L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Killer string claims life
Four persons injured; police raid 100 shops, register three cases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
A 20-year-old youth was electrocuted, while four others, including a policeman, were injured while using plastic strings to fly kites in the city. Following the incidents, ADCP-I Nilambari Jagdale along with his team conducted raids at nearly 100 kite shops located in various parts of the old city and seized 2,000 rolls of plastic threads and registered three cases.

“We need to end this menace and raids will continue till the time plastic threads are wiped out from the market," said the ADCP.

A resident of Salem Tabri, 20- year-old Prince, was electrocuted while he was flying kite with a plastic string.

The plastic string was laced with iron shreds. The plastic string got entangled in a power cable and Prince received an electric shock.

His friend Mani came to his rescue, but he also received an electric shocks. While Prince was declared brought dead, Mani's condition was stated to be serious.

In another incident, sub-inspector Pritpal Singh, posted at Division No 3 area, sustained neck injury.

The profusely bleeding cop was rushed to a hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.

The incident took place at Jagroan Bridge this afternoon when Pritpal was on his way to the police station on his scooter. Suddenly, his neck got entangled in the killer thread resulting in a deep cut.

In a separate incident, a motorcyclist, Pritpal Singh, was injured by a plastic threat.

A five- year-old girl, Ekam, received a deep cut with a plastic string on her face while she was riding pillion on a scooter.

She was visiting Field Gunj along with her father. Suddenly she came in contact with a plastic string.


Sewer man’s death: Anger spills onto road
Protesters want action against officials; Verka for compensation to victim's kin
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Grieving relatives of Surinder Kumar, who died on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Residents block traffic on Ferozepur Road. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 12
The death of 35-year-old Surinder Kumar, a daily-wage earner, who asphyxiated yesterday while cleaning sewerage at Abdulapur Basti, triggered an angry protest on Ferozepur Road today.

The protesters demanded registration of a criminal case against the erring officials of the MC.

The protesters, holding photographs of the deceased, also blocked the Ludhiana- Ferozepur highway near the circuit house.

The agitation led to a massive traffic jam on Ferozepur Road as protesters refused to lift the dharna.

They alleged that the police had washed their hands off by registering a case under Section 304-A of the IPC, negligence causing death, against MC junior engineer Surjit Singh and SDO Ranjit Singh.

“It is not a death due to negligence. It is a cold-blooded murder. The officials should get a harsh punishment," said the protesters.

Later in the evening, Congress MLA and vice-chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes Dr Raj Kumar Verka arrived at the circuit house and met the family members of Surinder Kumar.

He met DCP Harsh Bansal, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal and MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari. He also visited SPS Apollo Hospital to enquire about the health of Raj Kumar and Vinay, who also fell unconscious while cleaning the drain. Their condition is stated to be critical.

“It’s criminal. For how long these poor daily wagers will keep on dying due to the negligence of MC officials. Surinder was the only breadwinner of the family, said Verka.

He said the state government should provide a compensation of Rs 20 lakh to the kin of the deceased and a government job for a family member.

Verka has also sought Rs 10 lakh (Rs 5 lakh each) compensation for Raj Kumar and Vinay and a permanent job in the MC.

“As per the Manual Scavenging Amendment Bill, 2012, an engineer will visit the place where a sewerage block occurs. The engineer would certify that sewer is fit for cleaning. Then he would aware the sewer man. The sewer man would be provided a suit and an oxygen mask. If any casualty takes place, the official concerned would be booked," said Verka.



Everyone’s ‘khas’ here, VIP culture runs in city’s blood
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
The winds of change may be blowing across the country, but things have not changed in the industrial capital of the state.

There is a quest of becoming ‘khas aadmi’ in the city. The VIP culture sweeps the city and no one misses an opportunity get noticed.

Some flaunt their designation on nameplates; the others are in the race for getting police security, only as a status symbol.

Some organisations even charge huge fee, ranging between Rs 10,000 and 25,000 for allotting a designation.

Sources said there was no dearth of persons who court controversy by posting objectionable comments against radical Sikh organisations on social networking sites just to get security guards.

Some go a step further and volunteer to be hangman for militants on a death row.

“These are cheap tactics to get security guards. We are aware of it, but considering the security point of view, we have to provide security to such petty politicians," said a police official.

The VIP car culture

There is no dearth of people who even take a loan to buy a vanity number for their vehicle. In order to enjoy a VIP feeling, some even place a red beacon atop their vehicle.

Buying high-end cars are also a technique of staying in the elite club. The city, which was once known for most number of Mercedes, now has a huge number of Audis, BMWs and Jaguars. However, there is a flip side of this rich lifestyle. Last year, city-based businessmen topped the list of bank defaulters. Some debt-ridden businessmen also committed suicide.

While Jajgit Singh, of NKH Garments, was booked for a fake registry of two acres in Focal Point for availing a loan from a bank, Rajesh Mehra, director of Rajit Paints, was arrested by the Delhi Police for bungling of funds.

The gun culture

The growing gun culture is just another extension of hogging limelight. Youngsters, some of them children of influential businessmen and landlords, exploit every possible political and police connection to get an arms licence. Sometime, in order to leave an impression or in a fit of rage, they pull the trigger.

The recent incident of a child's death in the Jamalpur area due to a celebratory shot fired during a wedding and death of Sonia (40), who was shot by her neighbour, Parminder Singh, following a petty argument on January 1, were some of the ugly signs of the growing gun culture.

VIP school culture

The admission season is the apt time when Ludhianvis desire to figure among the league of ‘khas admi’ is at its full display. There is a cut-throat competition for admissions in handful schools. A majority of parents are least bothered about the standard of education in these schools. The only motive of admitting the child is to grab social status as children of industrialists, bureaucrats, police officers and judicial officers study in these schools. "Admitting a child in a school is just a measure of strengthening social contacts. Such parents are using their children as tools. They have nothing to do with their child's education," said a teacher of a prominent school.

Cops or VIPs

Policemen are also not far behind in race of hogging limelight. From branded cloths to latest watches and mobile phones, policemen go all out to make a statement. A majority of them emulate their seniors. If their (seniors) have Toyota Innova as their official vehicle, the lower rung policemen purchase the same vehicle to make an impression.



Government patronising drug racketeers in state, says CPI
Demands arrest of culprits who tried to kidnap former DGP (Prisons)
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 12
The district unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) today demanded arrest of culprits who attempted to kidnap former DGP Prisons Shashi Kant, who is spearheading the movement, against drug smuggling in the state. The menace is allegedly being run under the patronage of “high ups” in the government.

The party activists held a demonstration at the city railway station and marched in procession to Clock Tower Chowk to press their demand for a CBI probe into the drug trafficking and involvement of senior functionaries of the ruling SAD-B in the racket.

Speakers at the rally said the attempt (on Shashi Kant) had come in the wake of allegations by international drug smuggler Jagdish Bhola, who had charged Punjab Minister for Revenue Bikramjit Singh Majithia with patronising the drug racket in Punjab. “Our state is reeling under drug menace with lakhs of youths ruining their lives as a result,” said the CPI leaders.

District secretary Kartar Singh Bowani, assistant secretaries Dr Arun Mitra and DP Maur, city secretary Ramesh Rattan, OP Mehta and other party functionaries said that without political patronage, the drug business could not sustain.

The party warned that the drug mafia was becoming powerful in the state which posed a serious threat to democracy and the human resource development. “This is also one of the major causes of spurt in crime in the state,” they remarked while adding that there was an urgent need not only to catch the small fries, but effective steps ought to be taken to nab the big fish and bring all those involved in the heinous crime to book.

The CPI leaders further said it would be appropriate for Majithia to resign on moral grounds and cooperate with the law enforcing agencies in the probe to bring out the real truth. “At the same time, the government should provide adequate security to Shashi Kant,” they said.



Women teachers for government girl schools, decides govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Perturbed over the complaints being made by the wards and the girl students of facing “harassement” at the hands of male teachers in their respective schools from several districts, the state government has decided to put only female teachers in Government School for Girls in Punjab.

For this, the District Education Officers (DEOs) in Punjab have been asked to prepare a list of schools and depute female staff in girls’ schools and male staff in boys’ schools.

Talking to The Tribune, Sikandar Singh Maluka, Education Minister, Punjab, said that they were getting complaints from several quarters in recent times and this was the best way to deal with the issue.

“But the problem will not be solved in just few days as the staff ratio in districts has to be taken care of. We have asked the DEOs to prepare a list of girls’ schools where female staff can be deputed,” said Maluka.

The minister has given 10-days’ time to prepare such lists and following the orders, DPI Schools have asked DEOs to provide the information on how many male teachers were posted in girls’ schools in Punjab so that necessary work could start at the earliest.

In the first phase, the male teachers in government girls schools will be shifted to nearby boys schools and in the next phase, the female staff of the boys schools will be sent to girls schools to avoid such complaints.

It may be mentioned that complaints were pouring-in from wards of girl students that male teachers were harassing their daughters. One such complaint had recently generated a controversy in which a Jagraon based male teacher had troubled a girl student and an inquiry was made following which the teacher was shifted.



MC, PPCB caught in a sewage muck
Fail to check spill onto NH-I near Dhandari Kalan railway station
Shivani Bhakooss
Tribune News Service,

Ludhiana, January 12
Sewage continues to flow in the open at the Dhandari Kalan railway station despite a 15-day show-cause notice to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB).

The notice was issued on September 16, 2013, on a complaint of Hari Om Prakash, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar. The sewage gets accumulated in a vacant area alongside the NH-I. However, neither the MC nor the pollution control board bothered to find a solution to the problem.

The show-cause notice mentioned that it was mandatory on the part of the MC to provide a sewage treatment plant as prescribed by the board. The pollution control board authorities said the MC was violating the provisions of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. They said action was taken by the MC to provide respite to residents of the area. “It has been four months now, but the MC and the pollution control board have failed to take remedial measures, leaving the residents of the area high and dry,” said the complainant, Hari Om Prakash.

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said he was not aware of the notice . He, however, assured that the problem would be solved at the earliest. 



Advocate’s car taken away at gunpoint

Ludhiana, January 12
An advocate, son of a judge at a Fazilka court, was the latest victim of carjackers on Ferozepur Road. The incident took place last night when Karamvir Singh, who is practicing law at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, was visiting Fazilka to meet his family.

The police said when he reached near the ITBP campus, Baddowal, two motorcycle-borne youths intercepted his vehicle.

The moment Karamvir stopped the car, one of the carjackers trained a pistol at him. One of the youths got into the car and asked told Karamvir to take the vehicle towards the Pakhowal Road.

The youth asked Karamvir to alight from the vehicle. They snatched his mobile phone and fled with his car. — TNS



Badhowal residents meet minister
Seek permission to repair homes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 12
The Union Minister of State for Defence, Sports and Youth Affairs, Jitender Singh, today assured a delegation of Badhowal residents that he would look into their demands regarding freeze on repair work of their houses falling near the Field Ammunition Depot there.

The delegation accompanied by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who is also the local MP, met Jitender Singh, who was here in connection with the inauguration of the National Youth Festival.

Tewari told the Minister that the residents were being harassed as there was freeze on construction activity around the ammunition depot.

Tewari said he understood the sensitivity of the issue since it concerned important ammunition dump, at the same time, he urged the MoS for Defence to take a considerate view on the issue.

He said, at least the residents should be allowed to get their houses repaired, wherever, needed and necessary.

The Minister said that the matter was pending in court. However, he was told that it was getting delayed since the Defence Ministry had been seeking frequent adjournments leading to delay in the decision.

The Minister assured the delegation that he would look into the matter and would ensure that whatever was possible and could be done would be done at the earliest.He said that he understood the problem.



Revered gate lies dilapidated
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, January 12
The road named after the tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh in Sahnewal stands in a shattered state. It poses serious problems to the residents and commuters. It is believed that the tenth Guru of the Sikhs travelled from Anandpur Sahib via this route to Talwandi Sabo. The people of Sahnewal have deep faith as Guru Gobind Singh Marg is for them a way to divinity.

“Even as the Nagar Kirtan was passing from this path yesterday, it pained me a lot. While on one hand, we wish to revere our Lord but on the other hand we are least bothered about the holy gate that was erected years ago in his sacred memory. The gate is not only neglected but also shattered to a great extent,” said a resident.

“But unfortunately the gate of Guru Gobind Singh Marg is in a shabby condition. It seems that the government has paid little attention towards its upkeep ever since it was built. The flaps coming out of it, worn out bricks, tarnished and faded colour and lack of upkeep, is enough to hang our heads in shame, especially on this auspicious day, when every corner of this small holy town seems to be resounding with His holy presence,” said a cultural preserver Kanwaljit Shanker. “We should definitely spare a thought to preserve the unique historic erection named after our great Guru,” he added.

Baljit Singh, president, Gurudwara Reru Sahib, said- “Every religious mind is concerned about the condition of the gate and we are thinking in terms of either rectifying or shifting it to some distance from the main highway so that the big vehicles that pass from under it, may not pose a problem for the commuters and residents. The private contractor, engaged in the process of road widening is not ready to provide us with any sort of construction material”.

President of Nagar Council, Sahnewal, Kulwant Singh Kanti, when contacted said- “We too are worried about the shabby condition and the insecure posture of the gate but the private contractor engaged in the widening of highway is not supporting us in any way.



Young and restless unwind mind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Youngsters from different parts of the country presented cultural and folk dance forms during the opening ceremony of the 18th National Youth Festival at the PAU today.

Dance maelstrom: The time stood still when colours of culture blended with the beauty of Ludhiana. Youngsters’ performances were a sight to behold during the 18th National Youth Festival at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

The performances delighted spectators. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

The contingent from Uttar Pradesh presented farwahi dance form. People there celebrate the festival after harvesting crops. The contingent from Jharkhand presented karma, sarhul and chhau folk dance forms. Chhau dance form presents the killing of Mahishasura, Sumbh, Nisumbh by Goddess Durga. The other dance forms are the harvest festivals. Thali dance was presented by the contingent from J&K. The contingent from Uttarakhand presented rambhoot dance form (martial dance form). "It has a lot of 'veer ras'," said Subhash Devradi. Maruni dance was presented by the contingent from Sikkim. Koshli dance form was presented by the team from Odisha. 'Panchavadyam' was a part of the folk dance form. The dance is performed to mark harvesting. The contingent from Meghalaya presented vangala dance form as a form of religious dance form. Gol dance was presented by the contingent from Daman and Diu. The team from Madhya Pradesh presented various dance forms, including gaykishatra. The team from Kerala presented theyyam. The other teams presented various dance forms. A food festival was also organised.

Chandeep Singh from Amritsar said different cultures delighted him. The youngsters were seen getting pictures clicked with the members of the other states. A participant from Sikkim. said: "It is like a national integration programme."

Cultures transcend boundaries

The contingent from Jharkhand presented karma, sarhul and chhau folk dance forms. Chhau dance form presents the killing of Mahishasura, Sumbh, Nisumbh by Goddess Durga. Thali dance was presented by the contingent from J&K. The contingent from Uttarakhand presented rambhoot dance form (martial dance form). Koshli dance form was presented by the team from Odisha.



AAP goes full throttle
Volunteers begin membership drive across district
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Even as Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal today during his Ludhiana visit chose to dismiss the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as the party that should eat mangoes (aam), the AAP membership drive has started in full throttle in the district.

As many as eight booths have already been set up in the city. Balbir Aggarwal, AAP district secretary, said the district unit of the party would form ward-level teams in all 75 wards of the district by January 26. Later, the block-level committees would be formed in all 13 blocks of the district.

The party leaders, while talking to The Tribune, said their bottom-up model had drawn lessons from the failure of parties like the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP). “We are working out a plan to have a proper organisational structure prior to the Lok Sabha polls.”

Aggarwal said the party would be focusing on all possible pitfalls at the organisational level. “We will not leave any area unattended. Apart from focusing on the urban areas, we will focus on villages. One AAP worker will be entrusted the task of approaching the people in a cluster of five villages,” he said.

He claimed that high-profile ticket-seekers from other national parties were approaching the district and state AAP leadership. “Even some MLAs have approached our party.”

Meanwhile, Ajay Mittal, AAP district convener, flayed the SAD-BJP government for “driving the aam aadmi into despair”. “The common man is already heavily burdened by rising inflation. The inflation has burnt a hole in his pocket. The Punjab Government is adding to their miseries by imposing new taxes.

Teams to be formed in 75 wards

As many as eight booths have already been set up in the city. Balbir Aggarwal, AAP district secretary, said the district unit of the party would form ward-level teams in all 75 wards of the district by January 26. Later, the block-level committees would be formed in all 13 blocks of the district.



From schools
Lohri celebrated

Ludhiana: ABC Montessori Basant Avenue celebrated Lohri. Students danced around the bonfire. They sang 'Sunder mundriye', 'Dabba bhareya leeran da' and 'Hukka bhai hukka". The faculty gave a dance performance. The students and their parents came dressed in traditional attire.

BVM School

Students of BVM, Udham Singh Nagar, celebrated Lohri. Students of classes VI, VII and VIII danced to the beats of dhol. Teachers also presented a giddha. Naman of Class V recited a poem on Lohri while Kritika of Class VII highlighted the importance of the festival.

Sri Guru Harkrishan School

Lohri was celebrated at Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha. Students presented a cultural programme. The students of classes VI and VII presented a dance while students of classes VII and VIII performed a bhangra. 'Rewri' were distributed among the students. Principal of the school Manjushaw Vinayak highlighted the importance of the festival.

Green Land

Lohri was celebrated at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass. Students came dressed in traditional attire. They lit a bonfire. 'Chirwa', 'meva', 'til', 'gur', 'rewri' and 'gachak' were distributed among the students.

Everest playway

Lohri was celebrated at Everest Playway and Nursery School, Maharaja Ranjit Singh Park. Principal Poonam Sharma briefed students about the importance of the day. Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the Punjab School Education Board, Affiliated Schools, Punjab (regd) presided over the function.

MGM Public School

Festive spirit pervaded MGM Public School. Students presented giddha and bhangra. They also recited poems. Students lit a bonfire and relished 'rewri' and popcorn. Principal Poonam Sharma appreciated the efforts of the students and motivated them to preserve their cultural heritage.

BCM School

Lohri was celebrated at BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh Road. Students presented a cultural programme.A play on girl child was also staged. The students of classes VI-H and VI-I were declared winners.

Literacy test

The national financial literacy test was conducted at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School. Around 142 candidates took the test. The CBSE, National Institution of Securities Market in collaboration with the RBI, IRDA and SEBI took the initiative. Principal Paramjit Kaur appreciated the efforts of the organisers.

Teachers’ protest

The ETT unemployed teachers held a protest against the state government. The teachers took out a rally from Bharat Nagar Chowk and raised slogans against the state government. They lamented that despite assurances, the government had failed to fulfil their demands. It had failed to recruit teachers, they stated. They submitted a memorandum to the District Revenue Officer. The teachers said they would take out state-level rallies, if their demands were not met.


Ryan International School, Dugri, organised a music therapy workshop for teachers. Music therapist Pallavi Nagpal said the therapy helped bust stress. — TNS



Clubs in city must do philanthropic work

Come festivals and clubs in the city spend lavishly to celebrate them in style. Be it Christmas, New Year eve, Lohri or Basant, they leave no stone unturned to make the function talk of the town. Sometimes, celebrity guests are also invited. I wonder if all the money wasted on the functions could be used on the destitute children. If only the clubs could bring smile on the faces of these poor children by giving them small gifts and treats on special occasions and festivals. But the clubs are too busy merry making while children can be seen clearing the venue after the function is over.

Not a complaint number

The exorbitant price of LPG cylinder (after the quota of nine subsidised refills is exhausted), has added to the miseries of the common man. Especially those, who have not yet been linked to the banks and to the subsidy disbursing agency. They are trying hard to get their accounts linked to claim subsidy. There are many others, who want to get their Aadhar Cards made etc. In a bid to make things easier for the consumers, the authorities provided the telephone number of the lead bank manager here. As complaints started pouring in from several quarters, the said official changed his number as he was getting more than 500 complaints in a day. "My routine work started suffering, so I had no other option, but to change my telephone number," the nodal officer for complaints "complained".

Couplets on auto

Many vehicle owners love to write slogans, couplets and even name of their children on their vehicles. All this reflects their thinking. A few days ago, I came across an auto which was carrying the messsge "Pind tera, sadak sarkari, mitran ne nit langhna" . However, a white coloured auto was carrying a more interesting couplet in Punjabi. It said - "Chitte rang nu nazar na lag jave taveet kara di mitra" (Being white coloured, please get some solution in advance so than no bad omen could harm me).

Enforce traffic rules with iron hand

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari hit the nail on the head when he remarked that most of the plans formulated for traffic planning in the city did not yield the desired results for lack of enforcement with the result that chaos continued to prevail on most of the roads in busy residential and commercial localities. Enforcement of traffic rules and regulations was very important. A majority of road users - be they two-wheeler or three-wheeler drivers, van drivers or those at the driving seats of public carriers, are in the habit of flouting traffic laws. Even the basic traffic rule of following traffic lights on intersections is not observed at most places. The MC would do well to put in equal efforts towards traffic planning and management as well as enforcement of rules and regulations to achieve some semblance of order on the city roads.

Contributed by: Manav Mander, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria and Kuldip Bhatia



Residents oppose printing presses
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 12
The residents of a residential locality located on College Road are facing problems due to printing presses in the area. The area residents claimed that they are facing a lot of inconvenience including health related problems due to the printing presses.

According to area residents, they had recently approached SDM Jagraon and complained against the printing presses operating in the residential area. The residents have demanded shifting of these printing presses out of the residential area.

The residents said printing presses even do not have No Objection Certificates (NOC) required for operating presses from different departments. "We have obtained information under the RTI Act which clearly states that the printing presses operating in our locality have the NOC neither from the local Municipal Council nor from Punjab Pollution Control Board. We wonder how there presses are operating," said area resident Praveen Kumar.

Another resident Bablu Kohli said his mother is suffering from migraine. "The machines working in the printing press keep making noise due to which my mother often complains of regular headaches. Moreover sometimes the machines function during the night causing us a lot of disturbance," rued Kohli.

It is pertinent to mention here that this is not the only area of the city where printing presses and other small scale industries are operating. The sources said there are several other residential areas in the city where these kind of small scale industries are being run without any check by the local administration.

SDM Jagraon Apneet Rayat said she is aware of the issue and she will take appropriate steps in this regard. "We have received a complaint about printing presses operational in a residential area on the College Road.

The notices have been issued to the parties concerned and an appropriate action will be taken if any irregularity is found," assured SDM Rayat.



It’s time to cleanse state from drugs
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Experts expressed concern over the rising drug addiction during the opening ceremony of the 18th National Youth Festival at Punjab Agricultural University today. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal refused to comment on the alleged involvement of Punjab Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in a drug case.

Sukhbir said the Punjab government had launched a crusade against drug peddling and that the police had arrested 25,000 smugglers in one-and-a-half years.

He said it was time to wage a war against such activities. Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Jitendera Singh also urged the youth to shun drugs.

The minister said a branch of the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development would be set up in Chandigarh.

Organisers of the event were seen handing over anti-drug placards to participants during the march past. The placards read 'Nashe Hathao, Punjab Bachao'. As the slogans were written in Punjabi, the participants from the other states threw the placards.

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said: "India's strength lies in its diversity. The different cultures unite the country and add to its beauty."

The Deputy CM announced that the state government had reserved 100 Category A posts for sportspersons winning medals in international games. He stated that the reservation was not a part of the 3 per cent quota for the sportspersons.



Arrangements put off participants
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
The 18th National Youth Festival turned out to be a disappointment for participants. They did not find the arrangements up to mark at the PAU. The team from Jammu & Kashmir expressed disgust, saying only two rooms were arranged for 70 persons.

"How will 70 persons stay in two rooms? Only five buckets have been given to us. Our mobile phone's batteries have discharged and we have switched off the gadgets," said a participant.

"Nobody listens to us and and the people here are rude," said another participant. "We don't even have water to drink," he said. "This is probably the worst youth festival," said national youth awardee Javed Jamadar. The opening ceremonies should be held in stadia, where people can turn up in large numbers.

He said the government of Karnataka had sanctioned Rs 14 crore for the youth festival, but the Punjab government had only coughed up Rs 4 crore.

Another awardee said although CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had stated that the countries that did not take car of the youth had no future, but such remarks stood belied as the state did not seem interested in encouraging activities for the youth. Drinking water was not provided to the teams participating in the cultural parade. The participants started gathering at the venue by 11 am, but the parade went on till 2 pm.

Tedious task

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said: "We have provided all facilities to participants. If any contingent has some problem, we will look into it. The participants can approach the officials on duty. Accommodating 5,000 persons is not an easy task. We are trying to make best of the resources available," he said. 



Cycle body to hold international exhibition
To begin from Feb 28 to March 2 at Government College for Girls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
The first meeting of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association for introduction of the managing committee, patron, co-patron, permanent special invitees and special invitees was held today. The meeting was held under the chairmanship Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma.

During the meeting, Vishivkarma discussed with the members about the presentation submitted to the Minister of M.S.M.E. Muniaypa and the Minster of Communication, Manish Tewari, for protecting the bicycle industry from the threat of Chinese goods being imported in Ludhiana.He also informed the members that an international bicycle exhibition would be held from February 28 to March 2, 2014, at Government College for Girls. Various national and international companies will exhibit their products at the exhibition. The delegates from other countries will also visit Ludhiana at that time.

He apprised the members about the disconnection of power of about 20 companies in the mixed land used area.



Their efforts fructify
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 12
Thirty-three youths and six NGOs were given National Youth Awards during the 18th National Youth Festival at the PAU today. The awards were presented in recognition of the social services rendered by the youngsters who have excelled in different fields.

A medal, a certificate and an amount of Rs 40,000 are presented to individuals while the voluntary youth organisations get a medal, a certificate and an amount of Rs 2 lakh. These awards are conferred under the National Programme for Youth and Adolescent Development.

Youths use magic for social welfare

Fourteen-year-old Chinta Mohith Nager Satya Krishna from Andhra Pradesh was one of the youngest national awardees. He has been learning the art of magic since the age of nine. He uses his skills to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS. The youngster blindfolds himself while riding a bicycle. He has also received International TANA Achievement Award.

First test tube baby wins national award

Kruti Subhash Parekh from Mumbai uses her skills to spread awareness. Through her magic show, she represented Indian culture at United Nations in January last year. She performs various magic tricks, including chewing a paper and then letting out a coloured paper.



Lohri fever grips city
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 12
A day before Lohri, sky turned colourful, as residents chose to celebrate the festival today, being a weekly holiday on account of Sunday. Unlike other Sundays, almost all shops except those selling kites and string (dor) remained closed today.

Some social and religious organisations organised functions where youth and children were invited to fly kites.

Tarsem Garg, Pardeep Sethi and Susheel Singla, office bearers of social welfare organisation, Rotary Club and Lions Club led volunteers in providing free kites, dor and “rewaris” on the occasion.

While formal celebration of Lohri will take place on Monday, majority of the local families seemed to observe the festival today. Groups of youths and children were seen flying kites on rooftops. Folk songs highlighting background of the festival echoed the atmosphere while the loudspeakers were used to announce victory of their kites over others.

Snack bars, restaurants and kite sellers did a brisk business.



Ludhiana scan
Lohri for girls

Helping Hands Club today celebrated Lohri for the girls at their computer centre which provides free training to girls. National president of the club, Raman Goyal said the society should follow the new idea of celebrating Lohri for the girl child. "Today girls are no less than boys and considering them an important part of our lives we should celebrate this festival for them," he said.

Meeting held

Meeting of Vidhav Punjabi Sahit Vichar Manch was held here today under the president ship of Pritam Pander. Addressing the gathering he wished the members a very happy new year. Dr Sewak recited a self composed gazal on the occasion.

Rath yatra

A meeting of Mahashivratri Mahotsav Committee was also held today. During the meeting it was decided to carry out a “rath yatra” on February 21. Office bearers of the committee said that five lakh packets of “parsad” will be distributed among the devotees.



From colleges
Valedictory function

Valedictory ceremony of FDP at the GNDEC Department of Information Technology, Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, organised a one-week TEQIP-II Sponsored Faculty Development Programme (FDP) on “ Computational Research Methodologies in Information Securities”, which concluded here yesterday. Prominent speakers from various IT Industries and Research Organisations presented their expert talks on information securities. Chief Guest, Rakshit Tandon, director, A&R Info Security Solution, Agra, emphasised on research and career in the field of information securities.

National symposium

A one-day national symposium on the “Role of Ethics in Professional Excellence” was organised at Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna). This symposium was sponsored by college development council, Panjab University, Chandigarh. Prof (Dr) Manjit Singh Kang (Former Vice-Chancellor, PAU, Ludhiana) was the chief guest and gave the inaugural address. College principal Dr Neena Seth Pajni welcomed the chief guest. Dr Neena Seth Pajni highlighted the objectives of the symposium. — TNS



Traffic police organise eye camp
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 12
A free eye check-up camp was organised by local traffic police with the help of Lok Sewa Club (NGO), Khanna, at the traffic police headquarters. Eye specialist Dr Harleen from Civil Hospital, Khanna, checked the patients. Free medicines were provided by the NGO to the needy patients.

Hemant Kumar, traffic in-charge, Khanna, said the camp was organised under Sadak Suraksha Week Programme.

PD Bansal, club president said these type of medical camps make the people aware towards their health problems and several poor persons get their needs fulfilled free of cost. Various police officials and members of the NGO were present on the occasion.



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