L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bit by bit, it’s ` 50-lakh scam
Funds for BPL families syphoned off; ADC’s signatures forged
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, September 8
In a scam that rocked the district administration today, over Rs 50 lakh out of a total of Rs 1.26 crore, meant for below poverty line (BPL) families, was siphoned off by allegedly “forging” the signature of the Assistant Deputy Commissioner (Development), Davinder Singh.

The money was lying unused for some time as the administration had stated that the district did not need money for BPL families. According to officials, they were in the process of returning the funds and had informed the ministry concerned about it.

The Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tewari, confirmed the development: “We are going to seriously pursue the matter and would not let anyone misuse the money meant for the poor. I would get an FIR registered in the case.”

According to information, the district administration received a grant of Rs 1. 26 crore from the Centre under the Indira Awas Yojna to build concrete houses for BPL families living in kutcha houses in villages.

As per the scheme, the funds are released following the recommendation of the panchayat. The funds are distributed in the form of cheques.

Sources in the administration said for the past five months, an employee working in the office of the ADC (Development) was withdrawing money by allegedly forging the signatures of the ADC.

An employee of the Punjab and Sindh Bank brought the matter to the notice of the administration. Following the surfacing of the scam, the entire administrative machinery swung into action and got the record of the bank transaction checked.

During the scrutiny of the record, it came to light that the scam had been going on for the last several months. The administration has initiated a departmental probe in the matter.


Badal promises to clean up Budha Nullah in 15 months
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
In yet another deadline for cleaning up the polluted Budha Nullah, Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal today said the exercise would be completed within 15 months. He was speaking in Mullanpur Dakha, near here, where he inaugurated the first centre for training female workers looking for jobs in the textile industry.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelights of the function, Badal said the government had drawn up a “very effective” plan under which the polluted nullah would be a clean water body. “Punjab would be the first state to get a polluted waterway cleaned”, he added.

Dismissing accusations that the state could not get the nullah cleaned even after pumping in a lot of money and resources, the CM said the nullah had become polluted over the past several decades.

“The nullah was made to carry sewage and effluents from various industries and it was a difficult job to clean up the mess. ‘We are however committed and will clean it now. You will see it done”, he said.

The state government had come for sharp criticism during environment minister Jairam Ramesh's visit to the city when he had held the state as well as the city’s municipal corporation responsible for the mess the nullah was in.

This is not for the first time that the government has set a deadline for the cleaning of Budha Nullah. Several deadlines have been set in the past but none could see the light of the day. The government faces a huge challenge in getting the water body cleaned as it will have stop effluents and sewage being discharged into it by industrial units and the civic body, respectively.



PSEB semester exams kick off, finally
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The class X and XII semester examinations conducted by the Punjab School Education Board began today. While students of class X appeared happy after appearing for the Punjabi A exam, those of class XII expressed mixed feelings about the business organisation & management (commerce) paper with most saying it was very tough. However, the ‘gurmat sangeet’ paper was said to be simple.

Naina Sharma and Niharika Bakshi, both class X students, said: "The Punjabi paper was very easy and we hope to get good marks”.

Class X students of Everest Public School and Government High School, Salem Tabri, too, found the paper easy. A group of girls said” "A good start is half the battle won. We just hope the rest of the exams go equally well."

The class XII ‘gurmat sangeet’ and business organisation & management (humanities) exams were held in the evening shift. While most students seemed satisfied with the former, the commerce paper evoked a mixed response. While some found it easy, others said it was neither simple nor too tough. However, they were unanimous in their opinion on the paper being a tad too lengthy.

Manjeet Kaur of the Shaheed-e-Azam Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Bharat Nagar, said: "The business organization & management paper was easy but lengthy. We could hardly finish it in time, but I’m satisfied with my performance."

However, Rakhi Jindal and Kavneet Gill said: "The question paper was simple but we couldn’t finish it in the stipulated time." Swati and Rishabh differed in their opinion, saying: "It was an easy question paper. We finished it in time and faced no difficulty at all."

Massive crowds of parents and teachers were witnessed outside examination centers, waiting anxiously for the students to come out. Frantic activity was witnessed as soon as the students came out of the examination centers. Detailed animated discussions on the question paper were held among the students and teachers.

Meanwhile, in the wake of strict arrangements by the PSEB, no case of copying and use of unfair means in the examinations were reported. District education officer (secondary) Bachhitar Singh said: "Both exams went off peacefully and no case of cheating was reported from any centre in the district. It was a good start and, hopefully, the rest of the exams will go smoothly."



DFO chided for removing official signboards
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari has taken district forest officer BS Brar to task for removing signboards set up by the forest department near some localities of South City without consulting the administration. The matter was brought to his notice during the district grievances committee meeting held in Bachat Bhawan today.

