L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Two scan centres sealed for flouting rules
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 16
In the course of ongoing drive against violations of PNDT Act, the health authorities carried out inspection of four ultrasound scan centres in the city. Two out of these were ordered to be sealed for violations of different provisions of the Act and failure to maintain proper records.

Dr Yash Pal Singla, Civil Surgeon, told the Ludhiana Tribune here today that Dr Ravi Aggarwal Scan Centre, near Old Lakkar Pul in Civil Lines, and Puri Nursing Home in Model Town Extension were sealed for violation of provisions laid down in the PNDT Act, 1994.

He made it clear that the authorities would scrupulously enforce the law against sex determination tests and those flouting the provisions would be dealt with an iron hand.

Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of the District Advisory Committee under the PNDT Act, the District Family Welfare Officer, Dr Reena Sandhu, said two new scan centres of Dr Manju Singla in Durgapuri, Haibowal Kalan and Maa Vaishnu Devi Charitable Hospital, near New Grain Market, were granted registration.

With this the number of total registered ultrasound scan centres in the district had gone up to 232.

She said the appropriate authority under the PNDT Act had carried out inspection of several scan centres in Tagore Nagar, Udham Singh Nagar and Sarabha Nagar to make sure that proper records of ultrasound scan were maintained and display boards, as provided in the Act, were put up.

Out of three scan centres, earlier sealed by the authorities, City Nursing Home had made a representation for reopening after complying with the statutory requirements, Dr Sandhu added.



School brings hope for children of convicted women
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
When five-year-old Karan sang ‘‘Johny Johny, yes papa. ...telling lies? no, papa’’ at the first-ever school opened in the Women Jail here today, he took a giant leap away from his life, in which he was born to a convict mother and had been forced by cruel fate to be incarcerated up to the age of six without committing any crime.

Karan was one of the 27 children who had been spending their childhood behind the high walls of the jail, cut off from the world, undergoing security checks and drills many times a day, and potentially learning crime tricks too.

But thanks to a four-month-old Supreme Court order, they would be spending most of their day outside the high walls, learning basics of different languages in free air. The Women Jail here is the first one where the orders have been implemented. Other jails in the state have small wings for women undertrials, but all convicts are kept here.

The school could not have been started without the help of the Lions Club International, Distt 321-F and the Punjab Police Apex Committee for NGO Projects. The state Prisons Department carved out space for the creche and nursery rooms from the employees hostel situated outside the fortified jail.

The DIG, Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, holding the additional charge of the three jails here, inaugurated the school in the presence of office-bearers of the Lions Club. Speaking on the occasion, he said it was a pity that the children of convicted women were forced to spend the main years of their childhood in the jail because of the fault of their father or mother.

Deputy Superintendent of the Women Jail, Ms Snehjot, revealed of the 27 children, most aged less than three.

She said under the rules, children can be kept in jail up to the age of five with one added year allowed at the discretion of the Jail Superintendent.

He said the children's concern had been voiced far and wide, resulting in the Supreme Court order and eventually the implementation by the state Prison Department.

The Lion Club members gave school dress, bags, books, stationery to the children, besides furniture to the school.



Bagga rebels, to contest from Ludhiana North
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 16
Before the Congress could formally announce its candidate from any of the constituencies in the city, a party councillor from ward no 4, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, has already announced his candidature from the Ludhiana North.

He said he had applied for the party nomination from the Ludhiana North Assembly segment, represented by Mr Rakesh Pandey. Whether party nominates me or not, I am going to contest in any case," he declared.

Mr Bagga was flanked by several councillors from the same constituency. They included Dr Jai Prakash, Mr Satnam Ahuja, Mr Rajesh alias Kala Jain and Mr Satpal Beri.

Two councillors from the Ludhiana West, Mr Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu and the secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Om Prakash Malhotra, also announced their support for his candidature from the Ludhiana North.

However, Mr Malhotra clarified he supported Mr Bagga's candidature only as a party candidate. In case he was not nominated by the party, he could not support him and he would stand by the official party candidate only.

Mr Bagga and his fellow councillors alleged that Mr Pandey had failed to meet the expectations of the people of the area. "Despite being elected to the Assembly consecutively for several terms, he practically did nothing", they claimed, while adding, it was the wish of the people of the area to field Mr Bagga from here for the Assembly.

Mr Bagga is a Congress councillor from Ward 4 in the Ludhiana North assembly segment. He alongwith Dr Jai Prakash, Mr Ashu and Mr Sandhu had joined the Congress. He had made his plans of contesting from the Ludhiana North public much ahead of the Assembly elections. He was reportedly negotiating with the Bharatiya Janata Party also for the party nomination.

With his chances of getting the party (Congress) nomination very slim and the BJP already having announced its candidate from the Ludhiana North, Mr Bagga was left with little option. Hence, he announced his candidature as an independent candidate ahead of the formal announcement of the candidates by the Congress. Mr Pandey is likely to get the ticket from Ludhiana North once again. Son of a veteran Congress leader, Mr Joginder Pandey, who was assassinated by the militants during terrorism in Punjab, Mr Rakesh Pandey has been consecutively elected thrice from this constituency.



'Sex ratio improving in Punjab'
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The declining sex ratio in Punjab has improved to 789:1000 in the last one year.

The State Commission For Women is working towards improving the ratio further. Voluntary organisations and NGOs have extended their help to the Commission to curb female foeticide.

These views were expressed by Ms Parminder Kaur, Chairman, State Commission for Women, who came as chief guest to honour 'great women' at the Government College for Women here today. She said a year ago, the situation was different in Punjab. There was no awareness at the village level. But with the help of doctors, health officials and social organisations, masses have been educated to welcome the girl child.

She admitted that the PNDT Act, being very old, had to be reformed. Perhaps that could be the reason that the Act remained on paper till now.

The Chairman further added that the Domestic Violence Act, introduced recently, was being misused by certain women in the state. She said the Commission had received complaints regarding its gross misuse. "Women should understand that the Act had been in force to protect their rights. They must not start taking its undue advantage," she stressed.

On the issue of 33 per cent Women Reservation Bill, Ms Parminder Kaur said, "The girl child has been given equal rights, she should be given 33 per cent reservation too. We are looking forward for its early implementation," she said.



Bairagi Maha Mandal reconstituted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
The newly elected state president of the Bairagi Maha Mandal and secretary-general, Mr Ravinder Nandi, has nominated new office-bearers of the state unit as well as district presidents with the approval of Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, national president of the body.

Releasing the list of new office- bearers here today, Mr Nandi informed that the new state unit had some new faces and those activists who had made significant contribution to promoting interests of the Bairagi community.

The state body will have Mr Jiwan Das (Mansa), Mr Vikramjit Singh (Rauni), Mr Nasib Bawa (Moga) and Mr Ashwani Bawa (Ludhiana) as general secretaries, Dr Rajinder Pal Singh Bairagi as chief patron, whereas the patrons will include Mahant Uttam Das (Hathan), Mahant Gian Das (Maksudra), Mahant Bishan Das (Ludhiana), Mahant Niranjan Das (Zira), Mahant Suraj Mani (Phillaur), Mahant Kumbh Das (Kularan), Mahant Lal Das (Handiyaya), Bawa Ram Lal (Jalandhar), Mahant Harbhajan Das (Barnala), Mr Kartar Bawa (Ludhiana) Mr Mohinder Das Bawa (Mullanpur) and Mahant Durga Das (Sujanpur).

Among other office-bearers of the state unit are: vice-president - Mr Rajinder Kumar Bawa (Jayantipur); secretaries - Mr Ram Sharan Mansoorvi, Mr Charanjit Bawa (Alipur), Mahant Bhoj Raj Pharwahi, Mr Mohan Das Bawa (Patiala), Mr Om Parkash Sumra, Mr Narinder Bawa (Jalandhar), Mr Chaman Lal Bawa (Amritsar), Mr Megh Raj Nagri and Mr Ashwani Bawa (Samana); propaganda secretaries - Mr Surjit Singh Manki, Dr Ranjit Singh Khalchian, Mr Hardial Singh Longowal. organising secretaries - Ms Gurnam Das Sehna, Mr Bawa Das (Lehragaga), Mr Balwinder Bawa, Captain Jagar Singh, Mahant Ram Ji das, Mr Hari Dev Bawa, Mr Amarjit Bawa, Mr Onkar Das Bawa, Mr Jagdish Das Bawa (Patiala), Mahant Raja Ram Changli and Mr Kuldip Bawa (Ludhiana). district presidents - Dr Krishan Baldev Rangian (Sangrur), Mr Harbhajan Das Bawa (Patiala Urban), Mr Nand Singh Bawa (Patiala Rural), Mr Kewal Singh Atla (Mansa), Mr Kewal Das Bangi (Bathinda), Mahant Chet Ram (Muktsar), Mahant Devinder Das (Faridkot), Mr Tarlochan Das Bawa (Ludhiana Rural), Mr Gulshan Bawa (Ludhiana Urban), Mr Harbans Lal Bawa (Jalandhar Urban), Mr Baldev Bawa (Jalandhar Rural), Mr Ravinder Bawa (Hoshiarpur), Dr Jagpal Bawa (Fatehgarh Sahib), Mr Sukhwinder Bawa (Amritsar Rural), Mr Pawan Das Bawa (Ferozepur), Mr Ashok Bawa (Nawan Shahr), Mr Paramjit Bawa (Taran Taran), Ms Bharti Bawa (Kapurthala), Mr Tara Singh Bawa (Mohali), Mr Tora Das Dhanaula (Barnala), Mr Buta Singh Bairagi (Moga), Mr Kuldip Bawa (Ropar).



MC sleeping on water bills for five years!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
A number of residents of Beantpura, located on Chandigarh Road here, have not received their water and sewerage bills ever despite having paid the connection fee to the Municipal Corporation years ago.

They say that they are sick of making rounds to MC offices as whenever they go they are told that their area would be included in the computerised list of water consumers. But everytime nothing happens.

Producing a copy of the receipt through which they had paid the connection charges, the residents said they had been waiting for the bills since 2002 but they have not received any bill till date.

‘‘We do not know what are they waiting for? They will charge huge bills after adding the balance to it one day. And we would be over burdened. We would be left to pay for the MC's lackadaisical attitude, ’’ said a resident preferring anonymity.

He added that he had shown the receipt of connection charges to the officials a number of times but nobody cares. ‘‘All they have to do is to include our names into the billing list. I do not know what are they waiting for?’’ he asked.



MC develops footpath of unequal width
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The Municipal Corporation here is developing a footpath having unequal widths at different places on the Gaushala road allegedly to allow some influential shopkeepers to encroach upon the space.

While the road is yet to be recarpeted, the work of laying tiles on the footpath has already started. What is disturbing the residents is the fact that the space being used for developing the footpath varies from 3 to 7 feet.

According to residents of the area, the councillor of the area, was trying to facilitate the use of road space for some shopkeepers. They claimed that the road was already full of encroachments as the shopkeepers were keeping their goods on the sides. Some of them were even subletting the space to some kiosk owners, who disrupted smooth flow of traffic on the road.

‘‘Work on carpeting of a road always starts first. It is after that the footpaths are developed. But in our case, the footpaths are getting priority. Anybody can guess what the entire practice is aimed at,’’ said Mr Tajinder Singh, a resident.

He added that at several places the width of the footpath was only three feet and at others it was as wide as six or seven feet.

“The road is already narrow and extension of the footpath would squeeze it all the more,’’ said another resident.

The residents demanded that the senior officials should intervene in the matter and get the issue resolved. The work on the road started two months ago.

However, the area councillor, Ms Shubh Lata Malhotra, was not available for comments.



Propagating vegetarianism his mission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
India, which has a history of vegetarianism, can play a key role in transforming the relationship between humans and animals. In spite of the fact that practices like breeding animals for consumption are on the rise here, chances that people, including the medical fraternity, respond positively to doing away with “malpractices” are high, feels Dr Jonathan Balcombe, an animal behaviour research scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington DC.

“For the past over 25 years, I have taken it as a mission to sensitise people of the basic right to life of animals and it is with a hope to moving ahead in that direction that I decided to visit India,” he said while talking to Ludhiana Tribune.

His book “Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and Nature of Feeling Good” is an expression of the feelings this vegan carries towards animals.

Dr Balcombe, on his month-long visit to the country, plans to visit various associations and medical institutes to talk about issues concerning animals.

“Pharma industry can play a significant role in saving animals, over 100 million of which are killed in the US alone for testing, experiments et al. The grounds given for using animals for testing are unconvincing and the fact is that it can be completely done away with. But we also need government policies supporting the same,” he said.

Terming non-vegetarianism as more of a habit than necessity, Dr Balcombe said over 56 billion vertebrates could be saved annually if people opted for vegetarianism.

“A large number of animals are bred only for consumption. Sensitising people towards this issue would go a long way in making earth a better place to live. Vegetarianism is a healthy, non-cruel way of life, which also adds years to ones living,” he said, adding “the idea is not to interfere with nature. Improving our relationship with animals would make things good for us”.



Cong govt failed on all fronts: Badungar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
“The defeat of the Congress is visible from the rebellious conditions prevailing in the party over the allotment of tickets, which had been delayed, where as Shiromani Akali Dal has already declared its candidates,” said professor Kirpal Singh Badungar, former SGPC chief and in charge SAD election campaign committee. Mr Badungar was talking to mediapersons after addressing meetings at six villages of Amloh (reserved) constituency.

Lashing out at the Congress government, Mr Badungar said it had failed on all fronts, the spiraling prices had made common man’s life miserable and unemployment and corruption were sufficient grounds to wipe it out from the state. Sensing its defeat, the Congress could not take the decision on its candidates to match the SAD-BJP combine candidates, whereas the SAD succeeded to bring the rebels in line, he added.



Now munch on ayurvedic snacks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Sarda Group, a Rs 100-crore company, engaged in manufacturing of ayurvedic snacks, launched its products here today.

"Market for ayurvedic snacks in the country is estimated at over Rs 2,000 crore and is growing annually by 40 per cent. Increasing health consciousness would further contribute to its growth," said Mr Sandeep Sinha, Chief Operating Officer of the company.

Among the products that were launched today are Yogi Vitamla, Yogi Kanthika, Yogi Vita Imli and Yogi Kanth Cool. "The products are good for health and high in nutritional value."

Mr Sinha said the company has invested over Rs 15 crore towards research and development.

"Since it is a small-scale industry that has been catering to demand in this segment, research and development is an important aspect. By adopting latest technology it is our endeavor to provide quality products."

The company is also exporting to USA and Canada.



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