L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Goods worth lakhs destroyed in fire
l Godown in Book Market gutted l Short-circuit believed to be cause of fire
Kuldip Bhatia

A fireman struggles to douse flames
A fireman struggles to douse flames

Ludhiana, April 10
Electrical goods, fittings, fixtures and other material worth several lakhs were destroyed as the godown of a leading electrical goods dealer in the Book Market caught fire here today.

The fire was suspected to be caused by a short circuit on the ground floor of the triple-storeyed building in a narrow lane adjoining the City Kotwali at around 8.50 am and soon spread to other parts of the storehouse. Even though the first fire tender reached the spot in about five to seven minutes and fire fighting operations commenced immediately, it took 12 fire brigade men and seven fire tenders more than two hours to douse the flames.
Gutted electrical parts, fittings and components on the second floor of the storehouse in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Gutted electrical parts, fittings and components on the second floor of the storehouse in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

"Even after the fire was brought under control, our men entered the building and scraped through the burning remains of electric goods, plastic, PVC and rubber components and fittings to douse the fire completely to make sure that the cinders did not rekindle the blaze," told Amarjit Sharma, officiating Divisional Fire Officer.

Shopkeepers in the vicinity were on tenterhooks during the entire fire-fighting operations as the blaze could have spread further and caused immense damage to other shops and storehouses had it not been brought under control well in time.

The shortage of fire-fighting equipment and manpower, once again, came to the fore as the ill-equipped fire fighters went about their job without any complaint. "The fire brigade men arranged ordinary wooden or steel ladders to scale the godown with water hoses carried on their shoulders. But all said and done, they (the fire brigade) managed to bring the fire under control in time and saved other shops from being engulfed by fire," said onlookers in the Book Market.


Whistleblower school master’s services terminated
Had reported to Punjab education minister about alleged illegal activities of Malwa Khalsa High School’s officiating principal Khagesh Sharma
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 10
A city-based goverment-aided school's management has terminated the “whistleblower” school master’s services for unveiling the alleged illegal activities of the officiating principal of a government-aided school.

Varinder Singh, a science master at Malwa Khalsa High School, Model Gram Ludhiana, allegedly reported to the Punjab education minister about the school's officiating principal Khagesh Sharma's illegal activities. It was reported that besides being officiating principal of the school, he was teaching students in the evening session at a local college. Khagesh Sharma was also holding the post of Associate NCC Officer in the NCC (air wing) of the school.

A copy of the complaint which is with Ludhiana Tribune points towards the allegations which were duly proved by Gurmeet K. Dhaliwal, sub-divisional education officer, who inquired into the case against the officiating Principal Khagesh Sharma on May 6, 2010.

The suspension letter issued from the school to Varinder allegedly read that Varinder missed a period of higher class at the school on May 5 last year. Thus, the management was forced to put him under suspension from May 10, 2010.

Ruing about the “mistreatment” of the officiating principal and the school management, Varinder alleged: "The school management should have further extended my suspension or I should have been called to join the duty. But the school management terminated me on March 16 this year without even taking the approval of the Director Public Instructions (DPI)."

"It’s an offence if a government employee earns from two sources. Khagesh Sharma is not abiding by the Punjab Civil Services Rules and is taking over two responsible posts in the school, besides earning from teaching in the evening session of Arya College," alleged Varinder.

He further asserted that not even the DPI nor the district education officer (DEO) had come forward to take action against the offenders. "I want the Director General School Education (DGSE) to lodge criminal case against the school's officiating principal," demanded Varinder, who has also knocked the door of Educational Tribunal Punjab.

Daljinder Singh, manager of the school, said: "I do not know about the outcome of the inquiry against Khagesh Sharma."

Defending the school management Daljinder Singh said an inquiry was conducted against Varinder Singh and around six out of 14 allegations were proved by the committee consisting of around 16 members of the school management. "On the basis of the inquiry, Varinder Singh was suspended for six months and further he was terminated from his service," said Daljinder Singh, adding that the school has been serving the people for the past 107 years and not even a single such case had come forward in this long span of time.

Gurmeet K. Dhaliwal, sub-divisional education officer, who inquired into the case of officiating principal Khagesh Sharma, confirmed that the inquiry had proved that he was serving in the evening session of Arya College Ludhiana, and also was holding the charge of NCC (air wing).

"Around three allegations were proved during the inquiry," said Dhaliwal, adding "I performed my duty of inquiry, now the DPI will take decision." 



Woman succumbs to acid burns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
In a tragic end to a love marriage, a woman, who had suffered acid attack by her husband on March 30, succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital here today.The victim Puja Sharma (21) was injured in the attack by her husband Amit Sharma. She is survived by her one-and-a-half-year-old son.

The couple had married nearly three years ago against the wishes of their parents. After the marriage, the couple stated living in Dhuri line area near Matharu market. But the relations between the couple strained recently and Puja, along with her son, went back to her paternal house in the Islam Gunj area.

Amit used to visit the house to meet his son and even persuaded his wife to return, but Puja did not relent.

On March 13, Amit had fled with his son, which led to a quarrel between both families. Amit returned the boy after the matter came to the notice of the police.

On March 30, Amit reached Puja's house and started fighting with him on the issue of her reluctance of returning with him. Following a quarrel, Amit threw acid on Puja. SHO Division No 2 Surinder Mohan has formed a special team to nab the accused.

While another team has gone to Bihar where the accused is possibly hiding.

The SHO said earlier the accused was booked under Section 307 of the IPC, which has now been converted into a murder case under Section 302 of the IPC.



Hit-and-run case: 1 killed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 10
A middle aged man died while his younger brother was seriously injured in a road accident that took place about four kilometers away from here on the Jagraon-Raikot road this morning.

The deceased has been identified as Jarnail Singh (36) of Kokari Kalan village in Moga district while the injured has been identified as his younger brother Ramrattan Singh (34).

The injured was immediately admitted to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, from where he was referred to a Ludhiana hospital due to his critical condition. His condition was stated to be serious till the filing of the report.

The accident took place near the Abohar Branch canal bridge near Akhara village this ,morning when a motorcycle the two brothers were riding on was hit by a speeding Indica Car from behind. As a result Jarnail Singh died on the spot while his younger brother Ramrattan Singh received serious injuries on his head, face and other parts of the body. The car driver sped away from the scene after the accident.

As per the information, both the brothers were coming back to their village on their motor cycle (PB 29 L-2071) after visiting Bilaspur. As soon as they reached near the canal bridge near Akhara village, a silver colour speeding Indica car hit their motorcycle as a result, one of them died on the spot while other was seriously injured.

According to investigating officer Rachpal Singh Dhindsa, SHO, Sadar Police Station, Jagraon, an eyewitness informed the police that a silver colour Indica car that hit the motorcycle was bearing registration number PB 25 D-4981.

Meanwhile, a case has been registered against the unidentified person at the Jagraon Sadar Police Station and the investigation is on. He further stated that the police was trying to trace the owner of the car on the basis of the registration number given by the eyewitness.



Migrant women falling prey to heart ailments
Smoking, tobacco chewing, stress and rich Punjabi food believed to be the reasons
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Smoking and tobacco chewing in addition to mental stress and rich Punjabi food have taken their toll on migrant women who were synonymous with good health in the recent past, but are now falling prey to coronary diseases, according to city cardiologists.

Despite working for long hours during the day, which include physical exercise, migrant women in Ludhiana are coming with the complaints of high cholesterol and other coronary heart problems.

The reasons being their love for tobacco and the changing lifestyle, which includes fatty diet and the desire to compete with the Ludhianavis to earn for maintaining a good living.

Anita, a domestic help from labour colony said she had come to Ludhiana from Uttar Pradesh after marriage 20 years ago, adding that he children call themselves natives of Punjab. "My elder daughter and I work day and night to earn for the kitchen expenses, as my family loves to eat the food cooked in desi ghee and not in mustard oil. Also, we have almost all the gadgets in the house and are now planning to replace the small television with a bigger one," said the domestic help.

Said Dr HS Bedi, cardiac surgeon at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), "I have recently operated two migrant women who were suffering from serious coronary disorders and needed to undergo surgery. There are many who go to government hospitals and are referred to tertiary care centres when the problem needs to redressed by the specialists."

Making an interesting revelation, Dr Kulwant Singh, a city-based cardiologist, said he was getting cases of migrant women who were smoking 15-20 cigarettes in a day. "In some cases, migrant women suffered silent heart attacks and had to be immediately admitted in the ICCU.They candidly admitted to be regular smokers," the cardiologist mentioned. 



‘Milkfed cheating dairy farmers’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
A special meeting was convened by executive members of the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association at their office recently in which the alleged “insincerity” on the part of Milkfed was discussed.

Daljit Singh Gill, president of the PDFA, said in a press statement yesterday that during the past one year procurement, prices of milk were stagnant at Rs 350/kg fat by Milkfed.

From 2007 to 2009, 25 per cent increase in sales price of milk in the market was seen, but there was not any rise in the procurement price. “Dairy sector in Punjab is growing at a good pace and the state is about to become dairy state of India, but such insincere efforts made by the procuring agencies are hampering the growth of dairy sector in Punjab,” said Gill.

“An example of injustice by Milkfed Punjab was recently observed. Milkfed Punjab is purchasing 50,000 litres of milk from an NGO of Rajasthan at Rs 450/kg fat while the procurement rate for Punjab Dairy Farmers was Rs 350/kg fat. This is a cheating with dairy farmers,” Gill rued.

The PDFA has been demanding increase in the procurement rate for the past many years, but the demand was always being ignored by the authorities concerned.

