L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Teachers lay siege to Samrala Chowk
Thousands of commuters stranded
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service
Teachers’ protest at the Samrala Chowk left passengers stranded in Ludhiana on Sunday
Bearing the brunt Teachers’ protest at the Samrala Chowk left passengers stranded in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 30
Pressure tactics seemed to have worked for 3,000 members of the Sikhiya Karmi Adhiyapak Union as a day-long stalemate between the teachers and the government today ended with the Chief Minister’s assurance of a meeting.

The agitating teachers laid siege to Samrala Chowk for nearly five hours, leaving thousands of commuters stranded on all major highways connecting the city to neighbouring towns.

They started assembling at the Chandigarh road at around 10 am and threatened to hold a protest at Samrala Chowk. The police was on its toes and nearly 1,000 cops, including women cops, were deployed to tackle any eventuality. Sensing trouble, the police diverted traffic to avoid jams.

The Commissioner of Police, Dr SS Chauhan, and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Chaudhry were at Samrala Chowk to foil the protest. The strategy worked and the protest was delayed till 3.30 pm, giving the police enough time to cordon the entire area. But the talks between the teachers and the police failed to bear any fruit.

At 3.30 pm, nearly 3,000 teachers started marching towards Samrala Chowk and laid siege to it. The Chief Minister was not too keen to fix a meeting with the protesting teachers and the helpless police officials were seen requesting them to lift the dharna.

“I don’t know why the government is playing politics over the issue. They had agreed to our demands following an agitation at Batala earlier this year. We are agitating for our rights. We are not asking for the moon. These demands are well within the reach of the government, but unfortunately the CM is using the issue as a poll plank,” said Haruptinder Singh, senior vice-president of the union.

Their demands include enhancement of salaries on a par with SSA teachers; maternity leave with pay; more casual leave; and implementation of the annual increment scheme.

‘Protest outside CM’s house’

Thousands of commuters were stranded due to the protest. Though the police implemented traffic diversions, the situation soon went out of control. Sukhjit Singh Gill, a commuter, said he was stuck in a jam for over an hour. “Why do they have to block the road and make people suffer? They should stage a dharna outside the official residence of the CM,” he remarked. Harmeet Singh, another commuter, who was left stranded at the Jalandhar bypass, said it took him over two hours to reach the city from Phillaur.


50-year-old man run over by speeding bus
Tribune News Service

The spot near the Dholewal Chowk where the fatal accident took place
The spot near the Dholewal Chowk where the fatal accident took place. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 30
A 50-year-old man, Amrik Singh, was crushed to death after the driver of a speeding private bus lost control over the vehicle near the Sherpur Chowk Army Cantonment on the Dholewal road here this morning. The bus dragged the victim for at least 50 feet before ramming into a road divider. Ten passengers travelling in the bus escaped with minor injuries.

The victim, a tailor, was returning home on a bicycle after getting an LPG cylinder refilled.

According to an eyewitness, in order to escape the traffic, the speeding bus driver tried to overtake from the wrong side and kept blowing pressure horn, further creating panic. The impact of the accident was so forceful that Amrik Singh, who was cycling on one side of the road, was tossed in the air. Instead of applying the brake, the bus driver identified as Jaswinder Singh tried to flee. However, he lost control over the vehicle and dragged the victim for at least 50 feet before hitting a divider. The driver and the conductor fled from the spot, but later surrendered before the police.

A case under Sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC has been registered against the driver for rash driving resulting in death.

Victim leaves behind 3 girls

A pall of gloom descended on the house of the victim, who was the only breadwinner of the family. Amrik Singh is survived by three daughters. His fourth daughter was allegedly killed for dowry a few months ago. “It is very tragic. Not only was he fighting a legal battle regarding his daughter’s murder, but was also working hard to marry off his two daughters. There is no earning member left in the family. I don’t know how they will generate funds,” said Omkar Singh, brother-in-law of the victim. Amrik Singh’s daughters and wife were inconsolable and were cursing the bus driver for ruining their lives.



Shan-e-Punjab, Shatabdi still running late
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 30
Even as the rail traffic disrupted due to derailment of three coaches of Kalka-Howrah Mail at the Narela railway station on Friday and further thrown out of gear due to the “rail roko” agitation by farmers at Phillaur yesterday, was limping back to normalcy, the 12029 New Delhi-Amritsar Swarn Shatabdi and 12497 New Delhi-Amritsar are still running behind schedule by several hours.

The schedule of the Ludhiana-Saharsa Chhath Special trains has also gone haywire.

Railway officials said most of the other trains on the Amritsar-Delhi trunk route and some others running from Amritsar and Jammu towards Howrah and Mumbai, were also also running late by one to two hours. It would take some more days for the complete restoration of normalcy, they said.

With the Swarn Shatabdi and Shane-Punjab both arriving late by over three hours at Ludhiana from New Delhi, the corresponding trains scheduled to run from Amritsar to New Delhi in the evening would also be delayed by several hours.

Uncertainty among passengers was further confounded by the erratic running of 04502 Ludhiana-Saharsa Chhath Puja special trains introduced to cope with the heavy rush of migrant families intending to travel to their native places for Chhath Puja. The trains were to run daily for five days from October 27 to 31.

While the overcrowded Chhath Puja special train had departed as per schedule for the first two days, it was delayed by over six hours yesterday when it departed at 4.20 pm as against its scheduled departure at 10.25 am. The situation worsened today with the corresponding train having been delayed by about 10 hours on its return journey.

“The train is expected to arrive here at around 7 pm and it will not be able to depart before 9.30 pm (late by 11 hours),” station superintendent RK Sharma said.



Dead man booked in land-grab case!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
Strange are the ways of the police which has booked a dead man in a land-grab case after detailed investigation by the office of the district attorney legal.

Varinder Kumar of Kitchlu Nagar claimed that the police had booked a dead man to allegedly shield the real culprits in the case.

He alleged that Bhagwant Savroop and Harnek Singh, a nambardar, were booked for fraud following a probe report. Varinder said Bhagwant had died long ago and had no connection with the case.

While questioning the working of the police, Varinder said he filed a complaint with the police in 2009 pertaining to the grabbing of a plot in the Kitchlu Nagar area.

The matter was probed by senior police officers and on August 19, the investigation report recommended the registration of a case against Harnek Singh and Bhagwant Savroop.

Varinder alleged that Bhagwant’s son Anand had submitted a fake affidavit in the revenue department to usurp the land of his paternal uncle, Chaman Lal, who died long ago.

Varinder said Anand had staked a claim to the property on the plea that his uncle was childless and

after his death, Anand was the legal heir.

But Varinder, who was a neighbour, objected to it and during the probe it was found that Chaman Lal was married and had two children.

Another twist came when Chaman Lal’s wife said she had no objection to Anand’s claim. However, in a major goof-up, the DA legal recommended that a case should be registered against Anand’s father.

Beant Juneja, Station House Officer (SHO) of the PAU, said: “We have sent the case for revision. We have come to know that Bhagwant Savroop died long ago. It might have been a typographical error. The probe authority had recommended a case against Anand, but due to a typing error, his father’s name was mentioned.”

Verification of neighbour’s role

The police said it would verify the role of Varinder Kumar, a neighbour of the accused. He is not related to the Savroop family. It will be examined if he was entitled to get a case registered, especially when Chaman Lal’s wife had no objection to Anand’s claim to the property.



20 pc rise in cost of woollens
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
Hosiery manufacturers (dealing in woollens) are expecting to get good returns this year due to favourable weather conditions. The prices of woolens are also expected to increase between 15 and 20 per cent due to the increase in the cost of raw material and 10 per cent excise duty levied on large-scale manufacturers. The local manufacturers are apprehensive that this might cast shadow over their turnover, as the customers at the retail outlets would find the product expensive as compared to previous years.

“We expect to do good business this year, there are certain apprehensions. Local manufacturers have booked plenty of orders to cater to both domestic and international markets. Since the prices of raw material had increased recently and government had put 10 per cent excise

duty on goods, we feel that the customers might find the product expensive as compared to the last year. This could reflect on our business. But the sale at the retail outlets is yet to kick off, picture will become clear by the end of November,” said Sudershan Jain from Sarjeevan Knitwears. According to city-based manufacturers, the customers will have to bear burden of increase in prices due to the hike in raw material and the excise duty imposed on large-scale manufacturers, “The product will be costlier by 15 to 20 per cent this season. Till date, we have got very good orders. The dispatches are being sent to the retailers throughout the country on time. Once the material is displayed at the retail counters, we can get an idea about customers’ response,” said Jain.

While the retailers are keeping their fingers crossed, the small-scale wholesale manufacturers feel that it will not cast any shadow over their business. General Secretary of the Knitwear Club, Narinder Miglani, said wholesale dealers not finding any difficulty in selling their products due to the favourable weather conditions.

“We were left with no stocks last year. The dispatches are on peak and the local woollens have already reached Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Rajasthan. We expect to get good returns this year as well,” said Miglani.



Attack on 2 govt schoolteachers
Police yet to arrest accused
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 30
Even as more than a month has passed since the alleged attack on two government schoolteachers near DAV College here on September 15 by six assailants, the police has failed to arrest any of the accused in the case so far.

Both the teachers were attacked when they were returning home from school. Tulsi Dass was seriously injured, while the other teacher, Lal Bahadur, sustained minor injuries. Following the attack, the police had registered a case against six persons.

Tulsi Dass said, “All accused are wandering freely in the town and even issuing threats to him. Though I have informed the police about the threats being issued by the accused, no action has been taken so far to nab the accused.”

“Though the police had rounded up one of the accused about 18 days ago that too when I informed it about the presence of the accused at DAV College, he was released by the police the same day for the reason best known to the city police officials,” he added.

Annoyed over the police inaction, the victim said if anything unpleasant took place with him or his family members in future, the police department would be held responsible for it. When contacted, SHO Gurpreet Singh denied that the police had arrested any of the accused.

“The arrest of the accused was delayed due to the SGPC elections and festive season,” he added.

Meanwhile, Paramjit Singh Duggal, state vice-president, BEd Teachers Front, said the organisation would be forced to stage a dharna against the police administration in Jagraon, if the police failed to arrest the accused.



Flour prices go up after govt discontinues scheme
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
The prices of flour have gone up tremendously in the recent months after the state government discontinued with the “atta” scheme initiated to provide fortified flour to consumers at subsidised rates. A bag of 10 kg flour, which was available between Rs 125 and Rs 135 during the period of the scheme, is now being sold at Rs 180 or more in the open market. Not only flour mill owners, but also the public at large wants the scheme to be restarted.

The scheme for above poverty line (APL) consumers was initiated by the government in December 2009, but two months ago, it was discontinued for reasons best known to policy makers.

When the scheme was launched, the prices of flour in the open market were stable between Rs 125 and Rs 135 per 10 kg. But with its discontinuation, the prices of flour have seen a sharp increase.

Besides, the flour fortified with iron and folic acid, as recommended by the World Health Organisation to overcome anaemia, was popular among consumers. The Punjab Roller Flour Mills Association has requested the government to restart the scheme for the benefit of the consumers. The president of the association, Naresh Ghai, said it was one of the most popular schemes among the masses in Punjab.

“It was a transparent scheme and the nodal agency was Pungrain. Fortified flour with iron and folic acid provided health benefits to consumers. Eversince it was discontinued, the prices of flour have seen an increasing trend. Also, now consumers are not even aware about the quality of the flour available in the open market. The government should restart the scheme for distribution of flour under the public distribution system at the earliest to curb the inflationary trends of flour,” he said.

Jagrup Singh, a consumer, said the flour distributed under the scheme was good in taste and the price was much lower as compared to the open market. “I wonder why beneficial schemes are stopped midway. Flour is consumed in every household and we were getting it at cheaper rates. The government even planned to start the scheme for BPL families at a later stage. But they stopped it altogether,” he said.

An official with the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, Government of Punjab (Chandigarh), said on the condition of anonymity that though the scheme was successful, it was discontinued due to “political pressures”.

“Consumers benefited from the scheme, but it had to be discontinued. Certain politicians said since the shelf life of flour was short, its diversion was not possible and huge quantity of flour was being wasted, which of course is not true. We know consumers want the scheme to be restarted, but we have to adhere to what the government decides,” he added.



Rightly said — Every dog has his day
200 pet owners turn up to flaunt fitness, skills of their canines
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
A girl snuggles with her pup; and a man poses with his Cane Corso
(Left) A girl snuggles with her pup; and a man poses with his Cane Corso. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 30
Pants, drools and barks marked the day at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) as canines of various breeds, sizes and variety were escorted by their proud owners to the vet campus.

In a Dog Show organised at Silver Jubilee Complex of College of Veterinary Science of the university, about 200 pet owners turned up.

There were seven classifications of a breed, including Toy, Terrier, Utility, Hound, Gundog, Working and Pastoral groups, and for each group different breeds participated and best of breed and reserve best of breed prizes were awarded. About 90 prizes were awarded, out of which 30 gold medals and 30 silver medals were awarded for best of breed and reserve best of breed.

About 30 breeds participated in the show, including Pekingese, German Shepherd, Pomrarian, Great Dane, Neapolitan Mastiff and Sharpie. Pharmaceutical companies dealing with veterinary products exhibited their products.

Breeders, dog sellers and pet owners converged to show off dogs of various breeds and flaunt their fitness and skills. Whether it was the big fearsome Great Dane or the Cane Corso, or the cute Toy Poms, these dogs were the centre of attraction for visitors and lensmen.

Satinder Mann was finding it hard to control his Canecorso. “He is ferocious and wonderful. He is the only one of his breed in North India,” he smiled. He bought it for Rs 1 lakh and is a proud owner of the rare breed.

“Dogs are such wonderful and loving animals that even the most gruesome of the dogs feel great,” said Akriti Bansal, who owns a labrador and a pug, had come to watch the dogs. “I want to buy another dog, I'll buy a pup,” she said. Besides, there were stalls from dog groomers and pet food manufactures.



road cave in
Delay in work on damaged road puts off residents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A file photo of the road that had caved in due to rain in Ludhiana
A file photo of the road that had caved in due to rain in Ludhiana.

Ludhiana, October 30
As the Ludhiana municipal corporation has turned a blind eye towards the road cave-in incident on Sham Singh road, residents have threatened to block the street in protest against the civic body on Tuesday.

A meeting in this regard was held by the area residents today who accused the MC of not paying any heed towards their demands despite several reminders and requests.

The portion of road connecting Sham Singh road with the Mall road had caved in due to the incessant rain on August 12. This damaged the main sewerage line of the area. However, instead of restoring the sewerage system, the municipal workers severed the connection, which led to a blockage in the sewerage system.

Bal Soni, president of Sham Singh Road Welfare Association, said, “The problem has reached a saturation point and if the MC fails to wake up from its slumber, we will not have to stage a dharna by blocking the street on Tuesday.”

“Everyone knows about the problem, but I wonder why the civic body has failed to act even as more than two months have passed,” lamented Soni.

Sikandar Lal Jain, general secretary of the association, said, “I have brought the matter to the notice of area councillor Ruchi Jain’s husband Bawa Jain thrice but nothing has been done so far. This despite the fact that the issue has been highlighted in newspapers many a times. Sadly, the MC has turned a blind eye towards it for reasons best known to it.”

An area resident, Raj Khanna, said residents were forced to take a long route. “Its been more than two months and not even 1 per cent work has been done by the MC or owner of the adjoining plot,” said Khanna.

When contacted, MC Commissioner AK Sinha said the work on the road would start soon. “I have personally spoken to owner of the adjoining plot, who will be constructing a retaining wall so that the repair work can be conducted. The plot owner said he was having difficulty in getting labour for the job and which was why, there was a delay. But we will get the matter resolved soon,” assured Sinha.



Education for girls
‘Students yet to avail benefits of government schemes’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana (Mandi Ahmedgarh), October 30
The Punjab government that has since been boasting of its ongoing efforts to teach every girl child is yet to approach the Committee for Girl Education for seeking advice and suggestions on the most challenging issue in society. However, the committee will be inviting experts and officials in the state education department, along with their counterparts from other states, to a national seminar on “Women Education and Empowerment” scheduled to be held in January, 2012.

This was disclosed by Dr Shabistan Gaffar, chairperson, Committee for Girl Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India, during an exclusive interview with The Tribune.

“Though we have already conducted studies and surveys in a majority of states in southern, western and eastern parts of the nation, we are yet to analyse the situation in Punjab,” said Gaffar, maintaining that none of the government agencies had ever approached the committee to seek advice or suggestions on improving facilities for education of girls.

Appreciating the role of certain organisations of Malerkotla subdivision working for education of Muslim girls, Gaffar said the committee would submit recommendations for betterment of girl education to the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutes soon.

“Recommendations will be focused on efforts to attract more girls in primary schools and minimise drop rate which is too high among minority communities at present. Regrettably, the percentage of Muslim girls suffers steep decline from 49 per cent in primary schools to 2 per cent in higher educational institutes,” said Gaffar, adding that nodal offices would be established for early accomplishment of the goal.

Gaffar said a number of pro-minority and pro-girl schemes had been launched by various governments from time to time, but benefits of these were yet to be availed by students.

Agreeing that educational empowerment of Muslim women worked as a catalyst to modernise the Muslim community in India, Gaffar opined that no women must be subjugated and denied from equal access to education in society.

Gaffar elaborated on the challenges that were faced by minority girls.

He said, “The social tradition and misunderstanding that prevailed within the community regarding education has prevented many girls from being educated. Poverty, which is a huge deterrent for many girls to get access to higher education, is also a problem that poses a challenge. All these issues further way-lay efforts to provide education to girls in general and minority girls in particular.”



‘NGOs can bridge gap between social bodies, govt depts’
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla/Ludhiana, October 30
Maintaining that Indians were the most talented human beings of the world and members of all minority communities, including Muslims, were Indians first, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI) chairman Justice MSA Siddiqui called upon office-bearers of social and political organisations to shun the tag of minority and strive to emerge as next major communities of the nation.

Regretting that leaders of various minority communities had virtually paralysed growth and development of members of their respective segments, Siddiqui called upon minority organisations to launch a coordinated educational revolution.

“Our salvation lies in acquiring strong knowledge of economics, powered by information technology and innovation in education and not in continuing complaining against our past sufferings,” said Siddiqui while addressing activists and office-bearers of various organisations led by Amjad Ali, chairman of HARF.

Siddiqui regretted that a lion’s share of grants and scholarships meant for education of children belonging to minority communities was siphoned off due to menace of corruption prevalent in all departments.

“Genuine NGOs can act as a bridge between various government departments and organisations working for the welfare of minority children. Besides, fetching grants for education of these children, these NGOs can check misappropriation of funds,” said Siddiqui, adding that the commission had already initiated process to identify more organisations for implementing schemes being launched from time to time.

Acknowledging cooperation extended by organisations associated with the commission, Sidiqqui appreciated the fact that more and more children from minority communities had started attending classes after constitution of the commission in 2004. Though the recorded number of Muslim minority students according to a survey conducted two years ago was 104,75,000, the commission expected that more than 110 lakh minority children might be attending primary schools at present.

At least 49 per cent of these students were girls. Clarifying misconception about restrictions and limitations of educational institutes certified under the NCMEI Act, Siddiqui said there was no restriction to appoint teachers from non-minority communities and the institute could admit a ‘reasonable’ number of students from general category.

Sidiqqui said the commission had already advised states to urgently notify standard limits as per the Supreme Court of India directions, which were meant to bring clarity on the issue. He said the minority institutes enjoyed great constitutional protections. “They can have their own governing body unlike other institutes; they can freely appoint teaching and non-teaching staff; they need not reserve seats for SCs, STs, OBCs and they can raise a reasonable fee structure on their own. We hope that states execute their powers and notify what percentage of minority students should be considered “sizeable” in a particular locality,” said Siddiqui, adding that the status of a community differed from state to state and region to region. 



school notes
Songs, folk dance mark function

Ludhiana: Shri Atma Nand Jain School Committee organised “Vallabh Darbar” to mark 142nd birth anniversary of Yugveer Punjab Kesari Shrimad Vijay Vallabh Surishwar. Students of Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College-IMTS, Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College-PU, SAN Jain Senior Secondary School and Vallabh Public School presented songs, folk dances and qawwali on the occasion.


Wiztech-2011 was organised at DCM Presidency School in which more than 400 students from Chandigarh, Faridabad, Ferozepur, Ambala and Ludhiana participated in events like web designing, C++, Q-basic, PowerPoint presentations, IT quiz, declamation, e-chess and i-paint.

The presentations were based on several themes, including Anna Hazare's crusade against corruption, History of Indian Astronomy, Kashmir-the Paradise on Earth and Evolution of Indian Cinema.


In I-paint competition, Shivam from DCM Ferozepur Cantt stood first. In poster making competition, Priyanka Erry of DCM Ludhiana and Piyush from DCM School, Ferozepur Cantt emerged winners, while in Q-basic and in declamation, Rupinder Singh from DCM International School stood first. The overall trophy was bagged by DCM Ferozepur Cantt. — TNS



reporters diary
Just for alms!

The Ludhiana Police has pasted posters asking residents not to encourage beggars at public places. Outside Durga Mata Temple, Jagraon Bridge, here a lot of beggars aged between 3 and 80 are seen asking for alms from residents. There sits an old woman who can’t hear and speak. She does not ask for alms but sits quietly watching good samaritans. I always give her something as the small gesture gives me immense satisfaction. Last evening, when I went to the temple, I started looking for this woman, but she could not be found. Other beggars made a circle around me and asked whom I was looking for? I asked about the woman, a young girl (beggar) said, “The goongi, behri (mute and hearing impaired) died a few days back, you give us the alms. We will handover the stuff to her small children.” I felt very bad and upset and gave them whatever I had brought for the woman. Hardly, I had moved a few yards that someone stopped me. I was shocked to see the woman alive! She seemed to be annoyed with her “fellow-beings” and was trying to convey that others had played a prank on me.

Making mockery of law

Trains are the soft targets for protesters-those with a cause or without one. Even 12 persons squatting on the railway tracks can hold thousands of passengers to ransom showing utter disregard to the urgency or emergency of those aboard the trains. The other day, several farmers' bodies held a protest and obstructed movement of trains for many hours between Phillaur and Ludhiana. The passengers who were made to bear the brunt, had nothing to do with the demands of the farmers, yet they were penalised by way of being delayed, missing their connecting trains for onward travel, suffering financial loss or missing their urgent appointments. There are specific rules framed and laws laid down against creating obstruction in the way of railway traffic. But more often than not those responsible for maintaining the rule of law act as spineless creatures while a handful of the miscreants get away even after making ass of the law.

What a life!

During the Dog Show at GADVASU, pets were pampered like kids. I saw a pug all packed in a T-shirt and interestingly a diaper. These dogs are leading a luxurious life, some of them eating food worth hundreds of rupees daily. But a common man is expected to lead a life of comfort at Rs 32 a day. What an irony?

Cradle of pollution

I always had a liking for winter. The foggy view due to the white fog in the month of December has a charm of its own. It sort of reminds me of the pure air of the hills. But winter has not even arrived and the view has already started going fuzzy. The smog has already started obliterated the morning view. A perfect picture of the pollution now, for all to "see and believe" that we are living in the cradle of pollution. But still, there are hardly any steps that are being taken by the administration either to control the pollution or to at least start an awareness campaign exhorting residents that we have a problem, and there is a need to get rid of the worldwide notoriety that we have earned because of this pollution.

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia and Gurvinder Singh



‘Underweight newborns may have short stature’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
Newborns, who are less than 1kg (1,000g) in weight at the time of birth may develop rickets. Rickets is the weakness of bones caused due to deficiency of calcium and Vitamin D. Such kids may have short stature in future. But if such kids with rickets are given right calcium and Vitamin D supplements, their growth becomes normal.

Dr Monika Sharma, associate professor, department of pediatrics, Christian Medical College and Hospital, said, “I conducted a research on newborns weighing less than 1,000g. The research is based on five years data. I selected 45 kids whose weight was less than 1kg. After one month we tested these kids for rickets. Half of them had rickets and remaining were found normal. We gave calcium and Vitamin D supplements for one year to the ones suffering from rickets. After one year we found that their growth became normal.”



Manufacturing sector needs booster shot
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
The weak Indian manufacturing sector is a cause for concern. Response to this dismal situation is unequal, as emerging economies have comparably shown much better results. China’s manufacturing share is 34 per cent of its GDP, Thailand 40 per cent and Brazil’s share is 25 per cent of its GDP.

Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, PD Sharma, said China had stolen 26 per cent of manufacturing sector directly or indirectly due to our weak policies. Knowing and responding to the factors that contributed to the loss could have boosted the manufacturing sector.

Sharma said the manufacturing sector could not be encouraged through encapsulate incentives pockets. “Our entrepreneurs are capable without such incentives provided hurdles are removed. Entrepreneurs have to pass through 70 laws and have routine 100 returns. In fact, the secretarial work in the factory is becoming heavier and heavier compared to the work place. If these unproductive loads on industry are reduced, results are going to be spectacular,” he added.

The business community maintains that general incentives announced in the manufacturing policy can otherwise be provided to the SME sector, which accounts for more than 40 per cent of manufacturing and exports. It helps in generating more jobs.

China had stolen our substantial manufacturing sector by keeping its manufacturing cost low. The SME sector in particular was getting beaten on the cost of raw materials. The policy on steel was so messy that our industry was getting it at a much higher price compared to others. “This is happening when we have all resources to manufacture steel. The mining policy is proving discriminatory for the steel producers. Our business transaction cost is much heavier compared to others,” he added.

Steps to be taken by govt

  • It should streamline procurement policy. Twenty per cent share should be carved out for the SME sector with a price preference of 15 per cent.
  • Venture capital funds should be encouraged to tide over the scarcity of capital to the MSME sector. Technology upgradation funds should be liberally given to this sector to adopt new technologies. Number of returns and laws applicable to industry should be reduced.
  • Banks should allow liberal loans for vocational education to improve the skill of labour.
  • Power to the industry carries lot of cross subsidy of other sections that make the tariff unviable. There should be consensus among the states and the Central government on the issue to ensure that power to the industry should not carry any cross subsidy of others sector.



‘Prompt police action could have saved daily wager’s life’
Police failed to take timely action against 6 drug addicts
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
Murder of Balbir (32), a daily wager, who was allegedly stabbed to death by six drug addicts, including a close relative of a SGPC member Charan Singh Alamgir, could have been avoided had the police taken timely action against the accused.

In a shocking revelation, Jagdeep Singh Grewal, a resident of BRS Nagar, has claimed that the six persons, who are involved Balbir’s murder, had earlier carried out a murderous attack on him and were booked by the Dehlon police.

Grewal added that the Doggie Lane project, the first dog sterilisation programme at Alamgir village, was shelved due to the attack.

The six accused led by Vicky, nephew of SGPC member Charan Singh Alamgir, entered his house by scaling a wall on September 24 and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons, he added.

“I suffered serious injuries on my leg, head and right hand and remained hospitalized for almost 10 days. They wanted to kill me. Fortunately, I got hold of a huge tava, brought for cooking meal of stray dogs, and protected myself from the assault. Still I cannot walk properly,” he added.

“They threatened to stop the Doggie Lane project and even thrashed a few of its employees. I had brought the matter to the notice of the police, but no action has been taken so far. I don’t know at whose behest they were opposing the project,” he added.

He expressed surprise at the fact that despite being booked for such a heinous crime the accused were roaming freely and even visiting the police station.

Investigating officer Mohammad Sadique said: “ The court has denied bail to Vicky in an assault case.”

“What else can you make out from this? It clearly shows that the police buckled under the political pressure and did not take action, which further led to the murder of Balbir. Had the police taken timely action Balvir could have been saved? What more you could say, it is complete jungle raj,” said Hemmat Grewal, president, Doggie Lane project, in a telephonic conversation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said: “Two accused have been arrested and other members of the gang will soon be behind bars. We have launched a manhunt to nab the accused.”



dalit sammelan
Cong tries to earn brownie points
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 30
That the parties are more concerned to draw political mileage and earn brownie points rather than do anything worthwhile for the welfare and empowerment of the Dalits, was more than evident at the “Dalit Chetna Rally” organised by the Bhartiya Valmiki Youth Federation on the Chandigarh Road here today.

Local Congress MP Manish Tewari, who, along with vice-chairman of the National Commission for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Raj Kumar Verka, repeatedly took digs at the ruling SAD-BJP coalition, saying it had done nothing for the members of SC and ST communities.

Choosing to ignore the fact that the function to celebrate “Valmiki Jayanti” was organised by a section of the Dalit community, owing allegiance to the Congress, Tewari alleged that the ruling party had “adjusted” certain functionaries of Dalit organisations in the Dalit Bhalai Board constituted by the government.



CMCH launches campaign against stroke
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
The stroke unit of the CMCH and the World Stroke Organisation (WSO) has jointly launched a global fight against stroke by starting the “one- in-six” campaign.

The theme reflects the reality that one-in-six person worldwide will suffer a stroke in their lifetime and every six seconds, someone somewhere will die of it.

The hospital also organised an educational programme for stroke patients and their relatives. Dr Yashpal Singh, Professor of Neurology, stressed the importance of support groups for the patients. A large number of patients and their relatives face difficulties in taking care of their loved ones after suffering a stroke. This group would help them to cope during this period.

Dr Kim Mammen, Associate Director, CMC Hospital, and Dr Santosh Mathangi, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation specialist, lauded the department’s effort in providing quality care and education to the stroke patients and spoke about the importance of rehabilitation after suffering a stroke. Dr Dheeraj, Vice-Principal, College of Physiotherapy, spoke about the need for physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapies following a stroke.

120 out of 1 lakh suffer from brain stroke

At least 120 persons out of 1 lakh people are suffering from brain stroke. This was stated by Dr Jeyaraj D. Pandian, Professor and Head, Department of Neurology, Christian Medical College and Hospital.

Dr Pandian said: “The CMCH is working on the project entitled “Ludhiana population-based stroke registry.” The Indian Council of Medical Research has financed this project.

The CMCH collected data from scanning centres, hospitals, general practitioners and from the birth and death registrar of the local municipal corporation. “The data of those who died of brain stroke was verified by visiting such families. We found that 80 per cent people suffered from brain stroke due to the high blood pressure. Sixteen per cent of them were below 45 years.”

Awareness club launched

The SPS Apollo Institute of Neurosciences launched a stroke awareness club on the occasion of World Stroke Day. At least 100 patients interacted with Dr RS Bhatia and Dr Siddhartha Garg, both senior consultants, Department of Neurology, SPS Apollo Institute of Neurosciences.

The stroke club would hold meetings once a month and bring together patients, stroke survivors, doctors, rehabilitation specialists and dieticians

Six challenges

  • Know your personal risk factors: high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterol
  • Be physically active and exercise regularly
  • Stick to a healthy diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Avoid smoking. If you smoke, seek help to stop it
  • Learn to recognise the warning signs of a stroke



Tempers fray during Cong meet
Birmi, Pehalwan slug it out for ticket
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 30
City- based Congress leaders, it seems, are finding it hard to put up a united face as high drama was witnessed during the District Congress Committee (Urban) meeting today. Tempers began to fray after former minister Malkit Singh Birmi and Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee delegate Gurmail Singh Pehalwan entered into a heated argument, in the presence of MP Manish Tewari, former minister and observer Jagmohan Singh Kang and other senior Congress leaders.

Both- Birmi and Pehalwan- are delegates from the Ludhiana (East) constituency and have been contenders for the party ticket from that constituency. Interestingly, Pehalwan had contested the last assembly elections against Malkit Singh Birmi, a Congress committee member, on the Bahujan Samaj Party ticket from the Ludhiana (Rural) constituency. And now, Pehalwan, who is in the Congress, is demanding a ticket from the party.

The meeting was called for the Congress workers of six urban constituencies-Ludhiana West, North, East, South, Central and Atam Nagar- at a marriage palace on the Dugri Road today. All Congress workers had gathered to chalk out a strategy for the “Punjab Bachaoo Yatra” scheduled to reach the city on November 12.

Reacting to Pehalwan’s allegations, Birmi said: “When Pehalwan was called to address the workers, I had only stated that the party should maintain some decorum as we all know that senior leaders address in the end. But he was called when three former ministers and other senior leaders had already addressed, which is wrong.”



Rajni, Hitesh win table tennis tournament
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 30
Rajni Gupta of Amritsar in the women’s section while Hitesh Dogra from Jalandhar in the men’s section overpowered their opponents to emerge as champions in the Open Punjab State Ranking Table Tennis Championship that concluded at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the women’s final, Rajni Gupta warded off stiff resistance from Nirdosh whom she outnumbered in the five sets with the score sheet reading 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11 and 11-9.

Earlier, in the semifinals, Rajni got the better of Yashi of Ludhiana in straight sets 11-7, 11-6 and 11-8 while Nirdosh outplayed Madankani from Amritsar 11-8, 11-7 and 11-8.

The final in the men’s section turned out to be a well-contested affair in which Hitesh Dogra of Jalandhar toiled hard to beat Rohit Mahajan of Amritsar 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8, 10-12 and 11-9.

In the semifinal, Hitesh defeated Vandit of Jalandhar 11-7, 11-8, 11-9 and 11-7 and Rohit prevailed over Vikram Aditya of ESI 11-8, 11-9, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11 and 11-7 to book their place in the final.

In the girl’s section, Nirdosh (Ludhiana) scored an easy win 11-9, 11-7 and 11-7 against Neha of Ludhiana to bag top honours while in the youth boy’s category, Roopam of Jalandhar piped Rohan from Amritsar 11-7, 11-8, 8-11 and 11-7 to come out as champion.

SS Mand, SSP (Vigilance), Punjab Police, Ludhiana, distributed the prizes. Fang Jenn Chiu, general secretary, Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association, along with senior table tennis coach, Jaspal Singh was among those present at the prize distribution function.



Kabaddi World Cup from tomorrow
Canadian team reach city, 14 teams vying for top slot
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 30
With the arrival of Canadian kabaddi team here this morning, the ball has been set rolling for the second edition of the World Kabaddi Cup slated to be held at different venues across the state from November 1 to 20.

The visitors, after an overnight stay here, will proceed to Bathinda tomorrow where the opening ceremony of this extravaganza is to be held on Tuesday. Ludhiana will play host to the two semifinals and final besides the closing ceremony on November 20.

Interacting with the mediapersons this evening, Onkar Singh Grewal, president, Ontario Federation of Sports and Cultural Organisation, Canada, said the boys were rearing to perform their best and bag top honours this year.

“Though, the star performer and regular captain of Canadian contingent, Kuljeeta, will not be available for the prestigious prize money event this time, other are competent enough to fill the vacuum,” he added.

Onkar Singh, who heads the Canadian squad that has 14 players in its ranks besides six officials, said the squad comprised best kabaddi talent in the country. He hails from Narangwal village in the district.

“In the absence of our mainstay, Kuljeeta, onus will be on other stars, including raiders namely Jasjit Singh Jassa Sidhwan (stand-in captain), Sandeep Singh Kang, Kinda Beharipur and Gurpreet Singh Burj Harisingh besides stoppers such as Baljeet Saidon, Happy Rurkan, Pamma Janer and Sandeep Gurdaspuria,” he added.

Rs 2 crore prize money

Teams from 14 nations will be seen in action during this year’s competition and the winners will get Rs 2 crore. The first and second runners up will pocket Rs 1 crore and Rs 50 lakh, respectively. Last year, Canada secured third position and had to content with bronze medal. It will begin its campaign at Faridkot on November 2 against hosts and defending champions India.



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