L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Website appointment fails to materialise for passport applicants
Whenever people log onto the site, it gives an error message n Agents make a fast buck by charging money from applicants
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
The people coming to Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) situated in the city are facing harassment as most of them are not able to get appointment from the website. Most of them rued that whenever they log onto the website, it gives an error message, stating that no slots are available for appointment.

"And when I went to a travel agent, I got the appointment easily," an applicant, who did not wish to be identified, rued while standing outside the PSK, here today.

The applicants lamented that they had been taking appointments for submitting their applications through agents, who have been charging them money.

The PSK in Ludhiana was opened in January this year and ever since, on an average, more than 1,000 people are visiting the office situated near the bus-stand here. In addition to catering to residents of Ludhiana district, it also serves residents of Jagraon, Khanna and Moga district.

If any person is to get his new passport made, renewed, or is having any other queries about his passport, he is to take an appointment from the website www.passportindia.gov.in. This appointment is given free of cost to the applicants. But due to some “problem” in the website, people visit travel agents, who charge money from them.

When contacted, Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh, Vitul Kumar, admitted that there was a problem where people are not able to take appointments.

"This is already in my notice and we are taking some steps like opening more slots on the website. I want to make it clear to the public that they should not approach travel agents as the problem would get solved soon," he claimed.

‘No slots available’

Whenever people log on to the website www.passportindia.gov.in, they get the message “no slots available”. Some people fill in their application forms themselves and even try to get appointment from the website. But they cannot take it, as the appointments on the website open just from 9 am to 9:10 am daily (only for 10 minutes). But the common man does not know this and ends up paying money to travel agents.

— Aman Phallar, owner of a travel agency in Feroze Gandhi Market

Agents make hay

Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Barundi village, who had come along with a relative for work at PSK, said he tried for 15 to 20 days to take an appointment from the website. "But I could not get it. Finally we went to a travel agent who charged us Rs 1,000 and got an appointment," he said.

y Baljinder Singh, a resident of Nathoke village in Moga district, says he paid Rs 300 to a travel agent for an appointment after he failed to get an appointment himself.


Blunders galore at this office
Gender of applicant changed; passports sent to wrong persons
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
When Sachin Sood, a businessman and resident of Vishal Nagar, received his daughter Kshitija's passport, he was shocked to see that the authorities had wrongly mentioned male against the sex column. Not only this, his residential address was also wrong.

"When we applied for correction, the authorities wrote female in the sex column. But this was not the end of it as the office had written wrong address once again," rued Sood.

This is not the only time that the passport authorities have made a mistake. Malkit Singh, a resident of the Jagraon area, was delivered some other person's passport by the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) Ludhiana officials.

When he went to hand over the wrong passport to the PSK officials, they “guided” him instead and sent him to the house of one Robin Malhotra in the Durgapuri area. "They told me that our passports have been wrongly dispatched to each other due to some goof-up by lower-level officials. When I went to Robin's house, he took his own passport and instead gave me one Iqbal Singh Grewal's passport, who lives in Khanjarwal village," Malkit Singh regretted.

Sonu Ohri, a city resident, alleged that even the staff at the PSK was not trained well in public dealing. "When I went for getting my sister's passport renewed, the officials there misbehaved with us, which is sad," he rued.



Basic amenities lacking at office
No seating arrangement, fans or toilets for people 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
There is no seating arrangement for people coming to the Passport Seva Kendra (PSK) and the applicants and people accompanying them have to wait for their turn by sitting on stairs. There are no fans or toilets for the people visiting the office.

A visit to the PSK revealed that people were sitting on stairs of the building or on the wall opposite the PSK. Even small children were seen sitting on the floor along with their family members.

An applicant, who had come from Jagraon, rued that the authorities could at least have a covered area outside the office where people could sit and wait for their relatives to come back from the office building.

"I came with my husband and two-year-old son. As I went inside the office, both of them had to wait outside. In this scorching heat, both of them kept standing outside the PSK building for no fault of theirs," she rued.

Another person named Darbara Singh, who was along with his friend, rued that the authorities very well know that a large number of people visit their office daily. "If the authorities can open office in a big building like this, they can make a waiting area for people accompanying the applicants easily. If a woman waiting outside needs to use a toilet, where would she go? There is literally no place here," he said.

Vitul Kumar, Regional Passport Officer, Chandigarh, meanwhile, clarified that there was ample space for the applicants inside the office building.

"If the applicant is accompanied by his relatives and friends, we don't let them inside the office building due to security reasons. And we can’t even install seats or make sheds outside the building as its not possible," he clarified.



Cong councillor guns for MC engineer
Says was ‘ignored’ at stone-laying function
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
The Congress party councillor from ward no 35, Parminder Mehta, has accused a municipal corporation executive engineer, PK Chadha, of “ignoring” him as well as three other three councillors at a function at which Punjab health minister Sat Pal Gosain laid the foundation stone of a new road to be built in the city. Mehta has also shot off a letter to MC commissioner AK Sinha demanding “disciplinary action” against Chadha.

The road - from Raikhey Cinema Road to Khwaja Kothi chowk - will pass through the constituencies of two other Congress councilors, Sham Sunder Malhotra and Rakesh Prashar, and BJP councillor Poonam Ratra, besides that of Mehta. Ratra was present at the function.

Mehta also claimed Chadha did not observe “proper protocol” according to which whenever any function is held in a councillor's constituency he or she is to be invited to take part in it. "But executive engineer Chadha deliberately ignored me as well as the other two Congress councillors just to please his political bosses. Maybe he wanted to indulge in sycophancy to curry favour with some top politicians. I don’t have differences with any leader of any political party, but officials like Chadha create differences in our minds and enjoy being spectators from a distance," said Mehta.

"Ever since the plan for this road took formal shape, I had specifically told Chadha that whenever the foundation stone is to be laid, he should call all councilors from whose areas this road would pass. I don't have any problem with Sat Pal Gosain laying the foundation stone but the officers should remember that protocol is most important," Mehta rued.

When contacted Chadha stated the function was organized by Poonam Ratra's husband, OP Ratra. "It was he who invited Gosain and I’m nobody to issue the invitations. I wasn’t even aware of the people invited to the function. I regret Mehta has complained (of being ‘ignored’), but I didn’t do any such thing intentionally”, he added.

Meanwhile, Sinha said the matter had not been brought to his notice yet. "If Mehta has written to me about it I’ll certainly look into it”.



Little change in situation
‘More class IV staff to help in cleanliness efforts’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
The suddenly conducted raid at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital by Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain on a wake-up call by Ludhiana Tribune (on May 27) could not make much difference. The situation more or less continues to be the same except that the floors of the male ward where three patients have been stationed are relatively cleaner and the walls have been scrubbed to remove the night soil. The stink from the nearby toilets and the unknown patients, however, continues to persist.

It was observed that the patients’ beds had now been covered with cotton bedsheets, but the patients continue to be in a bad shape in the absence of proper attention. The hospital staff attending on them are still complaining that they are short of staff, especially sweepers.

An employee said, “There are few sweepers to attend the whole ward. Moreover these unknown patients eat too much and, thus, spoil the floor with human excreta and urine. How many times can a sweeper, who has to attend to other patients also, clean this room neat and clean?" She further said that yesterday the Health Minister assured them that four class IV employees would be provided immediately. She asked, ”The whole day passed, but we did not get any new sweeper."

Another employee rued, “Many a time these unknown patients keep cutting the meshes of windows and sometimes try to go on the top of the windows. I remain on toes throughout my duty in this ward."

Meanwhile, today another drug addict, named Lucky, reached the male ward. According to the hospital staff he was recovered from inside a gutter by the police and has been admitted here. He was also lying in a plaster on one of the beds, but in a very bad shape. Unable to get up, he was lying in night soil with urine on his bed.

Assistant Civil Surgeon speaks

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Yashpal Mehta, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said, ”Today it was a holiday. So we could not depute any new sweepers here. On Monday, we will depute four sweepers. As far as paying individual attention to the unknown patients is concerned, we are working on these lines. We have also discussed the issue with Punjab Principal Secretary Health Satish Chandra. The unknown patients, who are mentally sick, would be sent to mental asylums. Those who are staying here just for ‘time pass’ would be handed over to NGOs after holding discussions with them."



1 held for selling fake degrees
Seven more members of the gang still at large
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
An eight-member gang said to be operating from a ‘karyana’ (grocery) stores in the city’s Ambedkar Nagar locality has reportedly sold bogus academic degrees and certificates for anything between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000 to hundreds of young “students”.

One of the group’s members, Nitish alias Bablu, a resident of Street No 4, Ambedkar Nagar, was arrested by the police on Friday.

Giving details about the gang, deputy police commissioner Yurinder Singh Hayer said: “This gang is well-organized and systematically prepares fake degrees of various universities and academic boards. For just one degree they charge anything up to Rs 50,000 from ‘students’. These criminals have been duping innocent students for the past several months but we’ve yet to find out their modus operandi. One of the gang’s members who was arrested revealed he and his accomplices would take an original document and removed the name and other details with an ink erasing fluid. Then they scanned the document and changed the names, charging a hefty sum for a degree. Students could get degrees of boards or any other university including Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala and Panjab University, Chandigarh. Though, seven members of the group are still absconding but we hope we’ll bust the rest of the gang after interrogating him".

The other seven gang members have been identified as Vineet Pahuja (brother of Bablu, the one who was apprehended); Pradeep, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar; Raju, a resident of Himmat Singh Nagar, Dugri; Tandon, Parjinder and Dhami, all residents of Hoshiarpur; and Kuldip Singh, a resident of Shivpuri.

"We’ve yet to look into the details. It’s possible many of the so-called students got jobs on the basis of the fake documents. We’re conducting searches to nab the other suspects”, said Hayer.



Migrant worker’s son clears IIT
With little money, worries remain about the road ahead
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
Poverty didn’t seem to have deterred the spirits of this teenaged boy, who has cleared the IIT examination by securing 2,616 rank.Son of a migrant worker, Hemant Kumar (17), who hails from Araria district of Bihar, used to pedal more than 20 km daily from his house located on the Tibba road to his coaching centre at Model Town Extension, here.

Hoping to get admission in aeronautical engineering stream, as he likes maths and physics, Hemant has no clue as how will he arrange money to pay for his tuition fee.

“My father Shripal Krishan Mishra works as a supervisor in a hosiery unit. His monthly income is Rs 6,000. But still he always encouraged me to study and somehow managed to arrange for my school fee and later for coaching,” Hemant said. A student of SDP Senior Secondary School on the Hazoori road, here, Hemant studied till Class VIII at Navalganj village. “As my father was works here, so we shifted to Ludhiana. There was a boy from our village, who had cracked IIT and since then it was in my mind that if he can do it, so can I,” he added. After completing his Class XII, in which he scored 85 per cent marks, Hemant started taking coaching from AK Vidya Mandir at Model Town Extension here.

“After returning from school, I used to pedal more than 20 km daily for my coaching classes. Even at night, I used to study for more than two hours,” he said. He further added: “I used to take off from school on Saturdays to study. I have also heard that there are some persons who give scholarships to the needy students because when I get admission in any college, the fee will be very high,” he showed concern.



Twins clinch top university positions
BCA examination results
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, May 28
Twin sisters, Manika Garg and Ranika Garg, students of Khalsa College for Women, here bagged top university positions (first and fourth) in BCA final year, the results of which were declared today by Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Although there was a spirit of competition between the two, yet both motivated and encouraged each other.

Manika Garg has bagged the first position by scoring 84.92 per cent marks, while Ranika scored 82.67 per cent marks and shared the fourth position with Simmi Kapoor of the same college. Talking to The Tribune, Manika said, “We study, chat, play and watch movies together. We are each other’s inspiration. Above all, we do not envy.”

An elated Ranika said she owed her success to the Almighty, her parents and teachers. She said, “Manika has always been my motivation and support. We share a special bond in which there is love as well as healthy competition. I am happy that we have been able to make our parents proud,” she said. Parveen Kumar, father of the twins, said both were hard working and dedicated. “They used to get up at 3 am and study together. I feel proud to have such intelligent daughters,” said the father.

Meanwhile, the students of Khalsa College for Women have achieved outstanding results in BCA final year. Besides these three positions, Niti Sethi has bagged fifth position in the university by scoring 82.63 per cent marks. Out of 91 students who had appeared for the examination, 80 have secured first division and 37 students have secured more than 70 per cent marks.



Industry seeks cap on furnace oil rate
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The local industry has urged the government to cap the rate of furnace oil at Rs 20 per litre in order to save it from further downward spiral. It is ironic that a subsidy of Rs 16 per litre is given on diesel to run luxury cars but small and medium industries, which provide livelihood to millions, are being ignored.

The north-western region of the country uses 70 per cent of furnace oil. The government refineries have stopped producing furnace oil and they are producing pet coke from heavy distillate. Instead, Reliance and Essar are producing furnace oil to meet the demand of the northern region.

The refineries that produce furnace oil have reduced the discount from Rs 2,650 per ton to Rs 500 per ton. All refineries are diverting heavy distillate into pet coke, which is going to cement factories, mainly in Rajasthan.

“Some medium units have installed gasification plants to convert coal into gas. Such plants are imported from China and cost around Rs 100 crore. This means, only a few units that can afford such a high cost can sustain for some time but a majority of MSME units will be wiped out,” said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in a letter to Jaipal Reddy, minister of petroleum.

The matter is crucial for the survival of the industry using furnace oil. A large spectrum of industry is dependent on furnace oil. The stake of MSME sector is very high on this product, he added.



Transport body to boycott tyres company
Puneet Pal Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
The North India Motor Road Transport Association has decided to boycott Apollo Tyres at national level from June 2 onwards. Association members stated that this is done because tyre manufacturers of the country have increased the prices of tyres manifold in the last 10 months.

Charan Singh Lohara, president of North India Motor Road Transport Association, alleged that the tyre manufacturers of the country have formed a “cartel”, which is headed by owners of Apollo Tyres.

“The prices of tyres have been increased by more than 50 per cent in the last 10 months and the government is not doing anything. Even the government has imposed anti-dumping duty on tyres coming from China, which is totally unjustified. That is why, imported tyres have stopped coming to India and these tyre companies have increased the prices,” he said.

He further stated that from June 2, all transporters would boycott Apollo Tyres. “We would neither book any goods of this company nor would load tyres,” Lohara said.

He further said if the Central government increased the prices of diesel, they would be forced to take some harsh steps and would hold protests across the country.

When contacted, Navjot Singh, district manager, Ludhiana, Apollo Tyres, said information could be taken from their head office. A call was made to the head office, but operator said officials concerned would come on Monday.



IG (Zonal) visits city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
To monitor the working of commissionerate system in Ludhiana district, Rohit Chaudhry, IG (Zonal), visited the Police Lines here today and met senior police officials. According to information, Chaudhry visited the Police Lines, various police stations, control room and single window as a part of the inspection.

He expressed satisfaction over the working and said real results could be seen after six months. He said the DGP Punjab had assigned the duty to visit three districts working under the commissionerate system. He said since it was confidential, he would submit the details to the DGP, however, he expressed that the police in Ludhiana district had adopted the latest technology.



Farmers told to protect plants from heat stress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Heat stress in horticultural plants is a problem during summers. Extended periods of heat can take a toll on orchards and field plantations, say agricultural experts.Weather forecast, meanwhile, indicates that some dust storms are likely in the next two days.

Dr KK Gill, PAU agrometeorologist, said under such conditions, farmers could give protection to tender nursery plants of vegetables and ornamentals by providing shelter belts or nylon net covers. The tilting young fruit trees might be protected against dislodging due to storms, she said.

The prevailing period is apt for the planning of fruit orchards. Dr PS Aulakh, head, department of horticulture, said a variety of citrus plants and others like guava, mango etc can be planted in the rainy season, for which a proper plan about orchard layouts and the source of planting material could be made right now.

Dr Aulakh said growers should always try to obtain plants of good health from reliable nurseries and start preparing pits for plantation. He suggested that the pit soil should be exposed to the sun in June for eradicating pests and pathogens.

He said growers should prefer to buy healthy and disease-free plants before planting and should take due care to transport these to the site of plantation as early as possible so that there is no heat stress.

Dr PS Brar, head, department of vegetable crops, said this was the time for raising brinjal and lady’s finger for the rainy season. He said the crops growing in the field such as chilli, bottlegourd and bittergourd need to be looked after against pests and diseases as per the PAU recommendations. Dr Brar said the control of pests was essential to reduce yield losses and care should also be taken in net house where the attack of mite is generally more.



NGO joins CMCH for thalassaemia test
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
NGO Salaam Zindagi, which is actively holding blood donation camps for thalassaemic patients, along with the adoption of 67 thalassaemic kids of Ludhiana, has now launched an awareness campaign in colleges.

Manjit Saini, president of Salam Zindagi said: “We have launched this awareness campaign from Khalsa College for Women. We told the NSS volunteers that they should go for electrophoresis test (blood test) before marriage.”

This test costs Rs 600 and enables one to know whether they are thalassaemic minor or not. Manjit Saini said: “As the test is a bit costly, we are trying our level best to get some concession from the DMCH and CMCH. We will also 
request these hospitals to conduct these tests on the college premises.” 



‘Fish farming needs to be promoted’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
To enhance fish production and productivity in the country, horizontal and vertical expansions were necessary. More area under fish farming, particularly salt affected and waterlogged area was required to be included if pisciculture had to be promoted.

In Punjab, nearly 17-lakh hectares (33.8 per cent) area was affected by salinity, of which 1.72-lakh hectares was severely affected, rendering it largely unfit for crop production.

These were some of the revelations made during a meeting of the working group on the development and management of fisheries and aquaculture for the 12th five-year plan (2012-17), organised by the Planning Commission, Government of India, at Barrackpore (West Bengal) recently.

Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu, chairman, Punjab Fish Farmers and Fishermen Association, said, “It is estimated that the demand for world fish production will increase to 170 million metric tonnes by 2020. Since the marine fish production is decreasing and the inland increasing at the rate of 10 per cent annually, the demand and supply gap can be filled by inland fishery. The world is looking at Asia in this regard and India remains the major contributor to Asian fish production. And Punjab can play an important role in enhancing fish production by properly utilising saline water areas i.e. the Southwestern districts, including Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepur and Muktsar.”

The working group on fish development demanded that on the pattern of National Fisheries Development Board, the state fisheries development boards should be established. Liberal funds should be provided to the boards for formulating/undertaking welfare schemes so as to save debt-ridden farmers from committing suicides.



Senior citizens get tips for hale and hearty life
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Senior citizens of the city were given interesting tips for healthy and long life from Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardio vascular and thoracic surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital (CMCH) here today.They got these tips here during a special talk organised by the Senior Citizens Group of Ludhiana at community centre in BRS Nagar.

Dr Bedi laid stress on “Stress management, exercise, diet, avoid tobacco, avoid negative thinking and go for regular checkups.” Giving an interesting way to exercise, he said: “If you have a pet dog, go for a walk with the dog, as you run along the dog, you will go through a natural exercise. For managing stress, chat with children, friends and keep sharing your thoughts with each other.”

He said age being an independent risk factor for the development of coronary artery disease, the incident of symptomatic CAD requires CABG in the elderly, which is bound to increase. Unfortunately, there is a widespread reluctance to consider surgical therapy in octogenarians until medical therapy has been exhausted at which point the patient is often a relatively poor surgical candidate.

While Nirmal Singh, a yoga teacher at the CMCH and a retired manager from Markfed demonstrated some “aasans” for senior citizens. He said: “Daily 18,020 patients come to learn yoga tips. Several doctors also learn yoga from me.” Dr Bedi said beating heart surgery had been devised by their team in Punjab and was recorded as the first in the world in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery (the highest American surgical journal) and the Limca Book of World Records.

SP Karkara, president of the society, Dr SS Gill, Dr GS Hira and S Chaudhary -all executive members were also present.



Paramedics trained in newborn care
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 28
The Ludhiana Academy of Pediatrics (LAP) organised a “Basic newborn care and resuscitation programme” (BNCRP) part I in association with the Indian Medical Association (IMA) here recently.

Thirty-two professionals, including doctors, staff nurses and ANMs, were trained in specialised care of the newborn babies.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, lead instructor of the course, said around 27 millions births took place every year in the country. Of these, 2.1 million children under five years of age died, amounting to 21 per cent of all under-five deaths annually - the highest for 
any country.

He said 1.9 million deaths occurred in infants every year, including over 1 million deaths in the neonates (under one month of age).

Dr Gulati said: “The commonest primary cause of neonatal death is prenatal asphyxia (28.8 per cent). Also, one million children who survive birth asphyxia each year go onto suffer cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Averting neonatal death is pivotal to reducing child mortality for which skilled obstetric and immediate newborn care, including resuscitation, is mandatory.”

Other instructors at the workshop included Dr Gurmeet Kaur, professor and head of paediatrics department, Christian Medical College, Dr Puneet Juneja and Dr Sumita.

Dr TS Gambhir, president of the LAP, said the national body (IAP) had taken an initiative to improve child survival through “neonatal resuscitation programme” (NRP) with emphasis on management of first minute after birth, which was crucial. The IAP ventures to train over 2.5 lakh health professionals and workers in the next five years with the ultimate aim of having one BNCRP trained person attending every delivery in the country.

In his address during the inaugural function, Dr Kulwant Singh, president of the local branch of the IMA, said effective newborn care was a crucial challenge faced by every healthcare institution dealing in maternal and child health. Training of doctors, nurses and ANM’s in low resource settings was an urgent need. He appreciated the role being played by the LAP in equipping the staff with appropriate knowledge and skills to improve the quality of service delivery.

IMA secretary Dr Karamveer Goyal said most neonatal deaths could be prevented with simple, cost-effective solutions that did not depend on highly-trained service-provider or sophisticated equipment and this course was a right step towards decreasing neonatal mortality.

Dr DP Singh Arora, president-elect of the IMA, appreciated the efforts of the IAP, Ludhiana,” for organising the workshop in a bid to educate the paramedical staff.



Cricketer Reetinder Sodhi ties the knot
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Former Indian cricket team all-rounder Reetinder Singh Sodhi (30) of Patiala tied the knot with city-based Prabhdeep Kaur here today.The marriage, that was kept a low-key affair, was attended by close relatives of the all-rounder.

Sodhi, captain of India’s U-15 team that won the World Cup (1995-96), and later vice-captain of the U-19 team that won the World Cup (1999-2000), failed to cement his place in the Indian team.

