L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Children’s Day, but not for them
Child labour continues despite SC directive
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Two years after the directive on child labour by Supreme Court came into force, it is being flouted with impunity as scores of children below 14 continue to work at different places today on the eve of Children’s Day today.

While the entire nation would remember former Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, the biggest votary of child rights, on his birthday tomorrow, children would spend the day working in dhabas, small-scale industries and as domestic help.

Minor children even work in the mini-secretariat, the corridors of bureaucracy, where they were seen busy doing routine labour work.

A survey by the Tribune revealed, the children were working in small-scale industries on Gill Road, Janta Nagar and several hosieries in other areas, ironsmiths, scrap dealers of the city throughout the day to eke out a living. Despite working for many hours all they get is peanuts.

‘‘I work in an iron hanger company. I have to finish the hangers with iron dust and I get Re 1 to finish a hanger by ruining my hands by rubbing iron dust on it,’’ said a child, working in Janta Nagar unit.

Many industries like those making cycle parts, painters and other iron industries pose a health hazard to the workers, especially children, but this did not deter the employers from employing children.

In the office complex of the Deputy Commissioner, young boys aged nearly 10 were seen selling goods of their employers but there seemed to be no one to rescue them from the daily grind.

“I am selling peanuts in this office for last two years. In summers I sell incense sticks. Nobody has stopped me ever. My employer tells me to stay away from the police and I religiously follow that, ” said Jinku, who sells peanuts for a vendor.

The non-compliance of court orders is a routine matter in the city. The authorities continue to slumber as children lose their innocence to the daily grind. The Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Magistrate, who is suppose to enforce the directive, could not be contacted.

A senior official in the administration said the SC had passed the orders and it was for the enforcement agencies to get them implemented. He added that if anybody was found flouting the orders, the police was to deal with it. 


Making fire dept fit to fight
To get first hydraulic ladder soon
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
The fire department of the municipal corporation which had been knocked for being ill-equipped for fighting fire in high buildings is finally going to get a its first hydraulic ladder.

According to the information, the local bodies department of the Punjab Government would be calling for tenders for two 150-feet hydraulic ladders next week, out of which one would be given to Ludhiana.

Talking to The Tribune, district fire officer Kartar Singh said, "A hydraulic ladder had been a long-pending demand of the department because it was tough to fight fire in higher buildings with the present equipment." He added the installation of ladders would make the department stronger.

Interestingly, the resolution for buying hydraulic ladders had been passed in municipal house meetings in 2001 and 2003 too but the purchase could not be made due to reasons best known to authorities. A fire officer in the department revealed that in the absence of hydraulic ladders they were forced to tie different ladders and than reach the buildings which had more than five floors. “The tying of ladders involves a great risk for fire-fighters and the authorities were not any paying heed to it, despite repeated requests," he said, adding that with the coming up of multi-storey buildings, hydraulic ladders were a must for an industrial city like Ludhiana.

Notably, for the past decade various areas like Pakhowal Road, Mall Road and Ferozepore Road had numerous multi-storey buildings, including shopping malls and flats. Though some of these had adopted strict measures to tackle the fire situation, the inclusion of ladders is being seen as an asset.



‘Sexual Harassment’ Case
Finance minister defends accused
Directs PAU authorities to get the matter probed by a third party
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Giving a political twist to the ongoing “sexual harassment” controversy at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Punjab finance minister Manpreet Badal has come to the defence of the accused, Dulcha Singh Brar, and “ordered” the varsity authorities to get the matter probed by a “third party”.

The finance minister’s directive to the university has not gone down well with the authorities who are viewing this as a slur and a lack of trust by the government on their capabilities to resolve a routine administrative matter. The university officials are also questioning the authority of the finance minister who has no direct control over the functioning of the institution to issue such a letter in favour of his “confidant”.

When contacted, Manpreet Badal defended his decision to write to the authorities on grounds that being an MLA, he had to listen to the problems of people of his area. "Moreover, I have known the family for the past two decades. Dulcha Singh Brar feels that case should be handled in an unbiased manner. He said that there was a lobby of people at the PAU who were against him (Brar). I am not favouring him, but at the same time, he should not be falsely implicated in the case. Let the third party, an unbiased one, decide the case,” added the finance minister.

