R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Not letting his talent go waste

  • Songs of the wheel

  • Some spoon-feeding, this


Sikh jatha: A jatha of the Sikh sangat started for Amritsar on Saturday to meet the Jathedar of Akal Takat to protest against the alleged anti-Sikh maryada acts of Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC.

Installation: The District Governor, District 321 F, KS Sohal and Manpreet Sohal supervised the installation of R.K. Rana as Vice-District Governor at Guru Nanak Bhavan here today. A.P. Singh, International Director, was the chief guest.

Blood donation: The Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust, Dhahan Kaleran and the Bhai Ghanayia Seva Samiti organised a blood donation camp at Ajit market, Garh Shankar on Saturday. As many as 47 units of blood were collected.

Talent search competition: The Sikh National College, Charan Kanwal, Banga, organised a talent search competition in the college campus on Saturday. Simranjit Singh won the painting competition and Nisha won the fancy dress competition.

Medical camp: Guru Gobind Singh Charitable Trust, Ludhiana and Amardeep Singh Shergill Memorial College, Mukandpur, on Thursday organised a free medical check-up camp in the college campus. As many as 2500 patients were examined.

Appointed: Mr Bharat Bhushan Sharma, an advocate, was appointed vice-president of the Gurdaspur district unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal.

One arrested: Deepak Singh, a resident of Havelian village, was arrested on Saturday. A Scorpia Van, stolen from Azad Nagar, New Delhi, was recovered from his possession.

One held: The police seized 1 kg of opium from Harbhajan Singh of Valtoha township. A case under the NDPS Act has been registered.


Welfare society: The following were elected office-bearers of the Social Welfare Society, Sector 18, at a meeting held here on Sunday: president — Mr Naresh Batra and general secretary — Mr Rajeev Duggal. Mr Batra was authorised to nominate the candidates for the post of vice-president and executive member.

Prizes distributed: The Income Tax Department organised a prize distribution function on the occasion of Hindi Day. Dinesh Guatam, Anju Sharma and Pushpa Kapoor won the first, second and the third prize, respectively, in the Hindi karaya competition. Satish Kumar, Sandhya Walia and Sarla got the first, second and the third prize, respectively, in the Hindi type on computer contest’.

Celebration: The local unit of the INLD celebrated the 92nd birth anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister Chaudhary Devi Lal at the Sector 3 stadium here on Sunday. A ‘sarv dharam prarthna sabha’ was organised on the occasion . Mr Pradeep Chaudhary, senior INLD leader, described the leader as a messiah for the poor. Mr Amardeep Chaudhary also spoke on the occasion.

LOAN: The State Bank of Patiala has introduced a loan scheme for its customers who wish to travel within or outside the country. Mr S.C. Dhall, senior manager of the bank’s main branch at Kalka, said the loan would be extended to the customers according to their paying capacity.

DARBAR: A ‘kavi darbar’ was organised by the Kedar Adabi Trust on Sunday. The function was presided over by Justice B. Rai and Ms Usha R. Sharma. As many as 14 poets participated in the darbar.

Kidnapped: A 15-year-old girl, employed as a maid in a group housing society in Sector 20 here, is alleged to have been kidnapped. In a complaint to the police, girl’s father Bhagwati has alleged that his daughter went for work in the morning, but did not return till evening. When he went to her employer’s house, he was told that she had not come for work. A case has been registered.


166 cases settled: The Lok Adalat organised in the local district courts on Saturday settled 166 out of 385 matters which were brought before it for hearing. The District and Sessions Judge and Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA), Mr Lachhman Dass Sharma, presided over the Lok Adalats. According to Mr Sushil Kumar Garg, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary of the DLSA.

Youth run over, killed: A 30-year-old youth was found dead on the rail track between Bahadurgarh and Asaudha stations here on Sunday morning. The deceased was identifed as Vinod, a son of Rishal Singh, a resident of Barahi village. The villagers said that the youth was addicted to intoxicants and he was run over by a train in the night.

Farmers ‘desert INLD’: Former Deputy Speaker of the state assembly Manphool Singh has said that the farmer community has deserted the INLD which was following it due to late Mr Devi Lal. He held that the farmer community has witnessed the tyrranical rule of Mr Om Prakash Chautala who cheated them in the name of Devi Lal.

Medical camp: Under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, free medical check-up camps for handicapped students were organised at all five education blocks of the district on Saturday. As many as 905 students were examined.

Police remand: Israr and Hasmat, who were arrested for a robbery bid at the residence of an industrialist, Vijay Gupta, in Sector 7 on Thursday, have been remanded in seven-day police custody. Their accomplices, Raja, Munna and Nishat, have absconded.

Cooking gas distribution: The district administration has appointed officers of the Food and Civil Supplies Department, who will supervise the distribution of cooking gas cylinders. A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner, Mr K.K. Gupta, on Saturday.

Group clash: The police has registered a case against nine unindentified students of the ITI, Kharkhauda, for an alleged assault on Surinder Singh of Barona village last week. The accused belong to Nilothi village. The incident occurred, following an altercation they had, while travelling to Kharkhauda.

Suicide: Howa Singh, a resident of Khewra village committed suicide by taking some tablets in his house on Saturday. The police has sent the body for a post mortem examination.

Two killed: Som Nath of Halalpur village and Harish Kumar of Yamuna Nagar were killed when their Canter rammed into a parked truck on the GT Road near Rasoi village on Saturday.

Body found: The police found a body on the GT Road near Panchi Gujran village on Sunday. The body was sent for a post mortem examination.

Three hurt: Three persons were injured when they were hit by a Canter on the GT Road near Rasoi village on Sunday. The victims were engaged in unloading goods from a Canter when another Canter rammed into them.

Theft: Thieves reportedly broke into a shop on the Sonepat-Gohana road here on Saturday and decamped with cash, 10 mobile phones and other goods. The owner of the shop, Vikas Jain, has lodged a complaint.


Memorandum: Mr Tilakraj Sharma, MLA from Bilaspur, has presented a memorandum, elaborating the problems faced by the Bhakra Dam oustees, to the Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, at Shimla on behalf of the Bhakra Oustees’ Rights Protection Committee.

NSS camp: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Manish Garg, while presiding over a five-day NSS camp at Shah Talai urged the youth to eradicate evils like dowry, untouchability and drug addiction.

Amendment sought: The HP Government Senior Secondary Schools’ Association of Lecturers on Saturday urged the Director Education to amend the promotion criteria in such a way that lecturers appointed in the general category can also be promoted as vice-principal and principal. Starting this in a press note, the general secretary of the association, Mr Sushil Kumar, said that just 15 per cent of the posts are reserved for the ex-servicemen but they end up bagging all promotions.

Acid attack: A local court on Saturday remanded Kamla Devi in three-day police custody for throwing acid on Sajjo Devi, a resident of Taliana village. The victim, who was admitted to the PGI, Chandigarh, is reported to be in serious condition.

One killed in accident: One person was killed and four injured when the truck they were travelling in fell into a gorge near Uttri village in the Shillai area on the Paonta-Rohnat road on Friday. Dalip Singh, a resident of Naini Dhar village, died on the way to hospital. The four injured — Gopal, Sant Ram and Jagdish, residents of Ghiriana village and Ravinder, a resident of Rast village were taken to a hospital.

Support extended: The Non-Teaching Employees Association of Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (HPAU) has extended its support to agitating teachers of the HPAU. This was stated by Mr Bimal Sekhari, president of the association, here on Saturday. He said coordination committee of the association would join the agitation if the Vice-Chancellor of the HPAU failed to withdraw its order seeking progress report from the teaching staff.


Regional potpourri

Not letting his talent go waste

Concrete plan : Jugraj Singh Dhanaula, a mason, dreams of creating a ‘Disneyland on walls’ with waste material
Concrete plan
: Jugraj Singh Dhanaula, a mason, dreams of creating a ‘Disneyland on walls’ with waste material.

HE uses bricks to create buildings and waste tiles to create art. A mason by profession and artist by temperament, Jugraj Singh Dhanaula (51) makes images of living and non-living things from waste ceramic tiles.

A resident of Dhanaula village, about 30 km from Sangrur, he has created several images from waste tiles, including that of Lord Ganesha, a pregnant woman and a man on the moon. His most noteworthy creation can be seen at the entrance of his stadium. He has made a Mickey Mouse, a football, a basketball and a volleyball atop the main gate. “Giraffe de sir te maut (death) da saya” is another of his praiseworthy creation. He has also helped beautify five domes of Gurdwara Singh Sabha at Barnala with ceramic and marble tiles.

Jugraj Singh has been cycling 10 km daily, from Dhanaula to Barnala, for the past 23 years to earn his livelihood. He is a man who truly believes in simple living. Despite being a known personality in the Dhanaula area, he has no vehicle, no mobile phone and even no landline phone at his house.

He studied only up to Class VIII and started work as a mason with his father, Sadhu Singh, in 1969. But he gives the entire credit for his success in this field to his mentor, Harjit Singh of Barnala, with whom he worked for about 16 years.

As for dabbling in art, he got inspiration from his grandfather, Hari Singh, to recycle waste material for creating various images. He uses several tools, including an electric cutter, electric grinder and a sharp tool for cutting the ceramic tiles.

His ultimate dream is to create a ‘Disneyland on walls’ with waste ceramic tiles, something on the lines of Nek Chand’s Rock Garden in Chandigarh. He wants to give shape to his dream at any public place and would gladly like to make use of space offered by any club, stadium or organisation for this purpose.

Songs of the wheel

Debi Maqsoospuri
Debi Maqsoospuri
— Photo by Malkiat Singh

Who are the most enthusiastic listeners of popular Punjabi songs? The answer to this question is not hard to find. The men on the move—in trucks, buses, lorries and taxis— are the most avid fans of popular music that gives them a rhythm to drive and also keeps sleep out of their eyes on long routes, at odd hours. The large brigade of drivers of Punjab is indeed addicted to peppy Punjabi music.

This accounts for many lyrics being inspired by the journey on wheels. Recall the popular old number, ‘Motor mitran di chal Barnale chaliye…’ Listening to the number still makes one feel like taking a bus all the way to Barnala just for the sake of the song, which had such a lilt.

In recent times, Debi Maqsoospuri, who carries the name of his village near Hoshiarpur, has penned and sung a very popular song dedicated to the lives of the drivers. The number goes thus: ‘Zindagi truck valean di hai kamal, Sarhkan te lang jaan haarh te sayal.’ In yet another song, he describes how sleeplessness rests in one eye of the driver and in the other the hope of seeing his loved ones.

Maqsoospuri indeed struck a special chord with the drivers of Punjab. And he speaks of the driver’s experience first hand, for he has done more than his share of ‘dravery’, as it is called in colloquial terms.

Maqsoospuri, who left the country after graduating from Government College, Hoshiarpur, with his Canadian Punjabi wife, made a living for himself with his ‘owner-operated’ taxi. It was only later that he got his break at musical shows, first abroad and then at home. Now, of course, he distributes his time singing out his heart, both in Maqsoospur and Vancouver. He pens his own songs and his hit albums are: ‘Ashiqan di kahdi zindagi’ and ‘Punjabian di shaan vakhri’. It would be fit to say that his songs have a driving force.

Contributed by Sushil Goyal, Nirupama Dutt and Perneet Singh

Some spoon-feeding, this

The ‘spoon-feeding robot’ has been developed to assist people who cannot use their hands
The ‘spoon-feeding robot’ has been developed to assist people who cannot use their hands.

IT could well be a boon for people who can’t use their arms. Simranjit Singh Sidhu, Anuj Marwah, and Nitin Vohra of the Giani Zail Singh College of Engineering and Technology, Bathinda, joined hands to develop what they have named as the ‘spoon-feeding robot’.

The robot can feed three semi-liquids to a disabled person. These students have themselves designed the robot’s hardware as well as software. The robot has five degrees of freedom. It carries out its functions with a foot-operated keyboard, which an individual with disabled arms can easily operate. There are three push buttons for different functions.

The first button makes the robot feed the person operating it, while the second button can be used to change the feed. The third button is used to stop the process of feeding.

These students have also developed a ‘pick-and-place robot’. Having four degrees of freedom, the robot is used to pick an object from a desired location and place it at a specified location. The working models of both the robots can be seen at the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation, Chandigarh.


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