Jiwan Singh – An Obituary
Jiwan Singh, a dedicated social and community activist succumbed to the deadly virus corona in the intervening night of April 20-21. I posted my heartfelt condolences on the timeline of my Facebook account which instigated many comments from cross sections of the society which further established his standing in the society. Last night, Editor in Chief of the esteemed Ambedkar Times and my friend, Prem Chumber asked me if I could do a brief Obituary piece on Jiwan Singh as a tribute to the departed soul and to recognize his
|Last photo with Jiwan Singh at my residence|
services to the community. I agreed as an associate of Jiwan Singh in many of his activities pertaining to the society and here is, a hurriedly written piece to catch up with the deadline of today’s, April 28 issue of the Ambedkar Times as my humble tribute to Jiwan Singh.
First we were co-residents for the last about 8 years at Silver Residency Apartments in Jalandhar. We would often meet on social and community functions. Later, as President of the Managing Committee of the resident’s society, he would often drop in for some consultation and advice on matters pertaining to the society. During the course of my social and community interaction, I found that Jiwan Singh was fully involved as a dedicated foot-soldier as a staunched Ambedkarite while working as a professional executive with Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). It was a matter of satisfaction for me that in the process we joined hands, me as an advisor or patron and he as a performer for many activities viz. my proposal on April 14 as
International Day of Equality, Scheduled Castes Entrepreneurs Empowerment Forum (SCEEF) among others. Jiwan Singh who used to call me as Uncle ji virtually became my ‘Sarthi’ as he will ferry me from home to the venues of functions with regard to our activities even outside Jalandhar like Delhi to meet the Mahamhim Rashtrapatiji, NSIC/SC HUb meetings in Ludhiana, community activities in Chandigarh. Jiwan Singh also drove me to Khuralgarh Sahib to meet Sant Satwinder Hira and was good enough to bring Sat Hira ji to my humble abode to discuss matters of concern and interest to the community. On my suggestion, Jiwan Singh hosted a Page on Facebook on International Day of Equality which attracted good attention. He would invariably host my blogs pertaining the community interests on his the LIC channels of information with a view to make it reach to the wider audience. Jiwan Singh was liberal and considerate as a follower of GuruMaa of a Dera in Haryana and even appended ‘Gurumurat’-always amaculately dressed in white flowing Kurta –Paijama, to his name. Jiwan Singh always remained a handyman. Some years ago, Dr. Kshipra Uke and her husband Dr. Shankar Das, JNU scholars were in Jalandhar in connection with their proposal to start the dream project Babasaheb Ambedkar - School of Politics to train youth to learn the nitty gritty of politics and governance as an essential
ingredient of democracy. They needed some accommodation to stay. I requested Jiwan Singh and he arranged a good and cozy accommodation at the LIC guest house. Jiwan was a never-tiring personality. He was instrumental, along with his associate and friend, Prem Domeli in giving a much needed facelift to the Ambedkar Chowk in Jalandhar in cooperation with the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation. As I said, Jiwan Singh was not a fanatic or narrow-minded. The last visit of Jiwan Singh to my humble new residence at Deol Nagar, a month before his sad demise, was again an exercise to underline ‘Samrasta’ and cohesiveness in the society. He accompanied and brought some of our friends belonging to the Ram Janam Bhoomi for ‘Chanda’ – donation. We will greatly miss Jiwan Singh.