C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Back in city, Abhinav gets thrilling welcome
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
A long wait ended this morning when Abhinav Bindra returned home with the first-ever individual Olympic gold medal for the country adorned around his neck at his palatial mansion at Kishanpura village here today.

Surely, a warm welcome awaited champion shooter Abhinav as a lot of his fans and well-wishers turned up at his house.

As soon as the black SUV, carrying the history-making sportsperson and his mother Babli Bindra reached the house at around 9 am, the atmosphere became electrifying. Flower petals were showered on Abhinav by the fans, who were lined up on both sides of the road leading to his house to have a glimpse of the star.

Professional dancers and some enthusiastic villagers broke into bhangra accompanied by loud ‘dhol’ beats, making the atmosphere thrilling.

Contrary to the expectations, a visibly tired Abhinav did not come out of the car, which zoomed into the house amidst splendid fireworks and cheers.

Some respite came from Dr A.S. Bindra, who announced immediately, “He is very tired and wants to take rest. He will meet the media and other people in the evening”.

Earlier, Abhinav was scheduled to come in the evening but somehow he changed his programme and decided to return in the morning.

“Actually, we celebrated Raksha Bandhan yesterday afternoon, so we came earlier”, Babli said.

However, on getting news of their changed programme, Abhinav’s fans as well as the media started gathering in front of the house at around 8.30 am.

As Abhinav headed straight to his house, this left all those present there a bit disappointed.

“We know, he had a hectic schedule after winning the medal, so it’s OK. We will meet him later,” said Gurdial Singh, a resident of a nearby village.

Thanking the residents and fans later in the evening for showering so much love on him, Abhinav said, “I’m overwhelmed by this reception”.

After he got inside his house, Abhinav first paid obeisance to God followed by hugging his pets, Buddy and Chhotu.

“I love my pets a lot and missed them during my foreign stint,” Abhinav said. Meanwhile, Punjab sports minister Gulzar Singh Ranike and Pargat Singh were present at Abhinav’s house to welcome him.

Security lapse?

On returning to the city, Abhinav got security from the President of India’s security cell in New Delhi. The missing Punjab police cops were conspicuous by their absence. It was quite shocking, felt those close to Abhinav as well as the two security officers from New Delhi. “Abhinav is now a VVIP, so the missing security cover here by the Punjab police is shocking. It is a major lapse,” commented a relative.

Dr A.S. Bindra said, “Instead of asking us, you people (the media) should ask the authorities concerned. How can I reply on this issue?”



India is full of talent, says Abhinav
Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, who claims to love cricket a lot, wants to encourage Olympic sports in the country.

“I love to watch cricket, the most popular sport in the country, but it does not help recognising India as a sporting power. So I want to promote Olympic sports here,” Abhinav said at his residence here today.

There is no dearth of talent but the absence of proper Olympic programme is responsible for the state of affairs at the biggest sporting extravaganza, added Bindra.

“Seeing the talent here, I can say India can win 10 medals in the next Olympics,” said Bindra while maintaining that there was need to groom our coaches with technical knowledge.

“Indian coaches are equally talented as that of foreign coaches. But they need to be updated with the latest techniques as well as technical know-how. Moreover, they should be given further exposure at the international level,” Bindra said.

India should take inspiration from China's success in the field of sports, he added.

After winning gold, Binra now pins hopes on boxers to bring laurels for the country. “Our boxers are doing very well and I am sure they will return from Beijing with medal,” Bindra said.

Thanking the country people for their love and support, Bindra said, “I am very fortunate to have won the gold with blessings of all the Indians.”

About his future plans, the ace shooter said: “At the moment, I would like to take rest.”

On being questioned if he is engaged with someone, the most eligible bachelor of the country said smilingly: “No, I have no girlfriend.”

Asked about his plans for next Olympics, Bindra replied, “It is too early to say anything on it."

Meanwhile, his father Dr A.S. Bindra announced that 'Abhinav Sporting Trust' would soon select budding sportspersons to guide them the way to Olympic medals.



