L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Migrants feel alienated in hostile environment
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

A boy walks through a narrow lane at a colony in Ludhiana.
A boy walks through a narrow lane at a colony in Ludhiana.Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 16
What began as a small colony to house workers from other states looking for a shelter in the city’s Focal Point industrial zone now has a migrant population touching nearly 400,000, outnumbering local residents.

Nearly 200,000 migrant workers are now settled in Jugiana alone, which was once considered the stronghold of native agriculturalists. Similarly, Dhandari and the Focal Point houses a huge migrant population. It would not be an overstatement for this place to be called a ‘mini-Bihar’ and ‘mini-UP’.

The second generation of migrant workers toils day and night in the bicycle parts and cloth processing factories located in the area.

Till December 3, 2009, when violent protests by migrant workers broke out, city residents had no idea they were sitting on a powder keg waiting to explode any moment. The violent protests and rioting were an eyeopener for locals in general and the city administration in particular.

For perhaps the first time in almost two decades politicians, the police and bureaucrats reached out to the migrants, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and tried to listen to their problems.

The migrants who arrived earlier have witnessed the transformation of the Focal Point area into a major industrial hub of the country.

Liaqat Ali was barely ten when he came here from Uttar Pradesh in the city along with his father, Rehmat Ali, a foreman in a bicycle manufacturing unit. The latter is now enjoying his ‘retirement’ living with his grandchildren in Uttar Pradesh, but Liaqat formed a deep rooted affinity with the city and refused to leave it even after it remained tense for two days.

"When I first came to this city I had to travel a distance of over two kilometers every day to go from one factory to another. Dhandari used to be primarily agricultural land then. Now this place is bustling with migrant workers. A major chunk of the inhabitants of Deep colony, Prem Nagar, Jagdish colony, Durga colony, Ishwar Nagar colony, Garcha colony, New Durga colony, Dhaka colony and Bihari colony consist of migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh," said Liaqat.

How Dhandari came into existence

According to Liaqat, the ‘sarpanch’ of Dhandari village, Santokh Singh Garcha, who owned a major portion of the land there, saw the future potential of the place in the early 1990s. “He constructed many cramped 6 by 5 feet rooms, popularly called 'vehras' (shanties), which now house hundreds of thousands of migrant labourers.

A file photo of violence in Dhandari that rocked Ludhiana in December 2009.
A file photo of violence in Dhandari that rocked Ludhiana in December 2009.

At some places the migrants have even encroached upon the land and built shanties, which are devoid of basic amenities. These colonies had no proper sanitation system for a long time and it was only after a few migrants were elected as members of the municipal corporation that the situation seen some improvement.

However, the condition inside these ‘vehras’ remains pathetic. The foul smell emitting from them is enough to make even the tough skinned weak.

One reason of the poor state of affairs is that the migrants have never considered this city as their home. They have come here to work and earn money and settling here was never an option. A majority of the migrants have left their families behind in their home states.

Chitranjan, a labour leader, said, "Migrant workers cannot manage to save money while they are living with their families here, as the cost of living is much cheaper in states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Hence the migrants prefer to leave their family members behind at home."

However, there have been a few success stories among migrant labourers, all of whom only made it big after they moved out of colonies and began residing in the city’s upmarket localities.

Encroachments by migrants

The Bihari colony in the Focal Point area is an apt example of encroachment of civic land by migrant workers as well as the sheer absence of civic amenities. This colony houses well over 6,000 labourers who live in 500 ‘kutcha’ (temporarily built) shanties.

"A visit to this place makes one realise how difficult it is to survive in the city. Children in this colony are brought up in unhygienic conditions. They drink contaminated water and lack any kind of basic amenities," said Jyoti, a schoolteacher.

Children’s education

Education of children in migrant colonies has never been given a thought. Barring a few most of the migrant families who have settled here have not sent their wards to school.

Instead of schooling, children of migrant workers have opted for jobs like carpenters, whitewashers, plumbers and electricians, after the native Punjabis abandoned these occupations and began looking for white-collar jobs.

However, a few nongovernment organisations like the Noble Foundation, which is involved in running seven schools in the Focal Pont area, is providing education to children of migrants who are working in various factories.

Other than that nothing constructive has been done by the government to provide quality education to these children. However, an educational programme run by SSA has received a successful response.

Resurgence in robbery incidents

After violent protests by migrants, which shocked the state and held the city to ransom in December last year, incidents of robberies and ‘mysterious disappearances’ have again become frequent in the Focal point area, considered the epicenter of the protests.

A series of incidents that took place last April indicated growing unrest and insecurity among migrant labourers. A daring heist on April 19 in which armed men robbed a factory manufacturing measuring tapes located on GT Road of Rs 5.81 lakh, and in which three security guards were injured, was a prelude of things to come.

The robbery was followed by violent protests by migrant workers, who vandalised a tyre manufacturing unit over the alleged disappearance of a fellow worker. Similarly, the killing of a migrant labourer for ransom evoked sharp criticism of the local police. However, the cops were quick to respond and nabbed the suspects.

Meanwhile, the police is working on various theories on the suspects behind the latest snatching incident that took place a few days ago when a local industrialist was waylaid and robbed at gunpoint.

Industry faces labour crisis

Paramvir Bhogal, one of the young directors of Bhogal Cycles, has seen the adverse impact of migrant protest and the subsequent violence in December on the city’s industry. "Almost every industrial unit in the Focal Point and Dhandari areas is facing acute staff crunch. Soon after the protests many migrants left the city. Central government employment schemes like NREGA have also caused a labour crisis in the city. Further, long power cuts have added to industry’s woes,” he said.

‘Cops taking problems seriously’

"Apart from setting up police posts in the Focal Point and Dhandari areas, we have become very serious about the problems relating to migrant workers. Our endeavour is provide the best possible conditions to those who come to the city to earn their livelihood. Though criminal incidents have taken place we have always reacted swiftly and apprehended the culprits," said deputy police commissioner Parmod Ban.

Locals, migrants polarised

Till November 2009 there was a perceptible bonhomie between the locals and migrant workers living in both Jugiana and Dhandari. However, fissures have now appeared between the two sections following the violent protests last December by migrants. Neither the latter nor the locals are now interested in residing in a locality dominated by one community. Shepur village, near Focal Point, has often witnessed clashes between migrant workers and locals, which resulted in destruction of property.


4 hurt in clash over wedding song
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
A quarrel over playing a particular song at a wedding party took an ugly turn today after a house was vandalised and four people, including a pregnant woman, injured in the Brota Road area here late last night.

The incident took place at a banquet hall located on Gill Road when Rommy and his brother Mintu, both residents of Street No 14, Brota Road, entered into a heated argument with their neighbour, Jita, and the latter's friends over playing their favourite song at a wedding party.

Members of the two sides reportedly exchanged blows but the dispute was later settled and both groups returned home.

According to Jasvir Singh, father of Rommy and Mintu, soon after his sons returned home Jita along with Gora, Kindi and some unidentified men entered their home and began thrashing them.

“The assailants damaged household goods including an LCD TV, refrigerator and crockery. They didn’t spare the women and even beat up my daughter in-law, Manjit, who is pregnant," said Jasvir.

Manjit was rushed to Teg Bahadur Hospital in a critical condition. However, her condition has been stated to be stable.

While Jasvir's wife, Kuljit Kaur, also sustained injuries and was taken to Civil Hospital, both Mintu and Rommy got away with minor injuries. Jasvir emerged unhurt from the incident.

Meanwhile, the Daba police has registered a case of assault against the suspects and launched a search to apprehend them.



Jail officials suspended for assaulting inmate
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
After four prison officials were booked for assaulting an inmate and subsequently ordered to be suspended, the Punjab Jail Guards Association today attacked the Borstal jail authorities as well as Jails Minister Hira Singh Gabria for being ‘‘extra tough’’ on the officials.

The association’s members alleged the stringent action was taken because the inmate reportedly assaulted was the brother of Gabria's personal assistant, Harpreet Singh Bedi. They said they would hold a protest against the decision.

Association president Dilbag Singh Cheema claimed the four prison officials were booked without any departmental investigation. "Now they have been suspended. This decision is uncalled for

and will demoralise other jail officials besides encouraging criminals. Before suspending the four the jail authorities should have considered the fact that the man who was complaining against the jail officials was facing charges of raping a 12-year-old girl. He was caught peddling drugs inside the jail”.

It may recalled that on May 6 Borstal jail assistant superintendent Jagmail Singh and three wardens, Harnek Singh, Darshan Singh and Jagdev Singh, reportedly beat up a prisoner, Paramjit, in the jail hospital after the latter was suspected to have been in the possession of a mobile phone. All four prison officials were booked under sections 323, 342, 325, 506 of the IPC and were bailed out subsequently.

