L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Abandoned child handed over to NGO
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Before she could open her eyes, a five-day-old girl encountered all the harsh cruelties of this ruthless world.

But fortunately, she survived and would soon get new parents, who would not throw her in a beehive.

Thanks to a good Samaritan couple, she reached a hospital, where she recuperated. She was now ready to take on the challenges of her life.

The girl was handed over to a representative of the Swami Ganganand Bhuri Wale International Foundation, near Talwandi Dham.

The NGO had been taking care of abandoned children. It would look for an appropriate home and family for her.

Jasbir Kaur, president of the foundation, took possession of the child following the Deputy Commissioner’s orders. She said several couples had expressed interest in adopting the child.

The girl was first thrown in a beehive shed by her mother, hoping that bees might sting and kill her. She was rescued by labourers and the owner of the beehive farm took her to hospital.

A nurse who took care of the child was discussing her fate with a colleague. She said, “The girl, who was considered unwanted and left abandoned in a beehive, would light up the life of a couple.”

“I wonder how parents can throw away such a bundle of joy. It is too cruel,” said Jasbir Kaur. Pawan Kumar, investigating officer, expressed satisfaction
after handing over the child to the foundation.

He had been making rounds of the hospital since the child was found abandoned. “This girl will grow up. I wonder how she will react when she comes to know that she had survived a scare to life even before opening her eyes,” he said.

Kuldeep Singh, member of the NGO, said they were scheduled to take possession of three abandoned children from different hospitals today.


GLADA bails out MC
Provides Rs 25 cr for sewerage
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 10
The long-awaited project for expansion of sewerage in the city, especially on the periphery, has every possibility of seeing the light of the day soon as the municipal corporation (MC) has now deposited its share of around Rs 27 crore with the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB), thanks to a grant of Rs 25 crore extended by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) to the civic body as its contribution for civic amenities and creation of infrastructural facilities in the city.

With the funds having been placed with PWSSB, there are no roadblocks in the way of commencement of work soon on the ambitious project, under the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURM), with an outlay of Rs 241.39 crore, under which 34.72 kilometres of new sewerage lines are to be laid in the city and 1.65 lakh new sewerage connections are to be provided on the completion of the project.

According to the detailed project report, the project is to funded by the Centre under a JNURM scheme to the extent of 50 per cent, with another 30 per cent being borne by the state government and the civic body contributing 20 per cent.

With the cash-strapped MC not being able to release funds for this purpose to the PWSSB, the project has getting delayed. The fact that MC Commissioner AK Sinha also holds charge as Chief Administrator of GLADA, an institution rich in funds, has made things easier for the civic body to secure the much-needed grant and pave the way for the execution of the sewerage project.

Sinha confirmed that a contribution of Rs 25 crore had been made by GLADA towards the expansion of basic civic amenities in the city as per directions of the state government.

“The money paid for the project to the MC by GLADA is a grant and not a loan, unlike in the past when the MC had to part with a chunk of its land against a loan of Rs 20 crore, extended for the execution of development works sanctioned by the Chief Minister during his ‘sangat darshan’ programme, he said.



Quacks having a field day
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Befooling people in the name of inexpensive and effective medicines, quacks from different parts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have been selling unlicensed ayurvedic medicines at almost a dozen stalls outside an auditorium at Gill road here.

The unlicensed medicines are being sold under the garb of a religious congregation of Swami Parmanand, wherein hundreds of followers of a specific sect come to listen to religious discourse.

The quacks are fearlessly selling ayurvedic medicines like glucocin (for diabetes), four-stone capsules (for gall stone), netra jyoti drops (for good eyesight), tila tel (sex oil), golden life capsules (energy capsules) and fat-out tablets (anti-obesity) in bottles with fake tags.

The self-styled physicians are violating the Drug and Cosmetics Act and the Packaging Act. Bottles and sachets containing medicines are not sealed. The medicines are being sold for between Rs 30 and Rs 210. Each pack contains 30 to 60 capsules or tablets.

None of the bottles bear licence number, manufacturing date or date of expiry. Some quacks have gone to the extent of tagging their concoctions as patented. A majority of the quacks are not educated enough to know the regulations which manufacturers of medicines have to comply with.

Satpal from Karnal in Haryana says, “I am here sell these medicines on behalf of my ‘vaidji’, who lives near Karnal.”

No ‘ayurvedacharya’ or ‘vaid’ can sell a preparation outside a clinic or hospital without procuring a valid licence from the Drug Licensing Authority of the state. A large number of villagers buy these medicines.

Paramjit Singh of Jhande village says his vision is alright, but he has bought eye drops to save his eyes from pollution, as told to him by a quack.

Swami Vishvatma Nand, spokespokesperson of Swami Parmanand, has denied having any link with the stalls selling medicines.

Dr Maninderjit Singh, Civil Surgeon, has said nobody has taken permission from his office to put up medicine stalls on Gill road.

He will inform the District Ayurveda and Unani Officer as the sale of ayurvedic medicines is under his jurisdiction.

Dr Narinder Dhand, District Ayurveda and Unani Officer, has said he is out of station and will take action after coming back.



Villages, colonies polluting groundwater
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Villages and colonies on the periphery of the city and outside the municipal corporation’s limits have been polluting the underground water of the city by using seepage pits in the absence of a proper sewage disposal system.

As villages and mushrooming colonies lining the city have no sewage disposal system, residents have dug deep seepage pits and have been discharging their waste into those for the last couple of years.

It is a well-known fact that seepage pits pollute underground water as the discharge gets mixed with it, but the phenomenon has still not rung alarm bells.

The underground water is already polluted in Ludhiana and every year, water samples drawn from various sources fail purity tests.

“Due to lack of awareness, villagers and residents of colonies that are coming up fast outside limits are resorting to digging of seepage pits. It is actually playing havoc with the underground water in Ludhiana. I have raised this issue a number of times and have demanded that these areas be connected with the sewage disposal system of the city,” says Darshan Singh Shivalik, local MLA, spearheading a campaign for providing a hygienic and effective sanitation system.

He says he has identified 43 colonies and villages lining the city from Sahnewal to the Jalandhar bypass that do not have a pond or other system of disposal.

“The issue was taken up in the general house of the MC and sent for approval to the state government. We hope that these villages will soon have a sewage disposal facility,” he says.

With GLADA also deciding to chip in with an amount of Rs 25 crore now, the project will become a reality.

The only thing that requires to be done is to link the sewerage of every village and colony with the main pipeline that passes through the city and discharges waste into the Balloke sewerage treatment plant.

Some colonies and villages that will benefit under the project are Basant Avenue, Janta Enclave, Dhandra, Jasdev Nagar, Gill village, Janta Colony, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Darshan Nagar, Partap SIngh Wala, Baranhara, Jassian, Chuharpur, Laddian Khurd, Laddian Kalan and Hajoori Bagh.



Pioneer’s statue in college bathroom
Hervey took great care in developing institution
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The statue of a Britisher, who abjured his wife for his love for the Government College here, has found its way to a bathroom at the college.

The statue of ACC Hervey is placed in a bathroom, which has now been converted into a store. An eminent educationist of his time, he had shaped the future of the college.

The oldest complex at the college, built on the pattern of buildings at Oxford University, was constructed during his tenure as principal.

In fact, Hervey had been the longest-serving principal of the college. He joined as principal in 1927 and retired in 1942.

Founded in 1920, the college started functioning from Army barracks along the Ferozepur road. It was shifted to its present location in the early thirties under the stewardship of Hervey.

Retired professors of the college were appalled at the treatment meted to the principal who haaad dedicated glorious years of his life to the service of the college.

Prof Bhupinder Singh Parihar said, “When the British empire started to crumble in the early 1930s, Lady Hervey suggested to him to return to Great Britain, but Hervey told her that if she wanted to leave, she could, but he was committed to make the institution one of the best educational institutions.”

The college went on to produce greats like Harikrishan Lal, Satish Chander Dhawan, Gen TN Raina, Joginder Singh, NN Vohra and KPS Gill.

NS Tasneem said, “Hervey used to ride his bicycle to visit the brick kiln to check the bricks. He used to say that he did not want to put a single weak brick in the college. There was a popular saying that a British principal had laid bricks and nothing would happen to this college.”

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar said Hervey was the third principal of the college. She pointed to his picture, decorated on a wall at her office.

She said Hervey had done a lot for the development of the institution. She expressed ignorance about the dilapidated condition of the statue.



City Concerns
Switch to public transport or walk

I feel that Ludhiana is a highly polluted city as the it is the industrial hub of Punjab, better known as the Manchester of India. Scores of industrial set-ups based in the city emit unlimited amount of lethal gases, forcing residents and visitors to inhale a poisonous mixture of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Autorickshaws are, no doubt, of great help to the people visiting here as it is very tough to walk to the destination.

Residents can make use of their private vehicles, but neither everyone is in possession of the same, nor are those pollution-free. The vehicles make a mess of the traffic problem, already lion-sized in the city. If the residents use their private vehicles, what will visitors do? We should not forget the great concern expressed all over the world about the high levels of emission of venomous gases, which are causing global warming and global cooling, both unbearable.

The recent Copenhagen summit failed just because the countries found themselves unable to check the emission of venom from their industries, at the cost of development. No doubt, it is a bit tough. But what is feasible must be done. The emission of gases from vehicles can be checked by banning poison-emitting autorickshaws, and replacing those with CNG-run autorickshaws. Charity begins at home. Why can all of us not switch to public transport or walk to our destinations?

An autorickshaw operator had told me that he used LPG by buying cylinders and getting the vehicle converted to a legally authorized LPG-run vehicle by paying a few extra bucks. He revealed that LPG cylinders were a bit costlier when bought in black, but still, overall expenditure was less. This practice is highly prevalent. The government should keep this point in mind while framing its policy.

Prof HS Dimple

Promote cycling

The prolonged inhaling of poisonous gases owing to emission of venomous gases by autorickshaws and other automobiles points to a dark future. The inadequate availability of oxygen is a great health hazard for humans. Those now in their infancy, childhood and adolescence should not dream of a blooming and robust youth. After a decade or so, there is likely to be a generation of the physically and mentally challenged if strong measures are not taken to check the spread of poisonous gases.

Problems cannot be tackled only by legislation and enforcement of laws. Education and awareness about the impending disaster are warranted. It is largely the rich who are responsible for this hazardous poison in the atmosphere. In order to flaunt their newly acquired wealth, they recklessly make use of vehicles even for short distances. To be a pedestrian has become something below dignity for them.

The continuous use of generators by them suffocates and chokes those from the lower strata of society. The French author Hervay Camph had beautifully highlighted this in his book ‘How the rich are destroying the planet’. According to him, 90 per cent of the pollution in the world is caused by the rich. Are not the rich of Ludhiana contributing their mite to herald the destruction of humanity?

The need of the hour is to minimise the use of vehicles and promote the use of bicycles for short distances. The rationing of petrol for every individual and a ceiling on owning of vehicles by a family may also be helpful, besides introducing CNG-run autorickshaws and a metro.

Prof KBS Sodhi

Metro and CNG

The hosiery city is failing in many issues in day-to-day life. Travelling in Ludhiana from one place to another is no less than a nightmare. The condition of roads is pathetic. One is welcomed by a number of potholes. There is no transportation available in the name of public transport except autorickshaws, the major reason of air pollution. There is a dire need of a metro and CNG in the city, which is becoming the home of infrastructure. Delhi has controlled pollution by adopting CNG and a metro. We can expect to give a new face to our city by adopting eco-friendly measures.

It is high time for the authorities to wake up and provide its citizens with basic amenities. The introduction of a metro and CNG will not only solve the problem of pollution, but also provide an answer to increasing traffic. Commuters will love to explore a metro instead of their vehicles, which will also result in saving in the economy of the country.

Pratima Singh Maidh

Restrictions must

Urban air pollution is a direct result of vehicular emissions and unplanned mobility management. Ad hoc solutions and poorly researched policy directives only add to the compounding concern. With its fast growth and lack of integrated solutions, the city is an easy prey to all health problems that are a direct cause of air pollution.

Autorickshaws are said to be the root cause of vehicular pollution. Their operators have strong unions and the backing of politicians, due to which action taken against them usually turns out to be futile. Individuals can make a difference. How one drive and takes care of his or her vehicle affects fuel economy and pollution emissions. Measures that encourage us to drive less can help much to curb vehicular pollution and protect natural resources and public health.

Avoiding high-speed driving and frequent stopping, using cleaner fuels, adopting pollution-control technology, proper vehicle maintenance and driving as little as possible can help reduce the harmful impact on the environment. There is a dire need to impose vehicle-plying restrictions in order to curtail excessive transportation.

Bhawna Garg

Best option

A metro is the best option for public transport. It will reduce air pollution, noise pollution, traffic congestion and travel time. There are many other advantages as well.




Tour raises hope for chaotic city
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, March 10
The joint tour of the city by three functionaries of the district has given some hope to residents that something good will happen for this most unplanned, congested and dirty town in the near future.

The functionaries, Ishwar Singh, Police Commissioner, Vikas Garg, Deputy Commissioner, and AK Sinha, Commissioner of the municipal corporation, accompanied by their staff, had a joint ride in the town to study the problems of this industrial hub.

They travelled in a bus and were in various parts of the town for almost four hours. The biggest problem facing this town at the moment is congestion, hurting the smooth movement of vehicular traffic.

Ludhiana being the capital of small-scale industries has witnessed a ‘car revolution’. It has more than 10 lakh vehicles and a sizeable number of those are luxury vehicles.

Ludhiana has witnessed a race among local businessmen and industrialists in having the maximum number of luxury vehicles, irrespective of whether they need to have the same or not.

The municipal corporation has launched a drive to remove encroachments from roads for the past three months now. The drive has met with success as political interference has been resisted by officials. The situation with regard to encroachment was acute due to political patronage.

If the authorities are able to tackle the traffic problem, it will be a big achievement. Due to affluence and political patronage, Ludhianvis are known to be caring less for law-enforcement agencies.

The anti-encroachment drive has met with success and now encroachers are voluntarily removing encroachments. The three officials have noted that vehicular traffic between Sidhwan canal and Jagraon bridge is the maximum and it takes a minimum of half an hour to cross Jagraon bridge.

The Pakhowal road from Bhai Bala Chowk to Sidhwan canal and the link road from Bharat Nagar chowk to Dhuri flyover and Samrala chowk are the worst areas, which keep witnessing traffic jams.

As a matter of fact, all roads witness traffic jams if vehicular movement is blocked for even a minute.

The stretch from Shastri Nagar railway crossing to the traffic light chowk up to Sarabha Nagar pul and Malhar road are the other areas affected so far as the movement of vehicles is concerned.

Maximum traffic jams take place when VIPs visit the town as movement of vehicles is banned in areas where the VIP is supposed to pass through. The problem is accentuated with religious ‘yatras’ and ‘nagar kirtans’.

The electric traffic signals in the city are not functioning properly and quite a number of those have been shut for a long time. These need to be set in order.



With no traffic lights, it’s chaos unlimited
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
As a result of the ongoing construction of the flyover on Gill road, heavy vehicular traffic has been diverted to Dugri Dhandra road, which in the absence of traffic lights and traffic cops, has become a nightmare for residents of adjoining areas.

The administration is doing little to ensure the safety of commuters using this road. For almost an year now, people living in the areas are driving through one of the worst bottlenecks of the city.

Paying no heed to lives of people, including school students, who take this route every day, the administration, despite an increase in vehicular traffic on this intersection manifold, has taken no initiative to instal traffic lights. A large number of children going to school on autorickshaws and bicycles on this road are not safe as there is no regulation on the movement of heavy vehicles.

To add to the problem, cops deputed on the spot prefer to cool themselves under the shade of trees or stop boys without helmet on motorcycles and scooters. Every commuter on the road is subjected to mayhem due to endless honking, brawls between drivers and nuisance created by autorickshaws.

Says Amarinder Singh of Dugri, “It is shocking to see three cops standing at one point across the bridge while cars, two-wheelers, trucks and buses are caught in traffic chaos. The situation is worse in mornings and evenings.”



Getting hooked on hookah 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Unmindful of hazards of puffing hookah among youths, Hookah bars are smoothly running their business at several hot spots of the city.

A survey conducted by The Tribune revealed that pear pressure has led to the popularity of these bars. And teenagers, majority of them from novae rich families, who want to flaunt their money, are the main clients of these bars.

A teenager admitted that he took to smoking hookah under peer pressure and also, to impress girls. “One of my friends encouraged me to take a puff. He told me that hookah is pretty much in vogue and if I have to impress girls then I would have to take up smoking hookah. When I expressed reluctance, he said smoking hookah was no big deal and started boasting about his experience with other drugs, such as marijuana and a weed which he often used while smoking hookah,” said the teenager, who studies in a school in the vicinity of the bar and he used to frequent the bar after exams.

Last year, teams headed by SP (City-I) Harsh Bansal and former SP (Detective) SK Kalia came down heavily on the erring hookah joints and detained 40 teenagers.

These 40-odd were students of schools located in the vicinity of the hookah bars. However, they were late let off in the presence of their parents following a strict warning.

The cops conducted raid following complaints that hookah bar employees were allegedly mixing nicotine in tobacco products. The health department officials also confiscated the samples. But nearly a year after the raids were conducted, the reports remain inconclusive.

Hookah bars have also become a nuisance for those residing in the locality. Residents complained that youngsters park their vehicle outside their houses till late night and create ruckus. Further, hookah was served to them while they remain sitting in their cars.

A youth while having a puff said, “My father has earned enough money. I am the only son, so, if I spend some, what’s the harm in it. Further, my mother loves me a lot she is always there to save me form my father’s wrath.”

He further added that after smoking he would take the vehicle to the market spot a girl and follow her to her home.

A police officer expressed helplessness on this issue. He said majority of the youngsters who visit these hookah bars were from rich families and well connected. And whenever they were caught they make them talk to a politician or high officials, who further direct the cop to let off the youth on warning.



Punjabi youths provide cheapest labour in Australia
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
Foreign students are proving to be the cheapest and most easily available workforce in Australia and, among them, youngsters from Punjab who have gone to that country on a student's visa with a desire to settle there, have emerged as the sturdiest workers. The latter can be seen at car-washing centers and restaurants, working for AU $8-10 per hour for short spans.

Though a few powerful trade unions in Australia have set themselves on a collision course with the government, Punjabi students are determined to continue working even under adverse circumstances. The hope of obtaining permanent residency and the intention to recover expenses incurred in getting admission in Australian educational institutions were cited as the major reasons.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that Punjabi students had emerged as the cheapest and most easily available workers in Sydney and Melbourne. With a large number of young couples having entered the country on student visas a majority of them are living separately. Male partners, usually less intelligent than their female ones, are least interested in pursuing regular studies, with most of them searching for odd jobs to manage their pocket money.

According to RS Khangura, a native of Rangoowal village and a permanent resident of Australia, a majority of Punjabi youths entering that country on students’ visa were finding it hard to arrange funds for paying tuition fees and other expenses there.

"While a few of them continue to ask their parents for money, others prefer to raise funds by working in car wash centres and restaurants. As locals are not ready to work for lower wages, employers prefer these students," said Khangura, claiming that the latter often work for half the wages paid to locals.

A few trade unions had criticised the Rudd government for allowing foreigners residing temporarily in the country to work in establishments there. Employers who were required to give preference to Australian workers earlier are no longer required to do so.

A report estimates over 70,000 foreigners on student visas are currently working in Australia with Punjabi youths topping the list. 



At the Crossroads
Literature as a unifying force

Literature unifies diction with thoughts and feelings, besides instilling a spirit of togetherness in the people. During the pre-Partition days, Urdu was the dominant language in Punjab while Punjabi held the second position. It was like talking in your native language and writing in a language prevalent throughout the country. These two languages united the people from Peshawar to Panipat, so to say.

Some of us who had taken admission in FA in the year 1944 were fully devoted to Urdu language and literature. Once we tried to adopt Urdu as the language of our conversation but failed miserably. When I saw two of my friends coming, after a long wait, I blurted out - “Main tumhein aadhe ghante se udeek raha hun.” The word “udeek” torpedoed our plan and we dropped the idea of conversing in Urdu anymore.

Just after the Partition most of the literary persons in Punjab continued for some years to write in Urdu and converse in Punjabi. Faiz Ahmed Faiz in Lahore and Sahir Ludhianvi on this side kept up the charm of writing in Urdu and conversing in Punjabi. With the passage of time, Punjabi on both the sides gained its supremacy and many writers came under its impact. Faiz, during the last days of his life, composed some poems in Punjabi. Some of the Urdu writers on this side of Punjab switched over altogether to Punjabi.

This transition was more or less smooth. Now, after the 62 years of the Partition, politics of allegations and counter-allegations has constructed a wall of hatred between the two Punjabs. There is no communication among the Punjabis residing on both the sides of the border.

The Punjabi writers do not convey much to one another as the books and journals are seldom exchanged. The moot point is as to how the people of both the countries can come together through the media of language and literature. In this way the wall of hatred could be demolished like the Berlin Wall to bring in the era of bonhomie.

Last week Virsa Vihar Society organised a four-day cultural festival in Amritsar wherein efforts were made to revive the old cultural ties between both the Punjabs. On March 5, Madiha Gauhar, the activist of Indo-Pak friendship, presented her play Bulla under the banner of Ajoka Theatre, Lahore. This play had also been presented in Guru Nanak Bhawan, Ludhiana, sometime ago, which was acclaimed as an original work to strengthen the historic bonds of goodwill and fellowship.

Bulhe Shah, the great Sufi poet, and Banda Bahadur, the great crusader against injustice, were presented on the same stage in the background of the eighteenth century Punjab. Now, again Bulla dominated the stage in Amritsar and the play Dulla, a Punjabi legendary hero, was presented by the renowned producer and director Kewal Dhaliwal at the same stage. Nothing could be more relevant to dispel the fog of distrust, extremism and terrorism.

All this is necessary and periodic efforts need be made to bring the artists of both the countries together and involve the common people to boost their sagging spirits. But the real renaissance can be ushered in by exchanging the literary creations of both the countries.

Punjabi literature in Shahmukhi (Urdu) script should be converted into Gurmukhi script and vice-versa. Besides, Urdu literature of Pakistani writers should be transliterated into Gurmukhi script.

It has been observed that the Punjabis love to read Urdu nazms and ghazals in Gurmukhi script. The transliterated poetic compositions of Mirza Ghalib, Ahmed Fraz, Parveen Shakir and Sahir Ludhianvi, besides others, have been well-received by the Punjabi readers. In fact the more, the merrier.

It has to be reiterated that literature brings together people, besides cementing their cultural ties. Misgivings are born out of the ignorance of one another’s feelings and views. When the readers will come to know that the so-called adversaries are in fact the people like us, who crave for amity and peace, the dragon of intransigence will disappear.

— By NS Tasneem



Couples marry again to pocket benefits
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
Philanthropists spending lakhs on organising marriages of poor girls are disappointed over the role of self-styled social leaders, who have reportedly been charging fee from beneficiary parents.

Some such leaders have gone to the extent of instigating married couples to get married again to pocket benefits.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune reveal that some self-styled social leaders, claiming to have close links with some philanthropists, including NRIs, have started exploiting the noble gesture of donors for personal gains.

While some try to appease politicians on the pretext of getting them votes, other allegedly charge fee for getting their case cleared by organisers.

Still others receive consideration from suppliers of household goods and services provided during organisation of group marriages.

Bimal Kumar Sharma, councillor and philanthropist, has regretted that the noble practice has been exploited for personal gains by a section of self-styled leaders.

Instead of ensuring judicious appropriation of funds contributed by donors, they try to exploit these events for appeasing their political masters, he has claimed.

He has acknowledged the receipt of some complaints regarding the involvement of middlemen in the selection of couples for mass marriages.

Sharma has regretted that some social leaders, instead of recommending genuine cases, have tried to draw personal benefit from the noble practice.

The tendency has forced them to verify facts about families seeking the marriage ceremony of their daughters at camps being organised by them.

They try to find out if the introducer has imposed any condition on the beneficiary, asserts Sharma.

Regretting that married couples have been asked to marry again to pocket household goods and jewellery, Dr Rainder Sharma, Rotary Club president, has said office-bearers of civic bodies should be asked to verify the genuineness of families seeking benefits.

In one such case, a couple of Abbu Wal village has recently got married for the second time at a camp sponsored by the Guru Nanak Charitable Trust of Cheemna village.



Sahir’s magic comes alive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Depicting different shades in the poetry of Sahir Ludhianavi, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) and Dhvani, an association for the promotion of arts, organised a musical evening ‘Mukhtalif Andaaz’ here on Monday evening.

Randhir Kanwal sang Sahir’s famous ‘nazm’ ‘Pyar par bas tau nahin hai, excerpts of which were included in the film ‘Sone Ki Chiria’.

Dr Sunil Juneja presented the romantic song ‘Dur reh kar na karo baat qareeb aa jao’ from the film ‘Amanat’.

Dr Daljit Singh stole the show with the song ‘Jaane voh kaise log the jin ke’ from the flm ‘Pyasa’.

Dr Sanjeev Uppal and Paramjot Singh were other singers who enthralled the audience with Sahir Ludhianavi’s songs from the 1970s.

Dr R Vatsyayan highlighted the different aspects of Sahir’s poetry with reference to the happenings in his life.

An inter-college singing competition for students from medical, dental and nursing colleges of Ludhiana was also organised.

Students from the CMCH, the DMCH, Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Oswal Nursing College and Guru Teg Bahadur Nursing College participated in the programme.

The main aim of the competition was to inspire the youth about the rich past in poetry, observed Dr Daljit Singh while addressing the students.

Abhisekh Masih (College of Nursing, CMCH) bagged the first prize. The second prize was shared by Rishu Baweja and Madhurima.

The third prize was given to Nikhil Masih (College of Physiotherapy, CMCH). Naresh Paul and Vishal David shared the consolation prize.



200 companies for knitting exhibition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Knit World exhibition will start from March 12. The exhibition is approved by the India Trade Promotion Organisation and supported and recommended by AEPC, Knitwear Club, Bahadur-ke-Textiles and Knitwear Association, Readymade Hosiery Manufacturers Association, Wool Club, Chambers of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings and Apparel Export Association of Ludhiana.

Narinder Mohan, knitting technologist and organiser of Knit World while addressing a press conference said knit world exhibition was acclaimed to be the only international exhibition on knitting-garment-allied machines and accessories held annually in northern India.

"Though the industry has seen some a difficult phase in the early 70s, the year 2009 was considered by many as one of the most challenging for the industry, as it was cornered from many quarters," he said.

Manufacturers will showcase the best of their technologies and the buyers will get an opportunity to gather information and become the part of newer avenues of industry. More than 200 companies will participate from 12 countries.



Acrylic yarn rate hike worries industry
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Rise in the rates of acrylic yarn has become a cause of concern for the industry.

Shortage of raw material is the major reason behind the increase in the yarn prices.

Besides, the anti-dumping duty levied on the imports of acrylic yarn has further contributed to this hike.

Vinod Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, said there was a huge gap between the demand and supply of acrylic yarn.

“The prices of yarn have increased upto Rs 50 within one month. If the situation continues, we will have to shut down our business and look for another job," said an industrialist from a textile unit.

Major reason for this rise is shortage of raw material. Due to shortage of raw material in the market, the prices are on the rise. Demand has been increasing while the supply is not increasing accordingly.

Another reason behind the increase in prices is the anti-dumping duty levied on fibre. "We have decided to take up the matter with the authorities concerned for withdrawal of anti-dumping duty for checking the increase in price of raw material," said Thapar.

Government has slapped an anti-dumping duty on fibre to check the import of the fibre from neighbouring countries. "Anti-dumping should not have been levied on the fibre which in turn leads to increase in the rate of yarn. Dearth of raw material is leading to price rise," said Jagvir Gupta, an industrialist.



Seminar to improve sex ratio
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 10
A block-level seminar to improve the sex ratio in Punjab was held at the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Dakha.

The seminar was attended by SMO Sahnewal Dr Gurjeet Singh, Nagar Council president Telu Ram Bansal and SHO Dakha Jangjit Singh.

The sarpanches, panches and social workers of the area attended the seminar. Dr Sudeep Kaur Sidhu, in charge of Dakha PHC, Dr Chanchal Jaggi, Ayurvedic Medical officer Dr Rashmi Gill, gynecologist Dr Bhupinder Singh, staff nurse Charanjit Kaur and ANM Sarabjit Kaur were present.

A number of causes and remedies to female foeticide were discussed.

The menace of dowry was adjudged as the main cause for declining sex ratio.

Dr Sudeep Kaur Sidhu said the actual position of the society was worse as the government had only the record provided by the ultra sound scanning centres regarding the female foeticide.

She said scanning was one way to determine the sex of an unborn child and that too, at a later stage of pregnancy. She said there were at least 110 alternative tests, which a person could do at home and go for illegal abortion in case there was a girl child in the womb.

SMO Gurjit Singh said the government gave incentives to villages to improve their sex ratio.

Bairsal Kalan and Lobangarh villages under the Machhiwara block were given grants of Rs 1.5 lakh each for improving the sex ratio of their village beyond the ratio of 1,000 girls per 1,000 men, the SMO added.

He said it was unfortunate that there were many loopholes in the PNDT Act and MTP Act. Moreover, he added that the over burdened officials were unable to implement the existing Acts.



PAU Notes
Trained pest scouts boost cotton output
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A training programme on integrated pest management (IPM) in cotton for the field scouts was organised recently by Punjab Agricultural University’s entomology department and the directorate of extension education. In his inaugural remarks PAU vice-chancellor Manjit Singh Kang said training of scouts to carry forward IPM technology in cotton with the support of the Ratan Tata Trust was a “useful approach”.

He said trained scouts could be role models for farmers by demonstrating the technology in their fields. “The consistent growth in the number of scouts trained have risen from 45 in 2002 and 156 in 2003 to over 800 now. This speaks of the success of the programme. Since cotton villages number about 1,600, the scouts have to be doubled too.”

On the occasion Kang released the PAU Crop Calendar for 2010-11. He congratulated the varsity’s entomologists for developing two illustrated publications on cotton, which he released.

GS Chahal, executive director of the Ratan Tata Trust’s ‘revival of green revolution’ project, said the trust spends Rs 200 crore on upliftment of rural masses in the country. Speaking on the training programme for scouts, he said, “Scouts should propagate PAU’s technological recommendations on the cotton and ‘Basmati’ crops. So far 3,993 scouts have been trained and that in basmati there is a plan for the training of 150 scouts. The crop calendar and other farm literature brought out by PAU will be distributed among the trained scouts of the cotton belt, who should study them to pass on the technical information to farmers.”

Ratan Tata Trust consultant GS Deol said the IPM programme in Basmati was initiated in the Majha area last year. “The recommended plantation gives a yield benefit of 3-5 quintals per hectare,” he added.

Earlier, head of PAU’s entomology department AK Dhawan said IPM technology had made an impact in terms of enhancing cotton productivity and profitability of farmers. He highlighted the role of ‘panchayats’ in making the programme successful. “Farmers planting Bt cotton should plant refugia to avert the chances of Bt cotton developing resistance against certain pests like pink boll worm. IPM farmers in different villages can earn a profit of Rs 8,000 per hectare besides reducing the pesticide load by 25-30 per cent,” he said.

On this occasion mementos for the best scouts were awarded to Kuldip Singh of Chiana village (Faridkot), Jagdeep Singh of Ramgarh Chunghan village (Muktsar), Noorayan Singh of Yatri village (Bathinda) and Chamkaur Singh of Dharamgarh village (Sangrur). Additional director of extension education HS Dhaliwal also spoke on the occasion. The vote of thanks was proposed by Vijay Kumar.

Crop contest

A crop produce competition will be held by Punjab Agricultural University during its Kisan Mela in Ludhiana on March 18-19. Giving details, the convener of the committee, DS Cheema, said samples for different entries would be received at the produce competition stall in front of Thapar Hall on March 18 from 8 am to 11.30 am. “The produce items would be received in proper size. The undersized samples of any produce will not be accepted,” he noted. Specifying the sample size for different crops, he said for potato, carrot, green onion/onion or green garlic it would be 10 pieces, for brinjal, radish or turnip it would be 5 pieces of each sample. The farmers can enter half kilo each of tomato, peas, chapan kaddu or turmeric in the competition. For cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli, it is specified as three pieces of each. The specified sample size for green chillies is 100 gm per sample while for capsicum it is 250 gm per sample.

For sugarcane and their products (except sugar) the sample size is five canes while for shakkar and gur it is half kg sample. Similarly, half a kilo sample of ber, six pieces of guava or kinnow, two pieces of papaya and 250-500 gm sample of lemon will be accepted. The farmers can also enter any other seasonal vegetable or fruit in the competition. In the case of flowers, six pieces of gladiolus, rose or marigold and 250 gm each of gerbera or any other flower will be acceptable.

Farmers interested in taking part in the competition should submit the produce of only recommended and approved varieties.

Extension education director MS Gill said, “Any farmer can submit a maximum of two entries for the produce competition. Entries should accompany a certificate from the village ‘sarpanch’ affirming that the produce is actually from the fields of the farmer taking part in the competition.”

The certificate should also be seconded by the deputy director of Krishi Vigyan Kendra in the district or by district extension specialists.



From Colleges
Kirandeep crowned Miss Farewell
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Students of BA (II) of Government College for Women organised a farewell party to bid adieu to their seniors.

Principal RK Aulakh presided over. Students presented cultural programme.

Kirandeep was adjudged Miss Farewell, whereas Dhruvika and Abhilaha were the first and second runner-up, respectively.

Guru Nanak Girls College: The students of PG department of mathematics of Guru Nanak Girls College bid farewell to their seniors. Kanupreet was crowned Miss Farewell, Mandeep Kaur and Shikha were adjudged first and second runner-up, respectively.

Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women: A farewell party was organised by the students of BCA (II) and MSc (I) for the outgoing students at Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women.

Meenu was adjudged Miss Farewell from PGDCA and Vanisha was adjudged Miss Farewell BCA (II), whereas Geet and Vandana were first and second runner-up in PGDCA. Sonia and Silky were first and second runner-up in BCA-III, respectively.

Aurobindo College: Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management organised its annual prize distribution function.Ritika Thapar won the trophy for securing top rank in BCom II at Panjab University. Amanjot Singh and Amandeep Singh won the trophy for securing top two positions in BCom (I) in Punjab University.

Guru Nanak Institute of Mgmt: The Indian Society for Technical Education Students Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Gujarkhan Campus, organised “INFOVISION”.

The events included paper-presentation, software development, etc. Pritosh Miglani of GGNIMT and Ridhi Jain of GNIMT stood first and second, respectively in the extempore. Anurag Sharma of AIMT Rajpura and Simardeep of GNIMT bagged first and second positions, respectively, in paper-presentation under the management stream. In case discussion, Ritesh Sahni, Gaurav Jain and Sunpreet Kaur of GNIMT and Harmandeep Singh, Jasdeep Kaur and Ishmeet Kaur of GGNIMT secured first and second position, respectively.

Malwa College: A seminar on "Status of Women in Society in Indian Pretext" was held at Malwa College, Bondli.



Two booked for fraud

Khanna, March 10
The police today booked two villagers for making fake papers of a tractor.

In his complaint to the police, Harjeet Singh of Kot Panaich village alleged that he had given his tractor to his cousin Bhupinder Singh, a few months ago, who made a fake registration copy of the tractor and refused to return it.

The complainant alleged that Bhupinder made fake documents with the help of one Mandeep Singh.

The police has booked both the accused for cheating and investigations are on. — TNS



Man killed in accident
Our Correspondent
Jagraon, March 10

Thirtyfive-year-old Kuldeep Singh of Singhan Wala village, near Moga, was killed when his Bolero Jeep (DL2CB-6459) was hit by a truck yesterday evening.

According to the statement of Jugraj Singh of Mehna village, near Moga, a witness to the accident, Kuldeep and his wife were returning home when a truck coming from the Moga side hit their vehicle near the Nanaksar filling station. Kuldeep’s wife Inderjit Kaur, who was injured, was admitted to the DMCH in Ludhiana. The police registered a case.



Car stolen

Amloh, March 10
A white Maruti car (PB48A-8431) of Punjab Congress secretary Dilbag Rai Sood was stolen on Sunday night.

The car had been parked in a street. The police was informed on Monday. ASI Inderjit Singh said that the police registered a case under Section 279 of the IPC and started investigations. — OC



Man, sister-in-law get 7-year RI for rape
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
A Fast Track court has convicted Sanjay Kumar of Puneet Nagar, Tajpur road, Ludhiana, on charges of raping a Class X student in April 2004.

He was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for seven years. His sister-in-law Seema was also sentenced to seven-years imprisonment for conspiring the rape and his elder brother Ram Parsad was sentenced to six-month imprisonment on charges of threatening the victim.

The court of Additional Sessions Judge-cum-Presiding officer Fast Track court AS Narula held that the prosecution had proved the charges levelled against the accused.

A case under Sections 363, 366, 376, 383, 328 and 506 of the IPC was registered against the accused at the Division No. 7 Police Station on April 26, 2004, on the complaint of the victim.

She had stated before the police that she was a student of Class X and the accused were staying near their house and often used to visit their house.

She stated on April 4, 2004, Seema invited her on the birthday of her son Vishal. In the party she was served tea and biscuits. After taking tea, she got unconscious and when she regained conscious, she found herself naked. Sanjay, after raping her clicked her naked photographs, which he showed to her a few days later and started blackmailing her. Under this threat, he again raped her.

When the matter came to the knowledge of her parents they demanded her photographs. Upon which the accused thrashed them and even forced them to shift from that locality, she added.

However, the accused pleaded innocence, but finding enough proof, the court sentenced them severe punishment



Cultural, sports events mark founder’s day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Cultural and sports events marked the inauguration of the fifth founder’s day of Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospitals.

The 15-day celebration will conclude on March 25.

Managing director of the hospital, Jugdiep Singh, called upon the participants to aim at developing team spirit.

Participants in sports events have been divided in two teams- High Fliers and Royal Challengers. High Fliers will be lead by Lakhwinder Kaur as captain and Dr Kamalpreet Kaur Sodhi as vice-captain, while Royal Challengers will have Ramandeep Dhillon as captain and Balihar Singh as vice-captain.

The cultural events include sur sangam, magic of Colours (painting), antakshari, fusion (fancy dress), samjho isharon ko (dumb charades), battle of brains (quiz), origami (paper art), nach baliye, kavya manch (poetry writing), haseya samaroh (laughter show) and musical chair. Similarly, volleyball, table tennis, tug of war, sack race, lemon and spoon race, long jump, carrom, cricket and kho-kho will be sports events.



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