Speaking at the meeting MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, a committee member, said Brar had the signboards erected on both sides of the Sidhwan canal destroyed with the help of JCB machines. “The district forest officer did this to benefit a bunch of individuals. Ironically, he has failed to take any action against those who used the forest department hoardings to display their advertisements”.

After listening to the complaint, Tewari asked Brar to immediately submit a detailed report on the matter. Chiding the DFO for his irresponsible attitude", the DC said: "Destroying official signboards is a waste of public funds. Instead you should have brought the matter to my notice and we could have looked into any violations, followed by a regularisation process under the given circumstances”.

Taking up another issue - that of environmental pollution caused by polythene bags dumped in the Sidhwan canal, MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini questioned the irrigation department executive engineer on "remedial measures" taken to address the problem. The department's reply that the warning boards have been put up on the banks invited further criticism from the legislator.

However, municipal corporation commissioner AK Sinha, while intervening in the matter, assured the civic body was working on a “war footing” to clear the city of garbage, which included cleaning up the canal banks. “This would also take care of the polythene bags in the canal,” he added.

Other matters taken up at meeting included cleaning up the Budha Nullah, “black marketing” of kerosene. The DC also called upon city residents to approach him directly on his mobile phone pertaining to complaints against corrupt revenue officials.



Pak spy ‘ditched’ by intel agencies
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The Pakistani national, who was arrested on the charges of spying, confessed before the police that he was caught in a vicious circle and had reached a point of no return. He told the police that the Pakistani intelligence agencies betrayed him. He was neither receiving monetary help nor he had the documents to prove his nationality.

After landing in India, Saheem Siddique (35), alias Ahmed Mohammad, who hails from Faislabad in Pakistan, went straight to Ajmer Sharif to pay obeisance. From there he travelled across the country and sent vital informations to his masters sitting in Pakistan.

He told the investigating officials that he had collected more information about the Indian states, their topography and political scenario as compared to an average Indian. He reportedly told the police that he had attended a course in Pakistan, in which they were informed about the different Indian states and their landmarks.

On reaching these states Siddique used to mingle with the local residents. As he was good in reading and written Urdu he easily got jobs in madrasa.

Siddique said initially he received Rs 2 lakh in three installments. A Dubai-based ISI official sent the money, but for the past two years he did not receive money and was reportedly hard-pressed these days.

Exasperated, he even went to the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi and requested the officials to repatriate him to Pakistan.

But the authorities turned down his request, as he could not produce documents to prove his nationality. He even went to the Wagha border in Amritsar, but here too he did not met with any success.

Finally, he started teaching in a madrasa at Nukkar, a small town near Saharanpur.

From Nukkar, he moved to Punjab and got married to a city resident. Here, too, he started teaching in a madrassa.

Siddique claimed that he could only sent photographs of the Army trucks, which used to cross from the National Highway No.1.

According to the official, though the spy dose not holds a degree, but he was well aware of the literature and the political situation in the country.



Knitwear Industry
CM urged to bring units under mixed land use fold
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
In a rude shock to the knitwear and textile industry, areas housing large chunk of hosiery industry for over 100 years have been left out of the mixed land use category. The units, over 10,000 in number, are a source of livelihood for over one lakh workers directly or indirectly.

With the sword of impending closure/shifting hanging over these units, as a result of non-inclusion of these in the mixed land use areas, the situation of entrepreneurs/workers is set to become all the more desperate.

Representatives of various associations of the knitwear and textile industry have now written to the Chief Minister in this regard.

In the letter, they have highlighted the problems being faced by a large number of MSMES.

“The knitwear and textile industry of Ludhiana is over 100 years old. It falls in the green category and does not generate any kind of pollution what-so-ever. About 10,000 units are functioning from localities that are predominantly engaged in manufacturing auxiliary activities in hosiery. Barely 20 per cent of the premises account for residential purposes, while the remaining 80 per cent relate to the hosiery activities. Otherwise also, this ratio should not have any bearing on the parameters classifying these areas as mixed land use areas since this industry has been categorised as green by the government,” said Darshan Dawar, vice-president of the Knitwear Club.

The representatives have requested to include these areas in the mixed land use category and accede to the request of entrepreneurs who had applied for increase in the power load of their units.



Initiative to train rural youth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Under the cluster development program for knitwear industry, the Knitwear Club in association with the Apex Cluster Development Services has started a training program of computerised flat knitting machine operators after mobilising unemployed matric youth from nearby villages of the Industrial Area.

Vinod K Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, today visited the training site and lauded the efforts of the trainers as well as industrialists for helping rural and unemployed youths get trained as computerised knitting machine operators.

“The industry has invested heavily in the computerised knitting machines but the shortage of trained personnel to run these machines is a huge limitation. There are thousands of computerised knitting machines in the cluster and these machines can run nonstop, provided trained men are there to run these. These boys and girls are given one-month practical training in operating computerised knitting machines and employed soon after completing the training,” said Thapar.

The cost of the training is borne under the SIDBI-funded project “Implementing BDS for MSMEs in Ludhiana knitwear cluster”.

The programme will provide skilled operators to the industry and the service provider will get an opportunity to set up a training centre to provide training on computerised machine.

It will also improve the sales of computerised knitting machines in the cluster.



Govt decision on VAT refund elates industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Industry has welcomed the decision taken recently at a meeting of the Punjab government cabinet to give 75 per cent VAT refunds in the shape of monthly returns and against indemnity bonds to manufacturers and traders up to Rs 1 crore.

“The state government has taken this step in the right direction and at the right time. This was a big problem that the industrial sector had been facing and the government has resolved it,” said Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association.

Badish K Jindal of the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India welcomed the decision taken by the government saying: “For the past few years, industrialists had not been getting their VAT refunds in time due to the non-availability of forms ‘C’ and ‘H’. But now with the submission of indemnity bonds, they will be able to get 75 per cent of their VAT refunds, which will enable them to run their units smoothly.”

Kahlon thanked the government for ending the restriction of input tax credit claim up to four stages and continuing with the old system enabling them to claim it at any stage.

General secretary Ranjodh Singh said the steps would help the industrial sector in the state to grow more and it would be even better if the limit of Rs 1 crore was waived or it raised to an extent that medium and large industries could also be benefited.



Youth Cong activists vow to eliminate illiteracy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The District Youth Congress (DYC) today organised a workshop to impart hands-on computer training to its block presidents and other office-bearers at the Congress Bhawan to mark the World Literacy Day.

District president of the party Dimple Rana announced a tie-up with the MCA Computer Centre on the New Shivpuri road for providing free computer training to the Youth Congress workers.

The DYC chief said literate citizens played a significant role in developing countries and an illiterate society hampered the pace of progress and development.

“The modern age is computer age and the youth should have the knowledge of computer so as to keep themselves updated,” he added.

Explaining the community welfare project to be undertaken this month, Rana said a tree plantation drive would be carried out in each block under the supervision of respective block presidents.

Dr Sonia Hora, district secretary, urged the party workers to take a pledge to spread the message of compulsory education. He asked them to motivate children to go to schools and eliminate illiteracy from their areas of work.

Among others present included Anil Parti, Amarjit Jeeta, Tejinder Chahal, Harish Dua, Kuldeep Sharma, Balraj Jagota, Swarn Jassa, Kamal Cheena, Ikbal Sonu, Kapil Mehta, Om Parkash Omi, Chetan Thapar, Lokesh Manni, Raj Kumar Happy, Ranbir Nikka, Robin Bajaj, Kapil Joshi, Harsh Sehgal, Nitish Narang, Maninder Singh, Sultan Singh and Dhiraj Kapoor.



Landing of VIP choppers
Sports fraternity fumes over misuse of PAU grounds
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Repeated misuse of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) grounds for landing the chopper of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has left the sports fraternity fuming.

Following the Chief Minister's visit to Mullanpur for the inaugural function of the industrial training for women textile workers today evening, the helicopter once again landed in the ground, thereby inviting criticism from the sports persons.

But what can be termed, as the most "absurd" in the name of protocol is the free access of "cavalcade of vehicles" with the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister’s security, in the PAU grounds.

Already, the varsity is reeling under the worst ever financial crisis as is evident from the irregular disbursal of the salaries of the PAU employees. On top of it maintaining the playgrounds is something, which can not be taken on priority basis.

"But, the repeated visits of the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister has done little good to the varsity grounds as there is a lot of wear and tear that goes unnoticed by the government machinery," stated a senior football player from the PAU.

On the other hand the players and coaches pointed out at their restricted movement in and around the playgrounds and adjoining roads due to the movement of the VIPs cavalcade.

"We have to wait till the VIP movement is over. We end up wasting a day when the stay of VIPs is prolonged by hours," said M Singh, a football player.

Criticising the state government for their apathetic attitude towards the "sports" at large, the sports fraternity further stated that the government should look for a permanent alternative for the landing and take off for the choppers.

The PAU employees union during the previous years had taken up the matter with the government but to no avail.

Disapproving the "misuse" of PAU playgrounds, the general secretary and district badminton association, Anupam Kumaria and Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary district basketball association said, "It is in the larger interest of sports that the government should refrain from using PAU grounds for landing the chopper. The district administration should look for an alternative venue," the duo stated.



Nominations invited for national award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust, founded by former Member of Parliament Sat Paul Mittal in 1983 to propagate the ideology of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru, has invited nominations for the “Sat Paul Mittal National Award for Outstanding Services to Humanity” for 2010.

The award will be given in two categories — individual(s) and institution(s). Both categories carry a cash award of Rs 2 lakh each with a citation and a medal.

A release issued by the trust here today said the nominations could be sent to the president, Nehru Sidhant Kendra Trust, Feroze Gandhi Market, Ludhiana, 141001 or e-mailed in pdf format to gen.secy@nskt.org.

The release added: “Nominations are invited for honouring individuals and institutions/voluntary organisations working for areas including but not limited to health, education, environment, disabled, food, shelter, poverty alleviation, art, culture, child rights and women empowerment. The nominations for the award could be sent from across India, including Punjab and Chandigarh, till September 30, 2010. A jury consisting of eminent persons will finalise and announce the winner from amongst the eligible applications received till closing date.

The nominations for the award can be sent with complete details of both the nominator and the nominee in the respective categories. The details must include complete background information, field of activity, research and other achievements of the nominee duly supported with adequate evidence signed by the nominator.

The past recipients of the award include Dr Bindeshwar Pathak (2009), Dr RK Pachauri (2008), The Banyan and Dr DR Mehta (2007), Ela R Bhatt (2006) and Dr Sahul Bharti (2005).



Jail warden cremated
Magisterial probe ordered into reasons leading to suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Suspended jail warden Kashmiri Lal (45), who committed suicide yesterday, was cremated amidst a largely attended gathering here today. Relatives and members of the Jail Guard Association lifted their dharna this morning and gave an ultimatum of three days to the police to take action into the matter.

Sensing the sensitivity of the matter, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh has recommended a magisterial probe into the case, it is learnt.

The death of suspended jail warden Kashmiri Lal triggered a protest outside the Jodhewal police station yesterday, which continued till early this morning.

The agitating relatives of Kashmiri Lal demanded the registration of criminal case against the central jail superintendent and other senior officials for mental harassment of the victim.

The police recovered a suicide note in which Kashmiri Lal accused the jail superintendent of mental torture.

Three jail officials, including Kashmiri Lal, Rajiv Kumar and Avtar Singh, were suspended after an undertrial, Joga Singh, facing charges of fraud, fled from the PGI, Chandigarh, on August 31.

While Joga was arrested from Noorpur Bedi in the Anandpur Sahib area on September 4, the three suspended officials were not reinstated.

Instead, a departmental inquiry was initiated against the three.

According to sources in the jail, Kashmiri Lal had faced the wrath of the department after he had given wrong information about the escape of the inmate to jail superintendent SP Khanna.

Kashmiri Lal landed in trouble when he allegedly told the jail superintendent that the inmate had fled from Sherpur Chowk. However, during the course of investigation it was established that the inmate had fled from the PGI, Chandigarh, while undergoing medical tests.



With exams nearing, Parents approach invigilators
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 8
With the education department introducing the semester system, a section of teachers obliging their friends and relatives during the annual examination seem to be cheerful, as now they will be able to please the latter twice a year.

Though the authorities in the department have directed district education officers and heads of schools to avoid appointing tainted teachers as superintendents and invigilators, it may be a tedious job for the latter, as such elements are yet to be identified.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that parents of students appearing in the first semester examination of Class X and Class XII being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board had already approached staff appointed for invigilation at examination centres of their wards.

Parents were seen requesting the staff to take care of their wards as the semester system was new for them.

Contrary to the claims made by the authorities, some teachers known for their role in facilitating copying during exams had managed to get duties of their choice this year too.

Taking cognisance of mass copying reports and rampant use of unfair means during examination, the education department had earlier directed all district education officers (DEOs) and school heads to ensure that teachers with tainted records should not be deputed for invigilation. But the authorities never prepared a list of such teachers.

Though the DCs and SSPs had been asked to provide necessary security arrangements to facilitate the smooth conduct of exams last year, no such communication was sent this time. The administration is yet to receive lists of examination centres falling under the jurisdiction of various sub-divisions and police stations.

The authorities had observed that the menace of copying was on the rise.

The trend disappointed several teachers, whose results were affected adversely due to such practice.

The authorities had directed the education officers to be strict with tainted teachers.

“Though the examination is conducted by the Punjab School Education, staff at examination centres is directly under the control of the state education department. The DEOs have been asked to check the menace. Teachers against whom complaints have been received in the past should not be deputed. Staff performing duties at one school for long should be changed,” stated a communication from the Director-General (Schools) issued last year.



PAU students seek filling of vacant posts of ADO, soil scientist
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
A delegation of students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today submitted a memorandum to Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang demanding recruitment of agriculture development officers (ADO), horticulture development officers, soil conservation scientists against vacant posts in the state.

Punjab Agricultural University Students Association (PAUSA) president Ravinder Randhawa stated that 800 out of 1,167 sanctioned posts of ADOs had been lying vacant since 1999. Similarly, the state government had failed to fill vacant 164 posts of horticulture development officer followed by 80 vacant posts of soil conservation scientist.

Speaking on behalf of agriculture graduates and postgraduates, Randhawa said: “It is not just the loss of students in terms of unemployment but is the loss of the state at large, as Punjab being an agrarian state, needs experts in the field of agriculture, which it is not getting.”

The areas where the posts are vacant are not able to get expert guidance, which has been brought to the notice of the state government numerous times but to no avail.

The students called upon the Vice-Chancellor to take up their cause with the state government and with the state agricultural ministry.





Ludhiana: Wazir Singh Khehra, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Ludhiana, delivered a lecture on “Traffic Rules and Road Safety” to first and second year students of BSc agriculture, PAU.

Khehra exhorted students to follow the traffic rules. He urged them to play an active role in educating general public about the same. Students interacted with the speaker who responded to their queries. Dr RS Gill advised students to carry documents such as driving licence and registration papers of vehicle while driving.


PAU students during a lecture organised on the campus in Ludhiana
PAU students during a lecture organised on the campus in Ludhiana on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise two-day programme to observe World Food Day on September 22 and 23. Dr BS Sohal, secretary, PAU Science Club, said the programme had been planned under the aegis of the club. “Students from various colleges of the PAU will participate in the programme to be inaugurated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU,” he said.

On the first day, students will participate in a poster-making competition. A seminar on “Unite Against Hunger” will be organised which will also be the theme for poster making. He said winners would be awarded certificates and cash prizes.

On the second day, Dr MV Rao, former director-general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, will deliver a special lecture, while Dr Kang will preside over. — TNS



From Colleges

World Literacy Day

Students of GMT Public School teach Class IV employees on the World Literacy Day in Ludhiana
Students of GMT Public School teach Class IV employees on the World Literacy Day in Ludhiana. A Tribune photo

Ludhiana: Bhutta College of Education, along with the department of life long learning and extension, Panjab University, Chandigarh, celebrated World Literacy Day. An interactive session was held in the college by resource persons Dr Avinash Jolly and Renu Gandhi, associate professors.

Topics like importance of literacy, women empowerment and gender sensitisation were discussed. Students were made to realise that women empowerment was need of the hour and education could play a key role in this process.

A project by Gandhi and Dr Joginder Mukherjee, principal, Bhutta College of Education, on the role of mentor in healthy lifestyles of youngsters, was introduced in the college so that students developed positive social and economic networks to improve their life skills.


A comprehensive lecture on swine flu by renowned physician Dr Sandeep Puri, head, department of medicine, DMC and Hospital, was organised at Partap College of Education under the guidance of Dr Balwant Singh, principal of the college. Dr Bansal, Gurjit Singh, Chabbra, Sachdeva and other eminent personalities from the Rotary Club, Ludhiana (North) welcomed the speaker.

Dr Puri took over the dais and interacted with audience about the origin, symptoms, precautionary and preventive measures of swine flu. In his brief but informative talk, Dr Puri informed all about some of the common symptoms of swine flu such as severe headache, fever, dry cough and soar throat. He also made every one aware about the do’s and dont’s . Some of them are:

  • Do not spit.
  • Wear surgical mask N95.
  • Avoid public gathering.
  • Wash hands frequently.

Nutrition Week

NSS volunteers of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, celebrated the National Nutrition Week yesterday. Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal said the aim was to make students aware of adequate and right kind of diet to become physically and mentally fit. Recipes on balanced diet were prepared by the volunteers. The volunteers highlighted their views on healthy diet. It was observed that high levels of malnutrition, particularly among women and young children, had been directly and indirectly influencing mortality rates in infants, children and women

Extension lecture

Bhutta College of Education organised an extension lecture on “Nutritional requirements of Indian adults for healthy living” during the orientation session yesterday. Resource person Dr Sapna Nanda, assistant professor in food and nutrition, Government College of Education, Sector 20 D, Chandigarh, appraised the students and staff of nutritionally adequate diet, dietary goals and importance of diet at various stages of life. She also suggested dietary guidelines and guided the audience about balanced diet. — TNS



From Schools

World Literacy Day

World Literacy Day was celebrated at GMT Public School today. A function was organised in the morning assembly where students were acquainted with the meaning of literacy into true sense. Speeches were delivered by teachers and students. Amrijit Dhaliwal spoke on the importance of education and being educated. Students, along with the head boy and head girl, took the pledge to gain education in true way.

Ram Lal Bhasin school

Students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase I, Dugri, celebrated the World Literacy Day. Mehak Shahi highlighted the significance of the day. She told students that education was the birth right of each child. It is not a luxury but it is their right and responsibility. A short speech was delivered by Rupali Jain of Class VIII, in which she tried to highlight the efforts of the government to impart quality as well as widespread education in such a populous country. Further, she stressed, “If we are educated, it is our moral duty to educate as many people as we can.”

Some of the slogans raised by students were “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”, “Literacy is a passport to a better future for children and for the country”, “Once you learn to read and write, you will be free forever”. Headmistress of the school Tarannum Fatma urged students to enhance their knowledge through newspapers, magazines, Internet and other resources available.