Meanwhile, Jagmail confirmed all prison officials had been suspended.

Accused of harbouring rape suspect

Members of the Punjab Jail Guards Association have alleged the Borstal jail authorities are “harbouring” a rape suspect incarcerated in the prison. “He is enjoying all worldly luxuries even inside the jail”, they claimed.

The members voiced concern over the incarceration of the suspect, Paramjit Singh, 36, in the jail, which is meant for offenders aged 18 to 21. “Jail records have shown Paramjit as being admitted to the Borstal jail hospital for the past one-and-a-half years”, they stated. "Why has he not been shifted out of the jail despite a clear order by a court for his transfer to some other prison after he was found with drugs in his possession. He is enjoying all the luxuries due to political patronage. We will stage a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) outside the jail tomorrow to protest against harbouring the suspect," said Dilbag Singh, president of the association. Prison officials have caught Paramjit on several occasions with a mobile phone in his possession.



Civic body flouts PPCB directions
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Despite the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) directions, workers of the civic body continue to dispose of municipal solid waste at Jainpur village (Hambran) in Ludhiana district.

Acting tough, the board had asked the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) to submit a time targeted action plan to rejuvenate the site, where the ground water and soil was being contaminated, but the authorities concerned seem to be in no mood to give it a thought.

As per the notice issued by the PPCB in 2009, a legal action will be taken under Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, against the civic body in case it fails to comply with the directions.A local resident Satinder Singh rued that their life had become miserable due to the garbage dumped at the village. He said, “There seems to be no solution to our problems. Dairy owners have encroached upon many roads and the land belonging to the mandi board has been turned into a garbage dump. And now, garbage dump at Jainpur village has added to our woes. There is no end to foul smell emanating from the garbage dump and the site has become a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and flies. This has also led to the stray cattle menace in the area. When the orders have been issued to shift the dump, why cannot the MC adhere to it?”

Half of the city's garbage is dumped at Jainpur village. “Disposing of the garbage like this is unhygienic. The MC has no dearth of money and it should come up with some solution for the welfare of the residents. We have also met the authorities concerned and sent several representations, urging the civic body to pull its workers who flout the PPCB norms, but to no avail,” complained Chaman Lal Chaitley, another resident.

Bear with us, says Senior Deputy Mayor

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Kumar Bansal said the garbage had to be dumped at some place. “But we are working to set up a solid treatment plant in the city for which initial hiccups have been cleared. The plant will become operational by 2012. In case we dispose of the garbage at some other site, similar problem will occur. The residents need to bear with us until the treatment plant becomes functional,” said Bansal.



Prez honours city-based classical singer
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
In a scenario when the youth of today are going astray from their culture and getting hooked to the hip-hop of the West, local lad Amit Sharma is an exception. He is into classical singing and plays harmonium and his talent has received an “appreciation award” fron President of India Pratibha Patil.

Amit got an opportunity to show his flair along with Bismillah Khan’s daughter, Dr Soma Ghosh, during a musical evening recently organised at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

“After the concert, we sat with the President over a cup of tea. It was all together a difference experience. The President asked me about my education and the place where I belong to. She was all praise for the youth who are taking their legacy forward,” shared Amit.

Presently studying at Delhi University, Amit did his schooling from local Sanatan Vidya Mandir and graduation from SCD Government College for Boys in Music (honours). Presently he is doing MPhil and plans to do PhD in Hindustani classical (vocal).

He belongs to “Gwalior Gharana” and has been learning classical music from LK Pandit from the last one year. “My mother is my idol. She is the only person in our family who is into singing. She is a folk singer,” he added.

“It is only Punjab where people do not like classical music. Outside Punjab, like in Delhi and Mumbai people like classical music. My goal after doing my PhD will be to bring the people of my city close to classical music. Ludhiana does not have a culture where classical music is accepted and I want to make an effort in making a change,” he added. 



Ration card denied to 59-yr-old caner patient
Seeks Mumbai hospital’s help to fight his case
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Irked over the apathetic attitude of the district food and civil supplies department towards registration of his name at a ration depot in Sarabha Nagar, Davinder Kumar Khurana (59), a cancer patient, has forwarded a request to the Cancer Rehabilitation Centre at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, to fight his case on humanitarian grounds.

