Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced a Bhagat Kabir Chair in Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, and Rs 10 crore for the development of Bhagat Kabir Bhawan in Jalandhar.On the occasion of Bhagat Kabir Ji Jayanti, the Chief Minister also announced that his government will soon disburse Rs. 560 crore to landless farm labourers under the Debt Waiver Scheme. Virtually joining the people of Punjab in paying respects to the 15th-century mystic poet and saint Bhagat Kabir, the Chief Minister said the Chair to commemorate Sant Kabir will undertake research on the life and philosophy of the great mystic poet. The Bhagat Kabir Bhawan, he said, will be built over a 0.77 acre area, of which 13000 Sq.ft. covered area would house a community hall with seating capacity of 500. Of the Rs. 10 crore, Rs. 3 crore would be spent on construction and Rs. 7 crore towards the land cost, he added.Participating in the state-level celebrations at Jalandhar from here through video conferencing, the Chief Minister exhorted them to follow his teachings in right earnest so as to carve out an egalitarian society rising above the parochial considerations of caste, colour, creed and religion. The Chief Minister spoke about the life and teachings of Bhagat Kabir Ji, citing the eternal message of love, peace, harmony contained in his Bani, which is part of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. Though Bhagat Kabir's early life was spent in a Muslim family he was strongly influenced by the Hindu saint Ramananda, which had a deep impact on his writings during the Bhakti movement, said Captain Amarinder, urging people to emulate the ideals of the great saint.The Chief Minister listed the various welfare schemes for the underprivileged being carried out by his government in line with Bhagat Kabir Ji’s philosophy. These included Smart Ration Card Scheme, Ashirwaad Scheme, Shagun Scheme and Old Age & Widow Pension, he pointed out, adding that amounts under these schemes had been hiked by his government, with the pension amount to go up from Rs. 750 to Rs. 1500 per month from 1st July, 2021.
Referring to the Post Matric SC scholarship scheme, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the State Government had released 100% scholarship funds during the academic session of 2020-21, and had also amicably resolved the issue of pending payments with private colleges, which had been clearly told not to withhold the roll number of any student.Slamming the Centre for abruptly withdrawing from the scheme, thus jeopardizing the future of our students, the Chief Minister said the state government had launched Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Post Matric Scholarship scheme to bail out the students left in the lurch by the centre’s decision, forcing the GoI to also restore the scheme. Though the state had paid its 40% share, the Central Government was yet to release its funds, he added.In line with his Government's commitment to help students, especially the 80% belonging to SC category, to pursue online education amid the Covid-19 pandemic, smartphones had been given to 1.75 Lakh boys and girls, with 2 Lakh more in the pipeline this year, said the Chief Minister.On the Debt Relief scheme, he disclosed that all loans upto Rs. 50,000 of the SC and BC Corporation had been waived. Besides, free power facility was also being given upto 200 units to SC households.The Chief Minister further pointed to the various commissions/boards set up to safeguard the interests of the disadvantaged sections, such as Safai Karamchari Commission, Rai Sikh Welfare Board, Vimukat Jati Welfare Board, Bajigar and Tappriwas Welfare Board and Dalit Vikas Board. The services of 4700 odd safai karamcharis working on ad-hoc basis would also soon be regularized, as the Cabinet had already given its nod for the same, he added. Earlier, Industries and Commerce Minister Sunder Sham Arora urged the people to follow the path shown by Bhagat Kabir Ji who vehemently opposed the prevalent caste system during his times. He lauded the visionary leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh for commemorating various events associated with Punjab’s revered Gurus, Saints, Seers, and other prominent religious and social personalities.MLA (Jalandhar West) Sushil Kumar Rinku expressed gratitude to the Chief Minister for announcing a Chair and the Bhagat Kabir Bhawan. On his request, Captain Amarinder asked the Sports Department to examine the suggestion for an exclusive sports park for women in Jalandhar.