SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

Every Wednesday and Friday

‘Sweet killer’ stalks the city
High-calorie food, sedentary lifestyle, stress and genetic factors have lead to a rise in the number of diabetes patients in Jalandhar, reports Varinder Singh
Rich and high-calorie food, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and stress, diminished body movement coupled with certain genetic factors are making Jalandhar residents more prone to diabetes. A whopping 10 per cent of the total population in the city is trapped by the deadly malady aptly known as the “Sweet Killer”.

‘Black’ is beautiful for Tanushree Dutta
For once, model-turned- actor and former Miss India Tanushree Dutta was not bothered about being politically correct. And she had a reason for her nonchalance. She knew that while discussing the ‘politically correct and syrupy-sweet’ answers churned out routinely by Miss India aspirants, it was candour that was called for.

Miss India Tanushree Dutta.
Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma
Miss India Tanushree Dutta





EARLIER EDITIONS



Phagwara: hunting ground for travel agents
As you enter the cubbyhole offices of travel agents, which advertise to send people to Toronto on nanny training, tall claims and oily manners of its representatives make it seem that hell is the more likely address where they will send you than the UK, the promised destination for “job earning even over Rs 2 lakh if you are lucky.”

People’s concern
Jama Masjid Shopping Complex in bad shape
The unhygienic and dilapidated condition of the Jama Masjid Shopping Complex located near the world-famous Moorish mosque in Kapurthala tells about the apathetic attitude of the Improvement Trust, which had constructed the building about a decade ago.

A view of the Jama Masjid Shopping Complex where heaps of garbage can be seen

A view of the Jama Masjid Shopping Complex where heaps of garbage can be seen

Beggars choose their territories
Phagwara city is full of special economic zones for beggars. And they operate from these zones carved out by them with a great deal of thought. There are hundreds of beggars in the city, about 30 in each market. Kapurthala SSP Rajiv Ahir confirms the presence of a huge population of beggars here and admits that the problem needs to be tackled soon.

Lessons in skill for raw recruits
It may be one summer camp children would not forget in a hurry. The experience would be worth recounting time and again, even as the years go by.



A youngster dribbles the ball past a former hockey great during a friendly match on the closing day of the 17-day hockey summer camp organised by the Surjit Hockey Society at Jalandhar. —  Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

A youngster dribbles the ball past a former hockey great during a friendly match on the closing day of the 17-day hockey summer camp organised by the Surjit Hockey Society at Jalandhar


Radio jockeying is her favourite pastime
She has not even completed her studies but she has a long list of work experiences to write about in her resume. Just 24 years old, Maninder Purewal has not just been a topper throughout her career, but has also worked as a radio jockey, a news reader, prepared documentaries for radio, anchored for Doordarshan’s private productions and done a bit of translation work from foreign languages.                                                         Maninder Purewal


Maninder Purewal

Air hostess training school opens in city
Flying Cats, an air hostess training school was opened in Jalandhar on Sunday. Priyanka Khosla, managing director, said that she was promoting the concept of celebrities, technical aviation and hospitality experts as facilitators for providing hands on knowledge to boost the confidence of students.

Young World
Students’ delegation on cultural trip to UK
Giving a reflection of the Punjabi culture and heritage abroad, a group of students of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji Public School, Sarhali, Phagwara-Nakodar Road, left for Eisteddford, North Wales, UK, on Saturday. The students, most of them hailing from a rural background, will be participating in an international folk dance contest to be held from July 3 to 10.

Sugandha Mishra
Sugandha Mishra

Esha Chadha
Esha Chadha


Fauji Beat

Water Sports Complex no longer faujis’ favourite spot
The place has all the charm that any environment-conscious individual would love. Even as the Vajra Water Sports Complex that is located on the Mall behind the Vajra Horse Riding School has cool, peaceful and natural surroundings, it does not find much appeal with the fauji families.
A view of the Vajra Water Sports Complex in Jalandhar Cantonment. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

A view of the Vajra Water Sports Complex in Jalandhar Cantonment

Women entrepreneurship
Topy, a France-based company dealing in rubber sheets, rubber soles and rubber heels for footwear industry, has announced its entry in the Indian footwear market. The company has tied up with Kanpur-based Agarwal Traders for import and distribution of its products in India.

Market Buzz
Three housing projects launched
Anil Chopra headed PPR Group today announced the launching of three new housing projects on the Kapurthala Road and a shopping centre on 120-feet Road, near Model Town in Jalandhar.

PPR Group head Anil Chopra showing the model of the under-construction housing projects, in Jalandhar on Tuesday.
— A Tribune photograph

PPR Group head Anil Chopra showing the model of the under-construction housing projects, in Jalandhar



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‘Sweet killer’ stalks the city

High-calorie food, sedentary lifestyle, stress and genetic factors have lead to a rise in the number of diabetes patients in Jalandhar, reports Varinder Singh

Diabetes helpline

Interestingly, Dr Balraj Gupta took the initiative to launch a Diabetic Helpline with a view to help patients come out of ‘sugary’ quagmire. “We give them free consultation and also advise them how to tackle the disease with the help of proper exercise and nutrition. An important factor is that stress is one and foremost cause of diabetes as stress stirs release of a particular hormone responsible for the onset of the disease,” Dr Gupta said.

Doctors of the city maintain that the basic factor, which has led to proliferation of the disease in Jalandhar and in Punjab, is wrong food habits. “We have largely shunned simple homemade food and it has been replaced by high calorie food. Since the body has lesser movement, it is not able to cope with the energy intake and as a result diabetes is there,” a doctor said.

Rich and high-calorie food, an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and stress, diminished body movement coupled with certain genetic factors are making Jalandhar residents more prone to diabetes. A whopping 10 per cent of the total population in the city is trapped by the deadly malady aptly known as the “Sweet Killer”.

Nearly five per cent of the people across the globe are affected by diabetes, but studies have revealed that the percentage of afflicted people could be more among Punjabis largely due to certain genetic problems.

In Jalandhar — the NRI heartland of Doaba region — the number of people suffering from the disease is on a higher side. The disease is fast gripping youngsters and the population of diabetics is increasing each passing day. These facts related to the disease raise much concerns and call for more action to bring it under control.

Illustration by Sandeep Joshi“More and more people are coming to us with early symptoms that include lethargy and body aches. When they are made to undergo a thorough diagnosis, a majority of them are found to be diabetics. An interesting observation is that the disease is more common among the residents of Jalandhar than the ones coming from other satellite townships like Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Kapurthala and Nakodar. It may be due to stressful lifestyles and lack of physical activities by the Jalandhar residents,” Dr Charanjit Singh Pruthi, the managing director of BBC Heartcare Centre, said.

“The population of Jalandhar city is roughly 10 lakh and I believe that nearly 10 per cent of them have already fallen prey to the malady. What is sad about the whole affair is that people don’t prefer to go through a process of regular medical examination and this only makes the things more difficult to manage at a later stage.”

“The disease leads to degeneration of almost all vital organs of the human body. One has to be careful the moment one crosses 30 years of age. Good nutritious food, abstinence from alcohol and regular exercise is a must for control of diabetes,” Dr S.P.S Virk, the Managing Director of Virk Hospital said.

Experts also believe that there is a potent link between TB and diabetes. Once this evil combination creeps in human body, then there is hardly any escape for the patient.

The young generation has started distancing itself from sugar and sugar-based products, but they cannot do anything about the genetic angle of the disease.

“If left uncontrolled, diabetes affects brain, eyes, heart, kidney and nerves, but it is also seen of late that TB is also caused by diabetes,” Dr Balraj Gupta, owner of Rattan Hospital, said.

“Though the genetic code plays an important role and one can hardly do anything about Type-I of the disease, wherein a patient is fully insulin dependent, one can do a lot to prevent the ill effects of the Type-II, wherein pancreas stop working to their optimum capacity.

Regular exercise is a must even if one is obese. Since it rectifies metabolism, exercise is the key to a healthy life despite prevalence of diabetes,” he added.

According to Dr Gupta, more and more diabetic patients were reporting to hospitals for specialised treatment and to learn more about the disease.

“Out of sick people descending in hospitals, diabetics form the largest group and it is an indication that the city is being trapped by the disease. We have to act right now,” cautions Dr Gupta.

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‘Black’ is beautiful for Tanushree Dutta
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

For once, model-turned-actor and former Miss India Tanushree Dutta was not bothered about being politically correct. And she had a reason for her nonchalance. She knew that while discussing the ‘politically correct and syrupy-sweet’ answers churned out routinely by Miss India aspirants, it was candour that was called for.

“The beauty pageant is a national forum for girls. You have to be diplomatic. And if you are participating in the international arena, the national prestige comes to the fore,” said Tanushree, during a tête-à-tête with media persons at the Gymkhana Club in Jalandhar. She had come to the city last Sunday, courtesy Flying Cats, an airhostess training school. The next day she visited Kala Mandir in the city.

Interestingly, when the talk veered around women striking ‘bold’

in Bollywood, Tanushree clammed up. At her non-committal best, she said, “In the final analysis, your acting prowess matters. Skin show, per se, doesn’t spell success.” As an afterthought, she added, “May be, it works for some.”

Talking about her Bengali roots, she said she was open to acting in Bengali movies, provided the script was interesting and challenging. Of course, her fluency in Bengali would stand her in good stead!

Like a typical Bengali girl, Tanushree has a penchant for classical music, though she is in no hurry to explore the ‘musical frontiers’. “Perhaps, at some later stage, I may think about classical music. It can surely wait,” she sallied.

Right now, she is all for Hindi movies. It has been a long journey from Jamshedpur, where she was born, to Pune, from where she did her high school, to Mumbai, where she shifted in 2003.

After a stint in modelling and ad films, Bollywood movies happened to her. And luckily so, as she would have us believe. Her break came with “Chocolate” that was followed by “Aashiq banaya aapne”.

She is looking forward to her films with Vikram Bhatt and Zayeed Khan. “My desire is to work in movies that are a nice mix of comedy, action and drama. After all, variety is the spice of life!”

Her dream role is that of Rani Mukherjee in “Black”. In fact, “Black” continues to mesmerise this tall, lissome Bengali girl. “Black is a poignantly sensitive movie that steers clear of melodrama and it’s beautifully crafted.”

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Phagwara: hunting ground for travel agents
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

As you enter the cubbyhole offices of travel agents, which advertise to send people to Toronto on nanny training, tall claims and oily manners of its representatives make it seem that hell is the more likely address where they will send you than the UK, the promised destination for “job earning even over Rs 2 lakh if you are lucky.”

But it’s hard to resist the ‘phoren’ pull. Loopholes in laws, combined with the single-minded mission of Punjabis to work abroad, are spawning a large number of travel firms, which run under several pretexts, and Phagwara and its adjoining areas seem to be their new mecca.

After Jalandhar became a known hub to human trafficking, the smart operators appear to be shifting their base from one city to another, said a police officer investigating the recent travel frauds.

“If they operate from small towns, it lends them an air of credibility to attract starry-eyed people of the state,” said SHO Gurwinder Singh, who recently busted the fraud of two Jalandhar-based travel agents on the pretext of sending 14 villagers of the state to Dubai worth over Rs 7 lakh.

Alarmed by the rise of such firms with the sole purpose of minting money, Phagwara ASP, Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill, had sometime back issued instructions to his subordinates to take strict action against such firms.

“We have been taking action against such firms but the rise in their numbers shows that it is not enough. It has something to do with the lack of initiative on the part of the police as well,” admitted a senior police officer.

Irrespective of the firm’s credibility, their clients cling to it in the hope that he would be sent abroad. Such firms also never turn them away, keep making promises, and they succeed at times.

“After all, a major chunk of people going abroad travel illegally and manage to get out of India,” said an owner of local travel firm on the G.T. Road.

Mostly, it is the police which reach out to such firms and their clients after they become convinced about their bad intentions.

Once they take action, the complainants come to droves, but the shop is shut by then.

So, the police officers admit, the solution lies in taking an initiative and keeping a tab on such firms, which have come up in large numbers in the city, rather than waiting for the victims to turn up.

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People’s concern
Jama Masjid Shopping Complex in bad shape
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

The unhygienic and dilapidated condition of the Jama Masjid Shopping Complex located near the world-famous Moorish mosque in Kapurthala tells about the apathetic attitude of the Improvement Trust, which had constructed the building about a decade ago.

The building of the marketing complex, which has nearly 400 shops, is in shambles. The trust has neither deputed a sweeper to maintain the cleanliness in the market nor any gardener to look after the two parks developed in the complex.

However, the Improvement Trust Chairman Mr Kulwant Bhandari, when contacted, expressed his inability in resolving the problem, saying that the trust was not permitted to appoint more sweeper or gardener.

Giving an ugly look to the complex, several feet high congress grass has grown up not only in the parks, but also on several parts of the roads in the market. Surprisingly, one of the roads located in the market was almost fully covered with congress grass, whereas the swings installed in one of the parks have been engulfed with wild grass. Arun Khosla, who is running his mobile phone shop in the market, told Jalandhar Plus that the market was fully neglected, as Improvement Trust was not spending on the maintenance of the complex since its inception. There is no bathroom in the market. This caused a lot of inconvenience not only to the shopkeepers but also to their customers and visitors, he said.

Another shopkeeper, Deepak Rai, who deals with industrial gas supply, said that they had approached the Improvement Trust authorities for a number of times requesting them to make arrangements for proper maintenance of the market, but to no avail. Besides, the shopkeepers of the market had also sent several letters in this regard to the Local Bodies Department, but in vain.

Finally, some of the shopkeepers of the market decided to contribute themselves for deputing a gardener for looking after one of the two parks located near their shops. Apart from this, they also maintained electricity lights installed on the roads of the market from their own pocket, he added.

The chairman of the Improvement Trust said the shopkeepers of the market had drawn his attention towards the bad condition of the market and that he himself wanted to redress their grievances.

“The Improvement Trust has only one sweeper that, too, works part-time to clean the office of the Trust. Besides, not even a single gardener was working with the trust,” Mr Bhandari said. He added that the trust had written several times to the Local Bodies Department to allow it to recruit sweepers and gardeners, but it was not being permitted to appoint even a single part-time sweeper and gardener.

As per the rules, no new appointment could be made and no new employee could be recruited in place of any employee who was going to retire, he added. He added that he had taken up the matter of handing over the market to the Municipal Council, Kapurthala, for ensuring its proper maintenance. The MC had agreed to take over the market, but putting the condition if the Trust laid sewage pipes there, Mr Bhandari said, adding that when the trust had installed the sewage pipes, the MC refused to take over the market.

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Beggars choose their territories
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Phagwara city is full of special economic zones for beggars. And they operate from these zones carved out by them with a great deal of thought.

There are hundreds of beggars in the city, about 30 in each market. Kapurthala SSP Rajiv Ahir confirms the presence of a huge population of beggars here and admits that the problem needs to be tackled soon. “In fact, about 40 to 50 beggars were even arrested some time ago. But then we faced the problem of housing them and we took them to an old age home but soon the existing lot resented the presence of beggars there,” he says. Citing another example, he says, “About three months ago we even arrested a gang of car cleaners who were part-time beggars.”

These beggars work in tandem in an organised manner and under self-made guidelines and leaders. And profits are tremendous. The most profitable zones are Hargobind Nagar, Gaushala Road and Banga Road. For here the possibility of police intervention is nil. Phagwara bus stand, Saraffan Bazar and Model Town are equally profitable, though the cops might drive them off at times there.

Ask a beggar about the rules they follow, and he would say, “Our territories cannot be encroached upon by others in the community. They are sacrosanct.” So if one operates in bus stand area he shouldn’t be found in the adjacent Gaushala Road or Banga Road. Most of the beggars can be found at the eating malls, traffic light points and main markets. Their import into the city happens mostly during the festivals. There are different types of beggars. The Monday and Saturday beggars who have been associated with Hindu rituals since time immemorial are the exception to this rule. And since they are ritualistically a part of our culture there hasn’t been any clampdown on the beggar community overall thus far.

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Lessons in skill for raw recruits
Rubinder Gill
Tribune News Service

Youngsters rest after testing their skills against the star-studded team of former hockey players on the closing day of the summer camp
Youngsters rest after testing their skills against the star-studded team of former hockey players on the closing day of the summer camp. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

It may be one summer camp children would not forget in a hurry. The experience would be worth recounting time and again, even as the years go by. The 17-day hockey camp organised by the Surjit Hockey Society had a befitting end, as children pitted their skills against one-time big names of the hockey world.

The team of summer campers had children from the age of eight to 19, as they faced a line-up of the greats of the yesteryear, who had made the country proud on many occasions.

The star team of former players had some of the most recognisable names, which had dazzled all with their stick work not so long ago in the international arena.

Olympians Colonel Balbir Singh, Pargat Singh, Baljit Saini, Gurmail Singh, Sanjeev Kumar, Rajbir Kaur, Rajinder Singh Jr, Mukhbain Singh, Gundeep Kumar and internationals Daljeet Singh, Baljit Kaur and Hardeep Dhillon, Secretary, Punjab Hockey Association, started for the star-studded team. Surinder Sodhi was the manager.

Gender was not an issue as a mixed team took to the field against young wards. The youngsters learned more than a lesson or a two as the spirit of passing the baton pervaded the field.

Pargat Singh, who had many times waged almost a lone battle to defend the Indian citadel against other marauding forwards, showed his skills as he scored the lone goal of the friendly match.

Many former players huffed and puffed as time after active hockey had taken its toll. Those who had turned to coaching still managed to keep pace. The campers had young legs and fresh, raw spirit while the formers players heaved on old tired legs and wily and dazzling skills with bounty of experience.

The camp, organised in association with the Punjab Sports Department and the Indian Oil Corporation, started on June 15 and the grand finale was on July 1. On all days, former Olympians came to share their experiences and teach the youngsters basics skills of the game. At the closing ceremony, the youngsters were given playing kits as well as certificates and mementoes.

Former coach of the Indian team Rajinder Singh was honoured on the opening day while the recently-promoted international umpires Bhupinder Singh and Suresh Bhatia were felicitated on the closing day, where the IG, Jalandhar range, Mr Hardeep Dhillon, was the chief guest.

Youngsters can look forward to another camp as the Surjit Hockey Society is thinking of organising a similar camp for the next vacations too.

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Radio jockeying is her favourite pastime
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

She has not even completed her studies but she has a long list of work experiences to write about in her resume.

Just 24 years old, Maninder Purewal has not just been a topper throughout her career, but has also worked as a radio jockey, a news reader, prepared documentaries for radio, anchored for Doordarshan’s private productions and done a bit of translation work from foreign languages. Of late, she has also joined as a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communications in BD Arya Girls’ College, Jalandhar Cantonment.

Daughter of a retired BSF jawan, she beams with grit and determination. Maninder was the topper in the district in Plus Two PSEB examination. Thereafter, she did BA honours (English) from BD Arya Girls’ College and had always had her name in the merit list of the university. Now, she is a final year student of Master in Mass Communication from the Regional Campus of Guru Nanak Dev University at Ladhewali. While she was the university topper in the third semester, she is currently awaiting her last semester result.

Maninder started working as a radio jockey with FM Rainbow about two years back. “There, I used to read letters sent by the listeners and communicate with them, while playing songs of their choices. I also did some work related to news editing at All India Radio,” she said.

“But from the very beginning, I aspired to be a news reader. I got this chance at Radio Hamsafar, a channel that is aired in Canadian and US provinces. There I take a note of news items appearing in various online editions of Canada and the US, including those in foreign languages, and translate these to Punjabi language. I also log on to the sites of radio stations based there and go through the updated news, especially those of interest to residents of Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Los Angeles and California,” she explained.

The work does not end there. She then prepares a script and reads it aloud so as to record her voice. The recorded 10 minutes bulletin is then sent through the Net to the radio station’s head office in Cubec, Canada.

Maninder also shared her experiences as an anchor for Doordarshan’s private production, Koshish. “I was given an assignment to go through a series of visuals prepared on various social and local issues, including female foeticide and illegal encroachments at Bhargo Camp, and prepare a script on each one of the topics to be telecast as different episodes. I really enjoyed doing the shows as it gave me my first chance to appear before the camera and do voice over for the programme”, she said.

Maninder has also prepared documentaries on a number of occasions such as the death of Pope John Paul-II and tsunami which were aired through AIR.

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Air hostess training school opens in city
Tribune News Service

Flying Cats, an air hostess training school was opened in Jalandhar on Sunday. Priyanka Khosla, managing director, said that she was promoting the concept of celebrities, technical aviation and hospitality experts as facilitators for providing hands on knowledge to boost the confidence of students. Ms Ritu Kochhar, centre director, said that the youth would soon get a chance to learn from stars and experts from the country.

Ms Kochhar said that workshop with stars on celebrity facilitator panel of star icons Mallaika Arora Khan, model turned actor Zulfi Syed, face of the country Miss India 2005 Amrita Thapar, make up magician Cory Walia, diction expert Sabira Merchant and fashion idol Ashley Rubello would be conducted at Jalandhar. She said that they would be conducting training sessions through V-sat guiding the students on personality grooming, presentation, body language, speech, diction and personal finesse. During her visit at the opening of the school, film star Tanushree Dutta shared her grooming experiences during Miss India and Ms Universe pageants. She told the students that key to success in any service industry was a groomed personality but in aviation and hospitality industry, it was the life line.

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Young World
Students’ delegation on cultural trip to UK
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Giving a reflection of the Punjabi culture and heritage abroad, a group of students of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Ji Public School, Sarhali, Phagwara-Nakodar Road, left for Eisteddford, North Wales, UK, on Saturday. The students, most of them hailing from a rural background, will be participating in an international folk dance contest to be held from July 3 to 10. Ms Jatinder Kaur and dance teacher, Mr Sandeep Singh Sandhu, have gone with the group comprising 10 boys and nine girls.

Toppers

Students of MA-I (music vocal) from the Apeejay College of Fine Arts have grabbed the top five positions in the examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Sugandha Mishra has topped with 374 marks out of 400, leaving the second position holder behind with a significant margin of 36 marks. Gurvinder Singh is third with 328 marks, while Rohini Gautam has stood fourth with 326 marks. Fifth position holder, Rajwinder Kaur has secured 318 marks.

The students of the college have also topped the university in MA (fine arts) I and II. While Esha Chadha got 355 marks out of 400, Jasreen Kathuria is third with 339 marks in MA I. In MA-II, Poonam Mahajan is second in the university with 676 marks out of 800. Dr Sucharita, principal, has congratulated the toppers.

In MA (instrumental music)-I and II, the college students have again passed with flying colours. Shweta Sharma of MA-II has stood first in the university with 649 marks out of 800. Ekta Handa of MA-I secured second position in the university with 322 marks.

Hobby classes

‘Explore yourself’, a month-long series of hobby classes organised by Dayanand Model Senior Secondary School, Dayanand Nagar, concluded on Friday. Participants enhanced their skills in classical dance, bhangra, folk dance, skating, chess, and art and craft. Ms Parveen Gupta, coordinated the event. Mr Raj Kumar Sehgal, principal, congratulated the parents for the works done by their wards.

Schools reopen

All government and many aided and private schools reopened this week after a month-long summer vacation. While the government schools opened on Saturday, the other schools resumed the session this Monday. Almost all private schools had started extra classes for the board students at least 10 days before other classes resumed.

Result declared

Students from the Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women doing postgraduate diploma in cosmetology have passed with good percentage. All the eight students have got first distinctions. The highest marks holder has got 386 marks out of 450, a press release from the college said.

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Fauji Beat
Water Sports Complex no longer faujis’ favourite spot
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Swimming camp

A 12-day swimming coaching camp was organised by the Vajra AWWA for army children at Jalandhar Cantonment that concluded on Saturday. As many as 104 children in the age group of five to 15 years learnt swimming from coaches in the Vajra Swimming Pool.

The camp that was held in the morning and the evening shifts got an overwhelming response. On the concluding day, the participants took part in competitions held for different categories. The swimming contests were followed by a water obstacle race in which young contenders displayed their potential as marine commandoes. Lt-Gen Noble Thamburaj, GOC, and Ms Thamburaj were there to encourage the winners.

The place has all the charm that any environment-conscious individual would love. Even as the Vajra Water Sports Complex that is located on the Mall behind the Vajra Horse Riding School has cool, peaceful and natural surroundings, it does not find much appeal with the fauji families.

Lack of maintenance being the primary reason, the place that is well equipped with facilities necessary for boating and fishing does not get many visitors even at the weekends. Water in the huge pond is dirty. It does not seem to have been cleaned for days. Mosquitoes breed on the water surface that also has several patches of algae floating atop.

The complex, of course, has a few visitors who love to walk or jog on the elevated track around the water body. The track remains shaded from the sun even in the late afternoon due to a huge canopy formed by the trees on either side. The faujis also like to retire on the benches put up along the track after some brisk walk and watch some rare birds fluttering about. A watch tower in the centre of the water body is yet another attraction for the avian lovers who wish to climb up to gaze at the birds more closely.

The maintenance of this old picnic spot seems to have lost priority as new ecological works have been taken up by the corps officials at Sofi Pind and Suranussi.

Lawn tennis coaching

An 11-day lawn tennis coaching camp was organised for wards of soldiers by the Vajra Corps that concluded last Thursday. The camp was attended by 30 children in the age group of five to 16 years. Col K. Christopher, a lawn tennis player for the Services and experienced coach, took on the responsibility of training budding players.

The coach selected good players and said that they would be provided advanced training at coaching establishments of repute. Ms Thamburaj awarded prizes to the finalists and mementos to the participants.

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Women entrepreneurship
Tribune News Service

Topy, a France-based company dealing in rubber sheets, rubber soles and rubber heels for footwear industry, has announced its entry in the Indian footwear market. The company has tied up with Kanpur-based Agarwal Traders for import and distribution of its products in India.

Ms Viviane Godneau, Director (Exports), said that in India, the share of rubber soles and heels in the total sole and heels market was nearly 80 per cent and it still had a potential to grow more.

She added that out of the 80 per cent, the share of the organised sector was 50 per cent and the company’s target was to capture at least one-third of this market in the first year itself.

Meanwhile, the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) will train about 210 men and women in the state for taking up self-employment ventures.

Mr R.C. Dogra, Director, SISI, Ludhiana, said that a one-month women entrepreneurship development programme was being conducted for training them in fashion designing and fabric painting courses.

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Market Buzz
Three housing projects launched
Tribune News Service

Anil Chopra headed PPR Group today announced the launching of three new housing projects on the Kapurthala Road and a shopping centre on 120-feet Road, near Model Town in Jalandhar.

In a press conference held on Tuesday, Mr Chopra said that work of ‘Silver palm apartments’ had already begun and would be ready for possession by April 2007.

He said that construction of ‘Silver square apartments’ and ‘Science city apartments’ would commence shortly.

He said that there was an equal mix of two bedroom and three-bed room apartments in all three projects.

Construction work of ‘Jalandhar City Shopping Centre’ had also begun, Mr Chopra said.

The shopping centre is being constructed in four lakh sq feet constructed area with wide corridor, good frontage, lift and spacious car parking area in open as well as basement, Mr Chopra added.

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