L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


India second in number of AIDS cases
World AIDS Day today
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 30
“There are 38 million adults and 2.3 million children living with HIV, and during 2005 around 4.9 million people will become infected with the virus. Around half of these catch infection when they are below 25 years and die of the disease before they are 35. Around 95 per cent of such people live in developing countries,” according to UNAIDS estimates.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, a paediatric consultant in ESIC Model Hospital here, said AIDS was a threat to every single person around the world with Indian accounting for an estimated 5.134 million infections during 2004.

In numbers, India continued to stand second, next only to South Africa, while in terms of prevalence percentage, the country had HIV prevalence of 0.91 per cent among adult population as compared to 21.5 per cent in South Africa.

He said started in 1988, the World AIDS Day was not just about raising money but also about increasing awareness, education and fighting prejudices.

The occasion was important for reminding people that the HIV had not gone away and that there were many things still to be done.

Earlier being observed by UNAIDS, the task was handed over to the World AIDS Campaign (WAC), an independent organisation, in 2005.

The campaign is being run under the theme “Stop AIDS: keep the promise” by the WAC this year.

Dr Gulati said the virus was present in sexual fluids and blood of infected people. It could also be found in the breast milk of infected women.

“If infected sexual fluid, infected blood, or infected breast milk gets into a person’s blood, it may become infected with the HIV. The ABC of preventing the HIV infection that spreads through sexual activity are: abstinence, being faithful and using condom.”

He emphasised that since the disease was incurable, thrust had to be on preventive measures.

Abstinence was the safest way of staying away from infection. In addition, abstinence also safeguarded against contracting other sexually transmitted diseases.

“Being faithful to the sexual partner helps protect both partners. If sexual partners are faithful, and neither of them is HIV positive, there is no risk of them ever getting infected.”

Further, using condoms had proven effective in protection against HIV infection.

Dr Gulati said other preventive measures included never sharing needles, syringes, cotton or rinsing water. For tattoo or piercing, one needed to ensure that the tattoo artiste adhered to safety measures.

“Also blood and components used for transfusion should be tested and safe.”

“AIDS is affecting mainly young people in the sexually active age group. The majority of HIV infections (87.7 per cent) is in the age group of 15-44 years. The predominant mode of transmission of infection is through heterosexual contact (85.7 per cent), followed by injecting drug use (2.2 per cent), blood transfusion and blood product infusion (2.6 per cent), perinatal transmission (2.7 per cent) and others 6.8 per cent.

The most predominant opportunistic infection among AIDS patients was tuberculosis, indicating a potential future high spread of the HIV-TB co-infection. One ought to remember that at present there was no cure for AIDS and treatment was available only in prolonging survival, Dr Gulati added.



Rural health programme takes off
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 30
Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), in keeping with its philosophy of care and commitment to all and to reach the unreached, has ventured in to the rural areas of Sangrur district, especially around Barnala, in association with the Trident Group of Industries.

This outreach programme got under way with a comprehensive medical camp which catered to healthcare requirements of the rural populace in and around Barnala yesterday. A total of over 1700 patients were given free advice by the professionals under various specialties like general medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, pediatrics, dermatology, surgery and ENT. Free diagnostic facilities and medicines were also provided to the patients.

Inaugurating the rural health programme, Mr T.K.A. Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, said there was a need for flourishing business establishments to come forward for the improvement of health facilities for the underprivileged. He outlined the healthcare modules for the rural belt of India under the banner of National Rural Health Mission. Mr Nair said he felt proud to inaugurate the first module and emphasised that this venture would prove to be a role model for other healthcare schemes.

He also laid the foundation stone of the proposed Trident-CMC Hospital to he built by Trident group to extend medical aid to the local population.

Mr Rajinder Gupta, Managing Director of Trident Group of Industries informed that the group, in partnership with the CMCH, had adopted 12 villages and would impart health services at the doorstep of weaker sections of the society. He announced that the construction of the proposed hospital would follow the pattern of CMCH and further assured to broaden the outreach to deliver medical care to more villages in the area.

