L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kids sit out in biting cold
Many government schools sans proper seating arrangement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
They strive to listen to what their teachers say despite the uncontrolled chattering of their teeth. They nip the sneezes and try to keep their runny nose in check. Thousands of students in government schools in the city are braving it out to study, making it increasingly hard for them to concentrate outdoors as the weather gets harsh and icy.

Sheer mismanagement in government schools has forced students in many government schools to suffer in biting cold, as many students have to sit on the ground as the classes are being held outdoors.

Government Primary School in the Vishwakarma locality cries for space, as students’ desks can be seen all across the school, including corridors. Even the head-teacher’s room has the desks. As the weather gets colder, it has become hard for students to study in the corridors. At a school in Jawahar Nagar, students had little option but to study outside, as a teacher-couselling session was going on in one of the classrooms.

The building of Government Middle School, Abdullapur Basti, is in a bad shape.

Three of the classrooms do not have doors. Children sit curled up in the classrooms of the primary school at Jawahar Nagar. Entering the classes in the morning is like entering a cold dungeon, as some classrooms do not even have doors.

Looking at the fallen ceiling of the old section of the building gives goosebumps to the teachers at Government Elementary School at Gobind Nagar . Already facing shortage of classrooms, two such rooms lie locked and unused.

"Teachers and children had a miraculous escape as it was a holiday when the heavy plaster fell right on the chair and the nearby desks. Otherwise, it would have cost many lives. We have to use two other rooms in the building as classrooms as there are space contraints. We have given written requests to get the builing fixed," said a teacher from the school.


No relief from fog for trains
Many running late; others cancelled
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 20
Poor visibility due to dense fog continues to wreak havoc with the rail traffic in Ferozepur division of Northern Railway, with most long-haul trains running behind schedule and the railways authorities cancelling or cutting short the travel distance of many trains due to operational problems.

Railways officials here said the 19781/82 bi-weekly Amritsar-Jaipur Express running via Dhuri and Jakhal, 19971/72 bi-weekly Amritsar-Jaipur Express running via Ferozepur, 12460 Amritsar-New Delhi Express, 14681 New Delhi-Jalandhar Express running via Saharanpur, and the 1LJH and 6LJH Ludhiana-Hisar passenger trains will remain cancelled till further orders. The 333 Ambala-Amritsar passenger train will terminate its journey at Jalandhar instead of Amritsar.

As there seems to be no respite from late evening to early morning fog, most of the long-route trains continue to run way behind their schedule.

According to the officials, among the trains running late were the 12029 New Delhi-Amritsar Swarn Shatabdi (1.30 hrs), 12049 Howrah-Amritsar Express (12.30 hrs), 12587 Gorakhpur-Jammu Tawi Express (11 hrs), 15707 Katihar-Amritsar Express ( 13 hrs), 15209 Jansewa Express (5 hrs), 12925 Bandra-Amritsar Deluxe Express (2 hrs), 12215 Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express (7 hrs), 12203 Garib Rath (11 hrs) and the 12459 New Delhi-Amritsar Express (2 hrs)

Among the down trains, the 12332 Himgiri Express was running 11 hours behind schedule, while the 12014 Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi Express was delayed by half an hour.

The affected trains

The 19781/82 bi-weekly Amritsar-Jaipur Express running via Dhuri and Jakhal, 19971/72 bi-weekly Amritsar-Jaipur Express running via Ferozepur, 12460 Amritsar-New Delhi Express, 14681 New Delhi-Jalandhar Express running via Saharanpur, and the 1LJH and 6LJH Ludhiana-Hisar passenger trains will remain cancelled until further orders.



Delayed winter leaves hosiery units cold
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 20
The knitwear and hosiery industry here is suffering due to the delayed winter and comparatively shorter duration of the cold weather in the northern and eastern parts of the country, as the sale of woollen garments has been badly affected.

The clearance sale of hosiery items, which was normally put up towards the end of January or even in mid-February, depending on weather conditions, is already on in almost every commercial hub of the city.

"Yes, the sale of hosiery items this year has been sluggish. Due to the onset of winter quite late, most of the manufacturers had either slowed down production or stopped it in the absence of local and outside buyers," says Vinod Thapar, a local hosiery manufacturer and president of the Knitwear Club.

The sudden drop in the mercury during the last few days, he added, was a welcome development since it would help the manufacturers clear their stocks and bring in the much-needed cash, which would come in handy for the production of garments for the summer season.

But the damage has been done, asserts Thapar, while claiming that as against 10 to 20 per cent annual growth of the Rs 8500 crore woollen and knitwear industry, this particular year has witnessed negative growth. "Not only this, manufacturers’ profits have shrunk by around 10 per cent, as they have been forced to clear their stocks at a discount to the retailers."

The cold wave sweeping the region would now be of more benefit to the retailers, as buyers will now flock to purchase woollen garments and the only advantage that the manufacturers could draw from the development is that they would be able to realise their dues from the retail counters against credit sale and cut down the liquidity crisis for the next season to some extent, Thapar added.

According to another knitwear manufacturer, Sudarshan Jain, the low turnout of the outside buyers and poor inflow of orders from other major domestic markets due to the delayed winter was another reason for the dismal sales figures of the hosiery and knitwear items.

"The tentative cut-off date for the hosiery manufacturers (for clearing stocks of all finished goods) is December 15. With the kind of weather conditions prevailing last week, many manufacturers were forced to resort to panic selling, which is always a losing proposition," Jain observed.

The whole scenario, panic selling by manufacturers and early onset of clearance sale, has come in as a welcome development for the common buyers as they have been able to purchase fresh stocks at a heavy discount that too in the early winter season. "The quality and prices of woollen and knitwear items that were usually offered in late January or early February (towards the end of the winter), is available at the beginning of the winter season," observed Priyanka, at a stock clearance sale in the Ghumar Mandi market.

Clearance sale on

The clearance sale of hosiery items, which was normally put up towards the end of January or even in mid-February, depending on weather conditions, is already on in almost every commercial hub of the city.



Three booked for PowerCom employee’s murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
The Dehlon police has booked three persons for allegedly killing a PowerCom employee by calling him outside the Narangwal power station where he was performing his duty last night. The accused included a son-in-law of the deceased.

Jagroop Singh of Naranwal Kalan (46) was killed allegedly by his son-in-law Swaran Singh and his two accomplices, identified as Pardeep Singh and Gurpreet Singh, of Dehlon village. Investigations revealed that Jagroop Singh had married his daughter Daljit Kaur to Swaran Singh of Dehlon village about five years ago. The couple has a boy.

Though things were normal for a few months after the marriage, tension prevailed between the families over dowry. Jagroop Singh had bought a motorcycle to appease his son recently.

It was yesterday that Swaran Singh had a heated argument with Jagroop Singh over phone. In a fit of rage, he threatened to teach Jagroop Singh a lesson for not acceding to his demands. He took Pardeep and Gurpreet along with him and the trio beat Jagroop Singh mercilessly by calling him outside the Power Station at Narangwal at about 10.30 pm.

Nachhatar Singh, a relative of the deceased who had come to the power station to give food to him, alleged that the accused had assaulted Jagroop Sing with intention to kill him. When challenged by him (Nachhatar Singh), the accused tried to flee in the tempo used in the crime. However, the vehicle overturned and the accused fled under the cover of darkness.

Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said, the accused had been bookedIPC and teams of cops had been sent to raid their hideouts.



Pirated CDs seized, five held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Kotwali police station has arrested a gang of five members, who used to sell pirated CDs. A case under the Copyright Act has been registered against the accused. Giving details, SHO Kotwali, Amandeep Singh Brar, said a raid was conducted today in the market near the municipal corporation building, Mata Rani Chowk.

Around 3,000 CDs had been recovered from the five accused, identified as Krishan Lal from Chowni Mohalla, Sanjay Kumar from Jamalpur, Darshan Singh from Kila Mohalla, Deepak and Viney Kumar, both residents of Bharat Nagar Chowk.

“The sixth accused, Bunty, who had a godown in the area, is, however, absconding. These are pirated CDs, which the accused used to sell for just Rs 10 each,” said Brar.



Jail inmate dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Raman Kumar (35), a resident of Nawanshahr, who was lodged in the Central Jail here, died under mysterious circumstances last evening. JK Sharma, jail superintendent, said the convict was in the jail since October 21, 2009.

A case under Sections 392/397 was registered against him and he was undergoing sentence for seven years. "All of a sudden, we came to know about his condition and he was rushed to Civil Hospital here, where doctors declared him brought dead. The post-mortem was conducted today.”



With Assembly poll code looming, councillors throng MC offices
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
In view of the speculation that the model code of conduct would be imposed in the state anytime, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation offices today witnessed a large number of councillors thronging MC offices for getting files related to development works cleared.

Even Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria visited the Zone D office in the evening and held a meeting with senior MC officials.

“The minister has come to the office to review pending development works related to the Atam Nagar constituency. Additional Commissioner B K Gupta briefed him about the pending works and assured the minister that all of these would be completed soon. Gabria had come to the Zone D office with a file related to development works of Atam Nagar. Basically, he wanted to have a review of all ongoing and pending development-related works,” claimed a senior MC official requesting anonymity.

A Congress councillor, who visited the Zone D office today, said, “All of us know that in view of the upcoming state assembly elections, the model code of conduct would be imposed in the state anytime now. That is why, we have prepared files related to all pending development works in our respective wards and are getting these cleared to start works soon and the model code of conduct would not have any impact on them.”

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said all works passed by the finance and contract committee had been given a go-ahead. “Besides, some other files, which were pending due to some reasons, have been reviewed,” he said.



Probable candidates bank on town upgradation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 20
The demand to upgrade the town to a subdivision level has once again emerged as a major issue for supporting probable candidates to be launched by various political parties during the forthcoming Assembly elections. Activists of certain social organisations have threatened to boycott the election process if promises made by legislators in the past are not kept.

Acknowledging that upgrading the town was need of the hour, in charge of the SAD for Amargarh assembly segment, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan said he had already met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to impress upon Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, head of the reorganisation committee, to expedite action on the petition handed over to the committee after being endorsed by him a few months ago.

Responding to the demand made by office-bearers of various political, social and trade organisations, Jhoondan said senior leaders of the SAD and BJP had given sympathetic hearing to delegates led by local leaders. The leaders had assured the office-bearers that the town would be upgraded to the sub-division level during the next reorganisation process.

With political atmosphere warming up for the next Assembly elections, “sub-division” has once again emerged as a major issue during the pre-election campaign being launched by the probable candidates of almost all political parties, including the SAD and the Congress.

Activists of the CB Welfare Association, Malwa Sewa Society and Muslim Youth Front have threatened to oppose those candidates who had opposed the demand being raised by residents of the town and surrounding localities for many years.

The activists, irrespective of their political allegiance, warned that those contesting the elections from this constituency might not find volunteers to set up polling booths in case they opposed the demand now.

Claiming that they had received a large number of resolutions in this regard, Jagwant Singh Jaggie, SVP of the district unit of the SAD, Amar Singh Saraon, president of the local unit, said Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary general of the party, had been apprised of the residents’ stand on the issue.

Regretting that the successive legislators from the Malerkotla constituency had been ignoring the residents’ demand to upgrade the sub-tehsil, the residents hoped the tendency should have changed after reorganisation and inclusion of the town in Amargarh constituency.

The alleged that the apathy of the legislators has resulted in a situation wherein all government offices, except the joint sub-registrar’s office, had been shifted to Malerkotla.

Leaders of various political and social organisations of the area had launched a move to make it a sub-division two decades ago also and the then Chief Minister Beant Singh had accepted the demand. But the elected representative had opposed the move.

Regretting that senior leaders had been exploiting innocence of residents during the past elections, Yadwinder Singh Phallewal, a social activist, apprehended that leaders would once again break the trust of residents by making false promises.

Phallewal claimed that the business and town’s development was directly related to government offices working here. “The residents feel that the economic development of the area would be affected adversely if the subdivision is not established here,” argued Phallewal alleging that elected representatives were unconcerned about the genuine demands of the residents.

Pre-election campaign

With political atmosphere warming up for the next Assembly elections, upgradation of town to sub-division level has once again emerged as a major issue during the pre-election campaign being launched by the probable candidates of almost all political parties, including the SAD and the Congress



Fire safety measures absent at Civil Surgeon’s Office
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Obstructions have narrowed the corridor on the first floor
Obstructions have narrowed the corridor on the first floor.

The only entry and exit point of the office
The only entry and exit point of the office. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 20
The Civil Surgeon’s Office, which houses important government offices, is devoid of the fire-fighting arrangements. Around 15 years ago, a fire incident took place at the office, resulting in the burning of important records. However, the health department failed to learn any lesson from the incident.

Unlike other government offices, one doesn’t come across even a single fire extinguisher here.

Water hydrants, chemical power extinguishers and hoses seem to be alien to many employees working at the office.

During a visit to the Civil Surgeon’s Office premises, naked electricity wires were found hanging from the electricity panels. There was no trace of any fire extinguisher nearby. Let alone other fire-fighting arrangements, even the basic equipment like sand buckets was not available on the premises. The narrow and dingy corridors posed a serious challenge for the evacuation of people in case of an emergency.

On making queries about the water hydrants, an employee said: “Aag bujhaan lai paani te chhado, peen lai vi paani nahin hai etthe (Let alone water to douse the flames, even drinking water is not available here).”

‘No need for full-fledged equipment’

The fire tragedy at AMRI Hospital in Kolkata has left everyone worried. We plan to approach a private company to get fire extinguishers installed here. I think only multi-storey buildings require full-fledged fire-fighting equipment. We do not need these here

— Dr Subhash Batta, Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana

‘Premises should be fully-equipped’

Same fire safety norms are applicable to all structures, be it multi-storey or single-storey. The Civil Surgeon’s Office is covered under the National Building Code (part IV). This premises should have water hydrants, fire extinguishers, water tank, etc.

— Kartar Singh, Assistant Divisional Fire Officer



Shun the use of mercury-based instruments, advocates PPCB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Punjab Pollution Control Board in association with the Indian Medical Association and Toxics Link, New Delhi, organised a workshop on the hazards of mercury at Dumra Auditorium, Dayanad Medical College here today. It stressed the need for replacing mercury-equipped instruments with aneroid-based instrument.

Mercury is mostly used in thermometers, blood pressure measuring instruments (sphygmomanometer), oesophageal dilators and dental amalgams.

The pollution control board has been pressing all health care facilities both in government as well as private sector to phase out mercury-based equipment and replace these with aneroid-based instruments.

The potential environmental hazard, human toxicity and disposal cost of mercury have led to a growing demand for non-mercury containing devices in healthcare facilities.

During the workshop, Dr Ragini Kumari from Toxics Link said mercury inhalation as a result of spillage from an instrument could cause damage to lungs, kidney and the central nervous system.

She said mercury was one of the most toxic natural elements. It was a global contaminant and neuro-toxin, and had an adverse effect on the human nervous system and other body parts.

She explained the global and regional policies framed by the World Health Organisation regarding the replacement of mercury thermometers and sphygmomanometer in the healthcare sector.

The pollution control board, as part of its initiative, is organising a series of workshops. Today’s was the first workshop in Ludhiana, which was attended by doctors and paramedical staff from government as well as private hospitals.

Dr Daljit Singh, principal, Dayanad Medical College, said their hospital would become mercury-free by December 31.

KS Pannu, chairman, Punjab Pollution Control Board, who presided over the workshop, said it was high time that a progressive state like Punjab made its healthcare facilities mercury-free in the next one year. He lauded the hospitals that had volunteered to become mercury-free.

Kulwant Singh, president, IMA, (Ludhiana), assured that all healthcare sectors in the city would be made mercury-free.

Mercury-free pvt hospitals

  • Gian Sagar Medical College & Hospital, Banur
  • GGS Medical College & Hospital, Faridkot
  • Sacred Heart Hospital, Faridkot
  • Fortis Escorts Hospital, Amritsar
  • Guru Nanak Mission Medical & Education Trust, Dhahan Kaleran
  • Frances Newton Hospital, Ferozepur



Gabria, Bains on collision course
Race for SAD ticket from Atam Nagar constituency
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Hira Singh GabriaLudhiana, December 20
The infighting within the SAD may come to the fore in the Atam Nagar constituency, where the main fight for party ticket is between Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and Youth Akali Dal district president and councillor Simarjit Singh Bains.

Both leaders have increased their activities in different areas of the constituency and have been claiming that they will contest the elections at any cost.

Sources within SAD say the party wants to field youth leader Bains from the Ludhiana (South) constituency, while he is adamant on contesting from Atam Nagar only.

Simarjit Singh Bains“Bains has even conveyed his sentiments to senior party leaders, including Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal. It is almost certain that Bains will contest from Atam Nagar, whether or not he gets an SAD ticket,” claimed a senior party leader.

Both Bains and Gabria are known political rivals and have been opposing one another on public platforms.

Recently, Bains’ close aide, councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi, had joined hands with Gabria. Sokhi’s wife Sukhwinder Kaur was co-opted in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee house in lieu of that.

Meanwhile, Bains has been holding a series of meetings in different areas of the Atam Nagar constituency. On Saturday, Bains held meetings in New Janta Nagar, Angad Nagar, while on Sunday, he attended four meetings in ward Nos. 60 and 61. On Monday, he visited Janta Nagar and Dashmesh Nagar.

Similarly, Gabria is also holding meetings and inaugurating projects in different areas of the constituency.

Bains refused to comment on the issue and said he would abide by the decision of his party high command.

“Ticket should be given to only that candidate whom people of the constituency want.”

Bains adamant

While the Shiromani Akali Dal wants to field its youth leader Simarjit Singh Bains from the Ludhiana (South) constituency, he is adamant on contesting from the Atam Nagar constituency only. Both Bains and Gabria are known political rivals and have been opposing one another on public platforms



Cars turn pubs outside eating joints
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
With the cold wave gripping the region, eating joints serving non-vegetarian times are having a field day. In the absence of any check by the police department, liquor is being consumed openly by residents in cars parked at public places outside eating joints.

Starting from Bhadaur House in old city to posh areas like Malhar Road, Ferozepur Road, Pakhowal Road, near Aarti Chowk and Sarabha Nagar, eating joints serve sumptuous dishes to those having drinks in cars. And, youngsters or those consuming liquor in cars provide handsome tips to attendants for making their evenings memorable.

Starting from around 7 pm, after finishing the day’s work, people start assembling in the parking lots of eating joints to “enjoy” their drinks.

For youngsters, these are ideal places, as most of them can’t consumer liquor at home or hostels.

Apart from those belonging to the city, hostellers from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) and GADVASU also assemble outside eating joints to have “fun”.

A student of the PAU, on the condition of anonymity, says they have been hanging around an eating joint near the PAU for a week now. “We get our drinks along and the eating joint serves us with non-vegetarian delicacies. I don’t think anyone should have a problem as long as we do not create nuisance or disturb peace. I do agree that certain persons at times behave abnormally under the influence of liquor but we are not like that,” claims the student pursuing BSc.

For most attendants at the eating joints, youngsters remain their “favourite” customers, as they tip them generously.

“By the end of the day, we make around Rs 300-500 in tips. Those coming with families are often not so generous with tips, but youngsters are good tippers. At times, we have to face their wrath, too. Under the influence of drugs or liquor, they misbehave and abuse us for not serving them properly, but we tolerate their nuisance as they provide good business to our employers, too,” says an attendant, adding that everything was organised and that his employer had deputed persons for the “safe” parking of vehicles.

A top police official, pleading anonymity, says consumption of liquor at public places is banned.

“The department keeps a strict vigil in some areas, but other places go unchecked. Consumption of liquor in cars is more common during winter. We will act tough against defaulters,” he adds.

youngsters’ hot spots

Right from Bhadaur House in the old city to posh areas like Malhar Road, Ferozepur Road, Pakhowal Road, near Aarti Chowk and Sarabha Nagar, eating joints serve dishes to those having drinks in cars



Life a virtual nightmare for mother, daughter
Both breadwinners of family killed in gang war
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Kuldeep Kaur, an MA (Punjabi) final-year student of SCD Government College, had to leave her studies, as there was no one at home to take care of the shattered mother, whose two young sons were brutally murdered on December 7 at Dehlon near Mandi Ahmedgarh.

Besides, it has become impossible to run the home, as both breadwinners of the family- 22-year-old Gurpreet and 24-year-old Jasbir - are no more.

Sharing her tale of woes in a choked voice, Kuldeep Kaur, younger sister of both brothers, said it had become difficult to live in such conditions when everyone in the village condemned her brothers even after their death.

“If I go out, people keep on asking, were they drug addicts? Why did they indulge in petty crimes? And I fail to answer all such questions. We are already broken, they should now spare us,” said the sister, while tears rolled down her cheeks.

Harpal Kaur, mother of Gurpreet and Jasbir, who were murdered at Dehlon in the gang war, said, “Whatever people say, I don’t agree. I have lost my two young sons. They were the breadwinners of the family, as my husband died about 15 years ago. Both of them took the responsibility to run the house. Villagers come to us and say we will not get justice, as influential in the village were by the accused side. But we have trust in God and we will get justice,” said the mother.

Both mother and daughter said Gurpreet and Jasbir were not that bad as they were being projected by certain villagers for their “vested interests”. “It is all over now, please don’t drag them in more controversies,” said the sister.

It may be mentioned here that both Gurpreet and Jasbir were murdered on December 7 at Dehlon and bodies were dumped in the fields near the dumping grounds for dead animals. The victims were killed by six members of a gang of miscreants and the deceased were said to be chronic drug addicts.



What is RTE Act?
School teachers unware of it
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
While on one hand, Director General of School Education (DGSE) gives instructions to schools to display guidelines of the Right to Education Act (RTE Act) on the walls of the schools, on the other hand, a number of school teachers are not aware about the Act. Even some of them never heard about the Act.

The results were shocking during a visit to various schools of the city to check awareness of teachers about the RTE Act.

A teacher at Government Primary School 1-B, Ambedkar Nagar, got confused after listening the term. She said, “You can talk to the headmistress. I don’t have any concern with these things.” A group of teachers were also left shocked at Jawahar Nagar Primary School when asked about the RTE instructions.

A teacher who was teaching at Government Middle School, Engine Shed, Manjit Nagar, responded, “I don’t know about this Act. There is a senior teacher in the next class, you can ask him.”

Another teacher said, “You are supposed to ask the principal instead of a teacher. She might be well aware about the Act and instructions.”

When talked to various union leaders who often struggle for the rights of teachers, they admitted that the teachers were less concerned for education in government schools.

Lashaman Singh, president, Municipal Corporation Teachers’ Union, said, “Most of the teachers are from well-to-do families, so they don’t have any concern with the education of poor students in the government schools. They are enjoying heavy salaries and comforts of teaching profession.

A few teachers are serious about the rights of students. Otherwise, most of them are raising voice only for their benefits.”

Dhana Singh Savdi, district president of Government Primary, Elementary Teachers’ Association, said, “The government should conduct seminars to make the teachers aware about the RTE Act. They should also be aware about the changes in the sphere of education.”



ITI building in a shambles
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The building of Industrial Training Institute (Women), Civil Lines, is in a shambles. The institute caters to more than 250 students, providing them certificates of various vocational courses. The students prefer to sit on the ground than under the debilitated roofs.

Girl students of Punjabi stenography have been sitting under an arched ceiling from the beginning of the course.

“When I joined the institute, a teacher told me that I have to sit in these rooms, which are in a poor condition. Initially, I got upset but after some time, I find there is nothing dangerous,” said the student.

The building was constructed before the Partition. It was a property of a Muslim landlord. The government undertook the building after the Partition. Ironically, a major part of the building is still as it was in 1947.

According to principal Nahat Singh, land mafia had an eye on the building and they tried to grab the building some years ago. So, now stay orders from the court is the major hurdle in the renovation and construction of the new building.

“We have funds to construct the building but there is a problem in the mutation paper. So students are suffering because of all this conflict,” said the principal.

“We are planning to shift the classes to the main building from the next session,” he added.



Teachers’ training seminars hit studies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Excessive number of teachers’ training seminars under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) last month has hit the studies hard in government schools across the district. Teachers had to spend a minimum of five days attending these seminars for almost all subjects.

According to sources, as the grants to organise these seminars were received late, this resulted in cramping all seminars towards the fag end of the year. The grants amounting to crores were doled out for training.

As a result, many teachers had to spend a minimum of five days for attending these seminars and thus causing a loss of studies for students.

Though in some government schools, adjustments were made, but for most of the students, these turned out to be free classes.

About eight centres for SSA and 17 centres for RMSA were created for giving training to the teachers. Teachers undergoing the training were provided Rs 300 per day in addition to other allowances.

But many teachers rued that it is a sheer waste of money, as many of the teachers selected for the training were of master cadre and were providing training to master cadre, whereas lecturers should have been selected for giving the training.

“I don’t know what criteria were followed for the selection of the teachers, as many of the teachers having poor results were giving training to seniors having a lot better performance and higher degrees,” said one of the teachers.



from schools
Prize distribution function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Atam Public School, Atam Nagar, celebrated its annual prize distribution function. Students tried to highlight the social problems and educational themes through various performances. Western dance, dandia, Rajasthani and Punjabi dances were performed to show the rich cultural heritage of India. The function concluded with the finale showing the spirit of patriotism followed by the National Anthem.

Sports meet

The four-day sports meet organised by Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass, concluded with the participation of about 1,000 students. The nursery section participated in different fun races like frog race, hurdle race, 100m race, back race, balance race, etc. Principal Baldeep Pandher congratulated the winners and briefed the students about the importance of sports, teamwork and cooperation in life. The zeal and enthusiasm of the students was at its greatest when they participated in various events. The winners were given gold, silver and bronze medals.

Dental camp

Stressing on the importance of oral hygiene, a free dental check-up camp was organised at Ryan International School in collaboration with Corporation Bank. The visiting doctors examined the students and advised them about their problems and treatments. It was found that the students from the primary section were more prone to carious and decayed teeth because of their eating habits. The students were told about the importance of proper brushing of teeth, regulating the type of food intake and regular medical dental check ups. They were also given sample toothpaste and brushes.

Annual function

The annual prize distribution function of Spring Dale School was organised here. The occasion was marked by cultural performances by students. Hira Singh Gabria, Satpal Gosain, Hakam Singh Giaspura, were the chief guests.



Awareness rally on social evils
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today organised a rally against social evils as a part of the seven-day NSS camp. Dr DS Cheema, director students' welfare, PAU, flagged off the awareness rally. The theme of the NSS camp is “Awareness against social evils.”

About 250 NSS volunteers from the constituent colleges of PAU took part in the rally and held placards, highlighting social evils.

Lectures on AIDS awareness and teachings of Swami Vivekananda were also held.

Dr Cheema stressed that need of the hour is to create awareness against the menace of female foeticide, dowry and drugs, which are eating into the vitals of society.



Fire dept gets pat on the back
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The ill-equipped fire department of the city got a morale booster when it received a letter of appreciation from former Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Commissioner AK Sinha. The letter, addressed to Kartar Singh, Assistant Divisional Fire Officer, has acted as a morale booster for the fire department officials, who have been crying for upgrade of machinery and equipment for a long time.

The letter written on December 16 commends the role of fire brigade officials on the Diwali night.

“On October 26 (Diwali), there were 51 fire incidents and your department managed to control all such fires on time and efficiently. Had you not acted on time, the loss could have been much more. And people would have got hurt. I commend you for your brave role in controlling these fire incidents,” the letter reads. Avtar Singh said he received the letter yesterday. “It feels good to see your senior appreciate you and that too by writing a letter. All officials of our department have always worked hard, despite hardships.”



Residents apprised of female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
An awareness camp against female foeticide was organised by the department of human development of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for residents of Ayali Khurd village. Laying emphasis on the importance of a girl child and a woman in the family, the department head, Dr Jatinder K Gulati, urged the residents to consider their daughters as an asset rather than a liability.

She discussed the menace of infanticide with thrust on the causes and practices prevalent century ago and divulged that the current trend of female foeticide had declined the child sex ratio, particularly in Punjab.

Dr Anurag Chaudhary, head department of social and preventive medicine, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, made women aware of the consequences of repetitive abortions, importance of nutrition for girls during their adolescent years and for young mothers during pregnancy.

Harsimrat Kaur and Ajay Arora, advocates, district courts, motivated the women to exercise their decision making power and right in planning the family size, irrespective of the sex of their existing children. They highlighted the legal rights of the women and laws, which protect and safeguard the rights of the women.



Winter aggravates asthma attacks, allergies
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
With the onset of winter, patients suffering from different nasal allergies and asthmatic problems have started pouring in at city hospitals. At least 10 to 20 per cent increase has been seen in the number of such cases.

It’s a double whammy for schoolchildren, who have to bear the brunt of the cold weather besides taking their examinations.

Dr Karanveer Goel, senior medical officer, Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, says: “There has been an increase of around 10 per cent in the intake of patients with cough, cold and fever due to the ongoing cold wave.”

Dr Anureet Kaur Gill, senior consultant, SPS Apollo Hospitals, says: “Patients suffering from the upper respiratory tract infection have been pouring in at our OPD. They come with bad cold, cough, sneezing and sometimes fever. These are all allergic problems that keep aggravating in the dry winter.”

Do’s and don’ts

  • Avoid direct exposure to cold
  • People prone to allergy should drink more fluids and consume lukewarm water
  • Students should take good food and dry fruits to keep body warm
  • Avoid going out in extreme weather
  • People with heart or respiratory problems should avoid early morning walks



Cong leaders resent ticket to outsiders
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, December 20
Local Congress leaders have expressed resentment over high command’s move to “impose” outsiders by giving them precedence over local leaders to contest the Assembly elections from the Sahnewal constituency.

In a press conference, the local leaders said party functionaries of the area should be given the ticket rather than outsiders, who were ignorant about the local problems and alien to residents’ needs.

The leaders alleged that the high command was doing grave injustice towards the local leaders by imposing outsiders and trying to allocate the party ticket to them even as more deserving candidates were available here.

“There is resentment over the issue in other constituencies as well,” said Jasminder Singh Sandhu, former chairman, market committee, Sahnewal. The Congress high command should think twice before allocating ticket to outsiders, said Sukhjit Singh Hara, a Congress activist.

Those present were Sukhjit Singh Hara, Ramesh Kumar Pappu, Jasminder Sandhu, Satinder Singh Tajpuri, Sohan Singh Dholanwal, Karnail Singh Koomkalan and Inderjit Singh Kasabad.



Book on diseases of farm animals
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, December 20
Dr Kirti Dua, a professor and head, department of veterinary medicine, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), has published a textbook on infectious diseases of farm animals.

This book is designed primarily for undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary students, practitioners and members of other disciplines interested in knowing infectious diseases of farm animals. This book discusses important infectious diseases of cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, horses and pigs caused by various pathogens.

In order to simplify the reader’s task in the section on individual diseases, the subheading etiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis, clinical pathology, treatment, vaccination and control are included. Photographs and line diagrams of many diseases of farm animals are presented in user-friendly way to maximise the understanding.



Skit to raise concern over female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Lions Club Vegetarian Ludhiana held a seminar on female foeticide at the Institute of Nursing Education, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Charitable Hospital. Preetkanwal Singh, District Governor, was the chief guest, while Bakshi Mohinder Singh, president Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Charitable Hospital and Trust, was the guest of honour.

Various competitions were held at the institute, including poster making, declamation and poem recitation. A skit on female foeticide was also presented by the students.

Harish Dua, Vice-District Governor, addressed the students and stressed on the need to stop female foeticide.

Principal GK Walia showed her concern over the declining sex ratio. A pamphlet on female foeticide was also released.



182 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
The Zindagi Live Foundation today organised its first voluntary blood donation camp for the aid of thalassaemic children at Rajkarni Mahashakti Senior Secondary School under the aegis of Gandhi Nagar Market Association.

As many as 182 units of blood were donated to DMCH under the able guidance of Dr Amarjit Kaur, head transfusion DMCH, and Dr Manvi Gupta.

The camp was inaugurated by Manmohan Dawar, president Gandhi Nagar Market Association, and Vicky Sekhon.

The chairman of Zindagi Live Foundation, Ashok Marwaha thanked all for their support and reiterated their pledge for unending support to thalassaemic children.



Varinder Kaur is new DSS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 20
Varinder Kaur, the new district science supervisor (DSS), wants to make Ludhiana the number one district in terms of scientific activities and participation by the government schools.

She said her immediate concerns were to make sure that laboratories in the government schools were being utilised to the full.

Science is a practical subject and it is imperative for teachers to do practical for making students understand and clear the concepts from the beginning, she added.

“If science concepts are cleared to the students from the beginning, it will not only aid in understanding science for the students but would also satisfy curiosity among them, making the subject interesting and making them learn more,” she said.



12 students get job
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 20
Versasia Solutions, an Ahmedabad-based company, shortlisted 12 students at RIMT campus here today. These students were recruited for Asia-Infotech, a group company of Versasia. Out of the selected lot, eight students were from BTech (mechanical) and four from BTech (CSE).

The package offered by the company was Rs 2.5 lakh per annum. RIMT director-general, Dr Harsh Sadawarti said it was a matter of pleasure that companies from Gujarat had also started coming to the RIMT campus for recruitment.



Cop honoured
Tribune News Service

Suresh KumarLudhiana, December 20
Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Suresh Kumar, working as a reader with Deputy Inspector General (DIG) MF Farooqui, has been conferred with a commendation disc award of the Director General of Police (DGP) for doing excellent service with honesty and dedication.

He was decorated with the medal by DIG MF Farooqui during a ceremony at the DIG range office here yesterday.



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