L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kabaddi cup cancelled at last moment; fans upset
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Hundreds of fans were left high and dry after the much-awaited Canada-America Kabaddi Cup was cancelled as the sports department officials refused to install a stage in the middle of Guru Nanak Stadium for the performance of Punjabi singers. Babbu Mann and Satinder Sartaj were scheduled to perform after the kabaddi matches.

Reacting to kabaddi-turned-singing concerts, District Sports Officer (DSO) Surjit Singh said: “From now on, no singer will be allowed to perform in the stadium during the kabaddi event until they make proper security arrangements and ensure that the stage would not damage the ground.”

The controversy erupted after the Canada-America Kabaddi Cup organisers began to install the stage in the middle of the ground.

The organisers pleaded that if the organisers of World Kabaddi Cup were allowed to install the stage in the middle of the ground, then why was the DSO not allowing them to do so.

The state-of-the-art stadium had borne the burnt of kabaddi enthusiasts in the previously held Canada-America kabaddi cups.

Even during the Canada-America Kabaddi Cup held last year, fans barged in the stadium and damaged costly infrastructure when Babbu Mann appeared on the stage after the event. The incident drew sharp criticism from the administration in general and the police in particular.

“We can ask for security for a sports event and not for some singing concert. If a singer will perform after the kabaddi event, the organisers will have to arrange for the security,” said the DSO.

Hundreds of youngsters from Moga, Jagraon and Mullanpur who had come to watch their favourite singers perform live, were left disappointed. “The kabaddi cup should not have been cancelled at the last moment. We came here thinking that we would watch the performances of our favourite singers, but are dejected to know that there will be no concert,” some fans from Mullanpur stated.

Concert not allowed

From now on, no singer will be allowed to perform in the stadium during the kabaddi event until they make proper security arrangements and ensure that the stage would not damage the ground.

--Surjit Singh, District Sports Officer


Assembly election results
After voters, anxious candidates now turn to the Heavens
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Even as the results of the state Assembly elections would be declared on March 6, several candidates are on “religious-resolution” spree for “wish fulfilment” as they anxiously await the results. Several candidates are organising “akhand path” as well as havan for a favourable result.

A candidate, who had contested the elections from the Ludhiana South constituency of the district, claimed: “My family has come up with a religious resolution (Sukhna Sukhni) that if I win the elections, we would donate Rs 1 lakh at a religious place. Even though I personally don’t believe in such things, if my family has this religious resolution, I would abide by it.”

Most of the candidates claimed that they had full faith in God and were hoping to be victorious.

“I have faith in my God and know that He would make me successful this time. When I win the elections, we will organise ‘akhand path’ at a gurdwara. I won’t call it superstition, but belief,” admitted a Congress candidate from the city.

This is not the first time that candidates, who have contested the elections, are going in for religious resolutions as they await the results.

Another candidate said this time, it was a long wait of five weeks before the announcement of the election results.

“Now that almost a week has passed and a month is left, we have no option but to wait patiently. So, this is the best time to turn to God,” another candidate remarked.

However, during all election meetings before January 30, the candidates had been claiming that for them, a voter was like God. But now that the voting has ended, most candidates are keeping their own religious resolutions.

Not only this, several candidates have also been “depending” on good luck charms.

From keeping special colour pens and handkerchiefs to wearing “patkas” under turbans and auspicious time before filing the nomination papers.

A Congress candidate contesting from the Ludhiana district had filed his nomination papers in an “auspicious hour”. He reached the office of the returning officer at 11.58 am, but waited for two minutes before filing his papers.

Considering it to be auspicious, it was only at 12 noon that he handed over his nomination paper to the returning officer.

Religious resolutions

Several candidates, who are anxiously awaiting the Assembly election results, are organising “akhand path” as well as havan for a favourable result. The families of some candidates have undertaken a religious resolution and pledged to donate a sum of 1 lakh at a place of worship in case of a favourable poll result.



A day later, encroachments back at Akalgarh Market
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
A day after Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officials removed temporary encroachments from Akalgarh Market, the encroachments have “resurfaced” in some parts of the market again. The MC team had carried out a comprehensive anti-encroachment drive in the Akalgarh Market yesterday and had confiscated eight truckloads of goods.

Interestingly, the encroachments have come up again in a market, which is hardly 100 metres away from the zone A office of the MC. The drive had been carried out on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A visit to the Akalgarh Market today revealed that shopkeepers had kept their goods in the passage, leaving very less space for passersby. 
Asked about the MC drive, a shopkeeper quipped: “Now that the MC has already conducted the anti-encroachment drive, they won’t come here again for some time. They had to conduct the drive because a group of shopkeepers had approached the High Court. We are running our own business and not harassing any one, so the MC should not bother us with such drives.”

