R E G I O N A L   B R I E F S

Regional potpourri

  • Padma honour for son of bicycle mechanic

  • Teacher with passion for literature

  • Sikh history is forte


Shyam Mahotsav
: Colourfully dressed artistes from Chagwala area of Bikaner enthralled devotees with "Phalgun ki dhamaal" using traditional instruments during the concluding ceremony of the three-day Shyam Mahotsav in Shri Shyam Bihari temple here on Sunday. Hundreds of men and women, who thronged the temple complex were up their feet for hours together. The function was organised by Sanwaria Mitter Mandal headed by Jai Parkash Mittal. Mahant Mohan Lal and Shiv Kumar Jalaan had specially been invited from Khatu Dham in Rajasthan and Kolkata for the spiritual discourses.

Shobha Yatra: More than 100 women carried well-decorated pitchers while 21 men carried flags during the Kalash Shobha Yatra that was organised in connection with Bhagwat Saptah Gyan Yagya in village Ramsara near here on Sunday. The procession started after performing rituals at the Shiv temple located in the cremation ground and covered a distance of four kilometres, while passing through state highway and periphery of the village. The event was held in connection with Shivratri celebrations, which includes a week-long Bhagwat Katha beginning on Monday.

Sawhney donates land for school
: The 18th annual prize distrubution function of the local Mulkh Raj Singh Bhalla DAV Girls High School, Qila Mandi, was held here on  Friday. J.S. Nayyar of the school managing committee presided over the function, while chief parliamentary secretary Jagdish Sawhney was the chief guest. Sawhney announced an ex gratia grant of Rs 1.50 lakh for the school. He also donated his land for a school building. Headmistress Kanta Mahajan highlighted the achievements of the school. The managing committee honoured two students who had got more than 85 per cent marks in the matriculation examination.

ETT teachers to intensify stir
: ETT teachers of Punjab have decided to intensify their stir in support of thier demand for bringing the schools under the government control. ETT leaders from entire Punjab on Sunday held a meeting in Mansa. State president of union, Jasvinder Singh Sidhu, presided over the meeting.

2 fake cops booked
:Two miscreants, allegedly posing as policemen, put up a naka on the Kariha-Mallpur Arkan link road and reportedly threatened a number of passers-by and robbed them of cash, gold and mobile phones, etc., last evening. According to Sadar police station SHO Gurdip Singh, the police has registered a case against the unidentified miscreants on the basis of the complaint lodged by Satwinder Singh of Atari village.

3 die in mishaps:Three persons were killed and two injured in three separate road accidents in the district. Hardev Ram (30) of Khamancho village died when his scooter slipped due to stones on the Thandian-Jandiala road. Sukhjinder Singh (48) died when his scooter collided with a truck near Mazari village and Ranjito (75) was killed in a collision between tractor-trailer and a Scorpio on the Thandian-Khatkar Kalan road.



7 hurt in mishap
: As many as seven persons, including a child, were injured when the car they were travelling in collided head-on with a dumper near Aasuda turn here on Saturday. The victims were returning from Noon Farmana village after attending a marriage party. All injured were admitted to a hospital in Bahadurgarh town.

Seminar organised: Management is a good career option in this era of globalisation and privatisation. Pursuing MBA course as such will be an appropriate choice. This was stated by Sunit Mukherjee, lecturer and in charge, Placement Cell, in a seminar held in Dubaldhan Government College here on Saturday in collaboration with Career Launcher. Representatives of Career Launcher threw light on various facets of management education in the seminar. A written test on GK, quantitative aptitude and reasoning was conducted on the occasion. As many as 123 students took part in the test.

1 killed in accident: An autorickshaw driver was killed when his autorickshaw was reportedly hit by an unidentified vehicle on the Jhajjar road in Bahadurgarh down here on Saturday. The deceased has been identified as Ranbir Singh, a resident of Dabauda Khurd village here. The incident took place when Ranbir was returning from Noona Majra village. A case has been registered in this regard.

Athletic meet
: Second and third year students of National Institute of Technology (NIT) bagged the overall championship of the 37th annual athletic meet 2008-09, which concluded in NIT sports complex here on Saturday. The athletic championship trophy went to second-year students. Stating this here on Sunday, sports organising secretary Ramesh Sharma said a first-year student, Parag Khanna, was declared the best athlete (men) 2008-09 while Bismita Mohanty, Usha Meena and Vineeta - all third-year students - were jointly declared the best athlete (woman) 2008-09. Similarly, a third-year student, Amit Hooda, and a first-year student, Parag Khanna, were declared the best sportsmen of the year 2008-09, he added. Arjuna Award winner and captain of the Indian Hockey Team Mamta Kharb gave away prizes to the winners.

