Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Major H P S Ahluwalia conferred the ‘Jewels of Punjab’ Award

New Delhi(, 2017: In a moment that would make every individual proud of his achievements, Major Hari Pal Singh Ahluwalia was conferred the ‘Jewels of Punjab’ Award. The award was given away to Major Ahluwalia by the Ex- Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The event witnessed several other luminaries to be conferred this award in various categories.Major Ahluwalia has the reputation of being a passionate mountaineer from the Indian Army to becoming the Founding Chairman of the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC). At the young age of 26 years, Major Ahluwalia conquered the Mount Everest but while serving the nation in the Army at the war front in the 1965 Indo-Pakistan he was injured in his spine with a bullet. This spinal injury confined him to a wheel chair but did not diminish his mental strength, spirit or morale. Information has it that the very institution of India Spinal Injuries Centre owes its existence to the fact that he was transferred from one hospital to another in a bid to rehabilitate him. Word also has it that he was sent out of country for special treatment by the Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi, herself. This made him determine that he would institute a hospital which could extend all the treatment solutions, rehabilitation, facilities and services to every patient who suffered any accident that put him in a wheelchair.

Despite the fact that he could not receive adequate treatment to get him back on his feet, Major Hari Pal Singh Ahluwalia nevertheless comes across a sturdy, robust, and self reliant man moving around on a wheelchair.
 Commenting on his unparalleled zeal for life Major Ahluwalia says, “The real challenge in life is to keep your spirit and metal strength alive. Being differently-abled physically is a very small challenge. It is your mind that can explore limitless possibilities and your spirit that can give form and shape to those possibilities.”The more one gets to know about his struggles, the larger-than-life a figure he becomes. In his own words, “During those days, and for years to come, I have gained my strength from the mountains, the Himalayas, which has time and again inspired me to win over any challenge.”

He not only kept his love for mountaineering alive by becoming an active administrative and organizing member of mountaineering organizations, such as, the Indian Mountaineering Foundation and Delhi Mountaineering Association, but he also became an active member of social groups such as Special Ability Trust, Youth Exploring Society, and Rehabilitation Council of India, which focused on aiding and supporting the differently abled people. He also served the Government at by heading various committees drafting policies favouring persons with disabilities. As a Founding Chairman of ISIC, he continues to work on the vision of providing a hi-tech, holistic care center that would provide the most advanced medical care to its patients but most importantly nurture with compassion their minds, bodies, and spirits, and giving them hope of a promising life.

For the person he is and his work for the society, Major Ahluwalia has received many prestigious awards internationally. To name a few, he has been a recipient of Padma Bhushan (2002), National Award for the Welfare of People with Disabilities (1998), and World Health Initiative for Peace Award (2013). Major Ahluwalia remains a figure of inspiration and his invictus spirit has become a guiding light for many who have faced a similar fate.