They light up the dark world
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

For them, there’s only one colour in the world: black. The rainbow is a mystery for them, as is the colour of the sky or the changing hues of the sea. That is the world of the visually impaired.

Founding members of the Guru Nanak Mission Netraheen Vridh Ashram
Founding members of the Guru Nanak Mission Netraheen Vridh Ashram 

The orphans and physically challenged inmates, both male and female, in ages varying from nine years to 75 years of the Guru Nanak Mission Netraheen Vridh Ashram at Saprod village of Phagwara have accepted their fate but also taken it as a challenge.

What else would explain the fact that 50 of them are bread-winners for their families? They have not only have jobs in the public sector but in the competitive private sector as well.

Avtar Singh Mann, Gian Singh Surjeet, Seetal Singh Sitara and late Rajinder Singh — all blind and settled in England — started the mission three years back with the main aim to impart education and training in playing tabla, harmonium and weaving cane to the inmates.

Started with a meagre amount of Rs 4.88 lakh, earned by performing at religious congregations in England, the mission today has a big gurdwara, 70 rooms and 20 shops. All the aid comes to the mission from these blind NRI founders who perform ‘kirtans’ in England and send their earning for the welfare of the inmates of the mission, says Mukhtar Singh, chief sevadar of the mission.

Inmates learning Braille at the ashram.
Inmates learning Braille at the ashram. A Tribune photo

At present, the mission has 65 inmates on rolls who have managed to get on with life after the trauma and tragedy. While some were born with no eyesight, others lost it. In a world that’s black, the mission has provided them with a reason to live along with orphan and physically-challenged inmates.

The mission runs classes from first to Plus Two for the blind students. Besides, moral values and ethics are also inculcated in the students, apart from other activities like cane weaving and training in tabla and harmonium playing.

“My aim is to make the students strong and independent so that they don’t have to live on the mercy of others when they grow up,” says Kishori Lal, a blind teacher from Mandi district in Himachal Pradesh. Recalling his youth, he said his life became dark for ever while spraying pesticide on fruit trees.

The mission runs entirely on donations and has not received any sort of grant from the government. Besides free education, boarding facility is also provided to all inmates. Some of the students have secured positions in board examinations, says Charanjit Singh, general secretary of the mission.

While the mission is fine, life doesn’t end for them when they pass out.

They explore new ventures in education as they complete Plus Two from here.

A number of students have managed to secure government jobs as telephone operators, music teachers and clerks.

The mission has three teachers to train students.

“I could earn crores as I was team member of music Directors like Khayyam and Naushad as a tabla player. But I preferred to do something for the mankind,” says A.P. Singh, a tabla trainer with the mission.

Amit Singh, a third class student, is a talented singer and aspires to be a musician when he grows up.

“It’s my belief that when God takes away one power, he bestows another. In my case, it was optimistic and positive thinking due to which I was able to live my life again when I lost my parents.”

As far as the medical aid is concerned, doctors of Phagwara donate generously and take care of the inmates free of cost, says Raj Kumar, Manager of the mission.



Cop’s mother accused of cheating
Tribune News Service

Mr Sandeep Kumar of Old Grain Market, Kapurthala, alleged that the city police had failed to act on his complaint against Mrs Aagya Wanti, mother of Mr Kewal Sharma, who is the wireless operator with the Kapurthala SSP.

Mr Sandeep Kumar, in his complaint had said that Mrs Aagya Wanti and some other persons had taken Rs 1.5 lakh from him as earnest money to sell their four-marla plot.

They did not turn up for the sale deed on the fixed date and also refused to give back the earnest money.

Finally, he submitted a complaint to the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr Rajiv Ahir, who marked it to the Station House Officer (SHO) of city police station, Mr Nirmal Singh.

The complainant told The Tribune that the city police had not initiated any 
inquiry even after a month. On the other hand, when contacted, SHO Mr Nirmal Singh denied the allegations and said both parties had been called to look into the matter.

According to two-page complaint submitted to the SSP on August 4, Mr Sandeep Kumar stated that Mrs Aagya Wanti of Bhawanipur village and Mr Surinder Behl of Mohalla Kaserian had offered him to sell house No 32/66 located in Mohalla Khazanchian, measuring four marlas.

