L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BEd colleges give merit a pass
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The recent orders by the Punjab and Haryana High Court of filling vacant seats of BEd in colleges on the basis of merit had come as a ray of hope for hundreds of students here, but certain college managements are “exploiting” students by charging huge amounts as admission fee.

While some colleges have not been maintaining records of admission, the others are admitting students on telephone.

Harjeet Singh, a student with 65 per cent, said he had “booked” his seat on telephone with a BEd college on Ludhiana’s periphery. “I was told by my friend that the particular college management just asked about the percentage on phone and asked for the amount (fee) to be deposited on a particular date. For me, this concept was not only new, but unique as I had not cleared the written test earlier. They are charging Rs 3,500 extra, but that is not a problem as I will be able to get a degree within a few months,” he added.

A survey by The Tribune revealed that certain college managements were exploiting the students by charging hefty amounts as the degrees would now be provided in five-six months. “Students have started making a beeline for these colleges to get admission to BEd courses. “Our college has admitted students by getting as much as Rs 50,000 whereas for the particular course, the university had fixed a fee structure of Rs 35,000. Though the record maintained by the college is not genuine as students with very low percentage have been shown on the list. We will show that admission was provided to students with maximum percentage. Only we know the truth,” a faculty member of a leading BEd college here said.

Tarsem Bahia, convener, Education Forum, Punjab, said it was a sorry state of affairs for BEd aspirants. The counselling was not being done by any centralised agency. Students were being given admission without preparing any merit list. Seats were being “sold” by private managements to the students in the absence of any check by the authorities concerned.

“Certain colleges with hundreds of vacant seats were minting money in the district,” he alleged.

During the recent entrance test conducted for BEd, two new papers were introduced. Just 36 per cent students were able to clear the test as compared to 72 per cent last year. Out of a total of 22,000 seats, only 12,000 seats could be filled. Seeing the vast number of vacancies, the High Court had provided a good opportunity to students to get admission to BEd classes.


One-way traffic scheme backfires
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The enforcement of one-way traffic near the Domoria bridge towards the Bhadaur House market by the traffic police has backfired with the traffic situation turning from bad to worse.

Commuters from under the bridge are the victims of an experiment by the traffic police to check chaos on the worst traffic bottleneck of the city. The police has rather compounded the problem instead of solving it. Owing to the lack of planning and farsightedness of the traffic police, the experiment has failed.

It takes them nearly an hour to reach their destination within a radius of half a kilometre in the area. Serpentine queues are an order of the day almost everyday.

A few days ago, the police prohibited the flow of traffic from the Damoria bridge towards Bhadaur House through Deepak Cinema. It was diverted from under the elevated road near B.K. Kapoor Hospital and the municipal corporation office.

Consequently, instead of a single traffic bottleneck at the bridge, three bottlenecks have formed. The situation has worsened at the bridge and the hospital chowk and the MC office have emerged as worst bottlenecks.

As there are no cops posted at these two places, traffic coming from the bridge side gets stuck for hours. It is a bumper to bumper ride and drivers are even seen switching off the ignition and resting on the wheel as the traffic does not move.

In front of the MC office, the traffic from both roads turns in the opposite direction. Those coming from the Clock Tower side turn towards the electronic market and from the hospital side to Bhadaur House. The traffic crosses at this point and due to absence of a traffic cop, vehicles get stranded.

“We were hoping that the experiment would yield results. We do not feel like coming to this part of the city. And the cops are turning a blind eye. We want them to go away. We will manage traffic on our own,” a shopkeeper said.

“When this enforcement was not there, we used to cross the bridge in five-10 minutes. Now it takes an hour. It is better that they leave us on our own,” a resident said.



Administration wants all ponds secured
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 30
Taking cognizance of incidents of children drowning in cattle ponds, the administration has called upon office-bearers of the civic bodies of the area to safeguard banks of water bodies located in their respective areas.

At the same time the authorities urged the office-bearers of the social and educational organisations to launch a coordinated drive to educate people about the consequences of letting children play near water bodies.

Jaspal Singh Jassie, SDM of Malerkotla, said he had directed officials in the block development office to impress upon the office-bearers of the civic bodies of their respective blocks to either construct a boundary wall around cattle ponds in their area or prohibit children from playing near the water bodies.

Referring to information collected through the revenue authorities of the subdivision, Jassie regretted that the threat of an animal or a child getting drowned in the sludge pond due to the absence of any boundary wall around it loomed large in the area.

A majority of ponds lacked a bandh or obstruction. Uncontrolled entry of cattle in these ponds had further deteriorated the condition of the banks, which during the rains become undetectable.

As the ponds are commonly situated on the outskirts of the habitation and light is mostly insufficient there, the risk of stumbling into these is more during the night.

Investigations revealed that several people had drowned in ponds at villages in this part of Malwa.

Shehbaz, two-year-old son of Raunaq of Kup Kalan, had drowned when he was playing near the pond on Wednesday evening.

Sukhpreet Singh, a toddler, of Kalsan village in Ludhiana district had also died of drowning about five months ago. His body was fished out from the village pond after many days of his disappearance.

A badly decomposed body of an unidentified person was found in a pond situated on the outskirts of Barundi, near here, in September.



Mumbai Attack
Ludhianvis pay tributes to martyrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Ludhianvis today paid rich tributes to security personnel who laid down their lives while fighting terrorists in Mumbai and prayed for the peace of the victims who lost their lives in the attack.

A group of residents of Defence Colony organised a prayer meeting in their locality and prayed for the peace of the victims and saluted the national heroes who attained martyrdom during Operation Cyclone.

Manjeet Sodhia, retired principal of Government College for Girls, and members of the Jaago Party arranged the prayer meeting.

Condemning politicians, they said they were only working to make more and more money and were not bothered about the security of people.

They criticised Raj Thackrey and said he had even failed to condemn the terror attack.

The Bhagwan Parshuram Mission members also observed a two-minute silence for the victims. It said it took pride in the security personnel of the country who had set an example of gallantry and saved hundreds of lives in various places in Mumbai.

Activists of the mission said they had specially organised the day as “balidan diwas”.

Peace marches were held in other parts of the city also.



Where elite are encroachers
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Though poor are always targeted when it comes to encroachments, Dr Sham Singh Road, near Bharat Nagar Chowk, is an example of greed for encroachment by the rich.

The area, which houses many elites of the city, tells the story that despite having huge bungalows, these rich and famous are not ready to abide by the law. The power of money has been saving them from the action of the municipal corporation as the civic body has never tried to demolish encroachments in this area.

Talking to The Tribune, a municipal official, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Many powerful people, including various industrialists, are residing in the area and the high ups never allow us to take any action nor do they target the area.” He added that even if they tried to be strict with them, political interference held them back. Interestingly, the area is one of the most expensive sites in the city.

Rakesh Sharma, a resident, said, “Ideally, the road has to be very wide if people here had constructed their homes by adhering to byelaws. Since encroachers have built slants at their entrances for the vehicles. These slants are not a part of their housing area.” He added that plying of two cars together on this road now is not possible.

Similarly, another resident Rakhi said, “The street has around 100 to 150 houses and is one of the most important roads joining Ghuman Mandi and the Mall Road. Even then the municipal corporation has been turning a blind eye to encroachers.” She added that accidents had become quite a normal routine and parents were reluctant to leave children alone on the road.

When this reporter tried to contact municipal councillor Ruchi Jain, her husband revealed that she was not well and not in a condition to talk.



Winter special Shatabdi from December 3
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 30
City residents will have yet another Shatabdi linking the industrial hub with New Delhi, but for a short duration of a month.

The Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi Express will be run by the northern railways, along with several other trains, as winter specials as part of the drive to cope with increased passenger traffic during December.

Among other trains to pass through Ludhiana are those to run on the Delhi-Udhampur, Varanasi-Jammu Tawi, Bandra Terminus-Jammu Tawi and Bandra Terminus-Amritsar sections during December and January.

It was officially stated by railway officials here today that the winter special Shatabdi would run from New Delhi from December 3 to 31, and from Ludhiana from December 4 to January 1.

Departing from Ludhiana at 06 hrs, it would reach New Delhi at 10.35 am with stopovers at Ambala and Panipat. The up-train would start from New Delhi at 1830 hrs and reach Ludhiana at 23.05 hrs. The Shatabdi would have both the executive chair car and chair car coaches.

Delhi-Udhampur (0403/0404) train will run from Delhi from December 1 to January 7 and from Udhampur from December 2 to January 8. Enroute it would stop at Panipat, Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana, Chakki Bank and Jammu Tawi.

Varanasi-Jammu Tawi train would operate from Varanasi from December 1 to January 7 and from Jammu Tawi from December 2 to January 8. It would halt at Sultanpur, Nihalgarh, Lucknow, Bareilly, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Ambala Cantt, Ludhiana and Chakki Bank.

Among other trains touching Ludhiana will be biweekly super fast air- conditioned Bandra Terminus-Jammu Tawi (0905-0906) which will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from December 22 to January 12 from Bandra and on Wednesdays and Fridays from December 24 to January 14 and the weekly Bandra Terminus-Amritsar (0951/0952) super fast air-conditioned train which will run on Fridays from December 19 to January 9 from Bandra and on Sundays from December 21 to January 11 from Amritsar.



City Concerns

In what may potentially be an eye opener for the government and enforcement agencies, a study at PAU that has found that 60 per cent of coriander powder in the market is adulterated with sand and 53 per cent chilli samples with brick powder.

It has been found that papaya seeds were found as adulterant in 56 per cent of black pepper samples. Also, top on the list of heavily adulterated products are milk, ghee, mustard oil, jaggery, honey samples and turmeric powder.

Where is the mechanism lacking in the enforcement agencies to ensure clean grocery for citizens? Should ISI marks be made compulsory on all grocery items as well or an alternate agency put in place to regulate the quality of food material? What is the role of citizen organisations to ensure adulteration-free products for a common man? While the rich can afford to buy packaged products of good companies, what could be done for grocery items of a common man who constitutes more than 60 per cent of the city population?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianacon [email protected] or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor



Surprise checks at government schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Sudesh Bajaj, district education officer (secondary), has said that government schools were being inspected by three officers to find out irregularities and check the trend of absenteeism among government school teachers.

The campaign was aimed at improving the standards of education in government schools, she said.

Varsha Shukla, deputy district education officer for Ludhiana east and west, Varinder Sharma for Jagroan and Raikot and Bachitar Singh for Samrala, Khanna and Payal had been appointed for this purpose.

They would also check the participation of schoolteachers in seminars and get their feedback in this regard.

Sudesh Bajaj said she had also made surprise checks of some schools at Rajewal, Phullewal, Khanna, Dehlon and Poheer.



