January 12, 2009 2:19:51 am
Tragic holiday z Their SUV crashed near Bikaner
One of Amritsars illustrious couples,Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu,a renowned orthopedic surgeon,and his wife Manveen Sandhu,a prominent educationist,died in a road accident near Bikaner,Rajasthan,on Sunday.
The couple,who recently celebrated their 25th marriage anniversary,was holidaying in the desert state along with two family friends,who were also killed when their Montero SUV crashed on the Bikaner-Delhi National Highway,reportedly following a tyre burst.
The news shocked the city,and students,teachers and doctors,besides family and friends,thronged the Sandhu residence on the Fatehgarh Churian road.
The couple is survived by son Sahiljit Singh,who is studying aeronautical engineering in the USA,daughter Kirat Sandhu,who is studying medicine in Chandigarh,and father S S Sandhu,a retired colonel.
Vinod Bhatia,a spokesperson of Springdale School that Sandhus owned,said Dr Sandhu was driving the vehicle and one of their cousins,Baldev Singh Sohi from the UK,and a family friend from Delhi,Ajay Singh,also died in the accident. The bodies are likely to be air-lifted to Amritsar by Monday afternoon.
The Sandhus had gained popularity for their works in the fields of education,social welfare and fostering closer ties between various NGOs and persons working for friendship between India and Pakistan.
They were connoisseurs of art and culture and promoters of Punjabiyat. Their active involvement in the activities of Spicmacay was widely appreciated. It was their love for cultural activities that led to the setting up of Punarjyot,which has been working for the promotion of cultural ties,theatre and bringing together artistes from India and Pakistan.
Dr Sandhu worked at the Kakkar Hospital apart from his private practice.
Manveen Sandhu had worked as a lecturer at Khalsa College,Ludhiana,her home town,before getting married and taking over the reigns of Springdale School.
The school,which was started during the days of terrorism,emerged as a premier education institution in the region under her leadership. The foundation stone of the school was laid by Bhagat Puran Singh.
She was the masiha for the 400 children of drug addicts at our Vidya Mandir School, said social worker Brij Bedi. Dr Sandhu was also one of the directors at local Khanna Paper Mills. Mill chairman and a family friend,Brij Mohan Khanna,termed the death as a personal loss.
Vice-principal Rajeev Sharma and school functionary Vinod Bhatia said for over 3,000 students and teachers in their school and sister concern,this was a big shock.
DC KS Pannu and prominent persons of the city sent condolence messages.
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