L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Price Rise, ‘Anti-worker’ Policies 
Protesters lay siege to city roads
Traffic comes to halt; vehicles stranded for hours
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 5
Life was paralysed in city for over two hours as a number of vehicles remain stuck in traffic jams following protest demonstration by various trade unions today.

There was chaos on roads leading to Bharat Nagar Chowk where trade unions held a “satyagraha” and blocked traffic for more than two hours to protest against rising prices and “anti-worker” policies of the government.

The call for the nationwide protest was given by central trade unions and the protest was led by activists of the All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and the All India Confederation of Trade Unions (AICTU).

Carrying banners and placards, the slogan-shouting protesters criticised the government for steep rise in the prices of essential commodities, petrol and diesel, besides other policies like job freeze, blatant violation of labour laws, disinvestment of profit-making public sector units. The protesters were also demanding establishment of the national security fund for the agriculture and the unorganised labour.

Trade union activists, including OP Mehta, DP Maur from AITUC, Raghunath Singh, Jatinder Pal Singh from CITU, Kartar Singh Rathaur, Bhagirath Paliwal from the BMS, Balbir Singh, Swarn Singh from INTUC and Tarsem Singh Jodhan, Hardev Singh Kler from AICTU charged the government with being hand-in-glove with the powerful lobby of traders, capitalists and monopolists.

“The government at the Centre has failed to curb price rise. The recent Budget presented by the Finance Minister is a clear pointer towards the anti-people policies of the government. Hike in prices of petrol and diesel, coupled with other levies, has led to high inflation and added to the misery of the common man. To make the matters worse for the working class, policies of outsourcing, privatisation and contract system are being promoted while unemployment has assumed alarming levels and the labour laws are being flouted with impunity," the speakers maintained.

Lambasting the government for “wrong” economic policies, the trade union functionaries alleged that a majority of the population had been pushed towards unemployment, poverty, hunger and even suicides. While the prices of essential food items had gone over the roof under the pretext of recession, those of luxury items remained untouched. The public distribution system was in a state of collapse and the much-needed national security fund for unorganised sector was also a distant dream, they added.

Meanwhile, Northern Railway employees also held a protest march and rally under the banner of the Northern Railway Men’s Union (NRMU) and the Joint Platform of Mazdoor Organisation (JPMO) against price rise, privatisation, unemployment and hike in prices of petrol and diesel.

Mangat Ram Pasla, state secretary of the CTU, Daljit Singh, divisional secretary, NRMU and other trade union activists made scathing attacks on the government for its “failure” to check spiralling prices. In a note of caution to the government against privatisation and contract system, they called for filling of over 2.5 lakh vacant posts in the Railways.


Tribune Impact
Probe ordered into vaccination, salary scam in hospital
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 4
The Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has suspended the vaccination supply to Dr BL Kapoor Memorial Hospital, Ludhiana, following the report “Hospital grant-in-aid trouble; accused of charging for vaccines that are procured free of cost,” carried in Ludhiana Tribune on February 18.

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Maninderjit Singh, while giving details, said, “Soon after reading the report on the ongoing malpractices in the hospital, the department took serious notice of the same and ordered an inquiry.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has suspended the supply of the vaccination to the hospital, which was being given under the Post Partum Unit of Family Welfare.

The Civil Suregon also stated that he had asked the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Waheguru Pal Singh for the “details” of the utilisation of the aid provided by the department to the hospital in 2008-09. “The hospital was given certain targets which had to be achieved under the Post Partum Programme and the hospital’s case for further recommendation for the aid has been withheld. The inquiry will be conducted at the earliest,” Dr Singh went on to say.

The hospital authorities have been accused of charging money for DPT, BCG and OPV vaccine, which is being provided by the Department of Health and Family Welfare free of cost to Dr BL Kapoor Memorial Hospital, Ludhiana. The hospital authorities are charging Rs 110 to 180 for different vaccinations administered to the children under the Post Partum Unit of the hospital.

Also the hospital staff has been accused of having drawn salaries from the management of Kapoor Hospital which is in clear violation of the affidavit signed by the hospital authorities wherein it is clearly mentioned that the staff employed under Post Partum Unit will not take any remuneration from private sector as they are given salaries and other benefits like non-practising allowance by the Department of Health and Family Welfare.



