Satsang in heritage building!
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 16
How serious is the district administration and political leaders of the city towards maintaining heritage of the city can be gauged from the fact that a religious function is being held in Company Bagh, the summer palace of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. This despite a letter from the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to the administration asking not to hold such a function.

The function is being held allegedly in violation of all norms of safeguarding heritage.

Sant Morari Bapu, visiting the city after more than 13 years, would deliver religious discourses to more than 50,000 devotees from the city and abroad from November 17 to 25. The function is being organised by the Ram Katha Samiti Shivala Bhaian. The samiti has made elaborate arrangements for the stay of the devotees who would be coming to the city from far-off places.

Mayor Shwet Malik visited the site and issued orders to the municipal corporation officers concerned for pruning of trees, watering plants, besides spraying chemicals for destroying mosquitoes in the area. He also ordered repair of the road leading to the venue, besides stationing of fire engines in the area. He also ordered painting of zebra crossings on the footpaths and electricity poles, besides fixing a board for displaying the telephone numbers of the officials concerned of the corporation.

Putting a question mark on the permission granted by the administration to hold the function at this venue, project architect Gurmeet Rai said the administration must avoid holding of such functions in the park as it was unfit for accommodating a large number of people gathering for discourse. Instead, such functions should be held in a stadium, she added.

Social activist Amrit Lal Mannan pointed out that the ASI had also written to the district administration, lodging its protest against holding of the function in the garden which had been declared a national monument in 2004.

Since then no public or religious congregation had been held in the historical gardens.

The officials of ASI had also written to DC and the SSP to intervene in the matter and stop the ongoing work of digging of ground to install tents.

The ASI officers rue that the administration had not taken any steps to stop the function or shift the venue.



Master Of Many Trades
Jabbal’s fine touch is visible in his chessboards too
Varinder Walia

Amritsar, November 16
A noted local artiste (Punjabi comedian), Harbhajan Jabbal, who was the first Sikh actor to enter the film industry in the sixties with an impressive role of a policeman in “Mahi Munda” with unshorn hair, died following a massive heart attack here yesterday.

He was 65. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. He was the first to break the myth that only clean-shaven artistes were acceptable in the Bollywood. He acted in about two dozen Punjabi films. He was among the first actors who were given major roles by the Doordarshan, Jalandhar, since its inception.

He did most of the roles in various comedy serials with his co-artiste Jatinder Kaur. He started his career at the age of 25. Though he had acted in various feature films during his career spanning more than four decades, yet theatre remained his passion till the last day. He was preparing a comedy serial, “Natha Singh MLA.” He was the winner of a number of awards. His funeral was largely attended by artistes and local residents, including Kewal Dhaliwal, Jagdish Sachdeva, Manmohan Singh, a senior IPS officer, Gyan Singh, DPRO, Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi, Sudesh Lehri and Surinder Farishta.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Bikram Singh Majithia, information and public relations minister, Punjab and Janwadi Lekhak Sabha and Folklore Research Academy mourned the death of Jabbal. Though Jabbal had brought laurels to the holy city by acting in a number of movies and one-act plays, yet a few outsiders were aware of his another distinctive quality that he was a great artisan of chessboards. It may be mentioned here that the holy city is famous all over the world as the manufacturing centre of chessboards and pieces. Jabbal’s father used to prepare chessboards and pieces manually in Lahore and after Partition his family settled here.

A large number of residents are unaware that locally manufactured chessboards and pieces are in a great demand in countries like the USA, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Australia and Canada. Amritsar exports chessboards and pieces worth over Rs 40 crore to these countries annually. Amritsar used to be a centre of producing wares made of ivory. The ivory work is as old as the holy city, which was established by the fourth Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Ram Das.



Narial paani is the new craze in holy city
Going nuts over coco
Vibhor Mohan

Amritsar, November 16
A drink which has always been associated with beautiful beaches far away is now up for grabs in the holy city. The sight of coloured straws poked into green, raw coconuts, is too hard to resist for the health conscious and those keen on trying something new alike.

With films of yesteryears, having an essential ‘narial paani’ scene wherein the hero and heroine were seen effortlessly sipping water from a coconut, perched perfectly between the two, the couples in the city too are trying to the strike picture-perfect pose.

Available outside the Sindhi Coffee House, Crystal Chowk and Hall Bazar, one can savour the coconut water for anywhere between Rs 15 and 20. Says Rajkumar Sharma, who sells “narial pani” at Crystal Chowk in the evenings. “It’s a new concept for the city. Since fresh coconuts are available throughout the year, the supply is never a problem. The vegetable market is flooded with fresh coconuts, which are brought from West Bengal and Karnatka.” The response is good, he says, adding that majority of people are 
pleasantly surprised to find green coconuts.

The drink is also preferred for its nutritional value and the juice is believed to be particularly good for expecting mothers. “It’s better than a preservative-laced soft drink any day. Since the fruits are cut right in front of us, the quality of the juice is ensured. Add to it, the soft ‘malai’ one gets after he is finished with the juice ,” says Kewal Kumar, an LIC agent.



Campus Buzz
Be open to challenges, GenNext researchers told
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 16
Distinguished Indian and UK-based scientists exhorted the young generation of science scholars not only to accept the challenges in pharmaceutical, agro-chemical and food industry but also to create new ones and find their solutions.

These scientists of international repute are participating in a four-day national J-NOST symposium being organised by the department of chemistry of Guru Nanak Dev University at Guru Nanak Bhavan Auditorium here.

The scientists from the UK discussed that with outsourcing of research by Western countries from India was creating new opportunities for the researchers in organic chemistry.

The participating scientists discussed at length that how the technologies could be used for making the available drugs and also to develop the new drugs. They were of the view that water could be used to make new materials which would be more economical and environmental than the available methods.

Dr K. Nagrajan, corporate advisor, Hikel R&D Centre, Bangalore, who is also a scientist of international repute, said organic chemistry was going to take the central place for chemistry, medicine, life sciences and physics in the coming years which would create excellent job opportunities in the country.

“The professionals with PhD in organic chemistry are being offered Rs 4 to 6 lakh package, he said, hoping that the industries would soon offer salaries equivalent to those in Western countries.

Dr Sukh Dev, former director, Malti Chemicals, Vadodra (Gujarat), delivered a lecture on “Ethics in science”. Prof Raghbir Singh, dean, academic affairs, said the intellectual output of a nation decided the quality and quantity of its progress and in the academic world, the burden of intellectual progress lay on the shoulders of the research scholars.

Youth fest

More than 1,500 students from different affiliated colleges of the districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala would participate in the Guru Nanak Dev University four-day inter-zonal youth festival beginning November 17 in the university complex. These young artistes would compete in various items of music, dance, fine art, folk songs and theatre. Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai would inaugurate the festival.

The student-artistes hailing from various colleges would show their prowess in bhangra, fancy dress, mime, mimicry, histrionics, one-act play, classical instrumentation, semi-classical vocal, rangoli, phulkari, flower arrangement, skit, folk orchestra, quiz, etc.

Foundation day

Guru Nanak Dev University would celebrate its 38th foundation day on November 24 on its campus. Former vice-chancellor G.S. Randhawa would preside over the celebrations.

Giving details about the foundation day celebrations, registrar R.S. Bawa said Dr Pal Ahluwalia, professor of ethical studies of University of California, San Diego (USA), and Dr Karamjit Singh Rai of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana (USA), would deliver lectures on “Good citizenship and role of education”.

Besides, an inter-college folklore exhibition depicting the rich Punjabi cultural heritage showing the various rare artifacts, dresses, ornaments, weapons, etc would be a major feature of the celebrations being organised in the Sangat Hall of Guru Nanak Bhavan. An exhibition of insect photographs by Arsh Rup Singh would be arranged.



