ASI restrictions add to residents’ misery
Those staying close to Mughal monument Serai Amanat Khan fear displacement
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
“This house was constructed more than 150 years ago by my forefathers. I have been living here since my childhood and now the administration claims that I have encroached upon the area in historic monument Serai Amanat Khan,” 
said 80-year-old Parkash Chand.

He said the administration had even installed electricity meters since it was first introduced in the state more than 50 years ago. And now the district officers and politicians were claiming that we had encroached upon the area after Independence.

“Our houses are in very dilapidated condition. The restrictions imposed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would damage them further, if not repaired,” he added.

Another resident Vijay Kumar, showing his ancestral house, rued that the ASI was not allowing him to repair his century-old house constructed by his forefathers. He said if the government wanted to acquire his house for establishing a national monument it should give adequate compensation for his house which was presently valued Rs 50 lakh.

It is pertinent to mention here that the ASI had taken up the project of repairing the monument 10 years ago which was constructed during the reign of Mughal king Shahjehan. Badshai Road passed from Attari and Goindwal via Serais Amanat Khan, Nurdin, Naurangabad and Fatehabad. These were of the same design and dimensions. The outer walls of the serai have already fallen, whereas its two gates still stood in a dilapidated condition. Outside the serai is the tomb of Amanat Khan, now in ruins.

Village sarpanch Sarwan Singh Bittu said 95 per cent of the population in the area belonged to the backward class or Dalits working in the farms of zamindars of the area.

Only 5 per cent of the population was capable of buying land and construct houses outside the complex.

He rued the district administration and said that political leaders of the area were not taking any interest to safeguard residents’ interests. Showing the houses whose roofs had fallen in the absence of necessary repairs, Bittu said the people were now forced to move out of the area.

It is putting financial burden on those who were already reeling under the increasing prices of the essential commodities. It was not possible for the poor and Dalit residents to spend Rs 10 lakh to construct a five-marla house outside the serai, he added.



It’s tough being old in city
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
Despite clear instructions to government hospitals to provide separate queues for senior citizens, aged in the holy city have to jostle in common queues for hours, waiting for their turn.

The consumer rights protection society has now taken up the matter with the health authorities stating that instructions issued by the secretary, health and family welfare department, Punjab in 1993 that there should be a separate queue for pensioners and elderly persons in government hospitals, were not being implemented in Amritsar.

General secretary of the society BR Preenja said the then director, research and medical education, Punjab, had also issued letter to all principals of government medical colleges, to follow the department’s directions. In January 1999, the Centre formulated uniform national policy on older persons and sought several benefits and concessions for them, he said.

The secretary, social security women and child development, Punjab, in his letter dated February 25, 1999, has also sought provisions for separate queue for senior citizens in the hospitals and dispensaries, bus stands and libraries, said Preenja. “The medical superintendent, SGTB, hospital also circulated the government directive in this regard on August 1, 2001 after realising that the directive was not been complied with in the hospital. The circular was addressed to all professors and heads, professor in-charges and all the clinical departments of the GMC,” he said. The Punjab governments vide its notification August 27, 2004 decided to treat persons who have attained 60 years of age as senior citizens and declared them eligible for the benefits explained in the national policy on elder persons framed by the union government.

The national policy on older persons also seeks, among other benefits, that public hospitals be directed to ensure that elderly are not subjected to long waits. The hospitals were also advised to provide separate counters to the senior citizens, he said.

The sad part of the story is that the national policy is not enforced even in the central government offices - general post office, railway station and banks.



On Ashtmi dumped baby girl finds home
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
The day when the city was worshipping little girls in the name of the Goddess on “Ashtami” (October 20), someone abandoned a three-hour-old girl child in a field in the Verka area.

Crying her lungs out, the newborn wasn’t even wrapped in cloth and the rough ends of the hay in the stack of cattle fodder where she had been placed had turned her tender body red with bruises.

  • February 18, 2007: A newborn girl child found wrapped in a towel
  • July 7, 2007: A two-and-a-half-month-old girl abandoned by her maternal grandmother
  • August 20, 2007: An infant girl abandoned by unknown person
  • October 18, 2007: A newborn girl child found floating on a polythene bag in the UBDC, Tarn Taran Road.
  • October 19, 2007: A newborn girl child abandoned by unknown person
  • July 13, 2007: The body of a newborn girl child thrown by unknown person

H.S. Walia, a property dealer living in the area, who was walking down to his office, heard the wailing baby and on going closer, he could immediately make out that the newborn had been abandoned by her parents. He informed the police which took custody of the child. By the next morning, the police received requests from four families to adopt the child. But it was Walia, who had spotted the newborn, became her proud foster father.When contacted, Walia said, “I already have a teenaged daughter and consider myself blessed with another one, that too on ‘Ashtami’ when people worship the Goddess.”

