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Repository of rare treasure
A historic gurdwara in the non-descript Mallu Nangal village is a treasure trove of rare manuscripts and old books, thanks to the remarkable efforts of a simple man. Varinder Walia visits the library to meet Jathedar Dalip Singh, who wants the library to be preserved so that primary material for research in Sikh history is not lost forever
A non-descript border village in the Majha region has lately become the Mecca for book lovers and historians with an interest in research material. The historic gurudwara at Mallu Nangal village houses extraordinary literary riches within its walls.
Jathedar Dalip Singh, former vice-president of the SGPC, reads a Persian manuscript at the Mallu Nangal village gurdwara Jathedar Dalip Singh, former vice-president of the SGPC, reads a Persian manuscript at the Mallu Nangal village gurdwara. The gurdwara houses lots of rare and old books and material collected by the jathedar over the years.
— Photo by Rajiv Sharma



EARLIER EDITIONS

  Dismal condition of toilets around Golden Temple
It was with great enthusiasm about six toilet sets were constructed around the Golden Temple for the convenience of devotees in 1990-1991. However, with the passage of time, they have started presenting a sordid look and dismal condition, belying the claims of authorities of providing hygienic environs.

Summer slumber

A vendor takes a nap at a shady place in scorching heat in Amritsar
A vendor takes a nap at a shady place in scorching heat in Amritsar. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

Exorbitant parking fees at airport
A number of grievances have been sent to the Rajasansi International Airport Authorities regarding the “exorbitant” parking charges. The parking fees charged by the contractors here was earlier Rs 50 per vehicle that increased to Rs 70 in May this year.

Pension woes for the aged
Despite tall claims by the state government that pension cheques to all aged and widows were being distributed at suvidha camps, many persons still have to make rounds of the District Social Security and Welfare Department to get their pensions released.

Lewd liquor posters incite anger
The posters featuring semi-nude women and sparkling bottles of alcohol pasted above vends are pulling in contrary responses: customers and furious residents. As the new State Excise Policy facilitates creation of more liquor shops, in residential and commercial areas, more is being done by the shops to pull in customers.

City students shine bright
Students of the holy city have shone bright and set a new record in the academic field by bagging the first two positions in the Plus Two examination conducted by the Punjab State Education Board. Apart from that, there are 10 Amritsar students among the first 20.



Jaspreet Singh celebrates his achievement with his parents in Amritsar. — A Tribune photograph

Jaspreet Singh celebrates his achievement with his parents in Amritsar


Citizen’s Forum school in Maqboolpura
There was news to cheer for the tragic area of Maqboolpura, also known as locality of widows. A new building complex of Citizen’s Forum Vidiya Mandir was inaugurated by Dr Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer, for children of drug addicts during her visit to the holy city here.


IPS Kiran Bedi and husband Brij Bedi inaugurate the new block of the Citizen’s Forum Vidya Mandir in Amritsar. — A Tribune photograph



IPS Kiran Bedi and husband Brij Bedi inaugurate the new block of the Citizen’s Forum Vidya Mandir in Amritsar

Patiala girl tops MET
The Guru Nanak Dev University here today has declared the result of the State Level M.B.A./M.C.A. (MET/PAM-CAT-2006) entrance test conducted on June 4. Monika Sood from Nabha in Patiala district securing 124.25 marks topped in Management Entrance Test (MET-2006). Similarly, Vipan Singla from Patiala got the first position in PAM-CAT-2006 securing 123.75 marks.

Monika Sood
Monika Sood
Vipan Singla
Vipan Singla

Participants of Goa movement ask for status of freedom fighters
Fresh demands have been made to confer freedom fighter status to those who took part in the Goa Liberation Movement of the 1950s. The Akhil Bharatiya Goa Swantantrata Sangram Sainik Sangh has demanded that the persons be granted pension and other facilities.

Lifetime award for Dr Harcharan Singh
The Indian Medical Association, Amritsar, has honoured Dr Harcharan Singh, former Head of Department of Medicine in Government Medical College here, with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Born in 1921 at Sargodha, Pakistan, Dr Harcharan Singh, even at the age of 84, remains active continuing his practice by treating patients.

