DEEP-ROOTED corruption may have become a “brand name” for India and Indian society which inevitably makes life much harder for honest government officers like Jasbir Singh Bir, who as a career civil servant had to take on his political masters on more than one occasion in Punjab and he lives to tell about the price he paid for standing up to what he considered wrong under government rules and the constitution.
“My philosophy has been to never compromise in my life over principles and that has been the case in my work as well,” said Bir, who was in Vancouver this week to talk about his work on behalf of Prabh Aasra organization which provides shelter for the homeless, helping everyone from orphaned kids and the downtrodden to the sick and those that have been neglected by society in general and the government in particular.
Since retiring, Bir has worked as an advisor-consultant for private corporations including hotel chains, but his passion has been his work on behalf of Prabh Aasra, where he serves in the capacity of advisor, helping to raise awareness among the government and bodies like the SGPC that they need to fund organizations like these which help the people of Punjab who are desperately in need of help.
“The SGPC has a budget of Rs.905 crore [1 crore = 10 million] and we are requesting them to allocate even a very small amount of that budget to Prabh Aasra as this organization is truly doing the work that the government and even the SGPC should be doing,” Bir said.
The organization, which consists of doctors, former officers and other wealthy and professional individuals, has been helping the homeless, the helpless, the mentally ill, the handicapped, orphans and destitute children since December 2003. They have treated 1,078 destitute individuals of which 745 have been reunited with their families after getting treatment.
They currently provide shelter for 241 people on an ongoing basis and are looking to expand their facilities to accommodate more as the need keeps growing with so many needy knocking on their door for help.
Bir said he would be delighted if Punjabis in Canada could also help with the cause of Prabh Aasra by making whatever donations they can. Donations can be made to Universal Disabled Care Taker Social Welfare Society.
For more information contact: Shamsher Singh at 91-9815103793 or Rajinder Kaur at 91-9915083793. You can also email them at [email protected] or you can view their work on Youtube by searching under Prabh Aasra.
(Photo: Jasbir Singh Bir at The VOICE office.)