L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fire brigade not fully equipped
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
As the festival of lights, Diwali, is round the corner, the fire brigade doesn’t seem to be fully equipped to deal with cases of fire, which are common during the festival. However, the MC officials claim that to deal with any fire incident during Diwali, they have deputed an additional workforce of 10 MC drivers with the fire brigade. The officials also claim that the fire engines have been fully repaired.

Last year, the fire brigade was provided with an additional workforce of 15 drivers, but this time only 10 drivers have been deputed.

But, the bigger question is that will these 10 drivers be able to drive the fire engines, which in itself is a difficult job because this additional workforce usually drives tippers, trucks and other MC vehicles.

It's an open secret that many of the drivers of tippers and garbage trucks have been involved in accidents due to reckless driving.

“Instead of deputing the additional workforce of 10 drivers, the MC should have provided us with permanent drivers. At present, there are more than 30 fire engines in the city and only 19 qualified drivers to operated them. The remaining fire engines are driven by firemen or other fire brigade staff because we have no other option,” said a fire brigade official.

The firefighting vehicles (fire engines), which are about 33 in number, are very old and the civic body gets them repaired regularly to ensure that there is no shortage of vehicles. With poor infrastructure and only 77 employees in the fire brigade, the city’s fire brigade is ill-equipped to tackle any major fire in the city. These employees include eight senior officials, 19 drivers and 50 firemen.

While speaking to The Tribune, Davinder Singh, MC Additional Commissioner and in charge of the fire brigade, claimed the fire tenders had been repaired and all of them are fully functional now.

“Besides, we have also deputed a workforce of 10 MC drivers with the fire brigade. These drivers are fully qualified to drive even the fire engines and will basically assist the fire brigade in its job,” said Davinder Singh.


Residents celebrate green Diwali, literally
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Health and environmental friendly city residents have decided to "Go Green" this Diwali. Even gifts decided by the people are green and eco-friendly. Gifting green plants and fresh flowers is yet another idea that has hit the crème of society.

The florist shops are also flooded with orders for the festival. Apart from decorating their own houses with flowers on Diwali, people are also buying flowers for gifting them to their near and dear ones.

Certain nurseries in the city have introduced special varieties of plants for gifting purposes. Bonsai plants, bamboo streaks and orchids are the varieties in demand.

"With the news of adulterated sweets and even dry fruits making rounds in the media, I decided to prepare sweets at home. I will be giving green plants and homemade sweets to my near and dear ones," said Ritika Aggarwal, a city resident.

Nicely wrapped in coloured papers, green plants gifts depict the thoughtfulness of the one who have endorsed this novel idea. "Global warming is a major challenge before us. Festivals and special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries are the best time to gift new life in the form of plants, which will help us in combating global warming apart from air pollution," adds Megha, another city resident.

"Keeping bamboo streaks in house brings luck and prosperity and it will be the best gift on Diwali. Apart from this, I will be gifting idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Laxmi in silver," said Surinder Kumar, a businessman from the city. 



Crackers with Punjabi film stars’ photos in demand
Tribune News Service

Crackers with photos of Punjabi film stars

Bollywood stars (below) are much in demand.
Crackers with photos of Punjabi film stars (above) and Bollywood stars (below) are much in demand. photos: inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, November 1
Pictures of film stars and celebrities have been adorning the covers of crackers for a long time. Pictures of Bollywood stars are used often illegally on the covers to promote the sales of the firecrackers.

Photos of Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai, Katrina Kaif adorn the covers of many firecrackers. A firecracker dealer said Bollywood always ruled the firecracker covers. This year, their use has only increased.

Popular cartoon characters like Spiderman, Ben10 are also found on the covers of some crackers. "Children are fond of cartoons and marketing companies selling children's products exploit this liking of theirs to the fullest. So, products like firecrackers are no exception," said a parent.

"My son likes crackers with cartoon characters," says Sarabjit, a resident.

The rise of Punjabi film industry has also rubbed onto the cracker industry. Stars like Diljit Doshanjh and Gippy Grewal are also finding place on cracker covers.

Gopal, a cracker retailer at Dana Mandi, said this time the demand for crackers with pictures of Punjabi film stars is high as Punjabi movies have done well.



Thieves target Diwali shoppers

Ludhiana, November 1
Visiting the Jawahar Nagar market for Diwali shopping proved costly for a couple. As they were busy buying goods, a thief stole their bag containing goods worth Rs 5,000.

The victim, Vishal Niyar said: “The incident took place at around 7:30 pm when we parked our scooter outside a shop and started purchasing candles and other valuables. When we looked back, we were shocked to find the bag, which was kept on the scooter, missing.”

Sources said two motorcycle-borne youths, who stole the bag, have been caught on a CCTV camera installed outside a shop. — TNS



Crackdown on gambling
19 arrested in two raids, Rs 4.6 lakh seized
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The police has unearthed a gambling racket operating in the posh Gurdev Nagar locality with the arrest of 11 persons. The police has recovered around Rs 2.1 lakh from the possession of the suspects.

The suspects have been identified as Mangat Singh, Satwinder Singh, Anil Kumar, Inderjit Singh, Suresh Kumar, Najar Singh, Satinder Singh, Kamaljit Sharma, Jaswinder Singh, Ashok Kumar and Harwinder Singh.

Giving details about the raid, Station House Officer (SHO) Dharampal Singh said Harwinder Singh was operating the betting racket from an office in Gurdev Nagar. Harwinder would tell people that he had a licence to run a gambling joint.

"We received a tip-off last evening and conducted a raid at the office. Eleven persons were arrested in the raid," said the SHO.

In another raid, the Dugri police arrested eight persons and recovered around Rs 2.5 lakh from THE CRPF quarters.

Those arrested have been identified as Manoj Kumar, Harsh Kumar,Rinkal Singh, Navjeet Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Ramesh Kumar, Sunil Kumar and Harish Kumar.

The police had received a tip-off that Kulwinder Singh was running a gambling joint at the CRPF quarters.



Dengue scare: Residents pin hopes on cracker smoke
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Despite repeated appeals of the Health Department, many people are still not taking the required precautions to save themselves from dengue thus falling an easy prey to the disease. Moreover, many people are now pinning their hopes on cracker smoke as they believe it would kill dengue mosquitoes. However the health authorities have denied it.

Bablu Kumar, a migrant form Orissa, said: "The Health Department sprays solutions to kill mosquitoes at some places but cracker smoke will be everywhere, hence the eradication of mosquitoes in a larger area."

He is not the only one who believe so. Dalvinder Singh of Dugri said: "It happens every year. Mosquitoes die in cracker smoke."

Contrary to it, the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, said: "There is no proof that cracker smoke kills mosquitoes. We are spraying anti-mosquito solutions wherever required."

District Epidemiologist Anil Verma said: "Every year after Diwali, temperatures decrease and dengue cases start declining. Cracker smoke has nothing to do with a decline in dengue cases."

Meanwhile, a team of the Health Department checked 66 desert coolers, 280 containers and found dengue larva in two desert coolers/drums in Model Town. The team also visited Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Model Gram, where stagnant water was found at three places as also in small containers.

A meeting was held with the staff of school regarding the prevention from dengue. The team also distributed pamphlets and sprayed pyrethrum solution in and around the houses of dengue patients.

44 more dengue cases

As many as 44 more cases of dengue were reported on Friday. Of these 25 patients are from Laxmi Nagar, Salim Tabri, Giaspura, Sherpur, Basti Jodhewal, Daba, Dhandari, Habowal Kalan, Model Town, Agar Nagar, Jassian Road, Khanna, Jagraon in Ludhiana district. Eighteen patients are from Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Pathankot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Bhatinda, Kapurthala, Barnala and Patiala.

16 challaned by MC teams

The health officer of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, Dr Charanjeet Uppal, said: "We have challaned 16 persons till October 30 on whose premises dengue larvae were found. Each of them has been fined and payment was received on the spot."

Preventive measures

  • Dengue spreads through mosquito bites during daytime
  • Mosquitoes breed in containers like flower pots, desert coolers and tanks having fresh water
  • Clean and dry desert coolers once a week
  • Don't keep open containers/tyres on rooftops
  • Wear full-sleeve shirts and cover feet in the morning and evening
  • Spray insecticides under tables, behind curtains
  • Use anti-mosquito nets



Woman sets herself on fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
A 32-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by setting herself on fire following a quarrel with the second wife of her husband at Kuldeep Nagar in Basti Jodhewal here today.

The woman has been identified as Umma, wife of Vijay Kumar. According to the local residents, she had been upset ever since her husband brought his second wife to the house.

The two women quarrelled following which Umma set herself on fire. 



Roof collapses in LPG cylinder blast
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Panic spread in the Bhadurke area after a cooking gas cylinder exploded at a house this afternoon. No one was injured in the incident though the roof of the house collapsed due to the explosion.

The cooking gas cylinder was installed at the house of a meat seller. The reason behind the explosion couldn't be ascertained till the filing of this report. 



School pledges eco-friendly Diwali
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Students of one of the local school and college today pledged to say no to crackers during diwali. Giving a serious thought to the increasing pollution level in the city which causes harm to both animals and plants students pledged to celebrate diwali without crackers.

As a part of Diwali celebrations, Green School Programme (GSP) and Eco Club members of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, have taken up a mission to celebrate eco-friendly Diwali. In order to spread the message of celebrating "Green Diwali" students of primary classes took out a rally from the school premises to the Model Town area in order to make the people aware of the prevailing noise and air pollution in the city. Students also gifted plant saplings as a symbol of peaceful Diwali to the people.

To sensitise the students and community about ways to celebrate safe, green and eco-friendly Diwali, pamphlets were distributed to the students as well as general public.

A lot of students are also appealing to public and urging friends on social networking sites to enjoy a peaceful Diwali by minimizing noise pollution.

Meanwhile environment society of Government College for Girls organised an event for celebrating Diwali in an eco-friendly way. Principal Gurminder Kaur appreciated the efforts put in by the society for keeping the environment pollution free. "Instead of bursting crackers, we should plant a tree," said she. 



Need to censor Punjabi songs: Study
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
A study has found that Punjabi music being churned out these days is irresponsible towards youth and concludes that it should be censored.

In a study conducted by Prof Harjeet Kaur, vice-principal, GHG College of Education, Raikot and Dr Harpreet Singh, director, CT Group of Institutes, it has been found that Punjabi songs are giving stimuli which conditions the youth towards unsocial practices. The study was conducted after collection of various Punjabi songs available in mobile phones of the college-going students.

Out of these songs, a sample of two hundred songs was selected at random comprising songs sung by a variety of singers. Such musical creations are considered to be popular amongst youth and they listen to them repeatedly. Such songs act as stimulants of learning new behavior by people if listened repeatedly, according to the researchers. Among the songs selected, almost 37 per cent songs had the mention of liquor as “shraab”, “daaru”, “brandy” etc and promote the consumption of the same. Many songs were found to be directly reinforcing the use of many intoxicants like liquor and opium mentioned as afeem, naagni etc among the youth. The consumption of such substances is positioned as 'socially acceptable' and a 'prestige issue', the study found.

Use of weapons is 'justified', considered 'pride' and a part of Punjabi culture in the songs. If Punjabi music kept on motivating young people to pick the weapons quite often, the anti-national agencies can exploit this fact to any extent and terrorism can revive at any time, the researchers said. Use of violence is encouraged as an acceptable Punjabi tradition in 32 per cent songs. The words used were as laraai, kutna, ragarha, vadhna, katna. Treating women as commodities of enjoyment is highly prevalent in lyrics of sixty per cent songs.

While racism is unconstitutional, the Punjabi music discriminates a particular community as the only dominant race. Punjabi culture is shown as highly racial promoting Jatts as the real and only representatives of Punjabi society. Not even a single song mentioned the hard work being put by Punjabi farmers. Rather the image of even farming community is promoted as ruthless, egoistic, and extravagant and those who indulge in fights for ego. Colleges are depicted to be utopia for love affairs, a breeding habitat for forcible relations among boys and girls, an abode to fights for false ego, fake status through use of luxury vehicles and even hatred for books, according to the study.

If lyrics of so called 'successful' Punjabi songs is analysed, the Punjabi language is facing distortion at many levels, the researchers found. Listening to many songs, it seems as if Punjab lyricists have completely forgotten language. The purity of Punjabi language is endangered if a proper check on use of vocabulary is not made by experts and educationists said the researchers.

The researchers suggested setting-up of a Censor Board for Punjabi music and movies so that social degradation among youth of Punjab can be checked. Apart from the artists themselves, the state government, educational institutions, language experts, NGOs, political activists will have to contribute in a planned manner to counter the degradation of Punjabi culture, concluded the researchers. 



Training programme on livestock concludes

Ludhiana, November 1
A 21-day training programme on "Advances in Diagnosis, Therapy and Prevention of Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases of Livestock" organised by Department of Veterinary Medicine of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, under the auspices of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi concluded today.

The valedictory function was attended by Dr SNS Randhawa, director, research, and heads of different departments. Compendium of lectures and CD containing lectures and presentations was released at the concluding function. Speaking on the occasion, Dr BK Bansal, course director and head of veterinary medicine department conveyed that twenty five participants from 15 states of India participated in the training programme.

Hands-on training was provided to the participants on the latest techniques of diagnosis viz; ECG, endoscopies, echocardiography and management of digestive and mineral disorders, mastitis, lameness, abdominal pain management in farm animals. Dr Swaran Singh and Dr Dhiraj Gupta were course coordinators. Besides faculty of various departments of College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, experts from different veterinary colleges of the country were also invited to deliver expert lectures and provide hands on training to the participants. — TNS



from schools
Diwali celebrations

Students of Maple Bear School

Greenland School (below) make ‘rangolis’ on the school premises in Ludhiana.
Students of Maple Bear School and Greenland School (below) make ‘rangolis’ on the school premises in Ludhiana. photos: inderjeet verma 

Diwali mela was celebrated today at GRD academy. The mela was held on the school campus. The Mela had stalls of various eatables like “panipuri”, “Chana-Tikki”. There were different games stalls like “matka”, dart game, lucky draw where anyone could try hand and win prizes. There was an art and craft exhibition by pre-primary and primary department. Many art pieces made by school students like diya and candles, glass paintings, decorative items were displayed in the Mela. The students enjoyed different rides like horse rides, helicopter rides, jumping jack. Those desirous could decorate their hands and nails at the mehandi and nail art corner. The audience was enthralled by the musical concert organised by the music department of the school. There was a lucky draw on the tickets bought by the students and others. The swings’ area was the main attraction where children thronged to enjoy rides.

Shifaly International School

Shifaly International School, Rahon Road, celebrated Diwali. The student cleaned their class rooms. Apart from this candle making, best out-of-waste, paper-bag making, greeting-making, classroom decoration and Rangoli competition was held as a part of competition. The winners were highly applauded by principal Rosy Jain and other management and staff.

Everest Public School

The 'Diwali Celebration Function 2013' was celebrated at Everest Public Senior Secondary School with great pomp and show. The tiny-tots came in the colourful dresses. The students also performed colourful programmes of dance, skits and music. Teachers delivered short stories about Lord Rama. On the occasion, Lakshmi Pooja, worship of the Goddess of wealth, was the main event. Students are advised that it is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum are made. Lamps are lit in the evening to welcome the goddess. They are believed to light up her path. Cakes and sweets were distributed among the children.

Bal Bharati Public School

Bal Bharati Public School celebrated the festival of lights "Deepawali" and a show was held showing beautiful clippings of Ramayana personifying the power of truth and determination. Students of pre-primary skillfully blended the saga through an array of powerful enactments. The voyage to The Ramayana began with the heart touching story of Shravana. The vivacity of teachings by Guru Vishwamitra was magnificently performed by students depicting that God is omnipresent. Moksha showered on 'Ahiliya' was narrated through a warm presentation by the students. The ideas and values of dharma were also depicted.

Spring Dale School

Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School celebrated Diwali with all religious fervour and zeal. The celebrations started with a lecture on Diwali in the morning assembly. The offices were well lit with diyas and candles. There was a Rangoli competition and Diya and candle decoration activity which displayed the creativity and artistic vision of students was held. Besides it, there was a painting competition and the children were advised by teachers to celebrate a safe and pollution free Diwali.

Greenland School

The students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School celebrated Diwali by participating in number of events. Sufi singing competition was organised in which students from VII to XI participated. Shubham of XI got the first prize, second prize was bagged by Smarth of VII and Simranjeet of X. Third prize was won by Simran Kaur of VIII and Rahul of XI. Inter- house Rangoli competition was also organised for the students. First prize was won by Kirti and Jyoti house. The day concluded with the Diwali wishes by the chairman-cum-director of the school.

Peace Public School

Fun, frolic, enthusiasm and creativity drenched the environment at Peace Public School as the whole campus thronged with festive spirit. Students participated in a plethora of activities and rubbed shoulders with each other to show case their creativity at best. Decoration of “Pooja Thali”, “Diyas”, “Candles”, “Buntings”, “Flower Rangoli”, paintings and food-fiesta were among the many attractions of the day. A workshop on candle-making was also organised for students.

Radha Vatika School

Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School celebrated the pious festival of Diwali today. Chairman Nirmal Parkash Sofat, Director RP Sharma and principal Arvind Sakarsudha graced the occasion with their benign presence. The programme started with candle lighting and 'Sundarkand Path' sung by students of 7th and 8th classes, which made the whole environment pure. Students presented a beautiful dance and a melodious song. Student of XI science delivered a speech and gave a message to celebrate pollution-free Diwali. Director of the school motivated the students to make it green and healthy Diwali by saying 'No to crackers'. Principal of the school wished happy and prosperous Diwali to all the students and teachers.

Dr RC Jain School

The festival of lights and Punjab day was celebrated in an innovative way in Drishti Dr RC Jain Senior Secondary Public School, Narangwal, Ludhiana. The classes were tastefully decorated and the arena shimmered brightly with diyas, candles, rangoli which were beautifully decorated by the children. The students conducted the special assembly which began with a prayer - “Agyaan ke andhero se”.

A short play was staged that depicted the modern Diwali which is clouded by the dark shadows of pretence, vanity and pollution. They conveyed that the real Diwali should be glittering with the gems of sympathy, compassion, mercy, charity, pity, generosity and benevolence. The students took a pledge to celebrate Diwali with simplicity, spreading love and compassion for our less fortunate brethren. The students evoked the blessings of Maa Lakshmi by singing aarti. A group dance was performed wishing everyone Happy Diwali. Punjab Day was also celebrated and a mini exhibition depicting the culture and heritage of Punjab was organised. The folk songs of the State, Boliyan, Tappay stole the show. Gidha and Bhangra brought out the zeal and enthusiasm of the children.

Small Wonders School

Small Wonders Nursery School celebrated Diwali today. Fun mela was arranged for the kids and parents. Various games were arranged for the kids and parents. Children had fun playing games and enjoying every moment. Parents participated in competitions like rangoli making, singing, drawing, food without fire etc.

MGM School

Fervour and enthusiasm of the students of MGM Public School was at its zenith when they got an opportunity to participate in the chain of competitions on the school premises. Amongst them include the class-board decoration, diya, candle decoration and rangoli making competitions.

Students with varied but innovative ideas did a mesmerizing presentation on the board displaying several themes. The assembly in the morning started with the hymn dedicated to sacred Diwali. Principal, Poonam Sharma wished a happy, prosperous and environment friendly Deepawali to all the students and the faculty members.

Bandi Chhod Divas

Students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School celebrated 'Bandi Chhod Divas' with the pious spirits and atmosphere was bustling with the memories, achievements and greatness of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji. Students participated very enthusiastically in 'Go Green Diwali'. They brought plants of medicinal values and sown them. A Debate was organised on the topic, 'Celebrate Green Diwali'. Students of classes IX and X delivered a strong message on 'Go Green Diwali' and on the life and works of Sri Guru Hargobind Ji. Principal of the school, Manjit Kaur wished students and staff members and she told them about the importance of Bandi Chhod Divas and 'Green Diwali'.

Punjab Day

Punjab Day was celebrated with lot of zeal in Ryan International School, Jamalpur. The Students from Classes Montessori to Class V paid tribute to the state by donning on the colourful costumes, eating and sharing the trade mark food and recapping the glorious contribution of the state. The day was filled with mirth and merriment as all students celebrated the special day. — TNS



from colleges

A quiz was organised by Department of Computer Science, Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana today under the able guidance o1itu Gupta, In-charge, Department of Computer Science and HOD Gaurav Joshi. Sandeep Aggarwal, vice-president, College Management Committee and principal Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma. The quiz was conducted by Divya Sandal and Ranjana, faculty of computer science. There were four teams Apple, Linux, Android and Windows having four members each. There were four rounds containing questions related to current affairs, history of IT, latest technology and IT awareness. LINUX team was the winner of the contest.

Workshop held

A two-day workshop on Enterprise Development for African Students under India-Africa Partnership Initiative by All India Management Association and Ministry of External Affairs concluded at PCTE Group of Institutes. Dr JS Juneja, Chairman SME Committee, AIMA, Dr Raj Aggarwal, Director, AIMA along with Dr KNS Kang, Director General, PCTE Group of Institutes were present on the occasion. African Students from various courses studying at PCTE participated in the event which was further followed by Industrial visits to companies. Students visited Vardhman and Avon Cycles as the part of industrial visit. Event included a business plan competition among the African students participating in the workshop. Students proposed various plans of business among which Kelleth, a student BBA-3rd year was declared first. “I have certain plans to execute innovative ideas in my home country and workshops like these help me to explore further,” said Kelleth, a student from Uganda. Dr Kang said that it was a great opportunity for young students to understand the potential of doing business globally while listening to various speakers and visiting Industry in the workshop. Dr. Kang highlighted the commitment of the college with African students as PCTE at present has more than 150 African students from 15 different countries across the continent. — TNS



Potters vanishing from society
Traditional workers taking jobs as modern equipment eat into their business
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 1
There were to be times when potters were an integral part of our society. But with the modern equipment catching up fast among the people, the potters are vanishing fast from the social scene. As the modern apparatus made of rubber, steel, plastic etc are taking place of traditional apparatus made of mud, the number of potters is declining every year. If the people continue to follow the same path, soon the art of making mud apparatus would be a part of history.

In fact, most of the people belonging to this tribe have already given up their traditional occupation of making mud apparatus and adopted other occupations under the changing scenario. The main reason behind this transition is the declining in the demand of mud apparatus like earthen lamps, pots, pitcher etc among the people. Besides, the new generation of the people belonging to this artistic tribe, are no more interested in taking up their traditional occupation.

The new generation prefers other occupations over their traditional work due to decline in the demand of products made of mud. For the past some years, a large number of youngsters belonging to tribe of potters have joined jobs in government and private sector and have adopted other occupations as a result of which the number of potters are declining rapidly.

The new generation finds it impossible to survive by making mud apparatus as these apparatus are not sellable in current era. “The mud apparatus are no more in demand. One can’t even earn bread for his family by selling mud apparatus as only a few people buy these,” says Bhim, who left the traditional occupation of his family and works as a carpenter.

There are still some people who make mud apparatus. But they too become active during the festival of Diwali when the demand of earthen lamp sore. But as the demand of earthen lamps made of mud is also declining in the festival season, the occupation of making mud diyas is also vanishing.

“There was a time when the flower pots made off mud were in huge demand. But now, the cemented pots have replaced these and it is too hard to survive by making mud apparatus these days,” says Ram Kumar, a potter of Jagraon.

“Earlier people used to buy diyas made of mud on Diwali but now only few people buy these while majority of the people prefer readymade diyas. I left this occupation three to four years ago and now, I just make these on Diwali for keeping our traditional occupation alive not for earning money,” adds Ram Kumar. 



Tewari demands district status for Jagraon
Tribune News Service

Jagraon/Ludhiana, November 1
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tewari, today demanded the district status for Jagraon. He said, Jagraon was a historical city with over three-century old history, besides it was an important religious centre as well.

The Union Minister appealed to the state government to consider this long-pending demand of the people of this historic town and the surrounding areas, particularly when much smaller places have been elevated to district status as compared to Jagraon.

Addressing a series of public meetings at different villages of the Jagaraon sub-division while distributing grants from his MP local area development funds here today, Tewari argued that the district status to Jagraon will also benefit a vast area surrounding it.

The Minister pointed out that the government had already made Jagraon a ‘police district’ to facilitate smooth functioning of the police department vis-a-vis the general public. He said, if Jagraon gets revenue district status, people will get immensely benefitted as they will not have to rush to Ludhiana for various works.

He said, Jagraon had better claims to the district status as compared to some other districts made by the Punjab government from time to time. Moreover, the purpose is to provide all the administrative facilities at the district level to the people as close as possible.

Tewari added that he will put up the case with the state government also hoping that it will understand and appreciate the need for granting district status to Jagraon for its history and geography. He said there were several surrounding towns like Raikote and Nakodar to name a few, which will also get benefitted if Jagraon gets district status. 



College prof makes it to PCS
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Minakshi Sood is elated at having secured 44th rank in the Punjab Civil Service (PCS) examination. The results of the exams were declared last evening.

Minakshi, who is an Assistant Professor at BCM College of Education, completed her postgraduation at SCD Government College before pursuing her degree in education.

It was her second attempt. She had taken sociology and public administration as the optional subjects. She said that she had aspired to become a civil servant right from her childhood. Her grandfather had been an Excise Inspector who acquainted her with the lives of civil servants after which she too decided to join the civil services.

Minakshi had been preparing for the exams for the past couple of years, she said.

Devoting three to four hours to studies every day after her job, she said that her hardwork and discipline has paid off.

She said one cannot succeed in the examination without hard work, proper planning and execution. Apart from regular studies, she kept abreast with the latest happenings by watching news channels and newspapers, she said.

She added that she also took coaching briefly for a couple of months. Although it is only self-study that pays off and no amount of coaching can help but coaching also provides one a direction. For interview part, one must be sincere and honest, she said. 



For many, Diwali is about exchanging gifts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Let the festive spirit take over because at no time of the year, because this is the time of the year when maximum gifts are exchanged. This is the reason people in the city are revelling in the feast of shopping and gifting.

For many people, Diwali is all about exchanging gifts and greetings. "I don't celebrate Diwali by firing the crackers and seeing the firecrackers since my childhood. This is the time of the year to exchange gifts and surprise people with the interesting gifts," said Komal, a resident of Dugri.

"Although all you expend becomes the same when it comes to give and take, this exchange brings with it the surprise of what you would get as a gift apart from strengthening of the bond with friends, relatives and acquaintances you exchange the gifts with," she added.

Many residents said they hardly exchange any gifts except for this time of the year. "I keep purchasing gifts throughout the year, picking up whatever I find interesting at exhibitions and when I travel. But I gift these items only during Diwali," said Jasbir, a resident. “This is the perfect time. For me, it is the gift festival," he adds.

Markets are flooded with many kinds of gifts this Diwali. Interesting concept of combining oil painting with the products like chocolates, wines or candles are in front.

Kanika Dhanda from Artistry Studio said that this was a very innovative concept in which that appeals to sense of sight as well as the sense of taste. Although gift packages were interestingly designed these days, yet adding a real oil painting lends another class to the traditional Diwali gift. These are real original oil paintings, so even when the wine or chocolates have been consumed, the paintings lying on the table would not go waste.

Another concept of designing chocolates within an artefact is in. "I have purchased an art piece which has some chocolates in it. So, after the chocolates are consumed, the artefact would serve a show piece in the living room," said Neha, another resident. 



MC staff doubt release of festival advance on time
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Due to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation's dwindling fiscal position, the employees are apprehending that the civic body would not be able to disburse festival advance to its employees before Diwali, which is just three days away. But the MC officials claim that they would be issuing the festival advance on time.

For the past many years, it has been a practice that before the festival of lights, all the MC employees get festival advance, which varies from Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000. Later, this advance is adjusted as per the employee's salary.

But due to the poor fiscal condition of the MC, the employees were apprehending that they would not get their festival advance on time.

When the last installment of Rs 17.5 crore (out of Rs 100 crore loan) was cleared, the employees came to know that these funds would be used for development works only.

"Due to shortage of funds, we get our monthly salaries very late. And we don't think that the MC would issue our festival advance before Diwali," informed an MC official.

But while speaking to The Tribune, MC Commissioner, Rahul Tewari, said that he had already issued orders that all the MC employees should be given festival advance within next couple of days. "Most probably, the employees would get their festival advance by tomorrow," informed the MC Commissioner.

MC Additional Commissioner, Isha Kalia, claimed that the MC is not short of funds. "We are all working hard and very soon, the MC would be surplus with funds. The festival advance would be issued on time and we would also ensure all the employees get their salaries on time," she stated. 



Government gives ‘delayed payment councils’ a miss
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The state government has failed to form "delayed payment councils" at District levels as a result medium and small enterprises are also unable to take due benefit from the scheme.

“After the recent decision of the Madras High Court, the "Delayed Payment Act" has become very strong. But due to the sluggish attitude of the Punjab Government the, industry of Punjab is being deprived of its benefits, said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Association of Small Industries of India (FASSI).

Adding further, Jindal said in other states, there are so many delayed payment councils in a state while in many states these are at district level but even after the repeated requests the Punjab Government is refusing to form such councils in major cities.

As a result, the industrialists of Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar have to move to Chandigarh for filing and contesting their cases.

Even the meeting of the only formed Delayed Payment Council at Chandigarh is not held on time resulting into the pendency of hundreds of such cases, said Jindal.



Society should launch struggle against corruption, says SSP
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 1
All sections of the society should come forward together to launch a struggle against the menace of increasing corruption. This message was delivered by the SSP Vigilance, Jalandhar Range, while presiding over a seminar conducted during Vigilance Awareness Week in the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Police Public School, Phillaur, today.

He disclosed that the people can register their complaints either on toll free numbers or through online facility as the corruption free society is the need of the hour.

The SSP said the vigilance department was installing large size hoardings at various public places in different towns of the state to spread awareness among the people and will conduct these types of seminars at various platforms in social and educational institutions. Awareness rallies would also be organised, the SSP added. He asked people to contact either on the department online site www.vigilancebureupunjab.org or on telephone numbers. The programme concluded with a painting competition.



Paddy procurement touches over 9 lakh MT in district
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 1
Claiming that paddy arrival in the mandis in the district had picked up and all arrangements for purchasing the produce were in place, the Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, today said that till October 31, the total arrival was to the extent of 9,57,011 metric tonnes (MT) out of which 8,98,997 MT (94 per cent) paddy had been purchased by government agencies and traders.

Giving details of the purchase of paddy by various agencies, he said Pungrain had purchased 2,86,700 MT, Markfed 1,72,035 MT, Punsup 2,51,452 MT, Punjab Warehousing 81,649 MT, FCI 9,121 MT and the traders had purchased 14,000 MT of paddy.

Aggarwal maintained that of the total crop procured by the government agencies, 87 per cent of the payment had already been made to the farmers.

The Deputy Commissioner had directed district managers of all the government procurement agencies to ensure immediate lifting of the purchased paddy from mandis while all the concerned sub divisional magistrates (SDMs) had been asked to keep a strict watch on the procurement of paddy in the mandis under their jurisdiction so that any problems being faced by the farmers could be solved on the spot and without any delay.

Aggarwal made a fervent plea with the farmers not to harvest their crop with combines during night and bring completely dried up paddy to the mandis so that they do not face any problem in selling their produce because of the moisture content.



Laser light decorations may harm eyes: Doctors
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Latest laser lights were seen in discotheques or for laser shows are now available in the market with their cost coming down. These lights are for decorative purposes. Starting at the prices of Rs 1500, these laser lights can cost up to tens of thousands.

Although such lights are being used these days as pointers for powerpoint presentations yet the high impact moving laser lights may be detrimental to your eyes. Doctors warn that when exposed to such lights for long, these can cause damage to the eye.

Because there is no standardisation and no specified wavelength, exposure to the eye can cause a serious damage to the eye," says Dr Ramesh from a super-specialty and lasik centre at BRS Nagar.

He said there may be no immediate noticeable effects to the exposure of the laser, but it may cause damage and weakening of the eyesight in the long run. There are rods and cones and pigments in the eye. With the exposure to light, these pigments keep changing which gives stimuli to brain. But with exposure to strong light like laser, these pigments deplete. The effect may be similar to looking at solar eclipse," he said. So one should not look directly into the lasers, he said.

A lot of the laser devices lack calibration and standardisation. Many of these are products are Chinese. So these should be avoided.

“A momentary exposure to such lights is all right. But one should not purposely look directly towards a laser light for long. It can cause damage to the eye," says a city-based eye-specialist, Dr Nitin Batra. He said the laser lights in the market are supposed to be of low intensity. But one should avoid looking at the lights directly, he added.

Another expert said that children especially should be told not to look directly towards the lights because they are fascinated by the lights. 



Officials asked to maintain records
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
State Information Commissioner (SIC), Parveen Kumar, today held a meeting with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials and showed displeasure with the way cases related to the Right to Information Act are dealt with by the civic body staff. The SIC also asked the MC staff to maintain proper records so that the information could be provided to the applicants on time.

Parveen even gave examples as to how some cases could have been dealt in a much better manner. He told the MC staff that a large number of people were approaching the State Information Commissioner because they fail to get information on time.

He said that from this, it seems that some of the MC staff does not have proper knowledge about the RTI Act. Kumar said it is up to the Public Information Officer (PIO) to decide whether the sought information is of public interest or not.

He said if the MC does not have any specific information, they should intimate the applicants as well as their superiors that certain information or record is missing or stolen.

An MC official, who attended the meeting, stated that Parveen stressed upon on maintaining proper records in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. “He even gave us examples as how information was not provided on time and the applicant suffered," said the official.

This meeting, organised at the MC Zone-A office near Mata Rani Chowk, was attended by the MC Additional Commissioners, Isha Kalia, Davinder Singh, Joint Commissioner P S Ghuman, Additional Commissioner (technical) Kamlesh Bansal and the other MC staff. 



Samples of sweets collected

Ludhiana, November 1
A team of health department today collected as many as 8 samples today to check the ongoing sales during the festivals.

The collected samples included ‘khoya barfi’ and ‘balu shahi’ from Karimpura Bazar, ‘petha’ and ‘khoya barfi’ from Lakkar Bazar, refined oil, ‘masoor ki daal’ and ‘rasgulla’ from dfferent shops in Gyaspura, said District Health Officer, Ludhiana Dr Abnash Kumar. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Excise team inspects exhibition

Excise and taxation team went to inspect the ongoing exhibition at one of the city hotels here on Friday. The organiser of the exhibition was yet to deposit the pending amount of the tax imposed on casual traders. After the team visited the exhibition, the pending amount was deposited on the spot. "The pending amount of Rs 80,000 was deposited on the spot by the organiser," said Bhupinder Gupta, AETC.

Printers visit New Delhi expo

The Offset Printers' Association organised a group visit of members and other interested printers to India Corr Expo at New Delhi on 17 and 18 October. The visit of 20-member delegation from the SPV (Offset Printers Association, Ludhiana) was supported by the ministry of MSME, Government of India under the Micro & Small Enterprise-Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP). IndiaCorr Expo is the launch edition for India by the famous SinoCorrugated, China.

Eco-friendly Diwali campaign

Vmad (v making a difference), a Ludhiana-based transformation organisation held a social campaigning on the topic "Safe and eco-friendly Diwali" at Sarabha Nagar market and Baba deep Singh Chownk, Ludhiana, here on Thursday. More than 50 youth volunteers and young children participated in the event. Volunteers created a wonderful talk in a dramatic way with visitors and made them present to the after effects of crackers and the amounts of money spend on it. They shared a pamphlet with them which included the death tally due to firecrackers during diwali and some photographs of injured ones because of firecrackers. Talking about the money wasted on crackers, one of the volunteers said that people are wasting precious money and environment just for the sake of fun and this was really going to affect our future generations. The event was lead by young leaders of organisation Samridhi Arora, Sushmeet Kaur, Jashanjot singh, Dilpreet Sigh and Kanwarpal Singh. — TNS



Illicit liquor peddlers keep cops on toes
Our Correspondent

Sudhar, November 1
Come festival season, it is hide and seek for boozers, liquor contractors and traffickers. While contractors want to clear maximum stocks before Diwali, those involved in illicit trade of smuggling of country-made liquor are leaving no stone unturned to make hay while the sun shines.

The tendency has brought the police on toes, which is already busy in taking preventive measures to avoid any untoward incident during Diwali celebrations.

Investigations revealed that boozers were all out in their attempt to arrange liquor at lowest possible price before Diwali.

Failing to bargain at authorised liquor vends of the area, residents prefer either to fulfill their demand at competitive prices from other areas or purchase from unauthorised places. Mobile vends being run in cars and trolleys were no exception to the tendency.

Perusal of records also substantiated the tendency.

The local police has also nabbed at least five persons, owing allegiance to contractors and smugglers and seized huge quantity of illicit liquor from their possession.

Manit Singh, a migrant from Uttarakhand, who looks after liquor vends of a contractor and his accomplice, Sukhwinder Singh of Nurpura, was arrested when they were selling liquor by parking their vehicle near Pakhowal near here last evening. Bolero car, owned by the contractors, was also seized.

Only two days ago, the police had nabbed Bara Singh of Dhalian village who was selling liquor from a tea shop situated along Dehlon Raikot Road near Pakhowal.

Earlier, contractors of the area had got two persons booked under the Excise Act for selling liquor illegally in a car on outskirts of Dangon village. The accused were identified as Beant Singh Fauzi and Paramjit Singh of Phallewal village. At least 67,500 ml of liquor was seized during the action. 



Harnoor wins 3 TT titles
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 1
Harnoor Singh, a student of DCM Presidency School proved his mettle after winning three titles in the 24th Prithipal Singh Memorial Ludhiana District Table Tennis Championship which concluded at Punjab Agricultural University campus here today.

Harnoor bagged top honours in the junior boys, youth and men's sections to stamp his superiority. Navdeep Kaur of Punjab Agricultural University and Tanya from DAV Public School too made their presence felt, securing two titles each. Tanya won titles in cadet girls and sub-junior girls sections while Navdeep Kaur etched her name for the titles in junior girls and youth girls categories.

Harnoor Singh faced a little challenge from Shubham Wadhwa of Green Land School whom he outnumbered 11-6, 11-9 and 11-8 to lay his hands on the winners trophy in the junior boys section.

In the youth boys’ section, Harnoor survived a scare against Sameer Sharma of GMT Public School before coming out victorious. Harnoor won the first set 11-8 but lost the next one 7-11. He however, bounced back into the match, wrapping up the third set 11-9.

In the deciding set, Sameer again waged a spirited battle but fumbled at crucial junctures, allowing Harnoor Singh to catch up with him and the latter managed to clinch the cliff hanger with narrow margin 11-9 that also fetched him the title. The final in the men's section played between Harnoor Singh and Sameer Sharma too witnessed a fierce battle in which the former finally romped home winner 11-8, 7-11, 11-8 and 11-6.

Other final results

Cadet girls: Tanya of DAV Public School bt Vaibhav of DCM Presidenty School 11-9, 11-5 and 17-15; Cadet boys-Nimish of Bal Bharti Public School bt Pariksht of Bal Bharti Public School 7-11, 11-8, 11-9 and 12-10; Sub-junior girls-Tanya of DAV Public School bt Yashmilan of DAV Public School 11-9, 13-11 and 12-10; Sub-junior boys-Parvanshdeep of DAV Public School bt Naman of Alpine International School 11-8, 11-7, 6-11 and 11-9; Junior girls-Navdeep Kaur of PAU bt Tanya of DAV Public School 11-5, 11-9 and 11-8; Youth girls-Navdeep Kaur of PAU bt Bhumika of Guru Nanak Khalsa Girls College 11-9, 11-8 and 12-10; Women-Nirdosh Sood of Guru Nanak Khalsa Girls College bt Navdeep Kaur of PAU 11-8, 13-11 and 11-7; Senior men-Manmeet Singh bt JL Bhandari 11-5, 11-7 and 11-8. 



Sahodya inter-school b’ball tournament kicks off
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 1
The Ludhiana East Sahodaya Schools Complex Inter-School Basketball Tournament began today at Doraha Public School today.

A total of eight schools, comprising of boys and girls teams, in the Under-14 and Under-19 years age groups, participated in it. In results of elimination matches, results are as follows:

Under-19 boys: Doraha Public School beat Guru Nanak Model School, Doraha, by 31-14; Tagore International School, Sahnewal, beat Mehta Gurukul School, Doraha, by 13-7; Sant Kirpal Singh Sewa Panti School, Neelon, beat Gobindgarh Public school, Mandi Gobindgarh, by 28-27; UPSC Jain School, Jamalpur, beat Sacred Heart Convent School, Jamalpur, by 12-7.

Under-19 girls: Mehta Gurukul School, Doraha, beat UPSC Jain School, Jamalpur, by 14-0; Garden Valley School, Machhiwara, beat Guru Nanak Model School, Doraha, by 16-0.

Under 14 boys: Doraha Public School beat UPSC Jain School, Jamalpur, by 15-6; Garden Valley School, Machhiawara, beat Mehta Gurukul School, Doraha, by 27-0. 



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