SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Every Wednesday and Friday

Parking problem plagues city
Jalandhar may be the hub of dollar-rich NRIs. But when it comes to the basic amenities, the city fails miserably. Traffic chaos is the order of the day here, thanks to the dearth of parking lots in the city, reports Deepkamal Kaur
Shopping is generally believed to be fun. But it is a nightmare in the congested lanes of market places in Jalandhar that are without any parking lots.

Cars parked on both sides of the lane in the Model Town Market, Jalandhar, leave little space for commuters. Cars parked on both sides of the lane in the Model Town Market, Jalandhar, leave little space for commuters.
— Tribune photos by Pawan Sharma

Stipends for wards of ex-servicemen
The Punjab government has launched a new scheme for the welfare of the wards of ex-servicemen and widows by way of which stipends would be awarded to them if they secure good marks in the board and university examination.

Jalandharis jive to DJ Bhanu, Taan-TrikZ’s music
Scintillating performances by Taan-TrikZ’s, the Delhi-based band comprising Goan foursome of Braulio, Ulrich Gomes, Tony Fernandes and Greg D’Souza, and DJ Bhanu, virtually surprised dance-loving Jalandharis with their extravagant and heady mix of dance and music last week.

No horsing around
Sporting a helmet, tying a ‘patti’ around their lower legs and mounting over their favourite horse, nearly 25 children who are members of the Vajra Horse Riding School look forward to attending their training session held near the Water Sports Complex in Jalandhar Cantonment every evening.


Growth of encroachment 

Vegetation growth engulfs a building in Jalandhar.

TAKING NEW HEIGHTS: Vegetation growth engulfs a building in Jalandhar.
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma 


EARLIER EDITIONS



Tying nuptial knot the starry way
Entering into wedlock? Get ready for the traditional test. Recently, a high profile Bollywood marriage of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan was supposedly put off due to horoscope issues.

Students of Dhilwan International Public School attend a dancing course during a summer camp in Jalandhar. Young World
Punjab Forest Day observed
As many as 100 teachers from various schools, in association with NGO Pahal, observed the Punjab Forest Day at Government Senior Secondary School, Model House, on Saturday.



Students of Dhilwan International Public School attend a dancing course during a summer camp in Jalandhar. — A Tribune photo 

A view of the under-construction Kanjli Road that gets waterlogged during the rains. People’s concern
Slow pace of work on road inconveniences commuters

Nearly a three-km stretch of the under-construction road between Brigade Canteen to New Radha Swami Bhawan on Kanjli Road in Kapurthala may prove beneficial for the residents, the shopkeepers of the area and other users of this road after its completion, but the slow pace of the work is presently causing a lot of inconvenience to them.

A view of the under-construction Kanjli Road that gets waterlogged during the rains.
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Making efforts to bring people of India and Pakistan closer
Long before the introduction of confidence building measures (CBM) by India and Pakistan to establish people to people contact, Folklore Research Academy (FRA), Amritsar, a non government organisation, has been rooting for the cause for the past one decade.

At their alluring best: Kids in their extraordinary get-ups are all smiles. Tiny tots get dressy
Colour filled the air as kids descended on the stage donning colourful dresses during a fancy dress competition organised at Gaggun Bedi’s Sparkling Pearls Institute of Fine Dances and Grooming.

 

At their alluring best: Kids in their extraordinary get-ups are all smiles.
— A Tribune photo 

Kaleidoscope
Rickshaw-puller’s tryst with honesty
At times when trust is in short supply and suspicion floods the minds, we still find instances that help keep the common man’s faith in good intentions. Amanjot, a student of BCA, was returning home having completed his studies.

Rs 78 lakh international research grant for GND Varsity professor
The Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR) has sanctioned a research grant of Rs 78 lakh to Professor Gurcharan Kaur, Head of Biotechnology Department, Guru Nanak Dev University.

Telecom employees stage dharna
The National Federation of telecom Employees staged a dharna in front of the BSNL Office in Jalandhar.

Weekly roundup
Pensioners submit charter of demands to DC
A deputation of various senior citizens’ organisations and the Central and State Government Pensioners’ Associations in North India met Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, on Tuesday and submitted to him a detailed charter of demands addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.

 

 

 

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Parking problem plagues city

Jalandhar may be the hub of dollar-rich NRIs. But when it comes to the basic amenities, the city fails miserably. Traffic chaos is the order of the day here, thanks to the dearth of parking lots in the city, reports Deepkamal Kaur

Shopping is generally believed to be fun. But it is a nightmare in the congested lanes of market places in Jalandhar that are without any parking lots.

A trench dug up in front of Narinder Cinema on the GT Road, Jalandhar, is a nightmare for passersby
A trench dug up in front of Narinder Cinema on the GT Road, Jalandhar, is a nightmare for passersby

While most residents are able to spare time only in the weekends when they love to freak out and do some shopping, parking becomes a pain in the neck as roadsides along all frequented areas, including Model Town, Gol Market, Rainak Bazaar, Jyoti Chowk and Nakodar Road, are blocked to their full capacity.

Since most restaurants, pubs and hotels do not have any adequate parking provisions, the areas in their vicinity remain choked, causing a lot of inconvenience to visitors.

Families coming to public parks, including Niku Park and Company Bagh, face a lot of problem as there is hardly any place for them to park their vehicles. Patients and attendants visiting prominent hospitals in the city that fall on the main roads, too, are a harassed lot because of the lack of proper parking facility.

Another very busy area without proper parking space is the Dilkusha Market. The market is so congested that no one can take their cars inside. Since most of the shopkeepers and visitors park their vehicles in front of Friends Theatre there, the whole lane gets clogged, causing a lot of problem to passersby, especially at the time of the end of a show.

In the daytime on weekdays, areas around most offices are blocked. Employees working in banks, immigration and ticketing offices, and other showrooms near the bus stand here are the worst affected, as it takes a lot of time to hunt for a safe place for parking. While the MC has dug up a 15-foot-deep trench in front of Narinder Cinema for constructing a parking lot with a capacity of 250 cars and 250 two-wheelers for the last more than seven months, work has still not begun on the site.

Employees who have their offices on the side of the GT Road opposite the bus stand, however, have a reason to heave a sigh of relief ever since the paid-parking system has been started.

The inside lane has been re-laid, the parking lots are cleaner, and vehicles are parked systematically. The paid-parking system started in and outside the administrative complex, too, has made the area less congested.

In fact, most of the residents have been asking for a paid-parking system. Mr Manoj Arora, a member of the District Grievances Committee, said that the MC must start this system on the lines of plans implemented in Chandigarh so that there was no chaos and vehicles were lined up in proper order. “If this does not happen, the shopkeepers in Model Town and other prominent areas would be at a loss, as the city is about to get half a dozen shopping malls soon, where parking would be much easier,” he said.

The MC officials, however, say that they have some big plans to keep a check on the parking mess. “We will soon come up with four parking lots, two with a capacity of 250 cars and 250 two-wheelers, and the other two for 200 cars and 200 two-wheelers. While the bigger parking areas are coming up in front of Company Bagh and Narinder Cinema, the smaller ones would be constructed besides Hotel Radisson, near BMC Chowk, and on Nakodar Chowk on the side connecting it with Lajpat Nagar,” Mr S.S. Johl, MC Commissioner, said.

Mr Johl said the parking lot in front of Company Bagh would be ready for use in two months.

“To ensure that there is no chaos around it after it is open, a 1-km stretch on all sides around the area would be made a no-parking zone. Vehicles parked around the area would be immediately towed away by the MC employees, and the owner will have to get a fine deposited,” he revealed the plan.

Mr Johl said that while the daily charges for parking were yet to be fixed, the amount for monthly pass of a car had been fixed at approximately Rs 300.

He said that the amount would be taken by owners of Delhi-based company, A.N. Constructions, for 10 to 11 years as they would be spending more than Rs 2.5 crore on this BOT project.

The smaller projects, however, had been sanctioned to a Jalandhar-based company, Merchant Constructions, he added.

To check the parking problems in Model Town, the Commissioner said that parking along the main Model Town road would not be allowed soon, as it was about to start paid-parking system on either side of the wide road on which Ebony was located. He said the raised footpath outside the shops on that road would be levelled for the purpose. 

