J A L A N D H A R  S T O R I E S


Shocking tale of neglect
J. S. Malhotra

IT was a dream academy. The dream was simple — to provide training to youngsters in international-standard hockey within the precincts of a world-class hockey academy. It was to be an academy that would take complete care of budding players and youngsters showing a potential for the game. Boarding, lodging and food, along with best training, were to be provided here.

The reasoning was simple - India is teeming with hockey talent but the players need the right kind of training with the right measure of exposure. It was a forgone conclusion that the academy would produce international-level hockey players. But a decade down the line and the dream has soured beyond recognition. Named after the legendary hockey player Surjit Singh Randhawa, the Surjeet Hockey Academy here has become a victim of the apathy of its founders.

Surjit Hockey Academy: A dream goes horribly wrong.

Stinking toilets house 'makeshift kitchen'; 

over-crowding in rooms; meals a watery mess

The dream academy, set up in the year 1993 to promote hockey at grassroots level, is now nothing more than just another institute where players are trained. There is no trace of any world-class standard there. Everything about the academy is mediocre, rather shoddily mediocre, allege players.

"The state government makes all-out efforts to present a rosy picture of this academy in public. But the facts are contrary to this. The mission to make "Surjeets" out of youngsters has gone awry due to lack of dedication on the part of the authorities concerned. The academy is now being run as one of the routine government-sponsored programmes." This was the prompt answer of a young member of the academy, when asked to comment on the functioning of the Surjit Hockey Academy.

Toilets house makeshift kitchen.
Kitchen err… toilets stink.
Watery meals.
Shortage of drinking water.
Students forced to buy hockey sticks and balls.
Astro-turf in poor shape.
No provision of doctors and physiotherapists.

A visit to the academy revealed a sad tale of apathy and neglect. "Perhaps, the authorities think that sportspersons have a robust digestion — they can digest the food prepared in the worst possible unhygienic conditions. That's why no big deal is made about food being prepared in a germ-infested 'makeshift kitchen' here. Smelly toilets house this kitchen at the academy. The flavour of the food and the stench of the toilet combine to make a disgusting odour," says a player, pleading anonymity.

The story is not complete yet. The players are also provided drinking water from a water cooler installed in the toilet.

The players also rue that low quality food is served to them as a part of their regular diet. "The mess contractor prepares mutton or chicken twice a week and that too has a watery gravy. The same contractor is serving better-cooked meals to members of the "Speed Athletic Academy", who are putting up in rooms in the same complex," an anguished player reveals.

Players putting up in the rooms situated on first floor of the stadium face shortage of drinking water. "There is only one water cooler installed in the other block of the stadium. During summers, we have to store water, as it's not feasible to frequent the other block for quenching our thirst. The authorities should make arrangements for drinking water in both blocks," they maintain.

The tale of woes does not end here. Years ago, the sports department stopped supplying hockey sticks and balls to the players. According to experts, each hockey stick costs between Rs 450 and Rs 3000, depending on the quality of the raw material. "We have to purchase hockey sticks and balls from our own pocket. On an average, a player purchases at least three sticks in a year. The only thing the sports department provides us in the name of a "kit" is a track suit and a pair of shoes during the annual training period," the players add.

Overcrowding is more or less a norm here. As many as four players reside in a single room meant for two. In some cases, even three players are told to share the room.

The condition of the astro-turf at the stadium is also bad. However, the players are satisfied with their training schedule. The academy members study at Government Co-educational Senior Secondary School, Ladowali Road, here. They are exempted from paying fees, though they have to purchase the books themselves.

When contacted, the District Sports Officer, Mr Bakshish Singh Randhawa, admitted that the members of the academy were not being provided with hockey sticks and balls for want of funds. "I am not sure whether kitchen is being run from the toilet. I will check it. We have enough rooms and space for running a proper mess. As far as putting up four players in a room is concerned, it is happening only in those cases where the players themselves have opted to stay with their buddies. Otherwise, we have additional rooms in both blocks, which are lying vacant," Mr Randhawa said, adding that it had been decided to increase the frequency of the non-vegetarian meals being served to the players from twice a week to four times a week.



