L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Crackdown on ‘peti mafia’
Godown owners deposit fine
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Two of the three suspects involved in an excise evasion racket today deposited a penalty amounting to Rs 5-10 lakh with the excise & taxation department following its crackdown on the ‘peti mafia’.

A couple of weeks ago a department team led by assistant excise & taxation commissioner Rishipal Singh raided four godowns of the mafia located on Peepalwali Gali near the railway station. 200 ‘petis’ were seized from the godowns, belonging to Pandit, Lambu and Amar, containing goods worth Rs 35 lakh. The ‘petis’, which had been transported from Delhi, included cosmetics, perfumes, electronic goods and readymade garments.

"After penalty notices were served to them two of the suspects, Amar and Lambu, today deposited the penalty and we expect the third to do the same shortly. The department has launched a special drive to clamp down on the ‘peti mafia’ that was thriving despite efforts by our enforcement staff to check evasion of taxes”, said Rishipal.

Under the drive department officials will conduct checks not only at checkposts but also at various other covert passages from where the ‘peti mafia’ makes an entry and exit. Apart from the mobile wing special duties has been assigned to the officials to keep a strict vigil around all possible escape routes.

Operators of the racket collect goods from traders and manufacturers, arrange for their transportation to the railway parcel office and book and load the goods on trains, charging per package. The network provides similar facilities to consignees for incoming packages as well.

"In engaging their services traders and manufacturers not only evade taxes but also are protected against the interception or seizure of goods being transported without payment of taxes," Rishipal added.

TIN for traders

Ludhiana, October 6
The excise and taxation department has issued TIN for traders who do not have VAT number for uploading return forms. Those engaged in retail sale and purchase can fill 03111111111 TIN number for uploading the forms. A tax professional said some basic columns in the new forms were missing and traders without VAT numbers were unable to fill the forms.


Ex-ADC answers police questions on scam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
The police is cross checking the responses given by former additional deputy commissioner (development) Davinder Singh to questions relating to the Indira Awas Yojna scam with the claims made by the prime suspect, Laxman Singh, an employee in his office. The cops had handed Davinder a questionnaire following allegations by Laxman SIngh, who was booked in the case.

The police said the former ADC answered all the 40 questions and it was in the process of matching his answers with Laxman’s statements.

Meanwhile, the police has also asked the district administration about details on the reconciliation done in the case book related to the funds received under the scheme. The administration has also been asked whether a utilisation certificate was sent to the central government.

‘‘We want to check whether a utilisation certificate was submitted to the central government and if it was, then what entries were made in it”, said a senior police official.

Sources close to the police said it was also looking into the call details of two mobile phone numbers that the suspect had claimed to have been given by a senior administrative official. Both the Airtel cellular numbers that Laxman had claimed were used for siphoning of the money were found to be nonfunctional for the past six months.

Moreover, both these numbers are in some other persons’ name. ‘‘We’re now looking into his claims again and are trying to get details of calls made to these numbers during the last one year so that we can investigate whether other people were involved in the scam,’’ the police added.



13-yr-old boy run over by truck
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
A 13-year-old boy was crushed to death under a speeding truck near Partap Chowk here today. The victim has been identified as Gurpreet Singh, who was riding pillion on the scooter at the time of the incident.

The incident took place this afternoon when Hardev Singh, a power corporation employee, was going to Partap Chowk for purchasing grocery.

According to an eyewitness, when the scooter reached Partap Chowk, a speeding truck hit the scooter from behind. Hardev Singh lost control over the scooter and fell on one side of the road while Gurpreet, son of Hardev Singh, fell in the middle of the road and was run over by the truck. Gurpreet died on the spot.

The truck driver tried to flee, but was caught by commuters after a chase. The commuters thrashed the driver, but he managed to escape before the arrival of the police.

The police has impounded the truck.



‘Button man’ comes calling
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
If fashion was a mission, Mumbai-based designer Anuj Sharma would have been one of the greatest missionaries of the glamour world. Such is his passion, vision and creativity.

A believer in the concept of minimalism, Anuj can create magic with the most insipid of things. Give him a piece of plain white cloth and he can turn it into a thousand things within minutes, that too, without a stitch.

“My aim is to make clothes with minimum fuss, minimum manpower and without machines,” says Anuj who is known for his “button masala” collection that he showcased in the Lakme Fashion Week-2009. The collection, which comprised of breathtaking stitch-less garments, won him rave reviews.

“Why depend on machines for your basic need of clothes? Make them yourself,” he says, displaying his unique creativity with a piece of chiffon, some buttons and a few rubber bands.

“Detach rubber bands, open the buttons and refashion the piece of cloth into a unique garment depending on your mood and style. All you need is a little creativity and the ability to play around,” he states.

