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Social worker returns Padma Shri, ex-boxing coach his Dronacharya in solidarity with farmers

Social worker Baba Sewa Singh & ex-national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu are latest in list of personalities from Punjab who announced their intention to return their awards.

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Chandigarh: A day after former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan and Rajya Sabha MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa his Padma Bhushan in solidarity with the protesting farmers, social worker Baba Sewa Singh Friday returned his Padma Shri.

Singh is a renowned environmentalist from Khadoor Sahib, where his contribution in the restoration of the historic gurdwaras is widely recognised. He was honoured with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2010.

In a press statement issued from Tarn Taran Friday, Singh said there is no point in keeping the award from a government that is ignoring thousands of farmers protesting in the open, in the cold. 

He said the attitude of the Government of India towards the protesting farmers, who are fighting for their existence, is worrisome.

Meanwhile, former national boxing coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu announced Friday he will be returning his Dronacharya award if the farmers’ demands are not met. The Dronacharya award is the highest national award in the field of coaching.

“By doing this, I feel a huge moral pressure is off me. I come from a family of farmers, their fears need to be addressed. If the ongoing talks do not yield a result satisfactory to the farmers, I will return the award,” Sandhu told PTI from his home in Patiala.

Sandhu was the national coach when Vijender Singh became the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal in 2008.

Singh and Sandhu are the latest additions to a growing list of famous personalities from Punjab who announced their plans to return their awards in solidarity with the agitating farmers.

Also read: This is how Modi govt plans to address farmers’ problems, end protests

Singer Harbhajan Mann refuses to accept award

Singer actor Harbhajan Mann refused to accept the Shiromani Gayak award from the Punjab government, in support of the agitating farmers. 

In a tweet posted Friday, he said that while he was grateful to have been chosen for the award, he could not accept it.

“Though I’m grateful to be selected, I humbly cannot accept the Shiromni Gayak award from the Department of Language. People’s love is the biggest award of my career, & all attention & efforts right now from us all must be dedicated to the peaceful farmers’ protest (sic),” he wrote.

Mann Thursday visited Singhu border where the farmers are camping to show solidarity with them. His latest song ‘Haq (right)’ has been specially composed as an ode to the protesters.  

On Thursday, three Punjabi writers — Jaswinder Singh, Swarajbir Singh and Dr Mohanjit — announced that they would return their Sahitya Akademi awards in support of the agitating farmers.

Also read: Farmers’ protest a big challenge for Modi. Bigger than demonetisation, GST


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  1. TukdeTukdeGang ‘s old trick of Award Wapsi is back. Awards were given by CONrgress to its stooges, so called olympians were chosen to be sent to olympics on sifarish where they won ZERO and perform poorly, then these sifarashi tattu even received award and PERKS of award, free travel, several lak award money job promotion, plum postings where they minted more money under the table. I challenge all these award Wapsi gang to return every single perk and penny they received due to the awards, that will be true award vapsi. milk the profits and benefits from awards for years then pretend to return without returning the benefits and without giving up the benefits in future either, just award vapis ka jhoota natak. SHAME ON YOU DESH DROHIS.

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