‘Accidents do not come with a notice’. This was the motto of the Gurdaspur District Red Cross Society as it held the first of several first aid awareness camps at the HRA International School premises. Such camps will be a regular feature in educational institutes of the district. Rajeev Singh, Secretary of the Society, said more than 30 staff members were imparted the basics of giving first aid to the injured. The school director Satya Sen Aggarwal, principal Suman Shukla and educationist Neelofar were present on the occasion. Rajeev Singh gave a 90-minute long presentation to the staff members pertaining to the main techniques of giving first aid to the injured. He will be repeating this exercise in other schools too. “One should be prepared for all types of emergencies and eventualities. First aid is a crucial factor in saving lives. Emphasis in these camps is being laid on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques. Human bodies are susceptible to sudden injuries, illnesses and trauma. You never know when any injury may happen to us or to people we love or even those who are around us. When it comes to work safety, first aid awareness becomes very crucial,” said Rajeev. Suman Shukla said, “It was an enlightening experience learning the basics of giving first aid. It is good that the District Red Cross Society will be extending this endeavour to other schools in the future.” Deputy Commissioner (DC) Himanshu Aggarwal was impressed by the initiative. He said the administration will extend all possible help to the Red Cross Society to ensure such camps are held on a regular basis. He said, “An ounce of prevention is better than an ounce of cure. In my opinion, safety is not expensive, it is priceless.” Well said, Deputy Commissioner Sir!
Villagers need clarity over Katra expressway
Villagers living between Aujla and Dinanagar are a harried lot. They do not know the exact place between village Aujla and Dinanagar township where land acquisition will take place for the proposed Delhi-Katra expressway. Visits to the offices of local administrators have not borne much fruit. For the last two years, they have been groping in the dark as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has finalised the route before Aujla and after Dinanagar. However, the proposed direction the expressway will take between Aujla and Dinanagar remains in the realm of speculation. Realtor Manjit Singh Dala says many villagers want to establish petrol pumps and marriage palaces but since they fear that their land could come under the scanner, they are not going ahead. No construction activity is taking place because any building or commercial establishment that comes up will have to be razed to the ground by the NHAI once the acquisition process starts. “So why spend our hard-earned money on building new things,” said Dilbagh Singh Lally Cheema, a prosperous farmer of Bariar village which falls between Aujla and Dinanagar. “About a year ago, I wanted to set up a marriage palace near my village on the Pathankot-Gurdaspur road. However, officials told me that if the palace comes in the zone where the expressway is to be constructed, it will be pulled down. I dropped my plans and invested in Rajasthan in a similar project. Punjab’s loss is Rajasthan’s gain,” said Hardyal Singh of Paniyar village. Such is the confusion that leave alone the local administration, even officials of the NHAI have no inkling over the proposed route. Villagers want some clarity so that they can plan for the future.
(Contributed by Ravi Dhaliwal)