L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bhaura villagers usurp PWD land
Start constructing shops on it
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Despite trying hard, the efforts of residents of Bhaura village to save a piece of land worth Rs 10 crore, have failed to bear fruit as a few villagers have started constructing shops on it.

This land, which originally belongs to the Public Works Department, was used as a village pond till five years ago. But a few residents of the village levelled and sold it, where the construction activity has now started.

Four years ago, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had razed illegal structures coming up on the same piece of land. The district administration had ordered an inquiry into the entire incident.

After lying low for all these years, the villagers have again started constructing shops in the area. Residents of Bhaura village claim that the government land, situated along the GT Road, has a high commercial value. Hence it has attracted land sharks who are allegedly trying to grab every inch in connivance with officials of the Revenue Department as the land was been mutated in the name of a tenant in violation of the rules.

The villagers have now shot off letters to the Deputy Commissioner as well as Municipal Commissioner to come to their rescue.

They have been demanding a fresh demarcation of the land for the past five years and former Deputy Commissioner, Ashok Gupta, had ordered that the land be protected with a barbed wire. But to no avail.

The villagers of Bhaura alleged that an influential person of the village had sold the land at the rate of Rs 20,000 to 27,000 per square yard.

Showing revenue records of 1963-64, in which the Khasra No. 27 was shown to be ‘Abaadi deh’ of Bhaura village, they said the land belonged to the PWD and former sarpanch of the village was a tenant.

When and how the land was mutated in his name in violation of the rules was an indicator that a few officials of revenue department, too, were involved in the scam.

They claimed that the pond existed at the spot till years ago. ‘‘Soil samples can be taken to ascertain our claim,’’ they said.

‘‘A team can visit any time and get the soil samples tested from Punjab Agricultural University,’’ said Gurmej Singh, a villager, who had been moving from pillar to post for the past one year to get the scam unearthed. 

Demand for park

People say that a public park should be constructed at the place of the pond so that the children and elderly of the village can pass their time at this spot. 


GenNext fails to recognise Kapil Dev
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Someone has rightly said times change, legends fall. Those who were enjoying heroes’ status once upon a time, lead the fag end of their life in oblivion.Similar scenes were witnessed at Imperial Golf Academy near Mullanpur, when 43 budding golfers, who were learning the skills of golf from none other than Kapil Dev, failed to recognise him.

The children were told by their parents that the 6-ft man was legendary cricketer and the best all-rounder the country had ever produced.

Rather than children, parents of the budding golfers were more excited to meet the living legend. Parents were seen requesting Kapil to pose for a photograph with them.

The pleadings of parents left the children high and dry. The aspiring golfers were visibly confused to see the “erratic behaviour” of their parents.

"I don't know what happened to my father. I have never seen him so excited. After seeing the cricketer, he started telling my mother ‘Palmolive the jawaab nahin’ and both had a fit of laughter," said 12-year-old Rohan, who was visiting the academy to hone his golfing skills.

The blankness on the face of children, a majority between the age of eight and 16, was justified as Kapil Dev had hung his shoes before they were born.

While all budding golfers were ardent fans of Sachin Tendulkar, a majority of them simply could not recognise the cricketing great and his contribution to the game.

Though the children said they had often seen Kapil as a cricket commentator on news channels, they did not know much about his achievements.

For Gurdeep Singh, who is in his early 50s, "It was a wish fulfilled. It brought back the memories of good old days when we used to stand for hours in cricket stadium to have a glimpse of Kapil Dev. And what an irony, our children could not recognise the man who won the lone cricket world cup for our country." 



Educational visit to police station
Girl lodges eve-teasing complaint against classmate
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The visit of students to police stations during the ongoing Police Station Visitor Week (PSVW), landed a class XI boy in trouble, when his classmate complained that the boy was teasing her for the past three months. The abrupt disclosure of eve teasing took the cops and fellow students by surprise.

The incident took place yesterday, when the station house officer (SHO) of a police station, located in the old city area, was telling students about the working of the police.

A group of 15 girls and 20 boys was visiting the police station, when suddenly a girl told the SHO that the boy was teasing her for the past three months and was making nasty remarks.

She told the cop that earlier she used to remain quiet and thought that the boy would give up his bad habit, but the boy's teasing gradually increased, which caused her a lot of mental tension and affected her studies.

The victim said she had even brought the matter to the notice of schoolteachers but to no avail. The boy was let off due to “lack of evidence”. She did not tell her family about the teasing incidents.

She told the SHO that the invitation by cops to visit the police station came as right opportunity to teach the boy a lesson. The boy, who used to tease the girl, was also part of the group that visited the police station.

While the other students returned to school after the visit, the boy was made to sit in the police station.

His parents were informed and asked to visit the police station following the complaint of the girl. It was after an hour-long counselling that the boy was let off.

The SHO said some times children commit mistakes, as they were unaware about the punishment. The boy was told that eve teasing was a crime and it could land him in trouble.



Girls bond easily with elderly parents: Doc
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Indian society has mostly been based on patriarchal system since the Vedic age. It got redefined as the compassionate girls or women come forward to take care of their elderly parents.

Dr Sudhir Khandelwal, professor of psychiatry, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, who is attending the 35th North Zone Conference of Indian Society of Psychiatry said, “ The daughters have taken up the role of caretakers when it comes to looking after the elderly and ailing parents.”

Supporting his views, Dr Rajiv Gupta, a city-based psychiatrist, referred to the prevailing scenario in Punjab wherein sons were immigrating to foreign lands in search of greener pastures leaving their parents at the mercy of village community. “It’s the daughters who have taken up the initiative of providing them (elderly parents) with healthcare facilities. This can be gauged from village women bringing their parents, suffering from physical and psychiatric disorders, to hospitals/clinics.”

Despite being responsible for the skewed sex ratio in Punjab, the Punjabi parents are lucky to have the moral and monetary support of their daughters, the doctor added.

Further speaking on Alzheimer disease (the most common condition in dementia) Dr Khandelwal said: “It is an acute condition of memory impairment prevalent in people in their sixties. What is worrisome is the fact that almost 10 crore of the Indian population will fall in this age group in five years from now. This mean an increase in number of Alzheimer patients,” the doctor stated.

Punjab is facing peculiar situation wherein “caretaker” population is migrating to foreign shores. With no definite programme for the mental health in public healthcare system and inadequate/unspecialised social service in the area has added to the problem, the expert observed. 



Staff ‘shortage’ makes parks suffer
Workers have, meanwhile, been found doing household chores of officials, politicians
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, October 24
Due to the “shortage” of gardeners, beldars etc in the horticulture department of the municipal corporation, many of the city's public parks are in a shabby condition. But the irony is that despite the so-called shortage, the services of many of the department workers are being taken by none other than political leaders and higher officials of the civic body at their residence.

According to sources, the attendance of four persons in the horticulture department is marked in the department daily, but their services are being hired by two local Akali MLAs and a senior engineer of the civic body. For the past several months, all these four workers have been marking their attendance in the department, while they work for these “influential” persons.

One of these workers, on condition of anonymity, said, "In records, I am the worker of the horticulture department but I have been asked to work in the ward of an influential person. I do not work in the ward or park, but work at the office or residence of the particular person. Honestly, I am happy here. In case, I have to get any work done, I request my well-connected master and my work is done in minutes."

Gurpreet Bassi Gogi, Congress councillor, said the parks in his ward were suffering due to shortage of staff in the horticulture wing. "I have been making rounds of the department but hardly anyone paid attention to my requests. After much exercise, I have been able to get the names of four persons who are working for two MLAs and an SE in the MC, which is totally unjustified," said Gogi, adding that this was not with just the horticulture department, many workers in other departments, too, were working at the residence of "well-connected" persons.

SS Chana, president, Park Management Committees (PMCs), said public parks in all the wards were suffering due to "staff-shortage". "In the absence of gardeners, wild grass is growing, the plants are all dried as there is no one to look after them, stray animals rule the public parks etc. But the reality is work suffers in public parks as gardeners/beldars work for political leaders at their homes," rued Chana.


Commissioner municipal corporation AK Sinha said he would check the matter with the horticulture department on Monday. "Workers can work in the wards of certain persons, but not at their residence as domestic help. There must be some communication gap," he opined.



Despite orders by DG, no tobacco-free school
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 24
Most of the educational institutions in the area have failed to implement the explicit orders given by the Education Department asking them to declare premises of their institutes as tobacco-free institutes.

They have not bothered to comply with the provisions of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, supply and Distribution) Act, 2003 even.

These institutes have not bothered to display notices warning traders against display and sale of these products. So sensitisation of students against smoking and consumption of tobacco products is a far cry.

Contrary to expectations of authorities, most of the educational institutes had some visible or hidden spot of otherwise banned products.

The Director General, School Education, had directed all District Education Officers and heads of all the educational institutes of the state to ensure that “Tobacco Free School or Institute” boards were displayed on walls of their institutes and signboards warning against sale of tobacco products. Consumption of tobacco products inside the campus has strictly been prohibited.

Though all institutes have been asked to display notice boards regarding ban on sale of these products years ago no such boards are seen displayed in any of the institute of this area.

The schools seem to have ignored the advice. They did not bother to have a copy of COTPA 2003 and be aware of its implications.

Perusal of records revealed that the DG (SE) had directed all DEOs and heads of schools falling under his jurisdiction to ensure that recommendations of the Department of School Education and Literacy, Government of India, were implemented in letter and spirit and those facilitating the implementation should be honoured by the authorities at respective schools.

According to instructions, an owner or the manager or any person in charge of the affairs of educational institutions should display and exhibit a board at a conspicuous place outside the premises prominently stating that the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in an area within a radius of 100 yards of the institute was strictly prohibited and that it was an offence punishable with fine up to Rs 200.

A quick visit to the area revealed that most of the educational institutes had at least one sale point where cigarettes or other tobacco products were being sold openly and that too to teenagers.

There were some institutes that had a cigarette-vendor adjoining the boundary wall of the institute but no school or college was found displaying the required board.

Besides flouting the civil rules, these organisations also ignored the recommendations of the World Health Organisation, which urged the member states to resort to legislation and other effective measures to protect their citizens with special attention to risk groups such as pregnant women and children.

Inquiries from the vendors and shopkeepers selling tobacco products and cigarettes revealed that most of them were not aware of the consequences of the disobeying of the said law.

They considered a fine of Rs 200 to be a minor punishment in comparison to the income from their customers who seldom bothered to bargain the rates.

It was reported that teachers of some institutes usually asked their students to bring cigarettes for them from nearby shops thus violating the rules themselves.

Sources in schools argued that directions of the DG (SE) went unnoticed, as heads and senior teachers were preoccupied in the first semester examination of board classes at the time of issue of orders. Poor follow up was cited as another factor behind noncompliance of the orders. 



‘Shayars’ enthral at All-India Mushaira
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Apni Apni zaat, mazhab jaante hein Ab to khanjar bhi gale pehchante hein ……the verse by the noted Urdu poet Sardar Panchi from Ludhiana was appreciated and lauded by one and all present at the Fourth All-India Mushaira, organised by the Sufi Foundation of India.

The mushaira was a confluence of shayars from different parts of India, who shared a common platform to promote communal harmony and camaraderie between varied religions last evening at Nehru Sidhant Kendra, Ludhiana.

Organised every year in the memory of people who died in the bomb blast at Shingaar Cinema, the mushaira has become an awaited event for the poets in the city and the aficionado of Urdu poetry.

Braving multiple health problems Sardar Panchi even at the ripe age of 80 plus oozed with confidence as he took over the podium and accredited the Urdu shayars for keeping the language alive through his rhyme “Chand panchi bache hein shakh par, chand ahle zuban reh gaye …”

Adding humour to the evening, the hasya kavi from Roorki, Sajjad Jhanjat recited a verse on the romantic nature of the poets and the soft corner of the officials for the “diehard lovers”.

Tashna Kanpuri’s poetic diction, “Vatan mein aman aur shanty ka chiraag jab tak na jala hoga, kisi bhi ghar mein khushi na hogi , koi bhi chehra khila na hoga” complimented the cause of the mushaira.

DIG, MF Farooqui, the man behind the show termed the mushaira as an effort of the foundation to give some ecstatic moments to the people and at the same time encourage the poets who have for years have kept alive the art of “shayari.

Ludhiana commissioner of police Ishwer Singh on the other hand called the programme a unique endeavour that bridges the gap between cops and the common man. 

Educationists, doctors amongst audience

Educationists and doctors from the city and outside were amongst the august audience at the Mushaira, who despite being the early birds patiently waited for the commencement for the poetry session.

Mushairas are an important Indian cultural component wherein the poets come face to face with the audience and are lauded for their talent there and then. This is referred to as “rubaru” and “daad” in the Urdu language, said Dr Kewal Dheer, the founder of Sahir Cultural Academy.



‘IQ of Indian students extraordinary’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Inspector of schools from UK Meena Woods today visited DCM Presidency School. Meena was accorded a warm welcome by Amita Mittal, principal, Sunil Kumar, chief coordinator, members of the faculty and students of the school.

The sense of pride amidst the staff and students of the school was obvious as DCM is the only school in the city to be visited by senior educationist of international repute from the OFSTED (Office for standards in education, UK).

During her visit, Woods evinced keen interest in the teaching learning processes adopted in various classes. While in class, she interacted with the children and asked them about their career planning and their views about the modern day educational system.

The students enjoyed talking to her and asked several questions about the school education in UK and about the students studying there.

After the classroom observations, Woods chaired an interactive session with the school faculty, specially those teaching languages, science, maths and social sciences.

Woods discussed about adopting the latest methodologies and techniques of teaching that enabled students to attain their fullest potential.

She also talked about inclusive education and various ways and means that could enhance the quality of learning inside and outside the class. She gave valuable inputs in connection with assessment and evaluation procedures that were very much in line with the CCE currently being introduced by the CBSE, New Delhi. Savitri Chandershekharan, senior coordinator, said the interactive session with Woods was really useful and helped them gain an insight into the educational practices being followed in schools in UK. 



From Schools & Colleges
Diwali carnival

It was a day of fun and frolic when students, teachers and management of Radcliffe School organised “Diwali Carnival” to celebrate the spirit of the festival of lights. The carnival started with a cultural programme presided over by Dr Karan Soni, bureau chief, Congress Yuva Sandesh, Punjab, who was chief guest on the occasion. Michael Patrick, vice-bureau chief of Congress Yuva Sandesh, was the guest of honour.

Iqbal Pahwa, school principal, welcomed the chief guest, parents and other guests. The programme started with the dance "Aao Deepawali Manayein" by the students of Buds and Blossoms followed by "Zubi Dubi" dance done by tiny tots of Seeds. Varinda of Blossoms enthralled the audience with her melodious bhajan "Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram". The function ended with a group dance "Yeh Bharat Desh Hamara" which added colour to the festive moods of audience. The chief guest congratulated the management, staff and students for their efforts. Soni inaugurated the carnival and interacted with parents. There were attractive games and mouth-watering dishes to treat the guests. Parents and kids had a gala time enjoying rides and slides. Free body fat checkup was also organised by Herbal Life on this occasion, which was highly appreciated by the visitors. A stall was put up by Johnson and Johnson and every child who visited the carnival was given gifts. A lucky draw was also held.

Principal Pahwa thanked the guests and parents for their presence and cooperation.

Job fest

IT Job Fest was organised at PCTE with full zeal. Appin Technology, Noida, was the first company to visit the campus, which shortlisted 20 students in the first round of aptitude test. After the technical and HR round, the students will be undergoing a training of six months and will be placed with a package of 3.5 lakh. JSR Tecnology will be recruiting students on a package of Rs 2 lakh, after the stipulated six months training. "Intellisense Technology, Jalandhar, SLR Technology, Chandigarh, GTech, Ludhiana, HCL, Mohali, NIIT, Ludhiana, Netpyx, Mohali, CMS, Chandigarh, JSR Infotech, Noida, Bhasin Infotech, Chandigarh, Blackline, Chandigarh, Webtex, Mohali, Electrosoft and OIT, Chandigarh were the other companies which participated in IT job fest. All these companies will be providing training-cum-placement to the selected students. After the stipulated 6 months training period these all companies will be providing jobs to the students at the package between Rs 2-3 lakh per annum," informed Dr. KNS Kang, director-general, PCTE Group of Institutes.


NCC cadets of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town were enlightened on road safety measures by Sham Sunder Juneja, Road Safety Missionary Traffic Park, Ludhiana. Principal Dr. Charanjit Mahal welcomed the resource person and showed serious concern towards the growing incidents of accidents. Later, the NCC cadets along with head constable Jagmail Singh and Sham Sunder Juneja controlled the traffic at traffic lights near Nilgiri Hotel and guided the general public to obey the traffic rules for useful, better and safe journey.



Himanshu crowned Model of the Year at PIFT fashion show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology (PIFT) organised its graduation ceremony-cum-fashion show of the exclusive Bollywood-modeling-grooming workshop here today.

The workshop was conducted by India’s renowned fashion choreographer Kaushik Ghosh on the PIFT campus.

The graduation ceremony of the students was marked by fashion show in which the Fashion Week models from New Delhi, including Ananya, Manish, Vishesh, Miss India Worldwide finalist Amandeep and Asian Model of the Year winner 2010, MTV Roadies fame and Fashion Week model Priyanka Bahu walked the ramp along with and students who had participated in the workshop.

The garments were exclusively designed by the students of PIFT. The event was replete with ramp round sequences, personality contest, dance performances which left the audience mesmerised.

There were dance performances by professional troop X-Factor and the show was specially anchored and choreographed by Kaushik Ghosh. The event was appreciated by students from different schools, colleges, academys, industry delegates, and architects.

Justin walked away with the title of Mr Catwalk; Gurdeep became Miss Catwalk while Himanshu was crowned the Model of the Year.

The event was judged by a special jury. The workshop helped the students to develop their confidence, personality development, modeling, walk on the ramp and overall development of one's self esteem along with the style. 



20 years on, people live in unhygienic conditions
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 24
People residing in ward No. 4 and 5 are a harassed lot as they getting muddy water through their taps due to the apathetic attitude of the Nagar Council towards their demands.

There is arrangement for disposing off the muddy water as the council has failed to put up a sewerage system in the area for the past 20 years. As a result, water remained stagnant on most of the streets. It’s difficult for the residents to come out of their houses.

A few residents further alleged that heaps of solid waste has been dumped in an open. Foul smell keeps the residents of the area away. Though several dengue cases have been reported from this area, repeated pleas of the residents to the Nagar Council and the health department have fallen on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, Shashi Bardhan, a Congress leader, has demanded that a cleanliness drive should be immediately undertaken in the area.

He has also urged the nagar council to lay a sewerage system in the area at the earliest. Inderjit Kaur Kang, SDM, said she had received the complaints and would soon look into the matter.



Misbehaviour proves costly

In a hurriedly convened F and CC meeting on advertisements at the Mayor’s residence yesterday, the Municipal Corporation criticised the advertising companies for violating the conditions laid down in the agreement. A representative of a company had to cut a sorry figure and later apologise for “misbehaving” with a senior woman official of the civic body.

Not just higher-ups warned him (company representative) of not repeating such a mistake again, but latter was snubbed by the Akali councillor Simarjeet Singh Bains for his “disgusting” behaviour with woman official. Everyone present in the meeting agreed with Bains. No wonder, there is no end to arguments of councillors in general body meetings of the corporation, when it comes to show respect to a woman, all of them are of the same opinion.

Mobile manners

Mobile manners have been a hot topic of debate ever since the advent of the cell phone. Not wanting to risk their precious personal moments in a test of others’ mobile manners, many people are known to turn off their cell phones the moment they reach home. What more, they are often found sniggering at others’ mobile manners or ill manners. But when it comes to invading others’ privacy, these people are, more often than not, found behaving exactly like their subjects of ridicule, perhaps even worse. One such irate woman was heard cribbing that a “snooty” media person never takes her calls nor returns them, little realising that the person in question, too, has a personal life just like her. The scorned woman also failed to realise that all her calls were repeatedly being made at either odd hours or during the rush hour at office. Wonder how people, who are so cautious about their own personal lives, can be so harsh and demanding when it comes to others!

