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Matt Wiebe, MLA Concordia
June 20, 2013


Earlier this year, I was fortunate to join the Premier and the members for Radisson and The Maples on a trade mission to India. There, we had the opportunity to visit the Pingalwara hospice in Amritsar.

Pingalwara is an incredible charitable organization that cares for some of the most disadvantaged people in India. Located in Amritsar, this institution was founded in 1947 by one man Bhagat Puran Singh to support the poor, elderly and sick. Bhagat Puran Singh began his social and humanitarian activities as a teenager in 1924. Until his passing, he was dedicated to tending to those who could not care for themselves, and inspired others to follow suit. Today, Pingalwara continues to provide essential services to those in need.

When we arrived at Pingalwara, we were received by President Dr. Inderjit Kaur, Administrator Col. Darshan Singh Bawa and many others. They showed us their facilities and explained the history and philosophy of Bhagat Puran Singh and Pingalwara Society. Pingalwara has facilities for over 1000 patients who are provided housing, food, medical care, vocational training and education. Trained nurses, doctors, pharmacists and lab technicians help many patients make full recoveries and reunite them with their families.

The free services Pingalwara offers are made possible solely through the donations of people across India and the world. Manitobans value the work of Pingalwara, and during our visit the Premier announced a $50,000 donation to Pingalwara through the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation and the Manitoba Matching Grant Funding Program. Gurdwaras throughout Canada also raise funds and keep donation boxes. With us today we have with us guests from two of these gurdwaras in my neighbourhood, Khalsa Diwan Society and Guru Nanak Darbar as well as other gurdwaras of Winnipeg. Thank you for your dedication to this important work.

Pingalwara operates on the belief that all things are possible through love and compassion. The hospice exemplifies the philosophy of Bhagat Puran Singh that “a nation’s strength is not found in its treasury statement. It lies instead in the character of its people, in their willingness to sacrifice leisure, comfort and a share of their talents for the welfare of their nation.” As such, I declare Pingalwara an inspiration to Manitoba, India and communities across the world.

Thank you.