R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


Blood donation
: The health department organised a seminar on the occasion of National Voluntary Blood Donation Day at SD College here on Saturday. Students donated blood at the camp organised on this occasion. An exhibition on blood donation was organised.

A student reads Guru Granth Sahib at a Sehaj Path competition organised by the GGSSC in Ludhiana
A student reads Guru Granth Sahib at a Sehaj Path competition organised by the GGSSC in Ludhiana on Sunday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

COMPETITION: Sehaj Paths Lehar, dedicated to celebrations of 400th prakash utsav of Guru Granth Sahib , was organised for students at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Phase 1, Dugri. The competition was organised by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. All contestants had to recite the path. A special team from the Central Office was present to judge the competition. The coordinators of the Sehaj Path Examination, Mr Trilochan Singh and Amarjeet Singh congratulated the contestants and their families. Mr Baljit Singh, Hindustan Expo, gave away the Sardar Sardool Singh Memorial Running Trophy and the Sitawanti Memorial Running Trophy, respectively, to those two schools that had maximum representation. 

camp ENDS: A 10-day NSS camp organised by the NSS unit of the Government College for Women concluded here yesterday. As many as 150 volunteers participated in the camp. 

NSS camp: A 10-day NSS camp, going on at Kamla Lohia S D College here, entered the eighth day on Saturday. An inspection team from Panjab University comprising Dr M S Bains, honorary programme coordinator, and Mr Avtar Singh from the department of NSS, Panjab University, Chandigarh, visited the campus. The team appreciated the efforts of volunteers and jobs undertaken by them during the camp .

Blood Donation Day: To mark Blood Donation Day, the Civil Hospital held a function on Saturday to honour donors, who had donated blood for more than 10 times. A blood-donation camp was also organised on the occasion.

SENIOR CITIZENS: The All-India Senior Citizens Organisation (regd) celebrated the World Senior Citizens Day on Saturday at Sita Mata Mandir, Daresi Ground, under the chairmanship of Mr Dewan Jagdish Chandra, former MLA and general secretary of the All-India Freedom Fighters’ Organisation. Problems of senior citizens were discussed. 

NEW PTA: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Parent-Teacher Association Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road, here: president — Mr Shiv Ram Saroay; vice-president — Mr Shushil Kumar; secretary — Mr H.K. Mayer; cashier — Mr Khem Singh; members — Mr Major Singh, Mr Davinder Singh; and Mr Raj Kumar. 

COOKING CONTEST: A vegetarian cooking competition was organised by hope here on Sunday. Hope is an animal welfare society working towards sensitizing the community towards animals. 

Ration distributed: Fiftyone needy women received rations from members of the Punjabi Nishkam Seva here on Sunday at Hanuman Temple, Shahpur Road. The Deputy Mayor, Ms Sushil Gupta, was also present on the occasion. She said Mr Sushil Prashar, president of the organisation, and his team members were doing a wonderful job by helping the needy. 

FIRE INCIDENT: A fire broke out in a local branch of Punjab National Bank here on Sunday. It reportedly caused extensive damage. A number of computers were destroyed in the fire. The cause of the fire could not be ascertained immediately. — OC

1 KILLED IN MISHAP: Sukhdev Singh of Ghungrali Sikhan village was killed in an accident involving a passenger tempo and a Jeep near Hedon village, 5 km from here, on Sunday. Kashmira Singh and Satwant Singh of Samrala, who were seriously injured in the accident were referred to a Ludhiana hospital, while Surjit Kaur, Nirmla and Usha, all residents of Samrala, were taken to the Civil Hospital, Samrala.

Tarn Taran
Seminar held
: A four-day seminar on “Leadership development Programme” organised here by the Socio-economic Development Programme concluded on Saturday. 55 youths from Ajnala, Khemkaran, Fatehgarh Churian, Chamba, Palampur, Kangra and Jammu participated in the seminar.

Two booked: The police has seized smack weighing 100 grams from Bakshish Singh and Resham Singh, residents of the town. Resham Singh managed to escape. A case under NDPS Act has been registered.



CAMP CONCLUDES: A 10-day special camp on the theme “Youth for Swastha” concluded on Sunday at Government College-46. As many as 150 boys and 50 girl volunteers participated. Mr Mahindru, ex-AMD, PSIDC, presided over the valedictory function and lauded the role of the NSS volunteers. Parvinder Singh was adjudged the best NSS volunteer in boys section and Chanda Nautial was adjudged the best NSS volunteer girls.

OFFICE BEARERS: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Ad hoc Governing Body of the Library and Information Science Alumni Association Panjab University: president — Dr V.K. Anand; vice-president — Dr Amarnath Sharma; general-secretary —Mr G.S. Thakur; joint-secretary — Mr Parveen Kumar; joint-secretary — Ms Anita Chhatwal; finance secretary — Mr Gautam Bahl; and secretary (public relations) — Mr Parveen Khurana.

GANDHI JAYANTI: The House Owners Welfare Association, Sector 19, here celebrated Gandhi Jayanti by organising community events at Jagrata Park. The residents had a fun time as children, women and men participated in games and cultural show. Cycle race, three-leg race and musical chairs were the highlights of the show. A dance competition was also organised. Mr Kuldeep Sharma, chairman of the association, said the event was celebrated to mark the fifth anniversary of the Mahatma Gandhi Awas Yojana.

Dental camp: About 100 patients got a free dental check-up camp on the second day of Dental Health Mela organised by the Dentistree here today. Competitions in cookery, poetry recitation and essay-writing competition were also held. Mrs Leela Sagar, Mrs Virender Dahut and Mrs Saroj Pahwa won in the cookery contest. Mr K.K. Bajaj and Pushpa Arora won in the poetry competition, while K.K. Bajaj and D.R. Sharma won in the essay-writing competition.

Seminar: A seminar was organised by the Creative Art at Pracheen Shiv Mandir, Sector 9, here today. Participants were told how the institute harnessed the brain of children to unleash its unlimited potential. Mr Lalit explained that they helped enhance memory power, visualisation, concentration, imagination and learning skills with speed and accuracy.



: Krishna, a resident of Rohad village, and her two daughters, Mukesh and Lakshmi, committed suicide by consuming some tablets in Rohad village on Saturday.

: Thieves broke into a shop on the Hisar-Delhi Road on Friday and allegedly decamped with tyres worth Rs 5 lakh. A case has been registered.

Three booked
: The police has booked Maina Devi, a resident of Model Town, and her two daughters, Anju and Lalita, for allegedly throwing acid on Rama Nand. The incident occurred following an altercation between the two families. The victim has been hospitalised. A case has been registered.

: Thieves broke into a house in the 8-marla Colony here and decamped with Rs 10,000 and gold ornaments on Saturday. A case has been registered.

Snake-bite: Krishan Chand, a resident of Ashok Nagar colony, was bitten by a snake at his residence on Saturday. He condition is reported to be serious.



Self-help groups
: A rural fair was organised on Saturday by Kulu and Bhuntar branches of State Bank of India. Loans amounting to Rs 2.65 crore were distributed amongst several self-help groups (SHG). Mr S.N. Mahajan, Deputy General Manager, SBI, Shimla, stated that more than 50 new SHG accounts were opened during the first fortnight of September, which was observed as Self-help group fortnight by the bank.



These are logs to pine for

Pinewood log technology has been imported all the way from Finland to set up prefabricated cottages at Naldehra, near Shimla
COTTAGE INDUSTRY: Pinewood log technology has been imported all the way from Finland to set up prefabricated cottages at Naldehra, near Shimla.

Recent years have seen quite a lot of hue and cry against the tall brick and cement structures that have been coming up in the Shimla hills. These buildings are out of sync with the environment but builders are carrying on nevertheless. However, in the midst of all this, an enterprising entrepreneur, Yatish Sood, has shown the way by importing pinewood log technology all the way from Finland and using it to build delightful log homes.

Yatish, who has built a log-house resort at Naldehra, 22 km from Shimla, says: “When I saw these log homes in Scandinavian countries, I was delighted. These are just the right material to suit our environment. I felt that I should take them back home to the hills of Shimla.” And so he did, by importing the prefabricated cottages with furnishing from Finland and building a resort with them on a 1-acre stretch of land he had at Naldehra. Some 16 cottages are ready and he plans to add a few more. The cottages have to them a fairytale look and one feels as if one has entered the realm of a Goldilocks or a Red Riding Hood.

Yatish is quick to add, “There is more to log homes than the aesthetics. They are cozy in winter and cool in summer. Besides, these are eco-friendly and made from natural materials.”

The log homes have appealed so much to the landed paharis that people want to have them for keeps. Maj-Gen Manjit Singh Ahluwalia has already built his country retreat using this technology near Naldehra and others too are following suit. These small yet livable cottages seem to be putting the ugly concrete structures to shame.

Empowering through knowledge

Hari Krishan Jain
Hari Krishan Jain

This Ludhiana-based octogenarian has chosen to give back to society in a different way. Hari Krishan Jain does not believe in just doling out money to the needy, though monetary help from him for the education of poor children and medical treatment of those who cannot afford it is always forthcoming.

He wants to empower the underprivileged in a different way. So, he publishes books and pamphlets with useful information, such as biographies of Indian statesmen, freedom fighters, points to ponder, etc.

The objective, he says, is to empower people with knowledge. “If people have pious thoughts and they think about the good of society, we can help transform the system,” says Jain. Almost immobilised by old age, he takes great pains to collect books on spirituality, wisdom, religion, etc and goes through every page carefully. Then, at his own cost he gets nuggets of knowledge reproduced in a concise and comprehensible form for distribution free of cost among students, opinion makers and all those wanting to make their lives better.

Jain’s motto is to work for the blind, disabled, the deaf and dumb and mentally challenged, besides heart and cancer patients. A philanthropist, he has been an active social worker since 1954 and is a well-known name in Ludhiana city.

He has been conferred with the Desh Sewak Rattan Award for dedication to the uplift of the downtrodden and needy. He has published and distributed nearly 200 pamphlets, books and leaflets on social and cultural issues, dealing with a wide variety of subjects, ranging from facts about dengue fever, drugs that have been globally banned to the importance of making a will etc.

‘King’ of the hills

Raaja Bhasin
Raaja Bhasin

We’ve heard of the ‘queen of the hills’, but who is this ‘king’ of the hills? Raaja Bhasin, of course, who has taken on the role of chronicler of the Shimla hills. A hill lad through and through, he went back to his hometown after completing his Master’s in history from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Fond of writing, he chose to first look back into the history of the hills that nurtured him. His first book, Simla: Summer Capital of British India, published by Penguin, was received very well and he is now working on the revised second edition. Besides, he also wrote a book for the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Department called the Himalayan Experience and numerous articles and features in various newspapers and journals.

Meeting him is an interesting experience, for he exudes a culture and old-world charm that is fast vanishing in the hurry-scurry of the times. Raaja has a number of projects at hand and one can wait for some more interesting books by him. Says Raaja, “I am working on a book on the Churches and Cemeteries of Himachal Pradesh for the Tourism Department. Since I am a Cottonian, I have also been asked to write a book on the history of the Bishop Cotton School that was founded way back in 1859.”

While he keeps a home in Delhi, he stays most of the year in Shimla. His heritage walks are famous and he takes people who wish to have a real hill experience through cedar forests and also around town, including a lunch in a Shimla home and close encounters with the town’s artists and astrologers. So, when in Shimla next, look out for this Raaja of the hills.

Contributed by Nirupama Dutt and Naveen S. Garewal


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