C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


15 schools evade axe as HUDA, MC shift onus
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 29
Even as it is curtains down for most schools running from residential premises, around 15 schools running from houses in Housing Board colonies here seem to have been granted immunity.

With the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the Municipal Council having locked horns over who will close down such schools, these schools continue to function.

While HUDA claims to have closed down around 15 schools operating from houses or industrial plots within its area, the MC has identified 48 schools operating from residential areas within its limits.

Though MC is in the process of issuing notices to schools running from houses in villages, it has washed its hands off schools running in Housing Board colonies.

The MC says since HUDA by-laws are applicable in Housing Board colonies of Sectors 10, 11, 15 and 18, HUDA should check violation of building bylaws.

Similarly, HUDA officials say schools being run from residential premises in Urban Estate areas have to be closed down by the MC.

Housing Board officials say since they have got the property from HUDA and developed houses on its land, it is the responsibility of HUDA to check any violations.

As a result, no action has been taken against schools running from houses in Housing Board colonies.

A number of such schools are being run from one-room houses, where two to three classes are run simultaneously.

The rules say that the size of a primary school site should be .5 acre, middle school 1.5 acre in rural and 1 acre in urban areas. For high and senior secondary school, site should be of 2.5 acre in rural and two acre in urban areas.

The Education Department had issued notices to 150 schools to close down last month in the wake of the Punjab and Haryana High Court order.

The court had ruled in September, 2004 that all schools operating from residential premises be closed down by April 30, 2005, and no extension be allowed to these schools.

Later, the court asked the state government to identify the number of vacancies in government schools in the state so that students enrolled in private and recognised schools, which are closed down, could be accommodated in these schools.



Contractual teachers meet Bansal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
As many as 300 teachers working on contract in different government schools of the city met the MP Pawan Kumar Bansal over the move of the UT Education Department to terminate their services here today.

The teachers were accompanied by their family members. The Education Department has decided to terminate the services of these teachers following a court case.

Mr Bansal assured the teachers of taking up the issue with higher authorities.

The MP talked to UT Home Secretary Krishan Kumar, who reportedly agreed to meet the teachers next Tuesday.

While condemning the Director Public Instructions (DPI), the teachers said despite an increase in the number of students and requirement for more teachers, their services had not been regularised.

Though the UT Education Department was asking for more vacancies under the Sarv Siksha Abhiyan, their services were being terminated, they said.

Dr Vinod Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the Government Teachers Union, also addressed 
the rally.

The teachers, who have already been relieved, claimed that the Education Department had still not circulated the seniority list and the vacancy list to the persons concerned. The teachers have already filed their case in the Supreme Court and are due to be heard by a constitutional Bench in July.



A ‘plush’ school for the destitute
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
‘Head held high, roots firmly in the soil and wings ready to soar’ - this is the guiding mantra for Sikhya. This unique school for destitute children, starting in July, will work towards providing quality education to underprivileged children through a holistic rather than an academic approach. All this in an environment comparable to the best schools in the country and completely free!

A personal vision of industrialist Dr Gurpreet Singh, CMD, Continental Devices India Ltd, the school will be completely funded by the Guru Nanak Vidya Bhandar Trust, headed by him.

The design of the school structure, developed in the USA by experienced architects, is a visual delight along with being spacious and disabled friendly. Cheerful tiles, air-cooled and brightly painted classrooms, amphitheatre, playground, 20-metre swimming pool, state-of the-art laboratories, Kota stone floors and St Gobain glass in all the windows are some of the spiffy embellishments and facilities coming up on a 4.5 acre plot.

“Why not?” quizzes Ms Sonia Channi, Principal, “We are striving to make the working environment beautiful and happy as happiness makes learning more effective. On a more practical level, by using good building material, I am getting a structure that is maintenance free for the next 15 years so that I can concentrate on my children rather than bothering the trust to renovate the building every year!”

The reasoning makes sense, for the USP of the school is not its plush edifice but its unique curriculum based on “vocationalisation of education” where the emphasis will be on occupational empowerment, one that will combine academics and make the children productive citizens.

The teaching plan impresses as it is ‘out of the box’ and consists of rich inputs in the form of values, confidence and a great deal of love. Guidelines dealing with teaching, staff appointments, progress report cards, administration to personality development are all clearly chalked out.