Davinder Khurana, who is undergoing treatment at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, has been running from pillar to post for the past six months to get his name registered at the ration depot, but to no avail.

In his letter, Khurana has asked the authorities at the Cancer Rehabilitation Centre to intervene. He has also sought a police probe into the false complaints lodged against him by the licensee of the depot.

Khurana went to the department in December 2009, where the food and civil supplies inspector directed the depot licensee to enter the complainant’s name, but the latter refused to do so.

Thereafter, he went with a complaint to the then Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Garg, who directed Rakesh Bhaskar, controller, district food and civil supplies, Ludhiana (West), to register Khurana’s name, but he also disregarded the Deputy Commissioner’s directions. Khurana despite being a cancer patient, repeatedly visited the department, but the officials and staff expressed their helplessness to do anything.

Khurana said, “The depot licensee misuses the ration given by the government, adding that the controller, district food and civil supplies, Ludhiana (West), is trying to save the erring licensee.”

Khurana was also manhandled by the inquiry officer’s steno at the department on April 12.

He filed a complaint with the Sarabha Nagar police station. However, staff of the department lodged a counter-compliant against Khurana for having attacked the official concerned and refuted the allegations of Khurana of having been manhandled at the office. Dejected Khurana then gave a written complaint to the deputy director food and civil supplies, Chandigarh, demanding an immediate enquiry into the matter.

District food and civil supplies controller (West) Rakesh Bahskar said, “I have forwarded the complaint to the food and civil supplies director in Chandigarh. I will personally request the director to issue me directions on the action to be initiated in this case,” he added.



Blood donation camp

Ludhiana, May 16
The District Youth Congress (DYC) will organise a blood donation camp at the Congress Bhawan here on May 21 to mark the martyrdom day of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This was stated by DYC president Dimple Rana while addressing a meeting of party workers here today.

He said the party functionaries were taking up several community welfare projects in different parts of the city in accordance with the directives of Rahul Gandhi, the youth icon of the party, to reach up to the poorest of the poor and to identify with the masses.

Among others, Gurpreet Dugri, Kuldip Sharma, Chander Shekhar Sahota, Rejinder Chahal, Lal Singh, Munish Shah, Sunil Shukla, Balraj Jagota, Himanshu Walia, Dhiraj Kapoor, Gurmeet Singh, Prem Kapoor, Anoop Sharma and Talwinder Sethi were present at the occasion. — OC



Biz Clips
HP indigo press introduced

LUDHIANA: Gee7 Printek (P) Limited on Sunday introduced the HP Indigo Digital Offset Press in Ludhiana. HP indigo press gives market leading printing quality instant turnaround time at competitive prices. A digital show was also organised. Bippinjit Singh, chief executive of the company, said the “Digital Show” was organised for Offset Printers’ Association. The indigo digital press offers eye popping print quality at least equal to traditional offset Litho Printing. — TNS


LUDHIANA: Astrological service Ganeshaspeaks.com has tied up with Telco Uninor for its astrology services on 55181. This tie-up makes the service available on most of the major telecom viz Vodafone, Idea, Uninor, Loop mobile customers. Mobile users across the nation can avail personal services like astrological consultation, horoscope matching, daily, weekly forecasts, career guidance via mobile phones. The service is supported by four strategically located call centres across India staffed with more than 300 astrologers selected and trained by Bejan Daruwalla and his team. — TNS

High power factor CFLs

LUDHIANA: Surya Roshni has launched the high power factor CFL lamps. High power factor has been made mandatory by the government to increase energy saving in India and also to minimise the energy loss. These Surya CFLs are eco-friendly green lamps made with green technology. CFLs also have inbuilt power stabiliser to control voltage fluctuation and along with Japanese fluorescent powder used in these CFLs give higher lumen output even at low voltage. — TNS

Gold at lockers to be accepted as collaterals

LUDHIANA: The vast reserves of gold lying in the safe deposit lockers will now be accepted as collaterals for consumer loans by leading financial institutions. These are usually instant loans across the counter with minimal documentation. This monetisation process will open up the sector and enable the circulation of roughly 18,000 tonnes (worth approximately Rs 30 lakh crore at current prices) back into the economy. — TNS

Special recharge offer

LUDHIANA: Tata DOCOMO, the GSM brand of Tata Teleservices Limited, on Sunday announced the launch of special recharge offer, which offer free calls on any network across India. The offer is a combination of RCV 199 and RCV 55 priced at Rs 199 and Rs 55, respectively. Customers recharging with RCV 199 can enjoy 26,000 free seconds or 433 minutes, which can be used towards both local and STD calls across India and comes with a validity of 30 days. RCV 55 benefits the customers with free 6,600 seconds or 110 minutes for both local and STD calls across India and comes with validity of 10 days. — TNS

GSM services in Punjab

LUDHIANA: Virgin Mobile India on Sunday further enhanced its presence with the launch of its GSM services in Punjab circle. Virgin Mobile is all set to help youth leverage and to use the power of their network of friends. Loaded with a plethora of unique products and services designed for youth, the company is launching its GSM services in Punjab. For now, consumers across all GSM circles will be offered a differentiated tariff proposition of 20p/min for STD and local calls to any Virgin Mobile number without any pack and no daily rental. Virgin Mobile customers calling any other network will be charged 50p/min for local and STD calls again without any pack and daily rental. — TNS

‘Kitaja’ launched

LUDHIANA: The dynamic and fast changing world of the Indian fashion with its traditional and modernistic hues gave Manpreet Dhawan the inspiration to launch “Kitaja”. Kitaja is a store for the discerning woman of today, who appreciates fine aspects of “looking good” for all occasions. Kitaja promises to give women of Ludhiana and rather Punjab exquisite bridal attire, casuals, Indo-western outfits in stitched, semi-stitched and unstitched form to meet the requirements and needs of each customer. — TNS



City Conerns
Provide shelter to stray animals

Stray bull kills a child, but nobody wants to owe the responsibility. The authorities concerned often play the blame game. I urge the authorities to provide shelter for stray animals and sterilise them so as to stop their ever-increasing population. NGOs and other social organisations should be roped in to take care of stray animals.

— Dr Sherry

Faulty implementation of municipal laws

Stray cattle, a by-product of the White Revolution, are a nuisance for city residents as well as farmers. No doubt that the root cause of this problem is our society itself and faulty implementation of the municipal laws and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Under the Punjab Prohibition of Cow Slaughter Act, 1955, the state has been directed to start institutions to maintain old, unproductive cows and its progeny, but this is not being implemented.

Though the authorities concerned have been asked to register cattle and pet dogs, nothing has been done so far.

People also shrug off their responsibility by blaming the animal welfare bodies. We are neither against catching stray cattle and starting cattle infirmaries nor against dog sterilisation and castration of calves.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Panchayats of three-four villages (or at block level) may be asked to set up some animal shelter or gaushala as most of the cattle is abandoned in villages.

2. Jails have sufficient land and manpower. Stray cattle should be taken to jails and some area should be earmarked for this. In some states like Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, this experiment has been conducted successfully.

The Punjab government has the policy to give land on long-term lease for gaushalas and animal shelters to societies working in this direction.

The Animal welfare Board of India gives a financial aid up to 22.5 lakh for such societies.

The gaushalas of Bathinda, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Rampura Phul, Ramtirath, Pattran Mandi and Barnala have availed this grant.

— Dr Sandeep K Jain

Penalise violators

Animal shelters cannot solve the problem. The MC should identify and penalise people abandoning cattle. We also need to change the system of providing shelter to stray animals. The shelter system, as it exists today, has as one of its primary functions the processing of living beings - either by recycling them to new homes or destroying them. There should not be a need in a civilized society for a system that disposes of animals as if they were trash.

— Ravi Chander Garg

Promote private gaushalas

Villagers abandon their stray unwanted cattle, particularly bulls, in the city to get rid of these aggressive animals. The dairy owners, too, abandon unproductive cows. The only way to get rid of this menace is to set up private gaushalas in the city. The civic body should give some incentives to the persons running gaushalas. General public is already in the practice of supplying green fodder to these gaushalas. There should be registration of animals and those abandoning the animals should be penalised heavily.

— KL Chitkara



Sarpanch blames ADCP for succumbing under pressure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Fissures became apparent in the SAD leadership after Bachittar Nagar colony sarpanch Jasvir Singh, who was facing charges of manhandling a woman, levelled serious allegation against an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP)-level official for succumbing before the political pressure posed by a cabinet minister.

Jasvir Singh, who is said to be a close aide of MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik, yesterday alleged that he fell victim of the political rivalry.

He said on May 12 he reached the Mirado police post after the police summoned him in connection with the inquiry in the case.

