SGPC to set up panel to identify Sikhs from these sections


Staff member
Amritsar December 8:

In a move aimed at the uplift of Sikhs belonging to the Sikligar and Banjara categories in states like MP,Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar today announced that a committee would be set up to identify such people so that the required measures for their betterment could be initiated.

The pathetic state of these sections of the Sikh community in other states came to the fore when a member of the Madhya Pradesh Minorities Commission, Kulwant Singh, handed over a charter of demands to the SGPC President in this regard. He told Makkar that a number of persons belonging to the Sikligar and Banjara sections were living in pitiable conditions in these states. He said they got no reservation in admissions nor jobs in the government sector.

Besides, the state governments concerned were not taking any measures for their uplift. In his representation, he urged the SGPC to take appropriate measures for their welfare. Makkar said the SGPC would soon set up a committee which would identify such people after visiting these states, following which steps would be taken for improving their lot socially, economically and educationally. He said he would also put forth a proposal to extend economic aid to them in the SGPC budget. According to him, the SGPC would also set up gurdwaras and prachar kendars in the areas having a population of Sikligars and Banjaras.

Apart from that, he said they would contact the state governments concerned and urge them to raise the standard of living of the Sikhs belonging to these categories. Meanwhile, protesting against the move of not allowing Sikh students to tie turbans in French schools, Makkar said an SGPC delegation would soon meet officials at the French Embassy in New Delhi and make it clear that the turban was an inseparable part of the Sikh identity.