C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Labourers battered, given electric shocks
Contractor among 12 arrested
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Local police arrested 12 persons, including a contractor, Mohammad Qurban, for allegedly beating up five labourers yesterday night near an under-construction bridge at Darua.

According to the labourers, identified as Manju Kumar, Monu, Sanjay, Arun and Harish Mishra, all residents of Saharanpur, they were allegedly battered by iron rods, water pipes and ‘lathis’. Sanjay and Monu alleged that they were also given electric shocks by the contractor and his men.

“My left leg has been fractured,” said Sanjay while Monu alleged that he become unconscious as he could not tolerate the pains. The contractor, however, alleged that the labourers had stolen money from their rooms.

Narrating the incident, Sanjay alleged, “When I was going to sleep at around 11 p.m., Qurban and his men called me and started beating me up with iron rods. He was asking about the stolen money. They jabbed my face in sand before giving me electric shocks.”

After that, he said, the contractor’s men dragged Manju, Monu and Arun and thrashed them up.

When Mishra, a security guard of private security agency, came to the rescue the labourers, he was also beaten up with iron rods.

Mishra reported the matter to his boss Sanjay, who called police at around 3 am. The police took the injured labourers to GMCH, Sector 32, for medical examination.

In-charge of Darua police post Chiranji Lal said the accused, including the contractor, have been booked under Sections 323, 506, 342 and 34, of the IPC.



‘I would give him death’
Swati Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Raped by her father Gajjan Singh two years ago, when she was in Class V, 15-year-old Radhika (name changed) looked happy as her tormentor was held guilty of the shameless and heinous crime by a local court yesterday.

The quantum of punishment will be announced on Monday. “If I can have my way, I’ll sentence him to death,” she says adding she’s hopeful that the ‘judge sahib’ would do justice to her.

“I felt like slapping him the last time I saw him in the court. He was staring at me and wanted me to turn hostile and even signalled me to keep quiet by putting his finger on lip,” she said adding that the mere sight of him had enraged her and brought those horrific memories back.

“It went on for two years,” she said without looking up and shedding tears. Apparently, the last one year of the court proceedings had made her strong, still her voice trembled when she recounted the events.

“I had told my stepmother, the only female in the house, about my father’s misdemeanor, but she told me to get it on with him,” said Radhika while talking to The Tribune at Nari Niketan today.

Her stepmother Laxmi, who was also arrested for abetting the crime, was acquitted yesterday. “I am scared of her and I came here only after I came to know about her bail about a year ago,” she says.

Though keen to get back to her life and looking forward to returning home to her siblings, Radhika wants Laxmi to stay away from her forever.

Her eagerness to go home is evident from the sketch “Going Back Home” lying
on her bed.

Presently studying in Class VII, Radhika failed in the same class last year as she found it difficult to cope up with the trauma.

Despite going through such a bad phase, Radhika has come out confidently with the help of counselling provided to her by Kulpreet Dhillon, who works with the PGI child line. Not a tear rolled down her cheeks while she interacted with this correspondent.

The counsellors have taken special care to see that she gets a congenial environment to live. Talking to The Tribune, advocate Madhu P. Singh said, “Initially, she used to remain quiet. Gradually, when her counselling sessions began, she started communicating through paintings. The first painting was a happy family that included her stepmother, father and three brothers. But in one corner of the painting, a girl with a terrified look was sitting.”

Elaborating on it, advocate Madhu said, “She communicates now and her confidence has gone up. When the atrocities were committed on her, she didn’t know the gravity of it. But when the issue came to light, she started hesitating from communicating with other children.”



MCM DAV Fiasco
Principal’s diktat: Leave hostel or face action
Exams postponed, girls defer protest for 2 days
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service


Dismissing the allegations, principal Puneet Bedi said, “Only some exams were scheduled for September. Since many students are not appearing in the exams, I postponed them. I am not forcing anybody to leave but adjusting girls who do not have their parents’ authority letter. The human rights’ activist who has been trying to mislead the girls provoked them to say all this. I am abiding by the university laws.”

Chandigarh, September 13
Infuriated by the persistent defiance of the students of MCM DAV, Sector 36, protesting against the unilateral nomination of the college president, principal Dr Puneet Bedi has allegedly asked the students to vacate the hostel by tonight or face action.

The move that comes after election of Geeta as “president” by the protesting group yesterday is being seen as a fresh attempt to curb the ongoing protest.

Even as the principal had evaded any action against the protesters apparently under pressure from the university authorities, she, however, postponed the exams scheduled for this month and has asked the protesting girls to leave.

Sensing undercurrent of an aggressive protest and strike on Monday, the principal is ensuring that the hostel is vacated.

She has reportedly asked the warden to call the parents and local guardians to take away their wards, the move that is being opposed by the girls.

“Out of the blue, she has postponed the public administration and history exams and asked us to go home. I come from Assam and when I expressed my inability to go back, she asked me to go to my local guardians. They even received a call from the warden to take me away. The principal is also threatening the girls who are refusing to leave the hostel,” said one of the hostellers.

“Right from day one, she has tried to suppress our voice. She did not allow the day scholars on the campus yesterday and is now threatening the hostellers to leave. Girls like me who will have to stay for the ongoing PU sports’ competitions, are been threatened if we step out of the hostel in groups. We have decided to postpone our protest for two days and approach the university authorities. But actions like these will not be tolerated,” said “newly-elected president” Geeta.

Confirming the principal’s decision, college sources have expressed surprise that the otherwise anti-night-out principal has allowed the students to leave without the parents’ authority letter, which is mandatory for a night out.

Meanwhile, there was reportedly a scuffle between the human rights’ activist, who is supporting the protesters, and the college photographer deputed at the college gate to photo-document the course of protest.



Ruckus at girls’ hostel
Hostellers demand warden’s removal
Smriti Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The newly-elected students’ council had testing times today in diffusing the tension between the hostellers of Sarojini Hall, Panjab University, and the hostel authorities.

High drama was witnessed at the girls’ hostel - Sarojini Hall - when a group of around 30 girls staged a dharna demanding removal of the hostel warden.

According to sources, the controversy erupted when the wardens conducted raids in the hostels following the orders of the university authorities.

Parents of those students, who had not marked their attendance for September
10 and had allegedly gone for a night-out from the hostel without prior intimation,
were given a call and letters were sent to them next morning asking for explanation for the absence.

Warden of Sarojini Hall Veena Vinayak also followed the university orders and conducted a surprise check, which was objected by some students who created a ruckus demanding her ouster.

According to sources, the protest and the demand of removal of the hostel warden was planned much in advance as some “notorious” elements in the hostel were against the ways of the warden for maintaining discipline in the hostel.

Consequently, though the incident occurred a few days back, the hostellers waited till the student polls were over.

Most of the protesters allegedly belonged to wining alliance. As the results were declared yesterday, the students protested early this morning itself.

After receiving the information, the vice-chancellor immediately rushed to the hostel from the dental college’s function being held at the law auditorium.

The V-C pacified the protesting students, who were by then joined by newly-elected president of student council Sahil Nanda, vice-president Parul Chaudhary and other office-bearers along with SOPU president Brinder Dhillon.

Gauging the seriousness of the situation and apparently under pressure, the V-C handed over the charge of the Sarojini hostel to another warden.

“I will not remove or take action against the warden before I go through all the aspects of the incident,” said the V-C.



Teen stabbed over Rs 1,000, dies
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Dispute over just Rs 1000 led to the death of a teenager. A migrant, Shamshudin, alias Paoua, stabbed 17-year-old Sanjeet, a resident of Kajheri village last night.

Giving details, Sector 36 SHO Davinder Singh said Paoua stabbed Sanjeet in the right thigh after a tiff between them.

A seriously injured Sanjeet was taken to GMCH in Sector 16, where he succumbed to his injuries.

According to police sources, Sanjeet purchased a mobile set worth Rs 3000 from Paoua and had paid Rs 2000 only.

Yesterday around 8.30 pm, Sanjeet along with his neighbour Dinesh were standing near the Kajheri chowk where Paoua was also present.

Both had a heated argument following which Paoua stabbed him in the right thigh.

Paoua, who hails from Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh, was arrested by the police.

A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered at the Sector 36 police station on the complaint of Jagdish Singh, father of Sanjeet.

The police today produced Paoua in the court and remanded him into one-
day police custody.



High alert in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
A high alert was sounded in the city by the local police following the serial blasts in Delhi today.

Police parties were seen conducting intensive searches at various public places, including crowded markets in Sectors 17 and 22.

Bomb disposal squads were also pressed into service.

The police along with trained dogs carried out search operations in the city’s multiplexes in the evening.

The management of these malls were instructed to be extra alert and keep an eye on every visitor.

Security persons at the ISBTs and railway station also checked the luggage of visitors at random.

“Normally, too, we remain extra vigilant on every Friday and Saturday. But definitely, we have sounded an alert today after the serial blasts at Delhi. Necessary instructions have been issued to the staff,” said SSP Sudhanshu Srivastava.

The police also appealed to the public to be extra vigilant.

“They should inform the police immediately if they notice any doubtful person or abandoned articles like packets, bags, luggage and vehicles,” said the police officer.


Panchkula Encroachments-II
Encroachers cash in on HUDA’s laxity
Fails to vacate 100 acres of prime land acquired in 1988
Arun Sharma
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 13
Over 100 acres of land belonging to the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) worth crores of rupees in the proposed Sector 1-A in Panchkula has been encroached upon putting to halt all the developmental plans of the area.

The HUDA had acquired the land on August 26, 1988, after paying Rs 29 crore compensation to the owners, but failed to get possession, the reasons best known to the HUDA authorities.

A total of 59.93 acres of land was acquired in Kharak Mangoli while 6.76 acres was acquired in Majri village. Later, the Railways relinquished nearly 33 acres of land in favour of HUDA in the area.

After the acquisition, no private land was left in Kharak Mangoli where HUDA had planned to develop Sector 1-A. At the time of acquisition, only 82 houses and 117 shops were located in the area.

However, things are different now as a number of structures, including two and three-storey houses and shops have come up in the area.

Even after paying compensation, the HUDA authorities failed to vacate the land. Even the outsiders have encroached upon the vacant land and developed a slum in the name of ward no. 26 having 2,988 votes.

While the slum dwellers managed to get a stay from the court till they are provided alternate dwellings, the remaining land is in the hands of former owners and influential persons who have been earning crores from the shops constructed on the road side.

A former minister of Haryana also has around a dozen shops and his office on the said land. Not only this, more than 9,000 trees of eucalyptus standing in the area at the time of acquisition have vanished.

However, insiders claim that the said land was “re-encroached” in connivance with some HUDA officials. Officials, on condition of anonymity claimed that the land was never vacated even after payment of compensation.

The said land was not transferred in the name of HUDA till last year and the owners of land and houses kept on enjoying the benefits of ownership even after receiving compensation since 1988.

The land was finally transferred in the name of HUDA after 19 years on March 19, 2007. Even after this, the properties were transferred in the name of the nominees after the death of the owners.

This all happened in spite of the fact that the then land acquisition collector M.R. Bhagwaria, in his award proceedings on August 26, 1988, clearly mentioned that the physical possession of land, buildings, trees, tubewell and stone crushers on the land is taken over by him and handed over to Jawahar Singh Kanungo, representative of the estate officer, HUDA.

The encroachments on the land would cost Panchkula heavily as the proposed sector having residential and commercial buildings, including the proposed inter-state bus terminus is unlikely to see the light of day. No land at the propose site is free from encroachments.



Jail authorities unsure about smoking ban
Aarti Kapur
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The authorities of the Burail jail in the city are a confused lot when it comes to deciding whether smoking is permitted in the jail barracks or not.

Replying to a query under the Right to Information (RTI) Act about the ban on smoking on the jail premises, the authorities, in 2006, categorically stated that it was prohibited in the barracks, whereas two years later, on a similar RTI query, they responded that it was allowed.

The information was sought as per the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act-2003.

In 2006, a Chandigarh-based NGO made a query under the RTI seeking information whether the jail authorities provided total smoke-free atmosphere and prohibited smoking in all parts of the building or premises.

The application had also sought a list of all offices or premises where smoking
was allowed.

In response (Memo No 2054 Oct, 2006), the authorities had stated that while smoking was totally banned in the offices of superintendent and inspector general of prisons, prisoners were allowed to smoke in specified areas except the barracks where it was totally banned.

However, on a similar type of query filed in 2008, the authorities’ response was contrary to their earlier reply as they claimed that smoking was allowed in barracks.

“Smoking is not banned on the jail premises. However, smoking is not allowed in the prison canteen, interview room, chakar office, mandir and gurdwara sahib, main gate and other important places where the people visit. In the barracks, the smoking area is specifically marked,” stated the jail superintendent.

From both these replies, it appears that the jail authorities themselves are unaware about the actual position with regard to the ban on smoking.

Efforts to contact the jail authorities for comments proved futile as the DIG and IG (jails) failed to answer the calls made to them. They did not even respond to the messages sent by this correspondent.



CM wants quota for poor in medical, dental colleges
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today wanted the Dental Council of India to run short-term courses in dentistry and oral hygiene so that jobless youths, especially in rural areas, could be gainfully employed to serve in villages where government doctors did ot go.

For incentive, the state government will offer buildings of government medical and engineering colleges to private players who wished to run such courses after working hours of respective colleges.

The CM wanted managements of private professional colleges to offer their premises too, quoting a letter written in this context by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to all Chief Ministers.

Inaugurating a national workshop on “Inter-relationship of State Dental Councils and Dental Council of India” here, Badal also called upon medical and dental colleges in private sector to reserve 10 to 15 per cent seats for poor, but bright students on the pattern of the recent decision taken by the managements of the private engineering and technical institutions in the state.

He said instead of curing diseases, efforts should be on preventive approach. Be it eye, oral care or other areas, level of awareness was poor in areas where doctors were not ready to serve. A preventive approach could generate more employment.

President of the Dental Council of India Dr Anil Kohli said the council would soon make provision of Continuation Dental Education Regulation (CDER) points mandatory as a pre-requisite to register and authorise practice of dentistry.

He said all registered dental surgeons would now have to accomplish 100 points in five years (20 points of CDE per year). Out of these 20, four CDE points per year would be mandatory and verifiable.

He also clarified that the BDS course had been restructured and would be of five years, but now one year of internship has been included in the course and fee structure would also be the same.

Speaking on the occasion, medical education minister Tikshan Sud said medical education was an ongoing process and such workshops and conferences offered an ideal platform to dentists and researchers to brush up knowledge.

He announced that the retirement age of teachers in medical colleges was being increased to 65 years and retired teachers and retired Army doctors would be offered jobs.

Dr Kohli presented a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to towards the Chief Minister's Relief Fund. The Chief Minister also gave away scholarship certificates to meritorious dental students from Punjab sponsored by the Indian Dental Association.

Secretary, DCI, Major-Gen Dr P.N Awasthi (retd), director, Health Services Army, Lt-Gen Paramjit Singh, president, Punjab Dental Council, Dr Vimal K. Sikri, registrar, Chandigarh Dental Council, Dr M.S. Mann, registrar, Punjab Dental Council, Dr Rajesh Sharma, president, Indian Dental Association, Dr Deepak Kamdar and secretary, Indian Dental Association, Ashok Dhoble were also present.



Rallying for the cause of HIV-hit
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Holding placards saying "Break down the walls of stigma and discrimination against HIV /Aids in society", as many as 60 persons, including children, from across the country marched from Sector 17 to Chandigarh Museum in Sector 10 here today.

The rally was aimed at halting discrimination against HIV-infected people and to ensure government programmes benefited them, said Pooja Thakur, president of the Chandigarh Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

Of the 124 HIV-infected cases in the city, 44 per cent of them were women and children, she added.

Though the government gives grant to agencies working for HIV patients, a major part of it is taken up by salaries and infrastructure costs.

Many HIV-hit people were also not aware of the government's education schemes for their children, said Janahvi Goswami, general secretary of the Indian Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS.

Seven-year-old Mani, who lost both her parents to the disease, now shuttles between her paternal aunt's place and maternal uncle's family in Patiala.

She knows that her parents are dead - they died of a "disease" - but is too young to understand its implications.

She already has chronic diarrhoea, and it may not be long before the child's struggle for life ends, too. Another participant at the rally, Aman, is a shade luckier. He still has mother and father with him.

The family, however, had no clue about this disease a year ago . It was only after the death of their four children that reality hit them.

(Names have been changed to protect identities.)



NAT screens HIV in initial period: Experts
Routine blood tests fail to trace the virus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
As per study conducted by eight health centres, including PGI, Chandigarh, most blood-screening tests do not pick up virus causing HIV or hepatitis if they are within the window period (the time between the first infection and when the test can reliably detect the infection).

The study for nucleic acid testing (NAT) showed that one out of 1,528 blood units were found to be positive for these viruses, which were seronegative confirmed by routine tests.

Explaining the importance of testing for blood transfusion at a two-day workshop organised today by department of transfusion medicine, PGI, experts said it was dangerous for patients, who were undergone regular transfusion.

While nucleic acid testing (NAT) effectively screens HIV-1, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in donated blood.

Discussing the need of NAT in India, experts in the field of transfusion medicine
said India had high prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C among blood
donors. NAT screening has picked up infected samples that have escaped routine
screening techniques.

“NAT directly detects the presence of infectious microorganisms in donor blood by amplifying the nucleic acid sequences of the virus. This can reduce the risk of acquiring HIV or hepatitis viruses from donors, who might be donating in the early window (or latent) period of infection,'' said Prof Neelam Marwaha, head of transfusion medicine department.

She said though there were economic and technical challenges in introduction of NAT in the country, but the overall reduction in window period by early detection of the above agents would make blood safer for the patients.

"With NAT, the window period of HCV reduces to 67 days from an average of 72 days, and HIV-1 to 7-10 days from 22 days,'' she added. She felt ensuring blood safety was the duty of the medical fraternity.

Dr R. N. Makroo from Apollo Hospital, Delhi, discussed the issue on need of consent by the patient prior to transfusion of blood or components in the present scenario of litigation at length.

Dr Kum Kum Sharma addressed the transfusion thresholds and indication for various blood components in the newborn, and the ways by which the specialised needs of the tiny tots could be met without blood wastage.

Dr R. R. Sharma discussed the timely role of transfusion services in providing the right dose of appropriate components in life-threatening bleeding situations either due to trauma, obstetric haemorrhage or during various surgeries.

He emphasised that component therapy made it possible for transfusing various donor blood-group component without causing any harm to the patient.



Dengue claims one life
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 13
Three more dengue cases were reported from the city's government hospital today. The disease also claimed one life last night.

The deceased, Panchanand Pandey (42), a resident of Sector 14, was admitted to the Sector 6 general hospital on Wednesday.

As his condition deteriorated, doctors at the hospital referred him to the PGI
on Friday night.

According to the family, Panchanand was feeling ill for the past 15 days and was undergoing treatment at some private clinic. He was employed with the Haryana irrigation department.

District malaria officer Anil Allahabadi said deceased's son Naveen had also been suffering from fever and was admitted to the hospital. However, doctors at the government hospital stated that he was not suffering from dengue.



Sub-inspector dismissed
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Chandigarh Police today dismissed sub-inspector (SI) Satpal Sharma from service with immediate effect following his involvement in a criminal case.

SSP S.S. Srivastava said the SI was found guilty during the departmental proceedings initiated against him.

“We have dismissed him as such behaviour would not be tolerated at any cost,” said the SSP. The SI was arrested last year on the charge of attempt to rape.

He was posted at Maloya police post AND a woman of the area complained that he attempted to rape her.

Sharma was arrested and case was registered against him under Sections 376, 511 and of IPC at Sector 39 police station.



Consumer Commission
Rs 3 lakh compensation to 2 airline passengers
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Taking off in direction of consumer activism, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, has come down heavily on an international airline.

The Commission also announced a whopping Rs 3 lakh as compensation each
for two passengers.

Making it clear that passengers' rights were more important than the airlines' need to make profits, the Commission awarded the compensation to the passengers, who allegedly had a harrowing experience at the hands of Ethiopian Airlines.

On their way back to India from a prestigious international conference, the two professionals were told by the airport staff of the airline that the flight plan had been changed and the aircraft on which both held confirmed tickets was going to fly straight to Addis Ababa without stopping at New Delhi since there were only four passengers scheduled to deplane at Delhi.