500 students take part in IAFA painting competition
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 16
The Indian Academy of Fine Arts (IAFA) organised an on-the-spot painting competition for schoolchildren to celebrate  Children’s Day. About 500 students of different schools of holy city and nearby areas participated in the competition.

Eminent artists, including Dr Gopal Kirodiwal, Shiv Dev Singh and Sukhpal Singh, acted as judges in the competition. Deputy commissioner-cum-chairman of the IAFA K.S. Pannu, who was the chief guest, awarded the winners.

Earlier, the deputy  commissioner inaugurated an exhibition of late  Dr E.K. Raj which  was organised by the academy in the memory of the great artist.



Holy Heart kid wins stamp contest
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 16
Simran Kundal, a student of class IX at Holy Heart Presidency School, won the second prize in “Design a stamp contest” organised by the department of posts.

The other participants from the school also  got appreciation  awards while drawings made by the students of the school on the theme “India of my dreams” were also appreciated  by the jury.

Meanwhile, Chanpreet and Rana Resham bagged the third position in a quiz competition organised by Escort Hospital on the occasion of World Diabetes Day.

The theme of the day was “Diabetes in children and adolescents.”



Contests for mentally, physically challenged

Tarn Taran, November 16
A district-level competition of painting and cultural activities for the mentally and physically challenged students of elementary schools was organised at Government Elementary School, Kad Gill, here on Wednesday on the occasion of Children’s Day.

District education officer (elementary) Gursharanjit Singh Mann was the chief guest. Students from different blocks participated in the competition. — OC



Conference on modern aspects of anaesthesia

Amritsar, November 16
The local unit of the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (ISA) in association with Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences and Research is organising a two-day eighth annual conference of the north zone Indian Society of Anaesthesiologist in the holy city on November 17 and 18. Stating this to mediapersons, Dr Ruchi Gupta, organising secretary, ISA, said more than 500 delegates from all over the country and abroad were likely to attend the conference. She said the conference, which had been allotted eight credit hours by the Punjab Medical Association, was also supported by the Medical Council of India and US-based organisation The Smile Train, which is the largest charitable organisation involved in free cleft surgeries.

Dr Gupta said eminent national and international faculty has been invited to deliver talks on various aspects of anaesthesia. She said Dr Josef Holzki, former president of the European Society of Anaesthesiologists, would be delivering the keynote address on special problems in anaesthetising the children.

She said in addition to anaesthesia in children, other aspects of modern anaesthesia, intensive care (ICU) and pain management would be covered. The organising secretary announced that there would be a trade exhibition during the conference where national as well as multinational companies were going to display their latest anaesthesia-related machinery and equipment.

There were going to be two workshops on “Cardiopulmonary resuscitation” and “Ultrasound guided nerve blocks” where latest technologies in dealing with difficult situations and reviving dying patients would be discussed. She said anaesthesiologist from 20 medical colleges of Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Chandigarh would participate in the conference. — TNS



Surgeons reattach 17-year-old’s chopped hand
Tribune news Service

Amritsar, November 16
In a rare procedure a 17-year-old youth was prevented from becoming disabled by a team of orthopedic surgeons who reattached his amputated hand through micro-vascular surgery.

Dr Gurvinder Singh, managing director of Karam Singh Memorial Orthopedic Hospital, while giving details said, Salwant Singh, resident of Sekhwa village in Gurdaspur, was working on a fodder-cutting machine when his right hand got stuck in it and was chopped off from the wrist. He was brought to the hospital in serious condition due to extensive blood loss.

The doctor said they had to immediately start the surgical procedure where in patient’s bones, arteries, veins, nerves and tendons were rejoined using micro-vascular surgical techniques. Giving advice to the victims of such accidents, he said they should reach hospitals, where replant surgery facilities are available, within 6 hours. “If there is delay, it becomes increasingly difficult for the surgeons to get better results,” he further said, adding that the amputated part should be put in a clean and dry polyethylene bag and then kept in cold water or ice-box. 



‘Type-II diabetes on  rise in kids’

Amritsar, November 16
The Escort Heart and Super Specialty Institute held a special diabetes evaluation camp for diabetics on November 14, World Diabetes Day. The camp included facilities like testing blood sugar levels, besides evaluation of complications arising or occurring due to the disease.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Khanna said, “An alarming scenario is developing as cases of type-II diabetes are being witnessed more in children. Type-II diabetes is insulin-resistant and develops into heart diseases later.” — OC



Documenting the Partition tales 
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 16
Sarah Singh, the one-woman crew, who has produced and directed her first documentary “The Sky Below”, says most accounts related to India’s Partition are so emotive that one such story has been straying on her from the day she heard it at a seminar in Manhattan.

The vivid and descriptive story narrated by one of the speakers moved her so much that she decided to pack her bags and head for Patiala, the city her father had left with his American wife in 1974, when she was a two-year-old.

Having some experience of film making in New York, besides trying her hands at photography and writing, she decided to produce-direct a documentary on the “lingering fallout” of India-Pak partition.

“Though Pakistan is like a mirror image of India, it was slightly difficult for a woman to shoot for such a serious issue. But the fact that I had a US passport helped me get visa easily,” she says.

In Amritsar for the screening of her 70-minute documentary, which was well appreciated at the Indian International Centre in Delhi, Sarah Singh says while interviewing people on both sides, it struck her that everyone had a different perspective of Partition, an event which had resulted in a legacy of suspicion across borders and a profound inability of people to reconcile their political divide.

Folk singers recorded live in India and Pakistan, found footage, reality based and conceptual location shooting, still photography, and some archival footage have been merged in the movie to emphasise on the contrasted realities which compose the culturally connected, yet politically disconnected, region.

“Though we keep hearing about the India-Pakistan issues in bits and pieces in news channels, I wanted to showcase it for the world audience in the form of a complete story covering different aspects of the division of the sub-continent,” she says.

The film is a cross section of history, people, politics, and culture - across time and places - Kutch to Kashmir and Karachi to the Khyber pass, featuring first person stories, including those of terrorists, politicians, royalty, ordinary citizens and historians who share their insight into the South Asian economic block.

Sarah has held exhibitions of her paintings in New York and has been a photographer for almost 20 years. She also dabbled in the film industry in New York for some time. She has also got the chance to work with independent productions for MTV and the History Channel.



Sitar recital leaves students mesmerised
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 16
Sitarist and composer Shubhendra Rao rendered his sitar recital at Spring Dale Senior School under the Virasat-2007 series of SPICMACAY on the school premises here. This was the third performance of classical music under this programme.

Rao is a disciple of renowned sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. His inspired performances were reminiscent of this guru, yet uniquely of his own. He expressed his happiness over his visit to the city and performing in front of young students who patiently listened and enjoyed the music. He was accompanied by tabla player Dourjoy Bhoumik.

Shubhendra, who began learning sitar from his father N. R. Rama at the tender age of three years and through years of rigorous training and practice, received a firm foundation under his guru from where he could explore the world of music and build his own persona.

Speaking on the occasion, he stressed the need for parents to nurture good culture and values at home so that the children could imbibe the same rather than blaming the media or western culture for the changing habits of the children.

The sitar player had his first lessons from the maestro at the age of eight and travelled across the country to continue his training. At the age of 18 he moved to Delhi to live and learn from his Pandit Ravi Shankar who gave him a deep insight to become a complete and true artiste. He also assisted his guru in solo concerts and orchestras which was an important part of his learning.

He later performed at major music festivals in India, including Doverlane Conference in Kolkata, Baba Harvallabh Sangeet Mahasabha in Jalandhar, Shankarlal festival and Gunidas Sammelan in New Delhi and the Vasantahabba festival in Bangalore. He also featured at some international venues like theatre Da La Ville in Paris, The WOMAD festival in Guernsey, England, National Arts festival in South Africa, etc.



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