R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


SEMINAR: The Surrey Business and Technology College of Canada held a seminar on migration to Canada for students with minimum qualifications here on Saturday. A press note said representatives of the college cautioned participants not to fall in the hands of agents. They said a person with the qualification of plus II could go to Canada after completing a six-month course.

SMALL SAVINGS PLAN: The Punjab State Small Savings Agent’s Association claimed that Rs 3100 crore had been deposited under small savings schemes during the financial year 2004-2005. Mr Amrit Pal Sharma, president of the association, said the Punjab Government had fixed a deposit target of Rs 4,000 crore for this financial year.

PRIZE DISTRIBUTION: A prize distribution function of Bal Bharti Public School was held here on Sunday on the school campus. Mahashaya Gokul Chand ji, founder of the Danik Prarthana Sabha was the chief guest. Schoolchildren presented gidha and bhangra.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the subdivision branch of the Punjab Tubewell Corporation Workers Union, Hoshiarpur: president — Mr Subhash Chander; senior vice-president — Mr Pritam Dass; vice-president — Mr Amarjit Singh; secretary — Mr Pramajit Singh; and cashier — Mr Chaman Lal.

INSPECTION: Khanna Sessions Judge Harbans Lal inspected the Civil Courts on Saturday and held a meeting with members of the Khanna Bar Association. Mr Nahar Singh, president of the association, welcomed the Sessions Judge.

BAR ASSOCIATION: The following have been elected office-bearers of the District Bar Association. President — Mr H.S. Longia; vice-president — Mr Pawan Sharma; secretary — Mr Dheeraj Sehajpal; treasurer — Mr Sukhwinder Kaur; and executive members — Mr Jaswant Singh Naurd and Mr Yudhvir Bajaj.

LECTURE: Dr G.S. Bajwa, Director, Allied Services Training Centre, Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered a special lecture at Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, about 20 km from here, on Saturday. The lecture was organised by the Career Information and Guidance Bureau of the college with a view to creating awareness among rural students regarding the preparation of various competitive examinations.

ATTACKED: Goraya nagar panchayat president Kamaldeep Singh Bittu was attacked by alleged narcotics smugglers at Goraya in Phillaur subdivision on Saturday. He was informed abut the arrival of two trucks carrying poppy husk. When he rushed to nab the alleged smugglers, they attacked him and drove away their trucks. Supporters of Mr Bittu reached the spot and chased the smugglers, who escaped, leaving their trucks behind.

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the All-India Human Rights Watch. President — Ms Surinder Singh Puri; senior vice-president — Vaid Suraj Parkash and Mr Jaswant Kaur; vice-presidents — Mr Jarnail Cheema and Mr Prem Goyal; general secretary — Dr B.S. Chhabra; assistant general secretary — Mr O.P. Goyal; finance secretary — Dr Piara Singh Nagra; joint secretary — Mr Parmjit Singh Babbu and assistant secretary — Ms Satinder Kaur.



Rotary Club, Shahbad organised a free cataract operation camp at PC Sharma Eye Hospital, Ambala city with the support of Rotary Club Slough on Sunday. As many as 52 patients were operated upon in the camp.

GIRL DIES IN MISHAP: Kavita, a student of Class X, died in a road accident when she was going to appear in examination near the Ram Leela ground here on Saturday. According to information, she was being taken to examination centre on a scooter by his cousin who lost the balance on the vehicle. The girl fell off the scooter and succumbed to her injuries later.



BABY SHOW: Over 150 babies participated in a baby show competition organised by the Shivratri Fair Committee here on Sunday. Baby Sunishaka Gupta, daughter of Mr Dharam Prakash Gupta, got the first prize in the 3-5 age group, Master, Rajan, son of Mr Gurdarshan Singh, won the first prize in the 0-2 age group and Baby Tawella Vaidya, daughter of Mr Deepak Vaidya, won the first prize in the 2-3 age group.

COMPETITION: In a music competition for the Bajintri, the musicians who accompanied the devtas during the Shivarati procession, Chamahun devta won the first prize, Ghatghar Narayan won the second prize and Sukhdev Thata won the third prize here on Sunday.

