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Canada industrialist & philanthropist Sukhi Bath honored

Canada industrialist & philanthropist Sukhi Bath honored
December 10
12:30 2018

Jaswant Singh Gandam/Raman Nehra

PHAGWARA: Canada-based business magnate and philanthropist Sukhi Bath was honored here by half dozen social, literary and voluntary service bodies for his continued, steadfast and outstanding service to humanitarian causes in Canada, India and some other countries.

He was feted with a memento and a ‘lohi’ (indigenous shawl).

Punjabi Virsa Trust, Palahi, Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, Phagwara, Sarab Naujawan Sabha, Doaba Sahit Sabha, Citizen Rights Forum and Environment Association Phagwara were among the organizations that feted Bath.

Their Presidents and other office-bearers, including Prof Jaswant Singh Gandam, Gurmit Singh Palahi, Sukhwinder Singh, Dr Kailash Bhardwaj and Dr JS Virk, Dr Amarjit Chausar were present.

Press Club Jalandhar President Dr Lakhwinder Singh Johal, Journalists/Press Club Phagwara Chairman TD Chawla, Helping Hands Organization President Harmandir Singh Basra, UK-based business bigwig Jaspal Singh Dhesi , industrialist and social activist Ashwani Kohli, India Post’s Punjab Bureau chief Raman Nehra also graced the occasion.

The function was held at area’s cultural hub ie Blood Bank complex, headed by industrial tycoon and NGO stalwart KK Sardana.

Talking to India Post, Sukhi Bath said that he was mulling over the idea of providing reverse osmosis systems (ROs), coolers, audio-visual aids and furniture to each of 12,000 government primary schools of Punjab.

The well-heeled businessman and social service stalwart from Surrey in Canada’s British Columbia province, said “The project will get rolling in February next year and the aforesaid amenities will be provided in next three years”, he said.

Bath said,”Every child deserves clean water and air besides the right tools of education. My foundation will not only arm the schools with all amenities but will also ensure their maintenance. I am setting up an office in Jalandhar for this purpose. I am also partnering with environmentalist Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal to green these schools.”

The project had been on his mind ever since he came across a ramshackle school in Mansa Khurd village a few years ago. “All that the school had was a board and the students did not even have a mat to sit on, “he said.

Shocked, Bath adopted the school along with a couple of others.

Wedded to noble cause of serving humanity, Bath had so far also sponsored 90,000 eye surgeries and got solemnized marriages of 386 needy girls.

For carrying on humanitarian work, he founded Bath Foundation in 1996.

Bath says, “I was inspired by my mother Surjit Kaur for social service. My daughter Harjivan Kaur became a trigger point for it when she was just seven years old. We were shopping in Jalandhar when she noticed a physically-challenged man sans lower limbs, dragging himself with his hands for begging. She left shopping and asked me to get the disabled man a wheel chair which I did. And from then onwards, I have not looked back”

His recent favorite is Punjab Bhavan in Surrey which was inaugurated in October 2016. He says that the Bhavan is a hub of socio-cultural activities by various communities. The building, which hosts at least 25 events every month, does not charge a penny for the facilities, which include refreshments.

Brother of eight sisters in an impoverished family of Patara village near Jalandhar, Bath left for Canada in 1978 when he was 20. After a few odd jobs, Bath, at 23, was the only non-white employee in auto agency where he went on to become the general manager. He quit the job in 1991 to set up his own auto dealership. He now runs five businesses with 300 employees.

With his children Kirtvir and Harjivan handling his affairs in Canada, Bath is working overtime to revive a large-hearted Punjab of olden days by tying up with universities to mobilize students.

He is convinced that education can bring about a change.

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