CHAKWAL: Pakistan and India should invest heavily in education and information technology, not in defence, if both the neighbouring states want to progress and achieve development goals, says Sardar Rattandeep Singh Kohli, an educationist.
Kohli and his wife were in Chakwal in the last leg of their week-long visit to Pakistan.
Investing in quality teachers
While sharing their dond memories and views on a host of issues with the Daily Express, Kohli said that education was the only tool that could help the region prosper, and achieve peace.
“I have brought a message of peace and harmony from India for the people of Pakistan.”
He also addressed a ceremony organised by the Chakwal Press Club the other day to pay tribute to his grandfather Sardar Chet Singh.
Chet, a native of Chakwal’s Munday Village founded the Sant Singh Khalsa High School, Chakwal in 1910.
Chet and his friends established the school in memory of their teacher, Munshi Sant Singh.
Before partition and migrating to India, Chet and his family made a significant contribution towards development of health and education sectors in Chakwal.
In addition to the school, Chet and his family established a healthcare centre in the area.
The Khalsa High School, now known as Government High School No1, has produced a number of prominent political figures of the region including former senator Sardar Khizer Hayat Khan and former Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
The former prime minister studied for his matriculation at the school.
The school only remained closed for a period two years after the Partition.
The residents of Chakwal continue to hold Kohli’s family in high esteem for their service to the people of the area.
His grandfather and family who were businessmen by profession were well-regarded for their generosity and social service in the area.
After migration, Chet’s family established a school in New Delhi by the name of “Khalsa School”.
He said that the people of the two countries wanted to live in peace; however, the leaders were following someone else’s agenda.
“I feel honoured to be here on the land of my forefathers,” he said, adding he would continue to make effort to serve the people of Chakwal.
Rattan said that no government or politician could ever damage his ties to the land of his ancestors.
Chakwal Chamber of Commerce President Qazi Muhammad Akbar said Kohli’s family had made a valuable contribution towards improving literacy rate in Chakwal.
Countering extremism through the classroom
Akbar said that serving humanity was the biggest religion and those who served the downtrodden and the poor God always blessed them.
The school is being upgraded says District Coordination Officer (DCO) Mehmood Javed Bhatti.
Dr Abid Hussain Kayani, a former teacher at the school said that the people of Chakwal would always remember Sardar Chet Singh.
“We will always welcome his family members with open arms,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 22nd, 2016.
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