Surjit Singh was defender par excellence

BORN on October 10, 1951, Surjit Singh, known as the best deep defender, possessed extraordinary defensive skill, sound tackling and fine recovery. It was tragic that after his retirement from the game, he died in a road accident near Kartarpur in Jalandhar district.

This unassuming and soft-spoken player had remained concerned about the "raw deal" given to hockey players. He always upheld the players' cause.

He made his debut internationally in the second World Cup Hockey Tournament in Amsterdam in 1973. He was a member of the Indian team, which under the leadership of charismatic leader Ajit Pal Singh won the third World Cup Hockey Tournament at Kuala Lumpur in 1975. Later, he participated in the fifth World Cup Hockey Tournament and in the 1974 and the1978 Asian Games. He once again played under the leadership of Ajit Pal Singh in the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976.

He was acclaimed as one of the best full backs in the world. In 1973, he was included in the World Hockey XI. The next year he was a member of the All-Star Hockey XI. Surjit Singh was also the top scorer in the Esanda International Hockey Tournament at Perth in Australia and the 1978 Asian Games.



Over-speeding drivers have a field day in city
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

IT may sound strange, but it is a fact that Jalandhar police cannot challan over-speeding vehicles within the Municipal limits.

Reason: the city, which boasts of a population of about 12 lakh, and the city that is the heartland of the 'dollar rich' Doaba region, has no speed-limit caution boards, thanks to the ignorance and the indifference on the part of the local Municipal Corporation authorities.

It is not that traffic police officials and vehicle owners fail to notice the speed caution boards here, it's that they may not find any such boards.

The fact that the city was without important caution boards, particularly the ones concerning vehicle drivers and owners, came forth during a quick survey conducted by the Jalandhar Traffic Police Inspector Gursharanjit Singh. The study was a prelude to an ambitious plan mooted by the Jalandhar police authorities to check the menace of over-speeding and to observe how traffic rules and regulations could be implemented in the city, keeping in view the increasing accidents and traffic bottlenecks.

But the plan came a cropper when the Jalandhar Traffic Police came across the shocking fact that hardly any caution board existed in the city. The Traffic Police had no alternative but to urge the Municipal Corporation authorities to put up caution boards, including the ones depicting 'No Parking' zones and the vehicle speed limits, so that it could challan offenders.

"There is no speed caution board even at the multiple-entry points to the city. The only board that I came across was the one on the Apeejay School-Guru Nanak Mission chowk. But that too was rusty and illegible. How can we implement speed regulations without boards cautioning people that they were in a particular speed limit zone?" questioned Mr Gursharanjit Singh. He said the issue had been taken up with the MC authorities, who, in turn, had assured them that such boards would be put up at strategic places.

As of now, there is no board at any of the six major entry points to the city to inform drivers of heavy commercial vehicles that their entry to the city, particularly the old part of the city, is banned between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and that they cannot not ply their vehicles on the specified roads within this time.



People’s concern
Mayor and Opposition leader lock horns
Controversy over Rs 18-cr MC administrative complex project
J.S. Malhotra

OBSERVERS of local politics are working overtime these days. The controversy between the Mayor of the local Municipal Corporation (MC) Surinder Mahey and the Leader of Opposition and senior BJP leader Kishan Dev Bhandari is providing enough grist for gossip in political circles. Both leaders have locked horns over the controversial Rs 18-crore MC administrative complex project.

While Mr Bhandari has demanded a high-level vigilance probe into the "legal validity" of the project and the way the scope of the project has been "amended" without consulting the MC house, Mr Mahey has accepted the challenge by expressing his willingness to face any kind of probe in this regard.

The Opposition leader terms the project as a "major stumbling block" in the way of the completion of various developmental works in the city. The funds "diverted" to the project could have been used for other more pressing developmental works, he claims. The Mayor, however, defends the project on the plea that it will fetch profits for the cash-strapped civic body through the sale of 89 shops proposed to be built in the complex during the first phase of the project. It will take about 17 months for the completion of the first phase.

Ironically, the dream project, right from its inception about more than a year back, has been facing stiff opposition from the ruling Congress party councillors and a Congress MLA. This Congress MLA Raj Kumar Gupta from Jalandhar Central Assembly segment, was the first to raise voice against the project during a meeting of the MC house last year on the plea that the Municipal Corporation was "not the legal owner" of the land on which the administrative complex had been planned. His contention put a question mark on the authority of the MC to sell 89 shops for a sum of more than Rs 8 crore through auction. The land, according to the revenue records, belongs to the Central government.

It is learnt that the matter was later brought to the notice of the Chief Minister's office and the proposed plan was shelved for quite some time. However, the authorities concerned managed to get an approval during a meeting of the MC house amid noisy protests from some of the Congress and the Opposition councillors about two months back.

Launching a fresh salvo on the Mayor, Mr Bhandari alleges, "The project is a simple attempt to promote corruption. What is the hurry to launch this multi-crore project when the majority of the city population is still facing acute shortage of drinking water?"

Mr Gupta and Mr Sardari Lal, a senior Congress councillor and loyalist of Punjab Transport Minister, Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, are rallying against the project. "This project will affect the poll prospects of the Congress candidates in next assembly elections, as common man is not getting anything out this ambitious project," they allege.

Predictably, Mr Avtar Henry and Mr Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Punjab ministers, stayed away from the foundation laying ceremony of this controversial project.

On the other hand, Mr Mahey rubbishes these allegations as "baseless". He says that he is ready for any kind of probe. "These allegations are without any substance. The project has been appreciated by the Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, who was earlier invited to lay its foundation stone. Besides, we are not putting a ban on the execution of other developmental works in the city. This project is not being carried out at the cost of other projects," he claims.

"The opposition is trying to mislead the people by making unwarranted hue and cry over the issue. I am ready to face vigilance probe in this regard," he adds.

The Mayor says he is clear about the issue of the ownership of the land. "As far as ownership of the land is concerned, I will get it transferred in the name of the MC very soon," he says.



Cinema theatres leave film-lovers fuming
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

PLANNING a day out with your friends, spouse or your family somewhere in the city? Visit any hang-out but avoid watching a movie in a theatre.

Residents of the city say so, for they have had bad experiences in cinema theatres here. So much so that they have made up their minds that they will not ever go out to watch a movie in a theatre here. The movie-goers complain of inadequate facilities and arrangements in theatres here.

The seats are torn, sound system goes non-functional, air conditioners fail, toilets stench and there are no good cafeterias, say the residents. As soon as there is an interval, the channel gates of the cinema halls are closed so that no one can go out to have snacks.

Says Ms Pinki Sharma, a homemaker, "My husband, my three-year-old daughter and I went to a theatre on the Railway Road about six months back. My daughter asked for fruit juice. My husband went to the canteen there to get it. To his utter surprise, he found that the packed fruit juices that were available there were past the expiry date. When he tried to go out of the theatre to get a fresh pack, he was not allowed to do so. This led to an exchange of bitter arguments between my husband and the owner of the theatre. We eventually left the movie mid-way. Since that day we have not gone out to watch a movie."

Ms Shivani, a college student, said that she had recently gone out with her friends to watch a movie in a theatre near Nakodar Chowk. "The seat on which I sat was badly torn. When I tried to rest my elbow on the arm of the chair, I got hurt as a nail was protruding out. As if it was not enough, there were rats roaming inside the balcony, scaring us all through the movie."

Mr Dhiraj Sharma, another viewer, said that he had gone out to watch a movie with his family at a theatre. They had a bad time when the air conditioners stopped working all of a sudden. "It became so suffocating inside the hall that it almost became impossible for us to continue watching the movie. Our kids started crying and we had to go home even before the interval," he added.

Most residents complain that they do not have enough choice vis-à-vis theatres here, as just six or seven halls are functioning here and only two of them are in good state.

Ms Sapna Bakshi, a professional, while praising these two cinema theatres, said that she had gone out to watch the movie "Julie" with her friends in a theatre near the bus stand. To avoid any untoward incident, the cinema hall owners had made separate seating arrangements for men and women. They had even made security arrangements, as policemen could be seen deputed at all corners of the hall, she said.

The cinema hall owners peg the blame on Punjab government. They say, "If the state government allows the cinema owners to charge for the tickets the way it is being done at Delhi, Punjab too can have impressive theatres. Out of the total ticket collection, the government takes away 50 per cent as tax, leaving the cinema owners with very little profits. So how can we bring about any good change in the existing infrastructure?"



Sitting beneath a tinder-box
A canopy of transformers poses fire risk in Rainak Bazaar
Deepkamal Kaur

Tribune News Service

IT is like a tinder-box beneath which they stand and work the whole day. Unmindful of the risk it involves, sellers are busy preparing tikkis, bhallas and samosas underneath two huge transformers at the centre of the narrow, busy lanes of the Rainak Bazaar here.

It is not just the hot oil or the flames that pose a risk to the hawkers, even the wooden tables placed there can catch fire any moment. This poses a risk not only to the hawkers' lives, but also to the lives of several shopkeepers and buyers who visit the market.

Not just this, many shopkeepers have extended their counters, mannequins and dress materials at least six-to-seven feet out on the road, leading to even higher chances of risk in case of any mishap.

Another high-risk factor is vehicles parked near the area. Hundreds of scooters and two-wheelers are parked there daily. If any untoward incident occurs, the fuel inside the vehicles can compound the risk.

As the hawkers and the sellers stand underneath the transformers, there are high-tension wires that loom over their heads. Despite all such risk factors involved, they are hardly perturbed, as they feel that it is the best place from where they can sell eatables.

Says Chhotu Ram, a cook, "We too know that it can be risky, but nothing has ever happened here in the past so many years. We are very cautious when we work. We do not let the oil spill around."

Kishan Kumar, also a cook, said, "If we stop working here, where do we go? There is hardly any other place in the market where we can prepare and sell our eatables. This place is centrally located and just perfect for us to work."

Mr Satwant Singh Johal, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, said that since he had joined here recently, he was not much aware of the situation. He said that he would certainly send his men to the site and take suitable action, if need be.

Mr Johal blamed the increasing migrant population in the city for such problems. He said it was very difficult to keep a check on their activities, as they were usually back in place even after being told to vacate the encroachments.



Women's Cell: Striving for marital patch-ups
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Domestic violence a hush-hush affair

Hardly any case pertaining to domestic violence comes to the Women's Cell here. It's not that domestic violence is non-existent. The reason is simply that domestic violence is still considered to be a family affair, say officers at the cell.

THEY try to bring squabbling spouses together. You can hear them extol the virtues of a "happy married life". No, they are not family therapists; they are women in khaki. These policewomen, 'manning' the Women's Cell here, have one self-professed goal - to save marriages that are on the brink of breakdown.

"Most of the cases that are brought to us boil down to family disputes. If you think that in such disputes, you have a victim and a perpetrator, you are barking up the wrong tree. It's more an issue of problematic relationship than a question of outright cruelty by husband or in-laws," says Ms Kuldip Kaur Multani, SHO at the Women's Cell.

The police force working in the cell usually dons the mantle of a counsellor. These police personnel try to sift the "real dowry cases" from others that have only the semblance of a dowry case. "Often, adjustment problems are passed off as harassment accruing from dowry demand. The wife wants to get even with her husband and she uses the stringent dowry laws as her tool. Of course, sometimes there's a genuine dowry-related case. But the proportion of such cases coming to us is almost negligible. Out of 240 complaints received so far this year, only one dowry case has been registered. Similarly, last year, 377 complaints were brought to us; only two complaints 'qualified' for the registration of dowry case," explains SHO Multani.

"It's not tough being a woman officer. But yes, it is no mean job trying to convince two persons bent on going separate ways. Then there are pesky relatives who like to have their say in every squabble. Many a time, I have told pesky relatives to buzz off," adds Ms Multani. Interestingly, it's not only people from the lower socio-economic strata who take recourse to the Women's Cell. Even the ever-so-conservative middle class does not mind seeking the intervention of the cell.

What if post-patch-up, it's back-to-bickering position for the couple? The cell claims to keep a tab on the " reconciliation cases". "It's a wonderful feeling to see together couples who were all set for separation. Our work is socially relevant," says the SHO.

However, the Women's Cell cannot register any FIR. It can, at the best, recommend for the registration of an FIR, we are told. Surprisingly, amidst the long-winded talk on virtues of "intact-family", it's the "no-nonsense" professionalism, with its emphasis on "jurisdiction and punitive action", which shines through. "We are well aware of what is within our purview. How we wish this were a full-fledged women's police station!" sounds a wish from the wish list!

"Petering out" effect

IT'S the "third force" that sometimes plays havoc in the lives of married couples. And this "third force" is none other than "interfering relatives and pesky friends", we learn at the Women's Cell here. "The first time the disputing parties come to us, they are all worked up. It's more like a show of strength from both sides. The relatives and friends come to us with their antennae upped. The first meeting with the parties is usually in a room jam-packed with angry relatives. The second meeting has a lesser number of relatives turning up. By the time the third and the fourth meetings are held, it's only the immediate families that are present. Now, we are reasonably sure that the case is moving towards a compromise," says an ASI. 



It's 'bumper-to-bumper' earning for these boys from South
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

THESE boys are a familiar sight near the BMC Chowk here. Whenever a car passes from the BMC Chowk towards the district administrative complex, these boys take a good look at it. Their eyes rest on the car's bumper. The moment they see broken edges of a bumper, they cluster around the car driver, trying to convince the latter to get the bumper repaired from them.

Carrying wooden boxes on their shoulders and tins of burning coal in their hands, these boys are all ready for bumper-repair work. Most of them hail from the South. They say that they have taken to this work here, as it provides them their livelihood.

Ask them about their family, and chances are that they will tell you that they are all brothers. "Our forefathers back home in Karnataka had been doing the work of repairing buckets and plastic items. We learnt the tricks of the trade from them, but the work was not much paying back home. Our parents and uncles came to this city a few years ago. They found this business lucrative," say the boys.

"We were just nine or ten years old when we joined our elders in this work. Now we, too, have mastered the art. After all, being in work for more than four years has its advantages," they add.

The boys say that they earn Rs 400 to Rs 500 per day. They charge Rs 75 for repairing a small patch of the bumper. Kishan, a 12-year-old boy, says "I ask for Rs 100 for a single repair work. My customers invariably try to negotiate a bargain. I tell them that the only alternative is to get the bumper replaced, which would cost them at least Rs 400. Then they get convinced and agree to pay Rs 75."

Another boy, Ivraj, says, "The money we ask from the customers is not all-profit only. We incur expenses on black paint, black plastic rods and coal."

Giving details about the mechanism, Ivraj adds, "We dip a black plastic rod in a tin of burning coal. A small piece from one edge of the rod is taken out in a semi-molten state. The piece is flattened with the help of an iron rod and pasted atop the broken edge of the bumper. It is then levelled with the same iron rod and coated with black paint to give a smooth finish."

The story of hard labour that these boys put in is revealed if one's sees their rough and coarse hands. But it's not all work for these boys. They have their moments of joy. They feel happy when they get free rides in swanky AC cars.

Says Anand, another bumper-repair boy, "Our work gives us opportunities to sit in Mercedes, BMWs and Chevrolets. At times, drivers come to pick us up from the market. They take us home where we are told to do the work under the observation of the malik of the car."

