L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Need to save groundwater: Kalkat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Punjab farmers are marching towards “hydrological suicide” en masse. Warning the farmers against the indiscriminate use of groundwater during a technical session of the alumni meet of the College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, here today, G.S. Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, said measures needed to be taken on the war footing to save the groundwater.

He was speaking on “Current status of Punjab agriculture: Challenges and opportunities.”

Kalkat was of the view that continuing with the paddy production while remaining unmindful of the precarious natural resource scenario would cause a serious water crisis in the near future.

He said transplanting paddy prior to recommended dates in mid-June also resulted in overexploitation due to evapo-transpiration during that time. It also needed much more electric power during May and early June for lifting water for irrigation during that desiccating period, he remarked.

Underlining the need for future economic security of the state, Kalkat suggested two-pronged strategy for the government - ensuring remunerative prices for alternative crops and adoption of legal measures to stop paddy transplantation before mid-June.

In the matter of declining farmers’ income, he advocated simultaneous multi-pronged action on many fronts like reducing the farmers’ fixed costs, improving institutional credit delivery system, regulating the non-institutional ones, creating non-farm employment for rural populace and improving their education.

Punjab needed big investment in the marketing system and modern infrastructure in an innovative way rather than just “more of the same,” felt Dr Kalkat.



GADVASU gets laurels from International Atomic Energy Agency 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 10
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana has been recognised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations, as a “Centre of Excellence” in Asia for training on animal nutrition and reproduction to scientists, from other developed countries.

About 25 scientists from 13 Asian and African countries have already been trained under certain IAEA sponsored programmes. Ye Tin Win, assistant director, Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department, Myanmar, visited GADVASU under a Regional Development Programme sponsored by the IAEA.

Win had all appreciation for the teaching, research and extension programmes of GADVASU on his subject.

During his two-month stay with the Department of Animal Reproduction, Gynaecology and Obstetrics of College of Veterinary Sciences, Win learnt several techniques to enhance fertility in animals and visited progressive dairy farms of Punjab state and appreciated developments in this field.

The GADVASU has become a favorite centre of Learning for fellows from Myanmar. Apart from three IAEA sponsored fellows, a group of five top ranking officials of the Department of Livestock Production, Myanmar, had recently visited GADVASU, to study its programmes on Livestock Development. Win said Myanmar was a potential market for several kinds of medicines, equipments and germplasm of high yielding animals of Indian origin.

V. K. Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, awarded the certificate to Win and expressed hope for an extended role of GADVASU in livestock development in Myanmar. 



From Schools
Inter-house contests held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 10
In a rare showcase of talent, M G M Public School organised an inter-house flower decoration competition for the senior wing and a solo-song competition for the middle classes here today.

The solo-song competition was held for classes III to V. Each house was represented by three students from each class. The theme of the competition was “patriotism”. The students portrayed their love for the nation through their sweet and melodious voice. For classes VI to IX, a flower decoration competition was organised. The director of the school, Gajjan S. Thind, applauded students on their creativity.

New entrants welcomed

A grand welcome was given to new entrants at Green Land Convent School here today on the commencement of its new session. Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School organised a grand cultural programme on this occasion.

Ravinder Kaur, principal of the school, welcomed parents, students and the distinguished guests. 



Admissions hit as school staff on survey duty
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 10
Office-bearers of various teachers’ unions resent the government decision to depute education staff for the BPL survey to launch the cheaper atta-dal scheme.

The step had affected admissions to government schools, they claimed today.

Sikander Singh Jartoli and Harbans Singh Aulakh, general secretary and finance secretary, respectively, of the district unit of the Government Teachers Union, alleged that the state government was not serious about the study of lakhs of students from the lower and middle strata of society.

The decision to depute teachers for collecting data on people living below poverty line would not only affect studies but also discourage residents from sending their wards to schools without teachers.

Referring to information received from office-bearers of the block-level units, the leaders claimed that parents had started withdrawing their wards from government schools and were admitting them to private schools.

“Even labourers, who used to send their wards to government schools, have started sending them to private schools. Obviously, nobody will like to spoil the careers of their ward by entrusting them to schools sans teachers,” argued Jartoli.

Appreciating the education minister's statement on the issue, SC/BC leaders, urged that the decision to depute teachers for conducting survey should be reviewed.

Ram Singh Dehliz and Nirmal Singh, senior functionaries of the union, alleged that the government had succumbed to the pressure of revenue officials, who had refused to conduct the survey. 



33 disabled students given aids
Our Correspondent
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 10
As many as 33 physically challenged students were provided aids at a camp organised in Government High School, Jandali, near here, yesterday.

Roshan Lal, DEO (Elementary), supervised the camp held under the auspices of the Sarav Sikhya Abhiyan Department.

According to Kamikar Singh, head master, the beneficiaries were identified on the basis of medical examination conducted at various centres in the block recently.

Wheelchair cycles, hearing aid instruments, crutches and spectacles were among the materials provided to help students pursue their studies.

Punit Jindal, EPC General, Lalit Gupta and Des Raj Sharma, DRP IRVD, were present on the occasion.



2 remanded in judicial custody
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 10
Two youths, accused of throwing another youth in front of a speeding bus after beating him near a marriage palace at Goindwal village, near Raikot, admitted to having committed the crime under the influence of liquor.

As no significant recovery was to be made from them, they were remanded in judicial custody by a court at Jagraon.

According to the police, Satinder Singh and Rachhpal Singh Pali, residents of Nathowal village, admitted to having pushed Shamsher Singh of Mooman village, who subsequently was run over by a speeding bus on Friday. However they failed to recollect the exact sequence of events leading to the death of the victim.

SHO Amarjit Singh Khaira said the accused, during investigation, had disclosed that the unfortunate incident followed their altercation with members of the family of the deceased.

“As we were under the influence of liquor, we do not remember the exact sequence of events leading to the death of Shamsher Singh. However, we remember that we had an altercation over some misunderstanding and during the scuffle Shamsher Singh received a push and was run over by a speeding bus,” admitted Rachhpal and Satinder Singh before the police.



A musical evening by Madan Gopal on April 13
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The city is in for a treat with a musical evening, ‘Sufiana’, by internationally acclaimed Sufi scholar and music artiste Madan Gopal Singh at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan on April 13.

Since this year had been declared as the international year of Rumi, by Unesco, the concert is an endeavour to reinforce the Sufi message of tolerance, reason and access to knowledge through love.

“It is a celebration of Sufi love and wisdom through music, that can bring together people,” according to celebrated poet Surjit Patar, patron of ‘Media Artists’.

A well-known name in the world of cinema, art and cultural history, Madan Gopal Singh is a multi-faceted personality. He teaches English in Delhi University, is a treasure house of Sufi and folk poetry and is best known for his rendition of Punjabi Sufi texts and love legends.

He has translated a wide range of Sufi lyrics and international poets into Punjabi, Hindustani and English. He has toured extensively and has had the distinction of singing with the well-known Kurdish singer, Shahram Nazeri. He has also performed with Theo Bleckmann, percussionist David Cossin and double-bass player Gregg August.

Madan Singh has written the script for Rasayatra, a film on the well-known Hindustani classical vocalist Mallikarjun Mansur, that won the National Award for the best short film in 1995, screenplay (jointly with the director of the film, Anoop Singh), dialogues and lyrics for Name of a River that won the G. Arvindan Award, and the Silver Dhow at the Zanzibar International Film Festival, 2002, and dialogues for Kaya Taran, a film based on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that won the G Arvindan Award in 2004.

He also wrote the Toona adaptation from Bulle Shah, rendered by Shubha Mudgal for Mira Nair's Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love.

Madan Singh has sung for films like Kumar Shahani's Kasba and Khayalgatha and Mani Kaul's Idiot.

He scored music for Paradise on a River of Hell, an award-winning film on Kashmir's catastrophic desolation and Beyond Partition, a film by the South Asian Cinema Foundation, London.

He has also composed music for Khamosh Pani, a French-German-Pakistan co-production, that won the Best Film award at the Locarno Film Festival, 2003.

Madan Singh has performed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, Another Passage to India festival held in Geneva and Zurich, the Other Festival at Chennai and Kalakshetra, the 2nd Sufi Soul World Music Festival held in Lahore, Pakistan, the First International Conference on Religions in the Indus Civilisation and at the closing ceremony of the Festival of India at Brussels, Belgium.

Singh continues to sing at National and International platforms enthralling discerning audiences and common people alike with his full-throated renderings of the immortal Sufi compositions and love legends of the land of five rivers, preserved in folk tradition, in addition to his Punjabi translations of Rumi, Attar, Rilke, Neruda, Brecht, Tagore and even John Lennon.



Rajasthani art on display at Nehru Siddhant Kendra
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
An exclusive range of Rajasthani art, including furniture, is on display at Nehru Siddhant Kendra these days.

Artisans from Rajasthan, under the famous Krishan Parmprik Hathkargha Udyog, have put up an exhibition, which will conclude on April 15.

They have brought a wide range of bedsheets with ‘kalamkari’ art, suits for women with block printing and ‘khadi’ gold printing, block-printed skirts, tops, sleepers, wall hangings and Jaipuri quilts and an attractive range of traditional Rajasthani silver jewellery.

Sandeep Singh, an organiser of the exhibition, said it was their first experience at this industrial town.

“We had not expected such a good response from here. We are catering to every segment. The products suit everybody's pocket. Stone-studded jewellery, especially earrings, is selling like hot cakes,”  he added.

Cotton suits range from Rs 60 per metre to Rs 100 per metre.

The exhibitors have also brought special eatables like pan gilori, imli laddu, Jaipuri churan and other digestive eatables.

Yogita Bansal, a college student, said, “I bought plenty of digestive eatables and their taste is unique.”

An artisan, Narayan Das, said the trend had shifted towards cotton, as it easily absorbs sweat. Vegetable colours are in vogue. “We are getting a good response from the people. We have not only sold many things but have also placed orders,” he said.



Fancy dress contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The KG section of Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) celebrated a fancy dress competition and children came in various dresses. The children dressed themselves like Shani Dev, Sharwan Kumar, Meera, Prithviraj Chauhan, Mother Teresa etc.

A child who came dressed as Kashmir, presenting the turmoil faced by the people there, was appreciated by all. A mobile library took everyone's fancy as it highlighted the technological advancements. 



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