R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Returns of the native

  • A champ, all the way

  • Egg-cellent!


Career camp
: Chandigarh-based Aryans Educational and Charitable Trust (AECT) organised a career counselling camp at Nepran village, near here, on Sunday. Over 350 students from nearby villages participated in the camp, which was inaugurated by Manmohan Garg, CEO, Swami Vivekanand Institute of Engineering and Technology (SVIET). Prof S.C.Gupta, an education expert, provided the counselling. Garg said due to ignorance about the spectrum of courses available and the job opportunities in areas of specialisation students ended up taking up the course that their parents decide for them. This led to their under-performance in the courses and ultimately landing up in a job that was not compatible to their aptitude, he added. Professor Gupta said systematic career planning from the school-level was necessary for effective utilisation of the new trends in the employment arena. Now, every student and parent realised the value of career counselling, he added.

Perks demanded
: The Punjab market committee employees union has urged Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal to restore the uniform and conveyance allowances with immediate effect. These allowances were discontinued by Capt Amarinder-led government in 2002.

Placement drive
: Sonia Khanna, director, Catalyst Consultants, along with her team visited Guru Gobind Singh College of Modern technology, Kharar, and conducted campus interviews for final-semester students of all branches of engineering and final-year students of MBA. She delivered the pre-placement talk and briefed the students about the job opportunities open to them with various established brand companies such as Johnson and Johnson, Sony-Ericsson, Tata Sky, IBM-Daksh and Dell. Out of 50 students 30 were shortlisted for the final interview. Chairman Surinderpal Singh Sachdeva, Baljit Kaur and principal Dr Gurdip Singh congratulated the selected students for bringing laurels to the college.

Students protest
: Activists of the Sikh Students Federation (Grewal) burnt the effigy of the Central Government to protest against changing the CBI team probing into allegations of murder and sexual exploitation of women by the Dera Sacha Sauda (Sirsa) at the Chandigarh chowk on Sunday. District president Param Singh Khalsa said the CBI had almost completed its inquiry and changing the team at this juncture indicates a major political conspiracy.

40-yr-old beaten to death
: Ram Murti (40) of Basti Baba Khel in Jalandhar district was reportedly beaten to death by some unidentified assailants near Bahani village under Sadar police station of Phagwara today. The police recovered the body of the deceased lying near the fields of the village, besides some bricks stained with blood and one scooter (PB-018-4337). The police has registered a case.

Poppy seized: The Phagwara police has arrested four persons and seized eight sacks of poppy husk weighing 3.20 quintals from a tractor-trailer near Nangal Majha village today. Additional SHO Paramsunil Singh Randhawa said the arrested persons were identified as Jarnail of Nangal Saheeda village, Satwinder Singh and Harjit Singh of Ranipur village and Daljit Singh of Barna village, while one of their accomplices escaped. A case has been registered.


celebrated: The Kashmiri Sahayak Sabha, Chandigarh (regd), today celebrated Navreh (New Year) function on its premises in Sector 24. A large number of Kashmiri families residing in and around Chandigarh participated in the function. A cultural programme and competitions in songs, dance, poetry recitation, drawing and in races were organised and the winners were given prizes. Also seven young achievers of the community in different fields were given awards. A book "Mera Kashmir" by Dr Phoola Chandra was released. The book depicts the age-old customs, long-standing usages and rituals of Kashmiri pandits. Singers Sunita Bhan, Anju Zutshi, Gigoo and Dilbar Bharat enthralled the audience with Kashmiri songs. The programme was followed by lunch.

Officer-bearers: Following have been elected officer-bearers of the DAV College Teachers’ Union, Chandigarh: president - Prof Anil Sarwal; vice-president - Prof Arun Aggarwal; secretary - R.K. Anand; joint secretary - Prof Satish Gandhi; finance secretary - Prof S.P. Puri and auditor - Dr A.L. Singla. Executive members are Prof Rajesh Sharma, Prof R.K. Dogra, Prof Jagdish Chander Mehta, Prof Harinder Kaur, Dr L.L. Dhawan, Prof Anu Jain and Prof Kiran Huda. The district delegates are Prof Pradeep Kumar, Prof Ghanshyam Dev, Prof S.P.S. Sandhu, Prof Amitabh Dwivedi, and Prof V.K. Gupta. Prof Anil Sarwal and R.K. Anand said their agenda would be to get the long-pending demands of the union for encashment of earned leave, provident fund on total salary, appointment of Bursar in the college, and pension for the teachers fulfilled. The teachers urged the vice-chancellor to prevail upon the principals and managements to follow the statutes of the Panjab University calendar with regard to these issues. The teachers’ union would also fight for financial transparency in the college.

