My City
Save Virsa Bhawan
Neeta Mohindra

I love my city mainly because it has a vibrant cultural life. The credit for this goes to its residents who made it possible all by themselves and without the government support.

We have Sr Thakur Singh’s Indian Academy of Fine Arts. Balraj Sahni, Balraj Pundit and Sr Gursharan Singh performed here. These theatre greats used lone theatre near Hall Gate and open -air- theatre in Gandhi Ground. Now, we have Naat Shalla, which also has an art gallery and centrally located. Naat Shalla is special for more reason than one. One- it is a sheer pleasure performing there with the latest equipment and such cooperative staff, secondly it is a pleasure watching a play in Naat Shalla because -the play starts dot on time and you as audience are well looked after (by proper air conditioning, clean washrooms, hot cup of tea in the break and courteous staff). Thirdly, this is owned and run by one person, who bears the expenditure of running regular shows of plays. The donations collected cannot even meet the electricity and generator expenses. Still, Mr Jatinder Brar, owner of Naat Shalla is going strong. Hats off to such citizens of my city.

Another wonderful auditorium was constructed by our Corporation Guru Nanak Auditorium.

The beginning was good. Later, its rent was increased to such extent that it became practically impossible to stage plays there. Educational institutions started having annual functions there.

Now it has become a marriage palace. Thanks to the lack of maintenance, now, this auditorium's light and sound is not in working condition. In metros big corporate houses are coming out boldly to support art activities, like Mahendra group last year started first ever Theater Awards. But in my city beautiful, there is still none.

The Open -Air- Theatre was saved from demolition by the then Deputy Commissioner, Mr Narinder Singh, who promised to the protesting artistes that the place would always be used for art activities.

About the same time, Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, then M P, visited the city on the invitation of the Indian Academy of Fine Arts. He chose the site for building a Virsa Bhawan. For this project he donated one and a half crore from the MP LAD scheme. The foundation stone was laid by Mr I.K.Gujral, then Prime Minister and Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the then Chief Minister. Bhawan was built. After the inauguration by Chief Minister Capt Amrinder Singh, the building was locked. Now the administration is planning to house Passport Office in this premises.

Will citizens of Amritsar let it happen ?Won’t they save Virsa Bhawan from the clutches of bureaucracy.



Artistes protest
Tribune News Service

Theatre is the lifeline of artistes and if it is taken away from them it would make them lifeless”, said Jatinder Kaur eminent theater personality of the city.

Jathinder was commenting on the recent decision of the district administration for housing Passport office at Virsa Bhawan in the Gandhi Ground here.

Theatre personalities of the city had held a protest rally against the decision. Harbhajan Singh Jabbal and Kewal Dhaliwal submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner.

It is pertinent to mention here that earlier the passport authorities had earlier visited the city for earmarking the site for setting up the Passport office about two months ago and the Improvement Trust had allotted 16 shops in the Nehru Shopping Complex on the posh Lawrence Road for this purpose.

Mr Dhaliwal said that the building had been constructed for the artistes. He said the authorities had assured them that a theatre would also be constructed at the site but nothing has been done so far.

He said Rs 2 crore had been given by the then Rajya Sabha member, Mr Kartar Singh Duggal, for the building. Mr Brij Bedi, Chairman, Citizens Forum, flayed the decision of the administration.



City girl to participate in Yoga World Cup
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Gurpreet Kaur
Gurpreet Kaur

Gurpreet Kaur, a plus two student of Police DAV Public School, Amritsar, has been selected to participate in the 16th Yoga World Cup to be held in Denmark in May 2007.

Gurpreet is the only girl from Punjab among the 20 students selected to represent India.

Talking to The Tribune, she said she was selected for the third time for the competition. Earlier she could not participate in the world cup held in Spain and Italy in the 2004 and 2005, respectively, due to visa problems. The time she was hopeful of getting visa for participating in the world cup.

She said she won gold in the Yoga World Cup - 2006 which concluded in New Delhi on December 15. She said she was selected for her performance in the still yoga category.

She said she had to practice daily for about two hours and practiced yoga while watching Baba Ramdev performing on Aastha Channel. She said her friend Sakshi was instrumental in motivating her for joining the yoga classes about six years ago.

She was thankful to the Principal of the school, Ms Promila Kamal, and her yoga teacher, Ms Sonia Sharma, who helped her by instilling confidence in her for performing better in the competition.

She was also appreciative of her parents, especially her father, Mr Sukhbir Singh, who is employed as head constable with the Punjab Police, for allowing her to participate in the yoga world camps.

Commending the achievements of Gurpreet, Ms Sonia Sharma said she was quick in learning difficult “asanas”. Gurpreet also took part in various cultural activities of the school. 



Improve facilities at Amritsar airport
Tribune News Service

The airport in Amritsar would also be developed on the pattern of Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, a former president of the Amritsar Vikas Manch, told The Tribune that he had urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to examine the physical conditions and infrastructure of the Amritsar airport during his visit to the holy city.

“The airport lacks international standards, despite operating as an international airport for quite a long time. The Centre should immediately sanction Rs 1,000 to meet international standards,” he said.

Dr Gumtala said the Chief Minister wanted to build another international airport in the state but he never talked about providing more facilities at the Amritsar airport. He said efforts should be to fully develop this airport as per the international standards first before running for another one.

He said the airport should be equipped with category III instrument landing system that allows compatible aircraft and trained pilots to land even when the runway visibility is up to 50 metres. 



Weekly Roundup
Medals presented

Inspector Tarlok Singh Mangat, posted as law instructor in Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, has received two gold medals and one silver medal in the competitions of scientific investigation, photography of scene of crime and finger printing, respectively, held recently. Mr R.S. Gill, DGP-cum-Director Police Academy, presented the medals. The inspector will now participate in the All India Police Meet being held in January 2007 at Chennai.

DBA meeting

A meeting of the general house of the District Bar Association was conducted by Mr R.K. Bhalla, president, to discuss the agenda regarding the implementation of group insurance scheme for its members. The house approved the proposal of the executive committee and then gave permission to executive committee to start group insurance scheme for the benefit of its members. The premium amount would be shared by the Bar association and the insured member, said Mr Mandeep Singh Sachdev, secretary.

Football trials

The Punjab Women’s Football Association will hold selection trials for the probables of Senior Punjab Women Football Coaching Camp. Mr Surinder Bhambri, honorary secretary, said that the team will participate in the Senior National Women Football Championship to be held in Orissa in January.

The selection trials of 30 probables for the coaching camps would be held at the football ground of HMV College on December 23 at 11 am. All players will be provided free boarding and medical facilities, Mr Bhambri said. 



Visit to roots
Tribune News Service

Ms Gita Patel, great grand daughter of late Sunder Singh, popularly known as Chaudhary, a resident of the Sultanwind area, is looking for her roots in the holy city .She has set up Trapezia, an investment group, in the United Kingdom to help women entrepreneurs.

Chaudhary had migrated to Kenya in 19th century. the had fulfilled the lifelong dream of her 80-year-old father, Mr Trilok Singh Panesar. She said that she was able to identify her ancestral house in Sunder Gali near Sultanwind Gate as she heard about the location of the house from her grandparents.

“It was a humbling experience to visit the roots. Welcome accorded by the residents of the Sultanwind Gate overwhelming”, she said.

She has come here along with her parents and in-laws.

Her firm is unique in the UK as it target women focused businesses, which were one of the most significantly under represented groups in the UK.

She said that their research showed that this segment to be fast growing, unexploited, under researched, inefficient and underserved and needed an opportunity to grow by supporting them with financial help.



Four-year-old bags best sportsperson award
P K Jaiswar

Four-year-old Mayank Sood bagged the "Best Sportsperson of the Year" title of Delhi Public School (DPS). Excelling in Roller-skating, the tiny champ, bagged top honours in state championships this year. He was honored with a grand trophy at the Prize distribution function on the 4th Annual Sports Meet of the school, held on Tuesday.

Three junior karate players who won laurels for the school at the national level tournament held in Delhi in May this year included Inderneel Singh (silver medal), Bikramjit Singh and Samrathbir Singh (both bronze medalists), were honored with special prizes by the school in recognition of their commendable performances in the national arena.

A colorful gatka show demonstrated students skill in manipulating the multi-faceted wheel besides sticks, swords, knives and ancient war-weapons such as bhala and dhals to display split second precision in the ancient art. The yoga display followed with the intricate 'asaans' performed by tiny tots of class 3rd and 4th showcasing the amazing flexibility in this ancient technique that synchronized breathing with the use of muscles modeled on ancient modes.

The highlight of the function was the acrobatic skating expertly led by youngest champion Mayank, with one-legged and couple performances. However, the special feature that saw students deftly passing under a 'rod set-on fire drew thunderous applause from the audience. 



Dream seller and maker
Tribune News Service

Rajinder Kumar
Rajinder Kumar

Fascination for Dlip Kumar acting and Mukesh pulled Rajinder Kumar to Bollywood . After a few years of struggle he has been able to carve a niche for himself in the film and modeling business.

Rajinder, who is also LIC agent, said his father late Brij Lal had hoped that one day his son would make it in films. But he died before the release of films --‘Anokhe Amar Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Ji”; “Bijli Chori”, “Dhamaka Ishq Da” and “Bhrune Hatya” .He has also shown his talent by acting in the remix of the songs of ‘Hind di Chadar’.

Rajinder said that he was satisfied with his achievement and has decided to help the mentally and physically challenged children by donating 25 per cent of income from acting and modeling.



Workshop on women
Tribune News Service

Society without active and honest role of women can’t progress. Scholars participating in a six-day UGC sponsored workshop on “Capacity Building for Women Managers in Higher Education” were unanimous about the view. They felt more needed to be done to utilize their potential.

Mrs Usha R. Sharma, Special Secretary, Science, Technology, Environment and Non-Conventional Energy, inaugurated the workshop. She said women were to discharge the domestic and professional responsibilities.



Annual day
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran: The annual prize distribution function of Baba Gurmukh Singh Uttam Singh Secondary School, Khadoor Sahib, was organized on the school premises.

Mr. Sukh Dhaliwal, MP, from Canada was the chief guest while Mr. H.S. Phoolka senior advocate of the Supreme Court presided over the function.

The function was organized under the guidance the Baba Sewa Singh, the head Kar Sewa, Khadoor Sahib. Reading the annual report, the Principal made special mention of Baba Sewa Singh.



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