C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


7 city govt colleges sans regular Principal
Swarleen Kaur

Chandigarh, May 21
None of the seven government-run colleges affiliated to Panjab University in the city has a permanent Principal. Most of these colleges are being run by an officiating Principal for the past two years. In the absence of regular principals lecturers are discharging the duties of Principal.

These officiating principals can not take important decisions for the colleges as they do not have the requisite powers. Due to this many crucial decisions have been kept in abeyance thus affecting the functioning of the colleges.

As per rules an officiating Principal has no right to vote in Panjab University’s Senate and Syndicate elections. Little wonder then that there is no representative of any of the government colleges in the Senate and the Syndicate while the private colleges do have their representatives.

The officiating principals of two colleges, Government College for Girls (GCG), Sector 11, and Government College (GC), Sector 46, are eligible for the post but they have not been given the post of Principal.

Manjeet Kalara of GCG-11 said,‘‘Even though I am a Ph.D, I have not got any increment till date. In the absence of the regular status, my orders carry little respect. If this practice of officiating principals continues time is not far when heads of these colleges will come on streets to protest’’.

Mr A.N Garg, present officiating Principal of Government College, Sector 46, said,‘‘We are supposed to discharge the duties of Principal but no equivalent status or grade is given to us’’.

Adarsh Puri, who is at present officiating as the Principal of Government College for Girls, Sector 42, will retire this month and most likely another person will be asked to perform the duties of officiating principal.

Even in Government College of Home Science, Sector 11, officiating Principal, Sukhversha Narula is discharging duties of Principal for the past two years. Government College of Education, Sector 20, is also under the charge of an officiating principal.

When asked to state his stand on this issue, Mr D.S Mangat, DPI (Colleges) said,‘‘We have already forwarded these cases to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and now the UPSC has to look into the matter and I don't know how much time the process will take’’. However, according to sources, the UPSC fills 75 per cent of the vacant posts of principal while the power to fill the remaining 25 per cent vests with the UT Administration. There is a demand that the Department Promotional Committee, Education, UT Chandigarh, should convene a meeting to fill 25 per cent of the vacant posts of Principal. The UT Administration has failed to hold a meeting of the DPC to fill the posts under its jurisdiction. The Administration holds the view that the post of Principal is Class 1 post. However, there are many senior lecturers who are also Class 1 officers and are eligible for the post of Principal. 

Names of colleges

  • Government College for Girls, Sector 11: Manjeet Kalara has been the officiating Principal since April 1, 2004.
  • Government College, Sector 46:Mr A.N Garg has been the officiating Principal since August 2, 2004,
  • Government College, Sector 11: Pahlad Aggarwal, officiating Principal since January 1, 2005.
  • Government College for Girls, Sector 42: Adarsh Puri has been the officiating Principal since March1, 2005.
  • Government College of Home Science, Sector 10: Sukhversha Narula, has been officiating as Principal for the past two years. 



Booking blues at Tagore Theatre
Management lends hall to two parties on the same day!
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Theatre practitioners from the city are finding it hard to cope with the attitude of Tagore Theatre management which has reportedly been lending the theatre to two parties on the same day!

Over the past few months, several theatre directors have had to call off scheduled shows to avoid the inconvenience of shifting their sets.

This, despite the fact that they have booked the hall for two or three days in a row. The cause of inconvenience is rather strange -theatre managers conveniently split the booking hours to suit different parties. While a school is accommodated in the morning, a theatre organisation is called over in the evening. The idea apparently is to “make money”. While booking charges for schools are Rs 7,700 per day, those for theatre directors are Rs 1,650 a day.

Today was another such occasion when this recurring problem came out in the open. Theatre artiste Zulfiqar Khan, who has booked the Hall for two days — today and tomorrow — was up in arms against the managers who have given tomorrow morning’s slot to a city school.

That means Zulfiqar Khan, with his team of 40 artistes and his huge set, will have to vacate the hall this evening. He will then have to return tomorrow afternoon when the school is over with its morning function. The hall has been booked for two shows of the play “Ek Safar Dard Ka”, based on “Karmanwali”, written by K.L. Zakir.

