C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S



St Anne’s honours its ‘Tej’ alumna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
St Anne’s Convent School, Sector 32, organised a function in the morning assembly in honour of its former student, Gurneet Tej, who secured the second position in the all-India civil services examination recently. She remained a sincere student throughout her school days. Bishop Dr Gerald John Mathias, manager Fr. Ambrose and Principal Sr. Felicia extended a warm welcome to her.

Recollecting her school days, Gurneet told the students that just nine years ago she too had been sitting in the school assembly like them. A shawl and a memento were presented to her on the occasion.

Bishop Gerald John Mathias appreciated her extraordinary achievement. He said this was not just an occasion to honour Gurneet but also to motivate and inspire other students to attain similar heights. He asked Gurneet to be honest and have zero tolerance for corruption and have a kind heart for the poor and do justice to the people. Gurneet concluded by saying that it was an emotional moment for her. “It would be my foremost duty to bring a change in society. The secret of my success was determination to fulfil my wishes,” she said.



Fellowship for Fortis surgeon
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 6
Dr Manuj Wadhwa, senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Fortis Hospital, has been selected for fellowship by the Ranawat Orthopaedic Research Foundation, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA.

During his three-month training as a joint reconstruction surgery fellow in the USA, Dr Wadhwa would be exposed to the state-of-art techniques in hip and knee joint replacements.

He would also participate in research projects with Dr C.S. Ranawat, who had operated upon former Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee.

Dr Wadhwa would be leaving for the USA on July 11.



NCC cadets’ training at Sukhna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Cadets of No.2 Punjab Naval NCC unit from Amritsar and Gurdaspur are participating in a water sports adventure camp at Sukhna Lake here.
The cadets are being trained in a water sports competition scheduled to be held in October.

Boat pulling, rafting and sailing are among activities which the cadets are undertaking here. The camp also aims at exposing the cadets in navigation, communication and boat handling. 



Promoting interests of orphans
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Yukta Mukhi has a gemstone for almost every finger. But one wonders if they really bring her luck. For most part of her film career, the former Miss India has been struggling to find a voice as an actress. She has had a single release in life - one that crashed at the box office. Small wonder Yukta finds herself a misfit in the town where hits are all that count.

In Chandigarh today to hold a grooming session for students of British Air Hostess Academy, Sector 34, Yukta did not mind admitting that she would make a better writer or a filmmaker instead. "I have done only one film in my life and I have done my best. The film failed because vested interests consumed the larger interests involved in the project. The heartburns were too visible in the final product and the audience took no time in rejecting it. I am talking about "Pyasa"."

Failure of the film, however, failed to dampen Yukta's spirits. As such, she has never been a woman of regrets. Having risen from the ashes literally (she comes from a Mumbai suburb) she made it to the league of most beautiful women in India. Having conquered the coveted Miss India crown, she sailed in the rough waters of Bollywood. When the tide did not favour her, she reversed her flow.

Today Yukta has an edge over others in her league. She has signed the donation card and has pledged all her organs. As ambassador for the National Liver Donation Organisation, she is helping others see sense in donation. On the sidelines, she even works to promote the National Orphan Adoption Centre. And in the midst of all this frenetic activity, the former beauty queen finds time for children suffering from cancer and thallessemia.

On a soul searching spree, Yukta has come a long way. Ask her if there is anything about her life that she would want changed and she shrugs, "Nothing really. I have evolved gradually, tasting a bit of everything. I have sifted chaff from the cheese and have kept close to my heart all that I hold dear. I am into sidhha yoga for spiritual uplift, and into Indian classical music for peace of mind."

Being trained in classical music by Ustad Sajjad Hasan of Gwalior tradition, Yukta is planning to cut an album. But most of her time these days is spent on the sets of "Kathputli", a new thriller she is doing. Also on the roll is "Memsaab", a film based on 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

Explaining her roles Yukta says, "These roles are women-oriented and very inspiring. I would rather wait for a meaty role for years than settle for "Murder" like Mallika Sherawat. That's something I can never do."

What Yukta loves doing instead is appearances and compering. She recently launched "Legacy", the Indian line of Damas jewellery. And that is not all in her list of priorities. She always has time to lend voice to the ideologies of the BJP, whose patriarch Atal Behari Vajpayee she admires with all her heart. It is another matter that she has not yet considered the party's primary membership.



Play on man-woman relationship
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
Darshan Jariwala’s new theatrical production ‘Your Place or Mine’ brought to the city by HSBC and to be staged at Tagore Theatre on Friday evening promises to shake up a few well established notions on the man-woman relationship, albeit with a few laughs and a tidy pinch of salt thrown in for good measure.

Boasting of an able cast comprising the feisty theatre, film and television actor Kitu Gidwani, Tarun Khanna and Kavita Rathod, it is Darshan’s way of creating “believable characters that can be taken home” instead of, “the string of one-liners” that comedy has degenerated into. “Even the most serious and intense themes can become substance for comedies and though my play does not have a traditional happy ending but the thoughts and aspirations of the four characters deal with the man-woman relationship in a light way,” he avers.

He waxes eloquent about being on stage. “As a medium it affords maximum play of characterisation and despite the tremendous distractions all around us still has the power to pull people out of their homes, make them sit for hours and soak in the story unfolding live before their eyes,” smiles Darshan.

For Kitu theatre has provided her with her biggest highs but a growing disenchantment with what was happening on theatre made her take a hiatus from this as well as television where she was reigning supreme. Her last play was a production in London by Bapsi Sidhwa (author of Ice Candy Man) in 2003 but now she claims she is back.

Plays, films — a typical Hindi film ‘Dil De Diya’ — where she plays the wife of an ex-don essayed by none other than Mithun Chakrabarty, another ‘Saas-Bahu’ serial in the offing after her stint in ‘Kesar’, she is all set for another ride in the world of entertainment.

What makes her take on a role? “The sense of truthfulness in a character comes across while reading the script, I think that works for me,” she explains.

Finally for both of them, it finally comes down to “giving a choice to the audience to see something different despite the occasional knocks that come of experimentation.” 



Rafi contest on July 8
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
The Yaadgar-e-Rafi Society will hold the first round of its annual singing competition for best singer award in senior category (18 years and above) for male and female amateur singers on July 8 at Bal Bhawan, Sector 23, Chandigarh at 8.00 a.m.

Male participants will be required to sing Rafi songs and female participants will have to sing Lata songs.

For further details please contact (0172) 2654685.


Pro-biotic technology being developed for therapeutic uses
Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ashvini Chauhan
Dr Ashvini Chauhan 

Chandigarh, July 6
Pro-biotic technology is now being developed for its therapeutic uses, food cultivation in micro-gravity and for spacecraft decontamination.
This was revealed by Dr Ashvini Chauhan, Research Scientist at Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University (Florida A & M), USA, here today. Mr Chauhan, who hails from the city, has been doing research on Bdellovibrio (bacteria) that can be used to cure several human ailments caused by gram negative bacteria like Coliform, and in curing bacterial infections in citrous plants.

The uses of this unique bacteria in decontamination of spacecrafts from other micro-organisms and rice cultivation in micro gravity (inside a space shuttle) are also being examined by him.

Dr Chauhan, who is the Principal Investigator in a joint collaboration project between University of Florida and Kennedy Space Centre, USA, said that in order to have a self-reliant spacecraft, he was developing a prototype of organic waste for cultivating rice in the confines of a spacecraft.

Speaking to TNS here today, Dr Chauhan said under the guidance of Dr Henry Williams, Director and Principal Investigator of the project, they had discovered the various uses of Bdellovibrio bacteria.

In fact, there are just two laboratories in the world, including the Microbiological and Environmental Science Institute, Florida A & M University, which are working on developing the uses of pro-biotic technology.

"This is a unique bacteria as it works like a virus. It collides with the other bacteria, utilises its DNA and then finishes these bacteria. We have been able to screen this bacteria, which is generally found in water bodies, and are now developing its uses," he said.

He said the scientific tests on animals had already been conducted successfully for the therapeutic uses of Bdellovibrio.

"We have also been able to identify the uses of Bdellovibrio in curing the world famous Florida oranges from the Zyllela bacteria attack, which leads to the withering away of the citrous plants," he added.

Dr Chauhan informed TNS that they had already prepared a database on the water bodies in the USA, Europe, especially near the Mediterranean Sea, where Bdellovibrio bacteria was found. "During my visit to India, I have also collected water samples from Bhimtal and Nainital in Uttaranchal, to see if this bacteria is found here," he said. 



CSIR Director to attend PGI’s foundation day function
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
PGIMER’s Foundation Day function on July 7 will be attended by Dr R.A. Mashelkar, Director-General, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Dr Mashelkar will be the chief guest on the occasion and will deliver a keynote address on “Making high technology work for the poor”.

Dr R.A. Mashelkar is the Director-General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the largest chain of publicly funded industrial research and development institutions in the world, with 38 laboratories and about 22,000 employees.

Dr Mashelkar is at present the president of the Indian National Science Academy (INSA).

He is the third Indian engineer to have been elected as Fellow of Royal Society (FRS), London in the twentieth century.

He was also elected Foreign Fellow of US National Academy of Science (2005), being only the eighth Indian to have been elected after 1863.

As part of the celebrations at the PGI, an exhibition on “Stop AIDS and drug addiction” will also be put up at Zakir Hall. The exhibition will remain open from 11 am to 1 pm and again from 4 to 6 pm on July 7.

On July 8, the exhibition can be viewed from 10 am to 1 pm.

Highlights of the exhibition are magic show, puppet show, street play, interactive session, live counselling.



Betting at its peak in City Beautiful
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 6
As the climax of the most exciting month-long FIFA World Cup draws near, the City Beautiful is gearing up for the big day on July 9. Along with football lovers, who are eagerly awaiting the grand finale between France and Italy on Sunday night, the speculators and bookies have also geared up to cash in on this once in four years opportunity.

According to sources, more than 10 bookies have been operating in the city since the world cup began. And interestingly, their clientele is not only involves business class and rich brats but also service men and students with are in quest to make some quick bucks.

France, which upset the whole scenario of the mega event after beating powerhouses like Spain (3-0), Brazil (1-0) and Portugal (1-0) in the second semifinal yesterday, was till then a favourite in the speculative business, but this has changed today with Italy commanding higher returns on a lower investment.

As per the sources, as the sentiments have been tilted towards Italy, the rate for Italy's win is being quoted at Rs 1.60 while the draw rate is Rs 2 and France's win is at Rs 2.40. The bet remains valid for 90 minutes only. For extra time and penalty shoot outs, one has to make a separate bet. The rates vary time to time according to the progress of the match.

Most of the city speculators are describing Italy as a safer bet. “Yesterday I betted Rs 10,000 on France and won Rs 13,000 on it”, said Mr Varun, a student of a local college. According to him the rate was Rs 1.30 for France win, Rs 1.90 for a draw and Rs 2.80 for Portugal before starting of the match.

The other local habitual speculator Deepak Chand and Ravi Garg, who put Rs 50,000 on France after its goal in the 33 rd minute, got the rate 40 paise at that time and earned Rs 20,000 from the match. “So far, we have earned Rs 2 lakh on the whole. Now we will put our whole money on Italy on Sunday”, the duo revealed.

On the other hand, Arvind, Paramjit, Sunita and Vijayan, all employees, were not lucky enough in the game as their bet on Portugal made them to dish out Rs 10,000 instantly. “This was my first bet and I have burnt my fingers”, said Sunita, a bank employee.

About the modus operandi of this illegal business, a local speculator said on the condition of anonymity, “Bookies have our recorded voices and phone numbers. So if any one else tries to put money on my phone, they (bookies) will not accept the bet. They also recorded each and every bet made on the phone so that in case of any dispute later, the exact wording could be heard to solve it”. We give or receive money according to their terms, he added.

On the other hand, the soccer lovers as well as some big companies are also planning to make the big night unforgettable in their own way. Where some big companies are contemplating to please the fans with free gift hampers on correct prediction about the winners at selected resorts, hotels and clubs. Some enthusiasts are organising special private parties to witness the event together. A group of advocates K.S. Nalwa, Amit Jhanji and Vivek Sharma plan to see the match together while partying. “We enjoyed the second semifinal together at a resort in Zirakpur and had great fun. So the last clash should also be memorable”, said Mr Nalwa.



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