L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Houseful in hospitals
Dengue patient count goes up to 1,011; hospitals slam the door on symptomatic patients
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
With the total number of positive dengue cases increasing to 1,011 followed by 277 suspected cases in the district, the health department has confirmed the incidence of the disease as the worst for the past 10 years.

There are 441 confirmed cases of dengue from other districts that are undergoing treatment at different city hospitals. Ever-increasing influx of dengue patients in city hospitals has resulted in 100 per cent occupancy, thereby forcing the hospital authorities to refuse admission to a large number of symptomatic patients.

The authorities at DMCH said they were admitting only “critical patients” with low platelet count as the general wards and 85 private rooms were full. The epidemic had spread in the low-lying areas and posh localities as was evident from the occupancy of ordinary, semi-deluxe, deluxe and super deluxe rooms ranging between Rs 2,600 and Rs 9,100.

A similar situation prevails at CMCH as all 65 private rooms are full. Dr Kamal Masih, medical superintendent, CMCH, stated, "Out of the total 490 beds in general wards, a large number of beds are occupied by dengue patients. There is no change in average of 25-30 cases coming to the hospital daily which indicates that there is no sign of people getting respite from the disease," Dr Massih said.

A father, unable to hold back his tears, said, "I need 10 units for my 12-year-old son who is afflicted with dengue and I am short of three units. I have asked my friends and even taken the help of SMS of a mobile company."

Considering the gravity of situation in the state, Punjab health minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla during her visit to the city yesterday said the health department would buy platelet separator machines worth Rs 1.75 crore and instal them in different hospitals.

Chawla was in the city today to meet district administration, health department and Municipal Corporation officials to discuss the outbreak of dengue that was becoming a serious problem.


Illegal Mall
Officials, not work remain suspended

A few masons were seen repairing damaged portion of the building
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
It’s ironical, the illegal construction of a mall at the Humbran road that had led to the suspension of three building branch officials, has restarted with labourers found fixing shuttering in the midnight.

The local bodies department had suspended Master Town Planner Kamaljit Kaur, Area Town Planner Tejpreet Singh and building inspector Zohra Singh on March 11 for allowing the Royal Plaza owner to construct his building in violation of building bylaws following a complaint lodged by his neighbour Naresh Soni.

While the three of them are still under suspension, Soni claimed today that a large number of labourers started fixing the shuttering yesterday night. They were even prepared to put concrete in the shuttering of pillars and roofs tonight.

The security staff deputed at the under construction mall, however, denied the allegations. They said the shuttering was fixed long time ago and no construction had been taken up at the site.

When a Tribune team reached the spot today, a few masons were seen working on the pillars. They were also repairing the damaged portion of the building. With the latest development the action of the local bodies department has come back to square one.

‘‘It is ironical that they had suspended three officials for allowing the construction work to continue. They are yet to be reinstated but the construction work has started again,’’ said Soni, who is tired of knocking at various doors to get justice. Digging of the basement in the mall has led to cracks in his building. This boundary wall fell when it was being dug and the workers had a narrow escape.

He added if the local bodies department was serious about the violation that they suspended three officials, why they failed to demolish it. It was allowed to remain intact and now and the owner would keep working on the building.

The chief vigilance officer, local bodies vigilance, suspended these officials after an inquiry. Action had followed when Soni, who has a building material store in the neighbourhood, had claimed the building was coming up though the corporation had not approved the site plan and failed to take any action against the violator.

The case was taken up at a higher level and the officials were suspended for not checking violations. It was said the strict action was taken at the instance of the resident, who was close to a BJP leader. An inquiry was ordered and Chief Vigilance Officer, Local Bodies, had submitted a report recommending action.



Town planner suspended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, G.S. Ghuman today recommended the suspension of Area Town Planner, Zone-A for disobeying his orders to speed up the work of the building branch. Confirming the development, Ghuman told the Tribune that the ATP, Raj Kumar was assigned with the job of preparing No Objection Certificates to two building owners.

The Commissioner asked him to expedite the matter and prepare the NOCs within two days. Raj Kumar did not take the direction seriously and remained absent from duty. He even switched off his cellphone. He took away all the papers related to the matter.

‘‘The Senior Town Planner complained to me about his disobedience. I will not take this kind of indiscipline. I have recommended to local bodies department to put him under suspension,’’ he said.



