L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man spills the beans over ‘mass copying’
Loses job, alleges threat to life
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 22
A whistle-blower, who had resisted the alleged attempts of staff posted at an examination centre in the Government Senior Secondary School, Karamsar, to facilitate mass copying and approached authorities in that regard, has sought protection due to alleged threats by the school head and her relatives.

An activist of All India Crime Prevention Committee, Mr Harjit Singh, a senior clerk at the school, was not only relieved of his duty as an assistant to the Superintendent of the examination centre but was also allegedly publicly humiliated.

The school authorities denied the charges and maintained that the employee had been relieved of his duty as an assistant to the Superintendent on administrative grounds.

He has apprised the Chief Minister, Punjab, Education Minister, DGP, DPI (S) and DEO (Ludhiana), of an alleged threat to his life and property from the Controller of the centre and her relatives.

Narrating the sequence of events, Mr Harjit Singh said he was appointed assistant to the Superintendent of the examination centre for Class VIII exams being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board at Karamsar village.

As he had been opposing the move of the staff to facilitate mass copying in the centre, he was humiliated by the Controller of the centre and her relatives, including her husband, publicly, he alleged.

"On Saturday when I tried to take photographs of the staff facilitating copying, the Controller who happens to be a state award winner snatched my camera and threatened me of dire consequences before relieving me of my duties," said Mr Singh.

He alleged that the husband of the Controller had come to the centre from his place of posting and threatened to eliminate him if he dared to complain the matter to the authorities.

He further alleged that the controller had managed to receive state ward on the basis of results of the school achieved with the help of unfair means employed during past years.

"Let the head of the school fetch a good result after the authorities make foolproof arrangements as demanded by me vide letter faxed to the Deputy Secretary (Middle Cell). In case the authorities succeed in curbing copying in the centre and results decline she should surrender the award," said the complainant.

If the government was serious about checking corruption and copying during exams then the interests of the whistle-blowers should be watched, said Mr Harjit Singh.

The school authorities on the other hand denied the charges and maintained that the said employee had been relieved of his duty on administrative grounds.

The Vice-Principal confirmed that the assistant had been relieved due to some technical problem but he declined to comment on the details of the issue as he had been on medical leave for some days.

He said the camera of the complainant had been returned by the Principal who had apprised the office of the DEO of the situation. 



Winner bull out of race forever
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Bohrayi Kalan (Kila Raipur), February 22
It is rarely seen that an entire village feels concerned over the injuries suffered by an animal. This is being witnessed at Bohrayi Kalan village these days in case of a bull, Rana, winner of over 200 awards in bullock cart races. The animal was rendered paralysed following an accident at rural Olympics in Kila Raipur on Sunday.

People from adjoining villages have also been flocking the house of Jhanda Singh, owner of the bull. The bull was one of the favourites to win the race this year. It was speeding ahead of others when one of the tyres stumbled, the bull lost balance, barged into a field nearby and fell into a dry well.

The posterior of the animal had become non-functional due to grave injury to its spinal chord, according to the veterinary doctors attending on him.

Jhanda Singh,73, head of a joint agrarian family, said, “Rana had fetched more than 200 prizes, besides earning a name for the village. Today, it is lying motionless after falling into a well near the track on which it had been sprinting for five years.”

Narrating the sequence of events on that fateful day, he said, “Rana and another bull had surged ahead of others in the penultimate heat when somebody from the crowd frightened the animal that smashed against a wall and fell into 30-foot-deep dry well in which an electric motor was also fitted.”

Despite treatment by more than 10 veterinary doctors of the area, the bull had shown negligible improvement. The doctors have made it clear that the animal would not be able to take part in races again. However, the family has been giving more importance to its survival.

“Members of my family have been treating all bullocks like kids and what we want at this stage is that Rana should survive,” prayed Jhanda Singh.

Jhanda Singh, who had been participating in Kila Raipur games for more than 50 years now, said Rana was brought up by the family like a child. A trader from Rajasthan had sold it to the family during a visit to the village. It was a small calf then. Rana seemed to have been born for running only. It had won more than 80 awards even before his permanent teeth grew. Besides shining in the world famous Kila Raipur sports, Rana had won laurels in rural sports meet at Ropar, Gujjarwal, Kanganwal, Bondli, Mangwal, Jalandhar, Budhewal, Budhawal and Rachhin.

Three motorcycles, one scooter, a cart, a CD player, four gold medals and a number of watches included the long list of prizes that Rana had won for the family.

Surjit Kaur, a senior women of the family, said the family friends and relatives had been calling on the family to express sympathy since Sunday when Rana was brought home from the Grewal Stadium at Kila Raipur. Though the organisers of the sports festival extended help to pull the bull out, none of the office-bearers of the club visited to enquire about the health of the animal.

