L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cold wave grips region
Fog hits road, rail traffic
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Cold wave has gripped the region with the falling of both day and night temperatures. Chilly winds along with thick fog engulfed the city till noon, forcing residents to stay indoor throughout the day.

Those who had thought of enjoying their Sunday in the sun had to shelve their plans due to biting cold.

Meteorological experts said the temperature went down by 3-4 °C today due to chilly winds blowing in the region for the past few days.

The maximum temperature recorded today was 16.6 °C , while the minimum was 6.5 °C. The weather experts predicted that in the next 24 hours the weather would remain dry with scattered clouds in the sky.

Marketplaces, roads, etc. wore a deserted look last evening as people avoided going out. Motorists had a tough time driving due to poor visibility. Amandeep, a local resident, who had gone to Chandigarh for some work, said he had to return last night but due to poor visibility and foggy weather, he had to change his plans.

Both road and railway traffic was hit due to fog. Officials at the railway station said almost all trains ran late by two-six hours and passengers had to face inconvenience.

Rajni Sharma, who had to go to Pathankot with her teenage son, said her train ran two hours late. “I had to visit an ailing relative at Doraha and it will be useless to go back. I have no other option but to wait at the station for the train,” she added.

Parents, however, heaved a sigh of relief as most city schools are closed.

“It gets difficult to send children to school in such a weather. Schools are closed for almost a week and we hope that the weather will open up in the coming days,” said Suwinder Kaur, a resident of BRS Nagar.

However, the regular two-hour power cuts have aggravated the problem of residents.

“We cannot use geysers, room heaters, blowers, etc. The worst hit are the elderly, who are unable to bear the chilly weather,” said Sushil Garg, a shopkeeper at Ghumar Mandi.

The poor and homeless are bearing the brunt of the biting cold too. Rickshaw-pullers and daily-wagers were seen keeping themselves warm by setting up temporary fires.

Shriram, a rickshaw-puller, said it had become difficult for them to make both ends meet in the absence of commuters.


House Tax
12,000 defaulters get notice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Finding itself behind target, the house tax department of the municipal corporation has finally pulled up its socks and started issuing notices to house tax defaulters. According to information, the officials have prepared lists of various defaulters and have issued around 12,000 notices.

Sources revealed that the civic body had asked the defaulters to pay the amount in time, failing which it would sent auction notices.

They revealed that the municipal corporation had a target of collecting Rs 75 crore as house tax this year.

They added that Joint Commissioner Davinder Singh had also asked the officials to prepare separate list of biggest defaulters.



Surgeons’ Conference
Hospitality, food floor delegates
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Hyderabadi pearls, Banarsi saris, Kashmiri shawls in addition to Punjabi food and hospitality marks the confluence of diverse Indian cultures at PAU, the venue of annual conference of Indian surgeons.

Over 3,000 surgeons from all over India, including guest speakers from the UK, the USA, Pakistan, have come to attend the 68th annual conference of The Association of Surgeons of India (ASICON 2008).

Right from Telugu, Kannad, Bengali, Hindi to different dialects of Hindi, the voices are a melody to the eras as one enters the lush green lawns of Punjab Agricultural University, which have been redesigned to suit the professional and cultural mode of the conference.

Bowled over by the hospitality of Punjab, children and wives accompanying the surgeons are frequenting the old markets and malls in the city.

Animated over her visit to Punjab, Archana, a young student from Chennai, said: “The food especially ‘saag-makki ki roti’ and ‘jalebis’ are some delicacies that my brother and I tasted for the first time. I will remember the taste for years to come,” she exclaimed.

Enthusiasm was writ large on the face of Dr N.S. Ragarajan from Vishakhapatnam, as he expressed his keenness to buy woollens from Mochpura bazaar and added: “I also want to eat the famous pakoras of Punnu halwai.”

Amidst some poignant moments, Dr Sudarshana Solanki (Rajasthan), while answering to the queries of eight-year-old daughter for her future plans, said: “Darling I want you to become a good and proud citizen of India and learn something about everything that exists here.”

The delegates and their family members were excited to go to the historic city of Amritsar. Dwarka Sable from Maharashtra said: “I have grown up watching Golden Temple on the small screen and now is my chance not only to visit it but also take a dip in the holy waters.”



