L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sidhwan Cleaning
Campaign fails to start as crusader falls sick
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
City residents’ dream of seeing the cleaner Sidhwan Canal is diminishing with every passing day as the campaign that was started in the presence of Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal of the Kali Bein fame could not take off even after two months as the local resident; who started the campaign has become diabetic.

The mission-clean Sidhwan was launched on January 6 and Baba Seechewal was invited to Ludhiana by Gurbax Singh, retired Commandant, Home Guards. He had claimed that they would take up the work in February. But, he could not get the work start on the stipulated time. His daughter-in-law, while talking to The Tribune said he was frequenting doctors as he was not keeping well.

‘‘Please pray for him if you want to get the canal cleaned. If he regains health he would complete the project within a few days time, ’’ his daughter-in-law said.

As Gurbax Singh was suffering due to side effects caused by overdose of insulin, nobody came forward to clean up the canal. He was a spokesman of a large number of volunteers and most of them had said they were waiting for the canal to dry up in February. But, the water was released into this canal a few days ago.

Sant Sukhjit Singh, an associate of Baba Seechewal, when contacted said they had not been contacted by the local residents, who had earlier invited them to clean up the canal.

‘‘They actually wanted us to take up the entire kar sewa. We told them that we were not in a position to camp at Ludhiana as we had to take care of the Kali Bein. After that they did not bother to call us up. So, we have no plans in near future, ’’ said Sant Sukhjit Singh, who spoke on behalf of Baba Seechewal.

He added that two months ago they had received a call that the resident was ill. But, later on, nobody contacted them.

On January 6, the campaign was launched with much fanfare. Baba had taken control of the JCB machine in his hands before removing silt from the bed.

Gurbax Singh, the man behind the proposed cleaning, had said he had hired 100 JCB machines and kar sewaks of some villages had agreed in principle to help them.

Numerous dignitaries were present on the occasion. Even, Dr K.S. Verma, NSS coordinator. 



Charged Over Extra Charges
This Holi, think twice before you SMS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
Hundreds of cellular phone subscribers are irked with the extra charges levied by mobile phone companies for sending text messages on festivals.

Companies have sent text messages to subscribers informing them that they would be charged extra for sending messages on the festival.

While companies term this as an exercise to control heavy congestion on festivals, consumers are unhappy with the "money churning " exercise.

"I received a message from my service provider that I would be charged double on the 6th,21st and 22nd of this month. This is unfair and an anti-customer exercise," rued Maninder Singh, an IT professional.

What has irked the consumers even more is network clogging on the days despite the extra charges. Phone subscribers said on occasions like Diwali, New Year , Christmas and other festivals, they faced problems in sending messages.

"This New Year, most of my friends told me they did not receive my greetings. But the company did not fail to charge me extra for these. Why should they charge when they are unable to provide service on these days," questioned Priya Sharma, a student.

Officials of phone companies argue that the extra charges would help them control congestion.



City’s Underworld
Battle for supremacy on despite bloodshed
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
Gangster Gurpreet, alias Billu Badshah’s, murder has thrown open the seat of power in the city’s underworld that runs the multi-crore illegal financial market and provides protection to illegal lottery traders as well.

Though the police has been able to put a check on the illegal financial business during the past few years. Numerous “loan sharks”, who fed these gangsters to recover the “bad debts”, were arrested. This murder exposes how the racket still runs. Three main gang leaders have been killed during the past five years apart from dozens of attempt to murder cases.

Despite gang leaders like Bauu, Lalla and Billu Badshah meeting gory end, criminals of lower ranks continue to follow the same path.

Another major worry for the residents and the cops was that the murder also suggests that the stakes in the illegal finance business are still so high that gangs employed by various financers, notorious as loan sharks, can come down to killing each other.

These loan sharks trap city traders in dire need of money. They easily advance huge loans to them, but charge hefty interest after allowing the debt to grow.

Sources reveal that Billu Badshah had become quite strong and had taken over most of the Nirdosh Dhand group’s work. His growing power troubled three other gangsters to such an extent that they buried their rivalry and joined hands to eliminate him.

The police sources said of the nine accused booked for the murder, three other group leaders like Rocky, Mandal and Mohni had joined hands to kill Billu. Earlier, a few groups had tried to eliminate him but he had always escaped.