Tiny tots and teachers of Mother’s Pride School were taken to Govind Gau Dham Temple and Gaushala. Children sang “Radhe-Radhe Shyam Milade” and other bhajans. Tiny tots got excited on seeing so many cows under one roof and were happy to feed them with their special food at the gaushala. Management of the temple welcomed kids. Director of the school Shobhan Soi thanked temple manager Sood and other members of the managing committee.


A workshop on Effective English Language Teaching was organised by Oxford University Press at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, yesterday. The workshop was conducted by ELT expert Gayatri Khanna, consultant and resource person in the CBSE and NCERT.

The workshop was attended by over 60 members of the English teaching fraternity from various schools across the city. It was aimed at addressing the concerns of teachers about CCE (continuous and comprehensive evaluation).

The session threw light on new tools and techniques introduced by the CBSE for the holistic development of a child. Principal Rajiv Nagalia urged participants for wholehearted interaction to draw out a clearer picture of CCE tools and work their way through the drastically changing curriculum.

Hindi Week

To propagate the use of Hindi language, students of Jesus’ Sacred Heart School, DX-1, South City, are observing the week from September 7-14 as “Hindi Saptah”. The school is decorated with charts carrying social messages given by famous Hindi writers. The school has organised various activities like creative writing, poster competition, slogan writing, debate, poem recitation in Hindi to make their students aware of the importance and deep rooted culture of the country which is totally submerged in the divine ocean of Hindi language. Principal Anju Banga asserted that the true spirit of culture and heritage could only find its meaning in Hindi language, so it is imperative to popularise the language. Dr Rajendra Prasad has aptly said: “Jis desh ko apki bhasha aur sahitya par garv ka anubhav nahi hai, vah unnat nahi ho sakta.” — TNS



Apollo starts minimally invasive cardiac surgery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
The department of cardiothorasic and vascular surgery, Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospitals, today announced to have started the minimally invasive cardiac surgery (MICS).

Dr KC Mukherjee, a cardiac surgeon, introduced Harbans Singh (62), Lakhwinder Kaur (18) and Sheela Devi (30), who have recently undergone MICS at SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana. Dr Mukherjee was addressing a press conference in the city today.

Conventional cardiac surgeries are performed by splitting the chest open and cutting through the breastbone (sternum), which takes several months to heal and therefore a traumatic and painful recovery for the patient.

But MICS said Dr K C Mukherjee requires a very small (4 to 5 cm) incision in right half of the chest, rather than a long incision in middle of the chest. Entire surgery is performed very safely with an advanced technique and special sets of instrument. All valve replacement, repair surgeries and repair of holes in the heart can be done very easily by this method, said Dr Mukherjee.

Elaborating upon the benefits he said not only MICS was cosmetic, post-operative complexities were also very low. Chances of infection and bleeding were minimal, requirement of ventilation was less and hospital stay of a very short period. Patient is able to resume normal life very early. MICS is going to be extremely beneficial for young female patients who are unfortunately common sufferer of valve diseases and holes in the heart, because the scar is not seen as it is below the breast.



City gears up for Ganesh Chaturthi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
With Ganesh Chaturthi a few days away, the city is all jazzed up for the festival. The celebrations will go on for 10 days. A clay model of Lord Ganesha is made two-three months before Ganesh Chaturthi.

Numerous artists from various states are flocking the city to make idols and artefacts.

Sohrabh, an artist from Bihar, came to the city a few days ago and is busy making Ganesh idols.

Selling idols on the roadside, Savita Rani is busy throughout the day carving, painting and giving final touches to the idols. “Ludhiana is like second home to me. Every year I come here and earn some money during the festival season,” she says.

On the day of the festival, the idol is placed on raised platforms in homes or in elaborately decorated outdoor tents for people to view and pay their obeisance.



Central Jail inmates get training in extrusion technology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
Experts of the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology, a premier institute of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), today imparted prisoners of Ludhiana Central Jail training in extrusion technology for production of snack foods and pasta-making technology.

CIPHET has initiated a unique training programme in the jail for the prisoners under which classes would be held every month this year. The aim is to train them to earn a respectful living after they get released from the jail.

To motivate prisoners in food processing, they were today given hands on experience on the extrusion technology for production of snack foods and pasta-making technology. Many of the prisoners showed interest in getting elaborated training from CIPHET once they are released from the jail. CIPHET has developed extrusion technology for production of breakfast cereals and other snack from maize, rice and wheat at comparably low cost than the industry. Also, they were given practical demonstration for making pasta, which was becoming very popular especially among the youth.

Senior scientist Dr S Balasubramanian, who has developed low-cost extrusion technology, said there was more than double value addition in these extrusion products, even if the cost of inputs, including electricity and labour, were taken into consideration. He revealed that small-scale extrusion-based industry could be set up with just cost of five lakhs. “In extrusion technology there is hardly any wastage of material and hence owner gets high value,” he said, adding that they were also developing an indigenous pasta-making machine. “This will cost around Rs 50,000, while presently imported machine from Italy is worth more than Rs 4.5 lakh.”

