L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mob on rampage in PSEB office
Kuldip Bhatia

Broken panes of the main door to the Sunder Nagar division office in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Broken panes of the main door to the Sunder Nagar division office in Ludhiana on SundayTribune photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 2
Peeved over erratic power supply for the past three days after a transformer at the 66 KV substation at Nurewal had gone non-functional, an unruly mob today attacked the Sunder Nagar divisional office of the PSEB on Kakowal Road. They smashed windowpanes, causing damage to doors while some miscreants fiddled with the power supply system, disrupting supply to the entire area in the process.

Tension prevailed in the PSEB office for more than an hour and the scared employees ran helter-skelter to save themselves from the wrath of the mob. The police had to be called in who took seven persons, including area councillor Rakesh Sharma and six others, in custody on the charges of causing damage to government property.

The arrest of seven persons further aggravated the situation as hundreds of area residents squatted on the GT Road and obstructed vehicular traffic till late in the afternoon.

As the protesters refused to disperse till the arrested persons were let off, the police registered yet another case of causing traffic jam against protesters. A dharna was continuing till the filing of this report.

According to HS Randhawa, Deputy Chief Engineer, City East Circle, one of the four transformers installed at the Nurewal substation developed a major snag on Thursday and it needed to be replaced which requires 72 hours. With one transformer going out of service, the load of the area fed from the substation was shifted to the functional transformers which necessitated cuts of two or three hours in different parts under the division by rotation.

"A new transformer was installed at the substation last evening. As the PSEB staff was in the process of shifting load to the new transformer this morning, a mob gathered around the office of Sunder Nagar division on Kakowal Road and started throwing stones and made forced entry inside where power supply equipment was installed," he said.

Randhawa claimed the newly installed transformer went operational by around 11 am this morning and power supply to the entire area under Nurewal substation had been restored.


Severe gastro cases go up to 63
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
With 15 more cases of severe gastroenteritis surfacing in the recent outbreak in Punjabi Bagh, Ludhiana, the total count has gone up to 63. The patients have been referred to the civil hospital.

Teams of health officials examined 30 mild and 20 moderate cases of diarrhoea at the ongoing special medical camp organised in Gurmat Gyan Missionary College, Punjabi Bagh.

With today’s OPD, the total number of patients affected by gastroenteritis has risen to 300 plus. Holding the Municipal Corporation responsible for the gastroenteritis outbreak in Punjabi Bagh, the district health authorities alleged the corporation officials for having failed to take any “preventive” measures for it.

Civil surgeon Maninderjit Singh said the Department of Health and Family Welfare was responsible for “curative measures”, which has been taken care of with precision.

The health authorities denied any further mortality in the Punjabi Bagh outbreak, stating that there was just one death.

District Health Officer (DHO) SS Dhir, while assessing the situation, said the situation in Punjabi Bagh was under control. “But the diarrhoea cases from adjoining areas, including Jwaddi Khurd, Dugri and Pakhowal road, have started coming at the medical camp.”

District epidemiologist GP Mangla said it was must to take care of the underlying problem with source of infection that is “water”, adding that, “The tests of five water samples taken from the area have ‘failed’ and the reports of other samples taken will be available tomorrow.”

Testifying the claims of the health authorities, Sunanda, a resident of Punjabi Bagh, said, “The doctors and paramedical staff is dispensing their duties round the clock. They have extensively covered the houses in the area to administer the required treatment to the people suffering from gastroentritis.”

Six booked

The Municipal Corporation registered a case at Model Town police station against six persons for illegal water connections. These are Pandit Gupta, Manmohan Singh, Pritam Singh, Dyal Singh, MP Singh and Asha Singh, who owns vehra at Punjabi Bagh where gastroenteritis has been reported.



‘Parrho Punjab’ fails to deliver
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
The Punjab School Education Board has been taking the issue of children's learning skills seriously by improving classroom teaching and learning. All children should be able to read and write.

But, all efforts to improve the system have failed to bring the desired results. Various learning enhancement programmes have been chalked out like “Parrho Punjab”, which is one of the flagship programmes under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. But even after wasting crores of rupees, it is yet to give any results.

As per the “Parrho Punjab” programme, the primary teachers are supposed to teach children one sentence everyday in English to improve their English-speaking skills. Sadly, these children have not been able to pick up one sentence over the past 10 days, as they belong to migrant families.

When Ludhiana Tribune visited some of the government schools and interacted with teachers, one revealed that a number of teachers lacked pronounciation skills. One of the teachers uttered four times "I’m” instead of pronouncing it as "I am”.

