Tourism boost for ruralites
Rajasansi project focuses on low-income village population

Amritsar, May 29
Rajasansi is one of the 31 villages in India which has been selected by Government of India under its ‘Endogenous Tourism Project scheme’. The project has been entrusted to a voluntary agency — Socio Economic Development Programme (SEDP) under the chairmanship of Kahn Singh Pannu, deputy commissioner, Amritsar, said Daniel B. Das, coordinator of SEDP.

Das informed that the concept is jointly conceived by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of India. The main objectives of this programme is to build  livelihood opportunities in rural areas through community action.

Aptly named the Endogenous Tourism Project, its focus is to develop the culture, craft and sustainable dimensions of rural life, as a means to viable livelihood opportunities for low-income rural communities.

UNDP has committed fund support to the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The project aims at capacity building, direct training, to enable low-income village communities create and articulate their skills from within. The project’s employment potential focuses on low-income rural communities, women, unemployed youth and disadvantaged groups.

The project is targeted at both domestic and international visitors.

he activities at the pilot sites include creation of village kala kendras and vishram sthals, training local residents in hospitality-related professions such as lodging, cuisine and guiding. Through convergence with local idioms and cooperative marketing channels, it will protect the environment, highlight host community heritage to enrich visitor’s experience.

As part of UNDP’s sustainable livelihoods theme, the new approach will initiate and build upon community-level initiatives to address issues of poverty.

By group mobilisation, built around locally owned income-generating activities, the project will also attempt up gradation of skills and open up access to credit and resource support. The project will be community-owned, culturally expressive and environmentally sustainable. The project will thereby develop a new Indian brand of tourism based on the rural lifestyle experience.

In Raja Sansi the project consists of hardware and software components. Under the hardware part activities for infrastructure development construction of a shopping complex, community toilets, art and craft centre will be taken up. Village roads will be improved, streets will be illuminated and solid waste management units will be installed. Under the software component there is a provision for community survey, formation of village level committees, self help groups, EDP training for women, activation of village youth club, empowering carpet weavers, formation of cooperative societies and training on women in phulkari making.

Exclusive local product outlet centres will be opened and exhibition of locally produced art and culture items will be organised. To propagate Punjabi culture, cultural camps, cultural festivals and cultural exchange programme will be organised.

Das said a baseline survey of the village has already been conducted. Village level committees to help manage the affairs of project has been constituted. The carpet weavers have been helped to organise themselves in the form of a duly registered Sher-e-Punjab weavers cooperative society. Three Self Help Groups named Amarjot, Sahara and Jago te Jagao have been operationalized. 30 women are trained in Phulkari work. Punjabi folk art/cultural troops consisting of boys and girls have been identified. A convergence committee consisting of members from concerned departments, Nagar Panchayat and experts under the chairmanship of DC, Amritsar is already in place.

Attractions at Rajasansi and nearby villages are the fragrance of daffodils - the toria and sarson flowers, which bloom in the months of March and November respectively. Tourists can also visit the Sandhawalia haveli and experience a mix of Indian and Greek architecture here.

Those who want to carry home some life time mementoes from Rajasansi can bargain with the local carpet weavers to become proud owners of unique 144 knotted hand woven carpets which may be Dabbi (square) designs or Jai Nawaz. One can buy typical Punjabi phulkari from self help groups.

Out of Rajasansi the tourists can also visit the Golden Temple and the Wagah border at a distance of 30 km. The project as a whole has the potential of attracting more and more Indian as well as foreign tourists and enrich the life of the community in and around Rajasansi.



CBSE Class X Results
Toppers on cloud nine
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
The city students, who have passed the CBSE Class X exams with flying colours are on cloud nine.

Six students of DAV Public School have scored 95 per cent and above marks, while 36 have got more than 90 per cent marks. Out of the total 282 students, who appeared in the exams, 252 students have scored first division. Ravi Sharma has topped the school with a score of 98 per cent, followed by Shashi Shekhar Mahajan and Bhawna Malik with 96.4 and 96.2 per cent marks respectively.

The Shri Ram Ashram Public School has achieved a cent per cent result. School principal Preeti Sharad informed that Abhimanyu Sood has scored 88 per cent in aggregate, followed by Nischey Arora and Karun Seth who have secured 86.4 per cent in aggregate. Eight students have scored between 80 and 84 per cent. “Our students deserve this as they toiled hard for it. Also the labour put in by the school teachers is commendable,” said Sharad.

At Springdale Senior Secondary School, Paras Mohindra has brought laurels to the institution by bagging the first position in the region with 98.6 per cent marks. Of the total 191 students, 12 students have achieved 95 per cent and above marks 40 have a score of 90 per cent, while 109 have touched 80 per cent. Students of DAV International School have also done their teachers proud with a cent per cent result in Class X. A total of 28 students appeared in the examinations, out of which 10 have scored more than 80 per cent marks. The highest score is 90 in English, 84 in Hindi, 85 in Punjabi, 96 in Mathematics, 97 in Science and 91 in Social Studies.

Rijul Khanna and Shina Wahi bagged the top positions by scoring 435 out of 500 marks, while Amandeep Kaur is second with 427/500 marks. Atipriya Shingari has stood third with 423/500 marks. Congratulating the young achievers, school principal Anjana Gupta said she was overwhelmed with the performance of her students.

Amrik Singh, principal of Hindu Sabha Senior Secondary School said their students have continued the tradition of outstanding performance in Class VIII examinations conducted by the Punjab School Education Board.



Plus two toppers have IAS on mind
Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, May 29
Mohit Arora of DAV Public School from the commerce stream topped the state securing 96.2 per cent marks in the CBSE examination and aspires to join the civil services.

Talking to The Tribune, elated father of Mohit, Ramesh Arora said Mohit had already got selected in a leading college of Delhi, Sri Ram College, to complete his B.Com while he would consecutively enrol for chartered accountancy. He said Mohit would ultimately compete for top civil services and was confident to excel as a successful bureaucrat.

School principal Neera Sharma applauded the efforts of the students who had brought glory to the school with excellent results. She said other than four students, Mohit Arora, Sumant Gupta, Malvika Rai and Esha Kinra, from the commerce stream have secured more than 95 per cent marks. She said 27 students had achieved 90 per cent and above, while 64 students had secured more than 85 per cent marks.

She said that this year the results had been phenomenal with 427 students securing the first division.

Sharma said six students of the school got 100 per cent marks in mathematics and accounts, while six students 99 per cent in business studies and economics.

Taking about their marks in individual subjects the principal said that Stuti Kapoor and Geetika Kapoor secured 98 per cent marks in English, while Sidhant Dutta got 97 per cent in chemistry. She said Neha Mahajan, Ekta Prabhaka and Sayam Gupta secured 95 per cent marks in biology.

Meanwhile, Anchal Jain of Manav Public School had the distinction of securing 100 per cent marks in economics in the plus two examination. Talking to newsmen Aanchal said she would pursue her bachelor’s degree in good institution in Pune. She said the credit for her excellent result went to her parents who had given her the choice to pursue civil services as a career.

The Bhavan’s S.L. Public School also recorded excellent results in the plus two CBSE results declared recently. Principal Anita Bhalla said they recorded 100 per cent result with four students recording 90 per cent and above marks as 13 student got 85 and above, while 31 students got more than 80 per cent. She said Richa Malhotra got 100 per cent marks in mathematics, while Mannat Nijjar and Alisha secured 93.8 per cent and 92.6 per cent, respectively, in the medical stream.



Scissor-boy crafts dreams out of metal
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
Having inherited the tools of a goldsmith, Amit Kumar has always been fascinated with the idea of giving shape to metal. To try out his innovations, he chose copper, the metal which is probably closest to gold in appearance. Today he crafts scissors the size of a thumbnail.

After trying out different things, he has come up with his unique work of art for which he feels he deserves the state award: half-a-dozen pairs of miniature scissors, the smallest being less than the size of a thumbnail but which can cut with the same precision as a regular pair of scissors.

Using his own eyes as magnifying glass, he says: “I made these without using any magnifying glass. Whenever I began working on a smaller version, I automatically adjusted my eyesight to the tiny piece of metal and everything fell in place,” he says.

“I want to apply for the state and national awards for my innovation and also want my name to be registered in the Limca Book of Records.

he best part is that these scissors, which are a few millimetre in size, can even cut paper and other thin material and can be actually put to use,” he adds.



Marching Orders
Assurances revive club members’ hope
Sanjay Bumbroo and Ashok Sethi

Amritsar, May 29
Even though the Sword of Domical hangs over the century-old clubs in the historic Ram Bagh Gardens and the Summer Palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the members are hopeful that the ancient heritage would be retained in the complex.

The political leadership here has provided them assurance that the clubs are part of the history and should be allowed to continue in the Company Bagh. BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had a meeting with the managements of all the three clubs said the clubs were helping in maintaining the green cover of sprawling 840-acre Public Park in the city.

The clubs were established in the early nineties with active participation from the elite group of people who formed the core of the social life in the city. The eminent founders included eminent eye surgeon Sardar Bahadur Dr Sohan Singh, renowned journalist of the Tribune Rai Bahadur G.R Sethi and many others. The clubs provided them an opportunity to interact with their fellow citizens.

The present three clubs have been providing sports and other entertainment facilities to more than 4,000 members. Dr Adlakha, president of Services Club said there are more than 1,800 members of the club, including 200 senior citizens, who had been provided membership free of cost.

The managements said they have been contributing to the maintenance of these heritage buildings. The clubs have been also in the forefront to provide relief to the people hit by natural calamities. They also provide excellent platform to budding artistes’ to showcase their talent.

Some of the prominent figures who have visited the clubs are: Former Presidents of India Dr Rajindra Prasad, V.V. Giri, Giani Zail Singh, ex-PMs Jawahar Lal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Morarji Desai. All the clubs have facilities like air conditioned rooms and halls besides arrangements for games like billiards, squash, tennis, badminton. The clubs also offer facilities to social organisations like Rotary and Lions Clubs for hosting their regular weekly meetings.

With state-of-an-art gym and regular yoga classes for its members, the focus is clearly on a healthy lifestyle.

Notably, an eviction order has been handed over to the three social clubs by the SDM. The MC authorities have shown their inability to provide adequate finances and manpower to preserve the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The clubs however, have contested the order by claiming that the MC in its general house meeting held on November 16, 2006, have unanimously recommended to the government to extend the lease of these clubs for 30 years. Some of the members pointed out that neither the Archeological Survey of India nor the district administration has any alternate plan for these clubs.



This man’s a real motivational guru
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
Here is a school principal who feels his job is not confined to administration and maintaining discipline alone.

Rajiv Arora, principal of Mahant Kaushal Dass DAV Public School, Neshta (Attari), has come out with a compilation of motivational essays titled ‘Towering Traits’ for his students. The objective is to help youth identify and realise their true potential.

The inside-cover of the book, which is distributed to students as a new approach to moral science, says “If you want to rise to your potential, you will have to be willing to change yourself. It’s readiness to change that helps one grow. There are quite a few chapters in this book which will certainly motivate a reader to come out of the rut to negotiate with emerging trends in the area of his expertise.”

The book contains essays on topics like courage, reading, good manners, focus, creativity and passion.

Arora says he is of the firm view that there are innumerable strengths and possibilities lying deep in every child. Education is certainly a medium that explores all these hidden strengths and brings them to the fore.

A child becomes aware of his own strong areas and forms a positive self-image, which cultivates the much-needed confidence in him, he says.

The conduct of the educators also chisels the thinking pattern of a child.

An educator who sticks to the path of righteousness cultivates values and virtues in a child which leaves a lasting impact on latter’s life. The right amount of exposure at the right age helps a student to become capable of resisting all odds, says Arora.



Palwinder to star in Punjabi music videos
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
In the coming weeks, you will get to see a lot of him every time you tune in any Punjabi music channel. Twenty-five-year-old Palwinder Singh has just completed shooting for three Punjabi music videos.

The first one to be telecast would be the title song of the album “Jaan Jaan” by Major Attwal and Jaspinder Narula. It would be followed by Sandhu Surjit’s video “Station utte khadi”, which has been shot at Baddowal station in Ludhiana. The third video would be “Mela” by Billa Aulakh shot near Jalandhar.

“I started off by teaching choreography in Amritsar schools and organising different shows.

Then a host of modelling assignments came by which helped me get into acting in Punjabi videos. It is fun to shoot a video at different locations which look all the more beautiful in the end product,” he says.

“The Punjabi music scene is still evolving and it would take some time before a model can thing of having a full-fledged career by featuring in music videos,” he adds.



Sahil, Richa do well in BCA
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 29
Sahil Aggarwal and Richa Dhawan from Swami Satyanand College of Management and Technology have secured 80 per cent and 77 per cent marks respectively in the BCA first semester results.

The principal director of the Institute, Dr Suresh Seth, said it was a proud moment for the college that during its first year of its inception the college have achieved excellent results. He said the college provides good atmosphere and conducive academic environment for the students to pursue their management and technology courses.



Preeti wins 1 lakh jewellery draw
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 29
The world Gold Council has officially crowned Malliram jewellers as the jewellery king of Punjab due to its quality standards. The BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu took out the annual Baisakhi jewellery draw at a special function held at their new showroom at eminent 
mall recently.

Owner Shankar Kedia said the first bumper worth Rs one Lakh was given to Preeti Khanna while there were five consolation and one ‘Sidhu special prize’ was also offered at the draw.

Sidhu speaking on the occasion complemented Shankar Kedia for the excellent quality and designer jewellery being offered to the customers by them.

He said the Amritsar jewellery artisans have carved a special space for their excellent designs and creative art.

Kedia said Baisakhi Gold Festival drew a large number of customers during the one month long show. He said during the festival every customer was offered Rs 2,500 worth jewellery along with a lucky coupon . He said the first bumper worth Rs one lakh was given to Preeti Khanna while there were five consolation and one Sidhu special prize was also offered at the draw. 



Pen-down strike by FCI staff
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
On a call by the joint front of the All Staff Unions and Officer Association of Food Corporation of India, the officers and staff of the FCI went on one-day pen-down strike on May 25 to show their solidarity and sympathy with executive director (NE zone) P.C. Ram who was kidnapped by ULFA militants on April 17 in Guwahati.

The day-long strike was observed in Amritsar district to press for the demand for an early release of Dr P.C. Ram. There was great resentment among the employees against the kidnapping and demanded immediate release of the officer. It was unanimously resolved to approach the Government of India and higher-ups to make way for the early release of Dr Ram from the clutches of militants. All the officers and staff of the FCI, Amritsar, also expressed their sympathies and support with the family of the victim.



Feeling The Heat
Hi-tech inverters flood city markets
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 29
The nightmarish experience of city residents forced to spend Monday afternoons without electricity is turning out to be a dream-come-true for inverter dealers here.

The sale of inverters in Amritsar has already peaked and with growing awareness about its safety; the trend is to go in for a branded 
inverter instead of the local-made inverters, which are only about Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 costlier than those coming with a label and a warranty card.

“Many new players have come in the market, giving customers the option to pick the kind that suits not just their power load but also their budget. There are four key players in the market. A good inverter is priced in the Rs 3,000-3,500 bracket and a branded battery starts from for Rs 7, 000,” says Prit Pal Singh, a dealer on Batala road.

For those keen on an economically priced desi version, the locally-made inverters begin from Rs 2,000 onwards and can be teamed up with a battery that comes for only Rs 2,000 to 5000. However, dealers 
warn that the non-branded inverters eventually prove costlier as the have more power consumption in the charging mode.

“If you don’t want your inverter to keep you on tenterhooks for checking the water levels on a weekly basis, the maintenance-free versions come with well-displayed water-level meters and demand attention only once a month,” says Singh.

This year, high-capacity inverters, which can 
even run the air-conditioner when power goes out, have become a hit with 
high-end customers. There inverters start from Rs 1, 50,000 onwards.

“People who spend the entire day in air-conditioned rooms feel uncomfortable even under a ceiling fan and they crave from the cool air of an AC. The high-capacity inverters come with a bigger battery, which can handle such heavy power loads with ease. Such inverters are an answer to a generator,” says Singh.

After a host of mishaps involving inverters, safety of these daily use devises have become a cause for concern. “It is the responsibility of the dealer to make sure that the customers go through the user manual and do not end up burning their faces with the inverter acid while re-filling water,”  he adds.

Experts point out that with no mandatory quality certification from a body like the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for most brands of inverters, consumers should be cautious while buying inverters, making sure of its quality, reliability, performance, safety and the after sales service provided by the manufacturer or  the dealer.

Inverters are fast becoming a household commodity in Amritsar with frequent power failures. In search of alternative power supply city residents prefer buying inverters.

Scheduled power cuts on Mondays have already begun in most parts of the city but even an occasional power failure in the scorching summer heat can sap you energy in no time. A quality inverter that offers uninterrupted power supply and is safe to handle appears to be the ideal alternative.





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