The letter issued by the finance department to the PAU on November 10 has invited criticism as people feel that department had nothing to do with such kind of cases or probes. According to sources, the new development had taken place to mount pressure on authorities at the PAU. There are allegations that the letter was issued to favour the complainant. "The officer, against whom the charges have been framed, is well connected with the finance minister. These are tactics to linger on the case,” said one of the senior-most faculty members of the PAU.

Former vice-chancellor Dr K.S. Aulakh told The Tribune that he was upset to see the way the case was being handled. He said during his tenure, a girl student had verbally complained against one of the professors with the soil department. The officer was immediately transferred and all his increments were stopped. He said it was unfortunate even to think about involving any third party. This way, the victim will be victimised more.

“There are strict guidelines of the Supreme Court to take a suo motto action against the accused in the sexual harassment cases. But I fail to understand that what are we waiting for? Today, the complainant is not satisfied, tomorrow the victim may raise objections over third party's findings. How will we put an end to the case then?” questioned Aulakh.



Dehydrated, jumbo gets treatment on road
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
The veterinarians of the State Veterinary Department and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) literally set up a hospital on a roadside within a few minutes today to save a circus elephant that fell on the road due to exhaustion and dehydration.

Laxmi, the female elephant and a performer of Asian Circus, currently in the city, was suffering from constipation and urine retention and was being taken to GADVASU when she fell on the road on the banks of Sidhwan Canal near Dugri Bridge. Its mahout informed the veterinary officers immediately who rushed to the spot and within a few minutes, help was available for her. She was given a drip and injected antibiotics immediately.

The veterinarians were so meticulous in handling the case that they even held the bottles of intravenous fluid themselves when these were being administered on the gentle giant. They even took the samples of blood, urine and faecal matter on the spot only and sent these for testing at GADVASU.

While all this was taking place on the roadside, onlookers had a good time watching the jumbo getting treated. Laxmi remained at the spot for three hours before she was then taken back to the circus camp.

Veterinary officer, Tajpur Dairy Complex, Dr Bhajan Singh said it as difficult to shit the elephant to GADVASU, so they started the treatment on the road. He said she was dehydrated as was not able to pass urine and was not drinking water. Moreover, she was not able to consume anything as she was constipated.

Honorary wildlife warden Dr Sandeep Jain said the circus organisers were not at fault for her illness. He said they inspected the animals some days ago and found all of them micro-chipped and in good condition.

‘‘The elephant was being treated well. It has seemingly developed an infection. The experts have spoken to her personal veterinarians at Kolkata also. The elephant would be fine if her disease is detected,” said Dr Jain.



Tainted sub-registrar seeks bail
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 13
Apprehending arrest by the Vigilance Bureau, tehsildar-cum-sub-registrar Arvind Parkash Verma today filed an anticipatory bail application in the court of additional sessions judge G.S. Sran.

Taking cognisance of the bail application, the court has issued notice to the Vigilance Bureau. The application will now come up for hearing on November 15.

The applicant has submitted that earlier he was framed in a false case. Now again he apprehends arrests at the hands of the Vigilance Bureau in disproportionate assets case.

He has also moved another application seeking protection from the court with the plea that earlier he was arrested under Section 7(13) of the Prevention of Corruption Act and now Section 8 of the act has been added. He said he might be arrested again though he was granted regular bail by this court in the case.

Interestingly, yesterday the VB has also added Section 201 of the IPC in the case against Verma after the alleged revelation that he kept more than 100 sale deeds, wills, etc, with him, which were missing from the sub-registrar office. 



Seeds of success
Floriculture makes many farmers bloom
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Floriculture in Punjab has become a profitable profession today with quintals of flower seeds being exported to European, the US and Middle East countries each year.

A number of farmers in the state, who believed in paddy-wheat or cotton-wheat rotation till recently, have adopted flower seed business, which have given them good returns.

Flower seed production for export in 1990s was just in a few kg but now seed is being exported to almost 20 European and US countries. With an increase in demand, more and more farmers of Punjab have started joining the profession of cultivation of flower crops for seed. If experts in the field are to be believed, more than 200 farmers in the state are growing these crops and earning many times more than the traditional wheat and paddy crops.

