Punjab Governor Shri VP Singh Badnore launches Roots to Route tourism programme at the 1st International Sikh Conclave
Three NGOs and 5 personalities from around the world conferred ‘Sarbad da Bhala’ awards
The Governor of Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh, Shri V P Singh Badnore inaugurated the 1st International Sikh Conclave here today.
Speaking on the occasion, he highlighted the great sacrifices and contribution in every field that the community has made to the country and the world.
He said both Rajasthan and Punjab share a lot of cultural similarities and more and more Punjabis must visit the state to discover the heritage there.
On this occasion, he launched the ‘Route to Roots: Sikh Circuits’ programme conceived by AJ Travels in association with the Punjab Tourism Department which would be promoting the special tours to 5-Sikh Takhats, the Guru Gobind Singh Marg, and the Heritage trail across the country.
The Conclave was organized by the International Sikh Confederation and AJ Travels with the theme of ‘Route to Roots’ to highlight, preserve and reconnect the people with the rich heritage of Punjab, said the Conclave Convenor and founder CEO of AJ Travels, Smt Sartaj Lamba.
Lt Gen Kartar Singh Gill, PVSM, (Retd), Secretary General of the International Sikh Confederation (ISC) informed that the purpose is to leverage the strength and knowledge that the Sikh community possesses around the globe, and keep the interest alive in them and their children about their legendary past.
He outlined various initiatives to promote literacy amongst youth that the ISC has been making through special coaching sessions around Punjab and even upgrade the education standards in schools.
Shri VP Singh Badnore also conferred special ‘Sarbat da Bhala’ awards on select social organizations and individuals for upholding the Sikh tenets and rendering selfless service, in the presence of former world President of Rotary International Rajendra K Saboo.
Three organizations were recognized for their exceptional work including Bassi Pathana based Mehar Baba Charitable Trust (MBCT), internationally renowned sikh NGO Khalsa Aid, and popular digital Sikh tv channel.
Others who were honoured included Manpreet Singh from Oman, Jyoti Swarup Kanya Asra founder supporting orphan girls Dr Harminder Singh, philanthropist Jugraj Singh Gill, social activist Harmandeep Singh Anand of Jagsons Travels from Nagpur, Australia based general practitioner Dr Kulwant Pradhan.
A spiritual healer, Dr Inder Siddhu from USA spoke on Guru Nanak as a Spiritual Soul who promoted the oneness of humanity and God and simplified the concept of spirituality bereft of any rituals.
Linking Punjab to the World session was moderated by Mr Man Mohan Singh Kohli with Mr Vikram Sodhi, Shiv Dullar Singh Dhillon, Director Tourism, Punjab, Mr Gurminder Singh Matharoo, MD, HEICO, and Maj Gen I.P. Singh (retd) participated.
Prof J.S. Narula, educationist, and noted filmmaker, spoke on the glory of ‘Dastaar’, while young sikh boys walked the stage to present the turbans.
Dr Hari Singh Jachak, Bhavneet Kaur and Gurpartap Singh recited select Punjabi poetry, while another panel comprising Prabhjot Kaur, Karanbir Singh Sibia, Jaspal Kaur Kang, Sardar Barni and Maj R.S. Grewal discussed the ways and means to restore heritage and culture of Punjab.
Awaaj Punjab Di finalist, Kiran Kaur, opened the proceedings of the day with shabad recital, and at the valedictory, youngsters performed Gathka and Bhangra.
AJ Travels has made special arrangement for the delegates to visit Virasat-e-Khalsa at Anandpur Saheb tomorrow.