An angry Zulfiqar told The Tribune today, “I have paid the authorities Rs 1,650 per day, but I am not being allowed full access to the hall. The managers have given tomorrow morning’s slot to a school which has a huge set. We need the stage to set up our lights and other stuff. But we will remain held up till the school function winds up. You can well imagine the harassment we will be subjected to when we will be asked to dismantle our sets and rehearse out in the open.”

Although the theatre management maintains that bookings are done on per session (three hours) and not on per day basis, theatre directors counter the statement as “absurd”.

Shyam Juneja, another artiste who faced a similar problem with bookings earlier says, “They rob us of the time to rehearse. Staging a play is not like singing a song. Lights have to be set up, sets have to be in place. And when suddenly you are asked to vacate the hall for someone else, the team gets demoralised.”

Significantly, many directors in the past have called off their shows to avoid the inconvenience of shifting their sets until another party occupied the hall. But this is also possible only when invitation cards have not been sent out.

Sanjeevan, Director, Sarghi Kala Kender, Mohali cancelled his show due to this very reason, so did Sudesh Sharma of Theatre for Theatre and Rajinder Sharma of Art and Act Academy. All of them have a point when they demand theatre’s space after making due payment against bookings.

But the management has persisted with giving two bookings on a same day, especially to schools from whom they charge more than what they charge from theatre people.



Sunday Special
9-yr-old battles odds to come up trumps
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
This is the story of a nine-year-old braveheart who has battled immense odds to come up trumps against the many obstacles that life that placed in his path.

Avtansh today has an IQ of a wizard, is a voracious reader, plays the Casio, tops in school and wants to grow up and play cricket for the country. He apparently has everything going for him now, but it wasn’t the case when he was born.

Avtansh was born two months premature with physically challenging disabilities. He stayed home for the first four years of his young life learning from his parents and imbibing all the goodness that they could shower on him. He was unable to walk till two years ago because of complications at the time of birth. A surgery made it possible for him to walk and he never stopped. Today, Avtansh plays cricket and according to him has notched up 3726 runs in matches with his friends! Despite the squint he was born with, which a corrective surgery has improved, Avtansh is never found without a book on him.

His parents Arun and Vandana Behl never doubted their child’s abilities, exposing him to all the rich and varied experiences life brings, answering every query patiently and working steadily with him building his talents till only his extraordinary aptitude is evident today.

A student of Saupin’s School in Sector 32, Avtansh started school when he was four and in the ensuing years got two double promotions. He learnt to play the Casio, taking classes twice a week and in two years has mastered 26 songs, each tune accompanied by his sweet voice rendering the songs alive. This talented boy has also completed his first level in French and expresses his frustration at not being able to enrol for the second level.

A history buff, who can rattle off the names of the American Presidents on Mount Rushmore, he can also list the names of all the Indian cricketers in the World Cup team of 1983 — an event that took place well before he was even born.

His reactions are well thought out and his actions are planned. His father says he is a perfectionist who follows a disciplined lifestyle and is fervent about everything he does, every word he reads. “I know so much because I love reading. What’s so difficult about it?” says a perplexed Avtansh unable to comprehend the excitement at his vast repertoire of general knowledge. The confidence is appealing as is his innocence. Every inch of credit goes to his parents whose nurturing instincts have reared a young boy wholly capable of going out into the world and making his own singular mark. 



Punjab policemen booked for assault in Panchkula
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 21
The local police has booked some Punjab police officials on charges of assault and criminal intimidation. An FIR has also been registered on charges of obstructing government servants from discharging their duty and assault against members of Bangala and Dheh tribes, residing at Old Panchkula here.

The police action comes in wake of the Punjab police assaulting three women while taking away 47 persons from Bangala colony here yesterday morning, and irate residents of the colony later blocking the Panchkula-Shimla National Highway. The angry residents also attacked the local police with stones and glass bottles, injuring several cops. In a retaliatory action, local police had to resort to lathi-charge and thus clear the traffic blockade. One of the residents, Billu, who was arrested by the police yesterday, was released on bail by a local court today.

