Chandigarh, September 26, 2012: In a goodwill gesture, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today offered free educational facilities to the students hailing from Ladakh region in order to ensure their overall development besides promoting brotherhood amongst the people of the region.
Addressing a group of women from Eastern Ladakh region who had came to Punjab under the Operation Sadbhavna of the Indian Army here at Punjab Bhawan, the Chief Minister recalled the age old ties between Punjab and Ladakh region as both of them were an integral part of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s empire.
Badal said that after taking up the matter with Jammu and Kashmir government, the state government would make all out efforts for giving free education to the students of Ladakh so that they could be benefitted from the advance education being imparted in Punjab.
He said that Punjab being a hub of the quality education was duty bound to help the students of Ladakh by imparting them free education so that they could duly utilize it for the development of their state.
Lauding the efforts being made by Indian Army under Operation Sadbhavna, the Chief Minister said that under this ambitious program the Army has given a fresh lease of life to the people residing in remote border areas of Jammu Kashmir (J&K) in general and Ladakh in particular by ensuring development of villages, providing educational and medical facilities to the people besides playing a key role in all-round development of the children and youngsters by organising such educational tours for them.
He emphasised that people living in J&K and Ladakh region needs to be integrated with the national mainstream, because the high peaks of the Himalayas coupled with inadequate transport facilities had made it difficult for the residents of these areas to travel and get the knowledge about the other parts of the country.
Badal said that by organising such tours the Army was playing a pivotalrole in connecting people of J&K with other states thereby acquainting them with the diverse and rich culture of our motherland.
Stressing on the need of more interaction between farmers of Punjab and Ladakh, the Chief Minister asked the Army authorities to widen the scope of this Operation by organising the tours of the farmers of Ladakh region to Punjab.
Badal said that as wheat was grown in Ladakh so the farmers of this hill region could avail the benefit of expertise of Punjabi farmers, who have already excelled in wheat production .
Also, Badal said that the state government was ready to extend full support and co-operation to the Army authorities for this noble gesture.
On the occasion the Chief Minister also felicitated the members of the group along with the Army officers.
Prominent amongst those present on the occasion included Cabinet Minister Madan Mohan Mittal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Pawan Kumar Teenu, Media Advisor to the Chief Minister Harcharan Bains, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Special Principal Secretaries to the Chief Minister KJS Cheema, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh and Director Welfare HS Nanda.