L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City residents rise to help tsunami victims
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, December 31
While city residents are coming forward to help tsunami victims by donating generously in cash and kind, various city clubs have also come forward to help the suffering humanity in the coastal region.

The Sutlej Club has decided to donate Rs 11 lakh towards the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the families of the victims of tsunami tragedy. A decision to this effect was taken in a meeting of the executive committee of the club held under the chairmanship of Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner and president of the club, here last evening.

Apart from this, employees of all three branches of the Excise and Taxation Department have decided to donate one-day salary, amounting to around Rs 1.50 lakh, in the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for the families of tsunami victims.

This was decided at a special meeting of the officers of the three excise districts here today. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Mr Manmohan Singh, DETC, to mourn the deaths in southern states. Two-minute silence was also observed for the peace of the departed souls.

Employees of the PUDA zonal office have also decided to contribute one-day salary for the assistance of the affected people. This was decided at a meeting of the staff held under the chairmanship of Ms Alakh Nanda Dayal, Additional Chief Administrator, PUDA. The staff also observed two-minute silence on the occasion.

Later Mr K.K. Bawa, Mr Jiwan Dhawan, president, Citizens for Public Cause, and Mr Pawan Diwan, president, Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch, presented cheques amounting to Rs 41,000 on behalf of the two organisations to Mr Verma for the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Meanwhile, the CPM has appealed to its party members to donate generously for the families of those killed in the tsunami tragedy.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, secretary of the CPM’s district unit, said a delegation of the party, led by party general secretary Harkrishan Singh Surjit, met the Prime Minister and presented a cheque of Rs 10 lakh for the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.

He further informed that the CPM leaders and cadres would hold a flag march in villages and towns in Ludhiana district from January 15 to 20 in order to convey the message of the 18th state conference of the party being held at Mansuran village from January 23 to 25.

The Rajiv Gandhi Youth Federation performed a ‘havan’ praying for the peace of the souls of those killed in the tsunami tragedy.



Blast case: factory owner, manager booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The police has booked owner, manager and other employees of Mukesh Steels Ltd. regarding the blast incident yesterday even as a team of ballistic experts from Chandigarh, besides forensic experts from the city, examined the blast site for over six hours for ascertaining the exact cause of the explosion.

The police has charged the accused with causing death of three labourers due to negligence. The FIR will be amended, if the forensic examination states that the blast occurred due to some scrap bomb. The Sections imposed so far were 304-A ( death by negligence), 337 and 338, IPC

The accused were factory owner, Ashwani Kumar, Manager Arun Kumar, Manager (works) Vijay Sharma and foreman Gurmeet Singh.

Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has , meanwhile, directed the Director, Industries, to enquire into the safety mechanism of the factory as three blast have taken place in the factory in the past two months only.

The experts, however, hinted that the blast seemed to have taken place when a pipe connecting an LPG cylinder and an oxygen cylinder used jointly for cutting scrap developed some blockade and exploded. The cylinders also exploded causing the death of the three labourers and injuries to two others.

According to the FIR lodged on the complaint of Ajit Singh, brother of deceased Anil Singh, the incident took place when the scrap was being downloaded from a truck.

Truck driver Shamsher Singh and cleaner Kuldeep Singh died on the spot. Iron pieces and splinters which flew all round because of the explosion, pierced through their bodies.

The team of the ballistic experts reached the site this morning. They inspected the debris, the bodies at the Civil Hospital and met the two injured labourers, who were discharged from a local hospital today.

The experts said they would send the report to the SSP after studying the samples at their laboratory in Chandigarh. Sources said the experts had noted that the bodies of the deceased had not been cut to pieces which strongly supported the theory that it was not a scrap bomb blast.



For them it’s just another day
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
New Year day means just another day for them as it has never brought them any hope. They watch residents going ga ga over the celebrations that last well up to midnight only to feel disappointed that they were born to poor parents.

“What New Year? Is anybody assuring us that we will get two square meals a day in the coming year? Out struggle has to remain,” says Manju Devi, a woman who makes a living by selling knickknacks on the roadside.

“We have no time to celebrate New Year Eve as we are daily wagers. We will have to go to the construction site and do our daily labour and then only we will be able to cook our meals. By the time we come back in the evening, we will be tired,” said Shankar and his wife. They work at a house being constructed in Dugri and are employed on daily wage basis by the contractor.

Young boys selling balloons and women sitting by the roadside will be selling knickknacks till late tonight in the hope of having a good sale. “We might find a young couple out on the streets buying heart-shaped balloons and all that. We do not mind sitting out till late night in the hope that we will sell our goods and make extra money that will come in handy in enabling us to buy woollens for the winter.”

“Celebrations, what celebrations?” say some of the beggars sitting outside Dandi Swami Temple.”We do not even have a proper roof over our heads. We will be lucky if some generous soul gifts us a blanket. Some religious-minded people visit temples and gurdwaras and do that every year. We will get a lot of assorted sweets and money, but for that we will have to sit and wait . It will ensure that we donot go hungry for the next couple of days . That’s all. Such days are only for well-off people, not for we beggars,” they say.



30-year-old jumps in front of train, dies
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 31
A youth committed suicide by jumping before a train on Thursday night.

According to information, the body of the youth (30) was noticed by Railways employees lying on the track. The Railway Police said the youth had committed suicide under Shatabdi Express. The body was sent to the Civil Hospital, Khanna, for post-mortem examination.

In another incident, a four-year-old boy died and his mother was injured when a train hit them near Kauri village today. According to information, deceased boy Tun Tun Kumar and his mother were going on a footpath adjacent to a railway track. A train coming from behind hit them. The boy fell on the stones and died on the spot while his mother received minor injuries.

The body of the deceased was handed over to family members after conducting post mortem at the Civil Hospital.



Power cuts trouble industry, residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Unscheduled power cuts, the duration of which has increased, are adding to the woes of small and medium enterprises (EMEs) and city residents.

While electricity board officials say there are no cuts for the industry, their official definition of industrial areas, including only a small fraction of units, SMEs are dissatisfied by the inadequate power supply which is badly affecting their work.

“Areas like Janta Nagar and Miller Ganj, which receive power from residential feeders, have a large number of industrial units. Power cuts of even as long as four-hour duration are being imposed here which is affecting the working of these units,” said Mr Inderjit Singh Navyug, vice-president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Industrialists say it was only for a small period that they got some respite from unscheduled cuts.

“With a decline in generation, or whatever other reasons they have, power cuts have begun again badly affecting our work,” said an industrialist.

While such cuts mean reduced working hours making it difficult for industrialists to meet orders on time, processing units like electroplating suffer badly as they require continuous supply.

“An electroplating unit has to re-start the entire process if there is a cut. Since the cuts being imposed are unscheduled and of long durations, this industry is suffering heavy losses,” Mr Navyug said.

The situation in residential areas is no better with cuts of three-four hours being imposed on an average in most of the areas.

According to department officials, while no improvement in generation is expected, rains will provide some relief as the demand due to irrigation will register a decline. Otherwise, the situation is likely to continue for some more time, an official said.



Postal services failed to keep pace with changing times
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 31
Although the Department of Posts completed 150 years of its existence this year, it, more or less, failed to keep pace with the changing needs of the urban population, as also make necessary technical upgrading to remain relevant in modern times.

The department envisaged a number of schemes to re-establish itself in the wake of IT revolution, but the postal services still failed to come up to the expectations of the city population. The users continued with their complaints of apathetic staff, inefficient handling of the work relating to receipt of telephone bills and frequent computer snags where the services were on-line.

Majority of post offices located in congested areas of the city continued to work in small buildings and without requisite infrastructure. The visitors continued to fume and fret at avoidable delays. Even in the face of persistent complaints by the users, the department failed to streamline the delivery of post and booking of money orders.

The city division opened four more post offices in Dhandari Kalan, Basant Avenue, Daba Road and Guru Arjun Dev Nagar in a bid to make available postal services at shorter distance for the city population.

In the wake of phenomenal growth of courier services, e-mail and the telecommunication sector, the department introduced a number of innovative services like door delivery of postal articles like postage stamps and envelopes and booking of registered letter and speed post articles in a few post offices on experimental basis.

The department kept alive its tradition of interaction with schoolchildren by organising various events during the year.

To mark the completion of 150 years of existence of the postal services, a stamp design competition was arranged, followed by an inter-school painting competition on Children’s Day, Hindi Divas fortnight and a philatelic exhibition ‘Lupex 200’ during the year.

The department hosted an All-India Athletics and Cycling Championship on the PAU campus in which more than 150 participants from all over the country took part.

