L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Not the India we dreamt of: Freedom fighters
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Dewan Jagdish Chander
Dewan Jagdish Chander

Ludhiana, August 14
It is not the country of their dreams. They had fought the freedom struggle passionately hoping they would be the citizens of an independent country that would prove to be a role model for the world.

Unfortunately, the country is now in the grip of “corrupt leaders” who are devouring it like termites to fulfill their selfish motives.

These are the feelings of freedom fighters, now based in Ludhiana, as they sit “disillusioned” and “disheartened” at the present scenario prevailing in the country on the eve of 63rd Independence Day.

“Today’s leaders are the ministry fighters as they fight for a portfolio instead of the national interest. That was the time when the leaders of freedom movement stood for principles. Today, they stand for money and selfish ulterior motives. This is not what we had dreamt of. We are completely disillusioned,” said 92-year-old Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, who was a strong member of the Indian National Congress during the freedom struggle.

Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri

All that we are known for in the world is corruption. Even after six decades of freedom, it is a bad state of affairs. The leaders lack vision, ideas and there is a strong dearth of true leaders, added Lyallpuri, who jumped into freedom struggle in 1936.

“We are facing power and water crisis, our cities are polluted, we are literally consuming poison in foodstuff and our country is poor. On the contrary our leaders are rich. This is not what we had asked for,” he said while talking to The Tribune at his residence today.

Criticising the policies that he felt remains more or less same during the regime of every government, Lyallpuri quoted an example that grains are rotting in our godowns and 40 per cent of our population cannot arrange for two square meals a day.

“While we hold our heads with pride in front of the world tomorrow, these are hung in shame in front of our own people,” he said while advocating the need of another mass movement of the magnitude of freedom struggle, “This would be a liberation movement from the anti-people, monopolistic and corrupt rule.”

Dewan Jagdish Chander, a freedom fighter of Quit India Movement, echoed similar views. He agreed that the country’s condition today could not make anybody happy, not even the freedom fighters at least.

“They laid down their lives and we have not valued their struggle,” he said adding that politicians were alone cannot be blamed. The people too should share it with the leaders. They don’t live for the country but for themselves. They indulge in all kinds of anti-national activities,” he added.

There is, however, still a silver lining visible in the dark clouds. The new generation sounds promising. “They need a direction. The responsibility of providing this rests with school curricula, TV, mass media, newspapers and the parents. We have no dearth of capable people. They hold the key for bright future if we are able to build their character,” said Dewan Chandra. 


Cases now go up to18
Another tests positive for cholera
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Jagat Narayan (50), a resident of Maharaaj Nagar, was tested positive for cholera this morning. He had been admitted to a hospital at Gurdev Nagar yesterday.

With this case, the confirmed cholera cases have gone up to 18. The district health officer, Dr SS Dhir, said the previous cases had been reported from private hospitals in various localities.

Two out of the three persons who died recently at Sunet village near BRS Nagar had cholera.

Expressing concern that the cholera patient lived among 22 families living in a “vehra” at Maharaaj Nagar, he said a team of health officials would collect water samples and assess the situation.

Dr GS Garewal, medical director of the hospital where the patient was admitted, said: “Consumption of contaminated water is the apparent cause of infection. He has been kept in isolation. He was in a critical condition yesterday, but is stable now.”

Jagat Narayan said the water being supplied in the area was yellow in colour and smelled foul. I felt severe pain in my stomach after consuming water directly from a tap five days ago and had diarrhoea. It was only after I lost consciousness that my family and neighbours took me to hospital.

Rakesh Narayan, his son, stated that the water supply was bad throughout the year and someone or the other living in the “vehra” would fall sick after consuming the dirty water.



Civil Defence volunteer gets President’s Award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
When Bhola Nath Mehta bought books for a poor student 35 years ago, he had never imagined that helping others would become his passion in life and that it would get him President’s Award one day.

Deputy Chief Warden, Civil Defence Bhola Nath Mehta (70) has become the first volunteer of Civil Defence in Ludhiana to get President’s Award, which would be announced at the Independence Day celebrations to be held in New Delhi tomorrow.

Bhola Nath Mehta often helps the district administration in cases of accidents, fire incidents, tragedies and natural calamities, besides regularly holding medical check-up camps, polio and blood donation camps.

Mehta, along with other members of Civil Defence, had helped the police gather parts of bodies of Shingar cinema blast victims. He had also helped victims of Khud Mohalla fire, Frontier Mail tragedy and Manjh Phaguwal village train incident, besides helping the district administration during the 1988 floods.

On a single call by him, at least 1,000 volunteers of the eight divisions of Civil Defence are ready to offer their services. They have helped countless road accident victims and poor students.

Mehta was modest in expressing his pleasure. ‘‘I will continue doing that till I retire from this world,” he said.

State award for social worker

NS Nanda, a social activist and president of New Hope, an NGO, would be presented with the prestigious state award for outstanding social work at a state-level Independence Day celebration by the Chief Minister Parkash at Ferozepur today.

“I have been awarded thrice with Life Time Achievement Award which were presented by a former PM, IK Gujral, Mizoram Governor AR Kohli, and Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal,” he said.

He has been honoured with other awards, too. He has donated his body to a local medical college and hospital and has motivated over 400 persons to do the same. 



Tatkal Passport
Police can’t recommend names anymore
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The passport department has clipped the wings of the Punjab Police after it was found that around 85 per cent of “tatkal” passports were issued without the applicants having any real urgency. Now, the police can’t recommend names anymore.

While the police can only issue these passports under five criteria, there is no such restriction on SDMs and DCs, who are free to recommend anyone who needs “tatkal” passport.

The state ministry of home affairs has issued these directions considering the increasing role of the police in recommending such cases. The power of recommendation lies with SHOs and SSPs.

A ministry official said the police could recommend the application of those fit for the scheme. “The police can issue a “tatkal” passport in the case of a death and only if the person is related to the deceased; for a business conference if the invitation is on the name of the applicant; a job abroad with a one-month deadline; medical treatment with prior one-month appointment; admission to some university abroad with confirmation from the university authorities that the student has to join within a month.”

The police, especially SHOs, are miffed with the development and are blaming babus for tarnishing their image. An SHO said on the condition of anonymity: “Public dealing of babus is negligible. When residents seek assistance, they cut a sorry figure and express their helplessness in getting the work done. We are in direct contact with people and they approach us whenever there is any emergency. Hence, the ratio would be high.”

The inquiry for the “tatkal” passport is still with the police. It is the discretion of the police to either quicken or delay the passport procedure, but the restriction has put the police in bad light, a police officer said.

The SSP, SS Gill, said: “We are following the directions of the ministry and have informed the police officials concerned to follow the guidelines strictly.”



City Concerns

Residents of the city are a peeved lot with the ever-growing hours of unscheduled power cuts along the announced power cuts. From six the cuts were increased to eight, a few weeks back and now the scheduled cuts will be 10 hours from Thursday onwards. Industry too is suffering, massively, in terms of manpower and production, due to three day announced cuts in a week. Narrate your experiences and also send forward a possible way out of the power crises, if you feel there is any.

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



“We’ve taken freedom for granted”
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Despite freedom from British rule, some things have remained unchanged, undermining the meaning of Independence for people.

What does independence mean to the youth? One big issue is that most Indians are still deprived of social and economical freedom. “We were not present when India got its Independence. Hence, we may not be able to understand its real value. We take it for granted. Unless we understand the meaning of unity and share one another’s problems, we won’t get real Independence,” Tejbir Singh, a graduate, says.

For some, the freedom to expression is most important. “To me, freedom of thought and expression is much more important than physical freedom. Freedom of thought allows freedom to dream. And only when we dream, can we try to fulfill those. We are still dealing with problems like corruption, dowry and foeticide which hinder the development of our country,” Amanpreet, a young businessman, feels.



Janmashtami celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
City residents celebrated Janmashtami with religious fervour today. Idols of Radha and Krishna and temples were bedecked with lights, flowers and rangoli. Heavy rush was witnessed in all temples of the city, including ISKON temple, Krishna temple, Durga Mata temple and Laxmi Narayan temple to name a few.

Krishna temple at Model Town follows the tradition of bringing the attires of Radha and Krishan from Vrindaban since 1970. G.L. Pahwa from Krishna Mandir said the preparations for the festival start a month in advance. “We get the attires of these deities prepared from Vrindaban especially for this festival every year,” added Pahwa.

