L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Police remand for shootout accused
Police install CCTV cameras in Sarabha Nagar mini-market, deploy PCR staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Till a few days ago, they had been flaunting their guns and bragging about their political connections, but today they were hiding their faces.

The alleged Youth Akali Dal (YAD) leaders, including Kulwinder Sharma, alias Kinda, and Sandeep Singh, alias Kaka Grewal, who are facing charges in the Sarabha Nagar mini-market shootout case, tried to ward off cameramen as they were being taken to the local District Courts Complex for a hearing.

The duo, along with the other members of their group, was produced before the duty magistrate who sent them to one-day police remand. It learnt when Kaka and Kinda were brought to the complex, around 50 supporters from both groups were present.

Heavy police force was deployed in the complex. The supporters, a majority of whom have suddenly risen to higher economic status, were seen showing solidarity with the accused.

Meanwhile, the police have installed close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Sarabha Nagar Mini-market. The move has been aimed at instilling confidence among the local residents.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police-III, Satvir Singh Atwal, said lawlessness would not be tolerated. "The footage of these CCTV cameras will be used as evidence in case somebody breaks law," said Atwal. Personnel of the PCR staff have been deployed in the market for round-the-clock security, he added.

Police sources said security had been beefed up as the February 27 shootout had triggered public outrage. The area residents claimed while both groups had exchanged fire for nearly an hour, the police were nowhere to be seen. 


LPG subsidy blues for residents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
A majority of residents, whose Aadhaar cards have been linked with gas agencies and banks, have not received LPG subsidy. As anger among the affected residents is brewing, the cooking gas may become an issue in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Savitri, a domestic help, has been struggling to keep the fire burning in her kitchen. "I could barely earn a few hundred rupees by cleaning utensils. My husband does odd jobs. It has been nearly more than a month since I received the last LPG subsidy. I am scared of booking another cylinder as I do not have enough money."

The Union Ministry for Petroleum and Natural Gas issued a notification on December 31, delinking the Aadhaar with the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for LPG.

A consumer was to link his gas connection and bank account with his Aadhaar card. According to the scheme, the consumer will have to pay Rs 1,150 to the gas agency and the subsidy of Rs 736 will be refunded in his bank account.

But, in a majority of cases, residents have not received the subsidy.

Usha Rani, a homemaker, said: "We were told that the subsidy would be deposited in our bank accounts once the delivery status was cleared by the gas agency owner. It has been over a month since I received the cylinder and I am yet to receive the subsidy."

Many residents say bank staff did not link their Aadhaar number with their accounts. "I handed a copy of my Aadhaar card to a bank employee. I was assured that my Aadhaar details would be linked with the bank account. When I received the cylinder, I was told by the gas agency staff that my Aadhaar had not been linked with the bank account.

“I met the bank employee, but the latter said he had not received my Aadhaar card copy," said Amit Katyal.

A gas agency owner said bank staff were not much interested as the Aadhaar linking process had added to their work burden. "We receive several such complaints but we are helpless," said the owner of a gas agency.

No notification received

The notification stating that LPG cylinders can be purchased without an Aadhaar account has not been received by gas agencies yet. 

Centre not serious about common man’s welfare

First, the linking of Aadhaar with LPG delivery was uncalled for. Further, the government's ploy of pocketing the subsidy has hit the common man’s budget. Instead of doing something for the welfare of the poor and the middle class, the Centre was benefiting capitalists, who are minting money by selling natural gas at double the price. If the government was serious, then the notification on de- linking Aadhaar should have reached the gas agencies by now.
— Dr Arun Mitra, secretary of the local Communist Party of India



Nitin Mukesh mesmerises
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Renowned singer Nitin Mukesh mesmerised the audience with at a concert here last evening. The audience clapped in sync with music as he sang all-time hits and soulful melodies one after the other. As he walked among the audience, many touched him and some shook hands with him.

"It was a nostalgic day. He sang very beautiful old songs of Mukesh," said Harneet, a resident.

Nitin Mukesh’s voice is as soothing as it is melodious, says Ravi Sharma, a local resident. It was a great opportunity to listen to the great singer live, he said.

After the concert, Nitin’s fans gathered around him to have his autographs. 



RPI (Athavale) takes U-turn
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The Republican Party of India (Athavale) will support the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The party chief and Dalit leader, Ramdas Athavale, who was in the city for a programme, said this today.

Athavale had earlier said if the BJP inducted Raj Thackery's Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) into the NDA, his party would walk out of the alliance.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Athavale said his party would remain a constituent of the BJP-led NDA despite the declaration of the support by the MNS to the NDA. Today, Thackery is reported to have pledged the MNS support to the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.

According to Athavale, the NDA will not need the support of the MNS. "The NDA will win the majority in the Lok Sabha poll," he said.

The Dalit leader alleged the Congress-led UPA Government had failed to curb corruption and inflation. Unemployment has increased and the poor has become poorer. The nation's global image has taken a beating, he added.

Athavale, who is a Rajya Sabha member, said the people wanted a change in the governance at the Centre.

He dismissed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a party that had lost its credibility among the people. He said the "Third Front" would not be a successful venture, as the Left was politically a spent force.

Athavale announced that the party would field Bittu Balbir as its candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency. He said the party would contest only from the Ludhiana seat in Punjab. Referring to the Akali-BJP candidate from Ludhiana, he said it would be a "friendly fight" (with him). The RPI (Athavale) will field candidates from 80-90 Lok Sabha seats across the country, he added. 



Youth stabbed to death

Ludhiana, March 9
A 22-year-old youth was stabbed to death following a quarrel with a group of youths at Khajur Chowk, Salem Tabri, here today.

The victim has been identified as Ravinder Singh, an auto-rickshaw driver.

According to victim’s mother, Ravinder had gone to fetch milk when the incident took place.

He had a heated argument with a group of youths. They reportedly assaulted Ravinder and stabbed him in the full public view.

The victim was rushed to the hospital by the area residents where he was declared dead on arrival. — TNS 



Youngsters throng special camps for voters
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Despite repeated appeals by Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal that Booth-Level Officers (BLOs) will be available at polling booths on March 9, an average of 10 persons visited each of these special camps in the district.

Sukhdev Singh Bhangu, Election Tehsildar, Ludhiana, said: "There are 2,623 polling booths for the 14 Vidhan Sabha constituencies in Ludhiana district. Booth-Level Officers were deputed at each polling booth from 10 am to 4 pm today. Voters in fairly good numbers turned up at a few polling booths. An average of 10 persons visited each of these booths and got the required corrections done. A number of visitors filled in forms for enrolling as voters."

The Deputy Commissioner, along with the Election Tehsildar, visited these polling booths.

Bhangu said: "The BLOs will submit the corrected forms and newly filled forms to the Supervisors for making necessary changes in the voter lists. The supervisors will further hand them over to the Assistant Returning Officers (AROs). There are 14 AROs in Ludhiana district."

The Deputy Commissioner said: "I visited many polling booths and found the response from the youth was overwhelming. Voters who could not get the necessary corrections done today may contact the Assistant Returning Officers concerned in the coming days."



Golden chance for students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) students, who had passed out 10 years ago and have any anomaly in their certificates, have a golden chance to get it corrected till March 31. Afterwards, such anomalies will be rectified only in the certificates issued five years ago. This was decided by the PSEB recently.

According to the new directions, "From the next month, a student can submit an application for correction in his or her certificate issued within a period of five years. The students, who had passed out more than five years ago, have a golden chance to get mistakes in their certificates corrected till March 31."

The Secretary, PSEB, GS Bath, said: "A meeting of the board officials was held on January 31 and it decided the board will not take up the cases of the applicants who have passed the board examinations more than five years ago. The students who had passed the middle, matriculation or senior secondary examination 10 years ago or more than five years ago can apply for necessary corrections till March 31." 



JET aspirants left in the lurch
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Though the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training (PSBTE&IT) has made tall claims about upgrading the quality of education in the state, the website of the board has no accurate information about the upcoming Joint Entrance Test (JET). Four of the five helpline numbers, which the board has displayed on its website, are out of order. One of them remains "switched off."

An advertisement of the PSBTE&IT for the JET also mentions the same helpline numbers.

A large number of students are unable to contact the authorities concerned. Gurpreet Singh, a student, said: "I have some confusion regarding the submission of the form for the JET. I opened the website of the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and found some contact numbers mentioned in the helpline. I dialled all the numbers one by one but none was working".

There are two contact numbers on the website of the PSBTE&IT. When this correspondent dialled these numbers, the attendants said the numbers were of the security booth of the board head office.


Dr Balbir Chand Kapila, Vice-Chairman, Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training, said: "I am not aware of this. I will look into the matter. The issue can be addressed only after the weekend." 



Better Ludhiana Rising pollution levels
Industrial units, vehicles to blame
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Ludhiana has the unenviable distinction of being the pollution capital of Punjab. The main reason behind this pollution is its vast industry, increasing number of vehicles, decreasing green cover, besides several other factors. The city residents feel that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) is not doing enough to restore the green cover. Even the residents are to blame as they expect the MC to do this job on its own.

Even as the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has been making efforts to check the increasing pollution levels in the city, Ludhiana continues to be one of he most polluted cities of the country. Though PPCB officials claim that the pollution level has come down, it doesn't seem true.

The city's famous industry should not be the only culprit for this as Ludhiana has the maximum number of vehicles in Punjab. As per a rough estimate from the District Transport Office, around 10,000 vehicles are added to the city roads every 75 days.

To bring down the pollution caused due to thousands of diesel-run auto-rickshaws in the city, LPG-run auto-rickshaws were launched here sometime ago. However, it soon turned out to be a problem for the owners of such auto-rickshaws. The plan failed as there were not enough filling stations from where auto-rickshaw drivers can buy fuel for their vehicles.

About 900 trees were axed for a project related to the eight-laning of Ferozepur Road (starting from Octroi Post to Sidhwan Canal). However, to compensate for the axed trees, the GLADA authorities, instead of planting these trees in the city, decided to plant them in Gurdaspur, just because they managed to get land at much cheaper prices as compared to the same land in Ludhiana.

Now that Ferozepur Road is to be eight-laned (from Sidhwan Canal to Jagraon Bridge), around 1,000 more trees will be axed, which means that the green cover will deplete further.

Some of the city’s hosiery, machine parts, electroplating, heat treatment, cycle manufacturing, dyeing units and chemical industry are still discharging effluents into the Budha Nullah, which meets the Sutlej later. As a result, the river is also getting polluted.

No green areas in old city

Despite repeated demands by the residents, the entire old city has no green areas. Some parks in the city like Nehru Rose Garden, Rakh Bagh and Leisure Valley are like a silver lining in the dark clouds. Punjab Agricultural University contributes a lot by providing green lungs to the polluted city. These spots are popular among morning and evening walkers.


Divisional Forest Officer Daljit Singh Brar admitted that the green cover in the city is depleting. The development in the city is taking its toll on the existing green cover. Though new saplings are planted in lieu of the axed trees, the green cover is depleting. We always make sure that an ample number of saplings are planted which can compensate for the trees that are cut down.
— Daljit Singh Brar, Divisional Forest Officer 



Mobile phones for ASHA workers a distant dream
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The plan to provide cellphones to Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs) by the state government remains a distant dream.

ASHA workers have been struggling for long regarding pay hike and incentives. In January, the state government had promised to provide cellphones, along with SIM cards, to ASHAs but nothing has been done so far. With the code of conduct being imposed due to the coming Lok Sabha elections, the wait seems to be endless.

The move aimed at bringing a positive change to preventive healthcare, including maternal and disease-control programmes.

The state government had promised to provide cellphones to all ASHAs in the state. These activists are community health workers in the World Bank-sponsored National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which is being implemented by the Union Government across the country.

“The state government had promised to provide us cellphones, along with SIM cards, to help us perform better,” said Sukhdeep Kaur, president of the Ludhiana branch of the ASHA Association.

Another ASHA worker said they were hopeful of receiving cellphones but had been left disappointed once again.

"The government had promised to provide Closed User Group (CUG) SIM cards with cellphones, but it seems to be a hollow promise,” she said.

According to the NRHM guidelines, ASHAs are paid performance-based incentives for promoting universal immunisation, referral and escort services for the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) and other healthcare programmes.

ASHA workers are the first port of call to meet the health needs of people at the village level.

“The government should recognise our services and equip us with adequate financial support and technological tools. We are the fountainhead of community participation in public health programmes in our villages. Prepaid cellphones would have been an added advantage to promote health programmes. It would have helped us in communicating effectively with the people as well as the health system such as doctors, nurses and Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs),” said Sukhdeep.

Amarjit Kaur, another ASHA worker, said they were spending their own money to submit daily reports to the ANMs and doctors.

“With several villages coming under one primary health centre (PHC), it is important for us to find out the availability of the doctor and medicines before escorting the patient to the PHC. The cellphones would have helped us communicate better,” she said. 



Month on, varsity fails to get caved-in road repaired
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has failed to get a road near its veterinary hospital entry gate repaired. A portion of the road caved in around a month ago, but the university authorities failed to get it repaired.

GADVASU is constructing a new hostel near the veterinary hospital and several trucks loaded with building material pass from there daily.

The road caved in after some heavily loaded trucks passed over it. As the process of getting financial permission is long, the matter got delayed.

A PAU professor, who uses this road daily, said: “I commute by a two-wheeler. When I was passing that way a few days ago, I could not see the damaged portion of the road and lost balance. Instead of repairing the road or cordoning it off, the GADVASU authorities covered it with a tree branch. This is height of irresponsible behaviour on the part of a university of international repute,” said the professor.

Dr SPS Sangha, Director Student Welfare-cum-Estate Officer, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, said he was aware of the issue. “The trucks loaded with building material caused damage to the road as one of our hostels is under construction nearby. The road could not be repaired earlier as we were to get financial permission. Even weather conditions were not favourable. Now we will get the road repaired within this week,” said Dr Sangha.



Reporters Diary
A salute to motherhood

Ludhiana: A mother never shrinks from her responsibilities. Once a woman becomes a mother, her life is never the same again: it starts revolving around her children. Recently, during a convocation ceremony at one of the colleges in the city, a student, who was also a mother, was seen playing both the roles dutifully. She was carrying the child in her arms, who was giving her a tough time. She, however, held the child close to her heart (see picture). Hats off to all mothers playing such multiple roles!

Freedom from exams

The board examinations are going on. While viewing their date sheet on the notice board at a city school, a group of students were busy calculating the number of preparatory holidays that they had for each exam. One of the students said, "Leave all this; just see when is Independence Day?" The other one said, "Just after the last exam on March 26." One can see how much stressed these students must be due to the exams that for them independence means freedom from exams.

Noble but far-fetched

The campaign launched by a group of women calling themselves the "belan brigade" to make those wanting to contest the Lok Sabha elections take a pledge not to distribute drugs and liquor to woo voters is generating a lot of interest in the city. Undoubtedly, the intention of the women to rid the electoral process of the menace of drugs is a noble one; however, to trust the members of the political parties to keep their promise (of not distributing drugs and liquor) would be far-fetched. The track record of political leaders of keeping their poll promises is poor, to say the least. Any change for the better would indeed be welcome, but as things stand now, drugs, liquor, and of course money, would continue to play a crucial, if not decisive, role in the elections.

Body shine

Recently, a bodybuilding contest was organised in the city. The bodybuilders were getting their bodies painted just the way a house is painted using rollers. Dark tan skin colour, dark tan shoe polish, Dabur Lal oil--all were being used to make the body shine. One of the contestants said they were no less than showpieces, for they had put in a lot of efforts to carve their bodies. So, they had to polish and make their bodies shine the professional way, he said.

Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria and Gurvinder Singh



LPG and CNG Auto Welfare Society prepares for next action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
To chalk out the next action plan for getting its demands fulfilled, the LPG and CNG Auto Welfare Society has decided to hold a meeting on March 12.

Disclosing this, Jaspal Singh Islam Ganj, president of the society, said: “We had submitted a charter of demands to the District Transport Officer, the Traffic Police in-charge, Ludhiana, and some political leaders, but to no avail. So, we have decided to hold our meeting on March 12 in which we will chalk out our next action plan.”

Jaspal Singh said: “Cell auto and geo auto (autos with four wheels) are still plying on the city roads with state permit. There are already many autos, which have the permit of other cities but are plying on the city roads. By giving permit to cell auto and geo auto, the government has deceived the LPG autos as many diesel-run auto owners converted their vehicles into LPG and CNG. But now, as the government is also allowing the diesel autos to ply on the city roads, it is affecting the business of LPG auto owners.”

The LPG and CNG Auto Welfare Society had already submitted a memorandum in this regard to the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Badal, through the District Administration on January 15.



NGOs to educate masses
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 9
Office-bearers and activists of various social and educational organisations of the region vowed to play active role in educating masses about the significance of implementation of the Right to Education Act in letter and spirit.

The oath was taken during the concluding session of ICSSR sponsored seminar on ‘Challenges in Implementation of RTE’ at Guru Nanak College of Education at Gopalpur village near here.

Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, chairman, presided over the seminar and Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, AIG Punjab Police, Ludhiana, was the chief guest.

Speakers, including Dr Balwinder Singh Walia, Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, Iqbal Singh Walia, principal Neetu Ohri, Dr Jatinder Grover, Dr NR Sharma and Senator Mukesh Arora highlighted various aspects of the legislation that was enacted for making formal education available to children of lowest rung of the society.

Showing concern towards the widening gap between the desired goal and achieved targets, speakers called upon office-bearers and activists of various social, religious and educational organisations of the region to join hands with the Administration in the movement launched to aware masses of the act.

Also, a book on edited papers on the subject was released on the occasion.



Hospital accused of neglecting patients
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Shiv Ram Saroay, a member of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti of the Civil Hospital, has accused the hospital authorities of neglecting the persons admitted to the unknown patients’ ward.

Saroay, who is also the president of Ann Jal Sewa Trust, said the patients were not receiving proper treatment at the hospital.

"One patient was admitted to the ward in a very critical condition. When members of our society went to the ward to serve meal, they saw the patient’s head was hanging out of the bed. The members gave him necessary assistance," said Saroay.

Despite a number of attempts, the Senior Medical Officer of the Civil Hospital could not be contacted for comments.



from schools
Grandparents’ Day

Ludhiana: To strengthen family bonding and inculcate moral values in students, Mother’s Pride School celebrated Grandparents’ Day at Nehru Sidhant Kendra. The event started with the children singing a prayer. Students and teachers gave dance performances on old Hindi movie songs to entertain the grandparents.

Annual function

Mother's Touch Kindergarten orgainsed the annual function “Fantasia”. Actress Nirmal Rishi was the chief guest. Students gave the message of “recycle, reduce and reuse” to the gathering. A play based on the story “The Little Mermaid” was also enacted. Children presented various dance performances.

Badminton competition

Bal Bharati Public School organised an inter-house badminton competition for Classes I to V on the school campus. In all, 56 students took part in the final round of the competition. In boys' doubles (U-13) category, Gursahib Singh (Class V-B) and Raj Kawar Kang (V-B) of Mercury House bagged the first position. In boys' singles (U-13) category, Manas Shukla (IV-C) of Mercury House was victorious. In boys' singles (U-10) category, Mehardeep Singh (II-E) of Mars House was the winner. In girls' doubles (U-13) category, Aarzoo Sharma (V-A) and Ashmeet Kaur (IV-A) of Venus House stole the show. In the girls' singles (U-13) category, Bavneet Kaur (V-B) of Mercury House stood first. Principal Punam Dogra congratulated the students on their achievement and also encouraged them to practise whole-heartedly for participating in such activities.

Sports day

Kids Castle Pre-School celebrated its sports day with fun games and music entertaining the children. Children took part in crawl race, jumping race, zig-zag race and frog race. Principal Sonia Behl, while interacting with parents, highlighted the importance of sports in a child's life.

International Women’s Day

Phillaur: DRV DAV Centenary Public School celebrated International Women’s Day. A programme was organised for the women of nearby villages. Gynaecologist Dr Shaifali Khosla advised the gathering to be careful to notice any signs of common diseases that affect women. She encouraged them to take a healthy diet. The school opened a sewing centre for underprivileged women with the aim to make them independent and confident. Later, Shweta, an expert from Jalandhar, taught various ways of meditation to teachers for leading a stress-free life. School principal Yogesh Gambhir felicitated the teachers. — TNS



1,200 donate blood at camp
Our Correpsondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 9
As many as 1,205 persons, including 350 women, donated blood during the Seventh Sudhir Memorial Blood Donation Camp organised by the Social Welfare Organisation Ahmedgarh (SWOA) at the local grain market here today.

Teams from Ludhiana’s Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Krishana Charitable Hospital and Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, collected blood during the camp.

Legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, in his address during the felicitation function, motivated people to launch a coordinated movement to educate youth of the area about the need to donate blood for saving lives.

The organisers felicitated the donors with mementos.



from colleges
Annual business fest

Ludhiana: The RIMT Institute of Management and Computer Technology organised its annual business fest, “Munafa Bazaar”. The fest was inaugurated by founder chairman Dr Hukum Chand Bansal. The annual fest is organised by the MBA Students’ Club and has a number of activities to test the students’ management skills. Students were asked to set up stalls to sell various goods. Around 100 students from various other colleges also attended the fest.

Sahir Ludhianvi’s birth anniversary celebrated

SCD Government College celebrated the birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi. Brij Goyal, an alumnus of the college who was a part of Sahir's Writers Association, garlanded the poet’s portrait. He also interacted with the students.

Students seek blessings for examnations

To seek the blessings of the Almighty for the success of its students in the university examinations, the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, held a kirtan and ardas. Bhai Sahib Bhai Beant Singh and Ragi jatha captivated the staff and students with soulful rendition of the holy verses. Addressing the students, principal Manjit Kaur Ghuman said beginning any task with a prayer ensured success. She wished the students good luck for their exams.

Techno-cultural fest

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Pooja Sharma and Gagan Deep Singh were adjudged Miss Fresher and Mr Fresher during the two-day techno-cultural festival at the Bhutta Group of Colleges near here. Former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha presided over the concluding session and Ranjodh Singh, a philanthropist, was the chief guest. Over 1,500 students from various institutes participated in various events, including project display, web designing, group discussion, collage making, poster making and rangoli making. Choreographies and skits exhibiting adverse affects of social evils such as illiteracy, dowry and female feticide were appreciated by all. Noted singers Babbu Maan and Harjeet Harman and Deep Dhillon enthralled the audience during the star nite. — TNS



Litterateurs want Punjabi declared state language
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Punjabi Sahit Academi wants the government to give Punjabi the status of “state language”.

To make this happen, it will be appealing to all the political parties to include this promise in their election manifestos.

This was decided during a meeting of the office-bearers of the academy at Punjabi Bhawan today. The meeting was presided over by Dr Gurbhajan Singh Gill.

The members said steps should be taken for uplifting the Punjabi language and culture.

They also want the parties to include the promise of making Punjabi the medium of work in all government offices.

A monthly meeting of Vishav Punjabi Sahit Manch was also held at Punjabi Bhawan. The meeting was presided over by president Pritam Pander. He said the need of the hour was to impart quality education to children, so that they could become responsible citizens. The gathering also discussed works of various writers.



Privatisation of health services flayed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
A convention of Paramedical and Health Employees’ Front, Punjab, was organised at Rakh Bagh here today.

While addressing the gathering, the convener of the employees’ front, Swaranjit Singh, asked the government to stop the privatisation of health services in the state.

Among various demands of the paramedical and health employees are the filling of vacant posts and regularisation of the services of the contractual employees.

Swaranjit Singh urged the employees to join hands in order to force the government to fulfil all their demands. 



Two go missing from Cheema village 
Our Correspondent

Khanna, March 9
Two persons, residents of the nearby Cheema village, have been reportedly missing under mysterious circumstances for the past five days. They have been identified as Jagjit Singh Jagga and his cousin Jagrop Singh Roop.

Jagjit Singh’s wife, Kamaljit Kaur, said five days back, Jagroop Singh came to their house and asked her husband to accompany him to Salana village, where he had left his motorcycle.

She said her husband refused to go as he was not feeling well but Jagroop pressurised him into accompanying him.

“The duo then left the house in their Maruti car for Salana village. They have been missing since then,” she said. After failed attempts to get any clue of their whereabouts, she reported the matter to the police.

The Payal station house officer confirmed the incident and said they were waiting for the call details of the missing persons.

No case had been registered till the filing of this report.



Business News

IOS opens its second all-women branch

Ludhiana: Indian Overseas Bank, Ludhiana, inaugurated the region’s second all- women branch at Model Town on Saturday. The branch was inaugurated by Santosh Thakur and Jalan, oldest lady customer of the branch. IOB, Ludhiana region, felicitated sewing machines to needy ladies to empower them with the hope that these will act as a key for their success. The region has also sanctioned 140 loan accounts amounting Rs 4 crore approximately to women customers for their business and personal requirements. Branch manager, Neetika Sinha said this was a welcome step towards women empowerment through financial inclusion which would also enable women to become financially independent.

Community projects announced

IBM enters into partnership with Bharti Foundation and NGOs in Ludhiana and announced four pro-bono community projects in the city as a part of its Corporate Service Corps (CSC) programme. The projects will be implemented in association with the Bharti Foundation, Punjab Agricultural University, Swabhimaan NGO Education Society and Ludhiana Steel Rolling Mills. Working with the Bharti Foundation, the development arm of Bharti Enterprises, the IBM team will help Ludhiana's primary and secondary schools, as well as institutions of higher learning, with the tools and techniques to create and easily replicate lessons plans. The second project will be with the PAU, which performs the integrated functions of teaching, research and application of agriculture, agricultural engineering, home science and allied disciplines. The IBM team will be collaborating with its College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology to recommend the parameters of a management information system for the School of Electrical Engineering and Technology. The third project for the IBM CSC team is with Swabhimaan Education Society, an NGO, which works to promote access to education for under-privileged children. IBM’s fourth association is with the Ludhiana Steel Rolling Mills (LSRM) group, a pioneer in steel manufacturing who not only produces world class products but is also committed to the best environmental protection practices.

ISEED to conduct counselling sessions

The International School of Entrepreneurship Education and Development (ISEED), an educational institution offering India's first full time 1-year post-graduate level programme in entrepreneurship has announced an ‘Incubation Programme’ to encourage entrepreneurship. Aimed at start-ups and early stage companies, the six-month long development programme will provide an investment fund of Rs 2 crore towards investments in various ventures. ISEED has also announced admissions for 2014-15 Post Graduate Programme in Entrepreneurship, designed specifically for budding and aspiring entrepreneurs and will be conducting counseling sessions for interested graduate students at A Hotel in Ludhiana on March 9 between 4 pm- 6 pm. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan
Hospital holds caregivers’ meet

Ludhiana: The seventh caregivers’ meet was held at Manas Hospital in Ludhiana on Sunday. As many as 200 caregivers of psychiatric patients from Ludhiana and adjoining towns were present during the meet. Dr Sandeep Goyal, associate professor of the Department of Psychiatry from Christian Medical College and Hospital, and Dr Rajeev Gupta from Manas Foundation were the resource persons. Dr Gupta laid stress on rising stress and its role in causing day-to-day psychiatric illness. He explained the benefits of eastern psychology. A question-answer session was also held during which various misconceptions and doubts regarding psychiatric illness were cleared.

Blood donated

A voluntary blood donation camp was held at Shani Gaon in association with the team of Zindagi Live Foundation. Around 50 units of blood were collected by a team of doctors from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Ashok Marwaha, chairman of the foundation, said the foundation was now supporting 90 underprivileged children by paying the cost of transfusion medicines and giving them filters free of charge.

Book released

SPS Apollo Hospital organised a series of initiatives to observe Women's Day. Activities were organised for all female associates working in the hospital as well as for the women who visited the hospital for check-up. A special book on women health titled, 'Be Beautiful', authored by Dr Jastinder Gill, senior consultant, Department of Skin and Cosmetology, SPS Apollo Hospitals, was launched by Jugdiep Singh, Managing Director. According to Dr Jastinder Gill, the book is specially written by her for all women to serve as a handy reference for keeping their skin healthy.

Medical camp

A day after International Women's Day, Pancham Hospital organised a free medical check-up camp where 250 female patients were examined and were given health tips.


A meeting of the office-bearers of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi was held at Punjabi Bhawan on Sunday. The meeting was presided over by Dr Gurbhajan Singh Gill. A unanimous decision on making an appeal to all the political parties to include some important things related to Punjabi language in their election manifesto was taken. Steps should be taken to encourage use of Punjabi.

Artificial limbs distributed

The Senior Citizens Welfare Association, Ludhiana, organised a free artificial limb distribution camp at Viklang Sahayta Kender, Rishi Nagar, in Ludhiana on Sunday. Twenty-nine physically handicapped persons were given artificial limbs, caliper, wheelchairs and hearing aids during the camp. SP Karkara, president, mentioned about various welfare programmes undertaken by the association such as eye check-up camp, multi-specialty medical check-up camp, awareness camp, financial help to senior citizens and poor children, besides taking up matters concerning senior citizens with the State and District Administration.

Motorcycle rally

A motorcycle rally was organised by the All-India Forward Block in Ludhiana on Sunday. Youths led by national president VP Sainihas participated in the rally. After the rally, a meeting of workers and activists were organised at the head office of the party. VP Sahni announced the candidature of Comrade Hari Singh Sahani from Lok Sabah Constituency Ludhiana. Hari Singh Sahni urged to youth to work against the social evils. — TNS



2 pickpockets arrested

Ludhiana, March 9
The city police today arrested two pickpockets who had stolen the purse of a city resident. The accused used the victim's debit card and withdrew Rs 43,000 from an ATM.

The accused have been identified as Rajan Kumar, a resident of Chander Nagar, and Vikas Verma of Guru Nanakpura. They were caught in the CCTV camera installed on the ATM when they were withdrawing the cash.

During the interrogation, the two accused had confessed that they had stolen the purse of complainant Sunil Kumar, when he was paying obeisance at Dandi Swami temple. The accused told the police that had withdrawn the money by using the ATM pin written on the pouch of the card. — TNS



Man waits seven months for fraudster’s arrest
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Complainant Harish Sood shows a copy of the FIR in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Complainant Harish Sood shows a copy of the FIR in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, March 9
The city police have arrested a man for conspiring to usurp a woman’s property, allegedly in connivance with a Municipal Corporation employee.

The man allegedly had a property dispute with the woman’s husband.

The accused, identified as Vishal Goel, a resident of Kuldeep Nagar Basti, Jodhewal, was arrested on Friday night. He was booked under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC for fraud and forging the woman’s signature. Vishal was presented before the Court of Duty Magistrate and sent to a day’s police remand.

It was nearly seven months back when an employee of the civic body was caught while trying to apply for a copy of the TS-1 of a land by forging signatures of its owner, Asha Sood.

The Superintendent, Zone B, Neeraj Jain, who knew Asha’s husband, Harish Sood, told him about it.

"I was shocked when the MC employee, identified as Tarun, confessed before Neeraj Jain that an inspector in the MC had sent him to apply for the TS-1," said Harish Sood.

Tarun, who was made to sit in a room, escaped through a window.

Sood brought the matter to the notice of senior MC officials, who forwarded the matter to the police. Police Commissioner Paramjit Singh Gill ordered a probe into the matter.

"My ordeal began when the case was handed over to the police. I was made to run from pillar to post. The investigating officer kept making excuses each time I visited the police station," said Sood.

Exasperated, Sood lodged a complaint on the Punjab Police helpline number 181.

"In December, last year, I received a response from the helpline stating that my complaint had been forwarded to the higher authorities," said Sood.

Finally, DCP Harsh Bansal and ACP (Central) Deepak Hilori began probing the matter, and it came to light that Vishal Goel, with whom Harish Sood had a property dispute, had hatched the plan.



CMCH holds annual sports day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) organised the 29th annual sports day on its premises. It was declared open by the chief guest, Kuldeep Singh, Additional Chief Administrator, GLADA. He took the salute from the participating contingents.

Students of Medical College, Dental College, College of Physiotherapy, College of Nursing, allied health services, doctors and staff members presented a march past.

The event kicked off with an oath-taking ceremony by the participants. Later, students and staff members participated in events like 100m, 200m and 400m races, long jump, high jump, discus throw, shot put relay and shot put.


100m (girls): Jannet from Christian Medical College 1st; Tanu from Christian Dental College 2nd; and Anjana from College of Nursing 3rd. 100m (boys): Abhishek Thomas, College of Nursing 1st; Anupam from Christian Medical College 2nd; and Suramya Rajan Kumar from Christian Dental College 3rd. Long jump (staff men): Sandeep from Cardio Department 1st; Brijesh (Pharmacology) 2nd; and Sunny from Pharmacy 3rd. Long jump (staff women): Dr Rinchu Loomba 1st; Janifer from College of Nursing 2nd; and Tanu from Phiso 3rd.



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