R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri
Seeds of cooperation
This effort’s not going waste
Spirituality on the slopes


Activists take oath
: Hundreds of activists of the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) on Saturday performed “sankalp parikrama” of the Golden Temple and took oath to strengthen the Skh institutions, including Akal Takht. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president, SSF (Mehta), said they would defeat the nefarious designs of anti-Panthic forces. 

Undergraduate courses: The Director-cum-Principal of the newly opened Swami Satyanand College of Management and Technology, Dr Suresh Seth, said here on Saturday that the college would start undergraduate courses from this session and postgraduate courses in management and IT from the next year. 

Plea to Centre on pilgrims: The All-India Hindu Shiv Sena (AIHSS) has urged the Centre to enhance the number of Hindu pilgrims to Pakistan. Mr Surinder Kumar Billa, president, AIHSS, demanded that 6,000 pilgrims should be allowed to travel to Pakistan annually and a direct bus from Amritsar to Chakwal should be started.

Khaira to take charge today
: Sukhpal Singh Khaira will formally take over as the new Kapurthala District Congress Committee chief at a function on Monday.

Awards: Punjabi Sabhyachar Manch (PSM) has honoured two students for excelling in examinations. Manju Devi Jain from Hindu Kanya College was honoured for securing the first position in BA in the district. Chetna from Hindu Putri Pathshala was honoured for excelling in the Plus Two examinations.

IMA panel chief: Mr Manjit Singh Bal has been nominated as the Chairman of the Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Punjab Awareness Committee. This was stated in a press note issued by Dr G.S. Gill, President of the Punjab unit of the IMA.

Bank dacoity
: Three persons looted more than Rs 18,000 from the Mohanpur branch of Central Cooperative Bank at gunpoint. A case under Sections 392 and 34 of the IPC was registered at Sarhali police station on Saturday.

DC office inaugurated: Choudhry Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Bodies, inaugurated the Deputy Commissioner office here on Saturday. He gave a cheque for Rs 22 lakh to the nagar council for carrying out development works.



Office-bearers: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Chandigarh Area MES Workers Union: president—Mr Ravi Kant Sharma; general secretary— Mr Puran Chand; secretary—Mr Gian Chand Karbal; treasurer—Mr Jagpal Singh; senior vice-president—Mr Amarjit Singh; office secretary—Mr Suresh Mohan Sharma; and senior joint secretary—Mr Ram Dass.

Elected: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Industries Association of Chandigarh: president—Mr Nitin K Peshawaria; vice-president—Mr Madhu Sudan Vij; secretary—Mr Pawan Aggarwal; joint secretary—Mr Amrit Lal Mahajan; and treasurer—Mr Arun Mahajan.



One killed in accident
: One person was killed and three injured when a Haryana Roadways bus and an oil tanker collided near Hansi, on the Hisar-New Delhi national highway, on Sunday. According to the police, the bus was on its way from New Delhi to Hanumangarh. The victim has been identified as Satbir Singh of Bhaini village, near Meham.

DC reviews flood measures
: The Deputy Commissioner, Mr R.K. Kataria, visited various areas of the town on Saturday to review flood control measures. Mr Ashok Garg, SDM, and Mr Romesh Chopra, XEN, Public Health, accompanied him, among others. The Deputy Commissioner directed the municipal officials to improve sanitation and clear the choked drains.



Seeds of cooperation

A Chinese delegation visits a farm in Sanaura village, near Jalandhar, to study the potential of growing jatropha
A Chinese delegation visits a farm in Sanaura village, near Jalandhar, to study the potential of growing jatropha.

After South America, India too is making progress in the cultivation of jatropha. The seeds of the jatropha extract bio-diesel, which is renewable, economical, non-toxic, biodegradable and non-polluting.

To study the bio-diesel potential in terms of commercial viability of “energy plantations” as well as to explore avenues of cooperation between the two countries, a Chinese delegation of five scientists headed by Dr Peng Daiping, Deputy Director-General, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, recently visited several areas of Punjab, including Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, and the Dhillon farm in Sanaura village, near Jalandhar, and Rajasthan. They were invited by the ICFA (Indo-China Friendship Association).

Dr R.K. Kohli of Panjab University, Chandigarh, and Prabhat Garg of Ozone Energy Solutions, which is taking up the plantation of jatropha, informed the delegation about its potential in degraded land and low-rainfall areas.

The delegation has decided to plant the jatropha and other similar plants on a large scale in the barren areas of China to boost alternative fuel.

This effort’s not going waste

The Rotary Club, Nawanshahr, has been taking steps to provide better sanitation facilities in the town. The Rotarians, under the leadership of Varinder Ummat and Vinod Arora, president, and secretary, respectively, of the club, have mobilised donations for installing 50 dustbins in different mohallas and at various spots in the bazaars.

The slogan, ‘Apne farzan nu pehchano, shahar nu saf rakhan vich sehyog diyo (Know thy duties and extend cooperation in keeping the city neat and clean), has been inscribed on these dustbins. The effort is aimed at motivating the people to put garbage in the dustbins instead of throwing it here and there, giving an ugly look to the town as well as creating health hazards for the residents. Besides, as many as five cycle rickshaws have also been pressed into service to gather the garbage dumped in dustbins.

The Rotary Club has also renovated the lavatories, lying in a state of neglect, at the local Baradari Garden and set up a water cooler there. The garden has recently been given a facelift and for this purpose donations worth Rs 50,000 were mobilised from the local philanthropists.

Spirituality on the slopes

A hillside yoga camp in progress at a village along the Shimla-Narkanda road
A hillside yoga camp in progress at a village along the Shimla-Narkanda road.

Matiana, located about 50 km beyond Shimla, has the appearance of a sleepy little place on the bustling Shimla-Rampur Bushahr highway. But, the early-morning somnolence of this village was recently broken by something soothing as compared to the usual noise of the screeching vehicles passing by.

It woke up to the sounds of laughter therapy, thunderous clapping and spiritual discourses at a camp that was conducted by an associate of Swami Ramdev. The wake-up calls of the twittering birds were drowned by his booming voice on the microphone, urging the residents to wake up to the benefits of yoga, ayurveda and healthy living.

The villagers who were not attending the camp devised their own way to practise the art of living, albeit on the fringe. For, in a side show of sorts, they could be seen doing pranayama or other asanas on the hillside rooftops or verandahs, following the swami’s instructions from a distance.

Certainly, the ‘art of living’ school has pupils who believe in distance learning.

Contributed by Vishal Gulati, Parmod Bharti and Chetna Keer Banerjee


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