Celebrating 8th Lohri Mela, which has always focused on eradicating social evils like female foeticide and decreasing sex ratio, the Sabhyachar Chetna Manch (SCM) this time focused on 'Damini', the Delhi gangrape victim at the Lohri Fair -- Dheeyan Di Lohri (Lohri of daughters) -- at Gaushala Bhawan on Sunday. Eighty-five girls of the district were honored for their fabulous achievements on the occasion.
Last year, the SCM celebrated Lohri and had honoured 35 girls of the district. The manch joined hands with Nanhi Chaan to save girls and trees.
Chief guest and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who honoured the 85 girls, appealed to public to participate in efforts that could protect the dignity of women and bring gender equality.
Criticising female foeticide, Harsimrat said: "Daughters are not less than sons in any field and the Mansa girls have proved this. Women should be respected and every district should celebrate Lohri for daughters."
Besides bhangra and song performances, luddi lok naach (a folk dance) of Punjab, which is vanishing from the state, was also performed.
Performances by singer Hardeep Gill, Makhan Brar, Pinki Mogewali, comedian Beebo Bhua, Ali Rajpura and Shakki were followed by bhangra, which cast a spell on audiences. "Issar aa dalliddar jaa, samajik buraian chulle paa" was sung at the end of programme with burning of bonfire by girls.
A song, "Je Rabb ne banaaya mainu dhee baabla, dass ehde ch kasoor mera ki baabla" (If god had made me a daughter my father, what is my fault in it) received a round of applause and it made the audiences emotional.
Sabhyachar Chetna Manch convener Kamaljeet Malwa said: "We promise to continue with this work in future to ensure well-being of girls and eradicate social evils. Girls are endowed with special qualities but they need special attention and financial help. They are rising at national and international level in a district, which is regarded the most backward in Punjab with lowest sex ratio in the state."
Rajvir Kaur of Khaira Kalan village in Sardulgarh constituency, who recently became judge, international football player from Joga village, Veerpal Kaur, who had recently played at the ASEAN football championship in Malaysia and Vietnam, the girls who played at Malaysia and represented Indian team at All-India Kabaddi Federation -- Parveen Kumari Gharanghna, Jyoti Dulewala, Veerpal Maujia and Paramjit Kaur Kheeva -- were honoured on the occasion.
A student of Class 5 at government school, Gurnekalan village, Akki Kaur was honoured for winning gold and best athlete award in the recently-held state-level games for mentally-challenged students.
Besides, Nancy Singla, who was selected as assistant commandant at Central Armed Police Force after clearing the UPSC exam, Ramandeep Kaur, Ramandeep Mann, Sukhmanpreet Kaur and Mandeep Kaur were also honoured. Sandeep Kaur and Gurleen Kaur, who won gold in under-17judo championship, were also honoured.
Eighteen women hockey players who got first and second position in the Pepsu Women State Hockey Championship and rural state games, respectively, and 14 girls who won gold in volleyball at the state-level were also honoured. Similarly, 20 girls, who played at the state-level championships of basketball and football, were also felicitated.