Monday, Sep 26, 2022
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75 Years Of India's Independence

We The People: The Guardian Angel For People On Both Sides Of Indo-Pak Border

Jagbir Singh’s Pritam Spiritual Trust, a voluntary organisation, has provided artificial limbs to over 10,000 people, mostly landmine amputees, victims of cross-border firing and shelling.

Jagbir Singh, Foot Soldier
Jagbir Singh, Foot Soldier

Jagbir Singh is 72. And in the past 33 years, he has touched the lives of thousands of people left permanently scarred by the India-Pakistan border conflict and militancy in J&K. Singh is the spirit behind the Poonch-based Pritam Spiritual Trust, a voluntary organisation that has provided artificial limbs to over 10,000 people, mostly landmine amputees, victims of cross-border firing and shelling, besides militancy. In recent years, the organisation has arranged eye surgeries of over 2,000 poor and needy people. While it has arranged marriages of 88 girls left orphaned by the conflict, the organisation has also been helping militancy-affected students.

Though he started out alone, he now has the support of many like-minded people, including retired army officers. In the late 1980s, when he was a teacher at a local senior secondary school, he was deeply moved by the plight of landmine amputees in the hilly district of Poonch along the LoC. For want of resources and awareness, Singh says, poor people left maimed and mutilated by cross-border shelling and firing, anti-personnel mines and militancy find it difficult to get artificial limbs. Their daily struggles get compounded by to the topography of the region, one of the most economically backward districts in the country. Due to geographical challenges, the artificial limbs of the amputees wear off sooner than expected. Additionally, they have to do physical labour for sustenance.

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