L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Six from city on IIT merit list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
At least six students of class XII have made it to the merit list of IIT examinations, results for which were declared today. 

Hitesh Jain of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, has topped the district by securing 508 rank in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance examination.

Hitesh Jain, who had scored 93.4 per cent in the class XII examination, was surprised when he was told by his friends that he had hit the top bracket. "I came to know from my friends and relatives that I have topped the district," said elated Hitesh.

Hitesh, who studied for 12 to 15 hours every day had dreams to study IIT Delhi. "I believe that with this kind of score I will get admission in the Indian Institute of Technology".
Jashanjit Kaur
Jashanjit Kaur from BCM Arya Model School (Second)
Gaurav Gupta
Gaurav Gupta of BCM Senior Secondary School (Third)

"I always aim to be an engineer and I prepared hard for it and ultimately I achieve my aim. I studied at home and took some tuitions," said Hitesh.

Jashanjit Kaur from BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, is the second in the district. She has secured 554 position. Daughter of a businessman, she has also topped the district in the non-medical stream with 96.4 per cent marks.

Jashanjit firmly believes that there is no substitute for hard work. "I devoted more than 10 hours on studies every day," she said.

Gaurav Gupta of BCM Senior Secondary School stood third in the city in the Indian Institute of Technology entrance examination by scoring 746 rank.

He scored 87 per cent in the class XII CBSE examination.

His father Suresh Gupta is a bank employee with PNB and mother Sarita Gupta is a home maker.



Punjab acquires martyr's house
Sukhdev trust furious
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Six decades after the Independence, the state government has woken up to the need of preserving martyr Sukhdev's house in Nau Ghara as a protected monument but the move has not gone down well with the Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Memorial Trust, who got the house recently vacated from a tenant by paying lakhs of rupees to finally conserve the house.

The state government on Wednesday notified the house as a site of historical and archaeological importance and declared it protected under Section 4 of the Punjab Historical and Archaeological Sites Act, 1964.

The trust had recently got the house vacated from a decade-old tenant family by paying them Rs 3.5 lakh to preserve the house. ‘‘We have contacted a Delhi-based woman archaeologist, who helps conserving such houses of historical importance. She was going to visit us on June 8. We were waiting for her when we got the news that the state government had already declared it protected and had taken total control of the house,’’ said Ashok Thapar, president of the trust.

Angrily, he added that for the past six decades many governments took over, plans were chalked out, many DCs of Ludhiana retired but nobody cared for the house.

When they pooled in resources to compensate the family and ask them to vacate the house, the government has taken over. The trust has decided to challenge the decision in the high court despite the fact that the government had invited objections two months before declaring the house protected.

‘‘We did not know anything about the notification. We were shocked yesterday when we read the notification. This is not fair,’’ said Thapar, adding that they were ready to give the house to government many years ago. The lackadaisical attitude of the authorities had, however, disgusted them and they had decided to take up the cudgels of getting it protected themselves.

‘‘We only know how we got the house vacated. I still remember meetings with many DCs of the city. A former DC of Ludhiana, Jai Singh Gill, who made plans retired as a Chief secretary of Punjab. All these years passed by, nobody cared to pay respect to the martyr. We are really hurt at this attitude. What message are we conveying to our generations by behaving like this? ’’ asked Thapar. 



Gujjar stir hits export worth Rs 125 cr
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Business activity in the region has significantly slowed down due to the Gujjar violence in Rajasthan. Export-import business to the tune of Rs 100-125 crore is getting affected on a daily basis, as per rough estimates.

Even industries like cycle parts manufacturers supplying goods to other states within the country are unable to carry on with their business.

Businessmen have now started to slow down production.

"For the past seven days, no goods are being sent through Concor, the agency booking goods for the Railways, here which means goods meant for export that were sent to Mumbai are not being sent at all. Many exporters are trying to opt for the road route, but there are umpteen hurdles in that too. On a daily basis, export to the tune of Rs 100-125 crore from this region are getting affected," said S.C. Ralhan, regional chairman, Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC).

Truckers too are facing hurdles in smooth operations due to violence and are preferring to move during night time only. On account of this, the road route to is unable to cater to most of the industrialists.

"Transport companies are refusing to accept goods due to the violence. We are badly hit and already 20-25 per cent decline in sale has recorded," said Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

For the cycle industry, previous blasts in Rajasthan had already hit sale and the recent violence has added to its problems. Manufacturers said even their dealers were unwilling to make purchases.

With orders getting delayed, industrialists fear they may lose buyers, particularly those in other countries. "Orders are getting delayed. Buyers outside India will start complaining in a few days and we fear that our credibility will be affected," said an exporter. 



Respiratory disorders among kids rise : Study
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
The problem of respiratory diseases is so prevalent among the children of this mega city that almost every other child, visiting a paediatrician or a general practitioner, displays symptoms related to respiratory diseases. This shocking fact surfaced during a study on "prevalence of respiratory diseases among children in Ludhiana", conducted by Dr Deepinder Singh, associate professor in a local hospital here.

For this comprehensive study, data was collected from teachers of primary schools, having data base of around 2,000 children, and 50 paediatricians through a detailed questionnaire.

The medical practitioners stated that some 40 to 50 per cent children visiting them during this time of the year, display symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, asthma of frequent nasal symptoms related to allergies. They were of the view that respiratory diseases have been on the rise. The spurt in respiratory diseases in the city was attributed to increasing air pollution.

Among other causes for greater incidence of respiratory disorders were poor food habits, lack of exercise, stress, polluted water and increased use of pesticides.

On the type of diseases caused due to air pollution, the doctors opined that allergic bronchitis and allergic asthma were affecting the children more. Then comes allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, etc. They were of the opinion that the environment of the city was playing havoc with the life of children and if things did not change for the better, time was not far when tuberculosis will assume the form of an epidemic.

Making similar observations, the teachers informed that on an average around 12-15 per cent students in the class displayed symptoms like cough, shortness of breath, frequent nasal symptoms, wheezing and asthma while also maintaining that the respiratory symptoms had increased in the recent past, says the study. "The physical condition of the children is having an adverse effect on their ability to study and play,” claimed the teachers.

“Repeated chest infections decrease immunity of children, leading to failure of child to thrive and making them unable to tolerate stress. The condition also severely affects their ability to concentrate on studies and play outdoor games,” the doctors observed.

On the remedial measures, the teachers were quoted to have remarked that as most of the vehicles, running in the city were not fuel efficient, and were a major source of harmful emissions, it was high time to follow the law of the land and take steps like like banning of vehicles with harmful emission and regular pollution check of the vehicles.

At the same time, industrial units causing pollution should be dealt with sternly and burning of wheat and paddy husk should be strictly banned. Further, to safeguard life and health of children, afforestation be promoted and good eating habits be inculcated among children, said the study quoting teachers.



50 accidents in 30 days at Khanna
Lack of coordination between police, MC
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 30
Lack of infrastructure, manpower and coordination between the police force and MC authorities has led to a rise in the number of accidents in the town. As many as 50 accidents have been reported from various busy sections of the city during the past just 30 days wherein two persons have lost their lives.

Absence of traffic cops at red lights not only results in an increase in the number of accidents but also adds to the incidents of road rage as well, said a section of the city residents, while talking to The Tribune.

The traffic police officials rued that they had to be present at all the VIP duties assigned to them and at government functions due to which the routine duties had to be skipped by many of them.

"We have been continuously pleading with the administration, senior police officials and the MC authorities to check the violations by roadside vendors. Besides we have written umpteen times about the non-functioning of red lights", said a senior traffic police official here.

The city traffic in charge, inspector Joginder Singh, rued that despite handing out a large number of challans for speeding and negligent driving, people kept on committing the same violations, leading to chaos and accidents on roads.

He revealed that two red lights out of five in the city were not functioning for the past many days. The red lights at Amloh Chowk and near the railway station did not blink due to which traffic chaos and minor accidents were witnessed every day.

The residents rued that the GT Road, passing through the city, created havoc during peak hours in the morning, afternoon and evening. A large number of trucks pass through the city due to which the city traffic was disrupted leading to an irritatingly slow movement.

Bikram Gill, a resident of Ludhiana, rued that the stretch from Khanna to Mandi Gobindgarh was a nightmarish journey as the truckers and VIP cavalcades did not care for two and four-wheelers. 



Scholars pay tributes to Sekhon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 30
Scholars, belonging to various parts of India and abroad, paid tributes to the late Sant Singh Sekhon on his birth anniversary. “Principal Sant Sigh Sekhon Janam Shatabdi Samaroh” was organised by the Punjabi Sahit Akademi at Punjabi Bhawan today.

