R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Foundation Day
: The 34th Foundation Day of DAV Senior Secondary School, founded in the memory of Lajpat Rai Setia, was celebrated on Saturday. Prof B.L. Rinwa, former president of the state BJP, Dr R.P. Asija, member, PU Senate, Principal Kusum Khungar, Mr Sohan Lal Setia, Arya Samaj president, members of the Setia and Narang families, teachers and others joined prayers for peace and prosperity at the yajna. Mrs Saroj Miglani and Mrs Raman Sharma also addressed the gathering.

Elected: Mr Romesh Midha of DAV College has been elected joint secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh Non-Teaching Employees Union, Punjab, unanimously.

EXHIBITION: The local BJP MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, inaugurated the 71st All-India Exhibition of Fine Arts, 2005, here on Saturday. He also released a catalogue. Mr Sidhu gave away cash awards to 15 award-winning artists. Twelve certificates for highly commended artists were also given. The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Mr Sri Krishan Khanna and Mr Inderpal Singh Bansi. More than 420 artists from 22 states participated.

Khalsa march:
Khalsa Chetna March that would start from Takht Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo, on May 3 would reach Muktsar in the evening to mark occasion of tercentenary celebrations of supreme sacrifices of 40 muktas (the liberated ones). A press note said here on Saturday march would pass through the various historic gurdwaras situated on the way from Talwandi Sabo to Muktsar.

Book exhibition: A book exhibition was organised on Saturday, at the local Sri Guru Harkishan Public School on the occasion of World Book Day. The Principal of the school said the exhibition was organised to inculcate reading habits among the students. He said such exhibitions would be made a regular feature. The students from other schools of the town also attended the exhibition.

CAMP FOR DISABLED: A camp for the physically challenged was organised on Friday at the local Teacher’s Home. It was organised by the Ambuja Cement Foundation in collaboration with the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Institute of Physically Handicapped, New Delhi. A team of six members, along with a speech therapist, examined the patients.

BANK OFFICIAL: Dr A.C. Chug has joined as head, State Bank of Patiala (SBP), zonal office, on his transfer from head office at Patiala. Dr Chug has served at a number of places, including Mumbai, Jaipur.

HELD WITH BRIBE: Mr Harjinder Singh, Revenue Assistant, PSEB on Friday caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 3,500 from Maghar Singh, a resident of Bhiki in Mansa district. Mr Amrik Singh, SSP, Vigilance Bureau (VB), Bathinda Range, said accused had sought the bribe in lieu of transfer of power connection.

ARRESTED: The local police on Saturday arrested two persons, Khalid Bagga, son of Noor Mohd, a resident of Idgah Chungi Malerkotla, and Anwar Mohd, son of Rukab Deen, a resident of Mohalla Maler Malerkotla, on charges of passing on secret information to Pakistan. According to information, the police had earlier arrested Toquir Ahmed, son of Mohd Unas, a Pakistan national, from the Idgah road in the case.

MEETING: The Excise and Taxation Department held a meeting with owners of marriage palaces here on Saturday in connection with the allotment of permits for serving liquor on their premises to customers and members. Mr Harjinder Singh, ETO of the excise wing of the department, told the participants that the government had made it mandatory for marriage palaces all over the state to procure licenses if they wanted to serve liquor to the members of wedding parties on their premises.

Tarn Taran
WORKSHOP: A workshop on traffic rules was organised by the district police on Saturday here under the presidentship of Mr Paramjit Singh Grewal, SSP. About 400 teachers, drivers, panches, sarpanches and other prominent personalities participated. 

OFFICE-BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Mamta Enclave Residents Welfare Association, Dhakoli, Zirakpur: Mr B.D. Chopra - president, Mr P.R. Kedi; vice-president, Mr Sanjeev Gupta - general secretary, Mr Jai Gopal - joint secretary, Mr R.N. Gupta - cashier.



MAHAYAGYA: A four- day long kundiya gaytari mahayagya for the welfare of all organised by Gaytri-Pariwar Chandigarh concluded on Sunday. It was held at Chaudhary Bhopal Singh Stadium, Burail. Yoga shivir, Sarv-dev puja, pravachan, kalash yatra, deep yagya were the highlights of this mahayagya. Various sanskars like mundan, yagyopavith, birthday and marriage anniversaries vidya aarambh were conducted free of cost.

MEETING: The first annual general body meeting of the PGI Retired Employees Welfare Association (PGIREWA) was held here on Sunday. The president of the association, Mr P.L. Sharma, welcomed the members and said the PGIREWA was a platform for the PGI retired employees to meet and foster friendship.

SELECTED: The Selection Committee of Dr Ambedkar Awards of the Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi, Delhi, has selected an eminent writer, Siri Ram Arsh for the Dr Ambedkar National Award for the year 2005. The award has been given in recognition of his literary and social activities towards the upliftment of the downtrodden and backward. Dr S.P. Sumanakshar, national president of the Bharatiya Dalit Sahitya Akademi, said the award has been given in connection 114th birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. 

APANG SEVA SABHA: A non-government organisation (NGO), Apang Seva Sabha, has decided to set up four centres for promotion of cultural talent among the slum children. Under the programme, the NGO organised a show in Vikas Nagar, Mauli Jagran, to identify the children. Mr G.S. Sandhu, chairman of the NGO, said about 50 children had been selected in today’s event.

Dharna: Members of the Vishawa Hindu Parishad (VHP) staged a dharna near Palika Bazar, Sector 19 on Sunday. They were protesting against the alleged inaction of the Chandigarh Administration to take appropriate legal action against Naresh Paul for his alleged involvement in conversion of Hindus. The activists of the Bajrang Dal and several other Hindu organisations also took part in the protest.

WORKSHOP: The British Library, held a workshop on ‘How to Teach Handwriting’ for the English teachers of all the government schools of the city on Sunday. This workshop was specially organised for the teachers who are teaching the junior wings starting from KG to Class IV. As many as 50 teachers participated in the workshop. Mr D.S. Mangat DPI Schools, was the chief guest.

RAM KATHA: The four-day “Ram katha”, organised by the local branch of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan, concluded at Kishangarh village on Sunday. Addressing the gathering, Ms Shrea Bharati, a preacher of the sansthan from New Delhi, said only spiritual knowledge could bring about transformation in society. Since the source of all evils is one’s mind, the mind had to be changed by bringing about awakening through spiritual knowledge.



MEASURES: All precautionary measures have been taken to prevent the outbreak of any epidemic of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and jaundice and vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and Japanese encephalitis in Haryana.
According to an official press note of the State Health Department, surveillance in all districts was going on to ensure that the public was provided with safe drinking water. Directions had been issued to the civil surgeons in the state to strictly enforce the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.

CHAMBERS: Mr R.S. Tacoria, Chairman, Bar Council, Punjab and Haryana, said here on Saturday that the issue of the construction of lawyers’ chambers in the district courts would taken up with the building committee of the High Court and he was hopeful that the construction would begin soon. He was addressing members of the Bar on his first visit to the district.

DIRECTED: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Mahender Kumar, has directed officials of the Irrigation Department here to fill all village ponds in the district with canal water to ensure availability of drinking water for cattle. Simultaneously, he also asked the officials to ensure adequate supply of water to reservoirs of various canal-based water supply schemes throughout the district. Besides, he also directed officials of Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) here to expeditiously release electricity connections to all such boosting stations and pump houses which needed them urgently.

CAR SNATCHED: Four unidentified youths are reported to have snatched a car from its driver near Farmana village, about 15 km from here, on Sunday. According to a report, the miscreants hired the car from Delhi for Baghpat (U.P.). They asked the driver to ply towards Farmana village. When the car reached near Farmana village they pushed the driver out of the car and drove away.

WHEAT BURNT: At least 50 quintals of wheat was burnt in a fire in the foodgrain market at Gohana, 35 km from here, on Sunday. The fire was brought under control by fire engines of the Municipal Corporation.



ROAD OPENED: Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harshvardhan Chauhan on Friday inaugurated the Nageta-Shiva Banaur road in the Anjbhoj area. Addressing a public meeting, he reiterated, the resolve of the government to provide basic facilities to every village in the state.

DISCRIMINATION: The National Commission for Women has taken serious notice of the alleged atrocities on Dalits in Santokhgarh and discrimination against them in promotion in Himachal Pradesh University. The commission had on a complaint by Mr Karam Chand Bhatia, president of the Sant Ravi Das Sabha, sought a report from the Chief Secretary.

ASSOCIATION: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Himachal Rajya Vidyut Parishad Draughtsman Association here:- president Mr Satya Pal Vasisth; senior vice-president — Mr Gopal Singh, vice-presidents — Mr Jaikesh Kumar and Mr Ram Singh Verma; zonal secretary — Jagdish Jamwal; cashier — Mr Dalip Singh; joint secretary — Mr Narinder Gupta; Chief adviser — Mr Basant Singh; chief organisation secretary — Mr Vinod Pathak; and press secretary — Mr Karam Chand.



Prayas that has clicked

Thin, dusky Rubina has a fascination for computers. This wouldn’t seem unusual in a six-year-old net-savvy child of IT-conscious parents. But little Rubina’s parents may not even know the meaning of information technology.

And she herself has seen computer only from a respectable distance. Her hands have never clicked the mouse. It’s another matter that she invariably sees every morning a mouse or two scurrying across the ramshackle room, where she stays along with her siblings and parents.

Rubina is one of the 35-odd children, aged between 4 and 13, who are learning the three Rs at Prayas, a joint initiative of the Jalandhar Cantonment Board (under the able guidance of Cantt Executive Officer K.J.S. Chauhan) and the NGO, Citizens’ Welfare and Protection Council (CWPC).

Surprisingly, the grind of poverty and deprivation has not scorched the aspirations of these children, who talk about becoming doctors and computer teachers when they grow up. Exposed to vices like drinking, gambling and wife-beating at home, they have seen the seamier side of life.

But since November last year, their mundane lives have been brightened up with the joys of learning. “I can now write my name,” giggles 12-year-old Jyoti.

It was no mean job to persuade the parents of these children to send their wards to Prayas. They had to be convinced, cajoled, and motivated with arguments and incentives. “Interestingly, in spite of a son-centric mindset, the parents were more willing to send their daughters to Prayas, as the sons were already breadwinners,” says Anup Vats, general secretary of the CWPC.

Some of these children have already been integrated into the mainstream Cantonment Board Elementary School, where Prayas classes are organised under the supervision of Headmaster Malkit Singh. For others, it’s still a struggle to stay tuned to their aspirations, in the face of parental indifference and, sometimes, disapproval too.

Honour for scientist

The senior-most professor in all five universities of Haryana, Dr Kuldip Singh Dhindsa of HAU, Hisar, has been selected for the Vijay Shree Award by the Indian International Friendship Society, New Delhi. The award will be presented to him at a function in the Capital on April 28.

His award-winning spree began way back in 1976, when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi bestowed upon him the Indian National Science Academy Award. In 1996, he bagged the Gian Chand Memorial Award for Excellence in Scientific Research. The same year, he won the Prof P.K. Bose Memorial Award of the Indian Chemical Society. Last year, he won the Best Scientist of the Year Award for 2003, given by the National Environmental Science Academy. Dr Dhindsa is currently a Professor of Chemistry at HAU (Haryana Agricultural University). He has earlier served in this university as Dean, College of Basic Sciences, Director of Student Welfare, and Head, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has authored more than 150 research papers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, and the National Environmental Science Academy.

Playing down his loss

He has turned the loss of his child into a gain for other children. Isher Singh of Ludhiana, whose 25-year-old engineer son died in a road accident near Barnala a year ago, has decided to develop a playground in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in his memory.

A retired marine electrical engineer from the Indian Navy, Isher Singh has already spent Rs 1 lakh from his own pocket for erecting swings for children, developing a green belt and a walkers’ path in the park. He is undertaking the project with the help of the Kabir Co-operative House Society, which has provided him a 1200-sq yard plot for the purpose.

Named after his son, the Inderjit Singh Memorial Children’s Park is an oasis in a jungle of concrete.

The five other parks to be developed in the locality by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust look like patches of wilderness in contrast.

“I was shattered by the death of my son. Now I have found solace in this project. Whenever I see children playing in the park, I relive my son’s childhood and forget all my sorrows,” he says, adding that there could not have been a better way to help children than to provide them with space to play.

Having lost the heir to his hard-earned savings, Isher Singh now wants to utilize the money for this dream project. Actively supporting him in his cause is his low-profile wife Rajwinder Kaur. The couple had earlier been helping some poor children to get education.


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