Farmers keen to breed fish
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

The famous Amritsari fish is not from Amritsar. It comes from other states of the country. It is only the unique method of preparing that makes the fish imported from other states Amritsari.

The fish traders of Amritsar import about 3500 kg to 4000 kg fish daily. It is sold in the whole sale fish market that caters to the city and its surrounding areas. The fish traders of Amritsar import fresh water fish from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and Andhra Pradesh. The sea fish is imported from Maharashtra. However, the sea fish is available only in winters. It comes through trucks and train.

The major varieties of that imported to Amritsar are Sangara, Mali and Sal. Pangas or commonly known as Pyasi ,a cheap boneless fresh water fish is imported from the fish farms of Andhra Pradesh.

The fish trading is a profitable business here. The boneless varieties like Sal and Mali are sold at rates ranging from Rs 150 to Rs 180 per kg.

Mr Gurjeet Singh ,a fish trader ,told that the demand of fish in the city has been growing since last 15 years. He told that fish mandi at Amritsar was set in 1964. The place at which the fish mandi has been set up was earlier a banana market. The business was not good initially. However, on doctors advise more and more people are taking to fish instead of chicken.

The doctors are advising that fish was healthier than chicken. He also told that the local supply of fish was negligible. Earlier some fishermen used to catch fish from the Harikae Pattan area and rivers in the district. After Harikae Pattan was declared international wetland area, the fishing has been banned there.

The fish in the rivers of the area has also stopped coming. The commercial fishing in the rivers of Punjab has dropped as the fish population has gone down due to pollution and indiscriminate poaching in breeding season.

The popularity of fish as delicacy can be gauged from the fact that Ashok Kumar running a prepared fish vend at Sirhandi Gate takes about 100 kg fish from us daily, Mr Gurjeet Singh said.

The fact that there is hardly any local production of fish in Amritsar speaks about ability of the Department of Fisheries to motivate the farmers to take to fish farming. The fish farming is profitable venture owing to the increase in demand in the local market. The influx of migratory labour in the state has also increased the fish demand.

However, despite that very few farmers in the state have ventured into fish farming. About 90 per cent of fish demand in the state is met by import from other states. A few farmers who have diversified into fish farming owing to their own efforts have reported incomes up to Rs 1 lakh per acre. Mr Sukhdeep Bajwa ,a fish farmer,said that there was enough scope for motivating farmers to fish farming. It besides increasing the income of the farmers would also help in sustaining declining water table.

The farmers, however, blame the Department of Fisheries for de-motivating farmers trying to take up fish farming. The farmers following the traditional cropping pattern of wheat and paddy are being given free power. However, farmers who try to diversify to fish farming are forced to pay commercial charges for tubewell connection.

Moreover, there was no tax on income generated from traditional crops. However, fish farmers have to pay tax at par with the industry. The hassles of paying taxes and power charges for tubewells desists the farmers from diversifying to fish farming.

The government should give incentives similar to traditional agriculture to fish farmers to increase the production. It would help farmers increase their income and the government can also achieve diversification targets. Besides, if the local production improves the Amritsari fish can be honestly said to be ‘Amritsari.



My City
All out eating

Amritsaris are known for their gastronomy. They value friendship and enjoy celebrating festivals; Lohri, Basant, Baisakhi, Dushera, Diwali and Gurpurbs whole heartedly. They relish eating to their fill. They enjoy and serve to their near and dear ones a variety of delicious and nutritious delicacies.

Amritsari ‘Kulcha’s’ and ‘Papar-Waria’ are famous all over .The city is perhaps the best place on earth to experience the culinary expertise of Punjabis. The city has a variety of restaurants, which cater to the palate and pocket of every food lover.

Among these ‘Kesar da Dhaba’ and ‘Bharawan da Dhaba’ are wellknown . Pure ‘Desi Ghee’ cuisine is main essence of both these dhabas. ‘Lachaedar pranthas’ of Kesar’s and vegetarian ‘Thalis’ of the Brother’s are much-relished dishes of Amritsaris. One can smell and see ‘ghee’ on the top of bowls. These dishes can tickle anybody’s taste buds. The other two places, which deserve mention, are ‘Preetam da Dhabha’ and ‘Kundan Dhabha’.

Other dish popular in the city is ‘lassi’ of ‘Gyan Halwai’. Opened in 1937, the shop is famous for serving sweetened butter mixed ‘lassi’ . Now run by Mohinderpal singh, son of Gyan Halwai, the shop is popular among senior citizens of the city, who cannot shun their carving for fat rich delicious drink.

When we talk of the tea stalls in the city the Niranjan Tea Stall deserves special mention. Located in front of Khalsa College, the shop has been there since 1952. The ex-students never miss an opportunity to have a hot cup of tea served by Nanzhi Chahwala.

If we take daily consumption of common salt as the criteria for considering popularity of a food shop, it is interesting to know that about 2kg of salt is consumed everyday to prepare various dishes at Nanzhi’s. “Those were the days when hostel mess at Khalsa College did not serve breakfast, and hostlers used to have puris before leaving for classes” ,reminsces Niranjan Singh, who took charge of the shop in 1965, after owner Chet Singh’s death.

The youngesters are more inclined towards fastfood and coffee joints, which have mushroomedall over the city . The most hot and happening place for the young lads and gals in the city is Nescafe coffee Shop at Lawrence Road. They can be seen discussing every thing from class to cinema, from study to love stories, here all day.

Pizza lovers can have fun at Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and My kind of Place. The latter is famous for serving pizzas in Indian style and flavor. Despite the pizza shops, Brijwasi Chat Bhandar is famous among the city women, where they can have spicy Tikkis, chat papri, and gol gappe, while exchanging their saas-bahu gossip.



Tree triveni is life
Mahavir Singh

It is a common practice that old trees like bohr and pipal are axed for financial gains and development. This is creating an irreparable imbalance of our ecology and we are not aware of the fact that these trees take years to grow.

The Forest Department and the Forest Division, Amritsar, have risen to occasion to protect and preserve such trees. The department is undertaking a census of pipal, bohr and neem. After the census the department will make sure that in future that no such trees will be felled .

In addition, the department will start an awareness programme to make the masses aware about the scientific and religious significance of the trees.

The department has prepared posters which will be pasted on trees in public and religious places. One such board will be displayed at Gurdwara Khadoor Sahib which has a bohr tree of the Guru Angad Dev period.

Some posters will be pasted on trees where Bhagat Puran Singh, the founder of the Pingalwara Mission, used to sit or visit. The department is launching a campaign for the plantation of Triveni (pipal, bohr and neem).

It must not be forgotten that such majestic trees are important in this world of pollution and depleting natural resources like oxygen which is the basis of life.



Training panches
P.K. Jaiswar

To strengthen the Panchyati Raj system, a two-day training workshop of elected representatives was held at the BDPO office in the Rani Ka Bagh area, Amritsar, recently.

Sponsored by the State Institute of Rural Development and the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Chandigarh, the objectives of the programme was to acquaint the participants with schemes and programmes launched by the government for the welfare of women and children, orient them about social issues like infanticide, child marriage, dowry and domestic violence, and to sensitise them about existing legislative measures.

More than 50 sarpanchs and panchs of various villages in the Verka block participated.

Highlighting the role of Panchyati Raj institutions (PRIs), Dr Kesar Singh and Ms Rupinder Kaur Sandhu of CRRID said as government had decided to give more powers to PRIs, it was necessary to educate the elected representatives about their powers.

Ms Sandhu briefed the participants about the role of PRIs, working of panchayat, duties of panchayat, generation of funds, functions and functionaries under the Panchayati Raj and also given replies to various queries of participants.

In the training, she gave information about various projects of the Health and Family Welfare and Industries and Commerce Departments and cooperative societies being run by the state and Central governments.

Speaking on the occasion, DDPO Baljit Singh Sidhu said till December 30, nearly 800 elected representatives of panchayats would be educated.




The use of art has been extensively researched and applied world wide for its power to positively affect cortical arousal, cognition, psychosocial states, emotions, social skills, communication, physical and language rehabilitation, besides stress and anxiety relief and strengthening of immune system. The therapeutic powers of work are all too well known. Music is prescribed for the depressed. Painting and clay modelling are considered good for the hyperactive. Dance often drives away inertia and drama can well turn into psychodrama with the tormented releasing bottled up emotions. This, of course, is not to say that all art is of the sick, by the sick, for the sick as the non-artistic would like to have it. But art can come to the aid of sickness and be used as effective therapy.

Revealing lines

Psychologist Kishwar Ahmed Shirali has been getting people who come for counselling to make drawings, which help her in diagnosis. Kishwar says: “The lines drawn by a person can be very revealing because these are done spontaneously without too much of premeditation. More often than not I work with women and I make them draw a woman.” In the process, the person reveals various kinds of emotions, including fears and desires. Kishwar has worked thus with native Indian women in the US, women in the terror-ruled Kashmir, sex-workers in Kathmandu and has always learnt a lot from the images.

Formal training

The World Centre for Creative Learning (WCCL) Foundation in Pune is devoted to the cause WCCL creates ARTS-BASED THERAPY (ABT) projects in various institutions with special needs groups, and trains individuals to practise Arts-Based Therapy. In last years, WCCL has created and implemented eight projects in de-addiction centres, with adults with intellectual disabilities, autism, cancer patients and so on. A sustained long-term and affordable training to make ABT projects in institutions was not available in India. It is extremely expensive to travel and learn it in the West. With this in mind, the ABT certification Course was started – the first batch (2005-2006) was a great beginning. Now the Course for 2006-2007 is announced. Some features of ABT Certification Course 2007:

Modular workshop-based and practical (projects and assignments) learning spread over nine months:

  • For professionals and institutions in care-giving, support, medical and mental health settings
  • For non-artists to use an eclectic vocabulary of art forms to reach out therapeutically to clients and groups
  • Short and long term supervision support, affordable and subsidised fees

For prospectus and detailed information about the Course starting January 2007, contact: World Centre for Creative Learning Foundation, A/4, Hill View residency, New Baner, Pune 411045. Maharashtra. India. Call: (020) 25899533 / 27290866

Cross-border images

Akram Varraich, a painter and poet based in Lahore, keeps contact with his friends in this side of Punjab by constantly sending landscapes from the other side. And here one realises the power of art. So soothing are they to the eye and the soul. In this case tasvir se jee bahal jaata hai! — Nirupama Dutt



Towards Sufi Samvad
Tribune News Service

Sufi Samvad Sanstha, which aims to spread the message of Sufis, in their ecstatic writings, was set up in June, this year.

The Presidnet of the Sanstha, Mr Harkanwal Korpal ,said that the motivating force for establishing the Sanstha was Maa gurbaksh Kaur,the first woman Sufi Saint of Punjab who is active in India and abroad. She was baptised in 1975 by a famous saint of the Chisti order Baba Madho Shad of Adampur (Punjab). In 1986, she founded the Dera Chishtian (Gaddi Baba Sheikh Farid ji) in Chak Vendal, tehsil Nakodar in Jalandhar district and exhorted people to shun intoxicants.

Mr Korpal, an illustrious Punjabi journalist who exposed the violation fo human rights during the days of militancy , said the Sanstha would propagate Sufi messages.



Book release tomorrow
Tribune News Service

The Punjabi book “Kharian-Kharian” written by Balwinder Singh Fatehpuri will be released on December 17. He is the Principal of SBS Senior Secondary School, Fatehpur Rajputan.

The Book, a collection of 39 satirical essays, covers almost every aspect of modern Indian society.

“I have tried to expose the rampant evils of society which are destroying our age-old cultural and ethical values,” said Fatehpuri.

A happily married man and father of two, he advises his readers to remain single through the one of his essays in the book. He believes that the institution of marriage is against the laws of nature.

In a witty tone, he emphasises that animals are the better creatures than human beings.

Fatehpuri tried to unmask the faces of imposters, politicians, fake religious mentors and greedy teachers.



Leaking water tank

“Water is precious, save it”. This slogan seems to have no relevance for Northern Railways.

A tank installed at the railway station, Tarn Taran, has been leaking for the past 10 years.

The station authorities have written many a time to the Assistant Engineer, Northern Railways, Amritsar, in this regard but to no avail. The tank is supplying water to residential quarters and the station.

Mr Mohinder Singh Prince, president, Citizen Council, has demanded its repair to save the precious water going down the drain.



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