4 employees loot Rs 17 lakh from Amartex
Tribune News Service

Managing director of Amartex Industries Limited Arun Grover (extreme right) informs Panchkula police officials about the dacoity that occurred at the company’s showroom in the Industrial Area, Panchkula, on Friday night.
Managing director of Amartex Industries Limited Arun Grover (extreme right) informs Panchkula police officials about the dacoity that occurred at the company’s showroom in the Industrial Area, Panchkula, on Friday night. A Tribune photograph

Panchkula, August 16
Four employees, including an assistant manager of Amartex Industries Limited, allegedly looted Rs 17 lakh at knife point from the showroom of the company in Industrial Area here, late yesterday night.

The accused have been identified as Ram Murat, assistant floor manager of the showroom, salesmen Anand, Anil Kumar Singh and Arvind.

According to Arun Grover, managing director of the company, the incident happened around midnight when the showroom was closed. The accused entered the room of the head cashier, Suraj, and overpowered him besides cashiers Neeraj and Rajinder and a security guard at knife point. After collecting the cash lying in the room, they fled the spot, bolting the door from outside, Grover said. They also took away the mobile phones of the cashiers along with them, he added. The police recovered two knives from the scene of the crime.

Explaining the sequence of events, Jagdeesh Sharma, manager of the showroom, said he left for home at 11.30 pm yesterday when Ram Murat assured him that he would put the lock on the showroom in his absence after the cashiers left the place.

However, hardly did he reach home when he got a call on his mobile phone that Ram Murat and Anil had looted the cash, said Sharma.

Ram Murat seemed to be the mastermind behind the conspiracy as he was working in the company for the past seven years and was promoted to the post of assistant sales manager from the rank of sales manager recently, he said. The other accused who also belong to Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh were living along with him in the same accommodation in the adjoining Baltana village, he added.

While three guards were present in the showroom at the time of the incident, Ram Murat sent two of them for installing the banner of the company on the nearby roundabout.

On reaching the house of the accused, the police found nothing except a bed and a few utensils. The neighbours said the occupants suddenly left the house in the late evening.

The police also suspects the involvement of Ram Kishore, an employee in an adjoining company, and Jatinder Kumar Singh, a former employee. Both were living with the accused and were found missing after the incident. Ram Kishore is the brother of Ram Murat, it was learnt.



Special textbooks for students with poor vision
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Students of government schools with poor vision will now have some respite. The Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) wing has found a novel way of helping these ‘special children’ by providing them with specially designed textbooks having bigger fonts.

This first of its kind effort is indeed in step with the SSA’s motive of Education for All (EFA).

The SSA wing had conducted a survey recently where 28 such children had been identified who had extremely poor vision.

It was found that these children despite supporting spectacles could not read simple passages in 12-point font print.

The DPI (S), S.K. Setia, said the schools had been instructed that so far as the seating arrangement in the classes was concerned, the ones with poor vision and those with learning disability should be allotted front rows in classrooms.

“It will indeed be a meaningful communication by way of introducing big fonts for these special children. The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Society has taken an initiative to provide them the text book matter, specially prepared for students with squat vision. Besides, extra care is being taken to ensure that special children should mingle with normal kids.”

The officials have photocopied the textbook material in larger fonts keeping in mind the convenience of every student, including the visually impaired ones. The students will get this facility in each subject so that they should not face any problems during study. The officials further revealed that photocopied material was the most convenient method to solve the problem of these children.

“After deliberations, it was observed that only photocopying was the instant alternative to help them out. It was cheap and can be done within a short period of time,” said an SSA official.

It is learnt that the education department will complete the exercise within a month.


SMEs leave women at cab drivers’ mercy
Yet to provide security to women during night shifts

Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The spread of IT and ITEs sector in the tricity has drawn up new challenges for the administration. As more and more women are now going out to work in the BPOs (business process outsourcing) and call centres that now dot the region, their security has become prime concern.

The recent incident in Pune, where a woman employee of a call centre was raped, has once again raised this vital issue. Excluding big BPOs and IT companies here, most of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the IT sector have failed to address this concern, even as almost 50 per cent of their employees happen to be women. These SMEs have made provision for dropping and picking up their employees, who work on the night shifts, but the antecedents of the cab drivers are rarely checked.