“When I reached the Mirado police station, the ADCP was sitting there and after receiving instructions from a minister, he booked me in an alleged false case,” said Jasvir

Despite repeated attempts, the ADCP could not be contacted for comments.



100 examined at camp

Ludhiana, May 16
Hundred patients with problems like thyroid and diabetes were examined at a free medical check-up camp organised by Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha at Urban Estate (Focal Point) here today. Free medicines were distributed.

Dr Mani Kant Singla, endocrinologist from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, who examined patients, said hypothyroidism (decreased function of thyroid) was a common problem, which might remain undiagnosed.

He advised patients with symptoms like fatigue, vague aches and pains, unexplained weight gain, dry skin and hair, depression, always feeling cold, constipation, puffy face, excessive menstrual periods and infertility to get thyroid test done. — TNS



Jewellers pin high hopes on wedding season
Offer special schemes on purchase of yellow metal
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
With Akshaya Tritiya falling on Sunday and the onset of wedding season, jewellers here are expecting a good business in the otherwise slowdown market.The price of standard gold has been hiked by Rs 1,800.

Jewellers are trying to lure customers by offering discounts. Jewellery shops, which are generally closed on Sunday, were seen open on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya today. Buying gold is considered auspicious on Akshaya Tritya.

“A few customers turned up today, as the festival is not so popular in North India. People preferred to buy coins rather than ornaments. We had a good sale,” said one of the prominent jewellers at Fountain Chowk.

The rising prices of gold have created a slump in the market. The yellow metal has lost its sheen due to its sky-rocketing ever-increasing prices. Soaring prices have adversely affected the business, as demand for ornaments has witnessed a fall by at least 25 per cent during the last one year.

Vinod Verma, a jeweller at Sarafan Bazar, said he was expecting a good business during the wedding season, but with the increase in gold prices, it seemed doubtful.

“During the wedding season, I plan to give a 20-per cent discount on labour charges,” said Verma.

“Price instability in the last few months has left customers confused. The situation has turned from bad to worse, but we have pinned high hopes on the marriage season. We are also offering special schemes to lure the customers. We plan to gift silver coins on the purchase of gold jewellery,” said Jung Singh, another jeweller at Ghumar Mandi.



5 books written by Gurdit Kang out
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Five books written and translated by Gurdit Singh Kang were released at Punjabi Bhawan here today.The first book, Kash (Oh!), an autobiographical novelette depicting confrontation between a son and a father suffering from blood cancer, was released by Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor MS Kang.

The second book Manohar Bacchan, which is a Punjabi translation of English book-I had a dream, written by Coretta Scott King, is based on the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King Junior, who had a firm belief in Mahatma Gandhi. It was released by noted poet Dr Surjit Patar.

Later, Gurbhajan Singh Gill and Dr SP Singh released two books-Zindagi ik safar hai and Safar jaari Hai-(life is a journey and journey is in progress).

Another book on short stories-Sadivee Gunjhal-The Eternal Complex was released by Harikesh Singh Kehal, an eminent writer. Dr Patar, Dr Guriqbal Singh and Dr SN Sewak read out some critical papers of these books. Dr Sukhchain Singh recited his poem-Gandhi. 



UPA govt committed to all-round development of villages, says Tewari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 16
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today said the UPA government at the Centre was committed to the all-round development of rural areas.

Several centrally funded schemes have been launched with the objective of providing employment, basic amenities, including safe drinking water and affordable housing, to the rural population.

Addressing a meeting after releasing second installment of Rs 5 lakh development grant for Dakha assembly segment here, Tewari claimed that the Congress believed in fulfilling the promises made to the people.

“Within one year of the Lok Sabha elections, the promised air service between the city and national capital has materialised, several major development projects for the mega city had been cleared and funds were released for cleaning of Budha Nullah,” he maintained.

Lambasting the SAD-BJP government in Punjab for poor governance and pushing the state in a financial mess, the Congress MP charged it with pursuing a one-point programme of misleading the public, while also misutilising Central grants.

“The SAD-BJP coalition government in the state has been perpetuating frauds one after the other on the people of Punjab. The so called supply of cheap flour at Rs 4 and pulses at Rs 20 a kilogram stands fully exposed and the people are feeling cheated and betrayed.”

The MP was accompanied by former minister Malkiat Singh Dakha, PPCC general secretary Pawan Diwan, Major Singh Mullanpur and Manjit Singh Bharowal.



Signs, not music make them dance
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
If you have passion, you don’t need music to dance. Belying the traditional notion that it’s music that makes one dance, over 100 hearing impaired students from a school for deaf and dumb in Kitchlu Nagar are currently matching their steps with their instructor.

If all goes well, then, a select few would soon be performing on “India’s Got Talent”, a reality show, ready to launch its second edition on Sony television.

Presently, they are taking dance lessons fortnightly and would exhibit their ability in front of the audience at the end of the camp.

For dance instructor Harpreet Singh it was not an easy path to tread on.

“I spent three months on learning the sign language. I deliberately tried be mute and hearing impaired so that I could understand the difficulties they are facing while learning dance steps,” said Harpreet.

He gave credit to teachers and the school’s management for supporting him.

Every year, Harpreet holds a fortnightly dance workshop at the school for deaf.

“I love to dance with these children. They put 100 per cent effort and are committed while dancing. I tell them to emulate me and they diligently follow my commands. After rehearsal we make a format of the dance steps. The students are told to follow one dance step after another and that is how we make an entire dance sequence,” said Harpreet.

These students have on numerous occasions kept on dancing even after the music stopped playing due to the electrical snag. “As these students are deaf they keep on dancing and follow the steps taught to them. For spectators, it’s a very strange thing. I remember, I had to personally intervene and tell through signs language that the song was not playing due to electrical snag. It was only after that they stopped dancing,” said Harpreet.

This time Harpreet wants to take the real test of these children. He said, “I know these children are special in every aspect and it is time they should show their mettle to the world. I believe that such talent hunts provide a platform for such children so that they could show their mettle to the world.”

And the students are also excited to take up the challenge. Deepak, a Class XI student, said, though with the teacher’s help, that they were not afraid of challenges. “We love dancing. It gives vent to our miseries and sorrow,” said Deepak. 



For Ludhianvis, luxury cars are a style statement
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
For many Ludhianvis, cars are more of a lifestyle statement than a status symbol. On one hand, the city has Rs 1 lakh Tata Nano plying on its roads, while on the other, it has luxury cars like Bentley and Rolls Royce that cost several crores.

A BMW or a Mercedes has become common on the Ludhiana roads, but there are a few super expensive beauties, which belong to only selected few. The luxury cars from Audi, Bentley, Volkswagen, Porsche, Jaguar and Rolls Royce have also made their presence felt in the industrial city.

The people of Ludhiana today are so charismatic in buying cars that they own the most classy luxury cars.

Luxury and super luxury cars have set up a trend, especially among the business class. They not only possess expensive cars, but also sometimes gift luxury cars to their loved ones.

Eisha, a 21-year-old girl from the city and presently pursuing textile designing from Mumbai, was gifted a Bentley on her birthday. “It was my dream to own Bentley. My dad gave me a surprise and it has become my most prized possession today,” added Eisha with a smile.

Youngsters at geris in their super expensive cars in the evening are common site in the city. Flaunting their cars with high-pitched music is their style mantra. Don't get astonished if a BMW at a lightening speed “vrooms” across you and vanishes into the air in no time or a small Bentley with eye-catching colour passes across you and make you remind of some old vintage car.

“In routine I drive Honda Accord, but on weekends when I go to my farm house I drive BMW. I generally drive at night when the roads are vacant. The delight of driving during the night is a sheer pleasure, as I do not get the thrill of its speed on the crowded roads,” chips in Akshit Jain, a businessman.

Buying expensive cars is the passion of another businessman. Be it BMW, Mercedes or Audi, he has driven all.

The next dream car of this 38-year-old businessman is Lamborghini Murcielago. “Yellow two-seater Lamborghini will be next in the line. It is a fabulous car and I will be importing it from the US,” quips Atinderpartap.



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, May 16
Mother of two, 31-year-old Narinder Kaur, reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself with a ceiling fan at her parents house in Neelowal village near Bilga in Phillaur sub-division last night.

Mental depression owing to dispute with her NRI husband may be the reason behind her taking the extreme step, said Phillaur DSP Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh.

The DSP said the body was handed over to her parents after the post-mortem.

Sarabjit Kaur, mother of the deceased, told the police that her daughter was married to Sarabjit Singh of Bhandhal village 10 years back and both husband and wife went to UAE for a job in 2008. But Narinder Kaur returned to India last year and since then she was under mental stress, said Sarabjit.