Tribune Impact 
Cops book in-laws in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Finding substance in a complaint lodged by Paramjit Kaur of Brahampur village, the Latala police has booked her in-laws under Section 498 A of the IPC for allegedly harassing her to bring more dowry.

Allegations of preparation of the fake ‘divorce papers’ by the suspects and alleged violation of the PNDT Act are yet to be verified.

The case was registered on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the police, after The Tribune published a story on woes of the complainant and alleged inaction on the part of the cops.

The Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) in Chandigarh had also sought a report from the state government, department of home affairs and justice and the SSP Ludhiana (Rural), for the alleged inaction on the part of the police in connection with the complaint.

The complainant had accused at least seven persons, including her husband Gurbachan Singh of Maherna Kalan, father-in-law Malkit Singh and mother-in-law Nachhattar Kaur, for allegedly subjecting her to physical and psychological harassment and preparing fake ‘divorce papers’.

The Naujwan Bharat Sabha, an NGO, fighting for the cause of the distressed women and the downtrodden, had also launched an agitation against the erring cops.

Denying allegations levelled against them, the defendants had maintained that the complainant had left the house after entering into a compromise with the suspects. However, they (defendants) failed to produce original records supporting genuineness of the alleged ‘fake divorce letter’, copy of which was submitted to the police.

In a communication addressed to higher authorities, including PSHRC chairman, Paramjit Kaur, a mother of two daughters had accused the Ludhiana (Rural) police of acting on the behest of her in-laws, who according to her had thrown her out of the house about 11 months ago.

The suspects had also threatened to get her brother booked in a false case if she failed to bring Rs 1 lakh from her parents. Her younger daughter died for want of proper medical care later.

Taking prima facie cognisance of the contents of the complaint, the PSHRC chairman had directed the SSP Ludhiana (Rural) and the principal secretary, department of home affairs, to file a report under Section 17 (1) of the Protection of Human Rights Act on sequence of events leading to plight of the complainant.

It was after The Tribune carried stories on plight of the victim, that the police initiated probe against the suspects. Acting on recommendations of the SSP Ludhiana (Rural) the SHO Dehlon registered an FIR against the suspects. 



Exams turn roads into traffic bottlenecks
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
With annual examinations on, all roads leading to various schools across the length and breadth of the city turn into virtual parking lots at the time when the paper begins and ends as parents and guardians make a beeline to drop and pick up their wards.

The situation is particularly bad outside schools that serve as board exam centres with anxious parents accompanying their stressed up kids to provide them succour.

While most parents just come to drop and pick up their wards from the schools, there are many others who make it a point to remain outside while their children are writing their papers. As many schools are located in congested and residential areas they add to the already severe traffic problems.

Vehicles that are haphazardly double parked by the roadside have become a common sight outside most schools even as commuters have to squeeze their way through the heavy traffic jams and long serpentine queues.

School heads say they are unable to deal with the chaos as "it is outside the school area".

A principal of a local school, requesting anonymity, said, "We can only look after students within our school compound. The traffic outside is beyond our control”.

Another school head added, "It’s especially bad when some inconsiderate parents and drivers dropping off or picking up students simply park their vehicles anyway they like, blocking motorists using the road."

However, they added numerous requests to parents to not park their vehicles outside the school area for longer than 5-10 minutes have fallen on deaf ears as they say they "want to be with their kids for the exams".

Said Gurjit Singh, a security guard at a school: "During exams the traffic situation outside the school is really chaotic. There are children crossing the road and I'm concerned about their safety with so many vehicles around in the area”.

Sandeep Ahuja, a motorist, who daily passes by a school when going to his workplace, says, "It becomes impossible to find one's way out in the morning with so many vehicles parked outside the school. Everyday I get stuck in the traffic and get late for work."

Meanwhile, Traffic SP Rupinder Singh said he had deployed around 60 to 70 traffic marshals outside various city schools to deal with the situation. “In the coming few days the number of marshals will be increased. And the schools have also been asked to deploy volunteers to manage traffic outside their institutions”.

However, he said parents should be more considerate and, keeping the chaotic traffic in mind, avoid staying for long periods outside the school premises. “There’s no point in parents waiting outside examination centres and adding to the area’s traffic problems while their kids are inside,” Rupinder said.



