R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Her unusual mission

  • In the service of terminally ill

  • NRI-promoted trust for villagers’ welfare


Tehsildar suspended
: The government on Sunday placed tehsildar Rajesh Sharma under suspension with immediate effect after a probe by deputy commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu indicted him for causing a loss of Rs 14 crore to the state exchequer in a land deal. Earlier, too, Sharma had been suspended for allegedly registering a fake power of attorney of Prime Minister’s property.

Mann on Hazuri Ragis: President of SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann has alleged that the SGPC has changed the roster of Hazuri Ragis (who sing hymns in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple) at the behest of Surinder Kaur Badal, wife of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. She has been camping here for the past couple of days. Mann alleged that selective ragis had been put on the job during the past two days as per the wishes of Badal’s wife.

Devotees injured
: Five women devotees of the Nirankari Mission were injured when a truck and a jeep hit them while they were on their way to Nirankari Bhavan at Aslamabad on Sunday morning.

Club poll in Sept: The general house of Rajindra Gymkhana and Mohindra Club has reposed faith in the present executive of the club and asked the present team to continue in office. However, the executive has decided that the next elections for the new team would be held before September 30. Vinod Dhundia, honorary secretary of the club, said the general body meeting of the club held on the club premises was a historic event with a massive turnout of over 500 members.

Rs 1.6 lakh looted
: Two unidentified men looted Rs 1.6 lakh from an office of a money exchanger, after hurting an employee, here on Sunday. The office is located on the national highway. The injured, identified, Hari Singh, has been admitted to the civil hospital.

Co. told to return tractor: In a case related to the forcible possession of a tractor of Harbhajan Singh of Rajpura village (near Bhawanigarh) allegedly by L&T Finance Limited, the local District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum on Thursday directed the company to return the tractor to the complainant. In the order, pronounced by president of the forum M.D. Sharma and member Harvinder Sharma, the company has been directed to pay Rs 50,000 as compensation, of which Rs 20,000 will go to the legal-aid fund and the remaining to Harbhajan.

Consumer case: The local District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed Reebok India Company, New Delhi, and a local firm to refund Rs 1,600, the price of a pair of shoes, within 45 days to complainant Varinder Singh Mittal of Bikhi village. The company and the local firm have also been directed to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation on account of the mental pain and harassment, besides Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses to the complainant.


Body found: The body of a 42-year-old resident of Mohali was found at Azad Nagar Colony on Sunday. The deceased has been identified as Inder alias Bhupinder. According to the police, Inder, who belonged to Abhipur village, came here on Saturday. He used to work as cleaner of a truck here earlier. Inder was under depression after his wife deserted him a few years ago and had become a drunkard, said the police. On Saturday night, he consumed liquor and went to sleep under a truck. In the morning, he was found dead. A case has been registered.



Rs 635 cr for Mewat roads: PWD minister Capt Ajay Singh Yadav on Saturday said the Haryana government would incur a sum of Rs 635 crore to upgrade and strengthen roads in Mewat region. Such a huge amount had been earmarked first time for Mewat as it would help in improving the road infrastructure in the region.

Medical store raided: A team of the drugs control department on Friday raided a medical store of the town and seized a huge stock of intoxicants from there. L.C. Mittal, senior drugs control officer, Hisar, and Raman Sheoran, drugs control officer, Fatehabad, raided a medical store situated near the local bus stand and recovered 50 ampoules of pentazocin, a pain killer misused for a kick by youths, 96 boxes of tablets having a tranquilising effect, 400 capsules and 400 tablets of intoxicating medicines.

CM’s brother: Inder Singh Hooda, elder brother of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, has been appointed as the general-secretary of Akhil Bharatvarshiya Jat Mahasabha. Hooda is a noted community leader of the “Arya samaj” in the area.

Raghu Yadav’s yatra: Former legislator Raghu Yadav, president of the Sarvjati Janata Panchayat, along with a large number of party activists, undertook a 13-km-long padyatra from Khor village to Rewari on Friday. Addressing corner meetings at various stops, he demanded expeditious construction of the 13-km-long road from Rewari to Khor, which formed a part of the Rewari-Delhi highway during the Mughal era.

Ashvamedha yajna: An ashvamedha yajna comprising 1,008 havan kunds will be held under the joint auspices of the Vishva Gayatri Jan Kalyan Kendra, Kolkata, and the Maha Shiva Puran Katha Aayojan Samiti, Rewari, at Rajesh Pilot Chowk here from November 12 to 16. The five-month long ceremonial preparations began with the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra at the Shiva temple in the New Grain market here on Friday.

7 hurt in accident: Seven persons sustained injuries after two vehicles collided head-on at Ding village on the NH-10 near here in on Sunday. The incident took place when Ajay Goel, his wife Asha and Hitesh were on their way to Sangri (Rajasthan) from Delhi. Asha sustained serious injuries. The other four, Harmit, Bunty, Jaswinder and Bitu, who were hurt, were going to Hisar.

Woman ‘shot’: Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of Sector 20, was killed under mysterious circumstances here on Sunday. Her husband Vikramjeet claimed that she died due to accidental fire while she was cleaning a revolver. The police is investigating the matter.

Counselling seminar: Avinash Singh, executive director, MassCoMedia, said varsities and colleges teaching mass communication should adapt their courses to the fast changing needs of the media industry. He was addressing a counselling seminar organised by the department of mass communication in Chaudhary Devi Lal University here on Saturday.

Janata darbar: As many as 69 public complaints were entertained by the officers of the departments concerned at a “janata darbar” in Murthal village on Friday. The complaints related to electricity supply, demarcation of panchayat land, removal of encroachment, supply of drinking water, illegal mining and pensions of residents of Murthal and 11 adjoining villages. District officers of the health and animal husbandry departments organised health camps on the occasion.


Ex-serviceman killed: Karam Singh (52), an ex-serviceman from Dhraad Sani village, near here, fell from a tree and died almost instantaneously. Reports said he had climbed up the tree to cut branches for getting fodder for his cattle but his foot slipped due to slippery nature of tree on account of rains.

Varshik Bhasha Sammaan: Sahitya Academy, Delhi, will honour a writer of Himachali language with Varshik Bhasha Sammaan this year. The chosen writer will be given an award of Rs 50,000 by the academy. This award is to be given for any worthwhile published work, including those of propagation, modernisation and development of language and also of literature, translation, research, collection etc. The application for this award along with published works, including books, etc. must reach the secretary, Sahitya Academy, Ravindera Bhawan, 35Firoz Shah Road, New Delhi -110001, latest by June 30.

Appeal to employees: The state non-gazetted employees federation has exhorted employees of the state to strain every nerve to perform their duty with full devotion and dedication. They should ensure implementation of all policies and programmes of the state government at the earliest. Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday state federation president Ram Singh said the Dhumal government had taken a number of steps and declared a number of policies in favour of employees apart from unilaterally accepting a number of their long pending demands, and now it was for the employees to give a proper response to this goodwill gesture of the government towards employees by fully co-operating with it.

CM urged: Convener action committee of the Mandi medical college, Sunder Lohia, on Sunday urged Chief Minister P.K. Dhumal to issue notification for the government medical college as per demands of the people of Mandi district. Lohia warned that they would protest from June 25 to July 5 fanning out the issue to panchayats and villages as medical college was the demand of the public and the Congress government had already issued notification in this regard.

Cooperative bodies: The heads of various cooperative bodies from across the country discussed various aspects of the cooperative movement and urged the party workers to get associated with such institutions in a big way. The meeting held under the chairmanship of Dhananjay, co-convener of the national cell, also took notice of the fact that Congress leaders were illegally holding top posts of cooperative bodies all over the country and decided to launch a sustained campaign to oust them so that way could be paved for the economic uplift.


5 kg RDX seized
: Army personnel raided two militant hideouts and recovered arms and explosives, including five kg of RDX, in Rajouri and Doda districts. The troops busted a hideout in Joda forest belt of Thatri tehsil of Doda district on Sunday, and seized two AK rifles, 50 live rounds, three Chinese pistols and two wireless sets from there. Security personnel also unearthed a hideout in Thanamandi in Rajouri district and recovered five kg RDX and 30 detonators on Saturday night.

3 run over by bus: Three youths riding a motorcycle were killed in the district when they were run over by a bus on the Jammu-Pathankot highway. Danish, Shalo and Thedo Khan were on a motorcycle on way to attend a marriage function when a speeding bus coming from the opposite direction ran over them at Patli Morn, 25 km from here on Saturday night, official sources said. The bus driver was arrested, they said.

New voter I-cards: With the completion of the survey of electronic photo identity cards (EPICs) in the wake of reports that they had been passed on to militants, the Jammu and Kashmir government will issue new cards to 45 lakh voters. “A request for proposal from informational technology companies to prepare and print these cards have been floated,” sources in the state’s Election Department said.

Two killed in mishaps
: In two separate incidents, a nine-year-old boy was drowned and a man was electrocuted in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. Wasim Ahmad Sheikh was playing on the banks of the river Jhelum in Noorbagh when he accidentally fell into the river and drowned, the police said. His body has been handed over to his family. Ghulam Hassan Bhat was electrocuted while rectifying a fault on 11,000 KV line in Hardhendpora-Wanigam village in Baramulla district.

Land transfer issue: The Hurriyat Conference (Mirwaiz) will hold an emergency meeting here on Monday to discuss the issue of transfer of forestland to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) by the Jammu and Kashmir Government at Baltal. A spokesperson of the Hurriyat Conference said all the executive members, the highest decision making body of the amalgam, besides general council members would participate in the meeting being held at its Rajbagh headquarter.

Regional potpourri

Her unusual mission

Amarjit Kaur Dhillon
Amarjit Kaur Dhillon

In this age of materialism when even relationships are defined in terms of money and people have little time for others, 52-year old spinster Amarjit Kaur Dhillon has been doing something which does not fall in the domain of the usual — cremating unclaimed or abandoned bodies. So far she has cremated 154 unclaimed bodies and performed the last rites of many more.

Amarjit Kaur was born in 1956 into a middle class family of Patiala. After completing post-graduation in English, she got a job in Punjab and Sind Bank where she served for 20 years before deciding to do something different.

Once a son of her colleague suffered from kidney failure and Amarjit Kaur almost singlehandedly raised Rs 2 lakh for his treatment. However, even her best efforts could not save the boy.

From then onwards, she undertook cremating unclaimed bodies.

Apart from this, she collects funds for the district Red Cross Society for which she was honoured by the Punjab health minister.

She was initiated into the humanitarian work when a migrant farm labourer from Bihar suffered a heart attack and died at the PGI, Chandigarh. Taking the responsibility, Amarjit Kaur collected not only the requisite money but also made arrangements for the cremation. Thereafter, she has not looked back and when she cremated the 100th body, a special function was organised at Gurdwara Sahib, Sector 12, Chandigarh.

At present she lives in Chandigarh and Punsup officials have donated a Maruti ambulance to enable her to carry out her work.

In the service of terminally ill

A file photo of the hospice
A file photo of the hospice

Besides organising ‘sankirtans’ the Shri Ram Charit Manas Parchar Mandal has been serving humanity since 1997. For transporting bodies to cremation ground, the mandal introduced a hearse in 1997 in the city and added another in 2007. President of the mandal Harish Saini said the service was free of cost and both hearses had transported more than 5,000 bodies to the cremation ground. The mandal has also introduced hi-tech ambulance fitted with latest medical equipment to carry accident victims and serious patients to referral hospitals on nominal charges . Apart from aforesaid social service, the mandal runs a charitable allopathic dispensary from its Ram Bhavan in Chand Nagar mohalla where a doctor treats, free of cost, 125 patients daily. Medicines are also provided to the patients by the mandal.

The mandal in collaboration with the district Health Department and the District Red Cross Society have organised more than 24 medical and blood donation camps. The mandal also supplies ration to 11 poor families every month and financial help for the marriages of poor girls. For patients declared incurable by the treating institutes and whose attendants are unable to take care of them, the NGO had set up a hospice for their comfortable departure from the world. The building, with modern equipment to house eight terminal patients, has been under construction.. The work was in progress and the project would cost Rs 1 crore, said Harish Saini. The mandal has 50 regular members , who in addition to contributing money , collect donations from friends and relatives to fund the ongoing projects. Besides, they also have sankirtan at the houses of individuals from where funds are generated from offerings , said Saini, adding union minister for tourism Ambika Soni had given Rs 8 lakh from her MPLAD Fund for an ambulance, Chief Minister, Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal Rs 2 lakh for the building of Ram Bhavan, chief parliamentary secretary Mohinder Kaur Josh Rs 2 lakh for hospice and the minister for medical education and research, forest and wildlife, Punjab Rs 50,000 for medicines.

NRI-promoted trust for villagers’ welfare

The Mehar Baba Charitable Trust, Bassi Pathana, has been a boon for below the poverty line families of 128 villages of the area. Promoted by NRIs. the trust has been spending crores every year for the welfare of society, preservation of environment and heritage. The trust was set up by H.S. Mejie, Narinder Singh (Kuwait), A.S. Mejie (UAE), Jatinder Cheema, G.S. Sukhija (USA) and S.D.S. Rai (UK) with the motto “Service to mankind is service to God”.

H.S. Mejie, a multi-millionaire in West Asia and patron of the trust, said Punjabis were hard working with the spirit of enterprise but abroad they could not do well because they lack interpersonal skills, so he decided to do something about it. He discussed the issue with Dr S.P.S. Pruthi, a former director of the IIM, Ahmedabad, who suggested Punjabis needed to acquire life management skills. Moreover, the soul of our country dwells in villages but the need of bridging the urban-rural gap in opportunities for education, medical care and employment has made them set up an organisation to fill the gap and the trust is a small step in that direction.

The trust, a non-political, equidistant from all religious bodies and non-profit organisation, seeks to utilise modern science and technology for the betterment of the young, especially girls, the farmers and the disadvantaged in villages of the country. The trust focuses on the development in education and medical care. The trust runs a fashion technology training institution, where more than 10,000 rural girls and women get free training in needle work and stitching, etc enabling them to earn livelihood; computer centre where youths are trained in information technology, vocational courses and skill training; language laboratory develops the art of spoken English through modern techniques and rural youths have become proficient in English and a play school for children of the underprivileged families.

The trust conducts workshops, seminars on agri-business, crop pattern, crop marketing for farmers of the region, empowerment of women through vocational and continued education programmes, protecting the heritage and culture of the region, drug de-addiction programmes and awareness and programmes against female foeticide. The trust is known for health services and organises eye operation camps, blood camps, medical camps, etc. Patients visiting these camps are checked for free by specialist doctors.

Besides, the trust has established a community centre at Bhudia village in Ambala district, a dormitory and a community hall at Hardwar, provided a school bus for the transportation of children of villages.

Contributed by Attar Singh, Ravinder Sud and Surinder Bhardwaj

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