In another government school, a teacher pronounced the alphabet “I” as “Aayee”. How can they expect students to learn English when elementary teachers themselves find it difficult to speak correct English and correct pronounciation.

Even in-service training is not going to improve the level of teaching of teachers as they are deficient in English-teaching skills.

The “Parrho Punjab” methodology of dividing children among groups like “letter”, “word” and “para” is not approved by any educationist, rather it is quite opposite to the latest research by the NCERT, which propagates that a child does not learn a language in this way.

According to reliable sources, the “Parrho Punjab” material is being prepared cheaply by untrained persons following the copy-and-paste method.



Sanju, Deepika stand out in quiz
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 2
Competitions on World Population Day were organised on the premises of District Institute of Education and Training here today.

The essay writing, on-the-spot painting, singing, quiz and declamation contests were held under the patronage of Joginder Singh Aulakh and principal, DIET.

These aimed at creating awareness about evils of the rising population under the guidelines of Population Education Cell, State Institute of Science Education, Punjab, and Chandigarh.

Over 100 students took part in the programme. Santosh Kumari, Karmjit Kaur, Anju Bala, Jasvir Kaur and Jaskiran Kaur were the judges for these competitions.

Prof Baldev Singh and Prof Gurkirpal Singh conducted the quiz competition, in which four teams participated. Bagging 50, 40 and 20 points out of 80, Sanju and Deepika of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Kiranpreet Kaur and Jasmeen Kaur of Swami Roop Chand Jain Senior Secondary Public School and Harleen Kaur and Rajdeep Kaur of New Punjab Public School stood first, second and third, respectively.

In the declamation contest, Bhupinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Jagdeep Kaur of Swami Roop Chand Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Renu Bala of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School and Harleen Kaur of New Punjab Public School stood first, second, third respectively.

In singing, Neha Chawla of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Harleen Kaur of New Punjab Public School, Rajbir Kaur of Sikh Girls Senior Secondary School and Jasbir Singh of Swami Roop Chand Jain Senior Secondary Public School bagged first, second and third positions.

In essay-writing, Harleen of New Punjab Public School, Shallu of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary Public School and Bhupinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School (Boys) stood first, second and third. Similarly, Swarnjit Kaur and Jasmeen Kaur of Government Senior Secondary got first and third positions. Amritpreet Kaur of New Punjab Public School stood second in the painting competition.

Prof Baldev Singh, vice-principal, DIET, distributed prizes to the winners. He encouraged the students to develop a rational outlook in life and be aware of the downsides of the increasing population. 



Lifestyle changes can prevent diabetes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 2
While lifestyle modifications can prevent the incidence of diabetes, some simple tests and investigations can prevent secondary complications of the condition.

This was stated by Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary, local branch of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) while speaking at a free diabetes screening camp, organised in collaboration with the Diabetes-Free World in Shivpuri here today.

A team of NIMA doctors, comprising Dr Surendra Gupta, Dr Rajesh Thapar, Dr Inder Sharma and Dr KK Kharbanda, examined patients and prescribed necessary medicines which were provided free of cost.

Interacting with patients, Dr Gupta said the rate at which diabetes patients were increasing in India, particularly in Punjab, diabetes care clinics were the need of the hour.

It was so because each and every diabetes specialist as well as family physician needed a lot of expertise to tackle hyperglycemia on one hand and take timely preventive measures against its complications like hypertension, coronary heart disease, retinal damage of eyes and kidney failure.

He said diabetic patients required a few simple investigations on regular basis to get fair evaluation of the disease status.

Simple examination of urine for albumin (a type of protein) can give advance information of renal (kidney) damage.

Vibration and electrical impulse-based test is an effective tool to detect neuropathy or nerve damage. Timely dietary supplements and anti-oxidant vitamin-based medicines can reverse this neuropathy and thus save the patient from burning and numbness in the feet, which could often lead to development of diabetic foot, a condition which sometime requires amputation of feet or leg in diabetes patients.

As far as prevention of type-II diabetes was concerned, Dr Gupta said it could be assured by making certain minor lifestyle changes which included consumption of low calorie, high fibre nutritious diet, changing gear of physical activities (from sedentary to active one).

Adopting a positive attitude towards life also helps.

Some other simple measure like taking food at fixed time could prove to be an insurance against incidence of high blood sugar.

Similarly, persons

who have obesity, high lipids and uric acid in blood, indulge in smoking or consume alcohol, need to lose weight and give up habits of smoking and drinking.

All these steps assure a diabetes-free life, even in those having family history of type-II diabetes.



B.Ed teachers hold protest 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
The B.Ed Teachers Front today protested against the non-implementation of the Fifth Pay Commission report and burnt an effigy of Punjab Education Minister Upinderjit Kaur.

Harvinder Singh, president, B.Ed Teachers Front, and member Ajit Pal Singh pointed out that the primary teachers were being paid Rs 4,550 and service providers Rs 5,400.

The teachers demanded that they should be given new grades recommended by the Fifth Pay Commission. They added that they would take out a state-level rally on August 9 at Kapurthala, outside the residence of Upinderjit Kaur.



Students of KCW bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Students of MSc (Maths), Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, brought laurels to the college by topping in annual examinations conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Jeevandeep Kaur topped in the university by securing 443 marks out of 500. Baldeep Kaur stood fourth in the university with 426 marks, Shweta Sharma and Vandana got seventh and ninth positions by securing 409 and 401 marks, respectively. Eleven students have scored more than 70 per cent marks.

Management committee chief Sardar Pritpal Singh Grewal and principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind congratulated the students.

Teej celebrated

Students of Mother’s Touch School celebrated Teej. The school was decorated with charkhas, pakhis and angithis for depicting a village scene Tiny-tots dressed in traditional Punjabi dresses performed gidha and bhangra. Best-dressed girls and boys were adjudged “Sawan Raja” and “Sawan Rani”.

Classical dance

Famous Oddissi dancer Nritya Vishard Manjeet Bedi performed at Ryan International School here yesterday. Manjeet Bedi encouraged the students to take up classical dance forms as hobby or career in their life. Principal Gurpreet Kaur Sandhu said the performance gave a message to the new generation that they should take pride in their cultural heritage.


Jasleen Kaur Pawha, a student of Class IX, Doraha Public School, stood second in a science seminar organised by the district science supervisor on “Chadrayan- promises and concerns” at Government Senor Secondary School, Payal.



Waterlogging wreaks havoc on judicial complex 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 2
The recent rains in the town have taken its toll on the Jagraon judicial complex. Though most parts of the town also bore the rain brunt, visitors to the judicial and the subdivisional courts were, particularly, a harried lot as the judicial courts and SDM court had no approaching route at all that was not waterlogged.

Raghubir Singh Toor, Bar president, working committee, and other advocates today narrated their tales of woes. Many visitors, including old-age persons, had fallen in the court complex due to slippery conditions.

He added that mosquito larva was breeding in a big way in the complex and the advocates feared an outbreak of an epidemic or a disease due to these. The main problem was waterlogging as the level of surrounding areas being higher. As a result, the rainwater was not drained out, causing the problems.

Jagraon SDM Mukand Singh said instructions had been issued to the municipal authorities to immediately solve the problem of waterlogging in the court. 



NGO to plant 300 saplings
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 2
Lok Sewa Society, an NGO, has decided to plant 300 saplings within two months.

Baba Avjinder Singh inaugurated the plantation drive at Nanaksar Kelaran by planting a sapling yesterday. Baba Avjinder appreciated the step taken by the NGO in keeping the surroundings clean and green.

Society chairman Gulshan Arora and president Kulbhushan Gupta said the saplings would be planted by school principals at crematoriums, road dividers, play grounds, parks and on the side of the roads if needed. 



Limited liability partnership helps traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Ludhiana Chapter of Institute of Company Secretaries of India organised a seminar on “Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)- Emerging Corporate Structure” here yesterday.

Pawan Kumar Vijay, managing director, Corporate Professionals, was the speaker.

He said the enactment of the Limited Liability Partnership Act was poised to bring a remarkable difference in the existing laws related to business in India.

The speaker said commerce professionals like CS, CAs might form Limited Liability Partnerships to meet the changing economic environment.

Introducing these partnerships in India were a good beginning towards the organised business in India.

The hybrid structure of the Limited Liability Partnership would facilitate enterpreneurs, service providers and professionals to organise and operate in an efficient manner for competing in the global market, he added. 



Hike in power tariff likely
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 2
Though the rains have been inadequate in the region, these have provided some reprieve in terms of power supply to the people, reeling under power cuts during the peak summer. However, the relief is purely temporary and long power cuts will be there to haunt the state for at least three more years when sources for generation of additional power will be available to Punjab.

These observations were made by KD Chaudhry, member (Distribution) of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), while presiding over a review meeting with officials of central zone here on Saturday.

He said as a direct result of rainfall all over the state, the demand for electricity from the agricultural sector had come down and, for the time being, all restrictions on power supply to various categories of consumers, including the industry, had been withdrawn. "All weekly offs on category III and IV feeders (industry) have been withdrawn and during peak hours also, the industrial units can use their sanctioned load in full."

