NRIs hop on airport buses for a ride home and back
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Its that time of the year once again when bus operators ferrying passengers from airports are going to have their hands full. With most NRIs preferring to take a break from work around Christmas for a sojourn in their hometown, this perhaps is the peak season of the airport bus service business. So much is the demand that the bus operators have been pressing as many as eight to 12 buses each day for the service after every two to three hours.

The swanky airport buses can be easily distinguished as these bear pictures of aeroplanes, the national flag and other common foreign destinations.

Though Jalandhar is well connected through rail and several trains, including Shatabdi, leave for Delhi daily, most NRIs prefer taking these buses as they drop them directly outside the airport. “We need not worry about unloading our huge bags at a busy railway station, hiring a taxi and loading them back for going to the airport,” says Amardeep Singh, leaving for the UK this Saturday.

Rajdeep Singh, who is to go to Finland next week, said, “It is only for the security of my luggage that I prefer airport bus service though it proves to be a costly affair. One has to shell out nearly Rs 900 for a bus ride from Jalandhar to Delhi airport and is not even offered anything to eat. A small mineral bottle is all one gets here, whereas the Shatabdi provides proper meals for a lesser amount. Journey by bus takes nine to 11 hours, whereas the train route is quicker by almost three hours.”

The most common airport bus service from the city is that of Raju Travels though it is popular by the name Indo-Canadian bus service. There are other private bus companies and taxi services too in the city ferrying passengers to the airports.

Punjab Roadways too began its airport bus service last year, but it has not been as successful so far. Those who have travelled by the roadways bus allege, “It often runs behind schedule and we just may miss a flight. It often stops en route as the conductor keeps on calling in more passengers which makes us insecure.”

The Indo-Canadian bus service is more than 15 years old. “All our bookings are done in advance. We do not allow anyone without a booking. We have offices in almost all cities of Punjab. Passengers from cities that do not fall on the highway are dropped and picked from specific points on the route by our Tata Sumos. In addition, the buses halt at Rajpura and Karnal Haveli for refreshments,” the staff at the local head office points out.

The staff, however, said the business had been hit ever since more flights had been introduced from Amritsar airport. Most frequent passengers are young men who go alone to work abroad and feed their families back home. these include Jagtar Singh and his son Jasdeep Singh from Tanda who will be leaving for Italy soon. The duo has been in Italy for almost a decade and commute by the bus from airport every year.

Since it is also the wedding season, newly-wed girls or boys making it back is a common scene outside the airport bus offices. In such cases, the entire family comes to see off the bride or the groom and emotions run high as was the case with a teary eyed Rajbir Kaur who got married on November 14 and came to see her husband Ranjit Singh leave for Italy in an airport bus this Tuesday.



Loving Motherland
NRI help comes to rebuild village school
Anuradha Shukla
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Deputy commissioner Ajeet Singh Pannu laid the foundation stone for the reconstruction of a primary and high school in Bir village in Nakodar today. Lauding Indians settled in foreign shores for keeping the memory of their motherland alive in their hearts despite running profitable business abroad, Pannu said by taking part in religious and social activities NRIs wanted to make a difference to the country of their roots.

The school is being reconstructed with grants from UK-based Lahmber Singh and other NRIs belonging to Bir village. The DC announced that, besides constructing a modern building for the school, facilities for water supply and sanitation would also be provided to the village. The project would cost Rs 1.35 crore and half of the amount is being contributed by NRIs while the government would give an equal grant, the DC added.

The DC appealed to the NRIs from the area to contribute wholeheartedly to the development of their native villages and assured that the government would extend full support. The development projects would be carried out under the supervision of the NRIs.

Speaking on the occasion, Lahmber Singh expressed pride at being able to help in the reconstruction of the school athis village. He said the decision was taken to help poor students avail of the same educational facilities at the school as students in cities. Akali leader Kuldeep Singh Wadala and village sarpanch Inderjit Kaur also spoke on the occasion.



The sparrow’s nest
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
With mother nature taking a backseat in our daily lives and mobiles, office, work, malls and digital devices riding full throttle on our minds, we really do not have time to think about some humble little creatures which had at one point of time thronged 
our kitchen gardens and rooftops.

We might have comfortably whisked them away, thinking of them as little pests which were nibbling away at the grains which our grandmother had laid out systematically in the courtyards to dry up in the winters, but given the present state of affairs we need not think about such obstructions anymore, because the obstructions themselves seem to be vanishing into thin air.

We may be deaf enough, not to notice the absence of the chirps and flutters which have been replaced with the sounds of ringtones and honking of vehicles but there’s somebody who has been on guard.