Gurjit Singh, a nephew of Jhanda Singh, said more safety measures should have been taken at the sports venue to avoid such accidents. If the well had been covered, the bull would not have suffered such injuries, he said.



Month’s deadline for MC to remove roadside butcheries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has given the Municipal Corporation a month's time to remove the roadside butcheries and directed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, to monitor the progress made in the matter. The commission has given MC a month's time to remove the butcheries.

Mr B. C. Rajput, Member, PSHRC had taken the case at a specially held court in the Circuit House during his visit to the city last week and passed relevant orders.

The case was taken by him in the presence of the complainants Mr Sandeep Jain and Mr M. R. Singhal, president, People for Animals Organisation, officials of the Municipal Corporation and the district Administration.

Mr Rajput in his orders, dated February 19, has said Mr Jaswant Singh, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, had reported that the problem of electricity connection for the Municipal slaughter house had been taken and it would be made operational very soon.

The Joint Commissioner had assured the commission that the grievances of the complainants would be removed and the roadside butcheries would not be allowed to operate.

He also stated that in compliance with the orders of the commission, the sum of Rs 5000, paid by the complainants as fee of the local commissioner appointed by this commission, would be reimbursed to the complainants within a day or two.



Exams 10 days away, syllabus not over yet
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 22
Students of Class 10+2 (science stream) of local Shankar Dass Senior Secondary School are in a dilemma as their syllabi of some subjects is yet to be completed with just 10 days remaining for the annual examinations to be conducted by the Punjab school Education Board.

It is learnt that there has not been any regular teacher for quite a long time who could teach Mathematics and Physics to Plus 1 and Plus 2 classes.

So much so the teachers who were appointed by the PTA in the absence of regular teachers made a fun of the noble profession of teaching by leaving the school at short intervals.

As a result of this irresponsible behaviour of temporary teachers, the students have had to face many problems.

The teachers for Mathematics and Physics were changed thrice as teachers were leaving the school on getting a better job.

Is it possible for the school students to work in time with so many teachers of the same subject having different approach to the contents of subject matter?

Who is responsible for the damage done to the students? It's not a question of only academic performance of the students but such a 'silly' approach of school authorities which is likely to harm the psychology of the pupils.

"Out of 20 Physics practicals, we have done only three and from the theory syllabus of 20 marks has not been even touched," says a student. The shortage of a lecturer to teach English has also become the reason of frustration amongst the students.



Patwari in Vigilance net over bribe charge
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, February 22
The Vigilance Bureau, Ludhiana Range, today arrested a revenue patwari Balwinder Singh for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 500 to dispose off an 'intqal' case. The head of the Vigilance team, Mr Sajjan Singh Cheema, DSP, said accused patwari was apprehended when he was accepting a bribe of Rs 500 from Jarnail Singh of Chakli Manga village.

Narrating his tale of woes, 18- year-old Jarnail Singh said his father had passed away two years ago. His family owned 11 kanals of land which was to be transferred in the in the name of other family members.

Patwari Balvinder Singh had already received a sum of Rs 4000 for carrying out the necessary change in the revenue records, he alleged.

Now a demand of Rs 1500 more was put up by him, Jarnail alleged.

He had borrowed Rs 500 to pay the bribe and also informed the vigilance, he further disclosed.

In the past fortnight, it is the second case of corruption which has come to light in Machhiwara.

Earlier, BDPO Gurnetar Singh and JE Karnail Singh of the Block Samiti were caught by the Vigilance Bureau. They had been granted bail recently. 



Ludhiana Calling

Making masses aware of the importance of a pollution check in this city still appears a far-fetched idea. For, not only are a majority of vehicle owners least bothered about the possession a pollution check certificate, the number of pollution checking centres issuing fake certificates is also not less. The result is interesting. One place where there are no queues are such pollution checking centres, which now appear to be becoming parking places for animals.

Inhuman treatment

There is a section of city residents who do not hesitate extending inhuman treatment to animals. Almost daily one come across over loaded carts pulled by horses. Extremely moving is the sight on the road that leads to Domoria Bridge from Deepak cinema side where one can see horses struggling to avoid slipping due to the steep road. On one side the poor animal is beaten by the cart-puller, on the other it attempts hard to maintain a balance and that too while carrying overloaded carts. Isn't it time for animal welfare associations to come to the fore to the rescue of such animals?

Crime scene

Mediapersons spare no opportunity in criticising cops but they do not pay any heed to the repeated pleas by the men in khaki that they should stay away from the scene of crime. It has become a habit here that newsmen like to invade the crime scene and go as near the body as possible. In the process they destroy clues in the form of fingerprints, DNA samples, pieces of hair or clothes. Some newsmen behave as if they were the best crime scene experts. They do not realise that they can best help in the solution of the crime by staying at a distance. The cops too fail to seal the crime scene properly with tapes or markings.

Unhygienic water

It is a cruel turn of fate that Punjab, the land of five rivers with potable water in plenty, is fighting the spread of water-borne diseases. The underground water level has not only gone down but has been polluted by the industrial waste and chemicals used in spraying of crops. The spread of jaundice cases in Khanna town and Karamsar colony in the city should act as an eye opener for the authorities concerned to stop further pollution and ensure potable water supply to the residents.

Muscular hawkers

Newspaper agents in the city fast prefer hawkers with good muscle power, courtesy the thrust on vertical construction in the city due to paucity of land. Like the metropolitan cities, Ludhiana too has now more colonies of multi-storey flats. This directly affects the hawkers with people living on higher storeys insisting the newspaper or the bundle of the newspapers should reach their terrace or balcony. This is only possible if the hawker has a good arm. Earlier the agents preferred hawkers with strong legs only so that they could paddle bicycle far and wide, but by now the hawkers have to have good arms as well!

US English

If the British made Indians read their English language after centuries of rule, the Americans have conveniently done so without much fuss. The computer software programmes like the MS Word, Quark Express and Notepad---all use US English, which changes the spelling according to the language used in the USA. The language guardians have been ignorant of this intrusion. Very few people know that some soft wares offer the option of changing the language style to British English. It is high time that the country has some uniformity in this regard. Otherwise half the population would continue writing ''colour, favour'' in British English and other ''color, favor'' in US English.

Passing the buck

The local Municipal Corporation and the district Health Department may not be experts in providing hygienic surroundings to the city residents but they are definitely efficient in passing the buck when there is an outbreak of any disease. Instead of taking collective responsibility for the failure, officials of both the departments should strive together to limit the chances of spread of disease. The time and energy spent on accusing each other for the failure should be used better for providing clean environs, potable water and hygienic food to the city residents

An embarrassment

Punjabis often pride themselves for the acumen of adjusting anywhere in the world and learning their language. A group of youths travelling in a bus from Chandigarh to Ludhiana, however, had quite an embarrassing experience when they thought that an African national seated nearby would not understand chaste Punjabi. The youths were making fun of the foreigner, who kept quite for half an hour. And then stumped them saying in Punjab language that he understood each and every word, joke, satire and even abuses used by them for him. The embarrassed group of youths remained tight-lipped in the next one-and-a-half-hours of journey.

— Sentinel



‘A Farmer With a Mission’ released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 22
The Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr K.S. Aulakh, today released a book on Mr Mohinder Singh Grewal, a progressive farmer, named ‘A Farmer With a Mission’. Authored by Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, a senior plant pathologist, this is probably the first book on a farmer penned by a scientist.

Releasing the book, the Mr Aulakh said Mr Mohinder Singh was always ahead of his times due to his scientific and innovative approach in farming. He said Punjab owed its unprecedented growth in agriculture to farmers like him.

Commenting on the appointment of Mr Mohinder Singh as a member of the Commission of Agricultural Costs and Prices (CACP), Dr Aulakh said he truly deserved the post and the state had high hopes from him, as the agriculture scenario in Punjab was grim.

The Vice-Chancellor urged him to emphasise on the minimum support price of oilseeds and pulses, as paddy cultivation was taking a heavy toll on the declining water table in the state.

Elaborating on his first attempt with writing, Dr Dhiman said his association with Mr Mohinder Singh dated back to the days when he compered for radio. “A very down-to-earth person, Mr Mohinder Singh started from scratch and went on to become one of the leading farmers in the state. A series of failures in his youth could not deter him and his scientific thinking, determination and dedication. This made him a multi-faceted personality that he is today,” he added.

The author said, “Mr Mohinder Singh also has leadership qualities and he always shared his hard-earned experiences with the farming community.”

Dr Dhiman said the protagonist of his book had got recognition with his appointment as a CACP member.

Earlier, Dr Ranjit Singh and Dr Sewak expressed their views on the book that presented a grasping account of Mr Mohinder Singh’s journey from a stint in the Navy to one of the top farmers of the 20th century.

Dr Ranjit Singh said Mr Mohinder Singh also dealt in poultry, dairy, beekeeping, and horticulture, before taking to farming. He lauded Dr Dhiman for his work and Mr Mohinder Singh for his success that he achieved with sheer hardwork.

Mr Mohinder Singh has also penned a number of books, including ‘Safal Vaigyanik Kheti’ whose 4,000 copies have been sold in a year. His other works include ‘Rang Zindagi De’ and ‘Tere Bagair Zindagi’, both dedicated to his late wife. Mr Mohinder Singh is also a pioneer in diversification and contract farming.

He has sown about 45 different crops since 1969 with the aid of concepts like multi-cropping etc. He also won the Chaudhary Charan Singh Krishak Shiromani Samman in 2002, and the ISEE National Innovative Farmer Award, besides a number of other state-level awards.


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