Professor Gunwant Dua, who fought for the rights of college teachers and formation of a separate state of Punjab, passed away at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital on Tuesday morning following lung infection and multiple organ failure. He was 71.
Continuing his agitation for the rights of college teachers way back in 1970s, Professor Dua was sent behind bars thrice.
Not only for the teachers’ rights, he also raised his voice for the rights of Punjab. He played a pioneering role during Punjab Suba Morcha Movement which demanded division of Punjab from Haryana and formation of a separate state. He spent almost one year in jail in 1960s for the rights of Punjab. The movement was led by his father and eminent poet Giani Ram Narain Singh Dardi.
“He spent his entire life fighting injustice against private college teachers. Be it better salaries, congenial work atmosphere for female faculty and non-exploitation of teachers, he fought for teachers and education during his entire lifetime,” said Dr Amarjit Singh, director, Institute of Nursing Education, Ludhiana.
Professor Dua was born at Kamalia of Layallpur, now in Pakistan, in 1943.
A post-graduate in English from SCD Government College, Dua later served as lecturer at GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, and was later in-charge of GGN Evening College.
Serving as Syndicate and Senate member of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dua was elected president of Punjab College Teachers’ Union for 12 continuous years spanning across three terms.
He was serving as coordinator at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Civil Lines, and it was after his efforts that courses in pharmacy started there.
Dua is survived by wife Surinder Kaur, director of Shanti Tara College, Ahmedgarh, and two sons Harpreet Singh Dua and Tripat Singh Dua. Harpreet is also a Senate and Syndicate member of PU while Tripat, a PhD in computer science, is assistant professor at GNIMT.