About Bhagat Puran Singh?
Bhagat Puran Singh Ji is undoubtedly the single Sikh Hero of this century who worked totally selflessly all his life to provide the last hope to the mentally and terminally ill patients. Whenever he use to see a deserted dead body (human or animal) immediately he would prepare (by his own hand) a grave and give the human or animal a deserving respect of death. He was to Sikhism, what Mother Teresa is to Catholicism.
Against the backdrop of violence and poverty in 1947 he established a premier institute which takes care of sick, disabled and forlorn persons. Whatever money and financial resources he could gathered he used it to establish this institute. It is also believed that he was almost nominated to receive Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 but by not giving him prize it was the loss of sick and disabled persons as well as Nobel Prize committee. His life story is a saga of grit, determination, faith in the almighty and unending love for the suffering humanity.
Bhagat Puran Singh, born at Rajewal, Distt. Ludhiana on June 4 1904., at the house of Chaudhari Chibu Mal and Mehtab Kaur. In an interview to Patwant Singh Bhagat Puran Singh discloses how he became a Sikh ,in his early life he use to travel a lot from village to village and would stay at a Hindu Temple. One day when he was staying at a Temple Brahmins told him to clean the temple and then when he was done they sat in front of him and ate the food without offering him., Incidentally next time he had to stay at a Gurdwara and Bhai ji of Gurdwara not only gave him good food but also a cot and a glass of milk afterwards., without asking for any sewa for Gurdwara. After this Bhagat Puran Singh didn't even thought twice and became a Khalsa.
He set out in life for the service of the suffering humanity- the greatest religion. He founded Pingalwara in 1947 with a few discarded patients. He was also a writer as well as publisher and an environmentalist. Pingalwara is a very big home of human service. Bhagat Ji's contribution in spreading awareness about the global dangers of environment pollution, increasing soil erosion etc are also commendable. His dedication was awarded with heaps of honours by many quarters. Prestigious among these was the Padamshri award in 1979, which he surrendered in the wake of the army attack on the Golden Temple in 1984. He left for his heavenly abode on August 5, 1992.
As a sturdy youth of moderate means about 70 years ago, Bhagat Puran Singh saw a little boy who couldn’t walk. He decided to be the boy’s carrier "Until the latter could use his own legs".
The boy never did and Bhagat Puran Singh carried him on his shoulders until the time he himself became too frail to walk. And he decided to collect humans who did not have the abilit to help themselves. His Pingalwara became a home for orphans, mentally retarded persons and, the totaly deprived sections of society. It was a primitive place and neither society nor the State helped. The media winked a lot, took occasional notice and lapsed back to winking. But Bhagat Puran Singh carried on.
He remained an avid collector ever since. He collected "human pebbles" from the streets and housed them in Pingalwara. He collected funds, in driblets rather than droves, to run it. And he collected all the purposeful articles in the newspapers and magazines writings on the economy, environment, public health, population, etc. -- published booklets of these and distributed them free to interested people. The front page of newspapers never interested him. It was amazing to see how his eyes went straight to reports and write-ups dealing with human problems and welfare. He lived all his life for others and packed 72 hours of activity in a normal day.
At this time Pingalwara is run by Dr Inder Jit Kaur, she is also President of All India Pingalwara Charitable Society(Regd). She has embarked upon a mission to produce a movie on the life of Bhai Puran Singh Ji. Please spread this information.
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