“It is astonishing to see that the farmers of neighbouring state Haryana are also getting more procurement rate than Punjab. Procurement rate was Rs 340/kg fat in Haryana, but in the recent months it has been increased to Rs 365/kg fat to support its dairy farmers,” said Rajpal Kular, joint secretary of the association.

The progressive dairy farmers further maintained that another major problem being faced by them was the difference in procurement rates at district level. “The procurement price must be increased to Rs 400/kg fat by April 11 or we will intensify our struggle,” said the president. 



Homoeopaths get together
Pay tributes to founder Dr Samuel Hahnemann
Tribune News Service

An alumini performs at Lord Mahavira Homoeopathy College in Ludhiana.
An alumini performs at Lord Mahavira Homoeopathy College in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, April 10
The first ever alumni meet of Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital was organised today on the World Homeopathy Day.

Homoeopathic doctors, including the college alumnus working in various parts of Punjab, gathered in the Lord Mahavira Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital to pay tributes to the founder of homeopathy Dr Samuel Hahnemann.

Dr Ravinder Kochhar, the principal of Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital in his address stated tha college had done commendably well in the past as was evident from the successful careers of the passed out students.

He referred to homeopathy doctors working in government as well as private hospitals acrossthe state adding thatthey had brought laurels to the college through their hard work.

Dr Paramjit Singh Ranu, member Central Council of Homeopathy, was the special guest who accredited Hahnemann for evolving the alternative system in medicine under the name of "homoeopathy".

"Now the credit for serving the ailing humanity goes to the dedication and devotion of the homoeopaths who have come a long way since the system was initiated by Hahnemann," said Ranu. The college management felicitated practitioners, teachers and senior doctors who were serving the people through homeopathic system of medicine.The college students presented a cultural show and the enthusiasm of the old students was evident from their participation in various events.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, MP Sukhdev Singh Libra and Improvement Trust chairman Madan Mohan Vyas were amongst those present on the occasion. 



Endoscopy unit opened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 10
Rotary District Governor Manmohan Jerath has inaugurated an endoscopy unit at Guru Tegh Bahadur Charitable Hospital. The unit has been set up at a cost of Rs 12 lakh.

“It has been provided under the International Rotary Foundation matching grant programme with the active participation of the Rotary Club, Ludhiana,” said Jerath.

He also visited Nirdosh School for special children, the homeopathic dispensary and the computer centre for underprivileged children being run on the club premises at Sarabha Nagar.

During his address to the club members, Jerath lauded the projects undertaken by the club under the leadership of club presidentIS Grewal.



Anxiety rules as students appear for IIT entrance test
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A mother kisses her daughter soon after she emerged from an examination centre after appearing for the IIT entrance exam in Ludhiana on Sunday.
A mother kisses her daughter soon after she emerged from an examination centre after appearing for the IIT entrance exam in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, April 10
Confusion, anxiety writ large on the faces of students and their parents outside the centres where entrance for IIT exams was being held today. Since morning, hundreds of students accompanied by their parents were seen going for the entrance tests at several centres (both in schools and on college premises). The entrance tests have been conducted for subjects including physics, chemistry and maths.

As per an estimate, 4.85 lakh students from all over India have appeared for the entrance test this year, the result of which is expected to be declared by the end of May. The students had appeared for two sets of papers from 9 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm.

Naresh Puri, a parent whose daughter had appeared for the exam today, said that not just students were worried but the parents, too were very anxious. "Lakhs of students are appearing and few thousands will be selected for IIT. The competition is tough and we have crossed our fingers for our wards. The students have put in a lot of hard work to get through the entrance test", he said.

Another parent Sadhna Singh, whose son had appeared for the tests today at DAV School, said that she had been waiting impatiently for her son. "He was so confused and anxious that he vomited in the morning. But I told him to put in his best and leave it to God. We know that our wards have worked hard but luck also plays a major role. I am not going to ask much about the exam as he must be tired", said Sadhna Singh.

A student Nitika, while coming out from the centre said that she was pretty satisfied with her performance. She said that Paper I was based on NCERT books while Paper 11 was much tougher covering various topics. "Many students are happy over the exam while several others have shown disappointment. We have crossed our fingers till the results are out", said Nitika. 



Participants recall memorable moments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
More than 300 delegates participated in the DMCH Alumni CME (Continuing Medical Education), held today at Dumra Auditorium.The secretary of DMCH managing society, Prem Kumar Gupta, inaugurated the CME, which was also attended by former principal of DMCH, Dr LS Chawla and former professor and head of medicine at Dr GL Avasthi.

DMC principal Dr Daljit Singh extended warm welcome to the dignitaries and the participating delegates and shared the progress and growth that DMCH has made in the last few decades. Chairperson of DMCH alumni committee Dr Jagdeep Whig recalled some the most memorable moments with Chawla and Avasthi.

Whig said that it was a nostalgic experience for the old students of DMCH to reunite and also update their expertise and skills in the field of medicine.

In his message, Chawla expressed his thoughts by conveying his pride and appreciation over the outstanding achievements of DMCH as an institution.

Dr. Rohit Gulati from University of Baltimore, USA, who spoke on “Business of Medicine - Lession Learnt from American Experience” followed by Dr Ashok K Gupta from PGIMER, Chandigarh, and Dr Anil Anand from Max Hospital, New Delhi, who elaborated on “Fungal Infections — The Current Scenario” and “Recent advances help in improving survival and quality of life in cancer patients” respectively.

Principal Dr Daljit Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, Academics Dean Dr. Rajoo Singh Chhina, medical superintendents. Dr. Sandeep Puri and Dr BS Shah and Dr GS Garewal, m,ember, Punjab Medical Council were also present on the occasion. 



Tech-fest at Guru Nanak polytechnic college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Punjab Technical Institute Sports (P.T.I.S) Tech-Fest 2011 was held at Guru Nanak Dev Polytechnic College yesterday.Students from various polytechnic colleges of Punjab enthusiastically participated in it. The projects and models developed in various branches of engineering were displayed by the competitors in their respective fields. Technical paper-reading contests were also held simultaneously.

The tech-fest was inaugurated by chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, who took keen interest in the projects of students and applauded the students for their efforts. The occasion was graced by principals and staff of participating institutions. The staff members and students of the host college put in their best to make this event a success. The function concluded with the distribution of prizes to the winners by Harpal Singh Bhamber, vice -president, United Cycles and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA).



11 marriages solemnised by society
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 10
Marriages of 11 girls of low-income group families were solemnised by the Nishkam Kirtan Sewa society here today. The function was organised on the Dusehra ground and lunch was served to the relatives of the couples at the community centre.

The ceremony of Anand Karaj was performed at the Gurdwara Sahib. District Police chief Ranbir Singh Khatra was the chief guest at the function. Necessities of life i.e. clothes, sewing machines, Beds etc were also given to the girls.

Welcoming the guests, society chief Karamjit Singh and vice-president Ravinder Singh Ravi said that the society was registered in 2004 and so far had solemnised marriages of 144 girls. The society runs sewing centres in villages to provide training to rural girls free of cost so that they may be able to stand on their feet. 



Fellowship for PAU dean
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
The Indian Society of Vegetable Science has nominated Dr DS Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, as a fellow of The Indian Society of Vegetable Science. The fellowship was conferred on him during a national symposium on vegetable biodiversity organised at Jawahar Lal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, under the aegis of the Indian Society of Vegetable Science, on April 4 and 5.

This fellowship has been conferred on him in recognition of his outstanding contribution in vegetable research.



RTI activist seeks action against MC officials
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Irked over unsatisfactory reply by municipal corporation officials to queries of residents under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, an NGO has sought disciplinary action against these officials under the Services Rules.

According to sources, RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal had sought information from the corporation on February 3 about the compliance details of the implementation of Section 4 (1) A of the RTI Act in the civic body.

The section is crucial because it states that any public office must maintain its record in a proper manner so that information can be promptly supplied to applicants over their queries.

Though the municipal corporation officials initially evaded a reply to the application, the MC officials sent him a reply on March 11, after Sabharwal filed an appeal with the first appellate authority, stating whether the Act had been implemented in the civic body.

However, in his complaint to the Municipal Commissioner, Sabharwal said the reply was not satisfactory, as he had never asked if the section had been implemented in the civic body.

Rather, he had asked about the compliance details of the section as there were a number of branches in the civic body and each branch maintained its separate records.

Similarly, he said, under Section 4 (1), every public authority was required to maintain record duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and form that facilitates the RTI Act.

Also, he said, the section stated that it should be ensured that all records that were appropriate to be computerised were done so within a reasonable time.

Besides, he said, under the section, records must be connected through a network all over the country on different systems to facilitate their easy access.

After the submission by Sabharwal, the Municipal Commissioner had fixed April 4 for hearing in the case. However, none of the municipal officials turned up for the hearing.

Irked by the irresponsible behavior of the municipal authorities, Sabharwal has, in another submission, asked the Commissioner to take action against the officials responsible for the mess.

Sabharwal said the municipal officials were taking residents for granted, adding that most of the time they filed misleading replies to queries due to which residents had to suffer.

MC’s Inadequacy

In his query to MC authorities, the activist had sought compliance details under Section 4 (1) A of the RTI Act. However, officials in the reply simply stated that the Act had been implemented in the civic body, without specifying the compliance details of various branches of the municipal corporation



Front slams repression of tribesmen in Jharkhand
Seeks release of Dr Binayak Sen 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 10
Slamming the use of force by the government against the Tribesmen and poor people living in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, besides awarding life imprisonment to human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen, the Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt demanded revocation of Dr Sen’s sentence.

Those speaking at a state-level convention on democratic rights here alleged that the tribesmen were being uprooted from their forestlands, which were being handed to multinationals and corporate by respective state governments. “Voices of protest raised by activists like Dr Sen are being suppressed with the might of the government machinery,” the speakers added.

