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Kids wash their utensils after mid-day meals
Students of a government primary school wash untensils after having their mid-day meal in MuktsarMuktsar, December 20
In a violation of the Right to Education Act, students of most of the government schools in the district are cleaning utensils after having their mid-day meals.


Students of a government primary school wash untensils after having their mid-day meal in Muktsar. Photo by writer

Red Ribbon Express chugs into Faridkot
Mismanagement plays spoilsport for visitors
Faridkot, December 20
With a motto of "embarking on the journey of life", when the Red Ribbon Express, a special educational train on a mission to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, particularly among children and youth, chugged into Faridkot this morning, it raised the curiosity of thousands of school children.


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Councillor, son booked as man sets himself on fire
Bathinda, December 20
A municipal councillor and his son have been booked after a man set himself afire. In his complaint, Pawan Kumar of Phul town said he had gone to buy kerosene from the oil depot of the councillor's son, Vicky, who misbehaved with him and thrashed him. Later, he set himself on fire and received major fire injuries.





 

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Kids wash their utensils after mid-day meals
Practice continues unabated in government schools of Muktsar
Archit Watts
Tribune News Service

Muktsar, December 20
In a violation of the Right to Education Act, students of most of the government schools in the district are cleaning utensils after having their mid-day meals.

The students of government schools studying in classes up to VIII standard are provided with mid-day meals under a government scheme so as to improve their attendance in schools and to reduce the drop-out rate.

Though the education authorities concerned are well aware of the fact that students cannot be asked to clean utensils, the practice is going on in most of the schools here.

A visit to various government schools during the half time revealed that a majority of them were violating the norms under the Right to Education (RTE) Act with impunity. The practice is going unchecked not only at schools in rural areas but also at some schools located in the town.

When a teacher was asked why students were cleaning utensils, she replied that it was a good etiquette. "The students of our school not only wash hands after having their meals, but also clean utensils. It shows that they are very obedient and have good manners," said a teacher of a government school in Muktsar town.

However, a majority of students said they had been cleaning utensils regularly following the orders of their teachers, as cooks were already short-numbered and overburdened.

When contacted, District Education Officer Gurinderpal Kaur said, "The issue has come to my notice and I have even written to the higher-ups apprising them about the violation. Besides, an action has also been recommended against the cook of a Government Primary School in Bhullar village where students were recently found cleaning utensils."

She added, "The Director General of School Education (DGSE) has also been informed about the matter. Besides, the teachers responsible to serve the mid-day meals in their schools have been told to ensure that students are not made to clean utensils."

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Red Ribbon Express chugs into Faridkot
Mismanagement plays spoilsport for visitors

Faridkot, December 20
With a motto of "embarking on the journey of life", when the Red Ribbon Express, a special educational train on a mission to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, particularly among children and youth, chugged into Faridkot this morning, it raised the curiosity of thousands of school children.

Over 6,000 students from various schools in rural and urban areas of the district reached Faridkot railway station expecting that they would get the promised explicit information about HIV/AIDS in various compartments of the train. However, most of them returned disappointed due to utter mismanagement at the railway station.

Though a large number of young students, mostly from the rural belts of the district, showed keen interest in the special train as they had heard many mystifying tales veering around the HIV, most of them could not gain entry into the train. Their long wait in long serpentine queues to enter the train and see a documentary related to AIDS went in vain. Many of them returned home after clicking the photos of their classmates and teachers standing in front of the train.

Some students, who succeeded in getting entry into the train, sought to defy the taboos associated with sex education as they shot a volley of questions relating to sexual transmitted diseases and its link with HIV. Many students were curious to know from the counsellors how could the use of a syringe by a drug addict to inject drugs and quacks in rural area expose people to AIDS.

The six-coach train has three exhibition coaches, one each for counselling and medical services, an auditorium-cum-conference coach and a pantry car.

Faridkot Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat said the objective of the exhibition on the wheels was to inform people about preventive measures against the deadly virus and removing the stigma and overcoming the discrimination against people living with AIDS.

Since 1993, a total of 34,029 cases were found positive in Punjab and 2,541 people have died to this disease. In Faridkot, the total number of HIV/AIDS positive cases is 109, said Bhagat. ó TNS

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Councillor, son booked as man sets himself on fire
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 20
A municipal councillor and his son have been booked after a man set himself afire.

In his complaint, Pawan Kumar of Phul town said he had gone to buy kerosene from the oil depot of the councillor's son, Vicky, who misbehaved with him and thrashed him. Later, he set himself on fire and received major fire injuries.

He was referred to the Faridkot Medical College and Hospital where his condition is stated to be serious.

The police has registered a case under Sections 116, 306, 511 and 34 of the IPC against Vicky and his father Gobind Singh of Phul town.

Meanwhile, a section of area residents, including some shopkeepers, lawyers and others, protested against the registration of the case against the municipal councillor. They claimed that the councillor was not at mistake as the altercation took place between his son and the complainant.

The police said no arrest had been made so far and the case was being probed.

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