The main function began with chanting of the shlokas, mantras and distribution of parsads. Rocking the cradle of lord Krishna is the major attraction during evening. Tableaus depicting the different stages of Lord Krishna’s life were present in every temple. Tint tots were eagerly looking at scenes from the Lord Krishna’s life.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Janmashtami was celebrated in various temples of the town and surrounding villages.

Celebrations started with “parbaht pheris” organised by members of the Har Har Mahadev Sewa Sangathan and the Shri Ram Mandir committee.

Devotees thronged the local Shri Ram Mandir, Shiv Mandir, Sat Narayan Mandir, Laxmi Narayan Mandir, Geeta Bhawan and Shiv Mandir at Pohir, Chhapar, Barundi,Sai Mandir, and Kanganwal village.

Flower bedecked cradles were set up at all temples. Special prayers were organised on the occasion. Devotional songs were sung by professional artistes. Various cultural items like "Manbassia oh Kanha," and "Brij ke Nandlala" were presented on the occasion. 



Dengue Threat
Lack of larvicide raises concern
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The unavailability of Pyrethrum - the chemical to be sprayed to neutralise mosquito larvae - has been impeding the anti-larvae wing’s efforts to save the city from the impending threat of dengue.

Dr Satish Chandra, zonal malaria officer from Patiala, who has been in the city for the past two days, termed the situation “grim”, adding that profuse presence of larvae in the city and its periphery pointed towards the impending danger of dengue outbreak in the coming days.

A team of anti-larvae wing headed by ZMO yesterday destroyed Aedes larvae in Police Lines, Railway Colony, Guru Nanakpura, Kundanpuri and office of the department of animal husbandry, Ludhiana.

Accusing MC officials of nonchalance, Dr Chandra said: “The municipal corporation has showed non-cooperation even after we had started writing to them to take preventive measures since January. As proposed by the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme report, MC officials were also asked to challan people in residential areas for water in coolers but they have failed to act to date.”

Pointing towards the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned at the Centre and state level, Dr Chadra rued that there was an adequate supply of Pyrethrum from the Centre, but the Punjab Health System Corporation had not made it available, thereby making the situation impossible for them and anti-larvae wing to work in.

“The MC has started with fogging, which is ineffective as focal spray is must to kill the larvae.”

However, Dr Chandra was hopeful of eliminating larvae to a large extent, provided the MC immediately mobilised a brigade of 40 men who would join hands with the anti-larvae wing in their anti-dengue campaign.

A letter was sent to the MC Commissioner yesterday by the department of health and family welfare in this regard.

A team of officials from the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program (NVBDCP), New Delhi, and anti-larvae wing, Ludhiana, had spotted and destroyed adult Aedes mosquito and larvae at various public places, hospitals, government offices during in the past 10 days.



Swine Flu
Civil surgeon told to take preventive steps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Principal secretary (health), Punjab, Satish Chandra today asked the Ludhiana civil surgeon to take necessary steps to tackle swine flu in the district.

Speaking to the civil surgeon during a video conferencing today, he said the state would extend full support in the event of an “outbreak”.

He asked the district health and family welfare department to distribute pamphlets raising awareness amongst people by giving tips on prevention, symptoms and treatment of the disease.

“It is must to educate people so that they should not panic as no case of swine flu has been reported from Ludhiana,” he added.

Civil surgeon Dr Maninderjit Singh said the health secretary had instructed them to take samples of persons who had returned from abroad or states with swine flu cases and showed symptoms of the disease.

He also apprised the health secretary about the measures taken at the district level, adding that isolation wards had been earmarked in all sub-divisional hospitals.

At the local civil hospital, the number of beds had been increased from six to eight for swine flu cases.

Also, ventilators that had been out of order had been made functional.

Meanwhile, the civil surgeon, while speaking on the preparedness said Christian Medical College and Hospital and Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, had extended support to the health department by offering four beds each for swine flu cases.



IMA expresses concern over panic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The local chapter of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) yesterday expressed serious concern over panic among residents regarding swine flu.

The doctors have called upon people “not to panic”, adding that everybody should be alert and take preventive measures.

In a statement issued here, the association defined swine flu as any other flu with high fever, sneezing, watering from nose, body aches, cough and expectoration but with additional symptoms of vomiting, loose stool and difficulty in breathing.

Patients with such symptoms should be “isolated” so that the disease doesn’t spread to other people through coughing and sneezing.

Patient’s nasal or throat swab should be sent for H1N1 virus test. Proper covering of mouth and nose with mask is required.

IMA further states that if the H1N1 test is positive, Tamiflu can be taken from any government hospital under doctor’s supervision. Isolation and maintaining proper “distance” from the affected person is the key.

Maintaining personal hygiene by washing hands with soap and water after touching nose and throat is a must for suspected patients. They should also take plenty of water and good nourishing diet followed by adequate rest.

People should avoid contact and going to crowded places. There is a high level of recovery rate in flu patients and prevention/awareness is the key to tackling the illness, stated the doctors.



Currency source of flu transmission
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 14
Paper currency is being viewed as a source of transmission for dreaded diseases, including swine flu.

With a virtual red alert having been sounded against the H1N1 virus, none of the agencies has bothered to aware masses about the role of paper currency in transmitting the illness.

International agencies for disease control and prevention have recommend frequent hand washing and use of tissues after handling mutilated currency.

Admitting that contaminated currency might serve as potential carriers for other pathogens, they maintained that swine flu was caused due to droplet infection and people should not panic while handling currency.

Studies have revealed that currency of any denomination can spread virus from one person to another. Therefore, there is an increased possibility of catching infection including swine flu if a person handles currency that has been used by an infected individual.

It is surprising that in spite of the pervasiveness of currency in society, its role in transmitting illness has been subject of little study.

However, recent international-level research has suggested that the pathogens of flu can show some staying power when they land on one of the countless notes that change hands every day.

Though fresh currency of higher denomination may not pose much threat to human health, soiled and mutilated ones of lower denominations serve as the best substratum for a host of pathogens, including flu virus.

Referring to the outcome of a study conducted at Switzerland’s Central Laboratory of Virology at the University Hospitals of Geneva, Dr Punit Hind said flu virus mixed with nasal secretion from children had flourished well on paper currency.

The study showed that flu cells when protected with human mucus were much hardier - in some cases lasting up to 17 days on notes.

The virus that persisted for 17 days was a form of influenza A called H3N2 and strain H1N1 had also endured for quite a bit - in some cases up to 10 days.

Investigations revealed that in the real world, where hands wipe runny noses and then handle money, flu viruses may have more persistence than previously thought.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has also mentioned currency as a source for transmission.



MCPI (U) raps govt for faulty policies
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 14
The Marxist Communist Party of India (United) has condemned the “anti-people and pro-imperialist” approach of the ruling parties, which was leading the country towards serious recession.

During a state committee meeting organised at KK Kaushal Memorial Hall here today, the members lashed out at the “authoritarian tactics and dictatorial strategies” being followed by 
the parties.

They blamed corrupt politics and self-centered approach for the existing recession.

Kuldip Singh Grewal, state secretary, alleged that the UPA and NDA alliances were following the guidelines of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization and dragging the nation towards unemployment, inflation and starvation.

Lakhwinder Singh Buani, district general secretary, asked people to act responsibly to fight powers that could destabilise the unity of the nation and lead the country towards penury and hunger.

On the organisational structure of the MCPI (U), Buani urged party leaders to unite and form a common front to fight for their common goals.

In his introductory speech, Pawan Kumar Kaushal blamed the government for failing to accord any concrete solution to the existing economic and political crisis.

He said the MCPI (U) was of firm conviction that as long as the working class enjoyed monopoly over the means of production, there was no solution to the present economic crisis.

The party leaders also condemned the state of electricity supply in the state and the faulty supply of clean drinking water to the common man, which they lamented was adding to their woes.

Annual elections were conducted in which Amarjit Singh Faizgarh, Azad Singh Khatra, Surjit Singh Maloud, Jandeep Kaushal, Sukhwinder Singh Buani, Amarjit Singh Chankoian and Mehar Singh Kaddon were elected members for the current year.

Jandeep Kaushal, newly elected secretary of Khanna and Payal tehsils of the party, criticised the policies of the UPA government at the Centre and Akali-BJP government in Punjab.



Biker killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 14
One person was killed in a road accident on the Ludhiana-Khanna highway near Bija village last night.

