L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt schoolteachers don’t care for students’ health 
Routine health check-up ignored
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 31
Taking cognizance of alleged indifference of government schoolteachers towards monitoring health of their students, the higher authorities in the education department have summoned list of defaulting institutes so that necessary action might be initiated against the erring staff.

What to talk of organising medical check-up camps and maintaining health record of the students, majority of schools of the region are yet to receive health cards meant for the purpose. The cards, which are printed under the Midday Meal Scheme are reportedly lying at the district-level office of the department.

Investigation revealed that the authorities at majority of the state-run schools of the region had not cared to follow the guidelines given by the higher authorities in the education department, on routine, the health check-up of students and sealing of samples of food prepared under the Midday Meal Scheme.

The alleged window-dressing being done by health officials and school authorities was substantiated by the fact that majority of the schools were yet to receive health cards from their respective district education offices.

Perusal of records revealed that details of health parameters were not filled by any of the schools of the area.

“It has been observed that the health cards have not reached the schools till now. Particulars of students have not been entered wherever these cards have reached,” reads a communication sent by Director-General (school education) to all DEOs of the state.

Directing the DEOs and heads of all schools to ensure that these cards should be filled and presented before the health authorities visiting schools the DG (SE) has sought list of defaulters so that further action might be initiated against them.

The ideal health check ups of the students studying in the state-run schools have been missing allegedly due to lack of coordination among officials of the education and health department at various levels.

Though health registers and records maintained at various schools reflect that the health check ups were being conducted according to the norms and directions, but the actual story was entirely different.

If at all, some doctor or a member of paramedical staff examined the students of a school, any abnormality or nutritional deficiency observed was rarely conveyed to his or her parents.

At majority of the schools situated in the region, identity of nodal officials nominated by the department of school education was not communicated to either students or their parents.


  The department of school education is to identify and nominate a nodal official for organising monthly camps.

  Health registers are to be maintained in all schools.

  Health cards are to be maintained in all schools and certain information needs to be filled up and maintained by schoolteachers.

  A certificate needs to be given by schoolteachers certifying whether or not medical officials have visited the school and conducted the health check up.

  DEOs are supposed to invariably attend the monthly meeting of the Civil Surgeons so that matters concerning both departments are discussed and resolved or finalised at the district level.


Vet student falls off first floor, dies 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
A 23-year-old student died after falling from the first floor of the hostel at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in mysterious circumstances here last night.

The victim identified as Amanpreet Singh, a resident of Bhinder Kalan near Moga, was studying in the fourth year and was scheduled to fly to the US on January 5.

The son of a sanitary inspector, Davinder Singh, Amanpreet appeared for his last examination yesterday. Sources in the university said the victim, along with his friends, was celebrating in the balcony of the hostel last night. His friends reportedly told the police that the incident took place at around midnight when Amanpreet was talking on the phone while standing near a railing. Suddenly, he lost balance and fell. He sustained serious head injuries.

The Director Students Welfare (DSW), Kulbir Singh Sandhu, said: “Unfortunately, the students did not notice him fall. It was only after midnight that some students in the parking spotted the youth.” Amanpreet was rushed to the DMCH where he was declared brought dead.

The investigating officer stated that the postmortem and the viscera report would reveal if the victim was drunk. Though the police is not suspecting any foul play, it is investigating the case from all angles. His mobile phone is also being scanned.

“He was reportedly talking on his phone when he fell from the first floor of the hostel. It is important to know who he was talking to and the content of the conversation,” said the investigating officer.

Students shocked

Students were clearly distraught and were seen hurriedly packing their bags and leaving for home. “It is shocking to lose a classmate. Memories linger and continue to haunt,” a classmate of the deceased student remarked.



Axe to fall on 25 religious encroachments
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, December 31
The axe is finally going to fall on 25 religious places in the city that have encroached on public land. The Municipal Corporation (MC) has submitted a list of such places to the Deputy Commissioner (DC) following the orders of the Supreme Court for action against religious encroachments.

Though it is a contentious issue, the DC had asked the MC authorities to identify all such religious encroachments so that action could be taken.

Senior Town Planner (STP) Balkar Singh Brar had held a meeting with officials of the building branch a few days ago and had asked the Assistant Town Planners (ATPs) to prepare the list. The ATPs had submitted a list of 128 such encroachments in their respective zones.

Out of these, the MC listed 103 encroachments as over a decade old while 25 were constructed in recent years. Sources revealed that the encroachments that had taken place more than 10 years ago would be exempted from action and might be regularised.

Balkar Singh Brar confirmed that action would be taken against the illegal religious buildings that had been constructed recently. He said they had submitted the list of the encroachments to the DC and action would be taken as per his directions.



Construction of public toilets
Firm gets MC notice for pact violation
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, December 31
Taking a tough stance against a private company for starting commercial activity at public toilets without even providing basic services to residents, the municipal corporation authorities have served a legal notice on the company, asking them to file a reply within a week.

According to sources, the building and roads (B&R) branch of the civic body served the legal notice on a firm that had been given prime MC land around two years ago in various parts of the city to construct public toilets.

In the notice served on December 28, the MC has accused the company of violating the agreement reached with the civic body.

The company had violated the agreement by starting commercial activity at a site in Rose Garden in spite of the fact that the work on the construction of public toilets had not been completed, the MC said.

The company has also been accused of violating the terms and conditions by not paying the corporation an agreed sum of Rs 12,000 per annum.

The MC has asked the company to reply to the notice within a week’s time or face termination of the agreement.

The sources added that the company had started construction work on public toilets at a few places some days ago but during an inspection, MC officials locked the sites where the construction was going on to maintain status quo.

The sources said the company representatives had objected to the MC action, claiming that they had not been given the required help as promised by the MC in the agreement.

MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar confirmed that they had served the legal notice on the company, as it had violated the terms and conditions of the agreement.

She said further action would be taken against the company once they got a reply from it.



A robbery that wasn’t 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The claim of a woman that three unidentified men robbed her of Rs 65,000 after tying her up at Ladhowal village two days ago, fell flat during police investigation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Yurinder Singh stated the robbery was planned and executed by Kuldeep Kaur, and her relatives Gurmail Singh and Balwinder Singh.

The police has nabbed Kuldeep Kaur, mother of five, and Gurmail Singh and recovered nearly Rs 18,000 from their possession. Balwinder Singh is, however, on the run.

Giving details about the concocted robbery story, the DCP stated that the trio planned the robbery to take away the cash belonging to her father-in-law Harbhajan Ram and his three partners.

Harbhajan had reportedly hired a piece of land on contract on which he had sowed carrots. By selling the produce, he earned Rs 65,000 and the amount was kept at home. As Gurmail was preparing for the marriage of his son, he had asked Kuldeep Kaur to arrange for Rs 40,000. She expressed her inability to arrange for the money and hatched a robbery conspiracy with Gurmail and Balwinder.

On the evening of December 29, Kuldeep Kaur, who was reportedly alone in the house, informed Gurmail to come home. Her husband Gurwinder Singh, an autorickshaw driver, had gone to the market. In order to make the robbery look real, the duo tied her to a bed and took away the cash. 

Call Record

The call details procured by the police revealed that Kuldeep Kaur was in touch with Gurmail Singh and Balwinder Singh, the co-accused. The police interrogated the woman and she confessed to having hatched the conspiracy. The police arrested Gurmail while Balwinder fled. 

Fake Robberies

June 6, 2010: The Rs 7-lakh robbery at Kitchlu Nagar turned out to be stage-managed. It was scripted and executed by two collection staff members of Cash Management Services.

October 7: The Rs 11-lakh robbery claim of an iron trader, Naval Kishore, fell flat. He had concocted the incident.

December 15: A robber reportedly had taken 24 tolas of gold jewellery and Rs 1 lakh by taking Sugandha Jain of Sunder Nagar hostage. Investigations revealed that the complainant, Anuj Jain, had stage-managed the robbery.



Stars ring in New Year
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The city had its share of stardust, when celebrities welcomed the New Year by entertaining residents with their scintillating performances in various clubs and hotels here tonight.

Item girl, Moni Roy set the stage of Nirvana Club on fire, while Raushika Rekhi anchored the show. Moni, popularly known as Krishna Tulsi of “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” fame, said though it was her first visit to the city, she was already in love with it.

“The serial was a good platform and after that I have done five reality shows. Working in them was fun. I do not mind being part of Big Boss if I am given a lucrative amount,” she said.

Moni, who was all praise for the woollens of the city, said she learnt kathak for 13 years and acting and dancing were her passion. “Nobody can get bored in the company of Punjabis as they are very lively and always ready to party,” she quipped.

She plans to restart her gymnasium and yoga routine in 2011 and targets to reading 100 books in the coming year.

Raushika said she enjoyed anchoring the shows. After doing a Hindi film she went to South and did nearly half a dozen films. “Work speaks for us, medium is not a barrier,” she signs off.

Meanwhile, Syali Bhagat inaugurated a grill bar at a hotel last evening. A former Miss India, she made her entry into Bollywood with “The Train”. 



For them, sky is the limit, indeed!
Shivani Bhakoo/Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Four-year-old Reshma has not seen the open sky. Ever since she was born, the huge barracks, her mother, an aunt and several others like them are her “companions” at the Women Jail here.

She is unaware of the world outside. She does not even know who her father is or how he looks like. New Year hardly holds any significance to Reshma, but her mother wants Reshma to meet her father and enjoy her childhood outside the jail.

Reshma is not the only girl to have not seen anything except the four walls of the jail, strong iron gates, as around 15 more children like her have met the same fate. For them, the world revolves around the barracks.

Their mothers may have committed the crimes, but these innocent children, too, are facing the “sentence”.

Nasima (Reshma’s mother), along with her younger sister Afsana and an aged mother Waheeda Begum, were caught with drugs at Atari Border about five years back. All these women belong to Gujranwala (Pakistan). They had come to India to “meet relatives”, but were caught by the Indian Police. After spending some time in Amritsar jail, where their mother Waheeda Begum died, they were shifted to the Women Jail here. Reshma was born in the jail.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Reshma’s aunt Afsana claimed that they were "falsely implicated" in the case.

For the past five years, they have been in the jail and the maximum punishment for the crime can be as long as 10 years.

“But we have filed a petition in the High Court. We are hopeful of getting speedy justice. The relatives back home keep sending us letters. Reshma is too innocent to know anything. For Reshma, the jail is her home,” said Afsana, her 24-year-old aunt. Most of these children are in the age group of 4 to 7.

There is a “creche” for them, where they study and play. Teachers and caretakers come to teach them for about three hours. Another inmate in the jail said, “We are satisfied that our small kids are with us. We cannot bring back the lost childhood of our kids. We hope that New Year brings cheer to them,” she said.



Oyster Mushroom Cultivation 
Low-cost technology to enhance farmers’ income
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
Keeping in view the need for agricultural diversification and income enhancement of the farmers, the scientists of the Department of Microbiology at Punjab Agricultural University, (PAU), familiarised them with the low-cost technology for cultivation and harvesting of the oyster mushroom (pleurotus, also commonly known as dhingri) together with its nutritional advantages.

The experts said oyster mushroom was soft and variously coloured, ranging from white, cream-brown, yellow to pink. The university has developed strategies for the year-round mushroom growing on wheat straw and paddy straw.

The farmers were told that cultivation of oyster-mushroom genotypes, pleurotus florida, pleurotus sajor-caju and pleurotus ostreatus, has been recommended on substrates such as the chopped un-fermented wheat straw (turi) and chopped paddy straw ( parali), under Punjab conditions.

Dr S. Dhanda, a PAU mushroom scientist, dwelt upon the low-cost technology developed for the oyster mushroom. Wheat straw or chopped paddy straw (2-3 feet long pieces) is spread on pucca floor and is made wet thoroughly for 16-20 hours with clean water so that the straw attains a desirable level of 70-75 per cent moisture. She added that polythene bags of varied sizes (18 x 12, 20 x 16 and 24 x 16) could be used as containers to accommodate 3.5, 7 and 9 kg of welted wheat straw, respectively.

Dr PK Khanna, coordinator, research (basic sciences), discussed the methods of spawning, namely, multi-layered and thorough spawning. The bag is filled to capacity with wet straw bits and thereafter, spawn is broadcast on it, by gentle pressing. The alternating layers of nearly 1-2’ of wet straw are spawned subsequently, he said. Wheat grains-based spawn is also used at 10 per cent of dry weight of straw and each layer of the straw is spawned with approximately equal amount of spawn for efficient growth of the mushroom.

Further elaborating, Khanna told the participants that in case of thorough spawning, the required amount of straw, for a bag was taken and after adding the spawn, the contents were mixed thoroughly and filled in the bag with occasional gentle pressing. No watering was required during the period of spawn run. He added that the yellow colour of the wheat straw gradually turned whitish, as the hyphae of the mushroom fungus spread throughout the substrate.

"After two weeks of the spawning, small mushroom primordia develop. The bag is cut open and a light water sprinkle is given regularly to keep them moist. The humidity in the growing room is maintained at 80-85 per cent and ventilation is allowed for 4-5 hours, daily. Attractive fruit-bodies appear in clumps or singly that can be harvested for use or marketing, said Khanna.

Highlighting the advantages of oyster mushroom, Dr PP Johal, said that it grew well on cellulose waste (i.e. wheat straw, paddy straw), which were available with the farmers in bulk. It can be grown using a variety of containers such as poly bags, nets, trays, baskets, etc. Spawn-run is fast, and hence the chances of contaminating or weed fungi, is greatly reduced, she added. 



Bank to facilitate credit to farmers 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 31
With the intent to facilitate credit to agriculturalists, the Oriental Bank of Commerce has announced to focus attention on advances in the housing, retail lending and agriculture sector next year.

The announcement was made by executive director of the bank, SC Sinha, after disbursing agriculture loans worth Rs 72 crore among 900 beneficiaries here today.

Claiming that the OBC had opened largest number of branches in Northern India, Sinha held that bank’s business had crossed Rs.2,14,600 crore. With a network of 1,567 branches and 33 extension counters, the organisation was committed to meet needs of the people in the priority sector too.

Electronic Remittance facilities through RTGS/NEFT, online education loan, e-shoppe, e-taxes, online trading of shares, SMS alerts, proton debit cards, cash-mate cards for students and third party mutual funds; are the various services being provided by the organisation. 



Experts dwell on mgmt of stroke
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The local branch of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) in association with the neurology department of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital organised a CME on “Management of stroke” recently.

Dr Monika Singla and Dr BS Paul were the guest speakers. NIMA joint secretary Dr Ranbir Singh conducted the proceedings.

Dr Monika Singla said stroke, or in simple words “brain attack” was an emergency, just like a heart attack.

She said, “While in heart attack, the blood supply to heart is blocked due to obstruction in coronary arteries, in stroke, the cerebral vessels, carotid and vertebral arteries, supplying blood to brain get blocked by clots. The area affected gets no oxygen, glucose or nutrition thus leading to infarction (brain cells in that particular area get dead) and hence all functions controlled or done by that area get affected.”

She said, “A majority of strokes in western countries (about 85 per cent) are ischaemic strokes, which result from arterial blockage by a blood clot or detached plaque from elsewhere in the circulation. Rest of the cases are a result of brain hemorrhage (bleeding from a ruptured blood vessel into the brain), and in this type of stroke there may be severe headache and vomiting, as well as paralysis and speech difficulties, associated with coma.”

