C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


NGOs to be honoured for selfless work
G. S. Paul
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Chandigarh education department, for the first time, will honour some non-government organisations (NGOs) on the Teachers’ Day celebrations at Tagore Theatre, here, on September 5.

The education officials said their endeavour is to bring these NGO activists to limelight. “We have shortlisted the NGOs and volunteers who are committed towards the welfare of children particularly those belonging to underprivileged strata of the society.”

The president and CEO of a US based NGO known as Developing Indigenous Resources (DIR) W. Frederick Shaw (75) will be recognised for his proposal of projects on minimising preventable diseases, illnesses and deaths, in general, with special attention to infants’ diseases and deaths.

He has implemented his projects in Janta Colony, and has been working for almost three years for slum areas in city and adjoining areas. He has already worked on health projects in India for 4 years.

A novel project Hamari Kaksha, was started by a Government College, Sector 11 lecturer Dr Anuradha Sharma, for personality development of under privileged children. This community school is being run from Government Nursery School, Sector 7, here.

In Hamari Kaksha, the students and teachers volunteered to join hands to keep a tab on the rate of school dropouts. This unique organisation follows a child-centred approach and believes strongly in responsive classroom methodology. The credo it has given to itself is ‘Potential Unlimited’.

Another society working for welfare of poor children is Servants of the People Society. It offers scholarships to those students who are academically bright but belong to weaker sections of the society. The amount of scholarship is Rs 100 per month per student and preference is given to girl students. Gaurav Gaur, the founder general secretary for the 'Yuva Sankalp Foundation is another activist who will be honoured by the education department. Gaurav has worked as a volunteer in the field of HIV/AIDS awareness camp. He is known for trying his hand at various innovative methods to spread the message like shaving the head with an AIDS symbol on it, painting face and clothes, painted personal car with AIDS awareness messages, bicycle with AIDS messages.

Don Bosco Navjeevan Center, NGO that conducts kindergarten classes in 15 slums for 436 children to prepare them to get admission in regular schools. To prevent students from dropping out from school it runs remedial classes in 15 centres for 225 children.

Working for the kids in slums is YUVSATTA will also be recognised on the day. This NGO is involved in helping children in their education and engaging extra curricular activities like sight-seeing tours, vocational training alike.



Prashana, Deepali win top honours in declamation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
Prashansa Varma and Deepali of Bhawan Vidyalaya, Sector 15, Chandigarh, cornered glory in the declamation contest for category I in the SCIMAT 2007 - a Math and Science Symposium organised by St. Xaviers`s Senior Secondary School, Sector 44 here yesterday.

Madhav Gautam and Harmanbir Singh of hosts St Xavier’s School-44 finished a close runners-up while the pair of Sushmita and Kavya of DAV Public School, Sector 15 got bronze medal.

The pair of Himanshu and Apoorv of St Xavier’s School-44 brought laurels to their school by occupying the top position in the declamation contest for category 2. Sumali and Vartika of Bhavan Vidyalaya of Panchkula and Pragya and Rukmani of Sacred Heart, Chandigarh secured second and third places, respectively.

In the Science Exhibition, Deepak and Saifi of St Xavier’s-44 established their supremacy.

Nikita and Gunjan of St Xavier’s School, Chandigarh outscored their opponents in the Science Quiz contest for category I. In category II Shatrishna and Ishita of Sacred Heart, Sector 26 hogged the limelight.

Shivek and Priyank of Hansraj Public School of Panchkula excelled in Ganitagya (Maths Quiz). The second position went to Sanjana and Triya of Sacred Heart of Chandigarh.

As many as 250 students from various schools of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali took part in the various competitions in junior and senior categories like Science Quiz, Declamation, Science Exhibitions And Ganitagya - (Maths Quiz).

Dr Pawan Kapoor, director CSIO was chief guest who along with Mr. Andrew J Gosain guest of honour.



Hidden Camera Case
Need to have more hostels for girls
Rajay Deep
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
In view of the recent case of discovery of a CCTV installed in a bathroom of two PG girl students, the students’ political parties have raised the issue of arrangement of adequate hostels for girl students of Panjab University and other local colleges and institutions.

According to sources, Over 3,000 girls and 1,500 boys live in PG and other rented accommodations in the city because of the inadequate number of students’ hostels. Now after the CCTV incident, many of the girls are feeling insecure in their accommodations.

“In view of the latest CCTV case, it becomes the duty of the government to evolve some mechanism to curb such incidents. The construction of more hostels for girls can serve as the permanent solution to this problem”, said INSO president (PU campus), Deepak Hooda.

“The CCTV incident should act as an eye opener about security issue and UT Administration should chalk out some plan and arrangements”, said Archit Watts, spokesperson of the Students Organisation of Punjab University (SOPU).

Rajnish Kaur, a paying guest in Sector 38, said, “I feel very insecure over here but there is no other way left as I could not get room in any of the PU girls’ hostels.

I demand a fair and independent inquiry and strict action against those involved in this shameful act”.



Support for agitating MCM, DAV colleges staff

Chandigarh, September 2
The DAV Colleges Coordination Committee held a meeting and supported the demands of the employees of MCM DAV College, Sector 36, and DAV College, Sector 10, on the premises of DAV College, Sector 10, here today.

The presidents, secretaries and teachers’ representatives from DAV colleges of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Nakodar, Giddarbaha, Malout, Abohar, Bhatinda and the two local DAV colleges marked their presence in the meeting.

Prof N.K. Gosain, convener, DAV Colleges Coordination Committee, condemned the callous attitude of the managing committee. He added that the managing committee had been ignoring the just demands of the teachers.

The committee condemned the highhanded attitude of the principals of both the colleges and the managing committee and unanimously decided to observe a two-period strike in all the DAV colleges of Punjab in support of the teachers of the local MCM and DAV college on September 13. — TNS



271 dentists get fellowships
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
As many as 271 dentists were conferred fellowships on the concluding day of the two-day joint scientific meet of the International College of Continuing Dental Education (ICCDE) and the Indian Dental Association at the CII here today.

More than 300 delegates attended the meet from different parts of the country and abroad. The meet, held under the aegis of the Asia Pacific Dental Federation, was inaugurated by Tikshan Sood, minister of medical education and research, Punjab, yesterday.

While Dr Bhagwant Singh, vice-president, Asia Pacific Dental Federation, awarded the fellowships, Dr Ratnanasan from Malaysia, former president of the ICCDE, elaborated upon the activities of the college.

During the presentations on the occasion, Dr Leung Sui Fai from the University of Hong Kong while pointing out the common procedural errors seen in general practice suggested to avoid them. Conventional endodontics is on of the most common procedure carried out in general practice with the success rate between 62-100 per cent.

Similarly, Dr Oliver Hennedige delved upon the misinformation regarding mini-dental implants. Amongst the noted Indian dental surgeons who spoke on the occasion included Dr P.D. Joshi, Dr Ashish Kakkar, and Dr Pallavi, Dr Vimal Sikri and Dr S.P. Aggawal.



Couple sponsors lunch for slum kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
For slum students who attend night schools (run by Durga Das Foundation) it was a day with a difference.

Not only did they have a lavish lunch to savour, courtesy a volunteer parent of the Strawberry Fields School, they also had a surprise visitor in Jean Rodrigues, wife of UT administrator and Punjab Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd).

The occasion was a special get together at Strawberry Fields World School, Sector 26, where students from Bapu Dham, Indira Colony and Hallo Majra, gathered in large numbers for lunch.

About 200 students were present for the occasion. They also interacted with the children of World School.

Later, they had an interaction with Jean Rodrigues, who said, "Such initiatives bind people together and eliminate the division of society on basis of class." Atul Khanna, director of the foundation said that community participation was important as it was only then that one can strive for an equitable society.

Jean Rodrigues personally supervised the meal along with Khanna, principal, Aman Sidhu and social welfare coordinator K. Paul. The food was arranged by Shirom and Madhavi Lamba, volunteer parents of Strawberry Fields School.



Education City
Panel zeroes in on 9 parties
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Chandigarh Administration has decided that sites measuring eight acres would be allotted to interested players in its ambitious project of “Education City” at Sarangpur.

According to sources a committee of experts had zeroed in on nine interested parties to run different courses.

The move of the Administration to invite big players, both academically and financially, has been largely appreciated. However, certain official quarters have expressed apprehension, saying “there is already talk of the tri-city getting an IIM. It will be interesting to know if this has a place on the map of the Education City”.



MBA counselling camp held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
The Aryans Business School(ABS), in association with the Bank of India, Sector 17, organised a MBA counselling camp at the Lala Lajpat Rai Bhawan, Sector 15, Chandigarh today.

Over 900 aspirants for MBA from the region, who appeared for the Management Aptitude Test(MAT) of the All-India Management Association, attended the counselling camp, according to a press note issued here today.



127 pledge to donate eyes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 2
As many as 127 persons pledged to donate their eyes at an eye donation awareness camp organised at Sood Bhavan here today.

The camp was organised by the Sood Sabha, Chandigarh, in association with the Eye Bank of the GMCH, Sector 32, Chandigarh. Justice N.K. Sood, Lokayukt, Haryana, Major-Gen Rajendra Nath, PVSM, chairman, Institute for the Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh, lauded the efforts of the sabha for organising such camps.

A team of doctors from the eye department, GMCH, held an eye check up camp where more than 200 persons were examined. Later, children from the Institute for the Blind presented a cultural programme.



From Colleges

COURSE: City based Animation Live, a premium Animation Training Institute, on Saturday launched APD3D (animation course) with written job guarantee. Addressing the mediapersons, Ankur Kapoor, centre head, said, “APD3D is an advance professional diploma in 3-D animation and visual effects. After completing the course the students will be getting job placements. For this they will have written job guarantee at the time of admission.”

FRESHERS: “There is no shortcut to success. Students should consistently put in hard work to excel in their respective fields,” said principal Dr A.N. Garg, principal of Government College, Sector 11. He was addressing the students at a freshers' party organised by the department of computer science and information technology, here on Thursday. More than 100 students competed for the much-coveted Mr and Miss Fresher titles. Ajay Sharma from BCA was adjudged Mr Fresher. The Miss Fresher title went to Neeraj from MSc (IT). The Best Personality title was conferred on Aseem from BCA I.



An attempt to revive ‘kissas’
Gayatri Rajwade
Tribune News Service

Gurvinder Singh
Gurvinder Singh

Chandigarh, September 2
‘Pala’ is film-maker Gurvinder Singh’s commitment to nurture the dying tradition of ‘kissas’, the tradition of narrating folk legends, in Punjab.

In fact, right at the outset, Gurvinder tells us that his friend, scholar and musician Madan Gopal Singh has come across 36 kinds of ‘Heer’, all in the oral tradition. But this art is now being touched by the vagaries of time.

“Who has the time to sit and learn this form for years now,” rues Gurvinder. He was in the city on a personal visit but spent time at the screening of ‘Pala’ by Hamshira at Press Club today and interacted with music and film aficionados alike.

The film profiles Pala or Harpal Singh, a storyteller, who does not belong to any single faith but adapts and transforms himself to the place where he performs. He, along with his musicians, travels from village to village, performing at temples, gurdwaras, shrines and fairs, singing folk-tales and faiths and celebrating the cultural fabric of Punjab.

The film, while documenting the cultural and musical traditions of the region, also delves into Pala’s life, his beliefs and his passion that keeps this vanishing craft alive. “Pala is not from a musical family but spent his formative years assisting a singer from Ropar,” says Gurvinder about his protagonist, who was also present at the screening today, having come from a fair at Haripur. Belonging to the Valmiki clan, Pala can not read or write but this does not, in any way, affect the stories mastered in the classic oral tradition of hearing his ‘agu’ sing. “Within two singers, the agu starts the phrase and the pichu completes it. Pala sang with his agu for ten to fifteen years, maybe more, and leant it all,” he elucidates.

What marks the ‘kissa’ tradition apart from its oral roots, is that, it is a virtual musical and visual imagery of tales like Heer-Ranjha, Sassi-Punnu, heard since the time of our forefathers. “Today it is only the older people who come and listen. The younger ones wander in because of curiosity,” says Gurvinder.

However, this tradition was not a part of Gurvinder’s growing up years. Having been born and brought up in Delhi, he had no idea of Punjab. He began by wanting to be a poet. However, rummaging through world cinema while studying mass communication at Pune University, led him to FTII and film-making. A chance hearing of Sharief Idu (one of the most prominent Sufi dhadi singers of the state who lives in Mani Majra), had him hooked. Gurvinder started to research and read (which included J Swaminathani’s work on musical traditions in Bastar, where he discovered that a legend from that region, had remarkably similarities to that of Ranjha.)

Curious to know how much of this music remains, he gave a proposal to the India Foundation of Arts and got a grant to document and research the traditional music of Punjab. The film came about from the work he did. “There are very few kissa singers left,” says Gurvinder and believes that all the documentation and recordings have an archival value and is stored at the Archives and Research Centre for Ethnomusicology (ARCE), Gurgaon, and he is also working on creating a website that will promote the task of documenting and promoting ethno music.

His field recordings of these popular legends also feature on an album ‘Kissa Punjab’ and what Gurvinder has said about the recording sums up this tradition best: “This collection is dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the traditional performer who knows his days are numbered, but still trudges out on his old legs because that is the only way of living he has known.”



Play on Bhagat Singh’s ideology
S.D. Sharma

Chandigarh, September 2
The Ropook Kala Kendra and Welfare Society staged a play 'Is There Any Exit: Dastan-e-Bhagat Singh' at Tagore Theatre here today. The play though had an English title was staged in Punjabi. The play sculpted by Balram Sharma and directed by Sangeeta Gupta, both alumni of the department of theatre and television, Punjabi University, had endeavoured to recover truths about certain qualms on the ideological stand of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh.

Playwright Balram had employed a 'sutradhar' to bring alive the internal conflicts pitted against external pressures of different ideologies of Bhagat Singh and

Gandhi ji. They opted for different paths but their ultimate aim was securing freedom for India. Besides, the play focused on the depraving moral, social, political values. The forced formation of Pakistan and Bangladesh badly hurt the soul of Bhagat Singh that was conveyed through the narratives.

The potent lyricism and musical compositions by Raman Kant was the lifeline of the sleek production while its level was further augmented by the costumes, sets and chiaroscuro effects. Harish Verma, Sandeep Chatterjee, Vinod, Harvinder Shanti, Chakresh, Priya, GS Pinka and Harmanpal played important roles. Hira Singh Gabaria Punjab minister was the chief guest.



‘Sabras’ captures poetic flavour
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 2
The Kidar Adabi Trust in association with the Grewal Eye Institute organised a tri-lingual poetic symposium titled ‘Sabras’ at the institute hall yesterday evening.

As many as 30 poets presented poems and ‘nazams’ on diverse themes of socio cultural relevance, economical and political exploitation.

Some senior poets talked about romanticism, like 82-year-old ‘Kidar’ read out “Chhu kar tumko kabhi dekha nahin, ahsaas dil mein hi karta rha, band ankhon mein teri tasveer ko, apni chaahat ke rangon se bharta rha”. R.D Taseer’s romance-laced couplets were didactic also.

Another poet introduced himself in style “Lakh mushkilen aayein unse ham nahin darte, Ek bar marte hain roz nahin marte.

Ye gilas ye sagar hamein kya kharidenge, hum hain Shams Tabrezi Miakashi nahin karte”.

R.D Sharma Taseer, Siri Ram Arsh, Shamas Tabrezi, Gurminder Sidhu, Kidar Nath Kidar, Taran Guzral, Sudershan Gaso, Rupa Saba, Ved Divana and others presented their poems on the occasion. Poetess Manjit Indra conducted the mushaira.

Earlier, Dr S.P.S Grewal welcomed the chief guest Dolly Guleria, president of the Punjab Sangeet Natak Akademy, who, accompanied by Usha R.Sharma, IAS, City Mayor Harjinder Kaur lighted the shama.



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