Dedicating the third night of the Fazilka heritage festival to "Nari
Shakti" (women empowerment), the organisers honoured four girls, who
had brought laurels to this border town.
The four-day event is being organised by the Graduate Welfare
Association, Fazilka (GWAF), in association with the Punjab Heritage
and Tourism Board.
Sandhya Kataria, a commissioned officer in the Indian Army who joined
as a lieutenant last year and was promoted to the rank of captain
within three weeks of her first assignment, was among those honoured.
Since she could not turn up to take the award, her grandfather Kishore
Chand Poonchhi and father Rajinder Kataria received it on her behalf.
Sukhwinder Kaur of nearby Senia village, who had won half a dozen
medals in wrestling at national and state-level championships, was
felicitated with the title of the "Daughter of Fazilka". She bagged
silver medals in national wrestling championships held at Aurangabad
and Jalandhar and won two gold medals during state-level championships
held in Chandigarh.
Sandeep Kaur, a resident of local Kailash Nagar, who was conferred the
Mother Teresa Award in the field of culture and education by the Sarv
Shiksha Abhiyan last year, was also honoured on the occasion.
Another girl to be honoured was Manveer Kaur of Chaurianwali village.
Her achievements included a bronze medal in the Asian Archery
Championship held at Myanmar, a gold medal in junior archery
championship held in Sikkim, a gold medal in national games held at
Guwahati and the South Asian Archery Championship held at Tata Nagar.
The awards were presented by senior woman citizens of Fazilka,
including retired principal Pritam Kaur, patron of Stri Arya Samaj
Sudesh Kumari Nagpal and social activist Shashi Ahuja besides the
office-bearers and members of the GWAF, including Dr Bhupinder Singh,
Navdeep Asija, Umesh Chander Kukkar, Surinder Kumar Ahuja, Lachhman
Dost, Nitin Setia, Pankaj Dhamija and Dolly.
Renuka, an archery coach, was also honoured for training nearly half a
dozen players who performed at national and state-level events in the
recent years. US-based Vinod Aggarwal presided over the programme.
Ranuka Jhinga, the founder president of the Baba Bholla Giri Gramin
Mahilla Utthan Sansthan, exhorted the audience, women in particular,
to come forward to curb the menace of female foeticide.
A choreography on the menace by students of Lachhman Dost School,
'giddha' by students of Government Girls Senior Secondary School and
cultural programmes by students of Kotilaya International School, Guru
Gobind Singh Youth Club and Shining Public School regaled the