L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Unusual robbery catches cops unawares

*Industrialist’s family waylaid and taken hostage
*Wife taken to  house at gunpoint
*Rs 10 lakh, gold looted
*Left her back with the family 

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
In an unprecedented crime act, an alleged group of six dacoits waylaid the family of a Spinning Mill owner, travelling in a Ford Fiesta car on Raikot-Mullanpur road last midnight, kept the industrialist, two minor children as hostages and took his wife at gunpoint to her house in Naginder Nagar near Samrala Chowk, where they looted about Rs 10 lakh cash and about 40 tola gold.

The robbers travelled about 35 km to the house and later left the woman back at the place from where she was picked before disappearing in the dark. Even though they rode on the busy highway and went right through the city, no police barricade or the much-publicised night patrolling staff of the police could spot them.

The industrialist Tarsem Lal Gupta, owner of a spinning mill situated near Kohara, was admitted to the CMC Hospital by the terribly shaken woman Kiran Gupta. He had suffered injuries when robbers beat him with riffle butts when they were forcing the family to toe their line. He received stiches on some wounds but was discharged in the morning.

The family was returning from Raikot late at night after meeting some relatives. The robbers riding a Skoda Car seem to be specifically waiting for them. Not only the victim family but the city police was sent in a tizzy by the crime.

The Mullanpur police registered a case against the robbers. SHO Balbir Singh terming it an unusual incident said a case under section 342, 365, 392, 506 of the IPC along with 25,54, 59 Sections of the Arms Act has been registered.

The victim family remained indoors all day turning down all requests for photos. Senior police official camped at the house trying to figure out the possible motives and the culprits.

The police is believing some insider was involved or there was a family feud. They said this just did not seem a criminal act only.

The police said the shattered couple were not in position to make a statement. The police said the robbers did not misbehave with the woman.

The woman could only tell the police that all robbers had shorn hair. Two of those were speaking Hindi while others were speaking Punjabi.

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Looking Ahead
Strict rules to greet violators
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Residents can hope of better managed traffic and parking in 2008, stringent action against encroachers and marriage palaces, shopping malls without proper parking facility even if half of the New Year vows by the traffic police are fulfilled.

The year 2007 will go down as the year of experiments for the traffic wing of the city police that embarked on several trial and error plans to regulate traffic all over the city especially by enforcing one-way traffic rules at several places.

The New Year beckons with the hope that the plans will be enforced completely without succumbing to pressure of politicians or of traders.CCTVs may finally be installed at the key crossings.

The overworked and fatigued traffic cop, who tired of watching the red light jumpers helplessly, may eventually be armed with walkie talkie sets to entrap the offender at the next crossing or with vehicles to follow them.

SSP R K Jaiswal and SP-Traffic Roopinder Singh have taken it as a New Year resolution to get slipways made at highways, reduction in accidents at the identified "black spots" on roads where large number of accidents occur and more one-way rule enforcement in the city.

Besides those, the Traffic Police aims at giving different coloured permits to autorickshaws for giving them permission to drive in shifts, and cancel driving licences of the habitual offenders.

The police also aims to become stringent with the owners of marriage palaces, cinema halls, malls and multiplexes who don't make provisions for parking of vehicles.

The most important plan is to implement traffic warden scheme with the help of civil defence volunteers, NSS and others.

The police has also made a proposal to be worked with the National Highway Authority of India for construction of under bridges and overbridges and other paths for smooth flow of traffic.

For the record, the traffic police issued 1,02,501 challans this year than 8,0021 challans last year.

Of those, the challans for spreading pollution went up to 7,061 from the last year figure of 3,624. The figure for driving without helmet went up to 12,072 from 8,180 challans in this category last year.

Traffic police New Year vows

  • CCTVs may be installed at key crossings
  • Cops to get walkie talkies to check offender
  • To get slipways made at highways
  • More roads to be one-way
  • Rickshaws to get coloured permits
  • Parking must for marriage palaces, cinema halls and malls
  • More underbridges and overbridges on cards 

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PAU retirees yet to get pension
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, December 26
Pensioners of the Punjab Agricultural University have not received the pension for December so far as the university has not received any financial help from the state government.

There are about 2,500 pensioners of the PAU who receive their pension amounting to Rs 2.70 crore every month. The delay in the payment of pension has caused lot of resentment among them.