Rs 40-crore grant released by CM is a loan to MC
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The Rs 40-crore grant released by the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal to Municipal Corporation during a sangat darshan programme was nothing more than a loan to the civic body. The civic body has to return the money to Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) and Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA) as both the departments chipped in to help the cash-starved MC. The MC authorities had informed the CM about the cash crunch that was hampering the road recarpeting project. Almost all roads in city are in bad shape and need immediate repairs.

Highly placed sources in the local bodies department confirmed the money was loaned to the civic body and it was not granted to it. It would have to pay it back when it would have money as it is a “soft loan.” The CM had, on October 11 handed over a draft of Rs 40 crore to city mayor, Hakam Singh Gyapsura at the dais of Sangat Darshan. Many pictures were clicked, amidst the applause that the city was getting so much of money for development purposes.

So much so, the CM even said that there was no dearth of money with the state exchequer. He had also claimed as and when the MC would utilise the amount, he would release yet another grant, he said while handing over the draft to a beaming mayor. Besides, he also said a sum of Rs 240 crore had been earmarked to execute sewerage network in the city. Badal asked the councillors to be vigilant in order to ensure the quality of development works on the one hand and the proper utilisation of funds in their respective wards on the other. He assured the residents that paucity of funds would not be allowed to hamper the progress of development works in the city.



Jet Layoff
Hopes grounded
Students of aviation institutes face uncertain future
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Scores of institutes for training flight attendants and cabin crews here are disappointed with the Jet Airways decision to lay off 1,000 employees but many of them expressed the hope that this would be only a temporary phase. The students, too, are having anxious moments as they are facing an uncertain future.

The city has five-six aviation institutes and the uncertainty was visible on their faces. The future of these students seems to be in dark and they have started looking for other options.

While the Jet Airways has announced a decision of an unprecedented layoff of employees, national carrier Air India today said it has proposed a voluntary scheme for its non-operational staff which will allow them to go on a 3-5 years leave without pay.

The assurances by centre heads are having little effect on the students. Samir Walia, vice-president of Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training said that this is a temporary phase which will pass. "The move has been initiated basically to cut their losses, but things will improve. Numerous other options are also available with the students so they need not panic,” he said.

Meanwhile, the students have already starting looking for other options in the field. Arveen, a student of Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training said that if things did not work out, she would opt for hospitality and tourism industry.

Ruchi Malhotra, who has just completed her diploma and was waiting for her appointment in one of the airlines, said, "After completing my diploma, I was waiting to get a good job offer. But things have changed now. I have spent over Rs 1 lakh on the course but still my future is uncertain.”



Animal husbandry fair begins
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, October 16
The animal husbandry fair began at Baddowal yesterday. Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda at Baddowal Sports Stadium inaugurated the three-day fair.

The fair, being conducted by the animal husbandry department, is first among the four to be conducted in the state. Such fairs will also be conducted at Bathinda, Amritsar and Patiala.

A national-level fair will also be organised at Muktsar during Maghi Fair to be held in January. Usha R. Sharma, secretary, animal husbandry, Punjab, said such fairs were being conducted to encourage farmers for opting for alternative business like dairy, fish, bee and poultry farming etc. She said the state government had set a target of developing 1,500 new dairy farms with at least 10 cattle heads each. The new units would be given free technical knowhow and soft loans soft loans.



Baldev Dhir is Jagraon MC chief
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, October 16
The suspense over the presidentship of the local municipal council ended with Baldev Krishan Dhir, alias Telu, being elected as its new chief. Baldev Krishan will serve as the civic body chief for the second term. He was, earlier, elected as its president in 1998.

The municipal council presidentship was of great importance for the local BJP unit as a few Akali councillors were against allowing BJP worker to become its president. The election to the municipal council was held on June 30. Out of 19 seats only five Akali, six BJP, six Congress and two independents could win their seats. Gurdeep Singh Bhaini also got one vote as the sitting MLA of Jagraon.

A meeting was held on July 21 for electing its president. During election Akali councillor Kulwinder Singh, alias Kala, projected himself as presidential candidate against Baldev Krishan of the BJP. On the other hand, a few BJP councillors opposed Baldev Krishan and a few Akalis opposed Kulwinder Singh. However, Kulwinder Singh managed to project majority of the Congress councillors and a few BJP and Akali councilors as his supporters. Both Baldev Krishan and Kulwinder Singh secured nine votes each while an independent Jatinder Rana and Congress councillor Kamarpal abstained from voting. The election was thus postponed. In this episode former MLA Bhag Singh Mallah had to face severe criticism from both Akali and BJP leadership. This time both the parties had issued instructions to their councillors to support Baldev Krishan for the presidentship of the civic body. SDM Gurloveleen Singh supervised the election process.

Today, the scenario changed with Congress councillors coming out in support of BJP councillors Baldev Krishan.

This bargain helped Congress bag senior vice-president’s post for their councillor Ravinder Pal Singh Sabbarwal. Though Akali councillor Kulwinder Singh and BJP councillor Vinod Kumar, alias Chidi, were present on the premises but abstained themselves from meeting while another Akali councillors Apar Singh abstained from voting. Sitting MLP Gurdeep Singh Bhaini was abroad. The remaining 16 councilors voted in favour of Baldev Krishan. In 2003 Congress councillor Raj Kumar Malhotra became the president of the civic body with the help of Akali support in which Baldev Krishan played a crucial role. 



Endoscopic surgery a boon for patients
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
For 10-month-old Harshpreet from Mukerian, five-month-old Meenu from Jalandhar and 15-year-old Ashu from Sirsa, it was timely surgical intervention using endoscopic modality at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), which gave them a new lease to life. All of them had a huge swelling at the back of their tongue, which was blocking the entrance to the windpipe, making it difficult for them to breathe.

Such type of swelling, located at the back of the tongue, is a fluid-filled abnormal tissue, called Vallecular Cyst. Those suffering from the condition speak in a muffled voice initially when the size is small, but later as the size increases, it leads to choking attacks. It becomes an emergency situation necessitating surgical intervention.

Dr Manish Munjal, professor in the ENT department at DMCH, who undertook the unique endoscopic surgical procedure on these patients, said the paediatric age group is the most vulnerable, and surgical intervention is required at an early age. Oral endoscopy and endoscopic-assisted minimal access surgery was utilised even in newborn babies as early as ten months of the age to remove the cysts.

Surgery in the past in the newborns, infants, children and even in adults, he stated, was a procedure undertaken by feeling the obstruction with the fingers and merely decapping the swellings or by cutting through the tissues of the neck to reach the swelling.

The traditional surgical procedures, now appropriately labelled as ‘blind procedures’, were associated with unnecessary and excessive bleeding, spillage into the windpipe and lungs, post-operative swelling in the mouth and neck as well as breathing problems due to damage of normal tissues.

Dr Munjal added that in all the three patients, these cystic swellings were operated upon under magnified endoscopic visualisation through the mouth using telescopes that illuminated the depths of the entrance to the windpipe from different angles. The challenge initially was to enter the windpipe by manoeuvring around the bulky obstructions. Any injury to the cyst would have led to spillage of the fluid of the cysts, inside the windpipe and the patient would have drowned in these fluids.

The endoscopic modality, alias minimal invasive surgery (MIS), has revolutionised the surgical management of various ailments with markedly reduced recuperation period, and minus any obnoxious scars of the surgery so underwent, remarked Dr Munjal.



Conference on toxicology begins
Former GADVASU professors honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The 28th annual conference of the Society of Toxicology (STOX), India and International Symposium on "Monitoring and Modulating Global Resources of Environmental and Food Contaminant: Nature versus Chemicals" being organised by the Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, was inaugurated today at Pal Auditorium. About 200 delegates from all over India and abroad registered for this conference.

Dr Hardyal Singh, former-director, Research and Medical Education, Punjab, was the chief guest on the day and Dr V. K. Taneja, VC, GADVASU, presided over the function. The event started with the welcome of dignitaries.

Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Science, welcomed the delegates, guests and participants. The report of the society was presented by Dr P. V. Mohanan, general secretary, STOX. This was followed by award-presenting ceremony.

A compendium of abstracts to be presented during the conference, a compilation of summary of postgraduate research and current volume of the Toxicology International journal were released by Dr Hardyal Singh. Four former professors of the department of pharmacology & toxicology, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, were honoured for their dedication towards teaching and research and their significant contributions in the field of toxicology.

STOX president K. S. Rao addressed the gathering and suggested means and ways for improvement of education in the field of toxicology. He focussed on the need of training for the students and research workers on good laboratory practices. Dr Hardyal Singh highlighted the importance of adverse effect of drugs. He stressed the optimisation of the therapeutic use of drugs for better clinical outcome and safety of human health which was a primary concern for the present society.



Rail Reservation
Shortage of clerical staff hits work
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 16
Shortage of clerical staff at the railway reservation complex here has badly hit the ticketing services as a large number of city residents, willing to undertake long-route travel, are forced to wait for hours together for their turn everyday. Only four to five counters out of nine remain functional at a given time.

As at least one counter with computer terminal is earmarked for enquiry pertaining to trains and availability of seats, reservation can be got done from four counters thereby resulting in long queues of people, including women and senior citizens. The situation worsens during the festival season.

Even the available manpower and facilities at the reservation complex are, most of the time, not found on their seats as the staff keeps attending to touts, unauthorised agents, and the GRP and RPF personnel, who offer to get the tickets reserved of course for a consideration.

Admitting that the reservation centre is short of staff, senior railway officials stated that a minimum workforce of 40 clerks was required to make all counters functional all through the day whereas the present strength is of 30. “Out of the available staff, some proceed on casual or medical leave, or else a few of them are assigned on emergency duty at other places, or even outstations. In such circumstances, we have no other option but to close down a few counters and operate with the available staff.”

According to railway officials, the matter was brought to the notice of divisional railway manager (DRM) Satish Kumar during his routine visit to Ludhiana on Wednesday. The DRM has assured that the issue of providing adequate staff for the reservation centre will be taken up at the highest level at the Northern Railway headquarters in Delhi.



DC allocates site to cracker dealers
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Crackers worth several crores are burnt ever year during the Diwali festival. With only 11 days to go wholesale crackers’ market has come up on the Jalandhar bypass road in the grain market’s compound. The deputy commissioner has allocated this site to wholesalers to do their business.

Rajesh Aggarwal, chairman, and Akhil Gupta, president, Wholesale Ludhiana Fireworks Association (Regd.) told The Tribune today that they had brought the stocks of crackers from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu. Among the approved brands are Cock, Standard Fireworks. Cock is highly sought after brand in Punjab. Crackers worth Rs 2 crore are sold every year, they added.

Both explained that they had to get two licenses - one from the explosives department of the Central government and other from the deputy commissioner for storing and selling the crackers. The license issued by the explosives department was meant for three years and the one issued by the deputy commissioner was for one year.

They had to pay Rs 1,000 each as the license fee.

Asked about the illegal sale of the crackers, they said they were getting crackers only from the approved manufacturers. Recent fire incident in the illegal-crackers godown was an ample testimony to the fact that illegal storage of crackers in congested areas is going on.

The shops for retail sale of crackers would shortly be opened in areas like Dugri, B.R.S.Nagar, Pakhowal Road and Urban Estate Jamalpur, they added.

Deputy commissioner Sumedh Singh Gurjar told this reporter that they had allocated 8 to 10 areas for the sale of crackers. “All precautionary measures have been taken and arrangements for its have been made.”

When asked about the illegal sale and storage of crackers, Gurjar replied that the defaulters would severely be dealt with.

The association said they have incurred heavy losses due to the last night’s downpour. They want district administration to allot permanent shops to them for preserving crackers.



Father of classic homoeopathy in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
“Homoeopathy works on ‘genetic code’ and it is important for homeopaths to practice it in the right manner for best results as it is more than mixtures and compounds”, said Prafull Vijaykar, father of classic homoeopathy.

Famous for having cured chronic cases of tuberculosis, cancer to multiple physical and mental disorders, including Parkinson and CP, Vijaykar is in the city for a two-day seminar on “predictive homeopathy” at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. The seminar would commence on October 17 and conclude on October 18.

Homeopathy came to India through Punjab, as Maharaja Ranjit Singh was the first to avail the services of a French homeopath when he fell sick. Thereafter, homeopathy travelled to other parts of India gaining popularity because of its principle “treat a man in disease and not the disease in man”, stated Vijaykar during his interaction with the media.

Speaking on international recognition of homeopathy, he introduced qualified practitioners from Switzerland and Germany who are elemental in acquainting people in the West to the ‘science of homeopathy’.

He also gave a visual demonstration of some cases that were miraculously cured within a stipulated time. A blind child from Chennai who didn’t even have pupil was gifted with eyesight within a span of six months.

It was a miracle for a young man from Goa, who having suffered 65 per cent burns got his original skin back in two months.

But the case of a toddler was awe inspiring wherein the homeopathic treatment of Vijaykar enabled bone development in the child who was born without hands.

Surmeet Singh Mavi, the renowned homeopath from Jalandhar, blamed registered medical practitioner for the downfall in homeopathy.



No dearth of DAP, says chief secy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Punjab chief secretary Ramesh Inder Singh has assured farmers in the region that there will be no shortage of DAP as four railway rakes of about 10,000 tonnes of fertilizer were reaching Punjab daily.

He said out of the total demand of 550 lakh tonnes of DAP, 250 lakh tonnes had already reached the state and farmers would not face any shortage during the wheat sowing season.

He visited mandis of Khanna, Doraha, Sahnewal and Salem Tabri here today to take stock of paddy procurement and lifting process. Except for lifting of paddy at Doraha and Sahnewal due to the truck union strike, the chief secretary expressed satisfaction over the procurement process.

The chief secretary said that around 150-lakh metric tonnes of paddy was expected to arrive in the mandis this season and the government had made all arrangements to make payments to the farmers within 48 hours.

He said that procurement agencies were purchasing paddy on daily basis and Khanna mandi had already received 45,700 metric tonnes of paddy till date as compared to total paddy arrival of 1,97,000 metric tonnes last year.

Meanwhile, standing paddy crop was destroyed in the district following last night’s rain and storm. Dr D.S. Bains, head of the agro-meteorological department at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, said that at certain places, four-five quintals of grain per acre had shed due to rains. "The hailstorm and the fast-blowing winds proved more harmful than the rain. But there is no need to panic as the harvesting process will be over soon,” he added.



Licences of 11 commission agents cancelled
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 16
Dr Rakesh Kumar Singla, DFSC, Fatehgarh Sahib, while inspecting grain markets of Khamano, Sanghol, Barwali, Majri and some other stations in the district today early in the morning, cancelled licences of 11 commission agents for not conducting proper arrangements of paddy at the time of raining. He ordered the concerned officials not to purchase paddy through these firms.

Rakesh Kumar Singla said the paddy lying with these firms was in open and without cover in the rain. The paddy got wet with rainwater and even crates were not available with some firms. The firms against which the action was recommended, include Dashmesh Traders, Khamano Mandi, Sardar Traders, Sanghol, and Gurm Trading Company, Sirhind, Lakha Singh Darbara Singh and Company, Jaildar Trading Company, Mann Trading Company, Hardev Singh and Company and Ghuman Trading Company, all of Sirhind. Bhandal Traders, Gobindgarh, Bhinder Traders, Amloh, Naresh Kumar and Company, Amloh, were also found not up to the directions, and action was recommended against these firms also. The DFSC said his order would remain in force up to October 22, and no purchase agency would give them any relaxation in purchase of paddy.



Shiv Sainiks burn Harbhajan, Mona’s effigies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Irked at showing disrespect to Hindu gods by cricketer Harbhajan Singh and TV actress Mona Singh in a reality show, activists of the Shiv Sena Hindustan yesterday staged a protest march from Metro Road Vishwanath Mandir to Giaspura Chowk on the G.T. Road, where their effigies were burnt.

The protesters were raising slogans against them for hurting the sentiments of the Hindus while demanding their arrest.

The Sena chief Krishan Sharma and other speakers alleged that by depicting a sequence in which the most revered Sita was shown dancing with Ravana, producers of the show and the actors had committed such a shameful and reprehensible act which could not be forgiven. "The TV show has not only injured the religious feelings of the Hindus, but also committed an act of sacrilege against the epic Ramayana."

The Sena men further said even as the government ought to initiate action against such TV shows which tended to create communal tension, both Harbahajan and Mona Singh should tender a public apology for their act.

Among others, Anil Singla, Ram Raj Garg, Krishan Bansal, Rajesh Kumar, Raj Kumar Goyal, Bimal Kumar, Narendra Bhardwaj and Kuldip Singh were also present at the occasion.



NRI gets Baba Banda Bahadur award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Bahadur Singh Sidhu, a US-based NRI, was presented with the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Yadgari award at a function organised by the Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Punjab, at Punjabi Bhawan here today.

Jagdev Singh Jassowal, chief patron, Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, All-India Bairagi Mahan Mandal, Ravinder Nandi, secretary general and Birkramjit Singh Rauni, secretary general, among others, were present an the occasion.

Krishan Kumar Bawa, national president of the body, recalled the supreme sacrifice of Banda Bahadur while fighting against the tyranny of then mogul rulers. "It was Baba Banda Bahadur who not only avenged the killing of the sons of guru Gobind Singh, but had also established first Sikh empire and bestowed ownership rights upon the cultivators."

Ravinder Nandi gave a call for waging an effective campaign against drug addiction and female foeticide for creation of a healthy society on the basis of life and philosophy of Banda Bahadur.

Among other speakers at the function were Gurdev Singh Lapran, N.S. Nanda, Prem Singh Bajaj, Gurcharan Singh Thind, Dr B.K. Dutt, Amarjit Singh Tikka, Gurbhej Singh Chhabra and Buta Singh Bairagi.



Playschools go hi-tech
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
In order to keep pace with the fast changing trends in education, the play schools in the city are going hi-tech.

Right from installing projectors, television sets on the campus and teaching through DVDs to providing specialised training in social behaviour, the city play schools are all set to cater to the needs of “smart” kids as well as their parents.

Principal, Pumpkins Kindergarten, Balie Kaler says, “We have a television set in every room and we teach the kids through educational DVDs. We also use projectors every so often. Besides, we have dance classes for the tiny tots.”Principal, Giggles Nursery School, H. Brar says, "Every year, we introduce something new in the school curriculum. These days, kids are smart, observant and tend to pick up things very fast. We use the new methods to teach them through television, cartoons, etc., besides the conventional means."

Providing specialised training to tiny tots in social behaviour is another concept introduced by the play schools. Says Harpreet Kaur Gill, principal, Lovely Lotus School, "We give specialised training to kids in speech improvement, table manners and toilet behaviour, which takes care of the overall development of the three-year olds."

Adds Pooja Grover, director, Blooming Buds Nursery School, "Our school is opening next week and we have made it sure that we have all the modern facilities on our campus. We will have television sets, a stage with proper sound system and a computer room. We will also hold special movie sessions in which kids will be shown educational movies."

"Children today are very smart and they know how to operate the gadgets and tend to pick up things faster through television, movies and computers," she added.

Parents, however, seem to have a different view. Seema Sharma, mother of a three-year-old, says, "The introduction of TV and computers in play ways is not a great idea. These things are accessible to children at homes. In schools, they should be taught the basics of social and emotional behaviour, besides their participation in co-curricular activities like sports, dance, singing, painting, etc. After all, that is what we send our kids to school for."

Psychologist with Apollo Hospital Dr Sonam says teaching tiny tots through conventional methods like blocks, colours and storybook is better. “In my opinion, teaching through TVs, computers and projectors at such a tender age is an unhealthy practice. This way, we are making our kids dependent on technology. It also leads to lower IQ levels in kids," she opines.



From Schools
Food distributed among slum dwellers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
BCM School, Basant Avenue, Dugri, celebrated the World Food Day here today. The main aim of the day was to increase the awareness among public about the world food problem and strengthen the solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty. As part of the celebrations, students of the primary school brought extra food to the school. They were then taken to the slum areas of the city where they distributed it among slum dwellers.

Mehndi competition

Lord's Divine Public School, Grewal Colony, Noorwala Road, held a mehndi and Karva Chauth Queen contest as part of Diwali celebrations. The competitions started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp followed by “Vande Mataram”. The competition was divided into three groups: group A - Pre-primary, group B - Primary and group C - Middle classes. Bindu of Class VII was declared the Karva Chauth Queen while Seema Sharma was chosen Karva Chauth Queen from among the staff members. Results of mehndi competition: Diksha (group A), Neeraj (group B) and Deepali (group C).

Poster-making contest

Students of Ryan International School participated in a poster-making competition held yesterday at DMC Hospital. The theme of the contest was “Organ donation - Gift of Life”. Twelve students from Ryan participated in the competition and the school won the best school trophy. Ishpreet Chug of Class VIII won the second prize.

Dental camp

A team of doctors from Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Hospital, headed by Dr Pawan Arora, conducted a free dental check-up camp at Bharatiya Vidya Mandir, Sector 39, Chandigarh road. As many as 70 students were examined and given important tips on oral hygiene and diet during the camp.



SIFT’s talent hunt contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) hosted its second talent hunt competition here on its premises today. Students of various schools participated in it. The contest has become a regular annual function which recognizes talent of +2 students of the region.

The competition is held in various categories like declamation, painting, creative arts, guess the picture, doll dressing and caption writing test to judge their perspective on issues of society.

Dr. Deepak Kaushal, director of Kamla Lotia S D College, was all praise for the participants of the declamation contest.

The students were given three topics but the topic of global warming became the hot favourite among students. On-the-spot painting competition was the biggest draw and the students captured their imagination on the canvass with vibrant colors.

Anil Wadhera, who came from Chandigarh, found the skills of the students par excellence. Rekha of Rekha School of Arts was the co-judge and was impressed by the display of artistic skills of the students.



Hair transplant clinic opens
Tribune News Services

Ludhiana, October 16
AK Clinics has set up the first centre in the city that will offer hair transplant by a stitchless technique - follicular extraction technique (FUE).

Talking to mediapersons, Dr Aman Dua, dermatologist and ex-consultant, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, said that FUE hair transplant was the latest and preferred method of restoring hair all over the world. This revolutionary surgery had many advantages, including no sutures, no visible scars, very little bleeding, minimal recovery time and completely natural results.

FUE technique is most useful for people who keep small hair because they will not have any visible scars. This is the only method by which adequate cover can be given for large areas of baldness as the hair can be extracted from the head as well as the body in multiple sittings, he added.



A service to society even after death
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 16
Members of various social, political and religious organisations paid tributes to ex-serviceman Jagdish Singh, a social worker and office-bearer of the Lions Club, who died eight years back.

The area residents have also demanded a memorial in recognition to the sacrifice made by the social worker.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion of ‘bhog’ ceremony organised at a gurdwara here yesterday, various leaders claimed that Jagdish Singh had played a significant role in launching of social projects for the downtrodden in the area.

"After serving the nation in armed forces, he served people through various social organisations of the area,” they said.

Jagdish Singh had donated his body to New Helpline, Ludhiana, for promotion of research in medical science. After his death, the body was taken by the medical staff of the Dyanand Medical College and Hospital.



World Anaesthesia Day observed
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 16
The Sidhu School of Nursing celebrated the World Anaesthesia Day at Sidhu hospital here today.

Dr Naveen Laiker, chairman of the Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive Care and Critical Care Unit, said all resident doctors and postgraduate students of diplomat national board were trained for cardiopulmonary and brain resuscitation.

He further said the revolution in the field of anaesthesia took place when William T.G Morton, a dentist in Boston, for the first time practised ether anaesthesia on a patient on October 16, 1846.”Since then, the day is celebrated as World Anaesthesia Day”, he added.

Dr Harbans Singh Sidhu, managing director of the hospital, said on this day the hospital was going to start a campaign to educate the public for learning first-aid and resuscitation skills.



Film actress alleges rape
Mohit Khanna

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
A Punjabi film actress has alleged that she was raped by two youths in a moving car yesterday night. The victim, a resident of Batala, said after raping her, the accused threw her in an unconscious state in front of her office at the Cheema Chowk.

The accused have been identified as Jasvinder Singh, alias Gagan, and Aman, both resident of Jagraon. All of them are absconding. The victim said she had gone to meet her relatives near the Cheema Chowk. While she was waiting at the Cheema Chowk for an auto-rickshaw for returning home both accused offered her a lift in their car.

As the victim knew both of them she agreed to sit in their car. On their way home both youths offered her a soft drink laced with some sort of sedative. After drinking it she fell unconscious and was simultaneously raped in the moving car.

On regaining conscious, the accused somehow managed to reach the local civil hospital for treatment where the doctors confirmed that the she was raped.

Her DNA samples have been sent to forensic science laboratory at Chandigarh.

According to Division No. 6 SHO, a rape case has been registered against the accused.



Fresher's party at Doraha institute
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 16
A fresher’s party was held at Doraha Institute of Management & Technology here today. The programme began with “shabad kirtan”. Senior students of MBA, BBA and BCA welcomed the guests and freshers. Kanika of MBA-III welcomed the freshers on behalf of the senior students and assured them of full co-operation.

A cultural programme, comprising welcome song, dance, skit, quiz, gidha and bhangra, was organised.

A question- answer round was also held for selecting Mr. & Miss. Fresher.

Gurcharan Singh of MBA-I was declared Mr. Fresher and Priyanka of MBA-I Miss Fresher.

Japvir Singh, chief co-ordinator, DIMT, and Supreet Kaur, co-ordinator, DIMT, gave away prizes to the winners. 



CME on female infertility
Tribune News Services

Ludhiana, October 16
Charak Pharma, Mumbai, conducted its second continuous medical education

programme (CME) on female infertility. Ayurveda expert Dr R. Vatsyayan said thousands of years ago gynaecology was one of the eight specialised branches in Ayurveda.

He highlighted that Charak had described many herbs which gave strength to the uterus, prevented abortion and helped in the development of foetus. Present scientific studies have revalidated that herbs like ashoka, shatavar, lodhra and dashmoola were beneficial in treatment of infertility and helped to maintain hormonal balance in women without any side-effect.



‘Sa re ga ma’ auditions tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa Academy will hold auditions in the city on October 18 at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College for contestants from Punjab, Haryana and adjoining areas.

Producer Gajendra Singh said he always wanted to build a platform for aspirants who want to make a mark in the world of music.

He added that the academy had a faculty of professionals from the field of Indian classical as well as western music.



Lecture on innovation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
“Innovation is necessary for the social and economical growth of the nation. We live and die through relative innovation. The world has changed because of innovation only. Science is responsible for all innovations we come across,” remarked Srinivasan K. Swamy, president, All-India Management Association, New Delhi, while delivering a lecture on “Innovation” to the members of the Ludhiana Management Association here yesterday.

Uma Oberoi, director, AIMA, New Delhi, accompanied Swamy. Dr K.N.S. Kang, general secretary, IMA, welcomed the guests, members and speaker.



Pleasure trip for students

Doraha, October 16
The students of Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, set off for an excursion to Thunder Zone, Rock Garden and Shimla on Wednesday.

The president of the school, J.P.S Jolly, gave students a warm send off. Principal Suzy George said that such tours were necessary for all-round development of the students. — OC



Domestic help drugs Cong leader’s nephew; 3 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Former chief parliamentary secretary and Congress leader Surinder Dawar’s nephew, his wife and daughter were allegedly drugged by their domestic help here today.

The victim, Kapil Dawar (35), his wife Reya (33) and their eight-year-old daughter Pragya were admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital after being served food laced with sedatives by their domestic help, said the police.

The accused, Rakesh Bahadur, was nabbed along with two of his accomplices while he was trying to flee from the house situated near the Circular road, said the police. Rakesh was employed recently and the verification formalities were yet to be conducted.

After having the food, Kapil along with her daughter went to Chaura Bazaar, but soon returned home after they started feeling drowsy. His wife, said the police, also complained of nausea and vomiting.

Kapil then called up his brother, Sanjiv Dawar, who nabbed the servant. His two accomplices were also nabbed and were handed over to the police.



Postal Athletics
Sandeep wins first gold for Punjab
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 16
Sandeep Kumar of Punjab circle hogged limelight in the men's section on the opening day of the 23rd All-India Postal Athletics and Cycling Tournament being held on the Punjab Agricultural University ground here on Tuesday.

Sandeep proved his mettle in the gruelling 5000m race to win the first gold medal for his circle. He also finished among position holders by winning silver medal in the 800m race.

However, West Bengal circle dominated the proceedings clinching one gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

In the men's section, Jageshwar Hembram of West Bengal circle finished ahead of others in the 800m race. In shotput, Vishwajit Dey of West Bengal circle secured a silver medal while in women's section, Chandana Mukherjee of West Bengal circle finished runner up in 800m race.

West Bengal circle won two bronze medals. In 5000m race of men, Pritima Dass, and in the women's shotput event, Prajkata Dass won bronze medals.

Chief postmaster general, Punjab and Chandigarh, inaugurated the three-day tournament, in which around 130 players comprising teams from 14 circles are taking part.

First day's results:

Men: 5000m race: Sandeep Kumar of Punjab 1, Manoj Kumar of Haryana 2 and Pritima Dass of West Bengal 3.

800m race: Jagyeshwar Hembram of West Bengal 1, Sandeep Kumar of Punjab 2 and K. R. Nagraj of Karnataka 3.

Shotput: Sudhir Kumar Punia of Rajasthan 1, Vishwajit Dey of West Bengal 2 and T. Vinvent Paul of Kerala 3.


800m race: Harini Chandershekhar of Karnatka 1, Chandana Mukherjee of West Bengal 2 and K. C. Prabha of Kerala 3.

Shotput: Nisha K. Roy of Kerala 1, Shally George of Karnataka 2 and Prajkta Dass of West Bengal 3.



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