While 32 men rounded up by Punjab police yesterday, have been released, the Bangala colony leader, Rajinder Pradhan, says that 11 men have been illegally detained by the Patiala police, and five by the Ropar police. Rajinder alleged that while 29 persons, including himself, were taken to Ropar, 18 were taken to Patiala.

“While 25 of us were released by the Ropar police last night, four persons have been detained and they were being brutally tortured. Even the seven persons released from Patiala were tortured by the police. Even though we know nothing of the crime, the police has again asked some of us to report back on Sunday,” he alleged.

The Punjab police has, however, denied these charges and claimed that all persons have been released. Officials at Patiala said that the police action at Panchkula was taken on the basis of an intelligence tip-off that the accused in the murder-cum-robbery cases of Dera Bassi and Mastgarh village near Mullanpur were residing here. “We had taken these persons for verification and all of them have now been released,” said Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mr A.S. Rai. 



Club apologises to Judge for wrongly
withdrawing money

Maneesh Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The management of the Fountains Club of Hotel Metropolitan Nikko, New Delhi, has apologised to Mr Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for having withdrawn Rs 5,000 from his American Express card account without his consent.

The apology has been tendered by Mr Foli Ekue, COO of ICS Club Marketing (India) Limited, which runs the Fountains Club.

But, the most shocking aspect of the apology is the claim of the club that some mischievous person has been masquerading and misusing the name of the Judge. "If this is true, then it is a very serious matter and would have to be treated with the seriousness that it warrants," a police officer told The Tribune.

The club had offered Mr Justice Surya Kant the membership and enclosed a receipt of Rs 5,000 which, they said, they would bill to his American Express card.

However, despite two letters written by Mr Justice Surya Kant, informing them that he had never applied for any membership and that the same should be withdrawn, the club somehow withdrew the money from his account. Also, the club did not respond to the two letters. The Judge then lodged a complaint through his private secretary with the Delhi Police on May 11, seeking investigation in the matter and appropriate action. Following the receipt of the complaint, the Crime Branch wing of the Delhi Police registered an FIR and started investigations.

As per the complaint, the first time the Judge was informed about the scam was a letter and a membership card that he received in March. He then wrote to the club management, first on March 16 and then on April 25, informing them about the fact that he had never sought membership.

Some days later, the FIR adds, American Express Bank in Connaught Place raised a bill towards the membership fee. Incidentally, the receipt did not have his signatures.

The FIR also said that the details of the Judge's card might have been leaked from another hotel where he had taken membership about seven years ago and that the management of the Fountains Club might have accessed details of his card from there.

When contacted, Mr Foli Ekue said he had apologised to the Judge. "The situation occurred on account of somebody masquerading as Justice Surya Kant. The police is investigating this matter with our full support. We have expressed to Justice Kant our grave concerns about this deception," Mr Ekue said in a faxed statement.



Confrontation between ministries on EPF
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Even though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has directed the authorities concerned at the Centre to pay 9.5 per cent rate of interest to 4 crore subscribers of the Employees Provident Fund( EPF) in the country for the financial year 2004-05, a confrontation has started between the Union Finance Ministry and the Union Labour Ministry on this issue.

Sources said that the volume of the EPF was in the range of Rs 1,38,000 crore.

The sources told TNS today that the Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, had made it clear to the Labour Ministry that he would not pay the shortfall of Rs 716 crore, which was to be paid to the subscribers at the rate announced by the Prime Minister, from the Consolidated Fund of the Union Government.

The sources said that the Labour Ministry had earlier taken an interim decision to pay 8.5 per cent interest on the EPF. Paying at this rate (8.5 per cent) entailed a small shortfall of money with the Central Board of Trustees, who manage the EPF under the overall supervision of the Labour Ministry. However, as the Prime Minister has made a commitment to pay interest at the higher rate, the shortfall has gone up to Rs 716 crore.

The Union Labour Ministry, facing problems in dealing with the issue, has called an emergency meeting of the board of trustees on May 28. Normally, 15 days’ notice is given to the trustees for convening a meeting. However, this time the meeting has been called without any notice. It will be presided by the Union Labour Minister, Mr K. Chander Shekhar.