Video conferencing at MC soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The Ludhiana municipal corporation, which is one of the biggest corporations in Punjab, is soon going to be high tech as the D-zone office of the civic body would be equipped with video conferencing facility.

According to information, the equipment, which includes LCD and cameras, has been sent by the Central government to the municipal corporation to install it in their office. The facility is being provided to keep in touch with the authorities directly especially for the JNNURM projects going on in the city. Besides, it would help the authorities to keep a track of development and time period of these projects too.

Interestingly, with the functioning of the facility, the Ludhiana municipal corporation would become the first MC in Punjab to have the facility.

The interactive telecommunication technique allows two or more locations to interact via two-way vide and audio transmission simultaneously. It is also called visual collaboration and is a type of groupware.

Giving details, senior town planner B.S. Brar said the equipment would be installed in the D-zone office of the municipal corporation adjacent to the municipal commissioner's room. "We have already applied for an ISBN line to the BSNL and the equipment would start functioning from the coming week onwards," he added.

Notably, there are two major projects of the JNNURM undergoing in the city. These include multi-storey flats for socially economic weaker section and storm sewerage system worth Rs 300 crore.

Talking to The Tribune, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said with the adoption of new technology, the Ludhiana municipal corporation would be able to achieve new heights. "The technique could be used to exchange the technology and talk to experts from outside India too and take their help for better development," he added.

He said with the coming of the video conferencing, the MC had set a new standard for itself and we would try to integrate computer technology in all departments of the civic body.



‘Doctor’s negligence’ claims life
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 30
Rajwinder Kaur, wife of Baljit Singh, died here due to alleged negligence of a local doctor. She was expecting a baby and was admitted to a hospital here, run by a doctor couple, on the Ludhiana road.

About ten days earlier, Rajwinder gave birth to a child by caesarean operation. However, the bleeding did not stop after the surgery.

When the condition of the woman deteriorated beyond the control of the doctor couple, they referred the patient to a multi-specialty hospital on the Ferozepur road, near Ludhiana.

After five days treatment, doctors failed to save the woman yesterday as she suffered a massive blood loss and infection.

The family of the deceased reportedly deposited Rs 45,000 prior to admission of the patient in the hospital.

However, the doctors of the multi-speciality hospital demanded Rs 2 lakh more before releasing the body as the cost of treatment.

When the relatives of the deceased threatened to gherao the hospital at Mullanpur, the doctor called the multi-specialty hospital and paid Rs 1 lakh from his pocket to save himself from the trouble.

It was alleged that Rs 1 lakh was the commission of the doctor to be paid by the multi-specialty hospital.

The doctor couple, however, refused to reveal any facts, but pleaded innocence and said it was an accident in due treatment. No case was registered till the filing of this report.



Fund crunch hits mid-day meal
Gurdeep Singh Mann

Machhiwara, November 30
The mid-day meal scheme in different primary schools of Machhiwara is in crises these days due to shortage of funds.

There are 88 primary schools in block Machhiwara and most of the schools are bereft of the mid-day meal due to the shortage of funds. "The problem was discussed with the seniors who told us to arrange money at our own. We have to arrange ration and other things to provide meal to the children at our own", rued a section of teachers in various schools of the town.

Though many of the schools are provided with required quantity of ration but they do not have other facilities to prepare the food for children. The students return without having food in school and many of them have stopped attending the classes, teachers said.

Earlier, we were facing problems of non-availability of ration and we have to arrange the ration at our own. "Sometimes the teachers contribute from their own pockets and buy ration from nearby shops in the villages. Many schools borrow ration and return the same amount whenever government releases it", added teachers.

The students rued that they do not get the mid-day meals regularly at a stretch. "After every few months the scheme become irregular and left the children in lurch", said Khushdeen, father of a ten-year-old girl in Rajgarh village.

District co-ordinator of mid-day meal schemes, Tarsem Lal Banga, when contacted admitted the problem of fund crunch in some schools. "The schools however are managing at their own. They had been borrowing ration from each other for past some time to continue the scheme", he said.



It’s business as usual in city
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Mumbai terror strikes have failed to dampen the spirits of city residents who continue to throng crowded public places with full enthusiasm.

Undeterred by the mayhem that struck the nation over the last few days which took many lives and caused irreparable damage to life and property, city shoppers could be seen shopping enthusiastically in the flea market of Chaura Bazaar which is a regular weekly feature.

“What happened in Mumbai is really sad and tragic, but we cannot stop living our lives in the fear of a tragedy,” said Ridhima, a BA II student, who had come from Sahnewal to shop for her forthcoming wedding, summing up the sentiments of the city residents, who came out on roads today to make the best use of the cozy Sunday afternoon by shopping in the flea market.

A sea of humanity could be seen in Chaura Bazaar from early morning to late evening where people had come not only from various parts of the city to shop, but also from the neighbouring areas, including Sahnewal, Samrala, Moga, Jagraon, Khanna and Mullanpur, to shop for various things ranging from woolens, household items, footwear to crockery, toys and electronics.

“We were expecting scant crowds due to what had happened in Mumbai. Generally, following such incidents, people get more cautious and stay away from such crowded places. However, contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in the number of people thronging the flea market and we witnessed the usual rush of customers. Even the sales were unaffected,” said Ramesh, who sets up his hosiery stall in the flea market every Sunday.

Interestingly, the presence of a large number of police personnel instilled more confidence in shoppers who were of the opinion that the cops should be around every Sunday to avoid any untoward incident.



Candies, old wine in new bottle
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
As frantic dieters head to the gym to lose those extra calories before Christmas, the city's "IT" crowd heads to the closest store to buy the hottest new buys-candy. The most colourful and exciting way to get that sugar rush seems to be flying off the shelves at stores these days.

Just think back the time when you last ran into a store and asked for your favourite indulgences. Though not much has changed since then but all your favourite flavours are the new versions of the old ones. "Re-mix" is doing the trick to tickle your appetite for the sweet tooth. All time favourite flavours-lime, orange, mango and cola to name a few can be found in abundance along with modern renditions of almost every flavour imaginable.

Watermelon gum, jelly beans, gum-my bears, wine drops, fruit salad chews, dew drops, necklaces, rum balls, blueberry bricks, fizzy apple pencils, wicked wheels strawberry, marshmallows and sweet love are just some of the over hundreds of varieties of sweets that one will find in stock today. If that was overdose then a range of sugar free treats will do the trick for you!

"Couple of years back not many stores exquisite candies but with the opening of the malls we have an easy access to scrumptious candies," adds Arshpreet, a student of Guru Nanak Public School. No doubt the flavours are the same but a presentation and jelly-based candies are awesome and they melt in the mouth in no time, she chips. The hi-end sweet shops in Ludhiana make the outer presentation as delightful as the inner one. Even the chocolates in different shapes, sizes and figures are catching the fantasies of the kids.

Chocolates in shapes of animals as well as wine and whisky shaped bottles are available for the city's merry makers. Varieties of chocolates available at an exclusive outlet at Mall Road will surely satisfy your urge for the chocolate delight. So go on, get some!



SMS, new tool for brand promotion
Shopping becomes less tedious
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Shopping becomes “less strenuous” for working women with big and small companies using short message services (SMS), the newest form of brand promotion to update the clients about the latest range of products coming to the stores.

From reputed names in garment brands, including Benetton, Wills Lifestyle, Espirit, Tomy Hilfiger, Madame, Big Brands and Freeberg, the messages have become an easy way to approach the customers.

With implausible rise in the prices of fruits and vegetables, the exciting offers given by different stores, including Easyday, Reliance, More, 6Ten and Spencers, buying grocery and vegetables too has become less tedious as women go to the stores with best offer of the day.

An interesting SMS from Reliance store reads, "Buy fruits and vegetables worth Rs 99 and get Rs 10 off on tomato.”

Mandeep, a college lecturer says that she depends on the messages especially for the interesting offers. Elated over the easy information she said, "It is difficult to compare the rates of vegetables and fruits but it is easy to go through the everyday offers through messages as almost all stores are giving interesting packages depending upon the purchase. It also saves a lot of time as I don't have to hop from one store to another to buy consumer items."

Having discovered that developing a personal rapport with the clients is the most important way to market the product, the city jewellers too are throwing exciting offers to attract women. The jewellers are sending messages to their regular buyers asking them to join “kitty” and make advance booking for 20-30 grams of gold on the current price.

The services have been well received by the homemakers also as Kanupriya, a homemaker, termed the SMS practice a service at the doorstep. She said it was difficult to scan the advertisements but information about the brands provided from time to time about the discounts and their availability make shopping fun.



AIDS will affect 45 million by 2010: SMO
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 30
Many social organisations of the area, falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts, organised rallies to aware masses about deleterious affects of HIV virus on the eve of World AIDS Day that falls on Monday.

Students of Government Middle School, Khera, Kartar Singh Dukki Memorial Government Senior Secondary, Latala, Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, and Government Senior Secondary School, Barundi, were educated about causes and consequences of the disease.

Awareness rally at Khera village was addressed by Amarjit Singh, headmaster, Sukhbir Grewal and Darshan Singh Khalsa of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. Students raised slogan against social evils, including AIDS, drug addiction and female foeticide, while marching through streets of the villages.

Dr K. C. Goel, SMO, Malerkotla, called upon the government medical staff to equip themselves with adequate knowledge before launching crusade against the disease.

The SMO apprehended that the disease, if went unchecked, would engulf over 45 million persons by 2010.

Dr Sunit Hind said the positive attitude towards suspects and patients was more important than medical treatment as stigmatisation and discrimination had already multiplied the problem.

Experts claimed that the poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and political instability as other factors leading to the proliferation of the disease.



Training on soft computing ends at GNDEC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) is the latest optimisation technique to solve complex problems of various fields, where putting mathematics to work through soft computing tools was used. This helped in the new inventions and research in areas like medical science, antenna design, wireless communication and various other fields.

This came as an outcome of four-day short-term training programme, which concluded at GNDEC, here yesterday. The course coordinator Dr S.S. Patnaik from Chandigarh along with his team of researchers organised the course. During this course, various optimisation techniques- bacterial foraging and radial basis functions of soft computing was taught and hands on programming was implemented.

B.S. Dhaliwal, local coordinator informed that a full-fledged two-week course on the advanced topics of this field would be held in the month of February, 2009.

The course was well received by faculty of college. According to media coordinator Prof Kanwaljit Singh, this latest field will allow the researchers to go for new avenues in the field of engineering and medicine.

The faculty of electronics, electrical, CSE/IT and applied science participated in the course. Dr H.S. Rai and Dr S.S. Patnaik gave away the course material and latest research papers to the participants during the concluding ceremony. Several other senior faculty members were also present.



