C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Tiny tots promote blood donation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Commitment to a cause finds its own ways to manifest itself. How else would one explain a gathering of 50 children and double the number of parents participating wholeheartedly in an event meant to stress blood donation.

The function was routine but its theme was rare. As the UT Blood Bank Society teamed up with the management of Aashiana School in Sector 9 to sensitise kids on blood donation, what resulted was a morning of colour, enthusiasm and purpose. During a fancy dress contest, children came dressed in the most impressive attires, as the most interesting people -- sometimes as Sonia Gandhi ready to abdicate the PM's Chair against a promise of blood donation from people; sometimes as the bottle of blood that boasts how it saved four lives; sometimes as an angel rallying for blood donation, and sometimes as the needy parent of a critically ill child in need of blood.

More than a contest, the event shaped as a campaign for blood donation. As Ms Kanta Saroop Krishen, honorary secretary, Blood Bank Society, admitted, “The act of donating blood has everything to do with motivation.

We have a set of committed donors, but that should not make us complacent about things. There is always a shortage of blood, as also motivation to donate it. So we decided to tap kids, prepare them for a future wherein instead of feeling scared about blood donation, they feel responsible for the cause.”

For children, the day was all about fun. But even in the act of play they mentioned blood donation repeatedly on stage as well as off stage.

When the girl dressed as Sonia Gandhi said she was ready to leave her seat if people were ready to donate blood, she did realise that blood donation was a generous act, and hence worth imitation. Likewise, other students acted as voluntary donors and listed the merits of blood donation.

With every child vying for attention, the panel of judges, comprising Ms Adity Dua, former Executive Vice- President, ITC, Ms Bonny Sodhi, Vice- President, Youth Technical Training Society (YTTS), and Ms Satinder Dhillon, Principal, Dev Samaj College of Education, had a difficult time short listing the 10 final winners. In fact, by presenting candies and gifts to all participants, the organisers ensured that every child felt like a winner.

Naturally impressed with the show, Ms Shobha Verma, First Lady of Punjab, lauded the Blood Bank Society for its unstinted efforts in the direction of blood donation. She appreciated the concept of tapping the kids young so that they grow to become sensitive and sensible citizens of tomorrow.

The 10 winners were Inayat Sodhi, Rishabh Sharda, Syna Sood, Simran, Dewang, Suhana, Parth Bawa, Kudrat, Geetansh Bajaj and Suman Choudhary.


Summer workshops aplenty for kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Star kids summer camps, Sector 8, are starting two batches, from May 24 to June 4 and from June 7 to 18, for children in the age group of 3 to 16 years. For children in the age group of 3 to 6 years, there will be Vibgyor, for 7 to 10 years of age, there will be Headstart and for 11 to 16 years of age, there will be Endeavour.

A combination of art and craft activities, along with grooming and personality development exercises, will give opportunities to the participants to express themselves.

Story-writing session, dramatic presentation, dance steps, crafting magical figurines and amateur stained glass painting will be among the activities at the camp.

The Durga Dass Foundation has tied up with Shiamak Davar’s Institute for Performing Arts to conduct a summer programme from June 1 to 15. The programme will offer physical activities through dance and creative crafts.

A four-week summer camp-cum-theatre workshop has started at Sanjivni Preparatory School and Day Care Centre, Sector 11. Ms Asha Saklani, creative art teacher, says the main focus of the workshop is to provide the students with some recreation and relaxation from the summer holiday homework.

The True Success Orientation Forum, will organise a workshop for students of Classes X, XI and XII to help them assess their strengths and weaknesses. The workshop will be held at Hotel Maya Palace, Sector 35, from June 8.

At Rajasthan Bhavan, Sector 33, the Rajasthan Parishad will organise a summer camp from May 19 to June 26. The participants in the age group of 5 to 15 years will be trained in music, theatre, dance, painting, art and craft, personality development and English speaking.

At Blue Bird Model School, students celebrated Mickey Mouse’s birthday on Friday. Students dressed in red party dresses, celebrated the function with balloons and buntings.


PU entrance tests on May 25
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Panjab University will conduct the entrance test for admission to B.Sc. (Hons.), five-year B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) integrated course, M.B.B.S., B.A.M.S. and B.H.M.S. courses for 2004-2005 on May 25. Twentyfive centres have been set up in the city for 6000 candidates. The candidates will be searched before and after the examination and they will not be allowed to carry cellphones and any other electronic gadget in the examination centre.

Although the candidates have been supplied every document and information pertaining to this test, in case of any difficulty they may contact the university old enquiry (opposite university guest house) in person or on telephone 2534829 and 2534885 on May 24 between 9 a.m. and 5.00 p.m., according to the Controller of Examinations, Panjab University.

Donated: Dr Harvansh Singh Judge, an NRI from Canada, who has donated Rs 2 crore to Panjab University for the construction of the Dr Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences at Panjab University, has now willed his entire property to the university. Dr Judge has executed his will in favour of Panjab University for movable and immovable assets in India as well as in Canada.

Clarified: Referring to the report on “All media attention on Economics Dept”, Prof A.C. Julka has said that he only had an informal chat with Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister, when he visited the department in connection with a seminar in 2002. “I had stated that I was touched by his concern for high academic standards when he mentioned that he along with Prof S.B. Rangnekar, was instrumental in getting the honours school in economics started in the department. However, the statement that had Dr Singh not been rejected for professorship, he would not have ventured beyond the gates of the university was wrongly attributed to me,” he clarified.


Admission to evening studies open to all
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
Panjab University has decided to open admission to all candidates in its Department of Evening Studies (DES), irrespective of whether they are working or not, in violation of its own calendar rules.

The opening of admission was allowed in the last meeting of the Syndicate following “recommendations” of a committee, constituted to give its decision on the affidavit to be furnished by students in private employment at the time of admission to the DES.

The decision of the Syndicate is in direct contradiction with the PU Calendar regulations pertaining to admission in the DES. Volume I of Calendar states, “Evening classes would be allowed only for pre-university (arts and science), BA, B.Sc, B.Com, MA, degree and diploma classes in vocational subjects to those employed in government service, in any service or private business, those working on agricultural farms and women.” This rule clearly implies that admission in the DES will be only given to students who are employed or are women.

Also, if the Syndicate does decide to amend an existing rule, a proper procedure would have to be followed and the amended regulation would come into effect from the date of its publication in the gazette unless any other date is named therein.

In the case of opening admissions to the DES, this was neither followed nor looked into by the university authorities, if they were seeking an approval from the Syndicate on the amendment of the existing regulation.

Interestingly, the committee, under the chairmanship of the Dean University Instruction (DUI), Prof S.K. Sharma, too, had not recommended the opening of admissions to the department. Instead, it was recommended that the conditions for eligibility should be strictly followed in case of DES students.

The committee had suggested that those employed in government service should get a certificate from their employer while legal opinion be sought to define “employed in any other service”, “in private business” and “working on agricultural farms”. The Vice-Chancellor was authorised to take the final decision.

However, the item that was presented before the Syndicate said the present rules were vague and anybody in any profession could get admission to the DES. The Syndicate was asked to decide whether admission should be kept open or restricted to the bonafide employees only, implying thereby that the initial question of specifying the certifying authority in the cases was never discussed.

When contacted, Mr G.K. Chatrath, member of the Syndicate which passed the item, admitted that recommendations which came to the Syndicate for approval were usually dealt with casually and passed. “The Syndicate could not have given its nod to opening admissions. All it could have done was accepted certificates of employment from any and every authority. We cannot over-ride the regulation in the university calendar,” he said.

A part of the committee which gave its recommendations on the affidavit to be furnished by employees, Prof M.R. Aggarwal, said, “We had sought a legal opinion in the matter. Whether or not it was taken is not known to me. All I know is that the Syndicate has approved it. Though it is in violation of the regulation, the decision is in the interest of the students.”

‘The Senate, let alone the Syndicate, does not have the power to take any decision in violation of the university regulations. Such a decision is bound to affect the rights of those employees for whom this facility of the DES was provided,” Senator Ashok Goyal said.

The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. KN Pathak, was not available for comment.


Shemrock students to go on trek
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 22
Students of Shemrock Senior Secondary School, Sector 69, here will be sending more than 20 students for trekking to the Solang valley in Manali in association with the Haryana Tourism Department.

The school Principal, Air Commodore S.K. Sharma (retd), said tours and treks were compulsory activity for students of class VI and optional for class V. “Last year students had gone on a five-day our to Delhi, Mathura and Agra. On the way they had visited Panipat and Kurukshetra,” he said.

Tours and treks were an important part of education, which should be aimed at developing a complete personality, Mr Sharma added. 


Thematic show by students
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 22
Students of Anee’s School, Sector 69, here put up a thematic show on various topics before breaking up for the summer vacations from tomorrow.

Every student dressed in summer-related costumes, came on the stage and spoke. They also showcased themes from the toon world, birds and the human body.

Volunteers from HelpAge India spoke to the parents. Art and craft models were put on display.


Students try hand at computers
Our Correspondent

Panchkula, May 22
Students of DAV Senior Public School, Surajpur, took part in various workshops on dance, computer, music, karate, etc, on the fourth day of ‘Sukriti-2004, a summer camp, today.

The students were given tips on disco and bhangra. They also tried their hand at computers. They were introduced to Power Point, MS Word and Tele-package.


Hamara School
A school that provides quality education

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 47-D, Chandigarh, was established in 1981. Initially, it was started as a primary school, but gradually upgraded to middle, secondary and then to senior secondary in 1990. Earlier it was ordinary school, but for the last four years it has been raised to the status of model Category by the education department, Chandigarh (UT).


It is a co-educational institution affiliated to CBSE. It has been serving with the motto — “Quality education to the masses”. It aims at the all round development of the children.

Building and classrooms

The school compound covers quite a large area. The well constructed school building is airy and spacious with its two floors. There are well furnished 47 classrooms. It also includes well equipped Home Science lab, Science lab, Fashion Designing Lab, Music room, Computer Lab, Sports Complex, lecture halls etc. For tiny tots, pre-nursery and nursery classrooms are beautifully decorated.


‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’, keeping this in mind the school provides a pleasant atmosphere. it is surrounded by shady trees with beautiful lawns.


We have about 1450 students enrolled for the academic session 2004-05 who are taught by well qualified, trained and experienced teachers. Under the able guidance of the present Principal of the school Mrs H.K. Bhatia, the school is scaling new heights in different fields.


The school provides ample opportunities to children of the economically weaker section of society to shape up their future accordingly and face the challenges of this competitives world.

Academic distinctions

In academic fields, our school has been showing excellent results for the last many years. In 2001-02 our middle examination result was just 72.4% and there was a drastic jump of result to 89.47% in 2002-03. For the academic session 2003-04, Middle Standard Examinations, conducted by the UT Chandigarh board, we have 100 per cent result in the Model Section and 91.7 per cent in the ordinary section which is far better than board’s percentage of 89.19 per cent and 66 per cent, respectively.

This hilarious achievement is the result of continuous efforts and guidance of the Principal shown good result in the last session.


Principal Speak
Believe in yourself and in everything you do!

“To achieve something worthwhile it is essential to believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! In fact, with sound self confidence you can succeed. A teacher with devotion, dedication and determination can be successful in achieving a lot. For a teacher, children are the raw material and he has to make them better youth and human beings. he has to impart intellectual, mental and physical training aiming at all round development of a child. Bookish knowledge is not enough, a teacher should teach him the oral values of life which can make him happy and successful. School arranges debates, quizzing, painting and cultural competitions along with other activities like NSS, NCC, Scouts and Guides and gardening. I am of the firm view that the teacher in association with the parents and society can play an important role in shaping the personality and building the character of a child”.


From Schools
Tiny tots compete in poetry recitation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
A poetry recitation competition was organised for students of pre-nursery to KG in Sharda Sarvhitkari School, Sector 40, here. As many as 25 students participated. The students who stood first, second and third were Muskan, Himasnhu and Srijeet, respectively. Principal B.S. Kanwar said a special prize had been given to Shivani.

Fancy dress: A fancy dress competition was held for students of the nursery class at Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary school, Sector 22, here on Saturday. The tiny tots attired in their best sashayed down the ramp. Principal Amita Khorana encouraged the students on the occasion.

