L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt school head usurps Rs 82 lakh
Had created 13 fake accounts, DC marks high-level probe
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The state audit department has unearthed one of the biggest scams in the education department where a former headmaster working as the drawing and disbursing officer at Government High School, Abbowal, near Sudhar, allegedly usurped Rs 82 lakh by creating 13 fake accounts.

After conning the department of lakhs of rupees, the teacher fled to Canada. His wife, who was also working as a government teacher, too, escaped with him after taking premature retirement from the education department.

According to finance department officials, the teacher, identified as Baljeet Singh, embezzled Rs 81.86 lakh from the General Provident Fund (GPF).

The audit was conducted from April 1, 2005, to August 8, 2010, following complaints of mass-scale corruption in the education department.

During the investigation, the state audit department found that Baljeet Singh, headmaster (now retired), Government High School, Abbowal, near Sudhar, had embezzled nearly Rs 82 lakh from the GPF by submitting fake bills in the Raikot treasury.

The comprehensive report (a copy of which is with The Tribune) shows that the amount of Rs 82 lakh was stashed in the personal salary accounts of Baljeet Singh.

Interestingly, Baljeet had withdrawn Rs 63 lakh from the government treasury for teachers who never existed in the school records.

One teacher, namely Gurmeet Singh, master in social studies, was retired twice in two years, 31-3-2007 and 29-2-2008. Along with the retirement amount, Baljeet Singh also pocketed the amount of GPF and leave encashment. During auditing, it was found that the teacher did not even exist.

Not only this, Baljeet usurped Rs 4.20 lakh of the loan amount belonging to the teachers working in the school and transferred the hard-earned money of teachers to his personal bank account.

“Baljeet was conning the teachers and they did not get a whiff of it. Baljeet used to disburse the loan amount among teachers working in the school. While the teacher used to get a small share of the amount, Baljeet was pocketing a huge share of the loan. For example, Surinder Singh, a peon, applied for a loan in 2008. Baljeet got Rs 95,000 released from Surinder’s account from the Raikot treasury. While Surinder was given Rs 25,000, Baljeet pocketed Rs 70,000. Similarly, he duped other teachers of lakhs of rupees,” said an audit department employee.

Beside other embezzlements, the department has got hold of a bill belonging to Sunita Rani (40), a Hindi mistress. Audit department officials said the amount of Rs 9 lakh was withdrawn on the pretext that the teacher had to marry off her daughter. In a shocking revelation, the audit department found that Sunita had never applied for any GPF loan. Further, she had a seven-year-old daughter.

“We are in the initial stages of the investigation. We suspect that the scam may run into crores if the scrutiny of the overall records, including salary, leave encashment, death-cum-retirement gratuity and other school funds, from the date of appointment of Baljeet Singh are done,” said sources in the administration.

Taking a serious view, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has marked a high-level probe into the matter. ADC Pardeep Aggarwal would investigate the matter and file a report pertaining to the scam.

“I have marked an inquiry and suitable action would be taken against the former teacher,” said Rahul Tiwari.

Role of treasury under scanner

Officials suspect the involvement of an employee of the Raikot treasury behind the fraud. The audit department suspect that the scam of such a massive scale could not be possible without the involvement of an employee in the treasury. Further, the department has come to know that Baljeet Singh used to pay personal visits to the Raikot treasury to collect the cheques of fake bills.

No action in Sukhwinder Singh case

The department has not taken any action against Sukhwinder Singh, a teacher at the government school in Ghaor Case village. Sukhwinder Singh usurped Rs 28.95 lakh by creating a fake bill. The teacher was arrested and sent to jail on September 14, 2011. But no action has been taken by the District Education Officer.


Congress infighting to the fore
Ex-MLA Surinder Dawar in firing line of 12 sitting & former party councillors
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Congress councillors at a press conference in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Congress councillors at a press conference in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 10
It’s Congress v/s Congress in the Ludhiana (Central) constituency. The reason behind this is that a group of 12 sitting and former Congress councillors from this constituency have opened their front against former MLA Surinder Dawar and have stated that if the party high command gives ticket to Dawar, they will all oppose him.

“But we are sure that as Dawar has been indulging in anti-party activities and corruption for a long time, the party will not allot ticket to him this time. This is so because even the party wants to field a candidate with a clean image from the Ludhiana (Central) as well as other constituencies,” said Parminder Mehta, a Congress councillor.

The issue was raised at a press conference today by councillors Sham Sunder Malhotra, Parminder Mehta, Sanjay Talwar, Anil Malhotra, Ashok Bagga, former deputy mayor Sushila Gupta, besides others.

Sham Sunder Malhotra, who is leader of the opposition in the MC house, claimed that councillors Rakesh Prashar, Ravinder Kaur Chadha and others were also with them. “We are a group of 12 councillors, either sitting or former, and are together. Even though most of us have also applied for party tickets for assembly elections, we have faith in the decision taken by our high command. If anyone of us gets a party ticket, we will all support him. But if Dawar is given ticket, we will oppose him,” claimed Malhotra.

This is not the first time that Dawar has come under fire from councillors of his own party as in June also, two Congress leaders, Sham Sunder Malhotra and Jasbir Singh Chadha, had opposed Surinder Dawar. Shedding all inhibitions, the duo had even shot off a letter to All India Congress Committee president Sonia Gandhi demanding his (Dawar) suspension from the party for six years on “disciplinary” grounds.

The feud came out in front of none other than Amarinder and Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari when Chadha, a former councillor, and Malhotra, a sitting councillor, besides others, accused Dawar of “anti-party activities” and raised slogans. Even in the past, this group of Congress councillors have been opposing Dawar for his “interference” in their respective wards.

Sanjay Talwar said during the last municipal elections, Dawar had fielded independent candidates against party candidates. “And we think if Dawar is not given ticket this time, he might field some independents against the party candidate. That is why we would be meeting our party high command in Delhi on Monday,” said Talwar.



Sales tax inspectors to strike work for three days
Govt to suffer losses, motorists to face inconvenience
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
With around 500 inspectors in the excise and taxation department, Punjab, deciding to go on mass casual leave and hold pen-down strike at all information collection centres (sales tax barriers) from December 12 to 14, the state exchequer is set to suffer losses to the tune of crores of rupees. The strike will also result in inconvenience to commuters, as thousands of trucks will remain stranded at tax barriers in the absence of collection of taxes.

The department generates maximum revenue i.e. around 72 per cent of the total revenue for the state exchequer. The strike by inspectors in the recent past has already hit the smooth functioning in the department.

In Ludhiana alone, traders and industrialists are yet to get back their VAT returns to the tune of Rs 300 crore.

According to sources, around 3,000 trucks pass through the sales tax barriers in the state daily.

The department has 34 barriers across the state. On December 12, the inspectors will observe pen-down strike for eight hours, on December 13 for 10 hours and on December 14 for 12 hours.

If trucks are not cleared at the barriers for three days then motorists will face tough time owing to traffic jams.

Navdeep Singh Hadiwal, a member of the Excise and Taxation Inspectors’ Union, said they would suspend work on the three days.

“We understand that people will suffer on account of our strike but we cannot do anything, as the state government is not willing to pay us our dues. A clerk at any government office is getting much higher salary than inspectors in the excise and taxation department. We must not be deprived of our rights,” said Hadiwal.



2-year-old crushed to death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
A two-year-old girl child was crushed to death after she came in front of a car at Focal Point here last evening.

The deceased, identified as Shifali, was playing in front of her one-room quarter located in a factory at Focal Point when the incident took place.

According to Shalender, Shifali’s mother, she ran in front of the car driven by Arun Kumar, owner of the factory who was driving out of the premises.

It was the factory owner who informed the police about the incident.

In the meantime, the police has launched an inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the IPC. 



City’s entry point to be beautified
Floral clock to grace Sherpur Chowk
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
For beautifying the entry point (from the Delhi side) to this industrial city, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) will be installing a floral clock near Sherpur Chowk here. The floral clock, costing Rs 21 lakh, will be the first such clock in the region.

The tenders in this regard have already been floated and the civic body hopes that work on the project will start soon.

The clock will be of international standards and the equipment is expected to come from Tamil Nadu. MC officials say the park in which it will be installed will be developed as a place of attraction.

It will have a diameter of 30 feet, a floral base, while the alphabets and clock arms will be made of aluminium.

MC Commissioner A K Sinha said the entry point to a city should be impressive. “That is why, we have decided to beautify the entry point to the city by installing a flower clock, work on which will start soon,” said Sinha.

About the clock

A floral clock is a large decorative clock set in the flower bed in a park or a public recreation area. The floral clock is a form of carpet bedding set onto an operational clock-face. It was invented in 1903 by John McHattie of Edinburgh Parks in Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, and first seen in the spring of 1904. Most such clocks have the mechanism set in the ground under the flower bed, which is then planted to visually appear as a clock face with moving arms.



Traffic advisory for Rath Yatra
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The city police today imposed traffic restrictions for the smooth conduct of the Jagannath Rath Yatra here tomorrow.

Deputy Commissioner of Police said the yatra would start from Durga Mata Mandir, near Jagraon Bridge, at 1 pm and will reach Fountain Chowk at 2 pm.

From there, the yatra will proceed on the road heading towards Ghumar Mandi. The yatra will reach Aarti Chowk (Prof Mohan Singh Chowk) around 5 pm. From there it will take the Ferozepur Road.

The yatra will culminate at Durga Mata Mandi, near Sarabha Nagar, around 10 pm.

The officer said traffic diversion would be implemented in phases keeping in mind the location and movement of the yatra.



A mix of old and new
In the city, which is known for its swanky shopping malls, these contraptions seem like a throwback to a bygone era. But that’s how Ludhiana is — a mix of the old and new

(1) A worker repairs a sewing machine in the old city. (2) A worker sharpens a pair of scissors in the old city of Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan (3) A worker arranges pairs of scissors after sharpening them in the old city. (4) A blacksmith moulds an iron piece near Ramgarhia Girls’ College.
(1) A worker repairs a sewing machine in the old city. (2) A worker sharpens a pair of scissors in the old city of Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan (3) A worker arranges pairs of scissors after sharpening them in the old city. (4) A blacksmith moulds an iron piece near Ramgarhia Girls’ College.



Bad breath no big deal for many residents
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
In a city where people have rich taste, not many seem to be worried about halitosis the condition that causes bad breath.

Dr Ritu Jain, Associate Professor, department of periodontics and public health dentistry, Christian Dental College, says: “There are many reasons behind halitosis. More and more people are falling prey to the condition in the city. But one shouldn’t take it lightly as it may be an indicator to different health problems.”

Dr Jain further said: “Food lodgement in between the teeth and presence of tartar, besides poor oral hygiene, can lead to bacterial growth, causing the typical foul smell. Those suffering from sinusitis or cold have greater chances of developing bad breath. If one is suffering from kidney-related problems, they suffer from fish-like smell, while those having diabetes develop fruity smell. The typical smell is seen in those having gastric ulcer.”

Most people suffer from bad breath occasionally. However, if it becomes chronic, one should consult a dentist.

Dr Vikas Jindal, president of the Indian Dental Association, Ludhiana branch, says: “One must find out the reason of bad breath and if it is a dental problem, it should be treated properly. People in this rich city are not much bothered about their dental health, as some consider cleaning of teeth a taboo, which is based on myths that cleaning may lead to loosening of teeth. But it is not true.”

Dr Jindal, a specialist in ailments related to gums and loose teeth, says: “If you do not get the teeth cleaned, they will loosen automatically. So it works the other way round also.”

Dr DS Kalsi, principal, Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, says: “There are many myths associated with dental treatment. Many people feel scared from it due to the pain involved. However, these days sophisticated processes ensure minimum pain to the patient. Another major reason behind this is lack of awareness among students at the school level. People often fall prey to halitosis as they refuse to get their teeth and gums treated in time.”



3 councillors threaten protest over tardy work
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 10
Delay in the construction of the Raikot Road, which has been a shambles, has irked the area residents as well as the municipal councillors.

At least three councillors, including Kanwarpal Singh, Amarnath Kalyan and Ravinder Sabhrwal, have threatened to take to the streets if the construction of the road was not completed at the earliest.

The construction of the road has been hanging fire for the past several months. The construction work was awarded to the Punjab Mandi Board after the local municipal council failed to complete the work within the stipulated period.

But even the board authorities have failed to get the project completed.

Besides, the residents have been accusing the contractors assigned the work of using substandard material in the construction of the road.

According to them, the contractors have not laid down the required amount of stones to firm up the foundation of the road.

The residents of various localities falling on the road have held a number of protests against the administration for failing to construct the road within the stipulated period.

The work on the road was awarded to the Punjab Mandi Board following protests by residents.

Even after the award of the work to the board, the work was going on at a snail’s pace.

The contractor had failed to lay soil on the road in spite of the lapse of eight months.

Due to the poor condition of the road, the area residents as well as motorists have to face a lot of inconvenience.

Apart from a number of residential localities, two major educational institutes, including Government Science College and a convent school, are located on the road.

Councillors of different wards connected to the road have been raising the issue in the MC general house but to no avail.

Now, the three councillors have decided to hold protests on the road if the work was not completed within one month.

Punjab Mandi Board secretary Gurmail Singh said the board was awarded the work eight months ago and the project first got delayed because of the rainy season and then the SGPC elections.

He assured that the construction work would be completed soon.



Foggy season sets in with ample problems
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
With the winter season setting in, can the foggy days be behind? Fog has started posing problems to commuters travelling late at night and early in the morning.

According to road safety expert Kamaljit Soi, the months of December and January are the most dangerous for commuters, as 25 per cent of road accidents take place in these months.

"Driving in heavy fog is like driving blindfolded. Even if it is too important to go out, one should not gamble his life. So avoid driving in fog. However, the simple and safe solution is not always the most practical," said Kamaljit Soi.

Tips while driving in fog

n When driving in fog, reduce the speed of the vehicle and turn on your headlights. Take the visibility factor into account and how long it will take to stop the vehicle.

n Keep an eye on the speedometer. Studies show that some drivers get themselves adjusted to foggy conditions and unconsciously increase their speed over time.

n Make sure that you are visible to others also. Turn on the fog lights, and ensure the high beams are not turned on. High beams direct light up into the fog, making it difficult for you to see.

n Low beams direct light down onto the road and help other drivers to see your vehicle. Do not rely on the parking lights alone they do little to increase your visibility during the daytime fog.

n Do not use emergency flasher. Studies have shown that drivers are attracted to flashing lights and tend to drive into them inadvertently.

n Do not turn off your headlights in heavy fog, even if they interfere with your forward visibility a little. Headlights are the only part of your vehicle that oncoming drivers can see at a distance.

n Use the right edge of the road (fog line) as a guide rather than the centre line to avoid running into oncoming traffic or becoming distracted by their headlights.

n Think about what other drivers see when they are behind your vehicle. If you drive with your emergency flashers on or keep tapping your brake pedal, you'll make them nervous and they may try and pass you, a procedure that places both your lives in danger.

n Always use the defroster and windscreen wipers in foggy conditions and remember that the risks attached to driving-in-fog become greater at night.

n If you leave the road, be sure to pull off completely. Turn off your driving lights and turn on your flashers, so other commuters can know you are there but you are not driving on the road.

n Remember that other drivers have a limited sight distance and that fog can leave roadways slick. Signal early and when you use your brakes do not stomp on them.



Deputy director seeks Report
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 10
Taking a note of the continued media reports regarding a large number of irregularities and misappropriation of funds meant for development works by Jagraon Municipal Council (MC) representatives, deputy director, local bodies, Babita Kaler has sought a detailed report from MC’s executive officer Pardeep Kumar regarding all development works being carried out in the town.

In fact, the deputy director had visited Jagraon yesterday afternoon to inspect various development works being carried out in different areas of the town. The deputy director sought this report when residents of some localities raised the issue of biased approach of municipal councillors while carrying out these development works in the town.

The MC has been facing allegations of adopting a biased approach while carrying out development works in various localities of the town. The residents of different localities, which have been feeling neglected from a long time, have been accusing the municipal council of adopting a biased approach in the development works.

Raising the issue before the deputy director, the residents rued that the MC has been breaking cemented floors of streets of different localities, which were in a good condition and did not require repair or recarpeting, while, on the other hand, no development work is being carried out in the streets of some other localities, which have been in a shambles for a long time and needed immediate repair.

The residents also accompanied the deputy director to localities like Gandhi Mohalla, Ajit Nagar, Old Grain Market to show the poor condition of these localities and demanded immediate repair work.

When the deputy director visited Ajit Nagar, she was astonished to see the dilapidated condition of the locality. The deputy director asked the executive officer as why the MC has not been carrying out the development works in these localities? To this, Pardeep Kumar claimed that tenders for carrying out the development works in these localities have also been floated. But when mediapersons asked him about the details of these tenders, he failed to give a reply.

Following this, the deputy director asked the executive officer to prepare a report of localities, which immediately require development works and submit this report to her at the earliest.

Meanwhile, some municipal councillors raised the issue of inn, which has been illegally sold by some persons on the basis of forged documents to a coloniser, before the deputy director. Following this, she also instructed the executive officer to submit a detailed report about this inn, along with the report of the localities, which need immediate development works.



Retired employees’ stir hits traffic
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 10
Commuters were put to inconvenience after a large number of retired panchayat secretaries, embroidery teachers and employees of the block samiti and zila parishads blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road here today.

Serpentine queues of vehicles were witnessed on the road as the protest affected the smooth flow of traffic. “I had to go to Kuhara to attend a wedding. However due to the blockade, we had to face a lot of inconvenience. We reached the venue late,” said Dr Jagroop Singh from Barwali village.

Another commuter, Manjit Singh, said it took him over four hours to reach Chandigarh from Ludhiana. “It is not right to put public to inconvenience. Even if there are issues to be addressed, people should not be made to suffer like this,” he added. Later, the traffic was diverted near Neelon and from other villages to ease the snarl-up. The protesters, who also burnt the effigy of the Punjab government in front of the SDM office on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, demanded restoration of pensions and grants to the beneficiaries.

Nirmal Singh, state president, Panchayat Secretary and Samiti Karamchari Union, alleged that although the state government had awarded them pensions in 1999, it was now terminating the same. He added that their dues amounting to Rs 22 crore, besides some other demands, were pending with the state government.

If there demands were not acceded to, they would be forced to take to the streets in villages and towns against the state government, he added.



ITI heads’ strike hits studies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Studies at government ITI institutes are suffering, as principals of ITIs have been on strike since Monday. Meanwhile, ITI instructors also went on a mass casual leave for two days. Principals and instructors are seeking hike in their salaries. They accused the government of step-motherly treatment towards them.

Earlier, clerical staff of the department was on also strike for several days.

Hardev Raj, president of ITI Progressive Officers’ Association, said, “We are demanding parity in our pay scales, we are engineers, so the government should either compare us with PWD engineers or polytechnic engineers. We have been requesting the government to increase our salary, but the government is not serious about our demands.”

“Earlier our clerical staff was on strike against the government’s policies. We admit that study is suffering, but what we can do? We are also suffering because of the wrong policies of the government,” he added.

“The industrial training gives direct employment to the youth, we are creating more employment from any other department of the government. If the government will show positive attitude towards our demands, we will work effectively to remove unemployment from the state,” said an ITI principal.



31 take part in philately exhibition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
A two-day district-level philatelic exhibition kicked off by the department of posts today at the Ludhiana head post office.

The exhibition has been organised in association with the Ludhiana Philatelic Club. KLK Hanna, chief postmaster general, was the chief guest. Khanna appreciated schoolchildren and philatelists, who participated in the exhibition. He said philatelic museum would be renovated in association with the city-based philatelists.

About 22 participants in senior category and nine participants in junior category participated in the exhibition.

RL Meena, senior superintendent post offices, Ludhiana, and YP Bangia, president of Ludhiana Philatelic Club, and Rekha Sethi, inspector posts, also addressed the gathering about the hobby of stamp collection. A stamp-design competition was also held on the theme “Save girl child and education to all”, in which as many as 38 schoolchildren participated. 



128 units of blood donated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Under a nationwide blood donation drive, HDFC Bank Wholesale Banking Operations, Ludhiana, organised three blood donation camps here yesterday.

At least 128 units of blood was collected at the camps. At the Mall Road, the camp was coordinated by Gurinder Singh in association with the 
Red Cross Society. People turned up in large numbers to donate blood at 
the camps.



Sumit, Ekjot shine in GMT athletics meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The junior athletics meet for students classes of III to V resumed its excitement on the second and concluding day at GMT Public School here on Saturday. The adventure once again was beaming in the eyes of the athletes. The meet started at 10 am with the recitation of shabad and march past. Directors SKS Thind and SJS Thind and Amarjit Dhaliwal were welcomed who declared the meet open.

There were several events for kids like lemon race for class III, sack race for boys and matka race for girls of class IV. Three-legged race for boys and skipping for girls was also one of the events. The parents were equally thrilled at the performance of their wards and cheered them from time to time. There were races for parents and teachers and they showed true sportsmanship spirit.

The winners in lemon spoon race were Sumit, Nishant and Twinkle. Winners in sack race were Ekjot, Parminder and Rajat. In three-legged race, Krishanam-Balmeet, Vishawjeet- Taranpreet, Vishawjeet- Jaskaran were adjudged winners. In matka race, Vanishika, Ridhi and Kumkum were the winners. In skipping rope race, Arshdeep, Pragati and Aarushi were declared winners.

Cultural fiesta

The primary wing of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, celebrated its annual day on Saturday. The students organised a cultural fiesta on the occasion. The function commenced with an invocation to the Almighty, which was followed by a welcome dance. Tiny tots presented a jungle scene. The English play was staged by students of Class I. Students of class V staged a play highlighting after effects of deforestation. A choreography addressing the essence of seasons in human life left audience spellbound. Kashmiri folk dance “Rouff” and Japanese dance were also staged. Students of GNPS, Birmi, presented choreography on the rich Punjabi culture. The event was graced by Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the GNPS managing committee.

Students with outstanding academic achievements were also awarded trophies. The programme reached its culmination with a colourful and vibrant Punjabi folk dance “Jinduaa”. Principal Mona Singh applauded the efforts put in by young students and thanked the parents for their support and cooperation.


A two-day international exhibition-cum-fete “World Tour: A journey across the world” was organised here on Saturday. Rooms were decorated on the basis of 11 countries depicting their culture, tradition and native craft. The main purpose of this exhibition was to spread feeling of oneness among students and uniting the world under a flag of peace. The exhibition was inaugurated by SC Khurana (retd), head of the department of physics, DAV College, Jalandhar, along with his better half, Dr Rashmi Khurana, senior programme executive, All-India Radio, Jalandhar.

Annual function

The junior wing of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary Convent School, Jamalpur, celebrated the annual fiesta on the school premises. Rev Msgr Jose Puthenpura, chairman of the Diocesan Board of Education, Jalandhar, presided over the function. The students from nursery to class V participated in the programme. It began with a prayer dance to invoke blessings from the Almighty. The tiny tots showcased a variety of performances.



Students apprised of legal rights
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
An extension lecture was organised to observe the Human Rights Day here on Saturday. SP Banga, district Sessions Judge gave his view regarding legal rights of citizens and made students aware about the importance of the day. Ritu Jain, additional district authority, also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, an inter-college declamation contest on the topic “Women's perspective of future Punjab” was organised at the GMT College of Education in collaboration with the All-India Working Women Forum, Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha and Punjab Istri Sabha. The function was presided over by principal Shikha Soni. Students expressed their views regarding the position of working women, sexual harassment at work place, etc. Winners were also awarded on the occasion.

Declamation contest

A declamation contest was organised by the department of music (instrumental) at the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, in which students took an active part and expressed their views regarding various topics related to music. The first prize was bagged by Manpreet Kaur of BA-I. Second and third prizes went to Kamalpreet Kaur and Sonia of BA-I, respectively. The consolation prizes were won by Neha and Kiranjeet Kaur, respectively. College principal, Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla appreciated the efforts of the students and congratulated the winners. The winners were awarded with medals and certificates.


The counselling and placement cell of Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana, organised an extension lecture on “How to prepare for an interview?” on Saturday. Sunil Aggarwal, assistant professor, department of political science, was the resource person. As many as 105 students participated in the lecture. He discussed a galaxy of issues involved in making a person employable. He stressed that skills and knowledge of a person are the driving force for employment. A number of examples of successful businessmen were quoted as a source of inspiration for the students. The lecture was followed by suitable queries, which were answered. Towards the end, Sandeep Chanana, convener, counselling and placement cell, presented a vote of thanks. The placement cell of the college under the guidance of Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma, principal, is all geared up for organising such kind of activities in the time to come.

Human Rights Day

Girl unit of the NSS of GTB National College, Dakha, observed the Human Rights Day. A seminar was held to mark the day. Dr Assa Singh Ghuman, principal, and Dr Pavitar Pal Kaur, vice-principal of the college, addressed the students. Dr Ghuman traced the history of the day and informed the students that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was adopted on December 10, 1948. Dr Pavitar Pal Kaur urged upon the students to be aware of their rights and drew instances from Sikh history and scriptures to highlight the importance of the day. Prof Gurjinder Kaur, coordinator of the NSS unit, thanked the students and speakers. The entire proceedings were highly interactive as students actively participated.



Awareness campaign to mark NSS camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
A seven-day NSS special winter camp with the motto, “Tandrust Naujawan Tandrust Punjab”, began at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

Around 150 NSS volunteers of three colleges, College of Fisheries, College of Dairy Science and Technology (CODST), GADVASU, and Khalsa College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (KCVAS), Amritsar, are participating in the camp.

The winter camp was inaugurated by Dr SNS Randhawa, director of research, GADVASU. Besides chief guest, Dr PD Juyal, Registrar, Dr SPS Sangha, DSW-cum-EO, GADVASU, was the guest of honour and convener.

Dr SS Hassan, programme coordinator, emphasised on the development of morality, ethics and positive attitude. The chief guest honoured NSS badges to Dr SS Hassan, NSS programme coordinator, Dr Damanjeet Kaur of PAU, Dr Varinder Pal Singh of CODST and Dr Harmanpreet Singh of KCVAS, Amritsar, and four students of all three colleges.

Amardeep Kaur, a second year BFSc student, was awarded the best NSS cadet of the special summer camp, which was held at GADVASU in June this year.

During the inaugural function, motivational speeches were given by the guest of honour on the topic, positive thinking and success.

Students visited Gureh Pind as a part of the camp and did community work, cleaned Gurey Pind Gurdwara and organised an awareness campaign on HIV/AIDS, female foeticide and drug addiction.



Dubai, Bali residents’ best bet
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
As tour packages for places like Dubai and Bali are coming to be more lucrative than domestic destinations, city residents are preferring to book their holiday packages much in advance to avoid last-minute rush.

For celebrating New Year, Dubai, Bali and Singapore remain the most-attractive destinations for the city residents, who wish to go abroad. While those preferring for holidaying in India, Kerala and Goa remain the favourite spots.

Travel agents in the city maintain that destinations like Bali and Dubai were offering attractive packages, which suited everybody’s pocket.

Rupjit Saggar of Saggarsons here said the return ticket to Dubai was about Rs 14,000 (only air fare) per person, while for Kerala it was about Rs 22,000, so people prefer to go abroad.

“They are seeking different packages. Maximum bookings have been for four nights and five days and the package costs around Rs 35,000 per person. Dubai is the attraction due to its festival also. In the period of December to January, Dubai organises a festival, in which exhibitors from all over the world gather and hold exhibitions,” said Saggar adding that Bali and Singapore are also preferred by the residents.

Pankaj, another travel agent, said Kerala and Goa were the sought-after domestic destinations for which the residents were seeking inquiries. “For Kerala or Goa, the expenses vary between Rs 35,000 to Rs 45,000 per person depending on their stay in the hotel. Besides, many residents want to see snowfall. They have already booked hotels in Manali and Shimla. The maximum rush is between December 25 and January 5. On an average, we get about four to five inquiries daily,” said Pankaj.

Ridhima Sharma, a homemaker, said she was planning to see the Dubai festival ever since she came to know about it. “Somehow, last year I could not go to Dubai. But this time, we have booked the tickets. The package also suits our budget. Shopping remains the main attraction in Dubai,” said Sharma.



Man robbed of car
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 10
Two unidentified armed robbers snatched a Swift car (PB-9C-00087) from Soem Lal near Goraya bus stand in Phillaur sub-division last night.

The robbers managed to flee, along with the car from the spot. The police has registered a case.

In another case, some armed assailants attacked Pritpal Singh near Bhabhiana village bus stand last night. The injured was admitted to the Civil Hospital.



Husband, 7 others booked for cheating
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 10
An NRI groom and his family members were booked for allegedly cheating and deserting his wife. The police has registered a case against eight persons, including husband Raghubhushan Puri, mother-in-law Promila Puri, brother-in-laws, Kamal Puri, Raj Kumar and Anil Kumar, sister-in-law Suman, her husband Deekshat Tangri, and middle man Subhash Kumar, under various sections of the IPC on the complaint of Monica Arora, a lecturer at Government Science College, Jagraon.

In her complaint to the police, Monica has alleged that she had got married to America-based NRI Raghubhushan, a resident of Railway Road, Jagraon, in February 2007. According to the complainant, a few days after the marriage, Raghubhushan returned to America assuring her of calling her to America within one year.

“In November 2007, Raghubhushan again came to India and returned without taking me along. But instead of calling me to America, he sent some documents asking me to give him divorce,” said the victim.

Following this, the family members of Monica approached Raghubhushan’s family with an aim of resolving the issue. But Raghubhushan’s family did not entertain them and as a result, Monica registered a case against Raghubhushan and his family in February this year.

After verifying the contents of the complaint, the police registered a case last evening. Confirming the development, SHO Jagraon City police station, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, said, “The police has registered a case against eight persons.”

Though no arrest has been made so far and all accused are said to be absconding.



GCW eves claim hockey title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
The hockey team of Government College for Women brought laurels to the city by winning the hockey championship in the sports festival organised by the Samrala Sports Welfare Society recently.

Competitions in various disciplines were held during the festival. The girls from the college took part in kabaddi, hockey, handball, volleyball and athletics.

On their way to the final, GCW defeated Chamkaur Sahib 6-0, Taran Tarn 4-0 and Karion Sports Wing 3-1. In the final, they beat Nehru Garden School 2-0.

The winning team was awarded a cash prize of Rs 15,000.

The team was welcomed by the principal, Gurminder Kaur, and staff members. Sharanjit Kaur, team in-charge, congratulated the students.



Sports-related facial injuries on the rise in city: Survey
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 10
Sports-related facial injuries have seen an alarmingly rise in the city in the recent past, according to a report based on a survey conducted by Dr Harsimran Singh Sethi of the department of paediatric and preventive dentistry, Christian Dental College, CMC Ludhiana. The study was carried out under the guidance of Prof Namita Singh and Prof Abi M Thomas. The survey was conducted among 2,000 athletically active schoolchildren aged between 8 and 11 years in various schools of the city. The sports-related facial injury occurrence was as high as 26.65 per cent.

The survey further found that out of 1,162 injuries encountered among the 533 injured participants, 55 per cent involved bruising of face followed by dental injuries (30 per cent) and cuts (15 per cent).

It was seen that 14 per cent of the participants suffered dental (teeth) injuries, including fractured, loosened and completely knocked out teeth. Teeth are supposed to be the hardest structure of the body and an injury especially to the front teeth creates a feeling of symbolic loss, which the child has to carry on with him for the rest of his life. The doctors recommended the use of dentist-made protective equipment i.e. the mouth guard especially among children involved in high-risk contact sports.

The doctors further recommended the sports instructors in the schools to make children and parents aware of such protective devices so that the incidence of such injuries could be reduced or at least decreased in severity and the children could safely enjoy the healthy benefits of sports activities.

In another study, conducted by Dr Rajesh Kumar, Assistant Professor, Christian Dental College, to know the awareness of schoolteachers in managing injuries pertaining to oral structures in schools, it was found that nearly 90 per cent teachers were not aware of the first aid treatment in such cases.

Dr Kumar and others educated teachers and physical health instructors of 10 schools in the city in the first aid management of such injuries, including sports injuries.

According to Dr Laxman Kumar, Associate Professor, department of oral and maxillofacial surgery: “Any trauma that involves facial region, if not attended in time, will have long-term effects in appearance and functioning (chewing and speech).”



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