R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S


  • Shaping wood into pieces of art
  • Progressive farmer in philanthropy
  • Young MC chief has dreams


64 saplings planted
: Mata Sahib Kaur Khalsa Girls College of Education in association with the Innerwheel Club, Patiala, today celebrated vanmahotsava on the college premises. Patiala division commissioner S.K. Ahluwalia inaugurated the function by planting a sapling. College principal Dr Dharminder Singh Ubha appreciated the work initiated by the Innerwheel Club for the welfare of humanity. At least 64 saplings of different plants were planted on the campus.


: Pardeep Aggarwal was installed new president of the Rotary Club, Panchkula, by the outgoing president Parveen Goel at a function held here today. Haryana chief secretary, Daharam Vir, was chief guest. The new team introduced by president include Capt Sanjay Anand, S. K. Nangia, Vinesh Bhatia, J. K. Kakkar, Sarvjit, Jude Linhares, Sandeep Poddar, Mohinder Nandwani, Vinod Aggarwal and Nawal Manglani.


Lightning strikes woman
: A middle-aged woman suffered burn injuries and her two oxen died on the spot after lightning struck them at their fields in Maingalpur village of Uchana block here on Saturday. The condition of the woman is said to be stable.

Appointed: Ish Kapoor, a businessman of Parwanoo, has been appointed as president of the Rotary Club, Parwanoo, for 2008-2009. In the installation function held at TTR Resort, Parwanoo, on Saturday, which was chaired by K. K. Sharma, tehsildar, Kasauli, Ish Kapoor took the oath. He said that club was intended to organise 100 free health check-up camps at Parwanoo and its vicinity in the next couple of months.


In-laws arrested: The police here has arrested two persons, Suresh Kumar and Roshanlal of Saarti village under Sections 498 A and 306\34 of the IPC in connection with the suspicious death of Veena of Parnali village. Superintendent of police K.K.Indoria said earlier Surjansingh, father of the girl, had registered an FIR that his daughter was missing since May 29 from her in-laws and later her body has been found floating in Gobind Sagar on July 23. The SP said the court had sent both the accused to the judicial custody till August 5.

Objections invited: Hamirpur DC Nandita Gupta, who is also the chairperson of the special area development authority Baba Balak Nath temple, has invited objections from the public on the development plan and the map prepared for the development of the area. Gupta said on Friday the map and other details were available for inspection in the offices of the member secretary of the temple trust at Hamirpur, the town planner of the Baba Balak Nath Trust, the president of the Shahtlai nagar panchayat and the Chakmoh gram panchayat president.

Expulsion a ‘farce’: Negi: Devender Negi, convener Himachal Pradesh Congress Sewa Dal and senior vice-president Sadar Congress Committee, said the announcement of suspension and expulsion of staunch Congress workers by the Constituency Congress Committee, Kullu, and thereby ‘verbal endorsement’ by state secretary V. Gupta during the Assembly elections was a “farce”. He released a copy of the letter no. 74/2008 dated July 25, 2008, from the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee, Shimla, saying that there were no records in the state office regarding the suspension of 16 Congress leaders of Kullu district.

Nadda to apprise CM: J.P. Nadda, state forest and environment minister, while talking to newsmen after the conclusion of the Jan Jan Sanjivni Abhiyan-2008 here on Friday, said he would apprise Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal of the objections raised by the people against the setting up of the cement plant near Sundernagar. He said he would assess the environmental damage that was likely to be caused by the plant and look into the utilisation of funds collected by the then divisional commissioner.

Accident victim succumbs to injuries: Ravinder Kumar (25), a resident of Chhatrolli village who was injured seriously in a road mishap near Kandwal on Pathankot-Mandi national highway on Thursday night was succumbed to injuries at the CMC Ludhiana. An alto car (PB 35J-0362) had hit his motorcycle leaving him injured. The police has impounded the car and booked a case under Sections 304(A), 279 and 337 of the IPC.

Held for kidnapping: The local police on Sunday arrested Prithvi Singh, a youth of Pargana village, in Baduee gram panchayat for allegedly kidnapping a minor girl by alluring her to marry her. According to the police the father of the girl had lodged a police complaint on July 23 under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC alleging that she had been taken away by the accused.

Plea to fill ADA’s post: The Himachal Pradesh Attorneys’ (prosecutors) Association has appealed to the Chief Minister to fill the posts of the assistant district attorneys (ADAs) on regular basis for the smooth functioning of the judicial system and quick dispensation of justice. Vinod Chaudhary, president of the association, said here on Friday, “As many as 15 posts of ADAs were lying vacant at different stations and it became difficult for one officer to attend more than one court simultaneously.”



