NRI Doctor celebrates his birthday in unique way

More than 250 eye patients were examined and given free medicines....

Aged NRI Dr Avtar Singh showed an exemplary way to others to celebrate birthday. The NRI came all the way from the USA to celebrate his 80th birthday by sponsoring an eye camp at Raipur Pir Bux Wala, a remote village of Kapurthala.Dr Avtar Singh, a senior plant diseases specialist (PhD) entomology, in collaboration with Jalandhar-based Bapu Inder Singh Charitable Trust organised a free eye camp at the community centre on Saturday.

His birthday guests were more than 250 patients and 15 volunteers, besides the trust chairman Avtar Singh, president Dalip Singh, secretary Dr Gurpartap Singh and other office-bearers.

All the eye patients were examined and given free medicines. As many as 35 cases were selected for the cataract operations. Laboratory tests were conducted on the camp venue. About 22 patients were transported to Jalandhar where stitchless cataract surgeries were conducted and intra ocular lenses implanted.

All patients were transported back to their villages the same day after the operations. The rest of patients would be operated in the next few days at Jalandhar.

There is an interestingly story behind Avtar Singh’s decision to celebrate his birthday in the novel way.

Avtar Singh has been coming to Delhi for the past three years. This time he met Dr Harinder Singh of Punjab Agricultural University who was currently on an assignment to the USA. Dr Harinder Singh told him about his brother-in-law Dr Tajinder Singh Goindi MD (ophthalmology), former Punjab civil medical services chief medical officer, who was staying in the city.

When Dr Tajinder came to know that Dr Avtar Singh’s birthday fell at the time of his visit to India, he suggested him the novel idea of celebrating his birthday by sponsoring the free eye operation camp in remote rural villages of Punjab. Immediately, he agreed and joined hands with the Bapu Inder Singh Charitable Trust, Mithapur via Garha, Jalandhar.

Avtar Singh was born on 21.2.1929 at village Gharjakh, dist. Gujranwala, now in Pakistan in a sehajdhari family.

Did his matric from Guru Nanak Khalsa School, Patiala in 1945 where his father Kesar Mal worked as Divisional Acountant in Irrigation Department. He did his F.Sc from Khalsa Colllege Gujranwalain 1947 and later did hid BSc from Khalsa College, Ludhiana.

The family shifted to Delhi after partition.

After doing his MSc Entomology in 1954 from Government College, Ajmer he served as Quality Control Manager in Food Corporation of India from
1955 to 1974.

Thereafter he migrated to Manhattan ( also known as little apple) in Kansas state of USA. He did his PhD In Entomology from USA and then started his business of pest control by launching a company named American Pest Control Management in 1979. Now his business is looked after by his three sons under the name of Trading Collaboration USA.

He was the only turbaned person in the area and has been often called, the 'Best Dressed Person' in the area.

He has been coming to Delhi since last three years.This time before his visit to India, he met Dr. Harinder Singh of Punjab Agricultural University who is currently on an assignment to USA who told him abouthis brother in law Dr. Tajinder Singh Goindi MD (Ophthalmology) Ex-Punjab Civil Medical Services Chief Medical Officer staying in Jalandhar.

When Dr Tajinder came toi know that Dr. Avtar Singh.s birthday falls in the period his visit to India, he sugggested him a novel idea of celebrating his 80th birthday by sponsoring a free eye operation camp in some remote rural village of Punjab. Immediately the idea clicked.

Bapu Inder Singh Charitable Trust (Regd.), 79 Friends Avenue Colony,PO Mithapur via Garha, Jalandhar 144022 is a charity registered with state of Punjab and Commissioner of Income Tax, Jalandhar II.

They joined hands with this charitable trust and a free eye camp was held on 21.2.2009 at Community Centre (maintained by trust) village Raipur Pir Bux Wala, district Kapurthala. More than 250 eye patients were examined and given free medicines. Thirty five cases were selected for cataract operations. Laboratory tests were conducted on the camp venue. Twenty two patients were transported to Jalandhar where stichless cataract surgeries were conducted and Intra Ocular Lenses were implanted. All operations were successsful and patients were transported back to their native villages on the same day. Rest of patients will be operated in next few days at Jalandhar.

At brief and simple inaugration ceremony of the camp,

Sardar Avtar Singh NRI was honoured with a Siropa (robe of honour) by S.Jagjit Singh Dala, member Zila Parishad, Kapurthala representing the area. Poor people of nearby villages benefitted immensly from this camp.

The NRI was immensly pleased to see an 104 yrs old man from village Raipur PirBux coming to the camp for the surgery of his second eye(the first eye was operated last yr in a camp held by the trust) .Similar were other beneficiaries.

The villagers were astonished and stunned by the philanthropic gesture of Avtar Singh NRI who travelled all the way from Delhi to this village 40 kms from Jalandhar and with poor connectivity having very bad appraoch road. He was very happy to see the functioning of camp and had a taste of real rural life.

Langar in the form of tea and snacks were arranged by Akal Academy (an upcoming CBSE pattern English Medium School).

His birthday guests on 21.2.2009 were more than 250 patients and about fifteen volunteers besides S.Avtar Singh Chairman, S. Dalip Singh President, Dr.Gurpartap Singh Secretary and other office bearers of Bapu Inder Singh Charitable Trust (Regd) Jalandhar. All wished him long life and purposeful future.

The NRI birthday "boy" agreed to come again next year with a similar purpose to the same place.

Birthday cake was cut at Lunch on 22.2.2009 at Jalandhar in a very simple manner over lunch in presence of five persons of Dr Tajinder Singh's family.

While the ordinary NRI mortals celebrate such days in palaces over drinks, dances, DJ's and dinners, the blessed ones like Dr. Avtar Singh Sachdeva serve the ailing poor by their extraordinary gestures. May their tribe increase. Avtar Singh NRI is an Amritdhari Gursikh and a source of inspiration for us all.

With regards to all
-- Dr. G. P. Singh MBBS,D.Ortho, M.S.Ortho, Ex PCMS, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Lajwanti Hospital, Adj All India Radio, Jalandhar.

 


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