“I am working on an improved collection and my aim doesn’t end here. I don’t want people to just buy my stuff. I want them to learn to create their own garments,” he says.

“I would not like to be known for business rather for my creativity and innovation,” says the designer who was one of the five leading fashion designers from Asian countries who visited Japan on invitation of the Japan Foundation in 2006.

Fashion, says Anuj, is a blend of several elements. “A little bit of art coupled with the right amount of science, a fair knowledge of history and geography sprinkled with a touch of biology makes fashion,” says the “button man” of the Indian fashion industry, adding that to him, fashion means to give people joy.

“I joined fashion school because I realised that I would not get anywhere with what I had studied during graduation,” says this postgraduate in apparel design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

“I went on to do a masters in sportswear in the UK on the Charles Wallice India Scholarship,” he says. However, underdeveloped specialised sportswear industry in India took him to a different stream of fashion.

Drawing inspiration from people he meets and their stories, Anuj says a designer “must have a keen human sense”. If not a designer, Anuj would have been a sportsperson and his dream is to dress up actor Aamir Khan. He is in the city to conduct a fashion workshop.



Farmers burn paddy stubble despite ban
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Despite ban imposed by the district magistrate, farmers continue to burn paddy stubble, thereby putting human as well as ecology in this region at risk.

The city and its peripheries is reeling under the perennial problem of smoke emanating from the fields, which in addition to the clouds has engulfed the surroundings in a thick blanket of haze.

But more than this, it is the effect of the smoke on the human health, which has become a matter of concern for doctors especially the pediatricians.

There is 50 per cent increase in the inflow of children and adults at urban hospitals and rural dispensaries. Most of them are suffering from asthma, bronchitis and laryngitis.

Allergic bronchitis and asthma are affecting children more than anything else followed by allergic rhinitis, bronchitis and eye allergies.

The smoke has become a curse for the morning and evening walkers as it chokes the lungs and cause allergic reactions.

A skater preparing for their district-level tournament at the skating rink near the leisure valley said, “It is just impossible to practice in the morning as my bronchial asthma triggers when I do skating in the thick blanket of smoke that surrounds the rink.”

Warnings by agricultural experts and environmentalists that the process would ruins the soil fertility and plays havoc with the health of residents have remained unheeded.

Pavitar Pal Singh Pangli, PAU Kisan Club president, said, “ At least 6,000 farmers, who are members of the Kisan Club, have been requested not to burn paddy straw.”



Poor facilities, govt apathy take toll on cycling
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Lack of maintenance as well as the sports department’s indifferent attitude has left the cycling velodrome on the Punjab agricultural University campus in a mess. The rundown condition of the stadiums has also affected the sport with aspiring cyclists losing interest in it.

That things are going downhill could be gauged from the fact that the Panjab University Inter-College Cycling Tournament organised here yesterday was wrapped up in a day, though there were 18 cycling events.

A cyclist who took part 4000-meter individual pursuit and team pursuit competition, said, "On can say the competition was a mere formality as we were made to cycle nearly eight kilometers and that too as fast as possible. It’s not possible for a player to give his best in a single day."

As many as 50 players from GGN Khalsa College, AS College, Khanna, SCD Government College, Guru Nanak Girls College, Guru Nank Khalsa College, Government College Chandigarh, Khalsa College for Women and GGN College, Narangwal participated in the contest.

It is reliably learnt the players were persuaded to take part in the competition. Except Rajinder Singh, who heads the physical education department at GGN Khalsa College, no PU official was present to inspect the event. However, two men claimed they had come from Patiala to “officiate” in the contest.

"Cycling, which was often said to be the most prestigious event of the intercollege competition, has now been reduced to a formality. Even cyclists participate in the game for the sake of a sports certificate, which ensures their admission in postgraduate courses under the sports quota in major educational institutions," said a former cyclist on condition of anonymity.

The cyclists who participated in the competition complained that poor infrastructure and apathy of the sports department were the reason behind the declining interest of youngsters in the sport.

"Cycling is an expensive spot - an ordinarily cycle costs nearly Rs 50,000 and the range goes up to Rs 3 lakh. With poor infrastructure and negligible government support, it’s a risky proposition to take up cycling as a career," said a cyclist taking part in the competition.

Rajinder, who conducted the event, said besides him two officials from Patiala were also present to assist him during the competition.

Events like the 1000 meter sprint, 1000 meter time trial and 1000 mass start were held during the morning session, while the 4000 meter individual pursuit, time trial, team pursuit were took place in the evening. The cycling events for girls were also organised during the day.



