Play Holi the herbal way
Aparna Banerji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Spring is rife with the aromas of mouth-watering “gujias” and scented “gulal” in the air, markets abound with excited shop owners putting up stalls (with all the Holi paraphernalia) which encroach upon the narrow lanes of the never-ending bazaars and kids do the rounds of the streets hunting for water balloons and those ultimate Chinese “pichkaris”.

The city is all geared up for Holi, the very look of it drives the point home. But like every other big festival which has its list of dos and don’ts. Topping the list of Holi don’ts is the need for healthy and herbal colours which are the very essence of the festival. Herbal and dry colours are what experts have been telling the people to go in for since years now but the city, it seems, still needs to wake up to the reality. Out of the hoards of shops selling Holi colours only a few sell herbal colours and the people contribute to the problem by going in for toxic colours.

Ramnita Saini Sharda, a lecturer at a local college, says, “Holi is a festival of spring, playing it with herbal and natural colours, especially the ones made out of flowers, makes a person feel one with nature. Of course, natural colours also give you the added advantage of being free from allergies and other skin problems.

“The herbal colours are not readily available in the city. All I was able to get was non-toxic colours for the kids,” she says.

Dr Vikram Sood, a leading skin specialist, says, “It is very important for the people to use starch-based or herbal colours on Holi because the toxic colours can cause allergies which may last for six to eight hours causing skin burn or itching. Due to the ignorance of the people, in certain cases patients may even get photosensitising reactions for eight to 10 hours or more, making it impossible for the person to go out in the sun for days. Therefore, it is important to make people aware about natural colours to avoid problems.”

Vineet Jain, shop owner in Model Town, who sells non-toxic colours, says, “There are not much takers for non-toxic colours; only a few people who are relatively aware of the hazards of toxic colours use them.”

Rajesh Puri, shopkeeper in Rainak Bazaar, says, “We don’t sell herbal colours as much as the regular, cheap colours. The reasons is obvious - herbal colours cost Rs 50 per kg while the others Rs 30 per 10 kg. As far as allergies and skin infections are concerned, not many people are bothered about them, therefore, we are earning more profits out of the non-herbal colours.”

Ravi Chopra, shopkeeper at JP Nagar, seconds Puri on his opinion. “Though the herbal colours are supposed to be healthier, people buy non-herbal variety due to the lowed cost,” he says.



Autorickshaw gives him drive to create lyrics
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, March 20
It is perhaps sheer fate that the man who has penned scores of hit songs for Punjabi singers has himself lived most of his life in penury. Noted Punjabi lyricist Lal Athouli Wala can, in fact, be spotted driving a three-wheeler and ferrying passengers between Satnampura, behind Phagwara railway station, and Farali village, almost 15 km ahead.

Lal Din (his real name) started composing poems and songs when he was a class VIII student in a school in his native Athouli village, near here. A matriculate, he had to struggle a lot before he could make a mark in the Punjabi music industry.

Once it all began, most top Punjabi singers came to him to take verses from him. Nachhatar Singh Gill has sung his composition “Ja dagebaz dildara, changi tu nahin kiti” which he had written in distress after someone refused to acknowledge a payment due to him.

Sabarkoti lent his voice to Lal’s composition “Ji karda hai geet banawan khid khid hasdi da.” His verses “Rattan nu uth uth royenga” were sung by Satwinder Bugga. His lyrics “Na jayon pardes” won accolades from the NRI community. He received a reward of Rs 51,000 for this song from Rammi Yadgari Mela based at Bassi Pathana. His song “Dekh ke sohna yaar” won him the Bulley Shah award.

Lal says that though he was somewhat comfortable financially now, he could not give up driving an auto-rickshaw. “I tried that for some time but it did not work out. I quit it and sat home quietly writing verses but singers started telling me that they found something lacking. I too realised that my creativity had something to do with the pressing of the auto accelerator,” he quipped.

“I have never been able to write in my idle time. I am able to think of new lines only when I am driving and I jot these down at one of the stops. Sometimes I get so busy with my thought process that people sitting with me tell me that I was unable to listen to their call to halt the auto. Auto-rickshaw driving has really helped me grow for I get new ideas listening to the discussions of collegiates riding behind me. A music buff, though, I never play any song in my auto as it hampers my creativity,” he said laughingly.

Even today when The Tribune team called him up to seek appointment from him for an interview, he made a request, “Kindly be on time. I do not want to miss a round in my auto.”

Lal Din, a Muslim, tells that even as most people from his community had made a name in singing, his father guided him to do something different. “Charanjit Ahuja, noted Punjabi music director, helped me chose a career as a lyricist. It somehow gelled with my personality of keeping away from the limelight. In fact, I feel a bit sheepish when some passengers recognise me and tell me that they had seen me on some Punjabi channel some time back,” he explained.

But now his son Parvez Ali, a BA student at Lyallpur Khalsa College, has expressed his desire to build a career in singing. “I am a bit puzzled on that,” the discussion comes to an end on that note.



Death Certificate
Delay costs SDM Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
In the first-ever case related to the registrar (births and deaths) decided by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, the SDM of Phillaur has been asked to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation to a resident for delay in issuing the death certificate of his mother.

In his complaint filed against the registrar and the SDM on September 11 last, Rampal Singh Gill, resident of Thamanwal village, Phillaur, had written that his mother Amar Kaur died on April 22, 2004, and the death was reported to the panchayat secretary. But neither did he make an entry in the register nor did he sent information to the higher officers, including the SDM, he alleged.

Gill had given an undertaking that he had applied for the death certificate after completing the formalities with the registrar and the matter was referred to the SDM in February 2006. He said he had even deposited the requisite fee and the matter was marked to the tehsildar of Phillaur on July 10, 2006. He said that since then he had made repeated visits but he was not issued the death certificate.

In their reply, the registrar and the SDM had said that after receiving a request from Gill, they had issued a letter to the panchayat secretary for issuing the death certificate.

They said an entry had been made regarding the death of Amar Kaur on July 16, 2007. They claimed that the moment the report was received from the panchayat secretary, the certificate was issued.

The forum, comprising president M.M. Bhalla and member Rakesh Kumari, observed that even as Gill had moved his application to the registrar on June 7, 2006, the certificate was issued to him on October 5, almost a month after filing of the complaint.

It was hence decided that the panchayat secretary working under the registrar had taken an unreasonable time in giving a reply to the SDM, causing unnecessary delay. Thus, the complaint was allowed and the SDM was asked to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation for the delay.

The forum added that the SDM could recover the amount from the panchayat secretary for taking too long for filing a reply in the matter.



Young World
Derby College members to give training on e-learning
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Three faculty members from Derby College, Derby, are on a visit to the CT Group of Institutions as a part of an exchange programme. The delegates, Lynn, Rosy and Oliver, have come to train 30 students who have been selected for the pilot phase of this project for an e-learning course.

The trained students will use the e-learning courses, which are being jointly developed by the experts of Derby College and CT Institutions, for monitoring and recording the change in confidence, motivation and discipline. The courses would add value to the existing professional courses of engineering, management, pharmacy, hotel management, retail, insurance and others, the visiting faculty said, adding the students would be ready for the placement process and for handling corporate culture and work pressure. The course content includes interactive activities, web-links, forums and chats, quizzes and questionnaires and feedback.

Holi celebrated

Students of St Soldier Divine Public School, Kapurthala Road, celebrated Holi on Thursday. Vice-chairperson Sangeeta Chopra and principal S.K. Prashar celebrated Holi with the students. Students came loaded with water guns. They also presented a cultural programme.

Holi was also celebrated by the kindergarten section of CT Public School, Maqsudan. The students played with colours.

Overnight camp

Mayor World School organised an overnight adventure camp on Monday and Tuesday soon after completion of the examinations. The highlight of the camp was tent pitching, rappelling, river crossing, knot-tying exercises, tele-games, obstacle crossing, map and compass reading, yoga and exercises. Principal Neeraj Bhargava said the camp was an enriching experience for the students.

Varsity toppers

Students of MSc (IT), third semester, from the Apeejay College of Fine Arts have done the institution proud by bagging top positions in an examination conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University. Navneet Kaur has stood first in the university with 81.4 per cent marks. Sheenam Khurana is third with 77.3 per cent marks. Divya Seth has stood fourth with 76.2 per cent marks and Harpriya Wadhawa follows her with 75.2 per cent marks.

New play school

The inaugural ceremony of Bachpan, a play school, was organised at New Defence Colony in Jalandhar cantonment. Director Jaspal Singh Dhillon took the guests around the doll house, mini-gym, art and craft room, audio-visual room, dining room and classrooms.

Faculty development

A faculty development programme on research methodology was organised at Hans Raj Mahila Mahavidyalaya. Prof Navdeep Singh from the department of psychology at Guru Nanak Dev University, was the resource person. He apprised the faculty of various methods, including statistical analysis, research process, hypothesis, sampling and data interpretation.