Sarjiwan Lal, who was working as a guard in the state forest department at Doraha, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a truck (PB 12A 4935) that had broken down on the highway.

The Kota Chowki police has booked the driver of the truck for causing death due to negligence.

The victim was returning home after performing his duty when the accident took place.



Janamashtami celebrations at schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Alpine International Secondary School celebrated Janamashtami, Teej and Independence Day with zeal and fervour here. The function commenced with the Janamashtami puja and welcome speech by principal Rajeshwari Dhir. The tiny tots presented a medley on Janamashtami. A patriotic song sung by students mesmerised the audience.

Love Dale Montessori

Aatam Devki Niketan celebrated Janamasthmi and Independence Day here yesterday. Students presented various cultural programmes. Along with it, Independence Day was also celebrated where students performed on “Rang de Basanti.”

GMT School

GMT Public School celebrated Janamashtami here. A fancy dress competition was also organised. Dances and mythological songs were also presented by students.

Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School organised a cultural programme to observe Independence Day celebrations here. The highlight of the function was an inter-house patriotic group singing competition.

GD Goenka School

GD Goenka Public School celebrated Janamashtami and Independence Day here yesterday. The children were dressed in the tri-colour dress.

Everest school

The festival was celebrated with religious fervour at Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, here. Tiny tots presented a show relating to the different aspects of the life of Lord Krishna.



Tiny tots pay tributes to freedom fighters
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 14
Tiny tots of Green Grove Public School paid tributes to freedom fighters on the eve of Independence Day here today.

They prepared flags and put them up around the campus to mark Independence Day. Children sang patriotic songs and carried home flags to spread the spirit of patriotism.

President JPS Jolly and principal S George conveyed their greetings and exhorted students to develop a nationalistic approach to fight terrorism and 



Granthi held for watching lewd MMS
Tribune News Service

Jhar Sahib (Machhiwara), August 14
Gurpreet Singh, a granthi at Gurdwara Jhar Sahib, about 10 km from Machhiwara, has been arrested and remanded in 14-day judicial remand for watching a pornographic MMS on a mobile phone while performing “path”.

Sixteen akhand path had been organised at the gurdwara in memory of Baba Piara Singh. Instead of looking at Guru Granth Sahib while reciting prayers, he was watching the MMS on the mobile phone kept under “Peehra Sahiba”.

A resident of the village, Jasvir Singh, caught him in the act and informed the head granthi, who asked Gurpreet Singh to leave. However, when villagers came to know about it, they sought his suspension. They took his mobile phone and found that it had a large collection of blue MMS.

Villagers said the gurdwara manager, Gurdeep Singh Kang, should also be punished for not keeping a check on him. Area SGPC member Kirpal Singh Khirniyan was informed about the issue. He asked the granthi to apologise to the people, but the villagers were enraged and started raising slogans against the SGPC.

Later, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar suspended the granthi. The police arrested him under Section 295, IPC. It was found that he would get these clips downloaded from a local shop in the village.



4 LBA trainees for national camp
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 14
Four cagers from Punjab have been selected to attend a national basketball preparatory camp for the forthcoming Asia Basketball Championship.

According to Teja Singh Dhaiwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, the cagers are trainees of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy being run here by the association with the help of Punjab sports department.

They include Baljit Singh, Manpreet Singh, Gorav Deep Singh and Nagma Mirza.

Boys would attend the camp at the SAI Netaji Subhash Chander Centre, University campus, Kangeri (Bangalore), from August 24 to September 13 prior to the Indian contingent selection for the inaugural edition of the FIBA Asia Basketball Championship for boys u-16, slated to be conducted at Johor Bahu City, Malaysia, between November 18 and 26.

Nagma Mirza, the lone female probable from Punjab, would attend the training-cum-coaching camp at SAI centre, Kaliguri Karangan, Bholpur, scheduled to be held from August 24 to September 13 before the final selection of the squad for the First FIBA Asian Basketball Championship for girls u-16 to be organised at Pune from November 28 to December 6.

Director General of Police, Punjab, and president of the Punjab Basketball Association, Rajdeep Singh Gill has congratulated the players on their selection as probables for the coaching camp to prepare the national basketball teams for the Asian championships.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |