R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri
Cremating unclaimed bodies with dignity

  • Motivating youth for blood donation

  • Cop’s drive against drugs


Money exchange shop burgled
: Burglars broke into a shop, Express Money Exchanger, at Garhshankar and decamped with a safe containing Rs 5 lakh last night. According to police sources, burglars entered the shop after breaking the locks of the shutter. The owner of the shop, Kulwinder Singh, resident of Golian, stated that Rs 5 lakh was kept in the safe. The police has started investigation. 

Shabad contest
: Seventeen teams from different parts of the country will participate in an all-India level shabad gyan competition being organised at MGN Public School here on Tuesday. Talking to mediapersons, MGN educational trust secretary Jarnail Singh Pasricha and school principal Ravinder Guru said the trust observes November 25 as “Bani Diwas” every year to commemorate the death anniversary of its founder Bhai Gobind Singh Pasricha. 

Free health camps
: A free eye checkup- cum-operation camp was organised by the Shashi Kumar Ashadeep Charitable Trust here today. A team from Punarjot Eye Bank, Ludhiana, examined 220 patients suffering from various ailments. Dr JD Verma informed that 40 eye operations were conducted and free medicines, food and spectales were given to needy patients. Similarly, orthopaedic patients were examined during a free camp organised by Lions Club, Banga Mehak, on Sunday. Dr Paramjit Singh, deputy director (dental), inaugurated the camp. 



Students’ chapter launched
: A students’ chapter of the Indian Society of Technical Education (ISTE) has been launched in the local JCD Memorial Engineering College associated with JCD Vidyapeeth. Dr Ranjit Singh, director of Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology, Delhi, and executive secretary of the ISTE, launched the local chapter on Saturday and as many as 500 students of the college were enrolled into it, said a note issued by Vidyapeeth. Dr Kuldeep Singh Dhindsa, director general of Vidyapeeth, presided over the function organised to launch the local chapter. Ranjit Singh said the annual conference of the ISTE would be held in Delhi from December 19 to 21, in which members from all over the country would participate. Dr Dhindsa announced that JCD Vidyapeeth would host the next year’s annual conference of the ISTE. 

Condolence meeting: A condolence meeting to pay tributes to Megha Bhardwaj, a young boxer who died of cancer recently, will be held in the local Bansal Palace on Monday. The meeting would be held between 2 pm and 3 pm, according to family sources. Megha Bhardwaj, who played at the national level, was afflicted with cancer one and a half years ago. Megha lost her bout with cancer on November 15. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and minister of sports Kiran Choudhry had expressed deep shock at her death and announced a help of Rs 1 lakh for the family of the young boxer. The Chief Minister also assured of all possible help to the family, which faced a lot of financial tribulations while arranging money for Megha’s treatment. 

Media coordinator: Sanjay Arora, a local journalist, has been appointed media coordinator by the Haryana government. Arora has been actively involved in journalism for the past 25 years. He will be stationed in Hisar and look after four districts of Hisar division, namely Jind, Hisar, Fatehabad and Sirsa. Ashok Buwaniwala, media coordinator, who was earlier based at Hisar, has been shifted to Gurgaon and he will look after Bhiwani district besides the districts coming under the Gurgaon administrative division. 



Congress rebukes BJP
: The Congress has come down heavily on BJPs misleading propaganda about the developmental activities in Chamba district taking advantage on the development made during the Congress regime. Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday, Jagdish Handa, district spokesperson, stated that the BJP in the state could not so far make any development worth mentioning during the past one year. It was busy in sacking the PTA teachers and making inquiries about the works executed during the previous Congress rule while it had escaped its attention towards the development activities. 

Exam conducted: The Himotkarsh annual merit examination 2008 was held on Sunday in six short-listed government departments of the state in which 18,221 students of the classes VII, IX and X participated. As many as 155 examination centres were established by the parishad in different parts of the state. Chamba branch president of the Parishad Y.K. Puri said 404 students appeared in Chamba. Meritorious students were given cash scholarships and medals every year by the parishad, he added. 

YC leader cremated
: Hemant Kumar Sharma, state vice-president of the Youth Congress (YC) was cremated on the bank of Yamuna at Paonta on Sunday. He was critically injured in a car accident on Saturday, which took place at Danoi on Dadahu-Sangrah road. He succumbed to his injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh. A large number of Congress leaders attended the last rites and expressed condolence on the untimely departure of Sharma. 

Sammelan organised
: The Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM) in collaboration with the Himachal Rajput Bhaichara Manch on Sunday organised a sammelan to strengthen brotherhood among different communities. Kuldeep Agnihotri, noted scholar and Indo-Tibet Sahyog Manch convener, presided over the sammelan. MRM national convener Mohammad Afjal was the chief guest in the sammelan. Agnihotri called upon all communities to strengthen brotherhood and lamented that Muslims were being divided on vote bank politics. Afjal alleged that the Congress had exploited Muslims for its political ends. 

1 dies in mishap
: One person was killed when a Balero vehicle fell into a khad near Chetu Dhaba on Chhaila road, about 40 km from here, on Sunday. The deceased was identified as Sanjay of Theog. He was the sole occupant of the ill-fated vehicle. 

Beti Bachao Abhiyan: The Himachal Gian Vigyan Samiti will organise the “Beti Bachao Abhiyan” in the state from November 25 to December 10 to generate public opinion against social evils like female foeticide and violence against women. It will also hold a state-level workshop on the issue at Shimla on November 30 and disseminate information through anganwaris on December 3. The activists of the samiti will submit memoranda to the Chief Minister, his Cabinet colleagues and the chief secretary during the campaign urging them to ensure effective implementation of various laws and directions of the Supreme Court issued from time to time for the physical safety of women and enforcement of their rights. 



National Communal Harmony Week
: In view of the the National Communal Harmony Week, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, organised a multi-lingual musical concert at KL Saigal Hall here on Sunday. The programme began with Ved Pal Deep’s famous Dogri Ghazal. It was followed by a song of Virender Kesar presented by Dogri singer Dharmesh Nargotra. Kashmiri singer Deepali Watal was at her best in reciting spiritual poetry of valley’s eminent Sufi poets Wahab Khar and Shamas Faqeer. 

Training course: The Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) in partnership with the National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management ((MANAGE), Hyderabad, started a training course for fresh batch comprising 35 trainees here. According to a press note, the two-month training programme was inaugurated by director of Agriculture, Jammu, Vinod Bala. The aim of the course is to encourage agriculture and allied sector graduates to set up agri-clinics and agri-business centres for employment generation and provide quality-extension services to farmers. 

Vijeshwar Panchang: The 325th edition of Vijeshwar Panchang, a socio-cultural almanac of the Kashmiri Pandits, was released at a function held here on Sunday. The almanac, released by L.N. Dhar, president of the Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi, carries the detailed information about cultural and religious festivals and rituals of the Kashmiri Pandit community, to be held during 2009-10. Speaking on the occasion, Onkar Nath Shastri, editor, Vijeshwar Panchang, said the panchang was not only the calendar of events, but had proved as a cultural link among the community members living in exile. 

National Integration Day: National Integration Day was celebrated today at Sri Ranbir Higher Secondary School, Jammu. About 15 government and private schools participated. Cultural activities and a musical programme were presented by students. A debate competition was also held in which 16 students participated. Mementoes were distributed among the participants.

R S Pura (Jammu)
Awareness camps for electors
: Several village-level public awareness camps have been organised to make electors familiarise with the ways to operate electronic voting machines. The camps at Kotli Shah Daula, Chowhala, Rathana, Salehar, Simbal Camp, Tinday Kirpind and Darsopur were organised under the supervision of sub-divisional magistrate, R S Pura, and CDPO, R S Pura. 



Workshop on VAT audit: A workshop on Value Added Tax (VAT) audit was organised by the State Tax Bar Association here on Saturday. Advocate B.R. Garg presided over the workshop and advocate Harbir Singh Kushwaha was the convener.

NSUI poll from November 25: The National Students Union of India (NSUI) Central Election Authority member Rohit Chaudhary has said that the NSUI in Uttarakhand will organise college elections which will begin on November 25. Chaudhary, who has been sent from Delhi to assess preparations for the NSUI college elections in the state, also said that NSUI Uttarakhand has a target to enlist 50,000  members. 

SP convention on December 7
: Samajwadi Party leaders and workers observed a two-minute silence on the death of Uttar Pradesh SP president Ramsharan Das. Uttarakhand SP chief Ambrish Kumar informed that the party youth convention will now be organised on December 7. At the meeting present were party secretary Murli Manohar, Labour Sabha chief Ilamchand, Mukram Ansari, Anniruddh Bhatti, Arun Prakash, Gomti, Lalita, Ravi, Usha Meaheswari and Sumit Chamoli. 

Gurukul to host ‘Rangini’: Gurukul Kangri University is organising a three-day college festival from November 24 to 26, which will showcase not only cultural programmes but also debates and a science workshop. State minister for education Madan Kaushik will inaugurate the event at 10 am at the engineering campus of the university. 


Regional potpourri

Cremating unclaimed bodies with dignity

Raju Charya
Raju Charya

Sight of municipal council staff transporting unclaimed bodies from the civil hospital in a tractor trailer, normally used to carry garbage, and cremating these by sprinkling kerosene or diesel moved young Raj Kumar Charya alias Raju Charya, who formed the Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa, an NGO, which cremates unclaimed bodies and immerses ashes in Ganga at Hardwar.

He used to help migrant workers too when he was employed in a sawmill in Abohar.

Initially Raju had formed a religious group to undertake 380- km padayatra to Salasar Dhaam in Rajasthan during annual fair and organised ‘jagran’ also every month. The Nar Sewa Narayan Sewa on Charaya’s initiative took up the Herculean task of adopting abandoned new- born babies, hospitalising them, nourishing and finally handing them over to needy issueless couples for adoption through a sub-committee formed by the sub- divisional magistrate. The beneficiaries included families from Faridabad and other far-off places .The NGO also creates awareness against female foeticide.

Raju has an office in the Nehru Memorial Civil Hospital which NGO members man. They help poor patients and arrange medicines for those injured in mishaps. They also donate blood for the needy . The NGO distributes ration among 100 persons in the first week of every month. Provision of drinking water at the bus stand, railway station and other important places has also been taken up by the NGO.

Worried at accumulation of bodies at the tail end of some sub- canals in Abohar division close to Rajasthan boundary the NGO has put up signboards requesting villagers to inform them for organising cremation. Charya recently found stray dogs mauling such bodies in a tail- end village.

The NGO has plans to open free testing laboratory and homoeopathy dispensary in a building in Lajpat Rai vegetable market. He has plans to set up an orphanage.

Recently he was honoured with “Hazari Lal Sewa Sanman Award” by Swami Keshwanand group of educational institutions.

Motivating youth for blood donation

Krishan Taneja
Krishan Taneja

Unavailability of blood for the ailing father of a Fazilka youth brought a turning point in his life. He has donated blood for 48 times and is spreading the message of blood donation.

Krishan Taneja (31) has donated blood 48 times in 14 years. He says he was 10 , had little understanding of blood donation, when his father fell ill in 1988. His father needed surgery for which blood was required . The family of Krishan could not arrange blood. However Des Raj Dhuria arranged blood for his father from Fazilka. His father’s life was saved. This act of kindness touched young Krishan, who understanding significance of blood donation, decided to donate blood .

Krishan, now a father of two, donates blood whenever required. He says his wife Vishu Taneja also encourages him to do it. Blood donated by him saved the life of a woman in 1998. For donating blood he does not confine himself to Fazilka town only but has donated blood 10 times in other towns of Faridkot, Ferozepur and Patiala.

Krishan formed a blood donation society, Gandhi Nagar, Fazilka in 1999. He is the founder- secretary of the society, which has over 250 donors. The society has donated over 300 units of blood so far. The members have also donated blood on call by other local social organisations namely the Manv Kalyan Sabha, the Ram Sharnam and the Social Welfare Society.

Taneja was honoured by former Punjab health minister Surinder Singla in 2006, former forest minister Hans Raj Josan, former SDM Fazilka Bhupinder Singh Saharan on independence day 2004 and other social organisations of the town for his humanitarian work .

Taneja in his message to the youth stresses the need of donating blood which he describes as “elixir of life”. He also calls upon them to shun drugs and donate blood as it does not result in weakness or disability. He says by donating blood he feels energised and his haemoglobin is 13 gram.

Cop’s drive against drugs

Nawanshahr district police chief Shashi Prabha Dwivedi, has been mobilising NGOs for a campaign against drugs. Recently, the Sankalp Welfare and Awareness Societyand the All -India Crime Prevention Society jointly launched a drive against drugs. An exhibition, seminar and declamation contest were organised.

Shashi Prabha, appealed to people to convert the drive into a movement. Exhorting the girls to come forward to bring change in the mindset of society, she said role of girls in putting a check on drug abuse could prove vital. " The educated girls should be mobilised to start " Say- no- to- drugs" campaign from the homes", she said adding if educated girls rose against the evil they could do wonders in eradicating it.

Besides, the NGOs should create awareness that drug addiction should not be taken as a stigma but be treated as a disease. By proper treatment and rehabilitation facilities to the drug addicts, they can be made useful members of society. So, the NGOs should also concentrate on opening 'drug de-addiction' centres. The society should also be mobilised to have sympathetic attitude towards drug addicts and ensure their rehabilitation, she added.

Contributed by Raj Sadosh, Praful Chander Nagpal and Parmod Bharti


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