Walia said his family was overwhelmed to have the newborn with them, who has been christened Harnoor.

“She is a blessing of God and my wife and I would bring her up like our own daughter. My daughter has grown very fond of her and has decided to call her Jyoti for bringing a new ray light into our lives,” he said.

He said the formalities for adoption had been completed. “We also met Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Vijender Jain, who appreciated the fact that families from the city had instantly offered to adopt the child,” Walia added.

SSP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said so far this year, five abandoned babies had been found in the city and all the babies were females. Besides, one case of infanticide was also reported, wherein the body of a newborn female child was found.

Though families volunteer to adopt abandoned children. But if no one turns up, the police hands over the children to the local Pingalwara on the orders of the court.



Cold response to Azadi Express

Amritsar, October 23
The Azadi Express, a mobile exhibition train which was flagged off by human resources development minister Arjun Singh on September 28 from New Delhi marking the birth anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, failed to attract the city residents as only the rail commuters visited the exhibition.

The train had arrived in the holy city on Friday from Porbandar in Gujarat to create awareness among the people of the events which constituted the bedrock of our freedom struggle. The exhibition also aims to convey to the people the achievement of free India in various fields.

Hakam Singh, field exhibition officer, DAVP, Chandigarh, said the train exhibition was widely publicised through advertisements in the print and the electronic media.

The 12-coach Azadi Express train have three sections covering the first war of independence in 1857 and the events which led to it, period of freedom movement and lastly the country’s progress in the post-independence period. The events are depicted through panels, graphics, dioramas, projection screen and through an audio system.

The first section of the train deals with the revolt of 1857 portraying events from the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and the major popular uprisings leading to the great revolt of 1857. The highlight of this section is the 1857 revolt and various flash points such as Barrackpore, Meerut, Lucknow and Delhi, which are presented artistically through sketches, cutouts and other audio-visual formats.

The second section shows details of the 90 years of freedom struggle beginning with the proclamation of bringing India under the British Crown up to the attainment of freedom in 1947.

The third section is on the post-independent era portraying India’s achievements in various fields such as framing and adoption of the Constitution, democracy, democracy in action, planned development, building of strong industrial base, Indo-Pak conflicts, nation’s economic success and achievements in science and technology and IT.

The 12th coach has sales counters selling mementos, khadi and other products connected with India’s freedom struggle. It also has facilities for briefing on the exhibits through audio-visual presentation. — TNS



Engineering dreams for ruralites
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
The vision which led late Baba Mangal Singh Ji to establish the Baba Kuma Singh Ji Engineering College in the remote village Hoshiar Nagar, for educating the youth of the border belt, has started bearing fruits as there is growing awareness among the local boys and girls about the technical courses being provided by the institute.

The principal of the college Dr H.S. Chugh said many students of government and private schools of the border area, who earlier used to take admissions in the arts stream, come to the college and inquire about the procedure to get admission in the college. “They educate them as to how they would be able to get admissions in the professional educational institutes of the state or the country besides working hard to compete with counterparts in the major cities of the state,” he added. Dr Chugh said due to the growing awareness of the benefits of taking admission in a professional course, the local youth have started taking admissions in non-medical courses in the senior secondary classes. He said earlier most of the students used to be from the main cities like Amritsar, Tarn Taran and other parts of the state but due to the awareness there is increase in the number of students from the border area villages as well.

It is pertinent to mention here that the college had been set up by late Baba Mangal Singh in the year 2003 in the memory of Baba Kuma Singh, who was a disciple of Baba Bakala Singh, a close follower of Guru Hargobind Singh Ji. Baba Kuma had served Dera Satlani Sahib from 1803 to 1853 during the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The college was established to serve the rural folk and border residents. Baba Gurpinder Singh Wadala, chairman of the college said they also help poor and meritorious students by giving fee concessions to them. He said it was the dream of the founder chairman to serve the people of the border belt and to impart quality education in engineering. He said the college not only encourages the students from the state but all over the nation.



Vision brings Irish traveller to Amritsar
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
Cost-effective treatment and professionalism at par with the developed countries has begun a new trend in the ophthalmology field as city doctors, considered among the best in the world, are attracting foreigners to seek eye treatment here. John Leahy (53) from Ireland came back to the city after his eye treatment last year from Dr Rohit Om Parkash and Dr Ajay Khanna of the Dr Om Parkash Eye Institute here. He is the first foreigner from a developed country during the past 17 years who received eye treatment in the hospital, claimed Dr Rohit.

Leahy, a keen traveller, says he wanted to combine his treatment for eyes with the pleasure of touring these parts. “Long waiting periods and exorbitant prices by eye specialists in my country combined with factor of top facilities in this hospital at nearly one-fourth the cost clinched my decision in favour of Amritsar after having met Dr Rohit in London during a session on promoting global medical tourism,” he added.

“I was using spectacles for the past 12 years and now I am completely free of using them for my everyday work. After treatment I woke up and actually read the text written on a card near the phone that I could never have done before.
I was absolutely delighted,” he said.

Dr Rohit revealed that an increasing number of NRIs are also getting their eye surgeries and treatment done in the hospital. He appealed to the government to develop medical tourism facilities in the city and around.



Campus Buzz
Brit varsity keen on knowledge sharing pact with GNDU
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 23
Professor Robert Arnott, director of the centre for history of medicine of University of Birmingham, UK, visited the Guru Nanak Dev University here today and interacted with the vice-chancellor Dr Jai Rup Singh to identify the academic areas of mutual collaboration. The VC apprised Professor Robert about the various programmes available at the varsity. He said GNDU has a state-of-the-art infrastructure in biotechnology, human genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, botanical & environmental sciences, pharmaceutical sciences, sports medicine & physiotherapy. Prof Robert revealed that his varsity was keen on having an academic exchange programme with the GNDU, especially in medical sciences.

He said they could also consider entering into an agreement with the GNDU in other disciplines. Dr SS Johal, a former VC of Punjabi University and vice-chairman of Punjab Planning Board who accompanied the guest suggested that before the final collaboration, a model should be developed for joint programme and exchange of faculty and students. Johal added that a joint degree programme at the graduate and postgraduate level could also be considered to provide exposure to the students.

Dr Raghbir Singh, dean academic affairs said the management and IT programmes could also be included in the tie-up, as they have a very good infrastructure for these courses.

Handball tourney

Guru Nanak Dev University would host North-East Zone and All India Inter-University Handball (Men and Women) championship from November 1-14. Stating this, Dr Kanwaljit Singh, director of sports said more than 71 teams consisting of 700 players from various universities would participate in the tournament. The inaugural ceremony would be held on November 1 at 1.30 pm in the varsity sports complex.


The Publication Department of Guru Nanak Dev University on Monday condoled the death of Kuldip Singh, a Sikh scholar and founder publication officer of the university, who died recently. He began living in the USA after retirement in 1980.

Learning science

“An exciting two-hour meet on ‘learning science’ for the students from classes VIII to XII is also being held in Guru Nanak Bhavan Auditorium on October 25 at 2 pm,”said IShtiaque Ahmad, Head of the chemistry derpartment.

He said the programme would deal with various aspects of science and would provide information normally not covered in school syllabus. It would include a lecture by C.N.R. Rao followed by a multimedia presentation by Indumati Rao.

The audiovisual presentation using colourful visuals, animation and movie files of experiments is designed to facilitate better understanding of difficult concepts among students.

More than 300 students and around 60 teachers from various schools in and around Amritsar would be participating in the event. The programme was an important JNCASR’s extension activity for popularising science amongst high school students and teachers, he added.



Talk on chemistry of nano-materials
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, October 23
Guru Nanak Dev University would host “JNC frontier lecturers and learning science” from October 24 to 26. The programme is being held in collaboration with Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Bangalore.

Stating this, professor emeritus Harjit Singh said C.N.R. Rao, chairman science advisory committee to the Prime Minister of India and president of JNCASR, Bangalore, would deliver the inaugural lecture on October 24. The programme would be inaugurated by GNDU vice-chancellor JaiRup Singh.

Professor Harjit Singh said, “Rao would be addressing on chemistry of nano materials.” The event would include participation of scientists of international and national repute.

They would deliver lectures on application of DNA chemistry in therapeutics and materials, click chemistry and organic synthesis, bio-inorganic chemistry, organic reaction on water, femtosecond spectroscopy and macro cyclic coordination compounds and beyond Van Der Waals.

The scientists participating in the event include Prof. , professor at JNCASR V. Krishnan, S. Chandrasekaran of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, K.N. Ganesh, director of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, N. Satyamurthy, director of the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali, Kankan Bhattacharya of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Science, Kolkata, and R.N. Mukherjee of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Professor Harjit Singh said, “The frontier lecture programme aims at introducing young postgraduate students, researchers and teachers in chemistry and physics to the exciting world of contemporary education and research in chemical and physical sciences.”



Rural Education
Seek help from panchayats, teachers told

Tarn Taran, October 23
Renowned educationist Dr DR Vij has appealed to the teachers working in the rural areas to seek active support of the panchayat concerned to redress the problems being faced by them to give better educational facilities to the students.

Dr Vij was addressing the 2nd national annual workshop -cum-conference organised at government elementary school, Rasulpur, here. The event was organised by the Punjab rural education promotion council, Ludhiana. Teachers of the area along with the students attended the conference. Vij asked the parents to be more aware of their rights and take active interest in their kids’ studies. Narinder Singh, principal of government model secondary school Kharar also addressed the gathering. — OC



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |