R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri


Blood donation camp:
The Golden Star youth club of village Chack Boorwala of the nearby Jalalabad sub-division donated 25 units of blood to mark Bhai Khanniya day. The donors were presented certificates. Anumeet Singh Heera, who was the chief guest, announced a donation of Rs 10,000 to the club. — OC

Kheowali (Muktsar)
Eradicate social evils: CM:
The Jain Sabha here organised the 51st Diksha Jayanti of Kusum Prabha, which was largely attended by the followers of the sect. CM Parkash Singh Badal presided over the function and spoke at length on eradication of social evils. During the event, a team of dramatists from Mullanpur performed a skit on female foeticide. — TNS

Concern for women
: District president of the Punjab Istri Sabha, Rekha Sharma, has expressed concern over the women’s commission in the state. She said the commission was set up to redress the grievances of women. However, at present, it was being run without women members and any chairperson. Sharma demanded that the government should take immediate steps in this regard. — OC

Dharna against Dera building: The dharna by Sikh organisaitons against the construction of Dera building here entered its seventh day on Sunday. Leader of the SAD Panchpardhani, Daljit Singh Bittu, who has been leading the protest, alleged that the construction was being done with the secret support of the state government. — OC

Appeal to promote sports:
The Punjab Rural Sports Council has appealed to Punjabis to come forward to patronise sports so that youth of the state can be kept away from drugs and narcotics. Paramjit Singh Khatra, council chairman, was speaking at a seminar. Ashok Sharma, sports scientist, highlighted the role of technique in the improvement of performance. Raj Kumar Sharma, director, sports, Punjabi University, also addressed the gathering. — OC

Libra to contest polls: MP Sukhdev Singh Libra has said he will contest the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Speaking to mediapersons at Bhadson town, near here, on Sunday, he said he was hopeful of getting SAD ticket from Fatehgarh Sahib. He had come to Bhadson to attend a function organised by the Shiromani Akali Dal 1920 in his honour. — OC

725 examined: A team of dermatologists comprising Radha Rani Mittal, Karamjit Kaur, Sandeep Sahni and others examined 725 patients of skin and veneral diseases at the 15th annual camp organised here by the Jain Mahavir Yuvak Sabha with the help of Punjab National Bank. — OC

Holiday soughtThe Bairagi Mahamandal has urged the Central government to declare October 21, the birth anniversary of Sikh martyr Baba Banda Singh Bahadar, a regular holiday. All-India president of the mandal Kishan Kumar Bawa said not only would the holiday be a tribute to the disciple of Guru Gobind Singh, but would also ignite the spark of patriotism among the masses. — OC

Medical camps:
A medical camp was organised at Gian Sagar Medical College and Hospital on Monday, in which 60 patients were checked up. In another medical camp at Mohindra College here, specialists from Gian Sagar Medical College examined 275 NCC cadets. The cadets also donated 92 units of blood. — TNS

Pingalwara chief honoured: President of the All-India Pingalwara Charitable Society, Amrtisar, Inderjit Kaur and Delhi DCP Rajinder Singh Ghuman were honoured by different organisations at two functions here on Sunday. Inderjit belongs to Sangrur, while Ghuman belongs to Phaguwala village in the district. Inderjit was awarded Padma Bhushan by the President of India for service to mankind on behalf of the Nagrik Abhinandan Manch, Sangrur. — TNS



Awareness programme: Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS), Mohali, organised an awareness programme on the need and relevance of environment protection on its campus, in which around 300 students of various vocational courses took part. Dildar Khan, director, JSS, Mohali, stressed on the need of protecting the environment in a society where rapid industrial development, increasing use of pesticides and insecticides in agriculture besides increasing human and vehicular population pose a great challenge to our environment. — TNS



Minister bereaved: Haryana public health minister Randeep Singh Surjewala’s paternal uncle, Tarif Singh Surjewala, passed away in Narwana at the age of 70. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. — TNS

Elopement case
: In a strange incident, a man from Kaithal district, who had came to leave his wife at his in-laws house in Kalotha village, ran away with another woman, residing near his in-laws' house. In his complaint, the youth’s father-in-law alleged that his son-in-law Sukhdev Singh had come to the village to leave his wife for some days whereas later it came to their notice that he had eloped with a woman living in their neighbourhood. The police has registered a case in this regard. — OC

Jewellery stolen
: Jewellery worth lakhs of rupees was stolen from a jeweller’s shop in the wee hours here on Sunday. Bhim Sain, owner of the shop, at Talai Bazar here said some unknown persons broke the safe inside the shop and decamped with the jewellery. He stated that he was sleeping in his house located on the top of his shop when he heard some sounds in the morning. He rushed down and found the safe and the shutter of the shop broken and jewellery missing. A case has been registered. — OC

13-year-old dies: Gaurav (13), a resident of Majra Mehtab village, who was hit by a recklessly-driven Canter on Thursday, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, yesterday. Gaurav was riding a bicycle on the Kalka-Paploha road when the incident happened. The driver of the Canter fled the scene after the accident. Gaurav had sustained multiple injuries and was taken to the local Civil Hospital, from where he was referred to the PGI. The local police had registered a case against the absconding driver and impounded the Canter. — OC

4 booked for abduction
: A 17-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by a youth in collusion with his accomplices, from Dhani Zholda, near Siha village, 20 km from here, on September 18. The girl’s mother Santosh Yadav on Saturday made a complaint following which the police has registered a case of abduction and seduction under Sections 363, 366-A, 34 of the IPC against the accused, Amit Yadav of Aulant village, and three others. — OC



Employees’ verification
: The police here has asked to furnish all antecedents of the employees, tenant or servant employed from outside the state to the nearest police station, along with his two photographs, so that his character verification is done with view to avoid any future complications. SP K.K. Indoria said here on Saturday that this was necessary to ensure public peace and law and order in the district here. Indoria added that the District Magistrate here had also issued a notification to that effect under Section 144 of the CrPC and if anybody violated this provision, strict action would be taken against him. — OC

Hindi Day: Deputy commissioner Devesh Kumar, while presiding over the day-long district-level Hindi Day function at Jukhala here on Saturday, said the government was striving hard to ensure that Hindi was used in all offices of the state so that all could take the advantage of the government schemes and programmes. This would help people in getting close to the government. District language officer Anita Sharma said Himachal was one of the first states in the country to introduce this essential reform. The DC also honoured a number of officers and officials for excelling in the use of Hindi at their offices. — OC

Blood donated: About 108 blood units were donated on Sunday by the followers of Shatiya Sai Baba at Jawali during a blood donation camp organised by the Satya Sai Sewa Sangathan, Kangra. Shesh Bushan, district president of the sangathan, said the sangathan had decided to celebrate the 84th birthday of the baba by donating 84 units of blood to the blood banks in the district. But the number of donors increased and 108 units of blood were donated. He said these blood units were donated to Dr R.P. Government Medical College, Tanda, and Zonal Hospital, Dharamsala. — OC

Red Cross mela
: PWD minister Gulab Singh Thakur on Sunday urged citizens to donate liberally to the Red Cross society, as funds were used for the treatment of poor patients, who could not afford the costly treatment. Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the Red Cross mela here on Sunday, Thakur said the residents should donate to the society so that poor patients were served. Thakur donated a wheel chair to a woman and presented certificates to the officials working in the society. — TNS

3 held for gang rape
: The police has arrested three out of the four accused wanted in a case of the alleged abduction of two girls and gang-raping one of them on September 9. DSP Bidhi Chand Verma said the police had nabbed Sethi, Gaari and Saabi in the Meerthal area on Sunday and their fourth accomplice Yuvraj was still at large. The police has registered an FIR three days ago after the refusal of the Punjab police to lodge a case. — OC

One drowned: Ramlok, a resident of Panwa Kanetha village, drowned in the Gamber river near Kohu village on Saturday. His foot slipped and he fell into the river. The current of water washed him away. The body of the deceased was not traced till Sunday evening. — OC



PNB celebrates Hindi Divas
: Punjab National Bank, circle office, Jammu, organised a declamation contest for its employees on 'Bankoen Mein Hindi Ka Prayog Kaise Badhe' in celebration of 'Hindi Divas' on Friday. Om Parkash Raina, Rakesh Chauhan and Vivek Suri were adjudged first, second and third, respectively. On-the-spot poetry recitation was also organized on the occasion. R.C Kaul, DGM, circle head, presided over the function. — TNS

MC chief given farewell: The Municipal Employees Federation, Jammu, accorded farewell to Jeet Lal Gupta, commissioner, Jammu Municipal Corporation, at the Press Club here on Friday. Federation chairman Paras Ram Poonchi expressed gratitude to Gupta and welcomed the newly appointed commissioner, Parshotam Kumar Sharma.Praising Gupta’s role as the commissioner, Poonchi thanked Gupta and mayor Kavinder Gupta for regularising 170 “safai karamcharis”. Poonchi said Gupta always worked for the welfare of the employees. He also stressed upon the authorities that the pending departmental promotion committee (DPC) should be finalised immediately. — TNS

Personality workshop
: The Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension (CACE&E) of the University of Jammu, organised a workshop on personality development at Government Higher Secondary School, Smailpur (Purmandal block). The workshop covered various aspects of personality components in details. The students actively interacted and participated in the workshop that lasted for over two hours. Various components of a composite personality, including confidence, clarity of expression and voice were taken up by experts. More than 100 students of Class 12 participated in the workshop. Programme officer of Radio Kashmir Jammu, Sumit Sharma, was the key speaker. Sharma, an expert on personality development, has developed various modules on the theme, besides having presented and conducted various lectures and workshops in various schools and colleges of the Jammu region. Sharma answered various queries put by the students. Dr Bharti Prabhakar, project officer, (CACE&E), was the initiating officer of the programme; while Sandeep Singh, project officer, coordinated the workshop. — TNS

Pampore gas turbine starts: The state government has operationalised the Pampore gas turbines in view of the frequent power failure during the holy month of Ramzan. According to the chief engineer power development department (ME&RE) wing, Kashmir, with a view to meet the electricity demand during Sehri and Iftaar periods, the PDD has made operational the Pampore gas turbines. He said the move was necessitated owing to the restriction on the import of power from the Northern Grid as the department presently draws an additional 26 lakh units of power over and above the agreed scheduled allotment daily to augment the power supply and meet the additional requirements during the festival. Governor N.N. Vohra has also directed the PDD to ensure power supply to the consumers during the holy month.— UNI

Shepherd dies in clash: A clash over the ownership of an animal cost a shepherd his life in the Kashmir valley. Official sources said two shepherds clashed at Churnar pastures in Nara-Nag in Yusmarg area in the Ganderbal district over the ownership of an animal. Showkat Ahmad Chopan (26) received serious injuries after he was hit by another shepherd Ghulam Qadir Chopan on the head with a stone on September 17. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he died last night. The police had registered a case and launched a massive manhunt to arrest the accused who is absconding. — UNI


Regional potpourri

Growing chillies in place of wheat, paddy for profit

A woman plucks chillies in Machhana village of Bathinda district.

Farmers of Machhana village in Bathinda district have set an example in crop diversification. In place of major traditional crops, farmers here have taken to growing chillies in a big way.

Terming diversification a wise decision, farmers feel happy with the income from the crop which they claim is much more than paddy, cotton and wheat.

A visit to the village revealed acres under chillies (green and red). There is hardly a family ,in the village with 175 homes, that does not grow chillies.

Sharing his experience, Raj Pal Singh, a farmer, who has grown chillies in one acre out of his eight acres, said, ‘It was a right decision. Four years ago I chose to grow chillies and I have been getting handsome return’.

He added life of a chilly plant is one year and after that, it has to be uprooted and new saplings planted on the same land after a gap of two years.

It takes only 10 to 15 days for plucking, depending on the climate. Saplings are planted in February and plucking starts in May and continues till January.

On marketing , he said buyers from Faridkot, Kotkapura and Jind in Haryana come to the village to purchase chillies and make payment in cash.

Rupinder Singh, another farmer, said finding growing of chillies profitable, he had grown the plants second time. ‘Though I have small piece of land - around three acres, I have planted chilly saplings in one acre. I have sown the Korean variety which we get from Nagra and Sheron villages near Sunam in Punjab’, he added.

Megh Raj, who has planted chillies in six kanals, spoke about the disease which causes leaves of the plant to shrink and decay. He said the crop was sensitive and water should not be allowed to accumulate near it.

‘Heavy rain or waterlogging damages the crop. Moreover, it requires canal water as the groundwater is not suitable for irrigation due to contamination’ he added.

On expenditure the farmers said a sapling costs around 40 paisa but pesticides have to be sprayed a number of times to protect the plant from diseases.

The villagers did not appear very enthusiastic on the possibility of a processing unit as joint venture. They also regretted no agriculture or administration official had ever come to the village to help them promote crop diversification.

Art of Living — transforming society

Sejal Thakkar

Sejal Thakkar, an engineer-turned spiritual teacher from Ahmedabad, has been assigned the responsibility of organising the Art of Living (AoL) programmes in Punjab. A senior AoL teacher she has been associated with the NGO for 13 years.

On AoL programmes Sejal said “a survey indicated in Punjab people, especially rural areas, are not aware of health and hygiene. Youths were falling prey to drugs and other social evils. Shockingly Abohar, located close to Rajasthan, Haryana and Pakistan borders, was leading in drug trafficking and addiction. Maximum cases of female foeticide were found in this region. There were reports of intimidation for dowry which abetted suicides.”

Sejal said Abohar led in organising AoL camps in 15 months and she was here to hold the Divya Samaj Nirman camp. “We all have blocks, habits, or inhibitions that hold us from participating fully in life. We all have a deep desire to be the best we can be - for ourselves, our families, our communities and even the world around us. The truth is emotional wounds, self-concepts, attitudes and fears create a barrier between you and the ability to live to your heart's desire.

“Divya Samaj Nirman is a transformational course, which, through yoga, special meditation, breathing techniques and group processes, empowers the participants to break through those personal barriers and inspire in them greater social activism and responsibility. Dropping, whatever isn’t serving your best interests, is a liberating experience - making you feel nothing can shake you. When you are ready for true freedom and personal empowerment, then you are ready for DSN. The course is for those who have completed the Art of Living part- 1 course.”

The NGO plans to organise de-addiction camps in 200 villages and will get the services of doctors from the All -India Institute of Medical Sciences. The AoL has also decided to launch nation-green project under guidelines of the United Nations Organisation to plant one crore saplings from October 16 to 18. Bal Sanskar shivir , another project, aims at inculcating moral and spiritual values among the students. School heads in Punjab are being approached for organising camps in vacations. All the AoL units had been told to adopt five villages each to bring awareness on health, hygiene and environment, Sejal said.

Contributed by Rajay Deep and Raj Sadosh

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