L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sartaj Concert
Spat over ticket selling rights
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
High drama was witnessed at yesterday night’s concert featuring ‘Sufi’ singer Satinder Sartaj when a man claiming to be the holder of the agency that secured the contract to sell tickets for the concert made serious allegations of fraud against the event organisers.

The incident took place at about 8 pm at Harshila Resort, moments before the singer arrived at the venue.

Taranpreet Singh, a resident of Jamalpur Road, said he secured the contract of selling the concert tickets on from the event management firm’s director, Sanjay Bhardwaj, on July 29. He claimed according to terms and conditions of the contract he paid an amount in advance and submitted a fixed deposit of Rs 1 lakh.

He said according to the deal it was decided the ticket counter would be set up at the concert venue and he would sell the tickets. “However, Bhardwaj didn’t allow me to sell the tickets at the venue last evening”, he claimed.

Taranpreet stated private security guards employed at the venue dismantled his counter and told him not to sell any tickets. He alleged in the meantime he saw some agents selling the concert tickets “in black”. He said he objected and raised the issue with Bhardwaj. This led to a verbal argument between the two.

Taranpreet claimed he incurred a heavy loss amounting to about Rs 2.25 lakh as he was not allowed to sell the tickets. “Later, when I asked the event organisers to return this amount, they manhandled me and threatened me with dire consequences”, he stated.

Later his family members staged a ‘dharna’ (sit-in protest) at the venue and even filed a complaint at the Dakha police station.

Meanwhile, Dakha SHO Jungjit Singh said he had received the complaint and the police was investigating the matter. None of the organisers were available for comments.


Govt asked me to hoist flag, says Kahlon
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Punjab assembly speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon, who has been embroiled in a controversy after he unfurled the national flag at yesterday’s Independence Day function despite being denied anticipatory bail in a corruption case, claimed he was only following official instructions.

“I was asked by the state government to do so (unfurl the flag) and, being an obedient soldier, didn’t say no to the duty assigned to me”, he stated. He was speaking to reporters after hoisting the tricolour at SCD Government College.

Kahlon said he had not expressed any desire to unfurl the flag at the Independence Day function but was asked to be present there. When asked whether he should have refused to do so on “moral grounds”, he alleged the charges of corruption were framed against him as part of a "political vendetta”.

Kahlon was in the city on Sunday as the chief guest for the Independence Day function. He stated time would prove he was innocent of all accusations made against him. “I didn’t indulge in any corrupt practice. I’m not planning to quit as I know I’m innocent. I’ve no reason to submit my resignation as my party has faith in my integrity. But if at any point of time the party asks me to step down I’ll not hesitate to do so," Kahlon affirmed.

He said the only approver in the case had “backtracked”, adding he would file an appeal in the Punjab & Haryana High Court.

Kahlon's visit to the city to attend the Independence Day function had created a stir as a CBI court in Patiala had rejected his anticipatory bail application in a corruption case a day prior to the function.

Soon after he was denied bail the administration was in a fix whether to get the function addressed by him or not. The matter was taken up by the administrative officials at the highest level before finally getting a green signal to get the flag unfurled by him.



No I-Day awards for dist admn employees
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
With not even a single public servant being conferred an award on Independence Day, resentment prevails among state government officials and other employees who feel their work has not been recognised. This was perhaps the first time no public servant was called up to the stage on the occasion for an award.

While officials and staff in various government offices are calling it the district administration's “high handedness”, saying that such an act is “demoralizing”, administration officials claim they had to organise the Independence Day function in a jiffy and hence it led to “confusion”.

A government department senior official, requesting anonymity, said: "The deputy commissioner has strict parameters to look at the quality work and the recent confrontation with the ‘tehsildars’ could be one of the causes for forgoing the awards ceremony for government employees”.

However, Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari stated it was the change in the venue of the state level function from Ludhiana to Ferozepur that led to the “confusion”.

“The state function was scheduled to be held in Ludhiana but the venue was changed to Ferozepur two days before August 15. Hence we didn’t have ample time to get recommendations from the government departments. I received only four applications from employees, and it wouldn’t have been proper to select the awardees from among them with there being many others who also deserved the award”, said Tewari. Earlier, every year government employees including firemen, cops, teachers and many other employees were conferred awards for exemplary services.

Moreover, the absence of tableaux at the Independence Day function has also put the administration in an embarrassing situation. While it is being seen as the administration's incapability of organising the event following all traditions, Tewari said he was told no such tableaux were to be taken out at the function.



Swine Flu
3 more suspected cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Three more suspected cases of swine flu have been admitted in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH). The samples of all three suspects were sent for testing to the PGIMER, Chandigarh. The patients were admitted with symptoms of swine flu and were immediately put under quarantine care.

Two patients, who were tested positive for swine flu last week, are already undergoing treatment at the CMCH. Officials at the department of health and family welfare today confirmed that the patients were responding to the treatment and were already on the road to recovery.

However, the department of health and family welfare in order to deal with the emergency situation has called upon Private hospitals to be ready with isolation wards.



PAU employee shifted for ‘dissent’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Defying the maxim of "freedom of speech and expression", the authorities at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have transferred Junior Engineer Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu to the Kandi research station in Ballowal Saunkri for having raised his voice against the varsity working.

It is learnt that Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the PAU Employees Union, received his transfer letter on July 13, a day after he had voiced his objections to the "arbitrary decisions" made by the PAU authorities during a rally outside Thapar Hall.

Sandhu had categorically pointed towards the extensions being given to some officials and had protested against the promotions given to the workers with negative annual progress reports (APR). In addition, this employee went ahead to question the university on missing transparency for the ongoing-building construction wherein single tender was entertained by the varsity administration.

PAU Employees Union president HS Mundi while talking to The Tribune said that the matter had been discussed at the executive meeting of the union and they would meet Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang on the issue today. "The next plan of action will depend on Dr Manjit Singh Kang's answer to our request to roll back the decision of Lakwinder Singh's transfer to Ballowal Saunkri," Mundi went on to add.

Ironically, this is not the only case wherein a university employee was punished for raising his voice against the haphazard functioning in the administrative block of the PAU. Dr PS Minhas, former director, research, at the PAU dejected over the PAU administration's arbitrary move to remove him from his position in June had tendered his resignation in July. Minhas in his parting interview given to The Tribune had categorically alleged the university administration for having connived against him.



Brick-kiln owners stop operations
Contractors start looking for old bricks

Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana, August 16
With brick-kiln owners stopping operations and not selling bricks from today, panic has gripped contractors and owners of construction companies, who fear their works would come to a standstill.

As a result owners and managers of under-construction buildings have started looking for old bricks in the area.

Though contractors, undertaking construction work of roads, bridges and other government buildings, had tried to procure the stock before hand, they failed to collect enough stock for three days.

Acknowledging the inconvenience caused to the purchasers, office-bearers of the association, led by Sarabjit Singh Dhillon, maintained that they had taken the decision after exhausting normal methods to impress the administration to implement certain decisions regarding calculation and payment of royalty and labour problems.

Investigations revealed that the owners and managers of under-construction buildings and structures had directed their staff to procure old bricks from owners of demolished buildings and boundary walls. This was done after the owners of the brick-kilns stopped sales from the kilns today.

Vijay Shahi and Kedar Kapila, brick-kiln owners, maintained that exceptionally large number of contractors and owners of the under-construction buildings had asked them to supply extra stock sufficient for at least a week. Brick-kiln owners have been struggling for a long period to get their demands accepted.

Accusing certain bureaucrats of misguiding the government, activists regretted that they (bureaucrats) were not ready to implement the decisions taken by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Though the Chief Minister had allowed brick-kiln owners to deposit lump sum royalty as per old criterion, the officials are bent upon complicating the procedure.



Passport office to be operational from today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
Finally the passport office will become functional in the city from tomorrow where applications for issue of new passports will be accepted from applicants in person and online also. Local MP and national spokesperson of All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari disclosed this here today.

In a statement, Tewari, who had been following up the issue with the Union Ministry for External Affairs said this was the Independence Day gift from the Government of India to the people of Ludhiana and adjoining area, including Moga district. He pointed out that this was a long-pending demand of the people of the area, which had now been fulfilled.

He maintained that with the starting of the passport office in the city, there would be no need for the people of the area to travel all the way to Chandigarh. “Although the passport will be issued at Chandigarh only, the applicants will not need to appear there as everything will be processed at the local office.”

Tewari expressed his gratitude to External Affairs Minister SM Krishna for conceding to his request to set up the office in Ludhiana against the claims and demands from all over the state.



Doing her own thing at sixteen!
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Charity really does begin at home for teenager Ratna Gill. Aged just 16, the US-based girl is doing what others her age would perhaps not even dream of. She is running her own school for the underprivileged in her hometown, Ludhiana, from across the seven seas, quite literally.

Ratna has been actively involved with her school called Gyaan Ghar, situated at New Lajpat Nagar, since its inception. She not only raises funds for Gyaan Ghar but is also involved in the administration as well as day-to-day management of the school, which she set up at the age of 14. The school has 42 students on its rolls, all from economically weaker section of the society.

Ratna, who lives in Washington DC, always wanted to make a difference to the underprivileged children. Her charitable career began when she was just 12 years old.

“On my annual month-long vacation to my hometown, I used to see children of labourers working in the vicinity of my grandparents’ home loitering around aimlessly. I decided to do something for them,” says Ratna, talking to Ludhiana Tribune over the phone from the US.

That is when she started tutoring the children. She helped them with their homework and taught them new interesting things, which they loved.

“The kids felt disappointed when I told them that I would soon return to the US as my vacations were over,” says the Flint High School pupil.

Though Ratna returned to the US, the thought of doing something concrete for the children did not leave her. Next year, too, she returned to her “students” and found In 2008, she felt that something needed to be done to enable her students to enjoy a year-round educational haven. She proposed the idea to her grandparents Prof Gurbachan Singh and Amrit Kaur, who immediately agreed to vacate a wing of their house to make space.

“Gyaan Ghar was thus established in a portion of my grandparents’ home in the summer of 2008 with two qualified teachers as staff members and my grandmother Amrit Kaur as the caretaker,” says Ratna, recalling the happiest day of her life.

Soon after, the Gyaan Society was formed with prominent citizens on the board of trustees and Amrit Kaur as the chairperson. Since then, children from economically weaker section of the society have been attending the school regularly from 2 to 4 pm daily.

All were anxious about logistics and finances initially. But the gutsy teenager had vowed to make her dream a reality.

“Once back in the US, I made presentations about my school in Ludhiana at my alma mater Flint High School. Everyone was highly impressed with my initiative and immediately offered help in the form of generous donations. Since then, every year, I have been raising funds for my school with the help of my friends at an annual fund raising event,” reveals Ratna.

Teachers Radhika Thakur and Amanpreet Kaur have been really helpful and are equal partners in my endeavour, says Ratna, speaking fondly of her staff members at Gyaan Ghar.

“Besides, my grandmother supervises the working of the school and collaborates with me daily. I talk to the students everyday through video conferencing and take feedback, which is very heartening,” says Ratna.

On the curriculum, she says, “The children come to my school after attending their regular school. In addition to studying subjects from their core syllabus, they are helped with their homework and taught things which their regular school does not teach,” says Ratna.

“We work on a special lesson every month followed by a small practical at the end of each. Like for instance, we held a theatre workshop last month, which was followed by a small stage performance by kids,” Ratna reveals.

In Ratna’s words, “It is truly inspiring to see the transformation in these students over the past two years. Teaching and getting to know them has taught me more about life and the value of education than I could ever learnt in any classroom in America.”

Gyaan Ghar has now entered its third successful year of operation. Hopes are high for expansion in both curricula and locations, Ratna remarks.



Cops ignore road mishap victim
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
A 30- year-old man identified as Jay Kumar from Savroop Nagar in Salem Tabri sustained multiple injuries after he was hit by an over speeding truck near Manji Sahib Gurdwara in Doraha on the National Highway -I (NH-I) late last night.

He met with an accident at around 9pm, but no one came to his rescue till 11pm. The family members of the victim reached the spot at 12am and rushed the injured to the hospital.

Fortunately, the victim survived but the incident brought to the fore the indifferent attitude of cops and the construction company.

Even the ambulance staff deployed by the Khanna police is not equipped to tackle accident cases.

Lying in sludge for over an hour on NH -I near Manji Sahib Gurdwara, after being hit by the an over speeding truck, Jay had no help All drenched in swamp, Jay who had sustained multiple injuries drove his motorcycle for few kilometers and reached McDonalds, where he again collapsed. The visitors at the food joint helped Jay sit on a bench. He gave the mobile number of his sister to those who came to help him and then the family was informed about the incident. Soon the Khanna police was informed about the incident. The ambulance took well over half and hour to reach the spot. The cops were allegedly indifferent and did not alight from the vehicle and instead told Jay to sit in the Ambulance.

Instead of rushing him to a hospital for treatment, the ambulance operators were busy taking details of the injured. The family members of Jay reached the spot and rushed him to the hospital.

The family alleged that the ambulance stationed at Toll Plaza located at Doraha Bridge did not arrive to rescue their son. Instead, the commuters rescued victim and informed the family about the incident. It is the duty of the Toll Plaza authorities to provide medical care to the accident victim, but no one reached the spot.



Chhapar Mela begins on Sept 26
Six-approach roads cry for upkeep
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 16
A visit to this town by road from Ludhiana, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur, Pakhowal and Raikot has revealed that none of the roads is in motorable condition. Condition of six-approach road -Jandali, Pohir, Dhulkote, Chhapar, Dehliz and the Jagera roads -is also in a bad shape.

Similar is the condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. The road, which was once used by the local traffic, only, is lately being used as a shorter route for New Delhi and Haryana bound heavy vehicles. The zigzag driving so as to avoid potholes has also resulted in numerous accidents.

The road along the banks of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind Canal is also in pitiable condition. The reconstruction work between Payal and Jagera bridges has been going on for more than a year and the road has been out of bound for commuters. Only the local residents know how to reach their destination by using link roads The journey on approach roads from Mullanpur, Sandaur and Raikot is also bumpy. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season.

While the Chhapar Mela, which has been witnessing huge gatherings of devotees from all over Punjab and the surrounding states for decades, commences on September 26, authorities have not taken any notice of the bad condition of the roads so far.

Residents say that since the VIPs have started coming to the mela by air, the authorities aren’t bothered about the woes of the common man.

The condition of the Pohir and Jagera roads have worsened to such an extent that the commuters have starting using alternate routes even if it means shelling out more money on fuel and taking long for reaching their destinations.

Nachhatar Rahi, a resident, said the PWD was not bothered about the proper upkeep of these roads. The onus of maintaining a particular stretch of these roads, however, wrests on the local bodies department, PWD and various market committees. And this confusion had resulted in the present condition of the approach roads.

Kuldeep Singh Karwal, general secretary, SAD, criticised the previous government for the poor upkeep of the road on the banks of the Sirhind canal.

Though this is the shortest route from Raikot, Barnala and Ahmedgarh to Anandpur Sahib, the pilgrims have to take alternative routes so as to avoid accidents, as the condition the road is bad.

Pawan Kumar and Tarsem Lal Garg are worried about the falling business in the town because people from surrounding villages have started going to other towns for purchasing various goods due to these approach roads.

Residents of the area wish that the cavalcade of the Punjab Chief Minister should reach the site of Mela Chhapar by road so that he gets the feel of the poor upkeep of all approach roads. They say a decade ago, these roads used to be repaired at least once a year as dignitaries, including Chief Ministers, used to visit this place by road.



Land grabbers strike on I-Day holiday, bid foiled
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Taking advantage of Sunday being a national holiday, land grabbers again tried to take possession of a prime real estate property of a retired university academic. As almost all cops were on their toes on Independence Day duty, the grabbers were busy laying their hand on the land located near Model Town market.

However, their attempt was thwarted after a neighbour informed the landowner about their presence.

Surinder Jathaul, 76, who retired as head of the French department at Panjab University, Chandigarh, and now resides in Manimajra in the union territory, is struggling to maintain possession of his ancestral property measuring 400 square yards located in a prime location.

This was not the first attempt by land grabbers who are trying to take illegal possession of Jathaul’s property, worth crores of rupees, as earlier too they had tried to grab the land. Yesterday took advantage of the national holiday to take possession of the property.

On January 26 (Republic Day), another national holiday, the land grabbers broke open the lock of Jathaul’s house and put their own lock, claiming themselves to be the landowners.

Subsequently, Jathaul arrived at the house and put a new lock. He even filed a complaint with the police but, as usual, no action has been taken against the suspects so far.

Exasperated, this time Jathaul has not lodged a complaint. Instead he has painted the walls of his house and stated the property was not sale to keep the land grabbers at bay. “Some land grabbers have prepared fake documents of my property and are trying to sell the land”, he alleged.

Last year a Mansa based land grabber claimed his right over the property and even produced fake land documents. Few months ago a chemist tired to take possession of the property claming it to be his ancestral land.

Earlier, a father-son duo residing in Hoshiarpur had also tried to trespass into the property and take possession of the house illegally. Jathaul came to know about their motive and filed a complaint with the police. When it failed to respond, he along with two of his brothers, who are also in mid-70s, requested Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal to intervene in the matter.

A fact-finding committee that was set up scrutinised Jathaul's documents and confirmed the land belonged to Jathaul and his brothers. Action was also taken against the Hoshiarpur-based father-son duo.

"I don't want to take any chances. That’s the reason why I’ve painted the walls of my house and put up a notice on the gate saying the property is not for sale” said Jathaul.

Despite repeated attempts ADCP-II Sushil Kumar was not available for comments.



City celebrates Aug 15 with fervour
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 16
The 64th Independence Day was celebrated at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), here with great enthusiasm. Dr VK Taneja, Vice -Chancellor unfurled the national flag and inspected the 1st Pb. R and V squadron of NCC cadets.

Paying tributes to all those who fought for the country’s freedom, Taneja said the nation must remember and salute them. He remarked that India was still at its developing stage. "Illiteracy, terrorism and poverty are main hurdles which are casting shadow on the growth of the country."

Focusing on the achievements of the university, Taneja said GADVASU, during its short span of establishment, has initiated many collaborative and institutional projects for livestock development and production. "Our focus in research is on clean milk production, value addition, quality control and by-products technology development."

The function was attended by officers of the GADVASU, heads of departments, faculty, staff and students. The celebrations concluded with the national anthem.

Ludhiana MC

The city Mayor, Hakam Singh Giaspura, offered his greetings to the residents after unfurling the flag at the Independence Day function organised by the Municipal Corporation.

Speaking on the occasion, he paid tributes to freedom fighters and martyrs, who had led the freedom struggle and forced the mighty British Empire to quit. He made special mention of Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, first Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Bhagat Singh and Udham Singh.

Claiming that the civic administration had pursued the agenda of development during last three years, he said the flyover on Gill Road was completed at the cost of Rs 23.14 crore to tackle the problem of traffic congestion, work on Partap Chowk flyover had been taken in hand, nearly 40 per cent work of the flyover in place of Lakkar Pul had been finished and an up-ramp of Jagraon Bridge had been constructed at a cost of Rs 2.46 crore.

Other major infrastructure development projects in the pipeline, he added, were flyover on railway level crossing at grain market (Gill Road), a flyover on Pakhowal Road railway crossing and an under-bridge at the railway level crossing at Shastri Nagar.

District Youth Congress

To mark the 64th Independence Day of the country, the District Youth Congress organised a blood donation camp in Tootian wala mandir in ward no 34 where 64 party workers donated blood. The district president of the party Dimple Rana recalled the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters and valiant martyrs who won the freedom.

The President of District Congress Committee, Jagmohan Sharma, former parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar and several party councillors were present at the function.

District Cong Sewa Dal

The District Congress Sewa Dal celebrated the Independence Day as "sankalp diwas" at Atam Nagar at a function organised by Nirmal Kaira, president of the dal and Krishan Kumar Bawa, former chairman of Punjab Housefed. The chief guest of the function Rajinder Rasrania, state president of sewa dal, administered a pledge to the party ranks for a relentless fight against drug addiction and other social evils.

District Mahila Congress

Led by district president Leena Taparia, the workers of Mahila Congress (the women wing of the party) saluted the martyrs, revolutionaries and freedom fighters on the occasion of Independence Day.

Recalling the contribution made by women to the war independence, Taparia said if the likes of Sarojini Naidu, Kasturba Gandhi and Laxmi Bai (queen of Jhansi) could stand with their male counterparts in the course of freedom struggle, even today Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal were making the Indian women proud.

Indian Medical Association

The medical fraternity celebrated the 64th Independence Day at IMA House. After unfurling the tricolour, IMA president Dr Narotam Dewan recalled the contribution of martyrs to attain freedom of India from British rule. He exhorted the doctors to serve the people with dedication and commitment. "The independent India should be free from corruption, favouritism, regionalism and casteism".

Ex-servicemen Welfare Society

Under the banner of the society, retired officers, JCOs and jawans celebrated the Independence Day by recalling their contribution to the armed forces, and the country. While wishing well for the serving personnel of the armed forces, the ex-servicemen expressed their concern over increasing lawlessness, corruption and inefficiency in various government departments.

Senior Citizens’ Forum

Senior citizens the Independence Day at Senior Citizens Bhawan in the Urban Estate, Phase II, Dugri, which has recently been handed over to the forum by Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA).

More than 500 children, led by activists of Sewa Bharti took out a "chetna (awareness) rally" in Partap Singh Wala and Dashmesh Nagar while celebrating Independence Day as "environment day". The children, on their way, distributed saplings and leaves of "tulsi" to nearly 1,000 households, and planted 200 saplings on road divider at Rajpura Road to spread the message of conservation of environment.

Shri Vivekanand Swarg Ashram

New Hope, an NGO, and Shri Vivekanand Swarg Ashram, jointly celebrated Independence Day. The function was presided over by NS Nanda, president of New Hope while Ram Parkash Bharti was the guest of honour.

Emphasising the significance of freedom, Nanda said countless persons had shed their blood and laid down their lives in the course of freedom struggle. "While we are enjoying the fruits of freedom, we ought to be prepared to safeguard the unity and integrity of the country," he stated. Anil Bharti and BD Arora also addressed the function.



Children celebrate I-Day with slum kids
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
While for most city residents Independence Day was just another holiday, children residing in Ishar Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road marked it with a difference. The kids, all between 6 to 12 years old, celebrated the occasion with slum children, playing games with them, and decorated the street corner with miniature flags. Later all the children had food together.

The children also caught the attention of commuters passing by. Parents appreciated their efforts and joined the celebrations.

Shantanu, 11, along with his younger sister Sanjana, 6, brought toys, miniature tricolour flag and drawing books for the slum kids on the occasion. He said the aim behind the celebrations was to involve the latter in “patriotic fervour”.

"My mother says treat every one as an equal. Though slum kids don't have any money but, like every Indian, they have the right to celebrate Independence Day. For this purpose we organised a quiz contest to inculcate a patriotic feeling among the slum children," he said.

Joy, 7, Mayank, 11, as well as other children of the colony, joined Shantanu and his sister. They approached a tea vendor and asked to send his child to their home.

The children later visited slums located close to their houses in the Pakhowal Road area and took three slum kids along with them for the Independence Day celebrations. Drawing the national flag in a drawing book, Sanjay, one of the slum children, said, "No one has ever talked about the country or its independence at our home. The only topic of discussion there is food."



Civil surgeon honoured
Tribune News Service

Dr Satwant BhallaLudhiana, August 16
Dr Satwant Bhalla, Ludhiana civil surgeon, was honoured with state award by the Punjab Chief Minister during the Independence Day function held at Issru yesterday. "The award is a motivation for me to do justice to the pending works that I need to take up," said Dr Bhalla while speaking to The Tribune.

"Discipline, punctuality, honesty and service to the people is what I have ensured after joining as civil surgeon in Ludhiana in April. The number of institutional deliveries has improved tremendously in the past four months," Dr Bhalla went on to add.

Being a gynaecologist, Dr Bhalla feels strongly towards pre-conception and pre-natal diagnostic techniques (PC and PNDT Act), as she revealed her plans to personally administer the checks on the offenders.

When asked about the ongoing "sex determination" in the city, the civil surgeon said people were free to come forward with the complaints against doctors/midwives and other health professionals indulging in the evil adding, " I personally assure them to initiate action against the guilty."

The civil surgeon also stated that adulteration is another problem that she plans curtail.

The department is already taking 100 samples of food items every month following action against the individuals/establishments violating prevention of food adulteration (PFA) Act.



I-Day celebrated with patriotic fervour

Amloh/Mandi Gobindgarh, August 16
SDM Poonamdeep Kaur, Amloh, unfurled the National Flag on the official function celebrated at the grain market here yesterday. Nineteen sewing machines were distributed among the needy women on the occasion. Students from various schools of the sub-division presented a cultural programme.

Meanwhile, former minister and local MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, unfurled the National Flag at a function organised by the Block Congress at the old grain market. The Independence Day was also celebrated at the municipal complex, Mandi Gobindgarh. — OC



I-Day at Schools & Colleges

Patriotism reigns supreme

The Independence Day was celebrated at UPSC Jain Public School, Chandigarh road, with great enthusiasm and patriotic fervour. Chief guest Ramesh Jain, president of USPC Jain Charitable Hospital Trust, hoisted the Tricolour amidst slogan -Jai Hind.

BVM School

Chetna Diwas was celebrated with a purpose of creating awareness and feel of patriotism on the Independence Day at BVM School. The cultural fiesta included speeches, group songs, solo songs, “Ab tumahre hawale watan saathiyo” and “Hamari ek hai dagaaar”, “Hamara prem hai amar”. The highlight of the function was choreography conveying the theme of unity in diversity. The whole programme resounded with the patriotic fervour and zeal.

BCM Arya

Ceremonial marchpast, remembering freedom fighters, gaiety, fun and enthusiasm marked the Independence Day celebrations at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, which reflected the spirit of patriotism among teachers and students. Brig RK Gupta, Commander 711 (I) AD Bridge and Station Commander, was the chief guest. Keeping up the tradition, the chief guest unfurled and saluted the Tricolour.

Kundan Vidya Mandir

Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, celebrated the Independence Day. The celebrations started early in the morning with a prabhat pheri and concluded with a cultural programme. The prabhat pheri was flagged off by principal Rajiv Nagalia.

Lovely Lotus

The Independence Day was duly celebrated at Lovely Lotus and Chanda Mama Play School in a manner that enthused tiny tots to be patriotic and love their country.

Radcliffe School

Radcliffe School celebrated the Independence Day here yesterday on the school premises. The celebrations started with the flag hoisting ceremony conducted by principal Iqbal Pahwa. The atmosphere was charged with patriotism when tiny tots sang song “Jab zero diya mere Bharat ne”.

BCM School

The independence week was celebrated with patriotic fervour at BCM School, Dugri. Various activities were organised by students to mark the celebrations. The highlight of the celebrations was a fancy dress competition for the students of kindergarten and primary section on the theme “great martyrs” and “freedom fighters”.

Guru Harkrishan

The Independence Day was celebrated with great pomp and show at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, yesterday. School director Karamvir Singh was the chief guest. He hoisted the National Flag, followed by the National Anthem. The students presented a colourful cultural programme on the occasion. An English song “We shall overcome” was presented by students of class Prep.

Guru Nanak school

The Independence Day was celebrated with great pomp at Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha. Patriotic songs were sung and the day was celebrated with patriotic fervour. Principal DP Thakur addressed the teachers and students.

Green Grove school

The students of Green Grove Public School celebrated the independence week from August 9 to 15 with fervour and enthusiasm. Satinderjeet Jolly, chief guest, inaugurated the week’s celebrations.

Vardhman International

Vardhman International Public School celebrated the Independence Day with great pomp and show. Chief guest Satya Paul Puri, a freedom fighter and former president, Shree Ram Lilla Committee, unfurled the National Flag. The students presented a colourful choreographic presentation “Mera Bharat- A path from slavery to independence”, in which glimpses of freedom struggle were seen. The show ended with the patriotic dance performance on the motherland.

SDP college

A gala function was held at SDP College for Women here yesterday in the college campus to mark the 63rd anniversary of India’s independence. More than 5,000 students of all SDP institutions marched through the streets and thronged the venue of the celebration with flags in their hands and raising slogans “Bharat Mata ki Jai.”

LRT 188

Chairman of Ludhiana Round Table (LRT) 188 Gurpreet Singh, along with other members, women and kids celebrated the Independence Day at Darpan School. Darpan is a school for kids with special needs (autistic) and has strength of 40 children. LRT 188 donated toys, books, DVD player and steel almirah to the kids.



Reporters' Diary
Politicians’ exercise in futility

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal went on a foundation-stone laying spree for quite a few development projects in the city last week, in utter disregard for the actual status of these projects. Interestingly, at least two projects had already had their foundation stones laid - one by the then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his previous term in the year 2000 and the other by Local Bodies Minister Choudhry Jagjit Singh in the Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh, which was in the saddle during 2002-07. Not only this, barring a couple of these projects, most others were still in conceptual stages awaiting technical or financial approval from appropriate authorities. Apparently, the junior Badal, who also heads the SAD-B, had his eyes on the next assembly elections which are just a year and half away. But then, if tall claims (of development) and laying foundations stones could win elections, no political leader would ever lose.

Speak Hinglish with tashan

Now foreigners visiting India will not get confused with the Hinglish style of words used regularly in conversation by Indians. For Western business travellers flummoxed by words like chalaan (fine or tax), tashan (style), and ishq (romance) on a trip to India, help is on hand by way of an updated Indian-English online dictionary. Los Angeles-based Amritt, Inc., a consulting firm advising businesses in North America and Europe in expanding into Asian markets, has launched a revised and updated version of the popular resource with 64 new words to mark India's 64th Independence Day on August 15. The entire dictionary which will now be home to over 700 Indian-English words is a complimentary offering available to the public on the Amritt, Inc. web site: <http://www.amritt.com/IndianEnglish.html>. Indian words like Ishaq, tashan or challan are not the only words, which confound the western aam aadmi (the common man, the average Joe), but there are some English words too with a peculiar usage in India.

Mom in dilemma

Going to your child’s school for a parent -teacher meet that has “mothers” from the elitist society of the city can actually catch you unawares, specially when you happen to be a busy professional unable to visit the “beauty clinics” at regular intervals.

The easy going mood of a busy mom suddenly changed to that of panic as her son told at seven in the morning, “mom get ready we have to go for the parent-teacher meet at eight”.

Imagining the stylish moms in chic attires with complimenting stilettos and neatly done hair, this professional mom took 10 minutes to rummage her wardrobe. Now, it was her husband’s turn to be shocked as he saw his wife in the middle of piles of dresses. It was after a lot of coaxing that she confided about her fear of looking underdressed in the parent-teacher meet to which the husband said, “ dear their wardrobes may have topmost global brands but their heads do not stand a chance in front of yours.” A single sentence and the professional mom was oozing with confidence to walk into the classroom of her child.

Parking loot

The parking lot at the railway station has virtually become a "looting place", and the exorbitant parking fee of Rs 30, even if someone parks the vehicle for just a few minutes to pick up or drop a friend or a relative. And all this is happening with the approval of the railway authorities. The high -parking fee comes as a shock to the car owners, especially those who fail to read the sign board put up there. A verbal dual between the vehicle owners and parking lot attendants have become a daily routine as most of the people feel that parking wallahs are overcharging. Although, ultimately the parking attendants win the argument after showing the notice board and printed slips of Rs 30, the unjustified parking fee is generating a lot if ill will for the railway administration in the city.

When Sukhbir violated traffic rules

Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal violated the traffic rules when he drove his vehicle through the wrong way during his visit to the city. After inaugurating a project in Kidwai Nagar, Sukhbir, who was driving his own MUV, took to a slip road to reach Jagraon Bridge from Field Ganj thereby violating the one-way rule. The traffic cops were too obliged to stop the traffic at the other end so that there was no chaos but the commuters had to wait for 15-20 minutes before his convoy crossed the road. ‘‘If a Deputy Chief Minister can flout norms in this country, what to say about the common man!’’exclaimed a commuter.

10,000 flies can’t lie

Sick of the bad quality and unhygienic food served in the college canteen, some mischievous youngsters scribbled on the canteen wall: This food must be really good... 10,000 flies cannot be wrong!!

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander, Anshu Seth and Charu Chhibber



‘Ornamental fish boon for Indian market’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Ornamental fish farming is an activity, which not only provides aesthetic pleasure to fish keepers, but also makes an easy way for financial gains. In India, there is a huge demand for exotic ornamental fish.

The domestic ornamental fish market is worth Rs 500 million and the demand is increasing at 20 per cent annually. India contributes only about 0.008 per cent to the global trade, thus showing great potential.

These views were expressed by Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, Dean, College of Fisheries, GADVASU, on completion of a training course on ornamental fish at the university here yesterday.

Dr Kamaldeep added that GADVASU was successfully culturing and breeding ornamental fish species (gold fish, koi carp, guppy, molly etc).

She said to disseminate the technology of culture and breeding among farmers and young entrepreneurs, the department of aquaculture, College of Fisheries, GADVASU, Ludhiana, conducted a two-day training programme on “Culture and Seed Production of Ornamental Fish”.

About 20 participants from various districts of Punjab (Ludhiana, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Mohali) attended the training. Dr KS Sandhu, director, Extension Education, GADVASU, was the chief guest.

According to Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, ornamental fish culture holds great potential in Punjab and can be a good source of income for the unemployed youth, especially women as backyard business.

Dr Asha Dhawan, head, Department of Aquaculture, and coordinator of the training programme, apprised the trainees about this upcoming and lucrative enterprise.



Consumer Forum
Hyundai, dealer told to pay Rs 32,000
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 16
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered Hyundai Motor India Limited, New Delhi, and Deotsidh Motors Private Limited, Dhandari Khurad, Ludhiana, to pay Rs 10,000 as compensation, Rs 2,000 as litigation costs and Rs 20,000 as loyalty bonus to a customer for causing harassment to him.

Pronouncing the order, forum president TN Vaidya and member Priti Malhotra directed the defendants to comply with the orders within 45 days of receipt of copy of verdict.

The forum passed the orders on a complaint filed by Rajinder Kumar Chander, owner of an insecticide and pesticide firm at the grain market here.

The forum noted that as the distributor had sent a communication to the manufacturing company, recommending the release of loyalty bonus to the complainant, the distributor could not have done so without receiving the required documents within the stipulated period of time from the consumer.

In his complaint to the forum, Rajinder had sought directions for the payment of loyalty bonus on the purchase of a new Hyundai car, in addition to a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for harassment and litigation costs.

Rajinder owned an old Hyundai car (PB28C-0414). He purchased a new Verna car from Deotsidh Motors on November 29, 2008.

He claimed that he was entitled to a loyalty bonus of Rs 40,000 and the dealer had refused the payment on flimsy grounds.

He said he had made several requests for the payment, but all in vain.

Not accepting the arguments put forth by the defendants, the forum directed them to pay loyalty bonus, compensation and litigation costs to Rajinder.



‘Advisory council not parallel body to DBA’
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The District Bar Advisory Council was neither a parallel body to the District Bar Association nor had any confrontation with it. Newly elected chairman of the council and senior lawyer Trilok Singh Sood stated this.

He said that some people with vested interests were giving wrong impression that the advisory council was an alternative or parallel body constituted to challenge the authority of the DBA, added Sood. The body has been constituted to look after the interests of lawyers.



Prithipal Singh astro-turf stadium to be upgraded
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 16
Here is good news for the hockey lovers of the city. The astro-turf at Prithipal Singh Memorial Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University will be replaced and its seating capacity will be increased besides installing of floodlights to prepare it for organising international matches here.

The present astro-turf was laid in July, 1999, which had borne out and could cause injury to the players.

The state government has sanctioned Rs 6 crore for upgrading the stadium, which include relaying of astro-turf, renovation of existing changing rooms and, installing of floodlights and increasing of present seating capacity.

Pargat Singh, Director, sports, Punjab, and former international hockey star and coach of the national hockey squad, Sukhvir Grewal met Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, in this connection here today.

Talking to The Tribune, Sukhvir Grewal said that the process for upgrading the stadium had been started and the state of art stadium with added facilities would be ready towards the end of this year. "A four-nation women's hockey tournament would be held at the newly laid astro-turf stadium with a capacity of around 10,000 spectators," added Grewal.



CS school students excel in table soccer
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 16
Students of CS International School, Mandi Gobindgarh, brought laurels to their institution by clinching 10 gold, six silver and three bronze medals in the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial National Table Soccer Championship, 2010, which was held at DAV Senior Secondary School, Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, from August 13 to 15.

Around 10 teams from Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi participated in the competition. A total of 24 students participated and 19 bagged positions. Principal Gagandeep Katoch appreciated the efforts of the prize winners and their coach Gaganeep Singh.


Gold medal: Jaskaran Singh, Jagveer Singh, Jaskirat Singh, Jagmanraj Singh Nikhil, Yuraj, Amandeep Singh Suraj, Sagar, Bhaan.

Silver medal: Bhavjot Singh, Loekaran Singh, Bhaskar, Harshpreet Singh, Tejpal Singh and Dashmeet Singh.

Bronze medal: Riya, Mehakl, Gurkirat Singh.



Anubhav, Mani shine in shoulder contest
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 16
A large number of participants competed in different weight categories in the annual shoulder competition organised at the Prime Bodies Health Club, Shastri Nagar, here today. Club director Nishchay Sachdeva gave away trophies to the winners.


50 to 55 kg: 1st Anubhav, 2nd Rishab and 3rd Sunil.

55 to 60 kg: 1st Manveer, 2nd Krishna and 3rd Sanjeev.

60 to 65 kg: 1st Laadi, 2nd Satinder and Abhishek, 3rd Lovesh.

65 to 70 kg: 1st Manmeet, 2nd Onkar, 3rd Davinder and Arjun.

70 to 75 kg: 1st Mani, 2nd Dimple and 3rd Sagar.

75 to 80 kg: 1st Dr Garry, 2nd Ravi and Sonu and 3rd Harpal.

80 to 85 kg: 1st Gurpreet, 2nd Dr Austin and 3rd Preet.

Above 85 kg: 1st Lovely, 2nd Arvinder and 3rd Jatinder.



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