R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

Thousand dollar baby
Disha for special kids


: Pushpa Devi (36), a resident of the Model Town locality here reportedly ended her life by jumping before 335 Dn Sriganganagar-Bathinda passenger train on Friday on the death anniversary of her son, sources said. According to available information, the victim had been behaving in an abnormal way since the death of her son, Sunny, in Sriganganagar area in 2003. 

Tricycles given
: Rotary Club organised a function at Rotary Bhavan on the occasion of "Makar Sakranti". The club distributed 20 tri-cycles and artificial limbs among physically impaired. Besides this, 20 hearing aids were given to the needy persons. An NRI Dr S.S. Sandhu, and Mrs Vidya Wati Sharma, sponsored the aids.


Irrigation facility
: To provide better irrigation facilities to the farmers, Rs 23 crore is being spent to increase the water carrying capacity to water channels in this district. This was stated by the Transport and Public Health Minister, Mr Randeep Singh Surjewala, while addressing a public meeting at Farsh Mazra village, near here, on Saturday. He said construction and rehabilitation work of the Guhna Shergarh link channel and Deora minor was under progress.

ETO held
: The district police has arrested an Excise and Taxation Officer (ETO) allegedly while accepting a bribe of Rs 20,000. The ETO, Mr Birbal Sharma, was posted at Sirsa. The Sirsa SSP, Mr Vikas Arora, said here on Saturday that the ETO was caught red-handed by a police team Friday night.



Boy kidnapped
: According to information received here on Saturday evening, a 20-year-old boy, Ashok Kumar, has reportedly been kidnapped from his native village Bhantanwali on Thursday last. A complaint to this effect has been handed over to the local police. 

Killed: According to the Paonta Sahib police, a young man was crushed to death under a jeep near Chhati village in the Sataun area on Saturday. As per information received here, Anoop (18) was travelling in a jeep from the Satuan area and was on his way to Chhati. He reportedly fell from the running jeep.

JE promoted: Despite irregularities committed from the powerline by a junior engineer, the authorities have reportedly promoted him. Sources said the Executive Engineer of Paonta Sahib had forwarded the report of alleged theft on July 13, 2006. The accused Balkar Singh, has now been appointed Subdivisional officer (Transmission) at Paonta Sahib. 

: The Arki police on Saturday arrested Rakesh Kumar hailing from Mui village in Hamirpur district and driver of vehicle (HP-22-7228) for his involvement in stealing nine sleepers of timber from the land of Dilla Ram of Baroh village in Arki tehsil. 


Thousand dollar baby

US-based Neha Gupta brought gifts for the orphans of Bal Kunj, Yamunanagar, recently. She had raised $ 1000 for them in her hometown Pennsylvania
DOLLAR DONOR: US-based Neha Gupta (second from right) brought gifts for the orphans of Bal Kunj, Yamunanagar, recently. She had raised $ 1000 for them in her hometown Pennsylvania.

Ten-year-old Neha Gupta is like a little angel from across the seven seas for the orphans of Bal Kunj in Chhachhrouli, Yamunanagar. For, this young girl from Yardley, Pennsylvania, USA, came to the orphanage recently on a special mission, called ‘Make a Difference’, to help these children.

She raised nearly $1000 for these orphans by selling Indian wine charms in coloured ‘favour bags’ to her friends, teachers and neighbours in the US. She then used this money to buy blankets, quilts, books and stationery for the Bal Kunj orphans, and distributed these among them on her recent visit.

Encouraged by the support her mission has received, Neha has now pledged to raise more and more dollars for the orphans in India.

It was in December, 2005, that Neha, who was born in New Zealand and is now an American citizen, visited the Bal Kunj for the first time on her father’s birthday. She was so moved by the plight of these children that she vowed to do something to help them.

“The last visit to Bal Kunj was a turning point for her,” says her grandfather B.K Gupta, , who is a noted industrialist of Yamunanagar.

Upon returning to the USA, Neha announced to her parents: “I am going to raise money with which I can buy textbooks and warm clothing for the orphans.” Her parents were only too glad to hear this from their only child. So, Neha thought of an interesting way to raise funds.

With the help of her mother Amruta and father Vikas Gupta, she started making Indian wine charms (decorative toys in wine glasses) and selling them as ‘favour bags’. “Pricing was a tricky issue,” says Neha, a Grade V student at Edgewood Elementary School, Yardley. “In US stores, such wine charms in small bags are sold for $20, so I priced my favour bags at $ 5.

“Also, the bags sold there contain only two charms, so I put four charms each in my bags,” Neha elaborates on the economics of the venture.

Neha was even invited to speak about her mission at a church, where too she received help in raising funds for the cause.

Her father helped her in opening a bank account for the purpose. “The response was over-whelming. Even her friends organised separate sales and handed over the proceeds to Neha, helping her to raise over $1,000,” her mother says with pride.

It was the success of this mission that helped her come loaded with Christmas gifts for the Bal Kunj inmates this time.

The tiny tots certainly couldn’t have wished for a better Santa.

Disha for special kids

Members of the NGO, Disha, distributing material among special children at Fatehabad recently
Members of the NGO, Disha, distributing material among special children at Fatehabad recently.

An NGO run by social workers and philanthropists of Fatehabad, Disha, is rendering yeoman’s service for the rehabilitation of special children.

The organisation is running an institute for special children in the local Sunder Nagar area.

Disha secretary Surinder Bhatia informs that the organisation started its first institute for special children at Sirsa in July, 1998. The branch at Fatehabad was set up in July, 2005.

The institute is providing the facilities of speech therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy to these children. Special children are also given training in cultural and sports activities and behaviour modification, he says.

With the aim of making the children self-reliant, Disha is providing them with vocational training in candle making, chair caning, book binding, file cover making, cutting ,tailoring and embroidery, besides imparting training in money and time management as wellas personal hygiene and care.

Disha is also helping the government in its endeavour to ensure education for all.

Under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, the state government has allotted 50 centres to Disha in Fatehabad and Sirsa district for imparting education to school dropouts. Nearly 1700 students have benefited from these centres.

The organisation has also been working for the welfare of women. It has been conducting vocational courses on cutting, tailoring, dress making, hand and machine embroidery, soft toy making, beauty culture and typing to empower women in the area.

Disha has got accreditation from the National Institute of Open Schooling and nearly 400 women are getting vocational training in these centres.


Pavitar Singh of Ferozepore shows an alarm he claims to have devised to prevent overheating of automobile engines.
Pavitar Singh of Ferozepore shows an alarm he claims to have devised to prevent overheating of automobile engines.

The age-old saying, ‘Necessity is the mother of invention,’ really seems to hold true in the case of Pavitar Singh, a 17-year-old youth of Zira in Ferozepore district.

He has devised an instrument which blows an alarm and subsequently switches off any engine when its temperature goes beyond certain level.

Pavitar claims that when the engine of an automobile, be it a car or tractor, gets heated up to 93 degrees celsius, this instrument blows an alarm for 25 seconds. If even after that the engine is not stopped and the temperature goes up to 97 degrees celsius, the instrument blows another alarm for 30 seconds, after which the engine stops automatically.

He says the idea struck him when his generator had gone out of order because of excessive heating of the engine. It took him 30 days to develop the gadget, which he has successfully operated on his tractor.

Ironically, Pavitar has studied only up to senior secondary level and is currently pursuing a diploma course in computers.

— Anirudh Gupta


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