R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Poetry, psephology and palsy
  • Tryst with the trees
  • Dam(n) good show


Rice millers’ protest: Reacting to the complaints of rice millers of the town regarding the alleged corrupt practices of certain officers of Punjab Agro Food Corporation Ltd. Of Patiala district, Kirpa Shankar Sarao, MD, has transferred District Manager, Patiala, Sandeep Talwar to Mohali. The rice millers on Saturday staged a dharna and blocked traffic on the Nabha-Malerkotla Road in protest against the issue.

Labourer buried under debris: Mangal Singh, alias Manga a labourer of the nearby village Sheikhchak was buried under debris in his village while doing construction work. A case under section 304B has been registered against the contractor, Gurmukh Singh alias Kala, of the same village.


Quiz organised: The Mani Majra unit of the Bharat Vikas Parishad organised a quiz “Bharat ko Jano” at Lohia International School here on Sunday. As many as nine teams participated in the junior and senior categories from private and government schools. Mr Geeta Tandon, president of the Chandigarh unit of the parishad, conducted the quiz and Mr Vinod Jaidka was the convener.

Expelled: The president of the Chandigarh Wine Merchants Association, Mr Sat Pal, in a press note said Mr S.P.S. Chhina, vice-president of the association, had been expelled from the post with immediate effect.

Book on VAT: A former Punjab Excise and Taxation Officer, Mr W.C. Vashisht , and a business consultant, Mr V. Vashisht, have authored a book on value-added tax (VAT). The book was recently released by the Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, Mr R.K. Rao. The book covers all aspects of VAT as applicable to Punjab and Chandigarh.

Office-bearers: Mr Yash Pal Singh Rawat has been elected president of the Haryana Government Employees Union, Sector 18, Chandigarh. Mr Surinder Mohan and Mr Vishal Chadha have been elected vice-president and general secretary, respectively. Mr Manohar Lal has been elected secretary, Mr Dharam Pal treasurer, Mr Hari Singh vice-treasurer, Mr Baldev Singh auditor, and Mr Shamsher Singh publicity secretary.


Body found
: The decomposed body of Rajbir, son of Ramchander, was found from a well outside Badli village on Friday. The youth went missing from his house five days ago. The family suspects that he was murdered and the police is investigating the case.

Office-bearers: The following have been elected office-bearers of the Kurukshetra University Non-Teaching Employees Association. President — Mr Karan Singh, senior vice-president — Mr Vir Bhan; vice-president — Mr Vishnu Nath; general secretary — Mr Ram Karan; joint secretary — Mr Suraj Bhan; press secretary — Mr Yash Pal Narang and treasurer — Mr Rameshwar Saini.


Regional potpourri

Poetry, psephology and palsy

Kuldeep Singh Dhaka of Hisar has not allowed his affliction to come in the way of his becoming computer savvy
Kuldeep Singh Dhaka of Hisar has not allowed his affliction to come in the way of his becoming computer savvy.

The first thing that strikes you on meeting Kuldeep Singh Dhaka of Hisar is his affliction—cerebral palsy, a crippling disorder. But gradually, his qualities of head and heart unfold and you wonder at how gifted this youth is.

For, this 27 year old is an accomplished poet and storywriter. A collection of his poems has been recently published under the title “Shabd, Main Aur Deewarein”. Quite a few of his writings have appeared in literary journals and reputed magazines. His knowledge of current events and understanding of national as well as global issues are also remarkable.

An avid reader and lover of classical music, he has a keen interest in foreign policy and psephology. His parents claim that Kuldeep predicts the results of the assembly as well as Lok Sabha elections with amazing accuracy.

Sensitive to the needs and difficulties of physically challenged persons, Kuldeep wishes to set up a special university for them. “But Neetu, how would you do that?” asks his mother. He just smiles in response. But his smile speaks of a deep faith— a faith that can move mountains.

That he is a person of firm resolve he has proved since childhood. As a child, Kuldeep was not able to go to school. However, when his younger sisters did their homework, he sat and observed them closely. It was thus that he learnt the alphabet and got his elementary education.

When he was older, his parents took him to a nearby school, from where he passed his Class IV exams. This opened the door for further studies and Kuldeep was admitted to school.

This child prodigy won scholarships on the basis of his marks in Classes V and VII. He got a first division in matric and went on to do his graduation. During this period, his parents had to struggle to get him a writer and extra time in exams. Their efforts and his hard work bore fruit when he obtained an MA in political science from Kurukshetra University.

Having worked as a computer operator, this despite the fact that he can move only one finger, Kuldeep now wants to get a decent job and get married. He is also inclined towards journalism.

“He has big dreams and believes in himself. His physical condition notwithstanding, he does not have any complexes and has a very good sense of humour...we are proud of him and thank the Almighty for giving us such a gifted son,” his mother says.

Tryst with the trees

Long after he retired from Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, as a Professor of Chemistry, Dr Kuldeep Singh Dhindsa, who is now settled at Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra district, visits the campus twice a month to water and nurture the 34 saplings he planted outside his official residence before he superannuated.

He had gifted these trees —each representing a year of his service—to the university. A winner of the coveted Indian National Science Academy award, bestowed on him by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Dr Dhindsa says he wants to set an example for the youth. “When they see me nurturing these saplings, they will learn the importance of preserving our environment. I also want them to realise that once you shoulder a responsibility, you have to take it to its logical conclusion. These saplings require care for at least five years and I plan to come here twice a month, for the next few years,” he says.

In keeping with Hindu mythology, he has planted the trio called ‘Triveni’ in religious terminology, comprising a banyan, peepul and neem tree. The remaining saplings are a mixture of fruit-bearing and shade-giving trees. He has also planted a few saplings of the teak plant that would be worth Rs 1 lakh each in 20 years.

These visits to the campus also help keep Dr Dhindsa in touch with fellow scientists.

Dam(n) good show

The museum in the canal rest house at Ropar depicts various irrigation projects of Punjab
The museum in the canal rest house at Ropar depicts various irrigation projects of Punjab. — Photo by the writer

A mini museum in the canal rest house at Ropar provides a peep into the hydel history of the state. It houses a number of photographs showing various projects, including the waterworks at Ropar, the Pong Dam, Ranjit Sagar Dam, the Sirhind Canal, Harikepattan, the Sohan Khud Bhakra Dam projects, and the like.

The corridors of the rest house depict rare photographs of the late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru along with a large number of dignitaries and officials during the opening ceremony of the Nangal hydroelectric plant of Bhakra canal.

The museum was inaugurated by the late Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh on October 2, 1993. A quotation of Henry Ford engraved on metal: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success,” welcomes visitors to the rest room.

Unfortunately, lack of publicity about the museum has drawn few tourists to it. Only visitors to the canal rest house get an opportunity to view the rare photographs there. Built in the pre-Independence period, the rest house has not got proper care and attention from the authorities over the years. Hence, of the four rooms, only two are now considered fit for use.

Contributed by Sunit Dhawan, Raman Mohan and Kiran Deep

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