The presidium of the convention comprised Ujjwal Kumar Singh and Nandani Sunder, both from Delhi University, Kamal Nayan Chowdhry, playwright Dr SN Sewak and Yash Pal.

Chowdhry said though tribesmen and poor people had won numerous legal battles and retained their basic rights on forests, the government had launched “Operation Green Hunt” to render lakhs of them homeless.

Ujjwal Kumar, quoting the Constitution of India, asserted that Article 39 conferred the right to resources to every citizen of the country, but the power-hungry rulers had made a mockery of the Constitution by unsettling and uprooting poor tribesmen from forestlands. “At the behest of the governments, armed forces are terrorizing people in the name of security. In states like Manipur and Mizoram, repressive acts are being used with impunity to gag the voice of those fighting against injustice.”

The activists castigated the judiciary for giving principles of natural justice a “crude burial” by putting Dr Sen behind bars just because he had sympathised with undertrial Maoists. “The legal system is not the lone culprit but the ruling elite is also pursuing politics of repressive laws,” they said.

Nandani Sunder, who had conducted an intensive study on the life of tribesmen in Jharkhand for over two decades, charged the security forces and the government of committing barbaric acts against. “Ravaging the entire villages in the hunt for Maoists, mass rapes of tribesmen, indiscriminate killing of innocent people and detention in camps without any trials has become an every day affair in these belts.”

The convention urged the government to scrape “Operation Green Hunt” and release of Dr Binayak Sen, give adequate compensation to victims and withdraw black laws being enacted in Punjab and other states.



Rising mobile-related crime has industry worried
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, April 10
Worried over a spurt in incidents of mobile crimes, city’s industrialists have expressed concern and urged the government to ask service providers to provide facilities through which such crimes can easily be detected.

Extortion calls, threat SMSes and mobile-number hacking are areas of grave concern, they feel. There has been an increase of over 200 per cent in mobile-related crimes in India during the past one year, maintain industrialists.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, and Upkar Singh, joint secretary, CICU, say there is no sound framework for apprehending or prosecuting such criminals as the mobile telecom system has not yet been secured in India.

“Mobile service providers are mopping up huge revenues, estimated at over Rs 900 billion, from subscribers but they are not providing adequate infrastructure and support in terms of technology and techniques to investigating agencies required to tackle mobile-related crimes. They are only giving information about the identity of the tower used by criminals, which is insufficient to trace the identity of the extortionist,” says Avtar Singh.

“In all developed countries, the caller’s name, as on the billing address, appears on the screen whenever any unknown call is received. Such a facility should be made available in India at the earliest. There should also be a phone detection system with every service provider to detect the phone number to an accuracy of one metre so that users can be traced faster and accurately,” says Upkar Singh.

To rule out the possibility of procuring mobile connection by depositing fake IDs, thorough verification of the subscriber should be made mandatory. In case of default, accountability should be fixed on the verifying authorities.

The industrialists have appealed to Kapil Sibbal, minister of communication and information technology, Government of India, and Dr IS Sarma, chairperson, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, to make these provisions mandatory for all service providers in the country at the earliest.

These measures are a must for revealing the identity of anonymous callers and providing security to industrialists, who are being targeted by criminals.



Change in climatic conditions delays harvesting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
While authorities might have prepared themselves for the procurement of wheat in yards (mandis) of the district, farmers will have to wait for another 10 to 12 days before they can harvest their crop.

As climatic conditions have changed this year, as compared to previous years, the crop in fields has not fully matured for harvesting.

Talking to The Tribune, Avtar Singh Mehlon, president, Bharti Kisan Union (Lakhowal), said contrary to their expectations, due to a sudden change in climatic conditions during the past seven to 10 days, the harvesting of wheat crop would be delayed by another 10 days.

“Earlier, the harvesting was expected to start by the first week of April. However, seeing the persisting climatic conditions, when temperature is considerably low, harvesting will gain momentum only once wheat grain turns golden yellow. And that will happen after bright sunny days appear,” said Mehlon.

Chief agriculture officer Dr RS Pandher said they had earlier decided to go ahead with sample harvesting by April 5, but now the process was likely to start after April 14.

“The wheat in fields has not matured, as the grain is still green and moist. The clouds and rain in the region in the past few days have disturbed the harvesting pattern. The temperature in April this year is lower than that of previous years, so farmers are waiting for grain to mature fully,” said Pandher.

District mandi officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal said in the Khanna grain mandi, the biggest in Asia, 113 tonne wheat had arrived so far.

The figure is low as compared to last year (till April 9-10, 2010). “This has been a private purchase. The buyer got it by paying Rs 10 more than the MSP of Rs 1,120. But the peak season of harvesting is expected by April 20-21,” he said.



Rs 50 bonus on wheat less’

Ludhiana, April 10
The president of the Bharti Kisan Union BKU (L) has said that Rs 50 per quintal bonus on wheat, proposed by the Central Government, was much less than expected by farmers of the state.

He said today the protest rally organised by farmers on March 9 in New Delhi got a tremendous response. After it, the Central government had agreed to pay Rs 50 as bonus on wheat (per quintal). But the amount is still less and farmers should be given at least Rs 200 as bonus, he added.

“Elections are going on in five states and the code of conduct has been implemented. Once it ends, we expect the government to announce bonus agreeable to farmers. We have also sought an appointment from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh so that we can discuss issues concerning the farming community,” the head of the BKU (L) added. — TNS



Standoff between BRS Nagar residents, cops ends
Accident-prone point near Nanaksar Gurdwara plugged
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Paramjit Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar, is a happy man as an opening between a divider in front of Nanaksar Gurdwara on the Ferozepore road has now been plugged after the Police Commissioner gave orders in this regard.

The opening between the divider has caused numerous fatal accidents in the past. As the police got the site plugged Bhai Surjeet Singh, who sells sweets outside Nanaksar Gurdwara, and many other who have been opposing the passage created between the divider on the highway for the crossing of vehicles were happy.

“This will finally put an end to the increasing number of road accidents. I have seen numerous fatal accidents wherein vehicles ferrying devotees have collided with speeding vehicles heading for Ferozepore,” said Surjeet Singh.

But, pedestrians are sore over the plugging of the passage. “ It has virtually become impossible for elderly persons to cross the road and pay obeisance at the gurdwara,” they rued.

Kartar Kaur, a resident to Baddowal, who visits the gurdwara everyday said, “ I am 70 years old and suffering from weak eyesight. How can I spot fast moving vehicles on either side of the road? Earlier I used to request a rickshaw puller or an auto-rickshaw driver to drop me in front of the gurdwara. Today, I requested a security guard of the university to help me cross the road. He had to take a detour to drop me across the road.”

The devotees have requested the authorities to construct an over-bridge or an underpass for them to cross the road safely.

Opposition Ends

After a standoff between the police and residents of Jawahar Nagar, who were opposing the plugging of the passage near a bus stand, a compromise has been finally affected between two sides. Now, the passage will be barricaded so that bus drivers could not use it for turning their vehicles.

We decided to barricade the passage as buses have been blocking smooth flow of the traffic. Now, only small vehicles can cross the passage. Hopefully, this will not lead to traffic snarls in future

— Sajjan Singh Cheema, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) 

Accident points to be plugged

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh has directed his officers to get all accident-prone points in the city plugged. Small passages on the Salem Tabir road, also an accident-prone area, will soon be plugged.

Breaching Fence

While police is plugging accident-prone points in various parts of the city, commuters are breaking the fence erected on the divider for stopping people from crossing the either side of the highway in their vehicles. Broken fences could easily be spotted in front of the commissioner’s office on the Ferozepore road and near Circuit House.



30 pc suffer from overactive bladder: Doctor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Surgeons, physicians, gynaecologists and urologists attended a continuing medical education programme on overactive bladder organised at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here.

Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor of urology and transplant surgery and head of the transplant unit at the DMCH, said 20 to 30 per cent of the population was suffering from urinary problem of overactive bladder.

The urinary frequency in the persons suffering from overactive bladder increased eight times per day with or without urgency. “But the condition is treatable with behavioral modification, regulating fluid intake, dietary modification and medication,” he observed.

Speaking on the lines of treatment, Dr Aulakh said minimally invasive procedures had proved effective in such cases, adding that there was no need for patients to suffer in silence because of various myths associated with overactive bladder.

He stated that overactive bladder was more common in post-menopausal women, besides about 17 per cent of women over 18 and 16 per cent of men. After the age of 40, the number increased to 20 per cent in both men and women, he added.

In younger women, this could sometimes be a sign of neurological disease, kidney stone, bladder infection or bladder tumour. 

Measures that can be taken at home

l As excess weight can put pressure on the bladder, weight loss and regular physical exercise are helpful

l Increasing fibre in diet helps

l Reducing coffee intake if it is too much can diminish some symptoms

l Avoiding chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol and carbonated beverages are beneficial



Real crusaders vs pseudos

Gandhian activist Anna Hazare has undoubtedly become the mouthpiece of crores of Indians against the prevailing corruption, who has stirred even the toughest of souls. Right from laymen to schoolchildren and politicians, every person is trying to associate himself or herself with the social activist who dared to take the initiative for ending the era of corrupt regime. 

ut a fine line defines the "real crusaders" from the "pseudos" for whom the extended support was nothing more than a gimmick to see themselves in the headlines of print and electronic media. Where on one side, children were curious to know about Anna, they did not hesitate to read about his profile on the internet thereby taking pride in his valiant acts. On the other hand, some people who could not even spell the name Anna Hazare correctly did not hesitate to use him publicly to address their own issues. Unable to absorb the pretence, a senior citizen could not refrain from taking a jibe at the "mendacious lot" present at the gathering in support of Anna's movement adding, "It is good to see that honesty has not lost its footing as even the dishonest want to join the league of honest"

Demanding kanjaks!