Sources said that at the last meeting, which was convened by the Prime Minister the Union Finance Ministry, had mooted three proposals to the Labour Ministry to deal with the shortfall problem. The Finance Ministry had suggested that the Labour Ministry should pay the difference from its suspense account. But the Labour Ministry said that it had no spare money in that account.

Then, suggesting another option, the Finance Ministry said that the money could be paid from unclaimed deposits of the EPF lying with the board. However, the Labour Ministry refused to entertain such a suggestion saying that there were no rules under which the board could pay the difference from the unclaimed deposits. Moreover, there was not that much money in the unclaimed deposits.

As a third option, the Finance Ministry suggested that the Labour Ministry should direct the board to sell high premium security bonds in which the EPF was invested by the Trustees. However, the Labour Ministry refused to do so, arguing that it was a secure investment and could be utilised during an emergency.

Asked to comment on the issue, Mr A.D. Nagpal, secretary of the Hind Mazdoor Sabha and one of the trustees of the board, said the government should not treat the EPF as part of the market economy. It should fix one interest rate and stick to it. The EPF money should not be treated like the money in banks where the interest rates varied, he added.

At the emergency meeting the issue of shortfall will be discussed in detail. In fact, the Labour Ministry is facing a lot of problems as the issue has been hanging fire for quite some time. Moreover, there is a lot of pressure from Left parties, which are supporting the government from outside and had been quite vocal on the EPF, to sort out the issue at the earliest.

A fact little known to EPF subscribers is that the Union Government has not decided the interest rate for the current fiscal year. The decision to pay 9.5 per cent interest is confined only to the last fiscal year. In fact, a decision to fix the interest rate for the current fiscal year should have been taken in February. A meeting was fixed on March 20 to decide the issue, but it was cancelled all of a sudden on March 19 without assigning any reason.



Unesco’s unique honour for Nek Chand
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Come October and Unesco will create a grand European event in the honour of Nek Chand.

For the first time in history, an environmental artist of Indian origin will share his creative vision with the world. He will also become the first “outside” art practitioner in the world to have the world’s biggest Museum of Outside Art all to himself.

The museum will be emptied so it can be filled with Nek Chand’s truly inspiring art which Unesco has offered to patronise. The official letter, which Director of the Switzerland-based Museum Lucienne Peiry handed over to Nek Chand today, lauds his creation tremendously. It mentions, “Measured by its human and economic impact, your work is an outstanding testimony of the difference a single man can make when he lives his dream”.

On her final trip to India, Peiry, who is also writing a book on the life of Nek Chand, spoke to The Tribune about the significance of Nek Chand’s art in destroying boundaries and fostering peace. She was accompanied by Lespinasse Philippe, a celebrated film maker who has been hired to illustrate the book titled “The Kingdom of Nek Chand”, apart from creating a documentary on his evolution through decades.

For her part Priey said, “Nek Chand will be the first Indian representative to be honoured in Switzerland this October. His art is truly inventive, evolving and awe inspiring. We have been mesmerized by the technique and spirit behind Nek Chand’s kingdom of gods and goddesses, as he calls it. The exhibition will run for five months, and it will run across five European countries simultaneously.”

The countries to host Nek Chand’s art will be Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. Interestingly, the exhibition has been structured as a vibrant event that offers complete insight into the cultural expression of Nek Chand. It will be supplemented with a monograph and a film, which Philippe is making. He has taken 2000 pictures of sculptures in Nek Chand’s Rock Garden and he still has not had enough.

He tells, “Nek Chand has evolved into a classical artist. The best part of his garden is its endlessness. It is never an accomplished work of art. Also, the artist has shared his expression with everyone who has been interested. He has no secrets. You can appreciate his Garden as a Cathedral, a landscape marvel or a brilliant piece of architecture, but finally it is all about an honest expression of one’s culture and spirituality. That’s why I call him the biggest artist in the world.”

Lauding Nek Chand’s Garden as a collective production, Peiry talked about how she spent hours counting the total sculptures in the mesmerising space. “There are 2352 works exactly, and we have pictures of each work. The book will feature 150 photographs that confirm the quality of Nek Chand’s work,” she said.

