New barrack promises better deal
Women inmates at Central Jail can heave a sigh of relief
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 17
While there is already a plan to construct a new jail for Jalandhar and Kapurthala at Theh Kanjla village in Subhanpur on the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway to get rid of the overcrowding in the local Central Jail, a new barrack, having quadruple capacity for women prisoners, has been built in the existing jail. Jail superintendent Gursharan Singh Sidhu told The Tribune that the women prisoners would be shifted from the old to new barrack later this month as sewerage, water and power connections were yet to be installed in the new building and they would be in place within a week.

Their fault?

Several minor children also have to live in the hellish 
conditions with their prisoner mothers in the already 
overcrowded women’s 
barrack. The youngest child lodged in the jail is 11-month-old Sahil, who was born in the jail itself. His mother, Anita, wife of Pritam Singh of 
Nakodar, is an undertrial in a 
murder case and has been lodged in the jail for about 
one and a half year, jail sources said.

A new barrack for women prisoners was required as according to jail sources, more than triple of its total capacity of 25 women prisoners have been lodged in the old barrack for the past several months.

Due to overcrowding, the women prisoners were packed in the barrack like animals. As a result, they were forced to live under unhygienic conditions. According to jail sources, on Tuesday as many as 86 women prisoners were lodged in the barrack of just 25 capacity. The number of women prisoners was 92 on Sunday.

The jail superintendent said almost all modern facilities had been provided in the new barrack. Five toilets, including one with English seat, as many bathrooms and eight washbasins were there in the barrack, he added. Meanwhile, Sidhu took several reformative steps for the prisoners. He got fixed four nets in different parts of the jail for the prisoners to play volleyball and badminton. Several sets of carom board and chess have also been provided for prisoners’ entertainment.

Sidhu said he would visit every barrack twice a week to know day-to-day problems of the prisoners and would make every possible effort to meet their genuine demands.



Marriage malice: Young woman’s hopes dashed
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

Jalandhar, January 17
Ten months ago, Puja was a normal, bright and cheerful girl. Today, she needs tranquilisers to put her to sleep. It was marriage which brought this 19-year-old’s world crashing down.

She was admitted to the civil hospital here after she started showing signs of acute psychosis. The frail-looking Puja put in all force to try and stop everyone, including her mother, sister and the hospital staff from admitting her in the ward. Even after she was pacified with tranquilisers, she kept on tossing around the bed restlessly. She even kept on wetting her bed throughout the day and she mumbled words, which perhaps no one could relate to.

Puja is the youngest of the three daughters of Shobha, who earns her livelihood by stitching clothes at her residence in Basti Sheikh here. Her father reportedly died of a heart attack few years ago. Her eldest sister Muskan said her mother married Puja away early as she got an alliance from a well-off property dealer’s family based at 
Geeta Colony.

“But somehow the marriage did not work out well. Day before yesterday, they threw her off close to our house, with her baggage, without even ringing our bell. We were shocked to see her condition. Everyone in our locality came out when they heard her screaming. She resisted when we tried to pull her in. She was not even responding when we called her name”, Muskan explained, adding that it was extremely difficult to manage her at home as she had been attacking them.

Alleging that she was being harassed by her in-laws, Muskan rued, “I was not welcome at her in-laws place. My mother used to go there at times but they did not like that either. So we had been avoiding visiting her for quite sometime. She too was not coming and we thought that she was happy there. But on Tuesday, we were surprised to see her in that state.”

Dr Aman Sood, who has been attending her in the hospital, said she had suffered an attack perhaps out of stress or may be because of harassment by her in-laws, as the family has been alleging. “Her condition is bad as of now. She will be treated with medicines and there are chances of her recovery in two weeks’ time”, he opined.

SHO at police station division number 5 said he had received a complaint from Puja’s mother that she is being tortured by her in-laws. “We have not yet registered a case for we are still verifying the facts. We are going through her medical reports”, he said. 



Teachers’ protest to go on

Jalandhar, January 17
Representatives of Government School Sikhia Bachao Manch have decided to continue their protest against the suspension of nine teachers who had agitated against holding of training programmes during winter vacations.

The teachers, who met at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall here today, said the agitation will go on in all districts and memorandum of demands will be submitted to the respective deputy commissioners on February 8.

“In case our demands are met, a massive protest would be held outside the residence of education minister on February 17,” they added.

The demands include no privatisation of schools, regularisation of computer teachers and government taking back control of 5,500 schools which were handed over to zila parishad and panchayat department. — TNS



The costume party never ends here
Aparna Banerji/ TNS

Jalandhar, January 17
Imagine a play with Julius Caesar coming onto stage in a pair of jeans and a denim jacket or a Punjabi folk dance (Giddha) with young girls performing in minis. Wrong clothes or a “wardrobe malfunction” can make most genuine and graceful actors and dancers look like clowns.

Mangi Lal, a more than 100 years’ old outlet in Bazar Kalan, seems to be just the one stop shop where the city artistes can get that perfect costume which can give their performance the precision and authenticity which they are looking for. It has been in business from the times when Ramlilas and street theatre were the only sources of entertainment which people 
knew about.

Offering costumes to people, ranging from tiny tots to adults, the place buzzes with activity. It would be safe to say that the annual functions and “golden nights” at almost all schools and colleges of the city are incomplete without the costumes from Mangi Lal.

A cursory glance at the establishment, revealing hoards of packed, unpacked and bundled garments, gives the onlooker an impression of a wholesale cloth market lying in utter chaos. But the owner knows better and so do the customers.

Generations together have bought stuff from Mangi Lal, which has a branch at Model Town too. Come rain or sunshine, the shop in the congested area is full of customers because this is the only destination in the entire city where customers never have to face disappointment. “We make sure that whatever costume people need is provided to them by us. There have been instances when people have come to us with photographs or illustrations of the kind of costume they need and we got them made from our tailor. Probably it is our commitment which has kept things going strong to this very day,” says Maheshwar Kumar, son of Mangi Lal and the present owner of the shop. Parminder Kaur, a teacher at Chanakya International School, who was in the shop to get dresses for the annual function of the school said, “We have been getting costumes from here on hire previously too.”

The shop has figured in a feature on ethnic and traditional dresses of various states by the CNBC and boasts of Doordarshan Jalandhar as one of its clients.



Young World
New centre to boost research at DAVIET
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 17
With the aim of opening up new vistas in the field of nanotechnology, DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology (DAVIET) has been sanctioned Rs 50 lakh from the DAV managing committee for setting up an advanced research laboratory. CL Kochher, director-cum-principal, DAVIET, said the management had promised to provide full support for establishing the facility within three years.

The laboratory is going to be a big technological leap, especially in the fields of electronics and communication medicine and IT, he added.

The committee has also appointed Dr Hardev Singh Virk, a PhD from Marie Curie University, Paris, as director research. A man with teaching experience of 40 years, Dr Virk has retired from Guru Nanak Dev University as director of Earthquake Research Centre.

He has worked under various capacities as head, physics department, dean science faculty, dean academic affairs and has been a visiting professor to almost a dozen foreign universities.

The man has 320 research papers in radiation physics, nanotechnology and seismology, 125 general articles and 16 books along with 16 major research projects to his credit. He had also established a laboratory under the Centre government project in Rangoon University of Myanmar in 2005.

Multimedia power

HMV College organised a faculty development programme on ‘Use and application of multi-media in education’. Ashish Kapoor, senior technical expert, Broadways Pvt Ltd, Saurabh Jha, technical consultant, Broadways, and Ranjit Singh, marketing and technical officer, gave presentation on equipment used in multimedia.

The team told the participants about new teaching methods, including e-board, finger touch interactive white board and digital visualiser. Principal J Kackria said an interactive session and hand-on practice session was also organised for teachers.

Lovely boy excels

Mohit Bansal, a student from centre for competitive examination at Lovely Professional University (LPU) has bagged second position in Himachal State Civil Services (Judicial) Exam.

The achievement assumes significance as only five students have been selected in the prestigious exam. Ashok Mittal, chancellor LPU, said he was planning to expand the ambit of the centre by starting coaching for civil services (UPSC), civil services (state), BPDO, banking and other competitive examinations and skill enhancement courses like Oracle and Dot Net soon.

Annual function

Annual prize distribution function of nursery and primary students was held at St. Soldier Divine Public School, Kapurthala Road. As many as 300 toppers in education, cultural activities and sports were honoured by vice-chairperson Sangeeta Chopra and Principal SK Prashar.



Max bonanza for rural population
Tribune News Network

Jalandhar, January 17
Max New York Life Insurance Company is going to provide “Rural insurance” to farmers of the state.

The scheme aims to raise living standard of people living in these areas, according to R.P Singh, vice president and head, rural business, Max New York Life Insurance.

“As 74 per cent of the India’s population lives in villages, making every third Indian a villager, therefore we came up with this unique concept,” adds Singh.

He has set up a rural commercial channel with a unique “Hub and Spoke distribution model” and has also opened eight area offices and 23 branch offices in the state at the tehsil level.

This has contributed to building a strong rural organisation of 300 people and 2,800 agents on board.

“The company would begin similar models in Haryana soon and plans to extend it to Gujarat and Maharastra too,” Singh said.

The products have been designed according to the basic needs and affordability of the rural people. Annual premium on the products ranges from Rs 50 to Rs 50,000 keeping in mind factors like education of children, daughter’s wedding and provides flexible premium payment options. 



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