Interview With Prof. Lakhbeer Singh, President, Pahal (NGO)

Posted on November 15, 2010 in Interviews

PAHAL is a voluntary organization promoted by like-minded educationists, doctors, legal experts, technocrats, dynamic entrepreneurs, enthusiastic students and effervescent youth to bring a perceptible change in the present social set-up. PAHAL expresses the essence of living and upholds the need to appreciate the other man’s point of view and to show consideration for fellow human beings. Our Correspondent Chandeep Arora got an opportunity to interview Prof. Lakhbeer Singh, the President of Pahal.

Chandeep: Good Evening Sir, firstly I would like to know your professional background.

Prof Lakhbir: Presently I am the Associate Professor (PG Dept of Punjabi) in DAV College Jalandhar. I did my Hons in Punjabi from along with graduation from NJSA Govt College Kapurthala and my masters in Philosophy (M. Phil) from Guru Nanak Dev University campus. After that I joined DAV College Jalandhar as lecturer in the dept of Punjabi.

Chandeep: Being a professor, what motivated you to join the Social Sector?

Prof Lakhbeer: During my childhood days, Red Cross Society donated two hospitals to my village. I took care of the whole construction work and made sure that the valuable endowment helped the people in every way possible. So, I was involved the social area right from my adolescent. Though, the turning point in my “thinking” came during my 1st year of graduation. I was engulfed with this strange idea. Every time we boost of development, technological advancements and economic expansion. But the “bizarre reality” is loss of ethics, values and growth of the social evils. It is a paradoxical condition we are in. So, I worked for 10 years and came out with the conclusion that the disintegration of masses is the main reason behind this state. There is a lack of balance in a person’s material gains and his responsibility towards the society. So, I have been working on the personality development, especially of the youth which makes them aware of the social responsibilities and help them make a balance in their life.

Chandeep: Great thinking Sir! Tell us something about PAHAL. What are the main issues this NGO deals with?

Prof Lakhbeer: The main objective of Pahal is to serve the humanity while living one’s life. We focus on our fixed priorities. The top most being Health followed by education, environment and language. We provide an opportunity to the people to work for another’s life creatively and constructively. So the welfare of people is the main motive behind the organization.

Chandeep: Sir, Can you give us an insight to some of the projects of PAHAL?

Prof Lakhbeer: As already told, health being our top most priority, we have provided medical facilities to around 1.5 lacs of people in remote villages. We have arranged facilities for pregnant women and their safe delivery in the rural areas. We have been organizing various medical camps for the checkup of the children from remote areas.

Education is one of the most important factors in social development. Recently we have adopted 10000 slum people. They work in the daytime and in the second half of the day they are taught by the volunteers.

Coming to the environment issues, we planted 5 lac saplings in the Jalandhar district and motivated people to stop deforestation. The awareness programs and blood donating camps go around the year. PAHAL has been organizing blood donating camps in various place in the city.

Chandeep: Do you have any operational tie-ups?

Prof Lakhbeer: We have been collaborating with LIC for Micro Insurance, NABARD for SELF HELP GROUP campaign Punjab National Bank to promote financial inclusion among poor and marginal masses of rural areas

Chandeep: Can you put some light on micro-insurance scheme?

Prof Lakhbeer: Punjab National Bank and LIC have launched a special scheme for poor people. This is known as micro-insurance scheme. In occasion of any casualty the downtrodden don’t have any cover for making up for the fatality. In this view, micro-insurance provides them with the insurance ranging from Rs 5000-30,000. There’s another structure for the deprived known as, Janshree Bima Yojna. Under this scheme, the people get Rs 30,000 as concession for natural calamities and Rs 70,000 for accidental ones. Scholarship is also provided to the poor students under this scheme. Besides, there are some people who are not declared as BPL. This scheme also covers those families and provides them with lot of facilities.

Chandeep: There has been a lot of deforestation in the recent times due to the ever increasing industrialization. What is your opinion about this?

Prof Lakhbeer: Deforestation is a great challenge. On one hand, with the ever increasing population there has been a dire need for the accommodation of people whereas on the other hand we are affecting the environment thus increasing the threat of global warming. In my opinion, everybody should be against Deforestation. Continuous cutting of plants leads to an unbalanced environment.

Chandeep: Do you think that the NGO’s have grown at a large in recent times and the main of a NGO is being replaced by “personal interests”?

Prof Lakhbeer: Yes, there has been a lot of NGO’s mushrooming in every part of the country. There are only a few those who really work for the cause of the society. Many of them operate only for their own personal interests. And with a rise in corruption, it is really difficult to control this situation and it still remains a problem to be thought on.

Chandeep: It was really a pleasure to talk to you.

Prof Lakhbeer: Same here. Thank you!