A deputation of the pensioners met the vice-chancellor Dr M S Kang and complained about the non-payment of the pension so far.

The vice-chancellor expressed helplessness in the matter and said they would get the pension as soon as the government sends the money to the university.

D S Kalha, principal secretary, finance, Punjab government had assured the vice-chancellor last month that the state government would pay the pension money for four months from December till March.

The vice-chancellor is hoping that the passage of the finance Bill by the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, the state government would be in a position to send the required money for the pensioners.

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Transporters irked over taxes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Irked with multiplicity of taxes transporters here said transporters in the state would have to close operations if the government continued imposing heavy taxes.

Addressing a press conference here today, Tarlochan singh Parmar, president of Punjab Truck Operators Association, said the state government has increased taxes on trucks, an additional 12 per cent would be imposed on getting a registry done, special road tax and a cess of Rs 2 per litre on diesel, are only few among host of taxes imposed on this industry.

Prem Singh, general secretary and chairman of Ludhiana Goods Transporter Association Prithvi raj Sharma were also present.

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Punjab School Athletics Meet
Use of steroids on the rise
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Steroid intake has not spared even schoolchildren who are engaging in massive usage of performance enhancing drugs in the 53rd Punjab School athletics meet which are under way at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

Though the organising authority District Education Department is on its toes to curb the menace, the use of steroids is at its peak as the students are easily able to go scot-free as the department cannot afford testing measures in school games.

Owing to neck and neck competition, where 2,500 athletes are trying hard to achieve victory, the use of performance enhancing steroid has picked up.

As National School Athletics meet is scheduled from January 7 and their selection in those games would depend on their performance in these games, the players do not want to leave any stone unturned.

Empty bottles of some performance enhancers can be seen lying in the stadium. Even cough syrup and cough vapor rub bottles are littered all around.

The issue is a matter of grave concern but the authorities are helpless. A teacher said, “the competition on the base level has increased manifold so is the use of steroids."

He further said representing school national athletics meet considered to be of huge value for an athlete. That is the reason the players resort to the use of steroids.

According to a former player, peer pressure is also one reason behind the usage of such drugs. Further the coaches are also responsible for making them addicted to such steroids.

While talking to Tribune, assistant education officer Rupinder Singh said, "We have instructed the teacher to keep a vigil over the athletes. They are instructed to nab the athletes using steroids. The teachers are conducting a surprise check at the bathrooms and kitbags to check if they are using any steroids."

Another teacher said due to the lack of adequate facilities on the lower level, the offender athletes went scot-free. However, it is not the athletes who are to be blamed, it's their coach who are the main culprit behind this malpractice. 

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Teachers shun seminars
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 26
Hundreds of teachers, associated with various trade unions, boycotted seminars organised under the Sarab Sikhya Abhiyan at schools here and surrounding villages today. Senior functionaries of these organisations addressed the protest rallies at these schools.

Apprehending threat to law and order situation, the administration had deputed mild to heavy force at all seminar venues. Though the protesters had prepared effigies of the Chief Minister and the education minister, they were persuaded not to burn these.

Hundreds of teachers, associated with the Government Teachers Union, the SCBC Teachers Union, the Democratic Teachers Front and the ETT Teachers Union boycotted seminars being organised at MGMN Senior Secondary School, Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyala at local town and Government Senior Secondary School, Kanganwal, Pohir, Dehlon and Malaudh villages. Senior functionaries of these unions addressed rallies at these schools.

According to Sikandar Singh Jartoli (GTU)

and Ram Singh (SCBC Teachers Union), members of all unions irrespective of their political alliance, had shown protest against the alleged anti-education policies of the state government.

Terming seminars to be unnecessary burden on exchequer and the teaching community, the leaders alleged that repetition of stereotype lectures by the same persons could not benefit either the teachers or the students in any 
manner.

The protesters demanded review of Adarash School and proposed schools on panchayat land also.

Nirmal Singh and Harbans Singh Aulakh also addressed the rallies.

Though senior leaders of Adhyapak Dal remained away from the demonstrations, members of this organisation joined the protesters.

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Electricity Security
Industrialists to stage dharna on Dec 31
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Peeved about the electrcity board’s decision to collect electricity security in advance, the local industry has decided to protest against the Punjab State Electricity Board near the Vishwakarma Chowk on December 31st.