Being written in French, Peiry’s book on Nek Chand’s struggles and accomplishments as a marginal artist will be the first of its kind. It will later be translated in English and also in Hindi. Said the writer, “The spiritualistic aspect of Nek Chand’s works is most important. He hardly calls his creation a Garden. For him, it is a temple.”



Controversy over film fails to convince many
Nirupama Dutt
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
If one has to sit and nitpick what is wrong with the film, then it should be lovers of Shakespearean literature and not members of the Sikh community who should be most annoyed. This new angle to the controversy surrounding 'Jo Bole So Nihal' comes as a humorous quip from a local theatre and film actor Ravinder Happy because the name given to the terrorist in the Sunny Deol film is Romeo. "How can the name of a legendary lover be given to a terrorist?" asks the actor.

The much ado about the film, leading to its withdrawal from theatres in Delhi and Punjab, has failed to convince many. Happy is most unhappy that this kind of a response has come to a film starring Sunny Deol, who has given the image of a Sikh hero in Hindi films. "It goes to Sunny's credit that in many films he dared to break the stereotypes and project a Sikh as a hero. Before that Sikhs were only shown in comic roles in films. After all the noise that has been made Sunny might think twice before playing the Sikh hero again."

Humorist Jaspal Bhatti, who has been facing a case for hurting Hindu sentiments by a Vishva Hindu Parishad activist even though his satire was on the weather forecast, feels while people who touch religious subjects should have in-depth knowledge but he finds the code laid down by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Bibi Jagir Kaur also shows not even superficial knowledge of acting.

"An actor is an actor and can play a pandit, a priest or an Amritdhari. To lay religious codes for acting is something strange. She wants only Amritdhari Sikhs to play the role of Amritdhari Sikhs. Next the Chambal dacoits will say that only the real dacoits be shown in films," he says.

Journalist Vijaya Pushkarna, who reviewed the film for 'The Week' magazine, says: "There is nothing religious about the film but for the name.

The most fictitious part of the film is that the Punjab Police is portrayed too good to be true. Perhaps this is what has not appealed to the hardliners among the Sikhs."

Former Director-General of Punjab Police Sarabjit Singh says, " I have had policemen telling me that they have been portrayed favourably rather than as villains or clowns. The name of the film, however, is unfortunate. But so is the level of intolerance among us which makes it difficult to discuss anything logically or seriously."

Writer Baboo Tir terms the whole protest as an 'overreaction' saying, "It is sad that the ego of so sturdy a community be so fragile that it takes something that does not have any direct reference to religion as an insult. We should not give into pettiness and really no one knows what is wrong with the film because not many have even seen it.



Local girl takes on ‘greedy’ NRI husband
To contest divorce suit in Canada
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
For long Indian brides have been at the receiving end of the “greedy” Non-Resident Indian (NRI) husbands. However, a gutsy local girl, Ashima (not her real name), has decided to take on her NRI husband in one of such case and contest the divorce suit in Canada.

Talking to the Chandigarh Tribune before leaving for Canada, the girl alleged that since her immigration to Canada on October 11,2003, she was mentally and physically harassed by her husband and the in-laws. I was neither allowed to talk to anyone nor go outside and do any job, she alleged.

“I will fight to the finish and not let my husband and his relatives ruin my life. By contesting the divorce suit in Canada, I want to drive home the point that the harassed Indian brides can also take up cudgels against greedy in-laws and NRI husbands,” she added.

In fact, it took quite an effort on the part of a human rights organisation — Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI) — to convince the girl to contest her case in Canada. After a lot of persuasion, the girl reached Canada and as part of the free legal aid we have arranged a counsel for her, the president of the local unit of the LHRI, Mr T.S. Sudan, said.

Mr Sudan said the girl must contest the divorce suit filed by her husband, Dr Kumud Kumar Verma, by the end of this month in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. If Ashima, who is a Canadian citizen, did not contest the case, then legal separation would follow.