Postal employees continued to hold dharnas and demonstrations to press their pending demands from time to time all through the year. A week-long dharna at the Head Post Office against erratic water supply in Postal Colony also hogged the limelight during the year.



Crime rose in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 31
With a steep rise cases registered under various sections of the IPC, the Jagraon police had a tough time dealing with the cases and executing recoveries during 2004. With the exception of cases of conspiracy to rob and breach of trust that recorded a fall, the number of cases registered under all other sections showed a rise.

As many as 1,541 cases were registered under various sections during the year as against 962 cases registered in 2003. The police claimed to have recovered goods worth more than Rs 54 lakh out of a total of around Rs 135 lakh that was reported lost during this period.

Perusal of records showed that the police had registered four cases of robberies out of which three had been solved and items worth 1.25 lakh were recovered. The number of burglary cases has increased from 49 in 2003 to 86 in last year.

As many as 37 cases were solved and items worth 4.98 lakh out of around 65 lakh reported stolen were recovered. Similarly, the incidences of theft registered under Sections 379 to 382 became more than double (99) and more than 50 per cent stolen items were recovered.

As part of crusade launched against the illegal trafficking of drugs and narcotics, the district police registered 192 cases and seized around 27 km of opium, more than 155 quintals of poppy husk, 750 grams of charas, 1,9320 tablets and 160 bottles of corex, 1,848 capsules, 1290 ml of syrup and 500 gram of ganja from traffickers.

As against 190 cases in 2003, 281 cases were registered under the Excise Act this year.

Besides seizing 19 working distilleries, the police seized around 1,900 litres of illicit liquor, and 1,108 litres of English wine. Around 25 quintals of lahan was also seized.

The police registered 25 cases under the Arms Act and seized 11 pistols, 3 revolvers and one gun, besides ammunitions and sharp-edged weapons from the accused.

As against 23 murder cases registered last year, 29 cases under Section 302 were registered and out of these six were unsolved. All cases registered under Sections 304 (7), 324 to 326 (138), 328 (1) and 364 and 365 (10 cases of abduction) were claimed to be solved

No case was registered under Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act and the Explosive Act. No dacoity or conspiracy to loot was recorded this year.

Commenting on the revelations, Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP, Jagraon, said the influx of migrant labour and non-submission of addresses of tenants and other employees was the main reason for the rise in the crime rate.



Cops updated on disaster management
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 31
Reacting to the situation in the southern coastal area of the country and neighbouring nations, the Jagraon district police organised a seminar on disaster management for the police which was chaired by Mr Rajiv Ahir, SSP. The staff working under the office contributed one day’s salary for the rehabilitation of the tsunami disaster-hit families.

Sources revealed that a seminar on the issue of disaster management was organised at the office of Senior Superintendent of Police here. It was attended by around a hundred cops, including all SHOs and GOs.

The seminar started with a two-minute silence observed to mourn the deaths of the victims. Addressing the police personnel, Mr Ahir said the police had to perform a multifacial role at the time of any disaster. Though Punjab was situated at a long distance from the coast, it still was prone to disaster due to earthquakes, floods, rail accidents and air crashes, “Being a border state we have to be prepared for any eventuality at all times. Unless our force is equipped with the technical knowhow about the disaster management of various adversaries, relief and rescue operations can not be taken up efficiently,” said Mr Ahir.

Emphasising on the need of various aspects of disaster management, Mr Ahir reminded that the results of the rescue operations depended upon the scale of the disaster and the efficiency of the personnel. Fundamentals elements of all strategies remaining the same, communication between the various rungs of the team should be considered as important as the infrastructure forced into the service. He stressed that media should be informed accordingly so that panic did not arise due to unauthentic reports.

Mr Ahir warned that the volunteer manpower, if not regulated properly, might sometimes prove a hurdle in the rescue operations. To get the best results, various routes for carrying relief, including medical aid and ration, should be kept free.Documentation at each stage should be completed promptly, added the police cop.

Mr Jaspal Singh Dhanoa, SP(D), Mr Jarnail Singh Dhaliwal, SP(H), Mr Jatinder Singh Khaira, DSP, Dakha, Mr H.S. Brar, DSP, Raikot, and Mr G.S. Cheema, DSP (D), also spoke on the subject.