As navratras are going on and pujas are being performed in homes, residents are all set for kanjak-pujan (ashtami) tomorrow. To avoid last minute inconvenience due to "busy" schedule of kanjaks, a friend of mine went to the neighbourhood today to ask a domestic help to send her three small daughters for -ashtami-pujan. The domestic-help happily agreed to the request and assured that her daughters would be on time for puja. When my friend was about to return, the middle daughter of the help asked her to stop. She (daughter) said, "Aunty last time you had given empty pencil boxes. If you are planning to give it to kanjaks again, please ensure that two pencils, eraser and a sharpener is also there. Otherwise, it will be of no use to us. Singla aunty (friend's next-door neighbour) had given us water-bottle and tiffins which were very attractive, please bring bright colours". Rather than being perturbed, my friend just smiled at her innocence and immediately went to the market to get "attractive" gifts for the kanjaks!

Don't shop here!

Recently, when I visited one of the leading retail chain at the Civil Lines to get some grocery, vegetables and fruits, I was disappointed to see the poor condition of vegetables and fruits. I asked the attendant to bring fresh ones, as everything looked stale in the store. The attendant came to me and whispered, "Madam, what do you think, the vegetables and fruits have come from other states? Or these are organic? No, they go to sabzi-mandi on the Jalandhar bypass daily to get the same. Then, they are sent to a place where these are washed, then product comes here after two-days. It is advisable to get fresh things from the market directly". I was too shocked to react on his statement!

Anna Hazare's does a Peepli Live!

The hunger strike against corruption by septuagenarian Anna Hazare reminded me of the recently released critically acclaimed film Peepli Live. The hunger strike drew similar kind of media attention as the protagonist of the film Nattha did. The tantrum of the government and the persuasion efforts by the ministers were also pretty much the same. Residents' candle act got a striking similarity of what was shown in the film. The news of another major earthquake measuring 7.5 on the ricketier scale which rocked Japan again, and was struggling to gather bits and pieces after earthquake and 10 meter tsunami devastated the whole country in March, simply went unnoticed. Thank God Anna has broken his hunger strike. I hope the determination shown by the 73- year- old Gandhian, which triggered a peoples' movement possibly for the first time after independence, would provide us a corruption free Lokpal. Amen

Clubs or business hubs!

Among other things, the city is also known for its myriad ladies' clubs and the legions of activities held every now and then as part of their regular meetings and get-togethers. The fad to be seen at such dos and make an impression among peers is so widespread among the city's women that off late, each of the clubs' meetings has assumed the proportion, herein before attached to a widely celebrated festival. Buying expensive apparel, stylish footwear, enchanting accessories to match, and getting the best of beauty treatments just ahead of the 'club meeting' has become the 'normal routine' for every member worth her salt. This is perhaps why catering exclusively to these 'ladies' has become an integral part of every enterprising businessman or woman's prerogative. Many boutiques, beauty salons and designer stores across the city have introduced exclusive packages and services for members of various ladies' clubs in the city, which these women can avail just by showing their club membership cards. "Our business has shot up considerably due to these women. May these clubs flourish!" winks a beauty salon owner in an up market area of the city.

Contributions by: Anshu Seth, Shivani Bhakoo, Mohit Khanna and Charu Chhibber 



‘Dance of the Scribbles’ showcased
Self-motivated American artist Martin Victor is no ordinary painter. He is an artist with a cause — the cause of the special children.
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
His brush speaks more than a million words and the inspiration that it draws from the unusual source makes it very special indeed. The self-motivated American artist Martin Victor is no ordinary painter. He is an artist with a cause - the cause of the special children.

Victor not just draws inspiration from the differently-abled members of the society but has been tirelessly working for them through the medium of his art. All the proceeds from the sale of his works go into charity for special children of Darpan School of Autism. The extraordinary social streak in him is what sets him apart from the others.

"Just like art is special, so are these children. And it is a two-way relationship that I share with these children. While they inspire me to paint; my paintings in turn, are aimed to motivate them to feel special and unique," says the artist who is showcasing his mesmerising creations at his exhibition 'Dance of the Scribbles' at Artmosphere Gallery.

Narrating his association and deep affection for special children, Victor says: "My association with the differently-abled started years back in the US, where I had been working as a behavioural counsellor with the mentally ill."

The multi-talented artist has also been a poet, writer and an expert craftsman, juggling between various genres of art, including painting, photography, creative writing, drawing, and digital arts.Talking about his first-ever exhibition in the city, Victor says his creations on display include a mélange of works in a format called scribbling."There are oil paintings, acrylics and water works among others," says the artist.

