Lal Husain, Member of the Punjab State Commission for Minorities, was taken aback to get feedback from a large number of people regarding the grievances of weaker sections of society in the rural areas. Lal Husain, along with other leaders from weaker sections of society, was in the border village of Kalsian Kalan recently to know the ground reality regarding the facilities being given to them under different social welfare schemes, particularly the Atta-Dal, pensions for disabled, widows, old age etc. Bakhshish Singh, sarpanch of the village, apprised the commission that more than 150 families had been deprived of the Atta-Dal scheme benefits while the names of 100 heads had been deleted from the list of the pension scheme in the village. The sarpanch said the affected had been facing difficulties in making both ends meet. There were reports that Kalsian Kalan was not the only such village in the district as one-third of the beneficiaries of each village who had been availing the facility for the past many years had been denied the benefit in the recent past. The affected people had been regularly visiting the office of the departments concerned and the office of the Deputy Commissioner but no positive response was coming forth from any quarter. Jasjit Kaur, District Food and Supply Controller (DFSC), and Kiranpreet Kaur, District Social Security Officer (DSSO), had refused to give official details of the number of those whose names had been deleted from the departmental list.
Three unique personalities of Tarn Taran area
Master Piara Singh, Gurpreet Singh Gandiwind, Ravinder Singh Gill
Master Piara Singh Saini: Famously known as Master Piara Singh Saini (81), MA, BT (BEd presently), the man is often seen on the roads of Tarn Taran on foot during the day in his prim and proper attire as per the season. In winter, he always wears a coat and trousers with necktie. He retired from Sri Guru Arjun Dev Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Tarn Taran, after putting in 33 year of service. He has command of English language and though he enjoys his retired life, still graduates and post-graduate students frequently visit him for guidance. Piara Singh proudly says that even the third generation of his old students is getting free coaching in English from him.
Ravinder Singh Gill: Ravinder Singh Gill (48), a resident of Dhotian village, is a dedicated social worker. He has been associated with the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Social Welfare and Cultural Society of the village for the past 25 years and since then has been celebrating Republic Day and Independence Day in his village schools without a break. He organises seminars and camps in schools of the area against social evils such as drugs, dowry and to make people aware of the social welfare schemes of the government like pension. Distribution of items like uniform and stationary to the needy school students tops his list of activities. He has donated blood several times and had even pledged to donate his body to the Government Medical College, Amritsar.
Gurpreet Singh Gandiwind: Gurpreet Singh Gandiwind, a resident of Tarn Taran town, has gained much popularity in the employees circle. He was elected state president of the PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC) at a recently held state-level meeting of the union in Ludhiana. He had been actively taking part in the employees’ organisational activities for the last three decades and had to face victimisation several times for leading agitation for the employees’ cause. He was recently honoured by Harbhajan Singh, PWD (Bamp;R) and Power Minister, for his honest dealings with the public. He participated in the farmers’ Delhi Morcha for weeks together. Medicinal sapling plantation at common places in his locality in Tarn Taran and his native Gandiwind village is his hobby. He also takes care of the planted saplings. He is also an active participant in the activities of Taraksheel Society to make people aware against superstitions. (Contributed by Gurbaxpuri)