Seminar on "Values-based Education" organized at Ludhiana.

The Journey So Far and The Road Ahead...

In a grave situation of many ills including drug abuse, alcoholism, illiteracy, unemployment plaguing the youth of Punjab, The Kalgidhar Trust organized a seminar on ‘Value-based education’ on April 20, 2008 at Pal auditorium of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. The seminar was attended by the Literati and the ‘who’s who’ of Ludhiana. Mr. Satyanandji Munjal of Hero group and Dr. MS Kang (VC, PAU) graced the occasion with their benign presence blessed with the divine presence of Baba Iqbal Singh Ji (President, The Kalgidhar Trust).

The speakers at the seminar expressed serious concern over the alarming rise in drug abuse, especially among the youth, and called for launching a crusade against the menace, which is posing a serious threat to the social system.

The seminar started with a documentary ‘The Valley of Divine Peace – Baru Sahib’ through which the audience was apprised with the mission and the ongoing philanthropic activities of The Kalgidhar Trust. Then Maj. Gen. R.S. Chhatwal (Retd.), in his warm welcome address, said that the Trust was engaged in the spread of education among rural children of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. "Baba Iqbal Singh Ji, after his retirement from the post of Director of Agriculture, Himachal Pradesh, started first Akal Academy at Baru Sahib in 1986 with just five children. Today, the Trust runs several academies all over Northern India, a 200-bed charitable hospital, old age home, orphanage, home for widows & destitutes, de-addiction centers and many other social-welfare and educational institutions," he added.

It was followed by a fine performance of a musical symphony with ancient string instruments – Tanti Saaz by the students from Akal Academy. The audience was spellbound with the breathtaking performance of the mystically absorbed white swathed young students, who presented a divine, soulful, stirring and heart-touching Shabad in Asa Raag. The audience was requested to stand up and cover their heads in reverence to Guru Ji's Shabad.

While speaking on the occasion, Mr. Satyanandji Munjal said, “I am greatly impressed by the various activities being undertaken by The Kalgidhar Trust for the welfare of the society. Organizations like The Kalgidhar Trust are rare who are working selflessly for the deprived and underprivileged rural people. There is a great hope for the rural people of Northern India as the Trust is establishing 150 schools and many other educational institutions in the next few years.”

In his keynote address on ‘value-based education’, Dr. MS Kang said, “The value-based education is the need of the hour.” Defining the term value, he said, “’The term ‘Value’ is intangible. To me, value means good morals and good character. Unfortunately, our value system is crumbling today. Intolerance is rampant. We hardly give any thought to the building of character. It's important that value-based education be introduced in all education institutions." “Discipline is one of the foremost components that shape our life”, he added.

Next, the gathering was taken through a virtual tour through a PowerPoint presentation – ‘The Journey So Far and The Road Ahead' in which detailed statistics and the vast magnitude of work done by the Kalgidhar Trust were displayed. The present and the future projects of Baru Sahib were statistically unlaid in front of the audience.

Then Baba Iqbal Singh Ji enlightened the audience with his Saadh Bachan. He said, “Education and literacy are different terms. The worldly education makes people literate, but value-based education makes people good human creating a better society to live in. The Kalgidhar Trust is committed to spread the mission of Sant Attar Singh Ji and Sant Teja Singh Ji. Sant Attar Singh Ji established a school for girls and enunciated the mission in 1906 of establishing permanent peace in the world through value-based education and spiritual rejuvenation creating good global citizens.” "Western culture has destroyed our own Indian culture." he further said. Exhorting the youth to shun drugs, he said that we must strive to build a society free of vices.

He added, “The vision of setting up of 150 new schools, 25 colleges and the Eternal University is the whole community's project and it would require the understanding and support of all”. He beseeched the Sangat to give shoulder to the Akal Education Fund so that Guru Nanak's mission could be furthered. He urged all to join hands with The Kalgidhar Trust for tackling the various social evils by rendering their time, expertise and knowledge to accomplish this gigantic task.

The vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Khem Singh (Padma Bhushan, Former VC, PAU , Ludhiana).

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