The battle started five years ago when Bauu, leader of one such group, was killed. Later, Lalla, close to a BJP leader, was also killed two years ago. In between, Nirdosh Dhand, who is one of the accused in Lalla’s murder case, miraculously escaped death after being stabbed six times outside his house.

The recent murder exposes that only the face of the new victim of this battle of supremacy has changed but the menace of loan sharks who make gangsters out of petty criminals still remains.



Johar On Yoga
‘Every Punjabi must fight foeticide’
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
World reknowned bharatnatyam exponent and choreographer Navtej Johar feels ruffled when Punjab is condemned for the menace of female foeticide even outside the country.

A strong proponent of social responsibility, he says "each one needs to take it upon himself to rid the state of this stigma."

In the city to present a dance-theatre piece “Fana'a: Ranjha Revisited”, Johar said despite being a male, no criticism could deter him from learning bharatnatyam, the dance form he fell in love with the moment he first saw it.

"It came as a shock to my family when I told them of my decision to opt for the dance form. I knew my soul wanted it and I went ahead."

This choreographer and yoga exponent feels creativity is connected to the soul and goes beyond the mind. "It is an expression that touches the soul and goes beyond the mind."

On yoga, he says it is an exercise that is complete in itself, involving the body, mind and spirit.

"The wholeness of it is uncomparable."

Asked whey he did not perform as frequently in Punjab as he did overseas, he said: "I was not invited earlier. I am happy to perform here and would love to come again as and when people want me to,” he said.

Talking at a seminar at GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) on "Managing stress through yoga", Johar explained that yoga derived its name from "yoke" which means "to bring together."

He elaborated that yoga did just that - bring together the mind, body and breath.

Dr Madan Gopal Singh, associate professor, English department, Satyawati College, Delhi, shared his ideas on the corporate world and expressed the need for introduction of stress reduction activities in the curriculum of post- graduate streams.



Stray Dog Menace
7 residents attacked in 2 days
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 7
With the much-touted move to sterilise dogs proving a non-starter in the city, stray dog menace has assumed alarming proportions.

Incidents of dog bite are on the rise and there is no day when at least 12 such cases are not reported from various parts of the city.

The administration appears to have virtually washed its hands of the problem. According to reports, at least six residents, including children, were mauled by a pack of stray dogs in Model Town Extension area yesterday morning.

One-and-half-year old son of Paramjit Singh Pasricha, a development officer with LIC of India and a resident of Dugri Phase II, was bitten by a street dog this morning.

An agitated Pasricha complained that some residents offered food and milk to stray dogs. “As a result, they kept loitering around in the locality. The threat from dogs has become so severe that children are afraid of moving out of their homes or playing outside."

Several victims of dog bite are said to be beggars, rag-pickers or daily wage earners who can ill-afford the expensive anti-rabies vaccine as the same has not been available in government hospitals or dispensaries for quite some time now.

Parlad Singh, an office-bearer of a resident welfare association in Civil Lines, said even as the authorities were oblivious to the problem, those concerned with animal rights were also doing precious little to check the menace.

“There are no dog pens, no plan to sterilise the dogs to check their population and no action plan to deal with rabid dogs.”



Lok Adalat
Traffic violations 6,000 cases cleared
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
About 6,000 out of 12,000 pending cases pertaining to traffic violations were cleared during the two-day mega traffic lok adalat that began here today. At least 17 Benches are engaged in clearing the pending cases at the New Judicial Court Complex. District and Sessions Judge G.K.Rai inaugurated the camp.

After the inaugural ceremony, Rai met the Benches and supervised their functioning. On the first day, at least half of the pending cases were settled, he added. A fine worth Rs 11 lakh has been realised.

To facilitate the public in getting their challans settled, two enquiry counters have been set up in the complex and elaborate arrangements of drinking water were made for those attending the lok adalat.

Tomorrow, the remaining traffic challans were expected to be cleared, which would give a substantial relief to already overloaded courts dealing with the challans. 



Transport dept ‘shielding’ bus operators
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 7
Leaders of various social and political organisations, led by Baldev Singh Latala, have accused certain operators of violating rules by not bringing their buses to the local bus stand.

In a joint representation to the higher authorities of the state transport department, the leaders have demanded that the PRTC, Punjab Roadways and private operators should be asked to take buses to the local bus stand. Activists of certain organisations had blocked vehicular traffic at Pohir also.

Accusing the transport authorities of shielding bus operators, who had been violating rules for years, Baldev Singh Latala, senior vice-president, Punjab Kissan Sabha, alleged that the successive governments had been ignoring the demands raised by residents of the area. "Even when the officials have identified the violators and provided lists of defaulting buses during certain period, inaction on the part of the transport authorities shows that they are protecting interests of the operators, causing inconvenience to the public," argued Latala.

Latala told that a team of officials of the PRTC, Ludhiana, had observed that on an average 40 to 50 buses violated regulations everyday. Instead of coming to the local bus stand, these buses went straight from Pohir Chowk. This not only caused inconvenience to the passengers but caused monetary loss to those depots which obeyed the rules.

The transport authorities, acting on the reports submitted by the PRTC, regarding the violation of rules by bus operators plying their buses in Sangrur district, including certain depots of the Punjab Roadways, had served notices on them and warned them of consequences in case.



Protesting docs hold rally at mini secretariat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 7
A large number of doctors, led by functionaries of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) held a protest rally at Mini Secretariat here today. They were protesting against the mob violence that took place at Shri Krishna Charitable Hospital in the Model Town area on Sunday. Subsequently, doctors was booked for alleged negligence.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister through district administration, the protesting doctors called upon the state government to issue an ordinance on the pattern of Andhra Pradesh and some other states to protect medical institutions and doctors against vandalism and mob violence and further making it a cognizable offence.

Dr Rajesh Thapar and Dr Surendra Gupta, president and secretary, respectively of the association, asserted that the violence against doctors and the staff of one of the local hospitals by the unruly mob, after the sudden causality, had shaken the entire medical fraternity. Unfortunately, rather than taking action against those responsible for taking law in their own hands, the police had booked the doctor and supporting staff.

The NIMA functionaries further demanded that the case against the doctor be immediately withdrawn and an enquiry be initiated to ascertain the cause of death as also the course of treatment given to the patient. They also wanted stern action against anti- social elements who damaged the property and equipment at the hospital and manhandled the medical professionals.

Meanwhile, the DMC Teachers Association has condemned the manhandling of doctors and vandalism at Shri Krishna Charitable Hospital.

Dr Hemant Chopra, president of the association, expressed concerns over the increasing frequencies of such incidents. He further said such incidents would lead to defencive practice by doctors which would deteriorate the doctor-patient relationship and adversely affect the patient care.

Dr Sunil Katyal, secretary of the association, has urged the government to take appropriate steps and formulate a law as had been done in some other states for the safety of doctors. The association has further asked the district administration to withdraw cases against the doctors immediately.



Gill Road, encroachers’ paradise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
Even as the municipal corporation claims to have removed encroachments from the city during the past few days, residents of the Gill Road are sore that it has become narrower, thanks to encroachers, who have usurped more than two thirds of the land.

Also known as the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway, the Gill Road is an encroacher’s paradise. Vegetable vendors, kiosk owners rule the roost as they keep their goods on the roadsides.

Sher Singh, a resident, had even filed public interest litigation in the High Court seeking a direction from the municipal corporation for removing encroachments from the Gill Road. After the PIL was admitted the corporation swung into action and removed a few encroachments. These came back within a few days.

Even today the secondhand scooter dealers and even small-scale industries can be seen keeping their goods on the roadsides. Though after the corporation’s drive, they left some space vacant but the encroachment still continues.

‘‘Iron rounds dealers have removed their goods from the road to quite an extent. But if we say they were not encroaching at all then it is wrong. Now, they are occupying 50 per cent of the space and earlier they had encroached upon 75 per cent. There is not much difference, ’’ said Sher Singh.

He added that some days ago the corporation had taken up anti-encroachment drive. ‘‘They just removed small part of kiosks. The rest remained as such. And there is no footpath left on the either side of the road.’’ 



Plastics give tough time to sewer men
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
Plastics are giving a tough time to sewer men of the local municipal corporation, who are always found grappling with the choked sewerage system of the city.

Many states have banned the use of plastics, especially that of polythene bags. But, the civic officials find themselves helpless. They have urging the state government to prohibit its use at least for the sake of sewers if not for the environment.

A lot of manpower is wasted in cleaning the manholes that gets choked due to various reasons with plastics being a major cause. On an average corporation receives large number of complaints regarding overflowing sewage system and it has to depend on sewer men to clean the mess.

Every time the sewer men clean the system, they find plastic cups, spoons and bags in the manholes along with the sludge. As plastics are not biodegradable and remain intact in the manholes, the sewerage gets choked and the blame is passed on to the civic body.

A manhole got choked in the Bhadaur house market recently. After two days of hard work, the sewer men removed the sludge but still the water was not flowing properly. They went deep only to discover that a large number of plastics cups and bags were lying at the bottom thereby blocking the entire system.

‘‘The market association got angry and accused us dumping the entire sludge on the road itself. But, what can we do? They too are at fault. Why should 
they throw plastics?” sewer men said.

The shopkeepers had complained that the sludge was being dumped on the road itself while it could have been carried in a trolley.

Corporation officials said while the residents were themselves at fault; they always blamed the civic body for the mess. ‘‘The sewer men grumble that polythenes are to be blamed for the persistent problem. In most of the cases, where sewerage system overflows, polythene bags are the root cause of the problem,’’ a civic official said.

‘‘They throw garbage filled in polythene bags in the drains. Finally these bags make way into the system and chokes it,” he said adding that these gets lifted by winds and deposited here and there in the drains also.

‘‘Even if the government has not banned the plastics, at least we can say no them. A little effort would make a difference if we decide to avoid them. When ever you go and buy something, tell the shopkeeper that you do not want a polythene bag.’’ he added



LMA to hold post-Budget session
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) will conduct a post-Budget session for its members here tomorrow.

The session will be conducted by Pradeep Aggarwal, RBI chair of economics and head, RBI endowment unit, Institute of Economic Growth. He will speak on the impact of the Budget on economy.

General secretary of the association K.N.S. Kang said Budget had always been an issue of debate and analysis in the country. Hence, the talk. 



Burn victim needs monetary help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 7
Rattan Singh (28), a resident of Dhanipura village in Kurukshetra (Haryana) district, has been admitted in the burns ICU of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here for the past 15 days. He is a daily-wage worker who has a wife and two kids to look after.

According to doctors, the patient received electric shock while working as a crane driver. Both of his legs got burnt and had to be amputated. Due to this his genitals got damaged. Thus, he faces a lot of difficulty in passing urine through a tube placed in the stomach and he might need hospitalisation for at least two months.

All monetary resources of the family have already been exhausted in Rattan Singh’s treatment. His wife, Sunita, lamented that the employer of Rattan Singh has not even bothered to enquire about his health. The patient’s family is in dire need of financial help and all donations or philanthropic financial aid will be appreciated.

Those interested in lending a helping hand to Rattan Singh and his family could either contact the office of medical superintendent at DMCH (0161-4687504) or the PRO (0161-4687514, 094178-06606).

All donations should be made in favour of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and “Treatment for Rattan Singh (C.R. No 2008-15516)” written on back side of the cheque/DD or on the covering letter.



Seminar on female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 7
A seminar on "Female Foeticide and Drug De-additiciton" will be organised by the Punjab State Legal Services Authority in coordination with the Bar Association, Khanna, and NGOs on March 8 at Grain Market, Khanna.

The seminar will be presided over by Chief Justice Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Vijender Jain. A number of judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court will also participate in the seminar.

Sessions Judge G.K. Rai said the main objective of the seminar was to create awareness among people about the effects of foeticide so that the people came forward to help the government to book the accused involved in the crime.



Scribe’s car stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
A white Maruti car of a reporter was stolen from outside his house at Luxmi Street, Civil Lines,in the wee hours today.

Neighbours had seen a man taking away the car (PB 10F 0054) at 5 am today.

The reporter has lodged a complaint with the Division No 8 police. Efforts were on to trace the car, the SHO said.



From Schools & Colleges
Maths lab opens at Doraha college
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 7
Students of the Doraha College of Education celebrated “International Mathematics Day” today. Chief coordinator, Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, Japvir Singh, inaugurated a mathematics lab on this occasion. He was the chief guest and coordinator, Doraha College of Education, Tapvir Singh, was the guest of honour. Both appreciated the models and charts prepared by students.

Meera and Richa gave power point presentations on values and vision of mathematics and contribution of great mathematicians. Maths quiz and games, prepared by students, were enjoyed by other students as well. Principal J.Kiran Gera acquainted the students with the importance of learning mathematics in life.


Ludhiana: Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women held a UGC-sponsored state-level seminar on "Innovations in communicative stalls” here on Friday. Dr S.K. Kulkarni, dean, university interactions, PAU, was the chief guest while Dr Anil Raina, chairperson, PU, was the guest of honour. The resource persons included Manpreet Sahota, Ashima Dhir, Tajinder Kaur, Prof Dinesh Malik, Dr Kulbhushan, Prof Sharad Manocha, Prof B.R. Ghai, Sahil Ghai, Navneet and Ritish. Swarn Singh presented a vote of thanks.

Women's day

GMT Public School organised an essay- writing competition for students of Class X and XII on the occasion of Women's Day here today.

Students appreciated the achievements of Sania Mirza, Sonia Gandhi, Aishwarya Rai, Arundhati Raai, Sunita Williams, Kalpana Chawla, P.T. Usha and Malleshwari Devi besides others in their respective fields. They criticised the female foeticide and discrimination against girls.

Directors Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind and principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal highlighted the contribution of women in different walks of life. — TNS 



PU Exams From April 1
Students bunk classes to study at home 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 7
The final examinations of various undergraduate and postgraduate classes are scheduled to start from April 1, but the city colleges, affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, are already witnessing thin attendance. Though the colleges have not formally declared preparatory holidays, but students have started bunking or even not attending colleges. Ask them, and they say, “We are preparing for final examination by sitting at home.”

“This is the best time when we can seriously concentrate on our studies. Our group has decided to stay at home and study thoroughly. If we face any problem, teachers are there to solve them,” said Ekta Gupta, a student.

Another student, Gaganpreet Kaur, said regular classes were not going on in the colleges. “The students are busy preparing for farewell parties these days. Teachers are also not willing to take classes if there is a thin attendance. Secondly, we have been told about the lecture-shortage, we can afford to bunk classes,” she added.

But, the faculty believes that this is the right time to resolve the queries of students. According to Madanjit Kaur Sahota, principal, Master Tara Singh College for Women, as per the university guidelines, students are given three weeks to prepare for their examinations.

“I personally feel that the students should not miss the classes at the end of the session. Teachers are less burdened and they can spare enough time to patiently solve problems faced by the students. But, when students stop coming to colleges, how can we help them?” she asked adding that 20 days were sufficient for self-study.

As per Panjab University, the practical examinations of various classes will start from March 10 and the theory exams will be conducted from April 1.

Prof Jaipal Singh, president, Punjab Government College Teachers’ Association, said the attendance had come down to 50 per cent. “There are a few students who ask us to test their preparation, which is good for them. They should properly utilise this time as enough preparatory holidays are given to them for self-study. They should regularly attend the classes till the session is over,” he added.

But, the faculty believes that this is the right time to resolve the queries of students. According to Madanjit Kaur Sahota, principal, Master Tara Singh College for Women, as per the university guidelines, students are given three weeks to prepare for their examinations. 



NSV camp from March 10
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 7
The district health administration will hold a five-day non-scalpel vasectomy (NSV) camp at Civil Hospital here from March 10 to 14.

Civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma said NSV was a simple and minor family planning procedure for men which involved no incision or stitches. The person undergoing this operation could go home the same day and resume his normal work without any break.

Senior medical officer of the hospital Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, who will be coordinating the activities at the camp, said eligible male persons coming forward for the NSV procedure would get a cash incentive of Rs 1,100 while the motivator will be given Rs 200.

According to Dr Sharma, the department had launched a comprehensive awareness and motivation drive through hand bills, posters to promote NSV and the SMOs in the district had also been directed to encourage the concept of male sterilisation and send maximum number of cases to the camp.



National convention on dentistry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 7
The 3-day 5th national PG convention of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry being hosted by Christian Dental College (CDC) opened here last evening with lectures by eminent speakers and pre-convention courses by renowned faculty. 

The presentation on cosmetic dentistry for children was held by Dr Harsh Vyas from Mumbai while Dr N. Srinivas and his team from Hyderabad elaborated upon pain-free dentistry with the help of conscious sedation.

Workshops by various doctors, including Dr Anil Goyal, Dr Tejinder Singh and Dr Neeraj Mahajan from Sunam, marked the deliberations on the opening day.

Dr John Pramod, director, CMCH, stressed on the importance of continuing education to keep oneself abreast of the latest developments in the field. He said such conventions and workshops would benefit not only the postgraduate students but also all faculty members.

The convention was formally inaugurated by the chief parliamentary secretary, health and family welfare, Avinash Chander, in the presence of Dr S.S. Walia, registrar, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Punjab, who was the guest of honour.

The next two days shall witness a scientific plethora which will include brainstorming sessions on various aspects of paediatric dentistry.



Sports Meet
Harvinder sets the track ablaze
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 7
Harvinder Singh finished ahead of others in the 100m sprint to emerge the fastest runner during the annual sports meet of Industrial Training Institute, Gill Road, Ludhiana, held today.

A large number of students competed in the meet. Santokh Singh proved his mettle in the 400m and 800m races besides finishing runner-up in the 1,500m race while Simarjit Singh came out triumphant in 200m and long jump events.

Results: 1,500m: 1 Gurdeep Lal, 2 Santosh Singh and 3 Dharminder Singh; 800m: 1 Santokh Singh, 2 Rajiv Kumar and 3 Ranjit Singh; 400m: 1 Santokh Singh, 2 Ranjit Singh and 3 Sony; 200m: 1 Simarjit Singh, 2 Lakhwinder Singh and 3 Harvinder Singh; 100m 1 Harvinder Singh, 2 Jatinder Singh and 3 Sandeep Kumar; shot put: 1 Jatinder Singh, 2 Baban Kumar and 3 Gurcharan Singh 3; discus throw: 1 Jatinder Singh, 2 Manpreet Singh and 3 Baban Kumar; javelin throw: 1 Gurpreet Singh, 2 Achharjit Singh and 3 Sikander Singh; football: ITI beat College of Electricals 2-0; badminton: Surinder Pal bt Kuldeep Kumar; badminton (doubles): 1 Kuldeep Kumar and Jagdeep Singh, 2 Surinder Pal and Yogesh Sharma, 3 Gurjant Singh and Kuldeep Kumar; High jump: 1 Rajinder Kumar, 2 Gurpreet Singh and 3 Gurcharan Singh; long jump: 1 Simarjit Singh, 2 Ramanjit Singh and 3 Gurpreet Singh.



Sports help curb drug menace: Bhattal
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 7
Sports are the effective medium to keep youth away from drugs as well as other illegal means, said Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister of Punjab.

Talking to The Tribune at DAV Senior Secondary School, Sector 8 cricket grounds, where she came to join practice session for the forthcoming match between Akali Dal and Congress teams, the Punjab Congress president Bhattal said, “It always saddened me to see our young generation going in wrong direction. Once our youth was considered the stoutest in the country but now a day most of them cannot even meet the physical standards during the recruitments of defence services. In my viewpoint, the only way to save them from such menaces is sports”.

Bhattal, a national level volleyball player, seemed very happy to be at the cricket ground, where the team members of Congress were toiling under the supervision of former Indian player Yograj Singh.

Getting nostalgic, she said she remembered her college days after mingling with the young sportspersons here.

“I used to play volleyball in my school and college days. It gave me an immense pleasure to be among the young cricketers as the hectic schedule and political affairs hardly allow us (the politicians) to relax”, said Bhattal after facing a few deliveries while batting on 22-yard stick. The other politicians, who were practicing there were Randeep Nabha, MLA Nabha, Sukhpal Khaira, MLA Plith, Ripjeet Brar, MLA Kotkapura, Rana Gurmit Sodhi, MLA Guru Harsahai and Kewal Dhillon, MLA Barnala.

About the charity match, which will take place at PCA Stadium on March 13, Bhattal said, “We have selected over 15 players. The final team will be announced on March 10. I assure that it will be a serious but enjoyable cricket battle among the politicians of both parties”. 



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