Dr Nilesh Gaikwad, scientist, told the prisoners that CIPHET was developing extrusion products which would be low fat and carrying high nutritional value. The scientists also answered queries of the prisoners. A video on CIPHET highlighting its achievements, product development and research was also screened.

Deputy Jail Superintendent SS Sahota showed optimism that at least a few prisoners would find their future into food processing.

CIPHET Director Dr R T Patil and Transfer of Technology Head Dr Deepak Raj Rai said they had also got request from the Punjab DGP (Jails) to start food processing training and awareness programmes in other jails of the state. They assured that complete training would be imparted to prisoners, who would like to start their ventures after the completion of their sentences.



Textile training centre a boon for village girls
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur, September 8
Being parents of girls is no more an adversity for lower and middle class families of villages and localities surrounding this town. Establishment of the first training centre for educating women in field of textile and spinning at Gurmat Bhawan here has come as a boon for them.

Residents of Dakha, Rurka, Hassanpur, Mandiani, Baddowal, Jangpur, Mohi and Rakba villages are relieved that female members of their clan will no more be considered financial burden on their families. Rather they (girls and women) will prove instrumental in upgrading social status of the family besides improving economic.

Women are so enthusiastic that even graduates and postgraduates who are working as teachers at some private schools have made up their mind to change their profession after getting training in the field.

“When I came to know that daughter of one of my relatives from Ferozepur was earning handsome salary at Varadhman Mill near and my daughters can also be engaged in similar position after getting training at the centre, I was relieved of obvious tension of their future,” said Karnail Singh of Mohi. Gurpreet Kaur of Dakha village said her parents had allowed her to get enrolled for the training after satisfying about the working conditions in the textile mill situated nearby.

“Contrary to the earlier belief of considering working of women in factories as a stigma, people have now understood significance of work culture for both males and females. I am glad that I will be able to pursue my education privately when I start earning after undergoing brief training here,” argued Gurpreet Kaur.

Airing similar views, Ravinder Kaur of Hassan Pur showed satisfaction that she would be able to share responsibilities of her parents when she starts earning.

Claiming that girls had instinct for working in textile and spinning industry, Ravinder Kaur hoped she would be more successful than any of her male counterparts. Acknowledging enthusiasm of the villagers, Amrit Pal Deol, a trustee in the Gurmat Bhawan Trust and Darshana, chief instructor at the centre, maintained that the project had received overwhelming response. “Though we have asked to enroll only 100 trainees initially, over 500 aspirants have already approached us for registration,” said Deol and Darshana.



Money Transfer
Migrants ‘pool’ to cut the cost
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 8
Migrant labourers have turned smarter when it comes to cutting cost on transfer of money to their families staying at their native places. Disappointed over unexplained delay in realisation of transfer of money through money order, majority of them opened accounts in branches of nationalised banks providing the core-banking system facility during past years.

The accounts, mostly jointly operated by more than one member of the family facilitated immediate transfer of money with the click of mouse at depositing branch of the bank.

Going a step further labourers from localities situated in the proximity have started “pooling” the facility to save extra expenses on each transfer. Rather, a few flourishing migrants have adopted this practice to supplement their income.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that a large number of migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had opened saving accounts in branches of the nationalised banks near their work place or native villages.

The State Bank of India, having largest number of branches in all states, was also known to have attracted maximum number of these clients. Contrary to the motive of keeping their money safe in the banks, majority of these account holders used the facility for easy and prompt transfer of money from one place to another.

A cross section of migrant labourers when contacted regretted that transferring money through post offices had cost them dear during past decades. Besides uncertainty about time period required for the payment, the recipients had to part with a portion of the proceeds as ‘token of love’ for the postman bringing the money. Instances were reported wherein the money sent by labourers never reached the destination.

“As majority of the recipients were illiterate, the delivering person used to get their thumb impression on blank receipts by paying amounts lower than the actual one. At times they used to usurp the entire amount,” alleged Shiv Dyal of Purnia district in Bihar. Now he, like his many fellow workers, is maintaining a saving account opened at his village. The money sent by him from here can be withdrawn by his wife from the parent branch the same day.

Ram Lal Yadav, another migrant working with local cattle feed manufacturer, said his friends had devised a method to save expenses on money transferred through the bank account.

“Four of us are from the same village. As the bank deducts ` 25 for each transfer, we don’t deposit money in our individual accounts. Instead we deposit money in one account and share expenses among us,” said Yadav.

Acknowledging the trend officials a local branch of a nationalised bank stated there was no method to check alleged malpractice of transferring someone’s money through others accounts.



Amrinder Gill in city to promote forthcoming film
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 8
“Although we talk about equality among boys and girls but it is still a distant dream. Indifference towards girls still exists in our society. It is the time girls should firmly be in the saddle and ask for their rights if deprived,” said singer-actor Amrinder Gill. He was in two colleges of the city for promoting his forthcoming film “Ek Kudi Punjab Di”.

Students’ joy knew no bounds after seeing the star amongst them. He was surrounded by them and also sang few songs for them while girls were busy capturing him in their cameras.

Telling about this forthcoming flick he said the film is based on the life of a college girl and also conveys an important message of equality among boys and girls. “Girls are no less than boys in any field but changing the mindset of the people will take time,” he added.

He said, “ Singing s my passion while acting a hobby. Singing is and will always remain my first love.” Every singer cannot become an actor. A singer needs to take acting lessons before joining the bandwagon of actors. Singing and acting are all together two different fields,” he adds.

Talking about the Punjabi film industry, Gill said: “It is because of the directors like Manmohan Singh that this industry is flourishing today. He is the man who revived this industry.”



Bank opens ATM facility
Our Correspondent

Doraha, September 8
The Bank of India opened its ATM facility at the railway road today. PS Rawat, zonal manager, Ludhiana, said the bank was opening 105 ATMs across India to coincide with the 105th foundation day of the bank.

He added that the ATMs were being inaugurated by union minister of finance Pranab Mukherjee from New Delhi.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, GNN College Doraha, and senior branch manager NK Sharma were also present.



Company told to pay relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 8
The District Consumer Forum has ordered the National Insurance Company to pay Rs 4,000 as compensation, along with Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation, to the complainant for denying a medical claim.

The complainant, Vinod Gupta, had submitted before the forum that he had purchased the mediclaim policy from the company. He was taken ill and admitted to the CMC Hospital from May 20, 2009, to May 26, 2009. He was diagnosed with right intra cerebral hemorrhage. He had spent Rs 65,000 on his treatment and when he approached the company for a mediclaim, it denied him the same.

On the other hand, the insurance company claimed that the consumer had concealed some facts at the time of purchasing the policy. He had been suffering from diabetes millitus and hypertension for the past two years. So, the claim was not payable as per the exclusion clause of the policy. Refusing the mediclaim was legally valid, said company’s counsel.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the consumer forum observed that the insurance company could not produce any opinion or certificate issued by any doctor to show that the consumer was undergoing treatment for diabetes millitus.

The forum further observed that the CMC Hospital had already clarified in a letter that diabetes millitus-2 was not a pre-exisiting disease, rather it was a Type 2 disease.



PU Powerlifting
GCW retain title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 8
Students of Government College for Women (GCW), Ludhiana, gave an excellent performance to win the title for the second consecutive time in the Panjab University Inter-College Powerlifting Championship at Chandigarh, recently.

According to GCW principal Gurminder Kaur, powerlifters from the college collected 11 points to finish ahead of others to retain the title.

Participants from Master Tara Singh Memorial College, Ludhiana, and those from Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, secured second and third positions, respectively.

Mamta Rana, Rajni and Mandeep Kaur, all students of GCW, finished among position-holders, while another student, Gurpreet Kaur, secured fourth position in the below-48kg category.

Mamta Rani claimed gold medal in the below-69kg section, while Rajni clinched bronze in this category and Mandeep Kaur bagged silver medal in the below-48kg weight category, helping their college emerge as overall champions.

The principal congratulated the players for their performance and appreciated Sharanjit Kaur, head of the physical education department, Prof Balbir Kumar and Gurinder Singh, weightlifting in charge and coach of the team, respectively, for their role.



Softball probables selected
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 8
The Punjab Softball Association conducted trials at Guru Nanak Stadium to select probables for the forthcoming North Zone Senior Softball Championship for men and women scheduled to be held at Solan, Himachal Pradesh, from September 13 to 15.

The probables have been advised to attend the training camp slated to begin on September 10 at 9 am for girls at Ramgarhia Girls College, Ludhiana, and for men at Amritsar.

The names of the selected probables are: Women: Mamta, Rekha, Jyoti Devi, Madhvi and Jagdeep Kaur from Jalandhar, Loveneet, Arshi, Manpreet Kaur, Nirmal, Akwinder, Reenu and Aman from Ludhiana, Pardeep Kaur and Gagandeep Kaur from Gurdaspur, Sharanjit Kaur from Moga. Chamkaur Singh and Jasvir Kaur have been appointed coach and manager, respectively.

Men: Vikas Kumar, Gurpreet Singh, Love Rishi, Inderveer, Ravi and Jagjit from Amritsar, Rahul Saini, Dinesh, Tejinder Singh and Mehtab Singh from Jalandhar, Abhijeet from Patiala, Harnek, Jatinder, Deepak and Vikramjit from Ludhiana. Inderveer will be the coach while Onkar Singh will accompany the team as manager.



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