J.S. Grewal, a renowned historian, referred to Sant Singh Sekhon as Baba Bohar of Punjabi. "Rani Jinda, the play written by Principal Sekhon, holds a significant place in Punjabi literature," said Grewal.

H.S. Gill, former head, department of folklore studies at Punjabi University, Patiala, said Sekhon was an intellectual.

Daleep Kaur Tiwana, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademi, conferred singer Madan Gopal Singh with Principal Sant Singh Sekhon Yaadgari Sahityarath Puraskar, 2008.

S.S. Johal, Surjit Patar, Amarjit Grewal, Sarabjit Singh and Sukhdev Singh, among others were also present.



Scientist turns saviour for dying migrant youth
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 30
Suffering from multiple complications and a reduced to a virtual skeleton of bones, Atma Ram (19), a migrant youth was lying naked on the last step of stairs leading into Sidhwan Branch canal near the Pakhowal Road bridge in the city. 

Apparently about to breathe his last, the youth was having respiratory failure when he was spotted by Dr Naurang Singh Mangat, a former scientist and now a social worker for the cause of the poor, the sick and deserted people especially children.

When Dr Mangat intervened to rescue the ailing Atma Ram, he found to his dismay that quite a few people were watching the youth dying of disease and lack of care, but nobody came forward to extend a helping hand, perhaps for fear of a possible legal problem.

With the help of two other labourers, Dr Mangat brought the boy out from the canal and took him to the emergency ward of a local hospital where Atma Ram was put on oxygen, glucose and catheter. After a CT-scan and other tests, he was given medicines and the boy regained consciousness after about five hours.

For Atma Ram, hailing from UP, Dr Mangat and the financial assistance from Guru Amar Das Apahaj Ashram, the trust founded and run by Dr Mangat, came as nothing short of a gift from God. "But for the timely help of Dr Mangat, I would have been dead before the sun set," said the boy who was now responding to treatment and regaining health.

This former scientist now pedals on a bicycle throughout the city, its periphery and surrounding villages from one labour colony to another helping destitute, extremely poor, sick, lepers, disabled, blind, deaf and dumb.

The trust run by Dr Mangat did not have adequate resources or infrastructure, and only a little financial assistance trickles in from the public. But this, in no way, daunts the spirited and dedicated Dr Mangat, who has unflinching belief in the cause of service to the poor and the downtrodden. 



No Tobacco Day
300 jail inmates vow against using tobacco
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
Around 300 inmates in the Central Jail here took a pledge against the use of tobacco in the form of cigarettes, beedis and zarda during a seminar on "World No Tobacco Day", organised jointly by Dr Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital and local branch of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) today.

The chief guest of the function, civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma, explained in detail the ill-effects of tobacco on the human health. Use of tobacco in the form of smoking or chewing caused a variety of life-threatening diseases like cancer, tuberculosis and heart attack, and if timely action was not taken against this menace, tobacco would claim some one million human lives every year across the world by the year 2010.

Other speakers, including Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary of NIMA, and Dr Inderjit Singh, medical superintendent of Dr Kotnis Hospital, commented that with the increasing use of tobacco, rural population was falling prey to tuberculosis while the urban people were showing greater incidence of coronary artery disease.

Dr Inder Sharma, vice-president of NIMA, while exhorting to people to shun tobacco, said it was just about 2 per cent of adults that voluntarily gave up the habit of smoking or using tobacco in other forms while for others it was too late when they were afflicted with serious diseases.

Jail superintendent Kuldip Singh remarked that efforts were being made on regular basis to provide health awareness and hold de-addiction camps for jail inmates.



Ban polythene bags

Gone are the days when people were in the habit of using cloth bags. These days, due to modernisation and life being faster, a trend to carry products in polythene bags has been started everywhere.

Polythene bags create environment pollution which is as dangerous as the air and noise pollution. People, instead of putting the bags into dustbin after use, usually throw them out in the open. It causes blockage of drains leading to flooding and deterioration of soil’s fertility.

A ban must be imposed on the use of polythene bags by the government in order to maintain healthy environment. We should also revive the old habit of using jute bags.

NGOs and the media should also make a contribution by educating the people in this regard.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Dentist booked for rape; aborting twice
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 30
The local police has booked a dentist for raping and forced abortion of an 18-year- old girl.

The dentist, Hitesh, a resident of Samrala Road, was booked by the police on the complaint of the girl, a resident of Hreon village.

In her complaint to the police, the girl alleged that the dentist was raping her for the past few months on the pretext of marrying her. The girl also tried to attempt suicide a few weeks back near the clinic of doctor; she was, however, saved by nearby residents and her family members.

The girl alleged that the doctor forcibly aborted her baby twice during the past few months.

Since the mother of the doctor, Urmila Devi, was aware of the illegal conduct of his son, she, too, was booked by the police, said the police officials. 



Biz Word
HDFC branch

Ludhiana, May 30
HDFC Bank today inaugurated its 14th branch here. 

The new branch will offer its customers world-class banking services under one roof ranging from basic services such as deposit accounts, mutual funds, Dmat facility to sophisticated direct access banking channels such as ATM, phone banking and HDFC Bank international credit and debit cards. — TNS



Drawing competition organised
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 30
A drawing competition was organised at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School here today. As many as 178 students from preparatory to class V participated in the competition.

Among preparatory class students, Tavleen Kaur and Diksha stood first and second, respectively.

From class I, Tushar Arora stood first and Mishika Kapoor second. Similarly, Sahil and Sukhmanpreet Singh of class II won first and second positions. In class III, Prabhleen Singh stood first and Harsimran Kaur second. Dakshpreet and Arshdeep Singh Sekhon of class IV and Dhanuka Priya and Christine Vandana of class V secured first and second positions, respectively.



5 judges promoted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has promoted five local judges posted here as civil judge (Junior Division) to the posts of additional civil judge (Senior Division).

On promotion civil judge (Junior Division) K K Bansal has been posted here. This post was lying vacant after the promotion and transfer of additonal civil judge (Senior Division) Tarsem Mangla to Moga as CJM.

Whereas on promotion, Mandeep Kaur Bedi has been transferred to Jagroan in place of Gurdarshan Kaur, additional civil judge(Senior Division), who has been transferred to Jalalabad. Bedi will head Jagroan subdivision. Kuldeep Singh has been transferred to Samrala on promotion as additonal civil judge (Senior Division). Khanna's judge Rakesh Kumar Mittal has been transferred on promotion.

Civil judge (Senior Division) K S Cheema has been transferred to Patiala. Ludhiana CJM Rajinder Aggarwal has been posted in his place. On promotion, additional civil judge (Senior Division) Lachhman Singh has been posted here as chief judicial magistrate.

Harinder Kaur Sidhu, civil judge (Junior Divison) has been transferred on promotion as additonal civil judge Senior Division. Judicial magistrate Vijay Kumar has been transferred to Phul and K S Sullar transferred to Mohali. Judicial magistrate Jasbir Kaur has been transferred to Ferozepur. Judicial magistrate Yukti Goyal from Amritsar will join here in place of Jasbir Kaur. 



Health awareness rally
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 30
The health department will observe June 2008 as awareness month against mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya. This was stated by Dr Sat Pal Sharma, civil surgeon, while flagging off a health awareness rally here today.

The rally led by Dr Rajpal Singh Grewal passed through Dandi Swami Chowk, Upkar Nagar, Kundanpuri before culminating at the Government Dispensary in Guru Nanakpura.

Addressing the participants, Darshan Singh, assistant unit officer, Bhag Singh, Balwant Singh and Gurmel Singh, health inspectors, advised the people to avoid stagnation of water around their houses and drain out water from room coolers, pots and discarded tyres at least once a week to break the breeding cycle of mosquitoes.

They further asked the people to wear full sleeved shirts and trousers, avoid mosquito bites, use mosquito-repellent sprays or coils and get their blood tested in case of fever so that in case of malaria, specific treatment could be taken.



Pranav selected for Asian b'minton meet
Our Sports Reporter

Pranav Chopra
Pranav Chopra — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 30
Pranav Chopra, a trainee with the Ludhiana Badminton Academy (LBA), has been selected to represent India in the Junior Asian Badminton Championship to be held from July 15 to 20 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The name of Pranav Chopra figures in the list of 12 probables issued by the Badmintion Association of India. These probables will attend a special training camp to be organised at Jakarta in Indonesia from July 1 to 11 prior to the participation in the Asian meet.

Pranav, along with another trainee of the academy, has been chosen as a probable for the next Commonwealth Games scheduled to be held in New Delhi in 2010. He has been attending camps being conducted to prepare the national teams for the event.

The selection of Pranav for the mega event was celebrated by the LBA at Shastri Hall today. Office-bearers of the academy, including M.K. Chopra and Anupam Kumaria, president, and honorary general secretary, respectively, were also present.



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