Shaping wood into pieces of art

Harishanker Bansal
Harishanker Bansal

Harishanker Bansal, ( 63) , shapes wood into pieces of art on the bank of Ganga . Born in Hardwar in 1946 Bansal came in Ganga Sharan Premi’s contact and learnt painting from him and artists visiting Premi. " Artist in me was born in 1953 and my interest in education waned . I remained a matriculate and nature put me on the road to art and I became a painter".

Bansal started decorating stages, religious and marriage pandals besides tableaux of the religious processions. He switched to making models to to give expression to his talent.

In 1962-63 Bansal met Swami Premanand Ji Maharaj, who took him to Rajaji National Park forests near Hardwar to study nature. "In the forests Swamiji enlightened me to see life and action in wood and made me infuse life into pieces of wood".

Bansal became a woodcarver and created art pieces which were acclaimed several occasions.

Swami Premanand Ji advised him not to cut tree for art pieces as a tree could serve mankind better when it is alive., " I have prepared many art pieces but did not damage even one tree" , said Bansal.

He shaped art pieces from firewood and driftwood flowing down to Hardwar in Ganga in rainy season. He said, " Mother Ganga kept the artist in me alive by providing wiith quality wood for beautiful art pieces".

Bansal was in hotel business but never turned art into business. " I am an artist and art is 'sadhna' for me a means to manifest divinity in me". Starting his day with puja he continues shaping pieces of wood.

His wife Kamlesh neither helped him nor created any hurdle for the artist in him.

The art lovers laud his skil and he has held art exhibitions in Hardwar mahotsav twice and in Suraj Kund mela in Haryana once.

Corruption and nepotism in UP and Uttaranchal governments make him unhappy. Bureaucracy has never encouraged genuine artists of the state, he feels. " Artists of my age have lived their lives it is for the present governments to encourage young genuine artists to serve art in right perspective".

Bansal works on the bank of Ganga and seeks ' Mother Ganga's blessings to be born again to serve art.

Progressive farmer in philanthropy

Dev Raj Batra
Dev Raj Batra

He is progressive farmer, philanthropist, social worker and proponent of quality education in his area.

Dev Raj Batra lives not only for his family but has been active also for the welfare of society .

Octogenarian, Batra heads the Manohar Memorial Group of Educational institutions in Fatehabad.

Under his stewardship, Manohar Memorial degree college, providing education in arts and commerce , has grown into a group of institutions providing vocational and other courses.

The group has a postgraduate degree college, a college of education, a polytechnic and a computer 'A' and 'O' level centre.

Love of knowledge, kindled in youth is still there and he always looks for an opportunity to improve things.

Batra can be seen overseeing construction activity on the campus and instructing contractors.

At the meetings of the management on upgrading institutions he has an eye for details.

" I am for the best of educational facilities to students, particularly poor students of the area," says Batra.

"Emphasis is on professional and vocational courses so that children could get jobs after getting degrees," he adds.

He also heads other organisations like the Shri Sobh Raj Batra Trust and the Yoga Ashram.

Belonging to a family of progressive farmers, Batra migrated to Fatehabad in 1947 from Mailsi tehsil of Multan district of Pakistan.

He did his faculty of arts (FA) from Emerson College Multan in 1947 and bachelor in arts from University College, Hoshiarpur later.

Batra has been a reader of The Tribune since 1945. After serving in the Union Ministry of Rehabilitation for three years, Batra started looking after farming in Ahlisadar village and Bosti near Fatehabad.

He shifted to latest technology in agriculture and was able to get better yield "Assisted by my son Rajiv Batra, I have diversified in agriculture and horticulture," he says.

Batra, incidentally is the first progressive farmer of Haryana to have constructed 180 feet by 150 feet and 21 feet deep community tank to store 1.22 crore litres of water for conservation programme of the central government.

He loves to share the latest technologies with other farmers of the area so that they could also make use of these.

Young MC chief has dreams

Gurwinder Singh Bhatti
Gurwinder Singh Bhatti

Municipal Council, Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib has the distinction of being headed by a young man. Gurwinder Singh Bhatti (28) a law graduate from Panjab University perhaps is the youngest council president in the state. A man with dreams he is elder son of Sirhind MLA Didar Singh Bhatti who did his schooling from Delhi, graduation from S.D. College Chandigarh and LLB from Panjab University Chandigarh. He has been running two educational institutions Lincoln Law College and B.Ed College as secretary of the Dharm Educational Trust. He is associated with the Rotary Club Sirhind for social service activities. He also shares responsibilities of his father and regularly tours the constituency. Known as “Gaggu”, he is soft spoken and welcomes every visitor to their house for the redress of grievances. He enjoys good rapport with bureaucracy.

His unanimous election as president of the Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib municipal council is his achievement. Corruption in the council office upsets him and he has plans to eradicate it and provide the best civic amenties like sewerage, roads, drains and disposal of garbage. He bemoans in the past government funds were spent without planning. He cherishes to make Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib a model city.

Contributed by Ashok Raina, Sushil Manav and Surinder Bhardwaj

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