She has a Facebook page. She has authored 22 books , been felicitated allover the world, for her path-breaking work on giving recognition to the subtle unsaid biggest truth of all -feticide. She started the cause 15 years and gave shape to the cause which recognizes and threatens to wipe out the fairer sex into oblivion in Punjab.
She is the gutsy lady who has single-handedly stormed Punjab's bastion by pointing out the loop-holes ,inefficiencies and inadequacies of the bureaucratic tangles we all are embroiled in . She is DR. HARSHINDER KAUR, president of Harsh Charitable trust Patiala who works to save the female child .
Dr. Harshinder Kaur is MD , MBBS and works at Rajindera Hospital, as a pediatrician.
Dr. Harshinder , is a doctor, a humanist too who has adopted over 300 female girls and apart from this is an accomplished author of numerous books and papers internationally singularly winning awards always. In fact , two weeks ago , she won the "Best Children's Book Award" given by the Bhasha Vibhyag Punjab ,the title begin 'Dr. Massi di Kahaniyaan'. She was conferred this award on Nov. 1st ,2011.
Dr. Harshinder, is THE lady who raised her voice in an UNO seminar at Switzerland for Punjabi language and for female child.
Her voice has gained momentum slowly and steadily over the years and has eventually become a movement . She has been recognized by the state and allover the country. Her latest award being, "Dheen Punjab di " award conferred by Chief Minister, S. Prakash Singh Badal and she has also got the Rani Jhansi Award by the Indian government. Her latest accolade is International Woman Rights Activist and she is the only MD to have been given this award. Bhagat Puran Singh award, Baba Farid Virasat Award a few of the other honors .
Last week ,a Dutch documentary Marnel Breure has come to Punjab to shoot a film on female feticide, drug abuse and domestic violence. This is based on her book 'Female Feticide - A curse" This movie is to highlight the reasons why females are aborted in the womb . The documentary will begin production in 2012. She also has to her credit a Hollywood movie on her book and is called ROARING SILENCE.
In an interview , which left one inspired to follow and also hoped that she has strength to carry on this work, I found an insight to the strong character which makes her tick and the complete woman she is.
Q1 (Ravneet) : How did you start this journey?
Dr H: I was traveling ,outside a village near Pattran where I heard a baby crying violently. When I went close , I saw the most horrifying, inhumane sight which has till date left scars on my psyche. A newborn baby was being eaten alive by rabid dogs . That , made me cry at first but then I decided to change the course of history and devote myself to stopping this blind injustice. I , being a woman had to stand up and be the change to see the change.
Q2(R): Why did you make your speech in Punjabi , why the emphasis?
Dr H: When I had gone to attend the UNO seminar , in Geneva I saw that the Japanese, French, Germans all came and spoke in their native languages. Then I thought that why should I speak in english ? My own native language , Punjabi is older than English ;Baba Farid spoke it 400 years before the first english poet .I wanted to make my lectures in punjabi and since then have stuck to my stand. If I don't feel any pride in my own self , my identity how will the rest of the world respect me? This led to the transition.
Q3(R) What about an insight to the woman behind the steel she is?
Dr H: Dr Harshinder laughs here, a twinkle in her eyes and she reveals that,' I learnt how to paint under Sobha Singh ji " and am an accomplished painter. I am also a poet and was adjudged the best poet in medical college.
Q4(R):What message would you like to give to the readers of TOI?
Dr H: I would like to tell the reader that the path to any destination is always full of speed breakers, full of obstacles and hurdles and to reach the end one has to cross them . Do not be afraid , you will surely reach the end , bruised and battered but the fight and the result is worth all the pain . Do not ever give up hope , there is always light at the end of the horizon.
Q5(R) What is your legacy to your daughter and son?
Dr H: To my daughter , I say you will have to carry on my work, my flame will be carried forward by you.You are tomorrow's woman , you are the hope so be strong . To my son who is very young right now, I would want him to respect and protect woman when he grows up.
Q6 (R): And, coming to the last question , what about Dr sahib, your better half?
Dr H: Laughs , her melodious laugh and she says ," Without his 100% support , I could not have made this journey . It is with his unflinching support and stand by my side I have come this far.
We salute this strong woman who took up the cudgels to fight and stem the rot in Punajb which has a dismal and skewed sex ratio. She is the granddaughter of Prof. Sahib Singh who did the first ever exposition of Guru Granth Sahiband was awarded D.Litt by Punjabi University , the daughter of Prof. Pritam Singh,renowned Punajbi writer and Honorary Professor San Jose university, California who was awarded D.Litt. by Punjabi University, and sister of Dr. Jiarup Singh , former Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University -Amritsar and present Vice Chancellor of the Central University , Bhatinda in Punjab.
We need people like her , the real unsung heroes of the society.
Ravneet Sangha .