R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

Committed to culture
Cattle hassle
Train-ing for future


Project for disabled: A group of physically-challenged Kashmiri residents were received at Ambala Cantonment on Sunday. The group comprised of 62 persons, including 12 women and six children. The group, which comprises mostly of victims of militancy, cross border firing, earthquakes and mines, will be taken to Delhi by the Pritam Charitable Trust, where they will be fitted with  artificial limbs. This project is supported by  the Army.

Purse snatched: A scooter-borne youth snatched the purse of a lady here, on Saturday evening. According to information, the victim, Rakesh Rani, a  resident of Sector 9, Ambala City, was robbed on her way home. The purse contained Rs 2500 in cash and a mobile phone. The  police has registered  a case.


Committed to culture

Anoop Lathar
Anoop Lathar

He is a man with a mission. And, he has been fairly successful in realising his cherished dream — of getting Haryanavi culture recognition at the national level.

Meet Anoop Lathar, Director of Youth and Cultural Affairs at Kurukshetra University, who has been working towards popularising various folk art forms of the state for the past two decades.

In a recent issue of a reputed news magazine, India Today, Lathar found mention among the “20 Anoothe Nayak” for his outstanding contribution to his chosen field.

Thanks to his relentless efforts, the Haryana Day function organised under the aegis of Kurukshetra University has become a major attraction for talented artistes, especially the youth of the state. Lathar has also been organising literary workshops since 1991. He is also the face behind the youth festivals organised all over the state.

A gold medalist from the Department of Indian Theatre, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Lathar shot to fame with his performance in the Haryanavi movie “Chandrawal”. However, when he seemed all set to make it big in Bollywood, this art lover decided to stay on in his home state to do his bit for conserving its rich cultural heritage.

The most interesting facet of Lathar’s working is frequent experimentation. This fetish was first noticed at Tagore Theatre in Chandigarh during a novel presentation of the Haryanavi Orchestra, a brainchild of his.

Even today, he likes to experiment with various folk art forms. Haryanavi pop is his latest idea, while he is also conceptualising the Haryanavi ghazal.

Though he has not got much appreciation or encouragement from successive governments or literary organisations, the noted theatre artiste-cum-director-cum-choreographer continues to tread his chosen path with a missionary zeal.

Cattle hassle

Stray cattle has been posing a menace to the flora of the Ranser area in Himachal Pradesh
Seen and herd: Stray cattle has been posing a menace to the flora of the Ranser area in Himachal Pradesh. — Photo by the writer

To save the ecology of Ranser ‘island’ in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, the Department of Forests (Wildlife) has launched an exercise that will stretch over the next few months.

A herd of cattle has been roaming on the island for the past nearly two decades. Over the years, their number has obviously multiplied. The department has finally woken up to the menace being posed by them and decided to shift them to nearby ‘islands’.

Nestling in the foothills of the majestic snow-clad Dhauladhars, Ranser is one of the ‘islands’ located in the Pong Dam wetland.

Spreading over nearly 20 hectares during winter, Ranser is approachable from the Pong Dam as well as the Nagrota Suriyan side.

“The cattle are not only disturbing the local flora but they also sometimes attack tourists. So far, we have shifted 16 of the 63 head of cattle,” says S.K. Guleria, Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Hamirpur.

Dr R.S. Kishtwaria, a wildlife expert, has been assisting the department in administering tranquillisers to the animals.

They say that many years back, the water in the area had receded considerably and that was when these cows crossed over to Ranser from adjoining villages. Since then, they have made the island their home. Usually, in summer, the ‘island’ expands more than 150 hectares as the water level subsides.

The cattle has now been shifted to Karu. It is a big ‘island’ having woods and hilly slopes. During monsoon, the ‘island’ splits into smaller ones.

Two villages, Kuther and Bharala Bhutoli, are located on the island.

Train-ing for future

Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav has not only done his bit to change the future of Indian Railways, he may even have inspired the railway staff to acquire a futuristic outlook.

A case in point is the proposal to extend the Visakhapatnam-Nizammuddin train up to Amritsar, as mentioned in this year’s Railway Budget. A welcome development, indeed, for the people of Punjab.

It was thus not unusual for a senior colleague, who travelled by this train recently, to hear repeated announcements through the journey referring to it as the Visakhapatnam-Amritsar train.

The surprise came when the train made its final halt, not at Amritsar, but Nizammudin station in New Delhi.

May be, the railway staff on board were rehearsing for the future possibility.

————Contributed by Sunit Dhawan, Vishal Gulati and Chetna Keer Banerjee


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