Congress holds rally against terrorism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 30
Congress activists, led by PPCC secretary Parminder Mehta, today organised a protest rally against terrorist attack on Mumbai and burnt an effigy of ISI while calling upon the Centre to launch direct Army action to eliminate training camps for militants being run in Pakistan.

Paying tributes to those who laid down their lives while fighting the terrorists in Mumbai, Mehta asked the countrymen not to link the acts of terrorism with any particular religion or community as this could have serious repercussions on the secular fibre of India. “The people in other parts of the country ought to learn a lesson from Punjab where the masses maintained communal brotherhood in the face of prolonged militant activities and succeeded in rooting out the terrorism,” said Mehta. The PPCC secretary made a fervent appeal to leaders of all political parties to come together at this crucial period when the country was facing a grave threat from cross-border terrorism.

“The senior political leaders should mobilise the people against militant groups rather than pursuing their own political agenda at this juncture,” he added. He said while resignation by the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil was a welcome step, the government ought to be pro-active to effectively deal with threat from militants.



Agri population in clutches of poverty, indebtedness, says study
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Despite the fact that Punjab was the pioneer in new agricultural technology, a large section of agricultural population was still living in the clutches of poverty and indebtedness.

The plight of agricultural labourers has become vulnerable; they constitute the poorest section of rural population.

The study conducted by Gurinderpal Kaur, a student of M.Sc (agricultural economics honours) of Punjab Agricultural University under the guidance of major advisor Dr Sukhpal Singh reveals that the agricultural labourer in Punjab, in order to meet their both ends meet, had also started adopting subsidiary occupations like dairy, shops and working as domestic servants.

The study conducted in six villages, namely Rampur, Lopon, Kheri, Ghanda Banna, Lehra Sondha and Kuttiwal of Ludhiana and Bathinda districts, respectively, reveals although Punjab was highly agriculturally developed state but about 55 per cent of agricultural labourers were under debt.

The main purpose of taking loans was marriages on which the agricultural labourers spent about 51 per cent of loan. With an aim to examine the determinants of poverty and indebtedness among the agricultural labourers, it was found that the labourers mainly spent on non-durable items, especially on food items- 20 per cent on food grain and 14 per cent on milk and about 12 per cent for marriage and other social ceremonies. It was unfortunate that a negligible amount was spent on education and other services while these people spent nothing for entertainment.

The main reason of indebtedness among the agricultural labourers was that the burden of outstanding loan was very high.

The village moneylenders and rich farmers charged a high rate of interest to these poor labourers. Indebtedness kept on increasing among the labour households when their income remained static and no other effort was made to improve their economic condition.



Seminar on global economic crisis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Economic recession can be fought back by shifting from the unregulated speculative market economy and adopting people-friendly measures that will generate more jobs and guarantee stability in the economic sphere, said Prof Kamal N. Kabra, leading economist associated with the Alternative Survey Group and author of “Alternative Economic Survey, India 2007-08.” He was addressing a seminar organised by Citizen's Action Front, Ludhiana, on “Global economic crisis - Indian scenario,” here today.

He said it was clear from the decisions taken by the Centre so far that they were least concerned about people’s woes and needs. The upshot of all measures taken so far by the Indian government has been to address the concerns of the stock market players, other financial sector players, the corporate sector industries, some exporters and so on.

“Clearly, the crisis has been viewed as that of the speculators and large share market players rather than that of the long-term ones. The public sector institution has largely survived this crisis. The National Rural Employment Scheme (NREG) is a good step but half hearted. This, if effectively taken with real political will, can change the fate of millions of unemployed in the rural India and stabilise the economy.” Similar schemes have to be made for the urban poor, he said. The revamped NREGP would create a large and growing domestic market that enables a really inclusive development possible, Kabra added.



Cops can’t afford extended medicare
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The police department has failed to provide medicare to nearly 150 cops who are suffering due to a financial crunch. Limited resources is making it tough for a majority of lower-rung officers to handle medical expenses.

The cops are usually at health risk due to the stressful professional lives and long hours of work.

Head constable Baldev Singh has been on crutches for around a year. He was hit by an overspeeding autorickshaw due to which his thigh bone was crushed. So far, he has spend around Rs 3 lakh on his medical treatment, but in the absence of more funds, he cannot pursue the treatment any further.

He is taking strong painkillers to attend to his duty. “My leg is showing no sign of improvement, so I decided to stop the treatment as I am in no condition to spend a singe penny on it,” he said, adding that he had spent nearly Rs 25,000 on physiotherapy.

“I cannot handle this excruciating pain. It has been nearly a year and the pain has not gone. I cannot spend on my treatment anymore as I have to look after my children on this meagre salary,” he said.

However, the account branch of the department said they would reimburse the amount spent during the time he was admitted to hospital.

Another cop, an ASI, revealed on the condition of anonymity, that he recently underwent a bypass surgery and spent Rs 2.5 lakh from his own pocket, but was reimbursed only Rs 1.50 lakh.

The SSP, R.K. Jaiswal, said the department had a community insurance programme that took care of such cases. The department would try to resolve the problem, he added.



International folk festival at Khalsa College
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 30
A group of 30 international artists performed at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, yesterday.

In view of commemoration of Diamond Jubilee of the college, Punjab International Folk festival, was held in the Nihang Shamsher Singh auditorium in a joint effort with Davinder Singh Chhina, director Punjab Cultural Promotion Council.

The international teams are on a ten-day trip to India to spread a massage of peace and harmony. The Punjab International folk festival was inaugurated by Swaranjit Singh Deol, principal of GHG Khalsa College and B.K. Kapoor, principal of GHG Khalsa college of Pharmacy.

In the festival four international groups, Centro cultural llanero, Colombia, Lira group, Bulgaria, Gotse Delchev ensemble, Bulgaria, and Glemelzwaaier folklore group, Belgium, performed with a team of PCPC and Khalsa College Sudhar.

The team of PCPC performed stunning Rajasthani dance, whereas, the Khalsa College for pharmacy teams performed lovely choreography and Khalsa College performed a foot-tapping giddha.

The Colombian dancing group, Centro cultural llanero, presented a stunning flag dance and Lira group, performed on a Hindi song ‘Kabhi to nazar Milao’. H.S. Gill, trustee of the college management, principal Ram Singh Kular, Jaswant Singh Khella, Surjit Singh and Channi Sandhu were the guests of honour.



Mumbai Terror
AIATF lauds security forces
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) today lauded the role of security forces for successfully accomplishing the task of eliminating the terrorists from the premises of Oberoi Trident Hotel, Nariman House and Taj Hotel, in Mumbai.

In a statement released here today, state secretary general of the front Yogesh Dewan said now that when so many precious lives were lost due to a well-planned terrorist attack on financial capital of India, it was high time that the Indian government checked the efficacy level of our intelligence agencies.

He further said to express condolence for the victims of terror attack was not enough and the government needs to evolve a strong anti-terror mechanism.

He advocated for a strong anti-terror law along with the establishment of fast track courts.

He ridiculed the Pakistan government’s statement that it was not involved in terrorist attacks on India.

He also stressed the need of a clear-cut policy to contain the scourge of terrorism so that no such dastardly terrorist attack takes place in future as has happened in Mumbai.



From Schools
Annual prize distribution at Sat Paul School
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Sat Paul Mittal School celebrated its 5th annual day here today at Panday auditorium of Nehru Sidhant Kender. Dr Daljit Singh, principal, DMC, Ludhiana, was the chief guest and Deepika Mittal was the guest of honour. Students from classes III to IX presented a cultural extravaganza and it was a magnificient display of talent and skill. Annual report was also read out followed by the annual prize distribution.

GMT Public School

The annual prize distribution function 'Gunjan 2008' was held on Saturday on the premises of GMT Public School.

Prem Chand, SDM (West) presided over. The tiny-tots performed a Haryanvi dance, luddi and bhangra. The chief guest gave away the prizes and congratulated the prize winners. Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind, directors and Amarjeet Dhaliwal, principal, thanked the chief guest, guests and the parents for being the part of the function.



2 buffaloes burnt in accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, November 30
Two heads of buffaloes of a poor family were burnt to death during an accidental fire and three were seriously injured at Kotla Ajner village near here. According to information, the family of a poor widow, Parmjit Kaur, had gone to attend a marriage.

A fire broke out at their shed and two buffaloes were burnt to death on the spot while three suffered many burn injuries. The villagers managed to control the fire after some struggle.

Veterinary doctors were called on the spot who gave first aid to the buffaloes.



Online PG diploma in acupuncture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi, has started an on-line postgraduate diploma in acupuncture in collaboration with the Institute of Acupuncture and Natural Medicine, New Delhi.

Dr D.N. Kotnis Acupuncture Hospital, Ludhiana, has been adopted as the regional study centre for the postgraduate diploma in acupuncture.

This diploma is of one-year duration for medical graduates in allopathy, ayurveda, unani, siddha, homeopathy, yoga and naturopathy.

IGNOU has made nine study centres throughout the country.

Dr Inderjit Singh, medical superintendent of Acupuncture Hospital, has been appointed as the head of regional study centre at Ludhiana.



Cultural show enthralls audience
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 30
C.S. International School, Mandi Gobindgarh, celebrated its annual function, last evening. S.P. Gurcharan Singh Birdi graced the occasion. The function began with "Ganesh Vandana".

Children were dressed in colourful attires. Varity of items, including a scintillating choreography ‘Ae waten ke liye’, glimpses of India, dandia and many other thrilling performances enthralled the audience. Principal Neena Sharma, highlighted various achievement of the school in the annual report.The chief guest gave away prizes to the students who excelled in sports and academics.



Traffic awareness
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 30
The Red Swastik Society organised a traffic awareness camp at Government High School in Aiyali village on Saturday, where the students were told about various traffic rules. The camp, which was inaugurated by society’s chairman Jasbir Singh Khurana witnessed participation of around 600 students.

The society also felicitated 12 teachers of the school.



Seminar on nuclear politics
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 30
The Postgraduate department of political science of SGG College here held a lecture on ‘Nuclear politics — the issue of proliferation, discrimination and hegemony’ by political scientist Dr Ashwani Sharma of DAV College, Jalandhar.

The speaker extended full support to the conduct of the nuclear deal between India and USA. Prof Tarun Ghai, head of department, extended a warm welcome to the speaker. Dr Kuldeep Singh, senator, PU, also graced the occasion. Principal Savita Uppal thanked the guests.



Prasha, Alampreet on roll
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
Prasha Seth, a student of Class V of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, in the girl's (8-10 years) section and Alampreet Singh, a trainee of the Leisure Valley Club in the boy's u-6 category proved their mettle to bag two gold medals each on the opening day of the 11th Ludhiana District Roller Skating Championship being held at the Leisure Valley Skating Rink, Sarabha Nagar, here yesterday.

More than 150 skaters have registered their names in this two-day meet. Exhibiting perfection on quads, Prasha finished ahead of others in the 300m rink race I and then she proved her class in the 750m rink race II to clinch her second individual gold medal.

Similarly, Alampreet overcame stiff challenge from his immediate opponents to emerge champion in the 150m rink race I and 500m rink race II, respectively.


Rink race II Quads (girls u-6) - 500m: Mehreen of Sat Paul Mittal School 1, Muskan of Sacred Heart Convent School 2 and Surkhab of Sacred Herat Convent School 3; 6-8 years- Varleen Kaur of BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar 1, Tehdil Pannu of Sacred Heart Convent School 2 and Jaap Kaur of Guru Nanak Public School 3; 750m- (8-10 years)- Prasha Seth of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Gurnoor Kaur of Sacred Heart Convent School 2 and Anjleen Kaur of Leisure Valley Club 3; 1000m (10-12 years)- Gurman Pannu of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Mehakdeep of Guru Nanak Public School 2 and Simran Sidhu of Sacred Heart Convent School 3; 1500m (u-12-14 years)- Mriga S Tipnis of BCM Arya School 1, Tavleen Kaur of Guru Nanak International Public School 2 and Shareen Kaur of Guru Nanak public School 3.

Rink race II inlines: 1000m (10-12 years)- Taranjot Kaur of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Jasmeet Kaur Gill of Sacred Heart Convent School 2.

Rink race I 150m time trial: girls (u-6 years)- Mehreen of Sat Paul Mittal School 1, Surkhab of Sacred Heart Convent School 2 and Vidhi Gupta of DAV Public School 3; 300m (6-8 years)- Varleen Kaur of BCM Arya School 1, Gurmehar Kaur of Sat Paul Mittal School 2 and Dilvir Kaur of Sacred Heart Convent School 3; 300m (8-10 years)- Prasha Seth of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Anjleen Kaur of Leisure Club 2 and Jasleen Kaur of Leisure Valeyy Club 3.

Rink race I: boys 150m (u-6 years)- Alampreet Singh of Leisure Valley Club 1, Chasmeet Singh of Sacred Heart School 2 and Rhythm of DAV Public School 3; 300m (6-8 years)- Gurpreet Singh 1, Tejbir Singh 2 and Gurvir Singh 3; (8-10 years)- Shubneet Singh of Guru Nanak Public School 1, Abhay of Sacred Heart School 2 and Manpreet Singh of Sacred Heart School 3; (10-12 years)- Dilpreet Singh of Kalgidhar Academy 1, Yovan Bagga of Kundan Vidya Mandir 2 and Bhupinder Singh of Kalgidhar Academy 3.

Rink race II quads: boys 500m (u-6 years)- Alampreet Singh of Leisure Valley Club 1, Rhythm of DAV Public School 2 and Simranpreet Singh of Guru Nanak International Public School 3; 1500m (12-14 years)- Harshpreet Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Kushagra of BCM Arya School 2 and Rajveer Singh of Guru Nanak International Public School 3; 2000m (14-16 years)- Shiva Gupta of Sacred Heart Convent School 1 and Harnoor Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School 2; 1000m (8-10 years)- Harshveer Singh of DAV Public School 1, Narayan Sharma of Delhi Public School 2 and Arjun Puri of Delhi Public School 3; 1000m (12-14 years)- Suryadeep of Kundan Vidya Mandir 1, Gurjot Singh Gill of Sacred Heart Convent School 2 and Harmanbir Singh of Leisure Valley Club 3; 1000m (14-16 years)- Kanwar Bhuvan of Sacred Heart Convent School 1 and Damanbir Singh of Leisure Valley Club 3.

Road race (boys u-6)- Chashmeet Singh 1, Gurpreet Singh 2 and Sayyam 3; 6-8 years: Sukham 1, Ayush Puri 2 and Aditya 3; 8-10 years- Bhavjot Singh 1, Darsbir Singh 2 and Watandeep Singh 3; 10-12 years- Khushwinder Singh 1, Sarbhjot Singh 2 and Inderpreet Singh 3; 12-14 years: Kanwardeep Singh 1, Kushasra 2 and Rajveer Singh 3; 14-16 years- Shiva Gupta 1, Preet Raj 2 and Harnoor Singh 3.

Girls: u-6 years- Muskan 1, Vidhi Gupta 2 and Kushi 3; 6-8 years- Gurmehar Kaur 1, Tehdil Pannu 2 and Saruchi 3; 8-10 years- Gurnoor Kaur 1, Harmanpreet Kaur 2 and Nyamat 3; 10-12 years- Savleen Kaur 1, Gurnam Pannu 2 and Simran Sidhi 3; 12-14 years- Apaar Kaur Grewal 1, Sukeerat Kaur 2 and Simran Sagar 3; 14-16 years- Jaspreet Kaur 1 and Simran Kaur 2; above 16 years- Gurman Preet Kaur 1, Shivani Gupta 2 and Navjot Kaur 3.



Punjab state inter-school games begin today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
The stage is set for the Punjab State Inter-School Games for boys and girls (u-16) to be organised by the Punjab Sports Department in association with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) slated be held here at the Guru Nanak Sports Complex from December 1 to 3.