On the proposed unbundling of the PSEB, for which last extension till September 15 has been granted by the Central government, Chaudhry said the PSEB had received no orders from the state government in this regard. Even otherwise, the decision had to be taken by the government and the PSEB would act as per directions of the state government.

Making a strong case for the upward revision of power tariff, he said the board had already filed a tariff revision petition with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission and a favourable decision was expected to be taken in this connection. The PSEB is suffering a deficit of Rs 2,300 crore every year and hike in power tariff would help bridge this gap to some extent.

Stressing the need for power conservation, which had assumed greater importance in the wake of huge shortfall in availability and demand of electricity, he said the ongoing drive for replacement of traditional incandescent bulbs from the households and commercial establishments with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) had yielded good results. People were still not going for CFLs in the desired manner only bacause these lamps were expensive.

"We are exploring the possibility of providing CFLs at highly subsidised cost through a special scheme, which could give a big impetus to power conservation."



Wage Revision: BSNL union to stage dharna on Aug 8
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Members of the BSNL Employees’ Union staged a demonstration in front of the General Manager (Telecom) office on the call of the United Forum of BSNL Union for settling their long-pending demands.

Balwinder Singh, district secretary of the union, said implementation of promotion policy, immediate revision, fitment benefit on par with top executives, five year periodicity of wage revision, annual increment at the rate of 5 per cent on the basic pay be granted cumulatively for non-executives along with the revised pay scales, pay fixation on promotion and 50 per cent IDA mergers for pensioners were some of their major demands.

Addressing the gathering, Balbir Singh, circle secretary, Punjab, said the management was delaying the promotional policy and wage negotiations in violation of the agreements reached with the recognised union.

“The agreement for promotion was reached about eight months ago, but it has not been implemented so far. Negotiations with the management failed to yield the desired results,” he added.

The wage has not been revised since January 2007.

But, the management is not taking their demands seriously. Resentment prevails among the non-executives.

They will stage a dharna on August 8 followed by two days strike on August 19 and 20.



Parks: MC fails to respect agreement
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Legal agreement seems to be of no importance for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as it blatantly violates the terms and conditions.

The latest target in the civic body's hitlist is the agreement between the MC and the Park Management Committees, (PMCs) signed on March 8, 2008, where the former has added a new clause of getting signatures of three municipal councillors to get payments.

The agreement states that for the payment of grant after one month, a demand letter certified by the area councillor concerned is required. For the polluted city, where the PMCs are the only hope for maintaing green cover, the diversion from legal document has irked the PMCs members, who have threatened to abandon the parks in August.

Talking to The Tribune, Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees president S.S. Channa said, "The agreement clearly states that signatures of area councillor are required for payments of grants. But suddenly a clause has been added by the members of the Finance and Contracts Committee, stating that signatures of three councillors are required." They have no right to change rules.

He revealed that the PMCs had not been paid bills for the last month, citing this reason and if the MC would not abide by the agreement they would take the matter to the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A senior officer from the horticulture wing said, "It's again a political gimmick that will affect the environment in the city. The document is a work of executive body of the MC and politicians have no write to play with it as the decision on PMCs could be taken by the Municipal Commissioner only."

At present, the city has 783 public parks under the charge of the MC and only 324 had been transferred to the PMCs till date. The PMCs are paid maintenance charges at the rate of Rs 1 per square meter.

"The members of federation have decided that we are going to wait till August and then we will desert parks which are lungs for the choking city. Its duty of the civic body to maintain public parks in every locality, but we have come forward to share the responsibility and if this is the way, who will care to give a helping hand to the MC," added Channa.



Sufi singer spells the magic
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Punjabi singer Dr Satinder Sartaj encharmed the audience with his melodious voice at “Mehfil-e-Sartaj”, which was organised by Punjabi Sabhayachar Academy, Alibe artistes group and Prof Manmohan Singh Memorial Foundation here yesterday.

The jam-packed auditorium at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan had grand gathering of intellectuals, ranking officials, music lovers and exponents of Punjabi culture and language.

Dr Satinder Sartaj (PhD in Sufi music) was at his best and was welcomed by Ludhianvis.

Said Ashim, a music lover, said: “While listening to Satinder Sartaj, I could feel the whip of fresh air from the fields of Punjab and the camaraderie imbibed in simplicity of the rural folks of the land.”

It was the component of introspection that was evident in his poetic diction “Dil pehle jiha nahin reha eh kathor ho gaya, saiyan ve nagme nu far ke baithe aan”. Similarly, he touched the hearts of youth with his imagery of pastoral topography depicting the emotions of a Punjabi boy for his beloved.

Songs portraying bilateral ties between India and Pakistan and martyr Udham Singh drew applause from the audience.

The evening lasted for over three hours, as Sartaj could not say no to the “once more” requests by his ardent fans.



Running to stay fit
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 2
More than 150 persons of different age groups took part in the Run for Fun, organised by a health club in here today.

The run was flagged off by Col H S Kahlon (retd). The participants covered a distance of about 10 km. They started from the club, passed through Ferozepur Road via Welkome Palace on the Malhar Road before finishing at the club.

Nishchay Sachdeva said the run was organised to motivate the people to exercise regularly in order to stay fit and healthy. 



Cops to act tough against radicals 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 2
Recognising the role of social and political leaders in curbing anti-social elements disguised as radical religious leaders, the police has called upon office-bearers of these organisations to join hands with the administration to launch a crusade against rebellious elements.

Police officials have been directed to keep a vigil on the activists of the radical organisations who might exploit the sentiments of innocent residents on the pretext of recent incidents of violence in Mansa and Patiala district.

Claiming that earlier crackdowns on anti-social elements had only been possible due to valuable information provided by a few social leaders, SSP Ludhiana (Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar maintained that the police had succeeded in saving numerous lives by taking prompt action on being tipped off.

“Had we not received vital information about misdeeds of Baba Balvir Singh Lamme Jattpura, he along with his accomplice could have harmed other religious leaders. Earlier, we had seized explosives and detonators from their possession and now the management of the religious place has found two 12 bore pistols from a room once occupied by Baba Balvir Singh,” said Bhullar adding onus of the weapons seized lies on Balvir Singh who along with two others is languishing in a Nabha jail.

Malerkotla DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand disclosed that Sangrur district police chief Naunihal Singh had directed the cops to increase the vigil in their respective areas. Emphasis was laid on reviewing security arrangements at places where ‘shakhas’ and meetings of saffron outfits were arranged.

The areas houses sizable population of Dera Sacha Sauda followers also. A large number of “premis” visit Nam Charcha Ghars at Jagera, Jalaldiwal and Gahaur daily. Uneasy calm prevailed in and these deras. Though the police had not prohibited activists from entering the dera, premis are staying away from it these days. 



Children put up rakhi stalls
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 2
Deaf and dumb children from Mahant Gangapuri Badhir Vidyalya here yesterday put up rakhi stalls at A.S.College for Women. These children had made rakhis, which were sold to the college students and outsiders. The college authorities said these students put up such stalls every year. This time they made rakhis for display and sale. 



Sharing magical bond 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service
A girl buys a cake for her friends in Ludhiana on Sunday.
A girl buys a cake for her friends in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 2
“A friend is one who knows us, but loves us anyway” — Fr Jerome Cummings

A friend is someone who understands us, stands by us in difficult times and shares our feelings. The Friendship Day is a celebration of this magical bond. On the day, everybody reaches out to their friends with heart-warming greetings and gifts and make them feel special.

It was a special day for friends to get nostalgic or rise above their differences, if any. The Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating the day in honour of friends began in the US in 1935. Gradually, the festival gained popularity and today the day is celebrated across the world, including India.

Today, friends met and exchanged gifts, flowers, cards and wrist bands to celebrate the day. A group of friends was seen getting nostalgic while enjoying a sip of coffee at Barista. “Every year, we make it a point to organise a get-together on this day and go down the memory lane. Such occasions give us a reason to be together and share some quality time from our busy lives,” said Komal Grewal, a city youth.

While the young brigade was seen flaunting their wrist bands. Bakeries and florists were flooded with orders since morning. Satinder Singh from Hot Breads, Sarabha Nagar, said their bakery and restaurant was flooded with youngsters. “Everyone is in the spirit of celebrating the Friendship Day,” he said.

However, for some it is just another marketing gimmick. Dharampal Aggarwal, a bank employee, said the Friendship Day may be a nice way to remember your friends. But in reality, a friend will always be around. “Personally, I don't need to tell my friend that you are on my mind. My affection will always be there and my friends will know it all the time,” he said.

Neha, who was with her friends celebrating the day at one of the city malls feels: “Though human emotions and bonding cannot be measured by time, cards or flowers, but such days help in showing how much we care for our friends,” she said. 



Essence of amity missing
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 2
Though the western concept of the International Friendship Day has made its presence felt in the eastern world, the real gesture of the world’s ambassador of friendship, “Winnie the Pooh” is absent in the society, even after 12 years of its adoption by the United Nations.

Bloody wars among neighbouring countries claiming thousands of human lives every year, leaders, including political, social and religious, continue inciting their followers to fight on basis of caste, creed and sect.

Flooding of shops with friendship bands - the most traditional way of celebrating the day - gifts, chocolates and cards suggest that like commercialisation of almost all other international days, the business community has hijacked the event for making a fast buck.

Office-bearers and activists of a few social and religious organisations have urged politicians of India and the Pakistan to vow to strive for obliterating border lines, wars over which have claimed thousands of lives of both the countries.

“What is the use of wasting money on the pretext of celebrating these days which originated in the western part of the world if our leaders do not comprehend the purpose behind its observance? While we educate our children to live with members of other communities like brothers, they (leaders) leave no chance to spread communal hatred for harnessing meagre political gains,” rued Munir Mohammad and Hamid Mohammad president and general secretary of the Muslim Youth Front.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, president Shri Ram Mandir Committee, and councillor Kedar Kapila said elders should take a lesson from children. “When they (children) can make new friends by simply sending SMSes on the occasion of the Friendship Day, why can’t our leaders, including the Prime Minister and the President interact with their counterparts in Pakistan and other countries to pave a path for diluting enmity,” said Sharma and Kapila.

Members of all communities, including Sikhs, Hindus and the Muslims, embraced on the day, just like they do on most other occasions, be it Gurparb, Diwali or Eid.

Shops were flooded with friendship bands, gifts, chocolates and cards. Though the youngsters dominated the day, elderly were also seen exchanging gifts with their friends.

The International Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating a day in honour of friends began in the US in 1935. In 1997, the United Nations named “Winnie the Pooh” as the world's ambassador of friendship. 



Industrialists feel let down by ‘poor’ bank facilities 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
Though World Bank has ranked Ludhiana as the number one city on the “ease of business” basis, industrialists here fail to justify this position.

Being the commercial capital of Punjab, Ludhiana, is burdened by maximum number of cheque clearances.

About 75,000 cheques are presented in banks everyday. This includes 20,000 cheques for more than Rs 1 lakh each.

The banks have invested substantial amount in computers and their networking in the past 15 years.In Ludhiana, hardly 50 per cent of the banks have upgraded themselves with the modern technology.The Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system allows inter-bank funds settlement across 55,000 branches in almost 2,500 regional centres all over the country.

At the most, 12 banks are using this facility for the benefit of customers, industrialists added.

Now, funds from one part of the country to another can instantly be transferred through electronic clearance with minimum risk, courtesy the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) System and the National Electronic Clearing Service (NECS).

“But, the ordinary cheque clearing system is still outdated,” PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.

Another industrialist Ramesh Goel said in all major cities, credit and debit of local cheques was done the same day when a cheque was presented.

“This is a speed clearing system in place of “T+1” system, in which credit is given on the third day of the presentation of the cheque. However, in the speed clearance, debit, credit is done on the same day. Cheques are presented in the morning and are settled in the evening and debit or credit is done accordingly,” Bajaj added.

The Apex Chamber had taken up the matter with RBI officials in Chandigarh. They have apprised it of the decision of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi. This decision was taken under the Consumer Protection Act 1986 in August 2008. This had not been implemented in Punjab, the industrialists added.

As per the RBI guidelines, in case the banks fails to comply with these directions, they are liable to pay an interest for delay in giving credits.But, none of the banks had done so.

“The industry is facing various problems, it is strange if World Bank still ranks Ludhiana as the most suitable city to start a venture,” Sharma added.



Serial gimmick: Ekta comes calling…
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 2
The production houses leave no stone unturned to ma
e their serials popular. For, at times, these invite celebrities to their sets else performance by high- profile actors does the trick for them.

In a bid to do something different, Ekta Kapoor invited viewers to attend the wedding in her serial “Pavitra Rishta”. Those who have replied via SMS had attended the wedding. This episode was telecasted recently.

It was like the Indian Television’s biggest wedding that was held at RK Studios. Over 800 people from all over India came to attend the wedding and blessed the “Pavitra Rishta” couple.

It has happened for the first time that a serial’s wedding ceremony was connected directly to the live audience in the form of a mega event.

The response from the viewers was thrilling, which was evident from the fact that over 50,000 messages had been received hitherto in response to the channel’s invitation.

The ardent fans of the serial from cities like Pune, Nashik, Indore, Delhi, Kanpur, Amritsar, Lucknow and Rajkot attended the wedding.

All arrangements were made in order to keep the guests comfortable. Ostentatious reception, floral decoration, authentic Maharashtrian food, entertainment by L’il Champs’ children and Dance India Dance winner, Salman Khan kept the guests hooked.

A special arrangement for “mehandiwalis” was made and male attendees could not escape the “pagdis” that were tied on them.

Besides, a number of enthusiasts from Mumbai attended the wedding.

Savita Prabhune aka ‘Sulochana’ (Archana’s mother in the show), commuted in a local train starting from Chatrapathi Shivaji Terminus to Dombivli station to invite the fellow commuters for the wedding.

Sulochana visited viewers’ homes who welcomed her in the traditional Maharashtrian saree with “haldi” and “kumkum.”

The producer of the show, Ekta Kapoor, visited Pune’s Dagru Seth Halwai Temple to seek blessings for Archana’s wedding and met the fans in the city.




3 booked for demanding dowry
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 2
The Jagraon police has booked three persons for seeking dowry yesterday.

Gurdeep Kaur, a resident of Aligarh village, had complained to the Jagraon SSP that she got married to Jagveer Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, on February 16.

She said after the wedding, her husband started harassing for bringing less dowry and forced her to demand a car and an air conditioner from parents. Her in-laws, too, assaulted her for the same.

Jagveer alleged that her in-laws turned her out of the house, thus, she came back to her parents and approached the police. The SSP asked the Dakha DSP, Paramjit Singh Goraya, to conduct the inquiry.

The DSP found the allegations made by Gurdeep Kaur correct and sent an inquiry report to the SSP. A case under the Sections 406, 498 A of the IPC has been registered against Jagveer’s husband and parents-in-law.



Badminton Tourney
Puneetinder secures berth in semifinal 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 2
Puneetinder Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, along with Mohul Goel of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, Guranjan Singh of GGN Public School and Amit Bhasin of BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh road branch, overpowered their opponents to secure berths in the semifinal of the boys singles’ u-13 category on the penultimate day of the Ludhiana District Badminton Championship being played at the Prithipal Singh Sports Complex, Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

In the first quarterfinal, Puneetinder Singh faced a little resistance from Aditya of Kundan Vidya Mandir whom he defeated 21-8, 21-10 and in the second quarterfinal, Mohul Goel had to toil hard to outplay his rival, Aditya Pasricha of DAV Public School 21-18, 21-18.

The third quarterfinal, played between Guranjan Singh and Chetanya of DAV Public School turned out to be a one-sided affair as the former romped home victorious easily 21-9, 21-2 while in the fourth quarterfinal, Amit Bhasin proved too good for Waris of Kundan Vidya Mandir and wrapped up the match without much hassles 21-10, 21-8.

In the boys’ under-16 category, Aditya Pasricha of DAV Public School fought a pitched battle against his schoolmate, Dikshit before emerging winner 17-21, 21-10 and 21-18 to book his place in the semifinal.

Hakam Singh of Bhaini Sahib centre, after initial hiccups, managed to overpower his rival, Abhinav of Kundan Vidya Mandir 21-16, 21-12 and Aditya of Kundan Vidya Mandir too had an easy outing against Palwinder Singh of Bhaini Sahib Centre whom he outclassed 21-13, 21-9 and joined Aditya Pasricha in the last four stage.

The last quarterfinal was played between Jasjeet Singh of the Sutlej Club and Prem Singh of the Bhaini Sahib Centre in which the former came out as winner 21-8, 21-5 to complete the semifinal line up.

In the under-19 category (quarterfinals), Guranjan Singh of GGN Public School put up a brave show against Avinash of Jagraon before going down 14-21, 16-21 while Amit Bhasin defeated Guraftab Singh of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, 21-12, 21-15.

Puneetinder Singh beat Gaurav Taneja of Jagraon 21-7, 21-4 and Raman Goyal of Jagraon quelled a strong challenge from Akash of Kundan Vidya Mandir before romping home victorious in three sets 21-16, 19-21 and 21-17.

Other results: boys doubles (u-13)- quarterfinals: Aditya of KVM and Jasjeet Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School got walk over against Kashish Gupta and Ayush of the Sutlej Club; Abhinav and Aditya of KVM beat Rewal and Prem Singh of Bhiani Sahib Centre 21-14, 21-10; Aditya Pasricha and Dikshit of DAV Public School beat Gurjot and Gursehaj Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School 21-19, 22-20.

Boys’ doubles (u-16) quarterfinals: Puneetinder Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School and Amit Bhasin of BCM Senior Secondary School beat Anol and Shikset of DAV Public School 21-2, 21-3; Mohul and Aditya of KVM beat Gundeep and Karan of DAV Public School 21-15, 21-17; Guranjan of GGN Public School and Aditya of DAV Public School beat Arjun of Sacred Heart Convent School and Waris of KVM School 21-17, 21-10.

Boy’s doubles (u-19) quarterfinals: Bavya Dawar and Akash of KVM beat Sohrab and Gurmanak Singh of Guru Nanak Public School 21-4, 21-5; Avinash and Ramakant of Jagraon beat Harjot Singh and Guraftab Singh of Guru Nanak Public School 21-11, 21-10; Puneetinder Singh of Sacred Heart Convent School and Guranjan Singh of GGN Public School got walk over against Rahul and Harsimran Singh of DAV Public School.



Cricket Meet
Ajay guides govt school to semis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 2
Ajay Mehra excelled with ball (6 for 17) to fashion hosts Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, to score 51-run win over Government Senior Secondary School, Mangat, and entered the semifinal of the ongoing Ludhiana Inter-School Zonal Cricket Tournament (u-19) being organised by the Punjab education department at Government Model School, PAU, here today.

Government Model School, PAU, won the toss and chose to bat first. In the 16 overs, they scored 103 for the loss of six wickets. The main contributors were Joban (36) and Shivam Passi (26). For Government School, Mangat, Sunil and Latif were the main bowlers, claiming two wickets each while Surinder scalped one victim.

In reply, Government School, Mangat, were all out for 52 runs. Vinod Kumar could reach double figure with 20 runs.

For the winners, Ajay Mehra took six wickets for 17 runs to help the hosts clinch the issue.

In another match, Government Multipurpose School, beat Government Senior Secondary School, Haibowal Khurd, by three wickets.

Government Multipurpose School scored 72 runs for 9 wickets in 16 overs (Kuldeep-19 and Munish-14). For Government School, Gurwinder captured three wickets for 8 runs.

Government Multipurpose School achieved the target after losing 7 wickets with Gurinder and Inderpreet Singh scoring 12 and 11 runs, respectively.

The successful bowlers for the losers were Munish (3) and Amit (2).



Sacred Heart School romp home champions
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 2
Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, defeated Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, by 10-wicket to emerge champions in the Ludhiana-II Inter-School Zonal Cricket Tournament (u-14) organised by the Punjab Education Department at Baba Ishar Singh Senior Secondary School.

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School won the toss and invited Sacred Heart Convent to bat. Their decision yielded the desired results since Sacred Heart Convent batsmen found themselves struggling and the innings folded at 38 runs in the stipulated 10 overs. Zuber and Ishan contributed seven runs each.

For Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Ishan Aggarwal, Anirudh and Raghav restricted their opponents for just 38 runs.

The target turned out to be a small one, as Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School surpassed the total in just four overs with Ishan Aggarwal (25) and Anirudh (3) remaining unbeaten. Sacred Heart Convent School bowlers conceded 11 extras also.

Sister Sobel, principal, Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, appreciated the students becoming champions. She felicitated the team’s manager and the sports department.



NRI Sports Club comes to footballer’s aid 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 2
The NRI Sports Club, led by Gurinder Jit Singh Gorayan, has decided to financially support Jagdeep Kaur, winner of three gold medals in the All-India Inter-University Football Championship. She had decided to abandon her practice as the authorities of the sports department had failed to support her.

Besides providing Rs 10,000 per month for pursuing her sports career, the association will spend Rs 3 lakh getting her house reconstructed. Her father had died after one of the walls of his house fell on him about two months ago.

Appreciating Jagdeep Kaur outstanding performance in numerous tournaments at the national and international level, Gorayan said the association decided to adopt the Jagdeep after overseas media highlighted her plight. The organisation had already adopted 21 other needy sportspersons.

“We have appointed presidents for almost all districts of Punjab and each chief is supposed to sponsor needy sportsmen from his area. Kuldeep Singh Sahota, president for Hoshiarpur district, has come forward to adopt Jagdeep Kaur,” said Gorayan.

Jagdeep Kaur had started playing football while she was studying in Class VI at Government Senior Secondary School, Butahri. Darshan Singh Khatra, the physical training instructor, had inspired her to do so. While as a student of HMV College, Jalandhar, she won three gold medals in the All-India Inter-University Sports Meet and represented India in Asian Games in 2005 and 2007. She won various matches in Senior National Games also.

She was on a lookout for a job that could help her widowed mother to run the family. All her appeals for the financial aid have fallen on deaf ears. It was on these grounds that she had decided to abandon her practice.

“But when the association has decided to financially support her, I wish my younger brother and sister should also continue their studies and start practicing for sports of their choice,” said Jagdeep.

Manjit Kaur, mother of the footballer, was proud of her daughter who had brought laurels to the family and the village. 



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