On the other hand, the father of the girl had also filed a complaint with the local police alleging dowry demands by her in-laws in Canada and certain relatives in Jalandhar. According to the complaint, Ashima was married to Dr Verma on December 12, 2002, at Chandigarh.

On October 18 last year, her husband and in-laws prevailed upon her to visit India for a change and promised to bring her back as early as possible, the complaint alleged. Dr Verma promised to her that he would come to take her back on May 2. However, on May 2 she received the divorce papers.

Her father alleged that he had spent Rs 8 lakh on the marriage. When she came back to India, all her valuables, including jewellery, were kept by her husband.



Rao-a keen golfer and a yoga buff
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
The mild mannered Mr R.K. Rao, stated to take over as Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh, is keen golfer and practises yoga.

Even as Rao may not find time from his busy schedule to play golf, he enjoys a single-digit handicap in golf.

The lower the handicap in golf the better is the player. Single-digit handicaps are cherished by golfers.

Yoga, he says is his passion. Mr Rao will be the first officer to be posted as Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh for the second time. He had worked here between June 1998 and May 1999. Lieut-Gen B.K.N. Chhibber (retd) was the UT Administrator then.

It is almost a homecoming for Mr Rao. Hailing from Mahendragarh district of Haryana he was lecturer in the local DAV college teaching geography in the early 1970’s. He got selected into the Haryana Civil Services (HCS) in 1976 and was elevated to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) a few years ago. He was allocated the 1991 batch of the IAS. Normally, whenever HCS officers are posted they are given a batch with retrospective affect.

Mr Rao was posted as Deputy Commissioner of Chandigarh following an order of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs yesterday. The Deputy Commissioner in Chandigarh enjoys the powers of Estate Officer also. The DC is normally the nodal officer for all allotments of land in the city where real estate prices are sky high. Mr Rao had already made it clear yesterday that all policies of the Administration will be continued.

Before being posted here, he was DC of Yamunanagar where he had joined in March this year. He has also been Managing Director of Hartron, Haryana’s electronics development company for two years. Besides, during his previous tenure in Chandigarh, Mr Rao held other important charges.



Showers bring relief from heat
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
A sudden burst of showers in the afternoon today brought immediate relief to the city and the neighbouring towns of Mohali and Panchkula sweltering under the intensity of rising summer temperatures.

The city recorded a relatively pleasant 28.4° Celsius at 5:30 pm today after the showers, a drop of 11 degrees from the temperature recorded at the same time yesterday, a searing 39.8° Celsius.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 39° Celsius and the minimum was 27.6° Celsius.

The rain was caused by two western disturbances, one over Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and the other over North-East Afghanistan and adjoining northern Pakistan. Upper air cyclonic circulation over northern Haryana and its neighbouring regions along with a similar circulation over central Pakistan and adjoining West Rajasthan also contributed to the sudden rainfall.

Despite the gusts of rain that swept over Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, though for a short period, the observatory, located at the Air Force base at the southern tip of the city, recorded a mere trace of rainfall around the base.

Partly cloudy skies with one or two spells of rain are forecast for tomorrow. The maximum temperature is expected to go up to 37° Celsius.



A golden surprise for Sector 21 resident
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
Mr S.K.Sharma, a resident of Sector 21, was in for a big surprise today evening and it was surely a very pleasant one. He was at the PGIMER on a personal visit when he got a phone call from his wife Manorma telling him that the family had bagged one kilogram of gold in the lucky draw of the Baisakhi Gold Festival organised by the World Gold Council at the CII.

Mr Sharma attired casually wearing his slippers reached the venue where the couple was handed over the prize. Photographers made repeated requests for a smile from Mr Sharma who said “my happiness is within”.

Mr Sharma is a retired XEN from Haryana Government. “I retired in 2000 and am leading a very relaxed life. The gold prize has come in as a pure surprise. I cannot say now what I am going to do with it. Let the realisation sink in first”, he said.

Mrs Manorma said “I had purchased some gold from the shop of Mr Bal Krishan Malik in Sector 8 on April 30 for marriage ceremony of our son on May 1. Mr Malik is a lucky jeweller because two out of three winners last year had also made their purchase at his shop”.