Simran Rang, a young farmer from Rakhra village near Patiala, whose father serves at the plant-breeding department of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here, said he had been into the profession since 1993. Dealing in flower seed production, which was taught to him by his father Dr Allah Rang, he told The Tribune that farmers were producing flower seeds at all major districts, including Patiala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, etc. More than 155 varieties of flower seeds were being produced by the farmers. These include varieties like eschscholtzia california (california poppy), clarkia, antirrhinum, calendula, bellis perennis (daisy), dorotheanthus criniflorum (mesembryanthemum), verbena, viola, nemesia, nasturtium, coreopsis, etc.

"I am owning 30 acres of land at Rakhra for flower seed production. Seeing demand in huge volumes, we have engaged farmers in Punjab for contract farming at about 1,300 acres of land. Maximum seeds are exported to Holland. Middle East countries have also come up with great demand in recent times. Low risk is involved as the payments of these countries are secured", said Simran, adding that floriculture increased the fertility and nutrition of soil in addition to giving excellent returns.

The contract farmers, too, are earning handsome amount as in addition to the seed cost, they are being paid Rs 4,000 per acre in the business. Navtej Singh, a young farmer, said since many environmental issues like water-table depletion and excessive use of pesticides were associated with traditional farming, he chose flower seed crops (rotation) over wheat.



Admission to kindergarten leaves parents anxious
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Admissions to the kindergartens have begun and so do the worries of the parents to get their wards admitted to the reputed schools in the city.

Most of the schools in the city have already started mock interviews of children. Some of the kindergartens are also making tall promises of ensuring admission to the highly sought after schools.

Parents can be seen running from one school other for getting the admission forms and submitting them in time.

The criterion for admission to Sat Paul Mittal School is simple. According to director Col D.B. Sharma, the school is having fool proof system for admission. “We hold informal interview of parents just to see their motivation level, family background and their job status.”

Talking to The Tribune, he said they just have an informal chat with the child. The school prospectus is available from November 5 to 19 for Rs 700.

Registration forms of the Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, will be made available just for one day in December, while the forms of the Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, will be available in December for two days.

Registration forms of Delhi Public School have been given to the parents for Rs 500 and are being charged Rs 700 at the time of submission. The school has made availing of school transport compulsory for which they will be charged Rs 2,500.

Parents say that it is a money-making exercise. They add that getting admission for young ones is cumbersome. Although the Supreme Court has passed the ruling that small children will not interviewed, still some schools are practicing the same old methods of assessing the child. An anxious mother said, "How can a child develop perfect observation at such a tender age?"



Religious fervour marks Gurpurb
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated in the city with religious fervour.

Gurdwars in the city were tastefully decorated with flowers and lights. Devotes thronged the gurdwaras from the early morning. The “bhog” of Akhand Path was held in the morning followed by a “kirtan”.

Devotees partook langar and lend a helping hand in the community kitchen.

In the evening, devotes again visited the gurdwaras to light candles and “diyas” to mark the occasion. Kirtan darbars were held in the various gurdwaras.



PAU, CMC to undertake joint survey to ascertain cause of cancer deaths
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 13
The Punjab Agricultural University and the Christian Medical College and Hospital are likely to undertake a survey of cancer deaths in the Malwa region.

Deaths have occurred in the Malwa belt, comprising Bathinda, Muktsar and Mansa districts, due to the alleged use of pesticides during the past few years and the belief among the farmers of this region is that the deaths have taken place as a result of cancer.

Experts of the Punjab Agricultural University are keeping their fingers crossed and do not want to give the verdict without undertaking a survey and identifying the causes of alleged deaths.

Manjit Singh Kang, vice-chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University accompanied by his wife, Neeta Kang, a cancer researcher with the Christian Medical College and Hospital. They visited some villages in Bathinda and Muktsar districts on Sunday at the request of the finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal. The vice-chancellor was also accompanied by the experts of the university.

Neeta Kang told The Tribune today that during their visit to the villages they were told about the cancer deaths and there was, in fact, a big difference in the figures of deaths given by the villagers. At Kotbhai village which has a population of 15,000 they were told that there were 35 confirmed cases of cancer patients and 10 to 15 deaths had taken place in the village. At village Hasna they were told that 15 to 20 deaths had taken place during the past five years and at Jajjal village 80 deaths were reported during the past eight years. At Giani village they were told that 100 deaths had taken place. There was no record available to ascertain whether the deaths were caused by cancer or some other disease, she said.

Neeta Kang said that they were planning to organise comprehensive medical and dental camps in the Malwa region to identify the disease by which the residents were suffering and also find out the causes of cancer deaths.

The VC said that the PAU had submitted a project to the Punjab Government during the tenure of Amarinder Singh to set up some laboratories at the PAU to undertake soil samples and find out the causes of deaths in the Malwa region.

He was of the view that pesticides use alone could not be the main cause of cancer. As a matter of the fact, the water supplied to the villagers for drinking purposes also had arsenic content which could cause diseases. The symptoms were discoloration of skin and early grey hair. The team met some young men and young women who had grey hair at an early age of 15 to 30 years.

Dr Kang said that he would be writing to the state government again to revive the old project and sanction Rs 1 crore to enable them to undertake the survey. The PAU already has a memorandum of understanding with the CMC and Hospital.

Enquiries made by The Tribune reveal that the PAU had submitted the project report seeking Rs 1 crore through the Punjab Planning Board which had approved the project. No one knows the fate of the project as there has been no further correspondence on this subject. Meanwhile, there was a change in the government from Congress to the Sad-BJP government in February 2007.

Meanwhile, Manpreet Singh Badal assured of all help to find out the real cause of deaths.



Artificial limbs given
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
Free limbs were today distributed by the Mahavir Viklang Help Centre to 31 persons. Sushil Kaura, general secretary of the centre, said they had been providing artificial limbs to the needy from the past 25 years.

"It gives us pleasure to help these people standing on their feet", added he. Jagannath Jain, chairman, adding further said they would continue serving the society for a noble cause.



Students given tips on film, TV production
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 13
A 10-day workshop on “film, television and digital video production” concluded today at the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh.

The workshop was a part of the ongoing Northern India-wide Media Knowledge Event, Punjab Chapter, and was conducted by the famous journalist, writer and director from Mumbai Utpal Amerandra Chowdhury and his team.

The main aim of the workshop was to create media awareness, media literacy and practical knowledge among the students. The staff and students from media management and information technology participated in this workshop.

During the workshop, the students were given theoretical as well as practical knowledge about digital technology, film and television production, script writing and editing, cinematic time and space, scene and shot, camera handling and moment, etc.

The students were also taken on an educational trip to the historical temple at Naina Devi for outdoor shooting experience.

Chairman of Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes Dr Zora Sngh, congratulated the organisers of the workshop and hoped that it would prove useful for the students.

Giving her concluding remarks, director general Prof Shalini Gupta said that media had an important role in play in the present day world and hoped that the workshop will go a long way in preparing the students for the careers they were going to adopt in future.

The convener of SARVAkar Media Knowledge Event, Utpal Amerendra Chowdhury called upon all practitioners of art and craft of communication and those who aspire to join this arduous yet enjoyable journey to come over on one platform and exchange ideas, experiences and share the joy of being together.



MC labour union to stage dharna today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
With the Municipal Corporation failing to regularise employees of sanitation committees, the Safai Labour Union, along with Disposal Worker Union, has decided to go on a dharna here on Friday.

In a press note issued here today, the organisations said they would submit a reminder of their demands to the municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman here tomorrow.

They stated that according to the circular of Punjab government, the sub-committees had been dissolved and those employed with the committees should be regularised. The other demands included pension policy for those who joined as regular employees after April 1, 1990.



Ongoing seminars a waste of time: Teachers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 13
About 5000 teachers are made to attend seminars every year in Ludhiana district organised by the Punjab Education Department to refurbish their knowledge. At present seminars are being conducted from November 6 to November 14 and then they will be reconducted from November 17 to November 22.

Gurdeep Kaur, principal, Government In-service Teacher Training Centre, Ludhiana, said seminars were going on in all Government Senior Secondary Schools at Bharat Nagar, Jawahar Nagar, Haibowal, Dakha, Hambran, Mansuran and Jagraon.

On the other hand, teachers attending the seminars are not satisfied with the input they are given at the seminar. An overwhelming majority of the teachers feel that this is a sheer wastage of time and exercise in futility.

The participating teachers explained that the time was very precious for students. Senior teachers opine that teachers near retirement or having 30 years of teaching experience are hardly any gainers. These seminars are needed for the new recruits.

If a senior teacher is given a VI or VII class book and is taught the basics of teaching, it is a sheer mockery. No serious attempt is made to make these seminars effective and they have nice time together. At 11 O' clock, it is tea break, at 1 O' clock it is lunch time and many times they go out for lunch and at 4 O' clock again its tea break.

Gurdeep Kaur says that they get Rs 80 per teacher and out of this they pay to the resource persons and daily allowance to the teachers.

When asked about the wastage of studies of the students, Gurdeep Kaur quipped, "We are imparting educational training to the teachers. Now, elections are round the corner and teachers will be put on election duties. Who bothers about the studies at that time."

These seminars cover all subjects leaving aside physical education and art and craft and 40 to 45 teachers of each subject are attending the seminar.

One day seminars are conducted on Wednesdays which cover topics concerning girl education, environment, drugs and moral values. Teachers are made to prepare the modules and express their views on these topics. Timings of the seminar are from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.



Expressions 2008 begins at GPS
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 13
Gobindgarh Public School celebrated "Expressions 2008" with students displaying their telents in acting, singing and dancing.

The students put up a colourful display, presenting among other items, Snow White and the seven dwarfs, Chanda Mama, shadow of Buddha, dances of the states with different costumes, a Hindi play, an English play, western dance Cha-cha-cha and a panel discussion.



Reporters' Diary
From agriculture to culture

Not long ago, people used to say that there is too much of agriculture in Ludhiana and no culture at all. That was possibly because of the phenomenal agricultural growth in Punjab that was supplemented by the industrial development.

While the wealth kept on accumulating, there seemed to be no attention towards culture. That, too, in a place that had produced a legendary poet, Sahir Ludhianvi.

However, the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam (LSS), founded by Sunil Kant Munjal about a decade ago, scripted another story of culture in the city. The LSS may not have created an interest about culture among people in Ludhiana, but it certainly did recreate it.

Not to mention that one of the patrons of the LSS and the co-chairman of the Hero Cycles Babu Om Prakash Munjal happens to be an avid lover of Urdu poetry himself. It goes to the credit of LSS in general and Sunil Kant Munjal in particular to have brought such big names from the world of art and culture to Ludhiana, including Jaya Bahaduri, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Kadar Khan, Nasirudin Shah to name a few.

Last but not the least, LSS general secretary S.K. Rai has proved himself to be a great anchor, if it defines him right (rather the sutradhar). It goes to their credit that the LSS celebrated its 10 years of foundation recently by enacting a play on the life and works of M.F. Husain.

Missing ‘Bond 007’

The James Bond movies have always been a craze with people all over the world. So is it with the Ludianvis.

Currently the latest Bond movie - “Quantum of Solace” - 22nd in series, is being screened in Ludhiana and it has been running uninterruptedly houseful for many days in the Waves and PVR cinemas.

However, the viewers familiar with earlier Bond movies have been missing the famous dialogue - “My name is bond… James Bond”. There has already been too much talk in the town that there is not much “Bondness” in the Bond movie and “Bond 007” is certainly one of these. People certainly feel nostalgic about it. And why not, after all what is a James Bond movie, without the “Bond 007”.

Love’s the strongest bridge

Rai Aziz Ullah Khan, vice-president of the Pakistan Golf Federation, shows a passion for people in India as is evident from the sociability he had shown over the past weekend.

Aziz was a guest at a number of places, including Punjab Agricultural University and Raikot. Aziz also released “Khair Panjaan Panniaan Di” authored by Editor (Punjabi) of PAU Gurbhajan Gill.

“I don't have to make any special efforts interacting with my brothers in India. The expression comes naturally perhaps because of age-old ties of the land, now unfortunately separated with borders. I am touched with the love I receive here and always look for visitors from India to my country,” he said.

He said that Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal had extended an invitation to Mohammad Nawaj Sharif, former Chief Minister of Punjab and his elder brother Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif to visit their native village Jati Umran in Tarn Taran district. Papers to this regard have also initiated with the ministry concerned.

"Love is the strongest bridge that can connect hearts of two nations,” he summed up.

All for children

Fathers who believe that children were the responsibility of mothers alone may have something to think. Sharing equal responsibility with their better-halves, certain fathers, besides having busy schedules, fulfil their duties of bringing-up children with dedication and devotion.

At leading schools in the city, fathers are seen dropping their children to schools and taking them back with much care and affection. Worth quoting is the example of a senior official of the administration who regularly goes to pick and drop and ward at Sacred Heart School.

One can often see him leaning against the car window and waiting without any security for his kid.

If teachers are to be believed, the officer fathers are more concerned towards their children than the mothers.

Messy mini-secretariat

During my three to four visits to the mini-secretariat, I found everything in a mess.

On the first visit, I found that the deputy commissioner and other senior officers were not there for they were busy in sangat darshan. On the other visits, both the DEOs (secondary and primary) were not there. On an average, 5,000 persons visit the complex daily. The complex does not have a proper sanitation. Because of the huge rush of the people, vehicles are parked haphazardly in the parking lot. The scene here is chaotic and confusing.

Off-beam English

A word written wrongly can make one burst into a bellyful of laughter. English is such a language that a word written incorrectly can change its meanings.

Recently, I saw a shop the signboard of which reads “Camera Flesh Repair”. Instead of “flash” the board reads “flesh”. I could not stop laughing after reading it. Whenever I pass by this particular shop, I do not forget to look at the board and wonder how the shopkeeper will repair the “flesh” of the camera.

Yet another signboard of the shop in the city reads “Tabela Beauty Parlour”. Somebody mischievously has added “Ta” before “Bela” and it became “Tabela” which means “stable” where horses are kept. So it is the beauty parlour especially for horses, I guess!

Run for charity

Bharat Vikas Parishad, an NGO, which has been providing artificial limbs for the last about one decade to the needy, has now started a novel way to raise funds for the purpose.

This NGO has started organising marathon race for which a number of corporate units of the city come forward to contribute. The NGO conducted the second edition of the marathon in which more than 2,000 people from Ludhiana and its surrounding areas participated.

At the venue of the marathon this Sunday, the organisers had arranged teams of doctors from the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Shri Rama Charitable Hospital, Dhoewal Chowk, and Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust to meet any eventuality.

A kid’s play

I was waiting to meet the MC commissioner when three gentleman entered the waiting room and started conversation among themselves.

All of them had come to give presentations regarding solid waste management projects. The interaction which started as a casual talk, became serious when they discussed that it was easy to fool the MC officials in Ludhiana.

One of them told that while he was undertaking a project in Ahmedabad, the commissioner and engineers in the MC were so well informed that they were not ready to give projects if the contractor had old machinery. Besides, they were aware about every new technology coming up in the market which was must for the development of the city.

The trio had enough laugh on Ludhiana MC as each of them admitted that getting work from Ludhiana MC was a kid’s play.

Candy business

A smart retired Army officer left a PCO owner dumbfounded when he presented him 45 candies after making an STD call from his PCO. The officer, Amarjeet Batth, kept on collecting the candies, which were given by the PCO owner in lieu of change whenever he made calls earlier.

He did not consume them but kept for a day when he would be able to shock the PCO owners. One evening, he went to make an STD call. After making the call he handed him over 45 candies from his pocket. When the nonplussed owner asked what was the tale behind the candies, he came with a pat reply, “'All these were given to me by you during the last days when you had no change to offer. Now, why cannot you accept these?”

(Contributed by Rajesh Bhambi, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Shivani Bhakoo, Sheetal Chawla, Manav Ghuman, Anil Datt, Jyotika Sood, Kanchan Vasdev)



Road or death-trap

It is mentally disturbing to learn about accidental deaths on the elevated road every now and then (Ludhiana Tribune, November 13) Immediately, the following steps need to be taken to address the problem and avoid mishaps at blind turns before any high-level probe into faulty construction, as demanded by the politicians, can offer relief. Light blinkers should be installed at a suitable distance from each turn, on both sides, which should continue blinking for 24 hours.

Signboards with alphabets of suitable font size, glowing with light falling on them, need to be put up at a distance from each turn, cautioning the drivers about a sharp bend ahead. The speed limit needs to be strictly enforced with frequent checking.

Adequate road repair needs to be undertaken, as and when required, to dispense with slippery patches.

Gulshan Sing Bahl, Ludhiana.

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



2 dead, 11 hurt in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 13
Two persons died and 11, including a 5-year-old child, was injured when an overcrowded tempo met with an accident. The accident occurred around 12 am today near Nanaksar on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road.

A Jagraon-bound passenger tempo (PUG 5553) from Dhudike village was hit from back by a tempo traveller coming from Moga. The accident claimed lives of two youth Kamaljit Kaur (18) of Daudhar and Vinod Kumar (21) of Gureh.

The tempo was carrying 22 passengers against the permissible limit of seven passengers. The dead and the injured were stated to be hanging outside the tempo with the railing fixed especially for the passengers.

The injured are identified as Harjinder Kaur, Pardeep Kumar, Paramjit Kaur, Gaganpreet Kaur, all of Chur Chak village, Jasbir Singh, Harjinder Kaur, Manjit Kaur, Gurdev Kaur, Jagdish Singh all of Dhudike, Charanjit Kaur of Malerkotla, Kaku Ram of Nakodar and Ravinder Kumar of Gureh.

The injured are admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, and Harjinder Kaur of Chur Chak is referred to a Ludhiana hospital. The Jagraon police has registered a case and has impounded both vehicles.



Three brothers among 4 sentenced to
life in murder case
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 13
Court of Additional Sessions Judge M.S. Virdi has sentenced three brothers of Haddiwal village to life imprisonment for killing Gurmukh Singh of Chak Dango village, while trying to forcibly take possession of 15 acres.

Those convicted are Gurjit Singh, Paramjit Singh, Charanjit Singh, brothers and residents of Haddiwal village, Ludhiana district, and Pal Singh of Machrai Khurd, Amloh. They have also been ordered to pay a fine of Rs 6,000 each.

Delivering the verdict, the judge held that the prosecution has successfully proved the charges leveled against the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

A case under Section 302, 148 and 149 of the IPC was registered against the accused at KumKalan police station on April 16, 2003, following the complaint lodged by Makhan Singh of Chak Dango.

The complainant had told the police that they were in possession over 15 acres owned by the government in the Chak Dango village for the past seven years. They had sown wheat crop therein.

The accused were claiming their right over the land. They wanted to harvest the wheat crop forcibly. Panchayat of both villages had struck down a compromise between them. As per the compromise, halqa patawari was to demarcate the property on April 15, 2003. But he did not turn up on the due date.

The next day, the accused party came with a combine harvester for. This led to clash. Accused attacked the party with weapons and killed Gurmukh Singh, who was trying to stop them from harvesting the crop forcibly, the complainant added.

The court has also convicted Jaswinder Singh, alias Laddi of Daryapur village, under Section 326 of the IPC for causing serious injuries to Paramjit Singh. He was sentenced to undergo five-year jail term.



Bisht brothers clinch title
Anil Datt

Jassowal (Ludhiana), November 13
Ronit Bisht and his brother Rohit Bisht of Delhi survived a scare against duo of Digvijay Singh Mehta of Himachal Pradesh and N Sai Kartik of Andhra Pradesh 6-1, 7-6(4) before romping home champions in the doubles section on the penultimate day of the annual AITA National Lawn Tennis Championship (u-16) being held at Harvest Tennis Academy courts, Jassowal, today.

In the semi-finals (girls singles), third seed Prarthana Thombare of Maharashtra caused a flutter when she toppled top seed Ankita Raina of Gujarat in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 to set up the title clash with second seed Shweta Rana of of Haraya who scored an easy win over sixth seed Smriti Joon, also from Haryana, 6-1, 6-4.

In the boy's semi-finals, top seed Ronit Bisht of Delhi had an easy outing against Vinod Gowda of Andhra Pradesh whom he outnumbered 6-2, 6-0 while second seed Digvijay Mehta of Himachal Pradesh fought a pitched battle against third seed Rohit Bisht of Delhi against whom he managed to scrape past 3-6, 6-4 and 6-2 to secure berths in the final.

Earlier, in the quarterfinals, Ronit Bisht recorded victory over Vishwesh Sinha of Maharashtra in straight sets 6-3, 6-3; Vinod Gowda faced a little resistence from his rival K Pradeep Reddy of Andhra Pradesh whom he edged out 6-3, 6-1; Rohit Bisht toiled hard to outplay N Sai Kartik of Andhra Pradesh before romping home victor 5-7, 6-3 and 6-2 while Digvijay Singh of Himachal Pradeh outnumbered Ajay Yadav of Haryana 6-2, 6-3.

