Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Avtar Singh Makkar was honoured with the 'Shiromani Sewak' award by the Akal Takht for his services rendered to the Sikh 'Panth' (community) and towards humanity in times of distress.
The award comprising a silver plaque along with a sword and a 'siropa' were presented to Makkar by Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh here on Thursday. The jathedars of other Sikh Takhts were also present on the occasion. As per ritual, Makkar stood below the balcony of the Akal Takht and accepted the award from the jathedar, who stood atop the balcony. Thereafter, an 'ardas' was performed.
The citation presented along with the award referred to Makkar's decade-long stint as SGPC chief and the services he had rendered towards the 'panth' during this period. His role as the chancellor of the SGPC's Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, was also recalled in the citation.
The citation made particular references to the humanitarian help that was extended by the SGPC during times of natural calamities. These included the floods in Jammu and Kashmir last year, Uttarakhand floods and the recent earthquake in Nepal. The decision to bestow Makkar with this award was taken sometime back at a meeting of the Sikh head priests. Giani Gurbachan Singh had presided over this meeting.