Added Attractions
Science City gets two new guests
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, August 28
Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC) here will soon have two new attractions for its visitors. A Vijayanta main battle tank and an anti-aircraft gun will be installed at the PGSC for the public.

While the tank has already reached the PGSC from Delhi on August 23, the anti-aircraft gun is likely to reach from Jabalpur within a week. This was stated by PGSC director-general R.S. Khandpur while talking to The Tribune.

However, the formal inauguration will take place on October 1 as the pedestal for the tank would be made within the next 15 days, Khandpur said.

When The Tribune team visited the PGSC on Thursday, a group of 50 students of classes XI and XII of Hainault Public School, Shimla, were observing the tank.

Two students, Arun and Neha, said the students were on a two-day visit to Punjab and were very happy to see the tank and other informative and entertaining things at the PGSC.

Khandpur said three employees of the PGSC would be trained to explain different parts and machinery of the tank and anti-aircraft gun to the visitors.

Interestingly, an MiG-23 has already been installed at the PGSC.

The Vijayanta main battle tank was indigenously built on a licensed design of the Vicker’s MK.1. (Britain).

Its prototype was completed in 1963 and the tank entered the service in 1965. Its production continued at the heavy vehicles factory in Avadi, near Madras, until 1983 with 2200 built. A number of tanks hulls were converted to other uses such as a self-propelled gun after being withdrawn from service. It took four days for the tank to be brought to the PGSC in Kapurthala from Delhi by truck.

The tank was extensively employed during the liberation of Bangladesh in the 1971 Indo-Pak war.

The tank, weighing 39,000 kg, can be driven at a speed of 50 km per hour. It may hit a target at the distance of as much as 530 km.

The P&T Department issued a special postage depicting the Vijayanta tank manufactured in India on March 4, 1976. The tank was phased out of service in 1997.



National Child Labour Project Schools
A ray of hope for poor children
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 28
Nine-year-old Priya, student of National Child Labour Project (NCLP) school, is on cloud nine as she has started writing sentences in English. Daughter of a cycle mechanic, she is outperforming other students in the class and wish to become a teacher one day.

And like Priya there are scores of other children who come here with dreams in their eyes to make it big in life some day. With hand-to-mouth existence, these children have one thing in common - their hardships in life. A majority of these children are young earners as well who lend a helping hand to their parents by doing petty jobs in the daytime and studying in the evening classes (3 pm to 6 pm daily) of NCLP schools.

At present there are 27 NCLP schools in the city, which are offering a learning platform to the children coming from the lower strata of society. The schools are being run by different NGOs like Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, Sports Foundation of India, Citizen Welfare and Protection Council, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Rashtriya Khet Mazdoor Union and Rotary International.

A random survey of the schools revealed that these schools are not just giving education but fulfilling the basic requirements of the children as well.

When The Tribune team visited NCLP school being run from Government Elementary School, Chuggitti, it was found that the students not only get their formal education till class V but food as well. In charge of the school Anjana said the school is being run by an NGO, Sports Goods Foundation of India.

“It is with the help of this NGO that the students get free books, schoolbags, notebooks and clothes. Apart from this, the students also get nutritious food items like kheer, milk, curd, rice, bread and fruits everyday,” she said, adding that the children get medically examined as well.

The students are enrolled for a period of three years during which they are made to study till class V. Each class is of six-month duration. The students are taught the basic subjects like English, maths, science and environmental studies. It is pertinent to mention here that the NCLP schools were started in September, 2000, to provide a learning platform for the child labour.

Every school has at least 50 students aged nine to 14 with two teachers, one vocational teacher, one clerk and a class IV employee. “To ensure the success of the project, we conduct exams under the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) after every six months and help them in taking admission in the next class,” maintained another teacher.

On being asked about how many students come daily, the teachers maintained, “We face a lot of difficulty in convincing the parents to send their children to school. At times they do agree but most of the times they refuse as their primarily concern is only to earn money. These children work at roadside dhabas, tea stalls and as servants. We are employed here to stop them from working and join schools,” said Neeru, a teacher.

