January 26, 2021 4:08:54 am
Social worker Parkash Kaur from Jalandhar city has been nominated for the ‘Padma Shri’ award on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day. The award recognises her social service towards abandoned girl children in Punjab, which has one of India’s most skewed sex ratios.
Speaking to The Indian Express on phone, Kaur confirmed that she had received a call from a Union ministry. The 63-year-old, who herself was abandoned by her biological parents, said the award had increased her responsibility towards society manifold.
She said that her biggest award would be when all children are raised by their parents.
“I would want to make a fervent appeal to all that they should not leave their new-born girls in garbage or bushes. If in case anyone, for whatever reason, is unable to raise a girl child, we will welcome her with open arms and a commitment that we will raise her respectfully and dutifully. There have been many instances where stray dogs have bitten the abandoned babies, and in some case leading to their death. It is very disturbing,” she said.
Kaur has been running a “Unique Home”, which houses 80-odd abandoned girls in the age group of nine days to early 20s. Fifteen of the inmates have been married.
Here, each inmate is a pampered child who can study in English medium schools such as Saint Mary’s in Mussoorie, St Joseph in Jalandhar etc. and can shop from any big mall of the city. The children can also go for a 15-day vacation to any hill station during summer every year. The home also celebrates the birthday of all children on April 24 every year when a huge cake is cut.
“New arrivals are given Hindu, Muslim and Christian and Sikh names,” said Kaur.
Recalling her journey, Kaur started with eight abandoned girl children in 1993. After spending many years of her life at Nari Niketan in Jalandhar, Kuar left it in 1993 and started her own home to give secure and protective life to abandoned girls and to make them proud citizens of this country.
“Unique Home” is run by a trust named after Bhai Ghanayya Ji, a disciple of Guru Gobind Singh.
Many girls of this home dream to become doctor, lecturer, engineer and social workers.
As more girls became members of her family, Kaur has shifted to a big place got new home constructed on a three-acre land at Nakodar Chowk.
The home does not believe in adoption of the children. “People come to us but we refuse,” said she, adding that “these are my daughters and I am their mother. How can I give them to others”.
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