Reetinder hogged limelight in 1996 with a superb all-round display (three for 34 and 82 not out) as captain to win the U-15 World Cup final against Pakistan at Lord’s. Brushing aside controversies that he was an overage cricketer, he went on to play yet another pivotal role as vice- captain of the U-19 Indian team. Players like Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh virtually groomed under his guidance and went on to play for India.

Primarily a batsman, he made a cut in the first class cricket at the age of 16 and proved his metal on the domestic circuit. He was following the footsteps of father Mahesh Inder Singh who also played in the Ranji Trophy for Punjab.

He played a crucial role for Punjab for at least a decade in Ranji Trophy and further went on to join the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL).

He was then among the 71 players granted amnesty by the BCCI and played for Kings XI Punjab in 2010, but yet again failed to deliver his best.

Hoping that lady luck may change his fortune, he said he had no plans to hang his shoes and continue playing the game.

Prabhdeep Kaur, a resident of Dugi, also supported her husband and said she would stand by Reetinder. Sodhi is currently working with Indian Airlines. 



Treatment of Type-II diabetes through bariatric surgery discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) today organised its fifth obesity support group meeting here today.

The discussion was held at length on “treatment and prevention of Type-II diabetes mellitus through bariatric surgery.”

Around 50 patients attended the meeting, including those who had already undergone a bariatric surgery and were cured of diabetes mellitus.

During the meet, free medical diet and obesity surgery consultation were given to the patients.

Medical specialist Dr Dinesh Jain said obesity affects the entire system of the body, as it causes diabetes, blood pressure, joint pains, heart attacks, sleeping disorders and for every 10 kg excess of body weight, the life span of a normal adult decreases by three years.

While, Dr Ashish Ahuja said bariatric surgery was always the last resort to loose weight and it worked, but one should always eat right and exercise daily to stay healthy.



Physically challenged tops among boys in BCA results
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
Suffering from mylites post viral infection since the tender age of nine, Rahul Duggal, a student of BCA final year from SCD College for Boys, has topped in BCA final year in the city amongst boy students, the results of which were declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh, today.

Despite all odds, this is the third consecutive year in which Rahul has topped the examination. In BCA first year, Rahul had topped in the district scoring 78 per cent marks, while in BCA second year, Rahul topped in the district scoring 80 per cent marks.

Jaya, Rahul’s mother while sharing her experience said when her near and dear ones left her with the son suffering from a serious disease, she prayed to God to provide courage to fight with society/family members. “In this struggle, my son has emerged as a winner. When the relatives had shattered hope and started maintaining distance from us, my heart always felt that Rahul will be my pillar of strength one day and now he has proved it. I thank people from all walks of life who came forward and encouraged Rahul to move ahead,” said Jaya.

Rahul said he would take admission in MCA after which he will try his luck for the competitive exams. “To become an IAS is my ultimate dream. I want to fulfill this dream for my mother, who has gone through tough times due to my disability,” said Rahul.

Jasbir Kaur Makkar, principal SCD Government College, said the college felt proud to have Rahul as its student. “Students like Rahul are an asset to any institution. They can be a motivation to many others. I wish him success in life,” she said.



LIT nets Rs 2.84 cr by auctioning 11 properties
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 28
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) sold a residential plot and 10 built-up booths for Rs 2.84 crore in a public auction that continued till late in the evening on Monday. The properties with a reserve price of little over Rs 2.18 crore went at a premium of 30.25 per cent.

A residential plot (205-F) measuring 150 sq yd in Dr Kitchlu Nagar scheme attracted the highest bid of Rs 68.50 lakh against its reserve price of Rs 34.65 lakh (premium 97.70 per cent). However, three other plots in the same scheme proposed to be put under the hammer at the auction, were withdrawn due to lack of buyers. Three constructed booths in block F of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar colony were sold at a premium of 60 per cent.

The highest bid went up to Rs 32.30 lakh against the reserve price of Rs 20,14,543, while the lowest successful bid was Rs 32.10 lakh.

All six constructed booths in block A of Model Town extension scheme, which were put on offer at a reserve price of Rs 14.70 lakh each, were sold at a premium ranging between 9 and 10 per cent. The highest sale price (area 18.75 sq m) was commanded by booth No. 83, which was sold for Rs 16.35 lakh, while the lowest successful bid (for booth No. 77) was Rs 16 lakh.

One out of the two booths put up for sale in block C of Model Town extension scheme with a reserve price of Rs 14.70 lakh (area 22.68 sq m) fetched Rs 22.10 lakh, which was almost 50 per cent more than the reserve price.

While four residential plots and 24 commercial properties (built up booths) were put up for auction, only one residential plot and 10 booths in went under the hammer.

Other properties were withdrawn from auction either due to low bids or lack of buyers, said LIT chairman MM Vyas who conducted the auction proceedings with other officials.

The LIT chairman said ever since he assumed office (in November 2010), a relentless drive had been launched to dispose of unallotted residential plots and commercial properties of the trust so as to raise adequate funds for development works in existing colonies and new projects.

“In the past seven months, we have conducted five public auctions of the LIT properties and sold 68 units for Rs 32.74 crore as against their reserve price of Rs 22.60 crore, which is encouraging. The public auction of LIT properties conducted in November, 2010 was carried out after a gap of over five years,” Vyas added.



Don’t ignore your child’s vision
30 per cent schoolchildren have weak eyesight
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
There is common practice that when a child complains of headache while studying, parents usually scold them by saying that it’s their excuse not to study. But this usual complaint of children should be taken seriously.

However, neither parents nor teacher take such complaints seriously. And this affects their eyesight.

Talking to The Tribune, Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal, Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill road said: “Recently, we organised an eye and dental health check-up camp in the school. I was surprised to know that 30 per cent schoolchildren were having weak eyesight. When asked teachers, I came to know that these students always complained of not visualising the black-board clearly and teachers used to tell them to copy from their partners sitting besides them.”

Though schools are supposed to hold medical camps, still a few schools do this. Waraich said: “Holding such camps is a part of the Comprehensive Continuous Evaluation. So, I have decided to hold regular check-up camps in my school.”

While RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, said: “Till last year, we used to ask parents to get eyes and teeth of their wards tested. But from this session, we will hold medical check-up camps.”

‘Eye check-up a must’

n Dr DG Dhami said: “It should be mandatory for schools to check the eyesight of each student before he or she is promoted to the next class. Schools should maintain a year-wise medical record of each student. On the basis of which parents should arrange for good glasses, so that the number of distant or closer eyesight may be stabilise. “He said, many a times parents come to us when their child starts wearing glasses and complain that in small age their children have wear glasses. I always tell them that their parents might not have gone for their eye check-up due to ignorance, but they should not repeat the mistake. He said: “If a child has myopic vision, he or she would be more studious.”

Dos and don'ts

l Don’t study in dim light

l Maintain correct distance (14 inches) between eyes and book

l Watch TV while sitting at a distance of 10-12 feet

l Use 20-20 formula while studying. It means, if you are studying continuously for 20 minutes, relax your eyes for 20 seconds.

l If you have headache while reading anything, get your eyes checked.

Increased camps in schools

l Harnam Dass, District Education Officer (secondary) said: “Earlier, we used to hold camps once in a year in schools, but now the frequency has been increased. Now, medical camps are held twice or thrice in a year in each school. Those students who have weak eyesight are also given spectacles.”



From Schools
Inter-house contests at Guru Nanak school

Tiny-tots of GGN Public School in a jovial mood during a fun party at their school in Ludhiana
FUN TIME Tiny-tots of GGN Public School in a jovial mood during a fun party at their school in Ludhiana.Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

LUDHIANA: An inter-house song and dance competition was organised at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar. Students were adjudged in both solo as well as group song categories. Participants put in their best and gave stupenduous performances in solo song category.

Manayata of Class VIII from BVS house stood first. Simranjeet Kaur of Class IX from prof Mohan Singh house stood second, while Manavi of Shaheed Bhagat Singh house bagged third position.

In a keenly contested group song competition, Shaheed Bhagat Singh house stood first and prof Mohan Singh house was second. Students dressed in traditional attires very melodiously rendered traditional group songs, taking the audience back into the era of folklore.

In inter-house group dance competition, Shaheed Bhagat Singh house was first, while Maharaja Ranjit Singh house was second. Dances were adjudged for rhythm, co-ordination and costumes.

Principal Mona Singh gave away prizes to the winners and congratulated them.


Aatish Goyal of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, who bagged an All-India 584 rank in JEE, and got second position in Ludhiana, was honoured by his alma mater. He was focused about cracking the JEE entrance examination ever since he took up science stream in Class XI. He used to study for around six hours daily, besides his regular school schedule. Music was a stress buster for him. The school, parents and his teachers are proud of his success. He is all set to leave for Bombay IIT for mechanical engineering.

Meanwhile, a student of SDP Senior Secondary School, secured 2,616 rank in IIT JEE in his first attempt. The boy has brought laurels to the institution as well as his parents. Balraj Kumar Bhasin, president, Jasveer Singh Chauhan, principal SDP Senior Secondary School congratulated Hemant and his parents for his achievement.

Orientation programme

Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase-I, Dugri, conducted an orientation programme for parents. It was a step for the betterment of the kids by bringing parents close to teachers and school.

The orientation was addressed by S Verma (director) JS Chauhan (principal-SDP Senior Secondary School), Dr Sanjeev Bindra (principal- OP Gupta Model Senior Secondary School), Shri Balraj Bhasin, president of the school sent his best wishes to the students and parents.

The director of the school S Verma gave a warm welcome to all parents. While interacting with parents and school staff, she helped them to understand the need for creating a positive and cordial environment for students both at school and at home that plays a significant role in overall development of child’s personality. She also encouraged parents to spend more quality time with their kids.

Principal JS Chauhan laid emphasis on how the activities of parents at home and behaviour with other family members could affect the psychology of a child. Stress was laid upon the need for parents to be a role model for children. At the end, parents appreciated the efforts of the school for such an educative workshop and also wanted more such workshops.

Techniques of English

A workshop for teachers was organised at Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School on “multiple intelligence dermatoglyphics analysis” by Kular Singh Arora from “The Earls”, an organisation. He spoke on personal characteristics and behaviourial tendencies, preferred learning style, learning modes, different multiple intelligences, different techniques to teach students and remedies to improve children. A lecture on spoken English was also organised for the students. Dr DV Jindal, an expert in phonetics, apprised the students about the techniques and importance of English. He gave them the knowledge of the sounds of English language and also talked about the mismatch between English sounds and spellings.

Summer camp

A summer camp for kindergarten kids was held at Lovely Lotus Nursery School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, for 10 days. There was sand and water play, song and dance session, a drama workshop, story-telling session and fun with pictorial books and stuffed toys. It helped the children open up and express themselves. Learning comes automatically when it is fun and enjoyed by the children. The camp concluded here.

Movie show

GN International Senior Secondary Public School organised a movie show “Shan-e-Khalsa” for students of Classes VI to VIII. About 400 students and staff members watched the movie in the school hall. It was to make the children aware of the rich cultural background of the Sikhs and motivate them to remain connected to their roots. Principal GK Gill arranged this special show for the students, as the visual media leaves a greater impact on the minds of the students.

Graduation ceremony

BCM School, Dugri, organised a graduation ceremony for students of primary section on Friday. Coordinators Rachel Bhatti, Dinesh K Sharma and Priti Behl presided over the function. The young graduates received their degrees from dignitaries present and principal. School principal, Dr Vandna Shahi congratulated the children on their success at the initial stage.

Rain dance party

The rain dance party was organised by pre-nursery wing at Everest Public Senior Secondary School. Tiny tots came in swimming costumes. The children enjoyed different kinds of swings, presentation at various stalls and swimming in the water pools. The party relieved the little angels from the summer heat. Cakes and sweets were distributed among the children. Pooja Sharma, in charge pre-nursery wing, also explained the duties of students and told them how they would achieve their aim by following the noble path guided by their teachers. She also expressed the tiny tots how to save from chronic summer season and nutrition expert told the food table which should be followed in the summer season to keep the tiny tots healthy. She emphasised on the physical development of the children along with their mental development.


Tamana Rai, a Class X student of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School stood second in the Punjab-level ABACUS competition and won a cash price of Rs 2,000. — TNS



2 convicted for attacking ex-councillor
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 28
Judicial Magistrate Atul Kamboj has convicted Baldev Kumar, alias Happy of Basti Gujjran and Hardial Gumber of Bal Singh Nagar, Rahon road, Ludhiana, on the charges of attacking an ex-councillor, Harbansh Lal Fanta.

The duo was ordered to undergo an imprisonment of six months each. They were also ordered to pay a fine of Rs 500 each.

A complaint against them was registered at the Basti Jodhewal police station on August 12, 2007 under Sections 323, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC, following the complaint of Harbans Lal.



City girl bags silver medal in international championship
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 28
It was a dream came true for Damini Mahajan, a class VIII student of Sat Paul Mittal School, who recently won a silver medal in the International Yoga Championship held at Hong Kong last week.

She has won many state, national and international yoga championships in India, but this is her first medal in a foreign land, for which she dreamt of in the year 2008. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Damini said, “I got an opportunity for participating in international yoga championships twice but could not participate due to some reasons. This time I made it and succeeded.”

It is Damini’s continuous hard work and devotion which made her international champion. This girl can mould her body in any of the toughest “aasanas' with ease. She started practising yoga when she was a student of class 2. She said, “I want to be a doctor and want to cure my patients through yoga. Now yoga is a part of my daily routine and I wonder as to why people do not get used to it.”

Her mother Mitu Mahajan, a home maker, and father Vinay Mahajan, a businessman, say, “We are proud to be her parents.” she has one brother and one sister. Her brother has also won silver in state-level karate championship.'' She is thankful to her school teachers for inspiring and recognising her talent.



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