L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PAU scientists told to develop hybrid varieties of fruits, veggies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 22
Punjab Director of Horticulture Kulbir Singh yesterday said the National Horticulture Mission marks the beginning of the "golden period" to promote cultivation of fruits, flowers, vegetables, aromatic and medicinal plants, expansion in area under these and help the farmers to diversify for economic benefits.

Under the mission , Punjab received Rs 28 crore in 2005-06 against the sanctioned sum of Rs 78 crore. Out of this sum of Rs 28 crore, PAU and other allied agencies and departments engaged in the propagation of horticulture have been allocated Rs 5.16 crore. For the current financial year the mission has provided Rs 59.70 crore.

Dr Kulbir Singh, who spoke on "targets, production and problems in growing of vegetable and fruits", was speaking at a two-day horticultural officers' workshop at PAU which was inaugurated by Vice Chancellor K.S. Aulakh.

In his presentation, Dr. Kulbir Singh set an agenda for the university scientists and stressed on the need for hybrid varieties of different vegetables, organic farming and cost-effective protective production technologies for high density cultivation of fruits and vegetables. "The university scientists must focus on drip irrigation, work on post-harvest handling of fruits and vegetables to avoid wastage and plasticulture".

The Director pointed out that the area under fruits is 52 lakh hectares with a production of 7.5 lakh tonnes; area under vegetables is 1.63 lakh hectares with the production of 28 lakh tonnes; flowers cover 1000 hectares out of which nearly half the area was for multiplication of seeds imported by private firms which have taken the services of farmers on contract and exported nearly 350 quintals of seeds. Even mushroom production is picking up. It is nearly 19,000 tonnes per year.

The major fruit of Punjab continues to be citrus of which kinnow is the 'king', which occupies 24,000 hectares of the total area under fruits. Dr. Kulbir Singh pointed out that PAU scientists must step up their research for better and wider germplasms collection, particularly for citrus and grapes and come up with good table and processing varieties for value addition to horticulture.

PAU must also focus on "weather forecasting". Likewise, there is need to improvise and innovate on machinery for use in fruits and vegetables. He appealed to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. K.S. Aulakh, that it is high time the field visits of PAU scientists got priority in its endeavours to obtain feedback from the farmers.

Vice Chancellor Aulakh in his inaugural address said rice and wheat production in the country almost equals that of fruits and vegetables and together the two are imperative not only to provide "food security" but also "nutritional security" to the nation. 



Parents worried about unsafe schools
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, December 22
Parents of about 1200 students from more than six villages of the area send their wards to Government Senior Secondary School here with prayers that they return safe and sound as they are forced to study under roofs of a building that was declared unsafe about three years ago.

Though the school authorities have been apprising the higher authorities of the gravity of the situation from time to time, nothing concrete was done to repair or reconstruct the building.

Observations at the school revealed that a large number of students had to study under the roofs of a building that had been considered unsafe for years. While two rooms out of 16 have virtually lost their existence, a few others have become roofless. Other rooms and verandah were still used to accommodate students of various classes.

Sources revealed that the building constructed about four decades ago had been considered unsafe by residents of the area for more than a decade.

Their demand to get the building repaired or reconstructed had fallen on deaf ears. "Even Mr Tota Singh,the then Education Minister during the SAD regime, after noticing the bad condition of the building during his visit on May 5, 2000, had declined the demand for reconstruction," said one the parents adding that he (Mr Tota Singh) had argued that only roofs should be repaired.

"You should not take classes in the rooms as Mr Tirlok Singh, a JE of our department, who has inspected the building of your school has reported that it is unsafe for use.

You will be responsible for any untoward incident that occurs during use of the rooms as classrooms," read a letter written by the SDO to the Principal on August 11, 2004.

Sources further revealed that the school had received a grant of Rs 5 lakh during the SAD government. It was used to construct a few rooms which were unable to accommodate all classes. The administrative wing was constructed with contributions form the Parent Teacher Association. The panchayat of the village is undertaking development of a part of new building now, but no grant has been received for reconstruction of dilapidated building. The parents have now urged the authorities to demolish the unsafe building and arrange proper building for their wards.

The Principal of the school, when contacted, declined to comment on the issue and maintained that he and his predecessors had been impressing upon the authorities concerned for the necessary action time and again.



PCCTU strike enters second day
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 22
The strike by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union entered its second day today.
All teachers of private-aided colleges of Ludhiana observed a stay-in-strike in protest against the non-implementation of the demand of pension and gratuity by the government. The teachers of these colleges suspended work and sat on dharna in their college campuses.

Dr Kuldip Singh, area secretary, Punjab University, and president of the local unit, while talking to this newsperson said that they would continue their strike till the time the govt relented. He added," the union has been forced to resort to such measures due to the shrewd policies of the government that never means what it says. Even after holding immunerable meetings with the teachers over the issue of grant of pension and gratuity to the private-aided colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh, the govt seems to be in no mood to relent."

Mr Kuldip Singh said due to strikes and dharnas spoiling the academic atmosphere of the colleges," we had decided to pursue our target by holding peaceful talks with the party leaders. This we have been doing for the past quite some time but to no avail. Even if a positive consent has ultimately arrived from the Chief Minister Singh and the Education Minister, the bureaucracy is providing misinformation and creating hurdles in our way of getting our demand of pension and gratuity fulfilled."

"There is no single reason why our demand should not be accepted and approved as the Chief Minister himself has announced the release of pension and gratuity at least 10 different occasions," he added.

"It is nothing but the dilly-dallying attitude of the govt that is responsible for non-compliance and forcing us to follow the agitational path," Dr Singh said.

Dr Kuldip Singh said that the call of 'indefinite' strike should be religiously followed by all the teachers of private aided colleges.

"Teachers should observe stay-in-strike and no activity of the college should be performed in any form," he said.



Seminar on dairy farming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The Directorate of Extension Education of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana,in collaboration with the American Soyabean Association and Godrej Agrovet Ltd organised a technical seminar on "Milk production vis-a vis feeding and health management" in the university auditorium.

Dr V.K Taneja, the newly appointed Vice-Chancellor, was the chief guest at the seminar.

Dr Taneja in his presidential remarks said the university was looking into the dairy farmers’ needs.He gave an open invitation to all related industrialists to participate in dairy and other live stock sectors for their growth and optimum output. He highlighted the wheat and rice straw burning problem in the state and stressed that the industries should come up with some processing enterprises for these so that low nutrient fodder could be made palatable. The processed fodder could be thus used in the states facing scarcity in fodder for live stock. He assured the dairy farmers of technical help from the university.

Dr O.S Parmar,Director, Extension Education, said that Punjab was rapidly progressing and growing in the dairy farming sector. In order to maintain the optimum growth criteria, there was need for flow of technical information from the university to the farmers.

The collaboration of private companies in this cause was the need of the hour.

The seminar was also attended by Dr R.S Bajwa technical member of the Board of Management, GADVASU, and Dr K.S Dangi, Director-General, Animal Husbandry, Government of Haryana.

Dr Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University, USA, delivered a talk on "Feeding Management of Dairy Cattle". He emphasised on the quality of feed ingredients to exploit the genetic potential of the animals to the optimum.

Dr P.K Sharma, Deputy General Manager of Godrej Agrovet Ltd, stressed upon the importance of balanced ration for dairy animal production.

Dr K.B Singh, former Director of Extension Education, GADVASU, also spoke on the mastitis problem in dairy animals and highlighted various control measures. He said that mastitis was a management problem and farmers could easily control it by adopting proper sanitation and disinfection practices.



Designer wear at PIFT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Students of the Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology showcased their designer collection in knitted and woven garments, which were crafted and ornamented according to the latest market trends of the Indian domestic market here yesterday at the PIFT campus.

In order to provide a suitable platform to 'would-be' designers, PIFT organised an exhibition in which the students of the institution displayed their collection of Knitted and woven garments. The students prepared these designer collections in men's wear, women’s wear and kidswear using different types of fabrics and ornamentation like screen printing, embroidery, leather fabrics and denim fabrics. The students from the 2nd year FD and KDT course had displayed their 'Men’ s collection' in knitted sweaters made on hand flat machines, leather jackets, corduroy fabric trousers, t-shirts with screen printing.

In the women's display, the students had crafted cardigans, tops, crochet tops, mufflers and accessories according to the least market trends. In the kidswear section, the garments included both knitted and woven fabrics within the age group 2-6 , which had been ornamented with screen printing, embroidery, patch work accompanied with the accessories. The budding designers Niruta, Deepali, Neelam, Abhijot, Sukhpreet, Bhartat, Saurav, Tejinder etc were some of the students who had put in their hard labour for this display.

The designer presentation was well appreciated by the designers, owners, production managers from various industries present during the day. Many of the hosiery entrepreneurs had offered jobs to students for their excellent talent in the field of designing. The management of PIFT had also showed the latest teaching methodology of its faculty with all the practical approach to the dignitaries present.



From Schools
Play on female foeticide steals the show 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 22
A paper reading contest was held at KVM city branch for the primary classes. Children participated with enthusiasam and spoke with confidence on various topics like 'Child labour a shame,' ‘Happiness stems from right action' etc. The function was presided by Mrs Namita Raj Singh, headmistress of the school .

Winners in English---Astha Ghai Ist, Laamia Fatus 2nd, Ishita 3rd, Isha- consolation.

Winners in Hindi---Nakul Aggarwal Ist, Climanshu Jain 2nd, Charu Jindal 3rd, Kritika -consolation.

NSS camp: In order to promote and imbibe the scientific attitude among youngsters, a one-day NSS camp was organised at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Katani Kalan, in association with the Tarksheel Society, Punjab. The camp was organised under the supervision of programme officer Kulpreet Singh. During the camp, the volunteers were made aware about the detrimental and ill-effects of superstitions to the individual as well as the society.While interacting with volunteers, Mr Dalbir Singh, an office bearer of Tarksheel Society, Punjab, called the practice of superstitions as a vicious evil.

Programme officer Kulpreet Singh condemned superstitions as irrational which fills men with unnecessary anxiety and fear that lead to reduction in the capability of people to perform certain tasks.

Principal Rajinder Singh thanked the society members for sharing facts with volunteers.

15th annual function: The 15th annual prize distribution function and cultural programme of pre-primary and primary section was organised in the school premises of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Ludhiana, here today.

Mr A S Rai, IPS, Ludhiana ,the chief guest of the day, was welcomed by Mr Rajesh Rudhra Chairman-cum-Director of the school, and other members of the managing committee. After the lamp lighting ceremony, the tiny-tots bewitched the audience with their superb dances, songs and skits. The highlight of the day was the Punjabi play on female foeticide, ' Kahani Aurat Dee' which was the theme of the function. It exposed the hollowness of the society and compelled the audience to ponder over this deadly social menace. As many as 700 students participated in this gala show.

As many as 60 students were awarded trophies by Chairman-cum-Director of the school, Mr Rajesh Rudhra, and the chief guest, Mr A S Rai (IPS), SSP, Ludhiana, for their outstanding performance in academics, sports and innumerable extra-curricular activities.

Mrs Baldeep Pandher, Principal of the school, presented the annual report and also apprised the parents of the future plans. 


Heavy snorers go to doc, it is serious
Kuldip Bhatia

Self-help for light snorer

  • Adopt a healthy and athletic lifestyle to develop good muscle tone and lose weight.
  • Avoid tranquilisers, sleeping pills and antihistamines before bedtime.
  • Avoid alcohol for at least four hours and heavy meals or snacks for three hours before retiring.
  • Establish regular sleeping patterns
  • Sleep on your side rather than back.
  • Tilt the head of your bed upwards four inches. 

Ludhiana, December 22
Fortyfive per cent of adults snore at least occasionally and 25 per cent habitually. Snoring is not a normal function of the body and is a sign of some degree of airway obstruction. The question which arises is at what point should the affected person seek medical advice.

According to Dr Akashdeep Singh, pulmonologist at the Christian Medical College and Hospital, everyone probably snores at some time due to nasal congestion, excess fatigue, central nervous system depressants, abnormal sleep positions, obesity or for other reasons. The problem of snoring is more frequent in males and overweight persons and it usually worsens with age.

During sleep the pharyngeal airway narrows in everyone due to reduction in dialator muscle tone. Snoring is simply vibratory noise generated from the pharynx and soft palate when this phenomenon goes beyond a certain point. Further narrowing produces not only louder snoring but also laboured inspiration. Further narrowing can cause complete obstruction, known as sleep apnea.

He said there comes a point where the increased inspiratory effort is sensed by the sleeping brain and a transient arousal is provoked. A few of these arousals do not matter but when the number goes up (sometimes in hundreds), then sleep is seriously fragmented with consequent daytime symptoms of excessive sleepiness. Snoring and sleep apnea are part of a spectrum extending from simple snoring with no sleep disturbance to obstructive sleep apnea with severe daytime symptoms and the physiological consequences of recurrent asphyxia.

Dr Akashdeep commented that a snorer usually becomes an object of ridicule and also irritates others. Snoring disturbs normal sleeping pattern, resulting in sleep disruptions, choking, esophageal reflux, nocturia and heavy sweating. When snoring is severe, it can cause serious, long-term health problems like high blood pressure, reduced flow of oxygen to the brain and can, at worst, lead to stroke, heart attack and even death.

Other complications of this condition include mood alteration, sexual dysfunction and morning headache. Not only this, daytime sleepiness, short-term memory loss, decreased job effectiveness and an increased incidence of motor vehicle accidents are direct effects of sleep disruption. In other words, this is not something one ought to ignore. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea is associated with increased mortality, so the condition deserves attention and appropriate treatment.

Heavy snorers, he advised, should seek medical advice. Snoring may respond to various surgical treatments like uvulopalatopharyngo-plasty, thermal ablation palatoplasty, genioglossus and hyoid advancement.

If the surgery seems too risky or unwanted, the patient may sleep every night with a nasal mask that delivers air pressure into the throat. This is called continuous positive airway pressure or "CPAP".



Do not ignore itching, it can be scabies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 22
If you or some member of your family is having itching of recent onset and itching is more intense at night, then most likely the condition is caused by scabies. The incidence of this problem is more common in the prevailing weather.

According to Dr Jastinder Gill,a Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist at SPS Apollo Hospitals here,the most common symptom of scabies is severe itching, which may be worse at night or after a hot bath.

A scabies infection begins as small, itchy bumps, blisters, or pus-filled bumps that break when you scratch them. Itchy skin may become thick, scaly, scabbed, and crisscrossed with scratch marks.

The areas of the body most commonly affected by scabies, Dr Gill says, are the hands and feet (especially the webs of skin between the fingers and toes), the inner part of the wrists, and the folds under the arms.

If a person with scabies scratches the itchy areas of skin, it increases the chance that the injured skin will also be infected by bacteria. Scabies is contagious, and is usually transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or through sexual contact with someone else who is infected with it.

She added that the infection spread more easily in crowded conditions.So, if someone in your child's class or childcare group had scabies, it's a good idea to have your child treated for the infection even before the symptoms developed. 



GTB Hospital opens dispensary at Dhandra
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 22
Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital today opened a rural dispensary at Dhandra village in this district to provide free medical care to the rural population.
Inaugurating the dispensary, Bakshi Mohinder Singh, chairman of the managing committee of the hospital, reiterated the commitment of the institution to provide latest and high-quality treatment to the poor and needy at their doorstep.

He said specialists from the hospital would be visiting the rural dispensary on a regular basis and the hospital would also hold medical camps in the rural areas of the district.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Ms Sarbjit Kaur, sarpanch, Mr Rajinder Singh, president, Maha Asthan, Dr R.S. Sodhi, Medical Superintendent, Ms G.K. Walia, Principal, nursing school, Dr Swarn Singh and Dr Navdeep Pal Singh.



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