Telephone directory: The telephone directory of Double Three Residents Welfare Association, Sector 33, was released by Pawan Kumar Bansal, union minister of state for finance here today. The mayor, senior deputy mayor and many councillors of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation and a large number of residents were present on the occasion. Pawan Kumar Bansal announced the release of Rs 4 lakh from the MPLAD fund for the development of two mini markets at Sector 33. He further assured his help for the betterment of society and the residents of the sector.


Regional potpourri

Returns of the native

A view of the Bilga General Hospital in Jalandhar district
A view of the Bilga General Hospital in Jalandhar district. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

NRIs from Punjab are known for their philanthropic activities, particularly in the Doaba region.

The Bilga General Hospital in Bilga village of Jalandhar district is one such example of NRIs joining hands and collecting funds for providing medical care at the doorstep of every family in their native land.

Today, the residents of nearly 40 villages in the area are enjoying the benefits of the 50-bedded multi-specialty hospital that completed two years April 1.

It was constructed on six acres donated by Kartar Singh, a local philanthropist.

Kulbir Singh, a UK-based NRI, says initially it was difficult to convince the Punjabis settled in the UK to make donations.

After the land was donated, the Bilga General Hospital Charitable Trust, was set up. During the monthly meetings and door-to-door campaigns, the NRIs were motivated to donate for the cause.

Once the process gained momentum, the NRIs almost vied with one another to donate generously. Till date, Rs 17 crore have been donated.

Kulbir Singh says his father, Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, also played an important role in motivating the NRIs in various countries. Baba Bilga is one the surviving members of the Ghadar Party. Incidentally, he turned 101 on April 2.

The president of the trust, Dr Jagjit Sanghera (UK), has donated £ 1.20 lakh.

At present, the hospital has six permanent and five visiting doctors. It has a 24-hour emergency. Consultation is provided free of cost and medicines are given at subsidised rates.

On its foundation day, a free dental check-up camp was organised in which 400 patients were examined. For the camp, Rajinder Kaur of UK had donated Rs 2 lakh.

Kulbir Singh says the trust is also planning to open a college for girls in the village.

A champ, all the way

Peeyush Gakhar
Peeyush Gakhar

Among the alumni honoured at Maharshi Dayanand University’s convocation recently was a multi-faceted young man who has brought laurels to his alma mater with numerous academic and sports achievements. The achiever is Peeyush Gakhar.

He was awarded a gold medal for bagging the top spot in the LL.M examination last year. The medal was presented by none other than Lord Swraj Paul. Peeyush joined the Haryana Civil Service (Judicial) last year and is now posted as a Civil Judge-cum-Judicial Magistrate at Bhiwani.

He did his LL. B from MDU in 2004 with a first division. In addition to academics, this young man has excelled in the sports too. He is the state table tennis champion and represented Haryana in three national championships. His love for the sport began in school. He captained the MDU team for a record seven years in a row.

But this is not the only game he dabbles in. Even as the captain of the MDU table tennis squad, he led the university’s squash team in inter-university meets twice.

He was a member of the varsity’s lawn tennis team too in inter-university championships. The versatile sportsman that he is, Peeyush has represented Haryana in badminton too.

“Sports and studies complement each other. Sports taught me that one has to work hard to get better. I applied this lesson to studies as well and, with my parents blessings and God’s grace, I excelled in both,” he adds.

Contributed by Vishal Gulati and Raman Mohan


Ranjit Singh Sidhu
Ranjit Singh Sidhu

He is a farmer withan egg-cellent track record.

The son of a British Army officer who fought both World Wars and earned the OBI (Order of British India) and title of Sardar Bahadur, Ranjit Singh Sidhu was once advised by his father to work like a labourer and enjoy like a king.

Malerkotla-based Ranjit Singh has followed this advice to the tee. After graduation, he started farming on his ancestral land. For this, he underwent young farmers’ training at Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. It is the result of his labour that from 500 birds in 1981, the poultry population on his farm has now gone up to 3.75 lakh.

He has been producing 85 million eggs annually. He has carried out an innovation by successfully running a gobar gas plant on the excreta of poultry birds. He also runs a beekeeping unit and small dairy unit, which makes him an integrated farmer. 
Farmers from different places often visit his farm to learn about the latest poultry farming practices.

He has earned many honours over the years. In 2000, he was awarded the Innovative Farmer’s Award by Punjab Agriculture University and the Udyog Rattan award by the IES, Delhi.

This year, he has been awarded the Mukhmantri Puraskar by the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University, Ludhiana.

Last year, after the bird flu scare, he suffered huge losses and has now diversified into organic farming on a small scale. — Vikrant Jindal


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