Refana, an employee of Infosys, says that the security of employees is of prime concern for big IT companies like Infosys. “If we get late in the office, its cab drops us. Besides a driver, a guard is also sent in the cab for our safety,” she adds.

In fact, most of the big IT companies follow certain security guidelines which lists out how the antecedents of the drivers are to be checked, and how the guards are to be sent out in the cabs during night hours. “Security is something no one will compromise on. Most of the companies share these security guidelines. Any lapse in security will not only bring a bad name to the company, but also hamper its future recruitment process,” says a senior human resource official in Dell.

Unfortunately, the same is not true for the SMEs here. The information gathered by the Chandigarh Tribune reveals that most of these companies have entered into contract with car rental companies, who provide vehicles for ferrying staff to different location. These cab owners have in turn hired drivers on contract basis, says Anupama Sharma, who recently quit her job in a Mani Majra-based BPO. “Women are generally apprehensive if they are the first one’s to be picked up, or the last one’s to be dropped after a night shift. They are left at the mercy of these drivers. Parents of two of my colleagues would keep track of their daughters while they were in the office cabs, by speaking to them on the mobile till the time they had not reached the office or the home safely”.

The fact that the night patrolling in the satellite towns of Panchkula and Mohali, and in the southern sectors of the city is quite bad also enhances the risk factor for women employees. Says an employee with a Mohali- based call centre, “One night as I was being driven home to Sector-49, a few youths in a car started following us. Since there was no PCR en route, it made us very nervous. It was only because of the swiftness of the driver that we were able to dodge them.”

Though the Pune incident has now created awareness about the safety concern of employees and the senior administration officials are asking IT companies to pull up its socks, it remains to be seen how far these security concerns are addressed.



Rain Woes
Effective drainage system still far from admn’s mind
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Chandigarh administration believes in a piecemeal approach to tackle the problem of flooding due to rains in the city.

In the past few weeks, incessant rains badly damaged roads. Residential and commercial areas also got flooded. But the administration is yet to initiate a large-scale exercise to re-plan the sewerage and storm water drainage system in the problematic areas.

On the other hand, the engineering department has been quick to invite expression of interest to re-plan and design sewerage and storm water system of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. UT officials were called to the high court following flooding of the court premise after the recent rains.

In the expression of interest, the engineering department has stated that the scope of the work was to conduct survey and levelling of the high court area, study the existing sewerage and storm water system, study rainfall date and intensity, design of the storm water and sewerage system and its cost estimation so as to avoid flooding of the court premises.

Experts believe such an exercise should be carried out for other parts of the city too. Over the years, wrong planning has blocked the city’s storm water network. The engineers have callously tampered with the original concept of managing storm water discharge through drains laid along the natural course of perennial or seasonal streams. A number of such drains running through the city have been blocked due to urbanisation.

The problem of flooding in Sectors 2,10,11, 15, 22, 23, 26, 29, 35, Industrial Area, the IT Park, the area around the Air Force Station and Mani Majra can be attributed to blocking of natural drains of storm water. At a number of places, underground storm water drains have collapsed due to poor workmanship.

While planning the city in the 50s, certain mistakes were made.

The country slope is towards the north-west. The sewerage should have been planned according to the slope.

“If the system were to be designed again, we would maintain the natural stream of flows of drain. Most of these have vanished. The system should be designed according to adequate rainfall intensity,” said G.S. Dhillon, a hydrologist and resident of Sector 10.



Holding out hope for alcoholics
Pradeep Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
"If you want to drink, that is your problem, if you want to quit, that is our concern," these life-saving words on a pamphlet of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a worldwide fellowship of recovering alcoholics, changed life of Partap, an alcoholic for about 30 years, for better five years ago.

A phone call at the 24-hour AA helpline (94170-37358) was all Partap had to do to get rid of his potentially fatal ailment. In fact, Partap is not alone. Hundreds of recovering alcoholics, who made their families and own lives hell for years together, are leading sober and fruitful lives "one day at a time". Courtesy the AA.

The support group achieved another milestone in the tricity on Thursday with one of its groups-the Disha Group-completing nine years of giving new direction (disha) to the lives of the alcoholics, their families and friends.

A sense of camaraderie and gratitude was writ large on the faces of recovering alcoholics and their families as they shared their experiences, strengths and hopes with each other.