Subsequently, he gave them Rs 1.5 lakh in two installments and a written agreement was executed on May 3 this year. It was also agreed that the sale deed would be executed before June 18. They did not execute the sale deed on the said date and the time was extended to July 18, he added.

The complainant further stated that they again failed to reach the Kapurthala Sub-Registrar’s office on the said date.

Mr Sandeep Kumar also added that the house didn’t measure four-marlas but it was just 3.25 marlas. Following which, he demanded his Rs. 1.5 lakh but they refused to return it to him.



Is Director of Punjab Agro an imposter?
Anil Jerath
Tribune News service

Almost two years back, Amandeep Mittal was booked by the Bathinda police on charges of impersonating as the ‘personal assistant to Sonia Gandhi. Now there are reports that he has been appointment the Director, Punjab Agro Foods.

Is it a gift from the Congress government to a person who got VVIP treatment from various senior civil and police officials at Ludhiana, Bathinda and Phagwara in 2004.

On October 13, 2004, Amandeep Mittal was charged under Sections 419/420of the IPC on charges of impersonating and befooling people. The Bathinda police had got suspicious when he demanded adequate security for himself. Earlier, he had acted the same way in Ludhiana on June 28, 2004, and then on July 25, Mittal came to Phagwara and introduced himself as personal assistant of All-India Congress Committee President Sonia Gandhi and held a meeting with civil and police officials at the local rest house. “Who was he? The Phagwara Administration and Congress leaders want to know after hosting him.

The Anandpur Sahib Tehsildar had accompanied him to Phagwara, where he was again received by then Tehsildar. The VVIP had enquired about the law and order situation and made some ‘sifarish’ to the civil and police officials, including the then SDM Pritam Singh and DSP Jaspal Singh.

The VVIP guest was put up in a special suite at the local hotel Ashish Continental where he interacted with local Congress leaders and promised to appoint one of them as the PPCC secretary soon. One of the leaders was reportedly a CID official, probing the visit to Phagwara. The VVIP, accompanied by police escorts, also visited the Phagwara Civil Hospital, where the then Senior Medical Officer, Dr Subhash Sharma, was summoned. He even got his blood group checked, which was diagnosed as O positive.

Meanwhile, Punjab Agro Foods Chairman and local MLA Joginder Singh Mann when contacted on the phone said the appointment was made by Chief Minister and he was totally unaware of it. It is learnt that Amandeep Mittal was appointed on September 11 and notification in this regard has also been issued.



Take care of Punjab’s heritage, says Kavita Chaudhary
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Proud of her rich Punjabi heritage, maker of acclaimed TV serials ‘Udaan’ and ‘Your Honour’ Kavita Choudhry would next venture into making a Punjabi film ‘Sanjh Mohabtaan Di’ based on Indo-Pakistan relations.

Kavita was in Amritsar, the city of her birth, to receive the Mohammad Rafi Award for her script and direction in the teleserial ‘Udaan’ by the Mohammad Rafi Memorial Society. Talking to the Tribune, she said rich cultural heritage of Punjab must be preserved and the film ‘Sanjh Mohabtaan Di’ was a step in this direction.

She said the film was being produced to strengthen the bilateral ties between the two neighboring countries and the state government had suggested the idea. Some scenes would also be shot in foreign countries. The paper work had been completed and locations of the film finalized. The shooting would begin in Amritsar soon as audition of the artistes. The effort would be to involve as many artistes as possible from the holy city, she added.

The actress said nostalgia for the time when the two Punjabs were one would be projected and effort would be to build bridges in the present scenario. Kavita would try to capture the colours, flavors, warmth and cultures, which she had seen here on the screen. Romance and actions would also be part of the film.

Talking about her experience during the making of ‘Udaan’, Kavita said the most difficult part was the in-depth research on the lifestyle, functioning and idiosyncrasies of police officers. “It was our ardent desire to produce meaningful serials with a clear message on the professional lives so that people could appreciate the efforts,” she added.