The school will be from nursery to Class V with plans to go up to the 12th standard. The curricula, all custom made, deals with English, math and environment studies for the younger classes with emphasis on reading, writing, listening and speaking with a special emphasis on audio visual communication formats. All study material has been put together by Ms Channi after scouring books and teaching material from all over.

A day boarding from 7.45 am to 4.15 pm, the children will get healthy nutritional meals and in addition to the classes, several income-generating projects will also be started so that children can contribute to their family kitties. Paper recycling drives, fruit and vegetable patches and poultry farming will be some of these projects.

The biggest challenge for the school is to prevent drop-outs. According to Ms Channi, “This school requires a unique equation between the parents and the school if we are to stop children from leaving. The mothers are going to participate in literacy programmes, special health talks or vocational training sessions to help them and associate with what the school is doing for their children.” In addition, a social worker will interact on a regular basis with the families to keen the association alive for the school.

The belief and faith in the project is unshakeable for as Ms Channi says, “There are no limits and boundaries to what a child can achieve given the opportunities. A child is like a seed waiting to bud. Take cognisance of what is inside the children, nurture and cherish them and watch them flower.”



Teachers made aware of heart diseases
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
More than 300 science and physical education teachers of the city’s government schools have been trained under the Chandigarh Healthy Heart Action Project (CHHAP) at Nursing School, General Hospital, Sector 16, to increase awareness about the cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in the community.

The training workshop for the teachers was organised under the supervision of Nodal Officer, Dr S.K. Bhandari. During the workshop, teachers were educated on primary prevention of CVDs focusing on lifestyle changes, regular physical activity, smoking cessation and healthy diet.

The other objective of the workshop was to increase awareness through teacher- student-parent approach as most of the CVDs had their origin in early childhood.

Besides training the teachers, the training of health care staff of Chandigarh, which includes 131 doctors and 103 health workers, has already been completed. In addition to these workshops, various health education activities are being organised to educate people about the main risk factors that can trigger CVDs. Cycle rallies are being organised on every last Sunday of the month.

The UT Health Department in collaboration with the Departments of Community Medicine, Internal Medicine and Cardiology, PGI, and World Health Organisation (WHO) had launched the project in October last year.



15 pc students drug addicts, says panel
Tribune News Service

Mohali, May 29
More than 15 per cent schoolchildren in Patiala, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib and Ludhiana have been addicted to drug or smoking. This was stated by Mrs Amteshwar Kaur of the Generation Savior Association.

Addressing a press conference here today, she added that her organisation had been working towards the creation of awareness among schoolchildren against drugs and smoking for the past 10 years. “But a lot more needs to be done. Students of Class V and VI are already in the clutches of drugs. Many of them are addicted to tobacco-laced mouth freshners,” she said.

Assisted by the World Health Organisation, the association had been organising painting and essay- writing competitions in schools in these districts. Stating that the association would celebrate the World No-Tobacco Day on May 31 with a prize distribution ceremony at the Shivalik Public School here, she added that the Punjab Minister for Technical Education, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, would be the chief guest on the occasion.



CET results declared
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 29
Panjab University has declared the results of the Common Entrance Test (CET) held on May 24 for admission in law, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, biotechnology and computer science today.

The results will be available at the main enquiry counter of the PU at 9 am onwards on Monday. The results will also be available at the PU website, www.puchd.ac.in.



Book on herbal healing

City-based Dr Sonica Krishan has come up with a book ‘Herbal healers’, which has a detailed account of herbs that can be used everyday and form part of the Indian kitchen ingredients.

Many of these herbs and condiments are used in cooking or for flavouring meals. Yet, many of us are unaware that these are essential to enhance our health and vitality. Some herbs can be of great help in curing as well as keeping various ailments away.

Dr Sonica, a BAMS from Panjab University, has been practising Ayurveda for the past eight years and running her own clinic.

“The use of herbs has been mentioned in the texts of Ayurveda,” she said. Details regarding the properties of the herbs, mode of usage and proper dosage have been specified in the book. Care has been taken to make readers aware of the ill-effects that could crop up with the overusage of a particular herb.

The author has tried to co-relate each herb with the related ailment. There are approximately a hundred ailments that have been specified and the herbs that could help relieve the symptoms of the related malady have been mentioned in the index. OC



Making parents trainers of children

Centre for Education and Voluntary Action (CEVA) is organising a special workshop to train parents as better instructors at home.

Inspired by the fact that not many courses are being offered to train parents as “trainers of children”, the current workshop will help them deal with complex needs of their children. Harleen Kohli of CEVA says, “We all have acquired our responses and behaviours from the way our parents brought us up. But may be in today’s world, to be really able to stand by our children we need a special space wherein we can reflect, debate, articulate and identify our needs as parents. Children spend more time at home than at school. It is thus desirable that parents strike a comfortable relationship with their children and ensure their wholesome growth.”

The workshop will help parents learn how the time they have with children can be spent for mutual learning and having fun. The kitchen, park, a simple walk down the lane can be an exciting adventure, if only the perceptions are fresh. It can be an opportunity to pick up thinking skills and scientific and mathematical aptitudes.

Another CEVA activist says, “Children have a natural way of learning and enjoying their environment. Adults can learn to have access to the same environment. Adults can also learn how not to block their child’s channels of learning and how to be available as interesting playmates for their children. Our workshop derives its base from the fact that learning through play is the only real way of learning.”

In this workshop, CEVA volunteers will introduce parents to the concept of “multiple intelligences”. As they say, “We actually deal with our world and express ourselves in several ways apart from language and mathematical skills. There is the visual spatial intelligence, the kinaesthetic (body), the musical, the inter-personal (people skills) and the intra-personal skills. In fact, emotional maturity should be a very important part of school curriculum.”

The workshop will be activity based. It will be useful for teachers and people who work with children in other situations. IT will start at Sri Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary School, Sector 38- D, Chandigarh from May 30 and will last till June 4. The timings will be from 5pm to 8 pm. Registrations are on. TNS



Anganwari children ready to hop on, hop off
Aditi Tandon

Full entertainment is now guaranteed for the children from all anganwari centers across the city.

Very recently, Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) has agreed to what can be called a “purposeful arrangement” with the UT Director Social Welfare office. From the last weekend onwards, CITCO authorities have consented to offer a free entertainment slot to all the children from underprivileged sections of the city. To start with, the offer has been made in the form of a free bus ride on CITCO’s much talked about Hop on Hop off tourist bus.

Although not very popular among city residents, the bus has caught the fancy of small children who are ready with new sets of clothes, which they will wear for their wonderful weekend outings. Ask the children who have been attending anganwari centers for some years now how it feels to be cared for and they can’t but smile.

And the smiles are not without reasons. They suddenly have a world of entertainment opening out to them. Not only did about 50 children from one anganwari center go for the tourist bus ride last weekend they also went for a special treat at Hot Millions in Sector 17.

They had been invited by the Rotarians under the famous “Heartline Project” in which the members of Rotary don the role of hosts for the guests. The children were well served and treated by some of the top people from the city.

At another end, the bus rides will be made a permanent feature as part of Welfare Department’s child development efforts. Director Social Welfare UT Ms Madhavi Kataria said 50 children from each anganwari center would be taken for a free trip to the city hot spots including Shivalik View hotel, Sector 17, Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, Secretariat and the Panjab University campus every Saturday.

There are 300 anganwari centers being run in Chandigarh. On an average each center has 50 children. TNS



Cultural evening at Gymkhana club

The diverse facets of the regional cultural programmes including the Punjabi folklore, Gatka martial art, mysteries of Indian magic and the spells of crisp comedy, lit up the cultural evening held at the Gymkhana club –II complex.

The captivating musical bonanza directed by PP Verma under the aegis of the Kala Chetna got a majestic start with an invocatory sufiana composition “Koi Allah da Pujari” rendered by the lead folk singer Gurtej Tej. He doled out popular numbers from his dozen albums and established an instant rapport with the audience.

Supported by heavy orchestra, Tej presented “Laal laal chudiyan, Yaran ne daru peeni hai, tera veera meinu na pasand , Sass naal ladai”. His items from latest album Gypsey , like ‘Laili jatt ne dunali’, Hai bhabiye, chall kariye ishaq and ‘Mirza’ clicked very well.

Riding on the success wave for shows in Dubai the well-known magician SK Sharma took the centre stage only to mesmerize one and all with his mastered tricks. Children relished his moves of perfection resulting in stunning swindles. The versatile duo of comedy kings “Jaggi –Sukhi” regaled the audience with meaningful comedy spells.

Their presentations being in close proximity with the real traditional life were well received. Their satirical digs spared politicians, corrupt governance, NRI grooms and goons from other walks of life.

The grand finale was provided by a dare devil and electrifying display of gatka by experts of Baba Deep Singh Akhara, Mohali, which kept the audience spellbound as they watched the rare event with curiosity. OC


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 |