L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

PAU Polls
Mundi group unseats Maur
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Harbans Singh Mundi, representing the PAU Employees Federation, today became the president of the PAU Non-teaching Employees Union after defeating D.P. Maur by a margin of 114 votes here. The polling was held yesterday.

After a hectic schedule of over 15 days, Mundi supporters were elated at his victory. Mundi gave the credit to his supporters and said employees had reposed faith in him.

“Maur has completed 12 years as union president, and now it is our turn to prove our worth and work for the welfare of the employees,” he said. Working as senior assistant at the office of dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Mundi said his priority would be to get the long-pending demands of non-teaching employees accepted.

The other results are: Senior vice-president (open) Lakhwinder Singh won by 107 votes while senior vice-president (reserved) Charanjit Singh Sekhon won by 122 votes.

Vice-president (open) is Manmohan Singh while Sarbjit Singh is vice-president (reserved). Avinash Sharma has been elected general secretary and Sham Lal treasurer.

Darshan Singh and Bikkar Singh have been elected secretaries and Jasbir Singh and Yadwinder Pal Singh are the new joint treasurers.

The organising secretaries are Mehar Singh and Mandeep Pal Singh while Parveen Kumar and Ram Singh are propaganda secretaries.

All candidates represent the Mundi group.

V.K.Dutta, chairman of the election committee, said all employees cooperated with the committee and every effort was made to conduct the election in a fair manner.

Maur when contacted said the Mundi group won because of its “change slogan”. “May be employees also wanted change. We could not accommodate cases which were pending in courts. This also went against us. But we are for cooperation,” he added.



World AIDS Day Today
Widows battle stigma; to fight till the end
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Three women with AIDS, deserted by their in-laws following the death of their husbands, are the sorry face of the fight against the disease by NGOs and the government.

Waging a battle of survival, these women know the slogans to support AIDS victims ring hollow, more so if the victim is a woman. It is not the government, but help from one or two friends or relatives that is pulling them along.

Amarjit Kaur, widow of an Army man, would not have been alive had her sister-in-law Jaspal Kaur not come to her rescue. She cannot even mourn the death of her four-month-old son who died some years ago due to this deadly disease. She is determined to fight till the very end.

“The school I was teaching in terminated my services soon after it came to know that I am suffering from this disease. The Army refused to give me pension, saying that my husband had gone to a red light area and so they are not liable to pay the pension,” she rues.

“My in-laws did not let me enter the house. The place where I cherished every moment of my married life was not mine any more. Destiny has been cruel to me. My only son Jasandeep was also infected with the virus and died when he was just four-months-old,” she says.

It was the wife of his brother who came as her saviour. “After reaching my paternal house, my sister-in-law extended a helping hand and gave me courage to fight. It is due to her that I joined Punjab Networking of Positive People to fight for my right,” Jaspal Kaur says.

But it’s a different story for Surinder Kaur (name changed). She broods over the future of her 16-year-old daughter. “I have not disclosed my HIV positive status to my children. Thank God they are not infected. It was when we were planning to move abroad that I came to know that me and my husband were suffering from this disease. My husband succumbed to this disease four months ago,” she says.

For Gita Rana, life is a constant struggle. After the death of her pharmacist husband, she is the sole bread earner of the family and has a bank loan to repay. “I had tried to settle the matter with the bank, but the bank authorities did not reduce the loan,” she says.

She has written to the Prime Minister’s office, but it too has refused to entertain the issue. “I went to the Punjab State Women Commission, but it did not intervene in the matter. I will, however, continue to fight until the very end against this unfair society,” she adds.



School sans building, furniture
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, November 30
The government has changed but not the fate of children who are forced to study under a tree in the absence of proper shelter.

This slum school at Rishi Nagar was opened by former education minister Harnam Dass Johar under the Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyaan when the Congress was in power. During his tenure, he kept on promising to construct a building for 140 children who brave all kinds of weather to learn alphabets.

The people of his constituency didn’t elect him this time. But, the school still continues to function from under this tree. As the winter has already set in the region, the concern is evident on the faces of the tiny tots and school teacher.

These students from Class I to Class V study in this school. But this is just the beginning of trouble. The children, who are being taught virtually on road, are not only bearing the burnt of cold, but they are also getting exposed to all kind of addictions as a paan-biri shop is located just next to the school.

As per the government’s guidelines, the school should be at least 100 mts away from such shops but here neither the administration nor the education department seems to bothered about the rules that is being openly flouted.

Recently, a rikshaw stand has been put up to aggravate the troubles of the school. To cap it all there is a garbage damp near the school making it just impossible for the children to study.



Icon award for Ishmeet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle will award Ishmeet Singh, winner of Voice of India, with the “icon of Sikh youth” award.

The award would be conferred on him at a modelling competition, “Young Sikh star of Punjab”, to be held on December 2 here, Charan Kamal Singh, chief secretary of the study circle, said.

Kes Sambhal Parchar Parchar Sanstha would also honour Ishmeet with “melodious Sikh icon of India” award, Devinder Singh Juneja, president of the sanstha, said.



BJP leader dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
BJP leader Lala Lajpat Rai passed away after prolonged illness this morning.

Thousands of people, including leaders cutting across party lines, thronged the Civil Lines cremation ground to bid adieu to the leader. Lala Lajpat Rai was born on May 15, 1917, and was founder-president of several organisations, including the Bharat Vikas Parishad. He was elected as councillor, municipal committee, in 1955, remained MLA from 1957 to 1962 and served as Member, Rajya Sabha, from 1998 to 2004. He is survived by two daughters and a son and several grandchildren.

Manoranjan Kalia, while condoling the death of Lala Lajpat Rai said he was a seasoned politician, who served the state and country honestly and earnestly.

Hira Singh Gabria said he had played an important role to strengthen unity and brotherhood in society and always pursued the politics of principles.

Office-bearers and representatives of several organisations, many councillors and political leaders from different parties also attended the cremation.



Tourism expo from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Nearly 50 tourism boards, state tourism department, travel organisers, hotels and resorts will participate in India Travel Mart (ITM) that will begin here tomorrow.

Addressing a press conference, Ajay Gupta, director, ITM said: “The exhibition would focus on outbound, inbound and domestic tourism. International tourism boards like Malaysia Tourism and Thailand Tourism, state tourism departments of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar and Himachal, besides organisers from various parts of the country would participate.”

He said people who get their packages booked during the exhibition would also get discount and other promotional offers. “The main aim is to boost tourism awareness. With Christmas and New Year round the corner, a large number of people are planning a holiday. The expo would help them select from varied options,” he said.



Govt dithers over resignation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The controversy over the resignation of Vinod Sharda, an assistant commissioner with the municipal corporation here, refuses to die down with the government undecided on whether to accept his resignation or not.

Five days have passed since he tendered his resignation for not getting leave for 10 days to supervise the organisation of a religious function and two days after he had sought to withdraw the resignation, the government was yet to take a decision.

MC commissioner Vikas Pratap, declining to comment, said the ball was in the court of the government over the issue. However, an official of the MC said the case of Sharda was important for the government to decide as MC work was affected if employees kept taking leave.



Punjab Cong general secy booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Following an altercation between former minister of jails Malkit Singh Birmi and Punjab Congress general secretary Ashok Prasher, the local police has registered an FIR against Prashar.

The two Congress leaders got into a heated argument at a wedding function at Sterling Resorts here on Wednesday.

While Prashar claimed that it was only after Birmi started abusing one of Prashar's friends that an argument started, the FIR alleged that Birmi was manhandled by Prashar, alias Pappi Shahpuria, and his supporters.

The Sadar police has registered a case under various sections of the Arms act. 



Probe into death of migrant begins Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh,  November 30
The Dehlon police has initiated an investigation into the death of a migrant labourer, Rassa Ram of Salarpur village of Sarabasti district in UP, whose body was found lying on a cot in the house of a farmer, Hardeep Singh, of Chhapar village, near here, yesterday. Strangulation marks with a rope made the police suspicious about the cause of the death.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that Rassa Ram had been working as a farm labourer with Hardeep Singh for about three months.

He had also worked for some months with Hardeep Singh about two years ago.

Though Rassa Ram had been working in the fields of Hardeep Singh daily, he was not seen after Wednesday evening.

Prem Singh, SHO, noticed marks of injuries on the body of the deceased due to the alleged tightening of a rope around his neck.

The police has registered a case under Section 174, CrPC. Further action will be initiated after the receipt of the post-mortem report. 



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