Newborns are nobody’s baby
Neonatology unit of civil hospital cries for better facilities
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
While the entire state is yet to overcome the shock of the tragic incident of Rajindra Government Hospital where five newborns were charred to death, the neonatology unit of the local civil hospital here is crying for lack of infrastructure. Thanks to the indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned where the value of precious human life is negligible.

Situated in the extreme of the pediatric ward of the hospital, the neonatology unit is virtually managing under makeshift conditions.

The unit not only lacks required equipment but has been functioning from a shabby room. And being situated near the toilet the entire ward including the neo unit keeps on stinking.

When The Tribune team visited the hospital it was found that the door of the neonatology room was termite hit. It was not even completely bolt due to its poor condition. The neonatology unit mentioned various facilities available including incubator, phototherapy, radiant warmer and exchange transfusion.

However the inside story was something else. The unit had five beds, one incubator and one phototherapy machine with three blowers for providing warmth to the newborns. There were three newborns kept under medical supervision in the room.

When contacted, medical superintendent Dr Ashok Nayyar revealed that the neonatology unit has four incubators out of which three are running out of order. “We have already got made a new door by the Punjab Health System Corporation (PHRC) which will be installed very soon. So far as the stinking toilet near the room is concerned the class IV employees try their best to maintain cleanliness but most of the times things go out of hand,” he added.

However, he maintained that now the civil hospital authorities are looking forward to bring some radical changes in the gynecology, pediatric and the neonatology unit.

“A proposal is in the pipeline to either reconstruct these wards or shift them to a new building. Since these wards require extra care and hygiene therefore some concrete initiative will be taken in the near future,” said Dr Nayyar.

Such was the condition of the room that the plaster of one side of the wall had peeled off. With visibly poor status the neo unit seemingly cried for required fillip.

One of the couple on the terms of anonymity said though the doctors and paramedical staff visits the neo unit regularly but the pathetic condition of the room is actually hazardous for the infants.

“A common man depends on the government hospitals for treatment. But seeing the dismal state of affairs here one cannot rely upon the functioning of the hospital. Above all a newborn needs more care and hygiene than a normal human being but things are actually messy here,” he added.



Power cuts affect computer education in schools
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
The daily power cuts of four to five hours being imposed across the state have become a major headache for the computer teachers of the government schools who are finding it extremely difficult to take practical classes in the subject.

While the state government is investing so much from its side on providing computers, software, allied apparatus and salaries of government teachers, but the power cuts are spoiling the efforts. Even the hope of poor parents, who are paying up an additional fee of Rs 22 to Rs 35 per month from their extremely tight budget to make their children computer-literate, is being dashed.

The teachers are left with an option to either take only theory classes or take the students in computer laboratory in the first two periods before the power goes off at 10.30 am. After the electricity goes off, the UPS attached with the computers is unable to give a backup for more than an hour, leaving the students and teachers in a quandary.

The problem assumes serious proportions as not all government schools have adequate resources to fulfil the requirement of setting up a generator and bear its running cost, including fuel and maintenance. While there are some schools, including those adjoining Nehru Garden and Shiekhe village, where a genset is available, there are many including those in Lidran and Tahli Mohalla where no such provision has been made.

Director-general, school education, Krishan Kumar said he realised the problem but he was helpless in this regard. He agreed that the smooth conduct of computer classes in the event of power cuts had become a contentious issue.

Schoolteachers revealed that they had received instructions on buying generators specifically for computers. “Schools having one to seven computers have been told to get a 6 kw generator to run them, 7.5 kw generator to run eight to 10 computers, 12 kw generator to run 11 to 14 computers and 13.5 kw generator for a set of 15 computers. No funds have come up for the purpose from the state government. The schools have been asked to arrange the money up to few lakhs from the PTA or amalgamated funds,” they revealed. Harish, who is in charge of computer education in schools, said all schools had been asked to make arrangements for generators, which would solve the problem. “Many have even started making the purchase,” he added.



Young World
SD College student becomes WIPRO’s brand ambassador
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
In a major achievement, Ruchi Goyal of BCA-II of the local Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women has been selected as the brand ambassador of Wipro BPO. Meanwhile, eight students of the institution secured placements with the company.

Similarly, a placement drive was conducted at the Apeejay College of Fine Arts in which four students of BCA-III were selected for WASE programme under Wipro.

Rangoli contest

Students of the local KMV College participated in a rangoli competition that was held on  January 31. The students made  beautiful rangoli designs during the function.

Basant Panchmi

The tiny tots of Seth Hukam Chand SD Public School, Sangal Variana, near Jalandhar, gathered on the school premises to welcome the season of spring by celebrating Basant Panchmi. The students dressed up in yellow and also brought yellow flowers and fruits to mark the day.

Meanwhile, students of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, clad in yellow, celebrated the onset of the spring season. The students also participated in a kite-flying competition.

Students of BD Arya Girls College, Jalandhar cantonment, celebrated Basant Panchmi. On the occasion, Navjeet was crowned Miss Basant followed by Kanika and Kiran as the first and second runners-up.

The Prem Chand Markanda SD College for Women celebrated Basant Panchmi. The students of the home science department put up an exhibition “Pratibha-2009” and participated in a cooking competition.

Students of Innocent Hearts School participated in a talk on the importance of spring season. A kite-flying competition was held.

Mahatma remembered

To mark the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, KMV College organised an inter-college competition under the aegis of the Gandhian Studies Centre. Twenty colleges participated in the competition. The favourite bhajans of Mahatma Gandhi were presented on the occasion.

Students of Apeejay School paid homage to the Father of the Nation. Taking a bit of Gandhigiri, they participated in a rally and gave roses to the violators of traffic rules at Guru Nanak Mission Chowk. They joined hands in a nationwide campaign against terrorism. Students of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, organised a special assembly in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and paid homage to him. They presented poems and expressed their views on the topic “Shun terrorism and spread peace”.

Dance competition

The Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, organised an inter-college competition in dance, music and fine arts on January 28. They participated in various competitions held to tap the budding talent.

In another function, the department of design of the college organised a two-day professional make-up workshop for the students. Make-up artiste from Matrix Amit demonstrated different themes of make-up.

Beauty gala

The department of computer science and cosmetology of BD Arya Girls College, Jalandhar cantonment, organised an IT bonanza and beauty gala-2009. Students from various colleges took part in the competition.

Video conferencing

HMV College, Jalandhar, organised a video conferencing session on “scenario of education in India and abroad” under the faculty development programme. Director of colleges M.L. Aeri, DAC college managing committee, spoke at length on the innovations and discoveries in the education trends. A seminar on “employment opportunities in multimedia” was conducted for the students of classes XI and XII.

Havan held

The local Mehr Chand Polytechnic College organised a havan on February 1 on the eve of assumption of charge by Jagroop Singh as principal. Prominent educationalists attended the havan.

Honour for Apeejay

Anil Gupta, head of the department of applied art of Apeejay College, Jalandhar, received a state-level award in painting by the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy, Chandigarh. The award comprised Rs 5,000 and a certificate.



56,159 students visit science city in fortnight
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, February 3
In what may be termed as a record in itself, over 55,000 students across the state visited the Pushpa Gujral Science City (PGSC) here in the past fortnight.

According to the data collected by The Tribune, as many as 56,159 schoolchildren from different districts of the state toured PGSC from January 19 to February 2. The visit of the students was facilitated with a special sanction of Rs. 1.25 crore by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for the purpose. A spokesman for the PGSC told The Tribune that the visit of the students in a fortnight was more than their expectation. The PGSC authorities were expecting about 50,000 students, he added.

At the same time, the spokesman said only 3,000 students from each of the 20 districts visited PGSC. The Punjab government should sanction more funds for facilitating the remaining students to visit the science city during the next academic year, he added.

The PGSC remained jam-packed during the past fortnight as nearly a batch of 3,000 to 4,000 government school children visited the science city everyday during the period.

The students showed keen interest in the scientific items displayed in the science city. The spokesman said two teachers with 50 students and an in charge from every district education office were allowed free of cost entry in the science city. The science city management provided refreshment to the students from its own pocket.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had sanctioned Rs 1.25 crore for tours of the school students to the science city. Despite the sanctioning letter already reaching the authorities concerned, the schoolchildren’s visit to the science city was delayed for one or the other reason.

The school education department had approached the science city management urging it to allow 4,000 students to visit the science city daily for which payment would be made later on. On the other hand, the management told the department that it would not be possible to do so as issuance of entry tickets was computerised and the money would have to be deposited before entry into science city.

Later, the Punjab Roadways and PRTC authorities also refused to take the students to the science city without getting money in advance. When The Tribune highlighted the issue, the matter was sorted out and the students succeeded in visiting the science city.



Job he met
Like most of youths in dilemma, Ajay Pal Singh left 7 jobs till finally settling in a public sector unit 
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
The upheavals that this youth faced in his life and the ways he combated them before settling in for a definite career can prove to be a great learning lesson for many facing similar problems nowadays.

Thirty three-year-old Ajay Pal Singh, a resident of Urban Estate here, said he was till sometime back he was a depressed person for want of a job of his choice.

“Life seemed to be going all haywire till I hit upon a public sector job as a deputy manager with MTNL and got a posting in Mauritius on a Rs 6.5 lakh annual package,” he exuberated.

Armed with a B.Tech degree from the prestigious Dr. B.R. Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT) and an MBA degree from the Apeejay Institute of Management (AIM), Ajay Pal said he perhaps did not have a right focus as he took seven jobs one after the other and left them all. Unable to take timely decisions and make the right judgments, he said it was often too late for him to realise that he had actually committed a blunder.

A smart, confident young man with good communication skills, he said he perhaps did not find much of a problem in clearing interviews anywhere. “My first job began with the Bank of Madurai in 1999. Next came my stint as teacher in my alma matar AIM, St Soldier College, Lyallpur Khalsa College and Lovely Institute of Management. Soon there were two options ahead of me, selection as flying officer with the Indian Air Force through SSB and admission in Master in Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, US,” he recalled.

“My mind was in total disarray. So, I started consulting people as to which way should I go. There were many people coercing me to join the airforce given the luxuries I would enjoy once I settled abroad”, he said.

Finally, I dropped the airforce idea and moved abroad. “There was a celebration time at our place as I was about to move. But the moment I stepped in the US, I started feeling nostalgic. In two months, I was back home. Having nothing to do and a family to take care of, I was jittery. To add to this, there were family members and friends who kept kept pestering me asking what went wrong”, he said it was a feeling as if the plane he was riding on had crashed all of a sudden.

“That was the time when I met Major Gen G.S. Sohi (retd) who proved to be a great guiding force. He was the man who brought focus back into my life and helped me apply and prepare for the job. Since I was depressed at that time, he helped me come alive again. He was so meticulous that he got my photograph clicked thrice for using in the resume. He wanted me to look bright, beaming and enterprising”, he praised his mentor endlessly.

“Now I am sticking onto the same job since the last six years. Rewarding me for my work and good reporting, my office is sending me to Mauritius on a two-year deputation,” he signed off.



Consumer Forum
Insurance company told to pay up
Deepkamal Kaur/TNS

Jalandhar, February 3
Finding no evidence to prove that the insured car was being used as a taxi, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked the ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company to pay Rs 31,546 as claim along with 9 per cent interest per annum to Pritam Singh of Dilbagh Nagar.

The forum also entitled him to Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation.

The company denied the claim to complainant Pritam Singh through a letter on August 10, 2007, stating that his Tata motor car was being used for commercial purposes but the forum found no stance in the report of a detective agency put up as a proof for the same. The forum represented by Surinder Mittal and Rakesh Kumari found that the fact that the vehicle had run across 45,400 km in seven months was not sufficient enough to prove that it was being used commercially.

Since the report of the agency has mentioned that the insured runs a sweet shop, it found that there was no reason to disbelieve the statement of the complainant that he goes to Chandigarh to supply “rasgullas”. The complainant had said was the registered owner of the car (PB-08-AZ-7477) which he got insured for a period from December 2, 2006 to December 1, 2007.

He had stated that he met with an accident with a truck on July 12, 2007, near a canal on Kapurthala Road.

He said he was himself driving the car when the accident took place. He said that he got his car repaired from a workshop for Rs 37,795 where a surveyor of the company also visited to assess the losses.

The company representatives claimed that the complainant met with the accident when he was coming after leaving passengers. The forum, however, argued that the report carried words, “seems coming after leaving the passengers” indicating that the investigator was himself not sure whether the vehicle was being used for the purpose of taxi.

The company tried to justify the use of vehicle for commercial purpose by saying that the annual income of Pritam Singh as per the income tax return was Rs 83,337 and the monthly instalment was Rs 6,900 or Rs 82,800 per annum. 



Govt failed to address environment issues: Baba Seechewal
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
Noted environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal said today that the SAD-BJP combine had failed in addressing the environment-related issues in the state in the past two and a half years, as a result of which a majority of the cities in the state are under the grip of pollution.

Addressing a press conference here he said in case the SAD-BJP alliance failed to include this burning problem in its election manifesto in  the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, then  they would appeal to the masses not to vote for their candidates.

He added that owing to the poorly planned policies of the state government in various cities, the condition of the environment was deteriorating every day. “Due to the continuous flow of poisonous substances into the natural resources, the flora and fauna of the state has become all the more poor. Even the Sutlej has turned poisonous due to the Buddha Nala in Ludhiana,” he said, adding that similar was the status of the Chitti Bein in Phagwara, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur and Jalandhar.

The environmentalist said the regular water pollution in the state had further led to diseases like cancer in the Malwa belt. “The political parties should raise the issue of environment in the upcoming general elections to create awareness among public,” he added.



Pistol shooting: City student gets top rank 
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, February 3
Gunpreet Singh of B.Com (professional -first year) of St Soldier College, behind REC, was selected in India’s top 20 players.

According to institution chairman Anil Chopra, Gunpreet Singh participated in the open national shooting championship in air pistol (individual) held in Kerala and got the top rank by scoring 550 of the 600 marks. About 7,000 players participated in the event.

The college honoured Gunpreet Singh with a cheque for Rs 5,000.

Gunpreet said he worked hard under his coach Minish Giri and now was eligible for the national championships.

He revealed that he was going to represent India in pistol shooting.



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