Dengue figure crosses 1,000 mark
Health authorities say number not above 260
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Around 100 patients suffering from dengue have been reporting at various city hospitals everyday, taking the total number to more than 1,000.

The failure on the part of municipal corporation (MC) to check heaps of garbage, pools of stagnant water in low-lying localities and coolers in residential areas has led to a significant increase in cases from the city.

The district health department disagrees on the number of patients as they are confirming patients only after getting them tested at the government laboratory.

The health authorities are maintaining that the number of patients is not more than 260.

This is contradictory to the number of cases undergoing treatment at city hospitals, including the DMCH, the CMCH and the SPS Apollo Hospital.

The possibility of an increase in the number of dengue patients from Ludhiana in the past one week cannot be ruled out as a large number of patients with symptoms have been admitted to small hospitals and clinics.

A senior official from the department of health and family welfare has pointed out that a majority of hospitals do not provide information about those affected to the district epidemiologist, as a result of which a large number of cases go unreported.

The official has further stated that the health department should initiate strict action against private hospitals taking into account the patients referred by those to tertiary care centres if they are in a critical condition.

No room at DMCH

The DMCH, despite extra beds, has not been able accommodate those in the waiting list. Patients in this list are admitted when those who complete treatment are discharged. Medical superintendent Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna says, “Between 40 and 50 dengue patients are coming to the hospital from various districts everyday.”

Pvt hospitals err

Instead of intimating the health authorities about suspect cases, some hospitals continue treatment and refer the case when the patient is critical. A young man was recently admitted to a private hospital in Model Town. He was referred to the DMCH when his condition was critical and as a result, he could not be saved.



Despite ban, officials forced to pass moist paddy
SAD leaders deny influencing procurement
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 6
Officials of various procurement agencies seem to be sandwiched between the government’s direction and leaders of the ruling party. While instructions don’t allow any external interference in the process of procurement, they (officials) are almost forced to pass heaps of paddy with moisture much higher than the permissible dampness. Commission agents purchasing the commodity, cleared under compulsion, will have to bear the brunt of this tendency.

Factionalism and lack of coordination among senior SAD leaders further compound problems for senior functionaries who, at times are desired to be present at different mandis simultaneously. Scared of displeasing leaders in power, more smart officials evade the situation by switching off their mobile phones.

The leaders on the other hand argue that they have visited mandi just to check that farmers were not being harassed. They deny having influenced the process directly or indirectly.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the officials of various procurement agencies had been facing problem in handling the situation arising due to the arrival of paddy carrying moisture content higher than the permissible limits during the opening days of the procurement process.

Trend of ‘ceremonial inauguration of procurement’ by a few politicians in power has further compounded their problems. Though the regulations prohibit interference and entry of any politicians in the process of procurement, the enthusiast leaders, including legislators and chairmen of various bodies don’t want to miss any chance to show their presence in mandis and purchase centres of the area falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts.

With a large number of peasants bringing crop with moisture content higher than the permissible limit of 17 per cent, the officials were almost forced to okay the paddy heaps to facilitate formal inauguration by the political bigwigs during earlier days of the procurement season.

Apprehending that the tendency would ultimately affect the purchasing unit, an office-bearer of the local Arthiya Association of the area alleged that the commission agents would bear the brunt due to the loss of weight of the filled bags.

“Though the authorities have assured to compensate the apprehended loss due to drying, nothing will be done after the commodity is purchased. We are keeping mum as our opposition to the trend will lead to a situation which will again complicate the procurement and lifting during days to come,” said the association’s office-bearer.

With the kharif marketing getting underway, the region has witnessed lower paddy arrival this season. Higher moisture content due to the downpour during the pre-harvest period was cited as the reason behind the higher moisture content. Boycott of purchase centres of the Food Corporation of India by rice millers had also spread panic among the farmers bringing their crop without waiting for it to dry. They (farmers) impressed upon the leaders of the ruling party, who speeded up process of formal inauguration, and the officials of procurement agencies to give their nod for purchase of paddy carrying dampness even beyond 18 and 19 per cent.



Sheller owners on strike till Oct 12

Machiwara, October 6
The strike called by sheller owners in the district will continue till October 12. Rice millers have refused to provide space to government agencies for storage of paddy.

Criticising policies of the FCI, Punjab Rice Millers Association vice-president Ashok Sood said they would continue their agitation till their demands were met.

He and Machiwara unit president Satish Mittal said sheller owners were suffering losses and the industry was on the verge of collapse due to the wrong policies of the Centre and the FCI.

They said power tariff had increased and labour rates were high, but the FCI had been instructing them to work on old rates, due to which several shellers had been closed.

Due to shortage of space with the FCI, rice worth crores was rotting, they said, adding that the FCI’s new specifications had not found favour with them. — OC



Rally by PAU employees
Protest against govt’s ‘anti-employee’ policies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
The PAU Employees Union today organised a massive rally in front of the university’s Thapar Hall (administration block).

The rally was held in support of Punjab State Ministerial Staff who are on strike against the anti-worker policies of the state government since September.

Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the union, highlighted the demands of the PAU staff and Punjab State Employees.

He demanded that pay scales of clerks be revised on the pattern of higher qualification and also demanded the abolition of computer test of clerks.

Avinash Sharma, general secretary of the union, assured Punjab State Employees that if the government failed to fulfil their demands, the PAU Employees Union would extend support to them as per their call.

Harbans Singh Mundi, president of the PAU Employees Union, concluded the rally and called upon the state government to release the arrears of the pay scales immediately.

The president urged the PAU administration to clear the arrears of revised scales w.e.f. 1.8.2009 to 31.12.2009 in respect of employees working under the ICAR schemes before Divali. He also demanded that the interest on GPF must be at par with the amount being given to the Central government.

Protest in Mohali today

The ongoing strike of the Punjab State Ministerial Staff today entered its sixth day. Members of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union will go on a mass leave to stage a protest rally in Mohali tomorrow. Clerks from all government departments are observing a pen-down strike as a mark of protest against the state government’s anti-employee policies. Around 25 employees from various government departments went on a hunger strike from 10 am to 4 pm outside the mini secretariat in Ludhiana today



Abduction of 9-yr-old
Residents keeping watch on strangers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 6
Rs 65-lakh reward declared for providing a clue about abductors of a Panipat based family’s child is secondary to a humanitarian duty of residents of the local town and its surrounding localities.

Besides keeping an eye on the activities of strangers, they have started verifying antecedents of tenants and occupants of Swift Dzire car carrying sticker of Lord Ganesh on rear windscreen.

The gesture emerged in response to an appeal made by the Chandigarh branch of the CBI and the Haryana police, which is on the look out for Tejas Gaba (9) abductors.

Tejas was abducted for ransom while he was waiting for his school bus at the Pruthi Chowk, Model Town, Panipat, on December 12, 2008. Though the investigating team collected vital clues, none of the abductors had been arrested even after 19 month of the incident.

Swayed by the appeal, office-bearers of a few social organisations have launched an organised move to rule out possibility of any abductor taking shelter in the area.

“Besides looking for persons with given description, we have started verifying antecedents of tenants of our area. We have also requested organisers of cyber cafes and computer centres to contact us in case suspects happen to visit their establishments,” said Jagjit Singh Jajjie, a social activist.

Claiming that members of his organisation were not interested in the reward announced by the investigating agency and parents of the abducted child, Jajjie said no award could be higher than answering one’s own conscience. “No Punjabi will tolerate that any abductor could use the pious land of the state for hiding their misdeeds,” added Jajjie.

Perusal of advertisements revealed that kingpin of the gang (25-30 yr) is a tall person with athletic body. One of his accomplice is 25, 9’10” has whitish complexion and looks like a college student. He can write and speak English fluently. Though the abductors had threatened to eliminate the victim after about one month, the police do not rule possibility of exploitation of the child for ulterior motives.

Innocent face and appealing voice of the child has been uploaded on website (www.savetejas.com <http://www.savetejas.com>).



Industrialists air their grievances
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Ludhiana enjoys a prominent place among the selected industrial hubs. The city has been catering to the world’s hosiery needs for more than 100 years. But at present, transporting goods to various destinations has become a tedious task.

On way to various destinations through trains, packed goods worth lakhs of rupees recline in open for days together. This causes damage to commodities, as the weather is also changing.

“Moreover, with goods lying in open on the railway station, the situation turns from bad to worse. The SMEs are facing a lot of problems in improving the business capacities. At the time when the railway authorities are expected to support them, how can they turn their back on industrialists,” said Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club.

Ludhiana being the chief industrial hub, knitwear/textile industry contributes generously to generate revenue for the country and this demands a better deal in terms of transporting goods to the desired destination without any loss but off late due to the Commonwealth Games, the the goods supply has been badly affected,” he added.



Serving educators his passion
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 6
Recognising the problems being faced by government employees in claiming their dues and other facilities, Darshan Singh of Assi Kalan, a retired teacher, has dedicated rest of his life to the welfare of the teaching community.

Committed to the cause, Darshan Singh has been facilitating teachers of at least 28 state-run schools falling under the jurisdiction of the block development office at Dehlon.

“While serving in various schools, I observed that a lot of energy of teachers gets wasted in getting their dues and facilities paid. Thus, their attention gets diverted at least partly from the actual teaching work,” said Darshan Singh maintaining that he had started coordinating with officials at the block and district-level shortly after his retirement on April 31, 2008.