It was 10 years ago that Sandeep Chahal of Doaba College, along with his friend Bikramjit Singh Sodhi, bothered about the receding number of sparrows, decided to create nests (a small wooden box with a hole in it), as part of the “save sparrow campaign”, which would serve as a home for the winged creatures whose existence seemed to be threatened.

Chahal started it at an individual level, but he must have never thought that his small efforts would one day take the shape of a movement.

Now the president of an NGO, Dastak, Chahal shows us the nests, a 9 inch x 7 inch wooden box, with a little aluminium handle to enable the birds to sit on it.

“We make the box and put straw or dry grass into it and put it on the wall, preferably under sheltered areas,” he says.

“Putting the nests on trees is not recommended because the threat from adverse climatic conditions and predators or snakes is larger there,” he says.

“The birds love the nests. In a year, about three pairs of birds do stay in the nest and each pair lays about five to six eggs. We feed them grains and the little ones are fed larvae and insects by their mothers, for which we keep green peas in the open so that they generate larvae in some days,” Chahal adds.

“Two years ago there was a phase when there wasn’t a single bird in the nests, but we held on and didn’t lose patience,” he points towards a flock of sparrows, “It seems the patience has paid off.”



Comeback Trail
Kanwalpreet is ready to play it cool
Anuradha Shukla
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Kanwalpreet Singh has been part of many a great win the Indian hockey has seen in recent times and is raring to go once again with the crown of captaincy of Sher-e-Jalandhar in the Premiere Hockey League (PHL) on his head. Caught in controversy due to alleged indiscipline in the PHL last year Kanwal is happy over the faith reposed on him by the hockey authorities to select him as the captain. Dropped out of the Indian squad just before the 2004 Olympics when he faced personal loss in the death of his father, Kanwal has had the desire to play in the Olympics 2008.

In a game where aggression is the key, keeping a cool head is priority, feels Kanwal. “I am the best example of what can go wrong if circumstances generate some heat,” laughs Kanwal. “It takes seconds to ruin a match like last year when we were playing well but circumstances led to some indiscipline,” he points out. Leaving the episode behind, Kanwal is focusing on his game. Back from a 45-day stint in Holland to train for short and penalty corners, he is devoting at least an hour solely to perfect his penalty attack.

The PHL is power play as no team can be written off and that is the charm of the tournament, feels Kanwal. “Last year the Orissa team outplayed to prove how the best team on the day wins,” remembers Kanwal.

On his game Kanwal feels the rough patches are well behind him, the police games and the PHL are beginning of a new innings in his career. Wishing his fans to pray for him, Kanwal’s heart warms up at the thought of his greatest fan in his daughter Rehmat who will be cheering her dad heading the Sher-e-Jalandhar squad in the PHL.

‘Josh’ with ‘hosh’ is Tejbir’s mantra

Tejbir Singh has a penchant for coming back stronger than ever defeating every hurdle that he has had to face. Ready to come out of the ban placed on him around a year back, this cop is ready to ruin the opposition once again at the Punjab Police Games beginning December 8. Known for his ball control, Tejbir does know how to take on the tough times and prove himself time and again. Allowed to play in the police games, he says, “I am keeping my fingers crossed to be part of the Indian squad once again coz I love hockey and playing for India.” The silver lining after the dark cloud is the Surjit memorial award conferred on him this year.

Not the one to look back Tejbir does admit the punishment was far greater than his mistake and life after the ban has not been easy. “Players can make mistakes under pressures of the game but must be made to realise it rather than ruining a player who takes 20 to 25 years to shape up,” says Tejbir.

The road to comeback will not be an easy one as “the game demands a player to be faster, fitter, better,” says Tejbir.

“Hockey is a very hard sport where individual cannot do much as it is an out and out team game and with the recent media spotlight on the game and players demanding their due the pressure has increased,” he adds.

The controversies and hurdles have brought a more mature approach to his game as he says, “I want to combine ‘josh’ with ‘hosh’ and definitely do not want to make any mistakes.” With eyes on the next game and fingers crossed to be back in the squad, Tejbir is out there once again to prove himself to selectors as well as fans.



Young World
Apeejay College bags 11 first prizes at youth festival
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Students of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts have performed exceptionally well at the north zone youth festival held at Kanpur. This is the eighth consecutive victory for the college that has won 11 first prizes in various events, including western group song, western solo, creative dance, folk orchestra, ghazal, classical vocal solo, semi-classical vocal, santoor and mimicry.

The team has won second prizes in three events, including Indian group song, landscape painting and clay modeling. The team has also got a third prize in quiz contest. The team that had participated in 20 events was accorded a warm welcome at the Jalandhar railway station on Thursday.

‘Blooming paradise’

“Blooming paradise,” the annual cultural and prize distribution function of Innocent Hearts School, was held at the school. The paradise was created by the tiny tots of LKG and UKG.

Various items, including a qawwali, musical show “Jungle mein mangal” and Western dance received much applause.

Poetry recitation

A Sahodya School Complex poetry recitation competition was organised at Innocent Hearts School in which 90 students from 16 schools, affiliated with the CBSE, participated.

Sumedha and Rajat Kapoor from the host school won the first and second prizes, respectively. Ekamjot from Guru Amar Dass School stood third.


Students from the local DPS were invited to the “Model united conference in a global classroom project” held in Delhi. More than 800 delegates and teachers from around 100 schools in India, Dubai, Nepal, Kuwait, China, Pakistan and the UK participated. The chief guest of the opening ceremony was Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee. Six students of the school, Mantej Singh, Siddharth, Deepakshi Madaan, Amteshwar Singh, Staffy Bolina and Pratik Tandon, participated in the event. Pratik Tandon won the first position in a paper presentation on economic and social council.

Judo championship

Students of the PCM SD College for Women have won two silver medals in Guru Nanak Dev University inter-college judo championship. Manjit Kaur won a silver medal in 44-kg category and Priya won it in 57-kg category.

Story telling

Students from CT Public School participated in an inter-school story-telling and poem recitation competition at Shadeed Darshan Singh Pheruman Public School, Rayya, on Tuesday.

Aastha Khurana bagged the first prize in story telling. Sakshi got second prize in poem recitation.

Run for fun

Nearly 3,200 students from 109 schools across Punjab participated in a mini-marathon “Run for fun” organised by the department of physical education of Lovely Professional University. The event was organised with a view to promote a sense of healthy lifestyle and physical fitness and also sports in Punjab.

The chief guest was Pargat Singh, director, sports, Punjab. Baljit Kaur, coach of Indian women’s hockey team, also attended the event.

Health week

Delhi Public School (DPS) organised a health week. Dietician and nutritionist Ruchi Sardana, who framed a tiffin menu for children, addressed them and laid stress on healthy eating habits for a healthy life. She emphasised that eating green vegetables and fruits and physical exercise should be a daily routine. Junior section students came dressed as their favourite vegetables. Director Dr Augustine Isaac also spoke on the importance of eating the right food.

Refined oils

The home science department of Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya organised a seminar on refined oils. Diet and nutrition consultant, Dr Sanjeev Sharma, spoke about various fatty acids and their maximum range in edible oils.

Classical dance

A classical dance performance was organised at Kanya Maha Vidyalaya under the aegis of SPIC MACAY. Classical dancer Swati Sinha gave the performance as she explained its importance to the students.

A leading exponent, she has performed at various festivals, including Konark festivals, Kathak Mahotsava and World Dance Day.

Poster exhibition

A seminar and a poster exhibition on mental health awareness was organised by BD Arya Girls College at Jalandhar cantonment. Krishan Arora and Capt G.S. Nanda from the Rotary Club were the chief guests.



Statue’s Upkeep
Ambedkar followers take MC to task
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
On the occasion of his death anniversary, the followers of Dr B.R. Ambedkar hold a protest near the Ambedkar Chowk against mismanagement of the municipal corporation for not making adequate provisions during the event.

Over 200 members of the BSP and the BSP (Ambedkar) alleged that they were not provided any stairs to garland the statue. They also alleged that the structure of the roundabout was lying in a mess and the statue had not been cleaned for days.

The members themselves washed the statue and then staged a dharna. They even removed a tent facing the chowk in which the police employees securing the statue had been camping. As the leaders P.D. Shant, general secretary, Punjab BSP, and Vinod Kumar Modi from the BSP (Ambedkar) and workers were planning to take out a rally to the DC office and present him a memorandum on the matter, chief parliamentary secretary Avinash Chander and district present SAD Gurcharan Singh Channi arrived at the spot.

The duo was gheraoed by the members who asked them to reprimand the MC officials. They immediately called up the MC officials and asked them to make necessary provisions. The members even demanded that the tent not be erected right in front of the statue and be shifted on the backside. Soon, the staircase was brought in by the MC employees. The employees immediately started cleaning up and beautifying the area.

The members demanded that cleanliness be ensured on regular basis or else they would again lodge protests.



Bar Council Poll
Candidates make tall promises
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Former chairman of the Punjab and Haryana Bar Council Navtej Singh Toor is trying to complete a hat-trick by registering victory in the Bar Council elections to be held on Friday and Saturday.

Having won the last two elections in 1997 and 2002, Toor says if re-elected he would try to provide stipends for three years to young lawyers to help them establish their practice of law. Not forgetting to promise something to his senior colleagues too, Toor says he would try to provide stipends to those advocates who have to leave practice due to old age and those who have attained 70 years of age. Similarly, efforts would also be made to provide loans to lawyers as medical help and other welfare facilities from the Lawyers’ Welfare Fund.

Having begun practice in Jalandhar several decades back, Toor has been chairman of the Bar Council in 2006-07 and a member since 1997. Earlier, he was also elected as president of the Jalandhar District Bar Association (DBA) on 1989. He was also the junior vice-president and secretary of the DBA in 1975 and 1980. After campaigning in different areas of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, Toor visited Nurmahal, Nakodar and Kapurthala today along with his supporters. Other lawyers in fray include District Bar Association president Narinder Singh and former DBA vice-president Hardev Singh Bharaj and D.R. Mahi.

Narinder Singh said if elected he would try to end exploitation of young lawyers.

Unanimously elected DBA chief for 2007-08, Singh was also its president for 2000-01. He was elected DBA secretary unopposed for 1991-92. Advocates Bharaj and Mahi are also making tall promises to get votes. Voting for the elections to the 25-member Bar Council will be held on December 7 at Chandigarh and December 8 in Punjab and Haryana.



BSF officers, men donate blood
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
As of date there is no substitute for human blood. Therefore, donation of blood is always considered as a supreme humanitarian act of sharing ones own life with a needy person.

Keeping this noble ideal in view, a blood donation camp was organised at composite hospital, HQ IG BSF, under the supervision of the DIG, medical superintendent, Dr Susana, here on Wednesday.

IG BSF Arvind Ranjan was the first to voluntarily donate blood. He set an example by leading the blood donors from the front. A large number of senior BSF officers donated blood.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Susana said the blood donated by BSF personnel would be used to supplement the essential needs of thalassemic patients, persons suffering from aplastic anaemia, haemophilia, cancer, dengue and victims of road accidents at the civil hospital, Jalandhar.

The other officers who donated blood included DIG Mohd Aquil, DIG Raj Kumar Vishwakarma, DIG S.A. Khader, ADIG S.K. Sood, ADIG R.P. Singh, ADIG B.L. Meena, Commandant Mrtiyunjayya Kumar, Commandant Rajeev Sinha, Commandant Sham Lal Sharma, Commandant S.K. Singh, 2IC A.S. Rathore, 2IC Virender Singh, 2IC Malkiat Singh, 2IC M.P. Singh, 2IC R.P. Singh, AC Ajith Kumar, 2IC A.K. Jha, 2IC Kamal Jeet Singh and 2IC Dinesh Singh Rawat.



Civil Defence and Home Guards Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 6
Civil Defence (CD) inspector Tarsem Singh Dhanota apprised all CD. assistants and volunteers of the importance of their activities in times of peace and war in the Railways. He was addressing volunteers at separate functions held to mark Civil Defence and Home Guards Day at traffic accounts office of the Northern Railways at Jalandhar and at a bridge workshop in Jalandhar cantonment.

Senior MS at city railway station P.K. Kataria, also honorary emergency officer of CD (railway), said more mock drills were required to be conducted for war and peace times. Accounts officer D.R. Saini, Ram Prakash, Sudesh Chander, A.S. Rana, Nirmal Singh and Parveen Suri were also present on the occasion.



Shops inspected

Phagwara, December 6
Newly appointed district food and supplies officer Dr Nirmal Singh inspected various shops to check implementation of the Punjab Commodities Price Marketing and Display Orders, 1972. He instructed shopkeepers to display rates of all items and not to weigh the box with the item. Violators would be punished accordingly, he said. He appealed to the residents to contact him on his mobile phone 98884-22347 in case of any complaint. — OC



Biz Buzz
City gets Chief 19 store

Jalandhar, December 6
Chief 19 has opened a store for quality footwear and handbags in Ansals Downtown Mall on the GT Road here. Under the leadership of managing director Mohinder Singh Makkar, Chief 19 has attained a large market share in the sale volume in the footwear retail industry.

Parent company Maksons Retailers Pvt Ltd has been the major suppliers to various footwear stores, but has lately opened its own outlets. Makson Retailers provides footwear for women, men and children. Shoes and sandals are available in stylish designs and the prices range from Rs 299 to Rs 9,990. The store also houses handbags for ladies ranging from Rs 490 to Rs 1,200. — TNS




Letter boxes

The letter boxes put up by the postal department at different places in Jalandhar city have never been painted. These boxes have lost their original red colour. Moreover, most of the letter boxes are loosely hung. Also, letters never reach their destinations in time. Local letters, even posted at major post offices, including the GPO, Model Town, take one week to reach destinations. Will the authorities look into it?

Bakhshish Singh Arora, Jalandhar

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