Varinder Kapoor, general secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association,said, “The electricity board should withdraw this decision otherwise we would start agitation. Advance security would cause undue burden to industry which is already reeling under pressure on account of multiple taxes, poor power situation and high power costs in the state.”

At least 30 associations attended the press conference. Among those present on the occasion were S.C. Ralhan, Handtool Manufacturers Association; Vinod Thapar, Knitwear Club; and Inderjit Singh Navyug, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

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Brick-kiln owners blame govt for decline in production
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Brick kiln owners today blamed the government for not taking up enough infrastructural development projects thereby resulting in 25 per cent decline in production within a year all over the state.

The government’s decision to increase the coal rates by Rs 400 per tonne would result in an increase of Rs 100 per 1,000 bricks in Punjab, which would further hit the industry, they added.

The situation has further worsened due to the rising coal rates and excessive number of middlemen through whom they have to obtain coal,that holds major share in total costs.

Addressing a press conference here today, Kuldip Singh Makkar, president, Punjab Brick Kiln Owners Association, said: “Demand is on an all time low. Adverse government policies are hitting our industry hard and there has already been a 24 per cent fall in production.”

About 60 association members gathered here to discuss the problems being faced by 2,400 brick kilns in the state.

They said rising coal rates were adding to their woes. "The industry is going through a tough phase. An increase of roughly Rs 400 per tonne has taken place in coal prices. “This increase would result in rise in brick rates by Rs 100 per thousand and in Punjab where demand is already low, it would act as a sever blow. We want that the ministry should allow us directly supply coal as middlemen lead to undue hike in rates," said K.K. Khanduja, senior vice-president of the association.

They voiced concern over the prevalence of a "goonda tax" in Assam from where most of the coal is obtained. "We are threatened by distributors to pay that tax as a result we are left with no option but to incur huge costs," said Ashok Mittal, senior vice-president.

Vivek Wahi, general secretary, Jagjit Sood, secretary and Chaman Lal Goyal, cashier, were also present at the press conference.

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80-year-old man manhandled, dies
Our Correspondent

Khamano, December 26
An 80-year-old resident of Lakhanpur village died under mysterious circumstances on December 23. As per the information,family members of Gurbaksh Singh were in the house when a neighbour his brother, Malkiat Singh, came and started abusing them.

Malkit Singh also manhandled Gurbaksh Singh resulting in his death. A case under section 304 has been registered against Malkit Singh.

Meanwhile, the family members of Malkit were of the view that Gurbaksh Singh died due to the heart attack. The Khamano police has sent the visra of Gurbaksh Singh to Patiala to know about the actual cause of death. 

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Eco contest for kids
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Volvo Group has announced a global environment contest for schoolchildren. Children between 13 and 16 years can take part in this competition. This was stated in a press note issued here today.

Volvo Adventure, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is a joint project run by the Volvo Group. It is a global educational programme that rewards environmental activities among the decision makers of the future.The best projects would be selected for an all expenses-paid trip to Sweden to compete in the global finals.

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(A)suvidha centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Chaos was witnessed at the Suvidha centre as parents stood in a queue to get the date of birth certificates of their wards attested. The chaos followed the decision of the Punjab School Education Board to hold Class V examinations in February.

This is for the first time that the board has decided to conduct Class V examination for private schools.

The decision took the parents by surprise and some of them had not got the certificates attested.

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PAU pensioners to stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Pensioners of Punjab Agricultural University(PAU) will organise a 'dharna' in front of the Thapar Hall for streamlining the pensioner scheme. Sources said more than 2,500 employees, including teachers, technical and non- technical staff, had not been paid their pension dues for the month of November,even.

Teachers will organise a special meeting on January 7 to take stock of the situation and plan its future course of action. Vice-chancellor M.S.Kang had recently met the finance secretary of the state and sought financial aid to tide over the problem which was promised to him. “However, till date nothing has happened on ground”, a faculty member said.

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Dr Aulakh to be honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Dr Pushpinder Singh Aulakh, working as Director, PAU Regional Station, Abohar, has been selected for the Harpal Kaur Memorial Award for 2007.

Dr Aulakh has made recommendations on the cultivation technologies of different fruit crops, handled four ad hoc research projects and published farm literature for the benefit of growers.

Dr Aulukh has been actively involved in transfer of technology pertaining to different fruit crops through the PAU extension activities, including radio/TV talks, advisement to farmers.

Dr Aulakh has been a popular resource person among fruit growers.

In recognition of his contribution in horticulture, he was earlier honoured with Hans Raj Pahwa Award for the year 2002 and ISC Fellowship of the Indian Society of Citriculture, Nagpur, for the year 2007.

Dr Aulakh will be conferred Harpal Kaur Memorial Award in the ensuing convocation of Punjab Agricultural University.

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Trust seeks plot for Udham Singh Bhawan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The 108th birth anniversary of Shaheed-e-Azam, Udham Singh, was celebrated by a trust named after the martyr here today.

Secretary general of the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust Jaswant Singh Chamak highlighted the heroic deeds of this brave son of India, who was witness to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that took place on April 13, 1919.

Rajinder Bhandari, president of the state unit of the BJP, was the chief guest. All speakers urged the state government to allot a suitable plot to the Shaheed Udham Singh Memorial Trust for raising a bhawan in his memory. 

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Gas geysers can kill!
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
As the mercury continues to dip, those using instant gas water heaters (geysers) need to exercise caution in the wake of a few cases of adverse effects of the gadget having been reported in the region during past few days.

According to Dr Gursaran Kaur Sidhu, head, department of medicine at Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, in the past couple of days, three cases of children and a middle-aged woman, showing signs of acute anoxia/hypoxia were brought to the hospital in a critical condition.

On arrival, they were immediately put on ventilators. Since all affected persons were unconscious, having laboured breathing, poor sensory and motor response akin to a condition of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) to the brain. The consequences would have been disastrous had the rescue and hospitalisation been delayed.

She said one of the victims-Rashmi Mahajan-had gone to take bath in an unventilated bathroom that was fitted with an instant gas water heater. It resulted in a steady and rapid depletion of the oxygen level in the bathroom since its door was closed.

Before Rashmi could realise what was happening inside the bathroom, she soon fell unconscious. After sometime her parents realised that the girl had been in the bathroom for a long time. They broke open the door and to their horror found Rashmi unconscious.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital. She regained consciousness after remaining under extensive medicare for 48 hours. Now, Rashmi seems to be normal, however she could not recollect what actually had happened to her in the bathroom.

Two other boys-Amarinder Singh and Sumandeep Singh-both in their teens, had fallen unconscious under similar conditions and circumstances.

Dr Sidhu advised that water heaters should be installed outside the bathrooms to avoid such accidents. If it was not feasible, then the bathroom should be properly ventilated. It would be prudent to collect hot water in a bucket and the heater switched off before entering the bathroom to cut down the risk of meeting with such accidents.

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New Year bash by Lime Light Foods
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Lime Light Foods today announced that it would organise 'Royal Challenge-Fashion TV Hot Couture Night' on the New Year eve at Chimney Heights near Chandigarh.

Addressing a press conference, Munish Bajaj, director of the company, said "It will be largest New Year bash in the region. The vent will include a fashion show and dance performances."

He said pole dancers would also regale people and there would be three different sets of arrangements for couples to dance and party.

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Man held for extorting money
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 26
The local police has arrested a person on the charges of extorting money from a Mohali-based resident by claiming that his “missing” niece was in his custody.

According to the police, Sukhwinder Singh, son of Gopal Singh, a resident of Phase VIII, Mohali, had in a complaint lodged with the police stated that his niece, Tejinder Kaur, wife of Rajesh Dutt, a resident of Sector-11, Panchkula, was missing since May 18. The police said the missing report of the woman was registered at Sector 12 police station in Panchkula. Sukhwinder Singh received a phone from a person, who identified himself as Rahul,on Monday.

He told Sukhwinder that his niece was in his custody and if he wants her back, he would have to pay Rs 50,000 to him. The caller asked Sukhwinder to reach Khanna.

The police said on receiving the call, Sukhwinder along with his relative, Gurtej Singh, and friend, Nand Kishore, reached Khanna. On their way, the caller again got in touch with them and asked them to reach the Samadhi road.

On getting there they met a man who identified himself as Rahul and demanded money from them. On being asked where Tejinder Kaur was, the man told them that she was sitting in a park near the Khanna bus stand and told them to follow him.

On their way to the bus stand, the three called the police to the bus stand. The caller was arrested and the money recovered from his possession.

On being interrogated,the caller identified himself as Jasvir Singh, son of Swarn Singh, a resident of Husanpur village in Ludhiana district. A case under Sections 384, 385 and 420 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

The police was trying to ascertain whether Tejinder Kaur was actually in Jasvir's custody or the man just wanted to extort money from the girl’s relatives.

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Kisan club opens sales counter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The woman wing of the PAU Kisan Club has established a sales counter in the main market of the university for selling edible commodities. The counter will be opened on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The products available include “saag”, both cooked and raw, pealed garlic, “amla chutney”, “murabbas” and pickles, etc. at nominal rates.

The club has been established with a motive of selling cleaned and packed pulses.

Mohinder Singh Grewal, member, Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices, while appreciating the initiative taken by the club, said it would be in the interest of consumers as well as the club.

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From Schools
Guru Granth Path at Spring Dale school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
On the eve of the silver jubilee celebration of Spring Dale Public School, Sherpur, path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was organised with an aim to seek almighty’s blessings for the excellent board results and for the peace and prosperity of the students, staff and the institution.

Bir of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was brought from Gurudwara Sri Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, in a beautifully decorated van. The school's gatka party was displaying their talent, students played dumbles and lazieums along with the beat of school band. Panj Piyaras were riding on the horses. The students stood on the either sides of the road and the sangat paid their obeisance to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji.The path started after performing the religious rituals.

X-mas celebrated: Sat Paul Mittal School adorned a festive look as the campus was decorated for Christmas celebrations. The campus was tastefully decorated with a large number of children turning up dressed in the Santa Claus attire. The nativity play was enacted depicting the holy moments of the birth of Christ. The children sang carols welcoming the new born baby. Children gave speeches in Hindi and English highlighting the message of love, compassion and service to humanity as sermonised by Jesus Christ. Lt Col D.B.Sharma (retd.) urged children to work for the peace and follow the teachings of Lord Jesus and other great saints. 

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Workshop for BVM teachers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
A three-day workshop on " All-round development of students" was started in the premises of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir yesterday.

Santosh Mehra, principal, BVM introduced the resourse persons Dr Chander Mohini, principal of Satyam College of Education, Moga.

According to her, most teachers working in the pre-schools are required to have training to handle the psychology of early childhood.

Dr Chander Mohini talked about various phases of the development of children between the 
age group two and six years.

According to Dr Mohini the first five years of the child are formative ones.

The principal of the school thanked the guest for her valued advise.

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Rural health fair focuses on disease prevention
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
A rural family welfare mass health fair organised by the health department at Haibowal Kalan here recently focused on creating awareness among the people about the prevention of diseases,besides providing information on family planning,personal healthcare and hygiene.

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon,chief guest,said the government had taken steps for improving the healthcare facilities in the rural areas of the state.Government health institutions were being equipped with necessary infrastructure, adequate medicines were being supplied to hospitals and dispensaries and specialist doctors were being deployed at the rural health institutions.

Dr Sat Pal Sharma, civil surgeon, said the fair, third in series being organised in various parts of the district, provided the rural people with a forum where they could not only learn about vaccination of children, family welfare measures, drug de-addiction and prevention against diseases like tuberculosis and AIDS, but also those suffering from diseases could avail of free consultation from specialists and get diagnostic tests conducted free of cost.

Experts of the health department made presentations on female foeticide and national health programmes, besides putting up an exhibition on health issues.

Among those present were Drashan Singh Shivalik, MLA, Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, senior medical officer, Civil Hospital, Dr Yash Pal Mehta, deputy medical commissioner, Dr Pradeep Sharma and Satish Sachdeva, district mass education and information officer.

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City to host eye-bank conference on December 30
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
The first ever “eye banking conference” for the non-government organisations (NGOs) and felicitation of eye donors of 2007 will be held here on December 30. The meet will be hosted by the Punarjot Eye Bank Society of Punjab headed by Dr Ramesh, who is considered as the torch-bearers of the campaign for eye donation in the region.

Addressing a news conference here today, Dr Ramesh, medical director of the society, said the conference would be attended by a large number of NGOs and leading eye surgeons and eye donors.

The NGOs will present their work and eye donors felicitated during the first session. The scientific session will focus on latest advances in the field of eye surgery. Renowned eye surgeons from Chandigarh, Delhi and other parts of the country were expected to take part in the conference.

In order to make eye donation a mass movement, prominent religious leaders had also been invited to express their views and motivate people for this noble task, he added.

Emphasising the significance of giving due recognition to the donors,Dr Ramesh said it was donor’s contribution that deserved maximum appreciation. With this view in mind,the families of those who donated their eyes would be felicitated during the conference.

A special feature of the meet will institution of an award for the best work in eye donation in the form of a gold medal. After assessment of a large number of nominations and a thorough scrutiny, the panel set up for this purpose, had decided to award the gold medal to Gautam Mazumdar, an Ahmedabad-based advocate, who had proved to be a pioneer in eye donation campaigns not only in Gujarat but all over the country. 

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200 patients examined
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
More than 200 patients were examined at an orthopaedic camp organised by Garg Hospital to mark the opening of a new spine surgery centre in Jawaddi here today.

Dr Vishal Garg said out of the patients examined at the camp, about 50 per cent of them were found to suffering from calcium deficiency, which could later lead to weakening of bones and development of osteoarthritis as well as other bone diseases.

He said the new spine surgery centre would be equipped with latest equipment which would cut down the period of hospital stay for the patients and reduce the cost of treatment.

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Cold weather can spell health problems: Docs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 26
Mother Nature is once again giving us the cold shoulder, not to mention cold hands and feet. While most folks brave the chilly winter season pretty well, it is still important to know the basics for protection against extremely cold weather, which can cause a variety of health problems.

Says Dr Gautam Aggarwal, consultant in the department of medicine at a local hospital, catching cold is the most common condition in this particular weather.

"More than 100 viruses can cause cold, the illness with highest prevalence across the world, so few people escape being exposed to at least one of them. Once the virus enters the body through the nose or throat, it begins to multiply, causing any of a number of symptoms like sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, aches and pains, mild fever, nasal congestion and coughing."

Similarly, a contagious respiratory infection - influenza, is not a serious health threat for most people. However, for the elderly or those with some chronic health problem, influenza can result in serious complications, such as pneumonia.

"Symptoms of flu usually develop suddenly, in about three days after being exposed to the virus. These include fever, chill, cough, sore throat, runny nose and soreness and aching in the back, arms and legs. Although these are similar to those caused by cold viruses, flu symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer."

According to Dr Aggarwal, the best way to treat a cold is to take a mild pain reliever, avoid unnecessary activity, get as much bed rest as possible and drink plenty of fluids, especially fruit juices. Over-the-counter cough and cold remedies may relieve some of the symptoms but they will not prevent, cure or even shorten the course of the illness. For influenza, bed rest, a mild pain reliever and lots of fluids are the best treatment.

Long exposure to cold weather could cause frostbite, cautions Dr Anureet Gill, a medical consultant. "If the skin looks mottled or pale and one is experiencing pins and needles in hands, feet, nose, ears or cheeks, then the condition can be frosting, which is a signal that the victim needs to get into a warm, dry environment immediately to avoid developing frostbite."

For treatment of frostbite, she advised warming the affected part of the body gradually. The area should be wrapped in blankets, sweaters or coats. The frostbitten areas should not be rubbed and unless absolutely necessary, one should not walk on frostbitten feet or toes as it increases the damage. The affected area should be put in warm (not hot) water or body heat should be used for this purpose.

Dr Gill said hypothermia is another common illness in the prevailing weather conditions. It is manifested by uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech, difficulty in thinking straight or holding onto objects. The most common victims are elderly people with inadequate clothing, food or heating or those working outdoors for long hours. Those suffering from hypothermia need to be taken to a warm environment immediately. If the symptoms fail to improve within a short time, a doctor ought to be called or the person shifted to the nearest hospital.

Those with high risk factors or already afflicted with heart disease run the risk of a heart attack in extremely cold weather, cautioned Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, a noted cardiac surgeon of the region and chief of cardiac sciences at Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital. "In winter, one is more prone to heart disease as in cold weather all arteries, including the heart arteries, tend to constrict. This is a double whammy as not only the work load of the heart increases but also the blood supply to the heart is reduced."

He said the maximum number of heart attacks are seen in winter, when the incidence increases by 25 percent. "It is vital to wear proper warm clothing and avoid early morning walks in chilly weather, especially for heart patients. The notion that drinking alcohol saves one from heart disease is also wrong - all it does is give a false sense of warmth due to which a person avoids wearing proper warm clothes, Dr Bedi pointed out.

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Gagandeep bags gold in 800 m race
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 26
On the third day of the 53rd Punjab Schools Athletics Meet being held at Guru Nanak Stadium here today, athletes from Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Amritsar besides those from Ludhiana continued their dominance.

In the boy's (u-19) 800 m race, Gagandeep Singh of Mansa finished ahead of others to bag the gold medal, followed by Paramjit Singh from Ludhiana and Karamjit Singh of Jalandhar who secured silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In the 800 m for boys u-17 years section, Lakhbir Singh of Faridkot proved too good for his opponents and clinchtd a gold while Satwant Singh of Sangrur had to content with second position and Ranjit Singh of Amritsar stood third.

In the girl's section (u-19), Ramandeep Kaur of Sangrur won gold medal in the 800 m race. The second and third positions were bagged by Supinder Kaur of Fatehgarh Sahib and Hardeep Kaur of Taran Tarn, respectively.

Similarly, in the girls (u-17) section, Pardeep Kaur from Hoshiarpur won top honours in the 800 m race while her city mate, Harpreet Kaur finished second and Rubeena from Ludhiana secured third position.

In long jump for girls (u-14), Bhumika from Gurdaspur clinched gold medal. Sandeep Kaur of Patiala and Ramandeep Kaur of Sangrur finished second and third, respectively.

Other results: girls (u-19) shot put- Beant Kaur of Sangrur 1, Satbir Kaur of Taran Tarn 2 and Amarjit Kaur of Ludhiana 3; girls (u-17): shot put- Luvmeet Kaur of STC, Badal 1, Jaspal Kaur of Kairon Wingh, Amritsar 2 and Harpreet Kaur of Patiala 3.

Discus throw (boys u-19) Kirpal Singh of Taran Tarn 1, Jagmohan Singh of Ludhiana 2 and Amandeep Singh of Ludhiana 3; boys u-17- Prabhpreet Singh of Amritsar 1, Puneetpal Singh of Ludhiana 2 and Damanpreet Singh of Amritsar 3.

5000 m race (boys u-19)- Parminder Singh of Jalandhar 1, Nishan Singh of Amritsar 2 and Kulwinder Singh of Hoshiarpur 3.

5000 m race (girls u-19)- Navjowan Kaur of Hoshiarpur 1, Harpreet Kaur of Ludhiana 2 and Parminder Kaur of Ludhiana 3.

Kulraj Kaur Randhawa, deputy director, physical education of Punjab School Education Board was the chief guest today. Rupinder Singh Ravi, deputy education officer (sports), Ludhiana, along with a large number of eduction officers and teachers were present at the venue.

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HSBC win by seven runs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 26
HSBC beat Fortis by 7 runs in the FR cricket tournament being played at here yesterday.

HSBC won the toss and elected to bat. The team made 135 runs for 7 wickets in their allotted 17 overs. In reply Fortis made 128 runs loosing 7 wickets in 17 overs.

Brief Scores: HSBC Total - 135 for 7 wickets in 17 overs. Vishal (67), Ashu (32), Neeraj of Fortis took 3 for 16 ; A.P.Singh got 2 for 28. Fortis Hospital - 128 for 7 wickets in 17 overs. Neeraj (31),Vikram (21), Sandeep of HSBC took 3 for 17.

In another match HDFC beat Spice by 5 runs.

HDFC won the toss and elected to bat. In the allotted 17 overs, the team made 150 runs and lost 5 wickets. In reply to the score, Spice made 145, loosing 6 wickets, in their 17 overs.

Brief Scores: HDFC - SLI Total - 150 for 5 wickets in 17 overs, Sunny Garg (43,) Tarun ( 54), Nitin of Spice took 2 for 24.

Spice - Total - 145 for 6 wkts 17 overs. Naveen (44), Mannan ( 43), Hemant took 2 for 24. 

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