Examination: As many as 388 candidates appeared in the class I, II, and III conducted by Government High School, Colony No.4, Industrial Area, under the Adult Education Programme.

Exhibition: Students of JB Modern Public School organised a flower arrangement, art and craft exhibition. Students from nursery to class V participated.

Nature week: Stepping Stones School, Sector 38, organised a nature week to make students aware of the increasing threat to nature. Dr Alok Srivastva of the Department of Chemistry, Panjab University, spoke on the role of man in conserving nature. Competitions in poetry, collage-making, extempore speech, finger puppet making and drawing were conducted.

Summer camp: MJS Ramagrhia Public School is organising a training programme for its students from May 24 to June 13. Children in the age group of 5 to 15 can participate. Activities like folk, classical and western dances, soft-toy making, fabric painting, glass painting, oil painting, pot making and English speaking would be covered.


Engineering college

Chandigarh, May 22
The Desh Bhagat group of institutes is opening an engineering college, a B.Ed college and a nursing college in Punjab from this academic year.

According to Dr Zora Singh, Chairman of the group, the All-India Council for Technical Education, has granted approval for the institutions in Mandi Gobindgarh. — TNS


Film Review
Ratnam magic missing
Rama Sharma

This one lacks Mani Ratnam’s flavour of freshness. He spins a tale of three youths to express his optimism about cleaning dirty politics.

Shot in Kolkata, ‘Yuva’ is tinged with an anti-Communist complexion. His call to the youth to do their needful is heartening. They can clean up the system if they want to. The message is near-perfect. But the screenplay is not.

Abhishek Bachchan plays a goon of a minister. He intensely loves his wife (Rani Mukherjee), but switches over to the other extreme of animal instinct in no time. He lacks that raw energy and urgently needs some fine-tuning.

Though the focus is on Abhishek, it is the student leader Ajay Devgun who steals the show. He displays the innate ability to act.

Vivek Oberoi is a streetsmart Romeo who is sucked into the vortex, courtesy an accident on Second Hooghly Bridge. He keeps his promise of a first-class catalyst.

Rani Mukherjee, with her spontaneity, stands head and shoulders above Esha Deol and Kareena Kapoor. A.R. Rahman’s exuberant strains and excellent picturisation of song sequences are not enough to redeem the average plot. The maze of three couples has seemingly polished off the Ratnam effect. TNS


Exquisite Awadhi embroidery is here

Chandigarh, May 22
Awadhi embroidery— chikankari and aari zardozi - are out to woo you. The exquisite embroidery in stitched and unstitched fabric has been brought to town by Riwaz, the fashion house of a Lucknow-based fashion design institute.

On display are exquisitely embroidered chikankari suits, fabrics, sarees, and kurtis. The intricate aari zardozi work on sarees, suit materials and lehngas are also on display at the two- day exhibition.

These creations have been given shape by the students of DIVA — Institute of Fashion Designing and Creative Arts, Lucknow. Their designs have been given shape at Riwaz, being run by the husband-wife duo of Sunny and Monica Malik.

These are available in varied hues, and in fabrics like jute, voil, crepe, chiffon and georgettes. Price range from Rs 600 to Rs 11,000. Kurtis are available for Rs 170 onwards. TNS


Godmen’s hold over people tight as ever
Ruchika M. Khanna

It’s a social paradox. People of the most modern city of the country believe in the most primitive of rituals. Warding off evil spirits through black magic, astrologers and palmists, coercing their disciples for various rituals, or the godmen frequenting the city and its satellite townships are proof of the residents’ growing quest for the unknown.

On any Saturday, one can find a steady stream of people queue along the old Ghaggar bridge to throw black grams, coconuts or lead in the water. Or one can find rubber slippers lying upside down at various crossings. The “Shani Dev”, men dressed in white, are much sought after on Saturdays, as people donate mustard oil after seeing their reflection in the oil, with some coins to ward off the eye of the Saturn.

But the city turns back in time not just on Saturdays, but on other days too. Often one can find lemons or iron locks lying in the centre of various crossings, and if one’s vehicle was to pass over these, they rush to an astrologer seeking divine intervention for having taken upon oneself somebody else’s misfortunes.