ELECTED: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Himachal Pradesh Pensioners Kalyan Sangh of Nurpur Block: president — Mr S.L. Gupta; vice-president — Mr Rajni Kant; general secretary — Mr J.C. Pathania; cashier — Mr Brij Bhushan Sharma; and press secretary — Mr Y.K. Mahajan.



Topping the exam of life

Eighteen-year-old Monica of Kansapur village in Yamunanagar has proven that where there is a will there is a way, even for those who cannot walk.

These days, she can be spotted in a wheel chair, writing her Class X board examinations at the government middle school here. Holding a pen firmly in her mouth, she writes on the answer-sheet as neatly as any other student. She has refused the services of a writer for taking the exams.

Daughter of Raj Kumar, a printing press worker, she was crippled by an illness when she was barely eight. She had even lost the use of her arms and voice. Her speech was later restored following treatment at the PGI, Chandigarh.

But far from treating her affliction as a cruel stroke of fate, she turned it into a brush with creativity. She took to making paintings by holding a brush in her mouth. Gradually, she also learned to write by holding a pen in her mouth.

Not the one to complain about the vicissitudes of life, she has one grievance though. When the President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, was scheduled to visit this area on one occasion, the local officials had taken her photographs and promised to get her an audience with him. But that promise was never kept.

Hailing from a poor family and subsisting on a measly disability allowance of Rs 300 a month, her real wealth is her never-say-die attitude. Aspiring to become a teacher, she says, "I have confidence in myself and one day I will fulfill my dreams and those of my parents."

Foundation course

It's study time for masons and contractors in Dharamsala. After the district was shaken out of its slumber yet again on February 28 by an earthquake measuring 4.6 on the richter scale, the district administration has decided to hold seminars for masons to teach them how to make houses that are quake-resistant.

"We also plan to distribute pamphlets among the public to provide information about steps to be taken in case of an earthquake. The right designs for building houses that can withstand tremors will also be included," says Deputy Commissioner Shrikant Baldi.

A cream project

Sapna Jarial, a Ph.D student of the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, has been granted a one-year Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) German scholarship for her project, 'Dairying amongst Gujjars of Himachal Pradesh: An Explorative Study'.

Hailing from Dharamsala (HP), Sapna says her project will involve studying the indigenous technical knowledge and existing practices of dairying among the Gujjars, ascertaining their information-seeking behaviour, assessing the constraints faced by them and making a multimedia film on the scientific methods of dairying for their benefit.

The multimedia film, with particular reference to the latest techniques developed by the NDRI, had already been prepared during her first year of Ph.D.

According to her guide, Dr Ram Chand, head of the extension division, NDRI, her practical knowledge of the lifestyle of the Gujjars in her area will enable her to adopt a practical approach for finding ways to improve the economy of this tribal community through dairying.

She is the first student of this institute to get the prestigious DAAD scholarship. The project will begin from October 1, 2005.

Ghadar— Ek Kahani

Two years short of a century, this man still has a yen for life, a can-do attitude that can put even a spirited youngster to shame. He has lived history, and that too on his own terms.

Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, an associate of Shaheed Bhagat Singh's uncle, Ajit Singh, and founder of the Ghadar Party in Argentina, is a man who wears optimism on his sleeves. Though much has changed since his Ghadarite days, he has not given up his sunny outlook and thoughtful stance.

His life has been replete with incidents that called for a good measure of daring and pluck. "I still remember my escape from pesky intelligence officers while travelling from Colombo via Madras (now Chennai) on a fake passport. The Ghadar movement was at its peak then. I had to pretend to be mentally unhinged to escape them," he gurgles heartily.

A reluctant ideologue, he says patriotism is his only philosophy and he feels it inside out. Though living in the United Kingdom nowadays, it is the Desh Bhagat Yaadgaar Hall in Jalandhar that is a second home to this freedom fighter from Bilga village. City folks often find him discussing social and political issues at meetings held in the hall.

And he's not the one to mince words. "Those at the helm of political and social affairs are insincere and dishonest," he points out. "Corruption is gnawing at the vitals of our social fabric. It's time to sit up and take notice, and not flow aimlessly with the current."

Contributed by Nishikant Dwivedi, Vibhor Mohan, Kulwinder Sandhu & Minna Zutshi


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |