L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mini-truck driver runs amok
Rams into an ambulance, a car and two motorbikes; injures the two bikers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Pradeep, who was injured in the accident being treated in hospital
Pradeep, who was injured in the accident being treated in hospital. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 4
Two motorcyclists were hurt after an over speeding mini-truck rammed into two motorcycles, a car and an ambulance near traffic lights opposite to Punjab Agricultural University gate number 2 here this morning.

The mini-truck driver tried to escape from the scene, but the residents nabbed him. The incident took place around 10 am here today.

“The mini-truck went on slamming the vehicles coming in its way. One of the youth’s leg, who was riding a motorcycle, got crushed in the incident. While another motorcyclist sustained minor injuries. Fortunately, I was sitting in my car and was unhurt. However, my car has suffered a major damage and nearly Rs 1 lakh would be spent on its repair,” said Aman Rai, a bank manager, whose car got damaged. The injured were identified as Pardeep Singh and Laxman Singh.

The driver of the mini-truck (PB-10-CA-4530) was identified as Tajinder Singh of Lohara. He was working for a private firm located on the Mall road.

The ambulance that was damaged by the mini- truck belonged to Delta Heart centre. Incidentally, no patient was travelling in the ambulance or the accident could have turned tragic.

According to investigating officer Tersem Singh, the incident took place due to brake failure of the mini-truck.

However, the commuters alleged that the mini-truck driver was talking on a mobile phone which led to the accident. Aman Rai said the driver did not have the licence to drive heavy vehicles.

Double whammy

The incident proved to be a double whammy for Pardeep. Not only was his motorcycle was damaged, but his wedding plans are now also jeopardised. Pardeep is scheduled to marry on September 6. Healong with his brother was distributing his wedding invitation cards when the incident occurred. “My leg is broken. Now what will happen to my wedding? Strict action should be taken against the reckless truck driver. He has spoilt everything. All arrangements have been made and everything had been going as per plan. Who will compensate for foiling my wedding? To rub salt on my wounds, the cops are also siding with the truck driver,” said Pardeep Singh.


Court orders attachment of LIT chairman’s car
Failure to allot plot to applicant
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 4
Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) BK Sharma has ordered the attachment of five cars belonging to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), including that of its Chairman, for the failure of the improvement trust to comply with two judgements in favour of Jasbir Singh Sethi, an NRI settled in the US.

Darshan Singh Rai, general power of attorney holder of Jasbir Singh, said the improvement trust had acquired the land of Jasbir Singh in 1973-74 for the Model Town extension development scheme.

After the acquisition of the complainant’s land, the improvement trust had admitted the claim of the landowner of being a locally displaced person (LDP) and it was decided that he was entitled for the allotment of a plot on reserve price in any of the schemes of the imporvement trust.

After waiting for more than 30 years, the LDP filed a civil suit against the LIT for the allotment of a plot through his attorney, which was decreed by the civil court with a direction to the Trust to allot a plot to the petitioner. The LIT went in for an appeal against the decree of the lower court in the court of the District Judge which was subsequently dismissed by District and Sessions Judge SP Bangar.

In order to get the decree executed, the petitioner Jasbir Singh, through his attorney, filed an execution application seeking the attachment of properties of the LIT.

In its execution orders, the court ordered that the property of the judgement debtor (LIT) mentioned in the application as five cars be attached. The court directed that the attachment warrant be issued for September 23.



Notorious crime kingpin still on the run
Believed to be hiding in city after giving cops the slip four times
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
While the local police has been smug about curbing carjacking, managing to nab only small-time crooks, the “big fish” - Manoj Bakarwal, said to be behind 150 carjacking and snatching incidents in the Delhi and Chandigarh areas is still on the run and thought to be hiding in the city. The cops recently arrested three members of his gang but Bakarwal was able to give them the slip.

A resident of Bakarwal village near Delhi, Manoj, 35, entered the world of crime when he was 16. He started with breaking shop shutters and soon there was hardly any area left in the national capital where he had not committed thefts. He left studies after he was caught by the police and sent to prison.

After coming out of jail on bail, there was no looking back for Bakarwal and he began committing heinous crimes. A “spoilt brat” of a reportedly well-off family, he soon earned notoriety as the “Charles Sobhraj of Delhi”. He gave the police the slip not once or twice but four times - in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011 - while being transported to a court in Delhi.

