C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Sahayta for tender hearts fighting mighty ailments
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Advanced Paediatrics Centre of the PGI rings with joy every Friday. Though laced with tales of trauma told by little hearts, this day is more about hope and triumph than about pain and suffering.

It is a day when hundreds of children down with paediatric cancers gather in the OPD of the Centre to seek cure and cuddle. And to their fortune, they get both in generous measures!

While doctors take care of the ailments, volunteers of Sahayta Cancer Sahyog, an emotional and financial support group, fill the gaps at other fronts. They inspire ailing children with faith and fortitude. No wonder one encounters in the Sahayta support room of the OPD some unimaginably spirited children who come from all over — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Uttaranchal.

Most have lost their hair and physical appeal due to tumours in eyes or brain; some have lost their ability to balance body weight, but none has lost resilience — the nuance that inspires the creation with survival. And in their struggle for survival, children find Sahayta volunteers walking with them day in and day out.

With support from Global Cancer Concern India, Sahayta also fends for education of their patients. Volunteer Ms Sharda Ahuja told The Tribune: “We issue slips to children who come here every Friday. With these slips they can get free medical treatment. We also give Rs 200 a month for children’s education, besides counseling parents who are the hardest hit by the trauma their child endures.” At the PGI, Sahayta has also created a toy bank and an art corner lest children feel drained while waiting for their turn in the OPD every week.

Had it not been for the NGO’s intervention in the area of paediatric cancer, Advanced Paediatrics Centre would have found it hard to achieve 70 per cent success rate in treatments. Every week this Centre gets about 80 children suffering from paediatric cancers. In 60 per cent cases, parents return without seeking treatments which is mostly expensive.

The least curable and the most expensive of paediatric cancers are Acute Myeloid Lukemia and Neuroblastoma (emerges in abdominal area). Dr Deepak Bansal explains: “These are the least curable paediatric cancers, and also among the most expensive. Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia costs Rs 2 lakh over six months. There are treatments that require expenditure over longer periods, as in the case of acute lymphoblastic leukemia which can be cured over two and a half years. It costs Rs 2 lakh.”

For a casual visitor to the Advanced Paediatric Centre, it is news that the Centre receives at least three fresh cases of blood cancers like Acute Lymphoblastic Lukemia (ALL) every week.

There are as many cases of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Neuroblastoma. But there are other, curable forms of paediatric cancers too, as Dr Bansal explains, “Solid tumours in abdominal area and kidney can be cured. Same is the case with lymphnode tumours and eye tumours. There has been a significant increase in the number of treated children over the past. The biggest challenge is funding of treatment, and Sahayta is doing a commendable job in the area.”

Sahayta mobilises individual donations of Rs 2 lakh every month and uses the money to sponsor treatments of cancer patients.



St Stephen’s team qualifies for Subroto Cup
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, August 6
Spirited St Stephen’s School, Sector 45, trounced St John’s High School, Sector 26, 6-0, and made their way to be the only from Chandigarh to play in the All-India Subroto Cup soccer meet (under-14). Stephen’s boys qualified on the basis of winning the Pre-Subroto Cup Inter-School Soccer Meet that concluded here today on the grounds of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37.

In the one-sided final played here today, Johny Sharma proved to be a scare for St John’s boys. The St Stephen’s boys proved their worth in all departments of the game. The half-time score was 3-0 in favour of the ultimate winners.

The players from St John’s could not match the rhythm of the Stephen’s players being trained by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) football coach Bhupinder. Interestingly, Bhupinder, who helped St Stephen’s win with huge margin, is under transfer.

Earlier the match began with a superb goal by Johny Sharma. It was followed by another goal from Nitin Negi and third goal scored by Johny to make it 3-0 at the end of the first half. Then there was no stopping for the St Stephen’s boys who maintained their rhythm all through the match.

It may be recalled that St John’s team that entered the final after raising objection against DAV School boys in the semifinal and whose five boys were not allowed to play following a decision of the UT Education Department today, did not exert much and lost tamely.

Johny Sharma scored four goals, Nitin Negi, Simran and Arshpreet scored one goal each.



A tennis prodigy
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, August 6
City-based Vijayant Malik, a Class XI student of DAV Public School, Sector 8, is now on the verge of making it big in the national tennis scene. The 15-year-old lad is now ranked among the top five in the country in the under 16 age group.

Vijayant, a native of Panipat, came to Chandigarh about five years ago to learn tennis. This gutsy, tall and lanky boy says, “It was the wish of my parents, both employed in Panipat, that I become a big tennis star. With this dream, I am taking no chances and working hard to fulfil it.”

His school Principal, Mrs Sarita Manuja, herself a keen sports promoter, says “At this juncture, Vijayant needs investment on him and exposure to various international tennis tournaments would enable this talented boy to surge ahead in tennis”.

