Jalandhar:A renowned name, environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal was conferred the Padma Shri award by President of India Dr Pranab Mukherji at Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi on Thursday. The award was announced on the occasion of 68th Republic Day of India.
Baba Seechewal, as he is popularly known received the award for his continuous social service and cleaning the highly polluted 165 kilometer long rivulet, Kali Bein in the holy town of Sultanpur Lodhi. Kali Bein was left polluted due to toxic flow of industrial units into the rivulet surrounding it.
The pious Kali Bein holds religious significance in Sikhism, as Guru Nanak Dev had got enlightenment here. Baba Seechewal has single handedly led a campaign to clean the Kali Bein along with his volunteers in 2000.
It is pertinent to mention here that following Baba Seechewal’s efforts to clean Kali Bein, the then President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam had visited Sultanpur Lodhi to see the success model of the rivulet. Dr Kalam had even advised the replication of the Baba Seechewal’s model in the country to clean the rivers.
Notably, Baba Seechewal has also featured in Time Magazine, where top 30 activists from across the world were named as Heroes of the Environment.
In his message, Baba Seechewal dedicated the award to the ‘Saints’ of Nirmal Kutiya, who spent their lives in public service and said that it has increased his responsibility towards the society.
It is for this reason that Chief Ministers of many states including Haryana, Bihar, Delhi to name a few had visited Nirmal Kutiya to replicate the low cost ‘Seechewal Model’ in their states. Besides this, Baba Seechewal is also leading Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Namami Gange Project’ under which Union Minister of Water Resources, River Project and Ganga Rejuvenation Uma Bharti had also visited this place.
Baba Seechewal was born on February 2, 1962 at Seechewal village. A student of second year at DAV College Nakodar, Seechewal came into contact with Sant Avtar Singh in 1981 and started staying with him at Nirmal Kutiya. After the death of Sant Avtar Singh on June 6, 1988, Baba Seechewal succeeded him.
At present the ‘Ik Onkar Charitable Trust’, where Baba Seechewal was a trustee was running various social programmes including the setting up of water supply, sewer system, toilets and cleanliness campaigns. The trust has set up a school, college sports stadium, a shopping mall, a environment radio station and a computer lab at Sultanpur Lodhi.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook