Late Baba Iqbal Singh Ji, who at the age of 6 years decided that he would only work for service to humanity, educated lakhs of underprivileged children and treated thousands of patients at his charitable institution, The Kalgidhar Trust at Baru Sahib, Sirmaur.
Shimla, Jan 29
Renowned social worker Baba Iqbal Singh Ji fondly known as ‘Baba ji’ left for his heavenly abode on Saturday afternoon at 96 years of age following gradual decrease in health due to old age. He breathed his last at Baru Sahib, where he started with his journey of relentless service towards humanity following the footsteps of his Guru, Sant Attar Singh ji Maharaj.
Baba Iqbal Singh ji worked relentlessly in only one direction - imparting values-based education in rural India so that every rural child can have access to low-cost values-based education which is literacy embedded with moral, ethical and spiritual education.
In charge of Kalgidhar Trust since 1965, before he retired in 1987, Baba ji built the organisation brick-by-brick that now runs 129 CBSE-affiliated English medium schools that have more than 70,000 children, most of them from five rural North Indian states.Far away from the urban milieu, these schools focus on values-based education to children from marginalised sections of society.
With only five students in a one-room school called ‘Akal Academy' at Baru Sahib, Sirmour, Baba ji used his pension money to have the 'building' constructed and managed the School for the first year. Earlier it was all jungle. Following year more than 70 children from nearby districts took admission. Many families also came forward to help the Trust that year.
But soon it was realized that establishing one School in Himachal would not solve problems faced by children in nearby districts. The Trust thus opened Akal Academy in Muktsar in 1993, by 1999, the Trust had opened 19 Academies across Punjab. and the count going up to 129 schools which are spread all over in Punjab, UP, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana. Many students nationally topped the IIT, IIM and NEET exams.
As a social worker Baba Iqbal Singh ji didn’t restricted himself just to the education sector, he was involved in every facet of community life ie. Schools, Hospital, Colleges, Women Care Center, De-addiction Centers. Baba Iqbal Singh ji with his team set up Akal Charitable Hospital at Baru Sahib Sirmour which provides medical care to rural poor deprived section of society. Every year medical camps are setup where doctors from Mumbai, Delhi Haryana and Punjab participate and provide free medical care including free surgeries to rural poor people.
Under Women Empowerment Program, underprivileged young women are rehabilitated by education and are given jobs to enable them to stand on their feet.
Babji sincerely believed that real contribution to society constitutes in working relentlessly for the poorest, oppressed and most backward sections of the society.