C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


MFA to start from this session despite delay 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 14
Admission process to the newly-approved Masters of Fine Art (MFA) course at the Government College of Art, Sector 10, will commence in a week's time. Delayed due to persistent politicking by a certain lobby that operated against the approval to the course by Panjab University, the course has seen the light of the day after much difficulty.

In fact, the Panjab University VC had, some time ago, commented that the pressure for grant of approval to the course was politically motivated. Later, however, he granted the approval when affected students sat on a dharna against the delay.

Although the recent approval by the VC is being welcomed, it has come much later than expected; causing many hassles that could have been avoided otherwise. Although majority members of the PU"s Monitoring Committee set up to look into the matter of provisional affiliation had given a go ahead to the course long back, the grant of approval was pending for signature of Dr Pankaj Mala Sharma. The approval has come in at a time when all formalities required to start the MFA session should have already been completed.

The principal of the college, Prof Brahm Prakash, is, however determined to go despite problems. He acted fast by recruiting faculty for the MFA, getting the space required for studios vacated and upgrading the classroom facilities as demanded by the PU committee members and also the All-India Council for Technical Education.

He, however, said the process of admission had been delayed due to unnecessary misunderstandings created by a certain faction which stands to lose from the approval to the MFA course. The problem stemmed from the displeasure of those recruited on ad hoc basis in the college. Some of these lecturers had been demanding that they be upgraded as lecturers for the MFA. An ad hoc lecturer, however, cited another cause for delaying the course, "We were against the approval because the AICTE has only sent a letter of intent for the course. It has not sent the final approval."

The Principal, however, rubbished the apprehension saying the AICTE's approval came long ago, and the course was pending only for approval of Dr Pankaj Mala Sharma.

Now with the approval having been granted, admission processes have to be finalised soon. There are roughly about 200 students from the region interested in pursuing the course which is offered as far as Delhi, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. The final numbers will be clear once the advertisement for admission to the course is sent out.

The MFA session, for now, will start this year.



Managing waste: students to begin door-to-door drive
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 14
Over 300 students of Lawerance Public School here would undertake a unique project in order to improve sanitary conditions in Mohali. The students have been permitted to start a door-to-door campaign in Phase VI here to create awareness among residents about solid waste management.

The project suggested by the school to the Municipal Council was given the nod by the council at its last meeting.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune, Ms Veena Malhotra, Principal, said this was a unique project for the township. ‘‘We are trying to sensitise students in their social duties. We decided to take up garbage collection and disposal as the social activity since it was most important for community living,’’she said.

Students of Classes IX and XI would be adopting at least a 100 houses of Phase VI here and educate them. The students would go house to house and tell the housewives about separation of bio-degradable waste from non-bio-degradable waste. The school would also be providing these residents with separate bags to put the garbage. ‘‘We are in contact with Yuvsatta, an NGO, that would arrange for the collection of this garbage from the houses,’’she added.

The school has requested the council to allow them the use of a garbage dumping place for the preparation of compost from the collected garbage. ‘‘The school will get bins constructed at the location on an experimental basis and the garbage would be dumped there.

Chemicals and worms will be used for the preparation of compost,” said Ms Malhotra. The project would begin on receipt of the go ahead letter from the council to the school.



Children honoured for artistic talents
Tribune News Service

Mohali, November 14
Students of different schools in Chandigarh and Mohali were honoured by the Dhillon Creations here for their artistic talents. The children all between the ages of 8 to 14 years were given prizes at a function held here today.

Among those who were honoured by Mr Jasbir Dhillon, owner of the Dhillon Creations, include, eight-year-old Pragati Trikha, a student of DAV Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 15. She has acted in 4 films and 6 TV serials. She also acted in Yash Chopra’s Veer Zara and Gurdas Mann’s Des Hoya Pardes.

Amit Walia, a 12-year-old student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, won the best dancer award for the of year 2003.

Priya, another 12-year-old student of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Sector 40, along with Renu, a 10-year-old student of Government Senior Secondary School, Sector 45, were also awarded.

Neha Dabur a nine-year-old, Gurvir a 14-year-old class X student, and Mridul a 10-year-old student were also honoured on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Dhillon, said these awards were being given to encourage child artists.



Inner beauty must to accentuate physical beauty: Tanushree

SHE gives you an innocent smile and radiates warmth as she walks up to you. She is the current Femina Miss India Universe girl, but Tanushree Dutta is a level-headed beauty as you immediately find out. “There is success and failure. I believe that after every sunset there is sunrise,” she says disarmingly.

A part of her dreams came true, when she won the prestigious beauty crown earlier this year. However, Tanushree is not the one to rest on her laurels, says the ravishing beauty from Jamshedpur, of her experience in the spotlight, “Mumbai holds a lot of promise for one and all but patience and hard work are a must,” she says. According to her inner beauty and confidence are very important to accentuate physical beauty.

Tanu has already got some offers from Bollywood but is taking her time to make the right choice. She doesn’t want to be just a “decoration piece”. However, if Bollywood does not satisfy her, she intends to open a chain of restaurants.

To keep herself fit, she works out and also meditates. She is a workaholic and can work for hours without any break. “It doesn’t matter which profession one joins but, one has to be very honest and never forget what type of personality one is”, she opines.

The strengths of the stunner is the quest not only to survive but also excel in the chosen field. “I am not scared of failing in life.” The sparkle in her beautiful eyes substantiates her confidence.

When asked about her negative points, she said candidly, “I wish I could say everything is good about me. But I think I get hyper sometimes for which my friends have to pay a heavy price.”

She gives the credit of her success to her parents, who have been very supportive. “ When I told them that I wanted to go for the Miss India contest, they were really shocked but they could not refuse me because they knew that then I would go on a hunger strike”.

Tanushree Dutta was in the city to crown Nitasha Bhateja, who won the Pond’s Googly Woogly contest. The contest was kicked off on October 6 and women were asked to write about their most beautiful moment. Over 60,000 entries poured in from across the country. Nitasha, who is student of fashion designing, was personally visited by Tanushree at her home in Sector 18 for the crowning.

Tanushree Dutta sees a child in herself and feels that the inner child never wants to grow up. Giving her advice to kids on Children’s Day, she said they should sustain their innocence. Parents should intervene only if their innocence is being affected by the surrounding factors. “Innocence is definitely a higher quality which should be nurtured along with intelligence,” she says. OC



Cartoons spell doom for kids
Swarleen Kaur

Five-year-old Tanmay doesn’t wake up till his mother turns on the Cartoon Network in the morning. He refuses to eat his lunch if he is not allowed to watch cartoons. Similar tantrums are thrown around by him at 8 pm when Pokemon unleashes its terror tactics on the idiot box.

Without blinking their eyes, children watch cartoon channels for long hours. Pokemon (short for pocket monster) and his isotopes — weezing, koffing, mankey, scyather, butterfree — with their power to attack and kill are their role models.Their fights rule their imagination. These violent characters are the talking points in their classrooms.

Seven-year-old Gautam is heard gossiping how the Pokeman comes to his bedroom in the middle of night. So when his mother narrates a loveable fairy tale or a story from Ramayana, he is least excited.

What puts the tender spirit with “hardened” heart on is how Pokeman attacks his enemies and how violently he targets them.

Gone are the days, when kids used to get together and “play postman” in the open spaces. Cartoon Network has hindered their group activities and has substituted for “the postman” their favorite shows are Pokemon, Popeye, He man, Fox kids or Pogo which they watch for long hours.

Many kids could be seen copying the expressions and actions of Pokemon and his tribe. They try to mimic these “not so-loving” creatures, walk like them and try to imitate their action.

Harjeet Kaur, mother of seven-year-old Ekam, spotted him playing with electricity wires. When she tried to stop him he said “this is the way to gain power and to win the world”.

She said though she kept an eye on him and tried to involve him in other activities but somehow when she would be busy he would turn on the TV to watch his favourite cartoon channel.

Obviously, kids are more energetic than their parents and it is not possible for the elders to keep a watch on them all the time.

Most children these days insist on buying potato chips of a particular brand because it contains a Pokemon’s tazo. The one who has the maximum number of tazos is envied. Weary mothers try to wean them to healthier food, but perhaps snacks companies know their game better.

According to city-based clinical psychologist Ashupriya the growing addiction for cartoon channels among kids is a cause of worry.

But only parents are to blamed for it. They do not spare enough time to engage them in some other fruitful activities, like reading out a story. For working parents, TV seems to taken off their load of looking after the child. A child watching TV is ‘blissfully’ silent and is not a much nuisance.

The continuos watching of these cartoon shows is affecting their psychology. No wonder teachers are reporting more cases of children getting restless, poor concentration in classrooms.

Ashupriya suggests that children, if they play in group, develop qualities of patience and cooperation. Kids who play video games all by themselves tend to be “all by themselves”. They might find it difficult to work or play in a group or synchronise with their age group.

She further says, “Charity begins at home. Parents need to learn a few lessons first from the story of a cap-seller who threw his cap to get his caps back from monkies. Children too are like little monkies.They ape their parents. When the mother watches serials continuously for 3 hours, child cannot take a no from them. Let the child know discipline has to be maintained and they cannot watch TV whenever they want. The stick is also needed in small measures and should be used very judiciously”, she said.


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