Jammu Aug 2:
A meeting of the executive body of the Dogra Sadar Sabha, J&K (DSS) was held here on Thursday at the Sabha Bhawan Jammu. The executive Committee members welcomed back their president and former minister Th. Gulchain Singh Charak on his return from 29 day’s tour to London, Scotland and other places. Members also welcomed The DSS Vice President who was also away abroad.
Th. Gulchain Singh gave a lively account of his varied DSS related activities, the spirit and enthusiasm with which the UK Chapter of the DSS was active. He made special reference of Sh. Sajjad Raja, Sameena Raja and other prominent Dogras of London Chapter for their contribution in promoting the Dogra culture and strengthening the Dogra Solidarity on both sides of the LoC and among those settled in Western and Gulf countries.
The Executive Committee expressed concern over the Government’s apathy about providing shelters to the border residents who are subjected to unprovoked abrupt firing and shelling from Pakistan/POJK. It was pointed out that water seeps in the bunkers provided to them in RS Pura – Samba sectors due to high water table in the areas. It was brought out that the true answer lies in providing community halls along the National Highway that could provide shelters in emergency situations and hired out during normalcy to generate cost of maintenance and possibly some income. A sub-committee was detailed to deliberate the requirements of border area residents in detail. The committee comprised of Brig. M.S. Jamwal, Col. Karan Singh, Dr. O.P Saini, Sh. Raghubir Singh, Ch. Kamal Singh and Sh. Sukhdev Singh. Some members also brought out that there is rampant supply of drugs among youth in the border areas which shall play havoc with the young generation and needs strict handling with iron hands.
President Th. Gulchain Singh Charak along with other members had visited the Dogra Art Museum at Mubarak Mandi and was greatly disturbed to see the degenerated condition of the exhibits. Water accumulated on the roof top had seeped in through growing unwanted weeds on the roof resulting in ruin and substantial damage to the exhibits. Similar was the situation and condition with the archives documents lying in about 35, 000 files shifted in Kala Kendra and remaining lying in the Old buildings at Mubarak Mandi. All members decried the total dis-interest and absence of concern by the so called local Dogra political leadership. He exhorted them all to rise above the party confines and shun the power hungry politics to save our Dogra heritage from extinction. It will never be possible to rebuild this treasure of past glory; left for us and posterity by our ancestors. Future generations will never forgive us if we now fail to save these from disaster.
The DSS requested the Hon’ble Governor to visit the Mubarak Mandi Complex and demanded that an expert committee be appointed to inquire into the lapses resulting into the enormous losses and issue a white paper for information of general public. The DSS also demanded corrective measures and shifting of valuable documents to the renovated old Army Headquarters building. All members strongly urged to hold a Dharna in front of Raj Bhawan on 11 Aug 2018 to strongly press their demand of immediate restoration and renovation of the Mubarak Mandi Heritage Complex.
The committee also discussed the celebration of the 71st Independence Day. It was decided that the flag hoisting ceremony at the DSS HO will be held at low key since there are lot of traffic movement restrictions for members to assemble in a large numbers. Instead, a separate function will be dedicated to the martyrs and Vir Naris of Jammu region. Col Dr Virendra K Sahi, VrC suggested to adopt 10 Vir Naris/ orphans of battle casualties in consultation with Director Rajya Sanik Board Department. It was also decided to honour the next of kins of all the martyrs of Jammu region who made supreme sacrifice between 16 Aug 2017 to 15 Aug 2018; belonging to Army, PMFs and Police Personnel each year. Brig. Harcharan Singh, VSM, who also attended the meeting profusely admired the spirit and assured full support and help. For this separate subcommittee was appointed with Maj. Gen. Sunita Kapoor as Convener, Brig. M.S. Jamwal as co-convener, Cols Dr. Virendra K. Sahi, VrC, Col. Karan Singh and Anita Billawria as members. A social activist Sh. Tarun Uppal was appointed as Head of the DSS youth wing.