Records of leave, monthly salary and payment of arrears were being maintained by him now.

Besides looking after the routine work at the Dehlon block, Darshan Singh facilitates employees of other schools of the district in getting their pending cases cleared from various offices. His friendly behaviour and cordial disposition during his active service has contributed a lot towards maintaining relations with officials at the block primary education, district education and treasury offices.

Claiming that he had been successful in preserving the missionary spirit among teachers associated with him, Darshan Singh regretted that the gesture had started diminishing among educators for obvious reason of dissatisfaction prevailing among them.Darshan is proud of the fact that all members of his family, including wife, children and their spouses are teachers.



Soi seeks more funds for Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
China has a network of 1.20 lakh kilometer expressways compared to India, which has not more than 3,000 km, but still 40 per cent more accidental deaths are reported on Indian roads than China.

This despite the fact that India has 20 per cent less population than China. Dr Kamalzit Soi, Vice- Chairman, Punjab State Road Safety Council brought the issue of accidental deaths into the notice of Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, at a meeting held here recently.

Soi stressed that this issue must be given top priority from the government side so that precious human lives could be saved. In a series of meetings to create a momentum on the issue of road safety, he briefed him of the growing need of society to focus on socio- economic issues like the road safety.

More than 140,000 people die every year in India due to the road accidents and as per the World Bank’s report with an estimated economic loss of Rs 150,000 crore s which comes out to be 2.5 to 3 per cent of our GDP, he added. Huge amount should be allocated to states like Punjab in the next Budget in this regard, he added.



Non-payment of dues
Arhtiyas to block traffic today
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 6
The Arhtiya Association of Punjab, fed up with the dilly-dallying attitude of officials of procuring agencies over the last years commission to the local as well as from other grain markets, has decided to block the traffic on the Ludhiana- Chandigarh road tomorrow.

The commission agents are boycotting the purchase agencies like Marked, Punsup, warehouse and the FCI.

Gurdev Singh, president of the local unit of the association, said the purchase agencies were yet to pay last year’s commission worth Rs 1.18 crore. Due to the commission agents’ ongoing strike, heaps of paddy are laying in the local grain market, at Sanghol, Raipur Majri, Nanowal, Barwali Kalan and the Ranwan focal point. Due to the non-lifting of the paddy, farmers have been forced to pass their time in the grain markets.



Riot victims’ faction wants DC to go
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
The Danga Peerit Welfare Association has demanded the transfer of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rahul Tewari within 48 hours.

During a meeting at a gurdwara in Dugri’s Phase I, association president Surjit Singh condemned the cane-charge on riot victims by the police on Sunday and alleged that it was at the behest of the Deputy Commissioner.

“The Deputy Commissioner should be transferred within 48 hours, failing which we will intensify our protest,” said Surjit Singh.

He added that families of riot victims would assemble at Mohali on October 12 and march towards the Chief Minister’s residence to protest.

Surjit Singh threatened to begin an indefinite fast and continue it till the demands of riot victims were met.

On the other hand, 1984 Sikh Qutal-e-Aam Peerit Action Committee chairman Charanjit Singh came out in support of the Deputy Commissioner.

He said, “Surjit is seeking the transfer of the Deputy Commissioner as the latter refused to bow to him. Surjit’s name has cropped up in many scams.”

He added, “If an honest bureaucrat is transferred merely due to the standoff between him and Surjit, it will portray a bad image of the government.”

Charanjit Singh said, “Fighting for the allotment of flats is justified, but Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari is not responsible for it.”

The district administration organised a camp for the verification of documents for the allotment of 1,632 flats for riot victims on Sunday.

At least 2,000 riot victims who assembled at Guru Nanak Bhawan had to return empty-handed after the district administration refused to entertain applicants who did not attach an affidavit, stating that their monthly income was less than Rs 1,536.

The refusal of the administration angered a section of riot victims. Surjit Singh and Gurdeep Kaur, president of the women’s wing, along with their supporters, entered the premises.

They started raising slogans against the state government and the Deputy Commissioner. The police had to intervene when rival groups of riot victims started fighting.



‘Scientists should focus on climate changes’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
A three-day national seminar on ‘Impact of Climate Change on Fruit Crops’ was inaugurated at the Borlaug Wheat Auditorium on PAU campus here today.

Dr KS Khokhar, Vice-Chancellor of the CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, stated that horticultural scientists should pay attention to global climate changes.

They must realise the gravity of the situation and direct research activities in the field of climate intensification, he said. Dr Khokhar stated that horticulture had become a source of livelihood for farmers and appreciated the headway made by the PAU in the promotion of horticulture.

