Friday, 2 January 2009
Dr Inderjit Kaur is the head of the Pingalwara organisation in India. She earned her medical degree M.B.B.S. from the Govt. Medical College of Patiala, Punjab, in 1967. She worked as a Doctor under the control of the Directorate of Health Services, Punjab from 1967 to 1973 and has run her own private nursing/maternity home in in Sangrur, Punjab since 1973. Pingalwara was the name given to a humble house for the destitute in Amritsar and in the early 1900's, it was an original idea of the founder, Bhagat Puran Singh to care for the people who had been rejected by society. Since the death of its founder, Bhagat Puran Singh in 1992, it is headed by Bibi Dr. Inderjit Kaur who is a physician by training and also runs a private maternity clinic in Amritsar. On January 25, 2008, she was awarded the 'Padma Bhushan', India's third highest civilian award, in recognition of her social service. In December 2008, she was honoured by the National Commission of Minorities, for her grass root efforts to promote the rights of minorities and communal harmony in India. As the Patron President of the All India Pingalwara Society she has carried out the printing and free distribution of literature, including articles of eminent writers, to spread awareness among the masses regarding environmental degradation, drug, population explosion, deforestation, ruthless depletion of precious natural resources, like coal, iron ore, and other minerals. Today Pingalwara provides shelter to 1,300 persons who are disabled, terminally ill, old or abandoned. Besides, it runs three schools where children from economically weaker sections are taught.