C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Accused’s remand extended
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
A local court today extended the police remand of Major Harish Chand Sharma (retd), who was arrested for allegedly raping three minors in Panchkula.

Suspecting that the accused has made a video clip of the victims, the Panchkula police today sought extension of the remand.

Major Harish Chand Sharma (retd) was arrested on Thursday night for physically abusing three minors. Sharma was residing in Sector 12, Panchkula, and was giving tuitions to girls.

“We sought a day’s police remand since we had to recover the accused’s computer,” said inspector Deepak Kumar, SHO, Sector 5 police station.

The heinous crime came to light when a woman in the neighbourhood, who holds religious classes for children of the locality, realised that the three girls were late. “When the girls reached my house, I saw the eldest girl whispering in the ear of the younger girls not to tell me about the toffees that they got from the accused. However, one of them spilled the beans,” she said. “I took them inside a room one by one and asked them to tell me the truth,” she added.

The woman called the neighbours and asked Sharma to come out of his house, who confessed to the crime.

Sharma was boarded out of the Army in the nineties on medical grounds. He has worked with the Sri Lankan peace keeping force in 1989.

Accused refused treatment

“My father is suffering from mania psychosis,” said the accused’s son. He said his father always refused for treatment. “We always used to ask him whether he was regularly taking his medicines or,” said the son.

Manic Psychosis

Manicpsychosis is a condition where an individual experiences a loss of contact with reality combined with extreme mood disturbances. A person affected by the mania often feels symptoms like excessive energy and excitement, irritability, restlessness and inability to focus. Psychosis causes discomforts such as delusional thoughts hallucinations and paranoia. Manic psychosis can be manifested by a host of mental illnesses. The causes of mania and psychosis range from genetics to chemical and biological changes in the brain, hormonal imbalances and substance abuse.



Residents fear losing their properties
Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Over 400 residents fear losing their prime properties in the city as the UT Estate Office has decided to push eviction proceedings against them.

The eviction proceeding are pending in the courts of three sub-divisional magistrates. In some cases, the proceedings have been pending for the past 18 years.

The properties, both residential and commercial, resumed by the estate office for building violations or misuse, have been facing eviction proceedings.

UT Estate Officer Rahul Gupta said: “We have urged the SDMs concerned to provide the list of pending eviction cases.”

The estate office has written to the finance department of the Chandigarh Administration to clarify about an order through which the latter had directed all department to withheld the eviction proceedings till the pendency of a case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The UT’s legal department said the orders of the court in the said case cannot be extended to all cases and the pending eviction proceedings can be resumed.

The law says the SDMs are empowered to conduct eviction proceedings under the Public Premises (PP) Act.

“In many cases, the owners approach higher authorities in the administration or move courts against the eviction proceedings and the case cases linger on. The status of these cases is being examined before initiating action,” said an official.

UT officials clarify that during the pendency of the eviction proceedings, the present status of the violation was also being examined. As part of this exercise, a list of 3,000 resumed properties, as per the official record, was being revised to ascertain the present status of the properties.

“Once it is clear that there is no stay on a resumed property, the eviction proceedings can be initiated,” said the officials.



Age no bar at Golf Club
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
It seems that the age was no bar when the dependents of the permanent members of Chandigarh Golf Club were given the green card membership.

Sample this: Aruna Singh’s age was 63, Tejinder Singh was 62 year-old and Suresh Paul Singh was 61 when they became the green card members of the club under the dependent category. These members became the green card holders in 2005 and 2007.

For the green card membership, the club had given one-time exemption to dependents who could not register themselves till the age of 21. But, many of these dependents were between the age of 40 and 63 when they were made members.

In 2005, as many as 313 applicants were given green card membership and in 2007, a total of 276 applicants were made green card members of the club. These memberships were declared null and void by a court on February 14.

Brig Sukhdev Singh (retd), a resident of Sector 33, had challenged the membership. These members were given green cards in violation of the CGC rules and regulations, he had alleged in the petition filed in the court.

When contacted, GS Sandhu, president, Chandigarh Golf Club, said they had not received the orders of the court. On the age of the green card members, he said: “I cannot comment on the allegations levelled in the petition.”

The issue was also raised by Lt Col Kapoor (retd) in his letter to the club wherein he had stated that in the garb of amendment to Rule 13 (K), wards of permanent members, even beyond the age of 60, who may now be having grandchildren and were never dependents in Rules 13 (J) and 13 (K), were granted the green card membership.

“A majority of them are between the age of 30 and 60. Besides the illegality of the amendment, even the rules of prudence were not applied in this case by the managing or screening committees,” the letter reads.

Age of dependents
Aruna Singh 63
Tejinder Singh 62
Pradeep Singh 62
Suresh Paul Singh 61
Simran Malik 57
Sarabjinder Singh 55
Jagmohan Singh 56
Jaskaran Singh 53
Ratinder Singh 56
Pardeep Singh 54



P’kula resident duped of Rs 60 lakh
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
A resident of Sector 15 was duped of Rs 60 lakh by a fraudster on the pretext of allotting a house in his name.

The victim, Rajeev Singla, a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula, realised that he was cheated when the accused did not transfer the registry of the house in his name.

A case has been registered at the Sector 5 police station. The economic offence wing of the police is investigating the case.

In his complaint to the police, Singla said the accused and his wife, residents of Sector 7, Panchkula, stuck the deal at Rs 60 lakh. “As per the agreement, he victim paid the amount, but the sale deed papers were signed by accused’s wife,” said inspector Dharambir Singh, in charge of the economic offence wing wing.

Recently, Satyaveer Kothari, a resident of Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 5, Panchkula, was duped of 90 lakh after he struck a deal for a plot for 2 crore.



Multi-drug resistant TB cases on rise in city
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
There has been a significant increase in the multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) cases in the city, with 80 patients being treated at city hospitals.

The issue assumes significance since the treatment available for MDR-TB in India comes with adverse affects of the medicines available. Also, it costs more than Rs 1 lakh per patient. This cost is borne by the health department.

Health experts say irregular and incomplete treatment with anti-TB drugs contribute to the spread and emergence of the drug-resistant TB.

“A major concern here is that the MDR-TB is highly contagious. The medicines available for drug-resistant TB can lead to side effects,” said state TB officer Dr Anil Garg.

Health officials say the actual number of patients suffering from the disease is likely to be much higher since those availing the treatment from private institutions are rarely notified.

The diagnosis available for the drug-resistant TB is called “Line Probe Assay”, which is testing of the sputum. The treatment continues for two years.

In Chandigarh, the sputum samples are collected in special TB clinics at dispensaries and the patient is then admitted to Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32. The sputum samples are to be examined multiple times during the treatment. These tests are performed at the microbiology lab in the PGIMER.

Facts about MDR-TB
It is a tuberculosis that is resistant at least to INH and Rifampicin — the two most powerful first-line anti-TB drugs.

Drugs available in India for the treatment of the MDR-TB are toxic in nature.


Their ordeal far from end
Patients have to wait for nine days to get ultrasound scanning done at PGI
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
For getting ultrasound scanning done or an X-ray examination at the PGIMER, a patient has to wait for nine days. Going by the date being issued to patients visiting the registration counter at the new OPD block on Monday, there is no date available at the labs for these tests before February 20.

Parijbal, a 40-year-old patient from Himachal Pradesh, has been struggling to manage her stay in the city for the treatment of kidneys at the PGIMER.

"I had to leave my three children alone to come here. I am all alone in the city, even my husband could not accompany me since he will have to leave his salary for taking leave. Also, he has to take care of the children. I have been asked to come on February 20 for the test. I do not know where to go."

For 35-year-old Harpeet Kaur, another kidney patient, the situation was equally difficult. "I have come here from Bathinda for the treatment. I had to wait for more than three hours at the OPD two days ago. The doctor asked me to get ultrasound report. Now, I have been issued February 20 as the date for the ultrasound scanning. I requested the official at the counter to issue a closer date. But he told me that many patients were already on the waiting list."

The situation was no different for patients queued up at radiology counter at the new OPD block today. There is an equal waiting time for X-ray at the hospital.

PGI officials said the priority of the appointment was fixed in accordance with the level of emergency. "Overcrowding is one the major reasons for the long waiting time. Our endeavour is to decide the priority of dates for tests in accordance with the urgency of a patient's treatment. Priority is given to a critical patient," said PGI's official spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.

An X-ray costs Rs 25 while an ultrasound scanning costs Rs 100 at the PGIMER.



UT Administration goes Punjab’s way
Decides to follow Punjab Recruitment of Ex-serviceman Rules
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
In Chandigarh, the ex-servicemen category will now include lineal descendents. For, the Chandigarh Administration has decided to follow the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-serviceman Rules. As per the rules, which came into existence some three decades ago, the category also includes lineal descendents.

The decision to follow the 1982 rules was communicated to the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a petition filed by Richa Sharma against the Union Territory of Chandigarh and other respondents though advocate GS Ghuman.

The development is significant as the dependents of ex-servicemen will now be entitled to benefits under the ex-servicemen quota. While framing the Punjab Recruitment Ex-servicemen Rules, vide notification dated February 2, 1982, 13 per cent of the vacancies, to be filled by direct appointment in the State Civil Services and posts connected with the state affairs, were reserved for ex-servicemen.

The rules provided that "where an ex-serviceman is not available for recruitment against the reserved vacancy, it will be filled by the wife or a dependent child".

As such, preference was to ex-serviceman. In the event of an ex-serviceman being unavailable, the unfilled vacancies were to be filled by either the wife or a dependent child.

Appearing before the Division Bench of Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, Ghuman on Richa Sharma's behalf sought quashing of corrigendum, wherein it was held that the dependents of ex-servicemen were not entitled to benefits under the ex-serviceman quota. Responding to the prayers, the UT Administration filed its reply, stating that Chandigarh had decided to follow the provisions contained in the Punjab Recruitment of Ex-serviceman Rules, 1982. On this basis, it was stated that the dependents of ex-servicemen would also get the same benefit.

Taking a note of the assertion, the Bench disposed of the petition with a direction to the respondents to carry out a selection process in accordance with the rules and "consider the cases of the dependents of all ex-servicemen under the said rules, as expeditiously as possible and in any case within a period of two months from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order".



Swine flu cases decline in city
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The number of swine flu cases reported in the city has declined drastically since 2009 when the disease had first hit the city.

There has been an overall decline in the number of cases in the city from 157 in 2009 to 26 this year. Officials in the health department said swine flu was not as severe a disease as was being perceived and not irreversible.

Going by data available with the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), while there has been an overall decline in the number of cases in the past four years, the number has gone up this year. While there were no cases reported in 2011 in Chandigarh, the number turned out to be four last year and it has reached 26 this year (within two months).

The number of deaths reported were 8, 1 and 2 in 2009, 2010 and this year, while there were no deaths reported in 2011 and 2012.

“There is a lot of scare among the public regarding swine flu. But the disease is curable and not as severe. The number of deaths being reported against the total number of cases reported is not as high. Thus, there is no reason to panic. The residents only need to be cautious and avoid self-medication,” said an official at the NVBDCP.

The official said these cases were not epidemiologically linked and identifying the source of infection was difficult. "This implies that the spread of the virus is not intense and the cases have not been transmitted from one person to the other directly," he stated.

The number of cases reported at city hospitals (from region), including Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector 32, and PGIMER, has gone down from 888 in 2009 to 75 this year. The number of cases reported in 2010 was 50, while no cases were reported in 2011. The total number turned out to be 10 last year.

Note: The total number of cases reported at city hospitals included those reported among city residents.



New lease of life for 36 afghan children
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 16
Nine-year-old Bibi Faequh from Herat province of Afghanistan is eager to join school. A few weeks before, she could not have even dreamt of it, as she had been struggling for her life, due to a hole in her heart. A successful surgery by a team of specialised doctors of Fortis hospital gave her new lease of life.

Her father Abdul Hakim, a labourer, said that his daughter was fond of studies but she was unable attend her school due to her illness. “Now I am happy that she would be able to go to school”, said Abdul Hakim.

Bibi Faequh's case is not the sole case of such an illness, as a total of 36 children (25 boys and 11 girls) from various parts of Afghanistan, suffering from congenital heart defects, have been treated successfully so far, here in the hospital.

Kabul-based Mohammad Osman, father of a two-year-old Bibi Lima who also had a big hole in her heart, said that he had lost all the hopes. “Back in our country, we have no specialists and medical facilities. Though I had been taking my daughter to a private doctor for treatment, I knew it was not sufficient. Now that she has been treated, I am very happy she would live a normal life like other normal children”, said Osman.

These children are being treated as part of a tie-up between Fortis Hospital, Mohali, and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), a humanitarian organisation, involved in various health-related programmes in Afghanistan. The entire expenditure of the treatment is being borne by the ARCS.

“Under the agreement, we have conducted 36 cardiac surgeries”, said Dr TS Mahant, the Chief Cardiac Surgeon in the hospital, claiming that the fee charged from these patients was almost half of what the hospital normally charged. “We would now provide treatment to 40-50 Afghani children every month under the agreement,” claimed Dr Mahant.

Expressing gratitude to the doctors and staff, the parents of the children said that they were also impressed with the warmth and caring attitude of Indian people here.



Life in Afghanistan has changed now, says Kabul-based doctor
Akash Ghai

Mohali, February 16
“Our girls are leading normal life now”, said Dr Fatima Nasir from Kabul with pride while describing the improved conditions in Afghanistan.

Dr Fatima, who was in the town to meet the Afghani children, who had been treated at Fortis hospital. She is a renowned gynecologist and specialist in echocardiography, is also coordinator of Congenital Heart Disease Project of Afghanistan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), the humanitarian organisation working in Afghanistan, mainly to improve health scenario there.

“Gone are the days when there were several restrictions on our girls. Now they are leading independent lives, going to colleges, schools. Yes, there is still some problem in certain areas but the scenario is changed in most parts of the country”, said Dr Fatima, a mother of two school-going daughters.

“We lack hospital with advance medical facilities that’s why we are tying-up with top medical hospitals in other countries. We enter into agreements with the advance hospitals in other countries where we send our patients for treatment on nominal rates. Under CHD project, we are spending $ 2,500 on each patient and we have around 4,500 patients, registered under the project”, said Dr Fatima.

When asked being lady doctor whether she faced any problem at any point, Dr Fatima denied. She said, “I never face any threat or other problem. I even visited very sensitive areas while wearing my ‘burka’ (veil) to do my work. In fact, the medical staff, whether male or female, never had any such threat."

She added that the ACRS had its own resources of funds. “We are not depending on any agency for funding”, said Dr Fatima.



414 constables imparted training in weapons
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The PCR staff of the UT police underwent the firing practice at the firing range in Sector 25 here. Interestingly, women constables also went under this training. Police officials stated that since firing practice was a part of annual schedule of police official, Senior Officers desired that PCR staff should have training of using the weapons, being used during their routine duty.

In the first batch, as many as 218 officials of PCR staff, including 34 women constables did the firing practice on .9mm pistol and Carbine, on February 15. In the second batch, 196 PCR officials, including 31 women constables underwent practice sessions.

A total of 414 PCR officials undertook the annual firing practice, which was held for two-days.



Sambhar strays into residential area
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
A Sambhar strayed into the residential area of Mansa Devi Complex(MDC), Sector 4, Panchkula, here this morning. The animal suffered injuries after it was bitten by stray dogs and it slipped on the road due to rains.

Later, a team of forest officials was called on the spot and the animal was rushed to pet animal centre, Sector 3, Panchkula, for treatment. According to the forest officials, the sambhar seemed to be six-months-old.

“In the morning when I went outside, I saw a Sambhar near by my house. I did not know anything, so I rushed inside and called the police”, said Davinder Mahajan, President of the Residents’ Welfare Association of the Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 4, Panchkula.

He further added, “accordingly, the officials of the forest department were informed, who reached the spot to seize the animal.”

When asked the District Forest Officer (DFO), RK Sharma, he said. “The animal has been treated at the hospital and is safe now,”

This is for the third time that a Sambhar has strayed in this sector. “As the forest area lies adjacent to the Mansa Devi temple, the animals happen to enter the residential areas, here,” said a forest official.



P’kula police to ensure 'safe streets'
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 16
Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Ambala-Panchkula, Rajbir Deswal was surprised to see only 22 police personnel at the Chandimandir police station during his visit to all the police stations in Panchkula.

Given the fact that the police station has jurisdiction over 32 villages along with Barwala and Morni, Deswal felt the station was understaffed. Sources from the Sector-5 police station said Deswal pulled up a police officer at Chandimandir who was found without a cap.

“I was shocked to see just 22 policemen at the Chandimandir police station. To address the problem of an understaffed police department in Panchkula, we will be looking for new ways such as involving people through resident welfare associations,” said Deswal, while addressing the media at the Sector-14 police station.

Deswal also said the department would start ‘safe streets’ campaign to curb crime in Panchkula.

Under the campaign, all the police personnel except the skeleton staff of the police stations would be deployed on streets, especially at the sensitive zones, for a specified number of hours daily, he said.

The Commissioner paid a visit to all the police stations and instructed all the station house officers to encourage community policing. The Commissioner said he would be address public grievances every Tuesday and Friday at his office in Mansa Devi Complex.



Mohali family refuses to undergo treatment, again leaves hospital
Our Correspondent

Mohali, February 16
Efforts of the Mohali district administration to provide medical help to four members of a family reportedly suffering from depression proved futile as they once again walked out of the civil hospital last night refusing treatment.

Dildar Singh, a former employee of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, along with his wife, son and daughter were earlier admitted to the hospital two days ago, but had left the premises soon after, refusing any treatment. The police and an NGO had rescued them from a house in Phase III-B1, where they had allegedly confined themselves for a long time.

Led by a police party, they were again admitted to the hospital on the request of a naib tehsildar yesterday afternoon. They, however, gave in writing that they did not need any treatment.

Sources said Dildar, his wife and son felt “terrified and bewildered” at the hospital, while condition of his daughter was “critical”. “She weighed hardly 35 kg, was undernourished and it appeared she had not eaten anything for days,” said sources.

Dr Rajiv Bhalla, SMO in charge of the hospital, said the family could not be treated forcibly. The hospital, moreover, did not have a psychiatric ward to handle such patients.



A pioneer among women lawyers is no more
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Pritpal Kaur Wasu
Pritpal Kaur Wasu

Chandigarh, February 16
Not many would know that one of the first women to start law practice in the country belonged to Chandigarh. She was none other than Pritpal Kaur Wasu.

Besides being a lawyer, she had been a social worker and a political activist.

Pritpal Kaur Wasu died this week at the Sector 32 Government Medical College Hospital after a protracted illness. She was 92.

She also belonged to those legislators who sat in the erstwhile Punjab Legislative Council. She remained a member of the upper house for two terms from 1958 to 1970.

Besides one of the first women lawyers in the country, Pritpal Kaur Wasu also happened to be the first-ever chairperson in the women’s cell of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee in early 1960’s. She also remained the chairperson of the Punjab Social Welfare Board.

Since she was also closely associated with the All-India Women’s Conference as its

vice-president, she founded the Punjab branch of the All-India Women’s Conference in mid-fifties when Lakshmi Menon, Minister for External Affairs in Pundit Nehru’s Cabinet, was its chairperson.

The women conference had started the hostel for working women in Chandigarh.

In 1968 under exchange of leaders programme, the USA government for a 60-day stay to study their administrative and judicial systems invited her. For her deep understanding of the international affairs, she was chosen by the then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, to represent India in various delegations to attend conclaves under the aegis of the UNO and visited France, United Kingdom, Holland, Bulgaria and several other countries.

She is survived by her husband Joginder Singh Wasu (former Advocate General, Punjab), her son Gagandeep Singh Wasu (Additional Advocate General, Haryana), daughter-in-law Prerna Puri (IAS), and daughters Raminder and Rupinder Wasu. The antim ardas and bhog will be held tomorrow at the Sector 8 gurdwara.



Manipuri culture brought alive in city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The two-day festival of Manipuri dances and music began at Tagore Theatre today. Organised by Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal, in collaboration with Chandigarh Sangeet Natak Akademi, the inaugural day saw the Manipuri artistes presenting their ethnic dances and musical tradition.

Artistes staged Lai Haraoba, a Manipuri dance celebrated to please traditional deities. Through the performance, they portrayed stories relating to the origin of this universe and evolution of the plants and animals.

The next performance was “Dhom Choloam”, a drum dance performed to welcome the spring season.

The audience were spellbound on seeing “Thang Ta”, a martial art dance using swords and spears.

Another dance form, Vasantras, related to the advent of Vaishnavism in the region during the 18th century. 



panjab university
Research to be regularly assessed
PhD students will make two presentations to monitoring committee every year
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
The PhD students pursuing research at Panjab University will have to make at least two presentations every year to the Research Monitoring Committees (RMC) on the research work being carried out by them.

Based on these presentations, the committee will assess if the research work is satisfactory or not, said Dean Research Madhu Raka, to whom the committee will forward its assessment.

“Although presently a progressive report of the research scholar is compiled, it mostly remains on paper. Now we want the students to make regular presentations before the monitoring committee. It will ensure a better quality of research,” said Prof Madhu Raka.

The PU officials, however, said they had not decided upon the action to be taken against those students whose research would be assessed as unsatisfactory.

Online database

In a recent meeting of the Research Promotion Cell (RPC), it was also resolved the database of the research scholars would be uploaded on the PU website.

There are over 4,000 research scholars in the university who would also be issued teaching experience certificate by the chairperson of their department.

New hostel allotment rules

The cell has also made various recommendations for the hostel allotment rules for the research scholars. The PU officials said after enrolment, the hostel accommodation would be given to the PhD students on a sharing basis, and subject to availability, independent accommodation would be provided after registration.

The authorities said after the submission of thesis, a research scholar could retain the hostel accommodation for 15 days and at the time of viva examination, a researcher could have the hostel accommodation for a maximum duration of 15 days, on a request basis.



PU rose fest: Rangoli competition dominates Day 2

Chandigarh, February 16
Rangoli-making competition saw the maximum participation on the second day of the Panjab University Rose Festival.

Other events held included kite flying, face painting, slogan writing, collage making, mehendi designing, poetic recitation and debate. A play “Vidyotama Natakam” was also staged. — TNS



Treat for classical music lovers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Jasrangee Jugalbandi, a Mumbai-based group formed by disciples of eminent classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj, performed at MCM College here today.

The music department had organised the event to commemorate contributions made by Jitender Kumar to the department’s growth.

The lead vocalists, Ankita Joshi and Krishna SR Bonagane, performed Raga Nat Bhairav and Raga Madhuvanti.

The group’s rendition of the classical Indian music included the use of different keynotes to produce same result as per the Moorchna system. This unique rendition was highly appreciated by listners.

The melodious voice of the vocalists was complemented by the musical prowess of instrumentalists Siddesh Bicholkar and Abhinaya Ravande on harmonium and Manish Madankar and Vaibhav Karun Kadam on tabla.

The college principal, Dr Puneet Bedi, impressed upon the students the importance of such events in augmenting their knowledge and skills in music.



St John's boys highlight rights of girl child
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 16
Students of St John's High School, Sector 26, dedicated Valentine's Day to the cause of the girl child. They enacted a street play, "Mubarak Ho, Beti Hui Hai", exhorting the society to recognise and honour the gender equality and give girls the right to live and prosper.

To spread this message at the grassroot level, students of an NGO, Khelshala, who belong to the economically weaker section of the society, were invited to join celebrations and see the play.

St John's High School has been academically mentoring the Khelshala students for the last one year as a part of its outreach program.

School principal Kavita Das expressed delight over the day being observed in its true spirit of love and compassion, with sharing and caring at the heart of celebrations. She also congratulated members of Khelshala for their efforts.



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