“The only son of his parents, Manoj Bakarwal alias Manjeet Singh took to crime for ‘fun’ as well as to make easy money. He loves to live the high life. Ever since he fled from police custody he has taken Rs 6 lakh from his family. Living in five star hotels, driving swanky cars and going around with women are his weaknesses," said Criminal Investigation Agency head GS Bains.

Wanted in 128 cases of murder conspiracy, robbery, carjacking and snatching, Bakarwal has been married for the past ten years and has two children.

Bakarwal is said to have funded the studies of his first girlfriend, Dipika, who went on to complete her MBA. It is learnt she later dumped him to marry another man, Yashit, following which Bakarwal hatched a plan to kill the latter. While in jail he reportedly paid a huge amount of money to ‘supari’ (contract) killers who allegedly murdered Yashit in October last year.

Bakarwal’s current lover is Tina alias Minakshi who reportedly helped him in escaping from police custody. The Delhi police has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for information leading to his arrest, while the Haryana police announced a Rs 20,000 reward.

Pardeep is said to be his “second in command” and police officials fear Bakarwal would go to any extent to free the former from police custody.

“Bakarwal recently shifted his base to Ludhiana. Luxury cars are his weakness. And after Delhi, Gurgaon and Chandigarh, Ludhiana has the largest number of luxury cars. He must be looking for an apt opportunity to strike again”, said sources close to the police.

Deputy police commissioner Ashish Chaudhry said the city cops were on their toes and working in close coordination with the Haryana and Delhi police to nab the suspect as soon as possible.



Admn snubs disaster management team
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a 25-members team from Bathinda, is in the city for 10 days to educate the public about disaster management. The district administration had recently held several meetings in keeping with the threat of floods in the district. The team comprises representatives from the ITBP, CRPF and the BSF. They are residing with the ITBP even though it is the district administration’s duty to make boarding and lodging arrangements for the team.

Team leader and assistant commandant, Musafir Ram, said their battalion had sent a fax about the schedule to the local administration on August 23. Musafir said, "It is the duty of administration to make arrangements for our stay. Perhaps due to a communication gap the message was not conveyed. We are presently camping at an ITBP camp. Although we have started with awareness and awakening campaigns, mock drill exercises, things would have been different and better had the district administration cooperated.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a district administration official said that the administration had chalked out a plan for the team. Yet, nothing could be done as the schedule of officials became tight due to SGPC elections. "Unofficially, we have to make arrangements for rallies and meetings of the ruling party leaders," rued the official, adding that such beneficial programmes took a back seat in these circumstances.

The team will visit various schools, nearby villages, blocks and city areas from September 1-10. Under its mission it will under take capacity building programmes and teach masses about the do’s and dont’s during natural and man-made calamities like earthquakes, floods, fires and accidents.



Lab technicians strike hard
TB test reports being delayed
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Laboratory technicians working on contract under the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme in various Civil Hospitals and government dispensaries of the district have been on a pen-down strike since September 2, putting patients to inconvenience.

The technicians have decided to continue the strike until their demands, including regularisation of services, are accepted.

Patients have still to get reports, which normally are received the next day. Dr Aashish Chawla, District Tuberculosis Officer, said: “There are 18 contractual laboratory technicians working in microscopic centres in the district. They mark their attendance and proceed on strike. We have started taking the services of regular laboratory technicians.”

Asked if work was suffering, he said: “Work was not being affected as such, but reports of tests are getting delayed. We conduct two tests of the sputum. The first test is conducted when a patient arrives and the second on the next day. The reports of the tests are usually handed over three-four hours after the second test. But due to the strike and the increased workload, reports are being delivered late even though the tests are being conducted on time.”



GLADA looks on as vacant plots turn into garbage dumps
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 4
The residents of Dugri Urban Estate (Phase II) here are up in arms against the persistent failure of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) to put to proper disposal several vacant plots in its colonies, which have been turned into garbage dumps due to constant neglect while also providing safe haven to anti-social elements.

The residents claim that they have been repeatedly pleading with the GLADA authorities for remedial measures, specifically in respect of a 250-square-yard vacant plot (property number 2001) in the colony -- facing HIG flats and block of 400 square yard houses, as it poses a grave health hazard and threat of epidemic outbreak, but without any positive result so far.

Having exhausted all other methods to evoke any response from GLADA, the Urban Estate Residents Welfare Society has now approached the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and the Punjab Human Rights Commission (PHRC) to come to the rescue of the residents by initiating penal proceedings against the GLADA authorities for failure to dispose of plots lying vacant or clean up the garbage dumped in these properties for years together.

BR Kaushal, president of the society, and a retired PCS officer, says that their written communications and personal meetings with senior GLADA officials have evoked nothing but assurances till now. In the absence of remedial steps, the residents of the locality are made to put up with heaps of garbage, stench emanating from litter, proliferating growth of weeds and shrubs, he adds. Besides, the threat of snakes and other poisonous insects and reptiles also looms large among the residents.

Kaushal is particularly sore with the GLADA estate office, which he maintains, tried to put him down each time he took up the matter of the nuisance created by the garbage dump, which the plot has been turned into. Although a bit upset over the indifference and apathy of the authorities towards the plight of the residents, he asserts to carry on the fight till the grievance is addressed.

He points out that if the allottees of plots fail to raise construction within three years of allotment, they are burdened with non-construction fine at the rate of Rs 100 per square yard, and in further default even the allotment can be cancelled. In a similar manner, the GLADA ought to be held responsible for its failure to put its properties to proper disposal within a fixed time frame.

Enquiries made from GLADA estate office revealed that a number of proposals have been made by the engineering branch to the estate office during the past three years to take steps for disposal of all vacant plots, including the aforesaid property through allotment or auction as per the rules, and in the intervening period, construction of boundary walls or fencing around these plots but without any follow up action till now.



Manuke Village to boycott SGPC poll
Irked over delay in re-laying of link road
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 4
A day after the visit of Chief Minister Punjab Parkash Singh Badal to Manuke village, about 15 km from here, to address a party rally, residents of Chakar village have declared that they will boycott the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, scheduled to held on September 18.

Irked over the state government’s constant neglect of the link road to the village from Jagraon, a shambles for the past more than nine years, they took this decision during a meeting at the village yesterday.

The issue of the bad condition of this road had rocked the Punjab Assembly in the past, with Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini of the Congress raising the issue and claiming that the state government had been delaying the relaying of this road.

The Jagraon-Chakar link road, connecting thousands of residents of more than 20 villages with Jagraon, was last constructed more than nine years back.

According to village residents, a number of accidents had taken place, in which some had lost their lives and many had been injured, due to the bad condition of this road, but still, the state government had paid no heed to the demand of residents.

“Even the Chief Minister promised to start the relaying of this road at the earliest when village residents raised the issue during his visit to Manuke village,” said Chamkaur Singh, a village resident, after the meeting.

“Despite this, the relaying of the road has not been started till this day. We have also taken up the matter with various leaders of the ruling party in the past. Therefore, we have collectively decided to boycott the forthcoming SGPC elections,” he stated.

Another village resident, Harjinder Singh, said the government was not serious about this long-pending demand. “We have decided not to take part in SGPC elections. We will also boycott Assembly elections if our demand is not met by then,” he asserted.



Badals have harmed Punjabis, alleges Barnala
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 4
Accusing Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other members of his family of causing the maximum harm to Punjabis in general and Sikhs in particular, former Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala and Akali Dal (Longowal) president Surjit Kaur Barnala alleged that Badal had no agenda other than fooling the people of Punjab by terming all his political rivals agents of the Congress.

Talking to The Tribune after inaugurating the election office of Panthic Morcha candidate Sukhjiwan Singh Saraud at the railway road here, the Barnalas alleged that successive governments in the state had been ignoring interests of the common man and trying to exploit their sentiments on one pretext or the other. “But now, Punjabis have come to know the hidden agenda of the Badals to grab power by hook or by crook. In the absence of any programme for the welfare of the people of the state, Badal has been ruling the community by terming every genuine Panthic leader an agent of the Congress,” they said, maintaining that the Badals had caused more harm to Punjabis than any other party or leader.

Paying gratitude to his old associates for the warm welcome and support extended in the past two days, Surjit Singh Barnala said the rejuvenation of the party, launched to recognise the supreme sacrifice of the late Harchand Singh Longowal, would bring an end to the suffering of members of all sections of society.



Reporters diary
Not just incompetence, but also criminal neglect

The poor progress of several major infrastructure development projects in the mega city is not only testing the nerves of the people, but as a result of delay the expenditure involved, running into crores, is also going up substantially by way of escalation provisions. Whether it is motorable flyover in place of Lakkar bridge connecting the old city and Civil Lines, the extension of flyover on Partap Chowk or pedestrian under passes (PUPs) at the mini secretariat and Aggar Nagar, the work continues at a snail’s pace putting the completion of these projects way behind the schedule.

To add to the woes of the city residents, with the delay in completion of flyovers and PUPs, people have to bear the brunt of diversions, portions of busy roads blocked with debris and construction material and frequent disruptions in flow of traffic all through the day. This is not incompetence on the part of those responsible to see these projects through, but criminal negligence.

Beggars go spicy

Although the Ludhiana district administration has been trying to curb the menace if begging, many beggars stay permanently near some city temples. With the passage of time they are also becoming smart and demand for spicy treats. One such beggar sitting near Shri Nav Durga Mandir, Sarabha Nagar, took a devotee by surprise when he refused to eat ‘halwa poori’ in parsad and said, “I want to eat something spicy as I am fed up from sweet dishes. Please take it away.”

Ganesh Chaturthi

As Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated in the country, area residents have also kept Ganesha idols at their homes for ‘visarjan’. Daily pujas are being performed at many places. A friend of mine got a small idol at her place, which she planned to immerse on the final day. She asked her five-year-old daughter to take care of God, who was at their place as a special guest.

The daughter was trying to take note of everything. As it was Sunday today, when my friend woke up in the morning, she was shocked to see the missing idol. She started asking about the missing idol from every member of the family. When she went to her daughter’s room she found that the idol was kept safely at the toy table of the girl. The daughter, when woke up, said, “The ‘guest’ was alone while we were all asleep. I asked God if He wanted to accompany me to my room and He agreed.”

‘Daku hasina’

With PAU security guards keeping a check on two wheeler riders who keep their faces covered, the era of ‘daku hasina’ would soon end, at least in the university.

I wonder how these girls manage to breathe after literally mummifying themselves with a cloth. The girls, however, have a valid reason as they say the sunscreen and fairness creams do not stand against the scorching sun and pollution so in order to protect themselves they have to cover their face with a cloth.

While helmet is another option, they say it ruins their hairstyle. As PAU security guards have refused to budge from their stand, the ‘daku hasinas’ are in for a tough time.

Contributed by: Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria, Shivani Bhakoo and Mohit Khanna



Onam celebrated with fervour in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 4
Onam festival was celebrated at Veer Palace, Chandigarh, by people from Kerala now living in and around the city. About 1,500 Keralites participated in the celebrations organised by Kerala Kalavedi.

Cultural dance performances were the centre of attention during the celebrations. A traditional dance ‘Thirivathira’ was also performed. This dance form bears resemblance to Bharatnatayam. Attapu -- a traditional rangoli -- was made by women. A colourful programme was presented by Thamvam Gramavedi, an organisation in Kerala.

The traditional Onam feast, called ‘Ona Sadaya’ in Malayalam, with 18 special dishes from Kerela was the part of the celebration and was relished by everyone in traditional manner. ‘Adaprathamnam’, made from coconut milk, was the most sought after dish. “This dish is a specialty from Kerala. Only specially trained experts can make it,” said K Babu, president, Kerela Kalavedi.

Traditional games that are part of Onam festivities were also played to mark the festival. Ori Ari, a kind of game in which people are blindfolded, was played by men and women. Besides, Vadam Vali, tug of war, idli eating, sack race, lemon with spoon race were also played.

According to K Babu, there are more than 40,000 people from Kerala working in the city in different organisations at different levels.



400 people examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Sept 4
Malnutrition and poor hygiene were identified as major factors behind increasing incidences of infections and deficiency diseases among villagers, including women, aged persons and children.

The observation was made by a group of doctors after examining about 400 ailing persons at a medical camp and the blood donation camp organised jointly by local Hind Hospital and Yuvak Sewavan Club, Jhaner, at Guru Har Rai Public Senior Secondary School at Jhaner village near here today. Former ADGP and SAD leader Izhar Alam inaugurated the camp.

A group of physicians, led by Dr Sunit Hind, Dr Puneet and Dr Garima, observed that a majority of patients had contracted diseases due to lack of resistance owing to deficiency of essential nutrients in their diet.

Malnutrition among children and aged persons resulted in complications due to fall in immunity. “Regrettably, even elderly women, who used to guide expectant and lactating mothers of their localities earlier, have now stopped implementing age old pattern of specialised diet in their families now. This has resulted in a situation wherein young women have started evaluating usefulness of food items on the basis of their price,” said Dr Garima while talking to The Tribune.

Medical check-up of over 400 persons was done and medicines were distributed free of cost at the camp. Diagnostic tests, including ultra sound imaging, were done free of cost.



Ludhiana scan

Awareness march

Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation took out an awareness march against menace of drugs, female foeticide and other social evils from the grain market on the Gill Road to Jagraon Bridge where hundreds of youth were administered a pledge to work for betterment of society and welfare of the country. The march was organised to mark the historic meeting of Banda Bahadur with tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in 1708 on this day at Nanded (Hazoor Sahib). President of the body Krishan Kumar Bawa, along with former minister Malkiat Singh Dakha and former legislator Jagdev Singh Jassowal, recalled the unparalleled sacrifice of Baba Banda Bahadur who had avenged the killing of sons of Guru Gobind Singh and went on to lay the foundation of the first Sikh empire. The speakers urged the Punjab Government to declare a public holiday on the birthday of the saint soldier which falls on October 16.

Abacus catching up

Calculating with abacus is catching up in the city schools. Competitions for encouraging the use of abacus are being held at various schools. At a regional-level competition organised by Brainobrain at Arya College for Boys, 33 children aged between 5 to 14 years took just three minutes to solve 75 sums with abacus. Jashanpreet, Bawandeep, Chahat, Gunraj, Sarthak, Rajveer, Vansh, Japkirat and Kanav emerged as the top-scorers and made it to the champions category. In another regional-level competition held a few days ago, 300 students from various city schools participated for calculating with abacus at Ryan International in which Raghav Angra got the first prize.

Free medical camp

RG Stone is going to hold five-day-long free medical camp from Monday for teachers. Free medical consultation on problems related to kidney stones and gall bladder stones would be given. Free medical consultation on problems related to kidney and gall bladder stones would be given by Dr Anand Sehgal (chief urologist), Dr Punit Bansal (urologist) and Dr HS Jolly (chief laparoscopic surgeon). The teachers have been requested to take a prior appointment and to bring their ID cards to get the benefits.

Tribune Reporters



‘Congress using morcha candidates’
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, September 4
Accusing the Congress of adopting unethical practices and using morcha candidates for interference in religious affairs of Sikhs, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal cautioned the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) electorate against the ‘sinister designs of traitors’ of the Panth.

He reiterated his earlier demand to probe the sequence of events leading to the recent dramatic reversal of the Sehajdhari order.

He lamented that the Centre had not initiated action against the advocate who, according to the government, had not only appeared in the Punjab and Haryana Court, but made vital claims without being authorised to do so.

Badal was talking to The Tribune after addressing a rally organised here in favour of party candidate Jagjit Singh Talwandi the previous evening.

“I do not think that we need to produce evidence to support our apprehensions and allegations. If the Centre had not authorised Harbhagwan Singh to appear on its behalf, it should at least be ascertained who impelled him to do so,” he said.

Badal said action would be initiated those office-bearers and activists who opposed official candidates. ‘Halqa’ in charges were asked to submit reports on anti-party activities in their respective areas.



‘Pay scale, seniority being ignored’
Election duty for college teachers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 4
There is resentment among teachers at government and government-aided colleges here. They allege that their pay scale and seniority have been ignored while assigning election duties to them.

Prof Jaipal Singh, president of the Government College Teachers Union, said the Election Commission and the Punjab government had directed election offiials to assign duties to college teachers on the basis of their pay scale and seniority. “It has been further stated by the commission that they may not be forced to perform any election duty not commensurate with their pay in the parent cadre,” he added.

Dr Kuldip Singh, former general secretary of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, rued that a majority of teachers had been deployed as presiding officers while those drawing lesser salary had been assigned duties of superintendents and returning officers.

“Under the new scales, associate professors are in the pay scale of Rs 37,400 to Rs 64,000. Juniors drawing lesser pay have been made their seniors in election duties. We will be happy to perform election duties if these are assigned as per our pay scale and seniority,” he said.

“It is a violation of norms laid down by the Election Commission. Election officials and Deputy Commissioners, to whom a representation has been sent, should look into the matter. It will be good on their part to have a relook into duties,” said a senior teacher.

“This has been the case in the past. Directions of the commission are overlooked while assigning election duties. We have to plead our case every time. First, we are assigned duties, ignoring our seniority. Then, we have to run to and fro to get the faults rectified. Why can election officials not keep such important things in mind while assigning duties,” stated another senior college teacher.



Emergency care workshop at nursing college

Ludhiana, September 4
CMC Nursing College organised a workshop on care in emergency, sponsored by Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family welfare Section from August 29 to September 4. The staff nurses from emergency units of government and private institutes of punjab state participated in the workshop.

The speakers from medical and nursing faculties discussed various medical surgical, pediatric, traumatic, obstetrical, psychiatric, environmental & neurological emergencies. — TNS



Guiding lights, they build pillars of tomorrow
There are some teachers who know that "the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." They believe that each can make a difference. Minna Zutshi, Anupam Bhagria, Shivani Bhakoo, Mohit Khanna, Gurvinder Singh meet these inspiring teachers.

Lighting up lives
Maya in a classroom
Maya in a classroom

Hers is a lesson in self-reliance. She cannot see, but with her hard work and dedication she is enabling several others like her to read and write Braille language.

Forty-year-old Maya has devoted her life to the service of visually-impaired students at the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre located in Kitchlu Nagar.

Sara Johnson, coordinator of the VRTC, still remembers the day when Maya came to the institute as a student.

Maya later went on to complete her MA in History from Rohtak University. Children at the VRTC love her and she's their favourite teacher. They relate to her with ease.

Maya knows that each day as a teacher at the institute is like revisiting her own days as a students. "It is not easy to teach visually-impaired students. I realize what kind of pain and anxiety the students have to undergo before they start understanding the language. I been through the same phase and I can understand what it takes to understand the language with the fingertips," she says.

"It is a beautiful world, though I and my students may not be able to see it. But we can surely experience its beauty."

To Sir, with love

Dharampal Uppal
Dharampal Uppal. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Age is just a number. And this octogenarian teacher would crunch it away. Dharampal Uppal has taught generations of aspiring doctors (now well-established professionals) during his 35-year teaching career as professor of chemistry.

Among his students include his son Dr Sanjeev Uppal, who is head of the department of plastic surgery at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Dr GS Wander, head of cardiology at Hero DMCH Heart Institute, and Dr Vinay Gupta, formerhead of psychiatry at DMCH.

It has been more than 27 years since he retired from Mahindra College in Patiala. Post-retirement, he kept the teacher in him alive by sharing study tips with PMET aspirants. It was done free of cost, as money was not the motivating factor for him.

He loves rummaging through the sheaf of letters that he has been receiving from his students settled as far as Denmark and USA. "The bond between the teacher and the taught is sacred. Time cannot weaken it," he says.

He would rather be known as a man with 35-year regular teaching experience than an 85-year-old retired teacher. "My students, while keeping m posted with the details of their life, keep me young."

Man with a mission
Surinder Sharma in a play
Surinder Sharma in a play

Teaching is not restricted to reading out from books. It is more about making the students aware of what's happening around them. It's about inculcating a respect for moral values. This is the basic premise on which Surinder Sharma, Hindi teacher at Government Middle School at Mohi village, Mullanpur, has been working. He's committed to generate awareness among the masses about the social evils prevalent in the society. And his students are part of his awareness campaigns.

"By the grace of God, we organize about 90 plays in a year. The troupe has not taken a single penny from any government organisation. It is entirely up to organizers if they wish to pay for the fare (bus) of the troupe. Otherwise, we at the Lok Kala Manch spend from our own pockets to organize the plays. We are about 8-10 like-minded people, who not only convey the message to society but make sure that we too, act upon them. The group members have not taken single penny as dowry," he says.

He’s inspirational
Karamjit Singh
Karamjit Singh

His students latch on to each word he utters. He's the teacher who inspires them. Karamjit Singh Grewal, who's posted as a teacher at Government High School at Kheri Jhameri, is a poet and playwright. His students know him more as a "sir who keeps organising plays on socially relevant issues."

He loves to have story telling sessions with his students. There's nothing more motivating than to have your students actively engaged in creative pursuits, he says.

"If we have to wean our students from drug addiction, they should be involved in activities that are creatively inspiring," he adds. Many of the students from his school have bagged prizes in theatre competitions, thanks to his efforts.

It’s a deep bond

Kusum Lata
Kusum Lata

For Kusum Lata, teaching is not a profession but a deep bond based on inspiration between teacher and students. The science mistress of Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, feels it strongly and says, "A teacher is like a moral supports to students who always acts as a guide for them in a very friendly way. My students who are doctors, engineers and lawyers still share this bond with me."

After successfully completing 32 years of her career, she won state award and in 2003 and national award in the year 2010 (for year 2009). Unlike many others, she also served in rural areas for more than 17 years at a stretch.

A teacher par excellence, Kusum Lata prefers to utlise her time and energy for the society. For this she got herself associated with different non-government organisations working for the cause of the environment, science and women issues. She daily utilises a few hours daily in making some new aids for her students as well as for the events of these NGOs.

She said,"I prepare these with waste like used syringes, show polish box, shoe box, broken plastic plates etc." This science mistress, who always remain available to the needy students, said,"I help about 10 students in monetary terms as these days many students come from broken familes, so they need to be understood psychologically."

And ask her dream about her retirement, she says, "I want to run an academy where I could provide free coaching to the needy but meritorious students and also educate the students who are too poor."

Play of life
Nirmal Rishi
Nirmal Rishi

"Theatre is all about life. You learn more about life by playing different characters and that's what I teach my students," says Nirmal Rishi, a famed actor and theatre personality who retired from Khalsa College for Women recently in Physical Education after 35 years of teaching the subject. She has been into theatre and acting for more than 45 years now. After retirement, she has been teaching theatre students at her residence in Gurdev Nagar. "What I look for in a student is sincerity and devotion. I don't care about fee or compensation. This sincerity and devotion is my fee." Currently she is teaching about 19-20 people.

"She has rich experiences in life and passes on the learnings and wisdom to us. The atmosphere is great and she has not even taken any fee for teaching me," says Paramjeet Singh, an advocate by profession, and has been learning acting from her for the last four years.

Not only acting, she also shares with her students about the right way of leading life. I always tell my students to lead a truthful life. Life is a struggle and one ought to live a clean life," she advises. "My students don't smoke or drink."

"I abhor corruption. It is not a human trait - it's becomes more to dogs and cats. People lead a caged life in the country. They have to pay bribes for getting even birth and death certificates. I tell my students to stay away from any such malice and evil," she said.



Jobless 32-yr-old commits suicide
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 4
A 32-years-old youth committed suicide by hanging himself with the guarder on ceiling of his house on Saturday. The youth has been identified as Gurmit Singh of Amargarh Kaler village near Jagraon.

According to sources, Gurmit was alone at house when he committed suicide.

The incident came to light when victim’s wife Karamjit Kaur returned home in the evening and found him hanging with the ceiling.

According to the family members, the victim was unemployed and was suffering from a stomach ailment and moreover, he was upset because of the poor financial condition of the family.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case at Galib Kalan police post on the statement of victim’s wife.

According to the police, dead body of the victim has been handed over to his family members after conducting a post mortem examination at Jagraon Civil Hospital.



Mahindra NBA Challenge League
Nav Bharti boys barge in semis
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 4
Defending champions in the boys’ under-18 category, Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, scored an emphatic 64-47 win over Patiala district to advance into the semi-final of the second edition of the Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League Season II being held at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

Besides, Muktsar, Faridkot and Amritsar districts also secured berths in the last four stage.