Gatecrashers integral to F&CC meetings
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
While municipal corporations generally try to follow the rule book, it seems the Ludhiana municipal corporation has decided to veer off course. The presence of joint commissioners in Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) meetings is one such testament to the violation of rules. The practice has been ongoing for the past few months.

According to information, officially of the F&CC should have only six members, which include Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman, Pal Singh Grewal and Simarjit Singh Grewal.

However, joint commissioners along with various SEs, XENs and other lower-level officials join the meeting on a regular basis.

While the meeting is supposed to be a closed-door affair with no one except members allowed to take part in discussions, the presence of joint commissioners and other officials has put a question mark on the objective of secrecy. Besides, these officials are often found taking part in the discussion, something they are not entitled to.

Talking to The Tribune, some F&CC members said the meeting should be a six-member affair and the presence of joint commissioners and lower officials was objectionable. They said: “The rule book says that municipal officials should just prepare agenda and provide a copy of it to us. But these people start giving us advice and clarification. The matter has been pointed out many a time, but to no avail.”

They said the presence of around 20 to 25 persons at the meeting created chaos and resulted in use of abusive language sometimes.

Besides, MC officials were supposed to sit outside the meeting room so that if some doubts or clarifications were required they could be called in. However, the rules were not being followed, they rued.



Work on Roads
Ludhiana-Malerkotla section fraught with danger
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 28
In spite of numerous development projects being undertaken by the successive governments to maintain and construct highways and roads in the state, lives of those using link roads are not safe due to the apathy of PWD officials towards the maintenance of fences at scores of overpasses and bridges on canals and drains in this part of Malwa.

Digging of the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road at places for four-laning of the road and dense fog has compounded the problem for commuters.

Abrupt culmination of motorable parts of the road and deep trenches along the stretches are no less than deathtraps.

The administration seems to have learned no lesson from accidents that have been caused due to unmanageable curves and unfenced bridges.

A survey by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that most link roads and bridges in the area have become virtual deathtraps for want of repair but the authorities concerned continue to be indifferent to their upkeep. The threat is real for those using the roads at night and during early morning.

Drivers find it difficult to negotiate turns at Jagera and Kaind bridges, thanks to the pitiable condition of the roads. Many fatal accidents have occurred at these two bridges.

The old Jagera Bridge that had been declared unsafe before the construction of the new one is still open to traffic. Though the old bridge at Kaind has since been closed to traffic, blockades erected by the authorities concerned are positioned dangerously.

Similarly, bends on the roads at Pohir, Dehlon, Sarinh and Gill villages also pose threat of accident to motorists.

Railings of many small and big bridges on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and link roads too are damaged.

Major accidents are just waiting to happen at small bridges near Jartoli and Bhikhi villages in Kilaraipur constituency segment as these have no railings at all. There are dozens of such bridges and overpasses that have become dangerous due to insufficient fencing.

A span of the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road where work on four-laning is in progress is also fraught with danger. Though warning signs have been placed on culmination of motorable parts, these are inadequate to save vehicles from falling in dug portions of the road.

Poor visibility due to fog makes the situation worse during winter.

Residents of the area have urged the authorities to ensure that proper fencing is done at all small and large bridges to ensure their safety.



10 booked for abducting minor girls
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 28
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked 10 persons for abducting two minor girls from Sherewal village. Gurdev Singh, father of Surinder Kaur (15) (name changed), had accused Kulwant Singh and Balwinder Singh of abducting his daughter and her cousin Sumandeep Kaur (13) (name changed).

He also accused Kaura Bai, Sugri Bai, Boota Singh, Manjit Singh, Ujjagar Singh, Surjit Singh, all from Sherewal village, and Balbir Kaur of Bholian Wala bridge, Malsihan Bajan and Geja Singh of Mand Tihara of luring the girls to elope with Kulwant Singh and Balwinder Singh and marry them.

The Sidhwan Bet police has booked the accused under Sections 363 A, 366 and 120 B, IPC.

The police is conducting raids at suspected hideouts of the accused to arrest them.



Gender Identity Disorder
Ignored cases may spell social chaos: Psychiatrist
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 28
Terming isolation, abuse and stress as major causes of behavioral gender identity disorder among teenagers, Dr Anshu Gupta, a psychiatrist, has called upon parents in general and working couples in particular to pay extra attention to their wards when they show incipient symptoms of the disease.

The rising incidences of the environment-driven disorder, if not checked immediately, might create social imbalances and chaos, apprehended the psychiatrist.

Expressing concern over rising incidences of sex change operations in India and abroad, Dr Gupta claimed that urbanisation and splitting of families had aggravated the problem as parents failed to devote required attention in fast transforming society.

“While extreme form of gender identity disorder among children of flourishing couples manifested itself in sex change operation and become public for obvious reasons, a large number of cases go unreported. The ‘patients’, at all stages of manifestation of the disorder, besides creating problems for their parents and relatives, have been reported to caused chaos in society also,” said Dr Gupta, while talking Ludhiana Tribune.

Referring to the outcome of studies conducted in association with other experts, Dr Gupta said the disorder was noticed among those children who were subjected to isolation, stress or abuse of any kind and degree. Gender bias in the family or outer circle also incited the subjects to behave as opposite sex of his or her own gender.

Warning the parents concerned about problems associated with future of their wards, Dr Gupta apprehended that lesbianism, homosexuality and same-sex marriage, which had genesis in ignored cases of disorder, affected their social status adversely besides isolating the patients forever.

Dr Gupta suggested that parents should consult experts immediately after they noticed their child behave opposite to his or her biological sex.

Dressing like children of opposite sex, playing with toys meant for opposite gender children and simulating behaviour of members of opposite sex were some symptoms of the disorder.

The psychiatrist claimed that manifestation of the disorder could be regulated if not checked, by adopting group behavioral therapy at the right time.

The patient, if not handled tactfully, might insist on uro-genital reconstructive surgery, which besides being highly expensive, was socially unacceptable. It required expertise of urologists, gynaecologists and plastic surgeons.

Their work focussed on the aesthetics and functioning of external and internal female and male genital organs. Reconstructive surgery might be required to rectify the outcome of unsuccessful operations performed at unauthorised clinics.



In Retrospect| Art/Culture
Ludhiana lost its ‘star voice’
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Though the city was in the grip of recession due to global meltdown, it hardly affected the style mantra of the chic Ludhianvis. Exhibitions, trunk shows and opening of high-end branded stores were the regular features of 2008.

While the Punjab Sahit Akademi got its first woman president, the sad part was losing its singing sensation “Voice of India” Ishmeet Singh.

The cultural life in Ludhiana has taken a whirl and the dressing and dining tastes of people have undergone a sea change. Going to cinema halls or eating out was the only option before people for a fine weekend but today they have numerous choices for making their weekend pleasant and enjoyable.

Exhibitions and shows by Marigold Group, Brioni and Wedding Asia were the major crowd-pulling events for the elite of the city. Despite recession, the exhibitions received an overwhelming response.

Friends from Pakistan were also welcomed by Punjabis. A team from Pakistan participated in Special Olympics. Both children and coaches were bowled over by the warmth extended by people.

The other guest from Pakistan this year was the famous singer Shaukat Ali. Giving the best example of friendship between India and Pakistan, he said his youngest son Mosan Abbas was “sarvala” at Punjabi artist Bhagwant Maan’s wedding. “Even 22 carat gold fails to shine before our friendship,” said Shaukat.

The city got its biggest shock when its “Voice of India” died tragically in the Maldives. People who had earlier cheered for the local lad were in deep grief. This singer from a modest background from the city touched the hearts and minds of millions of music lovers not just by winning the contest but living up to his image of a “gentle Sardar”. He was given a state funeral. It is still hard to believe that Ishmeet is not around. Like a shooting star, he came and went... in a blink of the eye. On the brighter side, the Punjabi Sahit Akademy got its first woman president, Dr Dalip Kaur Tiwana, in April. She was the youngest woman writer to get Sahitya Academy Award at the age of 36 in 1972. The election to the top post saw major twists and turns. While on the one side was Dr Tiwana, the other contender for the post was Dr Gurbhajan Gill. But after all odds, Dr Tiwana won and the akademi got its first woman president. Her appointment raised hopes in literary circles



Social awareness rally at Daad
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
As a part of seven days NSS camp on the theme “Healthy youth for Healthy India”, organised by the volunteers of SCD Government College today, a social awareness rally was held at Daad.

The students were carrying the banners on AIDS awareness, female foeticide, pollution control, drug addiction and environment protection. About 120 volunteers participated in the rally which took a round of the village to make people aware of various social evils.

On this occasion, Ashwani Bhalla, executive vice-president of the Punjab Commerce and Management Association, delivered a lecture on the theme “Team building, work ethics and career awareness”. He said students should identify their core competencies and try to learn to work in a team to achieve their objectives. He explained various issues relating to work ethics in life.

He also explained many career options for students specifically in the field of event management and mass communication. The volunteers also visited Nishkam Vridh Ashram and shared the experiences and problems of old inmates.



Engg college alumni get together
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Engineering graduates of 1983 batch of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC), Ludhiana, got together to celebrate their 25 years of success on the college premises yesterday.

The engineers, some of whom settled in the UK, the USA, Canada, Germany, Australia and other parts of India, came to attend the alumni meet.

Meanwhile, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (technical education) Bikramjit Singh Khalsa addressed students on the concluding ceremony of a short-term training program on “Non-Conventional Energy Resources — A gateway to Future” at the college.

The programme was organised by the department of electrical engineering of college to mark the Energy Conservation Day.

Khalsa, who is an alumnus of the college, termed the STTP as the one in tune with the time.

He stressed the need for finding new ways to maximise the use of non-conventional sources of energy like solar, wind, etc.

Sukh Dhaliwal, MP, British Columbia, Canada, who also is an alumnus of the college, was also present. The MP called upon the students to work hard.

College principal Dr M.S. Saini welcomed the chief guest. Arvind Dhingra and Rupinderjit Singh while briefing about the STTP said it had witnessed an overwhelming response from the faculty of colleges of the region.



Law academies need of the hour: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Keeping in mind the lack of professionalism in the Indian law-education system, there is a genuine need for setting up law academies on modern lines by the government. Harpreet Sandhu, former Additional Advocate General, Punjab, expressed these views in a press statement yesterday.

He said the law academy could bring together the various branches of the legal profession under one body, which could include members from the legal fraternity and other professionals. The academics in the law colleges would be able to maintain and promote high standards of conduct, learning and professional competency in the legal profession, which would be of enormous benefit to young lawyers, said Sandhu.

He further added that setting up law academies would be a right move as apart from providing professional atmosphere, such academies could give students a chance to share the same forum with legal professionals like private advocates, corporate lawyers and academicians from premier law colleges. This way, the legal aspirants could also gain valuable insight.



300 m people obese worldwide: Study
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Physical appearance is very important to people. The importance of appearance has led to the present day physical fitness and nutrition awareness. Obesity has become a major problem these days.

According to a study entitled “Impact of social bias towards obesity on self concept and academic achievement of obese teenagers”, conducted by Rashmi under the guidance of Dr S Jaswal, professor of the department of human development and sociology, Punjab Agricultural University, there are more than 300 million obese people worldwide. Obesity is increasing at an alarming rate throughout the world.

The study points out that most of the peers and parents of obese teenagers believed that obesity often occurs because of psychological reasons and biological disorder. A majority of mothers of teenagers believe that obesity occurs due to the psychological reasons. People can be addicted to food just as they are addicted to drugs.

According to Dr Jaswal, “Some people believe that if parents are obese the children will also be obese. Some teenagers keep on eating but don't work out is another reason of obesity.” Obese people are obese due to lifestyle reasons i.e. over eating. Poor eating habits also lead to obesity.

The study has found that academic achievement of the teenagers was found to be relatively low where parents had positive attitude towards obesity as compared to those who had negative attitude, where academic achievement was found to be better. The study has emphasised that obesity begins with childhood; the parents should take care to provide appropriate environment conditions like discouraging excessive TV viewing, playing computer games with concurrent consumption of snacks and encouraging children to walk and exercise so that they remain fit and physically active.

The parent and community education programmes need to be undertaken to make the parents and teachers aware of the fact that obesity does not have negative effect on self-concept of the adolescents.



Surgeons’ Conference
Expert lays stress on management of injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Management of patients having undergone laparoscopic surgery in a set pattern of “time and task” curtails the hospital stay and expenditure, observed experts during a scientific session at ASICON-2008.

Dr Adarsh Chaudhary, senior consultant, department of surgical gastroenterology, while speaking on “Critical pathways in surgery” with reference to modality of laparoscopic surgery for gall bladder stones said: “In laparoscopic procedure of gall bladder surgery there are more chances of bile duct injuries as compared to open surgeries. Thus, it is important for the surgeon to emphasise on management of injuries.”

Other topics that were deliberated on in various scientific sessions today included “Colonic surgery in rural set up”, “Management of vascular surgeries”, “Surgery in pulmonary tuberculosis”, “Management of burns”, “Colostomy and importance of its care in modern lifestyle”.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the 68th annual conference of the Association of Surgeons of India (ASICON-2008) last evening.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Dr M.S. Kang, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Dr Ahmed Abdul Hai, president, ASI, other office-bearers of the ASI, Dr Kuldip Singh, organising secretary, among delegates.

Welcoming the delegates from all over the country, the Chief Minister announced a grant of Rs 20 lakh for the conference with a promise of help from the state government.

“Surgeons are next to God and I agree to this as I owe my life to surgeons like Dr M.S. Bains from USA,” the Chief Minister said.

He called upon private hospitals to make a policy of treating 10 per cent patients free of cost, adding that 70 per cent of the population of the country lived below poverty line. According to him, health insurance was the only solution. He said premium should be subsidised by the government.



Top honours for cellular co
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Bharti Airtel, India’s leading integrated telecom service provider, has won top honours at the 7th edition of the Frost and Sullivan ICT Awards 2008. Bharti Airtel won three market leadership awards in the large enterprise telecom services, wholesale data services and mobile service categories under the telecom services category - one of the six major award categories.

New face: Tata Sky Limited, a JV between TATA Group and STAR, today announced the appointment of a leading actress from south, Asin, as the new face of Tata Sky.

Recognition: ICICI Prudential Life Insurance has been recognised by the Geneva-based International Labour Organisation’s Micro Insurance Innovation Facility for its unique initiatives for tea tribes in Assam. ICICI Prudential Life Insurance is India’s first company to be selected by the international facility for an innovation grant support after being short-listed from over 120 organisations across 40 countries. The Facility, a partnership between the ILO and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will support the company to provide insurance solutions to over 1.2 million tea plantation workers of the state over the next two years.



Mangal Dhillon on spiritual mission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The call of duty towards religion prompted actor Mangal Dhillon to initiate the Sikh historical film festival in Punjab. Taking a break from films, Dhillon has taken up the task to promote social and religious issues concerning society. “Sarb Rog Ka Aukhad Naam”, his next film in the league, was screened yesterday evening in the city.

Talking about the film, Dhillon said the film was an answer to all those who thought that Gurbani did not have the healing power. “Through this film, I have tried to explore the healing effect of Gurbani,” he adds.

Somebody has to take up the task so Dhillon realised his duty and took up the task of making films concerning religion.

Apart from religion, Dhillon has also made films concerning other issues like drug abuse.



Peace rally by Lions Club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
“Lions Jago India Jago Rally” was taken out by Lions Club district 321F here today. All units of the club participated in the rally.

The peace rally started from Rakh Bagh and went towards Fountain Chowk before concluded at Rose Garden. Hundreds of people gathered at Rose Garden and lit candles.

Lions Club international director Vinod Khanna said the Mumbai terror attacks would not be tolerated. “It is tragic and the country is united. Everybody wants peace today,” he said.

General secretary Anil Sharma said nothing would be achieved through hatred. 



Statewide meeting of business heads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
British Standards, a UK-based global company, organised a statewide meet of business partners and clients here on Friday. The programme was oganised to empower key stakeholders of the state, including industrialists, consultants, imparting quality management systems.

The session was attended by a large number of heads of business and industry, including heavy engineering, services, food automotive, education and research.

Venkatram Arabolu, managing director, BSI Management Systems India, said: “Quality systems and process have redefined Indian business after 1990s and we should look forward in terms of strengthening and moving forward with newer standards available today such as BS 25999, Business Continuity Management System standard.”

He also stressed the need for developing and inculcating organisation-wide culture to ensure resilience in these turbulent times.

Earlier, Sandeep Vig, director, operations, gave the delegates an overview on ISO 9001:2008 new version which is the most popular standard in the world. The session was chaired by V.K. Uppal, branch manager, Punjab, and Minni Sharma, head (training).



Left to hold anti-war convention
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
Opposing the hostile atmosphere being created in favour of a war between India and Pakistan in the wake of terror strikes in Mumbai, four democratic and revolutionary parties have decided to hold a state-level “anti-war mania” convention at Jalandhar on January 10.

In a joint statement issued after a meeting of state-level office-bearers of the Left parties here today, Rajwinder Singh Rana, state secretary, CPI (ML-Liberation), Harkanwal Singh, member of state secretariat of the CPM, Darshan Singh Khatkar, state secretary, CPI (ML-New Democracy) and Balwant Singh Makhu, state secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front, cautioned people against war cries being raised by political parties and a section of media for their own vested interest.

The statement said: “Parties like the Congress, the BJP and their allies, along with a section of the media, are feeling frustrated over persistent failure of their respective governments at the Centre and in states. In a bid to distract public attention, these elements are out to fan communal tension and regional dissension in the wake of terrorist attacks on Mumbai to crete a situation that could lead to a full-blown war between India and Pakistan.”

The government at the Centre has already succeeded in bringing out legislations for setting up a National Security Agency and another law against prevention of unlawful activities purportedly to curb acts of terrorism.

However, if the past experience was any indication, such repressive laws would once again be used to crush rightful, democratic and just agitations of common people, the Left leaders apprehended.

In a word of caution, they added that a full-blown war between the two nations, both equipped with nuclear weapons, was not a solution to any problem, including that of terrorism. 



‘Akhand jap yagya’ concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
A 21-day Ram Nam Akhand Jap Yagya concluded today. The ‘yagya’ was presided by Narkewal Bedi. Addressing the gathering, Bedi said meditation of God was a very subtle and scientific process. Meditation was the only way that unites man with God.

He added that, “The greatest thing in life is internal peace, external peace and global peace. There are many ways to promote peace in the world and the best way is to promote it within ourselves.”

Further he added that the power of positive thinking when combined with the power of positive deeds creates positive results and happiness. On the contrary, negative thoughts combined with negative deeds tend to be form destructive force and leads to misery, pain and suffering.



Pardeep on a starry trail
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
After making waves on the small screen, local lad Pardeep Joshi is now moving to the tinsel town. Pardeep made his debut on the television with Anurag Basu’s “Love Story” in which he played the role of Monty.

After working with a coveted director, he then had the chance to work with soap queen Ekta Kapoor in her serial “Karam Apna Apna”. He also worked in “Jasubahen Jayantilal Ki Joint Family” and “Chalti ka Naam Gaadi”.

An alumnus of Arya College, Pardeep then did his Master’s in Theatre and Television from Punjabi University, Patiala.

Despite theatre being his first love, Pardeep switched over to television as he could not make much money in theatre. “When I become financially secure, I will love to do theatre once again,” he adds.

On the city’s taste for theatre, Pardeep rues that people still have a long way to go in terms of appreciating theatre here. “No doubt, city’s well-to-do families go to watch plays but only if a prominent theatre figure is in the play. It has become a matter of status for them to brag in parties about watching plays of Nadira Babbar or Smriti Irani. Nobody comes to watch plays staged by struggling artistes like us,” he adds.

Coming to serials, Pardeep maintains that serials are affecting the social fabric by intruding too much into personal lives. Some concepts shown in serials today are against Indian culture but things will surely change. “Serials like ‘Baalika Vadhu’ and ‘Utran’ have received great applause from audience and I am sure we will see more serials on social issues in the coming days,” he added.

Pardeep will soon be seen in a Punjabi movie “Chak Jawana” with Gurdas Mann.

The movie revolves around five guys who are shown the right path in their life by Gurdas Mann. “Working with Gurdas has been a once in a lifetime experience for me. He is a very down-to-earth person and both him and his wife Manjit treated us like our own children. Shooting was like a picnic for us,” he adds. After that his path will definitely lead to Bollywood.



Eminent poet dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Prof Suresh Chander Vatsayan, a leading poet, passed away today. He was 73. Having served as a teacher for over 36 years, Professor Vatsayan was also principal of Government College, Dudhuke (Moga).

Professor Vatsayan authored 22 books in Hindi, Punjabi and English. He also published 12 research papers. He was a recipient of over 50 awards, which included three national and six regional.

The cremation was attended by eminent personalities from different walks of life this afternoon. Father of Venkat Vatsayan, a correspondent with a national daily, Professor Vatsayan was an eminent Sanskrit scholar. He prominently featured in literary gatherings in the city.



State kickboxing meet ends
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 28
The Sixth Punjab State Senior Men Kickboxing Championship was held at Guru Nanak School, Mullanpur. The championship was organised by Punjab Kickboxing Association on December 27-28. Contestants from Sangrur, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Muktsar, Faridkot, Hoshiarpur, and Ferozepur participated here. Chief guest of the championship Paramjit Singh Manawan alias Peter Sandhu, an MLA from Manning, Edmonton in Canada gave away the prizes to the winners.

The results:

57 kg — 1st — Vijay Kapoor (Taran Taran), 2nd — Vinod Kumar (Jalandhar), 3rd — Jarnail Singh (Mohali) and DC Kumar (Muktsar);

63 kg — 1st — Parminder Singh (Sangrur), 2nd - Sunil Kumar (Ludhiana), 3rd - Suraj Bahadur (Jalandhar) and Raman Kumar (Jalandhar);

69 kg - 1st - Rohit Kumar (Jalandhar), 2nd - Gurjant Singh (Taran Taran), 3rd - Sanjeev Kumar (Jalandhar) and Rajwinder Kumar (Jalandhar);

74 kg - 1st - Paramjit Singh (Sangrur), 2nd - Mohammad Shakil (Sangrur), 3rd - Gurmeet Singh (Muktsar);

84 kg - 1st - Puneetpal Singh (Ludhiana), 2nd - Harmanjeet Singh (Ludhiana); 89 kg - 1st - Sukhjeet Singh (Muktsar);

Musical Farms (bare hands) - Narinder Kumar (Jalandhar);

Musical Farms (with weapon) - Sukhjeevan Singh (Mohali);

Aero Kickboxing (with step) - Jaswinder Singh (Mohali).



Guru Nanak club shine in football meet
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 28
The Guru Nanak Sports Club, Gharala, emerged winner in the third Rajiv Sanjiv Memorial Football Tournament organised by RS Friends Sports Club at MGMN Senior Secondary School here today.

Shaheed Paritam Singh Sports Club, Aloona Pallah, was declared runners-up.

Manpreet Singh of Gharala and Amandeep Singh of Guram were declared the best player and the best goalkeeper, respectively, of the tournament.

The three-day tournament was inaugurated by Anil Aggarwal, executive director, Shryans Industries Limited. Councillor Ravinder Puri, president, Journalists Association, was the chief guest at the inaugural function. Raj Kumar Sharma and Shakuntala Devi, parents of Rajiv and Sanjiv, gave away prizes to the winning teams and outstanding performers. Iqbal Singh Jhoondhan, MLA, presided over the concluding function and Mann Singh Garcha was the guest of honour.

According to Inder Pal Singh Walia, the convener, 16 teams of the area had reached the final round of the matches. Earlier, Gurman Football Club had lost to Aloona Boys in the semi-final.

The organisers arranged a ‘bhandara’ after the concluding ceremony today. They presented woollens and shoes to needy students of Gandhi School.

Usha Sood, president, Municipal Council, Bimal Sharma, councillor, Kedar Nath Kapila councillor and Abhay Jain, lauded the players for their spirit of sportsmanship.