Medical camp
: As many as 160 persons were examined for cardiac ailments at a camp held in Dr Saxena Nursing Home here on Sunday. The patients were examined by Dr Mohan Bhargava and Dr Satender Kaur, cardiologists of Max Hospital, Saket (Delhi). Blood sugar, ECG and ECHO tests of the patients were conducted free of cost. Deputy Commissioner Chander Prakash, who inaugurated the camp, praised Dr SN Saxena and his team for organising such a camp for welfare of the people.



Temple demolition condemned
: Prominent Dalit leader from Punjab Sangara Ram Sahungada, who is a former MLA from the Garh Shankar constituency of Punjab, visited the demolition spot of the Guru Ravi Dass temple at Berry Rajadhyan, near here, on Saturday. Later addressing mediapersons at the Circuit House here, he condemned the incident and expressed surprise that despite the complaint the police has not taken any action and is taking cover under the excuse that the matter is being investigated.

Hydro-engineering college: A hydro-engineering college would be opened at Bilaspur while MA classes would be started in English and mathematics in Government Post-Graduate College here from the next session. This was stated by Forest Minister JP Nadda while presiding over annual prize distribution function of Government Postgraduate College here on Saturday. Nadda announced a grant of Rs 6 lakh for repair of college building, Rs 8.5 lakh for construction of basketball court and Rs 12.5 lakh for completion of new hostel building. Principal Dr Subhash Gupta read out the college report.

Jackals injure man: A pack of jackals reportedly attacked and injured a villager, Sita Ram, while he was standing in the verandah of his house at Sandiyar village, around 40 km from here, on Sunday morning. In her effort to save him, his wife Sagari Devi hit one of the jackals with a sickle. This made the wild animals to run away from there. Later, a jackal was found dead at a distance. Injured Sita Ram was taken to the Community Health Centre, Barthin, where his condition was stated to be out of danger.

SFI to support PTA teachers
: The local unit of the Students Federation of India (SFI) has decided to support the cause of regularisation of PTA teachers, vidya upasaks and JBTs undergoing training. In a joint meeting of the SFI held under chairmanship of its president Suresh Jaryal, it unanimously resolved to resort to agitation if justice was not delivered to these teachers. The teachers have been rendering their services for the past over three-four years, but their services have not been regularised, the SFI said.

Workshop ends
: A five-day workshop on “Adolescent friendly reproductive and sexual health services” concluded at the Regional Health and Family Welfare Training Centre, Chheb. Deputy Director, Health services, Shimla, Kuldeep Sharma addressed postgraduate counsellors and health educators in social sciences and psychology on the concluding day of the workshop. He spoke on the gravity of the HIV threat. Dr Surender Nikhil Gupta, epidemiologist of the centre, also addressed the participants. 



Pilgrim falls from pony, dies
: A woman pilgrim died after she fell from a pony back en route to Vaishnodevi temple in Katra area of Reasi district. Sudershna Devi (63) of Bhawani Nagar in Amritsar, Punjab, died on Saturday after she fell from a pony back, the police said. Painting exhibition held: An exhibition of soft and oil pastel paintings by a New Delhi-born artist, Shibani Sehgal, was inaugurated by former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah here on Sunday. The paintings titled ‘Natural Reflections’ have been put on display at Master Sansar Chand Art Gallery in Kala Kendra here. The exhibition will conclude on February 18.

Acid thrown on GRP jawans: Two scooter-borne men threw acid on two Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel when they were returning home after duty on Saturday. Naresh Kumar and Darshan Kumar, posted at Kathua railway station, were returning to home when the incident occurred. The GRP personnel are undergoing treatment in the local Government Medical College Hospital. A case has been registered.

Drukchan Rinpoche in Leh
: Drukchan Rinpoche, the head monk of Drukpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, arrived here on Sunday for his 10-day visit to Ladakh. During his 10-day stay in Ladakh, he is expected to deliver religious discourses at Naro Photang.

Registration of 77 dealers suspended
: The authorities in the valley suspended the registration of 77 dealers for failing to file quarterly return, official sources said on Sunday. The traders and dealers have failed to file their tax returns in accordance with the provision of subsection 7 of section 27 of the state Value Added Tax Act 2006. The suspension of registration has been ordered with immediate effect. However, any dealer who has already filed returns shall provide the proof of filing the return within a week and if no proof is received within a week, the certificates shall be deemed to have been cancelled.

1 killed, 2 hurt in mishaps: A person was killed and two injured in the valley on Saturday night, official sources said. Ghulam Hassan Najar was killed when he was hit by a vehicle at Mirgund on the Srinagar-Baramulla road. In another incident, two persons were injured when two vehicles collided near Nehru Park on the banks of Dal Lake. The injured were shifted to the hospital.

Rs 61 cr for 13 towns: An amount of Rs 61 crore has been sanctioned under the Inter grated Housing Slum Development Project for 13 towns of Kashmir division, official said on Sunday. The amount is for creating basic infrastructure and providing amenities to people. Officials said 822 development works were under execution costing Rs 7.15 crore under different schemes in the valley.



Youth Cong elects executives
: With the Lok Sabha elections nearing, the Congress has started restructuring its various associated bodies. In this connection, the City Youth Congress (YC) elected new executives, while many youths joined the Youth Congress in the meeting. Held under the presidentship of city chief (YC) Ravish Bhatija, five general secretaries and six secretaries were inducted in the unit.

Harish Rawat on district visit: Former Rajya Sabha member Harish Rawat will participate in a fast-agitation programme at the city magistrate office here on Monday. Rail Consultant Committee member and former party spokesman Rajesh Rastogi on Sunday said Harish Rawat was in a two-day visit of the district with first round spend in Roorkee and second will be in Haridwar. Meanwhile, on Sunday in Roorkee Harish Rawat attended Rajiv Gandhi Vichar Manch and Kaumi Ekta Parishad programmes.

Ekta manch protest today: Rashtravadi Yuva Ekta Manch will hold a protest on Monday here against the increasing incidents of criminal activities and unemployment. General secretary Mahendra Singh Bisht issued a statement on Sunday. He said the issue of permanent capital had been hanging fire for the past nine years.

School function on February 16: The 10th annual day function of Lala Omprakash Gyandeep Inter College Lal Dang will be held on February 16. The programme will start at 1 pm.

Convention held: The All-India SC/ST Railways employees’ convention was held at railway station in Kumbh Dwar here on Sunday. Issues pertaining to problems related to the employees were discussed in the convention. Various office bearers of the zonal levels were present in the convention.


Regional potpourri
Padma honour for son of bicycle mechanic
Purshottam Lal
Purshottam Lal

Award of Padma Vibhushan , the second highest civilian award to Dr Purshottam Lal, son of a bicycle mechanic of Patto Hira Singh village of Moga district in Punjab, is an achievement worth notice and recognition of his struggle to excel through grit and hard work.

Dr Lal had primary education from the village school and finished high school from Shaina living with his maternal uncle. Award of Padma Vibhushan has made him join select group of just five doctors awarded three of the country's top Padma honours. He has been given Padma Vibhushan for installing stents in maximum number of heart patients.

He was selected for Padma Shri award in 1993 and Life Time Achievement Award and Health Ratna by the Delhi Medical Association in 2002. In 2003, he was awarded Padma Bhushan and Dr BC Roy National Award in 2005 for his contributions in the development of Interventional Cardiology.

Recently he was honoured by national body of the IMA with “Distinguished achievement Award of Highest Order” for performing largest number of angioplasties/stenting as a single operator in the country.

Dr Lal had to study under streetlight, at times even contributing to his family out of the national merit scholarship of Rs 125 a month after the demise of his father in 1975. He stood first in final MBBS examination from Amritsar and had training on scholarship in the USA.

Dr Lal went on to earn his coveted certification from the American Board and soon became a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Royal College of Physicians and of the Society of Cardiac and Vascular Interventions of the USA. After teaching the Americans as assistant professor at the M.S. University Dr Lal returned to India in 1989 after spending nearly 13 years in the USA, leaving flourishing practice to serve the people of his country at the invitation of Apollo Hospital.

Coming to India he started his career from Apollo, Chennai and then came to the Delhi branch of the hospital. Dr Lal has to his credit introduction of several new procedures as alternative to open heart surgery while training number of other cardiologists across the country to do the same.