Cleaning the mess

Those organising “langars” and “bhandaras” to observe religious festivals or mark birth anniversaries of seers, saints and other religious heads, seem to have completely forgotten the old saying - “cleanliness is next to godliness”. The places where these “bhandars” (community feasts) are held - more often then not on busy roads or commercial centres with scant regard for vehicular traffic and other road users, are littered with used plastic paper plates, pattals and plastic water glasses without the organisers caring to provide dust bins for used plates, or caring to clean up the mess made at the place of “langars” or “bhandaras”. They consider their job done once the feast is over without giving any thought to the unsanitary conditions created on roads and dirty plastic cups, glasses or plates littered all around.

Confusing fashion

Mothers in order to look young wear skimpy and stylish clothes while teenage girls who want to look mature from their age wear clothes not matching their age. The situation arouses bewilderment when it becomes difficult to recognise who is mother and who is her daughter. Parent teacher meetings at schools are one such occasion when both mothers and daughters want to be at their best. Even the teachers fail to recognise their students. To save teachers from embarrassment and create a clear distinction between mothers and daughters some school authorities have asked the students to dress up in school dress while coming for parent teacher meeting.

Obnoxious names

In order to get square with the persistent callers on mobile phone, the receivers tend to give them “obnoxious names”. But, it was rather interesting to come across some daughters, husbands and employees who tag their fathers, wives and employers with funny names.

Using “Sher Singh” as an affix for her father, a daughter justified her action adding, “I am a working girl but he just yells every time I get late even by 15 minutes.”

It was interesting to see a bank executive using a “barking sound” for her manager who was in the habit of publicly scolding him but it was indeed a shock to see a husband using “tension” for his wife. “She just takes the liberty to call me anytime and give a list of grocery items and vegetables. But it becomes unbearable when I am going through the account statements and she calls up to say, “bachon ki notebooks aur pencils le aana,” the husband retorted.

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



Distribution of Grants
‘Govt neglecting Cong areas’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 24
Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari has criticised the state government for being discriminatory towards the areas represented by the Congress, which is the main opposition party in Punjab. He said, while the Central government was giving generous grants to the state government on which it was surviving, the state was not distributing these funds honestly.

Addressing a series of functions in Ward No 53 to mark Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti here today, Tewari maintained that this government had broken all records of corruption and nepotism. “The rulers are not even bothered about their party workers, but they are so obsessed with their families. Recent developments in the state politics should be an eye opener for everyone as to how this government is being run to serve the interests of a select family.”

The Ludhiana MP also distributed cheques on the occasion. He released Rs 1 lakh from his local area development fund to Valmiki Dharmashala in Maharaj Nagar and similar amount to Valmiki Dharamshala at Prem Nagar.

Councillors Gurpeet Gogi, Hemraj Aggarwal and Raju Thapar, PCC general secretary Pawan Dewan, Anil Malhotra, Shital Parshad, Ashok Kumar and Dharuv Aggarwal were among others present on the occasion.



‘Printing, packaging industry needs attention’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The printing industry is the mother of all industries and no other industry can survive without it. But the sad part is that the government is not paying much attention to it, opined P Hanumantha Rao, journalist-turned-printer.

Rao is amongst one of the top printers of India and was bestowed with Lifetime Achievement Award by the Offset Printers Association here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Rao said the printing and packaging industry is one of the most important industries and the entire trade and industry is dependent on it, but it is very sad that we are not getting our due. “The government should recognise our industry and its valuable contribution."

Adding further, he said a testimony to this fact is that no printer has ever received Padma Bhushan award. "Our contribution to the society should be recognised."

Born in a poor peasant family, Hanumantha Rao (86) is a multi-dimensional personality. He worked in the fields for more than 10 years before joining the high school. During his school days, he was jailed for three years for joining the freedom movement.

He has also worked as a journalist and later joined Saradhi Studios and also acted in films with NT Rama Rao, before starting his printing unit Pragati Art Printers in 1962 with small letterpress printing machine. Ever since, there has been no looking back.

"My unit has become a leader in the printing and packaging industry not only in India but the world over," he added.

The turnover of Rao's company last year was Rs 110 crore and this year he is expecting it to be Rs 150 crore. "And I honestly and genuinely pay income tax," he added. Giving the message to all tax payers, he said one should always pay income tax sincerely as the money is used in the development projects of our country only," he said.

Pragati Offset is now considered to be the top printer of India and third in the world. With its offices at Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and New York, Pragati is catering the need of not only Indian but international buyers also.



Road cries for repairs
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 24
The road leading to the court complex, SDM and treasury offices, advocate chambers and revenue department offices is in a bad shape after the Sewerage Board dug it up for laying new water supply lines.

A large number of people from two towns of Mandi Gobindgarh and Amloh besides 90 villages visit these offices for getting their grievances resolved.

Sushil Kumar and Kewal Krishan Garg said the dust enters their premises located just besides the road. The shopkeepers of the area have urged the government to get the road repaired at the earliest.



CME on minimal invasive cardiac surgery
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 24
More than 200 physicians from across the state attended a continuous medical education (CME) on “minimally invasive cardiac surgery” organised by the Department of Cardiothorasic and Vascular Surgery, SPS Apollo Hospitals, here last evening. Hospital’s MD Jugdiep Singh inaugurated the programme.

Senior consultant in cardiothorasic surgery and coordinator Dr KC Mukherjee made a detailed presentation on the newly launched MICS surgery. He said, “ Conventionally, cardiac surgeries were performed by splitting the chest open, literally cutting through the breastbone (sternum), which took several months to heal, and therefore, a traumatic and painful recovery for the patient.

He informed that the hospital had now started doing this specialised heart surgery with the help of a small (4 to 5 cm) incision in right half of the chest, rather than a long incision in the middle of the chest. “Entire surgical procedure is performed very safely with the help of advanced technique and special sets of instruments. All valve replacement, repair surgeries and repair of holes in the heart can be done very easily by this method.”

Elaborating upon the benefits, Dr Mukherjee said, “Not only is MICS cosmetic, but the post-operative complexities are also very low. Chances of infection and bleeding are minimal and hospital stay is also shortened. MICS is going to be beneficial for young female patients, who unfortunately suffer most from the valve diseases and holes in the heart, because the scar is not seen as it is below the breast.

The CME programme was chaired by Dr RP Singh, senior consultant cardiologist and coordinator, and co-chaired by Dr Amit Gupta, consultant cardiologist.



Now, Dehlon police befriends school kids
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 24
Visiting a police station or seeking help of a uniformed cop is no more fearful for students of Government Senior Secondary School at Dehlon. Fear psychosis of these students sublimed during their visit to the Model Police Station yesterday.

They (students) have rather expressed their desire to associate themselves with cops for maintaining law and order as well as controlling the traffic.

Majority of students, who were earlier afraid of projected strict behaviour of cops, maintained that the misconception regarding the role of the police in society had been removed after this visit.

“As we were brought up in an atmosphere where everybody, including our parents, used to scare us by telling us that the police will apprehend us on their instance, we obviously conceived police station as a place to beat and thrash people only. Today, we have realised that there is lot to be learnt from them,” reacted students after interacting with SHO Harvinder Singh Cheema.

The students expressed their desire to associate themselves with cops during duty hours. 



SBI pensioners seek relief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 24
The State Bank of India (SBI) Pensioners Association has put forth its demand for revision of pension of 7th bipartite retirees, updation of pension and family pension, total neutralisation of dearness relief and opening of retired employees medical benefit scheme for all pensioners.

Addressing a pensioners meet of the Chandigarh circle of the association, its president JR Gupta and secretary NS Dhawan, urged the SBI management to consider their demands sympathetically and provide relief to them without further delay.

The meeting was attended among others by RK Mittal and Anuradha, both assistant general managers, Chanchal Singh, S Bakshi and Ram Charan, KL Sethi, VK Kalia and JL Mehta.



Medical tourism on rise in India: Doc
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 24
Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor of urology and head, Transplant Unit, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), was recently invited for a talk on “Medical Tourism and Urological problems most often treated” on DD Punjabi.

Medical tourism, he stated, is the concept where people from all over the world visit another country for getting themselves treated, relaxation and travel to places of tourist interest at low cost, and at their convenience. “An increasing number of foreign tourists are now coming to India because of the superlative medicare and facilities that this country offers, that too, at a comparatively lesser cost than developed nations.”

Dr Aulakh said patients come here for prostate, kidney stones, transplants and cancers and even for infertility problems. Most of the patients come from the USA, UK Canada and even West Asian country like Dubai. Technique and results for these surgeries match those of advanced countries and hence, accepted by these people. Many hospital in India are accredited and on list of medical tourism.

There are third party assistants also who facilitate treatment of those opting for medical tourism in India. Many NRIs who don’t have insurance or don’t want to be on waiting list prefer Indian medical institutions for treatment,” added Dr Aulakh

He asserted that India had become a favourite destination for medical tourism not only for NRIs - who combine periodic visits to their native places with surgical or medical treatment for complex problems- but for numerous foreign nationals as well due to world class medical facilities being available here at affordable cost, and without long waiting period.

According to Dr Aulakh the cost of medical service in India is almost 60 per cent lower than Western countries. Language is a major comfort factor that invites so many foreign tourist to visit India as the country has a large populace of good English speaking doctors, nurses, guides and paramedical staff that makes it easier for visitors. 



LCD screens for 27 police stations
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Viewers watch an LCD screen put up by the police in Ludhianaon Sunday.
Viewers watch an LCD screen put up by the police in Ludhianaon Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 24
The police is all set to install LCD screens at 27 police stations across the city.The LCDs powered by software will display all relevant details about the missing person, stolen vehicle and dreaded criminals to the visitors of the police station.

The two LCDs have been already installed at Sadar Police Station and Sarabha Nagar model police station.

Giving details about the project, Sandeep Mittal, MD of Spurlink infotech, said: "We have started with the installation of two LCDs and spent over Rs 1. 5 lakh on developing the software. Soon the LCDs and systems will be installed in rest of the 27 police station across the city and CPRC branch located near the Commissioner Office in mini secretariat."

He said the company had compiled a database of missing person, stolen vehicle and absconded dreaded criminals. The LCD would continuously display the details and physicals appearance of the missing persons and dreaded criminals.

Mittal is currently involved in several projects with the city police. He is also handling the servant-verification programme.

"Currently, we are not in possession of the photograph of missing persons, stolen vehicles and absconded dreaded criminals. As soon as we get the picture we will start displaying it on our systems, so that people can easily identify them," said Mittal.

The police will also run the helpline numbers on the LCDs so that people can immediately inform the police in case they have information to share.

Reliable sources in the department said that the police was in process to install giant screen in one of the shopping mall in the city. It is learnt that similar information will be displayed in these giant screens as well, but the police is in process to hold a meeting with the mall authorities and the Municipal Corporation officials.

"We need funds to installed such a giant screen as one giant screen costs nearly Rs 12 lakh, further in order to run the LCDs, we are planning to run advertisements of sponsors and corporate houses. But the problem is if we run advertisements, it will be violating MC clauses. So we are holding talks on this issue with the civic authorities," said a senior officials on the condition of anonymity.

Mittal said they were planning to put LCD at food courts of malls and shopping centres in busy markets. 

Cops invite corporate sector

Good facilities and arrangements were made for the Police Station Visitor Week (PSVW). Top businessman, including SP Oswal and Satish Dhanda, were invited by ADCP JS Sidhu at Sadar police station to check the preparation for the ongoing PSVW competition. Oswal said, “Gone are the days of gloomy police stations. If we have to compete with other police stations at the global level we need hi-tech police stations.



Swindler tantrik exposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Activists of the Taraksheel Society Punjab exposed a "tantrik", who was allegedly conning people by performing black magic to sort out their problems.Mohib Malik, who was operating from an office located near Clock Tower, landed in trouble when he refused to return the money he had taken for sorting out some problem of a customer.

Jaswant Jeerakh, a representative of the society, said they had received several complaints about swindling by the tantrik.

After receiving information, the representative of the society, posing as a customer, visited the office of the tantrik along with Mewa Singh.

He said the tantrik had taken Rs 11,150 from Mewa Singh on the pretext of performing black magic to sort out his problems.

Mewa Singh complained that his problems remained unsolved.

When Singh demanded his money back, Mohib refused to return the cash.

The society members informed the police about the tantrik's conning activities.

According to Jaswant Jeerakh, on reaching the police station, the tantrik returned the entire amount that the latter had taken from Mewa Singh for performing black magic. Mohib Malik was not available for comments.



52nd Inter-Zonal Youth Festival
‘Fests must to create cultural interest among youth’

Doraha, October 24
The 52nd Inter-Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival of Panjab University, Chandigarh, commenced today at the Dr. Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.

The chief guest of the inaugural ceremony, Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, in his inaugural speech, lauded the college authorities for organising such a grand festival and appreciated the efforts of the university in creating cultural interest among the present generation by organising such youth and heritage festivals from time to time.

Expressing concern over the present educational set up of the state, he said that a sea change needed to be ushered in order to manage the huge dropout rate at the school level. “More so education has to be made interesting and creative in order develop capacity in students to concentrate and excel as is being done in the foreign countries”, he said. He exhorted them to be career conscious and be firmly directed towards their definite goals.

Dr MS Kang,Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, was the chief for the evening session.The principals were among those who were especially honoured for successfully organising the zonal youth festivals in their respective zones.

Dr Jagpal Singh and Dr Iqbal Singh Sandhu, Senators, Panjab University, Chandigarh, were also honoured on the occasion. A formal welcome was accorded to the chief guest and other dignitaries by the principal of the college Dr.Narinder Singh Sidhu.

SM Kant, Director, Department of Youth Welfare, Punjab University, Chandigarh, said, "The basic motive of organising these festivals, apart from talent exposition, is an effort to revive the elapsed cultural heritage especially among the youngsters, who are regarded to be the befitting guardians of our prosperous cultural past. Along side, these festivals are especially arranged to polish the finer sensibilities of the students and enable them to face their victory and defeat with an open heart".

A total of 190 colleges of 12 zones, including Muktsar

Zone, Ludhiana Zone- A, Educational Colleges Zone-A, Hoshiarpur Zone-A, Chandigarh Zone- A, Hoshiarpur Zone- B, Chandigarh Zone -B, Moga-Ferozpur (Girls Zone), Ludhiana Zone- B, Educational Colleges

Zone- B, Educational Zone- C, Moga-Ferozpur (Boys Zone) are participating in this festival. As many as 3,000 artistes are participating in more than 43 items in this four- day festival. — OC



Red to rock this festive season
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
This festive season is wrapped in beautiful reds - dark burgundy, cherry red and brick - you name a tone of the hue and you are sure to hit upon it somewhere near you.

While this eternal hue of love, passion and happiness has slowly made a smooth shift from the bridal scene with other colours taking over. It has made soft inroads into festivities. The trend also underlines, very subtly, the importance of the colour red in Indian set up during all auspicious occasions.

A mannequin dressed up in red on display in front of a shop in Ludhiana.
A mannequin dressed up in red on display in front of a shop in Ludhiana.A Tribune photograph

This year, red is reining supreme as far as the festive scene is concerned. Be it Karwa Chauth, the most important festival for married Indian women, festival of lights Diwali or Christmas - red will rule.

The trend is especially very special for the traditional Indian woman for whom red means marital bliss, joy and a life full of love. Also, for those who choose to defy the conventions by opting for colours other than red for their weddings.

While for those who can carry off the colour with élan, an all-red outfit is the perfect choice while others can create interesting combinations with off-beat shades like blue and lime green.

"I am wearing a heavily embroidered red saree on Karwa Chauth as this is my first fast after wedding and the colour is considered auspicious for such occasions," remarks Aarti Chawla, a housewife.

Another newly wed Ritika adds, "I wanted to be a unique bride so I did not wear a red outfit on my wedding though I love the colour. So, I am going to wear a red lehnga on Karwa Chauth and a beautiful red saree on Diwali."

"Even for the festival of Bhai Dooj, which follows Diwali, I have got a traditional Indian salwar-kameez in red. I am going to paint the town red this festive season," she chuckles.

Men, too, will be seen wearing red. It may be a smart red tie with a black suit, a red stole with a sherwani or a casual and chic T-shirt in red, the colour is sure to transcend gender boundaries.

Interestingly, red has not only taken the apparel scene by storm this festival season, intricate jewellery studded with precious and semi-precious stones in red, too, are a rage.

Bangles in red have always been the hot favourite of Indian women and a source of inspiration for many a bard. This year, too, they continue to rule the hearts and will tinkle all the more during the festive season. Those who will miss out on red apparel can try to compensate by mixing and matching bangles in bright red shades to light up their festivals.

Besides that, nail paints, lip colours and hair accessories in red will also shine and catch quite a few eye balls in the coming days.

Red footwear is another hot item on the list of fashionistas and those who know how to cast a spell.

"I am a conservative dresser and will keep the style understated even during festivals. But to add that festive sparkle to my outfits, I will pick and choose colours that go well with red footwear. So I will attract attention with my high-heeled pumps in red, sleek red peep toes and strappy stilettos," remarks Sakshi Bali.

The colour red will brighten up the walls, tables, floors, doors, windows and shelves in Indian homes during the festivals. Be it linen, candles, diyas, electric lights or decorations, carpets and kitchen wear; red will rock.



MPS Grewal hockey tourney begins today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 24
Two matches are slated for the opening day of the XIVth All-India Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal Women's Hockey Tournament to be held at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University campus here from October 25 to 29.

In the inaugural match, North Eastern Railway, Gorakhpur, will take on Ludhiana XI at 12.30 pm and the second match will be played between Central Railway, Mumbai, and IMA Academy, Jalandhar, at 2.30 pm

DS Grewal, president of the Mohinder Partap Singh Grewal Charitable Trust, said the tournament would be played on knock-out basis. The winners would pocket a cash prize of Rs 50,000 while the team finishing as runners up would get a cash prize of Rs 35,000. The third position holders would receive a cash prize of Rs10, 000.

Besides, the best player, the highest scorer and the highest scorer from penalty corners (minimum 5 goals) would also be given cash prizes. The selection committee to choose the best player has been formed which comprise former international players-Sharanjit Kaur, HS Bhullar, Pritpal Kaur Kohli and Pushpinder Kaur, said Grewal.

Punjab Transport Minister, Master Mohan Lal will inaugurate the tournament at 2pm while Dr MS Kang, Vice Chancellor, PAU, Ludhiana, will preside over the opening ceremony.

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, will be the chief guest on the concluding day.



Ludhiana, Moga eves script easy victories
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 24
Ludhiana along with Moga scripted easy victories in their respective encounters to advance into the inter-cluster phase in the ongoing Inter-District Hockey Tournament for girls (U-17) being organised by the Punjab Education Department at the Punjab Agricultural University campus, here today.

Ludhiana eves registered a comfortable 4-0 win against Mansa in which Preet Rani and Mamta accounted for two goals each to enable their team to wrap up the issue.

Moga players recorded victory in both their matches. In the first match, Moga blanked Ferozepur 3-0. Jasbir Kaur scored a brace while Sumandeep Kaur chipped in with one goal.

In their second fixture, Moga drubbed Faridkot 5-0. Jasbir Kaur found the target twice while Harpal Kaur, Harpreet Kaur and Mandeep Kaur contributed one goal each to complete the rout.

In another match, Barnala edged out Mansa 5-0 with Kirandeep Kaur sounding the board twice while Beant Kaur, Manpreet Kaur and Gurjeet Kaur scoring a goal each.

Muktsar got the better of Taran Tarn 2-0 with both the goals coming off Simranjeet Kaur's stick.

In the match played between Sports Training Centre, Patiala and Bathinda, the former came out triumphant 5-0. Maneesha scored two goals while Sukhjeet Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur and Poonam found the target once.

In other matches, Nehru Garden, Jalandhar outwitted Amritsar 6-0 while Bathinda and Ropar played goal-less draw.



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