R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri


DIRECTIVE: Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, Jathedar, Akal Takht, asked the management of a Chicago gurdwara to clear its stand over allowing the Guru Granth Sahib to be taken to hotels. The Akal Takht has given a deadline till April 18 to the Gurdwara Management in this regard. The direction was issued by the Akal Takht on the complaint of the All-India Sikh Students Federation, which claimed that the committee had violated the earlier edict of the Takht.

BAR ASSOCIATION: Mr Pankaj Arora was unanimously elected president of the local District Tax Bar Association at a meeting held here on Saturday.

MEETING: The SAD on Saturday held a meeting of party workers prior to its conference at Talwandi Sabo coinciding with the annual Jor Mela. Addressing the meeting, the party general secretary, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundar, and the district SAD president, Mr Sikandar Singh Malooka, exhorted the workers to gear up to expose the “anti-people” policies of the state government.

HELD: One of the gang members involved in theft of water taps from government offices was arrested on Saturday when he was making another theft bid at the BSNL office here. Sources said the other two members of the gang managed to give BSNL employees a slip. The employees handed over Tarlok Singh to the police.

PROTEST: The Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) has decided to observe strike on April 6 in all ITI institutions of Punjab to lodge its protest against the fee hike from Rs 3,500 to Rs 12,000 per annum. The union would also protest against the privatisation of ITIs.

STRIKE: Protesting against private fee collection, traders at the local vegetable market went on a strike on Friday which affect the supply of vegetables in the city. Mr Mahinder Kumar of the Kacha Arhtiya Association, said the fee collection work had been given on Rs 2.9 crore contract on March 21 and it was to be implemented from yesterday. He alleged that a trader was gheraoed by over 15 men of the contractor who were trying to recover fee forcibly from him. He said the traders would not yield to the pressure tactics of the private contractors who forcibly recovered fees from them.

MEETING: A meeting of the Punjab unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) was held here on Saturday. Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the state unit of the party, presided. Mr Khanna honoured Mr Nanak Chand Kalra, a veteran BJP worker of Sangrur district. The meeting was attended by block presidents of 11 districts, including Patiala, Sangrur, Bathinda, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib.

CASE REGISTERED: On a complaint of Surinder Kaur, wife of Piara Singh of Jahadpur Jattan, the Mukerian police has registered a case against Surinderpal, alias Happy, and his mother, Kanta, of Chak Bhayian, for allegedly compelling her daughter Meena Kumari to commit suicide. Surinder Kaur alleged that they were coercing her daughter to take her share in the land of her father. But she refused to do so. On Friday, she received a call from her son-in-law that Meena Kumari had consumed some poisonous substance and had been admitted to the civil hospital. Later, she died at the hospital.

PROTEST: Joint forum of the Punjab State Electricity (PSEB) Board has decided that employees of the board will protest on Monday at Chandigarh against the proposed privatisation of the PSEB. This was stated by Mr Om Parkash, a leader of the forum, here on Saturday.

ARRESTED: The Mukerian police on Friday arrested Romesh Lal and Guabanchan Lal, both residents of Bhangala. The SSP told mediapersons that their accomplice Bachan Lal, alias Ladoo, was still absconding. They tried to commit theft in Punjab National Bank branch Bhangala on the night of March 28. During interrogation they revealed that they had stolen cash box from a gurdwara and an electric motor from a temple at Bhangala. They had also committed theft in three shops and houses. A case has been registered against them.

DEAD: Renowned Punjabi author Gurdarshan Mehramyaar died at his residence n Nairobi in Kenya on Friday. Born in Banga in 1963, Mehramyaar was known for his works in both English and Punjabi. “Drummers”, was one of his most popular books. According to his close relative Mr Mehramyaar is survived by his wife Mohinder Kaur and son Pablo.

SCHOLARSHIP: A student of Class XII at the Sahibzada Ajit Singh Academy here, Preetinder Kaur, has won a scholarship to participate in an international conference in the USA. She is among 100 students from different countries selected on the basis of their academic record and extra-curricular activities, informed the Director of the academy, Mr Sukhjinder Singh, here on Saturday.



MEDICAL CAMP: Bharitya Health care organised a medical camp for patents having problems of piles and fistula-in-ano (bhagandar) here today. As many as 86 patients were examined at the camp by 12 doctors who also conducted free surgery on poor patients free of cost.

EYE CAMP: An eye camp was organised by the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association and Ganga Devi club in collaboration with the Pannu Eye Institute here today. As many as 300 patients were examined.

CULTURAL MEET: The annual cultural programme of the National Integrated Medical Association was held at Tagore Theatre here today. During the programme doctors and their children performed. Dr CP Bansal, Director, Health, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. A skit on female foeticide was shown.

CONFERENCE IN PGI: On the second day of the Ist national conference of the Indian society for Study of Lung Cancer, discussion on diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer was held at PGI here today. Dr D. Gupta and Dr Rajwanshi from the PGI and Dr Guleria from AIIMS, Delhi, spoke on different diagnostic methods of lung cancer. Dr Deshpande and Dr Sanjay Sharma from Mumbai discussed the role of surgery on lung cancer. Dr SC Sharma discussed the new radiotheraphy modalities.

peace mission: The World peace Mission here celebrated the first anniversary of its founder director, Mr Avtar Singh, at Sector 49 today. The mission has been running five literacy centres for the needy children. Students of the centres presented poems, essays and sang songs on the occasion. Mr Krishan Chand Rahi presented cultural items. Managing trustee Lalit Behl and Col. G.S. Sethi distributed books, bags and other things among the students. The prizes were given to winners of general knowledge contest.

VIDYA BHARATI MEETING: The all-India General body meeting of Vidya Bharati Akhil Bharatiya Shikhsha Sansthan will be held from April 4 to 6 at the premises of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model School, Sector 40 where 400 delegates from all India, representing 66 state units will participate. Vidya Bharati runs 24794 schools in rural, urban and tribal areas.

MARCH: Tata Teleservices, Chandigarh, organised the Tata Indicom march on achieving the one lakh customer mark in less than three months of its operation in the region. Employees of Tata Teleservices marched to the Sukhna and gave Rs 1 lakh to the Mayor for the beautification of the lake.

AUDIO ALBUM: An audio album of devotional songs ‘Jai Mansa Maa’ of eight bhajans was released at Mansa Devi temple here on Saturday.

OFFICE BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Panchkula Welfare Association: President: — Mr Shiv Kumar Gupta; General Secretary:- Mr T.R. Tuli, Senior-Vice President:- Mr Gian Chand Kansla, Vice-President:- Mr Naresh Aggarwal, Secretary:- Dr V.P. Sood and Finance Secretary:- Mr S P Gupta.

Medical camp: As many as 500 persons were examined at a health camp organised by Manimajra Bharat Vikas Parishad at Mansa Devi shrine complex on Sunday. Doctors led by Civil Surgeon, Dr Satvir Chaudhary facilitated in the camp.


Caught: The Haryana State Vigilance Bureau has caught red-handed Sahil Kapoor, manager, Central Cooperative Bank Ladwa in Kurukshetra while accepting illegal gratification of Rs 1,000 from Sachin Garg and Harish Chander Chopra of Ladwa in connection with opening of a new account and issuing cheque books. A case has been registered against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

KILLED: A property dealer was run over and killed by a train while crossing a rail line at the railway station here on Saturday. According to a report, the deceased was identified as Shiv Kumar, a resident of Shanti Nagar. The GRP has sent his body for a post-mortem examination.

BODY FOUND: The Sadar police found the body of a youth near Kakroi village, 9 km from here, on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Rakesh (25) of Garhi Brahmanan village. He was reportedly missing from his house since March 31 last. The body bore multiple bullet injuries. The police has registered a case against Atul and his accomplices on the complaint lodged by the father of the deceased.

POLICE CUSTODY: A criminal, Manoj, was produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Mr Rakesh Singh, here on Sunday who remanded him in the police custody for seven days. He was wanted in a number of heinous crimes.

ARRESTED: The district police on Friday arrested 18 persons and recovered 45 oxen, including two dead ones, from their possession. Three vehicles were intercepted and 11 persons arrested in this connection. Elsewhere, seven persons were arrested by the Jathlana police and allegedly being taken for slaughter to Uttar Pradesh were seized from their possession.

INSPECTED: Mr Justice Viney Mittal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court inspected the District Sub Jail here on Saturday and asked the authorities concerned to speed up the construction work inside the jail. The judge has also asked the officials to teach yoga to the inmates. The District Sessions Judge, Mr S.K. Sardana, the CJM, Mr Bessar Singh, the DC Mr R.K. Rao, and the SP, Ms Suman Manjari, also accompanied the judge to the jail.


SENTENCED: Mr P.D. Goel, Special Judge, Chamba on Saturday convicted Kundan Lal Soga, the then Superintendent of Block Development Office, Mehla, and Rajendra Kumar, ex-vice Chairman, Block Samiti, Mehla, for offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. and sentenced them accordingly.

URGED: The advisory committee of the Mandi Urban Cooperative Bank Ltd has urged the Mandi MP, Ms Pratibha Singh, to help expedite the appointment of a full-time administrator and book those responsible for committing irregularities in the bank. In a six point memorandum addressed to Ms Pratibha Singh here on Friday, the members urged the MP to take up the matter with the Chief Minister.

RECOVERED: The Nahan police recovered 37 alive oxen, including one dead, from three trucks at Judda Ka Johar here on Saturday. According to information, the oxen were reportedly brought from Punjab. Six persons were arrested in this connection. A case has been registered.

DEAD: Amar Nath (50), a resident of Gojar Adyan village, was reportedly beaten up to death by Babu Ram and his two sons here on Friday. His dead body was recovered from a nearby forest on Saturday. The accused had reportedly fled from their village. It is said illicit relations of the deceased with a woman related to one of the accused was the reason of the murder.

Regional potpourri

Desperately seeking young MPs

Even though Himachal Pradesh has a high literacy rate with excellent human development indicators, issues like female foeticide and the health of women and children need to be addressed by involving young parliamentarians.

The Himachal Pradesh Voluntary Health Association (HPVHA), Shimla, has decided to involve MPs so that adequate attention can be paid, both by the government as well as the public, to these problems. The three states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan will review the implementation of the action plan formulated at the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.

"It is by involving young parliamentarians like Pratibha Singh in HP, Sachin Pilot in Rajasthan and Shelja Kumari in Haryana that an attempt will be made to address the state-specific problems pertaining to health, education or socio-economic issues," feels Rajan Mahajan, Executive Director, HPVHA.

A workshop will be held here to invite suggestions from government officials, social workers and NGOs on these problems in view of the fast-changing demographic indicators. "It is high time that we look back and introspect into our successes and failures so that in future we adopt a strategy that is most effective and suitable," he points out.

He says the declining sex ratio in Himachal Pradesh is one problem which can have serious implications on the overall socio-economic scenario in the coming years. "If corrective measures are not taken now the situation is bound to go from bad to worse, as has been the case in the last two decades," he emphasises. He feels that the policy- makers should not pursue the two-child family norm as it is adversely affecting the sex ratio, especially amongst the weaker sections.

Even though Himachal has an excellent Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), issues like widespread anaemia among women, malnutrition and breast feeding of a mere 15 per cent infants need to be looked into.

In the field of education, recent figures indicate a high dropout rate among girls after primary school.

"Another thrust area should be streamlining of family life (sex) education in schools so that adolescents can be guided to become responsible citizens," he adds.

Drowning GLORY

Like the other kids of his locality, he used to swim in the western Yamuna Canal for fun and frolic. Now, at 36, Sukhram, a resident of Vishwakarma mohalla in Yamunanagar, jumps into the waters mostly to fish out dead bodies or save people from drowning.

This man, who barely makes both ends meet by working at a furniture shop, has virtually given a new lease of life to 15 persons who had jumped into the canal to end their lives. These feats have made him hugely popular among the cops, who need his assistance every now and then.

It all started some 18 years ago, when while sitting on the banks of the canal he saw a woman jumping into it from a bridge. "I do not know what made me jump into the water, but after struggling for about half an hour, I brought her out alive", he remembers. Since then, he has been jumping into the waters either to rescue drowning persons or dead bodies.

He was promised a government job as a 'reward' for saving so many lives. But it has not materialised even after two years. "Even the persons I saved did not come back to thank me. I have the addresses of some of them", says Sukhram.

During the previous Independence Day celebrations, the district administration had honoured him with a cash award of Rs 2,000. But he has not been given any commendation certificate so far.

"The government may not reward me, but God has already blessed me and my wife," he says. They became the proud parents of a boy after 10 years of marriage. "The doctors had said that my wife would never be able to bear a child. Perhaps, the blessings of the parents of those whom I saved made our wish come true," he philosophises.

Brazil bound

Pushkar Kashmiri, a dental surgeon based in Dharamsala (HP), has been selected as a member of a group study exchange team for Brazil.

Rotary International gives this opportunity to those young professionals who're making significant contribution to their profession as well as to social work. The Rotary Governor, Dr Veena Mishra, had recommended his name along with that of four other youngsters.

Pushkar is reportedly the only dentist who has performed a rare surgical operation without proper instruments. He is the only dental surgeon whose services have been recognised by the Rotarians.

He says that his main aim is to gain more knowledge about his profession and help those people who cannot afford expensive treatment.

Contributed by Nishikant Dwivedi, Pratibha Chauhan and Ranju Aery

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