She trashed the serials on the TV these days, which were set based and had no stories or ideas.

She said good serials were only those which left some impact on the viewers and changed their way of life.

Recalling an episode, she said after ‘Udaan’, she visited a friend in Delhi. A young girl spotted her and told her role that her role as Kalyani in the serial had changed her parents’ attitude and they had allowed her to join the profession of her choice.

Kavita said she could was overwhelmed that her role could change the mindset of people.

Talking about herself, Kavita said both she and her sister were brought up by her parents without any gender bias. While she took to TV direction, her sister rose to become a Director-General of Police, now posted in Uttaranchal, and their cousin, Dr Kiran Bedi, became the first IPS woman officer in the country. She felt that they did not lack in any thing to reach to the top in their professions and excel in every field.

On the present status of women in the state, Kavita said there seemed to be awakening in Punjab to give a platform of freedom to women.

More and more girls were taking to professional jobs and running their own enterprises unlike in the past where girls were primarily shackled and stayed put at home.

Kavita said parents should change their orthodox attitude and allow their children to participate in the cultural programmes and workshops as were being done in Maharashtra and south India.

She said she had experienced eve-teasing only in Punjab whereas she had traveled extensively in trams and public transport in Mumbai and had not witnessed a single incident there.



Young World
Conference on bio-technology trends held
Tribune News Service

Lovely Professional University organised a conference on trends in biotechnology on Saturday. The conference had six schedules, all of which revolved around different aspects of the emerging technology and were addressed by lecturers of the department.

Mr Rajiv delivered a lecture on opportunities in the field and its applications in industry, animal husbandry, horticulture, agriculture, medicine and environment protection. Ms Kavita spoke on polymerase chain reaction and its applications. A lecture on genetic engineering was delivered by Ms Satinder. Human genome project aimed at decoding the human gene code was discussed by Mr Harvinder.

Mr Sidhartha spoke on gene therapy for introducing genetic material in a patient who had a defective or non-functional copy of the gene. A presentation on nanotechnology was presented by Ms Meenu. Mr Ashok Mittal, president of the university, presided over the conference.

Inter-school extempore

Inter-school Sahodaya extempore Young students pose for the fancy dress show ‘Dress in mood’ held by the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Jalandhar. competition was held at MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar. Students of Classes IX to XII from schools affiliated with the CBSE participated in the contest. The students were given topics three minutes before speaking related to everyday incidents, proverbs and maxims. Mohit Thukral of Apeejay School stood first, followed by Sahiba of Army Public School, Jalandhar Catonment, Silsher Bhogal of Guru Amar Dass Public School and Joshita of MGN Public School, Adarsh Nagar.

Young students pose for the fancy dress show ‘Dress in mood’ held by the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Jalandhar. — A Tribune photo 

Declamation meet

Sanskriti KMV School organised inter-school Hindi declamation, drawing and colouring contests in the campus. Participants spoke on the topic, “Girl child – A gift”. Ruhani Mehakjot of Swami Sant Dass School stood first while Jatinder Yadav of the host school and Yukti Sharma of CT Public School stood second and third, respectively.

A poster making contest was also held in which two groups, sub-junior and junior, participated with students of Classes IV to VI. The topic was “Save girl child”. In the sub-junior category, Manpreet of CJS Public School, Jasparam of MGN Public School and Simran of the host school won the first, second and third prizes, respectively. In the junior category, Shobha of Police DAV Public School and Gurpreet of Swami Sant Dass School stood first. Amandeep Kaur of the host school and Ayush of Ambika Modern School stood second and third, respectively. The overall trophy went to Swami Sant Dass Public School.

Science exhibition

To keep the scientific temperament of the students alive, an exhibition of working models was organised at Delhi Public School. Children were shown various experiments based on states of matter, natural water cycle, germination of seeds, consumption of various forms of plants such as root of potato, leaf of spinach, flower of cauliflower and fruits from trees. Children of Classes I and II displayed models of different types of houses, suspension bridges, parts of body, waste disposal systems and recycling of water.