She said Vijayant had proved his worth in the under 16 age group and now he planned to play ITF junior tournaments. She said from the school side, Vijayant was being supported in many ways.

Vijayant, who practises at the Tennis Stadium, Sector 10, is a product of the CLTA’s dream venture of promoting tennis among rural boys under the CHART scheme (Chandigarh Academy of Rural Tennis). Sunil Kumar also a former trainee under the CHART scheme, is a former Davis Cup player and is at present a senior national player of reckoning in tennis.

This, May, Vijayant bagged the under 16 title in the AITA Championship series, the Chandigarh AITA Super Series in Mumbai and also the AITA Talent series meet in Chandigarh in April this year.

Last year, Vijayant reached the last four of the DSCL Open Nationals held in Delhi. He was the bronze medal winner in the singles event in the National School Games and silver medallist in the doubles.

Vijayant is now preparing hard for the forthcoming DSCL National Tennis meet to be held in Delhi. He said tennis was a power game and required a tremendous amount of physical energy to excel.



Anu Saini shines in TT meet
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Anu Saini of Manav Mangal School, Sector 11, Panchkula, stole the show on the first day of the Panchkula District Table Tennis Tournament being organised by the Panchkula District Table Tennis Association at Manav Mangal School here today.

She defeated Priya in the under-10 girls category. The score being11-9, 11-3, 11-6. Again, she clinched the winner’s title in the final in the under-12 girls category. The score was 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4. Prasoon Sharma (MMS) beat Pulkit Arora 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6.

Results: under-12 boys: Prasoon Sharma (MMS) b Pulkit Arora (MMS), 11-3, 10-12, 11-5, 11-6; under-12 girls: Anu Saini (MMS) b Ishi ( St. Xavier’s), 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-4; under-10 girls: Anu Saini (MMS) b Priya (MMS), 11-9, 11-3, 11-6; under-10 boys: Anmol (Gurukul) b Akshat (Gurukul), 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6.



Mahipal wins wrestling meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
Mahipal clinched the winner’s title (below-45 kg category) in the Sharda Gold Cup Wrestling Competition held on the occasion of the founder’s day of Sharda Sarvhitkari Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 40, here today.

Around 30 wrestlers of national and international repute took part in the contest. Bouts were held under different weight categories between the wrestlers of Sharda Sarvhitkari, Kartar Singh Akhara and Dara Studio.

Mr Suresh Harmilapi, Regional Director, Sports Authority of India, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Results: below-45 kg: Mahipal 1; Rockey 2; Ajaydeep and Rohit 3; below-50 kg: Gagan 1; Yoginder 2; Gurpreet and Harvinder 3; below-55 kg: Vinod 1; Madan 2; Mukesh and Rinku 3; below-70 kg: Krishan Kumar 1, Sher Singh 2; Virender and Nirinder 3.



Chd team in dodgeball meet final
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Chandigarh dodgeball team reserved its place in the final of the first Dodgeball Senior National Championship. It beat Punjab in the semifinal and the score stood at 28-10, 21-12. The matches are being played at the Sports Complex, Sector 7, Chandigarh.

Results: quarterfinals: Punjab b Uttranchal, 2-0 (10-5, 10-4); Madhya Pradesh b Haryana, 2-0 (9-7, 12-5); Chandigarh b Himachal Pradesh, 2-0 (23-5, 17-6); Tamil Nadu b Delhi 2-0 (15-4, 9-6); semifinals: Tamil Nadu b Madhya Pradesh, 2-0 ( 13-10, 9-6); Chandigarh b Punjab, 2-0 (28-10, 21-12).

The third place match will be played between Punjab and Madhya Pradesh at 8.30 am tomorrow and the final will be played between Chandigarh and Tamil Nadu at 10 am by tomorrow.


Badminton, volleyball matches
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 6
Students of Jainendra Public School emerged winners in badminton and volleyball matches (boys and girls) in zonal tournaments (under-17) organised by the District Education Board here.

In gymnastic, the school players got the third position.



Notification on height of SCFs, SCOs soon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 6
The Chandigarh Administration is likely to issue a notification shortly regarding an increase in height of shop-cum-flats and shop-cum-offices. This was stated by Mr S. Regupathy, Minister for State in Ministry of Home Affairs, in a written answer to a question raised in Lok Sabha by Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament.

Mr Bansal said here today, “While stating that the Chandigarh Administration had allowed the construction of a room up to 150 square yards in the back courtyard of the marla houses and one-kanal houses, Mr Regupathy added to cut short the procedure for sanctioning of building plans, the Chandigarh Administration was actively considering a scheme for self-certification of plans by registered architects”.

“In reply to a question relating to the rate of compensation for land acquisition and the price at which it was sold, Mr Regupathy stated that the present compensation given ranged between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 32 lakh per acre while in the last three auctions of commercial property, the price fetched was between Rs 73,000 and Rs 1,17,000 per square yard,” the MP said.


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