Mrs Manorma quickly added that the” new bride in our house has proved very lucky for us.”

The draw of lots was made by Mr Prakash Singh Badal, a former Chief Minister of Punjab. As many as 10 winners were named for a consolation prize of a five gram gold coin each. These included Mr Prabhjot Singh (Ludhiana), Mr Bharat Shangari (Jalandhar), Mr Anil Goel (Ludhiana), Mr Vicky, Ms Karuna Babbar (Chandigarh), Mr Walia (Khanna), Ms Balwinder Kaur Chauhan (Chandigarh), Ms Anju Minhas (Shimla), Ms Ruchi Malik (Ludhiana) and Mr Tejinder Singh (Jalandhar).

Mr Badal said that gold was an asset people kept for security. It was more pronounced in the rural areas during the earlier times. He also congratulated the winner on the mobile telephone before he left.

In two earlier draws Jiya Garg and Suvidha had won half kilogram gold each.

The World Gold Council is an organisation formed and funded by the world’s leading gold mining companies. It is an endeavour to bring the gold jewellers on a common platform.



Help comes for 9-month-old Ravneet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 21
While the Punjab Government is yet to wake up to the plight of nine-month old Ravneet Kaur, whose left arm was amputated due to alleged negligence of a doctor at Civil Hospital, Samana, two samaritans from Mohali have come forward to help the girl.

A resident of Phase 3B-2, Mohali, Prakash Singh Baweja has given the family monetary help to the tune of Rs 5000 today and has promised a monthly help of Rs 250 by opening an account in the girl’s name.

A surveyor with various financial institutes, Mr Baweja however rues that the government should come and help the poverty-stricken family who are fighting a lone battle. Another resident of Mohali, Mr Parvinder Singh Majithia of Phase II has extended financial and moral support to the family.

Meanwhile girl’s father Paramjit Singh, a granthi at gurdwara at Sondhewal village, Rajpura district is running from pillar to post to seek a better treatment for his daughter. In the city today for follow-up of the treatment at Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Sector 32, he said: “Arranging finances for treatment is a big problem now. We have already spent more than Rs 40,000. On one hand we are facing financial problems and on another, we are worried about the child’s future. Doctors tell us that Ravneet cannot even go for artificial limb even at a later stage of her life since the arm is amputated right from the shoulder.” He also alleged that the family is being threatened after they have spoken against Samana hospital and Dr Prashant Gautam who had handled the case.

Ravneet had to undergo amputation of her left arm in April after she was admitted to Civil Hospital Samana while suffering from acute diarrhoea. Her parents allege that the girl was wrongly administered IV fluid while she was given glucose which made her arm swell and it turned blue. The family has already moved to the consumer court for compensation. 



Fire breaks out in house
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 21
Fire broke out in a house in Phase IX here today damaging household goods and other property.

According to the fire brigade, a refrigerator, a TV set, cooler and other items lying in the room got damaged due to the fire. Even the wooden doors of the room had got burnt. The fire was noticed only after smoke started coming out of the room. By the time the fire could be brought under control by people around, the damage had already been done.

The fire brigade was informed about by the fire by the police and by the time the fire tender reached, flames had already been brought under control. The exact cause of fire was not known though it is suspected that it must have occurred due to a short circuit.



Fire fighting awareness camp organised
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 21
A civil defence and fire fighting awareness camp was organised at Mohali Public School, Phase 10, here today. Employees of the Fire Brigade, Mohali, and members of the Civil Defence Awareness Council conducted the camp.

Mr D.S. Dogra, assistant fire station officer told the students about fighting fire. Mr K.C. Sood of the fire station also interacted with the students. A live demonstration regarding use of fire extinguishers to control different types of fires was given to the students by the officers.

Mr H.B.S. Kapoor, divisional warden, civil defence, Mohali, also delivered a lecture to the students regarding the functioning of the civil defence system. Mr N.S. Gill, divisional warden and president of the Civil Defence Awareness Council, also talked about the importance of civil defence. He added that Mohali had been declared a class-A city with respect to civil defence by the Central Government. Col (retd) Sukhwant Singh Sandhu, post warden civil defence, Mohali, was also present on this occasion.