In the girl's section, Ankita Raina of Gujarat, Prarthana Thombare from Maharashtra, Smriti Joon of Delhi and Shweta Rana of Himachal Pradesh came out triumphant in their quarter final matches to secure berths in the last four stage.

Ankita Raina scripted an easy win over Ikttesh Chahal of Chandigarh 6-1, 6-1; Prarthana Thombare got the better of Namita Bal of Maharashtra 6-2, 6-1; Smriti Joon outclassed Teertha Iska of Andhra Pradesh 6-1, 6-3 and Shweta Rana romped home victorious against Parmidner Kaur of of Chandigarh 6-2, 6-0.



GNE College beat Ferozpur
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 13
SSIT, Dera Bassi, quelled a strong challenge from their opponents GTBKIET, Malout, before romping home victors 5-3 in the inaugural match of the Punjab Technical University Inter-College Hockey Tournament that began on the Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College campus, Gill Road, here today. The issue was resolved through penalty strokes.

Earlier, Punjab Technical University observer appointed for the tournament, Mukhbains Singh, former Olympian, inaugurated the two-day tournament. Principal of the host college M.S.Saini along with other faculty members Nirmal Singh Grewal, dean, Students Welfare, Dr. Sehijpal Singh, HOD (Mech.), Dr. J.N.Jha, dean, consultancy, was present in the inaugural function.

In other other matches, GZSCIET Bathinda got the better of BCET Gurdaspur 1-0 while Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Institute of Engineering and Technology College, Fatehgarh Sahib, overpowered IMS Bhaddal 3-1 and hosts Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, beat Shaheed Bhagat Singh Institute of Engineering and Technology, Ferozepur 1-0.

In the girl’s section, hosts Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, survived many anxious moments before coming out triumphant 2-1 against BCET, Gurdaspur.



BVM students rule the track
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 13
Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar branch, dominated the proceedings on the opening day of the Ludhiana Zonal Athletics Meet (PAU Zone) being organised by the District Education Office, Ludhiana, at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the gruelling 3-km walk (girls u-17), Anmol of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir finished ahead of others to emerge winner. She was followed by Ranjeet Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Kariana, while Ridhima of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar finished third.

In the 800m race (boy's u-17 years), Pankaj Sharma of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School, Kitchlu Nagar, proved his mettle to win the title while Rupinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Bhialana Kalan, secured the second position and Simranjot Singh of Sutlej Public School, Rahon Road, had to content with the third place.

Other results: Boys (u-19)- 800m race: Manpreet Singh of Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana 1, Jaspreet Singh of Guru Nanak School, Mullanpur 2, and Raghav Mohinder of BVM School, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar 3; (u-14) 600m race- Parbhat Singh of BVM School, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar 1, Chetnaya of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar 2 and Avneeet Singh of Guru Nanak Public School, Mullanpur 3; 5000m race- Sukhwinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Humbran 1, Harpreet Singh of BVM School, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Gurcharan of Government School, Kariana 3; 400m race - Sukhminder Singh of GNPS, Mullanpur 1, Parbhat Singh of BVM School, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Aditya of BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar 3.

Girls (u-14) 600m race - Pooja of Government Senior Secondary School, Humbran 1, Amandeep Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Kariana 2 and Jaspreet Kaur of Sutlej Public School, Ludhiana 3; (u-17) 100m race- Jaspreet Kaur of Sutlej Public School, Rahon Road 1, Deepika Pathak of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Neha of Sutlej Public School, Rahon Road 3; (u-19) 5 km walk- Alisha of KVM, Civil Lines 1, Sadhna of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Ritika Rawat of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar 3; (u-19) 3000m race- Riya Jain of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar 1, Maninder of Sargodha School, Ludhiana 2 and Priya of Government School, Divison no 3; (u-19) 800m race - Alisha Sharma of KVM, Ludhiana 1, Daisy of SDP School, Ludhiana 2 and Tamanna of BVM, Kitchlu Nagar 3; (u-17) 800m race- Ganga Gautam of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar 1, Paramjeet Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Kariana 2 and Anmol of BVM School, Udham Singh Nagar 3.



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