"The children are the future of the nation and their immense talent as well as potentialities must be tapped in adequate measure in order to ensure that they leave indelible footprints on the sands of time." These views were expressed by the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu here today at Punjab Kala Bhawan on the eve of a cultural programme for children belonging to the orphanages of Punjab and Chandigarh organized by the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department in league with Punjab Kala Parishad.The minister profusely appreciating the cultural and artistic performance rendered by the children exhorted them to devote special attention towards their studies and also further popularize the Punjabi culture on world stage by the dint of their great talent. The minister also announced the financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 10 lakh every year from his discretionary quota for the welfare fund of orphan and homeless children and exhorted the Chairman of the Punjab Kala Parishad to contribute Rs. 5 lakh every year on behalf of the parishad. He said that this fund of Rs. 15 lakh every year would come in handy to ensure meeting the future needs of children.Earlier, the children from the orphanages of Patiala, Jalandhar, Mohali and Hoshiarpur and from those of Chandigarh mesmerized the audience with their exceptional prowess in presenting of folk songs and dance and various other art forms. Eminent singer Bhupinder Babbal also captivated the audience and kept them spellbound through his folk songs.The Chairman of the Punjab Kala Parishad Padam Shri Dr. Surjit Patar in his address inspired the children through soulful rendition of a poem penned by him on Shaheed Udham Singh.On the occasion, Secretary tourism and Cultural Affairs Department, Punjab, Mr. Vikas Pratap, Director Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon, Director Social Security Department, Punjab, Mrs. Kavita Singh, Secretary General of the Punjab Kala Parishad Dr. Lakhwinder Singh Johal, Dr. Nirmal Jaura and Mr. K.L. Malhotra were also present.