He took over as director, Interventional Cardiology, of the 280-bed Metro Hospital and Heart Institute in Noida in 1997.

In Metro Institute Dr Lal made coronary stenting available at Rs 98,500 only when most other hospitals charged around Rs 1.5 lakh. With more than 24 firsts to his credit, Dr Lal has played major role in pioneering interventional cardiology in India having introduced a number of new interventions for the first time in India such as diamond drilling for blocked arteries of heart, shaving of heart arteries, closure of heart holes without surgery, gold stenting, atherectomy, supported angioplasty, valvuloplasty and many more.

Dr Lal has also been honoured with Dr V.V. Shah Oration Gold Medal, besides having been listed in the Limca Book.

Teacher with passion for literature
Dr Praduman Bhalla
Dr Praduman Bhalla

Dr Praduman Bhalla has created a place for himself in literary, cultural, academic circles and brought laurels to Kaithal with hard work, dedication and urge to do some thing different. Dr Bhalla Ph.D. in Hindi, M.A. in English and M.Ed. has been teaching English 18 years and penned 10 books in Hindi language. His contribution to poetry, story, short-story and poems for children along with contemporary topics have won him many government and non-government awards.

Recently his story ‘Sahab Kaa Kutta’ was awarded by the Haryana Sahitya Academy at “Katha-Utsav” state function by the Minister of Education, Haryana at Chandigarh. “To be a good writer you have to be a good reader and critic of your own writings.” On present-day writings Bhalla says young writers have potential but they must be provided platform.

From a family of teachers Praduman wanted to be a teacher only. Free from ‘isms’ or controversies, man and man-centric themes have been his favourites.

Rewarded by organisations like Languages Department Punjab and Himachal Praduman has also participated in poetical symposiums. Last year he participated in Sarvbhasha sammelan organised by Parsar Bharti at Nagpur. In January this year he represented Haryana at national seminar on the importance of English as second language at primary level in Bhopal. This seminar was organised by IGNOU and the Education Department MP. Praduman is among the few teachers who deliver lectures in English for senior secondary students in EDUSAT programme. Praduman Bhalla says own satisfaction and comments of readers encourage more than rewards and that matter a lot.

He is an ordinary man with extra-ordinary talent, a friend, teacher, poet and true man. Language teaching is not as easy as it sounds. It is challenging job with the changing circumstances, says Praduman.

Sikh history is forte
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor
Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor

Punjabi University, Patiala has conferred Life-time fellowship on Professor Prithipal Singh Kapoor in the Encyclopaedia of Sikhism of the university in recognition of his work on history of Punjab, particularly Sikh history. Prof Kapoor started as research scholar with the National Archives under the guidance of Dr S.N. Sen. He brought to light Rajab Ali papers and Tula Ram-Gopal Dago correspondence in Urdu and Persian, lying unexplored in Punjab government record office (now Punjab State Archives, Patiala).

Thereafter, he worked on the ‘Contribution of Sikhs towards freedom movement in india’ at the Sikh History Research Department, Khalsa College, Amritsar. He also interviewed and recorded statements of stalwarts like Baba Kharak Singh, Master Tara Singh and Giani Gurmukh Singh Musafir. In 1977, Punjab government appointed Prof Kapoor Director of the Punjab State University Text Book Board for four years when he pushed through projects like the English-Punjabi dictionary. Prof Kapoor has been in historical research and writing ever since he brought his first work — a biography of Jassa Singh Ramgarhia in 1957. He has authored, edited and translated over 20 publications, most of these independently. Prof Kapoor has served on the UGC, the UPSC and the government, educational and social organisations. For work in education, he was awarded Shiromani Award 1985 by the President of India. H also served on the high- powered Pay Review Committee (1994-1997) of the UGC.

Prof Kapoor was also associated with the parleys preceding the signing of the Rajiv-Longowal accord in July 1985. For Sikh studies, he was invited by Punjabi University to undertake (1998-2001) revision and updating of Encyclopaedia of Sikhism (edited by Prof Harbans Singh) and also preparation of Punjabi adaptation of the same. He has been associated with the Sikh History Research Board of the SGPC. He is a member of the standing committee of the National Monitoring Committee for Education of Minorities constituted by the Human Resource Development Ministry.

Prof. Kapoor also heads the Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa Educational Council which runs five educational institutes in Ludhiana including a postgraduate college and Pharmacy college.

Contributed by Girja Shankar Kaura, Satish Seth & K.S. Chawla


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