Students and teachers enjoyed the programme and learnt the working of both the organisations. Mr Taranjit Singh, the school Principal thanked the guests for imparting knowledge to the students.



Workshop on communication
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 21
workshop on communication and listening skill and another workshop on art and craft skills were organized by Abza consultant for the employees of Semi Conductors limited here today. The workshops were attended by over a 100 employees and their children.

The workshop on communication skills was conducted by Col. B.M. Sablokh who stressed on the importance of being a good listener. Stating that listening was the most important thing in life, business, relationships etc Col. Sablokh pointed out that it was a skill that went totally ignored.

He also spoke about the basics of good listening and communication. Various games and learning skills and techniques like exercises, role playing games were used to develop communication skills.

The second workshop on art and craft skills was conducted by Ms Sudha and coordinated by Ms Bindu Sharma, manager with Abza consultants. The kids were trained in drawing, painting, shading, sketching, distance effect, spray painting, potato painting, themes, collage making and card making.



Held for carrying opium
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 21
A Dhanas resident was arrested and 100 grams of opium was seized from his possession while in a separate case, one person was arrested with 24 nips of illegal liquor, according to the information released by the police here today.

Rajinder Singh, alias Toti, resident of Bania Mohalla in Dhanas village was arrested from the same village with 100 grams of opium yesterday. A case under Section 18 of the NDPS Act has been registered.

In another incident, Ashok Kumar of Phase II, Ram Darbar was arrested in the same locality yesterday. The police seized 24 nips of “Hulchul” whisky from his possession and registered a case under Excise Act in the Sector 31 police station.

The police today arrested a Jalandher resident from the city on the charges of kidnapping a minor girl. The police said they have recovered the girl. Stephen, the accused had come to the city to meet his relatives.

The police said the father of the girl had filed a complaint against Stephen of Vaindal village in Jalandhar district alleging that Stephen had abducted his daughter aged about 16 years from his residence in Dadu Majra Colony on May 16.

Two held
Two persons involved in separate cheating cases were arrested by the local police. Police sources said the accused are declared proclaimed offender in the past.

Kila Chand, a resident of Parade Mohalla in Kalka was booked by the local police in a cheating case. Kila was arrested yesterday from the city. He was declared a PO in 2004. In another incident, Raj Kishore, a resident of Balhevi village, Gopalganj district of Bihar, was arrested from the city yesterday. He was booked by the UT police in a cheating case to the tune of Rs 57,000.

Held for eve teasing
Two youths were today arrested on the charges of eve teasing from near Daria village. Ravi, a resident of Ram Darbar and Sonu of Sector 28 were nabbed while teasing a schoolgirl on the main road in Daria village this afternoon. 



Two injured in group clash
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 21
Two brothers of Gazipur Jattan village sustained injuries in a clash between two groups of persons in the village this afternoon.

According to the police, Mr Harbhajan Singh and his brother Mr Harjinder Singh of Gazipur Jattan village, were assaulted by Sarabjit Singh alias Chhami, of Kathgarh village, after exchange of heated arguments.

The former along with three others had gone to the fields to lift loose soil. Following objections, Sarabjit Singh and his accomplices got into arguments and later they attacked both the brothers with iron rods. The injured were later taken to the Civil Hospital, Dera Bassi. The police has booked Sarabjit Singh but no arrest has been made so far.



Dowry case registered
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 21
The police has today arrested a husband and his parents on charges of wrongful confinement and criminal breach of trust. According to the police, the arrested persons were Gurnam Singh, husband of Ms Sharanjit Kaur, Pritam Singh and Hazur Kaur, father and mother of Gurnam Singh. They were arrested from Kurali and produced in a Kharar court. While the husband has been remanded in police custody for one day, his parents had been remanded in judicial custody till June 6.

Ms Sharanjit Kaur, a resident of Phase X here, had lodged a complaint with the police in which she had alleged that she was beaten up and harassed by her in-laws who asked her to bring more dowry from her parents.

The police had registered a case.


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