Body to build Ahluwalia, Ramgarhia gates
In an effort to turn the clock back, the Sultan-ul-quam, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Memorial Society and Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Federation have found a common platform to construct the historic Ramgarhia and Ahluwalia gates of the city. With the passage of time the majestic gates lost their grandeur and historic importance and were later named Chatiwind and Ghee Mandi gates.

A rare file picture of Qila Ramgarh, which exists no more.

A rare file picture of Qila Ramgarh, which exists no more

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Repository of rare treasure

A historic gurdwara in the non-descript Mallu Nangal village is a treasure trove of rare manuscripts and old books, thanks to the remarkable efforts of a simple man.Varinder Walia visits the library to meet Jathedar Dalip Singh, who wants the library to be preserved so that primary material for research in Sikh history is not lost forever

A miniature painting of Radha-Krishan in the gurdwara library
A miniature painting of Radha-Krishan in the gurdwara library. — Photo by Rajiv Sharma

A non-descript border village in the Majha region has lately become the Mecca for book lovers and historians with an interest in research material. The historic gurudwara at Mallu Nangal village houses extraordinary literary riches within its walls.

Rare manuscripts, dating back to the Vedic period, miniature paintings, documents in Persian, Devanagri and Gurmukhi scripts, which are primary source of research in Sikhism, exceptional lifetime editions of the world level thinkers, collection of remarkable books of different faiths of the past make this Sikh shrine, open to people of all religions, a unique place.

To understand how the book world existed prior to the advent of printing or to have look at the oldest surviving books, printed with movable types, and publications on stone printing, original form of lithography introduced in 1798, a visit to this historic Gurudwara is a must.

The efforts of a septuagenarian genius, Jathedar Dalip Singh, a former vice-president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, has made the gurdwara library a repository of rare hand-written manuscripts of Hindu mythology, Sikh scriptures, along with outstanding relics of European Renaissance.

Wearing a white kurta pyjama with blue turban, this tall 70-year-old baptised Sikh is found sitting or lying on a cot under a tree in the village gurdwara discussing manuscripts and Punjabi and Urdu folklore. He rues that some rare manuscripts which were borrowed, including that of legendry poet Hasham Shah, who also wrote Heer, were not returned back to him.

Rare manuscripts in the gurdwara library include ‘Amritsar Sarover Da Mahatam’ (significance of the Holy Tank of Golden Temple), a rare manuscript of ‘Kavi Madhwa Nal’, manuscripts of Guru Bilas, Makkei Wali Sakhi (Guru Nanak Dev) Dasam Granth, Sabh-Parkash, Zafarnama Patshahi Daswin, Zindgi-Nama Bhai Nand Lal, Guru Partap-Suriya, Guru Bilas.

Some manuscripts have beautiful ornamental calligraphy and outlining in gold and blue which that is feast to the eyes. An Urdu translation by Attar Singh Bhadore, of part of Guru Gobind Singh’s Bachittar Natak bearing the date Jan 31, 1875, has a golden outline. Another manuscript, Gur Ratanavali Sakhi, is an example of sublime calligraphy. There is also an ultra small matchbox-sized Guru Granth Sahib. The copy has 1430 pages and can be read only with the help of a magnifying lens.

Jathedar Dalip Singh has worked hard to collect these manuscripts and books. The sources have been various, including deras of sants and Udasis.

True to the tenets of Sikhism, the Jathedar is a secular scholar. He recites stanzas from the Vedas, Vishnu Puran, Koran and Bible. All religions get the respect as all religious manuscripts are wrapped in a silk cloth.

Preserving these manuscripts is a passion for this old man, who follows the mantra of ‘simple living and high thinking.’ While a lot of rare books and manuscripts of the Sikh Reference Library were destroyed during the infamous Operation Bluestar in June 1984, Jathedar Dalip Singh managed to preserve this treasure, which is proving to be a bonus to the satisfaction of researchers and book lovers.

However, the passage of time has left its imprint on these old books, ancient manuscripts and rare photographs, some of which have become discoloured and blurred. For want of finances, the rich nuggets of history are slowly disintegrating. They need to be preserved and timely treatment can restore them so that they can be preserved for future generations. The archives also have to be managed.

Jathedar Dalip Singh does not have the necessary funds to preserve the rare treasure by micro-filming or digitalising, a standard practice the world over. He does not have adequate money to employ people for maintenance or a curator to take care of the treasure in his possession. As a result, most material in the library is slowly falling apart as time leaves its mark.

