A rare but unique social
responsibility taken up by news media group
All roads in Jalandhar, leading to the premises of Punjab Kesari Group, neatly cleaned up, guarded by police personnel, were waiting for vice president of India, MH Ansari, who was to be the chief guest for 101st function of Shaheed Parivar Fund instituted by late Sh Ramesh Chander in 1983. This was a rare but unique social responsibility taken up by a media house engaged in publishing newspapers in three languages. SK Khurana, editor, AAN brings you an account of this event organized by the group in September 2010.
his would perhaps be one of its kind initiatives in the world of news media, where readers are persuaded to come forward and lend a helping hand in donating whatever feasible by them for the victims of terrorists or natural calamities in different states of India. Punjab Kesari Group, having initiated this as a regular programme so far helped 8,814 families with an amount of Rs 11,70,78,748 in 101 functions organized by Shaheed Parivar Fund for the distribution of relief material.
“Newspapers, in general known as fourth estate of democracy are expected to take care of right governance, keep an eye on judiciary, and actually seen with such news on regular basis. But the Punjab Kesari Group has taken a step beyond this and came out with one of its kind initiative which is remarkable in itself. Headed by Padmashree Vijay Kumar Chopra, assisted by his able sons Avinash and Amit, this group has created a new platform where leaders of all walks of life come together, share their thought, motivate general public and of course appreciate the hilarious work done by Punjab Kesari Group over the years,” said MH Ansari in his address to a mammoth gathering.
As per chief minister of Punjab, Prakash Singh Badal, this sort of programme in fact has become like any other regular religious activity which is functioning as a light house, giving direction to people in serving the society. Prior to gracing the occasion, MH Ansari attended a brief ceremonial sending off of 281st truck of relief material to migrants of border area in J&K.
Briefing the activity of Shaheed Parivar Fund, ex health minister of Punjab and chairman PWS and S Board and members SPF, Dr Baldev Chawla informed this as an independent three-member committee, keeping the track of all applicants, money received from donors directly in the name of Fund having no link to Punjab Kesari Group. This platform does not patronize any single political party. Rather all parties come under one umbrella. Other speakers included: Prem Kumar Dhumal, chief minister, HP; Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former deputy chief minister and leader of opposition, Punjab; Mohinder Singh Kaypee, MP and PPCC; PS Gill, DGP, Punjab; MS Bitta, chairman, Anti Terrorists’ Front; Navjot Singh Sidhu, MP; Manoranjan Kalia, minister for local govt, Punjab; Tikshan Sood, minister of medical education and forests, Punjab; Master Mohan Lal, minister of transport, Punjab; Manpreet Singh Badal, finance minister, Punjab; Sucha Singh Langah, agriculture minister, Punjab; Ajit Singh Kohar, revenue minister, Punjab; Hira Singh Gabria, minister of jails and tourism, Punjab; Bikramjit Singh Majithaia, former minister; Anurag Thakur, MP and president of BJYM and Mangat Ram Pasla, secretary, CPM (Pasla) all had great praise for Punjab Kesari Group, having continued this activity.
The Punjab Kesari Group initiated their perpetual operation in the year 1948 with the launch of the Urdu daily Hind Samachar, and later added Hindi daily Punjab Kesari in 1965 and Punjabi daily Jag Bani in 1978 to their spinning compass. Founded by late Lala Jagat Narain and nourished by his elder son Ramesh Chander (both were assassinated in 1981 and 1984 respectively), the plant of Punjab Kesari Group has become a mature banyan tree covering the huge Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi speaking belt of northern India. Succeeding these two icons, the leadership triad – Vijay Kumar Chopra and his sons Avinash and Amit Chopra – now altogether engage in bringing the group to a prominent platform in India’s newspaper publishing industry.