Meet the indefatigable ‘donkey merchant’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
With his never say die attitude Bhajan Singh, the donkey trader of Kohara village near here, walks 45 to 50 km every day with his flock of animals to sell them in markets all over Punjab, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and even Jammu and Kashmir. He is now on his way to sell six of his donkeys at the Naina Devi market in Himachal Pradesh.

Taking a break for a tête-à-tête with The Tribune near Nawanshahr, the rustic trader, oozing with confidence, said: “I’ve practically measured every trail in the hills of Himachal Pradesh and every road that leads to my destinations in Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir on foot.”

Bhajan has been successful in earning a living by trading in donkeys for the past 47 years. “I was a teenager when I entered this business after getting inspiration from another trader who had made a fortune by selling and purchasing donkeys in North India.”

Recollecting his past, the old man further stated that the business had provided him a sizeable income for over four decades as he had built a house and was supporting his family members, having gotten some of them married off as well.

Bhajan has been a regular visitor to the annual donkey fair in Kanota village, barely 25 km from Jaipur in Rajasthan, which is famous for its pedigree donkeys.

Most of the deals are struck between traders who sell their donkeys to washermen, potters and construction workers to be used as load carriers. “The donkey bazaar is perhaps the largest in Asia, where I’ve been among the lucky few to have sold donkeys for between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh in good times”, reveals Bhajan.

To the amazement of those living near his home this man appears to be always on the move and, to acknowledge his long journeys on foot, some of his friends call him ‘marathon man’ and ‘Flying Singh’.

When asked how he travelled to far off places, Bhajan said, “I learnt earning money the hard way. I decided to utilise my potential to walk long distance to save money on transportation costs”.



Lack of writers leaves disabled students in lurch
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Sirhind/Mandi Gobindgarh, March 5
Physically challenged students due to appear in the class VIII exams conducted by the Punjab State Education Board have been making the rounds of board offices demanding writers be provided to assist them in the examination hall.

According to regulations, disabled students are required take a class VII student of a government or a government affiliated/aided school. However, most class VII students are busy these days with their exams, leaving no other option for the disabled ones

“Despite submitting Rs 372 as fees with the education department, disabled students who are appearing in the exams privately are running from pillar to post to be provided writers. Many of them have even left studies in the recent past due to the apathetic attitude of board officials in this regard”,” said Rajesh Bhatia, principal of Gian Muni Jain Public School in Mandi Gobindgarh.

“One of the many harassed students of my school, Santosh Kumar, who is 60 percent disabled, spent six hours at PSEB office in Mohali where he had submitted a certificate obtained from the chief medical officer, Lucknow vouching for his disability. Despite the fact that the officials were informed he is very bright though disabled, he has not been allowed to sit in the exams even though his documentation is complete,” Bhatia said.

He added Santosh was allowed to take one exam on March 2 but was told to come to the PSEB office the next day to take written permission in this regard. “Though the officials there handed him a letter after taking Rs 372 as fees, Santosh was told to arrange for a class VII student studying in a government school”, Bhatia said.

The boy’s parents are now quite upset as they cannot find any student who is ready to write for their disabled child as the others too are appearing for exams in different schools.

Santosh took the help of a fellow student of his private school during the first exam of mathematics on March 2. He has now been told to obtain a letter of disability from the civil surgeon’s office in Fatehgarh Sahib. “Though the matter was brought to the notice of the board’s chairman and vice chairman nothing has been done”, he rued.

Despite repeated attempts to contact them no PSEB official was available for comments.



Focal Point Road Project
Industry told to check material on its own
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
To bring transparency in the ongoing Focal Point road project, which was inaugurated by Minister for Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia recently, Zonal Commissioner (B) MS Jaggi has asked a few industrial associations to get the material checked or examined at their own level so that no sub-standard material was used or work remained pending.

In a letter written to industrial associations, including the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, Focal Point Industrial Shed Association, Focal Point Phase VIII Industrial Association and the Confederation of Indian Industries here, Jaggi has sought cooperation from all.

"We are doing best on our part. But, the cooperation from industry is must. In case they find any discrepancy with the work or material, they should immediately report to us," said Jaggi.

The main seven roads being strengthened under Rs 18-crore project for Focal Point include those from Sharu Steel to the Chandigarh road, Dry Port road to phase VII, main Focal Point road from Aarti Steel to Metro Unit 4, Jeewan Nagar Chowk to phase VII, Rockman Cycle to Indira Park Chowk, main Dry Port road etc. The entire road strengthening project is expected to be completed within three to four months time. 



Rights panel seeks report on Civil Hospital
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 5
Taking serious note of a complaint filed by a city-based NGO, Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell, on the pathetic condition of basic amenities and infrastructure at the local Civil Hospital, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) has sought a report on the matter from the state health services director under Section 17(i) of the Protection of Human Rights Act 1993. The commission said the report must be submitted before the next date of hearing i.e April 12.

In his complaint Rohit Sabharwal, president of the NGO, stated that the doctors at the Civil Hospital recently had to treat a seven-year-old girl in candlelight as the regular power supply as well as the backup had failed. “The child, badly mauled by a stray dog, was brought to the hospital on January 28”, he added. On that day, the generator installed at the hospital was non-functional, according to a report of the incident carried by a section of the media.

Describing the state of medical care and conditions prevailing at the Civil Hospital as “pitiable”, Sabharwal in his complaint said, “The city, with a population of over 3 million, has a substantial number of migrant families who have to depend on government health institutions due to their limited resources”.

"Treating a patient in candlelight due to the power failure and a non-functional generator amounts to playing with the lives of poor people and ought to be checked. The officials responsible for providing healthcare and medical facilities should also be taken to task for this gross negligence on their part, which is also a clear case of violation of article 21 of the Constitution”, Sabharwal averred.

In the orders pronounced on February 17, PSHRC members LR Roojam and KK Bhatnagar observed: “After examining the contents of the complaint, the commission prima facie takes cognisance of the matter and calls for a report from the Punjab health services director, positively before the next date of hearing”.

Copies of the order as well as the complaint have been sent to the principal secretaries of the Punjab home affairs and health and family welfare departments.



Chemists’ body resents harassment by cops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
The Ludhiana District Chemists Association has taken exception to unwarranted police interference in their trade and harassment in many parts of the district, especially in the Machhiwara region.

A deputation of the association, led by its president Tikka Dalip Singh, today met the civil surgeon and the district drug inspector to emphasise that majority of the chemists were carrying out their business strictly as per the rules made under the relevant laws, and the undue interference by the police was uncalled for. The association members told the drug officials that the association, at its own level, had been playing a positive role in counselling members and creating awareness against sale of habit-forming drugs.

The association further decided that it would shortly convene another meeting with the drug control authorities in which members from other small towns and villages in the district would be invited to enable them put their problems in conducting business before the authorities.



Hand tool industry in doldrums 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Cheap imports from China have sent the state's hand tool industry into doldrums. Nearly 200 units in the state are in a shambles and are just fulfilling their overheads. If the scenario continues to be the same, these will be left with no option but to shift to some other profession.

The sales of hand tools have dipped by 30 per cent in the state. The production is going slow, while the cost of production is increasing due to labour shortage and non-availability of power.

Punjab has more than 200 units engaged in manufacture of spanners, pliers, screw drivers, ranches, tool kits and wheel spanners. While in the year 2006-07, the sales figures were 37232.97 (in lakhs), which have now dipped to 5143.04 in 2009-10.

"Imports from China are the major reason behind the decline in the sales. China-made products are cheap and people prefer buying the same. On the other hand, we cannot decrease our prices as cost of production is becoming very high due to labour shortage and disrupted power supply," said Karandeep Singh Kairon, general secretary of the Industrial Development Council.

After the recent labour unrest in the city, the industry is facing labour shortage, while the wages have increased manifold. "Earlier, we used to pay Rs 1500-200 to one worker, now they are demanding Rs 3000 for the same job," said one of the industrialists engaged in the manufacturing of hand tools.

“Chinese products have made their impact on the Indian economy. People prefer buying Chinese products due to their low prices. Mass production in China is giving jitters to the local industry.”

"One day weekly off is there. However, in summers there was two-day compulsory weekly off. The electricity rates have also increased by around 10-12 per cent which, in turn, also increases the cost of production," Kairon said. 



Decks cleared for city bus services
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
It appears the much-awaited local bus services in the city, which has been a long standing demand of city residents, may not be a distant dream now as all major formalities for the project have been cleared in Chandigarh. Municipal corporation officials expect the services to be launched within the next 2 to 3 months, providing much needed relief to commuters.

The project cost has been estimated at Rs 66 crore (including purchase of new buses and construction of bus shelters), of which 50 per cent will be shared by the central government of India. The municipal corporation will chip in 30 per cent - about Rs 19 crore - while the Punjab government’s share will be 20 per cent. The state transport department, Chandigarh, will soon float tenders for buying 200 CNG and diesel buses.

MC commissioner AK Sinha told TNS the project details had been finalised. "As and when tenders will be floated the department will start purchasing buses. Not all the 200 buses will ply on the roads initially - they will become operational in phases", he said, adding bus shelters had already been constructed on Tajpur Road.

Ramesh Kumar, a bank employee, said bus services within the city had been keenly awaited by residents. “Commuting in autorickshaws has become very difficult as their drivers invariably overload them with passengers, caring a damn about their comfort. They even ask passengers to get down midway to avoid traffic jams and other hassles. Travelling in buses will be much more convenient and safer", he said.



Sewerage cleaning: MC to purchase 35 machines
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Finally, local populace could heave a sigh of relief this monsoon with the Municipal Corporation deciding to purchase 35 special sewerage-cleaning machines within a few days.

The sewers that have not been cleaned for over a decade would finally be cleared of the sullage thereby helping smooth flow of discharge. The cleaning would also help spare the city of flooding that remained a perennial problem during rains and led to submergence of numerous low-lying houses and establishments.

This decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Mayor HS Gyaspura and Commissioner AK Sinha and Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal. 



Cops get salaries finally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
It was a happy day for cops in three police districts, who were given salaries five days later following the implementation of the Commisionerate system.

According to sources, salaries for the month of February could not be disbursed after the newly appointed police commissioners reportedly raised and objection stating that the account books were to be signed by the official of the rank of the SSP.

The sources added that the police commissioners, who are of the rank of the DIG, wanted a provision in the salary disbursement process, which could suit their rank.

However, the DIG-level officers were of the view that they would not sign on any document, which used to be done by the SSPs. Apparently it was the job of an SSP-rank officer and commissioners felt demoted.

The police personnel in the three districts were facing pressure due to the ongoing controversy. The matter was resolved following the intervention of DGP PS Gill. The changes in the payment disbursal system were also made in the eleventh hour to keep the honour of the commissioners ‘intact’.



Migrant conned into buying mortgaged land 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Migrants wish to construct a home in the city still seems a distant dream. With little education and lack of awareness such migrants easily fell prey to land sharks.

Mohammed Sadik, a daily wager, who purchased 150 sq yd from his savings, knew little that a master swindler had tricked him.

The land shark lured him to buy his land that was already mortgaged to a bank.

Wanted in several cases of fraud, master swindler Ashish Aggarwal, who used to reside in Durgapuri Haibowal, is now learnt to be operating from Rajasthan. But the cops are washing their hands from the investigation and claiming that the master swindler is untraceable.

Aggarwal, who had committed a fraud with the Union Bank of India, also tricked Mohammed Sahkil, a daily wager, to part with his hard earned money.

Aggarwal took a housing loan worth Rs 9 lakh from the bank and resold the land measuring 150 sq yd to Shakil for Rs 5 lakh. The bank staff alleged that Ashish stopped paying installments following which the bank employees went to take possession of the land.

“It was after the bank employees came to take the land’s possession that I came to know the truth. Ashish tricked me into buying the land. I went to Ashish and asked him to return the money. He promised to return it but fled away from the city after a few days. Since then he is absconding. Recently, I came to know that he was operating from Rajasthan,” rued Shakil.

However, the bank employee managed to mount pressure on Ashish and took the principal amount of the land.

But before they could get the interest amount he fled away from the city. Now, Shakil and the bank are at loggerheads. Both are claiming themselves to be the rightful owner of the land. 



‘Roll back tax on captive power generation’ 

Ludhiana, March 5
Industry has strongly resented the recent notification of the Punjab government to install energy meter on generators.

The industry has resolved to oppose the move and representation is being sent to the Chief Minister with the request to withdraw this notification and also to discuss with them the industry related recommendations before accepting them.

DS Chawla, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association, said they use gensets when the PSEB fails to provide them electricity. While an emergency meeting was held by the Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association and all the members strongly condemned the government's decision to impose electricity duty on captive production.

Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association said the industry was getting engulfed in various problems created by the Central and state governments. "We appeal the government to withdraw the notification immediately to save the industry from further destruction otherwise they will be compelled to lead the path of agitation,” he said. — TNS



Excise raid on architects’ premises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The Central Excise Department today conducted a raid at Sabihh Architects.

First, the raiding party went to the respective residences of the two partners, Ranjodh and Zafar, and later a raid was conducted at their workplace in Maharaj Nagar.

The department, after getting a clue that the duo was involved in the evasion of service tax, conducted the raid. While Ranjodh was away to Delhi, the second partner Zafar was said to be in Hardwar.

Sales and billing reports were checked during the raid. The raiding party seized incriminating documents and evasion of service tax was likely to be unearthed. The raid was going on till the filing of the report.



Lecture on cardiac surgery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
The Asian Society for Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery and the Indian Association of Cardio Thoracic Surgeons of India organised their annual conference jointly in New Delhi.

Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh inaugurated the meeting. More than 1,500 cardiac surgeons attended the conference from India and abroad, who deliberated on the advances in treatment of complex heart diseases.

Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head, cardio-vascular surgery, Christian Medical College and Hospital, here, was chosen to deliver lectures on the surgical management of such critically ill patients. He was the only speaker invited from Punjab, Chandigarh, Haryana, Himachal and Jammu and Kashmir.

A pioneer in beating heart surgery in the country, Bedi delivered a comprehensive lecture on beating heart surgery in patients, who are being operated upon for the second time.

He said India had one of the highest number of heart patients but was amongst the lowest in the number of surgeries. This was mostly due to the shortage of specialty hospitals and trained doctors. Recent progress in this field had made it possible to treat most heart diseases with success. Most such disorders were now being treated successfully in Punjab with results that matched the international standards.

”Though effort is made to detect and treat heart diseases, a disturbing number of cases go undetected and the problem may present itself as an emergency. A very easily curable defect can thus be converted into a high-risk case. In 2009, about 9.5 million adults in their productive years of 35 to 64 years lost their lives due to cardiovascular diseases,” Bedi remarked.

This is seen with equal proportion in the affluent as in the poor, he emphasised while citing the most recent examples being of actor Nirmal Pandey, who died a few days ago, fashion designer Rohit Bal and Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan, who had heart problems at a young age. Bedi maintained that along with making high technology available for therapy, the focus must remain on its prevention.

Dr Abraham G Thomas, Director, CMCH, said the institution was one of the few hospitals where stress was laid on the prevention for which a number of camps and public lectures were organised.



Camp on kidney stone tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 5
The Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) will hold a kidney stone detection and consultation camp on March 7. Patients will be given consultation free of cost by a team of doctors and those opting for the lithotripsy procedure will be given concession.

According to Dr Sandeep Sharma, professor and head, department of Urology, the hospital has a state-of-art machine for breaking kidney stones. Dr Sharma observed that renal stones mostly affected North Indians, which was also referred to as the "stone belt" by doctors.

Dr BS Aulakh, professor of urology and head of transplant unit of the hospital, added that stones were formed due to metabolic breakdown, heredity, infection, dietetic factors, low intake of water, a sedentary lifestyle, absence of stone inhibitors and hyperactivity of the para- thyroid gland.

Dr Arvind Goyal, assistant professor of urology, said high fluid intake was the single most important factor in the prevention of a kidney stone and its importance could not be undermined. He advised the people to have three to four litres of fluid intake daily, enough to produce 2 to 2.5 litres of urine.



501 units of blood collected 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana,March 5
Salaam Zindagi Foundation, an NGO, created a record of sorts by collecting 501 units of blood during its 23rd voluntary blood donation camp, organised in association with the NSS unit of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Additional Deputy Commissioner Kuldeep Singh.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner lauded the enthusiasm shown by the students for the noble cause and the efforts of the NGO in promoting voluntary blood donation in the city, especially among youths.

Doctors from Christian Medical College and Hospital, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Krishna Charitable Hospital were summoned for the noble cause. 



Parents given tips on upbringing kids 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
An orientation programme for parents of kindergarten students was organised at BCM School, Dugri.

Guest of honour was SK Mehta. Principal of the school Dr Vandna Shahi stressed on the notion that each child was special in his own way. She advised the parents not to compare their kids with others to avoid fear and complexes in child's mind.

Preeti Behl, coordinator of the kindergarten section, discussed valuable tips on upbringing of the children. She urged the parents to devote maximum possible quality time to their kids to imbibe qualities of love, patience and co-operation.

Charanjeet Kalra, counsellor of the school, discussed various behaviour patterns of the children and gave valuable tips about better parenting.

Awareness rally

United Breweries sponsored an education awareness rally yesterday, which was organised by the Punja School Education Board.

Hundreds of students from various schools participated in this rally along with Sukhdev Nagar Primary School, which has been adopted by UB under the CSR scheme. The rally was flagged off by chairman of Urban Estate Residents' Organisation RS Mann.

Kids show

Confident and smart tiny tots of Cherryfields School, Atam Nagar, participated in Miss and Mr Cherryfields show. The contest was based on academic performance, good manners, co-curricular activities and confidence of children. Sahej Sharma was chosen Mr Cherryfields and Diya Mehta was crowned Miss Cherryfields. Sukhjinder Singh and Vaniya Mehta were declared Mr and Miss Smart Kid, Supan Saini and Yuvika were crowned Mr and Miss Super Kid, Suraj Sharma and Gurnoor Kaur clinched the titles of Mr and Miss Active Kid, Hridyansh and Navleen Kaur became Mr and Miss Star Kid, Ranbir Singh and Paramjeet Kaur walked away with Mr and Miss Confident titles. Winners were given gold medals and trophies and a special lunch comprising fruits and juices was also organised.

Fashion show

A fashion show was held at Ramgarhia Girls' College here today by the department of home science wherein students showcased their talent. Eddy Staadegaard was the guest of honour while Ranjodh Singh, president, REC, also graced the occasion. The show comprised of five rounds including phulkari, saree, western, historical and traditional dresses in which Sawinder Kaur, Rajvir and Paramjit Kaur were given prizes for best dresses in "anarkali", "phulkari", and saree rounds. Chetna from BA I, Rewa from BA II and Navjot from BA III were adjudged best models.

Farewell party

A farewell party was organised for the outgoing Class X students at Dashmesh National Public School, Kakowal. The students organised a cultural programme comprising giddha, bhangra, skits and ‘boliyan’. Lab Singh Cheema presided over the function. Principal Avtar Singh advised the students to work hard and make their careers bright.



Students’ literary cognition put to test 
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 5
The English Literary Society of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, organised a literary quiz for students of BA II, III, and I today. There were four teams with six students each.

The quiz was divided into four rounds -books and authors, famous quotes, poems and poets and grammar Usage.

The team C stood first, while team B and team D secured second and third positions, respectively. Head of the department congratulated the students for their participation. She encouraged the students to read extensively to taste the finest flavours of the wonderful world of literature.



Paper-reading contest at GNN College
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 5
The postgraduate department of commerce and business administration of GNN College, Doraha, organised a paper-reading contest today.

Students of MCom, BCom and BBA participated in the contest. The participants were grouped in six teams comprising two participants each. Students presented their papers on corporate governance, human resource management, impact of middle class on business, conflict management, changing role of women in India and role of advertisement in current scenario.

Shubneet Kaur and Amandeep Kaur of (BBA) secured first position, while the second position was collectively bagged by Parneet Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur.

Prof Gursharanjit Singh, head of the department, congratulated the participants and gave away the prizes. 



Playing of Cards
Man killed for passing info to rival player
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Tiff over passing information about cards resulted in death of a farmer of Pohir village. The Dehlon police has initiated a probe into allegations levelled by son of the deceased against one of the players.

Sitting idle with card players at a common land and passing information about cards of one of the players cost Sikandar Singh, a resident of Pohir village, his life. He succumbed to internal injuries yesterday. Jaggi, another resident of the same village, had allegedly assaulted him on Wednesday.

Baljit Singh alleged that his father Sikandar Singh died due to internal injuries.

During one round Jaggi became suspicious that Sikandar Singh had passed information about his cards to rival players and it had led to his defeat. Heated arguments led to scuffle between Jaggi and Sikandar. Jaggi was shifted to a private hospital. As there were no external injuries on his body doctors discharged him after giving first aid. His conditioned worsened yesterday morning and died later in the day. The SHO directed Sukhbit Singh to get a post-mortem examination conducted and proceed further after verifying cause of death. 



Five booked for stealing 
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 5
Five persons have been arrested on the charge of stealing ‘saria’ of export quality from a Ludhiana-based factory and impounded Tata 407 on which it was loaded. The said barricade was erected near the Neelon bridge on a tip off about these persons movement. The cops signalled the vehicle to stop.

On seeing the police the driver and other occupants fled away from the spot. The vehicle was impounded. After an enquiry five persons were arrested. They have been identified as Dinesh Kumar of Ludhiana, Ranjit Kumar of Dhandari Khurd, Rajesh Kumar of Focal Point, Ludhiana, Guard Harmeet Singh of Shamspur village and Desraj of Samrala. 



Two booked for cheating

Khanna, March 5
Two persons have been booked for cheating a a resident of Mal Majra village. Sukhminder Singh in his complaint alleged that accused Jasminder Singh of Nandpur village and Shingara Singh of Madpur village promised to send him to Canada in lieu of Rs 11 lakh.

However, the accused kept on dilly dallying the issue for months together and instead of sending him Canada they send him to Nigeria. After returning from Nigeria the accused refused to return the money despite repeated requests. A case was registered against the accused. — TNS



Divya Dutta cheers for Ludhiana Gully 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Brushing aside security concerns, Bollywood actress Divya Dutta and owner of Ludhiana Gully, visited Sirsa to cheer her team in the T-10 gully cricket at Jan Nayak Chaudhary Devi Lal National Cricket Stadium in Sirsa last evening. The actress was accompanied by Sanjay Dutt.

Eight team which have qualified in the super eight were taking part in the tournament. While Ludhiana and Jalandhar were representing Punjab, Surat and Daman were representing Gujarat.

Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Ballia were representing Uttar Pradesh. Host Sirsa was playing for Haryana.

"I came to know about the recent violence in Haryana and some parts of Punjab, but the stadium where the tournament was held was very well guarded. I made it a point that I would visit the stadium and support my team. They have responded well and won a crunch game for me," said Divya Dutta.

The players were all praise for the actress. "It was a pleasant surprise for us as Divya squeezed time from her busy schedule to cheer the team. Her presence has boosted our confidence. We are looking forward that we should also reciprocate in a same manner and win her a tournament," said a player.

They also thanked the police and organisers for tight security arrangements.

"There were security concerns and our families were apprehensive after the spate of violent incidents that rocked the two states, but the administration has handled the situation well and there has been no security concern ," said a player over phone.



Athletics meet at Gobindgarh Public College
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 5
The 7th Annual Athletics Meet of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, was held today at the college.

The event was inaugurated by Gobindgarh Education Social Welfare Trust president Piara Singh Kalsi. In his inaugural speech, he stressed the need for overall development of students in studies vis-à-vis sports.

The chief guest of the evening session was Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, Punjab, Gulzar Singh Ranike. He said education without sports was incomplete. Lessons learnt in the playgrounds are as important as those learnt in the classrooms, he added. Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Technical Education and Industrial Development, Punjab, and Khanna MLA S Bikramjit Singh Khalsa was the guest of honour.

A cultural function, including “Saraswati Vandana”, “naqaal” and “saami” were performed by college students. The chief guest gave away prizes to the winners and outstanding athletes of the college.

The athletics meet came to an end with the National Anthem. Parmeet Singh of BA-1 was adjusted the best athlete (boys) and Monika of BA-II was declared the best athlete (girls).


Boys: (Long jump) 1st Ramanpreet Singh of BA-III, 2nd Gagandeep Singh of BA-I and 3rd Mandeep Singh; Shot put: 1st Amrinder Singh of BA-III, 2nd Puneet Kumar B.com-III and 3rd Deepinder Singh of BA-III; Discuss Throw: 1st Amrinder Singh of BA-III, 2nd Ranjit Singh of BA-I and 3rd Yadwinder Singh of BA-III; 800 metre race: 1st Parneet Singh, 2nd Saleem Mohammad and 3rd Kuldeep Singh of BA-III; 200 metre race: 1st Parmeet Singh of BA-I, 2nd Gursimran Singh of BA-III and 3rd Davinder Singh of B.com-I.

Girls: (Long Jump) 1st Hasanpreet Kaur of BA-II, 2nd Monika of BA-III and 3rd Nidhi of BA-I; Shot-put: 1st Monika of BA-III, 2nd Neha Kaushal of BA-II and 3rd Meena Goyal of BA-III; Discuss Throw: Neha Kaushal of BA-II, 2nd Akanksha Verma of BA-III and 3rd Meena Goyal of BA-III.



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