L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Flames of inadequacy engulf dept
Gritty fire-fighters have obsolete machinery to deal with emergency
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
As the city glows colours of festivities, the fire department of the MC turns pale. Having only 48 firemen, the department is ill-equipped to deal with any emergency. Undeterred, the staff said they were ready to handle any situation.

For the past many years, fire-fighters have been using obsolete machinery to douse flames in the city having a population of over 16 lakh. The fire department is one of the most neglected departments of the MC. At present, the department is working with just three leading firemen. Besides, the employees don't have masks to cover faces, leave aside any other safety equipment.

The 33 fire-fighting vehicles with the department are worn-out. Experts say the life of a fire engine is 10 years, but the fire department is still working with the vehicles manufactured in the 80s. Only 10 new models have been inducted into the fleet since 2002.

To make sure that the fire brigade in the city meets every challenge during Diwali, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation attached 15 of its drivers with the fire brigade last year. But this year, no such additional staff has been deputed with the fire brigade.

Additional Divisional Fire Officer (ADFO) Bhupinder Singh Sandhu confirmed that no additional workforce had been attached with the fire brigade so far. "Every year, there is spurt in fire incidents in the city. But still our staff is all set to deal with emergencies with the available resources," he claimed.

Fact file

  • For a population of 16,13,878 in the city, there are only 48 firemen against the sanctioned strength of 86.
  • There are only 19 drivers for 33 fire engines.
  • The department manages with just three leading firemen.
  • There is no 54-metre ladder to control a fire in a multi-storeyed building.
  • Around 40 more firemen are needed
  • There is no hydraulic ladder


275 cartons of illicit liquor seized
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The anti-narcotics cell of the police today raided a house in Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and recovered 275 cartons of illicit liquor. While 200 cartons were recovered from the house, 75 were found in a mini-truck parked in the compound of the house.

Following a tip-off, ACP (Crime) Gurbans Singh Bains and in charge of the anti-narcotics cell Harbans Singh conducted the raid.

The police was surprised to find out that the accused were selling adulterated whisky and scotch.

They procured empty bottles of premium quality liquor and filled adulterated liquor in these bottles and were selling it in the market, causing a loss to the state exchequer and playing with the lives of consumers.

The police also recovered empty bottles of premium brands, fake stickers, seal, boxes and a bottling machine.

ADCP (Crime) PS Pannu said the accused used to carry out their work with such precision that it was very difficult to differentiate between fake and real.

A case under Section 61-1-14 of the Excise Act, Sections 272, 420, 481, 482, 485, 486 of the IPC, Section 63 of Copy Right Act and Section 102 and 103 of the Trade Mark Act has been registered against four persons at the Sarabha Nagar police station. The accused have been identified as Ashwani Kumar, Rajeev kumar, Amandeep, alias Lucky, and Sonu. They escaped before the police raid. The accused hired the house on the outskirts of the city from a Delhi resident.

The police is ascertaining if the house owner was aware of the illegal activities. "The role of the printing press owner, who prints fake stickers, is also under the scanner," added Pannu.

Harbans Singh said the accused used to collect the empty bottles from the liquor vends, hotels, refilled the bottle with adulterated liquor and then sealed the bottles.

The police is on a lookout for the accused.



e-trip system: Two traders penalised
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The Excise and Taxation Department has penalised two traders for failing to upload the details of goods through the e-trip system. Sources said the traders dealing yarn and steel were caught transporting goods without filing details through the e-trip system.

A fine of Rs 4 lakh was slapped on the yarn dealer while the steel dealer was penalised Rs 4.5 lakh. Under the e-trip system, implemented from September 1 onwards, information regarding intra-state movement of goods (within Punjab) needs to be furnished by persons making sales of Rs 3 lakh or above in a single transaction, except in the case of iron and steel, where the threshold shall be Rs 2 lakh instead of Rs 3 lakh and above. "We have given enough time to the traders to adopt the new system. The violators will not be spared and a fine will be imposed on them as per law," said Anurag Verma, Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

How to fill e-trip form

  • Log on to www.pextax.com and click the e-trip link
  • Login with valid user ID and password. User ID and password will be the same as used for e-filing.
  • Fill in the form.
  • Click "insert" button to insert bill details. You can fill one detail per form. If transporting with more than one consignment, tick add bill check box.
  • Click "submit" button to save the record.
  • Click "pending entry" link. Select the entry number to view and confirm record (check entry completed, click “submit”)
  • Click completed entry link to view status of confirmed forms.



31 more patients test positive for dengue
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Thirty-one patients tested positive for dengue today. Eleven of them are from Dugri, Mullanpur, Khanna, Phullanwal, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Vishal Nagar, Gurnam Nagar, Lohara, Rishi Nagar and Sherpur-2 in Ludhiana district.

Three cases are from Hoshiarpur, four from Sangrur and Kapurthala, three from Fatehgarh Sahib, Amritsar and Patiala, nine from Jammu and Kashmir and one from Himachal Pradesh.

With this, the number of cases in city hospitals has reached 476. Of these, 247 cases surfaced in Ludhiana district.

Dr Kapil Chib, Medical Superintendent of SPS Apollo Hospitals, said a person running fever must consult a doctor.

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said those diagnosed with dengue needed extra care.

Dr Anureet Gill, senior consultant, SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, said, "'If a patient vomits constantly and has high fever, he or she needs to be admitted to a hospital. If platelet count drops to 50,000, hospitalisation is needed."

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said those showing symptoms of dengue could approach the Civil Hospital for undergoing MAC ELISA test.


  • Severe headache and high fever
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Retro orbital pain
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Bleeding gums



property tax
450 file returns in 10 days
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Taking the online route, more than 200 city residents logged on to the MC website, www.mcludhiana.gov.in, to file their property tax returns. Around 450 residents have filed their returns since October 2, the day the tax was imposed.

As per information, to date a total of 103 residents have filed their property tax returns through the civic body's Suvidha Centres, a total of 216 residents have filed their returns online and around 100 have filed these in the presence of the MC mobile teams.

The MC has generated a revenue of more than Rs 18 lakh in the first 10 days.

Replacing house tax, the state government has implemented property tax in the state. The Ludhiana MC started its recovery drive from October 2 onwards. The tax is based on self-assessment and the residents can easily calculate the amount that they have to pay. MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia said a large number of residents were filing their returns online. Kalia appealed to the residents to file their returns before November 30, if they wanted to avail 10 per cent rebate.

Important facts

  • Residents, who will pay tax before November 30, 2013, will get 10 per cent rebate.
  • For more details, one can log on to www.mcludhiana.gov.in.
  • The department will also upload the forms on the website and residents can fill in the forms online.
  • People can also file property tax returns through registered post to the Tax Superintendent of Zone A at room number 11. Besides, they can pay tax at 20 sub-zonal offices of the MC as per their convenience.
  • Help desks will be set up in zonal offices of the civic body. One centralised help desk has been established in the headquarters (Zone A office). The residents can enquire about tax and calculation by calling up at the helpline number 97800-22410.

Exemption from tax

  • Religious places, cremation grounds, cow sheds, historical buildings and registered charitable institutions (which are exempted from paying income tax under the Act, 1961).
  • Government schools and colleges, including institutions availing grant from the government, agriculture land and government hospitals.
  • Freedom fighters getting pension from the Central or state governments.
  • BPL families (having ID cards).
  • Widows will get an annual rebate of Rs 5,000 and the physically challenged (who get benefit under Section 80U of the Income Tax Act, 1961) will also get Rs 5,000.



NRI woman duped of Rs 1.5 crore
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The police has booked three persons, including a couple, for duping a 65-year-old US-based NRI woman of Rs 1.5 crore. The accused has been identified as Ashwani Puri, his wife Promila Puri of Vikas Nagar and their accomplice Ved Parkash.

The complainant, Ramesh Kumari, stated that Ashwani Puri, who was a chartered accountant, coaxed her into a lucrative investment plan at Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh.

Ramesh Kumari said Ashwani was her son's close friend. She deposited the amount in the accused's bank account for setting up a manufacturing unit at Kangra. While showing the transaction receipts, Ramesh Kumari said she had sent Rs 1.5 crore to Ashwani, his wife Promila and the couple's accomplice Ved Parkash. On learning that Ashwani had duped her, she demanded the money back, but the accused refused to return the money and reportedly threatened her. She complained to the police and a case under Section 420 has been registered.



Dasehra celebrated with pomp and show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Dasehra was celebrated with pomp and show across the city. The dusk saw effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakaran burning with the crackling noise of crackers. Hundreds of people gathered at different places to celebrate the victory of good over evil.

The Dasehra Ground at Daresi had one of the tallest effigies of Ravana (80-ft-tall) in the city. There was joy among the audience who had gathered at Dasehra grounds from various parts of the city.

“Dasehra fair at Daresi is one of the biggest fairs here and so is the effigy. This is the reason that many people come here to watch the effigy,” said a resident.

The festival was celebrated at various areas like Daresi, Upkar Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Dugri, etc. The celebrations continued late in the evening at the Dasehra melas and people played games and enjoyed swings at the fairs.

Greetings were exchanged throughout the day through SMSes and social media.

“One must learn something inspirational from the festival and try to become a good human being. No matter how learned or powerful you are, you will have to face defeat if you do evil,” says Ishwar Sharma, a resident.



‘Jhankis’ display ideals, teachings of Lord Rama
Our Correspondent

Dehlon/Mandi Ahmedgarh/ Raikot/Payal, October 13
Vijayadashmi, which marks the triumph of good over evil, was celebrated with fervour at various localities of this area falling under the jurisdiction of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts.

Besides burning the effigies of Ravana, Meghnad and Kumbhakarna, the organisers displayed ‘jhankis’ to portray the ideologies and teachings of Lord Rama.

Clad in colourful attires, residents, irrespective of class and creed, started gathering at different venues where the effigies of Ravana and his brothers were erected and stages were set for cultural programmes.

Vendors selling eatables, drinks and toys associated with the war between forces of Lord Rama and Ravana did a brisk business today.

The main function was organised by the Trimurti Ramlila and Dasehra Committee at MGMN Senior Secondary School at Ahmedgarh. People from over 20 villages, besides localities surrounding the town, gathered here to pay obeisance to the Lord Rama.

Choreographies, skits, bhangra and giddha kept the spectators glued to their seats till late in the afternoon when the effigy of Ravana was set afire by social leaders led by Dr Sunit Hind. Jatinder Kumar Happy chaired the stage and Deputy Superintendent of Police Amargarh Gurmit Singh was the chief guest.

The organisers felicitated artistes and volunteers of the Bhartiya Mahavir Dal for their outstanding performance and security arrangements during the past days.

Residents of Kalu Mall Ahata led by Sanjay Kakar celebrated Dasehra near Gandhi Chowk where effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad were burnt.

Activists and office-bearers of the Galianai Dasehra Committee, led by Om Parkash and Vijay Shahi, organised an elaborate cultural and religious programme at the Dasehra Ground, Dehlon, on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. SHO Inderjit Singh chaired the stage and vice-chairman of the Zila Parishad Parminder Rangian and Block Samiti chairman Harbans Singh Gopalpur were the guests of honour.

Members of families of Dubey clan, settled in various parts of the state, celebrated the festival at Dasehra Ground here today. Contrary to common practice, the devotees camp here for 10 days and worship Ravana on the last day.

The Sanatan Dharam Mahautsav Committee, Raikot, celebrated Dasehra at the Municipal Dasmesh Stadium in Raikot. Mahant Narayan Dass chaired the stage and former Parliamentary secretary Bikramjit Khalsa was the chief guest.

The police remained on its toe making security arrangements at and near the venues of the festival. SHOs Mandhir Singh, Jasbir Singh, Rajesh Sharma and Inderjit Singh led the policemen in their respective areas.



Ramlila artistes amuse audience during mock battle
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 13
Dasehra was celebrated amid fun and fervour at the Old Grain Market of Jagraon. Artistes playing the characters of Lord Rama, Laxmana, Hanuman, Ravana and others kept the audience amused during a mock battle between the forces of Lord Rama and Ravana before burning the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Meghnad.

Local MLA SR Kaler, Congress leader Isher Singh Meharban, SGPC Member Gurcharan Singh Grewal and former MLA Bhag Singh Mallha, former MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir and the members of organising committee and several other dignitaries were present on the occasion.

A large number of visitors carried the burnt wood used in the effigies of Ravana to their homes as it is considered a good omen. The number of visitors to the festival venue was quite less as compared to the past years. In fact, the number of visitors, especially from the rural areas, has reduced considerably for various reasons. Besides, a large number of local residents also hesitate to visit the venue along with their families.

