C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Help for kids with learning disabilities
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Here’s some help for children who look normal and talk normal but can’t read, write or spell like their peers.

Faced with a lesser-known condition called learning disability (LD), these children suffer ridicule in classrooms for reasons beyond their control.

They are called careless and stupid whereas they are actually special children in need of help.

After long, some help has trickled down for the learning-disabled children in regions north of Delhi, with Orkids, a Delhi-based multidisciplinary clinic opening its branch in Panchkula’s Sector 15.

Set up in 2000 by Geet Oberoi, a special educator, who was challenged by this invisible disability, Orkids provides remedial intervention to children with LDs.

It also conducts workshops for schoolteachers to help them identify children suffering from dyslexia (language-based LD), dyscalculia (math problems), dysgraphia (difficulty in writing in defined spaces), dyspraxia (difficulty in holding things), auditory, visual processing disability, language deficit disorder and other LDs.

“We offer programmes for the enhancement of study skills, besides training children in the National Institute of Open School curriculum. Our underlying philosophy is that every child is capable of learning and we, as educators, must know the methods to make sure that the child learns,” says Geet, who was earlier an educator for children suffering from visible disabilities like physical, mental and emotional.

“But these disabilities, being visible, were already being given due consideration whether it was academic and physical performance or social adaptability. I was intrigued by LDs, which were not visible and therefore not recognised,” Geet says.

Incidentally, the prevalence of LDs is the greatest among all disabilities in India, 10 to 12 per cent population suffers from LDs. And yet, LDs remain unknown, and are not even covered as a disability under the Persons with Disabilities Act.

“LDs are very common. In a classroom of 50, we have at least 6 children with LDs. Our work is about making these children acceptable. One reason why we do LDs in a big way is the acute dearth of special educators in the field,” says Geet, who visits Panchkula for special workshops.

As regards remediation, Orkids works by developing individual education plan for each child.

“The plan states short and long-term goals. Besides, every child has a monthly goal sheet. Special clinics run six days a week for three hours a day. Speech, language and occupation therapy is included,” he explains.

Orkids also looks into school curricula of children to help them reach comfort zones in classrooms.

Curriculum is, however, not done at the cost of remediation.

About learning disability

  • It is a disorder of psychological processes that aid the use of spoken or written language; manifest as imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, write, spell or do math calculations.
  • Remediation of every child differs from a few months to years. But once under training, improvement surfaces in 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Children with LDs have an average IQ of at least 90 to 110; there’s no correlation between intellectual ability and LD.
  • Slow learning is not LD. Slow learning implies intellectual deficit; LD doesn’t imply that at all.



PU Youth Fest
Folk dances mark concluding day
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Government College for Girls, Sector 11, bagged the team prize in Punjabi folk dance (heritage) event during the Panjab University Diamond Jubilee Chandigarh Zone B Youth Festival that was being held at Dev Samaj College for Women, Sector 45, here, today. MCM DAV College-36 and GCG-42 girls claimed second and third positions, respectively. Nikhita of GCG-42 captured first position in the individual category while Jasgeet Bedi of MCM DAV-36 and Amrinder Kaur of Mai Bhago College, Ludhiana, stood second and third, respectively.

As many as eight teams participated in this keenly contested competition. The programme was presided over by minister of state for finance Pawan Kumar Bansal.

The concluding day of the youth festival was resplendent with Punjabi heritage dances of Malwa and Majha regions - ‘sammi’ and ‘luddi’.

GCG-42 presented ‘sammi’ to the tunes of ‘Main Vaari Re Samiye...’. Mai Bhago College, Ludhiana, also performed ‘sammi’ on the beats of ‘Channe Di Channe...’ and GCG-11 girls danced on ‘Main Surma Pavan Nimma Nimma’.



DAV management befooling us on CPF: Teachers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
A delegation of the MCM DAV and DAV College Employees’ Unions met Panjab University Vice-Chancellor Prof R.C. Sobti and submitted a memorandum charging the DAV College Managing Committee and the principals of MCM DAV and DAV Colleges for trying to befool the teachers regarding contributory provident fund (CPF) on total salary and leave encashment.

Panjab University and the director of higher education, Chandigarh, have already taken an unequivocal stand on the issue. The VC promised to place the issue before the forthcoming syndicate meeting on October 25.

Prof Anil Sarwal, president of the DAV College Teachers’ Union, said, “The PU has already given over two decades to the colleges to implement the statutory retirement benefits but the colleges have taken no steps to do the needful. The CPF issue is hanging fire since 1984-85; leave encashment for non-vacation staff since 1977 and for vacation staff since 1990.”



Students’ date with Bollywood stars
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Bollywood stars Om Puri and Gulshan Grover visited Anupam Kher's institute Actor Prepares today.

Interacting with students, Grover said confidence could be a stepping stone to become a successful actor. He also told them that knowledge of various subjects related to cinema was very important for becoming a successful actor in the film industry.

Om Puri, who has made in big in both mainstream and parallel cinemas besides Hollywood, gave tips to the students on acting and related aspects.



Tiny tots stage play

Mohali, October 21
Vivek High School, Sector 70, celebrated its founder’s day celebrations on Saturday. Tiny tots of the school staged a musical play ‘Mera mera naa karo’. A jungle scene came alive as the children dramatised, danced and sang songs, depicting characters of various animals.

The children conveyed the message of togetherness and joys of sharing. Earlier, principal of the school Anuradha Dua welcomed chief guest Daman Duggal. — TNS



Classics should not be remade, says Om Puri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
The account of the momentous journey of India’s first truly international star, Om Puri, who created ripples in the Indian and western cinema with his powerful portrayal a diversity of roles, will soon be available in the book form.

Close on the heels of the evergreen hero Dev Anand’s autobiography and Sunil Dutt’s biography, the biography of the intense actor, too, is on cards. To be penned by Aparajita Krishnan, the biography should be out in six to eight months, Om Puri told Chandigarh Tribune on the sidelines of a function to announce the release of “Yaariyan”, a big budget Punjabi movie here today.

“She has already visited my native place Ambala and several places in Punjab, including Sanaur (Patiala), to do basic research for the book. She will have a free hand to choose the title for the book,” Puri informed.

The book would provide a gripping account of actor’s early life and showbiz journey spanning over three decades from Ambala to Bollywood, his memorable roles in the mainstream and parallel cinemas and culminating into the conferring of the Order of British Empire (OBE) in 2005 by the UK.

Blaming the making of sequels on the “dearth of good scripts” in the Bollywood, Om Puri said he was not averse to sequels though the classics should not be remade. The sequels of “Jano Bhi Do Yaro” and “Malamaal Weekly” are in the pipeline, he quipped.

Advocating social message though the films, Om Puri asserted that films besides being a major source of entertainment were a powerful tool for social change. The films made by legendary film directors in the golden era of 1950s and 1960s conveyed a strong social message besides providing much-needed entertainment to the millions of the movie buffs, he added.

Talking about the Punjabi film industry, the veteran actor opined that new directors and producers had brought Punjab cinema to the forefront of the regional cinema and it augured well for the preservation of the rich Punjabi cultural heritage.



Reaching out with music
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
For Mario Canonge, the celebrated pianist from the Caribbean, nothing stands in the way of music and the world. “Music is the language I use for cultural exchanges across the world ridden with globalisation. I make my language in the instant. In my realm, there is nothing called planning. Everything is in the moment,” says the man, revered in music circles as the ‘musician for all seasons’.

But he does remember one season more vividly than the others. And this is the season of Martinique, the faraway French island in the Caribbean, where Mario belongs. An ambassador for his island’s musical heritage, the Martiniquan star wears nativity on his sleeves and it shows in the way he talks about his land and the need to connect with the world outside.

“Music helps me find those invisible, but existing bonds,” says the musician, who has undisputed mastery of the piano. It makes him the favourite of an array of singers. Whether it is the Afro-Cuban groups or the raging jazz stars, Mario knows exactly how to make the difference in a concert. His skill, perhaps, lies in his ability to learn from the moment.

“I went to school to study music, but never quite imbibed it the way I learnt while walking the streets. There is something infective about the roads. They get on to you and unleash the best in you,” says Mario, who will perform in the city tomorrow, under the aegis of Alliance Francaise.

Ask him about storyboards for concerts and Mario has none. He explains: “I don’t believe in rehearsing or preparing music. The charm lies in its immediacy. I love improvising on stage; creating then and there. It’s like something newborn, carrying messages from God.” No wonder Mario’s music is as fresh as raindrops.

But it does, sometime, carry the implications of globalisation and the uneasy disconnect that separates one from the other. “That’s what music is about - weaving into web of rhythms the pains and pleasures we sense and live,” says Mario, whose recent album ‘Rhizome’ stormed the music circles like no other. For Mario, it was a chance to connect with the “other” and show how roots multiply. Hence “Rhizome”.

“My music must help me reach out, speak to others and celebrate the harmony of existence,” says Mario, who has cut five albums in his career spanning 20 years. His best talent, to date, is his magical control of the piano, with which he embellishes the best of musical genres. Much of his music, however, pulsates with rhythms of the Caribbean, though it easily stretches out to encompass forms like jazz, Latin American and African. Thankfully, nowhere does Mario’s music lose its soul.



Shubha Mudgal to perform today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 21
Shubha Mudgal, one of the finest classical vocalists of our times, will present her recital at PGI’s Bhargava Auditorium, tomorrow. The event is being organised by the Chandigarh administration.

Shubha, who has earlier performed in Chandigarh, will be accompanied by her husband Aneesh Pradhan on tabla and Sudhir Nayak on harmonium.

Shubha is known for the ability to adapt her voice to classical and contemporary tunes. She earlier presented her version of popular music with the song “Abke Sawan” and continued to surprise her fans with abundantly lyrical romantic numbers like “Seekho na nainon ki bhasha piya…”. These and other popular songs of Shubha feature in her two albums "Ab ke Sawan" and "Pyaar Ke Geet", which received rave reviews. Besides, she can sing in any genre of music with ease, be it rock, blues, samba, jazz or folk.

Shubha is trained under Pt Ram Ashreya, Pt Vinay Chandra, Pt Kumar Gandharva, Maudgalya and Naina Devi.



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