L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Celebratory shot claims life
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Too elated at the arrival of holy book of Guru Granth Sahib in his house on the occasion of Gurpurb, an octogenarian, Tara Singh (86), fired celebratory shots in the air, which resulted in the death of a 50-year-old man during the wee hours near Midi City Hospital at the Ferozepore road here today.

The victim, identified as Khajaan Singh, was one of the “Panj Piaras”, five holy men, who were leading the holy book of Guru Granth Sahib to the house of Tara Singh for “Prabhat Pheri”.

According to the police, Tara Singh, who is living along with his wife Gurcharan Kaur, got excited at the arrival of the holy book in his house. In the excitement, he pulled out his .32 rifle and started firing rounds in the air.

Meanwhile, one of the bullets got stuck in the rifle.

He reportedly pulled down the weapon and started reloading the rifle, which led to an accidental fire and hit straight on the forehead of Khajaan Singh.

Khajaan, who was living alone in Baba Nand Singh Nagar near the Ferozepore road, was rushed to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead. Though, Tara Singh refused to interact with the media, his relatives stated that he had no personal rivalry with the victim.

Investigating official said distant relatives of the victim were living in Patiala and yet to arrive the city.

It is learnt that ACP Narinderpal Singh has directed the investigating officials to register the case under Section 304 of the IPC and initiate investigation.

The ACP confirmed the development and said he had told his subordinates to register the case and start the investigation.

Panj Piara Killed

The victim was a “Panj Piara” leading Guru Granth Sahib to the house of Tara Singh (86) for “Prabhat Pheri” on the occasion of Gurpurb. The latter fired celebratory shots in the air, which resulted in the death of Khajaan Singh


Diagnostic tests a money spinner for pvt labs
Anshu Seth/TNS

Despite affordable prices of tests/investigations at Civil Hospital, a few people opt to go to government labs.
Despite affordable prices of tests/investigations at Civil Hospital, a few people opt to go to government labs.Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, November 21
Despite the observations of a recent World Health Organization report that obviated the need for 85 percent of patients coming to hospital OPDS to undergo diagnostic tests and investigations, the private health sector is thriving on these tests, deepening the financial burden on middle income groups.

The WHO report has specified that tests for hemoglobin, total and differential leukocyte count, blood sugar and urine are recommended for 10 percent of the total patients coming to general OPDs while only 5 percent of them need to undergo other specific investigations.

There is a wide gap between the amounts charged for diagnostic tests by government and privately run hospitals and laboratories. Even then, owing to the poor hygienic conditions and apathetic attitude of the staff working in state owned medical institutions people prefer to go to private hospitals and labs for getting the tests conducted.

As Dalbir Kaur, wife of a hosiery worker says: "I’m a diabetic and suffer from renal failure but I prefer to go to a private hospital for tests and treatment as the conditions at the Civil Hospital are not conducive. I’ve now fallen in debt as I have to pay Rs 3,500-4,000 every ten days for my treatment at a private hospital. I’m afraid I would acquire some other infection if I get myself treated at a government hospital”.

However, the doctors once known for their role in preventive and promotional approach to provide better health to the people have now adopted a "test/investigation" theory , which is has put the patients under the category of consumers.

The city’s leading hospitals including Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) and Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMCH) are charging hefty amounts for routine medical investigations.

The thyroid function test (TFT) which costs Rs 480 at Religare Laboratory and Rs 450 at Dr Lal Path Lab, costs Rs 730 at DMCH and Rs 700 at CMCH. Interestingly, DMCH is a charitable hospital while CMCH is a missionary hospital that was once known for the "philanthropic zeal" of its officials.

Also, both institutions are charging exorbitantly for MRI and CT scans, facilities for which are not available at government hospitals. DMCH charges Rs 5,000 for an MRI scan of the head and Rs 6,600 for a scan of the abdomen while CMCH charges Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 for the respective scans.

The charges for a CT scan of the head and abdomen are Rs 2,500 and Rs 5,000 at CMCH and Rs 2,200 and Rs 6,600 at DMCH.

The commission business of doctors is another major contributor to the increase in uncalled for diagnostic tests and investigations. Leading laboratories and scanning centers are offering doctors incentives for various tests and scans which have witnessed 100 percent increase in the recent past.

To boost business, a diagnostic centre located on Pahoa Road has started a "scheme" under which doctors are being offered Rs 1,200, Rs 1,500 and Rs 2,500 for CT scans of head, chest and abdomen, respectively. Patients pay Rs 1,800, Rs 2,500 and Rs 4,000, respectively, for the tests.

The doctors earlier used to get Rs 600, Rs 800 and Rs 1,000, respectively, as incentives for the tests. The incentive for referring doctors for a mammography in the scheme is Rs 1,500 out of the actual amount of Rs 2,500.

Similarly, the incentive for an MRI scan, which earlier was Rs 2,500, has now gone up to Rs 3,000. The actual test costs Rs 5,000.

The competition amongst diagnostic laboratories has also propelled them to hire public relations officers who are paid to act as “mediators” between diagnostic laboratories and physicians.

