R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri
Karnal’s singing star
Art form fades away with painter
Frowning upon foeticide


Information sought
: The Amritsar police, on Friday, sought information about Dilraj Singh, a dreaded criminal, who fled from the police custody on February 22 and announced a cash award of Rs 10,000 in this regard. Dilraj was convicted in a rape case and many cases of narcotics and drug peddling were pending against him.

Nurses decry govt: A meeting of the District Nurses Association on Friday alleged discrimination by the government. The meeting held at the Mental Hospital was presided over by Ms Usha Chopra, president of the association. She decried the government on the issue of pay scales and allowance. 

Theives arrested
: The police has arrested Parveen Masih, a son of Inayat Masih, resident of Bhandari Gate, and Rajan Masih, a son of Krishan Masih of Christian Colony, Aliwal Road, in connection with the theft at the residence of Bishop Moris of City Road Church, Batala, and gold jewellery weighing 7 tolas and cash worth Rs 19,000. Sonu Masih, Hira Masih, and Mangu Masih, all residents of Ghoga village, have been arrested along with a stolen electric motor a cane crusher and Rs 20,000 from their possession. In another incident Dharam Singh of Marrar village has been arrested along with a stolen electric motor.

Woman kills self
: A woman, Kamaljit Kaur, alias Rani, committed suicide on Friday following the alleged illicit relations between her husband Jaspal Singh and his sister-in-law Neelam. The incident happened at Tajowal village. According to the police, Jaspal Singh used to beat Kamaljit and compelled her to make peace with Neelam. The police has registered a case under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC. 

Man duped: Hardeep Singh, son of Kuldip Singh of Sehbajpur, has alleged that he was duped of Rs 2.20 lakh by Jasbir Kaur, wife of Paramjit Singh of Talwandi Singha village. He said Jasbir Kaur took Rs 2.20 lakh from him for sending him abroad. She neither sent him abroad nor returned his money. A case under Section 420, IPC, had been registered in this connection. 

Pulse polio
: About two lakh children were administered polio drops on Sunday on the first day of the three-day pulse polio programme in the district. According to Civil Surgeon, 85,861 children in urban areas and 1,12612 children in rural areas were administered the polio drops today.

Cancer camp: A cancer awareness and free check-up camp by Jagriti — a cancer support group — was organised at the St Soldiers College of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation at Khambra near here on Sunday.

The chairman of the Zila Parishad, Jalandhar, Chaudhary Surinder Singh, was the chief guest. Members of the group provided an artificial limb to Gurdev Singh, who had lost one of his legs to cancer. 

Renowned scholar and author of five dozen publications, Dr Sarup Singh Alag, chairman, Alag Shabad Yug International Charitable Trust, here has been nominated for ‘World Medal of Freedom’ for this year. The award is instituted by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, USA.

Sitar recital: Mr Manuseen, a virtuoso hailing from the Punjab gharana and a proud recipient of many national and international awards, mesmerised the audience with scintillating performance of his hit compositions at a musical concert organised at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women here. Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota thanked the musician and his troupe for the performance.

Mandi Ahmedgarh
ARRESTED: The Sudhar police has arrested Harpreet Singh Soni, son of Kartar Singh of Mohi village, in connection with an FIR registered under Section 411 for allegedly stealing an electric motor from a cattle feed factory situated at Mullanpur.

Racket busted
: The Phillaur police has busted a fake currency racket and arrested three persons, including Harpreet of Phillaur, Sandeep of Nangal village and Parminder, alias Rinku, of Phillaur. The SSP, Jalandhar, Mr Ishwar Singh, said here on Saturday that the police had recovered fake currency notes worth Rs 14,700 from their possession.



Prize distribution function
: The local Arya Government College on Sunday organised its annual prize distribution function, which was presided over by the local MLA and Revenue-cum-Panchayat Raj Minister, Mr Sat Mahajan. Mr Mahajan exhorted the students to work hard to achieve their goals and never bring inferiority complex in the life. He called upon the students community to explore new avenue, in addition to the academic degree in the present competition period. 




Karnal’s singing star

Vibhas Arora of Karnal being honoured by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for his performance in a singing contest last year
SOUND OF MUSIC: Vibhas Arora of Karnal being honoured by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for his performance in a singing contest last year.

Singing his way to success is child’s play for this BA-III student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Karnal. Vibhas Arora has brought laurels to his home town by coming first in the all-India finals for the senior age group, non-film category, of the prestigious Hero Honda Surtarang competition held under the aegis of the Sangam Kala Group at Talkatora Stadium, Delhi, recently.

His joy knew no bounds when he received the award from noted Bollywood music director Ismail Darbar.

Vibhas had first performed classical music in public when he was a Class I student of Dyal Singh School. Since then, he has never looked back and has numerous awards to his credit.

It was his father, Krishan Arora, a music lecturer at Khalsa College, who started imparting him training in classical music in childhood.

Vibhas was earlier honoured by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda for his meritorious performance in the classical vocal solo at the 28th Inter-Zonal Youth Festival of Kurukhsetra University held in Ambala Cantt late last year.

For nearly a year,this talented singer also worked as a Dubbing Engineer with Ten Sports and Discovery channels after completing a diploma in Audio Engineering from Delhi some time back.

The principal of Khalsa College, Dr D.S. Dhaliwal, along with his staff and students have lauded this achievement.

Art form fades away with painter

With the death of Mandi-based Vidya Devi recently, the last surviving practitioner of Mandi Kalam, a unique school of Pahari painting, has been lost even as the Department of Art, Languages and Culture has done little to keep alive this traditional art.

Vidya Devi had lamented this art form dying a slow death, recalls her son, Hon Lt (Retd) Manohar Lal.

The Mandi Kalam tradition remained alive within their family for three successive generations. But today, there is no one in the town who knows the art.

“It was a source of bread and butter for us. But nobody rewarded or recognised my parents for their paintings,” Lal rues. “My mother was pained by the fact that nobody had learnt the art from her.”

She had imbibed it from her guru, Kahiya Narotam, who was a pioneer in the field. He later became her father-in-law in the 1940s, when she married his son Jawala Prasad.

“Narotam’s paintings and portraits of the erstwhile rajas of Mandi and Rampur Bushahr, whose scion Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is, still adorn the famous Bhuri Singh Museum, Chamba, and royal households in Mandi and Rampur, the Khatri Sabha and other places in the town,”says Hemkant Katyan, who has written Narotam’s biography. Vidya Devi had devoted her life to this art and created over 1000 oil paintings, miniatures and portraits.The Mandi Kalam paintings made use of natural dyes.

The Director, Art, Languages and Culture, Prem Sharma, has assured that the art form will be revived. “Om Sujanpuri, a famous painter of the Pahari school of painting, will impart training in Mandi Kalam and workshops will be organised,” he promises.

Frowning upon foeticide

O. P. S. Kande
Dr O. P. S. Kande

The dubious distinction of “girl child killer state” earned by Punjab, the land of Guru Nanak Dev, pained this doctor so much that he became a crusader against female foeticide.

Dr O. P. S. Kande, Chief Patron, Patiala Chapter of Indian Medical Association and Member of the State Advisory Committee of the PNDT, is carrying out his “save the girl child” campaign by writing articles, distributing posters, car screen stickers and other educational material.

So much so, his greetings every New Year also bear a message against female foeticide. Having penned a book, “Female Foeticide: A Crime, Let Us Fight it Out”, Dr Kande hopes that society will one day accept daughters as happily as sons.

“The practice of female foeticide caught on in the early 1980s, with people not realising then that it would affect the sex ratio adversely. It is shameful that the land where the Sikh gurus advocated respect for women, has been turned into one with the highest incidence of female foeticide by their followers. And today, Fatehgarh Sahib district, which holds immense religious significance for the Sikhs, has the lowest sex ratio,” he laments.

In the 1980s, posters and banners all over the state, especially in Amritsar district, proclaimed that spending Rs 500 on a sex-determination test would save lakhs later on a girl’s marriage. “It did not ring a bell at that time. Had the state government and the sociologists taken it seriously, we would not have faced this situation today,” he adds.

“Unless our society starts celebrating the birth of a girl child, the problem will not be eliminated,” he feels. ——— Contributed by Dharmendra Joshi, Kuldeep Chauhan and Kanchan Vasdev


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