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Stipends for wards of ex-servicemen
Tribune News Service

The Punjab government has launched a new scheme for the welfare of the wards of ex-servicemen and widows by way of which stipends would be awarded to them if they secure good marks in the board and university examination. Giving details of the scheme, Lieutenant Colonel Manmohan Singh, District Sainik Welfare Officer, said that those wards who stand first and second in the university in BA, B.Sc, MA, M.Sc, diploma in commerce, computer engineering, internet applications and other courses would be paid a sum of Rs 10,000 and Rs 8000, respectively.

In addition, he said that the wards of ex-servicemen and widows who secured 60 per cent marks and above in matric, higher board or university examination would be paid a monthly scholarship for the academic year ranging from Rs 300 to Rs 750 per month.

The District Sainik Welfare Officer has asked the eligible wards and their parents to contact their respective welfare offices for initiating stipend and other claims immediately as the results have just been out.

Meanwhile, the Indian Army is launching an Assured Decent Last Rites Scheme for all veterans, including widows, across the country from June 30 as a gratitude to the service rendered by each one of them while serving the force. A press note issued by the Defence PRO here stated that the scheme had been launched as a welfare service for each veteran attached to a particular CSD canteen so that he gets a decent and honourable funeral. He said that a database of all veterans would be maintained that would include information about their residence and telephone numbers.

In an event of demise of a veteran, the Assured Decent Last Rites field staff would play a pivotal role in coordinating for all arrangements of the last rites on behalf of the Army in consultation with the next of their kin and when required will themselves take care of the responsibility of the last rites.

They would also lay wreath on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff to honour the departed veteran. The scheme will go a long way in boosting the morale of the veterans and assure them that Indian Army will be there to look after them till the end keeping up the age old tradition of brotherhood and camaraderie, the note reads.

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Jalandharis jive to DJ Bhanu, Taan-TrikZ’s music
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Scintillating performances by Taan-TrikZ’s, the Delhi-based band comprising Goan foursome of Braulio, Ulrich Gomes, Tony Fernandes and Greg D’Souza, and DJ Bhanu, virtually surprised dance-loving Jalandharis with their extravagant and heady mix of dance and music last week.

As the powerful foursome and DJ Bhanu started their electrifying performance, the ultra-responsive and fun-loving crowd hit the dance floor and jived merrily to popular songs like “Jhalak Dikhlaja”, and old songs originally rendered by great maestros like Kishore Kumar and RD Burman.

Justifying his name in the entertainment circuit since 1996-97, Bhanu was found to be at his best. Bhanu has two albums — “Wet and Wild Mix” and “U& Me” — to his credit, and has performed in Malaysia, Nepal, and Singapore.

“It has never been so good for dance lovers like us. Jalandhar should have more such events,” said a young woman, who had come to the party along with her husband on an invitation extended by Seagram, who were the organisers of the programme.

She added, “People here are so enthusiastic about pop, dance and bhangra.”

Another dance buff said that in a city like Jalandhar, such parties were a welcome change. They infused “life” into the boring routine. “At least those who like to freak out find such parties wonderful,” he added. 

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No horsing around
Young members of the Vajra Horse Riding School
learn the ins and outs of horse riding
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Children during a training session at Jalandhar Cantonment
Children during a training session at Jalandhar Cantonment

Most of the children have their favourite horses that they like to ride.
Most of the children have their favourite horses that they like to ride.
— Tribune photos by Pawan Sharma

Sporting a helmet, tying a ‘patti’ around their lower legs and mounting over their favourite horse, nearly 25 children who are members of the Vajra Horse Riding School look forward to attending their training session held near the Water Sports Complex in Jalandhar Cantonment every evening.

An adventure sport that was started just about a year back for the wards of the troops and officers from Vajra Corps, it has got a tremendous response from the little ones.

Roshni, a middle section student from Army Public School, won two silvers in the national horse riding contest held for juniors at Siliguri. Punshi, a 13-year-old student, can get her horse walking, trotting, cantering and galloping in perfect harmony as she has been regular here for the last five months. But Abhimanyu, a Class III student, has just started off.

During the two-hour class, all the kids get half an hour of practice, but they keep on asking for more time. “My favourite horse is Jasmine as it is best during galloping which I love to do. Hema, the pony, is good for the new comers as she is short in height and can just walk or trot as the beginners do. But she is really afraid of cantering,” Roshni narrates her experience, as she comes out of the soft, loose horse track.

Explaining her reason of joining the sport, Punshi said, “Horse riding is good for the back. Since the rider has to move the back up and down in a synchronised way with the horse, it also helps in keeping oneself slim.”

“A horse is controlled by giving it instructions through the movements of upper legs. This puts a strain on the thighs and they pain a lot on the first few days. But gradually the body adapts itself to the strain,” Hemant explained, as he dismounted from the horse after taking a short ride.

At the time of training there are six to seven animal handlers inside the training area. Besides, Lieutenant Colonel Rajiv Choudhary, officer-in-charge of the school, supervises the training. He said that the kids were fast learners.

He said that the old students would now be prepared for competitions such as show jumping, dressage, eventing and endurance so that they could may take sport as their professional career.

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Tying nuptial knot the starry way
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Illustration by Rishi Entering into wedlock? Get ready for the traditional test. Recently, a high profile Bollywood marriage of Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan was supposedly put off due to horoscope issues. Is horoscope matchmaking still relevant? Or it’s the old ghost that continues to haunt the younger generation. Jalandhar Plus asked Phagwara residents whether they consider horoscope matching an important criteria for a marriage. Some say there have been instances of marriages failing in spite of the horoscopes of the partners matching perfectly.

Though, the general view seems that matching ‘janampatris’ or ‘teva’ for prosperous and happy marriage is passé. The horoscopes are no more considered barriers in marriages. However, some young hearts still choose to go by the traditional way.

With a number of people preferring love marriages today, is the younger generation ready to put their partners to test?

Self-styled priest Shanker Das says, “Things are changing. But it’s actually not archaic. People are concerned and they do come for consultation before tying a nuptial knot. It’s usually the parents who bring the children’s horoscopes.”

Presence of ‘Manglik dosh’ is a cause of worry in a horoscope. Astrologers and horoscope readers say that it’s a sort of defect in the horoscope. Marriage of a ‘manglik’ could be solemnised with another ‘manglik’. “The observation can only be made after scrutinising the position of the planets,” he says.

However, youths choose to disagree. They say nothing is foolproof. “Many marriages have turned disasters despite being a great match,” says bank employee Vijay Chugh. “Mine was an inter-caste marriage. The beliefs and traditions were different. Many paths were organised to correct the ‘dosh’,” says Jatinder Rana. “We did go through the astro process. But it was just for the heck of it,” he adds. 

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Young World
Punjab Forest Day observed
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

As many as 100 teachers from various schools, in association with NGO Pahal, observed the Punjab Forest Day at Government Senior Secondary School, Model House, on Saturday. Addressing the gathering, Mr Lakhbir Singh, president, Pahal, said that Punjab had a marginal cover of less than 5 per cent of the total land area. But, he said, the authorities concerned were paying little heed to the environmental crisis. He said environmental studies had been made a compulsory subject in all public schools, but it was all at a theoretical level only.

On the occasion, Pahal provided saplings of neem and tahli to the participants free of cost. Mr Gurmukh Singh, resource person, and Principal Sharanjit also talked about a possible environmental disaster and climatic change due to depleting forest cover.

Summer camp

A three-week-long summer camp concluded at Dhilwan International Public School, Karol Bagh. During the camp, the students took part in short-term courses such as art and craft, personality development, dance and choreography, English speaking, computer and karate, said Mr Gurbachan Singh, chairman, chain of DIPS School. On completion of the camp, certificates were given to all students by the Principal, Ms Sarvesh Deol, and Mr Tarwinder Singh, managing director. Ms Monica Mandotra, controller, and Mr T.K. Raina, director, chain of DIPS School, conveyed their best wishes to the participants.

Placement

Tech Mahindra Limited, an IT service provider to telecom industry, recruited 17 final-year students of the DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology during a campus recruitment drive held recently. Prior to this, 20 students of B.Tech were placed with Infosys, 18 with HCL technologies, Noida, and 15 with Birla Soft Ltd, Noida. Mr C.L. Kochher, Principal and director, has congratulated the students.

More than 20 students of MCA batch 2007 from the Apeejay Institute of Management have already been placed with top IT companies, including HCL Technologies, Infosys and Birlasoft, said Mr Gauravdeep Singh Madaan, Training and Placement Officer, in a press release.

He said that various banks, telecom and insurance companies had held campus placement drive in the institute.

Dr Balram Dogra, director, said that his entire MCA batch 2006 had been placed with reputed IT companies.

Interaction

Officials of Ind-Swift Limited, a pharmaceutical company having manufacturing facility at Baddi and marketing office at Chandigarh, held an interaction with the students of the CT Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences on Thursday. Mr Sanjay Dhir, vice-president (marketing), and Mr Rajpal Singh, product manager, emphasised on the growing employment opportunities for pharma graduates.

Mr Manbir Singh, MD, CT Group of Institutions, and Dr Sayed Zafar, director, also held an interaction with the team members on various areas of mutual interests like research and development, training and placement of B.Pharmacy and MBA students.

Australian programme

V-Square Infotek, on Saturday, launched Australian Unified Pathway Programme to be supported by Australian High Commission and the CII. Mr G. Bajwa, director, Indian Operations, said that Plus Two qualified students could take a one-year course at their centre during which they could prepare for IELTS, improve their language skills and decide about the courses that they would like to choose after moving abroad. He said that during the course (the cost of which would be about Rs 1.4 lakh), the students would also be helped in visa preparation and completing other documents.

Ms Raspal Kaur, Vice-Principal, said that students could get direct transfer to any of the five Australian universities, including the University of Ballarat, RMIT University, the University of South Australia, Flinders University and the Swinburne University of Technology.

New faculty

Five members of staff from Thapar Institute, Patiala, have joined Lovely Institutes. Those who have joined include Prof Raghubir Singh Salaria, computer scientist, Dr Daljit Singh Bawa, industrial consultant, Mr Sanjeev K. Guleria, system analyst and programmer, Ms Poonam Bagga, consultant architect, and Dr Piyush Verma, electrical engineer.

Also, Dr R.C. Chauhan, former principal of the Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology and founder-principal of the Dr B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology, has joined as the director of the Lovely Institute of Technology.

Social group

The Social Group of Schools and Colleges, on Saturday, announced the opening of a new management and technical college in Basti Sheikh. The managing director Lovel Kalia made this declaration during a press conference held at the Punjab Press Club here. 

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People’s concern
Slow pace of work on road
inconveniences commuters
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Nearly a three-km stretch of the under-construction road between Brigade Canteen to New Radha Swami Bhawan on Kanjli Road in Kapurthala may prove beneficial for the residents, the shopkeepers of the area and other users of this road after its completion, but the slow pace of the work is presently causing a lot of inconvenience to them.

The work on the road was started about three months ago, but even half of the total work has not been completed so far, said Rajneesh, owner of a chemist shop in the area.

The chemist said that the moving traffic on this incomplete road kept on blowing dust in the air. The area was located on the Kapurthala-Amritsar road, where hundreds of buses ply daily, he added.

Another shopkeeper, Harbajan Singh, who runs a bakery shop here, said that stones were laid on the road a few weeks ago. These stones not only damaged tyres of their vehicles, but several times they moved like a bullet when a corner of these stones was pressed under the tyre of a heavy vehicle, he said, adding, these stones could prove dangerous for the passer-bys.

Rajneesh and Harbajan said that their businesses had also suffered due to the construction work.

They said that the work was earlier stopped for several days, but nowadays it was in progress, that too at a very slow speed, as only a few labourers were seen working here.

Their problems aggravated a few days ago when the region had witnessed pre-monsoon showers.

During rains, the under-construction road became slippery and water got accumulated at several points here, they said, adding that if the work was not completed before monsoon, it would become very difficult for them to even open their shops. Interestingly, they said that the road was in good condition and there was no need to reconstruct it.

When contacted, the Executive Engineer of the PWD, Mr Kulwant Singh admitted that the work on the road was stopped for some time by the contractor due to non-availability of the funds.

At the same time, he claimed that the work was going on at full swing for about a week He further claimed that the work would be completed before the arrival of monsoon.

Denying that there was no need to reconstruct the road, Mr Kulwant Singh said that every road had an age of five years. This road was in a bad condition at several places, including the area near Milan Palace, he said, adding that the work for the reconstruction of the road was started only at the demand of the people of the area.

At the same time, he said that only a few persons were against the construction of the road, as the level of their premises fell below the road.

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Making efforts to bring people
of India and Pakistan closer

Our Correspondent

Long before the introduction of confidence building measures (CBM) by India and Pakistan to establish people to people contact, Folklore Research Academy (FRA), Amritsar, a non government organisation, has been rooting for the cause for the past one decade.

The FRA initiated the movement by installing a memorial of friendship near the zero line at Wagah border in 1996, a daring step considering the then prevailing stand off between the two neighbouring countries. The step was revolutionary keeping in view the long history of enmity between India and Pakistan which had resulted in the wars of 1965 and 1971, and the Kargil aggression.

Mr Ramesh Yadav, President of the FRA, said that not only the people, but also leaders were not willing to join them, as the wave was against establishing contact with Pakistan and the members of the academy were looked at with suspicion.

However, they were resolute to go ahead with their plan and to establish a long lasting friendship with Pakistan. Mr Harkishan Singh Surjit inaugurated the memorial in 1996. The same year, they initiated a friendship mela ‘Raja Porus’, the common hero of two Punjabs who valiantly fought against invading army of the Alexandra the great.

Initially, there was a poor response from across the border. Gradually, writers, scholars and political leaders understood the motives and came forward to remove the darkness and enmity.

The FRA, in association with Hind-Pak Dosti Manch, International Punjabi Cultural Society Shamchurasi and Punarjyot, has been organising a candle light vigil at the border every year during the midnight of August 14 and 15 with an aim at symbolically erasing the feelings of bitterness among the people and to send a message of peace and brotherhood across the border.

Mr Manzoor Ahmad, Member National Assembly from Kesur (Pakistan), said that “Folklore Research Academy is playing an important role in the improvement of Indo-Pak relations. The team is working hard for the past ten years by organising cultural shows at Wagah border in order to create congenial relation between the two countries.”

The vigil has taken the shape of a fair which has found favour among top leaders, artists and social activists of both the countries like Ms Asma Jahagir, Mr Abid Sher Ali (MNA) and Ms Madiha Gohar from Pakistan and Mr Raj Babbar, Ms Nandita Dass, Mr Jagmeet Brar and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa who had participated in this candle light vigil.

Mr I. K. Gujral, former Prime Minister, commenting on the endeavour, said that “the Folklore Research Academy is making efforts to educate the public and particularly the youth regarding our rich heritage.”

Mr Som Nath Chatterjee, Speaker, Lok Sabha, said that “Folklore research academy stands as a symbol of reconciliation between the people of India and Pakistan. The activities of academy, I am sure, will help in enriching our own culture and in promoting people to people contact and cooperation in our sub-continent.”

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Tiny tots get dressy
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Colour filled the air as kids descended on the stage donning colourful dresses during a fancy dress competition organised at Gaggun Bedi’s Sparkling Pearls Institute of Fine Dances and Grooming.

The kids also depicted various characters like a ‘neta’, with the help of their dresses.

It was fun time for the kids as they vied with one another to do their best.

Ms Urvashi from Cleopatra Day Spa, who was the chief guest, said such events provided a platform to kids and lent tremendous help to them by boosting their self-confidence.

Mr Gaggun Bedi, the Managing Director of the institute, said that by organising such competitions, he was preparing the students for the grand finale. The grand finale event would be organised by the institute shortly. Jagnoor, Rikhi and Ridhi, Mudit, Trikash, Mallika, Dhruv, Ayush, Mihal and Aishwarya were among the participants.

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Kaleidoscope
Rickshaw-puller’s tryst with honesty
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Raj Kumar At times when trust is in short supply and suspicion floods the minds, we still find instances that help keep the common man’s faith in good intentions. Amanjot, a student of BCA, was returning home having completed his studies. Loaded with baggage, he struggled to get the paying guest accommodation-life paraphernalia to the parking lot. “The buses usually stop at a distance from the curb that divides the bus parking from rest of the stand so one has to lug one’s luggage for quite a distance. When I reached the parking lot, I discovered that my digital camera was not there. I panicked but still inquired about.” Someone then asked him to approach the ‘Pradhan’ or the union leader of the rickshaw-pullers in the city.

This was how scores of rickshaw-pullers collected and ‘Pradhan’ asked them about the lost camera. The word of mouth had the rickshaw-puller Raj Kumar, who had found the camera, approached the leader and confessed that the camera was with him. The article was duly returned to the owner who was startled by the unexpected honesty and the help of rickshaw pullers in finding something that was akin to looking for a needle in the haystack.

Kala Yadav, pradhan or the union leader of the rickshaw workers’ union, says, “We usually turn in the lost and found articles at the police station. As for the camera, I got so many blessings from the family. It contained memories of the two years of education that the boy had undergone. It felt nice helping him out,” he grins. This is not all; Pradhanji has helped scores of lost and found objects find their way back into the owner’s hands. “Once I helped a person get back his mobile phone, but asked him to come along with the person whose picture was set as wallpaper on the screen. Who knows who is coming to collect it,” he ventures.

“The first thought when you lost something on the street is ‘it’s gone’” says Ankit, an NRI and neighbour of Amanjot, who, when he lost his bag that contained a laptop at the airport, made no effort to look for it. “Perhaps, we underestimate the capacity of the man on the street to be good. Had I gone and contacted a few key people like the nodal point from where all the taxis leave, I might have recovered my stuff,” sighs Ankit. Here is an example of not giving up on trust and taking chances with, the good side of mankind. 

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Rs 78 lakh international research grant
for GND Varsity professor

Neeraj Bagga

The Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (IFCPAR) has sanctioned a research grant of Rs 78 lakh to Professor Gurcharan Kaur, Head of Biotechnology Department, Guru Nanak Dev University.

She would work on the research project ‘Juxtacrine and Paracrine control of Brain Plasticity’ in collaboration with French scientist, Dr Vincent Prevot.

Dr Gurcharan Kaur said that the outcome of the research project would be helpful in designing novel drugs and adjunctive neuro-protective therapies to enable pregnant women, infants and young children to be safely treated for diseases like epilepsy, diabetes and bipolar disorders and others.

She said the research plan would provide new insights into the cell to cell signaling mechanism utilised by the neuroendocrine brain to control the initiation and progression of mammalian puberty and the combination of cellular and genomic approaches to be followed would lead to a much better understanding of human sexual precocity, delayed puberty of central origin, and hypothalamic amenorrhea.

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Telecom employees stage dharna
Tribune News Service

The National Federation of telecom Employees staged a dharna in front of the BSNL Office in Jalandhar.

The employees demanded that the memorandum of understanding between the Bharat Sandesh Nigam Limited (BSNL) and the DOT must be implemented, daily wagers be regularised.

Their various other demands also included fast track promotion exam for the employees, common working conditions and standing orders for industrial and non-industrial employees, must be met with or else the employees would step up their agitation, according to district president, Mr Dinkar Sharma.

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Weekly roundup
Pensioners submit charter of demands to DC
Tribune News Service

A deputation of various senior citizens’ organisations and the Central and State Government Pensioners’ Associations in North India met Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, on Tuesday and submitted to him a detailed charter of demands addressed to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. The pensioners urged the UPA government to grant a minimum interim relief of Rs 1,000 to nearly 33 lakh Central employees and 35 lakh Central pensioners and family pensioners till the final recommendations of the proposed 6th Central Pay Commission. The UPA government has also been requested to fulfill its promise of setting up the commission without further loss of time. Mr V.S. Jolly, Editor of Pensioners’ Friend, a monthly journal, said that the UPA government had been requested to accept and implement four main recommendations of the 5th Central Pay Commission, of making pension free of income tax, restoring commutation of pension after 12 years, granting additional pension for a service period beyond 33 years and giving proper and free medicare to all pensioners.

Office-bearers

Following are the office-bearers of the Ambedkar Mission Society, Punjab, elected during elections held at Ambedkar Bhawan on Monday: President, Mr Dwarka Bharti; senior vice-president, Mr Charan Dass Sandhu; vice president, Harbhajan Sampla; general secretary, Chanan Ram; and patrons, Mr Lahori Ram Bali, Mr Gian Singh Bal, Mr K.C. Sulekh and Mr Tarsem Lal Sagar. 

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