As if these were not enough, the city residents today began queuing outside the Baba Pir Sakhi Sarwar “dargah” for a divine experience of a different kind. A three-year-old boy, who is projected as the reincarnation of Lord Hanuman, was reportedly in town, blessing childless couples, children whose board results are awaited, businessmen who have suffered losses or anybody who had a sob story to offer and needed “divine intervention”. As they touched the toddler’s feet, the latter blessed them murmuring “Jai Shri Ram” to his “followers”.

And the boy’s claim to be a reincarnation of Lord Hanuman? He has a seven-inch-long tail, rounded feet, and a mark on the left arm, as if the arm had been tied by something. Says the boy’s maternal grandfather, Iqbal Qureshi: “When he was born to my daughter, Salma, the midwife had told us that he was a reincarnation of Lord Hanuman and had a small tail like the Hindu God. He had a mark on the arm, as if he had been wearing armlet like the Lord, and his left foot bore a mark, as if it was hit by an arrow, just like Lord Hanuman had after He was hit with an arrow by Bharat. We are Muslims and are not conversant with the Hindu mythology, but the midwife told about the reincarnation of Lord Hanuman to everybody in our village, Nabipur, near Fatehgarh Sahib.”

Since then, there has been no looking back for the family of Bajrang Bali, alias Balaji. His father expired two years ago and mother and elder brother Mani live with Balaji’s paternal grandparents, while Qureshi has taken charge of the boy. In fact, a dera has been opened by the Qureshis in the village and followers of Lord Hanuman throng the dera every Tuesday with offerings of orange clothes, fruits, sweets and of course cash.

Even today, as the city residents flocked to the “dargah”, they cajoled the toddler to bless them, as Qureshi narrated incidents where Balaji’s blessings had helped tide away people’s problems. We asked him the success rate of Balaji’s blessings and Qureshi puts the figure at 10 per cent. “But Balaji is young, as he grows older his predictions will get more accurate,” he adds, even as the followers stare at you for offending their religious feelings by asking such a question and again chant “Jai Shri Ram”.


Police bands perform in Sector 17

Saturday shoppers in Sector 17 had a musical experience of a different kind. Sounds of music from the pipe and brass bands of the Chandigarh police filled the air during a cultural bonanza organised by the Department of Tourism, Chandigarh Administration, and Oasis Events.

The bands performed at the plaza for nearly an hour and enthralled the visitors with their melodious rhythms. The open-air concert, which also included performances by Faroj Khan and Bhupinder Babbal and dance performances by the Dazzle Dance Troupe, was well received.

These open concerts are being organised for enriching the quality of life in the city and to make weekends lively. The concerts began last Saturday.

Officials said efforts were being made for bands of the Punjab police, the Chandigarh police, the Haryana police, paramilitary forces and defence forces to perform during weekends at different locations of Chandigarh, subject to availability. The authorities concerned of various government agencies had been requested to spare their respective bands on Saturdays. — TNS


Husband’s ‘sahara’ fires Swapna’s pop ambition

The better half of Sahara supremo, Mr Subrata Roy, has certainly proved to be better... at least with her vocal chords. Swapna Roy is the latest entrant to the music world. Her beautiful voice and flawless singing in her debut album, “Kabhi.....”, which has the subtitle “Story of a Journey... Song of a Lifeline,” has received wide appreciation.

“This album is a tribute to my husband, Subrata Roy,” says the lady with a golden voice. Her co-singers in the album are Roop Kumar Rathod and Mohammad Salaamat. Swapna has rendered her voice to all the eight tracks composed by debutant music director Sanjeev Srivastava.

“The songs are such that it makes you feel good. Melody is the essence of the music here”, says Swapna Roy. Swapna never aspired to be a professional singer. “I loved melody and was content letting my family fulfil their dreams while I took care of them. Now, they decided to support me and gave me this launchpad,” says the quintessential Indian woman, who is also the head of Personnel and Welfare in Sahara India Parivar.

Swapna agrees that Indian youth is tune more into Western and Indian pop and less to our rich classical music. Yet, she insists that good music with classical touch will flourish. For now, it remains to be seen whether Swapna will make a dent in the highly cloned pop market. — TNS

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