2 held for selling psychotropic medicines
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 16
The counter intelligence wing, Ludhiana, yesterday arrested two youths for selling unaccounted psychotropic medicines to the addicted youth.

The accused, identified as Surinder Pal, alias Soni of Mohalla Mahantan and Sunil Tewari of Thai Mohalla, were nabbed along with 32 bottles of cough syrups.

Sunil Tewari, an owner of Neelam Karayana Store at Agwar Lopon, had employed Surinder Pal for delivering the cough syrups at the doorsteps of the addicts. The accused confessed that during the “Roshni Fair”, they had sold the syrups worth Rs 32 at exorbitant rates of Rs 300 per bottle.

Sham Sunder, in charge of the counter intelligence wing, Ludhiana, handed over the accused to the Jagraon police after recovery, who booked them under various sections of the NDPS Act.



Shrey secures maximum marks for yellow belt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
Nearly 100 participants attended the grading test organised by the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. The second-degree black belt holder Sukhdev Singh conducted the test.

In the junior boy’s section, Shrey Khanna secured maximum marks in the test for the yellow belt and in the senior section, aspirants who performed well included Amarjot Kaur, Kiranpreet Kaur, Harveen Kaur, Tavleen Kaur, Jyoti Gupta, Harmanjot Singh, Arshpreet Singh, Manjot Singh, Roobal Kumar, Vivekanand Sharma, Jaskanwar Singh, Jasneet Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Harshdeep Singh, Jhujjar Singh, Gobind Chadha, Uday Raj, Keshav Bali, Madhur Gupta, Shivam Bali, Sushant Goyal, Nitish, Raghav Bhundela, Amandeep Singh, Lovepreet Singh, Gursimran Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Amarpreet Singh, Gurvinder Singh, Arshdeep Singh and Gurmeet Singh.

The players, who appeared successfully in the test for the orange belt, were Arashjot Singh, Uchranat Singh, while Vijay along with Ramaya Khanna, Taranjot Singh, Tejwant Singh and Gurjot Singh gave an impressive performance in the test for the green belt.

Rakesh Kumar, president of the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association, congratulated the players and wished them luck for the upcoming grading tests to be held towards the end of this year.



Angadji, Lovepreet shine in karate meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
The two-day Ludhiana District Karate Tournament organised by the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association concluded at the Multi-purpose Indoor Hall of Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

More than 150 participants competed in this tournament. Bhupinder Singh, general secretary, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, gave away prizes to the position holders.


Boys’ 9 to 11 years (25 to 30 kg): 1st Angadji Saggu, 2nd Gopesh Chawa, 3rd Harshdeep Singh and Amrinder.

9 to 11 years (35 to 40 kg): 1st Amandeep, 2nd Sehaj Preet, 3rd Sushant Goyal and Govind Chadha.

9 to 11 years (45 to 50 years): 1st Tejwant Singh, 2nd Taranjot Singh, 3rd Sukhmeet Singh and Amardeep Singh.

11 to 13 years (30 to 35 kg): 1st Lovepreet, 2nd Harjas, 3rd Grace Chawla and Manpreet Singh.

9 to 11 years (20 to 25 kg): 1st Hakamal Singh, 2nd Dharminder, 3rd Arshpreet Singh.

Girls’ 9 to 11 years (25 to 30 kg): 1st Prabhjot Kaur, 2nd Harleen Kaur, 3rd Manpreet Kaur and Anupreet Kaur.



Basketball trials tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
Trials to select the Ludhiana district basketball sub-junior teams (boys and girls) will be held here at Guru Nanak Stadium on May 18 at 4.30 pm.Players born on or after January 1, 1997 are eligible to participate in the trials. They have been asked to bring their date of birth certificates.

According to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, District Basketball Association, Ludhiana, the selected players will take part in the Punjab State Sub-Junior Basketball Championship scheduled to be held at Bhagta Bhai Ka in Bathinda district from May 19 to 22.



Handball trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
The Punjab Handball Association will conduct trials to select the Punjab squad (junior boys) at the Punjab Agricultural University on May 18 at 10 am.Players born on or after January 1, 1991, are eligible for the trials. They are required to produce their age proof certificates.

Selected boys will represent Punjab in the forthcoming Junior National Handball Championship slated to be held in Chennai from June 22 to 27.



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