R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


GRIEVANCES: Mr R.L. Bhagat, DIG, Computer and Telecommunications, on Saturday listened to the grievances of police personnel relating to computer and telecommunications. Mr Bhagat assured them that he would redress their grievances.

BRIDGE: Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, on Saturday inaugurated a bridge on the nullah near Khokhar village with a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh by NABARD. With the construction of the bridge, inhabitants of Khokhar, Pandori Araian, Dugri, Dharampur, Jhingar Kalan and Shahpur villages will benefit. 

TRAINING CENTRE: An international training centre for children’s brain development has been started in Ludhiana under title Aloha Arithmetic which is a unit of Aloha India ISO : 9001 and famous mathematician like Sahkuntla Devi is associated with this programme. It is based upon the use of abacus. After Aloha course, children will become faster than calculators and will be able to do calculations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square and square root with amazing speed and accuracy.

Maa Bhagwati Club: The Maa Bhagwati Club organised marriage of a poor girl. The marriage was solemnised at Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Deep Nagar. The parents of the girl thanked the club members.

ASSAULT: Three persons were injured in an assault here on Saturday. They were hospitalised. Armed youths barged into the premises of GH Steel Furniture Industries in the local Professor Colony and assaulted its owner, Mohinder Singh, and his two workers Mannu and Bittu. Desert coolers, beds, almirahs, chairs and other items lying there were also vandalised. A disupte over a payment was said to be the cause of the incident.

NABBED: The city police has nabbed a proclaimed offender (PO), Surinder Singh, of Khokhewal village, wanted since March 17,1992 in a case registered under Sections 447, 448, 506, 148, 149 of the IPC. This was disclosed here on Sunday by Inspector Nirmal Singh, SHO, city police station. The PO had been sent to judicial custody.

FIRE: A Kiryana shop was gutted in the local Kaulsar mohalla on Saturday night. It was learnt that when the owner of Vishnu Vishal General Store lit a gas lamp during a power cut, a fire broke out.

Tarn Taran
BOOKED: Jugraj Singh and his wife, Gurmeet Kaur alias Sudesh Rani, residents of Khawaspur village, 18 km from here, have been booked in connection with the murder of Kashmir Singh (60) of the village.

BUSTED: A five-member gang making fake Indian currency has been busted by the Khalra police. The gang members had been identified as Lakhwinder Singh of Wan Tara Singh village, Charan Singh, Nishan Singh, Sarwan Singh and Bittu of Amritsar.

recovered: A .12-bore pistol along with two live cartridges has been recovered from Balbir Singh by the Bhikhiwind police at a nake here . Police sources told this correspondent here on Saturday that a case under 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act had been registered against him.



ELECTED: Mr Rajesh Shandilya was unanimously elected as district president of the Haryana Patrakaar Sangh affiliated to the Indian Journalist Union for the consecutive fourth time at a meeting held at PWD Rest House, Pipli, 5 km from here, on Friday evening.

KILLED IN MISHAP: Cleaner of a truck Arun (20) was killed and four others were injured when the vehicle overturned on a bridge near the Lakad mandi here on Friday. The deceased was a native of Uttaranchal. The condition of the injured persons was said to be stable. 



CENTRES: E-governance centres in all subdivisions of the district will soon be made functional and subdivisional magistrates and Tehsil officers working under the same complex will have a common e-governance centre. The Deputy Commissioner, Kangra, Mr Bharat Khera, said this at Dharamshala on Saturday.

PROGRAMME: A day-long science awareness programme was organised by the Science Olympiad Foundation (SOF) at Dharamshala on Saturday in which different schools participated and K.R.M. School, Chetru, bagged the first prize in the declamation contest.

SENTENCED: Mr C.B. Barowalia, Additional District and Sessions Judge, Dharamshala, sentenced Ajay alias Ajju to life imprisonment and fined him for being involved in the murder of a woman, Veena Devi, in the Patial khud area falling under Kangra police station in September, 2003.

INJURED: Twenty passengers were injured on Friday when a private bus and a military vehicle collided head-on at Kotla near here.
The local chowki police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 378 of the IPC.

ASSOCIATION: The following have been elected office-bearers of the local unit of the Himachal Pradesh Junior Engineers Association: president — Mr J.S. Rana; general secretary — Mr Harminder Singh Kaler; finance secretary — Mr Ravinder Kandoria; and joint secretary — Mr Kamal Kant.




Singing for a cause

Hansraj Hans, who will sing against female foeticide
Hansraj Hans, who will sing against female foeticide.

The missing girl child is a harsh reality of the northern region and an effort is being made at different levels to raise the consciousness of the people against female foeticide. Legislation and small incentives are not working much, and what is required is a change of heart of the people. The Voluntary Health Association of Punjab (VHAP) had gone to the extent of getting the Akal Takht to issue a hukamnama against this practice. Different gurdwaras keep relaying the message from time to time with the plea that the Sikh religion recognises no gender discrimination. Manmohan Sharma, secretary, VHAP, says: “The religious plea has not shown any positive results. In fact, the three districts in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, known for significant religious places, have shown the lowest sex ratio up to the age of six. These are Kurukshetra, Fatehgarh Sahib and Una.”

However, not discouraged, Mr Sharma is making an effort to take the message across in a more popular way cutting across all religions. What could be a better vehicle than Punjabi pop. Leading singer Hansraj Hans has agreed to sing on this theme in a project Mr Sharma is handling for the United Nations Population Fund. Now the search is on for a song on this theme. Any professional or amateur lyricist who wishes to write a song on this theme is welcome to send her/his entry to the Voluntary Health Association of Punjab, SCF 18/1, Sector 10-D, Chandigarh-160 011, by July 15, 2005. The prize for the winning entry will be that none other than Hans will sing it.

Myth making

When myth making starts about a person or a place, it means that success is represented with a capital S. So it is with Haveli, a wayside eating resort off Jalandhar. The resort that came up a few years ago, close to the popular Lucky dhaba, has clicked like anything. It offers the ambience of a lost Punjabi village with a truck interior very much a part of the interior and waiters togged in tehmat-kurtas and phulkari jackets. Now it has grown to add a marriage palace and an enclosure called Rangla Punjab, which has a cultural programme every evening. Many wayside resorts are trying to go the Haveli way but this place, run by Jains of Jalandhar, remains unparalleled in success. The only thing that is not to be found here is non-vegetarian fare. But people still come out in large numbers to Haveli.

One of the myths surrounding this place is that once an NRI was not attended to properly at Lucky’s, who with a vengeance, started Haveli. There is no truth in it, however, and Lucky continues to do brisk business still. But myth making continues and a Jalandhari’s comment about the place is “the people of Doaba thrive on nostalgia and this is what is paying off at Haveli”.

HP handicrafts

The Himachal Tourism Department has decided to promote the state’s art and handicrafts by putting up exhibition-cum-sale stalls at all government-run hotels in the state. The move would help showcase the traditional Chamba ‘rumaal’ and chappal, crafts which are slowly dying.

It has been decided to highlight the cultural heritage and handicraft of the state at all hotels run by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation. Private hoteliers would also be asked to have similar exhibitions so that the locals involved in the trade are promoted.

The ‘rumaal’ and ‘chappal’ are two works of craft that put Chamba on the national popularity map and visitors to the town take these back as memorabilia. But even as Chamba braces up for its millennium celebrations, not much is being done to revive the two handicrafts.

Vinod Kumar, who runs a ‘chappal’ shop in the main market near the Chugan’, says that the initial enthusiasm with which he had taken over this traditional business has fizzled out in no time. “There is virtually no market for these items, except for a handful of tourists coming here.

“The Chamba ‘chappal’ would soon find a place only in a museum if the government agencies continue to be indifferent,” he says.

There is no effort by the government to provide us raw material at concessional rates. Consequently, when we actually sell a pair of ‘chappals’ for display, the margin of profit is too meagre to keep our interest in the business and most of my cousins have switched over to more lucrative business,” says Radhe Sham, another retailer in the main market.

The same is the case with those associated with the traditional ‘rumaal’ of Chamba. “If we have to sell the ‘rumaal’ at just the cost price, there is no point in putting in eight months of hard work for making a single piece. Even at the district level, virtually nothing is being done to ensure that the handicraft workers are able to keep the tradition from dying,” says Shyama Devi, who has been making ‘rumaals’for 20 years and also trains young girls of her locality.

An official of the Tourism Department said the exhibition-cum-sale counters at the hotels would provide the much-needed platform to sell art and craft products of the state.

Contributed by Nirupama Dutt and Vibhor Mohan


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