24122018-JTR-01.qxd 12/23/2018 11:55 PM Page 1 c m y b MONDAY | 24 DECEMBER 2018 | JALANDHAR JALANDHAR TRIBUNE ‘Use double-fortified salt’ Notes from Punjabi music New avatar The district government schools have been asked to use doublefortified salt in mid-day meals. P2 Controversies that surrounded the Punjabi music industry in 2018. P3 Madhurima Tuli will be seen in all-new role taking the evil quotient a notch higher. P4 FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY | MAX 20°C MIN 3°C | YESTERDAY MAX 21°C MIN 6°C | SUNSET MONDAY 5.27 PM SUNRISE TUESDAY 7.18 AM NGT team visits villages hit by water pollution Residents highlight woes, say untreated drains claiming lives Tribune News Service Jalandhar, December 23 Teams of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday visited several villages in the district which are affected by water pollution. Led by NGT’s supervisory committee member Chander Babu, the team members visited the Kala Sanghian drain and the Chitti Bein. While environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal had recently raised the issue of pollution in the drain, he had also written to the NGT on the defunct sewage treatment plants across the state which were adding to untreated water and creating pollution in the state. Chief engineer GS Majithia and senior environmental engineer Harbir Singh were also present on the occasion. Villagers living on the banks of the Kala Sanghian drain gave a long decla- An NGT official with environmentalist Balbir Singh Seechewal and other villagers in Jalandhar. TRIBUNE PHOTO ration to the NGT. Detailing their experiences, they said they could not go to any other village now. They complained that they were facing troubles in marrying their children as no one wanted to marry their kin in a village which was affected by diseases. They said a large number of people in the villages were dying of cancer and hepatitis. The teams visited Chamiara, Gazipur, Athaula, Balerkhanpur, Gurdwara Tahli Sahib, Fatehpur and Nawa Pind Khalewal villages. Residents of Nawa Pind Khalewal said there had been over 10 deaths in the village due to cancer. ‘Badhais’ criminalised, LGBT community opposes LS Bill Says govt snatching its right to livelihood, mulls protest Aparna Banerji Tribune News Service Jalandhar, December 23 At the office of the Shaan Foundation, which works with the LGBT community in the district, transgender persons begin a gathering early in the day, holding a ‘siyappa’ (a mourning rite). Cheekily, one of them chants, “Sarkar da siyappa kar rahe haan. Sade dhidd te latt marti” (We are protesting against the government. It has snatched our livelihood). Angered over the hurriedly passed Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016, in the Lok Sabha which criminalises ‘begging’, members of the community have been holding this rite to express their angst against the government. Collecting ‘badhais’ at weddings and birth ceremonies is the primary means of livelihood for a vast majority of transgender persons in the region. While at least two per cent of the population of the state comprises transgender persons, the population of the community members in Jalandhar alone is over 2,000. At least 70 per cent of transgender persons across the state earn their living by seeking ‘badhais’. Around 15 deras in the city comprise communities of transgender persons. On the top of it, with many of them involved in sex work, the city has also seen gruesome murders like the one in which the arm of a transgender person was chopped and she was left to die in July this year. Another from Khera village was found hanging from a tree after a bitter feud, several months later. Mahant Mona, a transgen- Members of the transgender community in Jalandhar. TRIBUNE PHOTO mandates a screening will we eat if ❝ Whatis snatched?our basic rightofto ❝ The Billto formally declare our committee livelihood Generations our community have been bred on this profession. The government is criminalising the profession without arranging any alternative jobs for us. ❞ gender. Men and women don’t have to go through that. I wouldn’t like someone screening me for my gender. This is discriminatory and a rude shock. MAHANT MONA, Head of dera der person who is the head of a local dera which primarily comprises community members, said, “What will we eat if our basic right to livelihood is snatched? Generations of our community have been bred on this profession. I have two generations of shagirds (disciples) who only know seeking ‘badhais’. We can’t even find jobs now. The government is criminalising the profession without arranging any alternative jobs for us.” A Jalandhar-based transgender person Ritika, who is working with a local NGO, said, “The Bill mandates a screening committee to formally declare our gender. Men and women don’t have to go through that. I wouldn’t like someone screening me for my gender. This is discriminatory and a rude shock.” Mahant Rupali, working at a dera, said, “Our community is already discriminated against. In the past six months, two members of our community have fallen prey to violence. Now, the government is further imperilling a community already under attack.” Deepak Rana, CEO, Shan Foundation, said, “Majority ❞ RITIKA, NGO worker of transgender persons seek ‘badhais’ for a living. It is a tradition which has been supported for ages. There are several other discriminatory recommendations of the Bill. While a woman’s rapist is to be subjected to seven years in jail, the punishment for a transgender person’s rapist has been reduced to two years. Is their pain any different? Screening committees and criminalisation of begging are the last thing we need.” The community members also plan to hold a protest on the issue in the coming days. c m y b 35-yr-old found dead in car Our Correspondent Jalandhar, December 23 A 35-year-old man was found dead under mysterious circumstances in his car at Bidhipur village on Sunday. The Indigo car of the victim, Atul Raj, a resident of Makhdoom Pura, was found on the road near Govind Dham. The body was noticed by residents who immediately informed the police. Sources said the victim had left home in the evening on Saturday. Police officials said some marks on the neck have been found on the body and it seems he was killed by tying a rope over his neck. The car has been impounded by the police and an investigation has been started. The autopsy will be conducted on Monday and the body will be handed over to the victim’s family members after that. SHO, Maqsudan, Sukha Singh said, “We are investigating the matter. The cause of death will be known only after the postmortem. We have recovered a few liquor bottles and some eatables from the car and a case against an unknown person has been registered.” ”Whether it was a suicide or murder, it will only be established after the investigation is completed,” he said. Cyclists brave dense fog in Jalandhar on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MALKIAT SINGH Fog triggers mishaps, 20 vehicles damaged Our Correspondent Phagwara, December 23 Thick fog engulfed the region on Sunday, affecting normal life. The visibility was reported to be less than 50 metres due to which road and railway services were hit. Several accidents were reported in the city due to poor visibility. More than 20 vehicles were damaged in mishaps on the highways in Phagwara and Phillaur. How- ever, no casualty was reported. Most of the trains were running one to seven hours behind schedule. The authorities have set up ‘fog signal posts’ at railway stations to ensure smooth plying of trains.
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
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