Special plan to boost rural health
P K Jaiswar

Amritsar, July 13
A special plan is being mulled to improve the rural health services in Amritsar under national health mission, said additional deputy commissioner (general) Paramjit Singh during an interaction with the mediapersons here.

The additional commissioner said instead of 0.91 per cent of its annual budget, the central government would now spend three per cent on rural health services. He said due to this phenomenal three times increase in the budget special health services plans were being made for every state.

He said under this programme, a plan was being made for improving the rural health services in Amritsar.

He said this plan would be ready in next two months.

Paramjit Singh said every aspect related to health including provision of clear drinking water supply, proper drainage of dirty water, health awareness would be covered in this plan.

The additional deputy commissioner further said the authorities concerned would consider all aspects of rural health starting from grass root level that is from village level to block level and then at district level before visualising this plan.



Bright Days Ahead
Upgradation of substations on cards
‘Power scenario to improve in state’
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 13
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has approved to upgrade the power substations from 66 KV to 132 KV at Nag Kalan, Dhadde and Majitha villages.

Stating this in a press note, Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab information and public relations, water supply and sanitation and science technology, environment and non-conventional energy minister announced that the substations at Nag Kalan and Dhadde would be upgraded in the first phase while that of Majitha would be taken up in the second phase.

Majithia, while redressing grievances of public pertaining to power supply, drainage and sanitation at the Circuit House here today, said the SAD-BJP regime was committed to add 5,000 MW power within the next five years to the present 6,200 MW in the state.

He said the process of strengthening the existing transmission network, setting up of required new grid stations and laying new lines was in full swing. He said Rs 30 lakh had been approved for laying new cables besides tightening the sagging overhead wires.

Stressing the need for initiating steps to curb power thefts, Majithia asked the officials of the PSEB to prepare a blue print within a week for the installation of electricity meters at nominal rates in the households of Backward Classes.

He directed the officials of the drainage department to ensure cleanliness of the Seim drain in Majitha within a week besides instructing them to ensure timely desilting of the distributaries. A sum of Rs 60 lakh had been sanctioned for the same, he added.

Majithia suggested giving employment to the unemployed youth of the region under the National Assured Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (NAREGA) to assist in the process of desilting. Rs 12 crore had been provided to the district administration under the act to provide assured employment of 100 days in a year, he added.

He directed Manmohan Singh Randhawa, EO, Majithia municipal council, to submit the progress report on the projects to provide clean drinking water in the Majitha constituency and on proper disposal of solid and liquid wastes.

He said a project for widening, strengthening and installing streetlights on the existing roads of the constituency had been prepared and Rs 6 crore would be spent to breath new life in the road network of the constituency.



Artist with a healing touch
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, July 13
For her, art is not just about doing something creative, it is a way of raising funds for the needy. Though, she realised her potential pretty late in life but she has taken the full use of it. And most of her paintings make a statement of the ills of society like female foeticide and dowry.

Artist Mala Chawla has made a mark for herself in the world of painting by holding a series of exhibitions in Chandigarh, Kapurthala and Amritsar, besides organising three group shows in the year 2004, 2006 and 2007 in the holy city.

When in college, she understood that art has the potential to heal and influence. And during a two-month hobby class, she saw utilisation of her dream.

“Soon I realised that art can never be boring for someone who is willing to experiment. That is why I have never got over my love for painting in all these years. However, after a while I did realise that I can do a lot more than just paint for my own pleasure. So I started using it as a tool for social service,” she says.

“I organized workshops and camps for poor children of Maqboolpura, infamous as ‘Locality of Widows’ and for poor students of Goal Bagh evening school and taught them to make paintings and craft from waste material so that they could earn money by selling them in the market,” she adds.

“Everyone has a hidden talent but it is only those who recognise their ability can make their dreams come true by achieving success. This is exactly what I tell upcoming artistes at workshops,” utters Chawla.

Mala came from a humble background but has made an identity of her own in the field of art. There was time when she might not have thought of becoming an artist but today her paintings speak for themselves.

“I didn’t have any interest in paintings till matriculation but my joining of painting hobby classes proved to be a first milestone towards my aim. In 1979 she took fine arts as vocational subject in college and continued it till she did her double MA and B.Ed,” says Chawla, who is equally respected in Amritsar for her social service as her paintings.

After doing her masters in Fine Arts, she did a clerical job for four years for a meagre salary and after doing her second MA in History of Arts she was employed as a teacher. Today she is serving as the Head of the Department of Fine Arts in Government Senior Secondary School.

“Though there was no one in my family who could motivate me to learn the art of painting, I was so determined that continued to venture into the field of art. My elder sister continued to motivate and support her in this venture,” she says.

In 1984 this artist won her first award in all India painting exhibition which was a real appreciation of her work and since then she never looked back and started working on cubism (geometrical figures) as she was inspired by Pablo Picasso. She worked upon landscapes, abstract and symbolic paintings also which symbolises beauty, love and beautiful themes.

She has also won gold medal from Vijay Information Art centre, Hyderabad. As Mala wanted to be self dependent and earn good status in the society she used to appear in interviews in various educational institutions of the holy city.

Though she could not find any job but she never felt imbalanced and disappointed as she felt that without sufficient funds one cannot create a niche for oneself in the field of art.

She has achieved success after facing many difficulties during various stages of life. She became ecstatic when her first painting was purchased by an art lover for Rs 1,000.

Today her paintings fetch her around Rs 7000 to Rs 10,000 per piece.

She later founded a society, ‘Panchrang’, with the support of her four friends which works for the promotion of budding artists of the holy city and its surrounding areas besides being a member of Wisdom Society of Arts, New Delhi.

She is also a member of NGO named ‘Shakti’ which fights for the rights of the women. She is not married as she feels marriage takes away women’s rights with it and she does not want to give hers. She dreams for the world where women will also get equal rights and status in the society.

Painting is not just her profession but her passion as well, through which she wants to attain greater heights in the field of art.

Today she is a well-known artist and for her sky is the only limit.



My City
Crop diversification holds key to higher agri growth
Savreet Sandhu

Diversification of agriculture to areas other than cereal-based produce is the need of the hour. To achieve higher a growth rate, agriculture needs to be made demand driven rather than supply driven. The crop base can be diversified by including poultry, dairy, fisheries, fruits, vegetables, pulses, oilseeds and livestock.

As the agriculture growth rate has witnessed a decreasing trend from 3.8 % in the mid 90s to 1.8 % at present, it’s difficult to rejuvenate it unless a radical approach is applied.

The present scenario needs an urgent alteration in policies to accelerate growth.

The expanding crop diversification requires good transportation infrastructure that links both domestic and foreign markets to increase the export potential.

This in turn would help farm sector to earn and would help to boost state economy.

The holy city has a well developed air and rail link, making it an ideal export hub. Being a sector of high priority, focus on agriculture growth is very important.

The latest trends have witnessed a shift by consumers from cereal foodgrains to meat, milk, fruits and vegetables.

In wake of increasing demand of fruits, vegetables, animal and fishery products, the state can tap international as well as domestic markets. Moreover, the composition of trade is changing faster and to earn profits from the crop diversification it’s important to identify niche markets that can increase the income of farmers.

Developing dairy industry to cater to the needs of urban centres of northern India is another way of diversifying the crop base in Punjab.

In addition, areas with good water availability can be developed into fish farms. Since quality seeds are constantly needed for better production, variegation can immensely help in this direction.

Apart from dairy, vegetables and fruits, even soya products promise a great export opportunities.



Recruitment Rally
‘Majha men have good physique’
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 13
‘Chal Oye Sardara Laade Jor Ghuma De Bhambeeri’ shouted an Army jawan at a Sikh candidate for putting in vitality to win the race during the preliminary screening of the candidates at a recruitment rally held at Rayya near Beas.

Deputy Director General Brig D.P. Singh said youths of border districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran have better physique and good health as compared to their counterparts in other district. “They have higher chances of making it to the Army. We are hopeful of recruiting more than 2000 youths during the rally,” he said. The rally was being conducted by Head Quarters Recruiting Zone (Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir).

The recruitment, which started on July 2, would culminate on July 29 after the physical, medical examination and common entrance written examination of the candidates appearing for Soldier General Duty, Soldier Technical and Soldier Tradesman. Brig Singh said nearly 14,000 youths from Ludhiana, Ropar, Mohali, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur were screened successfully for desired qualification of physical and medical fitness.

He said that besides clearing the distance of one-mile within five minutes the candidates had to pass through other physical tests like balancing on the wooden bridge, pushing up on the beam ditch, 9-foot long jump, and height and weight measurements.



Many turn up to see ‘Conquerors of sky’
Tribune News Service

Eye specialist Dr Daljit Singh (left) inaugurated the photo exhibition at Amritsar Art Gallery on Friday.
Eye specialist Dr Daljit Singh (left) inaugurated the photo exhibition at Amritsar Art Gallery on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

Amritsar, July 13
A three-day photo exhibition, ‘SOS - From the Conquerors of the Sky’, was organised at the local art gallery, here on Friday. The event displayed work of a young lensman Arsh Rup Singh. Inaugurating the exhibition, eye specialist Dr Daljit Singh said photography of birds is a difficult and time consuming task.

“It needs great patience and passion,” he said, adding that there was wide scope of such disciplines in India as it has rich flora and fauna. In the developed countries like USA, UK, Canada, one hardly finds any natural object because of multistory malls and multiplexes, he added.

Dr Singh suggested that at the time of planning of cities and towns, the authorities concerned should keep provisions for an at least one km long ‘Green Belt’. “It would help people drink in beauty of nature. It would also provide fresh air to them,” he added.

Talking to mediapersons, Arsh Rup Singh said his 46 photographs have been put on display.

“They were taken over a span of three years,” he said. The shutterbug further said industrialisation, mechanisation, pollution, deforestation other human interferences are spelling doom for bird species in the state.



City gets its first cancer super-specialist

Amritsar, July 13
Dr Navdeep Singh, MD (medicine) has done the city proud by becoming the first doctor from the holy city to get doctorate in medicine (DM) in oncology (cancer) from country’s most prestigious hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

The city will hope to cash in on the services of the cancer super-specialist and expert in bone marrow transplant (BMT). He has already set high standards for other city doctors with an excellent track record for his thorough professional attitude.

Product of city Government Medical College he had always featured in the tops charts, whether it’s in PMT or 1st professional MBBS or in medicine. He also got distinction in anatomy and did his MD (medicine) in one attempt. Apart from bone marrow transplants, Dr Singh would also treat patients with acute and chronic leukemia (blood cancer), lymphomas, multiple myelome, breast cancer, lung cancer, GI cancers ( pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer liver cancer, gall bladder cancer etc), bone tumors, sarcomas, ovarian cancers, childhood cancers etc. — TNS



‘Van Mahotsav’ week celebrated
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, July 13
Impact Group, a real estate business organisation celebrated ‘Van Mahotsav week’ by planting more than 5,000 saplings of various varieties in the township.

Deepak Nirula, a world-renowned ecologist, horticulture expert and executive director of Trees for Life an NGO and Harpal Singh, chairman of the Impact Group planted saplings in Impact gardens to mark the occasion.

Nirula, who had come all the way from Delhi, said if every developer was so conscious of the environment we could see a greener Punjab in the near future and people who have been living in polluted environment could once again breathe fresh air.

Retired Brigadier SPS Dhaliwal, general manager, Impact Projects Pvt. Ltd. said, “the group’s future endeavors include starting a plant nursery, landscaping projects for other developers/areas, fruit orchards in the designated areas, development and maintenance of parks and starting a composing unit,” said retired Brigadier SPS Dhaliwal, General manager, Impact Projects Pvt. Ltd. “We would also soon throw open our parks to the schools and colleges in the city for botanical education,” he added.



Tarn Taran girl excels

Tarn Taran, July 13
Local girl Navjot has been selected by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) for their special motivational programme, which is organised for talented students. Navjot is a Class XI student at Baba Gurmukh Singh Uttam Singh Secondary School. Talking to The Tribune, the girl said her selection was made on the basis of her performance in class Xth exams. “The programme aims at making talented students aware about different options available in various science disciplines. For the purpose, interaction sessions are held between scientists and researchers,” she said. — OC



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Panchayati Raj cell gets new general secretary

Amritsar, July 13
Harjit Kaur of Tarn Taran has been appointed the state general secretary of the panchayati raj and rural development cell (PRRDC) of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, cell chairman Pritpal Singh Bishanpura said.

She has been appointed for her works and would propagate the policies and programmes of the Congress at the grassroots level, he said. — OC



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