L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Shina of Jagraon tops ten plus 2 exam
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Shimpa GargJagraon, June 19
Shina Singla of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School here has topped this year’s senior secondary examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board in the humanities faculty. She has scored 415 of 450 marks. Shimpa Garg of the same school has secured the third position by scoring 403 marks.

Both the girls had mathematics, Sanskrit and painting as elective subjects, while English and Punjabi were compulsory. Shimpa had taken economics as an additional subject.

Both girls belong to middle class families. Shina’s father Mahesh Singla is a trader. Shina said both her parents and the teachers provided her the much- needed moral support. Shina had secured the eighth position in the middle class board examination.

Except for mathematics, Shina did not take tuitions in any other subject. She felt confident with the subjects taught in school. She was grateful to her teachers and Principal Shashi Jain. Shina wants to become a mathematics teacher.

Shimpa wants to become an IAS officer. Her father Bharat Bhushan Garg is also a trader. He has been a constant support and inspiration. Mr Garg has himself been an economics student.

Shimpa said she has always been a hard worker but not a bookworm. Her interests are wide and varied as is clear from her choice of subjects: from literature (Sanskrit) to art (painting) and pure mathematics. Both the girls appear to be versatile in their interests and aptitude. And interestingly both are self-made and sufficiently self-confident.

Ms Jain is as excited as she should be. Her school is counted among the top schools in the entire district. But today’s honour was exclusive as the school had bagged two of the top three positions. She told Ludhiana Tribune that she already knew that Shina and Shimpa were all set to come out with flying colours.

As the news spread that two local girls had topped the senior secondary examination, friends, relatives and neighbours started pouring in. It was a celebration time at the houses of both girls, with streams of visitors coming in with sweets and flowers to congratulate them.

And for the parents of Shina and Shimpa, it is not just a moment of joy and jubilation, but a time to feel proud about their daughters. The two families have so many similarities. Both Mr Mahesh Singla and Mr Bharat Bhushan Garg do the same business. Both of them have two daughters and a son each. And interestingly, both Shina and Shimpa had the same subjects — English, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Mathematics and Painting.



Encroachment mafia thrives on GT Road 

A cluster of shanties in a public park along the GT Road, near sabzi mandi
A cluster of shanties in a public park along the GT Road, near sabzi mandi, in Ludhiana. — Photo by S. Ahmed

Ludhiana, June 19
Having devoured all available roadside space in the city long ago , the encroachment mafia is now gobbling up the vast roadside space between Chand Cinema and New Sabzi Mandi along the GT Road. Space on the footpath as well as along the road is being ‘allotted’ to roadside barbers, cycle mechanics and so on.

Since this stech of the GT Road passes through the Sabzi Mandi, some sellers of polythene carry-bags have fully occupied the footpath and are doing a brisk business. Apart from these bag sellers, a number of roadside barbers have put up huge colourful canopies on the footpath in such a manner that a pedestrian, ambling along the fast-moving national highway, has to tread on the road every now and then. Cycle mechanics and others have also appeared sporadically along the stretch occupying the footpath according to their convenience. They have converted it into a sort of pucca set-up.

With densely populated localities of Chhawni Mohalla and the Qilla Mohalla on one side and the vast Salem Tabri area and the Sabzi Mandi on the other side of the Buddha Nullah, this particular stretch of the National Highway is a potential roadside market in the making. It is only a matter of time before the wide highway becomes a narrow strip due to encroachments by roadside businessmen.

Soon these encroachers would form a union and chose their head who would be responsible for dealing with the tehbazari staff of the municipal corporation which is responsible for all roadside encroachments within the city limits. Encroachers pool money a major chunk of which is used to grease the palms of several dons of the encroachment mafia and officials and politicians.

Not only the footpath, public parks along the road have also been occupied partially by clusters of shanties built in one corner or the other. Several shanties have also come up in a long row along the outer wall of the park along the GT Road on the Jalandhar side of nullah. This park remains littered with garbage.

People opine that if the Municipal Corporation does not swing into action immediately, encroachments on the footpaths and public parks in the area would continue to rise.



Father’s Day lacks lustre
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, June 19
“He is: therefore I am. I feel a flow of warmth for my father, who patiently watched me grow along with my mistakes for being infinitely wise. He knew that one learns from one's mistakes and not by reprimands. Father I salute you; I am glad that the day is marked in your honour”, said 24-year-old Rajeev Singla , an exporter and gift shop owner.

His sentiments were not echoed by many children. In fact, Father’s Day has not raised much publicity. Even gift shops have mixed cards on Father’s Day with others. Rajeev says, “Father’s Day is not that popular. We think it is not commercially viable so the companies do not print a great variety of cards on Father’s Day. On the other hand, much before Mother’s Day, the advertisements appear in newspapers. Shops stock many gift articles which the youth can buy out of their own pocket money.”

Ludhiana Tribune spoke to Dr Ravinder Kala, a psychologist, to find the reason of this wide disparity. She said, “The bonding between a mother and children is definitely stronger. She brings up the children and hence emotions towards her are much more. The father is perceived just as a provider and an authoritarian figure. A slow change is creeping in. Fathers are trying to do things with their children and closeness is coming. This difference is being felt by the companies, hence they are going slow on Father’s Day card.

While Mother’s Day was celebrated in scores of schools, Father’s Day was celebrated in a lone school — Love Dale. During the ongoing summer camp, Father’s Day, that falls on June20, was celebrated here today. Children spoke a few lines on their father.

A few children imitated their fathers and uttered poems eulogising them. To add to the festive mood, a cake was cut and around 100 children were given prizes.

It was a lady — Mrs John B. Dodd of Washington — who first proposed the idea of a “father’s day” in 1909. Mrs Dodd wanted a special day to honour her father, Mr William Smart. The first Father’s Day was observed on June 19, 1910.Father’s Day has become a day to not only honour fathers, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult men are all honoured on this day.



Woman suffers burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 19
A woman of Bassian village has reportedly sustained burn injuries and is admitted to a Raikot hospital with over 80 per cent burns.
According to sources, Hardeep Kaur (20) was married to Nirmal Singh of the village two years ago. The couple have a year-old son. Initial investigations by the police reveal that Hardeep was alone at her house when the incident occurred. She was rushed to a hospital at Raikot when some neighbours heard her shrieks for help. Since she had not gained consciousness till late in the evening yesterday, the reasons that led to the incident could not be ascertained.

The sarpanch of the village, Mr Balbir Singh, has claimed that the couple enjoyed cordial relations and there was no apparent cause for her to commit suicide. Nirmal Singh and his father Amar Singh have been taken in preventive custody.



Toll tax is now user fee
 Commuters demand better deal
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 19
“Toll tax” or “user-fee”, does it make any difference to the commuters who have to shell out money at the toll tax barriers?
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has directed the toll-tax authorities to use the words “user-fee” in place of “toll-tax” in their future transactions. This has been done to overcome some technical complications being faced by the NHAI. Moreover, the NHAI wishes to clarify to the people that it is a fee for using the toll road and not an objectionable tax as it was named earlier.

Mr Munish Dubey, Toll Manager, said: “Henceforth, the boards bearing the term toll-tax are being replaced by those bearing user-fee”. This is being done all over the country, including the toll road from Panipat to Jalandhar.”

The change of name has hardly made any difference to the commuters, especially as the rates continue to be the same.

Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, a local resident, alleges: “In what way is it a toll-road? Even after two years of paying hefty amount “for this road, what am I getting in return. It is a sheer loot by the government”.

Mr Arun Bector, a social figure, resents: “Stray animals continue to be there, accident victims die for want of medical help, but the quality of roads remains the same. The local residents are the ultimate sufferers. We are in the octroi limits, even then we are being charged heavily.

Mr Jaswant Singh Gill, Principal, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, says: “It is a sheer wastage of our time. The employees have to reach their workplace in time but they are delayed by the routine trifles of the toll authorities with the commuters or vice-versa. We have no option, but to wait and watch.”

Mr Tarlok Singh Jaggi of Doraha, apart from acknowledging the construction work being done by the NHAI, also complains of the objectionable behaviour of the employees at the toll barrier. “We are asked to stop and show the pass, then our number is checked, noted down and only then we are allowed to proceed. On the other hand, some buses generally cross the barrier even without applying the breaks, another pass-holder resents.

The authorities concerned are supposed to improve the quality of roads, to check unauthorised cuts, to provide medical aid to accident victims, to clear the accident spot, to remove dead animals from the national highway and provide mechanical support in case of technical snags in vehicles. Although the NHAI has repaired some broken roads, fixed railings near towns and at other accident-prone areas and erected fences near the fields, cutting down the risk posed by stray animals, but the commuters seem to be dissatisfied by such “meagre facilities” against such “hefty rates.”



Youth Cong workers go on cleanliness drive
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 19
Youth Congress (YC) workers, led by district president of the party Komal Khanna were today carrying brooms and dust bins in place of the customary flags and banners. The YC workers were on a cleanliness drive in Ward No 66 of the city.

Mr Khanna said the campaign had been initiated at the directions of the All-India YC chief Randeep Singh Surjewala. They would cover each of the 70 wards. The objective was to educate the residents about cleanliness and sanitation in their surroundings, which could play a significant role in making the city not only clean and green but also disease-free.

The YC activists swept a number of streets, removed the garbage for proper disposal, and sprinkled water on dusty sites and DDT powder along the drains.

The area residents also joined in the noble cause as the YC workers urged them to regularly keep their surroundings clean and supplement the work done by the authorities.

The area councillor, Mr Sat Pal Puri, also participated in the drive. He appealed to the people to lend a helping hand in the programme, particularly in the wake of outbreak of diseases in many parts of the city.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Tarsem Sharma, Mr Dalip Caoch, Mr Romi, Mr Rangvir Singh, Mr Billa Mahajan, Mr Sonu Walia, Mr Sandeep Kumar, Mr Deepak Puri, Mr Jatinder Sood, Mr P.K. Raju, Mr Shekhar Aggarwal, Mr Tilak Raj and Mr Amit Puri.



Mandi Board concedes to arhtiyas’ demands
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 19
The Punjab State Fruit and Vegetable Commission Agents Association has claimed that the Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board (Mandi Board) had conceded its major demands. Steps were being taken to give effect to decisions taken at a meeting of representatives of commission agents with the Chairman of the board, Mr Sant Ram Singla, in Chandigarh yesterday. Officials of the board and commission agents from all major towns in Punjab attended the meeting.

Addressing a news conference here today, the state president of the association, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, informed that Mr Singla had set up a committee with officials of the board and representatives of commission agents as its members.

Mr Amarvir Singh, state secretary of the association, and the district president, Mr Subhash Ahuja, were also present on the occasion.

Mr Bagga claimed that the Mandi Board had conceded the demand for a hike in commission of the fruit and vegetable commission agents and the secretary of the board had been asked to set the process in motion soon.



City witnesses first Lord Jagannath yatra
Our Correspondent

Devotees take part in the Jagannath rath yatra in Ludhiana
Devotees take part in the Jagannath rath yatra in Ludhiana on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 19
Oriya people here took out a rath yatra for the first time.
The excitement and religious sentiments at the yatra were as exciting as backhome.

A beautifully decorated chariot of Lord Jagannath was pulled by the devotees. A bhommi poojan was also performed.

The yatra started from Chandan Nagar and went through New Deep Nagar, Vrindavan Road, Ram Nagar, Dandi Swami, Kitchlu Nagar and Udham Singh Nagar.

The Ram Nagar Welfare Society accorded a warm welcome to the yatra. They distributed cold milk among the devotees.



Stop sale of drugs near schools: manch
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 19
Mr Gurinder Sood, national president of the Rashtriya Vikas Manch, has said that drugs, alcohol and tobacco were a menace for the society.
He said even women and children were addicted to drugs and alcohol and urged the administration to take strict steps against those selling drugs near colleges and schools.



Two held for distributing obscene pamphlets

Ludhiana, June 19
Greeb Das, alias Greebu, and his father Dhuna Ram, residents of Kothe Sher Jang, have been booked under Section 297 of the IPC for distributing vulgar and obscene pamphlets.

According to Mr Sukhdev Singh, an ASI at the local police station, he was given a handbill by an informer, which had been distributed by the father and son duo in the old grain market. The pamphlet claimed that the duo could cure impotency. The language used in the pamphlet was vulgar and obscene to mislead youngsters. Both have been arrested by the police.


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