Sharing his story, Ram (name changed) said he had virtually became a slave of alcohol. " With job and family gone, I had nothing worthwhile to live for. Ultimately, I wanted to kill myself and made two feeble suicide attempts," he said.

"Perhaps God had other plans for me. A family friend passed on the message of the AA and I reluctantly started attending the AA meetings. For the first time in my life, I was told that I was not a bad man but a diseased man. And the treatment involved not taking the first drink. And it was not difficult one day at a time. Now, I am on a roll with the family and job back, said a happy-looking Ram. Members informed that alcoholism was a physical, mental and spiritual disease. Not every drinker is an alcoholic. However, the alcoholic's nightmare starts with the very first peg as after the first drink, he cannot control his drinking.

Problem drinkers can dial the AA's 24-hour helpline(94170-37358) for better life. There are no dues or fees for the counselling and meetings.



Changing address is an issue at RLA
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
At the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), address of a license holder is not changed even if the holder applies for a new license as the software used at the office doesn’t have the provision to do so.

The address won’t change even if one deposits the identity card issued by the Election Commission of India with new address while applying for the new license.

Ashok Kumar Garg, resident of Sector 48, had mentioned his new address on the form seeking issuance of a new license. However, when the license was given to him, it bore his old address. Surprisingly, the learner’s license issued to the applicant bore the new address, but the permanent license had the previous address of Sector 41.

Ironically, when the applicant, under the Right to Information Act (RTI), sought information, the RLA stated: “As per the SARATHI software installed in this office, the residential address of the license holder remains old whenever he applies for a LMV license.”

The RLA maintained that the residential address could only be changed after the submission of residential proof for his new address at the time of clubbing of old MCW license with new LMV.

However, the date of validity remains the same as in the old driving license in case the old license is clubbed with the new one.

Garg took up the matter with the RLA and requested the person concerned to change the address on his new license. But his request was declined and Garg was asked to deposit Rs 200 along with application. Not convinced to deposit Rs 200, Garg wrote to the RLA stating that he should not be penalised for the mistakes of officials of the licensing authority.



Water level in Sukhna rising
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Due to heavy rains that lashed the city and its surrounding areas during the past few weeks, the water level in the lake is regularly rising.

Officials of the UT engineering department revealed that the present water level was just two foot less than the level at which the radial gates at the regulator end had to be opened to allow access water to flow downstream in the Sukhna choe.

At a control room set up at the lake, a constant watch is being kept on the level of water. “When the water level starts reaching the danger level, people living downstream will be informed before opening the gates,” said a UT official.

Heavy rain and silt accumulated in the lake over the year has created another problem. Sources say that the water level at the regulator end of the lake has always been more than that in the lake.

Records of the engineering department reveal that for the past two years, not a single inch of water has flown down the stream from the catchment area.



Civil supplies gets tough on hoarders
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The department of food and civil supplies is getting tough with unscrupulous traders in a bid to curb hoarding.

According to sources, the department would take strict action against those traders who do not obtain a licence to stock certain commodities, including edible oils, rice, wheat and cereals. Through an order on June 6, the department had made it mandatory for the traders to obtain licence to stock these commodities beyond certain limit.

The department seemed to have acted on repeated complaints of hoardings in the city. Recently, the department, acting on directions from the central government, had also raided certain shops in the grain market here to curb hoarding.

Subsequently, representatives of the Chandigarh Beopar Mandal (CBM) urged the administration to fix stock limit on the Delhi pattern in the city. With the fixing of the stock limit, there would no need to obtain licence, said CBM vice-president Ravi Prakash Kansal in a press note here today.



Non-compliant contractors to face action
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Chandigarh municipal corporation will issue notices to parking contractors of Sectors 17, 35-C, 9 and Sukhna Lake for not complying with the orders of installing CCTV cameras in their respective parking lots by August 16, 2008. These cameras will help in identifying the defaulters and car thieves in the parking areas.

At a recent meeting of the corporation, these contractors were directed to install cameras in their parking lots so that utility of these cameras could be gauged.

MC mayor Pradeep Chabbra stated that the contractors would be served notices for not installing the cameras as per stipulated date fixed by the corporation.



Brahm Kumaris celebrate Rakhi
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
The Prajapati Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya celebrated the festival of Raksha Bandhan by organising a public event titled ‘Significance of Raksha Bandhan in Modern Age’.

“The purpose of the event was to spread awareness regarding the importance of Raksha Bandhan in the present situation to build a better world based on the value-system,” said one of the Brahma Kumaris.

They tied rakhis to more than 200 people including inmates of Burail jail, Governor of Haryana, Dr A.R. Kidwai, Punjab chief minister, Prakash Singh Badal, Union Minister of State for Finance, Pawan Kumar Bansal.



Training centres for soldiers’ wards
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
In order to create employment opportunities for wards of defence personnel and ex-servicemen, Punjab Ex-servicemen Corporation (PESCO) has launched an initiative to start various training centres in Mohali.

International Institute of Vocational Training has been launched where wards of serving soldiers and ex-servicemen will be given 30 per cent concession for training in English speaking, personality development and front-desk operations.

PESCO chairman-cum-managing director, Maj Gen U.S. Sidhu (retd), said the other students would be charged competitive fees, which would be much less than the prevailing market rates.

PESCO has also established Security Training Institute, Pre-Recruitment Training Institute, Ladies Dress Designing and Computer Institute at Mohali to benefit the wards of defence personnel. Admission to all these institutes is also open for the civilians where they can avail quality training at low fees, General Sidhu said.



Nagar sankirtan at Plaza
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
As part of celebrations of Sri Krishna Janamashtami, the local chapter of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) today organised a nagar sankirtan programme at Sector 17 Plaza, here.

The procession started from Hare Krishna Dham, Sector 36, and reached Sector 17 Plaza after it passed through various sectors of the city.

The 11-day nagar sankirtan programme, which started on August 14, will be concluded on August 24.



Sixth Pay Commission

After the announcement of the Sixth Pay Commission all employees of the Central government are happy. In a single step a cash flow of Rs 2000 crore has been announced and another 20,000 crore will be out in early 2009 and also 40,000 crore in 2010.

On one hand the RBI is increasing CRR and interest rates to squeeze in credit. Though the RBI and the MOF has totally failed to control inflation but this new announcement will control the present situation in the economy. It seems that under political compulsion the economy has taken a backseat till the elections are over early next year. Till then the RBI will continue to take measure, if failed will be blamed and if successful the MOF will be available to cut the political crop.

Keshav, Chandigarh

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AYUSH cancels affiliation of ayurvedic college
Smriti Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Students of Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, Sector 46, have nowhere to go after the government body AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Sidha and Homeopathy), on recommendations of Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM), has finally cancelled affiliation of the college. After the decision was conveyed to the college through the council officially, the college put up notices and the authorities called up the students to tell them to take full refund of the fees.

It may be recalled that The Tribune, on August 9, had published that the college’s affiliation was going to be cancelled after gross violations were found in the college.

According to sources, AYUSH has cancelled the affiliation of the college and has categorically conveyed that no admissions will be made for the session 2008-09. The cancellation came in wake of a report, which was submitted by a team of the central council after a visit early this year. AYUSH had also held a hearing on July 11, wherein the college was given an opportunity to clarify its stand but even that was unsatisfactory and AYUSH cancelled the affiliation.

According to sources, four objections, which led to the cancellation, included inadequate teaching faculty and lack of boys hostel even after completion of 30 years by the college. Also hospital had been given to Dabur for past five years, which, as per rules, should have been attached to the college. Moreover, according to the guidelines, there should be an average occupancy of 65 per cent beds in the hospital of the college, which even after allegedly faking, could only show the occupancy to be 34.

Other minor objections included inadequate paramedical staff and laboratories were not up-to-date.

Naresh Mittal, vice-president of the Shri Dhanwantry Educational Society, said: “We have only been stopped from making admissions for the current session and we are taking a legal course in this matter. We have conveyed the same to PU and director, health education. However, we have asked the students if they want, they can take their money back.”

He still claimed that the students were willing to wait instead of refunding the fees.

Prof R C Sobti, vice-chancellor, PU, said: “We will strictly follow what the orders of the central council and AYUSH are.”



Symposium on contribution of Prof Bambah
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
A symposium in honour of the internationally renowned mathematician, Prof R.P. Bambah, was held at the Transit Campus of IISER, Mohali, today in recognition of his services to mathematics education and research.

Professor Bambah specialises in the “number theory” and “discrete geometry”. He has authored/co-authored/edited a large number of research publications. He is a Professor Emeritus at PU and has played a leading role in building the Department of Mathematics, Panjab University, and getting it raised to the level of a centre for advanced study in mathematics.
Noted mathematician Prof R.P. Bambah shares a light moment during a symposium organised in his honour at the Transit Campus of IISER, Mohali, in recognition of his services to Mathematics education and research on Saturday.
Noted mathematician Prof R.P. Bambah shares a light moment during a symposium organised in his honour at the Transit Campus of IISER, Mohali, in recognition of his services to Mathematics education and research on Saturday. Tribune photo Himanshu Mahajan

His efforts in developing a school in number theory at Chandigarh have received world-wide acclaim. He has been the president of the Indian Mathematical Society.

Professor Bambah is a former Vice-Chancellor of PU. He is a trustee of The Tribune Trust and vice-chairman of the governing body of CRRID, Chandigarh.

He has been honoured with the Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal, Distinguished Service Medal by the Mathematics Association of India, Meghnad Saha Award, Padma Bhushan, Ramanujan Memorial Lecture Award, Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Lecture Award and the Aryabhatta Medal of the Indian National Science Academy, among others.

He has been the general president of the Indian Science Congress Association, a member of the University Grants Commission and the chairman of the governing body of the Inter-University Centre of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

He was elected fellow of Indian National Science Academy, FNA (INSA) in 1955 at the young age of 30, a rare honour to achieve. He is a fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences.

Two of Professor Bambah’s former students and presently colleagues at PU delivered lectures at the symposium. R.J. Hans-Gill, professor emeritus and NBHM visiting professor, spoke on “mathematical contributions of Professor Bambah” and IBS Passi, professor emeritus and honorary professor, IISER, Mohali, spoke on “Niels Henrik Abel (1802-1829) and Abel Prize 2008”.

The symposium was sponsored by the Chandigarh Chapter of the Indian National Science Academy and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali.

It was organised by Prof R. C. Mahajan, convener, INSA (Chandigarh Chapter) and Prof N. Sathymurthy, director, IISER, Mohali.



From Schools
Grandparents Day celebrated at Millennium
Tribune Reporters

Mohali/Panchkula, August 16
Grandfathers and grandmothers gathered to celebrate their deep rooted sense of belongingness to their tiny tots at the annual Grandparents’ Day celebrations at Millennium School here today.

The tiny tots welcomed their grandparents with great enthusiasm by playing hosts to their elderly guests. A number of events and activities were organised for the day. Rhyme singing, one-minute games and dance on the national song were some of the items that were prepared by pre-primary students.

Speaking on the occasion, Komal Singh, principal, said the school valued grandparents as the true mentors of kids. She stressed that joint families which were unfortunately breaking into smaller units were supposed to provide the much needed emotional shelter to the insecurities and complexes within nuclear units.

I-Day celebrated

The Independence Day celebrations at Ashmah International School here today saw neatly dressed students of the school holding out placards inscribed with message and slogans at Phase VII light point in Mohali.

Students sang and danced to the tunes of patriotic songs. The students took a collective pledge to uphold the pride, sovereignty and unity of the country by living up to highest standards of personal conduct.

DAV Phase X: DAV Public Senior Secondary School, Phase X, initiated the Independence Day week celebrations at the school premises with a touch of colour and enthusiasm. Jaya Bhardwaj, principal of the school, was first to draw a tricolour on the face of a primary class student.

Students of the primary section presented a performance eulogising the role of the great leaders in the freedom struggle.

The audience tapped their feet to the tune of ‘Chhodo kal ki batein, kal ki baat purani’ as the students in the colourful attire presented a group dance.

Another group of students, dressed as great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Rani Jhansi and Bhagat Singh, recalled the moments of the freedom struggle.

Rakhi celebrated

The local unit of Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya today urged the residents on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan to adopt moral, social and spiritual values and get out of the shadow of materialism.

At the concluding day function of the six-day programme, which started on August 11, the youth were asked to shun vices and lead normal lives. Residents were inspired to learn the techniques of meditation to make their life tension-free.

Brahma Kumari sisters moved about the town in groups and tied rakhis to the deputy commissioner Rahul Bhandari, SSP Jatinder Singh Aulakh, the ADC, the DTO, the MLA, former Congress ministers, chairman and other officials of the Punjab School Education Board and doctors of Fortis hospital. Rakhis were also tied to a large number of police personnel and others.

Bal Bhawan

The festival of Rakhi brought special cheers to the orphanage inmates of Bal Bhawan as they celebrated the festival with the students of Swami Vivekanand Group of Institutes (SVGOI) here today.

A group of about 50 students of SVGOI visited Bal Bhawan to celebrate Raksha Bandhan with the inmates and exchanged colourful Rakhis.

Manmohan K. Garg, CEO, SVGOI, said, “We try to inculcate the traditional cultural values in students and this occasion is one in the series of such celebrations.”



Geetika, Dhruv win poster competition
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
Geetika and Dhruv of Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan-27, here emerged winners during the Inter School poster competition held at St. Soldier International School, Sector 28 here.

Titled as “Bandhan- Special Bond with my Brother/Sister”, the competition was organised by Health Aid Medicare (I), an NGO. The unique point about this competition was that each entry included 2 candidates who were siblings and poster making was a combined effort. About 168 students from 20 different schools from Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali participated in the competition.

“Today, the trend of nuclear families is increasing and modern parents are pampering their children with all facilities but despite that cases of kids fighting with each other are on a rise. This competition is an effort to kindle family spirit among the siblings and make them aware that strong family bonding is a trademark of Indians,” said Dr Anju, secretary of the NGO.

A.M. Agnihotri, president of the NGO distributed gifts to all the participants.


1st Prize: Geetika and Dhruv, Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, Chandigarh 2nd Prize: 1. Himanshu and Ritu, AKSIPS, Chandigarh 2. Meghna and Dheeraj, Hansraj Public School, Panchkula 3rd Prize: 1. Tamanna and Jasmeet, New Public School, Chandigarh 2. Riya and Diksha, St. Soldier International School, Chandigarh 3. Sanjana and Sumit, St. Soldier International Convent School, Mohali.



Students remember martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Independence Day celebrations at Ryan International School concluded today.

The Montessori students made lovely pigeons, lotus and balloons by thumb painting and pasting papers.

The tiny-tots gave emphatic speech on Independence Day. A special slide show was prepared for the students of classes I to V, in which they were shown the days pre and post Independence. A talk show was conducted in which the students discussed India's achievements. The day was celebrated with patriotic fervour at Sat Pal Mittal School. The Satyans invoked the blessings of the motherland through the National Song. The speeches in English, Hindi and Punjabi by the students reminded the supreme sacrifice of the freedom fighters.

Independence Day was also celebrated at Bal Bhalai School, Ambedkar Nagar. Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, was the chief guest on this occasion.

He announced a grant of Rs. 2 lakh for the development of the school. He also distributed books and sweets.

Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Daad, Pakhowal road also celebrated the day with lots of enthusiasm. Principal of the school, Manjit Kaur, hoisted the Tricolour. The function started with the National Song 'Vande Matram', then students presented patriotic songs like “Desh mera rangila”, “Ae mere vatan ke logo”.

A skit by the students of class X based on the social ill of female foeticide was also presented on this occasion.



Denied holiday on Rakhi, lawyers suspend work
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 16
After the District Bar Association’s (DBA) request for a holiday on “Rakhi” was declined by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the lawyers suspended work at the district courts here today.

The advocates reached the courtrooms at 10 am and gave a letter to the judicial officers before suspending work.

It was stated that the lawyers would depose only in urgent cases. A number of judges were also on leave today and festive mood seemed to have overtaken the district courts.

Talking to The Tribune, president of the DBA N.K. Nanda said, “We had moved an application requesting the High Court to grant a vacation on the Rakhi about 12 days back.”

The courts complex attracted thin crowds today as compared to the other days.



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