The Punjab Health Secretary, Mr Darbara Singh Guru, who also attended the function, admitted the scarcity of medical assistance in the countryside and offered the support of the state health department to implement the outreach programs to meet the healthcare requirements of the rural people.

Dr John Abraham, Medical Superintendent, CMCH, remarked that in a country like ours, where poverty and illiteracy were remarkable challenges, the health status of the majority of the people presented a gloomy picture. “Health care facilities in remote areas are often marred by poor infrastructure, lack of the trained medical personnel, inadequate medicines, coupled with lack of hygiene, sanitation and awareness among the teeming population.”

He said such programmes, launched in collaboration with the private sector, would help the medical institutions reach out to more people and to strengthen health systems in remote areas. He added that the CMCH and Trident will jointly organise two clinics each in 12 identified villages next month.



Pandove’s election to BCCI hailed
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
The Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) has hailed Mr M.P. Pandove’s election to the post of the Joint Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Mr Pandove was declared elected in Kolkata on Monday. He defeated his rival, the President of the Karnataka Cricket Association and former Test cricketer, Mr Brajesh Patel.

The office-bearers of the LDCA, led by its president, Mr Rajinder Nath Mahajan, and the senior vice-president and member of the selection committee of the North Zone, Mr Chaman Lal Malhotra, and the honorary general secretary of the association, Mr Vinod Chitkara, have welcomed Mr Pandove’s election to the cricket governing body in the country.

The office-bearers of the association gathered at the Arya College for Boys ground today in the evening and distributed sweets among the youngsters getting coaching at the regional coaching centre being run by the LDCA under the aegis of the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA).

Mr Naresh Marwaha, Mr Laxman Dravid and Mr Rajesh Puri, all members of the LDCA executive committee, have also expressed happiness over Mr Pandove’s victory.

It is pertinent to mention here that Mr Pandove, a former first-class cricketer, had held major posts in the board earlier also. He served in various board committees in the past. Mr Pandove, honorary general secretary of the PCA since 1981, has contributed a lot in the promotion of the game in the region.



Punjab schools athletics meet ends
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
Sangrur athletes won the overall championship in the boy’s section in the 51st Punjab State Schools Inter-District Athletics Meet that concluded at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Mohinder Singh of Patiala was declared the best athlete in the under-19 category, while this honour in the under-17 category was bagged by Rampal of Bathinda and Jagmohan Singh of Gurdaspur in the under-14 category.

Final day’s results: girls’ (under-19) 100m — Rajvidner Kaur of Patiala 1, Sukhmanpreet Kaur of Sangrur 2 and Gurpreet Kaur of Ludhiana 3; 200 m — Deepti Rani of Sangrur 1, Manpreet Kaur of Nawanshahr 2 and Rajwinder Kaur of Patiala 3; 400m (hurdles) — Manpreet Kaur of Nawanshahr 1, Sandeep Ghuman of Jalandhar 2 and Kamaljit Kaur of Ludhiana 3; hammer throw — Randeep Kaur of Ludhiana 1, Rajwant Kaur of Amritsar 2 and Kanwaljit Kaur of Amritsar 3; 100 m (hurdles) — Sandeep ghuman of Jalandhar 1, Jaspreet Kaur of Sangrur 2 and Rajvir Kaur of Amritsar 3.

Girls (under-17) 200 m — Harpal Kaur of Sangrur 1, Rajvidner Kaur of Muktsar 2 and Jaspreet Kaur of Muktsar 3; 100 m (hurdles) — Jatinder Kaur of Sangrur 1, Jaspreet Kaur of Muktsar 2 and Sarbjit Kaur of Amritsar 3; 4x100m relay — Sangrur 1, Muktsar 2 and Hoshiarpur 3; 400 m — Rajvir Kaur of Sangrur 1, Bhupinder Kaur of Amritsar 2 and Satinderjit Kaur of Sangrur 3.