However, a good thing about this year’s Dasehra festival was that unlike previous years no dance group or orchestra party was hired to perform for pulling crowd by the organising committee. The decision to this regard was taken due to strong resistance by different religious bodies as well as senior citizens who were against the vulgar dances during such an important religious festival.

According to sources, the local activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal, too, apposed such vulgar performances.

“Office-bearers of the local Dasehra Organising Committee, too, shared the similar sentiment and decided not to hire any orchestra party or dancers during the festival,” said Toni Verma, an activist of the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha, who was closely associated with the festival preparations.

Meanwhile, sweetmeat shop owners and ‘halwais’ earned good bucks as the visitors thronged their shops to buy sweets. Hot jalebis were the favourite dish for the visitors as long queues of people were witnessed on the stalls selling ‘jalebis’.



Here, prayers are offered to Ravana
Lovleen Bains

A statue of Ravana at Payal
A statue of Ravana at Payal. A Tribune photograph

Doraha, October 13
While the effigies of Ravana were set on fire today, the Dubey family of Payal worshipped the ten-headed demon king. They regard him to be their mighty god, who, if worshipped and revered on Dasehra, will stand by them through all thick and thin.

Despite criticism and disapproval, they continue to offer prayers to the King of Lanka as they feel that they alone can realise what Ravana is and what place of reverence does he holds in their hearts.

They have erected a permanent statue of Ravana so that nobody may think in terms of setting it on fire.

The mighty style in which the colourfully embellished idol of Ravana stands and the high esteem in which it is placed not only on the temple premises but also in the minds of the residents defeats the very purpose of celebrating Dasehra the way it is originally done.

Ravana, according to them, is a great scholar and a capable ruler. They not only launched a cleanliness drive around the place yesterday but also decorated the idol and guarded the place with ropes all around so that nobody could harm it in anyway. They began their prayers early in the morning today.

They said: “Ravana was a great scholar who no doubt possessed immense power. We place some crackers on his head and offer some liquor and goat’s blood to the statue. Once they forgot to worship him and that year they encountered various problems".

Dubeys are scattered in various parts of the country. But on Dasehra, they return to their native village, Payal, to offer prayers to Ravana so that they might not encounter any problems throughout the year.

“We think that this festival brings us closer. Hence, it is more auspicious for us. This festival has the immense power to keep us intact and get closer with every passing year. For this, we again owe our thanks to the mighty King of Lanka,” they said.



UCPMA to form youth club
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
For providing a single platform to the young budding entrepreneurs, United Cycle and Parts Association (UCPMA) will be forming a youth club. The main aim of forming the youth club will be to gather the youth at one stage so that they can share new ideas and ideology. Entrepreneurs till the age of 35 can become the member of the club.

"Youth is the future of the country and any country can progress only if its youth is united and full of fresh ideas. We are applying the same ideology on the industrial front. We have started working on the idea of forming a youth club," said Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma.

Giving information further he said regular meetings, seminars and workshops will be conducted at the club. Local industrialists who have made it big in their respective fields will be invited at the club to deliver lectures.

"Apart from local leaders in the industry we will also be inviting experts from Japan and China who will throw light on their business strategies. Offshore visits will also be arranged to get a better perspective of things," he added.

The club will not only help those who are already into business but will also provide assistance in term of knowledge to those youngsters who wish to start their new venture but do not know where to start from. "We do not want that our youth should waste their energy, intelligence and their mental ability by working in some other country. They should help in the progress nation by working in their own country," said Vishivkarma.

Meanwhile, Mr Joginder Kumar was elected as chairman of United Cycle and Parts Association. The association has also elected four members as vice-chairman. Jatinder Mittal, Joga Singh, Varinder Kapoor and Manmohan Singh Ubhi were elected as the vice-chairmen of the association.

Manjit Singh Khalsa will be the spokesperson and convener of the core committee and GL Pahwa will be the chief advisor of UCPMA.

After assuming the position of chairman, Joginder Kumar said they will be focusing on the overall development and progress of the small and tiny bicycle and bicycle parts industry.

"Big corporate houses are self dependent and the need of the hour is to make MSME sector self reliant. We will try to make them acquainted with the government's schemes so that they can make maximum benefit out of them. In addition to this, technology upgradation center will be re-opened next month which will prove to be a big boost for small and medium industries," he said.



MCPI opposes new taxes, hike in railway fare
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 13
The Marxist Communist Party of India - United (MCPI) has flayed hike in railway fares and the proposed hike in price of cooking gas cylinder. It has also lambasted the SAD-BJP government in Punjab for imposition of property tax on the urban population.

Party general secretary Kuldip Singh said here today that additional burden on the common people by way of hike in railway fares and LPG price will hit the people hard as the working class and other poor people are already facing crisis due to overall inflation and ever-rising prices of food items. The increase in railway freight will have a cascading effect on the price line as any increase in cost of transportation has to be finally borne by the end consumer.

He said while the Congress-led UPA government at the centre doesn’t bother about the pathetic plight of people, the state government had further compounded the situation by imposition of property tax on the urban population. The new tax was unwarranted and uncalled for, he said.

The MCPI leader criticised the state government for siding with the lobby of big builders and colonisers. He alleged that the developers were being given concessions while those who had invested their hard-earned money and life time savings in buying plots or properties were being penalised through levy of development charges and property tax.

The party called upon the centre and the state government to immediately withdraw these anti-people taxes and levies, and instead cut down wasteful expenditure so as to provide relief to the crisis-ridden masses.



Fad: Technology geeks excited over emergence of watch phones
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
With many mobile phone companies announcing watch-phones along with their handsets, it has excited technology enthusiasts and tech-geeks in the city. “It is fantastic that mobile phones are bringing back the watches.

Arrival of mobile phones was a big jolt to watch industry particularly the entry-level watch industry turning it into an elite thing. But with the coming of phone-watch, the things are set to change again,” says Rohit, a technology enthusiast in the city.

“With the phone companies now entering the watch segment, I hope that watch manufactures would bring out their own smart-watch phones. I think the companies would tie up for the great finish look with mobile phone companies,” says another resident.

The technology is set to change now, and the way we use phones is also going to change and it is fascinating to see how quickly the technology, particularly mobile phone technology is changing, says Abhishek, another self-professed technology buff. “Although Apple was supposed to have brought such a watch for the smartphone according to rumour mills, but companies like Samsung and Sony have already launched such watches,” he says.

Google is also supposed to come up with more technology that would allow wearing the phones like specs, so computers and smartphones would have a new level of portability, usage and make it ever more wearable, he adds.



teachers’ demands
Mixed response to Education Minister’s statement
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka assurance to the representatives of the 20 various teacher’s unions including Punjab Teachers Association, Government School Lecturer association, Government School Head Master Association and Master Cadre Union etc. that the state government would give due consideration to all of their legitimate demands has received a mixed response.

Gurbir Singh, press secretary, Master Cadre Union said, “The promises made by education minister are in the favour of teaching community. If the Education Minister would fulfill the promises then it would be good for us”.

Ramanjit Singh, district president, Democratic Employees Front said, “It is very easy for a politician to make the promises. Malukha has a history to make promises but he does not implement the committed things. If they issue all the orders regarding the demands of Union then we will welcome it.

Sukhdarshan Singh, president, Anti-copying Teachers Front said, “The promises will not work, education minister should implement the decision. The teachers have long pending demands government should address them sincerely

Assurance was given by Maluka to a delegation of the associations of Education Deptt., who called on the minister. The delegation of various associations apprised the minister about the problems being faced by the Masters/Lecturers and sought the immediate resolution of their demands. After listening to their demands, Maluka assured that all the associations that due consideration would be given to their all of their genuine demands adding that he was fully aware of the problems being faced by the masters, lecturers, head masters and principal of the government schools of the state and no stone would be left unturned to solve them.

He said the state government was fully committed for the welfare of the teachers and the recruitment process for vacant posts of the teachers and promotions as per the seniority would be initiated soon. The Minister further said the Punjab government is fully committed to provide the quality education in the state. The government was ready to spend liberally improving the infrastructure and fill up the vacant posts of the teachers in the government schools of the state.



BSP workers block NH1
Demand reservation in tenders floated by government
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Missionary workers of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) held a protest and blocked the National Highway-I for around 20 minutes at the Jalandhar Bypass here today. The missionary workers led by Ramanjeet Laly have been observing hunger strike for the past five days, demanding reservation in tenders in the government contracts for the economically backward section.

They blocked the traffic on the NH-I at Jalandhar bypass which led to long traffic jams. The police diverted the route and started the traffic.

Ramanjeet Laly said, “The Akali-BJP government has been donating the rice and grain to the Dalits. We don't want donations on the name of food, education and health facilities. We want the equal rights in the society. If the Punjab Government wants to empower the weaker section then they have to give 25 per cent partnership in government tenders. Give us equal opportunities for the economic growth. The education should be equal for all,” said Laly.

Finally, the administration promised the missionary workers that it will negotiate with the Chief Minister.



Keep stress at bay, says expert
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 13
“The need of the hour is to manage the traffic of the mind which keeps one on toes these days. It is possible only by de-cluttering and synchronisation. These words were expressed by Dr Gursaran Sidhu, a medical expert from Dorah, while interacting with the volunteers of the NSS camp at Guru Nanak National College Doraha today.

As Dr Sidhu talked of stress and the manner in which it is literally telling upon the health of the individuals, she said it is all about fixing ones priorities in life. “When the brain is teemed with thoughts, one should try and come out of the situation by closing oneself to the outer environment and setting the compass of one’s mind straight,” she said.

“Recharging one’s batteries once in a day by pondering over calmly and then resetting one’s urgent, important and mild requirements systematically in one line, can keep one cool and balanced. Many health risks can be covered by keeping oneself in form and stopping to worry over minor issues,” Dr. Sidhu added.

“One should also try to develop the capacity to practice the morning calm by closing the eyes, relaxing and coming inside out. Begin to think each morning as to the type of person you want to be for the rest of the day. You need to be focused each day as every single day is a fresh beginning and should be culminated on a satisfactory note,” she added.

“One should systematise and complete one thing and one time. Also, once in a month try to throw the bag of stale thoughts and unnecessary botherations out. One should get physical once in a while as both body and mind need synchronisation together. One should always try to accept a helping hand. Dissecting ones thoughts to do, defer and delegate daily chores is very important.

Last of all, one should be smart enough to plan tomorrow today so that the next may not turn out to be a dark black sheet where everything seems to be vague”.

Later, a health awareness programme was also launched in which Dr Sidhu entertained the problems and queries of all the volunteers one by one. The programme officer thanked the guest in the end.



Creating awareness through fests
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Though the college and universities organise youth festivals to develop the creativity and explore the artistic talent of students but the themes of art items often have a message for the change in the society.

It has been observed during the recently held youth festivals that the items presented by the students are only focused on few issues such as female feticide and women empowerment.

Apart from lectures, debates and extempore competitions, majority of the students take the theme of female feticide in cultural and other artistic events.

The themes of women empowerment female feticide dominate and almost every event like poster making, clay modeling, one-act play, skits, and processions.

It has been also observed that the singers, performers, judges and chief guests also focus on the female feticide, women empowerment and crime against women.

Interestingly, the strength of girls in universities like Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and veterinary university is more than the male students but still the students on youth festival present the cultural items about the women empowerment.

After the infamous Delhi rape case, this year, the rape issue was prominent in the themes of colleges.

Talking about the trend, Dr Amarjeet Singh said, “Indians are very emotional. They try to express their emotions on every platform. With the domination of such issues, the other issues of the society are often ignored. Moreover, the verity items should be present.”

Dr Mann Singh Toor, artist and associated with cultural activities said, “While visiting as judge in several youth festivals we have also observed the same. Most of the times, teachers and coaches suggested to the students to perform on such repetitive themes. Teachers should suggest new themes so the students express their creativity.”



Former BJP MLA passes away

Ludhiana, October 13
Former BJP MLA Harish Bedi died at a private hospital following a cardiac arrest this morning. Harish Bedi (56) had returned home after attending a religious function. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.

He was cremated at Gau Ghat Cremation Ground. Representatives of social, religious, educational and industrial associations, apart from people from political parties, were present on the occasion.

People close to the leader said he was suffering from heart problem earlier as well.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed grief over the untimely demise and sent condolence message to the bereaved family. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Information and Public Relations Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia also mourned the death of the leader through condolence message.

Heera Singh Gabria, chairman, Yojna Board, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, vice-chairman, MLAs Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Prem Mittal, MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari, BJP president Parveen Bansal, Satpal Gosain, Harish Dhanda, District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan apart from others were also present. — TNS



Eye bank inaugurated

Ludhiana, October 13
Sankara Eye Hospital today inaugurated an eye bank. It was established after the hospital got license for operating an eye bank. Renowned cornea surgeon, Dr Mukesh Aggarwal, has taken over as the director of eye bank said, "This latest addition to Sankara Eye Hospital facility will allow the hospital to do more better service for the community."

The inaugural function was attended by Manjit Singh, DPM, civil surgeon’s office, Ludhiana and other doctors of the city. Dr Aggarwal said the availability of an eye bank allows eye surgeons to do procedures like keratoplasty, which can be a boon for severely affected eyes. — TNS



60-yr-old man dies in road mishap
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
A 60-year-old man died after falling from a bike in the Kailash Nagar Chowk in Salem Tabri here today. The victim has been identified as Vipan Kumar. He was returning home along with his son, Vikas, on a bike after finishing his work from a factory unit in New Azad Nagar.

The victim's son said when they reached the Kailash Nagar Chowk, a stray dog came in front of the bike.

Vikas applied brakes and in the process lost control over the vehicle.

The father-son duo fell on the road. Vipan sustained serious head injury and was immediately rushed to a hospital. Doctors declared him brought dead at the hospital.



Budding singer dies in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
A budding singer, Sachin (30), from Chawni area died in a road mishap in Hoshiarpur during the wee hours here today. Sachin was going to Hoshiarpur to perform at a Jagran.

According to an eyewitness, he was crossing the road and was approaching his vehicle when he was hit by a motorcycle. Sachin sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a hospital where declared brought dead.

Sachin had got married merely nine months ago and was about the release his music album soon.



reporters’ diary
Technology sweeps decades old tradition

With the passage of time changes have also erupted in our customs and rituals also. Earlier Ramlila was staged in different localities and people use to eagerly wait for the show every evening. Women use to wind up their work early so that they do not miss any episode of the Ramlila. Entire family used to go for watching Ramlila. But with technology taking over, now pre-recorded videos or serials have taken place of live shows. This year at couple of places in the city, Ramanand Sagar's much hyped tele-serial "Ramayan" was shown in episodes while the actual Ramlila was nowhere to be seen. While at another place, a pre-recorded Ramlila was shown to the audience. "Ramlila has lost its charm as there is joy in seeing the recorded performance," said one of the visitors at Ramlila. At one of the nursery schools, Lord Rama and Sita were seen on a scooter rather than on a chariot.

Sheer arrogance

With land becoming a precious commodity, of late, the revenue staff, especially patwaris and kanugos, who maintain the ownership record of land, have become synonymous with corruption. The kind of money most of these employees make by manipulating the records, or even for genuine work like providing a copy of mutation, is beyond one's imagination. Even as getting caught in the act has almost become a routine for them, the fraternity, more often than not, stands behind the culprits in a shameless manner. Rather than trying to prove innocence of one of the patwaris, who was caught on the camera while taking a bribe, the patwaris in the district have decided to go on mass leave as a protest. Of course, birds of a feather flock together.

School dropouts

On the Ashtami Poojan day I came across a group of girls who were coming after being worshipped as "Kanjak". The group was being led by a self styled leader - a tall girl. She was instructing everyone in the group as where to go and where not to go. I asked the girl, "Do you go to school? She said, "Earlier I used to, but now I have left studies. The reason was simple as the teachers did not teach us anything and used to remain busy in eating one thing or the other. Many a times the teachers used to send students to the nearby market for bringing some snacks or the other for themselves.

Leader of the group continued further, "And you know who taught the junior students? The senior students used to teach the juniors. And if the senior failed to teach, the teachers used to beat them up. So why to go to school? It is better to stay at home."

Chinese Ravana

The Chinese industry has certainly taken over, not only our industries, but even the festivals by storm. When my nine-year-old nephew accompanied me to a Dasehra Mela today, he said something which left me wondering. "You all say that Ravana was from Lanka but I think he was from China." But when I asked him why he thought so, he immediately showed his Ravana mask which read "Made in China". It took me quiet a while to explain why it mentioned China and not "Lanka" and made me think that Chinese industry has literally invaded our lives and now even our festivals.

Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria and Puneet Pal Singh Gill



Teachers' delegation meets Education Minister

A delegation of Punjab-Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union met Sikandar Singh Maluka, Education Minister. "Our demand of merger was strongly raised by our state president, Gurcharan Singh Chahal during the meeting and the minister has also agreed to it. Maluka also ensured our union that he will forward the case of merger with favourable considerations to the Chief Minister for final approval. Our other demands like medical allowance, HRA, period adjustment as per govt schools, full retirement benefits up to 25 years of service and budget of salary for the next six months were also favoured by the minister," said Davinder Rehan, press secretary.

Death mourned

Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, today condoled the death of Harish Bedi, a senior BJP leader and former MLA. In a condolence message, Tewari said that he was shocked and grieved to learn about Bedi's sudden and untimely death. Expressing his condolences to the bereaved family, the minister said, it was an irreparable loss which can never be compensated. While praying for courage to the bereaved family, he prayed for the peace of to the departed soul.

Sai Miya Mir Foundation chairman, Hardyal Singh Aman, expressed his condolence for the demise of Tajinderpal Singh Soni, the youngest son of SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar. He said this void was hard to fill for the bereaved family.

Bhookhri Kalan win overall trophy

Block-level games were held at Government Primary School, Bhamian Khurd. Bhookhri Kalan won the overall trophy in the event. The games were inaugurated by BPEO Mangat.

'Fight social evils'

District Congress Committee president, Pawan Dewan, said people should understand the importance of Dasehra festival. He said understanding the importance of the festival, people should fight social evils in the society and should attain victory against them, he said this while attending Dasehra celebrations at Daresi ground.


A meeting of the SSA/RMSA/CSS Teacher Union members was held with the Education Minister, Education Secretary and the DGSE, according to union members. They demanded that the teachers working for the past six to seven years should be regularised.

Meeting of N Railway Pensioners Welfare Association was held here on Sunday at the NR Men's Union Complex. It was chaired by SM Sharma, president of the association. Chairman of the association, Sher Singh, criticised the state government for burdening the public with the Property Tax. He alleged that the government was trying to make up for the monetary strain it is under by levying such taxes. — TNS



Durga Ashtami celebrated

Ludhiana: "Durga Ashtami" was celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour at GMT College of Education. President S Kashmir Singh Thind and Surinder Kaur Thind enlightened the “jyot”. Students recited devotional songs and 'Dandiya Rass' was played.

NSS camp

A seven-day NSS camp is being conducted at AS College for Women. The second day of the camp commenced with “Ashtmi Puja”. NSS volunteers visited Libra village to deliver lectures on the importance of education and health awareness. All the villagers, especially, women folk were made aware that how they could protect themselves from deadly diseases like dengue and malaria. Adult education was also provided thoroughly to the village people and they were made aware how to save water while doing their household chores. Aged people were made aware how to operate mobile phones and do their own signatures. On the following day i.e. third day, students actively participated in yoga session under the guidance of Jaspal Sharma. — TNS



Gambling racket busted, 7 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The Division No. 6 police nabbed seven persons from Shivaji Nagar and claimed to have busted a gambling racket. The police has recovered Rs 29,000 from the possession of the accused.

Anil Bhanoot, SHO, Division No. 6, said the accused had been identified as Rohit Soni, Prince Mahajan, Charanjit Singh, Hardball Singh, Sarveen, Surjit and Sunny Gupta. They all were nabbed following a tip-off.

All the accused were booked by the police under the relevant Sections of the IPC.



handball meet
Faridkot, Jalandhar, Bathinda, Ludhiana hog limelight in league matches
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
On the second day of 59th Inter-District School Games, teams from Taran Tarn besides Faridkot, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Ludhiana recorded victories in handball competitions. The Punjab State Inter District School Games being held at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University campus.

In the boy's U-19 category, Taran Tarn beat Sangrur 18-9, Faridkot beat Kapurthala 23-4, Jalandhar beat Roper 17-4, and Bathinda beat Ajitgarh 17-12 and Ludhiana beat Fazilka 25-7, Barnala beat Gurdaspur 19-11, Ferozepur beat Sangrur 14-6 and Kapurthala beat Navan Shear 17-11.

Likewise, in the girl’s tourney, Jalandhar outplayed Fazilka 8-6, Muktsar beat Barnala 10 -1, Jalandher beat Kapurthala 9-0, while Kairon pipped Sangrur 12-2 and Ludhiana defeat Ajitgarh 13-2.

Paramjit Kaur Chahal, District Education Officer (senior secondary), Ludhiana, Ajitpal Singh, Assistant Education Officer along with other officials of the education department including Sukhminder Singh Brar, Baljinder Singh, Satwant Singh and Satnam Singh were present on the occasion.



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