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Posted at: Sep 14, 2017, 1:53 AM; last updated: Sep 14, 2017, 1:53 AM (IST)

Capt launches ‘connect with your roots’ for youth abroad

Capt launches ‘connect with your roots’ for youth abroad
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh presents a copy of his book on the Battle of Saragarhi to former British Army officer Sir John Lyon Chapple in London on Wednesday. Tribune photo

Ashis Ray

London, September 13

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh today launched a "connect with your roots" (CYR) initiative in London to reach out to youth of Punjabi origin in Britain at a function at the Indian High Commission. 

Amarinder said: "The aim of the programme is to help youth aged between 16 and 22 years, especially those who have never visited India, to discover their identity." He is aiming to start the scheme next month from around Diwali. 

Batches of 15 persons from various parts of the world will undertake the tour every two months. Canada, the United States, Australia and European Union member countries, will be covered in the outreach in the initial phase. The first three groups in the preliminary six months will come from the UK.  

The selected applicants will be required to bear their cost of travel to and from India. The Punjab Government will take care of the rest. The Indian High Commission will be responsible for publicising the opportunity to the British Punjabi community in the UK.

A two-week visit to Punjab will enable the young men and women to go to places where their parents or grandparents were born and grew up.    

The CYR programme would incorporate a home-stay element in a Punjab village for three days. The participants will also be transported to historic and cultural sites and tourist attractions like the Golden Temple, Jallianwala Bagh, Wagah border, Bhagat Singh Memorial at Banga and Khalsa Heritage Memorial among others. The CM stated: "There's a lot of disinformation about Punjab among overseas Punjabis. We want to correct the wrong impression."

Lord Raj Loomba, a member of the British House of Lords, told The Tribune that he would like to convert the property of his ancestral home in Dhilwan into a school. He is prepared to make an investment of Rs 50 lakh and is seeking a matching grant from the Punjab Government to the proposal. Loomba, however, complained that the NRI ministry under the previous state government was "unhelpful" and would like to raise this with Amarinder during a visit to Punjab next week.  

The CM is on a private-cum-public visit to London. His commitments, though, had to be curtailed after he injured an ankle. At an event on Monday to launch a recently written biography of him, the CM asserted that he had been approached by several businessmen during his current visit expressing interest in investing in Punjab.

On Tuesday, the CM, whose interest is military history, released a book written by him on Saragarhi and the Defence of the Samana Forts. Various factions of the Indian Overseas Congress were keen to organise a rally where the CM would have been the star speaker. They are disappointed this could not be worked out. DL Kalhan, president, IOC in London, remarked: "I spoke to Congress leaders in Punjab, but they didn't bother."


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