Returning to India, the two filed a complaint before the District Consumer
Forum in Chandigarh.

Rebutting the claim that they had been deficient in services, the airline took the stand that the flight plan had been changed for reasons beyond their control.

The airline claimed it had been refused permission to land in Delhi for security reasons. They also denied putting the passengers to inconvenience.

The District Forum rejected the defense of the airline and awarded “nominal” compensation to the complainants.

Taking notice of the appeals filed by the passengers for enhancement of the compensation, as well as the appeals filed by the airline, president of Consumer Commission Justice K.C. Gupta, along with members Maj-Gen S.P. Kapoor and Devinderjit Dhatt, took a stern view of the airline's propensity to sacrifice passenger safety and convenience in order to make profits.

“In a way, they had to suffer untold miseries of grave magnitude, which affected their mental health. It was not expected of Ethiopian airlines to behave in the manner in which they did in order to save a few chips. Thus, there was grave deficiency in service on the part of Ethiopian airlines for which award of compensation of Rs 25,000 is meagre.”

“Keeping in view all miseries suffered by the complainants, we think it would meet ends of justice if Ethiopian airlines is ordered to pay a sum of Rs 3 lakh to each of complainants as compensation,” Justice Gupta observed in the judgement.

Before parting with the order, Justice Gupta added that the airlines would also have to pay interest at the rate of 12 per cent from the time of inconvenience to the passengers, till the payment of the amount.



PU mulls medical college on campus
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
“Dentistry is a noble profession and one must work with dedication for the betterment of the rural and needy persons,” said Brig Dr Anil Kohli, president, Dental Council of India, today.

He was inaugurating the academic session of Dr. H.S. Judge Institute of Dental Sciences & Hospital at Panjab University here.

A formal induction ceremony was also conducted for the new batch of 100 students.

Addressing the gathering, Dr. Kohli exhorted the students to work hard and make use of quality education being provided by the model institute and ensure that they lived up to the expectations of their parents and society at large.

Dr. Kohli expressed his happiness that the Institute of Dental Sciences had the makings of a great institute and assured it of his support.

Agreeing over the fact that the institute has teething problems, he said, “I am aware of the severe faculty crunch in this institute. But till that gets sorted, the institute can do with the faculty it has.”

“For instance, the teacher of general pathology can teach oral pathology. He may not be an expert but he knows the subject,” he said.

Education should not be compromised, he added while talking to mediapersons.

Dr Kohli promised to provide all facilities, which are needed, for research, medical treatment and service to society, particularly to the rural people.

Dr. K. Gauba, director-principal, in his welcome address, said the institute was imparting training to 300 BDS students and had 18 departments (nine in the dental specialties and nine in medical specialties).

The institute attended to over 200 patients everyday at various specialty
clinics, he added.

Lauding the achievements made by the institute during a short span of little more than two years, Dr R.C. Sobti, vice-chancellor, PU, complimented Dr. Gauba and his team for having contributed more than 40 research papers in journals of national and international repute.

Prof. Sobti said he was making an effort to set up a Medical College as the university had internationally renowned faculty in Biosciences, Pharmaceutical Sciences and Sciences.



Conclave of Sikh federation
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
A conclave to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the All-India Sikh Students’ Federation (AISSF) was held at the Sector 37-C gurdwara here today.

Members of the federation vowed to promote Sikh heritage.

Many delegates from Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir participated.

Captain Kanwaljit Singh was also honoured by the federation.

Citing the rich history of the federation, its president Karnail Singh Peer Mohammad said any individual who followed the path shown by Guru Granth Sahib and took an oath to abide by the principles of Sikhism could be the member of the AISSF irrespective of whether he was a student of any educational institution or not.

The use of word ‘student’ denoted a disciple, a student, a learner of the truth and follower of the teachings of Guru Granth Sahib, added Karnail Singh.

General secretary of the federation Jaspinder Singh Talwandi and Shamsher Singh Simarpura advocated to curb the drug menace, dowry and other social evils.



New garbage unit all-weather proof
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Jaiprakash Associates Limited, which has installed municipal solid waste (MSW) processing plant at Dadu Majra, has installed a hot-air dryer system to make it an all-weather facility for round-the-year processing.

Rajiv Gaur, president of the Jaiprakash Associates Limited, in a statement issued here, said to make it all-weather proof, a customised hot-air dryer system had been installed at a cost of over Rs 1 crore.

The plant would be running at full capacity in few months, having already started processing more than 100 tons a day.

He added this unique facility in the country was already processing over 100 tons of garbage every day, which was gradually being increased and would be processing nearly 150-200 tons per day by October-November, and would be running at full capacity by December.

Gaur said the group had invested Rs 30 crore on the project and further investment continued to make it a model plant in the country.

The equipment had been imported from Germany, and had been commissioned in the presence of German engineers.

He said in order to contain the unavoidable smell from the garbage, a green belt was being raised along the periphery of the plant.

Arrangements had also been made to spray culture on the garbage to eliminate menace of foul smell, insects, flies, stray animals and vultures.



Rodrigues honours city rower
Our Correspondent

Chandigarh, September 13
Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) today honoured Manjeet Singh, a rower from the city who represented India in the Beijing Olympics, at a brief ceremony at Punjab Raj Bhavan.

A plus two student, Manjeet has been getting training at Sukhna Lake sports complex, Chandigarh, since 2004 under the guidance of Arvind Sehgal, rowing coach of Chandigarh Sports Council.

Presenting a cheque for Rs 1 lakh and a memento to Manjeet, Rodrigues asked the budding rower to work hard with determination to attain eminence in the discipline.

He assured him help and infrastructural support available here to achieve excellence.

Manjeet Singh has won medals in various international competitions, including 12th Junior Asian Rowing Championship held at Singapore, 10th South-Asian Games held at Colombo, 12th Senior Asian Rowing Championship held at Chunju City.

He also represented India in world Rowing Championship, 2007, and in Rowing World Cup at Poland.



Free dental check-up
Tribune News Service

Mohali, September 13
Manav Mangal Smart School in collaboration with the Late Phinoo Teresa Memorial Education and Charitable Trust organised a day out for the underprivileged children of Lions Bal Vidya Mandir, Nehru Colony, Sector 53, Chandigarh.

A free dental check-up camp was organised by D.Sanjay Kalra’s Trigon Dental Care.

All the students were given tips on oral hygiene. To make the check-up interesting for the students, the tooth fairy interacted with the children.

A kit containing toothbrush and toothpaste was also given to the students.

Four children of Lions Bal Vidya Mandir were picked up for having healthy teeth and were awarded prizes.

The children were then taken to the school’s auditorium where they performed the traditional Punjabi giddha and bhangra.



Ramayana retold musically
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, September 13
Divine virtues like truth, compassion, serenity and wisdom were eloquently defined and illustrated in the “Musical Ballet Ramayan” based on the epic at the Indradhanush auditorium in Panchkula today.

The three-hour grand spectacle presented by the Sriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra,
New Delhi, under the aegis of the Haryana Kala Parishad submerged the large
audience in devotion.

Being staged since 1957, the concise format of the musical ballet has been designed to depict all important episodes of the epic “Ramayana”, employing 32 accomplished classical male and female actor dancers as well as multimedia visual effects and musical renditions.

The artistes brilliantly glorified the lofty ideals practised and propagated by Lord Rama by portraying His life from His early years to the accession of the throne with consummate perfection.

Chorographer Shashidahr Nayak used dance sequences from the Chhau, Bhartnatyam, Kathak and Kallairi dance form of Sri Lanka to be close to reality.

Sawpan Majumdar (Rama -Vishnu), Shiburam Mohanta (Laxman) Sudhanshu (Ravan),Yatin Bonga (Bharat- Jatayu) and Indonesian Kathak virtuoso Vidya (Sita-Laxmi) excelled with their performances.

The costumes, make-up and multimedia effects recreated the ambience of centuries-old Ayodhya and Sone ki Lanka on stage.



Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
In reference to a news item published in these columns on September 12 “A few turn up for this open house”, it was inadvertently mentioned that Prof N.K. Ojha was not present during the open house. He was present during the interaction. The error is regretted.



Spruce up postal services

Post offices are indeed an integral part of the society, however, our postal services are really in a bad condition.

The current state of affairs of the post offices draws an immediate attention to bring changes in order to improve the workplace.

Post offices in the city as well as in the surrounding areas should be thoroughly remodelled and modernised to coupe up with the needs of modern times.

Further, there are too many scandals revolving around money orders and the
delivery of goods.

Services that need attention are delivery confirmation of packages, instant money orders and cash withdrawal.

Finally, the department should carry out a study to determine the causes of inefficiency and should remove the lapses.

Particularly, there is a need to implement information technology with universal connectivity in all the post offices, enhance financial management, and, last but not the least, ensure safety, security, and privacy of mails.

Rajesh Krishan, Chandigarh

Readers are invited to write to us. Send your mail, in not more than 200 words, at news@tribuneindia.com or, write in, at: Letters, Chandigarh Tribune, Sector 29, Chandigarh – 160 030.



Hindi Diwas celebrated at Dev Samaj
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
Dev Samaj College of Education, 36 B, Chandigarh today celebrated Hindi Diwas by holding various contests.

The programme began with the views expressed by the college students on the importance of Hindi language.

The other competitions organised on the occasion were essay writing, doha recitation and dumb sharads on Hindi idioms and proverbs.

“In the present era of globalisation and urbanisation, the relevance of Hindi as a national language is deteriorating. Unless we respect our national language, we will not be able to progress,” said Jyoti Khanna, principal of the college.

Prizes were also awarded for different contests for students held on the occasion.

Freshers’ Party: The B.Sc. and M.Sc. students of Government Home Science College, Sector 10, Chandigarh organised a freshers’ party today.

The theme of the day was ‘Punjabiyat’ and the backdrop with beautiful ‘charkhas’, ‘matkas’ and ‘phulkari’ glorified the ramp.

The cheers of the audience, the gorgeous women and their beautiful attires, and the beats of music was an extravaganza for one and all.

The principal of the college, Dr Rita G. Singh gave away prizes to the winners.



Jean inaugurates school for underprivileged
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
The underprivileged children were given shoes, school bags and refreshments as the Governor, Jean Rodrigues, inaugurated an evening school at Colony No 5 today.

In a unique learning programme, more than 200 children in the age group of 4-12
from Dadumajra, Indira Colony, Hallomajra and in Colony No. 5 expressed their
readiness to comprehend and absorb basic concepts of general awareness,
language and arithmetic.

Given the fast swelling number of philanthropists who are stepping forward voluntarily to donate books, toys, clothes, footwear and food items, this was a day when bags with latest motifs and graffiti and sporty shoes were distributed among poor boys and girls.

"The satisfaction that comes from embarking on a journey wherein one has the capacity to do something for another is one that is personally rewarding and enriching too."

"It is a model that is working. It may be slow to integrate these children who are usually drop outs or completely illiterate but we are trying to go beyond the expectation of making them functionally literate and actually getting them to integrate with mainstream education systems," said Atul Khanna, director of Durga Das Foundation.

This is one of the social projects run by the Foundation in an attempt to help integrate lesser privileged children into mainstream society.

The Foundation also runs three crèches for the underprivileged in the periphery
of the city.



DPI visits book fair
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 13
S.K. Sethia, DPI Education, Chandigarh visited the third city book fair today for its promotion in the city.

He announced to purchase books from the fair for the libraries of city schools.

“We will take the names of the books that are being purchased by the school children in the fair and order them for our libraries as well,” said Sethia.

“This is a good effort and should be organised every year,” he added.

The fair is getting an exceptional response from the city residents, Mohali, Panchkula and residents of the surrounding areas.

Over one hundred stalls with books in every field are at a display.

More than 50 leading publishers, including two international publishers are participating in the fair.

The participants from Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh have put their latest printing technologies in this fair.

Various publications, including Pushtak Mahal, NCERT, National Book Trust, Central Hindi Directorate, Commission for scientific Technical Terminology (CSTT), Director of Census Operation- Chandigarh, Publication division-Punjabi university Patiala, S. Chand and Co., Navneet, Har Anand Publications, Bharatiya Jnanpith, Sahitya Akademi are also participating in the fair.



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