Dr KL Chadha, former Deputy Director-General, horticulture, ICAR, was the guest of honour. He remarked that Indian agriculture was facing a lot of challenges.

Sharing strategies on the adverse impact of global warming, he said the major challenge was climate change, which was a threat to the eco-system and food security.

He said not much had been done to analyse the impact of climate change on agriculture in general and horticulture in particular.

He delved on the problems associated with industrialisation, excessive use of fossil fuel, depleting greenhouse gases and high consumption of natural resources.

He suggested that regional efforts should be intensified in different agro-ecological zones of the country to deal with the problem.

In the keynote address, Dr JS Samra, CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority, Planning Commission, said horticulture contributed 30.4 per cent of the agricultural GDP in 2009.

He added that researchers, planners and administrators were engaged in adaptations, adjustments and mitigation of climate change the world over.



Dengue Fear
Schools change dress code
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 6
In order to quell the spread of dengue, some schools in the town have changed their dress code.

DAV Public School has issued a circular stating that parents are advised to send their wards (both boys and girls) in trousers and full sleeves shirt. “It is not for the first time that such an order has been circulated. Whenever principal of the school feels the need to bring about timely changes as per requirements of time and situation, the order is immediately brought into effect,” said a parent, who was in all praise of the wise act of the head of the institution.

“Although I try to keep my children safe and protected by using various types of mosquito repellents at home, I am always worried about their safety at school. Missing school would not have been a solution, but now there is no need to worry as their dress code has been changed. We are thankful to the principal for this,” said a concerned mother.

“When we received the slip issued by the school, directing that from now on students are supposed to wear trousers and full sleeves shirts, it somewhat seemed difficult, but then I realised that the school had taken the right initiative,” said another parent.

Children, especially the smaller ones, however, failed to understand the intensity of the situation. Mother of a five-year-old kid, studying in LKG, had a tough time making him understand, as his mind was occupied with multiple questions related to the change in the dress code . For the child, wearing full sleeves shirt and trousers meant arrival of the winter.



Leggings a must-have this season
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
Leggings, the re-born 80’s fad, are this season’s hottest pick and have become a favourite with women.

Though in vogue since a long time, the leggings are sure to set this autumn-winter on fire with the sizzling, never-had-them-before styles, patterns, colours and textures.

The sheer versatility and easy-on-pocket price range of a pair of leggings make it so popular among women. Whether paired with tunics, short skirts, a simple A-cut top or shorts, a pair of leggings lifts the look of the outfit and lends a feminine appeal and an element of sexiness to it.

The best thing about them perhaps is that they can be transformed from day to night wear and can be worn all seasons.

And since this is that time of the year when one can play around with stuff, let your imagination run wild.

If you swear by your basic piece of cotton leggings in fundamental shades of blacks, navys or greys, and do not want to dump your “all weather friend”, mix and match it with anything you can think of-right from short dresses to fitted tops or tunics. You can also pull on a pair of fish net stockings in interesting patterns over your basic pair of leggings for that dramatic look.

Patterned, argyle printed, chequered, stripped and polka-dotted leggings are another way to attract attention and create your own fashion statement. The best way to wear patterned tights is to pick out a colour in them and match the rest of your ensemble with that colour.

Lacy leggings, though hot choice for autumn, will not be good for winters. Nevertheless, a lacy pair of leggings is an essential piece of clothing. Be careful not to wear a lacy top with a romantic lacy pair of leggings. Keep the top understated for perfect impact of a lacy legging.

Another style that will rock autumn-winter 2010, say experts is the denim leggings. This style is a must-have for all those fashionistas who adore the skinny-jeans look, but feel uncomfortable in the hard-denim fabric. For, denim leggings assure that skinny-jeans look, but with the cool comfort of a pair of leggings. These come with a cute zipper detail at the ankle and loads of stretch.

Sweater leggings are the most loved clothing for winters. This essential tight gives you a cozy layer under winter’s best looks. So go on, create your own “leggy” statement with leggings!


n Evergreen basics
n Patterned, argyle printed, chequered, stripped and polka dotted
n Lacy
n Denim
n Sweater


Leggings come in varied lengths, but the most popular this season will be 7/8 length, which ends right above the ankle. The reason is simple-the length is perfect to provide ample protection from the winter chill, all the way, taking care of the chic quotient. This kind of leggings will look perfect when paired with ankle-length or high boots.

Primp up

Rule of the thumb is that the top hem should touch your upper thigh. If shorter than that, there are chances of you looking like an aerobic instructor. Also, leggings are for women from slim to medium frames. Heavier women should avoid them.


Leggings look best when paired with flats. From classic platform pumps, ballerinas, peep-toe booties, skimmers, moccasins to slides, anything flat will go. High heels are a strict no-no, unless you want to look like the retro-dance queen. Boots are another great option in winters. Ankle-length boots, high boots, knee-high boots, go well with leggings.



Senior citizens honoured

Amloh, October 6
Amloh SDM Poonamdeep Kaur presided over a function to celebrate the Senior Citizens Day at Maghi Memorial College for Women here today.

Around 33 senior citizens, including women, were honoured with shawls. Poet Mehma Singh Arshi recited Punjabi poems “Peepal-dey-Nal Jurria Patta Masat Hoolarey Lenda Hei, Ab Ehay Ni, Pata Thakaney-Da” and “Budhey Baap Noo Marrey Pariwar Thakey”. Capt Mohan Lal Sharma (96) was honoured. Sixty bus passes were distributed among the senior citizens. Nachhater Singh Bhadal Thuha was honoured for his contribution to the field of environment. He was given a cash prize of Rs 25,000, which he donated to a welfare organisation. — OC



From Schools
Joyride to moon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 6
The “Science Week” kicked off at Bal Bharati Public School. Students were given an opportunity to explore the sky with Digi-Sky by Leo-Planetaria, Delhi. Students enjoyed a joy ride to moon and stars. The show lasted for about 50 minutes in an inflated dome shaped balloon.

Listening to the commentary with the depiction of planets and stars on a big screen giving an impression of a toy-sky, students of Mont-I to Class II learnt about various phases of moon and their relations with various festivals celebrated in India. It was a unique blend of astronomy with Indian culture and mythology. Students of classes III to V learnt about various constellations through an engrossing story of Princess Andromeda, daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia of Ethiopia. This wonderful story uses imagery and metaphors to draw the attention of students towards the night sky and the changing patterns of stars. Students of classes VI to VIII were told about various constellations and planets in more scientific way. The reference of Indian astronomers like Rakesh Sharma, Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams proved to be the biggest inspiration to them. They came out of the Digi-sky dome with their dreams stuck on the moon. A quiz was also held. Each student was given a booklet containing the complete information of the show.

Books given to students

Books being given to students of Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, Ludhiana, on Wednesday.
Books being given to students of Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, Ludhiana, on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Ek Noor Charitable Education and Welfare Trust organised a tree plantation drive at Shaheed-e-Azam Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls' Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, here today. Harish Rai Dhanda, parliamentary secretary, was the chief guest and encouraged students to make the city clean and green. More than 100 saplings were planted. School principal Kamaljeet Kaur encouraged students to plant more trees. Books were also distributed among students.

NSS camp

The NSS camp, organised at SDP College for Women, witnessed singing and poem-writing competitions on the sixth day. Volunteers of the camp participated enthusiastically in the competitions. Surbhi, Sukhbir and Jeevan Jyoti enthralled everyone with their melodious songs. In poem writing, 25 volunteers participated and sung their self-compose poems and songs and showed their creative talent. Surbhi got the first prize and Jeevan Jyoti stood second in singing. Nisha of BCom III secured the first position, while Jyoti of BA III secured the second position in poem writing. Principal Dr Meenu Sharma encouraged students to participate in co-curricular activities.


A ‘Social Service Week’ was observed at Kundan Vidya Mandir recently, wherein students not only donated their books, stationery, clothes, eatables, etc, but also thought what they could do for the support staff of the school. They organised a workshop on oral hygiene, in which a dentist gave a presentation on the same. The support staff was shown how wrong habits, like consumption of tobacco, too many sweets, etc, could decay teeth and how simple tips could save big troubles and infections later on. — TNS



Hair to stay
Jasmine Singh

With everything in place for the D-day - appointment with the best make-up artist, a fairly good skin waiting to be painted, an exotic bridal dress rehearsed a million times, oodles of eagerness and enthusiasm…then god knows why it does not turn out the way you wanted. Something is amiss…not sure what!

“Ah! it is simple. The make-up artist, following the factory-line production, dressed up yet another bride looking like the one before,” smiles celebrity stylist Samantha Kochhar. “The bride is left wondering where is the break, which is normal because a make-up artist never treats brides as individuals.” With her mother Blossom Kochhar, the celebrity stylist duo is in city to demonstrate latest trends in bridal make-up and hair-styling.

Samantha has taken after her mother in profession, but this doesn’t stop her from speaking out her mind, points where she is glad to differ on. “My mother says that I shouldn’t be harsh on the parlours or make-up artists. But I can’t help myself when I see them following the same style for ages, not wanting to be different and experimental,” she says.

Manoeuvring her fingers through the dishevelled mop of a model, picking hair, wetting it with hair spray, Samantha strongly advocates the need to bring in difference and creativity when it comes to bridal make-up and styling. “Most make-up artists need to understand that every bride is an individual and should be treated in that manner.” And this is where the celebrity stylist brings in the difference. “Rather than going crazy with make-up, it is advisable to work on various features and highlight them. Someone has beautiful eyes, lips or skin, and for the D-day the artist should highlight the features.”

Now you know, being a bride doesn’t mean going overboard with everything - hair or make-up. C’mon girls you don’t want to end up looking like a mannequin! “The point is every bride is beautiful and an individual. This means a style that works for one bride might not for another. It is good to follow trends lest we are not left out, but the trick lies in personalising a style,” adds Samantha demonstrating how to get the ‘push up’ hairstyle and how to enhance layers. “Style changes probably every day. It is okay to keep abreast with it. As for the make-up artists, there is no end to learning and experimentation. Some amount of training always helps. I tell these people – ‘Spend good time on the client (the bride), studying skin, what looks suits and what doesn’t. And then charge for it. No harm as long the outcome is awesome,” says Samantha without mincing words.

Over to Blossom Kochhar, the beauty expert who realises the value of the growing beauty industry and what more needs to be brought into this sector. Her latest offing for the wedding season is jewel facial (Gold, silver and platinum); back treatments so that you can flaunt sexy backless blouses. “Beauty treatments change with season and festivities, what does not change is wellness. This is an arena that I wish to explore more,” says Blossom. This beauty expert propagates the idea of healthy mind, body and soul. “I don’t advocate the use of branded skincare products. Indian kitchens have so much to offer for the beauty platter.”

Back to the basics - healthy diet, ample water, green salads and then comes good make-up. “The idea to use make-up is to look good. We should know how to use the correct amount. All said and done, the secret is within us. Healthy, stress-free mind,” she smiles. For the 24X7 job, stressed out, folks a quick tip (free of cost). “Put a pinch of salt in the bucket for a warm bath.” And the stress goes out…zoom!



Beyond age
Our Correspondent

“Phool murjhate hain, alfaaz nahin murjhate/ Duur jana hai toh bazurgon ki duayein le jaa,” the couplet by poet Rumani reflects the richness of Indian cultural traditions where the elderly are extolled for their wisdom and given due respect.

And in this spirit, October 1 is celebrated as the World Elder’s Day and distinguished senior citizens are honoured on the occasion. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, bestowed the Vayoshreshtha Samman-2010 on city-based litterateur, Padma Shri, Kashmiri Lal Zakir (90) at a special ceremony held at New Delhi recently. Zakir is among the five people from India selected for the honour this year.



Spurned, Class X boy commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 6
Son of a migrant labour hailing from Begusarai village in Bihar committed suicide after a few villagers and members of the girl’s family thrashed him for daring to meet the girl. The migrant labourer’s family is, now, lining at Madarpur village for the past several years.

Unable to bear the ruthless behaviour of locals, for daring to fall in love with the girl outside his community Parmod Kumar, son of migrant labourer, allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a tree in fields on the outskirts of Keeri village yesterday.

The Sidhwan Bet police has initiated a probe into the sequence of events leading to the tragedy, after conducting a post-mortem examination under Section 174 of the Cr. PC.

Parmod Kumar, son of Ram Nath, who was studying in Class X of Government School at Bhaini Rayeean, had developed intimacy for the girl of Keeri village. He had allegedly tried to meet the girl while she was alone at her house a few days ago. Parmod had gone to Keeri village on the pretext of taking part in a kabaddi tournament.

A few villagers, including members of the girl’s family, had thrashed Parmod for daring to meet her. The police had to intervene and both parties reached a compromise that the boy would not meet the girl again.

Things went smoothly till Monday afternoon. He suddenly left his house at 7.30 pm. The family started searching for him only when he did not return till late in the night. It was the next day, his body was found hanging from the tree on the outskirts of the village.



Husband gets 10-yr jail for dowry death
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 6
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Munish Singal has convicted Sukdev Singh and his brother Jagdev Singh of Jamalpur Colony in a dowry death case. The duo were ordered to undergo a sentence of 10 years.

“They have committed the heinous crime of subjecting Kulwinder Kaur(wife of Sukhdev Singh) to cruelty, harassment and causing dowry death,” the judge said, declining the plea of leniency.

The court also ordered them to pay Rs 5,000 each as fine. A case was registered against the accused in 2006 following the complaint of Darshan Singh, father of the victim.The complainant had said his daughter was beaten up often by his son-in-law and harassed for dowry.

The complainant said on July 28, 2006, he received a call regarding the illness of his daughter, but when he reached her house, he found that she had been strangled with a rope.



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