C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


PAU Alumni Association honours Leicester Mayor
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Mr Piara Singh Clair, Lord Mayor of Leicester City, UK, was honoured by the Punjab Agricultural University Alumni Association at a brief but impressive ceremony in Mohali yesterday. Currently on a private visit to India after his election to the top post in June this year, Mr Clair recalled his stay at PAU from where he did his masters in agricultural sciences. “I had been advised by my father not to forget my roots,” he said after being honoured by the association headed by Dr BC Gupta, IAS. Later, Mr Clair felicitated Dr Gupta and the association secretary, Mr KS Pannu, and said he would always look forward to extending a helping hand to the association members in the UK.

In his brief address, Dr Gupta said the PAU alumni felt proud of Mr Piara Singh’s achievements ever since his arrival in Leicester in June, 1977. He also recalled the Lord Mayor’s achievements on the PAU campus in Ludhiana where incidentally he was the university’s best athlete for three years in the seventies. He also represented Punjab in long distance running and was picked in the all-India universities’ athletics team.

Mr Clair told the gathering that the black turban which he had worn more than 27 years back while being photographed for PAU’s roll of honour, adorned his head again after he was elected to the coveted post of Lord Mayor in Leicester this year.

Hailing from Nurpur village near Banga in Nawanshahr district, Mr Clair now lives in East Hamilton and works for Walkers Snack Foods Ltd. He was elected to the council in 1991 from Charnwood Ward and has been associated with different committees. He has also served as a member of the GNG Sikh Temple committee besides serving as chairman of the GNG sports festival committee for over 17 years.

As Lord Mayor of Leicester, Mr Clair is playing a significant role in promoting the interests of his city and its people with assistance from the Deputy Lord Mayor and the High Bailiff.



PU holiday on September 1
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
All teaching departments, affiliated colleges and offices of Panjab University will observe a holiday on September 1 in connection with the quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, according to a press note issued by the university spokesperson here today.

Protest called off: The Panjab University Students’ Union (PUSU) called off its indefinite hunger strike after the university authorities agreed to their demands, here today. The demands included grant of re-appear chance to students of BSc (Hons) in November, promotion of students securing 28 out of 40 and 68 out of 80 credits to the second year students of BSc (Hons).

The decision, PUSU claimed, would benefit 35 students and save them a year. Earlier, president of PUSU Rajwinder Singh Lucky met the Dean Student welfare, Dr Nirmal Singh, and DSW (Women), Prof Meenakshi Malhotra, to apprise them of the problems being faced by BSc students.

Condemned: The National Students Union of India has condemned the proposal moved by college Principals to hold indirect elections in colleges. President of the NSUI Nitin Goyal said the system of indirect elections was introduced long back when elections were banned in the city due to terrorism in Punjab.

After the phase got over in Punjab in 1997, direct elections were restarted and democracy was restored.

The NSUI said the matter would be taken up with the Union Human Resource and Development Minister if any move to crush the democratic system was initiated.



From Schools
Schools launch plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
The LotusEco-club of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 20, and girl guides of the school organised a tree plantation drive at the campus here today.

The trees planted on the occasion included Bahera, amala, neem, arjun and bael. The president of the Environment Society of India, Mr S.K. Sharma, was the chief guest. He highlighted the importance of trees and medicinal plants. The function was presided over by Ms Kusum Gupta along with member-students of the club.

Students suffering from learning disability with their teacher at Saupin’s School, Sector 32-D
Students suffering from learning disability with their teacher at Saupin’s School, Sector 32-D, Chandigarh.

Learning disability: Saupin's School, Sector 32, has initiated a special cell to cater to students suffering from learning disability. The process of identifying such children begins at the age of five and teachers and parents are given pointers to identify if their child suffers from any learning disability.

This includes problems which may manifest themselves in identifying the alphabet, spelling mistakes, short memory span, confusion regarding mathematics symbols and inability to tell a sequence of events.

After informally testing the child, the school refers the children to the PGI or the GMCH and corrective measures are taken.

This entails providing a reader and writer during examination and class assessments, modification in syllabus, more time for completion of class work, home assignments reduced in volume and exercises to increase the attention span.



Students display patriotic spirit
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 29
DC Model Senior Secondary School won first prize in the junior category, while Bhavan Vidyalaya won first prize in the senior category during the patriotic group song competition organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad at Arya Samaj today.

St Soldier’s Divine International School won first prize in the junior category, and DC Model Senior Secondary School won first prize in the senior category in the Vande Mataram song competition.

As many as 40 teams, with over 300 children, from government and private schools of Panchkula participated in the competition. The whole atmosphere was filled with patriotic spirit, as the teams came forward one by one for their presentation.

Dr V.P. Dhall, patron of the Parishad, presided over the function, while Mr Narinder Jain was the chief guest. Dr Dhall said the parishad organised such competitions each year to imbibe patriotic feeling patriotic songs in students and spread the message of national integration amongst them. Mr Jain donated a sum of Rs 11,000 to the parishad.

Army School, Chandi Mandir, won second prize and Kendriya Vidyalaya II won third prize in the junior category, while Army School, Chandi Mandir, also won second prize and Chaman Lal DAV School won third prize in the group song competition.

In the Vande Mataram competition, Army School won second prize and New India School won third prize in the junior category. In the senior category, Bhavan Vidyalaya won second prize and Army School, Chandi Mandir, won third prize. The winning teams will now contest in the state-level competition.



NAAC team to visit Government College-40 today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A UGC’s NAAC team will pay a two-day visit to Government College, Sector 40, starting tomorrow to assess and grade the college on the basis of its academic and extracurricular activities, according to a press note issued by the Principal of the college here on Sunday.

The team comprises Prof K.L. Johar, former Vice-Chancellor, Guru Jambeshwar University; Prof P.C. Sharma, former Dean of Commerce, Allahabad University; and Prof Shashi Rai, Principal, Sarojini Naidu Government Girls Postgraduate College, Shivaji Nagar, Bhopal. The team will be welcomed with a cultural programme in the evening.



Rakhi-making contest held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
Bhupindra International Public School (BIPS) here organised a rakhi-making competition for its students. The event evoked a lot of enthusiasm and participation from the students. In the age group of seven to eight years, Emaan was awarded the first prize while Mohit got the second prize. In nine to 10 years age category, Tushar and Purvika bagged the first and second prize respectively. Japinder won the first prize while Ripanjyot stood second in the 11-13 year age group.

According to Ms Roopali Philip, Principal, Bhupindra International Public School (BIPS). "We believe that the students should be touch with the modern trends and at the same time do'nt lose their touch with our traditions. The school has found a unique way of mixing education and entertainment or edutainment. It is the first IT and ISO 9000 school of Punjab has been a pioneer in making education lucid and interesting for all its children.



“I like experimenting with new themes”
Swarleen Kaur

Aman Verma, the name conjures up picture of the charming host of TV serial “Khul Ja Sim Sim” whose voice and manners equally gladden viewers. The man who has helped many in opening the door to fortune is himself quite lucky. His role in teleserials like “Devi” and “Kumkum” have made him popular. He was in the city to promote Sony’s show ‘Indian Idol’ and enthuse aspirants to register themselves.

Aman is a versatile actor and keeps experimenting with new themes. Aman feels that “Most of people know their favourite actors from the charcter’s name like Tulsi, Abhay and many others. No one knows them from their real names. That is why I love playing different characters as I want that people to recognise me by my real name”.

For this reason he took up game shows and theatres. Recently signed a play in Dubai “Poorva Abhyas”. It is in Hindi. He has also a couple of movies in his hands.

He play a negative role in “Devi” and in “Kumkum”. “Earlier I was doing a lot of positive and goody-goody characters. So I thought of doing something different”, he says.

Asked about the secret behind his beautiful smile, he says: You have to ask my parents”.

Whenever I feel low, I just go to my room, shut the door and stay alone to seek answers in silence. He also goes to the gym to release stress. “I eat like a pig and exercise like a dog”, the actor says.

His favourite holiday destination is Jamaica and the Andaman-Nicobar Islands.

He has done various advertisements too. Asked why his advertisement of Harpic appears at lunch time or dinner time, he says it is the time when most women watch their favourite serials and the product targets women.

He is comfortable with both in Hindi and English. Initially, when he entered the acting world, he spoke English alone. But later he worked on his Hindi and improved it by reading different novels.

Though he cleared the NDA, bank exams and many other competitive exams, he chose acting because he wanted to be an actor.” His favourite actress on the television is Samriti Malhotra, better known as “Tulsi” and Varun Vadhola.

Born a Libra and sharing his birthday with Amitabh Bachchan, Chanderchur Singh And Ronit Roy, 32-year-old Aman is unmarried and in search of the right kind of a woman. “Let us see If I find her in Chandigarh”, he says smilingly.

Sharing his views on love, he explains that it is a sweet feeling of pain and laughter. He is very romantic and also believes in the institution of marriage.

His first crush occurred at school. He remembers the name of the girl too, “Priya Bhatia. She crushed my hopes and got married to someone else”.

He has a sister, Gauri Verma, who is married and settled in Delhi. Asked about what gift he had for her for Rakhi, he says: “I always give her a blank cheque so that she can buy whatever she wants.” 



Craze for high-end shopping on the rise

We have only one life as they say. So why not live it to the full. Waking up to this reality city residents are going full steam, fulfilling all their heart’s desires and fond hopes. Their is a definite shift towards a luxurious and comfortable lifestyle. Unlike their parents, this generation don’t want to hoard or save something for the rainy day. The stress is on“ better present’ rather than” Save for tomorrow” So little wonder that latest models of TVs, VCDs, Cameras, refrigerators and cars evoke a great enthusiasm and find ready takers.

The desire for a luxurious lifestyle is not limited to the elite class only.The middle class is also moving towards it.

Mr Subhash Sahi, a businessman, who was in a sector 8 electrical goods shop, said ,” Though my refrigerator at home is in an excellent working condition, yet my daughter wants to have this latest model with double doors and 720-litre capacity.

Further explaining, he says “ I want to fulfil all wishes of my children. Perhaps this is because my father was very tight-fisted and would flatly say “ No” to our demands when we were kids without giving a thought to it”.

According to Vipin Kapur, director of a garment shop in sector 17, “ In the garment section it is the women who are going full steam. They can pay as much as Rs 3000, to Rs 6,000 to buy a designer kurti or a top. But men still have not upgraded themselves. Perhaps they will prefer to spend money on a car.Though they pay attention to their looks but still they won’t go for Rs 4000 shirt. But women can go to any limit to get the stuff of their choice.”

Ajay Pal Singh, sales officer in a Sector 8 electrical appliances shop,” We have a lot of buyers for TV models worth Rs 1 lakh to 3 lakh. People are upgrading their appliances and keep trying new things and they don’t mind shelling out extra money for it. Though a good TV can be bought for Rs 20,000 but they go for a TV worth Rs 3 lakhs. The demand for home theatre is also increasing in the city.”

Ms Rekha Verma,a housewife, said“ I am very choosy while selecting an appliance or household article for my home. I keep visiting various shops or trade fairs. Though I belong to a middle class family, but I’m ready to pay extra amount to acquire the latest. The credit cards and bank loans have made the shopping easy. Because of these facilities, I can buy my favorite diamond jewellery too.

Manish Kapur, owner of a jewellery shop in Sector 17 said ,” We keep on adding new stuff and latest trends in the jewellery because every time customers want something new. The thing is that money is no bar to them. If they like the design then they can go to any extent. It is not true that middle class families don’t buy costly things. In fact they plan out in such a way that sometimes they buy more than the elite class.

A host of new schemes offered by companies and changing technology are another factors responsible for the high-end shopping among the city residents. These days they are aware of the entry of the latest products in the market. They keep on hunting for beautiful things. Even the youngsters don’t lag behind in the terms of high-end shopping. Today’s generation is very much aware of their living style and have a say in everything. In fact they tell their parents what to buy and from where to buy. OC



Renewing the ‘bandhan’

IT is centuries-old festival. But every year it gets more fresh, more fragrant and even more fashionable. Deriving its life and strength from the fondness of the hearts, Raksha Bandhan is all about valuing the boundaries of affection.

This is the time when brothers and sisters convey their love towards each other. For the city-based, bank employee Amita Sen, it is the most important festival of the year.

“I feel that my brother Shashank is the greatest gift of God. We have grown up playing, laughing, crying, fighting and struggling together. Though he is five year older than me yet he has never tried to force his opinion on me.”

So understanding is her brother is that when she decided to go for a love marriage he was the only one in the family who stood by her. “At times I have felt that he is more caring than my mother. On Rakhi we will spend a big part of the day together,” Amita said.

It is not only sisters , brothers too attach a lot of significance to this festival.

Twentyseven-year-old Anuj Sachdev, working in a call centre says that Rakhi is the day when he misses her sister the most. She is married and settled in Australia. “She is very intuitive and always show me the right way. Whenever I want to laugh I just call her up and listen to her stupid jokes.”

“I received her rakhi three days ago and I have not opened it yet. She will call me on that day and will tell me how to go about the whole ceremony including applying Tilak,” he said.

Wish! I could catch the next flight to Australia to be with her, he sighed. OC



A spirited tribute to K.L. Saigal

The eternal charm of Saigal’s songs was recreated this evening as New Theatre Company, Calcutta, the Environment Society of India, Chandigarh and the UT Administration’s Cultural Affairs Department got together at Tagore Theatre for the birth centenary celebrations of the singer.

The show was structured spiritedly with a variety of events that added purpose to the evening. The best among the presentations was New Theatre Company’s film that documented the life and times of K.L. Saigal. Right from his birth to Onkar Amar Chand and Kesar Kaur in Jammu to his migration to Jalandhar, and then his days at Shimla and Calcutta, the film showcased Saigal as he was - simple and promising.

It also featured remarks of legends like Naushad who had said a singer with such a clear and mellifluous voice would never be born again. In another clipping, Saigal’s daughter, Veena Chopra, narrated instances about his life. The film lasted for half an hour. Also present on the occasion was Dilip Sircar, the son of B.N. Sircar who owned New Theatre Company, from where Saigal began his journey to stardom. Details of Saigal’s films “Devdas” (1935) and “Shah Jahan” (1946) also featured in the documentary on his life. At the cultural front, the students held the fort. The first presentation of the show was a Santiniketan genre dance by the students of Navyodaya Vidyalaya. Choreographed by Vasundhara, the dance item was presented on a Bangla song.

Among those who delighted the audience with Saigal songs were the Hazra couple, Bhupinder Singh, R.S. Chopra and Radha Chopra. Earlier, some students presented a sargam on raag ‘bhairavi’. Other presentations of the evening included a modern Bangla dance by students of Suchitra Mitra’s organization, Padam. Padam students also danced on another song, “Paakhi aaj kaun kothe”.

The show was rightfully called “New Theatre’s Tribute to K.L. Saigal”. TNS



Workshop on TV anchoring held

A knowledge of every aspect of television production and current affairs is essential to be a successful anchor, said Shireen Sethi, head of Saharaya Samaya Rashtriya NCR. Shireen Sethi was here on an invitation of the Chandigarh Management Association (CMA) to provide career counselling to students of the GGD, S.D. College and Panjab Engineering College.

Shireen, who is a product of the local mass communications department, worked with print media before joining the television where she anchored famous programmes in Star TV and NDTV.

Shireen advised the students that they must groom themselves to learn the fundamentals of voice modulation and improve their diction.

Kamal Dixit, who is head of the system operations in Times Television, provided an overview of the various career options available in the production of television programmes. He said there was a dearth of trained cameramen, editors, and the young computer-savvy freshers can have excellent openings.

Charanjit Singh, President, CMA said that more such workshops would be conducted for the students in other colleges too. TNS


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