L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Health Department cracks whip on quacks
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 22
In view of thousands of quacks thriving in the mega city, as also practitioners of other systems prescribing allopathic medicines in an unlawful manner, the Health Department has decided to come down heavily upon those playing with the lives of unsuspecting people.

The officials of the department recently conducted raids on a nursing home near the Jalandhar bypass here on the basis of specific complaints that a homeopathic doctor was running a nursing home and practicing allopathic system, for which he was not legally entitled. Not only this, the said doctor, possessing a homeopathic degree only, was also using the degree of MD after his name on his prescription slips.

According to the Civil Surgeon, Dr Yash Pal Singla, The drug enforcement staff had seized a number of allopathic medicines from the nursing home which were being prescribed and dispensed to the patients in violation of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, as well as the Punjab Medical Council Act.

The department had also lodged a complaint with the police against the said doctor for further necessary action under the relevant laws.

Dr Singla made it clear that the department was determined to curb the menace of quackery firmly and the unqualified or unregistered practitioners would not be allowed to carry on practice of medicine.

The supervisory medical and health staff had been given explicit directions to prepare lists of quacks in their respective areas and submit the same to their seniors for further action.

It would be worthwhile to mention that thousands of unqualified persons were running clinics, nursing homes and even clinical laboratories in every part of the city, offering treatment mostly in allopathic system, thereby posing a serious threat to health and well-being of the city population.

To make the matters worse, a majority of registered and qualified ayurvedic, unani and homeopathic practitioners were carrying out practice in modern system of medicine, with many of them even conducting minor surgical procedures without proper qualifications or legal authorisation.

In the absence of enforcement and regulatory measures, the quacks were till now having a field day and inflicting severe damage to human health to the extent that loss of human lives at their hands had become a regular feature on the city.



Ban on crackers flouted with impunity 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
The Supreme Court orders on bursting of fire crackers went up in the air as the city witnessed a Divali festival din throughout the night yesterday.
The residents continued to burst noisy crackers in violation of the apex court's direction.

Not only this but also a ban imposed by the District Magistrate three days ago also went into the oblivion. So did the pleas of environmentalists.

Air pollution touched an all-time high as the city was covered with a blanket of haze in the morning. High decibel and smoke-emanating crackers covered the city skyline well past midnight as thousands of heart and other patients unsuccessfully looked for a safe shelter away from noisy environs.

Despite the SC directions banning the use of fire crackers after 10 p.m. and those generating noise level exceeding 125db or 145 db, the residents flouted the directions with impunity. And despite warning by the District Magistrate, no violator was punished.

The night was totally a noisy affair. Although the Punjab Pollution Control Board is yet to calculate datas of concentration of various gases present in the air, the smoke in the air and poor visibility was an evidence enough to say that the environment was a casualty.

As many as 16 fire incidents were reported in the city. In many cases, the fire crackers were the cause of fire. A number of persons especially children received injuries due to fireworks.

Environmentalists said that every year residents paid price of the pollution caused due to Divali. Lowering of temperature during this season resulted in smog.

‘‘The level of pollutants would have been higher had it not rained two days ago. The rain cleared the skies that were covered with smoke and pollution due to burning of paddy straw. Otherwise, it would have been difficult to breathe. ’’ said Mr A.S. Manik, a resident.

As the smog is going to continue for some more days, doctors have advised the parents to take special care of young children and infants as they had smaller respiratory passages and were prone to suffer difficulty in breathing.

They warned that the smoke which had resulted in the formation of smog after getting mixed with mist was dangerous for the asthma patients. They advised the patients to cover their noses with a clean cloth before going out in the smog.



Police martyrs’ memorial gets new lease of life
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
A memorial of police martyrs in the historical Police Lines here has got a new lease of life with the police department renovating the structure and roping in a landscaper to beautify the place with designer plantation.

The martyrs' memorial, situated on the Hambran road, is set up in memory of those cops who had laid down their lives while fighting the Chinese army in 1962.

The memorial is also dedicated to remember the contribution of those police personnel and officers who had achieved martyrdom while fighting terrorists in the trouble-torn era of Punjab.

The structures, including the statues and a glass cabin showing the photographs of the martyrs, were built in 2001.

However, the memorial was almost set up in a way that the ground on which it was built was kept barren. Dust had gathered on the structures when sand flew around.

But thanks to SSP A.S. Rai and SP Amar Singh Chahal who started taking interest in the memorial. Landscaping had been planned with the guindance of well-known landscaper Rameshwar Dayal from New Delhi.

Besides, the Nishkam Seva Trust has also provided costly plants to the police which have been planted as per the design of the landscaper.

The iron grills and chains installed at the boundary of the memorial have been painted fresh and the red stone used as floor of the path leading to the main memorial has also been repolished.



Police martyrs remembered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
The surviving relatives of police martyrs, who achieved martyrdom while performing duty in various operations, have in one voice desired the building of their individual memorials in their native villages or colonies.

Though expressing satisfaction at the memorial built in the Police Lines here, wives, mothers, sisters and children of the police martyrs felt that the statues of those martyrs should be built as the memorials of the martyr soildiers was constructed everywhere. The kith and kin felt this could go a long way in projecting the matrydom of a cop, which was no less than soldiers.

Ms Maninder Kaur, wife of late ASI Jarnail Singh of Fatehgarh Sahib, said the dark day of October 7, 1992, when her husband achieved martyrdom fighting terrorists was fresh in her memory. “But it is only here that a memorial is built. I wish there was one such structure to remember him about in his village for the place where he passed away.”

The kith and kin also shared there problems with the DIG Prag Jain and SSP A.S. Rai. Most of the demands concentrated on speeding up procedural work of pensions and for seeking jobs for children. Shakuntla Devi of Mangli Theka urged the DIG to provide a job for her grandson in the department.

Earlier, the DIG led the department in remembering the contribution of the martyrs. He laid a wreath on the memorial and shared the significance of each martyrdom for the country.



5 killed in car-truck mishap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 22
Five persons of two related families from Mimsa and Muhamadgarh villages were killed and two hurt when their car collided with a speeding truck at Jagera village near here yesterday.

The deceased were identified as Surjan Singh Randhwa (62), a veterinary doctor of Mimsa village, his daughter Rajinder Kaur (38), son-in-law Ajaib Singh (41) of Muhamadgarh village, Paramvir Singh Honey, son of Ajaib Singh, and Meharban Singh Randhawa, son of Harminder Singh.

According to Balwant Singh Mimsa, SAD leader, residents had decided to suspend all celebrations on Divali as both families headed by Surjan Singh Randhawa and Ajaib Singh, a Punjab and Sind Bank official, were from the families of the area. "How can we think of illuminating our houses when the darkness has descended on the houses of our brothers ," said Mr Mimsa.

The gory accident occurred when the victims were returning from Ludhiana after presenting Divali gifts to a sister-in-law of their daughter Lovely, settled in Canada. Surjan Singh Randhawa, along with his grandchildren,went to his daughter's house at Dhuri on Friday.

Inconsolable members of the victims' family were seen shuttling between the accident site and a hospital where Mehak and Arshpreet had been admitted for preliminary treatment. Condition of Harminder Singh, who, besides losing his only son and father, had lost sister, brother-in-law and nephew, was even worse.

But the families showed gratitude to residents of Jagera village and passers-by who had rescued two. While Surjan Singh Randhawa, Ajaib Singh and Paramvir died in the car, Rajinder Kaur and Meharban were declared broughtdead. Mehak and Arshpreet were later shifted to a private hospital in Ludhiana.

Bodies of Surjan Singh Randhawa and Meharban Singh Randhawa were cremated at Mimsa today and other three deceased would be cremated at Dhuri tomorrow after the only survivor of the family Lovely reaches India. 



Migrant murdered
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 22
A migrant was murdered by a youth last night at a samadhi of a pir at Kotla Badla village.
According to information the deceased Ram Abad was a resident of Sampurna in Uttar Pradesh and had been residing at the samdhi for the past many years.

A village youth, Rakha Singh, often came to the samadhi but the migrant objected to his visit and often stopped the youth from coming there. Feeling insulted, Rakha Singh murdered the migrant with a sharp-edged weapon when he was sleeping. Another person Dass Singh of Maksudra who was performing at the samadhi informed the police and the Kheri Naudh Singh police registered a case under Section 302, IPC, against the suspect.



Ludhiana Calling

It is for about six years that people of Ludhiana have romanced with the idea of an "elevated road" between Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema. Originally, the idea was to ease the traffic on the congested roads passing in front of Ludhiana Railway Station and Clock Tower and bypass. The project was supposed to be completed within two years. However, more than two years, after the conceptualisation of the project, were elapsed to convince traders of Chaura Bazar and the surrounding areas that the elevated road was not going to hit their business. This was followed by the official bottlenecks and routine delays. And, when the project was completed, it had to wait the inauguration for several months. Ultimately, it is being said the road will be thrown open for the traffic by the Chief Minister on October 25. As Galib had said, "tere vaade pay jiye, to aiy jaan joot jaana, ki khushi say marr na jaatay, aggar aitbar hota..."

Media nuisance

Recently, the megacity was rocked with the so-called CD scandal by a self-proclaimed investigative photo journalist. In fact, as it later turned out to be, there was no such CD claimed to be containing some objectionable pictures of some leading people of the city. The photographer, who was not at all a journalist, reportedly tried to blackmail some people and also extorted money from them. Incidentally, this photographer had managed his entry into the Press enclosure during the Prime Minister's recent visit to Ludhiana. Obviously, he knew that he did not represent any media organisation, but he managed to ensure his presence there so that he was recognised as a journalist. While he may have gone too far in blackmailing, but there are several others who also make it a point to be present on such occasions irrespective of the fact whether they represent any organisation or not. Of late, the number of such journalists has swollen too much. And such journalists always remain at the forefront in asking question, rather making statements of their own opinion. Officials of the public relations department are expressing helplessness in tackling this problem lest such people should create some nuisance. Only the members of the media can regulate it on their own. Self-regulation is needed.

Divali exodus

Diwali is not just the festival of lights. It happens to be the festival of festivals. It is celebrated in most parts of the country. And people prefer to celebrate the festival among their own and closest family members. No wonder, people try to ensure that they reach home on this festival even if they have to cross the seas and mountains. So was it in Ludhiana when hordes of people from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and some other states moved out in overcrowding trains. This also resulted in some areas which are dominated by the migrant population wearing a deserted look. For a while these areas, like Sherpur Chowk, wore a different look making people realise how important and integral the migrants have become to the Ludhiana life.

— Sentinel



SC verdict on quota hailed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 22
The Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) and the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) have welcomed the ruling of the Supreme Court that the creamy layer among the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes must not be allowed the benefits of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

In a joint statement here today,the national president of INBEC,Mr K.R. Tripathi,and Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor and Mr Shiv K. Gupta, president and general secretary,respectively, of the state unit of INTUC have said the apex court had rightly directed that benefits of reservation should be extended to the deserving sections among the SCs, STs and OBCs so that they could improve their standard of living and earning capacity through free education and getting jobs from out of quota.

The trade union leaders, while demanding that the SC directions be given effect in letter and in spirit, further asked the Union Government to do away with the reservation in the promotion channels in all government departments, banks, the insurance sector and other financial institutions in view of the fact that those eligible for reservation had already derived such benefits at the time of school and college education and recruitment.

They pointed out that the benefit of reservation should be solely meant for educationally or economically backward sections only for the purpose of education and recruitment. "Once the eligible persons are given employment under the reservation quota, they are no longer backwards since they get the same salaries and perks as compared to their counterparts from higher castes."

The INBEC and INTUC leaders demanded that as far as promotions were concerned, these should be given on the basis of performance and merit alone so that only the deserving persons got promoted and not those who wanted to continue enjoying the fruits of reservation on the basis of their caste.



Bairagi Mandal flays Venod Khanna
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 22
The All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal has condemned the removal of a memorial stone from a park named after Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in Gurdaspur by BJP MP Vinod Khanna, terming it as an act of disrespect against the saint warrior.

In a statement here today, mandal president Krishan Kumar Bawa maintained that martyrs were the common asset of a nation and these could not be divided on religious, communal or political considerations.

Alleging that Vinod Khanna had belittled himself by stooping so low as to remove the stone of Baba Banda Bahadur, installed in the park, he said the matter would be brought to the notice of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for appropriate action.

Mr Bawa remarked that Baba Banda Singh Bahadur had significant association with Gurdaspur district as he had fought an extended battle from Nangal Garhi in this district. It was from this place that Banda Bahadur was arrested and taken to Delhi where he was butchered by Moghul ruler.

He recalled that Baba Banda Singh Bahadur had not only avenged the killing of two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, but also established the first Sikh empire and appointed a Dalit sikh as ''subedar'' of Sirhind state. 



Elevated road to be opened on Oct 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
At long last, the much- awaited elevated road between the Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema will be opened to traffic on October 25 by the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh. The Local Bodies Minister, Chaudhary Jagjit Singh, who presided over a high-level meeting of officials, announced it here today.

The meeting was attended among others by the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, Mr Ashok Gupta, the Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, Mr Vikas Pratap, Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill and others.

He said currently, this was the most congested and the busiest road in front of the Ludhiana Railway Station and the historic Clock Tower. Chaudhary Jagjit said the elevated road would soon be connected with the Civil Lines area to ease the rush on the bridge. He said the construction of the road connecting the Civil Lines with the elevated road would soon be resumed.



Seminar on foeticide

Doraha, October 22
The Social Security and Women and Child Development Department, Punjab, organised a seminar on 'Female foeticide and sex ratio' at the subdivision level at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, today.

Three blocks of Doraha, Khanna and Dehlon initiated the seminar in which Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, MLA and former Transport Minister, who was the chief guest released a poster related to the topic and stressed upon the equality of two sexes in his address to the sociology students and members of the youth club of the college. He appreciated the dedicated efforts of the management of the college as regards the education of rural women was concerned and the resultant economic freedom that was followed by a bound degree and a decent exposure to society.

Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, SDM, Payal, who presided over the seminar expressed deep concern over the falling sex ratio in Punjab that shall ultimately lead to acute shortage of females as compared to the number of males.

He said that it was a matter concern.He too stressed upon the education of female folk that alone could lead to their emancipation and their ultimate empowerment.

Mr Gursharanjit Singh,general secretary,Punjab State Apex Body of NGOs, said the cases of female foeticide were on the increase in Punjab as there was a major mismatch between our laws and their practical enforcement. "More than thirtytwo laws," he said,"have been passed which related to woman's empowerment and rights but due to their non-application in the truest sense, the matters are worsening to an irrereparable extent and the day is not far when this male-dominated society will become male-inhabited with girls visible only to an invisible extent.'

Mr Kulbhooshan Rai, retired medical officer, too pleaded in favour of womenfolk who must be accorded their due and suitable place in the man's world. "The girls basically need to be provided a befitting educational background and a sound knowledge about the present scenario so that they may rightly fight for their rights having been adequately awakened through similar seminars, discussions, street shows and full-length plays," he added.

Master Tarlochan Singh, a renowned dramatist and eminent social worker, stressed for a social change which could be brought about only through the power of pen. He called upon the writers to write and awaken the society as regards this sensitive issue and enable in bringing a sea change in the psychology of the distorted society. Narinder Kaur presented a poem on the subject.A skit was especially presented by anganwari workers. 'Nion Jarh,' a play focusing on the atrocities faced by the mother of a female child and the ultimate termination of the latter in the mother's womb was realistically presented .

Prof B.S Pangali,general secretary, college management committee, Mr J.S Gill, Director,Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, Principal, Mr Harpal Singh, CDPO, Doraha, Mrs Harwinder Kaur, CDPO, Dehlon, Mrs Sunita Rani, CDPO, Khanna, Mr Sukhdev Singh, general secretary, Congress Committee(Rural), Bibi Harjinder Kaur Kotli, Mr Sarabjit Singh Harbanspura, Mr Sadhu Singh, Chairman, Block Samiti, Dehlon,and Master Satinderpal Singh, were among those who attended the seminar. The prominent personalities were also honoured. — OC



City girl becomes brand ambassador for Infosys

Ramneek Kukreja
Ramneek Kukreja

Ludhiana, October 22
Ramneek Kukreja,a BBA (III) student of Khalsa College for Women here, has been selected as the brand ambassador for Infosys.
She is one of the only two candidates selected to represent Punjab.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune,Ramneek said she had to undergo one week's tough training program at the Infosys campus in Bangalore and Mysore."It was not an easy job to get selected for the prestigious title in a reputed company like Infosys. I made a presentation in which I had put-in lot of efforts to highlight the myths and facts about the BPO industry. BPO is more than a call centre. It involves knowledge services (industry analysis), economy analysis, human resource outsourcing, recruitment, workforce, finance and accounting etc", she said.

A similar presentation was made by Ramneek at her college recently which included the induction process and information about the expertise required for a BPO job.

Her current plan involves promoting the BPO industry and the company's profile and job prospects through presentations, chat shows, interactive sessions at various city colleges.

She further added: "I am required to send a detailed report of my assignments to the Head Office, an assessment of which would decide whether the company is confident of recruiting students from smaller cities like Ludhiana or not".

Meanwhile, the Principal of the college, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, said that students like Ramneek were role models for others. "Her achievement needs appreciation. I wish her good luck and success", she said. — OC



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