Punjab hockey league
Patiala, Faridkot boys record wins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 28
Patiala romped home victorious easily (7-0) against Sudhar while Faridkot survived a scare before emerging winners (2-1) against Moga B in the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Hockey League for Boys being organised by the Punjab Sports Department at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

The first match of the day played between Patiala and Sudhar in group C in the u-14 years category turned out to be a one-sided affair as the former faced no resistance and came out triumphant (7-0) without being challenged.

Amandeep Singh scored four goals while Yuvraj Khosla contributed three goals to help their side to script an easy victory.

The match played in group B in the u-16 years section, Faridkot toiled hard to down Moga B 2-1 after leading by one goal at half time.

For the winners, both the goals came off Karamjit Singh’s stick in the 24th and 46th minute while Dimpy Singh of Moga managed to reduce the margin just four minutes before the long hooter.

In the third and last match of the day (u-16) in group B, Kurali managed to prevail over Amloh in an identical fashion (2-1).

Dinesh Kumar scored a field goal in the 10th minute to put Kurali into the lead. He again struck in the 47th minute to increase the lead while two minutes later, Varinder Singh of Amloh sounded the board to make it 2-1.



Adopt traditional style to regain lost glory: Hockey coach
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 28
Former coach of the national hockey squads of Canada and the USA, Shiv Veera, strongly feels that India should restore to the traditional hockey style to regain the form which has suffered a lot in the recent past as it failed to even qualify for the Olympics.

Veera is of Indian origin who is here on an invitation of the Punjab Sports Department to share his experience with the young and upcoming hockey players of the state. He is of the opinion that if Australia, after adopting the Indian way of game, can dominate the international scene, why does India hesitates to stick to its the traditional style.

During a visit to the Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium at Jarkhar village near here, Veera said that ignoring the Indian style and imitation of the European countries was the main cause of the present position of the national game in the country. He interacted with the trainees of the Jarkhar academy who have made their presence felt at the national level tournaments during the recent past.

“There is no dearth of talent in the state as well as the country, but lack of ‘system’ and indifferent attitude of the officials at the helm of affairs has caused the game a great loss,” he added.

Though the game in Pakistan, like India, too, suffered a lot recently, but they still stick to the Indo-Pak strategy of 5-3-2-1 which has helped them to win more than once in the international-level championships, the visiting coach said.

If India, once a ‘hockey powerhouse’, intends to regain the lost glory at international platform, it should prepare astroturf stadiums, particularly on the pattern of six-a-side in the rural areas of the country to tap the talent at an early age besides focussing on producing the specialists in drag flickers off penalty corners, Veera suggested.

“The game should be made compulsory at the school level, only then players of the calibre of Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, Prithipal Singh, Surjit Singh and Pargat Singh could be produced,” Veera added.

He appreciated the organisers of the Jarkhar Hockey Academy which has contributed a lot in promoting the game. Satinder Singh Gill, president of the Jarkhar academy, along with Sarpanch Dupinder Singh and Jagroop Singh Jarkhar was present there during Veera’s visit to the academy.



Ramesh excels in Youngster Club’s win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 28
Ramesh excelled with bat and ball (17 runs and 3 for 23) to fashion Youngster Club’s seven-wicket victory over Sutlej Club on the fourth day of the 5th Sarpanch Bachan Singh Memorial Open Cricket Tournament being played at the Sarpanch Bachan Singh Cricket Academy at Balloke on the Humbran road here today.

Sutlej Club won the toss and opted to bat. However, they could not survive for 20 overs as their innings folded at 82 runs after 18 overs.

Gurpreet Singh top scored with 23 runs, followed by Manik and Piyush who contributed 12 runs each. For Youngster Club, Parvinder, Ramesh and Harmesh gave fine performance with the ball.

Parvinder sent down four overs and picked up three wickets for 12 runs and Ramesh chipped in with three victims for 23 runs while Harmesh grabbed two wickets for just 8 runs.

Youngster Club surpassed the Sutlej Club’s total in 9.2 overs after losing three wickets. Their innings revolved around Manish (29), Ramesh (17) and Puneet (17 n.o).

For the losers, Hari Sharma, Gurpreet Singh and Satvinder Singh shared one wicket each after conceding 1, 10 and 22 runs, respectively.



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