On the ISC Front
Lt Gen Kartar Singh
The last Quarter was indeed a busy as well as a rewarding period for the International Sikh Confederation. There were frantic activities in our campus as the Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha in alliance with us and the Institute of Sikh Studies laid the Foundation for the construction of the five storied building at Plot No.1, Sector-28-A of Chandigarh. This is an elite location on Madhya Marg which will house a plethora of Sikh organizations whose main objective will be the uplift of Sikh Society in the spheres of religion, education and social and economic uplift. Construction of the basement in the first phase is in full saving. Baba Ji Maluk Singh, Karsewa wale has dedicated his services to this noble venture. We expect all our members and the Sikh Jagat to contribute liberally towards the completion of this historic Singh Sabha Head Quarters in terms of finance as well as Kar Sewa.
This being a vital sphere of our activities, a press conference was held by the ISC at the Chandigarh Press Club on 18th May 2010. We outlined our plans to ensure that the ISC in alliance with all sansthas, would ensure full utilization under the Prime Minister’s 15 Point Programme for Minorities. We requested the press to take our message to the masses and also press the Punjab Government to quickly release the funds already received from the Centre for this project. The result was rewarding. Readers will be highly pleased to know that the Punjab Govt. has quickly released Rs 35 Crore and all students whose scholarships were approved last year due to ISC efforts will be rewarded and can continue to dream of attaining high standards in their pursuit of high educational status.
The plans for furthering rural uplift were discussed in great detail with our sister organizations in a co-ordination conference held at ISC HQ in Chandigarh on 18 June 2010. This meeting was well attended and we are indebted to S.Lakha Singh, Additional Director of Social Welfare Department, Punjab Govt. for sending his representative Shri R.S Sodhi to help and guide us in our mission. The far reaching results and follow-up action have already been sent to all concerned. We plan to write to all members of Parliament and Members of Legislature Assembly, Punjab, to help us utilize all education funds available this year with particular emphasis in rural areas.
Our Coaching Schemes
Our CEO, Lt Gen Kartar Singh Gill, PVSM (Retd.) visited Mukhandpur in Distt:Nawan Sehar on 19 May 2010 and had detailed discussion on the progress of the Guru Nanak Coaching Centre set up by us. Dr. Atamjit Singh, the Principal ASSM College, Mukandpur is an outstanding educationist and Sikh Scholar who has helped us in this venture. Professor Narinder Singh Tuli, our co-ordinator has worked hard to ensure that more and more bright students from this rural area sit for competitions to get admissions in professional colleges. We shall publish the result of their efforts in the next quarter. A lot has been done and the centre is buzzing with activity as seen by the CEO by visiting various classes and exchanging views with teachers and students. The ISC has indeed earned a high reputation in the whole area.
Setting up Medical Aid Centtres in Villages
Allied with Dakson Research and Development Foundation (DRDF), whose Director Dr. B.S.Sain, is a retired Chief Engineer from Haryana, we have launched a new project. This was launched in Distt: Ferozpur’s rural areas with the help of S Gurbinder Singh Kang, an NRI Philanthropist. Selected local 10 plus 2 qualified young boys and girls will be trained for two weeks in basic medical aid in Chandigarh under experts here to enable them to set up medical aid centres in backward villages. The aim is to tackle daily occurring medical problems such as fever, malaria, stomach problems, cough and cold, injuries and other such daily occurrences that are ignored by villagers and later develop into major diseases. They will also advocate implementation of health and sanitation measures in the village. We have already trained two batched of six students each who have already established Integrated MedicalRreferral Centres in various villages with our help. Our Doctor in charge training is Mrs Meena Jakhar who is running a hospital in village Nayagaon near Chandigarh. This will act as a Referral and Advisory Centre with tele-communication with the village centres set up by us. The scheme has picked up well and more and more young volunteers want to undergo this short course.
Highlighting Flaws in our Electoral System
Our Convenor Dr.S.S.Johl, Padma Bhushan, has closely studied the existing flaws in our system of electing members of parliament and legislative Assemblys. He has come up with concrete suggestions to improve these so as to reduce corruption and misuse of funds. Having discussed these with various groups of learned as well as the working public, he has launched a drive towards cleaning up the flaws in the systems. The strengthen his cause, he has obtained signatures of over ten thousand citizens from various spheres of life and submitted his suggestions for reforms to the President of India, the PM and also heads of major political parties. On 8th May he also presented these to the press at the Press Club of Chandigarh and these were highlighted in many newspapers. Basically his suggestions are as follows:
The members of the ISC and its Executive Committee are gradually enlarging their spheres of activity; the main handicap now is the lack of supporting finance. As the ISC grows, it’s organizational expenses rise. These have been kept at stingy levels by constraints being overcome by personal contribution by a few devoted members. Can this continue? Not if you want us to grow into a really beneficial and hard-hitting modern Sikh International organization. Help us in this crucial phase to grow by your contribution both in joining in for work in the field and also liberally financing our ongoing projects and many more still lying on my desk for want of finances. The true Sikh never wearies of helping the under-privileged. Contributing Daswandh is the pride of our community. The Guru gifted this to us by personal sacrifices that can never be equalled by even the proudest of other communities.
Lastly Great News
The honoured Chairman of our Advisory Council on Diaspora and Legal Affairs Justice Mota Singh ji is now Justice Sir Mota Singh, Queen’s Council – he is being knighted by the Queen of England. This is the result of a life time of dedicated labour to his profession, his country and to the community. We are proud of this noble Sikh.