Retirement Rues
Retd lecturer’s plea for arrears remains unheard
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Tarlok Singh Sangha, a former HoD (head of the department) of the mathematics department in Lyallpur Khalsa College (LKC), has been running from pillar to post to get his arrears of revised pay scale of senior college lecturers amounting to Rs 37,200. Even the college authorities, director, public instructions (DPI), colleges, Punjab, and the state information commission have turned a blind eye to his repeated requests.

In an application filed under the RTI Act, the HoD sought to know as to why he has not been paid the arrears (under the revised pay scale). Through his application he categorically asked the authorities about the arrears of revised pay scale of senior college lecturers, which were distributed by the government to non-government colleges in May, 2005.

Sangha retired in 2002 and then went to Canada and it was here that he sent emails to the colleges authorities (the copy of which is with The Tribune) regarding the anomaly in his retirement dues. Initially, he sent an application to the state public information officer, department of education, on January 19, but in the absence of no reply he sent another application to Rajan Kashap, state chief information commissioner, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, he also sent emails to principal, LKC, Dr Statish Kapoor but to no avail. “I even wrote applications to DPI, Punjab, Dr Kanwarjit Singh but no action was taken. Though the DPI (colleges) paid arrears of enhanced pay to all college teachers during 2005, but I was not given any arrears by the college authorities despite my repeated requests to the management committee,” he said, adding that however the college authority received the payment from the government but kept on delaying it on one pretext or the other.

He added that the government had paid 80 per cent of the arrears of the revised pay, whereas the rest 20 per cent, amounting to Rs 37,200, were yet to paid.

The DPI, Punjab, had issued a communication in this regard and keeping this factor in mind a grant-in-aid scheme of the Punjab government was started for the lecturers. It was found that the retirement dues of the employees of private aided colleges were not being paid and as a result they were facing a lot hardship.

When contacted, Principal, LKC, Dr Satish Kapoor said, “This is an old issue as the case dates back to 2002, but whenever the college authorities would get time we will definitely look into the matter.”



Rail traffic disrupted as DMU coach catches fire
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Down line railway traffic between Jalandhar and Ludhiana remained disrupted for a few hours today afternoon as an empty coach of the diesel multiple unit (DMU) train caught fire between Jalandhar cantonment and Chaheru railway stations.

General Railway Police (GRP) superintendent of police (SP) Shamsher Jang Bahadur Sharma who, along with some railway officials, reached the spot, said the DMU train was on its way from Jalandhar to Lucknow for repair when soon after leaving Jalandhar cantonment station its one coach caught fire at around 1.35 pm.

According to the information, DMU drivers Rajesh and Kewal Krishan stopped the train immediately when they come to know about the accidental fire in the last coach.

Initially, they tried to put out the fire by using fire control equipment. They informed the Jalandhar railway station authorities about the fire. They also separated the burning coach from the remaining train.

Several fire tenders were pressed into service to extinguish the fire. The fire extinguishers had to try hard to put out the fire.

While the exact cause of the fire was not yet known, railway sources said the fire broke out in the coach due to some technical fault. Meanwhile, an inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the cause of the fire.



Rural doctors hold protest
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Protesting against the reported decision of state health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla to recruit only MD or MS doctors through PPSC, the Rural Medical Services Association held a protest outside the zila parishad here on Wednesday afternoon.

Since most of the members of the association are MBBS, they said they were feeling cheated. They said they had been told that the MBBS doctors could only be given contractual jobs while those with postgraduation could apply for 147 posts of medical specialist.

Association president Maghar Shah said the state government had adopted a discriminatory attitude and was trying to bring down their morale. He called for regularisation of 1,193 rural medical officers working in far-flung areas and rendering their duties for poor people.



Gold’s Gym honours Bhajji
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
The management of Gold’s Gym honoured cricketer Harbhajan Singh at their outlet here on Wednesday.

MD Amolak Singh Gakhal welcomed Bhajji and presented him with a life membership of the gym. Gakhal said Harbhajan was not only the pride of Punjab but also of the nation. “We are proud of the fact that Punjab has such a major contribution towards the nation.” Manvinder Singh Bal, a director of the gym, was also present.

Speaking on the occasion, Harbhajan said he was happy to see such world-class facilities in the city where all the requirements of members, from dietary habits to training levels and fitness counselling, were held under one roof.

He exhorted the people to exercise, stay fit and be happy.



Man booked for bid to commit suicide
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
The police has booked Kuldip Singh Bhatia of Model House for an attempt to commit suicide.

Station house officer (SHO) of police station number four Nirmal Singh said a case was registered against him under section 309 of the IPC. An auto-rickshaw driver, Bhatia, had tried to immolate himself after pouring liquor at Nakodar Chowk due to some family problem on Tuesday evening.

His condition was stated to be serious as he sustained 60 per cent burns and was admitted to the civil hospital.



Woman’s body found, 2 held

Phagwara, March 20
Following recovery of the body of missing woman Davinder Kaur from the bushes in Beer Puad village, the police booked her in-laws for her murder and nabbed her sister-in-law Davinder and mother-in-law Surinder Kaur.

According to police sources, Davinder Kaur had gone missing on January 7 from her in-laws’ house at Guru Nanak Pura here.

Following this the police first registered a DDR of missing person and later converted it into an FIR of kidnapping under section 365 of the IPC against her in-laws, including husband Manjit Singh and his brother Raju on the statement of Davinder Kaur’s brother Pritpal Singh of Mundian Kalan in Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, after the recovery of her decomposed body, the police added sections 302 and 301, IPC, to the already registered FIR. — TNS



Srinagar to take on Bathinda in WAC badminton final
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
Teams of Srinagar and Bathinda have reached the finals of the Western Air Command (WAC) inter-area badminton championship being held at Air Force Station, Adampur.

In the doubles semi-finals, Srinagar defeated Hindon. Cpl Srinivasan and Cpl Ajeet of Srinagar defeated Sqn-Ldr K.M. Khan and Flt-Lt Sridhar of Hindon. In the singles, Corporal Srinivasan of Srinagar crushed Flt-Lt Sridhar of Hindon 21-12 and 21-09.

In the second doubles semi-final, Bhatinda team comprising Sgt Pratap and Sgt Murthy defeated LAC Manoj and LAC Behra of Ambala 21-14 and 21-10. In singles, LAC Manoj of Ambala defeated Sgt Murthy of Bathinda 21-15 and 21-17, while Sgt Pratap of Bhatinda defeated LAC Behra of Ambala 21-04 and 21-07.



Two vehicle lifters arrested

Jalandhar, March 20
The police claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle lifters with the arrest of two of its members and recovery of six stolen motorcycles from them.

Talking to mediapersons, CIA staff in charge inspector Harender Singh said Billu, alias Billa, of Kotla Avadhan village here and Jitender Singh, alias Happy, of Ferozepore cantonment were caught at a special naka laid at Basti Bava Khel here on Thursday after a tip-off.

During preliminary interrogation, the accused confessed to have stolen the motorcycles. One of the accused had earlier also remained in jail on the charge of lifting vehicles, he said. A case has been registered against them. — TNS



State-level convention of SC/BC officers
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 20
The Punjab Joint SC/BC Officers Association will organise a state-level convention on March 21 at Dr BR Ambedkar Bhavan.

The meet will be presided over by Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Sigh Atwal and attended, among others, by senior legislators and party leaders from the region. Members of the departments of agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and soil conservation would take part.



Market Buzz
Hip replacement

Jalandhar: Orthonova Hospital claims to have conducted the maximum number of metal-to-metal total hip replacements (THR) in the region.

Dr Harprit Singh said the Proxima hip is a small and advanced joint that does not require much bone cutting to fix it. The benefit of the hip system is that the patient can lead a normal life and can run, play, ride a scooter and even sit cross-legged. The system enhances the life of the joint and allows precise surgery, he added.

The hospital has done 55 metal-to-metal THRs and 800 have been done using the navigation system which is largest in north India.



Loot at ISD booth

I made an ISD call on phone 0061260247625 from the booth of Sify i.Way in Model Town on January 13, 2008, at serial No. 0290. The call cost Rs 6. But immediately thereafter I made a repeat call on the same number at serial No. 0291. The machine at the booth did not pick up the dialled number. Instead it picked up a jumbled number. On noticing the wrong number on the machine I immediately disconnected the call. But this time I was surprised to note that the machine had shown a bill for Rs 142 for a call which did not materialise. I pointed out this howler on the part of the machine to the ISD booth owner. I also contacted the company’s representative Harmel Singh at his mobile phone. Harmel Singh came to the booth and checked the machine. Both Harmel Singh and the owner of the booth admitted that it was the fault of the machine. But they expressed their inability to correct the bill. I made payment of both the bills. My only contention is that such machines should be checked periodically and repaired so that the public is not put to harassment.

— Harbans Singh Dhillon, Jalandhar

Readers, write in

Readers are invited to write to us on civic and other public issues, your grievances about government negligence and ineffectiveness and apathy of officialdom. Send your mail, in not more than 150 words, at or, or write in at: Letters, Jalandhar Plus, The Tribune, SCO 20, Ladowali Road, Jalandhar.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |