The Forest, Wildlife Preservation, Printing, Stationery, Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes Welfare Minister, Punjab, Mr. Sadhu Singh Dharamsot today exhorted the people to strive for unity and integrity of the nation and follow the path shown by the first sikh martyr of the independence struggle, Baba Maharaj Singh. The minister was addressing the people on the occasion of the state level function held here to mark the 161st martyrdom anniversary of Baba Maharaj Singh. He said that Baba Maharaj Singh was a great patriot who sacrificed his life for the sake of the freedom of the country.Disclosing more, the minister said that time and again attempts have been made to portray 1857 revolt as the beginning of the freedom movement of the country but history stands testimony to the fact that Baba Maharaj Singh started the struggle for independence at the very time when he tried to free the last sikh ruler Maharaja Dalip Singh from the clutches of the british. But in a cruel twist of fate, the british got wind of the plans made by Baba Maharaj Singh in league with his comrades and subsequently, he was imprisoned and sent to Singapore where he encountered innumerable hardships and was martyred on 5th July, 1856.
The minister further elaborated that the Punjab Government is committed to the preservation of the enormously rich and glorious historical as well as cultural heritage of the state. He disclosed that a statue of Baba Maharaj Singh would be installed at village ribbon uchchi to commemorate the sacrifice of the martyr. He also announced the naming of the road from village babarpur to gurudwara damdama sahib (village ribbon uchchi) after Baba Maharaj Singh apart from Rs. 5 lakh grant from the discretionary quota of the Punjab Chief Minister for the all round development of village ribbon uchchi. He also assured of taking up with the Chief Minister various other issues of the area. He also paid floral homage to the martyr. Interacting with the media-persons on the occasion, the minister said that the forest department has evolved a novel strategy to increase the forest cover in the state by acquiring the empty spaces around roads and planting saplings there and handing these over to the concerned schools and the panchayats for proper upkeep. He called for cooperation from the panchayats and the NGOs for making this mission a success.
He also said that the department is in the process of identifying empty spaces where forest area can be developed by planting saplings. He also mentioned various welfare centric measures initiated by the State Government. On the occasion, MLA (Payal) Mr. Lakhbir Singh Lakha welcomed the minister and apprised him of the development oriented demands of the constituency. A religious programme was also presented on the occasion. The gathering was also addressed by MLA Samrala Mr. Amrik Singh Dhillon, MLA Khanna Mr. Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Former Minister Mr. Tej Parkash Singh Kotli and Mr. Malkiat Singh Dakha apart from Baba Jagjeet Singh Harkhowal and others.Among others present on the occasion included Deputy Commissioner Mr. Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Khanna) Mr. Ajay Sood, SDM Payal Mr. Paramjit Singh, District President of Congress Mr. Gurdev Singh Lapran, Mr. K.K. Bawa, General Secretary Mr. Amarjit Singh Tikka, President Gurudwara Management Committee Mr. Karam Singh, Mr. Pyara Singh, Mr. Darshan Singh, Mr. Inder Singh, Mr. Bahadar Singh, Mr. Pal Singh, Sarpanch Mr. Kaur Singh.