NRI alleges house grab, writes to CM
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, January 4
Even though the Punjab government is approaching non-resident Indians (NRIs) living in various parts of the world besides organising an NRI convention in Chandigarh and Jalandhar for encouraging them to invest in the state by setting up mega projects, it has failed to protect the rights of the NRIs and their properties.

A Germany based NRI, Harbans Singh, in a fax to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, DIG, border range, Amritsar, and Punjab Human Right Commission alleged that a well-connected and politically backed persons had grabbed his house built on about 10 marla land at Chogawan village here by breaking the locks when his daughter-in-law Harpreet Kaur was out of the house. Gurpreet Singh, his son and husband of Harpreet, had also been residing in Germany for the past several years.

Harpreet Kaur, who was now forced to live in the house of her parents along with three minor children, was running from pillar to post for justice. She alleged that the SHO of the police station concerned had close relations with the opposite group, which had forcibly taken the possession of the property.

In a press conference here today, she alleged that as her children were not keeping well, she had gone to her parents’ house for several day. However, when she returned, she found that Gurdeep Singh and his son Fatah Singh of Sargarha village, Balkar Singh, Paramjit Singh, Massa Singh, sarpanch of Nurpur Padri village, belonging to the SAD, and several unidentified persons had broken into the house. She alleged that the accused did not have any relation with the property.

When asked about the cause of the incident, she alleged that the accused were having some money dispute with her brother-in-law Jagjit Singh, who had been disowned by the family. Harbans Singh, in the faxed letter said his daughter-in-law had approached a number of times the SHO, but he never cared to provide her justice.

Harpreet Kaur urged the Chief Minister to provide her justice. She said she would be forced to approach the high court if government failed to provide her justice.

Meanwhile, DSP, Ajnala, Tilak Raj, who is investigating the case, said according to investigation it was found that Harbans Singh had mortgaged the property to Paramjit Singh for Rs 12 lakh on June, 2007. Harbans Singh could return only Rs 3 lakh. However, he said investigation was still on and anything concrete could be said after the completion of enquiry.



Focus should be on addicts’ rehab: Jean Rodrigues
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 4
All sections of society should work together to prevent drug abuse and try to bring the drug-addicts to the mainstream. This was stated by Jean Rodrigues, wife of Punjab Governor Gen S.F. Rodrigues, during her visit to the de-addiction centre run by the District Red Cross Society at Guru Nanak Dev Hospital here on Friday.

Appreciating the efforts of the society, Jean Rodrigues said the drug menace posed a great threat to the nation’s development as the youth, who are the future of the country, were falling prey to it. The drug abuse was jeopardising the physical and mental health of the youth drawing them to the world of crime and other vices.

Stressing on the need to provide vocational training to the drug-addicts, she said, “There is a need to establish more drug de-addiction centres where activities are designed to bring behavioural changes in drug victims. It would help them overcome the habit and lead a normal life.” If the drug-addicts were not rehabilitated the society would be fighting a losing battle, she added. She also emphasised on the need of organising awareness camps for youngsters by motivated and fully trained volunteers.

Later, she visited the community care centre for HIV/AIDS set up by the District Red Cross Society.



Go soft, give your tiny tots a cuddly care
Tribune News Service

Soft toys of all shapes and sizes are available in the market these days.
Soft toys of all shapes and sizes are available in the market these days.

Amritsar, January 4
For those keen on bringing up their little ones in style, a whole new range of kids’ accessories are now available in the city. And if you are the kind of parent who loves to splurge on your newborns, an exclusive kids’ store would make sure that you never run out of ideas to pick an amazing gift or make yet another addition to your child’s fun corner.

The wide range of products include kids’ bathing kit, cots, blankets, quilts, gloves, rocking chairs, colourful stationery, games…the list is endless.

Sanjay Khatri, manager, Ritu Wears, Lawrence Road, tells us that the baby cots at their kids’ section are one of the most popular items. The cots come in two types - wooden (Rs 7,385) and synthetic (Rs 4,983).

“Actually, these are cradle plus cots and can be of used till the child is two years’ old. The cots come with mosquito nets and hangers to tie danglers to keep the child busy. We are selling a couple of pieces every week,” he says.

Talking about “costly” gifts, the wide range of Barbie dolls gives you ample choice to choose a theme doll from Rs 800 to Rs 3,000. The “Sundari Gujarati” Barbie doll of “Expressions of India” collection comes for Rs 2,999 and the “Wedding Fantasy” has a price tag of Rs 1,199. Gopal Gift Store in Hall Bazaar also offers all the latest toys and gadgets. “We have helicopters which can go up to 20 feet high. Such toys instantly catch the fancy of kids,” says its owner.

Rajat Bansal of Deep Gift Store on the Majitha road says the market has been flooded with electronic games. Most of the branded stuff has affordable cheaper Chinese or local versions. For instance, a scientifically designed bathing set for newborns, wherein the child is made to lie on his back, can be bought for less than half the price of the branded one. Sonali Bhatti, a customer, says even though men do get carried away on coming across a flashy kids’ accessory, women still stick to the “utility theory” before loosening their purse strings.

To keep kids safe from the chill, a complete bedding kit includes kid’s blankets, bedsheets, comforters, quilts and shams to tuck the babies in for a tight sleep on winter nights.

Most new garment stores coming up in the city too have a separate section for kids and a wide range of clothing from newborns onwards is available in toddler, twin, full and queen sizes.



Jaggery juices up business for border belt
Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 4
Farmers of the border districts are a happy lot because of the instant profit that their part-time occupation of producing jaggery from sugarcane crop provides them. No hike in price of sugarcane by the centre has failed to dampen their spirit.

One such happy farmer is Saada Singh from Kathania village on the Amritsar-Attari road. Talking to Amritsar Plus he says he had cultivated sugarcane in the nine acres of the 35 acres of land possessed by him. He took to jaggery production after reaping his crop of paddy. This not only provided employment to more than 25 persons in cutting, loading, transporting, crushing cane and manufacturing jaggery.

He has also engaged a salesman on the shop set up near the GT road to sell his produce. Facilitating production of jaggery is the fact that labour, free from sowing of wheat crop, is easily available at this time of the year and comes in handy for production of jaggery.

Winter chill adds to the demand of jaggery as residents not only from Amritsar but other parts of the country, including NRIs, visit him for fresh jaggery, says Singh.

Singh not only uses juices of vegetables like lady finger, instead of soda, to clean sugarcane juice but has also added ingredients like almonds to add to the taste of the product.

He says on an average he manages to produce 12 kg of jaggery from two quintals of sugarcane fetching him a handsome profit.

He like the elders of his family would continue with the business, says Singh. His manufacturing unit near the GT road and an adjoining plot make it easy for him to find buyers among people passing through the busy road.

This part time profession also provide Singh with immediate income which he uses for his daily needs and purchasing of farm inputs.

After crushing the cane it is filtered into one of three chambers of the crushing machine. After stirring it in the first chamber the pieces appear on the surface, which are then taken out of it. Later, the juice is shifted to the second chamber where juices of lady finger and gourd are mixed to clean the juice. Particles of the vegetables and other material appearing on the surface are removed. The completely filtered juices are then shifted to the third chamber where they are boiled for about two to three hours. When the jaggery is ready in its liquid form it is shifted to the huge plate kept near the third chamber and gets hardened due to cooling down of the material. It is cut into small cakes before selling them, he adds.



Pulse polio drive from Jan 6 to 8
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 4
The district health department is all set for another round of the pulse polio campaign to be held across the state on January 6, 7 and 8.

Giving details, civil surgeon Dr Lehamber Singh said arrangements have been made to cover 3,46,409 children this time, out of which 1,73,926 are in rural areas. There will be 1,399 vaccination booths, out of which 687 will be in rural areas and 712 in the municipal limits. He said, “On January 6, the drops will be administered from all the 1,399 booths and 5,596 volunteers have been deployed for the work. The booths will function from 9 am to 4 pm. Besides, transit and mobile teams have been specially placed at important places like Golden Temple, Durgiana Temple and Gurdwara Shaheedan.”

Special arrangements have been made in urban slums, roadside labour settlements, upcoming malls and the city periphery. Efforts are being made to ensure that no child is left unvaccinated, added the civil surgeon.

Dr Singh said banners carrying information about the polio drive and rickshaws with loudspeakers will be used to aware people about the importance of administering polio drops. In addition to it, messages on pulse polio will be also played on landline BSNL phones.

The campaign will be launched by minister for health and family welfare Laxmi Kanta Chawla. All programme officers, doctors of medical colleges, civil hospitals and ESI hospital and Ayurvedic departments have been specially put on duty for supervision of the programme.



Daily wagers flay SAD for ‘not honouring its word’
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, January 4
The daily wage employees here flayed the SAD-BJP combine government in the state for ‘not fulfilling its poll promises. The protesters organised a massive rally, which was addressed by leaders of the PWD field & workshop workers’ union Balkar Singh and Baljinder Singh.

The duo said daily wagers have been serving in various departments for the last more than fifteen years. They said the SAD, in its election manifesto, had promised to regularise them within six months after coming to the power. “However, the government is about to complete a year but the leaders have failed to keep their promises,” they added.

The organisation has been holding rallies throughout the state to press for their demands.



Operation statue shine: One-man army gets going
‘It’s my way of paying tributes to great men’
Vibhor Mohan
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 4
With the municipal councillors busy over the issue of putting up more statues of political leaders on the city crossings, this man has taken upon the tricky task of cleaning the existing sculptures.

Sham Lal Gandhiwadi, a follower of Mahatma Gandhi, said it was disheartening to see the pathetic condition of the life-size statues of freedom fighters and political leaders who sacrificed their lives to make India a better place.

“So, I have decided to clean these statues one by one. In this way, I would not only pay tributes to these leaders but would also give a message to the youth to follow the path shown by these personalities,” he says.

Clad in a spotless white “dhoti” and Gandhi “topi”, this Gandhiwadi hops from one crossing to another on his cycle, cleaning the statues on different roundabouts. The statues include that of Jawaharlal Nehru, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose, Udham Singh, Ranjit Singh, Mahatma Gandhi and Bharat Bhushan Mehra.

That’s not all, the 25-year-old Gandhiwadi is also devoted to spread Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence and communal harmony by visiting different colonies.

“I have night shift every alternate week and I utilise the daytime to meet new people and remind of Gandhi’s ideals. Sometimes it works and sometimes doesn’t because most of us assume that these are no longer relevant in the modern world.

Our ignorance towards the ideas of thinkers like Gandhi is the reason why our youth has forgotten their responsibility of leading the country,” he says.

“If people can understand the simple ideals of Gandhi like staying away from social evils and wishes good for everyone, the world would be a much better place to live in,” says the Gandhiwadi.

“Even if nobody joins me in my endeavour to clean the statues, I will do it all alone,” he adds.



Gurparb gaiety
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 4
A religious procession was taken out to mark the birth anniversary of tenth Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh. It began from Akal Takht here today.

The procession was led by panj piaras (five beloved ones).

The holy scripture of Guru Granth Sahib was kept in a golden palanquin.

Gatka groups and band parties took part in the kirtan which passed through various bazaars, including Brahm Buta Market, Mahna Singh Road, Chowk Ghanta Ghar, Bazaar Mai Sewa of the city. Various organisations, students and their staff of educational institutes also took part. They held banners with slogans against social evils. The procession was culminated at Manji Sahib Dewan Hall in the Golden Temple premises.



Skating meet
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 4
The District Roller Skating Association (DRSA) will organise a two-day open district roller skating championship at the skating rink of Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary School, Majitha Road bypass, from tomorrow.



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