Bhagat Puran Singh

Bhagat Puran Singh Ji (June 4, 1904 – August 5, 1992) was born in Rajewal (Rohno) Ludhiana district, Punjab. Born into a Hindu family, he was given the name Ramjidas as a child. Later, while still a child, he chose to become a Sikh. He was greatly inspired by the teachings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the Sikh Gurus. Though he never finished his basic schooling, he became a writer, a (self) publisher, an environmentalist, and a philanthropist. He is perhaps best remembered for the home he founded in Amritsar, India, named Pingalwara, a home which long after his death, is still tending to the castaways of society: the sick, disabled and abandoned forlorn people.

As a young man he decided to dedicate his life to the ‘selfless service of humanity’. He founded Pingalwara in 1947 with only a few patients, the neglected and rejected of the streets of Amritsar. An early advocate of what we today refer to as the ‘Green Revolution’, Bhagat Puran Singh was spreading awareness about environmental pollution, and increasing soil erosion long before such ideas became popular. Pamphlets with his writings on various subjects, such as environmental awareness, were printed on re-used paper and freely distributed.

He was honored in 1979 by the Government of India with the Padma Shri award, given for exceptional and distinguished service in any field.