Current champions Nav Bharti School players enjoyed the upper hand throughout the encounter and justified their seeding into the knockout phase of this league.

For Nav Bharti School, Gauravdeep played the anchor’s role who fed his mates well and also top scored with 22 points while Harkaran played well and contributed as many as 25 baskets for the losing side.

In the second quarterfinal, Muktsar district proved too good for Guru Nanak International Public School, Ludhiana, whom they defeated comprehensively 65-33.

The losing side waged a spirited battle till the second quarter (26-24), but failed to cope up with the aggression of Muktsar district cagers and wilted under pressure.

Vicky chipped in with 20 points for the Muktsar district while Karamjit Singh accounted for 33 points for the GNIPS, Ludhiana.

The third quarter final played between Faridkot district and Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, turned out to be a one-sided affair in which the former came out victorious 76-33.

The winning side was leading 47-21 at the end of second quarter. Manvinder scored 20 points for the winning side and Damanjeet Singh, who secured 14 points, fought valiantly for the losers.

Amritsar district became the fourth side to enter the last four stage to complete the semifinal line-up as they overwhelmed Guru Nanak School, Doraha, 64-35 after leading 33-19 at half time.

Amarpal chipped in with 21 points for Amritsar district while Rohit made 19 points for Doraha school.

In the only match slated in the senior men’s section between the Punjab Police, Jalandhar, and Hoshiarpur district, the former were declared winners as the latter failed to turn up.



Amenities @ stadium = 0
Sans changing room; toilets unusable
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, September 4
The authorities have failed to provide basic infrastructure to sportspersons at Guru Nanak Stadium here. There is no changing room for woman players.

The sports complex has five toilets, four of which are in a dilapidated condition and almost unusable.

The fifth one is also in a very poor condition, but girls are left with no choice but to use it. It is often found locked to prevent outsiders from using it.

A multi-purpose sports hall across the road tells the same story. There are two toilets, but one of these is ‘occupied’ by the cyclists staying there.

The other one stinks unbearably and is difficult to enter. It is the only toilet which can be used as a changing room.

“We are surprised that the sports complex does not have proper toilets. We have to cross the road to use the toilet,” said a woman player, requesting anonymity.

Another woman player said, “One toilet is not sufficient. Sometimes there are hundreds of sportspersons here. At least 10 toilets are required.”

“We have to use the facilities provided by the authorities. We cannot demand a separate changing room and other things. We have to play in these conditions,” said a player from Sidhwan.

The authorities claimed that they had been constructing a new building, which would have all facilities.

The district sports department organised a Women’s Sports Festival at the stadium from September 1 to 3. More than 600 women participated in various games.



Dhruv Pandove Cricket Tourney
Sherbaz, Harjot put Muktsar in command
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 4
Accurate bowling by Sherbaz Singh and Harjot Singh, who shared five wickets each, put Muktsar in command against hosts Ludhiana on the opening day of the second match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-19) for the Dhruv Pandove Trophy being played at Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Inviting Ludhiana to bat first, after winning the toss, Muktsar’s decision turned out to be a calculated one as the hosts could not survive their full quota of 95 overs in the first innings.

Ludhiana were bowled out for a paltry total of 134 runs in 60.5 overs. Only Sunny Pandey and Chirag Maria could put up some resistance against consistent bowling by Sherbaz Singh and Harjot Singh.

Sunny scored 31 runs while Chirag contributed 26 runs and Sarjit Singh made 15. Gurjot remained unbeaten on 13.

For the visitors, Sherbaz Singh scalped five victims for 34 runs. He was ably assisted by Harjot Singh who also consumed five wickets for 44 runs.

Muktsar also began their innings on a sedate note and were four down for 51 runs on the board at close of the play today. Roop Karan was holding his fort at 22.

For Ludhiana, Sandip Singh claimed two wickets for 17 runs while Abhinav Bhatia and Amrit Pal Singh shared one wicket each after giving away 2 and 22 runs, respectively.


Hosts manage 134

Ludhiana were bowled out for a paltry total of 134 runs in 60.5 overs. Only Sunny Pandey and Chirag Maria could put up some resistance against consistent bowling by Sherbaz Singh and Harjot Singh.



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