The dependence of medical professionals on tests and investigations has flourished the business of the quacks who having tied up with the pathological and diagnostic labs prescribe the tests to the mostly illiterate patients. Getting an authenticated report of the tests from the labs becomes a verification for quacks. Repetition of tests recommended by doctors, cause financial and psychological harassment to patients.

A senior doctor, who was sent an offer by the PR department of a leading scan centre, said: "It was shocking to see that the offer included a pickup vehicle for patients from my clinic just to ensure I don't send them to some other diagnostic centre”.

While commenting on the amounts charged for various tests at CMCH, Dr Kanwal Masih, the hospital’s medical superintendent, said use of standard kits of reputed pharmaceutical companies increases the costs of the tests. "We can’t compromise on quality as it would mean compromising with the health of the patient which is against medical ethics. Small and upcoming pharma firms readily pay discounts and incentives but we are using products of reputed companies that have minimum margins," he averred.

Dr BS Shah, pathologist and medical superintendent of DMCH, claimed the hospital had “high end” facilities for diagnostic tests that had a bearing on the cost factor. "We at DMCH are concerned about accuracy , prompt reports , specifications and sensitivity of the tests as it helps in right diagnosis thereby resulting in early intervention which is of utmost importance to treat the patients," he went on to add.

Checks on pharma firms urged

Referring to WHO's study, Dr Aslam Parvez, national convenor of the United Doctors Association of India and president of the Rural Medical Services Association, said all countries should focus on preventive and promotional healthcare through awareness campaigns and sensitizing people as well as medical professionals. "The Punjab government should fix a limit on expansion of activities of pharmaceutical companies to prevent healthcare services becoming unaffordable for the middle class. The rich can afford the huge costs of treatment at corporate hospitals and the government provides medical insurance benefits to members of lower income groups but the middle class will be the worst sufferers”, he averred. 



Road mishaps claim 2 lives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
While residents here were paying homage to the accident victims on the occasion of World Day of Remembrance for Road Accident Victims, two deaths on road were reported from different parts of the city.Two-year-old Mohd Rehman was crushed to death by an overloaded tractor trolley near Partap Singh Wala.

The incident took place this afternoon when the child was reportedly playing outside his house located on the Punj Peer road, when the overloaded tractor-trolley driver failed to stop the vehicle and crushed the child to death.

The trolley driver was thrashed by people before being handed over to the police.

Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of Punjab Road Safety Council, who reached the spot following the incident, said the tractor driver had violated traffic rules. He was driving an overloaded vehicle, which did not have registration number.

The vehicle was old and the driver did not installed indicators and reflectors on it. Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on the house of the victim. The parents Mohd Saleem, a daily wage labourer, and Madina Bagum were inconsolable. Three other siblings of the victim were also crying profusely.

The accused has been booked under Section 304-A of the IPC.

In the other incident, a 46-year-old woman died in a head-on collision at Kohara last night, while a two-year-old boy was crushed to death near Partap Singh Wala in Haibowal here this afternoon.

The first incident took place last night, when Sweety Thapar died following a head-on collision with an overspeeding car at Kohara.

The victim was travelling in a car along with her husband Anil Thapar, a resident of KVM Colony in Rishi Nagar, to attend a "jagran" in Panchkula. The driver of the vehicle was Sanjay. The couple’s maidservant was also in the car.

According to Sanjay, the Indica car collided with their vehicle head on.

While Sweety died on the spot, Anil and Manju were rushed to hospital in a critical condition. Sanjay sustained minor injuries.



Spiralling onion prices bring tears
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Prices of onions have gone through the roof, touching Rs 40 per kilogram, burning a big hole in the pockets of city residents for whom the much in demand bulbous plant now appears to be going out of reach. Vegetable wholesalers and vendors maintain the prices have soared due to reduced supplies in recent weeks from other states.

Gurmeet Singh, a vegetable retailer in Civil Lines, said vendors as well as retail stores were selling onions for as much as Rs 40 per kg. "We’re getting onions for Rs 30-34 per kg in the wholesale market. With heavy rainfall in Nasik not many supplies are arriving in Punjab. We can’t predict when the prices will come down in the near future. Ordinary folks, especially homemakers, are worried as increased prices have put a big dent in their domestic budgets", he added.

Last week onions were being retailed for Rs 20-22 a kilogram. Within five to six days the prices have almost doubled. As far as demand was concerned, people have reduced their purchases to half but hoteliers in the city are buying the same quantities of onions.

A chef at a leading hotel located on Ferozepur Road said: “We can’t use fewer onions in our menu as the flavour of dishes largely depends on them. Even if the prices go up further we can’t reduce purchases. Onions are a regular item used in almost every dish."

In addition, prices of garlic have reached Rs 150 per kilogram. Vendors pointed out that after the festive season prices of veggies and fruits generally come down. “But this time around fruits have also become more expensive. However, prices of other seasonal veggies like peas, cauliflower, capsicum and carrots have fallen a bit”, he added.

Price Watch P2



Gurpurb celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Gurpurb- Guru Nanak Dev's birthday was celebrated with fervour in the city today.All gurdwaras were decorated to mark the occasion. Preachings of Guru Nanak Dev were highlighted in gurdwaras. In all major gurdwaras shabad-kirtan were recited by leading ragi-jathas.

Besides, “Guru ka langar” was served to the devotees, including small children, young and old people.

Devotees thronged gurudwaras and took part in celebrations. A devotee Ginni Singh said: "It’s not only Sikhs, but people from other religions also take part in celebrations and have langar in gurdwaras."

Nagar Kirtans by various social and religious organisations were held at several places last evening to celebrate the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev.

Meanwhile, bhog ceremony was held at Surjit Gurdwara on the premises of Khalsa College for Women today. The day was celebrated with devotion under the guidance of Khalsa Dewan, college principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind with co-operation from Malwa Central College of Education, Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School, the entire staff, students and boarders of Khalsa College for Women.

Hostel students from various streams participated in “Sewa” in different areas. College employees also contributed towards this service. 



Emphasis on promoting Punjabi literature
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
Acknowledging the role played by private institutes in sharing government’s responsibility of promoting art and culture besides strengthening education system, Padma Shree Dalip Kaur Tiwana urged office-bearers of committees running private institutes to supplement their endeavour to encourage Punjabi literature.

Tiwana was talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after addressing a gathering during an annual prize distribution function of Sita Grammar Public Senior Secondary School at Malerkotla near here today.

Appreciating the role of management committee and staff members in preserving cultural heritage of the state, Tiwana said: “Performance of students in today’s function has made me believe that if this institute can stay in touch with Punjabi culture besides imparting quality education in other subjects, including English, then even other schools can also share government’s responsibility of preserving and promoting the culture of the state,” she said while stressing upon the need to preserve and promote the mother tongue.

Management of the institute led by Abhay Kumar Jain, chairman, and Mankash Jain felicitated Tiwana for contributing to Punjabi literature.

Hundreds of students from local town and surrounding localities performed various items during cultural programme on the school premises.

Giddha, bhangra, dances, skits and poems presented by the students were appreciated by all.

Mushtaq Mahendru, principal of the institutes, said over 1,000 students had performed during the function.



‘Eve teasing’ continues to haunt college girls
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, November 21
Even though interaction between the sexes has become more open with social mores changing fast, the phenomenon of “eve teasing” (harassment of women) continues to be a regular occurrence outside girls' colleges.

Many boys, especially college and school students, do not miss any opportunity to go on the "geri route" outside women’s colleges and pass indecent remarks at the girls at times. Though no major complaints of “eve-teasing” have been lodged by girls to college officials, the latter find themselves in an embarrassing situation due to the indecorous behaviour of boys.

Female students coming from far-off villages often become vulnerable targets of “eve-teasing”. As the buses in which they commute drop them at designated locations they have to walk to their respective colleges. "At times it becomes difficult to pass through the stretch from Bhai Bala Chowk to our college campus. Boys make indecent gestures and pass remarks at us. Even if we act bold the situation sometimes becomes difficult to handle when boys keep on teasing us while sitting in their cars. The best way is to ignore them", said Sukhminder Kaur, a second-year BA student of Khalsa College for Women, who comes from a village near Jagraon.

The college’s principal, Varinder Kaur Thind, said the security guards posted at the college gates keep a close watch but outside the college premises we can’t do much in such cases. "However, we regularly make them aware to be conscious. The teachers in the psychology department and NSS make them aware by organizing lectures. Girls need to be smart and bold enough to tackle such situations", she stated.

The principal locations where “eve-teasing” has become common include the areas outsides Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Sacred Heart School, Sarabha Nagar, and Rakh Bagh outside Government College for Women.

Monika Srivastava, a college lecturer however feels that boys got encouraged when girls started giggling or smiling. She stressed that girls must not encourage their male counterparts by acting nervous. "A few days ago a boy asked one of our lecturers whether she was married. He had thought her to be a student. The boy later had a tough time. The lecturer not just informed his parents by taking note of his vehicle number but the PCR cops were also called by her. You need to be bold to teach the ‘eve-teasers’ a lesson", she said.

It may be mentioned here that after city police commissioner Ishwar Singh decided to get tough with “eve-teasers, he instituted helpline numbers on which the cops could be informed about such incidents. Following the move a case was filed against four-boys while they were teasing girls in the Sarabha Nagar market. Besides, girls can lodge any complaints such complaints at the recently set up women- only police station in the city.



From Schools
Prize distribution

LUDHIANA: Annual prize distribution function and cultural programme was held on the premises of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, GT road, Jalandhar bypass, here today. Hira Singh Gabria, Cabinet Minister, Punjab, was the chief guest. Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal, IAS, ADC (D) was the guest of honour. Students of junior and senior wing presented colourful and mesmerising performance through songs, skits and folk dances, which enthralled the audience. Art competition at Alpine International Bhavna from Alpine International School scripted victory in the U-14 category during the Ludhiana Sahodya School Complex (West Zone) art contest organised by Alpine International School. Nearly 120 students from 13 schools participated in the contest. Aishwarya won the art competition in the U-16 age category. Mehak from DAV Public School won first prize in U-19 category.


Sat Paul Mittal Shool celebrated Guru Nanak Dev Jyanti on the school premises. A special assembly was held to mark the occasion. Shabads were also sang by students. — TNS



PU Senate Bypoll
Doraha principal wins by 15 votes
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 21
Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, won the byelection to the Panjab University Senate by defeating his opponent by 41-26. He won the election by beating his rival, Preet Mohinder Singh, principal of BAM Khalsa College, Garhshankar, by 15 votes.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu is MSc (zoology) and PhD. Initially, he served as a lecturer at AS College, Khanna, for 13 years and was instrumental in contributing his laudable share in getting his institution commendably accredited by NAAC team.

Dr Sidhu on winning the election expressed his gratitude and thanks to all principals, who voted in his favour and assured that he would by all means work and strive for the cause of the principal community in particular and promotion of education in general.

Meanwhile, Dr Sidhu was given a hearty welcome by the management and staff of the college today. College management committee president Roop Brar, general secretary Prof Balwant Singh Pangali, along with other committee members, teaching as well as non-teaching staff congratulated the principal.



Tributes paid to traffic victims
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 21
RIMT Institutes, Mandi Gobindgarh, observed United Nation World Day of Remembrance to recall the memory of road traffic victims.Every year hundreds of commuters and pedestrians die in road accident either due to their ignorance about traffic rules or due to rash driving and many precious lives are lost due to lack of awareness about safety norms.

Keeping in view the importance to create awareness about traffic rules, RIMT Institutes, Mandi Gobindgarh, took a resolution to spread awareness regarding road traffic victims.

The Institute in collaboration with the police organised a road show and a seminar today. DSP Amarjeet Singh Ghumman was the chief guest and guided students about traffic rules. Sirhind SHO Sukhdev Singh presided over.

Traffic inspector Vikas Sabherwal and traffic education in charge Rajesh Kumar gave valuable tips regarding traffic rules.

DSP Ghumman and RIMT Group chairman Dr Hukam Chand Bansal flagged off the road show from the institute to floating restaurant to pay tributes to traffic victims.

More than hundred NSS volunteers took part by holding catchy slogans regarding road safety and road accident victims. The function was organised by NSS co-ordinator Prof Dalvinder Singh Dhaliwal.

Engineering College principal Dr Harsh Sadawarti felicitated the students and the staff and appreciated their efforts.

In another event an extension lecture was organised on traffic rules at SNAS Senior Secondary School by RIMT College of Education here today.

Traffic Education Sub-Inspector Rajesh Kumar was the chief guest. In his lecture he gave tips to BEd students and school students that they should always follow traffic rules to avoid accidents.

He further said those students who are under age should not drive vehicles. They must always carry papers related to the vehicles like registration copy, insurance and they should avoid drinking alcohol, avoid listening mobiles etc to be on the safe side.

School principal Usha Sharma and Model High School principal Ramshevar Das, staff and students were present.

Ludhiana: A prayer meeting was held at the Circuit House today to pay homage to all those, who got killed due to road accidents.

The meeting was organised by Dr Kamalzit Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab Road Safety Council. The young victims of the road accidents were remembered and a two-minute silence was observed in their memory.

Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Darshan Arora, president Citizen Council, Naresh Dhigan, trustee Improvement Trust, and many others from all walks of life attended the prayer meeting.

To take a corrective action, Dr Kamalzit Soi arranged 1,000 cycle reflectors so that none of the cyclist becomes prey to fast-moving motorised vehicles.

These reflectors were fixed on the tail of cycles by all present dignitaries and everybody took a pledge to make road safety a way of life.



Trade Fair in Delhi
CIPHET stall pulls crowd
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The stall of the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, is witnessing a huge turn out of visitors at the India International Trade Fair (IITF) going on at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

The stall displays food processing technologies and ready to eat vegetable blended meat products developed by the institute. "This time a lot of visitors are showing interest in ready-to-eat vegetable blended meat products, the processing technology recently developed by the CIPHET," said Pradeep Kumar of CIPHET.

"Besides people from rural and scientific background, people from urban background are also visiting in substantial number to see technologies developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR),” said technical officer MP Singh. Notably, CIPHET has recently standardised the technology of ready-to-eat blended meat products, which could be produced by using vegetables and meat products.

This will not only help in cost reduction, but would provide low fat alternative to consumers. CIPHET is also displaying both Pomegranate Aril Extractor (PME) hand held and mechanically operated. While hand held PME is useful for separating pomegranate at small scale, mechanically PME is useful for extracting arils at commercial scale.

Any size and variety of pomegranate could be processed with extraction capacity of 90 to 94 per cent.

Mechanical damage to arils is reported as less as 3 to 4 per cent during processing. Similarly, Banana Cob Cutter is also on the display. This is simple but effective device to separate bananas.

Dr RT Patil, CIPHET director and Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head of transfer of technology, said this time they were also providing schedule of training programmes offered by CIPHET to visitors. 



Stress on need for organ donation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation was celebrated today by the Gift of Life & Organ Donation Awareness Society (GLODAS) and Dyanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, at KVM School, Civil lines, Ludhiana.

The function was organised under the guidance of Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, president, GLODAS.

Puducherry Governor, Dr Iqbal Singh was the chief guest. The theme of the function was to create awareness and motivate people for organ donation.

In his address, Dr Aulakh urged that people should come forward and motivate others to donate organs and give gift of life to those, who need transplant.

For 1.5 lakh people suffering from end-stage renal disease, only 3,000 are lucky enough to undergo transplant, quoted Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor of urology and president of GLODAS.

Around 35 schools and 10 nursing colleges participated in this event, which included poem recitation, poster making, skit and video presentation on organ donation. Around 350 posters were on display spreading the message of organ donation. There was also a special donor honouring ceremony, for those who have given new life to their loved ones.

Dr Iqbal Singh also emphasised on the need for organ donation and told audience to carry home the message and motivate more and more people to donate their organs after death and give life to people. The function concluded with a vote of thanks and facilitation of the chief guest.

Quiz contest

The Ludhiana Regional Brain Bee Neurosciences Quiz-2010 was organised today by the department of neurology, DMCH. The function was inaugurated by principal, Dr Daljit Singh, and Prem Gupta (secretary of DMCH managing society) gave away prizes to the winning and participating teams. Giving information about the quiz programme, professor and head of neurology, Dr Gagandeep Singh said Brain Bee quiz competition on neurosciences was held for the students, who had exceptional credentials in biology and had an interest to pursue career in healthcare.

This contest is conducted on a regional level and subsequently at the national level in participating countries and culminated at the international level.

The International Brain Bee (IBB) is founded and directed by Prof Norbert Myslinski, University of Maryland. Dr Rajinder Bansal, professor of neurology at DMCH, remarked it as a novel effort to initiate the young minds into the realm of neurosciences, which aims to arouse the interest of highly motivated children to take up a career in neurosciences.



Awareness drive conducted

Ludhiana, November 21
To mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Accident Victims, the city police conducted an awareness drive here this morning.The drive, consisting of schoolchildren and cops, commenced from Guru Nanak Stadium and visited Fountain Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Bhai Balal Chowk and Prof Mohan Singh Chowk. The students were holding placards, spreading the message of traffic awareness. ADCP Traffic Sajjan Singh Cheema, who was the chief guest on the occasion, thanked the children for making the awareness drive a success.

He said the motive behind organising the drive was to inculcate traffic rules and safety measures among students. — TNS



Development of Villages
NRIs want to contribute directly
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
Accusing politicians of exploiting massive contributions made by Punjabis settled abroad for harnessing political advantages, NRIs from the region have urged their associates to undertake development of their native villages directly instead of wasting their hard-earned money by giving funds to political parties.

Village residents can be provided standard basic amenities in case funds received from donors of those localities were used efficiently, maintained NRIs.

Regretting that funds contributed by their associates in the past had been misappropriated for contesting elections by political leaders, NRIs led by Nirmal Singh Jandali, now settled in the US, suggested that donors should undertake development of their native villages directly or through their friends and relatives.

Referring to information received from members of some organisations claiming to fight for the rights of NRIs, Nirmal Singh claimed that certain self-styled office-bearers of NRI organisations had collected huge amounts on pretext of starting public utilities projects in Punjab.

A major part of the contributions was misappropriated for supporting candidates launched by political parties in assembly and parliamentary elections.

“Unfortunately majority of contributors, due to their preoccupied schedule never bothered to find about the utilisation of their funds collected for development of their villages. Later, it was found that their hard-earned money was spent on providing liquor and narcotics to woo voters,” said Nirmal.

Surinder Singh Grewal, an NRI from Manila, who is now heading civic body at Bhaini Arora, admitted that contributions made by him and other NRIs from the village were used for development of the locality.

NRIs from other villages of the region said they were ready to contribute generously in case funds contributed by them were spent judiciously for welfare of residents of their native localities.



Paying price for development projects

Traffic situation in the city is going from bad to worse with each passing day and with authorities closing their eyes to the woes of people. Flow of traffic is especially bad in those areas where works for relaying, repair or widening of roads are being carried out or a flyover is under construction.

Commuters are stuck in extended traffic jams, road rages have become a routine, haphazard parking creating obstruction in the movement of vehicles is the order of the day and there are no regulatory measures, worth the name, in place. It is true that some price has to be paid by way of inconvenience for a certain period for infrastructure development projects till their completion, but the authorities can at least ensure that some regulatory mechanism is put in place around the project sites to save the city residents from avoidable trouble. Is somebody listening?

No answers

Last evening, daughters of a dear friend asked her to them on a ride at the Sarabha Nagar market, as it was Saturday. Car parking is always a major problem in the market, especially on Saturday and Sunday evenings. As parking was not available, the friend parked the car behind a swanky car and asked her elder daughter to get something to eat. Suddenly a bunch of young boys came near the parked car. When the friend tried to give them way, one of the boys said, “Relax, we are not going anywhere”. They had cans of beer in their hands, while one of them was holding a bottle of whisky. They started “enjoying” the evening and using abusive language. The younger daughter sitting with her got scared. And in a restless manner, she asked a plenty of questions, “They are friends, still they are abusing each other? Why are they drinking here in the market? Why the police (PCR) is not arresting them? Their parents/teachers do not punish them when they abuse each other?” Feeling helpless in giving answers to all her questions, the friend preferred to remove the car!

Pursuit of happiness

Children are innocent, for them there is only one religion and that is the pursuit of happiness.

A week ago when Moti Nagar area was gripped in panic after some miscreants manhandled the priest of a church, a two-year-old boy, who is living in the same locality, started venturing in the street. While the residents reportedly locked themselves inside the house, the child was busy playing with cops. In the meantime, his mother came searching for the boy and took him home.

While the child wanted to play, his mother was reprimanding him for leaving the house.

Witnessing the episode, I thought that the two- year-old child was far sensible than those grown-up men, who created tension in the area for petty reasons. But such is the cruel world that the boy, who is longing for happiness was being chided, while men who created panic by their idiotic act were roaming free.

Relief to illegal encroachers

Working on Saturday seems to be an odd thing, not only for the government employees but also for the city residents. That is why assuming that all employees of the government offices are off, the residents indulge in breaking all sort of rules, thus creating chaos. The biggest relief of the holiday in the civic body is to temporary illegal encroachers, who take extra mileage of the holiday and encroach public land for selling their goods, thus resulting into traffic jams on the roads of inner bazaars.

Similar is the situation of illegal buildings, as taking mileage of the holiday, owners try to complete buildings on holidays by completing the roof work, so as to evade any sort of action against them. The result of which is that ultimately a huge loss is incurred to the civic body, but it seems that nobody bothers for it.

Gloom over A zone over

With Municipal Corporation (MC) Commissioner AK Sinha decision of sitting in his office at A zone every Monday, the days seem to be back for the A zone office at Mata Rani Chowk, which once used to be the headquarters of the MC. However, with most of the successive commissioners spending most of their time in D zone, the gloom settled over A zone was virtually over. But Sinha's decision to sit at this office on every Monday has brought hectic activities back at this place. On every Monday, a large number of city residents could be seen meeting the top official for redress of their complaint. Similarly, the top brass of all branches of the civic body, which were hardly seen in this area earlier, are seen waiting for the orders of their boss. The ultimate result of all this is a big relief for the residents of the inner bazaars, who could get their work done easily after meeting the Commissioner.

— Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Mohit Khanna and Manvinder Singh



Auditions for comedy film
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Jaspal Bhatti yesterday took auditions of a few city kids for his forthcoming comedy film.The title of the film will be disclosed within few days, he said.Stress, these days, has become an integral part of our life.

Comedy shows act like stress busters.These give a new lease of life to the stressed souls after a hectic day.There is already so much pain and trauma in our lives that people are shying away from the serials and preferring comedy shows, Bhatti said. 



Padyatra to reach out to masses

Ludhiana, November 21
The padyatra (foot march) being taken out by District Youth Congress (DYC) in each block of the city aims at reaching out to the masses, DYC president Dimple Rana said this while addressing party workers at block no. 11here today.

Rana said the party was making a bid to address the problems of the people.

He said the feed back received from the people during the padyatra, which would reach every corner of the mega city, would be conveyed to the Union government through the state president of the party Ravneet Singh Bittu, who is also a member of the Lok Sabha, for appropriate action.

"The party will also take up the core issues for immediate redressal once Congress comes to power in the next Assembly elections."

"Party workers have been told to expose the misdeeds of the present regime, especially misappropriation of Central grants being disbursed under centrally-funded welfare schemes and diversion of funds for purposes other than those specified,” said Rana.

President of Mahila Congress (women wing) Leena Taparia lauded the ongoing drive of the YC to reach out to the people and identify with them so as to have first-hand knowledge of their problems and grievances. She said the women wing of the party would extend its co-operation to the social welfare projects being undertaken by the YC activists as also the party campaign against social evils like drug addiction, dowry and female foeticide. — OC



Girls watch movies with a cause
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Students of the Government College for Women were shown two heart-rending movies. Both films-“Gudiya” and “Seen through unseen”- screened by Dr Indu Singh from Chandigarh left an impact on the minds of young girls. Most of them felt that the disability could never be a problem if the willpower to “live life with grace and dignity” was strong.

Talking to The Tribune, Dr Indu Singh said the movie “Seen through unseen” was based on the life of physically challenged children of the Institute for Blind, Sector 26, Chandigarh. The movie comes with a message that one should not pity these children for their disabilities. Instead, people should understand and get involved with them. “They are part of our society, who are more capable, more innovative. They can achieve success in every field, including at and craft, extra-curricular activities, music, reading, theatre etc. We need to understand their inner vision,” added Dr Indu.

“Gudiya”, another movie shown to girls, was also based on the real life character Gudiya, who was abandoned by the family when she was just two days old. She has now adopted Christianity as her faith. She does not miss a chance to go to church to offer prayers.

“Though, she was abandoned, she is still thankful to God for giving her new lease of life. She is a cheerful girl, who is always smiling and singing. She has lots of dreams. One of her dream to get a new mobile phone was fulfilled after a Good Samaritan asked her wish. Gudiya was gifted the mobile phone the next day. She looks forward with grace and dignity. The message was, whatever the circumstances be keep smiling. You can never feel depressed if you are hopeful and move forward”, said Satinder Kaur, a student, while wiping her tears after watching the film.

Dr Indu Singh said both films had got tremendous response. From January 15 onwards, these would be shown in all universities of India to spread awareness among the youth. 



Stress on affordable treatment for poor
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
A new dental wing with four state-of-the-art machines was inaugurated by Commissioner of Municipal Corporation AK Sinha at Soni Dental Hospital and Implant Centre on Pakhowal Road, Lalton, here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Sinha emphasised the need for participation of private medical institutions in the gigantic task of providing affordable treatment to weaker sections of society. He exhorted the private sector to open charitable wings and also organise more free health check-up camps so that the poor could get basic medical care at their door-step.

Hospital director Dr Dharamvir Soni, while extending welcome to the guests, said all kinds of dental treatment was being offered at the hospital, which had latest equipment.

Among others present were Rashpal Singh, deputy chief engineer, Punjab State Power Corporation and Dr Devinder Soni.



Bairagi community seeks political representation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Bairagi Mahamandal, Punjab, today mulled seeking political representation in the state by staking its claim with major political parties in the next assembly elections.The state committee of the body, which met here under the presidentship of Hari Das Bawa, termed it unfortunate that even though the Bairagi community had a significant presence, with over 15 lakh population and around 7 lakh votes in Punjab, no political party had ever given representation to the community.

Giving details of the deliberations of the meeting, Rajinder Bawa, general secretary, and Buta Singh Bairagi, convener, said the community was included in backward classes, which had a total share of some 35-40 per cent of the total electorate. "However, successive governments in the state had given a raw deal to backward classes, including Bairagis."

The meeting placed on record its appreciation for the decision of the Centre to carry out next census operations on caste basis to get a clear picture of the population belonging to backward classes so as to initiate long-term measures for their empowerment.

A delegate session of Bairagi Mahamandal will be convened soon at Baba Banda Bahadur Bhawan at Rakba in this district to discuss the “step-motherly” treatment being given to the community by political parties and evolve a strategy to stake claim for seeking suitable representation in the political set-up of the state.



PAU offers training in queen bee rearing

Ludhiana, November 21
The PAU’s department of entomology will organise an advance training on techniques of mass queen bee rearing and production of bee products for progressive beekeepers from November 29 to December 1. Programme director Dr AK Dhawan said 40 progressive beekeepers would be enrolled for the training, which would be held in the multi-media laboratory of the department.

Interested participants can register themselves on November 29 at 9 am with Dr Pardeep K Chhuneja, who is the technical coordinator.

Dr Dhawan said subject matter specialists would provide information on theoretical and practical aspects of beekeeping.

He said participants would be provided with useful tips on commercial rearing of queen bee, colony division, preparing breeder and cell builder colonies, augmenting drone bee population, honey processing and storage, quality grading packing and Agmark allotment, marketing and export, jelly production technology, wax, bee brood, etc.

He said the participants would also be informed about bank facilities available for financing beekeepers, for which bank managers would deliberate.

The concluding session would be chaired by director of extension education Dr MS Gill. — TNS



Revision of voters’ lists
Women officers a harried lot
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 21
As the Election Commission (EC) of India has initiated a move for the revision of voters’ lists through a special drive, women employees deployed as booth level officers (BLO) have become a harried lot simply because they have been asked to move from door-to-door in the wards assigned to them, from November 14th to 27th.

“Women BLOs are supposed to perform rigorous duty on November 14 and 20 at the booths from 9 am to 5 pm, but during the rest of the days they have to visit each house of the ward to collect information regarding the voters. The job assigned to them primarily consists of the revision of the voters’ list, including the collection of the photographs of the voters, viewing the discrepancies, if any, in the cards, issuance of new cards and the distribution of the prepared cards among the voters of the assigned wards. Besides, they have been asked to perform all other odd duties like pasting posters issued by the Election Commission, making announcements regarding etc,” said one such BLO.

“The work is not that simple. The EC before assigning such odd jobs to women employees should at think twice. This is primarily because of the variance and distance of our places of residing and the wards assigned to us. If it had been that the women had been asked to perform such a duty in their specific wards itself, it would not have been that difficult,” said another BLO.

One of the BLOs said: “Women BLOs have been assigned wards other than their own, the result being that they find it difficult to move about in alien wards. You are in no case at ease when you have to knock at different doors and that too at odd hours. Many a time people are genuinely busy with some work, but other times majority of them either show no response or get hyper in their reaction.”

“We are finding it difficult in contacting voters, as most of the addresses of the voters are not as per records. We have hardly one or two hours to complete the exercise as it gets dark early these days.”

These women employees have asked the EC to relieve them from such a task, as not only do they suffer the oddities of the voters, but their home and families, too, suffer due to lack of attention and paucity of time.



BSNL JTO assaulted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
A junior telecom officer (JTO) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was assaulted by a few persons in Azad Nagar near Dhuri Line on Friday evening.The victim, identified as Pawan Kumar, had gone to inspect a mobile tower installed in a house. There he entered into an argument with owners of the house, following which they attacked him with iron rods.

Pawan Kumar sustained injuries on his head, nose, forehead, legs, arms and other parts of the body.

He informed about the incident to senior BSNL officials who rushed to
rescue him.

He was taken to the local Civil Hospital for treatment. Pawan lodged a complaint against the attackers with officials of the Miller Ganj police post. 



Expert discusses water crisis

Doraha, November 21
Prof Amrik Singh Ahluwalia from Panjab University, Chandigarh, today shared his views on the topic, “Water- The elixir of life” with participants of the refresher course on environmental studies organised at Academic Staff College, Punjabi University, Patiala.

The resource person said war experts believed that the next world war would not be for land or oil, but for water. “Water crisis is nowadays one of the most glaring problems that the human beings are facing. There is a decline of aquatic animals by 37 per cent, fresh water species by 54 per cent, marine species by 35 per cent, forest species by 15 per cent and coral reefs too are shrinking,” he said. — OC



Mushaira enthrals audience

Ludhiana, November 21
Poets from various districts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand participated in a mushaira organised by the Navrang Literacy Society last night at Punjabi Bhawan, Ludhiana.

The mushaira was commenced by Dr Pramitta from Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), as she invited shayars on stage after lighting the “shama”.

The DGM of Power Corporation, Uttarakhand, Iqbal Aazaar was the chief guest.

Sagar Sialkoti, general secretary of Navrang Literacy Society, welcomed the poets and thanked them for making the mushaira successful.

The recitations by the poets included verses by Shayar Baljit Sardar Panchi, Rubeena Shabnam, Nazakat Ali, Kashish Hoshiarpuri, Danish Bharti, Dilkash Afridi and many others. — TNS



Science exhibition
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 21
A science-cum-arts exhibition was organised by young students of Om Parkash Bansal Modern School, Mandi Gobindgarh.RIMT Engineering College principal, Dr Harsh Sadawarti was the chief guest. He stressed on the need of such exhibitions in educational institutions to inculcate the interest of youngsters in science, which is necessary to take the country ahead in this global competition area.

RIMT Group chairman, Dr Hukam Chand Bansal also visited the exhibition and lauded the efforts of the organisers. The projects on climate, ecological balance, stem cells, shining economy of India, how to save water and electricity, etc., were breath taking.

The principal was thrilled to see the commitment of students and stated that as per the CBSE directions, such activities have become an integral part of education. The principal also spoke on the achievements of the school in the field of education and cultural activities.



State-level games from December 4
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
Competitions in 10 sports disciplines will be conducted in the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh State-Level Games to be held at four district headquarters from December 4 to 12.

The districts are: Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and Mohali in, which around 4,000 participants from the districts will be seen in action.

Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana will play host to the opening ceremony besides basketball, athletics, football and kabaddi. Rifle shooting will be held in Mohali.

Volleyball, boxing, weightlifting and wrestling will be conducted at Patiala and hockey matches will be played at Jalandhar. The closing ceremony will also be held in Jalandhar.

According to Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, the main attraction of the inaugural function in the city will be a cultural programme.

Besides, a number of Punjabi artsites and film stars will entertain spectators during the inaugural function on December 4. Different committees, headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner SR Kaler, have been formed. Arrangements for board and lodging along with transportation for the sporting extravaganza have been completed at various venues in the city, added Tiwari.



T20: PPL fails to draw crowd
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Organisers violate rules by bursting crackers on the athletics track during the PPL match.
Organisers violate rules by bursting crackers on the athletics track during the PPL match.

Ludhiana, November 21
After failing to draw crowd on the opening day of the Punjab Premier League (PPL), sponsors of the match, announced free entry for the spectators at Guru Nanak Stadium, venue of the cricket league.

The decision was taken after thin crowd arrived on the day one. The league organisers, who are currently in the middle of the storm for organising T20 cricket tournament on football ground, were flayed by athletes for bursting fire-crackers during the opening ceremony of the tournament.

The first encounter of the tournament was also marred by controversies after one of the umpires refused to resume the match owing to bad light.

The opening encounter between JPG Ludhiana Lions and Amritsar Brave Heart was abandoned after two floodlights stopped functioning.

It is learnt that organisers managed to persuade the umpire and the match was resumed.

JPG Ludhiana Lions defeated Amritsar Brave Heart by 19 runs to register their first victory.



Bodybuilding meet on December 5
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
The 17th edition ofthe Mr Ludhiana Bodybuilding Competitionto be organised by the Ludhiana Amateur Bodybuilding and Fitness Association (LABBFA) will be held at under the aegis of the PunjabAmateur Bodybuilding Association at Luxmi Narayan Mandir,adjoining DAV School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, here onDecember 5.

In the junior section (below 21 years),competitions will beheld in 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 and +75 kg categories, while in the senior section, competitors will take part in 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and +80 kg categories.

Prizes will be given to top five positionholders in each weight category, while all participants will receive participation certificates, said LABBFA president PP Khullar.



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