A close look at the painting reveals profound thoughtful strokes of the brush, carefully weaved as a cohesive whole in the unique format. The scribbles, apart from being exceptionally captivating, are remarkably meaningful as well. The enchanting human and animal figures forces one to reflect on the deeper issues of life, masterly crafted by the artist in seemingly careless but deeply insightful strokes."This, you can say, is my tribute to children, who I believe simply love to scribble," avers Victor, adding that his inspiration and 'guru' is his idol Swarnjit Savi.

"I am deeply indebted to Savi for being my friend, philosopher and guide, taking me through the realms of the magnificent world of art," Victor says fondly about his mentor.

The American artist adds: "Art is my life and I will continue working till my last breath but before I 
bid goodbye to this beautiful world, I want to explore every possible genre 
of art."



Best hockey player award for PAU’s Harvinder Singh
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 10
The Sports Committee of the College of Agriculture (COA) under the leadership of Dr DS Cheema, Dean of the college, organised a function on the PAU campus here to facilitate its distinguished students who have excelled in sports and cultural activities at the national, state, inter-varsity and university level by winning positions and securing medals during the sessions 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Cheema stressed that it would motivate college students to participate in sports and cultural activities more vigorously.

Dr Manjit Singh Mahal, former president, COA Sports Committee, highlighted the sports achievements of the college. He was honoured for rendering valuable services to COA sports activities and excellence in cricket as a BCCI and international umpire.

Dr Kanwal Mahindra, associate director (extension education), was honoured for his contribution towards cultural activities of the college.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang. Vice-Chancellor, PAU, presided over the function and Yurinder Singh Hayer, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, gave away the prizes to the sportspersons.

Hayer advised students to become disciplined citizens and follow the righteous path in life. The awardees include Taranjit Singh (attended national coaching camp for Junior Hockey World Cup, Gold Medal in 4x100 m relay race in the Inter-Arivarsity Meet); Resham Singh (bronze medal in 200m individual medley in the 39th Open Punjab State Swimming and Water Polo Championship.

RohiniThakur (represented Ludhiana district badminton team and won a gold medal in the Punjab State Women's Festival; Hamanjot Singh (selected for coaching camp for the Indian Junior Hockey team; Privinkle Grewal (gold medal in discus throw besides bronze medal in javelin throw and shot put in the All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Mandeep Singh (gold medal in long jump and 4x400m relay race in the All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet) and was named the best athlete in the PAU Annual Athletic Meet.

Arjun Singh (gold medal in the 1500m race and silver medal in 800m race in the All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Satinder Singh (gold medal in 4x400m relay race in All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Jaskirat Kaur (silver medal in 800m and a bronze medal in 4x100m relay race in All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Balinder Kaur Chahal (bronze medal in 4x100m relay race in All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet and was declared the best athlete in the PAU Annual Athletic Meet.

Ravneet Kaur (bronze medal in 4x100m relay race in All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Naveen Kumar, Summet Singh Saini, Satinderpal Singh and Simranjeet Singh Chahal (gold medal in basketball (men) in All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet; Hargorendra Sunjyot Singh (gold medal in badminton (men) in the All India Inter-Agrivarsity Meet.

Harvinder Singh was given Arjun Singh Bhullar award for being adjudged the best hockey player of PAU; Simranjeet Singh Chahal, Sukhvir Singh, Daljit Singh, Jasleen Singh, Manvir Kaur, Jiffenvir Singh, Inderpal Singh, Ramandeep Sharma were also honoured for bringing fame the the university in their respective sports disciplines.



Monty bags top position
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 10
Monty bagged the top position in the open-weight category during the bench press competition organised by Prime Bodies Health Club, Shastri Nagar. He lifted 140 kg bench press.

Gurpreet and Kapil Sehgal followed him with second and third positions. They lifted 120 kg and 110 kg bench press, respectively.

Taking part in the competition and in order to motivate the participants, the coach Nishchay Sachdeva lifted 150 kg bench press and received big applause from his students.

Sachdeva said such competitions help people to build muscles, lose weight and come in shape. "People should take good diet, exercise regularly and stay away from steroids and drugs," advised Nishchay.

Around 150 contenders, who had started preparing for this competition around a month ago, took part in the competition. Participants from 50 kg to above-85 kg weight category took part in the competition.

The winners were awarded trophies.

Results: Below 50 kg: 1 munna, 2 parttek, 3 sunil

50 to 55 kg: 1 ANUBHAV and ravi, 2 ankush, 3 mohit

55 to 60 kg: 1 Jaspreet, 2 Gulshan and Mandeep, 3 Dilap

60 to 65 kg: 1 Gurmeet, 2 Krishan, 3 Sarry

65 to 70 kg: 1 Pritpal, 2 Laadi, 3 Nirmal

70 to 75 kg: 1 Lakhbir, 2 Jagjit, 3 Ravi and Sahil

75 to 80 kg: 1 Garry, 2 Dimple, 3 Sonu

80 to 85 kg: 1 Sahil Luthra, 2 Amarjot, 3 Raminder and Mandhir

85 kg and above: 1 Monty, 2 Gurpreet, 3 Kapil Seghal



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