Re-iterating Punjab Government’s commitment towards welfare of minorities and economically weaker sections, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today announced allotment of 5 marla plots to the economically weaker families of Christian Community. He also said the Punjab Government led by Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal has ensured requisite facilities to all sections of society and added that constitution of Christian Development Board was a step to ensure that the benefits of social welfare schemes must reach to the beneficiaries. He also announced that Chief Minister Punjab would soon provide a dedicated fund to the Christian Welfare Board in order to conduct the welfare activities for their community Addressing a well attended Masih Sadbhawana Rally organised by the Diocese of Jalandhar under the leadership of Most Rev. Dr. Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar, in association with all other Bishops, all Churches of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in Trinity College, Chogitti, Jalandhar, the Deputy Chief Minister said the village Panchayats would provide required land for graveyards and in case of non–availability of Panchayat lands the State Government would purchase land for the same. He informed that the state government had sanctioned Rs. 100 crore for construction of graveyards as per the demand of the Community which would start within next 2 months.
The Deputy Chief Minister also informed that Punjab Cabinet had approved the extension of Shagun scheme to the economically weaker Christian families who can avail benefits under Shagun Scheme in which Rs. 15000 would be provided to the parents of newly married girls at par with SC and BC communities. He added that they are also entitled to 200 units of free power as well as the blue cards for availing the Atta – Dal Scheme. Conceding to the demands of Christian Community for holding a state level function in the memory of Mother Teresa, installation of her statute and naming a road after her, Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal said as Mother Teresa has been bestowed with the title of Sainthood in Rome, holding a function in her memory would be just a small gesture from Punjabis towards acknowledging her service to the mankind. Speaking on the occasion, the Revenue Minister Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia said the Punjab government always adheres to the policy of secularism and celebrates the auspicious days associated with all religions. He further added that Punjab is the only State in North India which holds state level function to mark the Christmas. Appreciating, Punjab Chief Ministers' decision to constitute Christian Welfare Board, he said the Punjab is the first and the only state in the country to constitute such a board which in itself speaks volumes about the pro-people policies of the government. It may be mentioned here that the rally was organised in order to bestow thanks to the Chief Minister, S. Prakash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, S. Sukhbir Singh Badal and S. Bikram Singh Majhithia for constituting separate Christian Welfare Board to look after the needs of Christian Community in Punjab.
Earlier, Most Rev. Dr. Franco Mulakkal, Bishop of Jalandhar thanked Punjab Government for constituting the Christian Welfare Board.This mega event was witnessed by S. Sewa Singh Sekhwan former minister , K.D Bhandari M.L.A, MLA Gurpratap Singh Wadala, MLA Manoranjan Kalia, Pawan Kumar Tinnu, M.L.A, Amarpal Singh Bony MLA, , youth Akali dal president Doaba zone Sarbjot singh sabhi , District planning board chairman Gurcharan singh Channi , SGPC member paramjit singh Raipur , Mayor Sh. Sunil Jyoti, Arpit Shukla Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Mr. K.K. Yadav, Vicar General Fr. Mathew Kokkandam, Fr. Xavier, Fr. Anthony Madassery, Mr. Bunty, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Yunus, Mr. Yousaf Azad, Mr. Lal Chand, Mr. Fares, Major Pyara Masih, Mr. Vijay Pal Singh, Major Gurcharn Masih, Pastor Thulsi, Mr. Augustine Ashwani, Mr. Joil Bhatti, Mr. Jagir Bhatti, Mr. Shyam Sharma, Mr. S.M Thappar, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Yakub, Mr. Marcus, Prem Masih, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Dennis, Pastor Jaspal, Pastor Bharat Bhushan, Pastor Sukwinder kumar, Alfred james, PCUF Prisedent George Soni.are