Girls (under-14) 80 m (hurdles) — Kulvinder Kaur of Sangrur 1, Sumandeep Kaur of Gurdaspur 2 and Jaspal Kaur of Moga 3; long jump — Kulvinder Kaur of Sangrur 1, Chanpreet Kaur of Amritsar 2 and Gagandeep Kaur of Sangrur 3; 200 m — Harvinder Kaur of Nawanshahr 1, Pardeep Kaur of Hoshiarpur 2 and Pavanjot Kaur of Ludhiana 3; 4x100 m relay — Sangrur 1, Hoshiarpur 2 and Ludhiana 3.

Boys (under-17) 200m — Rampal of Bathinda 1, Karamjit Singh of Gurdaspur 2 and Gurjand Singh of Bathinda 3; 100 m hurdles — Ajaypal of Gurdaspur 1, Gurvinder Singh of Sangrur 2 and Jagroop Singh of Ludhiana 3; 400 m — Charandep Singh of Ferozepore 1, Karamjit Singh of Gurdaspur 2 and Amandeep Singh of Ludhiana 3.

Boys (under-14) 80m (hurdles) — Jagmohan Singh of Gurdaspur 1, Harjinder Singh of Gurdaspur 2 and Malvinder Singh of Ludhiana 3; long jump — Gurkirat Singh of Gurdaspur 1, Jagbir Singh of Bathinda 2 and Jagmohan Singh of Gurdaspur 3; 200m — Harmanjot Singh of Gurdaspur 1, Harpreet Singh of Ludhiana 2 and Jaspal Singh of Amritsar 3; 400 m — Baldev Singh of Gurdaspur 1, Varun Kumar of Amritsar 2 and Tarlochan Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib 3.



Sportspersons honoured
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 30
Four sportspersons of this subdivision, who represented India in various international meets, Randeep Singh in volleyball, Jagtar Singh Dhanaula in kabaddi, and Karamjit Kaur and Navjot Kaur in fencing, were honoured at a Police Public Sadbhavna Khed Mela organised by the local Police Department in collaboration with the Bassi Pathana Police Department at Ranwan village, near here, today.

It was inaugurated by the SP (H), Fatehgarh Sahib, Mr Narjinder Singh Sekhon, the DSP, Khamano, Mr Satinder Pal Singh, and the DSP, Bassi Pathana, Mr Jaswinder Singh Sodhi.

In kabaddi Khamano (A) won the first position while Bassi Pathana were second.

In volleyball Khamano (A) remained second. Musical-chair event was won by Gurkirpal Singh, inspector, while Surinderpal Singh Sarpanch got the second position.

The SSP, Fetehgarh Sahib, Mr Varinder Kumar, who was the chief guest, gave away the prizes to the winners. Addressing the gathering, he appealed to the youth to stay away from drugs and took part in games.



Ganga school clinch hockey title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
Ganga International Public School of Delhi beat JKG Public School, Ghaziabad, 4-0 to bag the title in the boys u-19 years section of the CBSE Schools National Hockey Tournament which concluded at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, here today. Moti Lal Nehru School, Lucknow secured third position. In the boys u-14 years, Spring Dale, Amritsar, beat Netaji Model School, Ropar, to earn top honours.

In the girl’s section (u-19 years), Blooming Dales, Hisar, beat Maharaja Agarsain Senior Secondary School, Sirsa, 2-0 to clinch the title, while the third spot was bagged by The White Eagles, Devpur, Gujarat.

In the girls u-14 years category, St Anthony School, Rampur, beat The White Eagles, Devpur, and MDN Public School, Rohtak, had to content with the third position.

Former Olympian Hardeep Singh Grewal was the chief guest at the prize distribution function.


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