C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Over 100 cleft-lip surgeries performed
Attar Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 28
The Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital (GSMCH) along with an international charity organisation Smile Train has brought smiles to over 100 children’s faces born with cleft lip and palate.

Renowned plastic surgeon Dr Gurpratap Singh, former professor and head of the department of plastic surgery, Government Medical College, Patiala, who has already operated over 2,000 such cases, is rendering expert services free of cost to bring smiles back to the faces of these underprivileged children. Over 100 such surgeries have been conducted so far in the hospital.

Dr Gurpratap Singh said this anomaly occurred due to congenital as well as nutritional defects during pregnancy. It is prevalent among underprivileged sections of society. Poor knowledge among villagers regarding this disease may lead to delayed treatment causing various problems in the child such as late development of speech, malnutrition, repeated chest infections and mental retardation. A large number of female patients have undergone surgery after they failed to get suitable matrimonial alliance because of the cleft lip.

He said these children, operated upon timely, can have normal development, saving them from a lot of mental trauma.

Dr A. S. Sekhon, principal of the Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital, said the hospital was a premiere institute in the region with fully running multi-speciality clinics, and it had come to the forefront in educating villagers in the region regarding the cause of the disease and its early treatment. All required facilities were provided to the children with round-the-clock observation of the children by expert doctors. He said the hospital also provided free speech therapy and other rehabilitative services to these children.



Blast in HP depot; no one hurt
Tribune News Service

Ambala, February 28
A blast in the depot of Hindustan Petroleum (HP) in Ambala Cantt today created a state of panic among the residents living nearby. No one was, however, injured.

The blast occurred in the afternoon, when the HP staff was following the routine procedure of mixing petrol with ethanol. The quantity of ethanol mixed in the petrol is minimal, said an HP employee.

The blast occurred due to technical reasons, stated Pawan Kumar, technical and terminal manager of the depot. A major tragedy was averted as no fire ensued after the blast. However, the impact of the blast was so strong that its sound resonated till far, leading to panic among the residents. The thin cement roofs of the rooms nearby blew off due to the impact of the blast.

Emergency vehicles were rushed to the site. However, their services were not utilised. Many onlookers also rushed to the site of the HP depot at 12 cross road, Ambala Cantt.

The Indian Oil depot is situated next to the HP depot. Had a fire ensued due to the blast, it could have led to a major tragedy.



Students awarded degrees
Tribune News Service

Kalka, February 28
Government Postgraduate College, Kalka, organised its 28th annual convocation and prize distribution functions at the college today. Kanwar Sandhu, Resident Editor, Hindustan Times, was the chief guest at the convocation function, while Dr Mahavir Singh, commissioner, Ambala division, was the chief guest at the prize- distribution function .

Principal R.S. Mann read out the annual report of the college. He said the college had been short-listed for the award of excellence.

The chief guest awarded degrees to 231 arts, 128 commerce and 36 science graduates.

Sandhu told the students that they held the key to the future of the nation. He said the key to success involved three steps — utilise your time, focus on your goal, work hard.

Dr Mahavir Singh gave away prizes to students for their outstanding achievements.



For quality’s sake, shut chemists’ shops in govt hospitals: Assn
Tribune News Service

Patiala, February 28
The Punjab Chemists Association has criticised the decision of the Punjab Health System Corporation (PHSC) to open chemists’ shops in the tehsil and district- level hospitals.

President of the association Surjit Mehta said the decision of the PHSC was unjust in nature, adding that if chemists’ shops were opened in the tehsil and district-level hospitals, the quality of medicines would suffer.

Mehta added that a delegation of chemists met the CM at Chandigarh today. He added that they apprised the CM of the “negative” decision of the PHSC. He said the CM had assured the delegation that he would take up the matter with health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla soon.



Freedom fighter cremated sans honours
Tribune News Service

Dera Bassi, February 28
A 90-year-old freedom fighter, who died here this morning, was cremated without the ceremonial guard of honour.

Vilaiti Ram, a resident of Dera Bassi, died of natural causes. He had joined the Satyagraha Movement in the 1930s when he was arrested and jailed by the British for over two years.

Viliati Ram’s family members informed the SDM Dera Bassi about his death this morning, asking him to arrange the guard of honour.

The body was taken to the cremation ground this afternoon and the wait for the team began. The body remained lying on the pier for over one hour. Hundreds of local residents had gathered at the cremation ground.

Tempers ran high and they told the SDM Sohan Lal Bhumbak who also waited at the cremation ground all through that they were going ahead with the cremation.



Sports Meet
Sandeep sprints to victory
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 28
Sunderjit S. Chahal secured the first position in javelin throw in the under-16 boys’ category on the fourth day of the 29th annual athletics meet being held at Yadavindra Public School here today.

Kabir Dhillon and Sanampreet Singh finished second and third, respectively, in the event.

Results: Boys: High jump (u-10): 1 Gursobha, 2 Shakti, 3 Nalhap; 4X100m (u-14): 1 Tagore House, 2 Patiala House, 3 Aitchison House; 4X100m (u-15): 1 Nalagarh House, 2 Patiala House, 3 Ranjit House; discus throw (above-16): 1 Gurjinder, 2 Arshdeep, 3 Sukhdeep; broad jump (u-14): 1 Kirtanbir, 2 Dityan Singh, 3 Sahil Sharma; 1,500m (u-12): 1 Siddharatha Yaddanapudi, 2 Darpan, 3 Ikrabdeep; 100m (u-12): 1 Gurinder Singh, 2 Himanshu Saggu, 3 Bikram; high jump (u-12): 1 Gurinder Singh, 2 Karanbir Singh Turna, 3 Damanjit; 1,500m (u-16): 1 Ankit Saini, 2 Kabir, 3 Ashish Chaudhary; 100m (u-10): 1 Gurkaran, 2 Sartaj Sudan 3 Tushar Batra; 400m (u-16): 1 Ankit Saini, 2 Kabir, 3 Ashish Chaudhary; 200m (above-16): 1 Mohmd Wasim, 2 Akash Sidhwani, 3 Shubamrit Vir S. Randhawa; girls: 400m (u-13): 1 Arya Gupta, 2 Simrata, 2 Palak; 400m (u-11): 1 Harleen, 2 Sandeep, 3 Danish Ghuman; 200m (u-15): 1 Mannat Dhaliwal, 2 Harkiran, 3 Agam; 100m (u-11): 1 Sandeep, 2 Harleen, 3 Vibhu; 4X100m (u-13): 1 Aitchison House, 2 Patiala House, 3 Ranjit House; 800m (u-11): 1 Harleen Kaur, 2 Sandeep, 3 Yejin; 100m (u-13): 1 Taarini, 2 Palak, 3 Jasleen; broad jump (u-15): 1 Harkiran, 2 Neelam, 3 Jaskiran.



ICL players arrive in city
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
A number of ICL players representing Chandigarh Lions and Ahmedabad XI, including Reetinder Singh Sodhi, T.P. Singh, Amit Unyal, Ishant Malhotra and Sarabjeet Singh, S.Sriram of Tamil Nadu and Sanjiv Martyn, arrived in the city today.

“International cricketers, including Chris Cairns, Darrel Tuffey, Andrew Hall, Damien Martyn, Jesson Gelespi and Heath Streak, will join their teams tomorrow,” said ICL’s local team manager Varinder Chopra.

The teams will undergo a weeklong conditioning camp before facing each other on March 12 in their first match of the third edition of the ICL tournament at Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector 3, here.

Reetinder Sodhi, who has left Lions to join Ahmedabad XI, said, ‘The team consists of many great cricketers, including Damien Martyn, Jesson Gelespi and Heath Streak. Playing with them would be a thrilling experience," said Sodhi after checking in at a hotel.

The local outfit has also lost Pakistani import Imran Farhat to newly formed Lahore XI team that comprises all Pakistani players. On the other hand, dashing Kiwi batsman Lou Vincent is likely to join the team.

Nine matches of the championship will be played here between March 12 and 23.



Sapna best athlete
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Sapna clinched the best athlete title today on the concluding day of the annual sports meet of Government Polytechnic for Women held on the college premises. Pirthi Chand, joint secretary, finance, Chandigarh, gave away the prizes.

More than 350 students participated in the meet. The meet concluded with a cultural programme.

Results: 100m race: 1 Sapna, 2 Arti , 3 Pinky; 200m: 1 Sapna, 2 Arti, 3 Taranpreet; chatti race: 1 Sushma, 2 Nitu, 3 Poonam; three-legged race: 1 Sapna and Depika, 2 Sneh Sharma and Rupinder, 3 Arti and Preeti; bread race: 1 Lalita, 2 Madhu, 3 Manpreet Kaur; spoon and potato race: Sonia.



Haryana corpn’s sports meet from today
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
Defending champion Panchkula district, which shared the top honours with Rewari in the last edition, will host the Haryana Warehousing Corporation’s the 10th annual sports meet starting at Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex, Sector 3, here, tomorrow.

Nine teams from each district office in the state and one team from the Panchkula head office will participate in various events, including athletics, volleyball, kabaddi, tug of war, table tennis, chess and carom.

“Over 400 employees of the corporation would take part in the competition,” said the organisers.

Haryana agriculture minister H.S. Chatha will inaugurate the two-day meet at 10 am while chief parliamentary secretary Dharambir Singh will be the guest of honour.



Dodge ball meet from today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28 
The Dodge Ball Federation of India will organise the 2nd Junior National Dodge Ball Championship at Sports Complex, Sector 7, from February 29 to March 2.

“About 400 players from different states are expected to participate in the three-day meet,” said an organiser. The closing ceremony will be held on March 2 at the complex.



‘Inexpensive’ diagnosis of heart diseases among kids
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
The diagnosis of the rheumatic heart diseases among the children is set to be revolutionised. In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Germany-based Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in collaboration with the PGI, is set to create infrastructure for “inexpensive” test for the diagnosis of these diseases among the children.

“In fact, the devising of the test at the research centre is the result of 20 years research. The recent grant of euros 1.3 million by the European Commission to the centre will go a long way in the creation of the testing infrastructure in several parts of the world in collaboration with our research partners,” Dr GS Chhatwal, director of microbiology, at the centre, said here today.

Once put in place, the testing facilities would prove to be a boon for the potential heart patients among the children as over 15 million children, including 6 million in India, were suffering from the heart diseases, said Dr Chhatwal.

The PGI, Chandigarh, AIIMS, New Delhi, and CMC, Vellore, are collaborating with the Germany centre besides an institute each in Scotland and Sweden. PGI director Dr KK Talwar was principal investigator in the project.

Though the test for the rheumatic heart diseases among children was available in Germany, the installation of the expensive equipment for testing in the third world countries posed serious challenge to tackle the disease at its early stage. Soar throat, which was the common symptom of the diseases, mostly went untreated since the patients discontinued treatment after taking antibiotics for a short period of time, he said.

Dr Chhatwal is here to attend the three-day joint meeting of the International Society for Heart Research, International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences and the Heart Failure Society of India, which will begin on Friday.

Addressing a press confernce, Dr Talwar, along with Dr Yash Paul Sharma and Dr Madhu Khullar, organising secretaries, said the meeting would feature a series of lectures in the fields of cardiomyopathy, cardiovascular genomics, interventional cardiology, heart failure, metabolic syndrome, molecular cardiology and preventive cardiology.

The objective of this congress was to promote the exchange of ideas globally between the basic and clinical cardiovascular scientists in all aspects of cardiovascular biology and medicine and promote discovery and dissemination of knowledge in all areas of cardiovascular research, Dr Talwar added.



Windowpane of another car smashed
Ramanjit Singh Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
Miscreants smashing the windowpanes of cars continue to hold the city to ransom with the police preferring to turn a blind eye to growing menace.

A complainant, Narinderjit Singh Ahluwalia of Sector 33, a businessman by profession, told TNS that this morning he was shocked to see a windowpane of his Hyundai Accent car (CH-03-W-2550) smashed. A day before flower pots lying outside his house was smashed by the miscreants and the matter was reported to the police. The incident took place at around 1:15 am. “What to say about the attitude of the police, a police officer from the Sector 34 police station came to me on Wednesday evening asking whether I am ready to lodge a written complaint to pursue the matter. I said yes and lodged a complaint”, said Ahluwalia.

The police promised to intensify patrolling in the area, but to his utter shock the windowpane of his car was smashed at the same time. The watchman of his locality told him that it was a white Scorpio moving at a high-speed near his house on Wednesday night. The watchman, however, could not note down the number due to dazzling lights and high speed of the vehicle.

“It is surprising that the incident took place at the same time next day even after the police was informed about it”, lament Ahluwalia.

In a second such incident this week, a Sector 33 resident reported that windowpane of his car was smashed, but the police seemed uninteresting in tracing the accused. Lack of late night patrolling and the stationary deployment of police control room vehicles is said to be the reason behind rise in the incidents. The PCR should be given instruction to patrol in the residential areas and localities to increase the presence of the police which will serve as a deterrent to the miscreants, said a police officer.

A similar incident was reported in the area under the Sector 34 police station a few days ago. Devinder Katoch of Sector 46 reported that his car was smashed on February 25. Before that, windowpanes of several vehicles were smashed in Burail village.



Newborn female child found in drain
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
A body of a newborn girl was recovered from a drain near Kajheri village here this morning.

According to the police, the incident came to light at around 10 am today when a passer-by Sonu of Kajheri noticed a body of a child floating in the drain passing through Kajheri. He raised an alarm and soon people gathered there. Then police was informed about the incident which reached the spot. The police fished out the body and shifted it to Sector 16 Government Multi Speciality Hospital. The post-mortem will be conducted tomorrow.



Sarangi maestro calls present music soulless drudgery
S.D. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 28
“By and large the present day Indian film music lacks soulful melody, sublime spirit and compelling charm of its lyrical intensity and has nothing Hindustani in it”, observed Mumbai-based Padma Vibhushan Pandit Ram Narayan, the peerless classical music Sarangi wizard and music director.

In city along with and Bharatnatyam danseuse Padma Shree Saroja Vaidyanathan for receiving the annual Koser awards-2008, the duo shared with the Tribune their considered views on the contemporary music scene in India at the Pracheen Kala Kendra complex here today. Both highly decorated artistes opined that receiving an honour from an artist or art institute was charming.

Credited with introducing many innovations in Sarangi playing, and augmenting its status from just an accompanying solo classical performing instrument, Padmavibhushan Pandit Ram Narayan maintained that the recognition to him and Sarangi had come after its overwhelming acceptance by the Western audience. “With its melodic strains exuding serene and spiritual language of music, Sarangi captures the whole spectrum of human emotions being most close to human voice”, claims the maestro. Recalling the golden days of stage sharing for jugalbandis with legendary violinists Yahudi Manuhin, Pablo Casals or Rostroprovich, who admired Indian Sarangi as most poignantly revealing the very soul of the Indian classical music. Back in India, Ram Narayan embellished thousands of film songs with the soulful strains of Sarangi, besides scoring music for films like “Garam Kot”, “Tulsidas”. Attributing the reason for few takers for Sarangi to lack of competent ‘ustads’, he, however, felt satisfied with its popularity in the West. His disciple daughter Aruna Narayan Kalle, the leading woman Sarangi exponent is surging ahead with the family legacy.

“Though women were extolled as angels as enshrined in our vedic scriptures, but were practically accorded a secondary status. That is what I wish to project through my choreographies”, claims the other recipient of Koser award, Guru Padmashri Saroja Vaidyanathan. Though a traditionalist, Saroja is not averse to imbibing the influences from other genres of art so long it fits into the main framework of Bharatntayam’s code of conduct. Saroja has performed the world over and authored several books, besides composing many classic choreographies. “The audience at my dance recitals in foreign lands are more intrusive and relish the performance since they come after studying the thematic content and relevant performance details”, she claims.



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