City residents offer condolences
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, December 31
The Urban Estate Ram Lila Dasehra Committee (regd), Dugri, Ludhiana’s executive committee, held a meeting under the chairmanship of its president, Mr Raj Garg, wherein all members expressed grief over the deaths of the people killed in the tsunami disaster along the coasts of southern India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. A two-minute silence was also observed and prayers offered to God to provide peace to the departed souls.

The general secretary of the committee, Dr Shiv Gupta, stated in a press note that New Year celebrations had also been cancelled in view of the tsunami disaster. An appeal had been made to the general public to donate liberally to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund so that relief could be provided to the disaster-affected people. Government and bank employees had been appealed to donate their one-day salary to the fund.

Condolence meeting

A condolence meeting for tsunami victims was held at Green Land Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, which was attended by Mr Rajesh Rudhra, Director, Principal Baldeep Pandher, Mr Om Parkash Malhotra, Mr Parminder Mehta, Mr Ashol Makkar, Mr Rajinder Sohi, all secretaries, PPCCI, and Mr Vijay Danav, national controller, Bhavadas. They expressed shock and grief over the disaster.

An appeal was made to the citizens of India to cancel New Year celebrations. They also decided to donate Rs 51,000 to the affected families through Mr Narinder Pal Singh, SSP, Ludhiana.

Celebrations cancelled

The District Bar Association(DBA) has cancelled its New Year celebrations programme in view of the Tsunami disaster, which has claimed thousands of lives, and resolved to help the victims’ families.

The DBA president, Mr Balwinder Goel, has appealed to members of the associaton to donate generously to the DBA for sending the same to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. Mr Goel said they stood by the unfortunate fellow countrymen in the South and would ensure maximum financial help to them.

“Instead of organising a New Year programme on January 3, we have decided to convene a general house meeting on the same day at the conference hall in Judicial Complex to mourn the deaths of the departed souls and keep silence for two minutes,” added Mr Goel.

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Legal Cell leaders Mr Parshotam Sharma, Mr Dharamjit Singh Khera, Mr Ashok Bhakri and Mr Kamaljit Sharma have mourned the deaths of the victims and resolved to help the needy families financially.

In the wake of tsunami disaster, members of the District Taxation Bar Association have cancelled the New Year celebrations. In a meeting held here to condole the deaths in the tragedy, association’s press secretary Jatinder Khurana asked the members to contribute towards the relief for tsunamic disaster victims.

Relief for tsunami-hit

A sum of Rs 10,000 was handed over to the Naib Tehsildar, Mr P.S. Kular, by Mr J.S. Kaler and Mr Narinder Vashishat, president and general secretary of the Documents Writers’ Union, for the tsunami tragedy victims. Meanwhile, the SDM, Samrala, Mr Baldev Singh, has appealed to the residents to help those affected by tsunami. Earlier, the Commission Agents and Shellers Association of Machhiwara had handed Rs 1.5 lakh for the noble cause.



MC got bouquets from outsiders, brickbats from residents
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
For the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the year 2004 meant winning accolades from outside agencies, but drawing a flak from city residents over several key issues.

Though it was considered to be the best among various municipal corporations in the country in the year, it remained in the news mostly for wrong reasons.

Certain issues, including the slow progress on the elevated road project and other flyovers, poor garbage disposal system, deadlock with Park Management Committees over the maintenance of parks, with the People for Animals for illegal slaughtering of animals in the open, the alleged contractor-councillor nexus, fuel scam and faulty tender allotment system, hogged the limelight during the year.

The corporation started the current financial year on a positive note and had inculcated hope among city residents by passing much hyped Rs 330 crore budget for the city, but not much development could be witnessed.

The water treatment plant installed under the Sutlej Action Plan failed to start functioning during the year and Buddha Nullah continued to be the most polluted water body in the city, posing threat to thousands of city residents who depended on groundwater for drinking purposes.

Unabated violations of building bylaws and failure of the corporation to clear encroachments brought brickbats for it. The problems of bad roads, water shortage, non-functional street lights and poor sewerage continued to stare the MC in its face.

The civic body invited severe criticism from various quarters when the petrol scam was unearthed by the Vigilance Bureau. The MC officials instead of checking the scam indulged in arm twisting tactics.

The spread of gastroenteritis in some areas, where hundreds of residents were taken ill, was another incident that had taken the city by storm. While so many residents had suffered, the corporation and the Health Department indulged in passing the buck.

The year also witnessed a long-drawn battle between the corporation and the Park Management Committees. The Punjab State Human Rights Commission had directed the local administration to conduct a survey of parks. The survey had revealed that most of the parks maintained by the corporation were in bad shape.

The commission had also appointed a Local Commissioner to inquire whether the city slaughterhouse was functional or not. The Local Commissioner had, in his report, stated that it was non-functional and the slaughtering was being done in the open and under unhygienic conditions, posing a threat to the health of residents.

Suspension of the Municipal Town Planner, Mr P.K. Garg, and a Congress councillor, Mr Sat Pal Puri, had also created furor in various circles.

There were bouquets for the civic administration when a team of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) toured the city to evaluate civic amenities and other infrastructure facilities for studying municipal management and capacity building in the country.

The MC Commissioner was nominated as a panelist on the Round Table on Slum Improvement in Indian Cities and Workshop on Strategic Options for Sustainable Private Financing of Community Infrastructure Projects.

A team of experts from Japan, led by Dr Seiichi Fukul, Professor, Agriculture Economics, at Kobe University, had also toured the city to study the infrastructure here. The Commissioner was also invited for participating in the National Training Programme on Design, Construction and Operation of Sanitary Landfills organised at Goa during the year.

The World Bank listed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to record appreciation for implementing reforms, e-governance and installing information technology-based procedures. The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration would send a group of 12 trainee IAS officers for attachment with the civic body.



Majilis Ahrar to celebrate 75th year tomorrow
K.S. Chawla

A file picture of Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi with Pandit Nehru
A file picture of Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi with Pandit Nehru.

Ludhiana, December 31
The platinum jubilee of the All-India Majilis Ahrar party will be celebrated on January 2 here as National Integration Day. The Majilis Ahrar party was set up in 1929 by late Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi, who himself was a great freedom fighter and had participated in the freedom movement of the country along with Pandit Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, Ludhiana those days was the central hub of the freedom movement.

The Majilis Ahrar party was set up in Lahore and Maulana Rehman was associated with other freedom fighters, including Maulana Sayeed Ata-Ula Shah Bukhari, Maulana Daud Gaznavi, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and Chaudhry Afzal Haq and Sheikh Hasmudin.

A mention of the party has been made in the history books written by Dr Tarachand and Veer Savarkar. The great grandfather of Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman took part in the First War of Independence of 1857. He had got Ludhiana vacated from the occupation of the British army. He had then participated in the war with Bahadur Shah Zafar.

After the partition of the country, Maulana Rehman shifted to Delhi where he died in 1956. His son Maulana Khalil-ur-Rehman settled down in Ludhiana. Two grandsons of the late freedom fighter Sani Ludhianvi and Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi are at present settled in Ludhiana.

According to Maulana Atiq-ur-Rehman, freedom fighters from different parties and organisations, including Namdhari will participate in the programme on January 2. Renowned freedom fighters will also be honoured on the occasion.

Maulana Anzar Shah, Vice-Chancellor, Darul-loom, Deoband, will be the chief guest. Besides, local Congress and other party leaders will participate.



Jain monument to nurture quest
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 31
A magnificent mega domed structure, Adhishwar Dham, coming up at Kup village situated on the Luhiana-Malerkotla road depicts the blending of traditional Jain ideology with the values of universal fraternity and secularism.

Depicting the age-old respect for the human values, the multi-dimensional monument stands as a temple, which besides being a traditional worship place would nurture the other quests of the visitors. When completed at the estimated cost of Rs 100 million it would house a voluminous library, multi-dimensional hospital and a huge cowshed to shelter cows and other deserted stray animals.

Sant Bimal Muni Ji Maharaj transformed his dream to reality nine years ago when a child laid the foundation stone of the monument. The original plan shows the complex spread in land measuring 70 bighas.

Spacious ground floor of the building has been named Guru Mandir where the statues of various gurus will be installed.

The first floor will accommodate a unique museum where articles and antiques related to all religions and sects will be kept. These will be easily accessible to visitors so that they can know about the origin of all religions.

The second floor has been so designed that around 5000 sadhus can meditate collectively at any time. It will also be used as a hall for religious discourses. Two temples have been constructed at the two ends of the hall, one of them commemorating Adinath, the generator of the universe, and the other commemorating governing goddess of Adinath, the Charkas.

Another double storey is being built opposite the main temple. This will accommodate a huge library, a langar hall and an abode for sadhavis.



At the Crossroads
When the new year dawns

THE past year recedes into the repertory of memory when the new year dawns. The rising of the sun, on the first day of the year, appears to be a new phenomenon. Something that has emerged out of nothingness. A new beginning altogether. The mind is eager to grasp the significance of those few moments which are like dewdrops on the petals of a flower. The illusion of the time standing still lingers in the corridors of consciousness. No hurried response to the ever-expanding glow of the rising sun:

But look, the morn, in russet mantle clad

Walk o’er the dew of yon high eastward hill

Welcoming the new year is like welcoming the days of struggle when the will to work survives the setbacks which are generally transitory in nature. The fight must go on as in it lies the spirit of gaining ascendance over adversaries. The ultimate goal is to achieve the unattainable and to visualise the indiscernible. The dim lights on the horizon recede further as one advances towards them. Still the craving is for the fulfilment of one’s desires, not merely ambitions. Something that prompts one to delve deep into the recesses of one’s psyche. In this fashion, life takes big steps and at times it takes in its stride the impediments that stand in the way of the catharsis of pent-up emotions.

In the years gone by, we welcomed the new year with many resolves. The idea was to discard the old habits which were irksome. To imbibe what was good and true in human life formed the part of our programme. It had never been the intention to scale heights or to touch the sky. The feet were always on the ground and the goals realistic.

The view of life was associated with other members of a family and not centred in the self. Abnegation of personal needs was considered a laudable step. The welfare of kin and friends was uppermost in the minds. Personal ambitions, of course, played their role in the lives of individuals but these were not achieved at the cost of the needs of others.

In this new year, nature should not play havoc with the lives of ‘both man and beast’. It should rather be benign like a caring mother. In harmony with nature, human being can usher in an era of gaiety. Volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis can wait endlessly as this earth aspires to be heavenly. Human beings can also desist from polluting their surroundings. To be unmindful of ecology is a sin, if not a crime. It has been said “out of chaos, harmony began”. So it is well-nigh madness to plunge the world once again into the vortex of disarray and disorder. The need of the hour is to worship nature as “nature doth never betray the heart that loves her.” The intensity of such a love leads devotees to the door that opens to Elysian fields.

Poverty is the rootcause of all evils in the society. Hunger benumbs the sense of right and wrong. Still those who earn their bread by the sweat of brow, lead contented lives. They are active in rendering service to the society. Only the laggards commit crimes and their attempts to get rich quickly paves the path for long terms in jail. Perhaps the year to come will induce such persons to engage themselves in work for honest living.

But there are such well-endowed persons in this world as have poor souls. Nothing can satisfy their hunger for more and more. Scams are the product of man’s lust for money and for that purpose he can barter his soul away to the devil. This tendency to amass crores of rupees in the caskets lands them into yawning darkness from where there is no escape. Could the new year instill sense of propriety in their minds?

The things are falling apart, no doubt, and the centre cannot hold them together. This drifting away from the mainstream results in the creation of cesspools in the long run. Seeking glory merely at the individual as well as community level is the negation of emotional integration. The differences of any sort can be resolved by resorting to the method of give and take. The old proverb, “live and let live”, is even more relevant in the present times. The good sense of making this world a better place for living can still prevail upon humanity that is tiptoeing to welcome the year 2005.

— N.S. Tasneem



Greeting cards still not out
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, December 31
‘Dakia daak laya’ used to evoke a happy response till last decade, but with the revolution in sending greetings through e-mail and SMS, cards are losing their appeal.

“Not really”, said Jaspinder Singh.”I love receiving greeting cards. The words on the card are meaningful and make me feel closer to my friends. It makes me feel good. Also if I have lost contact with my friends in the year, the sweet message makes me rush to the phone and renew my friendship. I cherish the card as it speaks of the effort made by the person who has sent it. First the person selects the card, then writes the message, affixes the stamp and sends it. Isn’t that beautiful?”

But Ludhiana Tribune found that very few persons agreed with Jaspinder. Most of the people said sending cards was becoming an expensive affairs. Dr Nakra, a city physician, says,”I get so many cards from pharmaceutical companies and friends. I feel guilty as I cannot reciprocate the gesture. We get cards from abroad, but to send cards back to our NRI friends is very expensive. E-mail is a better option.”

Sania says, "I do not have patience to buy cards. Besides I feel we are harming our environment by cutting trees to make paper and then cards. When e-mails are available and one gets very funny messages and greetings , I prefer e-mails to cards any day.In no time, I can send greetings to all my friends in various parts of the world.”

But Sushant says,”By sending cards , we are helping a lot of organisations like Unicef, CRY, HelpAge India and local organisations like Nirdosh and Ek Prayas. When we buy greeting cards from them, money goes for the welfare of the children and old people. We are doing two things by sending these cards. One we are showing our friends love and affection, and secondly we help the people indirectly by buying these cards. I enjoy spreading love and warmth by sending greeting cards in spite of modern ways as I feel e-mails and SMS are impersonal.”

Amit says he finds the SMS most convenient. “One can send it to many friends at minimal cost. During night I put off the phone on silent mode, so I do not get disturbed.”

But with the job pressures, one finds sending cards quite difficult over e-mails, some still enjoy age-old way of wishing their friends a "Happy New Year."



Holiday on Parshuram Jayanti sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Bhagwan Parshuram Brahmin Sabha of the district has urged the Chief Minister, Mr Amarinder Singh, to reverse his recent decision to abolish gazetted holiday on the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti in the state. The sabha felt that this amounted to an insult to the Brahmin Samaj.

Stating this here yesterday in a press note, Mr Krishan Rai Sharma, president of the sabha, said the sabha was grateful to the former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who, soon after assuming office, had declared a gazetted state holiday on the occasion.

Mr Rai further stated that the samaj had been politically non-aligned so far. But in case the state government did not restore the holiday, the samaj would have to openly declare its support to the political party which would promise to look after the basic rights of the Samaj.

A meeting of the sabha would be held on January 2 at the Shri Shiv Shakti Mandir in New Moti Nagar to chalk out the sabha’s further strategy in this regard, added Mr Rai.



World Disabled Day observed

Samrala, December 31
World Disabled Day was observed at the local employment exchange here today. Around 70 persons, including 50 physically challenged, attended the function.

Addressing the gathering, Mr Jawahar Lal, Employment Officer, highlighted the facilities being provided to the physically challenged by the state and the Central Governments.

Ms Daljit Inder, District Employment Officer, Ludhiana, also spoke on the occasion. She explained to the audience various schemes being sponsored by the Human Resources Development Ministry. She said loan was available to the physically challenged at an interest of 4 per cent. Mr Jagdish Singh, Mr Gurprit Singh, Ms Harminder Kaur and Mr Harmesh Singh Rana also spoke on the occasion. Ms Daljit Inder and Mr Jawahar Lal distributed sewing machines among physically challenged women candidates. OC



Five women to get Dhami awards
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
Dr Sarup Singh Alag, Chairman, Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust, Ludhiana, in a press note said the trust would award Prof Puran Singh Dhami Awards on January 2, next year at Panjabi Bhavan here to five eminent women who have rendered selfless service in the various fields. This function is dedicated to Mata Gujri whose martyrdom tercentenary was observed last week.

From left: Prof Puran Singh, Prof Devki Jolly, Dr Anoop Kaur Bansal, Prof Kulwant Kaur, Ms Sushil Kaur and Prof Phulwant Kaur. — Tribune photographs

Prof Jagir Kaur Dhami would be the patron-in-chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Chhatwal of London would be the chief guest and eminent cancer specialist of the USA, Dr Mandeep Singh Dhami, would grace the occasion as a guest of honour.

According to Prof Raminder Deep Singh Alag, press secretary of the trust, five publications and a souvenir would be released in the function by the chief guest.



Ravneet award for Jatinder Hans
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 31
The Ravneet Litt Memorial Award 2004 has gone to Mr Jatinder Singh Hans, a Punjabi story writer for his book, “Pavee Naal Banhya Hoya Kaal”. This award will be presented to Jatinder Singh Hans on January 2, next year, at the Ravneet Litt Memorial College for Girls, Amargarh, according to Mr Mohan Singh Malhans Secretary, Punjabi Sahit Sabha, Aluna Tola.




CUSTOMERS’ MEET: With a view to generate awareness regarding the latest developments in textile processing, Clariant India organised a customer meet here. The meet was attended by technicians from leading textile processing units in the city, stated a press note.


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