It is not for the first time that the shopkeepers or residents have again encroached on government or private land, a few days after the civic body had conducted an anti-encroachment drive.

MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon said today being Sunday, the shopkeepers might have encroached on the pavements again. “I would be sending a team to the market again tomorrow to take a look and if any person is found encroaching on any portion of the market, we would take strict action against them,” he said.



ASI under scanner in car theft case
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
An inter-state nexus between vehicle lifters and a policeman has put the role of an Assistant Sub-Inspector from Jandiala Guru near Amritsar under scanner.

The matter came to the fore after the car that was stolen from the city two months ago was found by theASI from Jandiala Guru, who instead of informing the city police, contacted the car owner about the recovery of the vehicle because he did not to pursue the case he had registered in Ludhiana.

The septuagenarian Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Sector 32, Chandigarh road, is ruing the day when he gave his Honda City at JS Car Shingar, for cleaning on December 5 last year.

"I gave my car keys to Jagjit Singh at around 5pm and was asked to collect the vehicle after two hours. After two hours when I reached the car washing unit, Jagjit Singh told me that thieves had stolen my vehicle. I was shocked. In the meantime, the residents of the locality gathered at the spot. It was Jagjit Singh who called the police and informed them about the thief, but later I came to know that it was just an eyewash," said Gurmukh Singh.

It was after 13 days (December 17) that a case was registered against Jagjit Singh for stealing the vehicle.

The registration of case turned out to be a prelude of an ordeal for Gurmukh Singh and his son Manjit Singh.

"The case was subjected under inquiry by higher officials and I was made to shuttle between offices of senior police officials for recording of statements," said Manjit Singh.

While the father son duo were busy tracing the vehicle they received a call from the ASI in Jandiala Gurur.

"The call was made from two numbers 99157-08188, 97800-03433 and the caller identified himself as a Punjab police ASI posted at Jandiala Guru. He told me that the stolen car was in his possession. When I asked how he managed get the possession of the car? The ASI replied that a drug addict youth fled with his vehicle. The police party in Jandiala Guru impounded the stolen vehicle. However, the thief managed to flee the scene," said Malkit Singh.

The ASI further told Malkit Singh to reach Jandiala Guru and take possession of the stolen the car and not to pursue the matter.

"I smelled a rat and told the ASI that a case of criminal breach of trust has been registered against the Jagjit Singh and he should contact the Ludhiana police about the recovery of the car," said Malkit Singh. The father-son duo further informed ACP Ramneesh Chaudhry about the phone call.

"The ACP also spoke to the Jandiala Guru-based ASI and the latter confirmed about the recovery of the stolen car. Since then the police going dilly dallying on the issue. Neither we were handed over the vehicle nor any action was taken against the culprit. I came to know that my car was badly damaged by Jagjit Singh and his accomplices," complained Gurmukh Singh.



Govt buying equipment from other states
Local industry hit adversely as items cheaper in the absence of VAT

Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The local industry engaged in making transformers, towers, conductors, wires, cables and meters are going through a rough phase due to the high-tax regime in the state. The state government prefers to procure these equipment from other states as they are cheaper since no VAT is applicable on them.

Time to time, tenders are floated by various government departments for purchasing goods, but commodities manufactured by other states are given preference due to the low prices. Prices have to be quoted inclusive of taxes due to which the rates of Punjab-made goods are on the higher side.

The sewerage board, canal department, irrigation department, and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited keep floating tenders regularly. “Tenders are invited by various government departments from time to time. Since the price has to be quoted inclusive of all taxes, the goods made in Punjab are costlier due to which the tenders are generally bagged by neighbouring states,” said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

In the neighbouring states no VAT is applicable and only central sales tax (CST) is levied on goods. Compared to Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir has no CST, Himachal, Delhi, Haryana and Rajasthan have 2 per cent CST while Uttaranchal has 1 per cent CST. In Punjab, VAT is levied at the rate of 5.5 per cent.

“Due to the high rate of VAT, the price of our equipment is higher and generally the tender is given to those with lower prices. Quotations from Punjab is always high due to the high rate of VAT. Earlier, entry tax was levied, but now stay has been given on entry tax also, which has further complicated our situation,” added Raman Pandey, an industrialist. Not only Ludhiana, but also the industry in cities like Bathinda, Jalandhar and Pathankot are feeling the heat. Some units have also shut down.

“When tenders are invited, prices should not be quoted inclusive of taxes. The government should bring about this change as not only the industry, but also the government is suffering losses. If equipment is procured from Punjab, VAT will be charged and will benefit the state exchequer. So, the government should invite tenders and applicants should be asked to quote the prices without taxes,” said Jindal.



Drink kanji to keep digestion on track
Traditional drink made of black carrots improves immune system

Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
People usually complain either of lack of appetite or flatulence due to overeating. To keep digestion on the right track, they prefer to take cold drinks or other alternatives, but have forgotten the traditional drink “kanji”, which is made of black carrots, rai, pepper, salt and water. However, hing can also be used after roasting for better effects.

Dr Anshu Vatsayan, a city-based ayurvedacharya said, “It is a useful drink, which helps in digestion. It promotes good appetite if taken before meals and helps in digestion if taken after meals.”

However, another city-based ayurvedacharya, Vaid Veni Parsad said, “It improves digestion and immune system of the body.”

Talking about benefits of kanji, Dr Anshu said, “Carrots come in many shapes and colours, including orange, yellow, red, purple, but usually black carrots are used to make kanji. Although these are sweet and bitter in taste, they are hot in their effect. It is a natural tonic, which strengthens nerves, heart and brain. Rich in vitamin A and dietary fiber, it also has a lot of minerals and is anti-oxidant.”

However, talking about the benefits of rai, she said, “Rai seeds are bitter, sharp and hot in its effect and being digestive, its carminative and killer of intestinal worms. It is also good for liver and spleen. It is a gastric stimulant. Hing can also be added to it, which is anti-flatulent and anti-spasmodic, so it expels excessive gas from the body.” The ayurveda experts warn that excessive use of kanji can cause acidity and burning sensation in chest.



Couple sets itself afire after tiff, wife serious
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
A couple set themselves afire following a heated quarrel in their house on the Gill Road here this evening. The police has not ruled out the possibility of the husband setting his wife on fire and later pouring some kerosene on himself to make it seem like a suicide pact.

The victims have been identified as 30-year-old Sanjay and 26-year-old Geeta. The condition of Geeta is stated to be serious as she has suffered 90 per cent burns. On the other hand, Sanjay has sustained only 45 per cent burns.

The incident took place this afternoon when the couple had a heated argument over some issue. Sanjay and Geeta reportedly set themselves on fire.

Residents of the area saw smoke emanating from the house and heard cries. They rushed to help them and rushed the couple to hospital.

The police has started investigation in the case.



Ludhiana scan
Probe demanded

The Youth Akali Dal (Delhi) has urged the head priest of Sri Akal Takht to hold a thorough probe into the manhandling and roughing up of ‘gursikhs’ by the so-called task force of the SGPC. State president of the YAD, Gurdip Singh Gosha, and president of the trade cell, Balwinder Singh Bhullar, have said in a statement that the ruling group of the SGPC raised a hue and cry over the incidents in foreign countries where the turban was disrespected. "But under the very nose of the SGPC, the goonda elements in the SGPC task force were tossing turbans of gursikhs and beating them up for their attempt to expose sacrilege of the holy gutkas of the gurbani."

Playway school inaugurated

Cherubs, a play school-cum-day care, was inaugurated today. The school principal claims that the school is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide activity-oriented teaching with the help of audio-visual and computer aids.

Dance Festival

Sangita's Studio of performing arts is organizing a Spring Dance Festival for six days from February 6 to 11 on the occasion of opening of the new dance and fitness studio. The aim of the workshop is to promote dancing. Workshops on kathak, salsa, hip-hop, fitnesss, belly dancing, creative dancing etc would be a part of the workshop.

Youth Talent Awards-2012

Swami Vivekananda Youth Federation would organise Youth Talent Awards-2012 on February 12. The awards would be given to top performers in various categories including young educationist, young entrepreneur, social workers, academics, sports, art and culture, and extra-curricular activities.

Congress mulls poll results

Former president of the District Congress Committee Krishan Kumar Bawa has said that a thumping victory for the Congress party in the Assembly polls was on the cards as the people of Punjab, who were fed up from the disorder, stagnating growth, corruption, unemployment and excesses, had voted for a change. Addressing a meeting of the party workers in Atam Nagar Assembly segment, he said Congress party will form the next government in the state, and Punjab, which had been pushed to the brink of disaster by the ruling coalition, will once again usher in an era of peace, development and prosperity.



Dilapidated roads causing problems to commuters
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala, February 5
Almost all the main roads of the area are in a bad condition with the authorities adopting a callous attitude towards the problem. The Defence Road, linking Machiwara to Khanna via Samrala, is in pitiable situation, having huge potholes at several places near Samrala, Otalan, Balion and Khanna. There is a heavy rush of traffic on the road, with a large number of trucks daily passing over it, but officials and political leaders seem to be unaware about the problem. The situation becomes even more difficult for two wheelers. Students of AS college, Khanna, too are facing this problem.

A stretch of Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road from Kohara up to Khamano to is in a dilapidated state. Several VIPs daily pass through this road in their way to Chandigarh, but appear to be indifferent to the condition of the road. The bridge on Bhakra Canal, between Khamano and Morinda, too is dotted with potholes. Officials often fill up the patholes with sand, but still accidents take place on the bridge.

The condition of Khanna- Khamano Road is not much different. A 20 km long stretch of the road is has huge potholes at severalplaces. The stretch from Khanna to Barwali is yet to be widened and it is very difficult for even two vehicles to pass simultaneously on this narrow road. Often commuters have to switch to other routes to reach their destinations. The other part of this road, from Barwali to Khamano, is also fast turning into a bad condition as it has not been repaired in a while.

The condition of Khamano-Fatehgarh Sahib Road, from Sanghol up to Bassi Patahana, is also worsening day by day as the PWD department is not paying much attention towards its repair.

Advocate Narinder Sharma and Hardev Singh Kang, a social activists of the area, have demanded immediate repair of these roads. When XEN PWD Ropar Karnail Singh was contacted in this regard, he said that he was aware about the problem at some places on Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, but regretted that the department had no funds for their repair. He rued that they had informed higher officials but nothing was done in this regard. He also said that the joints at Bhakra bridge were loose and needed immediate repair, but the work is pending due to lack of funds.



Rotarians bat for Indo-Pak peace
Our Correspondent

Aziz Memon, Rotary International Pakistan’s official nominee, addresses Rotarians in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana , February 5
Activists and office bearers of over 70 units of Rotary Club falling under RI district 3090 comprising major parts of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan vowed to dedicate their lives for fostering Indo-Pak peace and fraternity, and eradicating communal and racial hatred from the region.

An oath was taken in response to a call given by the official representative of Rotary fraternity of Pakistan and chairman Pakistan National Polio Plus Committee Aziz Memon during the concluding session of the Annual District Conference ‘Manzil’ held here today.

The attendees also resolved to contribute their best in fight against dreaded diseases including cancer, cardiovascular ailments and polio from the earth.

While responding to the emotional and motivational appeal made by Memon during his keynote address, Rotarians and members of their families, led by Amjad Ali and Firdosh, vowed to do their best for bridging the gap which has since been created between people of two neighboring countries.

“Though history may have divided us due to hasty decisions of our overambitious political leaders, the geography and psychology has not separated us,” argued Memon calling upon Rotarians to undertake measures to ensure peace and fraternity among people of Pakistan and India.

Appreciating the gesture shown by certain social and medical institutes in providing selfless medical services to the ailing humanity, Memon disclosed that around 1200 Pakistani children have been granted life by doctors from the bordering state during past couple of years. He said the Rotarians should augment exchange of sports teams, cultural exchange teams and projects associated with the industry, trade and commerce.

The conference was inaugurated by former Rotary International President Padamshree Rajinder K Saboo, and Pardeep Mukherjee, official representative of the Rotary International. Kalyan Banerjee presided over various sessions.

Prof A Walsey, vice chairman Urdu Academy, New Delhi, Dr Naved Aslam and Dr GS Wander, renowned cardiologists were the keynote speakers during various sessions.



Ludhiana calling
Septuagenarian support for media

Newspaper offices are flooded with news/press releases. Though the reporters make sure that each and every news is sent for publication, still at times certain news cannot be published due to space constraints and the persons to whom the news matter, feel disappointed. A senior citizen came to the office to hand over a press note regarding the appointment of certain office-bearers, which could not be published. The person came after two days and said, "You all are working here. I can understand that you cannot argue with your bosses. Provide me the telephone numbers of your seniors so that I can talk to them directly. Otherwise also I can tell them to encourage you reporters by publishing all the news sent by you. I am a septuagenarian and they will consider this"! The person really looked too concerned for all of us.

A food for thought

Yesterday, one of my close friends’ relative committed suicide at his village. The deceased, who was a small-time farmer having two acres of land, took the extreme step because he could not pay back his debt of just Rs 80,000. I was told that his entire life, the deceased worked hard to take care of his family, but failed miserably. His conscience did not allow him to take financial help from his relatives, who could have easily helped him in paying back the debt. Later in the day, when another friend of mine met me, he boasted that he had recently purchased a doghouse and clothes for his dog worth Rs 40,000. After my second friend left, I was sad and at the same time puzzled because sometimes we don’t think once while spending money on things which we hardly require, while for someone else, who is not financially sound, the same can mean simply food, and survival.

Voters are the losers

The Assembly polls in the state are over and the fate of those in fray lies sealed in the electronic voting machines. Till the polling in other states is over and the results of Assembly elections are declared, which is still more than a month away, it is common to see people discussing as to who will win, who will lose and which party will form the next government in the state. As a group of people was involved in an animated discussion over the potential winner in a particular Assembly segment, and there were arguments and counter arguments in favour and against the main contenders, an elderly person listening in to the heated debate, perhapse aptly summed up the sorry state of the political system by saying, "Sirf jittanwale di pugree da rang hi fark hai, voter ne tan harna hi hai (It's only the colour of the turban which will be different in case of any one of the winners but the voter is bound to lose).

Earning in the name of God

Getting donation in the name of God is something common. But if a school-going teenager adopts it as a profession, it sounds strange. On every Saturday a teenager boy visits different areas of the city to collect mustard oil in the name of "Shani Dev" along with other donations. On asking as to why he did not go to school, he said," I have already lost my father when I was 11 years old. I had to leave school after class IX as my grandfather fell sick. And moreover what job will I get after passing XII? So instead of wasting three more years, I switched over to the family profession of asking for donations in the name of God. Shani ko manave sada sukh pave." Saying this the boy started knocking the door of the next house for continuing his family profession.

Language problem

On the day of the Assembly elections, a policeman from Kerala, sitting outside a polling booth was not allowing too many people to enter the booth. When a man in his late sixties tried to rush in, the policeman stopped the elderly man. "Ek ladki, do ladke ko jana,"(only one girl and two boys are allowed to enter) he said. The man started as well as those standing in the queues began laughing. "Main ladka nahi hoon. Mujhe jaane do," the man smiled. The middle-aged woman partaking in the joke said that she should also be allowed to enter the booth, as she is not a girl. The policeman realising his gaffe also started laughing. "Language ka problem hai," he laughed. "Two men, one woman are to enter at one time," he said correcting himself.

Tattoos with voters’ ink

A first-time voter was agog about voting for the first time. As he got the voters ink before casting vote, he was surprised to see the voters ink congealing into a permanent mark. After casting the vote, he started making queries about the voters ink from the booth officer and where all it was available. Everyone around was impressed with the young man for his curiosity. When an elderly man finally asked him as to why he was making all these queries, he replied, "I don't like permanent tattoos. I came to know that this ink can last a few weeks. I want to get some nice tattoos made with this ink."

Contributed by Puneet Pal Singh Gill, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria, Gurvinder Singh, Charanjit Singh Teja



Inter-school youth festival Uniquest-12 organised at DBI
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 5
Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences organised an Inter School Youth Festival ‘Uniquest-12’, a one-day mega youth festival, for school students of the region. The program included competitions in 30 events relating to the field of singing, dancing, acting, modelling, painting, cartoon making, collage making, Giddha, Bhangra, creative writing, etc. Teams from 35 senior secondary schools participated in different competitions and exhibited their talents.

Over 700 budding artists enthralled the audience with their performance. Though all the events had their share of admirers and fans, events like skits, dance, choreography and modelling remained the focus of attraction and drew large crowds. The competition depicting the use of waste material for useful purposes was particularly appreciated by the audience.

The overall trophy for the best school was awarded to Green Grover School, Khanna. DAV Public School, Khanna, was declared the runners up. Chief guest Satish Kaul, an eminent Punjabi film industry personality, presided over the valedictory function and gave away the prizes to the winners. He lauded the initiative of Desh Bhagat Group in organising such an event for school students and providing them an opportunity to show their abilities. Such programmes, he said, were as essential as academic activities in the all-round development of students.

Earlier, while inaugurating the festival, Desh Bhagat Group Chairman Dr Zora Singh in his address welcomed the guests. Director General Dr Shalini Gupta proposed a vote of thanks on the occasion and expressed her delight at the overwhelming response the festival had received from different schools.

In literary events Green Grover School, Khanna, came first while Neta ji Model School was declared runners-up. In sports event, Government Senior Secondary School, Bhadson, was declared winners and GTB School, Khanna, runners up.



Series: City Bazaars-IV
Damsels in balconies, smell of roses filled streets of Meena Bazaar

Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

A shop selling toys at Meena Bazaar.

A congested lane of Meena Bazaar.

Ludhiana, February 5
About eight decades old, Meena Bazaar, located next to Chaura Bazaar offer many things from candies for children to shrouds for the old. The Meena bazaar has shops of confectioners, toys and general merchants, besides some cardboard factories. Many card and box packaging shops have also come up at Meena Bazar.

Meena Bazar is said to be named after a girl. Some eighty years ago, Meena Bazar used to echo with the sweet sound of the anklets of Begum Jaan, and many other women like her. At dusk, when the shops closed down, flower sellers carrying tuberoses and flower bracelets use to throng the bazaar. The Meena Bazaar of 1930s was famous for its carnal pleasures.

"I have heard many tales about Meena and other girls who use to live here. It is a known fact that some famous poets also use to visit this place. Though I have never seen the bazaar when it was in its full glory but have heard a lot about it from my elders," said Ghan Sham, selling batashas in one of the shop.

Today, stink and foul smell has replaced the sweet smell of roses and, instead of pretty damsels in balconies; a cluttered web of power and telephone cables is seen all over. Rickshaws, carts, stray animals and shoppers plod over the potholed roads, raising dust, as if to bury the glorious past of Meena Bazaar.

"The beautiful faces and the tinkling of the anklets have vanished. The Meena bazaar had lost its charm with the partition. It is said that Begum Jaan and her daughter Meena used to sing melodiously and the whole place use to be mesmerized by their their voice. There was also a big 'haveli' which belonged to a Rani and when she used to travel on an elephant, her glory was to be seen. Now that 'haveli' is nowhere to be seen in the bazaar," said Jeevan Dyal, one of the oldest living occupants of the bazaar.

Many packers of wedding cards and boxes have come up at Meena Bazar and doing brisk business as they offer goods at lesser price as compared to those available in the posh market located near Fountain Chowk. In addition to this, confectionary goods like biscuits and namkeen are available here and are made of pure desi ghee and relished by everyone for generations.

Slice of history

  • Meena Bazar is named after a girl, Meena, daughter of Begum Jaan. Some eighty years ago, Meena Bazar used to echo with the sweet sound of the anklets of Begum Jaan, and many other women like her.

    Problems at a glance

  • Traffic congestion, cluttered wires, foul smell, today sum up the scene of Meena bazaar. Shopkeepers display their things on the road, which further make the road congested.



Fun and frolic at Basant Utsav
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Basant Utsav was celebrated at Bal Bharati Public School. Students performed ‘bhangra’ and ‘giddha’ during the celebrations. The vibrant Rajasthani dance on the tunes of ‘Assi gaj ka mora ghagra’. Children at the fair began to enjoy various game stalls like shoe-fly shoe, chocolate wheel, hoola, hit me, quotes, magnetic charm, bull’s eye, kill the rat. Dance competition and kite-flying competitions were also organised in addition to painting and rangoli competitions. The souvenir-Basant Utsav 2012 was released by the students and staff. The healthy baby contest was also held along with the healthy vegetarian and fruit-salad competition to promote healthy habits. The special attraction of the day was dental checkup by experts of Christian Dental College, which gave the people a chance to be careful about their dental health. For the kite flying competition Ramneek for maximun cut, Samar Pratap for maximum height, Chiraag for maximum time and mother of Harmanjot Singh got prizes for senior most kite flier. In rangoli, competition Preeti, Neetu Singh and Shweta Arora bagged the top prizes.

In recipe contest Sushma Batta, Kawaldeep and Sonia Dua got prizes. In the healthy baby contest Anna Singh, Prableen, Kunwardeep, Geet Kang and Navleen won the first prizes in respective categories. In the dance competition Vani (2-6 years), Khanak (6-10 years), Arshjot and Chanpreet (10-13 years) bagged first prize in their respective age groups whereas, Rythem and Dilraaj bagged first prize in duet dance and Vani, Ishnoor and Muskaan bagged first prize in group dance competition. In art competition, Eknoor Kaur, Sharneet Karu, Ayati, Jasraj and Keerat stood first in their respective age groups.



SCD college being used as store for keeping EVMs
Hampering studies of students, says principal

Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The Hindi department at SCD Government College is being used for the purpose of keeping EVMs and security personnel by the Election Commission.It is disrupting the studies of students of the department at the college.

Security personnel have blocked the entry of students towards the room where EVMs are kept. Ironically, one room is not in use but the election staff is not willing to give it to the college authorities. The common room at the college and a room in the commerce department have also been occupied.

Meanwhile, classes are being managed in other departments. Students of the department are taking classes in seminar hall and old hall.

More than 20 persons of the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Punjab Police are deployed for the security of EVM machines in the department building. Security personnel are using two different rooms for residential purposes.

Dr Mukesh Arora, head, department of Hindi, said, "We have to follow the instructions of the Election Commission but it is a month-long process and our study is suffering. We are demanding a room back, which is not in use for the staff. Otherwise, we are adjusting the classes by changing the time schedules".

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar said, "Hindi department is facing more problems because they have to manage the classrooms in other departments. No doubt, studies are suffering. But the election authorities have promised us that the problem will be solved on Monday".



Teachers to screen students’ eyesight
Health dept to train 32,000 teachers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
The health department has chosen an effective method to control blindness in the state. The department has started a project in collaboration with schoolteachers to screen schoolchildren’s eyesight. In this project, the department will train more than 32,000 teachers all over the state.

The department used to check children’s eyesight under the National Programme for Blindness. The department started School Health Programme under the Rural Health Mission in 2009. But, a huge number of schoolchildren has come as a difficulty in accomplishing the task. So, the department would now be facilitating training to the school teacher to check children’s eyesight on initial stage.

The department is conducting two-day training for teachers in this regard. It will provide a vision chart to the teachers of all the government and aided schools to examine students’ eyesight. During this initial screening, if teachers find any children with weak eyesight, he will be asked to see optometrists at the primary health centre.

Dr Daljit Singh Kochar, SMO, eye mobile unit, said: "We are training teachers for the screening of students’ eyesight. It is very simple to examine the vision chart. With the initiation of this programme, regular checkup of children would become viable, which otherwise was possible only after every six months by the department." The department also provides students with spectacles.



Strengthen brotherhood and follow path of truth: Shahi Imam
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 5
The Shahi Imam of Punjab ,Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, today asked the Muslims to strengthen mutual brotherhood and follow the path of truth and honesty as shown by the Prophet Mohammed.

Addressing a religious congregation at Jama Masjid to mark the "12 Rabi-Ul-Avval" day, he said the day marks arrival of Prophet Mohammed in this world and his departure also after teaching the lessons of love, mutual trust and brotherhood to the humanity during his life span of 63 years. "The members of the Muslim community ought to take a pledge to live their life as per the teachings of the Prophet rather than observing the day with joy or sorrow."

The Shai Imam said even after 1,400 years, the teachings of Prophet Mohammed were equally relevant today and served as a guiding spirit . He also dwelt upon the reformist movement launched by Prophet Mohammed who had rooted out the social evil of burying the girl child alive by ordaining that the girl child be accepted as a gift of God.

Making a fervent appeal to the community to whole-heartedly take part in the activities of the community welfare and charity, the Imam said that Islam had always preached the message of peace and communal harmony. "The nefarious designs of certain communal organisations to link Islam with terrorism were not only wrong but reprehensible.



Lecture at RIMT
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh February 5
An interactive session on ‘Global Education Environment’ and the importance of having an optimistic yet rational approach towards settling abroad was recently organised by the RIMT Management Campus.

The programme was conducted by Mr Nijel Cumings, general manager (sub-continent), ICL Business School Auckland, New Zealand, an expert in International Education.

Mr Nijel shared his observations and experiences regarding the opportunities available internationally and the skill set required by students who plan to settle abroad, with special reference to New Zealand.

He also said that India’s strength lied in its vastness, and the young population which will drive growth in the coming years.

The students of RIMT actively participated in the programme. RIMT Group chairman Dr Hukam Chand Bansal said that more such programs are in the offing to expose the students of RIMT to international business environment.

Dr BS Bhatia, director general, RIMT Management Campus, Dr Vivek Inder Kochar, director, RIMT Institute of Management and Computer Technology, Dr SN Panda, principal, Regional Institute of Management and Technology were also present during the session.



Delay in dues upsets Pensioners
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 5
A meeting of the Government Pensioners Association was held at Com KK Kaushal Memorial Bhawan Doraha. Pawan Kumar Kaushal presided over the meeting.

Various difficulties faced by the pensioners were discussed in detail during the meeting. The memebers condemned the large scale corruption prevalent throughout India.

“A lot of cases regarding pensioners are lying pending in the concerned offices. Many cases are pending in District Education Office, which needs to be cleared at the earliest," said Pawan Kumar Kaushal, president, Government Pensioners Association, Doraha.

The members also requested the pension disbursing bank authorities to bring to an end to the harassment suffered by pensioners regarding the payment of any arrears, allowances etc so that the pensioners may not be harassed at this stage of their life.

A resolution was passed in the meeting to support any movement against corruption. Mehar Singh, Gurdial Dalal, Ranjit Singh Tiwana, Darshan Singh, Harcharan Singh Heeran, Pritam Singh, Harbans Singh also addressed the meeting and presented their views. The members also paid rich tributes to the veteran peasant leader Rachhpal Singh.



120 physically challenged get artificial limbs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 5
As many as 120 physically challenged persons were provided artificial limbs, calipers, wheel chairs, tricycles and hearing aids free of cost at a free artificial limb distribution camp organised by Maharaja Aggarsain Sewa Sangh at Shree Laxmi Narain Mandir Dharamshala in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar here today. The technical assistance for the camp was provided by Bharat Vikas Parishad Trust.

In order to spread awareness as well as to sensitise the society about the abilities of the specially abled persons, the children from the Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Centre, the School for the Deaf and Dumb, Ashirwad and Ek Prayas presented a fascinating cultural programme at the occasion.

Dr Neelam Sodhi, president of the National Trust, who also runs an NGO - Ashirwad for CP children, was the compere of the cultural programme. She made an appeal to the society to give unconditional love and affection to the specially abled children and intensify efforts to bring them up like other normal kids.

The president of the sewa sangh Rajinder Gupta reiterated the commitment of his organisation to extend assistance to the physically challenged persons by providing them with artificial limbs, calipers and other necessities.

Among others, RP Gupta, Subhash Gupta, Raj Pal Gupta, Bhushan Noni, Ajit Singla, Ashok Goyal, Subhash Bansal, Kewal Krishan Goyal, Anshu Bansal, Vinay Gupta, Vinod Bansal, Raj Kumar, Sushil Garg, Dinesh Gupta, Dr Avinash Jindal, Ashwani Garg, Naresh Singla and BK Gupta were also present.



Book on Hindi criticism released at seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Unesco Club of Punjab organised a literary seminar at Punjabi Bhawan here today wherein Sahitya Academy Award winner noted novelist Prof Niranjan Tasneem met his fans and readers and shared his life experiences as a novelist.

Pritpal Singh Kapoor, noted historian and former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University was the chief guest on the occasion.

Prof Kapoor released a book on Hindi criticism "Kahanikaar Yash Paul-Ek Yatharth Bodh" by Dr Sanjiv Dawar. Expressing his views on the book, Kapoor recalled the contribution of Yashpal as a great author of Punjab who depicted Punjab culture and history of pre-Independence period.

President of the club Dr GS Maan welcomed the guests and shed light on holding such literary seminars. Dr KK Minhas, general secretary of the club read her paper on the life and novels of Tasneem.

Dr Rajinder Toki, an eminent scholar, highlighted the works of Yashpal on this occasion.



‘Life more enjoyable without drugs’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 5
Boys looked like robots as they danced to the tunes of "electric" music and drew applause from the audience. Another performer performed tricks with his feet up in the air as he danced upside down. A fete with the theme of "Fight against Drugs" was organised at SCD Government College here today.

"Youths can enjoy and have fun in life without drugs. Drugs cannot match the high that one gets through dancing, music and other occupations," said Harpreet Singh, one of the organisers of the event.

"We want to propagate the message that life is more enjoyable without drugs," he said.

A dance performance by the Tanya Dance Academy and choreography by Happy Beat N Dance were the highlights of the fete.

Stalls had art and one-the-spot portraits on display.

A girl said that to get the sketch made was great fun. There were stalls for a studio, and a tour operator. Students flocked to food stalls during the fete.

A student of the college said that it such programmes for the obliteration of drugs from the society have to be organised more often and the youths should be shown the right way and their role in building a sound society.

"Understanding responsibility and then clarity about role of each individual towards a common goal about bring a positive change is important," he said.



Camp to exchange currency notes

HDFC Bank conducted ‘Coin and Notes Exchange Camp’ at Amloh Branch on Saturday. The Camp was organised by Bank's Chandigarh Currency Chest and was inaugurated by Artia Association Chairman Jeewan Puri.

Bank official Sunil Sethi said that it was the first camp of its kind organised for the benefit of people in the area. There was huge participation in the camp with around 400 people benefitting from the event Fresh currency notes and coins worth Rs 36.50 lakh were exchanged in the camp.



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