"This is the time when we can charge more. But it is also the time to do work with high precision, so as to impress the malik of the car. It takes a bit longer, but the job is rewarding," adds Anand.



When youngsters switched over to philosophic mode…
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

IT was an interaction of a different kind at Apeejay College of Fine Arts here. Youngsters, all braced up for the occasion, had switched over to philosophic mode. Some of them were inquisitive about the "riddle" called life, while others, more in tune with pragmatism, delved diligently on their aims and ambitions.

In the freshness of the pre-noon hours, the discussion veered around a host of topics. The students, in rapt attention, were listening to a young man in stylish black. Questions were popping in their minds - time to show "mind over matter"! "It's not everyday that we have a young, smartly-dressed spiritual master Vikas Malkani (founder of Soul Centre) in our midst. He spouts no religious mumbo-jumbo. It's easy to relate to him," gushed a not-yet-twenty girl, sporting longish earrings matched with an embroidered kurti.

The discussion was in full swing. Suggestions about "living life God-size" and "channellising one's energy" floated through the hall. A commerce student Ekjot Singh, perhaps trying to find the measure of satisfaction, decided to ask a rather ticklish question - how the desire to achieve something was related to satisfaction. As he was receiving an answer to his question, another student Simer remarked to her friend, "We are getting useful nuggets on management fundas, too. Thanks heavens, there's no preachy sermon."

If it was the "modern appeal of the spiritual master" that struck the right chord with commerce student Kamal Mittal, some students like Aman could not help raving about lessons in "right kind of focusing" and "concentration on long-term goals". An undergraduate student Rajan Mahajan said that he found "ridding yourself of internal dilemmas" a rather interesting part of the talk.

After more than an hour of mental (read philosophical) callisthenics, the discussion was wrapped up. Soon, the introspective, philosophical mode gave way to the usual easygoing, fun-loving style of youngsters, all agog to discuss the latest Bollywood flicks over a sip of hot frappe!



Eating out
Tickle your taste buds at Prithvi’s Planet
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Continental cuisine and play area are Prithvi’s attractions
Continental cuisine and play area are Prithvi’s attractions

IT'S a gourmet's delight. You have an amazing variety of cuisines, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, at the Prithvi's Planet here. Those with a yen for the Continental fare can start with starters (cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, cream of tomato soup, minestrone soup) and saunter to the mouthwatering main course - chicken steak sizzler, grilled lamb chop, baked vegetable, cheese finger and much more.

If scrumptious Chinese cuisine has you fawning over, you can have your pick from drums of heaven, Thai chicken, sesame toast, gold coin, vegetable manchurian, diced chicken-in-chilli-sauce, cashew nut chicken, mongolian potato, cheese chilli et al. You can also savour delectable snacks, in case you are not interested in complete meals.

Those with their taste buds more attuned to the Indian and the Mughlai grub, have tandoor ka khazana waiting for them. Mutton tikka, murg tikka, murg kadahi, gosht handi, gosht bhuna - the non-vegetarians may find it hard to decide from the array of the tempting fare. The meals (Indian, Mughlai, Chinese or Continental) can be rounded off with chilled ice creams. You can lick these "melt-me-downs" to your heart's content. If you like it "hot", you can take a shot at a lip-smacking dessert like gulab jamun.

Sometimes, food tastes half as delicious unless downed by chilled mocktails. Zane grey, savona fuzz, cooper shooter, navda smith, red sun, pink mama, pineapple paradise - the list of mocktails available here is pretty long. The beer buffs can have their mugfuls in the quiet ambience of the beer bar here. In fact, it is the ambience that make the Prithvi's Planet just the right place for family outings and get-togethers. A fast food restaurant, a banquet hall, a beer bar, a kids' section (tastefully decorated with toys) make for a complete foodie-package.

The bowling-alley and the pool table are hot favourites among youngsters. Children may be a quite handful when you take them out but here they have plenty of attractions to keep them busy — video games, toys, little menus that offer them "nice" deals (free meals with activity).

However, there's a catch here. The ambience of the place cannot be experienced unless you deposit Rs 50 at the entrance. This amount is adjusted against the meals, later. This is to keep a check on those who hang around such places just to get the feel of the ambience, we are told!



From the schools
Tribune News Service

MORE than 65 students from Punjab and Haryana participated in a CBSE Cluster 15 and 16 Table Tennis Tournament organised by Innocent Hearts School at Hans Raj Stadium. The tournament concluded on Monday.

Over 1000 students, both girls and boys, participated in three categories - under-14, under-16 and under-19 years. Girls from the GRG National Girls' Senior Secondary School, Sirsa, took the lead in the finals. Anchal, Rashu and Siddhi - all from the same institution, were declared winners in under-14, under-16 and under-19 categories, respectively.

Among boys, Sanyam from Army Public School, Jalandhar, took the lead in under-14 category. He was followed by Rohan of Innocent Hearts School, Jalandhar, and Vitesh of Ajanta Public School, Amritsar.

In under-16 category, Sahil of Greenland Public School, Ludhiana, stood first. He was followed by Aniket and Piyush, both from Dayanand Model School, Jalandhar.

Among the participants from under-19 category, Pradeep from Apeejay School, Jalandhar, took the lead. He was followed by Amit and Saurabh, both from Seth Kukam Chand School, Jalandhar.

Grandparents' Day

The kindergarten wing of Montgomery Guru Nanak Public School celebrated Grandparents' Day on Saturday.

Tiny tots presented a cultural show that began with the singing of shabad. A number of games were organised for the grandparents. On the occasion, Dr Balbir Singh Bhaura and Dr Pushpinder Kaur Bhaura, both ophthalmologists, gave a talk on problems pertaining to cataract, glaucoma and squint, and their curative measures.

Mr R.S. Mehta, Principal, said that the aim of organising the programme was to help the children realise the strength, information and guidance that the grandparents were capable of offering. The programme also gave the grandparents an opportunity to demonstrate their affection for their grand children.

Hindi Week celebrated

Eklavya School held Hindi Week celebrations on the campus from Monday onwards.

During the week, the staff of the school conversed with one another in Hindi only.

To develop the linguistic skills and to inculcate students' interest in the national language, teachers of pre-nursery to class II planned various activities for students.

On Monday, a combined assembly was held with a prayer, "Tumhi ho mata, pita tumhi ho".

Ms Jaspreet, a teacher, narrated a story titled "Chor ki dadhi mein tinka". Students of UKG participated in a Hindi poetry recitation competition.

On each day of the week, various activities such as story-telling contest, recitation of Kabir's dohas, playing word chain, watching a CD in Hindi and listening to a cassette in Hindi, were organised. The teachers put up several charts with messages in Hindi like "Hindi humjoli", "Hardik abhinandan" and even birthday wishes.

Aquatic meet

The fifth Annual Aquatic Meet of CT Public School was held on Friday.

Various swimming competitions like 25-mt free style and 50-mt free style for juniors and 200-mt free style for seniors were held. A water polo match was held between students and staff of the school. Mr Charanjit Channi, Chairman, and Ms Lakhwinder Kaur, Principal, gave prizes to the winners.

Regional sports meet

Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan organised a four-day regional sports meet that concluded at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Suranussi, on Tuesday.

Teams of boys from schools falling under Jammu region participated in kho-kho tournaments. More than 300 students from 27 Kendriya Vidyalayas attended the event. Ms Meena Kulshreshtha, Principal, along with her staff made arrangements for boarding and lodging of players and coaches.

Prize distribution function

The Parent-Teachers' Association of Government Model Co-Educational Senior Secondary School, Ladowali Road, organised a prize distribution function on Saturday.

The programme began with the recitation of shabad. Mr J.M. Chatha, Additional General Manager of the State Bank of India, was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He gave prizes to more than 200 students. Mr Gurcharan Singh Channi, President of the PTA, and Ms Rajkumari Saroa, Principal, were also present on the occasion.

Workshop organised

The management of Police DAV Public School, Jalandhar Cantonment, organised a workshop for teachers on the topic "Looking for teachers who want to grow" on Tuesday.

Dr Om Parkash, former professor of psychology from IIT, Kanpur, emphasised that it was under the training of the teachers that students developed moral values and ethical and aesthetic sense. He added that teachers should not only target gifted children but also slow learners.

The seminar was presided over by Mr D.R. Bhatti, ADGP of Punjab Armed Police, and Mr R.P. Mittal, DIG. Ms Rashmi Vij, Principal, was also present on the occasion.

National-level exhibition

A model of "remote irrigation" prepared by Hemant Dutta of Plus One and Har Sumel Singh of Plus Two, both students of Police DAV Public School, have been selected for the national-level Intel exhibition to be held at New Delhi in December this year.

The students prepared the model under the guidance of their teachers, Mr Navdeep Sharma and Mr Anuj Sharma. The model was displayed at the regional-level science exhibition held at DAV Public School, Chandigarh, recently.

As many as 200 models were displayed by students from schools of Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh in the exhibition held at Chandigarh. Through the model, the students have demonstrated how a farmer could irrigate fields by sending a signal at the click of a mouse, using a specialised software. If the students' model gets selected at the national-level, they would represent India at an international-level contest to be held in the United States.



Quality technical education is DAV engg college’s USP
J.S. Malhotra

IMPARTING quality technical education to students is the thrust area of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (DAVIET), here. Along with this, the institute seeks to give students a lesson in holistic personality development.

Keeping in view the changing placement scenario in the present global context, the DAV College Managing Committee, presently running more than 700 schools and colleges throughout the country, set up the DAVIET - its first engineering college - in June 2000.

The DAVIET has been a dream venture of Mr G.P. Chopra, an educationist and president of the DAV College Managing Committee. The institute emphasises on providing the requisite skills to make the students competitive not only in the national but also in the international market. This Anglo-Vedic institute offers four-year degree courses in civil engineering, electrical engineering, electronics and communication engineering, information technology, mechanical and computer sciences.

The institute has recently been selected by the Punjab Technical University (PTU) for setting up a regional centre at its campus. The regional centre would offer two courses - Masters in Technology in Electrical Engineering, and Masters in Electronics and Communications Engineering.

"We work on improving the overall personality of a student. We interact closely with industrial houses to know their requirements. This is helpful in the formulation of a comprehensive and updated educational policy for the institute. The final-year students are given projects to handle industry-related problems. They are encouraged to generate cost-effective solutions. This makes the students more familiar with the problems of the industrial houses," Mr C.L. Kochher, Director-cum-Principal, maintains. He adds that they encourage students to strive hard for excellence.

Holding seminars and workshops and arranging lectures by eminent academicians and industrialists are regular features at the institute. The institute has signed strategic Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) with corporate sector, including Microsoft Corporation, USA, Semiconductor Complex Limited, Mohali, RED HAT Linux, Sun Microsystems, ST Microelectronics. The aim is training as well as placement of bright students.

Keeping in view the changing demands of the industry and the society, the institute is also running certificate courses for working professionals under the aegis of the Continuing Engineering Education Programme (CEEP) of the state government. The courses being offered under the programme include DOEACC 'A' and 'O' level and computer hardware and networking.

This Anglo-Vedic institute has also set up a research and development centre. The R Soft Design Group of the USA has already expressed its interest in a proposal to have collaboration with the institute.

The institute is equipped with high-tech computer lab, well-catalogued library, video conferencing hall and a centrally air-conditioned auditorium.

Apart from academics, the students here excel in extra-curricular activities also. The DAVIET bagged the PTU cross-country men and women championship trophies recently.


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