Filed officer of the NCLP in Jalandhar Avtar Singh said, “Apart from the funds from the central government we also provide scholarships to poor students for their uplift.”



Deposits Denied
Forum asks department of posts to pay up
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 28
The district consumer disputes redressal forum has asked the department of posts to pay an amount, along with the usual rate of interest, to a retired government teacher deposited by her under the monthly income scheme that had been prematurely withdrawn by a small savings agent illegally.

Kamlesh Bhatia, a resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar, said she had been operating the deposits amounting to Rs 3,98,000 with her father Dev Raj Bhatia as a joint account holder. She alleged that after her father’s death on December 5, 2003, the staff of the department of posts refused her the repayment of the deposits on maturity. She was told that a small savings agent had prematurely withdrawn the deposits stating himself as the messenger of Dev Raj Bhatia on June 3, 2003.

The opposition parties, including the secretary, department of posts, Delhi, senior superintendent of posts, Jalandhar division, senior postmaster and the assistant postmaster, had stated that the complainant was not a legal heir of Dev Raj Bhatia as per his will dated July 2, 2003. They urged that Dev Raj Bhatia had withdrawn the amount through the messenger under his signature and he had the right to withdraw the amount.

Counsel for the complainant said that it was a joint account of the parties and payment to the messenger of one account holder could not be made before the due date. He alleged that the payment had been made by the officials without getting her consent. He also urged that a payment of Rs 20,000 had been made in cash, which was not permissible as per the rules of the Income Tax Act.

The forum, comprising president M.M. Bhalla and members Surinder Mittal and Rakesh Kumari, specified that “only the deficiency of services aspect of the case would be dealt with instead of the other aspect of dispute regarding the forgery and fabrication committed by the agent”.

They said the main point to be discussed was whether the payment had been made as per rules or not. The forum observed that the payment had not been withdrawn by the person who had opened the account but by a postal agent who was not entitled to receive the amount on behalf of the account holder. It also found that a payment of more than Rs 20,000 had been paid in cash against the department rules. It ruled that the account could not be closed without production of the passbook.

It said the agent had withdrawn the amount illegally in connivance with the department of posts. It said since the complainant was a joint holder of the account, she could withdraw a part of the payment she had claimed to have a right on.



Migrants drugged, looted

Phagwara, August 28
Five migrants were yesterday duped, drugged and suspected to be looted of cash and belongings. It was learnt today that a person came to the residence of Paramjit in Gali 9 of the local Ratanpura Mohalla two days back. Five migrants were with him.

He asked for renting a room for the five migrants. When Paramjit told the person that he was to rent room only for two occupants, he pleaded with him that the five migrants were to spend just one night and then leave for their onward destination after catching the morning train the following day. At this Paramjit gave the room on rent and left.

The person who had rented the room stayed back with the five migrants. However, the person was found missing from the room yesterday and the five migrants were left behind drugged and in a state of stupor. They were hospitalised. One of the migrants blurted out the name of one Arun Kumar who had brought them to the room. However, the migrants were in the dark about the whereabouts of Arun. The police was also clueless as the migrants could not make head or tail of the incidence. The migrants, on regaining consciousness, also disappeared from the hospital today. — PTI



Young World
Shaminder, Rupa are Apeejay head boy, girl
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 28
Apeejay School, Rama Mandi, held its investiture ceremony here on Thursday where students of prefectorial board were adorned with badges. The function began with a prayer. Principal R.K. Walia and chief guest Ramesh Chaudhary of The Tribune adorned head boy Shaminder Singh Dhindsa, head girl Rupa Johal and prefects with badges and sashes. The chief guest advised the students to understand their responsibilities and shoulder them efficiently. He congratulated the head boy, head girl and other prefects of all the four houses - Beas, Saraswati, Satlej and Yamuna - for their selection.

University toppers

Students of bachelor of physiotherapy (part IV) of the Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, bagged top positions in the examinations conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. Kritika Manchanda stood first by scoring 803 marks out of 1,150 followed by Shivani Sethi who got 799 marks.

Seminar on influenza

The zoology department of HMV College organised a seminar on “Threat of pandemic avian influenza” on August 26 where scientists from the NRDDL, Jalandhar, told the students about the virus and its control.

Job orientation

The placement cell of the university college held a placement-orientation programme for MBA students on August 26 where Vivek Sama, Kanika Diwan and Guneet Pal told them about job opportunities in the finance and marketing sectors.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt was organised in KMV College on August 27 where girls participated in various competitions like group dance, skit, modelling, fancy dress and singing.

Similarly, the Kamla Nehru College for Women organised a talent hunt on literary items, including poetical recitation and declamation. Shavina bagged the first prize in poem recitation, while Amandeep and Anu stood first and second, respectively, in the declamation contest.

Tree plantation

DIPS, Karol Bagh, organised a vanamahotsav in the school on Wednesday in which students and staff planted saplings of various trees. Principal Sarvesh emphasised on the need to plant more trees and keep the environment pollution free.

Students honoured

Students of Lyallpur Khalsa College organised a function on August 27 to honour its university position holders. As many as 15 students from various streams were awarded. The winners were Sandeep Kaur and Priya Tripathi of MA-II (history) for getting first and fifth positions in the university. The other toppers included Navneet Kaur, Swati Bisht, Ramandeep Kaur, Richa Pahuja, Paramjit Kaur, Rohi Bansal and Jasmeet Kaur.

GND varsity topper

Neha Gupta of the diploma in cosmetology at HMV College stood first in Guru Nanak Dev University examination by securing 443 marks out of 450.



False Corruption Cases
Former vigilance DSP booked

Phagwara, August 28
A case has been registered against a former DSP (Vigilance) for registering false corruption cases against a Punjab State Electricity Board SDO and a clerk. Phillaur DSP Rajinder Singh Sohal while confirming the registeration of a case against former DSP Jagdish Mittal and two more persons Dilbag Singh and Jaspal Singh of Kandiana village, said that Dilbag Singh, who was penalised by the PSEB authorities in a case of power theft, lodged a complaint with the vigilance on July 21, 2005, against SDO Kulwinder Singh and clerk Harjinder Singh alleging that they were demanding a bribe of Rs 10,000.

Jagdish Mittal, who was then DSP, arrested both the board officials but the bribed amount was not recovered from them. Both the officials knocked the doors of the higher authorities and after an investigation it was found that the officials were falsly implicated in the bribe case. The police has registered a case under sections 182, 218, 219, 344 and 120-B of the IPC against Mittal and the two villagers. However, no arrest has been made so far. — UNI



Employee caught with bribe money
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 28
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau has nabbed an employee of the Land Development Department for taking bribe and seized the bribe money of Rs 3,000 from him.

Acting on a complaint of Roshan Lal, the bureau laid a trap and caught red-handed Sandeep Kumar, an employee of the SSC Rural Development Corporation from his office located near the local municipal corporation office.

Vigilance SSP Mukhtiar Singh revealed that Sandeep Kumar had been harassing the complainant and demanding Rs 8,000 for getting a loan sanctioned for him. The bureau sent marked currency notes worth Rs 3,000 with the complainant and caught Sandeep Kumar red-handed while he was accepting the money, he added.

A case under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against him.



Old man run over by train

Phagwara, August 28
An old man was run over by an Express train near Chaheru railway station here today. Sohan Lal (65) was crossing the rail line when he came under the wheels of the Amritsar-bound Shan-e-Punjab train, the police said.

In another incident, Ranjit (20) consumed celphos tablets in his house at Bhagatpura today. He was admitted in critical condition in the local civil hospital.

In the third incident, a man identified as Het Ram (30) was found unconscious on the national highway near Mehtan bypass today and was admitted in the local civil hospital. — UNI



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