L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


1 killed, 2 hurt as shuttering collapses at mall
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Police officials inspect the site where the shuttering gave way in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Police officials inspect the site where the shuttering gave way in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune Photographs

Ludhiana, September 30
A labourer was killed and two sustained serious injuries when the shuttering of a block located on the eighth floor of an under construction shopping mall — Bharti Pavilion — collapsed near Session Chowk today.

Over 30 labourers were at work in the block when the shuttering collapsed. There are reports that some more workers may be struck under the debris.

The deceased has been identified as 22-year-old Kundan Nath. Shiv Nath (21) and Sudhir (24) were rushed to a hospital under critical condition. Ram Khilawan, who was working at the site said two labourers, identified as Sonu and Jai Parkash, were still missing. However, the contractor claimed that all the workers were safe.

The incident took place at around 1.30 pm when six labourers were working on the eighth floor. Suddenly the shuttering gave way and some labourers fell into the waterlogged basement, while some remained stuck on the iron shuttering for nearly half-an-hour.

There was a loud thud and about 1,200 labourers working at the site ran helter-skelter for cover. Some workers rushed towards the site and started the rescue operation.

A team of about 100 policemen led by ADCP Harmohan Singh and ADCP Joginder Singh reached the spot. Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh also reached the spot and supervised the rescue operation. He also ordered a probe into the incident.

A fire official said the rescue operation was hampered due to waterlogging in the basement of the under construction shopping mall. 


Workers hold protest, seek compensation
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The death of a worker following the shuttering collapse at the under construction shopping mall near Fountain Chowk has opened a can of worms for the construction company.

Annoyed at the poor safety measures at the site, more than 1,200 labourers, working at the under constructing shopping mall, staged a dharna and blocked traffic.

The workers complained that they were forced to work round-the-clock under inhuman conditions. They contractor has not paid their wages for past two months, they alleged.

Pawan Kumar, who was leading the workers, demanded registration of a criminal case against the contractor. The workers also demanded compensation for the kin of the deceased, Kundan Nath, and free medical treatment to the injured. “These supervisors make us work like dogs and do not pay us wages. It has been nearly two month since I have been paid," said Pawan Kumar.

The supervisors, including Akashdeep, who reached the spot following the incident, did not answer the media queries. When the workers ran amok and blocked the traffic at Session Chowk, the panic-stricken supervisors rushed outside the mall and stood at a safe distance near Extension Library.

Ram Kihlawan, another worker, said the net meant to protect the workers in case of the shuttering collapse was weak and it tore apart after the iron rods and plates fell on it.

"Labour leader, including Hargobind Tiwari, got an opportunity to instigate the workers. Perhaps by staging a protest, the labourers might be compensated and the labour leader would get cheap publicity," said a social worker who was witnessing the drama at Sessions Chowk. 



Two Cong workers killed, three hurt in road accident 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Sept 30
Two activists of the Congress were killed and three others were injured when the SUV they were travelling in rammed into a banyan tree near Latala village on the Ahmedgarh-Raekot road last night.

The victims were returning to their village near Jagraon after overseeing arrangements for today's party conference to be addressed by the PPCC chief and former Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh.

The deceased were identified as Daljit Singh and Bhagwant Singh of Rasulpur Mallah and Karnail Singh, Ravinder Singh and Harpreet Singh of the same village were injured seriously in the incident.

Investigations revealed that the victims had come to extend support to organisers of the Congress conference scheduled to take place at mela Chhapar today. They had travelled a distance of 2 km when the driver of the SUV lost control while manoeuvring a curve at Drain Bridge near Latala village and the vehicle overturned injuring all occupants.

The collision was so powerful that the vehicle jumped over the bridge and collided with a banyan tree on the other side of the drain.

Volunteers attending camp organised by Hind Hospital reached to rescue the victims and shifted them to different medical centres of the town and Ludhiana.

While Daljit Singh and Bhagwant were declared brought dead, other injured were shifted to tertiary centres for treatment.



Teachers block GT Road, another day of harassment for commuters
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Commuters faced the brunt of protests by teachers unions on yet another Sunday in the city today. Members of the Sikhya Provider Union, Punjab, and the Unaided Staff Aided Schools Front, Punjab, blocked the GT Road for over 90 minutes — from 2 pm to 3.30pm.

Members of both the unions organised their state-level rallies at the grain market located near the Jalandhar bypass. Once the rallies got over, they started marching towards the road and the police had use mild force to stop the protesters.

Following a blockade at Karabara Chowk, the traffic had to be diverted to alternative roads leading to traffic congestion. Being one of the busiest roads of the state, thousands of vehicles pass from the GT Road daily.

Rajwant Singh, a resident of Salem Tabri, said blocking of Karabara Chowk on Sunday is becoming a regular feature. “It’s sad that teachers are holding such protests which cause harassment to the commuters as well as residents of the area,” he said.

Another area resident Surjit Singh, who owns a shop near Karabara Chowk, demanded that the Ludhiana police should be strict on protesters. “If they don’t stop them from blocking this intersection, one day this problem is going to get bigger. It’s shameful that the teachers are holding protests by blocking the road,” he said.

The protesters, however, allowed a vehicle carrying Lord Ganesha’s idol to pass.

When contacted, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said holding protests was a democratic right of every citizen. “But democratic right does not mean that the protesters can harass others by blocking roads. We don’t want to use force against these protesters because they are our own brothers and sisters, but if they compel us, we will use force against them.” 



NRI dupes wife of Rs 1.15 crore
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
In yet another case of a man cheating on his wife, the city police has booked a US-based non-resident Indian (NRI) for transferring Rs 1.15 crore from the joint account of his wife to another bank in the city.

The NRI couple had strained relationship and were reportedly living separately. The incident came to light when Manjeet Kaur, a native of Bholath village in Kapurthala cried foul and accused her husband of usurping her money.

As the fraud took place in Ludhiana, the city police started investigations. Following a probe, a case has been registered against Tarsem, his father Surjit Singh, residents of Bains Avan village in Hoshiarpur, and an unidentified woman.

Harbhajan Singh, father of Manjeet Kaur, said in 2007 Tarsem and Manjeet had taken an insurance policy worth Rs 42.22 lakh. The also had a joint account in the Oriental Bank of Commerce in Jalandhar and Rs 81 lakh was deposit in it.

Harbhajan alleged that Tarsem allegedly surrendered the policy by presenting an unidentified woman as Manjeet before the insurance company officials. Harbhajan stated that the move was maliciously planned. Tarsem withdrew Rs 34 lakh from the policy and deposit the amount in the joint account at the Oriental Bank of Commerce. Tarsem then transferred the entire amount - Rs 1.15 crore -in the Oriental Bank of Commerce account. The amount was then transferred to the ICICI Bank in Ludhiana through cheques.

Investigations revealed that Manjeet's signatures on the cheques were forged and that the three accused had shifted to a safe haven with the money.

Gopal Kishan, SHO of the NRI police station said the report from the Forensic Science Laboratory had confirmed that the cheques were forged.

Investigating officer Harvinder Singh from NRI police station said: "Following an in-depth probe, we have registered a case under Sections 419, 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC against Tarsem Singh and Surjit Singh on the complaint of the victim's father." 

The couple had a joint account in the Oriental Bank of Commerce in Jalandhar. They had strained relations and were living separately. The NRI surrendered an insurance policy in his and his wife's name and withdrew Rs 34 lakh. He then deposited the amount in the joint account and later transferred the entire amount in the account to his ICICI Bank account by forging his wife's signatures on cheques



Police takes task of removing encroachments 

Ludhiana, September 30
With Municipal Corporation's tehbazaari wing failing to check encroachments, the city police has taken the task at hand.

The PCR fleet today used the public address system to shoo away the encroachers who were causing snarl-ups in the old city area. The PCR motorcycles frequented Calibre Palza at Bhadaur House today and removed the encroachments.

They used the public address system and warned people that the haphazardly parked vehicle would be toed away. Due to inadequate parking, the customers park their vehicle in the middle to the road leading to massive traffic jams. The traders, who are running their shops in the market, load the material on the vehicle by encroaching upon the road.

The vacant space of the under construction flyover at Lakkar Bridge in front of Calibre Plaza is also being used by the shopkeepers for parking vehicles. —TNS



Reporters’ Diary
Hug children at home, belt them up in car

Usually, it has been observed that people do not obey traffic rules. Many a times, people do not wear seat belts while driving. Many of them do not even use seat belts for their children. To educate such people about traffic rules and safe driving, a non-governmental organisation has installed a board at one of the busy intersections that reads - "Hug your children at home, secure them with a seat belt in car."

Oh my God!

Religious bigots are at it again. An otherwise wonderful and widely acclaimed movie -- Oh My God (OMG), featuring Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar -- has fallen prey to the pressure tactics of the self-styled leaders of the so called Hindu organisations, who objected to the release of the movie on September 28 on the ground that it would hurt the sentiments of the Hindu community. Ironically, both the police and the District Administration, rather than going by the law of the land, bowed before their dictats. Each time such bigotry is allowed to trample over the rational thinking, egos of the radical elements are further inflated, and they remain on the look out to prove yet another point, showing utter disregard to the feelings of the majority. Such intolerance towards works of fiction, depicted in movies, TV serials or for that matter in the print media, is a dangerous trend, and can have serious repercussions if not curbed with a heavy hand.

Unwarranted pressure tactics

"Oh My God", a Bollywood film, has been banned in the multiplexes of the city after the objection raised by religious organisations of the city. A huge number of movie lovers, however, are not happy with this stand taken by the District Administration. According to film critics, the movie exposes such people who run businesses in the name of God. Reacting to the pressure tactics of the groups objecting to the screening of the movie, a film buff quipped, "The day is not far away when the land mafia will also start protesting against the films which expose them or sand mafia, while thugs, thieves, robbers and other such anti-social elements will also adopt similar tactics to stage protests against the films showing them in a poor light.”

Exam before marriage

The marriage ceremony of a young girl was delayed by the girl herself who wanted to appear in an examination before tying the knot. While the bridegroom and other members of the marriage party waited, the bride, Balwinder Kaur, went to take the examination of BA English Part-I at Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phillaur, to clear her compartment. Other students appearing for the examination were surprised to see one of the candidates attired in a bridal dress. Balwinder completed her examination at 4.25 pm and rushed back to her village Ghurrka near Goraya for the "Anand Karaj".

Contributed by Anupam Bhagria, Kuldip Bhatia, Ashok Kaura, Charanjit Singh



Cultural heritage given a miss
Political and commercial engagements eclipse folk art forms at Chhapar Mela
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
Plea of art lovers and saviours of Punjab’s cultural heritage went unheard, as no particular space was earmarked for the folk singers and artistes at the Chhapar Mela.

Continuing with the disinterest towards folk artistes that has been noticed in the recent years, the political and commercial dominance eclipsed the cultural heritage of the event.

With none of the organisations present at the fair bothering to provide any literature on the history and legends related to the fair, the devotees had to corroborate the history with the help of inscriptions on walls of the shrines. Even here, they could hardly stay for long due to the heavy rush.

While the enthusiasts blamed the government for not making proper arrangements and also the folk artistes for not turning up for the mega event, the artistes lamented the poor response of the devotees and visitors that forced prominent folk singers to shy away from the event.

"Unfortunately the Administration has failed to safeguard the interests of art enthusiasts as well as artistes. I remember witnessing performances of the folk artistes who used to perform for days and nights together as enthusiasts kept encouraging them," said Jagtar Singh of Dhode village who, along with other enthusiasts, has been attending the fair for the last 20 years.

Lekh Raj Jugni, an artiste from the Khanauri region, lamented that his colleagues and mentors had stopped performing at the fair due to disinterest on the part of visitors and the callous attitude of the authorities. "How can we continue to perform when there are no listeners and applauders," said Jugni, adding that it was for the first time that he came alone to the fair and would return after paying obeisance at the shrine.

Randhir Singh of Sarinh village and Hamid Mohammad of Jandali village were among those whose enthusiasm faded away upon finding no folk singers organising an “akhara” at the venue. "Noise made by the loudspeakers will not let us enjoy and comprehend the meaningful couplets and melodious tunes on the folk instruments even if they were available," said both the enthusiasts.

The number of traditional folk singers, who once used to enthral visitors at the Chhappar Mela, has dropped significantly in the recent decades. A similar drop has been found in the number of listeners, who would earlier sit through the nights to listen to them. Commotion created by political conferences as well as loud western music has engulfed the voice of the folk singers.

The fair is considered to be one of the most important socio-cultural festivals of Punjab. Commercialisation and politicisation of the fair, however, has resulted in a situation wherein almost all the space near the shrine is auctioned on rent. Due to this, artistes fail to find suitable space to organise their ‘akharas’ with land owners, including individuals and the panchayat, preferring to rent it out to the highest bidders.

To address this issue, art lovers and enthusiasts had urged the higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the then Minister for tourism and cultural affairs, to earmark a particular space for the folk artistes. Their pleas, however, went unheard.



Huge crowds converge on political conferences
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
The third and final day of Mela Chhapar saw a huge crowd at the venue. The day being a Sunday, people from the neighbouring as well as far-flung areas visited the fair to pay obeisance as well as take part in various political conferences.

Leaders of various political parities left no stone unturned to show their strength by carrying a huge number of activists to the fair. Organisers of political conferences used varied methods to attract crowds and exhibit their worth to their masters. While the SAD and SAD (A) arranged 'dhadi jathas' to act as fillers between speeches, the Congress engaged folk singers to entertain the gathering in their “pandal”.

Probable candidates for the next Lok Sabha elections were also seen pleasing the senior visiting leaders of their parties.

The police, who remained on their toes, found it difficult to control the crowd. It also had a tough time handling vehicles carrying activists as everyone wanted to drive the vehicle to the conference site of the party. Separate parking places at the venue, however, eased the traffic to some extent.

SSP, Ludhiana (rural), Ashish Chaudhary, who is also in charge of the fair, said no untoward incident was reported during the fair.

To keep a check on the sale and use of liquor, special teams were constituted. Officials of excise department were also called in to check any illegal sale of liquor at the venue.

Cops in plains clothes were deputed at various points to prevent pick-pocketing and eve-teasing.

A sea of devotees also paid obeisance to the snake, symbol of the ‘nag devta', at the Guga Mari temple in Chhapar village on the final day of the fair.


  • Is black an anathema to the Akali Dal? The security personnel at the SAD (B) conference were wary of black purses and clothes. They were heard telling one of the visitors: "You are carrying a black bag and your shirt is black too. You'll have to deposit your bag with the security." Later, the security personnel explained to the visitor that a black cloth could be waved at the leaders to lodge protest
  • The majority of the speakers, irrespective of their political affiliation, failed to properly pronounce Guga, the embodiment of the “Naag Devta”. Names such as Goga, Goonga and Gogey were heard during various speeches
  • None of the senior political leaders bothered to pay obeisance at the shrine at the fair
  • Women, barring scribes and the police officials, were missing from the conferences of both the Congress and the Akalis
  • A policeman, deployed at the SAD conference, had to part with his one-month salary when he lost a bet to his colleague. The bet pertained to the family background of a firebrand woman leader who had addressed the rally today. The loser had wrongly claimed the speaker was the daughter of a former IGP from Malerkotla
  • For the first time in the history of the Chhapar Mela, the chief organiser of the SAD conference, known for his rich hospitality, had erected a makeshift air-conditioned room for the Chief Minister (CM). However, the CM did not stay for long in the room as its temperature had fallen much below the optimum temperature required for the human body
  • Leaders conducting the SAD and the Congress stages had to tug at trousers of various speakers in order to remind them of time management
  • Some SAD (B) leaders like Jagraon MLA SS Kaler used the stage to pledge their loyalty to the party. It was déjà vu for Kaler, who prior to his foray into politics, had attended the political conferences at the Chhapar Mela as tehsildar, SDM and ADCP
  • Former MP Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, with his homilies and wit, revved up the entertainment quotient of the Akali conference.
  • Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's name figured prominently in the Akali leaders' speeches.

— By Minna Zutshi and Mahesh Sharma 



Organisers make hay at expense of visitors
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
The rights of consumers remained at stake at the largest rural fair of the region, with the government making no proper arrangements to check the quality and the quantity of eatables and other items sold during the Chhapar Mela. Contrary to provisions of the Weights and Measurement Act and the Consumer Protection Act, a majority of the vendors had not got their weights and equipment checked from the department concerned in Ludhiana district.

The authorities had not even bothered to ask the vendors to display prices of various commodities.

The government treasury also failed to earn much in the form of taxes, while the organisers made huge gains at the expense of the visitors.

Having witnessed a favourable weather after a couple of years, over a million devotees visited the fair. The temple authorities, owners of the land surrounding the Guga Mari, and the organisers of fun rides and vends managed to make a good money.

Sales tax officials, however, remained away from the event. Although generally they do not allow shopkeepers to sell anything without proper billing, the procedures went for a ride at the fair where business in crores of rupees is transacted every year. None of the consumers were seen receiving bills for goods or services availed by them. Even in the case of entertainment tax, no proper records were maintained.

Though the state government spends a lot in organising the event every year, negligible revenue is earned from the largely attended fair. Hundreds of vendors, fun game organisers and cattle traders do brisk business during the fair, but there's a little that comes in way of fee or taxes to the treasury. 



Potable water in all houses within 30 months, promises CM Badal
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Chhapar (Ludhiana), September 30
Within two and a half years, each and every house, including hutments, in Punjab will have access to potable water. Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal said this while addressing the SAD (B) political conference at Chhapar Mela today.

Admitting that the people of Punjab had yet to get access to safe drinking water, he said at some places water was uranium-laced, while in other areas traces of heavy metal were found in water. He promised that drinking water in all villages, including those where waterworks were functional, would be tested and that remedial measures to provide potable water to all would be taken on priority.

To address the problem of unemployment, five vocational training centres would be operational in Punjab, out of which one would be located in Ludhiana, said the CM. Urging for a shift from paddy to other crops, he said paddy would have few buyers after a few years. “Other states are going surplus with paddy. Diversification is the need of the hour,” he added.

Referring to the establishment of the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) centre in Ludhiana, he said the institute was devoted to studies on wheat and maize.

On this occasion, various MLAs and party leaders requested the CM to expedite the developmental works in their respective areas. Badal’s response to this was a proposal that either the MLAs should visit him at Chandigarh or they should arrange for his visit to their areas. “If you come to Chandigarh, it will be around four-hour job. In case, you decide to invite me to your respective areas, it’ll take around two days to work it all out,” he said.

While revealing that he was saddened when his nephew (Manpreet Singh Badal) and two brothers left him (prior to the Vidhan Sabha polls), he took a potshot at their parting of ways with him: “The electorate was wise enough to choose what went in their favour.”

Among others present on the occasion included SAD Youth Wing President, and Revenue & Information & Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, SAD spokesman Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. The Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was supposed to attend the conference, skipped it as, according to Majithia, he was unwell.

Badal Not Iimpressed

Badal was not impressed with the numerical strength of the SAD gathering at the conference. He drew a parallel with the recently-held rally at Maur Mandi and said the gathering there was at least one and a half times larger than the one at the Chhapar Mela today. He said the Ludhiana leadership as well as the Sangrur leadership had pitched in for the rally. “The numerical strength of any gathering portends the coming times,” he added.



Join secular front, says Left

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Sept 30
Leftist organisations have called upon the residents to join the Third Secular Front constituted to “fight for the rights of common man”. The call was given during a rally organised jointly by the various social, trade and political organisations owing allegiance to the CPM and the CPI.

Speakers, including Charan Singh Birdi, general secretary of the CPM, and Joginder Dyal, nation council member of CPI, accused the major political parties of the region of exploiting religious sentiments of the people for political gains, and of ignoring interests of the lower strata of the society. They also claimed that the fundamental rights could not be restored until a strong joint secular third front was constituted. — OC



19 houses affected as electricity meters gutted
Our Correspondent

The box, in which 19 electricity meters were installed, after it caught fire at Bhaurla village on Sunday.
The box, in which 19 electricity meters were installed, after it caught fire at Bhaurla village on Sunday. A tribune photograph

Khanna, September 30
The setting up of several electricity meters at one place proved to be a curse for 19 houses at Bhaurla village, when these meters were gutted in a fire that broke out suddenly today.

Affected villagers Amrik Singh and Jaspal Singh said the electricity meters of 19 houses of their village were installed at a single place in a single box. At about 2am last night they heard a blast. When they came out of their houses, they saw the box had caught fire. They immediately switched off the power supply and informed the JE at the Chawa office of Powercom. The villagers had demanded that the meters should be installed individually in all the houses. The villagers said that the fire could have been caused due to a short circuit.

SDO, Chawa, Major Singh said they were trying to verify the cause of the fire. He, however, assured that new meters would be installed as soon as possible.



Phillauri remembered on his birth anniversary
Ashok Kaura

A bust of Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri in Phillaur.
A bust of Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri in Phillaur. A tribune photograph

Phillaur, September 30
Although almost all the religious congregations of Hindus are either started or concluded with the prayer “Om Jai Jagdish Hare”, unfortunately very few people are aware of the author of this “aarti”. Composer of this popular hymn Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri was remembered at a few functions in Phillaur and Ludhiana on his 175th birth anniversary.

Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri Memorial Welfare Society, Punjab, headed by social activist Krishan Kumar Bawa celeberated the birth anniversary of Pt Phillauri at Shri Durga Mata Mandir, Ludhiana. Meanwhile, Pt Shardha Ram Phillauri Charitable Trust, Phillaur, headed by Ajay Sharma and renowned Gandhian Brij Bhushan Goyal, celebrated the occasion and paid tributes to Phillauri in the community hall in Phillaur today.

Earlier hundreds of residents visited and garlanded the statue of Phillauri near the local bus stand.

One of the greatest writers of his time, Phillauri, not only gave the legendary religious offering to the Hindus, but also took an active part in the freedom struggle. He also did significant work for the upliftment of widows and against child marriage.

Pt Shardha Ram Phillauri was born in a Brahmin family in the town of Phillaur in 1837. He was married to a Sikh woman, Mehtab Kaur. He learnt Gurmukhi script in 1844 at the age of seven. Later, he learnt Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, astrology and music in 1850. He met Christian priest Neutan in 1858 and translated one part of the Bible in Gurumukhi for the first time in 1868. Phillauri went on to author the first Hindi novel in 1888.



Jagraon in grip of viral fever
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 30
It is not just cases of dengue or swine flu that is causing a panic among the residents, viral fever has also gripped the town. There has been a considerable rise in the number of patients suffering from the viral fever during the last days.

As per records gathered from the local clinics, out of every 10 patients suffering from high fever, seven to eight patients were diagnosed with the viral fever, while only two or three had malaria, dengue or any other disease.

"There has been a huge rise in the number of patients suffering from viral fever these days. I have been treating around 20 to 25 patients suffering from viral fever everyday, which is around 70 percent more than the normal days," says Dr Pradeep Watts, a local physician.

"The climate change and pollution in air are the two main causes that lead to viral fever. The patients suffering from viral fever complain of throat infection, stomach infection, high fever and body pain. It might take five days to one week for a patient to recover from viral fever completely," adds Dr Watts.

Most of the local doctors agree that it is difficult to prevent viral fever because it is spread by virus present in the air or through contaminated food and water. According to doctors, the children are most likely to fall prey to it; therefore, parents should keep the surroundings clean and maintain proper hygiene.

"The viral fever is often self limiting, which means it subsides within four days to a week. Personal hygiene and avoiding contaminated food and water are basic precautions to prevent it," says Dr Rajinder Sharma, another physician.

The doctors suggest that the person suffering from viral fever may not like eating during the ailment, but it is important to take a proper diet to prevent further weakness. Patients should also consume a lot of water to avoid dehydration in case of stomach infections.



A victim of neglect at the dusk of their lives
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service,

Ludhiana, September 30
October 1 is celebrated as World Senior Citizens' Day. The age when you become old in all aspects, physically, spiritually and intellectually, and this is the time when one needs the care and affection of children, the most.

Unfortunately, with the degeneration of joint family system, dislocation of familiar bonds and loss of respect for the elderly, a majority of senior citizens lead a miserable life, today. Some are sent to the Senior Citizen Home by their "loved" ones while many of them are seen begging alms, there are others "dumped" into the four walls of the houses by none other than their own children.

But for a few "lucky" ones, the retired age was the best when one could enjoy life thoroughly in the company of children/grandchildren. Jaswant Kaur, a senior citizen, said she is blessed with loving and caring son and daughter-in-law. "I feel so bad to hear that children ill-treat their parents at the dusk of their lives. By the grace of God, my life revolves around my children/grandchildren, who take me wherever they go, it can be a movie show, shopping at a mall or dinner at a restaurant. They don't let me sit alone," she said.

Several such "blessed" senior citizens in the city pass their time in a perfect manner, playing with the grandchildren, updating themselves through various sections of media, going for morning and evening walks, sitting with fellow-beings in parks, going to clubs to spend evenings and visiting religious places.

Even then, the population of "neglected" senior citizens is growing day by day, unfortunately. They are being denied the basics of life as the younger generation fails to understand them and does not wish to pay heed to their advise.

"We have seen more life and we want to share the experience, but the younger generation feels that we are being nagging parents. At times, we realise that the wards are taking wrong decisions, but we dare not say anything to them. They refuse to listen to our outdated ideas. Under such circumstances, I prefer to accept their decision," said Satpal Mohindra (name changed), a resident of BRS Nagar here. 

Medical/counsellor advice

  • Ageing is a natural process, which inevitably occurs in human life cycle.
  • Ageing refers to a decline and the functional capacity of the organs of the human body, which occurs mostly due to physiological transformation.
  • Senior citizens constitute a precious reservoir of such human resource as is gifted with knowledge of various sorts, varied experiences and deep insights.
  • A majority of the senior citizens are physically fit and mentally alert. If given an appropriate opportunity, they can make significant contribution to the socio-economic development in society.



UNESCO: Population of elderly to cross two-billion mark by 2050
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service,

Ludhiana, September 30
The elderly population has witnessed an increase over the years. As per UNESCO estimates, the number of the aged (60+) is likely to reach 590 million in 2005. The figure will double by 2025.

By 2025, the world will have more elderly than young people and cross two billion mark by 2050. In India, the population of the elderly has increased from nearly 2 crore in 1951 to 7.2 crore in 2001. By 2025, about 18 per cent of the total population will be above 60 years of age.

Psychologists said the problems of the aged must be addressed by their wards. The economic problems like income deficiency and economic insecurity, physical and physiological problems, including health and medical problems and psycho-social problems, must be realised by the wards, they added.

Besides, the elderly have been given legal protection.

Hindu Law says

The statutory provision for the maintenance of parents under Hindu personal law comes under Section 20 of the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956. The Act is the first personal law statute in India. As is evident from the wording of the Section, the obligation to look after parents is not confined to sons only, daughters also have an equal duty towards parents. It is important to note that only those parents, who are financially unable to maintain themselves from any source, are entitled to seek maintenance under the Act.

Muslim Law says

Children have a duty to maintain their aged parents even under the Muslim law which states

(a) Children under easy circumstances are bound to maintain their poor parents, although the latter may be able to earn something for themselves.

(b) A son though under strained circumstances is bound to maintain his mother, if the mother is poor, though she may not be infirm.

(c) A son, who though poor, is earning something, is bound to support his father who earns nothing.

As per Tyabji, parents and grandparents under indigent circumstances are entitled, under Hanafi law, to maintenance from their children and grandchildren who have the means, even if they are able to earn their livelihood. Both sons and daughters have a duty to maintain their parents under the Muslim law. The obligation, however, is dependent on their having the means to do so.

Christian and Parsi Law says

Christians and Parsis have no personal laws for the maintenance of parents. Parents, who wish to seek maintenance, have to apply under provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code.



City favourite destination for protesters
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Ludhiana is fast becoming the most-preferred destination for protesting teachers.

The teachers claim that Ludhiana's geographical location has made it the most-preferred place.

Which is why, for the past several months, a number of state-level protests have taken place in the city. Interestingly, a majority of protests have taken place at the same venue, Grain market near the Jalandhar bypass on the main GT Road, causing inconvenience to the city residents.

Members of different unions claim that if the rally is organised in Bathinda, it becomes difficult for teachers from districts such as Ropar, Gurdaspur and Pathankot to attend the rally and go back the same day.

"We prefer Ludhiana because its situated in the centre of the state and has good bus and rail connectivity with other districts. From here, our teachers can get buses and trains for their respective towns even late at night," says Talwinder Singh, president of the SSA RMSA Non-Teaching Employees Union, Punjab.

But another issue which makes Ludhiana the most sought-after destination is the extent of traffic here.

"If we are able to block any of the main city roads for 10 minutes, it helps us in creating a lot of pressure on the district administration as well as the state government. We don't want to harass any person, but this is probably the only way through which the state government will solve our issues," says Ram Bhajan, state president of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) Rashtriya Madhiatmak Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) Central Sponsored Schemes (CSS) Teachers Union, Punjab.

The city residents demand that the district administration should designate a specific place where such protests should be held.

Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Field Ganj, said, "If the Chandigarh Administration can take the step, why can't the district administration?"



Neonates respond to pain, says expert
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Experts have come up with a new finding that neonates also perceive pain.

This was stated by Dr Vikram Datta, a consultant pediatrician at Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital, New Delhi.

He was in the city to attend the sixth Annual Conference of Indian Academy of Pediatrics, National Neonatology Forum and Intensive Care Chapters of Punjab organised by the department of pediatrics, Christian Medical College, Ludhiana.

Dr Datta said, "A foetus experiences pain when it is 32-week-old."

The expert, who addressed a gathering on “Management of Pain” in critically sick children, said, "There is a "scoring system" on the basis of which an expert can get to know about the intensity of pain a child is experiencing. Facial expressions are the best way to judge the pain."

He said, "The pain affects the developing brain of a newborn at later stages." He urged neonatologists and pediatricians to be more sensitive to the issue.

The academic session of the conference started with a talk on “Management of Jaundice in Newborns".

Dr Praveen Kumar, professor of neonatology from the PGI, Chandigarh, spoke on the issue.

Dr Kanav Anand from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi, dwelt on kidney problems in sick children in paediatric intensive care unit and emphasised on early detection of such disorders. Dr Arun Bansal from the PGI, Chandigarh, delivered a talk on “Rational Use of Antibiotics” and it was followed by a penal discussion by pediatricians Dr Jugesh Chhatwal, Dr HS Bains, Dr Gurmeetkaur and Dr Vikas Bansal. The topic generated a lot of interest among the audience.



People not keen on donating blood
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
Despite a number of awareness campaigns on blood donation, people prefer to get blood from an NGO or a blood bank.

Manjit Saini, founder of Salaam Zindagi, an NGO, working for thalassaemic children, said,"We have observed that people do not want to donate blood even for their relatives. In case of emergency, they approach NGOs or blood banks."

Dr GP Mangla, in-charge of the blood bank of Red Cross, said,"One must come forward for the noble cause. Though we always help those in need, one must not hesitate to save the life of a loved one. Most of them think that blood donation leads to weakness but the fact is that it raises the haemoglobin level.

Who can and can't donate blood

  • Anyone who is 18-year-old and weighs 45 kg
  • A donor's haemoglobin should be at least 12 gm
  • A diabetic person can also donate blood if he or she is physically fit.
  • Those running fever or diagnosed with hepatitis B, C or HIV, pregnant, menstruating and lactating mothers cannot donate blood.



Traffic route to be diverted
One side of Sidhwan Canal bridge to be closed from next week on account of construction of underpass
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
One side of the Sidhwan Canal bridge on the Ferozepur Road will be closed to vehicular traffic from next week on account of the construction of an underpass under the Sidhwan Canal Expressway project.

The private company, constructing the underpass, has already submitted a letter to the office of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari. It has also sent a copy of the letter to Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.

And on getting an approval, one side of the Sidhwan Canal bridge will be closed for at least three months.

Once the side is closed, vehicular traffic going towards Mullanpur, Jagraon, Moga or Ferozepur will have to be diverted.

Those going towards Mullanpur, Jagraon, Moga or Ferozepur will have to take a left turn opposite PAU gate number 1 and while crossing the Sidhwan Canal bridge near the MC Zone D office and passing through Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, will have come to the Ferozepur Road from opposite the Verka Milk plant.

All vehicles will pass through the posh locality of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

Similarly, the other side of the bridge (for traffic entering Ludhiana) will also be closed for three months after the completion of the work on the closed lanes.

Pardeep Kumar, project manager, stated that a letter in this regard had been submitted to the DC.

"We are yet to get the approval," said Pardeep Kumar.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said, "We have already conducted our drill rehearsal for the traffic plan." The foundation stone of Rs 318-crore Sidhwan Canal Expressway project was laid in 2009. The 26.9-km expressway project with a four-laned road and carriage ways on its either side will provide a bypass for traffic going to Ferozepur. The project has a total of nine bridges, which include five canal bridges, two rail over bridges (ROBs) and two flyovers. 



Carnival of lights draws crowds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
The two-day exhibition, Carnival of Lights, ended today. Being Sunday, the exhibition drew a good number of visitors today. Latest festive collection for personal and home fashion was brought to the city by designers and entrepreneurs from all over India.

Trendy fashion and traditional garments for men, women, children, home accessories such as lamps, flowers, trays, candles, soft furnishings, table, bed linen, furniture and interior accessories, garden furniture, bags and jewellery, trousseau and chocolates were on display.

"A variety of candles like floating candles, jelly candles, scented candles that are used not only to dispel darkness, but also for decoration and giving an eternal touch to the interiors caught everyone's fancy at the event, said Vandana, a resident.

The exhibitors said the event always drew huge crowds and people in Ludhiana, especially women.



Three drug peddlers held
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 30
The Dehlon police has nabbed three members of a gang of drug peddlers and seized a rich haul of pharmaceutical preparations on Saturday afternoon.

The accused were identified as Mohammad Jishan of Ballu Kee Basti, Kailon Gate, Malerkotla; Mohammad Sadiq of Mohalla Pathran Wali, Bhoomsi; and Mohammad Salim of Ishtahar Ganj, Malerkotla.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gill, Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the police team led by SHO, Dehlon, Amandeep Singh Brar arrested the accused when they were on their way to supply a consignment of habit-forming drugs to their customers, whose identity has not yet been established.

The police stopped their motorcycle at the Sayana village and became suspicious when they tried to flee.

A bag containing contrabands was recovered from them. It contained 2,500 capsules of Parvon Spas, 1,000 tablets of Carisol, and 250 bottles of Rescof.

Investigations revealed that the accused were involved in drug trafficking for a long time but could not be caught because of their novel modus operandi.

Instead of purchasing the drugs from the wholesale market at Ludhiana, they used get the supply at their places at a little higher price, and charge extra to further supply it to their customers at their places of residence.

"While one member used to keep the stock at a hidden place, another used to supply according to the orders received by the third member who roamed at some busy chowk or a market. Students, labourers and elderly persons were among their customers,” the police said.



House of NRI woman burgled
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 30
The house of one NRI woman, Balbir Kaur, was reportedly burgled in the Loh Garh village last night. The burglars took away Rs 10,000, a pair of gold earrings, one laptop and two rings from the house. The police has registered a case.

In another similar incident, a house was burgled in the wee hours in Goraya today. The house belonged to one Ashok Kumar. The burglars entered the house after cutting the grills and decamped with Rs 50,000 along with gold as well as silver ornaments worth more than Rs 3 lakh. The Goraya Police has registered a case.

6 fall ill after eating dal

Six members of a family fell ill after having dinner in Bachhowal village last night.

All of them were rushed to the local civil hospital. These included Amar Chand, Paramjit Kaur, Pawan Kum ar, Ramaljit, and Jatanjit. Amar Chand said they had noticed a lizard in the dal.



Two suicides reported in city
1 hangs himself from ceiling fan, other sets himself afire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 30
A 27-year-old youth committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence in Peeran Nagar, Kakowal Road, Basti Jodhewal, today. The deceased was identified as Sunil Kumar.

Sunil was stated to be under depression and was reportedly alone at his house.

In another case, Gursharan Singh, a resident of Prem Nagar, Lohara, set himself afire this evening.The police said he had gone for a walk and on the way he set himself afire in a vacant plot near his residence. It was learnt that he was upset. He was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his burn injuries. A case has been registered in this connection.

Two held with habit-forming drugs

The police today arrested two persons with habit-forming drugs.

The accused has been identified as Pawan Kumar, a resident of Muhalla Bajri, from Keshar Mandi. The police said 238 bottles of cough syrup, 1,120 injections and 380 capsules were recovered from his possession.

In another such case, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Manjra village, was held with 200 capsules, 180 bottles of drug syrup and 1,035 injections.

Shopkeepers meet Commissioner

Shopkeepers met the Commissioner and requested him to change the traffic regulations.

As per a recent move by the traffic police, the entry to Ghumar Mandi through the National Road has been banned. The move has led to traffic chaos.

The shopkeepers said the move had affected their business. They added that due to traffic chaos they were suffering losses. They urged the authorities to look into the matter.



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