Elaborating further, Dr BS Paul said although stroke could affect younger people, it was largely a disease of older age.

“It is well recognised that there are risk factors for stroke apart from age. Blood clots in the cerebral vessels have to be immediately thrombolysed with the help of certain clot-buster medicines. As a victim has only four to five hours for this therapy to be effective, it is imperative that once the attack is detected family members and family physician should shift a patient to tertiary super specialty neuro care centre, without wasting even a minute,” Dr Paul added.

Experts said the prevention of stroke included both minimising risk factors, for example by treating high blood pressure, and the long-term use of medication that could prevent the development of ischaemic stroke.

“Daily low-dose aspirin reduces platelet stickiness and decreases the risk of recurrent stroke by about 15 per cent. Anti-platelet medicines are not used in those who have had a hemorrhagic stroke,” they said.

Earlier, NIMA president Dr Rajesh Thapar welcomed guest speakers and delegates. NIMA secretary Dr Surendra Gupta said stroke was just another lifestyle related “preventable” disorder like type 2 diabetes, hypertension, alcoholic liver disease, angina or coronary artery disease and even blindness. 



City branch of IMA gets national award
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 31
The Ludhiana branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) has bagged one more national award - Community Service Award -2010 along with the Best President Award, from the national IMA, New Delhi. The honour came close after the "best branch award" from Punjab IMA.

The outgoing IMA president Dr Narotam Dewan, said that along with the medical fraternity, the service of the community was the top most priority for IMA - 2010. The IMA had been striving to set an example to all members so as to serve mankind.

"Though the IMA is a professional body, but ethics and service to mankind is a part of service for all doctors.

Dr Hardeep Singh, honorary secretary, Dr Satish Ohri, finance secretary, Dr Satish Nauhria, senior vice-president and Dr AS Sachdeva have expressed their gratitude to all the members for their participation in all the programmes which took the IMA to new heights.

Dr RS Parmar, state president of IMA and Dr Balwinder Kumar, general secretary of PCMS Association, have congratulated IMA on being given the coveted award.



F&CC agenda for Jan 4 meeting
Double load, courtesy BJP
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, December 31
Bowing to pressure by BJP councillors, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities have doubled the number of items on the agenda to be discussed during the meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC), now scheduled for January 4.

According to information available, the meeting for the high-powered F&CC was scheduled to be held on December 18, but was postponed due to the BJP protest.

Its councillors claimed that though the civic body had decided to discuss more than 300 items regarding development, files concerning development in their wards had not been included in the agenda.

Keeping the impending Assembly elections in view, the non-implementation of development works in their wards would cast a negative effect on electoral prospects of the alliance, councillors rued.

After the matter was raised by Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal before Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, the latter had postponed the meeting and asked MC officials to add the items concerning wards of BJP councillors to the agenda.

The meeting was rescheduled, but surprisingly, MC officials added a supplementary agenda of 300 items, doubling the total items.

Sources revealed that MC officials had to appease BJP councillors. Denying that the files had been increased on the demand BJP councillors, Bansal stated that only items necessary for all-round development had been added.



PAU Notes
PAU, PTU ink accord
Collaboration in Academic and Research Programmes
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 31
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Punjab Technical University (PTU) was formally signed today for collaboration in academic and research programmes.

Under the agreement, the available research facilities of both universities will be open for research scholars registered with either of the universities. Further, both universities will collaborate on research projects and joint proposals for submission to the funding agencies. The core areas identified for this MoU are joint doctoral research guidance and common faculty development programmes in different areas. The agreement will be valid for five years at first instance.

The MoU was signed by the Vice-Chancellors of the two universities, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, on behalf of the PAU and Dr Rajnish Arora, on behalf of the PTU. Dr PPS Lubana, dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (CoAET) and Dr Buta Singh Sidhu, dean Academics, PTU signed as witnesses.

In his remarks, Kang said that there were several common grounds between PTU and PAU and that the synergy through the collaboration would be mutually beneficial and complementary to the two universities. He elaborated that there were already ongoing cooperation between the two as PAU admitted engineering students at CoAET based on the combined entrance test (CET), conducted by PTU and there were many PAU alumni serving the PTU. Arora said that the MoU would provide the new directions for R and D activities to be carried out in the future. "It will provide better opportunities for the students of both universities to improve the quality and quantity of research," he said, adding that the research facilities available with both the universities would be utilised well.

He remarked that PTU, with over 3.25 lakh students in about 300 colleges and 2,000 learning centres in distance education programmes across the country, was the biggest technical university. Its joining hands with PAU, the best agricultural university of the country, would prove academically rewarding for the students and industry.

Lubana highlighted various ongoing activities and programmes in the CoAET at PAU. Dr Gursharan Singh, dean, postgraduatestudies and Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, director of research, highlighted the PG education and agricultural research programmes, respectively.

PTU academics dean Dr Buta Singh Sidhu said that there were many areas in which the two universities could collaborate in the future. 



New Year, new hopes, new targets
Like every New Year, 2011 has brought hopes and expectations. Tribune correspondent Manav Mander talks to some of the city’s who’s who about their hopes and plans for the ‘Manchester of India’ and how the city can be made better



XEN arrested for abetment to suicide 
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, December 31
The local police has arrested an XEN with Punjab State Power Corporation Limited for abetting suicide committed by an employee on December 6. A team from the Jagraon city police station, led by SHO Balwinder Singh, arrested XEN Bhagwant Kishore from Patiala yesterday.

The accused had been at large ever since the incident.

Powercom Employees’ Union members had earlier announced that they in association with other employee organisations of the area would block traffic if the police failed to arrest the accused by December 31.

They had been pressing for the arrest of the accused ever since the incident.

The union members, carrying the body of the victim, had even held a protest against the police before performing the last rites on December 14.

With the arrest of the accused, the union has called off its strike.

Fateh Singh, a Powercom employee, had set himself afire at his residence in Jagraon on December 6 after the XEN allegedly misbehaved with him.

The victim succumbed to his burn injuries on December 13 at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana.

Jagraon city police station SHO Balwinder Singh said the accused had been arrested and the police produced the accused before the court, which remanded him in judicial custody.



College lecturer attacked
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, December 31
A college lecturer was assaulted at his house today. The lecturer, identified as Parminder Singh, received serious injuries.

Some unidentified persons forcibly entered his house at Karnail Gate this afternoon and started beating him up.

The victim received serious injuries on his head and forehead and fractures in his legs. The attackers were eight or 10 in number and were carrying iron rods and sharp-edged weapons.

The incident was probably the outcome of some old rivalry. The attackers neither injured any other member of the family, nor robbed them. The lecturer was admitted to the civil hospital and then referred to the CMCH in Ludhiana. The police was yet to register a case.



Rape accused sent to jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Satwinderpal Singh, a native of Dholen village who had been on the run after raping an Australian woman in Brisbane, Australia, was produced before the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) and further sent to jail here today.

The Jagraon police had arrested the 24-year-old youth, who had fled Australia after raping a 26-year-old girl in Brisbane on December 14.

Satwinderpal, who had gone to Australia three years ago on a student visa, was studying in Homes College, Brisbane, and working as a part-time taxi driver.

The woman complained to the Australian police that the accused had raped her in the cab.

Following the incident, the accused fled the country and returned to India.

Subsequently, the Australian police registered a case and informed the Indian High Commission about the incident.

A red corner notice was issued against Satwinderpal and the matter was handed over to the Interpol for further investigation.

The Jagraon police received the Interpol notice and copy of the case on December 22, following which Jagraon SSP Gursharan Singh constituted a special investigation team (SIT), headed by Mullahpur Dakha SHO Jangjit Singh.

The police received a tip-off that the accused was visiting his parents in Dholen village. The police laid a trap and arrested the accused.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |