Punjab’s Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today made an impassioned appeal to the Non Resident Punjabis (NRPs) to play a proactive role in perpetuating the rich cultural legacy amongst their younger generations so that they could be ever attached with the ‘soil of their forefathers’.
Addressing a massive gathering of NRP delegates on the concluding day of two days Pravasi Punjabi Sammelan here, the Chief Minister said that the youth born and raised abroad must be given schooling upto 12th standard in the state and the Punjab government with your active participation and able management would ensure to provide an aura of best educational facilities to enable them to feel at home here.
He even said that the state government would bear the entire expenditure on schooling of these children. Badal without mincing any words asked the NRPs that this was all the more important because if they missed the bus this time then they would have to repent for times to come as their younger generations will be completely detached from their roots forever.
The Chief Minister said that he could well appreciate the agony faced by NRPs when despite of having everything in terms of wealth, name and fame they were desperate to have basic spirit of Punjab, Punjabi and Punjabiat missing from their children and called for thorough introspection otherwise they would be left in lurch.
The Chief Minister further said that NRP Sammelan should be made broad based by having live interaction with various groups of businessmen, traders, entrepreneurs, Doctors and engineers so that they could share their first hand experiences and success stories to encourage their Punjabi brethren here back in their motherland. He said that the Sammelan should be extended from two to three days to afford a chance to everyone to express their views on the occasion and at the end the key functionaries of the government would address their issues.
Badal reiterated that this annual feature should not remain merely a get together rather this platform must be utilized as a healthy platform for serious and result oriented deliberations to further strengthen the economic position of Punjab. He urged the visiting delegates to send a team of progressive farmers and agriculture experts besides eminent resource persons in the field of horticulture, dairy farming and allied sectors in the International Agriculture Summit slated to be held from February 16-20 at Mohali.
The Chief Minister also asked the Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal to organize an All India Punjabi Sammelan on the lines of NRP Sammelan in future to concretize proposals for the overall welfare and development of Punjabi community living in every nook and corner of the country. He said that this would be a positive step in a direction to unite all the Punjabis on a single platform besides it would also be helpful to hasten up the process of overall growth in the state. Soliciting support and cooperation from various delegates and eminent political personalities who interacted during the Sammelan, Badal stressed on the need of constituting committees comprising experts and technocrats in various fields like Power, Infra Structure, Industries and others from Punjab and countries like Canada, USA, New Zealand for mutual cooperation in the implementation of various joint ventures of mutual interest to bolster the pace of development in Punjab.
Patting the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and NRI Affairs Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, the Chief Minister said that they deserve kudos for organizing this mega event successfully. Appreciating the unbounded abilities and capabilities of Deputy Chief Minister, Badal said that he was a satisfied father when he sees his son Mr. Sukhbir working relentlessly to serve the people of Punjab with utmost dedication and zeal to emerge the state as number one in the country.
Referring to the empowerment of women in state, the Chief Minister said that SAD-BJP government always championed the cause of giving major representation to women adding that the SAD was the first to move resolution to bring legislation for 33% reservation to women in Lok Sabha.
He further said that our party was committed to empower the women in the right earnest whereas the other national parties were doing merely a lip service on this count. Badal said that they don’t raise hollow slogans but believe in actions and a testimony to this was that they have already given representation to 35 women in SGPC as members out of total elected 170. He exhorted the visiting delegates to bring more women representatives in next sammelan.
On the occasion the Chief Minister impressed upon the NRPs to generously make contribution towards the development of their native villages and towns where the state government contributed 75% as a matching grant against the 25% contributed by them. He along with Deputy Chief Minister and Majithia disbursed cheques worth Rs 4.13 crore to the NRPs as matching grants.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister flanked by Deputy Chief Minister and Majithia also released the musical album ‘Sikh Hon Da Mann’ by eminent Punjabi singer Malkiat Singh.
In his address, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today asked the entire Punjabi Diaspora to work together for the welfare of community as the united Punjabis could influence the foreign policies and bilateral relations between the countries. Giving clarion call to the Non Resident Punjabis (NRPs) to imbibe the socio-cultural and religious tenets amongst the third generation living abroad, Badal said that it was need of the hour to showcase the progress, growth and development of Punjab to the coming generations to give further strength to emotional connect.
Badal said that India is a land of opportunities and has youngest population in the world. Adding further he said there were enormous possibilities to explore the economic ties between Punjab and other nations and Punjabi Diaspora could play a vital role in this area. He assured the NRPs that Punjab would witness drastic change in the overall infrastructure besides holistic development in next three years. He informed the gathering that Punjab was only state in the country to become a power surplus state.
The Deputy CM said that in this cyber era every village in the state would have fastest internet connectivity with round the clock availability of 4G network. He said that Punjab would thrust upon health and tourism promotion as the State Government would uplift entire infrastructure of all major cities including Amritsar and Ludhiana. “The holy city would witness a beautiful look as state government has planned massive alterations in building designs, roads, and beautifications dating back to 200 years at the cost of Rs. 2000 crore” he added.
Giving details about the “Online Punjab Mission 2014”, the Deputy CM said that under its own kind of this initiative all citizen-centric services would be provided online by December this. “To get delivery of services, people would be online instead of standing in-line in public offices,” he added. He declared that Punjab Government was fully committed to resolve the issues related to NRPs within given timeframe as the state has provided online web portal, separate NRP Police Stations, NRP Courts as well as designated civil servants to their dispute related mechanism management. He asserted that no other state government could bring about such changes in the legislations for the welfare of NRPs in the country.
In his inaugural address, NRI Affairs Minister Bikram Singh Majithia said that Punjab has fulfilled 90 percent promises made with the NRPs besides accepting their demands. He said that history would script the sincere efforts of Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal government towards the welfare of Punjabi Diaspora. Asking the elected representatives of NRPs to use their influence to flourish trade and commerce activities between East and West Punjab besides exploiting untapped potential of trade with Central Asia via Afghanistan, Bikram Singh Majithia said that this could be only possible by reviving the old silk route.
Earlier IG (NRI Wing) Gurpreet Deol made an elaborate presentation on the NRI Policing and Commissioner NRI B Purushartha on interactive NRI website.