Addressing a press conference, Padmashree awardee and director (sports), Punjab, Pargat Singh said during this three-day sports extravaganza, competition in five disciplines -- football, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling and table tennis -- would be conducted.

More than one thousand players drawn from different schools across the state will be seen in action while around 150 officials will be there to conduct the games.

On the basis of their performance, the Punjab squads will be finalised to take part in the forthcoming National School Games scheduled to be held at Gurdaspur from December 24 to 27, said Pargat Singh.

Boarding and lodging arrangements have been made at the Government College for Women for the girl participants while boys will be staying at Malwa Khalsa School and the Punjab Agricultural University hostels. Arrangements for the visiting officials have been made at the Kairon Kisan Ghar, PAU campus.

“Over the last three years, the scenario in the sports activities in Punjab has shown improvement following the opening of more sports wings and appointment of coaches,” Pargat Singh said.

Dwelling the plans of the department in detail, the director said a comprehensive programme had been chalked out to promote the sports at the block and district level and leagues in various sports disciplines would be started from the next year which would also channelise youth energies in right perspective.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda will inaugurate the games tomorrow at 10 am while Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, advisor to the Chief Minister, Punjab, will the chief guest on the concluding day.

Sohan Lal Lotey, assistant director (sports), Punjab, along with Harpal Singh Kanwar, deputy director, Patiala division, Javinder Singh Bhandari, district sports officer, Ludhiana, Jaspal Singh, senior coach (football), Raj Kumar, honorary secretary, Punjab Volleyball Association, Balraj Sharma, vice-president, Swimming Federation of India, S. Maini, chairman, Punjab Softball Association (PSA), Pran Nath Passi, secretary, PSA and other sports officials of the Punjab Sports Department, Ludhiana office were present at the press conference.



Bodybuilding competition
Saurabh rules the roost

Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
Saurabh Chopra proved too good for his opponents and emerged overall winner in the annual Mr Libra Bodybuilding Competition held at the Libra Health Club, Ferozepur Road, here today.

More than seventy participants, divided in four groups took part in the competition and eventually nine finished among position holders. A two-member panel of judges namely Parminder Singh from Ferozepur and Barjesh Kaushal from Fatehgarh Sahib, both national level judges supervised the participants and declared the results. Dr Deepak Prashar and Ravi Prashar of Libra Health Club assisted the judges in compiling the results.

Harmeet Angrish Sheru, a former trainee of the Libra Health Club, distributed food supplements to the winners and appreciated the club owners for providing training/coaching as per the latest international norms.


Group A- Ashwani Sharma 1, Harminder Singh 2 and Tarun Kumar 3; Group B- Saurabh Chopra 1 and Harjot Singh Pandher 2; Group C- Aamir Arora 1 and N K Miglani 2 and Group D- Rahul Bithel 1 and Taranjit Singh 2.



Satnamji eves, Police DAV lads shine in handball meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 30
Shah Satnamji Girls Public School, Sirsa, and Police DAV School, PAP, Jalandhar emerged champions in the girls and boys u-19 sections in the CBSE National Handball Tournament that concluded at the Nankana Sahib Public School grounds, Gill Road, here today.

In the girls section, Raj Mata Krishna Kumari Schoo, Jodhpur, secured second position while in the boy's section, BSF Senior Secondary School, Gwalior, and MDN School of Kaithal finished second and third, respectively.

In the u-14 category, Guru Ram Das Public School, Ferozepur, and Janadeepa School, Karnataka, bagged top honours in the boys and girls sections, respectively.

In the girl's section, MGN Public School, Jalandhar, and Dehradun Public School, Ghaziabad, secured second and third position, respectively while in the boy's section the second and third positions were bagged by Police DAV School, PAP, Jalandhar and Jaypee Vidya Mandir, Bulandhshahr, respectively.

Charanjit Singh Atwal, deputy speaker Lok Sabha, was the chief guest. Members of the management committee of the school, principal and teachers along with a large number of students were present at the closing ceremony.



Anurudh, Tapsi emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Medal winners celebrate victory during the conclusion of the Ludhiana District Chess Championship in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 30
Anurudh Garg emerged champion in the men's section while defending champion, Rajiv Verma of the State Bank of Patiala, had to content with second position, and Gursher Singh finished at third spot in the Ludhiana District Chess Championship played at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines here today.

In the women's section, Tapsi Pahwa, student of Green Land Senior Secondary School won top honours, followed by Himani Saini and Neha Gupta secured second and third positions, respectively.

Other results:

Boys u-17: Piyush Manuja of KVM 1, Pueeit Dhawsan of KVM 2 and Mridul Bharadwaj of BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road branch 3; u-13: Sushant Manuja of KVM 1, Divanshu Jain of Green Land Senior Secondary School 2 and Vibhu Tiwari of BCM Senior Secondary School, Dugri 3; u-9: Himmat Singh 1, Anubhav of Green Land Senior Secondary School 2 and Vaibhav Manchanda of BCM Senior Secondary School 3.

Girls (u-17): Shruti Tiwari of BCM Senior Secondary School, Dugri 1, Khayati Jain of Alpine International Public School 2 and Nitika Jain of Alpine International Public School 3; (u-13)- Apoorva Sharma of Sacred Heart Convent School 1, Amanpreet of Green Land Senior Secondary School 2 and Sunakshi Batra of Green Land Senior Secondary School 3; (u-9)- Samridhi Manchanda of BCM Senior Secondary School 1, Meghna of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Kanishka Chawla of Sacred Heart Convent School 3.



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