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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri
‘Mera Naam Joker’
Orphans are the apple of his eye
Sikh scholar honoured

PUNJAB

BATALA
College fete
: R.R.Bawa DAV College for Girls, Batala, organized a fete-cum-lucky draw on Saturday on the college campus. Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Chairman, Pollution Control Board, Punjab, was the chief guest. The Principal, Mrs Weena Vatni, welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries. Various stalls were put up by leading companies. The main attraction was the competition for titles like Miss Utsav, Mrs Utsav, Miss Alumnus, Mrs Alumnus, Utsav Couple and Utsav Toddler.

HOSHIARPUR
Case registered
: On a complaint by Mr Chain Singh of Khera village, the Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 468, 471 and 420 of IPC against Roshan Lal of Chabewal for fraudulently mortgaging his land to him. According to police sources, Mr Chain Singh stated that Roshan Lal had mortgaged his already sold 22 kanal land at Bathuala to him on June 19, 2004 for which he paid Rs. 3.50 lakh. But later, on inquiry, it revealed that the land was already sold by him in 2002. 

Cash looted: A gang of at least six unidentified persons struck at the office of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) at Mahilpur in the wee hours on Saturday and assaulted Mr Kamdin Kumar, watchman, with iron rods. After injuring him, they locked up him in a room. They broke open the locks of the cash room and took away the cash box containing Rs 1,05,500. Mr Harish Kumar, SP (D), said at midnight, the same gang had also gone to the PSEB office at Kot Fatuhi and broke open the locks of the cash room there. They took the cash box containing Rs 1,05,994 with them.

Jalandhar
PTU exam
: The PTU’s Engineering Drawing paper for the first and second semester (subject code ME-102) would be re-conducted on Tuesday, January 31, a release from the university said on Sunday. The re-conduct of the examination would be irrespective of the branch of study. 

Khanna
Banking services camp
: Commerce Association of A S College Khanna organized an extension lecture during banking services awareness camp in association with Punjab National Bank here on Wednesday. Mr Ashok Verma, Deputy Manager, Marketing, was the resource person. He disclosed about the facilities given by the bank authorities in detail. Dr R.S. Jhanji, Principal of the College, said that everybody should know about the banking services in the era of globalisation.

Ludhiana
MEDICAL CAMP: More than 700 patients were examined and medicines were distributed free of cost to them at a medical check-up camp in Grewal Hospital on Gill Road here on Sunday. Mr Balwinder Singh Bains, member, SGPC, inaugurated the medical camp. Mr Mandeep Kaur, gynaecologist, Dr P. Singh, general surgeon, Dr Gurdeep Singh, orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Satinder Kaur, skin specialist, and Dr Deepak Gupta, eye surgeon, checked the patients.

NAWANSHAHR
Dilwar cremated
: Daya Singh Dilwar (75), a prominent dhadi and recipient of the ‘Shiromani Dhadi Award’, who died of cardiac arrest on Thursday at a hospital in Ludhiana, was cremated here on Saturday. A large number of political, religious and social leaders and prominent citizens attended the funeral. 

Rural sewerage: One village in each block of the district will be spruced up through low-cost sewerage developed by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology. In the first phase, work on laying sewerage in two villages, Kariha and Mallupota, has been approved by the state government. Mr Krishan Kumar, DC, said the project would be executed jointly by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology and the Rural Development Department. Mr Krishan Kumar said a list of 50 villages had also been submitted to the state government for including them in the scheme.

Phagwara
Passengers thrashed
: Two persons had to be hospitalised after the crew of the bus they were traveling in allegedly bashed them and pushed them out of the bus. Kanwaljit Singh and Harry from Kotla village said they had boarded a Haryana Roadways bus from Ludhiana for Jalandhar on Saturday night. After some altercation over the fares, the crew, the victims said, halted the bus near Chachoki village octroi post on the GT Road and allegedly assaulted them with iron rods and pushed them out of the bus.

Two injured: A man and his sister were injured in a collision between a Mahindra Scorpio and a motorcycle near Sapror village on the GT Road on Sunday. While Jaswinder Kaur from Sapror village sustained serious injuries and has been admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana, Godawar Singh from Jandali village is being treated here.

Cane growers’ case: The indefinite dharna by members of the local Cane Growers’ Co-operative Society against the sugar mill management entered 81st day on Sunday, according to the society’s spokespersons, even as the next hearing of the case between the society and the management is scheduled for tomorrow in Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Notification hailed: Exporters, industrialists and traders here have hailed the issuance of the notification about reduction of VAT from 12.5 per cent to four per cent on 80 items including diesel engines and their spare parts. Mr A.K. Kohli, Senior Vice-President, Punjab Chamber of Small Exporters, Mr Gursaran Singh, President, Federation of Jalandhar Industrial and Traders Associations, Mr Sudesh Sharma, President, Federation of Phagwara Small Industries Association, thanked the government. 

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CHANDIGARH

Montgomery Zila Bradari: The 20th annual function of the Montgomery Zila Bradari was held here on Sunday. Five members, namely Capt P.L. Tenden, Mr Jaspal Singh, Mr Raj Kumar, Mr Jagdish Singh Bhandari and Mr Jagdish Chander were honoured for meritorious services in promoting brotherhood.

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REGIONAL POTPOURRI

‘Mera Naam Joker’

Jagat Ram has won the hearts of Hisar residents with the comic acts that he has been performing in the Ram Lila
LAUGHTER CHAMPION: Jagat Ram has won the hearts of Hisar residents with the comic acts that he has been performing in the Ram Lila.

Thanks to his comic performances in a local Ram Lila, Jagat Ram, an employee of the Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) in Hisar, has come to be better known as Jagat ‘Joker’.

And he doesn’t quite mind this epithet. On the contrary, he is proud of the fact that he is able to tickle people’s funny bone.

Hailing from Almora district in Uttaranchal, Jagat Ram came to Hisar in 1976, looking for a job. He is now settled in this town and has been performing at the annual Ram Lila organised at Vidyut Nagar by the Badri-Kedar Ramlila Committee for the past 26 years.

Other than playing the part of a clown, Jagat Ram entertains the gathering with his soulful rendition of bhajans and self-composed songs in different dialects at cultural programmes.

He has also been preparing tableaux of his department for the Republic Day function and other events.

On being asked about his secret formula for making people laugh, the joker pauses for a while and then remarks with a wry smile, “Sir, it’s not an easy job…you have to abuse yourself to amuse others.”

“When on stage, I get some divine inspiration to make people happy. Though I have five children to bring up in my limited income, I forget all my worries once I am performing before a gathering,” he maintains.

Apart from entertaining people, he also tries to lend them a helping hand whenever possible.

For instance, when the residents of the Hansi area were hit by a flood a few years ago, he collected money, clothes and other articles for the victims.

It is this spirit that has won him appreciation from the residents and also numerous awards from Central and state ministers as well as senior bureaucrats.

Orphans are the apple of his eye

Ludhiana-based ophthalmologist, Dr Rajinder Singh
Ludhiana-based ophthalmologist, Dr Rajinder Singh

Spending his spare time with orphans made his bond for them grow so strong that it became his mission to make their lives meaningful.

Dr Rajinder Singh, a Ludhiana-based ophthalmologist, who had been actively helping those living below the poverty line to undergo eye operations free of cost, does not remember what drew him to these “nobody’s babies.”

His transformation from a ‘saviour of sight’ to a ‘champion of the orphans’ was not an overnight process. He felt the destitute childrens’ pain for days’ together before becoming their messiah. Now, whenever he goes to Bal Bhavan, Ludhiana, he gets immense satisfaction from the unconditional affection showered on him by the children.

Associated with the Bal Bhavan and Deaf and Dumb School for over a year, Dr Rajinder Singh has helped  set up a recreation room for the inmates by providing them with a TV set, a DVD player and other facilities.

Coordinator of Sahayta, an NGO being run simultaneously in India and the USA by him and his friend Dr Harkesh Sandhu, Dr Rajinder Singh was instrumental in providing them with a lawn and spent around Rs 2 lakh on the bhavan.

Those children have become so important in his life that he spends all important functions like Divali and Lohri in the Bhavan itself. “Children love you selflessly. When you care for them, they make you feel loved more than anyone else in the world. That is what keeps one going.” says Dr Rajinder Singh.

Besides helping them grow in a better way, Dr Rajinder Singh leaves no stone unturned to get their eyes and teeth checked regularly. “At regular intervals, we get all their eye and dental check-ups done. All these children have no problems as far as eyes and teeth are concerned,” he claims with pride. 

Sikh scholar honoured

Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, Sant Baba Sewa Singh along with Rupinder Singh Shampura of Akash radio at an awards function held near Batala recently
Dr Raghbir Singh Bains (third from left), Sant Baba Sewa Singh (third from right) along with Rupinder Singh Shampura of Akash radio at an awards function held near Batala recently.

A Sikh scholar, Dr Raghbir Singh Bains, was recently honoured for his contribution to the cause of Sikhism. He was bestowed with the ‘Award of Excellence’ by Sant Baba Sewa Singh, in charge of kar sewa, Khadoor Sahib (Tarn Taran), at a function held at Shampura, near Batala.

Bains had been instrumental in preparing the computerised version of the “Encyclopaedia of Sikhism”. The encyclopaedia is displayed in the multimedia section of the museum at Khadoor Sahib.

Bains stated that having made a pledge to his mother that he would do his bit for society, he had sold all his property and invested about Rs 10 crore for setting up and maintaining the Sikh museum at Khadoor Sahib. He called upon the Sikhs worldwide to follow the teachings of their gurus.

Among those present on the occasion was Rupinder Singh Shampura, in charge of the Punjab section, Akash radio (London). Contributed by Sunit Dhawan, Balraj Mahajan and Kanchan Vasdev

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