Fancy dress

Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) organised a fancy dress show ‘Dress in mood’. The contest was held to give a more creative spark to the minds of the budding designers. Ms Shefali Sood, in charge, said a paper reading contest on female foeticide would be the next activity for the students.

Quiz contest

Business Club of the Commerce Department of Lyallpur Khalsa College organised ‘Search for intellectual warriors’, a quiz contest and extempore. The questions were based on commerce, entertainment, sports and cultural affairs. Winners of the contest were Mandeep Saini, Sunny Kareer and Sundeep Kaur of B.Com professional final year. Winners of the extempore were Supreet, Monika and Bharat of B.Com professional final year.


Lyallpur Khalsa College organised a seminar on vital problems and possible solutions of river water dispute of Punjab.

The main speakers on the occasion were Mr Pritam Singh Kumedan, an expert on riparian state and Prof Anupreet Singh Tiwana, an upcoming geographer.

They opined that sharing of water with Rajasthan and Haryana was against the riparian law.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt was organised at MGN College of Education. Various literary and cultural events were organised. Dr D.R. Vij, an eminent educationist, spoke on teaching as a pious profession. Principal Dr Amit Kauts gave prizes to the winners. In poetry recitation, Suruchi stood first while Rajbir came second. Amanpreet got the first prize while Rajbir took the second place in the singing competition. In acting, Bhavdeep stood first followed by Arneet. For declamation, Armanpreet and Kirandeep won prizes while Namita and Monica got prizes in the dance contest.

Campus interview

Hewitt Technology Delivery Centre will hold campus recruitment in CT Institutions on September 29. Mr Sandeep Kaura, deputy director, training and placements, said candidates who had cleared BCA, BSc (IT), BIT, BIS, Bachelor in e-commerce, B.Sc (computer science), B.Sc (electronics), B.Sc (physics, chemistry mathematics) with diploma certification from NIIT, STG and Aptech could apply for the job.

He said the selection process would include a written aptitude test, technical test and HR interview.

Tree plantation

A tree plantation day was organised at Sant Baba Bhag Singh Education Complex which was opened by Mr Deepak Mittal, managing director of International Tractors Ltd. Mr Mittal told students of mechanical engineering to undergo six month training in the industry and they could even be absorbed if found up to the mark.

Football match

The budding footballers of Class I from CT Public School played a friendly match in the school playground. Students of section B came out victorious over section A 3-0.

Sports meet

A sports meet of the KG wing of the St Soldier Divine Public School, Nangal Karar Khan, was held on Saturday. Students participated in balloon bursting, putting balloons in buckets and musical chairs.

The Principal, Ms Ravinder Kaur, gave the prizes to winners.



Do cartoons distort young minds?
Anil Jerath
Tribune News Service

Six-year-old Anurag of Victoria International Public School, Phagwara, mimics his favourite cartoon “Hum sabse budhdhu hai”. Though unable to understand the meaning of words, but he tries to catch attention by aping the toon shows dubbed in Hindi.

Anurag and other children’s actions may not bother them but it worries their parents as they apprehend that such cartoon shows are distorting language and behaviour of their children. Do these cartoons damage a child’s perception of the real world? Or is it just a transitory phase?

“I have admitted my son in an English medium school. Lately, I have noticed that he has started copying cartoon gestures and language. Initially these cartoons were in English and they enriched a child’s vocabulary but things have deteriorated with the regional language cartoons,” says Reena Malhotra, a homemaker.

Not only parents, but many teachers also agree. “The kids imitate comic characters in classrooms. They easily pick up inappropriate terminology from the Hindi translations,” says a schoolteacher.

“These children are too small to understand the meanings of the words used. Some cartoons are educative, but it all depends on the family atmosphere,” adds Shobhna Kapur, a teacher in S.D. Model School.

Suggesting a solution, Director, Mr B.S. Bhogal, Ramgarhia institutions in Phagwara, notes, “Undoubtedly some cartoons teach children good words. Regional languages should be an essential part of teaching. Cartoon programmes schedule should be in both the languages.”

Parents’ responsibility is to talk to their children if they notice changes. As Dr Gurpreet Kaur, a clinical psychologist informs, “Words do not damage a child’s psychology. Parents should supervise their children and often talk to them. A curious child may learn anywhere from the surroundings. It is not necessary that cartoons are totally responsible for strange behaviour pattern.”

It is not possible for parents to keep tabs on a child’s activities all the time. “But what can be done is to make decisions and stand responsible for the consequences. Of course, certain actions and words need to be censored,” notes Dr Joginder Singh.



From Schools and Colleges 
Stone for heritage centre laid at Kamla Nehru College
Tribune News Service

Mrs Gurkanwal Kaur, Minister of State for Cultural Affairs and Industrial Training, laid the foundation stone of the ‘Cultural Heritage Centre’ at Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara.

The Punjabi Department of the college organised a cultural function on the occasion. The performance of the folk orchestra was appreciated.

The minister promised a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the centre and lauded the efforts by the college to preserve cultural heritage of Punjab.

The president of the college managing committee, Mr I. K. Sardana, gave a vote of thanks.

Wrestling meet

The Punjab Sports Department organised a wrestling tournament at the Ramgarhia Polytechnic College, Phagwara on Thursday. Mr Liaqat Hussain, Editor, Indian Wrestling Magazine, inaugurated the tournament.

The results:

50kg: Sudeep 1, Sunny Kumar 2, Lovely 3;

55kg: Ravinder Kumar 1, Inderjit 2;

60kg: Honey Kumar 1, Pardeep 2.

66kg: Baljit Singh 1, Navdeep 2, Rohit 3.

74kg: Ajay 1, Sandeep Sondhi 2, Avtar Singh 3.

84kg: Rohit 1, Ramesh 2, Sahib Singh 3.

96kg: Surajveer 1, Pawan 2, Pardeep 3.

Above 96kg: Pawan Kumar 1, Jaspal 2, Ajay Mangta 3.

Social worker Sukhwinder Singh gave away the prizes. Mr PR Sondhi, coach, Rajinder Singh and Ravinder Nath were also present.

Basketball meet

Springdale Public School, Amritsar, won the trophy whereas DAV School, Amritsar, was declared runner-up at the CBSE Basketball Cluster Tournament organised at Victoria International Public School in Phagwara from September 19 to September 22.

As many as 69 teams from schools of Punjab took part in the tournament.

The Deputy Commissioner gave the prizes to the winning team.

Female foeticide

“Dhian maarde jaoge, taan nuhaan kiththon liyaoge”, were the words expressed by Mrs Vidyawati, Child Development Project Officer, during a seminar on female foeticide held at Nangal Majha village in Phagwara.

Addressing the villagers, she stressed upon the need for an action plan to raise the status of girl child in the society.

The challenge before the government and the society was to change mindset of the people.

She said the Departments of Social Welfare, Family Welfare, Education, Health and Police should implement programmes to promote and check the status of the girl child.

Seminar held

A seminar on ‘Leadership Development’ was organised by the Lions Club International District 321D at KG Resorts, Phagwara, on Thursday.

Satish Mahendroo, district governor, was the chief guest while Jaswinder

Pal Singh, vice-district governor was the guest of honour. Professor Ravi Manuja, former governor, and former multiple chairman, JB Singh Chaudhary, were also present.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt show was organised at Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Phagwara. Students from various age groups of the school took part.

In the declamation contest, Mayank Sharma bagged the first position while Ashish Gandhi got the second position.

In poetry recitation, Aakriti Sharma stood first while the second position went to Lavi.

Navjit and Mamta bagged the first and second positions, respectively in the folk song competition.

The Director, Mr Harivansh Mehta, Manager, Mr Surinder Chopra, Principal Mr Vishav Mohini and PRO Swatantar Oberoi of the school gave away prizes to the winners.

Cultural show

Students of Guru Nanak Bhai Lalo College for Women, Phagwara, organised a cultural function on Wednesday.

Mrs Manpreet Kaur Bhogal, Principal of Ramgarhia Girls School, Phagwara, was the chief guest.

Mrs Kusum Chauhan, Principal of the college welcomed the chief guest.

Students sang ‘Deh Shiva Bar’ and the National Song ‘Vande Mataram’.

Nancy and Prabhjot read poems related to women issues. Mandeep stressed upon the need to keep our environment clean and pollution free.

Besides these, comic one-act play, poetry recital, rangoli and giddha were performed.

Lecturer nominated

Mr Gurnam Singh, Lecturer in Commerce, Guru Nanak College, Phagwara, has been nominated as member of the Faculty of Economics and Business, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

A press note said the nomination was with effect from July 1 this year to June 30, 2008.



Jassa Singh college set to celebrate 150 years
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Historical Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia (NJSA) Government College, Kapurthala, the oldest college of Punjabi, will celebrate its 150th anniversary on September 27 and 28. Set up by Maharaja Randhir Singh in 1856, a year before the first Indian struggle for Independence in 1857, the institution was initially named Sanskrit Vidayalaya.

In 1896, Maharja Jagjit Singh elevated it to Inter-Mediate College.

Populary known as Randhir College, after the name of its founder, the name was changed as Nawab Jassa Singh Ahuluwalia Government College in 1978 during the SAD government

Several distinguished persons, including late Union Finance Minister Swaran Singh and late Finance Minister of Punjab Balwant Singh were students here.
The college is celebrating its 150th anniversary by holding two-day celebrations.

The Principal, Dr Om Kumari Patial said the programme would begin on the September 27 morning with Kirtan Darbar followed by langar.

In the evening there will be a kavi darbar. Eminent poets, Surjit Paatar, Gurbhajan Gill, Manjit Indra and Darshan Butter will recite their poems, besides others. It will be presided over by Mr Damanbir Singh Jaspal, IAS and Dr G.S.Aujla, DGP, will be the chief guests.

On September 28 there will be an inter-college cultural contest ‘Sarvotam’. It will be presided over by Mr Narinder Jit Singh, Secretary, Higher Education. 
In the afternoon Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, will be chief guest.

Mr Ahluwalia will inaugurate the new gate constructed by NRI Mr Kundan Singh Khera.

Later he will release the souvenir and college magazine and address college students. He will also honour eminent old students and inaugurate a photo exhibition. A new and festive look has been given to the college with the construction of the new gate and a new lawn, prepared by the Old Students




Archie to head Gurlz Club
Tribune News Service

Ms Archie Sehgal has been nominated as the president of the Jalandhar based JCI Jalandhar Gurlz Club for a period of one year.

Other members nominated as office bearers of the club included Priyanka Jain, secretary, Manjot Kaur, secretary, Shelly Jain, Editor of the club magazine, while Mona Chopra, Shelly Arora, Neetu Kapur, Simar Bindra and Veenu Kamboj have been nominated as vice- presidents.



Tom & Jerry to sell LG products
Tribune News Service

Popular cartoon characters Tom and Jerry would be the brand ambassadors of the LG Electronics under its ‘LG Toon Dhoom’ scheme aimed at reaping sales benefits in the forthcoming festive season.

Addressing a press conference here, Mr Naveen Banga, the Regional Manager, Greater Punjab, LG Electronics India Limited, said “The LG has earmarked a whopping Rs 100 crore for its marketing campaign coinciding with the festive season.”

Mr Vijay Lalhall, the Branch Manager, said, “LG has always been known for its unique marketing initiatives that have broken through the clutter and made a powerful impact on the minds of consumers. The LG Toon Dhoom also offers promises to customers to win exciting gifts with purchase of any product. The mega gift would be a Mercedez car,” said Mr. Lalhall.



Students come to Seema’s aid
Tribune News Service

Students of the Social Service Group of Business Club, Department of Commerce, Lyallpur Khalsa College, here donated Rs 8,500 for Seema, an acid attack victim.

The money was handed over to Dr J.S. Nagi, Additional Civil Surgeon by Mr Balbir Singh, former MP and president of the governing council, after a seminar on drug awareness on the campus.

The Tribune had highlighted Seema’s traumatic condition and poor financial state. Two youths had thrown acid on the 23-year-old causing 40 per cent burns on her face.



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