Many old books, photographs and prints are on paper made from wood pulp with a high acidic content which is destroyed with passage of time. The paper self-destructs, chemically burning itself up, turning weak, discolored and brittle over time.

Mallu Nangal has rich secular traditions. The gurdwara was built to commemorate the visit of the fifth Sikh master, Guru Arjun Dev, to the village dominated then by ‘Lile Pathans’. The village was dominated by Muslim till the Partition of the country. During Partition, the Sikhs volunteered to take the Muslims of the village to the newly created Radcliff Line safely. Even at the height of militancy in Punjab, no Hindu resident of the village suffered loss of life or property.

The mystery of the fire at the Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, during the Operation Bluestar refuses to clear up even after 23 years. The repository of over 1,500 invaluable rare manuscripts, including copies of the Adi Granth, Damdami Bir (dated Bikrami 1739) and various portraits and manuscripts, was destroyed during the army action.

Even after a lapse of more than two decades, what exactly happened to the library is not clear. Conflicting statements of former Defence Minister George Fernandes added to the confusion. Ranjit Singh Nanda, a retired CBI Inspector, had made a startling disclosure that rare manuscripts, Hukmnamas, books and invaluable material from the library was put in gunny bags and trunks and taken to an unknown place after the Operation Bluestar.

Although the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, during his recent visit to Harmandir Sahib, had assured the SGPC chief that he would take up the issue with the department concerned, yet the SGPC has not got its ‘treasure-house’. The Sikh reference library, besides containing rare historical books, documents, manuscripts on Sikh religion, history and culture, also had a number of handwritten manuscripts of the Guru Granth Sahib and Hukmnamas, some with signatures of the Sikh Gurus. There were a few rare documents related to the Independence struggle. The CBI has returned a few documents, but it is barely 2 per cent of the missing total.

What happened to the rest of the material is too important to be brushed aside. The Sikh Reference Library, Amritsar, was established in 1946 through resolution No 822 of the SGPC, dated October 27, 1946. A significant role in its establishment was played by the Sikh Historical Society, established in 1930 at Lahore under the leadership of Bawa Budh Singh.


In the mid-15th century, the world of books began to change with the advent of the printing press. In 1452, Gutenberg, born in Germany in 1397 to a wealthy family, conceived of the idea for movable type. In his workshop, he brought together the technologies of paper, oil-based ink and the winepress to print books. Jathedar Dalip Singh claims that his collection has manuscripts of Gutenberg period.

Stone printing, the original form of lithography, introduced in 1798 by Aloys Senefelder, is a form of planography, the process of printing from a flat plate. It is based on the principle that water and oil do not mix. Generally, with stone printing, an image is drawn using an oil medium that will adhere to the surface of the stone, such as a crayon. All blank areas on the stone are prevented from absorbing oil by the application of a solution of gum arabic and nitric acid. At this point the stone is ready for inking. The stone is sponged wet and ink is applied with a large hand roller. The moistened areas resist the ink, but the drawing accepts it. This step is repeated until the ink buildup is sufficient for printing. Stone printing is perhaps the most sensuous of all printing media because of its unique response to the artist’s hand.


Mallu Nangal village is a part of cluster of dozen villages. Most residents are Gill Jats. It witnessed the first battle between the Sikhs (followers of Guru Arjun Dev) and Pathans, all residents of the village, much before the Sikhs were called to arms for the cause by Guru Gobind Singh. Neither Jathedar Dalip Singh nor other villagers could save the heritage from being destroyed. Beautiful old frescoes have disappeared from the walls of the Sikh shrine. So much so, the samadh of the founder of the village, Mallu has also vanished. A ‘Theh’ (mound), which could have provided traces of old civilisation, has been flattened for cultivation.

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Dismal condition of toilets around Golden Temple
Neeraj Bagga

It was with great enthusiasm about six toilet sets were constructed around the Golden Temple for the convenience of devotees in 1990-1991. However, with the passage of time, they have started presenting a sordid look and dismal condition, belying the claims of authorities of providing hygienic environs.

The toilets were part of the Galiara scheme funded by the Central government with an aim at beautifying the surroundings of the Temple. Layer of dirt on walls, leaking taps and stench make it impossible for user to utilize the service.

Mr Jaswinder Singh, a resident of the area, said that it was regretful that attention to cleanliness was not paid dutifully. It deteriorated the sanitary condition of the toilet sets. He said with the increase in number of devotes from across the country and the globe, it became necessary to have adequate number of toilets. He opined that the maintenance of the sanitary condition must be taken on priority.

Besides, heaps of garbage have also been placed outside toilet sets adding to the sanitary woes. Toilet sets, seven in number, are located around the Temple each at a considerable difference with other.

He said toilet was a vital part of human hygiene and was an important chapter in the history of human civilisation. Toilet was a critical link between good and bad environment, he added.

When contacted Mr Satpal, SE, Galliara Scheme, claimed that generally in summer owing to water shortage it was difficult to maintain cleanliness level which is otherwise found rest of the year. He said it must also be kept in mind that these toilet sets had been in service for the past about 16 years. He said these toilet sets were constructed under the Galiara project and had been maintained by Sulabh. He maintained that the condition was not as bad as it was made out to be.

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Exorbitant parking fees at airport
Rashmi Talwar

A number of grievances have been sent to the Rajasansi International Airport Authorities regarding the “exorbitant” parking charges. The parking fees charged by the contractors here was earlier Rs 50 per vehicle that increased to Rs 70 in May this year.

Mr Vineet and Mr Vikram Ahuja, residents of the Holy City, have stated in their written complaint to the Airport Authority of India (grievance cell) about the inconvenience to passengers. “The contractors charge according to their whims and fancies which gives an unpleasant reputation of the airport that is being projected on an international level,” complained the Ahuja brothers.

The Airport parking area has been divided into ‘general’ and ‘premium’ zones.

The charges in ‘general’ parking priced at Rs 70 is nearly 250 yards away from the new arrival lounge of airport making it most inconvenient for the arriving and the departing passengers to carry their luggage.

Airport Director, Mr VS Mulekar, admitted to have received a number of complaints against such contractors and said that many of them had been replaced. However, he added that the new parking rates had been revised from May 18 in consonance with the guidelines of the AAI and the authorities here were helpless as it was a policy decision to levy additional service tax at 12.2 per cent leading to the hike.

However, passengers and the visitors complain that at the new ‘premium  zone’ at  a  distance  of  30  mt  from  Arrival lounge, an unreasonable sum of   Rs 120 per vehicle was being  charged. 

“The contractors charge the high price, even if the passengers have to merely alight from the vehicle without parking the vehicle”, the complainants say.

 They allege that when the contractor was confronted about the charges when they were not parking, he replied that the charges were imposed by the AAI for the development of the parking area. They also placed the point that while the  government  was promising  promotion of tourism  to the Holy  City  it was imposing hardships instead  of  giving  additional  facilities to ease convenience.

Mr Mulekar clarified that the passengers who were merely dropped at the ‘premium’ area were not to be charged. He, however, added that overstaying in this zone could invite parking fees. On being questioned on such high charges in consonance with such a small city, he said that was for the AAI to make a decision, but suggested that it must be reviewed.

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Pension woes for the aged
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Despite tall claims by the state government that pension cheques to all aged and widows were being distributed at suvidha camps, many persons still have to make rounds of the District Social Security and Welfare Department to get their pensions released.

The state government has been organising suvidha camps at different places to facilitate the distribution of pension cheques to old age persons and widows. Mr Gurdeep Singh, secretary, area committee, CPI, Chheharta, said the hollow claim of the state government came to the fore when the District Social Security and Welfare Department (DSSWD) washed its hands off and refused to accept the application with the plea that the Municipal Corporation would now issue and accept the application forms for pension.

However, a rude shock awaited them as at the Commissioner’s office they refused to accept the forms, saying they had not received any such order.

Commenting on the rampant corruption in the department, Mr Singh alleged that those who paid a bribe to the agents were being issued pension cards without delay while the others who refused to take the corrupt route had to make rounds of various offices.

The asking rate for the bribe was Rs 600. He said they had submitted 85 applications to the DSSWD but the department had cleared only 23 applications.

This is not the only problem being faced by the pensioners. Their pensions could not be deposited in their accounts, as the minimum balance had to be Rs 1,000. The poor found it difficult to keep the balance, which was necessary to get their pension debited to their account. The helpless pensioners had to borrow the amount.

Meanwhile, when contacted, Mr Prem Singh Sodhi, District Social Security Officer, said the department was accepting the forms.

He also added that if the department had refused to entertain any new application, then the same could be handed over to them now.

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Lewd liquor posters incite anger
P. K. Jaiswar

The posters featuring semi-nude women and sparkling bottles of alcohol pasted above vends are pulling in contrary responses: customers and furious residents.

As the new State Excise Policy facilitates creation of more liquor shops, in residential and commercial areas, more is being done by the shops to pull in customers. The posters are common now.

As such, a number of social organisations have lodged their protest with district administration and the Municipal Corporation.

But they say nothing has been done so far.

One of the protesters is BJP’s Punjab Vice-President, Ms Laxmi Kanta Chawla. She asks, “Who has given the state government the licence to insult in this way the women of the country?”

“On one side the government talks of women’s empowerment while on the other side these liquor vendors were assassinating the modesty of the women,” she says.

Ms Chawla also alleged that the many vends were opened without proper auction of the sites. She came down heavily on the State Excise Policy.

The BJP leader said the administration should remove the vends from the residential areas and in vicinity of educational institutions and religious places.

Another voice of dissent has been Mr Brij Bedi, President of the Citizens’ Forum, the NGO that had earlier protested against the defacing of the walls in the city.

He said that in spite of the fact that the District Magistrate had issued ban orders under Section 144 of the CrPC against putting up such posters in public places, the orders had little impact on the offenders.

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City students shine bright
Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Sheri Sethi with her mother and grandmother in Amritsar
Sheri Sethi with her mother and grandmother in Amritsar. — A Tribune photograph

Students of the holy city have shone bright and set a new record in the academic field by bagging the first two positions in the Plus Two examination conducted by the Punjab State Education Board. Apart from that, there are 10 Amritsar students among the first 20.

Jaspreet Singh, a student of the local DAV School (Beri Gate), scored 414 marks out of 450 while Sheri Sethi of Jandiala Guru (Amritsar), who is a student of DAV Collegiate School, topped among girls and has been placed second overall in the state.

Talking to TNS, Jaspreet Singh, son of Baldev Singh, an employee of the Life Insurance Corporation, said he aspired to join the Indian Administrative Service or the Punjab Civil Service. Mr J.P. Shoor, Principal of the school, said Jaspreet’s teacher had full faith in his student’s ability and had told him beforehand that he (Jaspreet) would come out with flying colours.

Jaspreet attributed his success and excellence in the studies to ‘hard work, dedication and timely help of teachers and parents.’ Jaspreet said he used to study almost 19 hours everyday before the examination.

Sheri Sethi, who had to travel almost 40 km daily to come to Amritsar from Jandiala Guru to attend school, has set her sights on becoming an IPS officer.

Parul Mehra, of Hindu Collegiate School, is ranked ninth position in the state while being second in commerce section. Mr V.P. Lumba and Dr Arun Mehra, Principal and Professor, respectively at the Hindu College praised Parul Mehra, saying that she had always been a top student throughout.

Other city students have also excelled in the Plus Two examinations. Jaswinder Kaur of Ajit Vidiyalya School, Sultanwind road, is ninth scoring 398 marks out of 450 while Nav Jyoti and Geetka Gupta, both students of DAV Senior Secondary School (Girls), are in the joint 12th position with 395 marks. Amritpal Singh Bhatia, a student of DAV Collegiate School, has been placed 16th while Arpinder Kaur (Ajit Vidiyala), Manisha (Four Ess School) and Jeewan Gupta (DAV Collegiate School) are in the joint 17th position with 390 marks.

Earlier, Kirti Ahuja had done Amritsar proud by securing 98.2 per cent — the highest in the country in the matriculation examination results declared by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). In 2004, Modern High School for Girls here, which is a branch of Sant Singh Sukha Singh School, had set a record by bagging eight of the top 12 positions in the state in the matriculation examination conducted by the Punjab State Education Board.

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Citizen’s Forum school in Maqboolpura
P. K Jaiswar

There was news to cheer for the tragic area of Maqboolpura, also known as locality of widows.

A new building complex of Citizen’s Forum Vidiya Mandir was inaugurated by Dr Kiran Bedi, the first woman IPS officer, for children of drug addicts during her visit to the holy city here.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Bedi said it was indeed a proud moment for the school to have its own campus where students would not only learn the basics of education but also become self reliant by getting training in cutting, stitching and toy making, besides other vocations.

She said the India Vision Foundation would provide all help for the institution to grow in this new complex.

Giving the background of the school, Mr Brij Bedi, social worker and one of the founders, said it the inspiration for the setting up of the school came from a story published in The Tribune columns in 1999.

Along with Master Ajit Singh, who volunteered to run the school from his own residential complex in the Maqboolpura locality, they got the plan underway.

The school building has been funded by many volunteers and NGOs but it was the help extended by the maverick former cricketer and now Member Parliament, Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu which accounted for the school building to come up.

The school has already started an adult education programme initiated by Dr Kiran Bedi.

The DIG Jails has also joined the team of Citizens’ Forum Vidya Mandir as an active participant.

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Patiala girl tops MET
Tribune News Service

The Guru Nanak Dev University here today has declared the result of the State Level M.B.A./M.C.A. (MET/PAM-CAT-2006) entrance test conducted on June 4.

Monika Sood from Nabha in Patiala district securing 124.25 marks topped in Management Entrance Test (MET-2006). Similarly, Vipan Singla from Patiala got the first position in PAM-CAT-2006 securing 123.75 marks.

Dr R.K. Bedi, Coordinator of the test, said that in MET-2006 Simarjot Singh Khalsa from Nawanshahr remained second with 123.75 marks, Jaskaran Singh Chugh from Amritsar was third with 121.75, Mohit Mahajan from Amritsar stood fourth with 121.00 and Shikha Syal from Ludhiana was fifth with 118.50 marks.

Dr Bedi said that in MCA (PAM-CAT-2006), Amit Kumar from Abohar got the second position with 118.25 marks, while Rohit Kumar Sharma from Kathua (J&K) remained third with 116.00 marks, Sandeep Manhas from Mukerian in Hoshiarpur district was fourth with 113.75 marks and Anju Rani from Fazilka stood fifth with 112.75 marks.

The coordinator said that in all 4,998 candidates appeared in the MBA and MCA, out of which 3,936 opted for MBA and 1,916 preferred MCA.

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Participants of Goa movement ask for status of freedom fighters
Tribune News Service

Fresh demands have been made to confer freedom fighter status to those who took part in the Goa Liberation Movement of the 1950s.

The Akhil Bharatiya Goa Swantantrata Sangram Sainik Sangh has demanded that the persons be granted pension and other facilities.

The association’s secretary, Mr Surinder Singh Sandhu, rued that despite their sustained efforts, the Punjab government was not ready to consider them as freedom fighters.

He added that even the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in its circular no. 6/13/81-FF (P), dated September 20, had considered them at par with the participants of the Indian freedom struggle.

Criticising the state government, which, Mr Sandhu said, was adamant on the issue, he added that it was “pitiable and shocking” that the participants of the Goan Liberation Movement were denied this honour.

All other states, including Haryana and Delhi, Mr Sandhu said, had recognised them as freedom fighters and were giving them pension and other facilities.

Political leaders, who paid their homage to martyr Karnail Singh at his native village Issru, had done “nothing” for the widow and the family of the martyr, Mr Sandhu added.

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Lifetime award for Dr Harcharan Singh

The Indian Medical Association (IMA), Amritsar, has honoured Dr Harcharan Singh, former Head of Department of Medicine in Government Medical College here, with ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Born in 1921 at Sargodha, Pakistan, Dr Harcharan Singh, even at the age of 84, remains active continuing his practice by treating patients.

Dr Harcharan Singh was awarded with “Boots Oration Award” by Indian Rheumatism Association in 1976. He was also conferred with “Bhai Mohan Singh Puraskar” for propagating holistic medicine in chronic diseases.

He is a member of various medical societies of the country Besides, he also provides his expertise to various universities.

The Department of Medicine, GMC, Patiala, bestowed an award of honour on him.

He did MBBS from King Edward College, Lahore, in 1943 and joined army service at Sargodha.

At the time of Partition, he served in Gurgaon refugee camp. He followed it with a Diploma of Tropical Medicine (DTM) from Kolkata. To gain broader prospective in internal medicine, he left for Edinburgh, UK, in 1956 and did his MRCP and later on FRCP.

In 1949, he joined Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Indore, Madhya Pradesh.

Later on, he joined Medical College and in 1956, he proceeded to England for higher studies.

His undergraduate and postgraduate career was distinguished with five honours, certificates and four silver and gold medals.

On his return to India, Dr Harcharan Singh chose to serve the people of Punjab in the best possible way. He joined the government medical college at Amritsar to pass on his experience and knowledge to the new breed of doctors.

He taught for a glorious 25 years, where he guided 43 PG thesis in general medicine, and published 52 research papers in various national and international journals.

He retired as a professor and head of medicine, GMC, Amritsar. — OC

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Body to build Ahluwalia, Ramgarhia gates
Our Correspondent

In an effort to turn the clock back, the Sultan-ul-quam, Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia Memorial Society (SQSJSAMS) and Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia Federation (SJSRF) have found a common platform to construct the historic Ramgarhia and Ahluwalia gates of the city.

With the passage of time the majestic gates lost their grandeur and historic importance and were later named Chatiwind and Ghee Mandi gates.

An eleven-member committee has been formed with Mr Onkar Singh Sandhu, chairman, Ramgarhia federation and Mr Jagjit Singh Ahluwalia, president, Jassa Singh memorial society, as its members, besides others.

Another issue on the committee’s agenda is to get two villages associated with the two warriors to be developed as heritage villages by the state government.

Fatehabad village, situated on the Gobindwal Sahib-Tarn Taran road and Sursingh village, on the Amritsar-Jhabal road belonged to Sardar Jassa Singh Ahluwalia and Sardar Jassa Singh Ramgarhia.

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has provided Rs 2.50 lakh for the construction of the two gates.

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Weekly roundup

Seminar on Canadian education held

The Canadian Institute of International Studies (CIIS) organised seminar to familiarise students with its international courses on fashion technology being run with collaboration of Canada-based Fanshawe College of Fashion Technology. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Robert Miller, Academic Principal said Punjab had immense talent in fashion technology. He added that due to competition in the market, innovations and projections in the right directions was must for today’s “edupreneurs”.

Environment Day

The Guru Nanak Dev University marked “The World Environment Day” with a lecture by eminent environmentalist, Professor A.K. Thukral, on the “Status of Environment in Punjab”.

Trees planted

Alarmed at the depleting forest cover in the city, the local MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, pledged to plant more than 50,000 saplings of shady trees in collaboration with the All India Pingalwara Society. With the four-laning of the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway, the Forest Department had prepared a contingency plan to axe more than 30,000 trees on the both sides of the GT Road.

Mr Sidhu said that to compensate the felling of trees, trees from the free nursery of by Pingalwara society would be asked to help.

Orientation course

Dr Kanwarjit Singh, DPI (Colleges), Punjab, said teachers were facilitators as well as catalysts for students during a four-week General Orientation Course-68 (GOC) in the Academic Staff College of the Guru Nanak Dev University. He advised the teachers of the GOC to obtain NCC or NSS training. He also exhorted the teachers to write and contribute articles to the journal “Education Punjab” being launched this month. — OC

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Workshop for slum kids
Our Correspondent

A 15-day summer theatre workshop for slum children in the city began recently. The event is being organised by “The Theatre Persons Amritsar” (TTPA) in a slum area. Anita Devgan, a theatre personality, said TTPA had earlier held such a workshop for children, “but this was for the first time that such a bold step had been taken to bring children of slum dwellers to the workshop.

The children would be trained in choreography, songs, dance, group songs sung on the occasion of marriage ceremonies, which they would present at the Punjab Naatshala on June 15. She said the children would be trained by theatre personalities like Sarabjit Lada, Dalbir Kaler, Markam Pal Gumtala and poetess Simrat Gagan.

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City doc to attend AIDS conference

Renowned dermatologist, Dr Ravi Saini, has been called to represent Asia and the Pacific islands in the 16th International AIDS Society Conference to be held in Toronto from August 13 to 18. A letter from the International AIDS Conference Secretariat said that Dr Saini would speak on trends of HIV and Hepatitis B seropositivity in Replacement Blood Donors—A Review of the past decade. — OC

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