman dead in a hail of bullets near a container depot on April 24 . 


Two thieves lynched
Parmindar Singh

Ghaziabad, May 15
Two thieves who had entered a house in Sonia Nagar under Loni police station were beaten to death by the residents. Their four accomplices managed to escape in the darkness.

The house owner Manoj had gone to Etava to attend the wedding of a relative.

In the dead of night, six thieves tried to enter his house by breaking the lock on the front door, but Manoj had locked the house from inside also which the intruders could not break open. They then tried to enter by using the terrace of neighbours.

As four bandits started collecting the valuables, two kept a watch from the terrace. Due to commotion, one of the neighbours woke up. Finding strangers on the terrace, he raised the alarm. Seeing the crowd collecting outside, those inside the house somehow escaped while those on the terrace jumped down on the rear side of the terrace and got stuck in the mud in a pond at the back of Manoj’s house. They were pulled out of the pond and given a sound thrashing.

Soon the police arrived on the spot and took the badly injured thieves to the hospital, where they were declared brought dead.


Two held for making duplicate soft drinks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 15
The North-East district today claimed to have arrested two persons who were involved in the manufacturing of duplicate soft drinks in the Shadatpur Extension in Khajuri Khas.

The accused persons were identified as Sonu (20), resident of Loni, Ghaziabad, and Sanjay (20), resident of
Sunder Nagari. However, their employer, Subhash (25) has been absconding and efforts were being made to
trace him.

The police received secret information that some persons were involved in the manufacture of duplicate soft drinks in A-11, Gali No 1 in Shadatpur Extension and accordingly a raid was conducted by Sub-Inspector K B Shah, J P Meena under the supervision of SHO Khajuri Khas, HSP Meena.

During the raid the police seized 20 cartons of filled Pepsi bottles and four cartons of filled Miranda bottles of 250 ml along with 21 empty bottles of Pepsi bottles and two cartons of Miranda bottles of 350 ml from the hideout.

The police also seized soda water machines along with other equipment used to manufacture duplicate soft drinks allegedly prepared by using hand pump water, said the police.

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