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No end to fleecing by private schools
Parents' bodies up in arms
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Parents' associations here are up in arms against the school authorities, as many schools have resorted to money-minting practices.

After raising the tuition fee manifold, many school managements have allegedly started fleecing the students by providing school uniforms, books, stationeries and other accessories.

Manoj Juneja, a parent of school-going children, has alleged that the school authorities have made it mandatory to deposit three months’ fee in advance and the authorities are forcing them to buy the uniform from a particular shop.

How can a salaried person afford to deposit three months fee in one go? he asks. Not only this, the labels of the uniform are checked in the PT period to verify if the uniform had been bought from the prescribed shop.

A parent said that in another school, they were charging the MRP for the set of books which is being sold at the rate of Rs 2,250.

The two most expensive schools of the city are exploiting the students in the name of quality. According to a parent, one school has given the contract of supplying uniforms to a Delhi firm. The said firm is supplying synthetic material uniform instead of cotton, alleged the parents.

One school has ordered that timex watch has to be bought from the school itself. It has also made Adidas shoes compulsory.

A school is charging Rs 300 before every terminal test and it comes to Rs 900 a year, as there are three terms. The school director maintains that this amount is charged for answer-sheets and question papers to be supplied to the students.

Rakesh Jain, whose two children are studying in a CBSE-affilated school, says that it’s not only the fee hike which has disturbed the family budget in the days of economic slowdown, but buying of luxurious accesories of the school seems to be unaffordable. Everyear they change the colour of the school bag, then compulsory buying of the desktop calendars, which are simply superfluous.

Parents of one house are forced to buy more than one calendar due to their wards studying in different classes, whereas the calendar is the same. Parents' associations of different schools have approached the district administration and sought its intervention. They are also consulting legal experts to challenge the fee hike in court.

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Medical ‘Negligence’
Mother lodges complaint against two doctors
Tribune News Service

Dr Sonia Uppal formally lodged a complaint against two doctors of the AIMC Multi-Specialty Centre — Dr Naresh Bassi and Dr Om Jindal — and alleged that her two-month-old girl child was operated upon for ruptured haemengioma on February 16 in the absence of a pediatrician and under general anesthesia which is not recommended for a two-month-old.” Moreover, the doctors had stated that the graft would be taken from cheek whereas they took it from the ear without consulting her and her husband

Ludhiana, March 29
Proceedings of a press conference called by the Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, were disturbed after Dr Sonia Uppal intervened and formally lodged a complaint of negligence against two doctors of the AIMC Multi-Specialty Centre.

The press conference was called for disclosing the IMA action plan for the RNTCP.

The complaint lodged by the distressed mother was opposite to the statement issued by state IMA wherein Dr Yash Sharma, IMA state president, had welcomed the latest Supreme Court’s judgment that no notice would be issued to the doctor by the consumer court or the criminal court without seeking the opinion of the ‘medical expert committee’ in the case.

Distressed over the unjust done to her two-month- old daughter, Dr Sonia (BAMS) alleged that Dr Naresh Bassi and Dr Om Jindal had operated upon the child for ruptured haemengioma on February 16 and added, “The operation was conducted in the absence of the pediatrician and under general anesthesia which is not recommended for a two-month-old.” Moreover, the doctors said the skin for graft would be taken from cheek whereas they took it from the ear without consulting me and my husband, she added.

Dr Sonia further alleged that she was shocked when the dressing was removed on February 23. The two-third part of the child’s was missing to which the doctors said the child must have broken the stitches and offered to once again operate her. However, the girl was immediately taken to the PGI where the doctors refused to operate her stating that it could deteriorate her condition.

However, the state and district IMA office-bearers after listening to her complaint maintained that they would form a committee to probe into the matter. Dr Hardeep, vice-president the IMA, Ludhiana, said: “We have asked her to give a written complaint and the needful will be done after an enquiring into the matter.”

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Error in birth certificate
One month on, officials close ears to parents’ plea
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
For the past one month, this agriculturist along with his wife from Dharampura had been making rounds of the municipal corporation’s Zone-A office for getting the birth certificate of their younger son corrected, but officers it seems have turned a blind eye to the work.

Talking to The Tribune, Dalbir Kaur said: “We came to know about the mistake in my son Smilepreet’s birth certificate when we went to seek his admission in Sacred Heart Convent School, Jamalpur. The officials told us that the discrepancy in the birth certificate. I found my name wrongly written as Daljeet Kaur.Whereas we have written Dalbir Kaur in the form. We showed them other documents like passports ration card and bank passbook where mother’s name was written correctly. But, the school officials were not convinced and they told us to get the discrepancy corrected and get the fresh copy.”

For the past one-month we had been visiting officials, but to no avail. Besides, local registrar Sudarshan Sharma told us that the work would not be done, the parents alleged.

Giving details about his last interaction with Sudarshan, Satnam Singh said: “When I went to Sharma this week, he told me to wait outside for 15 minutes. When I returned after the prescribed time, he again told me to wait for another 5 minutes. Finally I asked him whether he would do the work or not, and his reply was no.”

They revealed that their son Smilepreet Singh was born on December 17, 2005, and they never thought about the error in the birth certificate.

However, they added that it was unfortunate that the officials were not ready to correct the error, which had been done by their department.

When contacted Sudarshan Sharma said: “He is not aware of the case and the complainant should come to him. If the case demands merit, it would be done.”

Smilepreet with his mother Dalbir Kaur in Ludhiana.

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Orkut Profile Hacking
Police zero in on girl student
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Three months after the case of hacking of a school principal's Orkut profile came to light, the city police has finally managed to crack the case and zero in on the accused.

The accused, a girl student, had hacked the profile of the principal of the BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Paramjit Kaur, three months back, the police said.

Sources in the police said the girl had pasted vulgar language against the principal on the social networking site by hacking her profile.

According to the sources, it was only a fortnight ago that the police came to know that the accused was a girl. It is said that the parents of the girl pleaded with the school management not to pursue the case and appealed to the police not to arrest her as it might ruin her career.

Primarily, this was the reason why the school management was reluctant to pursue the case, sources said.

Sources said an ethical hacker helped in cracking the case. The need of an ethical hacker was felt as the city police was not equipped to handle cyber crime, they said.

Sources said the accused had uploaded the profile from her computer. A senior police officer said: "Initially, we suspected a school student or some staff member’s involvement in the crime." Meanwhile the principal is determined to bring the accused to the book.

She said: "I was busy with the exams and was not aware of the latest development in this case. If the police has zeroed in on the accused, I would like to get him/her punished."

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Liquor prices fall
Contract for liquor vends expires on March 31
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
It’s party time for tipplers. In the wake of the contract for liquor vends expiring on March 31, tavern owners here have greatly slashed the prices of liquor with a view to exhausting their stocks before the expiry date.

According to the excise policy, they cannot carry forward their stocks into the new fiscal.

Most brands, including country-made liquor, are being sold much below the rates fixed by the government.

Numerous local contractors have put up huge boards outside their taverns displaying the slashed rates of premium brands and discounts being offered, all in an attempt to woo Bacchus lovers.

Premium brands, including Royal stag, Signature, Royal Challenge, are being sold at 20-30 per cent discount, while the prices of country-made liquor have also been cut by almost the same.

Royal Challenge and Signature, which were earlier available for Rs 450, are now being sold at Rs 280, while Bagpiper has come down to Rs 120 from Rs 160.

Mc Dowels and Whyte Hall are now cheaper by Rs 500 per case. They were earlier available for Rs 2,000 per case, but now can be bought for Rs 1,500 per case. There has been a cut in the rates of 8PM as well from Rs 1,700 to Rs 1,250.

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Cash register rings for MC
Collects 85 lakh on last Sunday of fiscal
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The Municipal Corporation’s initiative to collect house tax on Sunday bore fruit, as the civic body collected around Rs 85 lakh for the purpose here today.

According to officials, the maximum collection today was done in zone-D, where the officials, managed to get Rs 60 lakh as house tax arrears. Following suit is zone-A, where the officials collected around Rs 5 lakh and received a cheque for Rs 10 lakh dated for today. The collections in zone-C and zone-B were noted to be 5.81 lakh and between Rs 2.25 lakh, respectively.

With just two days to go for the end of the fiscal 2008-09, the Municipal Corporation, which is in its top mode these days to collect maximum revenue, had intimidated its officials yesterday that the offices would be opened on Sunday too so that collections could be made.

Officials from the zone A revealed that the MC had collected around Rs 9.85 crore till yesterday as house tax in their zone. They said the major collections received today were two cheques for Rs 10 lakh and another Rs 12 lakh as tax of one building. While Rs l0 lakh cheque is dated for today, the other one is for tomorrow. Apart from it house tax above Rs 5 lakh was also collected today, he added.

Similarly, zone-B, which collected Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh today, had managed maxium revenue of Rs 14.6 crore till yesterday. They revealed that there were various industries, which have house tax in lakhs that is still unpaid. Topping them was Quality dyeing, which has to submit Rs 12 lakh as house tax. Coming to Zone-C, the house tax officials here, too, have tried their best to get maximum arrears from the defaulters.

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Councillor booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The councillor of Ward No 10 Sakshi Julka and her husband Rajesh Julka have been booked for fraud. The case was registered on the complaint of Rajinder Kumar, a resident of Narinder Nagar.

According to the police, the husband-wife duo of Sakshi and Rajesh sold a property to Rajinder Kumar at Rs 8 lakh and also took a loan against the same property from a bank.

The complainant alleged that the accused took the whole amount with him, but refused to make a registry. When he inquired the matter, he came to know that the accused had taken a loan against the same property.

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Demand for SUVs on the rise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
When it comes to campaigning, image that comes to one’s mind is that of a leader waving to the crowd in his stylish sports utility vehicle (SUV). It’s for this that SUV dealers in the city are smiling as demand for these vehicles has shoot up for the electioneering process.

Due to its performance as an all-terrain vehicle and capacity to travel in urban and rural areas for rallies during elections the demand of SUVs has headed north.

Auto sales in February were at an all time high as prices were slashed due to the excise duty cut. The automobile industry is now looking forward to the elections as another prospect for increasing their sales. Although, SUVs itself constitute just nine per cent of overall auto market, they bring higher profit margin for the auto firms.

According to the marketing executives, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Scorpio, Toyota Innova, Tata Safari, Chaverlot Tavera and Maruti Gypsy are some of the most sought after SUVs when it comes to politicians. Anticipating high demand the companies have started restocking their dealers with the SUVs.

“The elections offer huge opportunity for us as the entire political campaigning is carried out from smaller towns and rural areas on the SUVs. We are daily getting queries for the vehicles,” said a senior executive with one of the auto company.

Sanjay Dahuja, owner of Dynamic Motors, dealer for General Motors confirming the trend said, “Elections bring good business for us with high demand coming for the SUVs. “There has been 15 per cent increase in the demand of the SUVs. We are daily getting endless queries for Chaverlot Tavera,” he added.

The other winners in this segment are Mahindra’s Scorpio and Tata’s Safari, which tops the preference list of politicians. The distribution centres of Mahindra and Tata are hopeful of an increase in sales during the parliamentary elections.

Not only company showrooms but also even the secondhand car dealers are also getting regular queries pertaining to the SUVs. “While the politicians themselves buy brand new cars but their supporters prefer buying secondhand cars which are used for campaigning and taken in conclaves. The demand for the secondhand SUVs has increased by 20 per cent,” said Baljinder Singh, dealing in secondhand cars at Rarewala Market.

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Former SAD(A) district chief joins Congress
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
In a major boost to the Congress in Ludhiana, former district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Parminder Singh Sekhon today joined the Congress along with his supporters. He was welcomed into the party fold by senior leaders, including national spokesman of the AICC and the party candidate from the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency Manish Tewari and former MLA Malkiat Singh Dakha at meeting held at Dakha today.

Sekhon said he was impressed with the policies of the Congress. "The gesture of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in appointing Dr Manmohan Singh as Prime Minister had touched him. We could never have thought that a Sikh would become the Prime Minister but the Congress and Sonia Gandhi made it possible,” he said, adding, “Now it is our duty to vote for the Congress and Dr Manmohan Singh for another term.”

He pointed out that last time the people of Punjab had given just two seats to the Congress and despite that, the nation got a Sikh Prime Minister and now with the Sikh Prime Minister already there, it was the moral duty of the people in general and the Sikhs in particular to ensure that all the 13 seats from Punjab go in favour of the Congress.

Speaking on the occasion, Manish Tewari welcomed Sekhon and his supporters into the party fold. He expressed his gratitude to them for acknowledging the gesture of the Congress and Sonia Gandhi towards Punjab, especially the members of the Sikh community. He said it was the Congress that took care of the sensitivities of all the sections of the society, particularly the minorities.

Castigating the SAD (Badal) leadership, he pointed out that the Akalis led by Badal were supporting the BJP which had leaders persons like Varun Gandhi who were spitting venom against the minorities, particularly the Muslims and the Sikhs.

Tewari promised that the Congress would come up to the expectations of the party workers, leaders and supporters and all those who were joining the Congress with enthusiasm.

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Muslims wary of Shahi Imam's support to SAD-BJP
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 29
Reacting to the support extended by the religious leader of a community to the SAD-BJP candidate, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) secretary Alimudin Saifi today asked the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid, Maulana Habib-u-Rehman, whether he had forgotten the demolition of the Babri mosque.

If that was not the case, then why the Shahi Imam should be extending support to the BJP and asking the Muslims to vote for the party, he said.

The Shahi Imam, it may be mentioned, had extended support to SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib from the city.

Saifi said while the Shahi Imam was saying that the Muslims will not support any of the BJP candidates in the state, he was himself supporting a candidate of the SAD, an ally of the BJP.

“How can the Shahi Imam distinguish between the SAD and the BJP?” the congress leader wondered.

He maintained that voting for the SAD and the BJP amounted to same. A vote for SAD-BJP coalition would mean a vote for Advani, the person whom everybody, including the Shahi Imam, held responsible for the demolition of the Babri mosque and the subsequent communal riots which led to the killing of thousands of innocent people across the country, he added.

Saifi observed that the Shahi Imam should better restrict himself to the duties of religious leadership and not interfere and advise the Muslims as for whom they should vote. He said it was wrong to align an entire community with a particular party which went against the secular traditions of the country. Moreover, the Shahi Imam did not have the authority to issue fatwas for Muslims, he said.

According to him, if the Shahi Imam had forgotten the demolition of the Babri mosque, the recent tirade of Varun Gandhi against the Muslims and the Sikhs and blatant support and patronage from the senior BJP leadership, including L.K. Advani, should have come as an eye-opener for the Imam.

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Muslims come to rescue of cows
Form All India Gau Rakshni Sabha to protect the animal

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
It is perhaps for the first time that the Muslims have come forward to the rescue of cows.

Condemning “gauhatya”, the Muslims said killing of cows was against the ethics of Islam. A section of Muslims in Phillaur have asked the people of their community to join them in protecting the animal.

Around 200 Muslims held an agitation against killing of cows at the Shri Gopal Gau Dham Charitable Trust in Phillaur. Prominent leader of the Muslims Ahamudin Saifi told that a large number of Muslims had taken part in the freedom struggle. It was a time for yet another struggle, this time for the rescue of cows, he said.

“By providing us milk, the cow feed us and our generations. Even Prophet Hazrat Mohammad had said that beef was harmful and could cause several diseases. Our ancestors had issued edict that Muslims were not allowed to kill cows and those found guilty would not be spared. This edict was signed by Babar, Humanyun, Jahangir and Mohammad Shah Alam. We should come forward to save the animal which provides us a healthy life,” said Saifi.

The leaders said that for the first time, Muslims had raised their voice against slaughtering of cows.

The Government in India should put a ban on killing of cows. After Indonesia, maximum population of Muslims was in India and such a step would strengthen the Hindu-Muslim unity, they observed.

The Muslims and Hindu leaders of the area also announced the formation of the All India Gau Rakshni Sabha to protect cows.

Satpal Gossain, Deputy Speaker, said he would pray that this noble cause was accomplished successfully. "This initiative must be appreciated by all,” he added.

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Now, get into shape at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) has earned the distinction of successfully performing all types of bariartic surgery.

Bariartic surgery, also known as weight-loss surgery, refers to various surgical procedures performed to treat obesity by modification of the gastrointestinal tract to reduce calories intake and absorption.

People who are unable to achieve significant weight loss through diet modifications and exercise programmes, bariatic surgery helps them attain ideal body weight which is calculated by body mass index (BMI).

Professor and head of surgery at DMCH Dr Kuldip Singh said that all types of bariartic surgeries, including gastric bypass, gastric sleeve and gastric band have been successfully performed laproscopically at DMCH. He stated that facilities for bariartic surgery will soon be expanded in the hospital.

Dr P.S. Nain, associate professor of surgery at DMCH, and Dr Ashish Ahuja, assistant professor of surgery, who are performing bariartic surgeries at DMCH, will be organising support group meeting on obesity on April 18 wherein patients who have already been operated for bariartic surgery will be examined for follow up.

The new patients who want to get bariartic surgery done will also be replied for their queries. Dr Nain and Dr Ahuja said that bariatric Surgery has become a very important option for obese people. Bariatric surgical procedures are only considered for people with severe obesity and not for individuals with a mild weight problem.

Procedure for bariatric surgery mainly includes removal of a small part of the stomach. They are mainly gastrointestinal operation working on some principles that lead to weight loss and prevent morbid obesity. The small intestine in rearranged to reduce the calories the body can absorb.

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Morning walk a healthy addiction
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Their day starts with the tick of the clock in the morning. Mornings are incomplete without a walk at one of the nearest valley or park for them.

Not only the elderly, but even the youngsters are addicted to morning walks. In this era, everybody wants to be fit and morning walk and yoga is preferred by everyone young and old.

Leisure Valley, PAU, Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh are the walkers’ paradise in this industrial city.

These places start bustling with people at around four in the morning. Joginder Singh has been coming for a morning walk at PAU from the last nine years. "I have never changed my routine whether it is summer or winter. I start from my place at four and go back by six," he said. Morning walk keeps him fit and fine.

For Aditi, a postgraduate student, jogging is an addiction. "My day does not go off well if I miss my jogging. Whole day I am busy with my studies and there is no time for physical activity. Jogging in the morning is the best exercise for me," she quips. Aditi's mantra for good health is jogging but she eats as her heart pleases. "No dieting for me please," she chips in.

Jasjit Singh, another regular morning walker at Rakh Bagh, adds that he has been following this routine from the last 12 years. Every morning he comes for a morning walk at Rakh Bagh. "I also carry grains with me to feed the pigeons in Rakh Bagh. Pigeons in hundreds gather at Rakh Bagh every morning and lend a picturesque view to the walkers.

"Nothing is more refreshing than morning walk. It is the time when one can inhale the fresh air. Places like Leisure Valley and other parks are a paradise for us," add a group of morning walkers. 

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TB Control Programme
Qualified docs to replace quacks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The state and Union governments are banking upon quacks, ‘panwallas’ and grocery merchants for the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP). But now, these will be replaced by qualified doctors who are members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), honorary secretary of the IMA Dr Dharam Parkash.

Dr Parkash was in the city to attend a special meeting of the state TB cell on the conclusion of the World TB Week observed by district unit of the IMA.

“It was unfortunate that the government was reluctant to involve private doctors in the RNTCP despite the fact that the private health sector caters to 80 per cent of the populace compared to 20 per cent populace catered by the public health sector. Instead the government promoted quacks and non- professionals to administer DOT medicine," pointed Dr Parkash.

Looking at the ineffectiveness of the programme, the government approached the IMA following which it came forward to adopt the RNTCP in 2007, he said, adding that the IMA was committed to involve maximum doctors who will work for detection followed by treatment of tuberculosis and also to bring down the number of MDR/XDR cases through observation of DOT of medicines prescribed under the RNTCP.

When asked about violations of the PNDT and MTP Act by private doctors, Dr Parkash disclosed that the IMA, under its recent resolution, has evolved a programme named DAS (doctors against sex detection) wherein state committees are already being formulated. Social workers, religious groups and community workers are being roped in who would sensitize people and also help in information against the doctors/health workers guilty of sex determination and termination of pregnancies. "Baat, mulakaat, boycott and hawalaat is the four-point programme for the IMA doctors who are found guilty of PNDT Act violation," added Dr Parkash.

Meanwhile, IMA Punjab president Dr Yash Sharma and director family and health, Punjab, Dr J.P. Singh, who were also present during the meeting, congratulated district IMA unit for successful completion of the World TB Week and their pilot project in slums.

Dr Sharma said a delegation of the IMA would meet the Punjab Medical Council for their representation in the council so as to address important matters related to medical fraternity.

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Haphazard Parking
Vigilance move to decongest rly parking lots
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 29
A team of the Vigilance wing of the Northern Railway raided a cycle and a two-wheeler stand and a car parking lot on the Civil Line side of the station here on Saturday. The vigilance officials measured the space being used for parking the vehicles and found that the contractor was utilising most of the vacant sites for parking purpose in violation of the rules laid down in the agreement.

Not only this, bicycles, two-wheelers and cars were parked in a haphazard manner, obstructing the movement of those coming to the station and putting railway employees living in the vicinity into inconvenience.

The contractor has been under fire for quite some time after complaints of overcharging, misbehaviour and at times bullying the railway staff who parked their vehicles during office hours were lodged against him.

The contractor, who was also on the spot at the time of inspection, stated that parking space on the Civil Lines side was inadequate and most of the times, it was not possible to provide parking within the stipulated space. He also maintained that the vehicles parked beyond the designated sites around the entry point belonged to the railway employees, who refused to properly park their vehicles.

Refusing to having passed any comment in this regard, the vigilance team carried out its task in the presence of station superintendent Ashok Singh Salaria, who said the team would submit its report to the senior officials at the railway headquarters in Delhi for necessary action.

The inadequate parking space at the main railway entrance on the GT Road as well as on the Civil Lines side has been dogging the railway authorities since long.

Last year, a plan was formulated for providing a multi-level parking at the railway station for making available more space for the vehicles and at the same time decongest at the entry points. In the course of his visit here, Senior Divisional Railway Manager Satish Kumar had informed that existing site of car parking and vacant space in front of the railway mail service office, had been tentatively selected for this purpose.

The project, however, made no headway after that and the proposal was still gathering dust with the railway top brass, sources informed.

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Cold response to ‘Earth Hour’ call in city
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Even as major cities and world landmarks plunged into darkness as a symbolic energy-saving exercise, calling for action to avert potentially devastating climate change, Ludhianvis cared two hoots about the “Earth Hour” campaign in view of global warming.

The lights in almost all the houses and business establishments remained switched on between 8.30 and 9.30 pm on Saturday.

Though the city consumes a lion’s share of electricity through industry and other business establishments, nothing was done to bring the consumption to almost a naught for one hour.

Besides, none of the business establishments also bothered to switch off the lights and continued with normal work.

Environmentalists hold lack of awareness responsible for the residents’ cold response to the save environment call.

They said had the call been publicised, the residents would have rose to the occasion.

“I called up some of my friends who did not know anything about the call. When I told them, they switched off the lights,” said Dr Sandeep K. Jain, an animal rights activist.

Otherwise, it is a known fact that Ludhianvis do not stay back whenever they are asked to contribute their bit. “They could have easily kept their lights switched off,” added Jain.

Many industries were also working during this hour and the multiplexes, too, functioned normally.

“Though it is disappointing that we did not honour the call, hope is not diminished.

If media takes up the issue to create awareness, people will be sensitive to the need,” said S.S. Chana, a crusader for greenery in city.

Even the students of Punjab Agricultural University, who switched off the lights during the “Earth Hour” last year, forgot the call this time.

Hira Singh, a PAU hosteller, said they switched off the lights last year but this time they did not remember. “Somehow, it all slipped out of our minds. We are now repenting,” he said.

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Painting is his passion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
Painting is his passion and he has been playing with colours since childhood. While portraits is his speciality but these days he is trying his hand at subject-oriented posters among which "female foeticide" is the one social issue he wants to speak against.

City-based artist Rahul wants this stigma to be eliminated from society. In one of the thought-provoking paintings he has shown an unborn girl child being killed in the womb. While on the top he has shown pictures of women from different fields who have worked wonders and done the country proud.

Talking about the painting he said parents were killing the girl child before her birth. "Every girl has the right to live. We also have women in our country who have done great job in their respective fields. Anybody will be proud to have a daughter like Sania Mirza, Aishwarya Rai or Kalpana Chawla. But for that we have to let the girls come into this world," he puts forward a point.

Adding further he said women like Indira Gandhi,Mother Teresa need no introduction. "Today the entire world is proud of them. Let the girls come into this world and make this place better to live," he added.

Rahul owes his success to his art teachers R Ramesh and Dilbagh Singh. "I had talent in me and my teachers helped me in enhancing the skill. I am grateful to my teachers for showing me the right path," he says proudly.

He has made portraits of almost all famous personalities. From the President of India to the Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, all have found their way into his canvas. It was a proud moment for Rahul when he presented the portrait made by him to Sukhbir Singh Badal last month. "Badal was all praise for my art and appreciated my efforts for making his portrait to perfection," he smiles.

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Court complex: Happy hunting ground for pickpockets

Ludhiana, March 29
The District Court complex appears to have become a happy hunting ground for pickpockets. The rise in incidents of pickpocketing inside the court complex has sent shock waves among the legal fraternity, litigants as well as judicial staff. It seems that the thieves and pickpockets can strike anywhere and at any place at will.

In a latest incident, Kuldeep Singh of Germany, an NRI, become their target a few days ago. He had come to the court complex for pursuing the cases filed by his father Labh Singh against some others.

The cases were pending in the court of Ms Pooja Andotra and Randhir Verma, both Civil Judges in Ludhiana. He had come to the court for getting summons.

“When I was standing near the copying agency on the 2nd floor at the Judicial Court complex, the pick-pockets pounced on me and stole my purse. It contained Rs 6,700, an I-card, driving licence and VISA cards issued by the German authorities”, said Kuldeep Singh.

“I am least worried about the cash stolen by the pickpocket, but upset about the loss of the identity card and the licence. It’s a tiring process to get a new driving license and I also fear that the thieves got hold of my identity card and they could misuse it for doing some nefarious activities.” — OC

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Graduation ceremony at nursing college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The graduation ceremony was organised at CMC, College of Nursing, here yesterday.

Prof Bimla Kapoor was the chief guest and director, School of Health Sciences, IGNOU, New Delhi, were present on the occasion. Bimla highlighted the role of nurses in the health system of the country. She also emphasised on the need of upgrading nursing education.

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare delivery system.

Prof Triza Jiwan, college principal, distributed the certificates and the chief guest distributed special awards which was followed by a song of the nurses.

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MBA students of DIMT visit Ralson
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 29
The MBA students of Doraha Institute of Management and Technology visited Ralson, Ludhiana, under the guidance of VJ Rai yesterday.

Dr RK Lekhi, director of the institute, informed that the industrial visit was beneficial for the students.

Initially, students visited the tube-manufacturing department. Passi, vice-president of marketing department shared with the stakeholders the background of the company.

The students later visited the tyre department too. HRD Manager, Khurana, shared that the machine used in this department is TBM i.e. Tyre Building Machine.

VJ Rai, training and placement officer Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, presented the vote of thanks to the company staff.

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Students’ body to protest against Cong
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 29
The Sikh Students’ Federation (Grewal) has decided to hold a protest against the “anti-Sikh” policies of the Congress at all the district headquarters on March 31.

In a meeting held here today under the leadership of Gurcharan Singh Grewal, the members of the students’ body alleged that by giving ticket to persons like Jagdish Tytler, the Congress had again played with the sentiments of the Sikhs.

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Cataract surgery camp ends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 29
A cataract surgery camp organised by the Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital in collaboration with Civil Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, concluded yesterday. The camp was inaugurated by Satwant Kaur Bhalla, Civil Surgeon, Fatehgarh Sahib.

SP Khurana, District Ayurvedic Officer, visited the camp yesterday. College principal Loveleen Kaur, while welcoming the team of doctors and guests stated that this camp was organised in memory of freedom fighter Lal Singh. Out of 256 patients examined at the camp, 64 were operated upon.

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Octogenarian couple commit suicide
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 29
An octogenarian couple of Mullanpur village committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance on Friday.

The couple, identified as Ujagar Singh (87) and his wife Bachan Kaur (84), had a domestic dispute with their son Major Singh and grandson Harjinder Singh over the money procured by selling off their four acres of agriculture land and they had allegedly beaten up the elderly couple on March 20 and turned them out of the house.

Unable to bear the treatment meted out to them by their son and grandson, the couple committed suicide on March 27. They were rushed to a hospital where they breathed their last.

Interestingly, instead of booking Major Singh and Harjinder Singh for abetting suicide, Dakha police initiated proceedings under Section 174 CrPC on the statement of Mohanjit Kaur and Major Singh, the daughter and the son of the deceased.

SHO, Dakha, Yogi Raj, however, refuted the allegation and said he had not received any complaint from the elderly couple. DSP, Dakha, Paramjit Singh Goraya, said the deceased and their son were not in good terms since 2003 and were usually complaining against each other.

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1 arrested with 2 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Raikot, March 29
Major Singh of Sattowal village near here has been arrested by the police along with 2 kg of opium. He was held near a bridge on the Ramgarh Sivia village road on the border of Raikot. The police has registered a case against him under the narcotics Act.

On questioning, he confessed to be in the trade of smuggling poppy husk and opium from Rajasthan to Punjab for a long time.

The accused is a truck driver and he admitted that he, along with his nephew Daljit Singh and cleaner Gurjinder Singh of Sahnewal had smuggled 11 bags of poppy husk from Rajasthan on February 23 this year.

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Handball Tourney
Chhattisgarh retain title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 28
Defending champion Chhattisgarh won all its five league matches to retain the title in the men's section of the 13th Inter-Zonal Handball Championship that concluded at the Punjab Agricultural University here on Saturday evening.

In the women's section, Manipur proved their supremacy to emerge the champions. Hosts Punjab secured second position in the men's section while Delhi finished third. In the women's section, Punjab had to content with third position in the women's section while Delhi secured the second position.

In their last league encounter, Chhatisgarh survived many anxious moments against Delhi before squeezing past with a wafer-thin margin (31-30).

Beenu and Nagesh contributed eight and six goals, respectively, to anchor their side to romp home victorious and also retain the title.

For the losers, Ramesh chipped in with 12 goals, while Praduman scored five goals.

In another match, Punjab men toiled hard to outplay their spirited opponents Delhi 35-33 to finish runners up. The match played between Tamil Nadu and Bihar turned out to be a one-sided affair with the former came out triumphant without being challenged 38-5.

In the matches played in the women's section, Punjab faced a little resistance from Assam before romping home 28-10.

S S Channy, president of the Punjab Handball Association, gave away prizes to the winners.

Padmashree awardee, Dr R L Anand, president, Handball Federation of India (HFI), S M Bali, secretary general, HFI, Andeshwar Pandey, treasure, HFI, Bashir Ahmed Khan, chairman, Refree's Board, HFI, Rajeev Mehta, president, Kho-kho Federation of India, Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, director, students welfare, PAU, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Surinder Dhir, former deputy director, Sports, Punjab, Rupinder Ravi, assistant education officer, Ludhiana along with former international handball stars including, Dr Ramandeep Singh, Dr Loveneet Kaur Randhawa, Rajiv K. Pull and Gurpreet Singh were also present at the prize distribution function.

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Six-a-side hockey tourney
Prithipal XI trounce Jagtar XI 2-1
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 28
Prithipal XI and Gurbhej XI won their respective matches in the first leg of the annual weekend Six-a-Side Hockey Tournament being organised by the Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium at Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

Prithipal XI pipped Jagtar XI; Jarkhar 2-1 to garner six points and tops the point’s table.

Lakhwinder Singh put Prithipal XI into the lead in the 8th minute. Jagtar XI levelled the score four minutes later through Pargat Singh.

The second goal for Prithipal XI came off Ajay Pal Singh’s stick in the 30th minute that sealed Jagtar XI’s fate.

In the second match, Gurbhej XI got the better of Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal XI 1-0. The all-important goal was scored in the 14th minute through Simranjeet Singh.

Jagtar XI and Gurbhej XI secured four points each while Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal XI with three points occupied the fourth place.

In the double leg league of this four-team tournament to be played on April 5, Prithipal XI will take on Gurbhej XI and Jagtar XI will clash with Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal XI.

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