FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Religious
Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji
Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji was born in 1882 in Nadalon village of Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. Even as a young child his thoughts were on God as his mentor and teacher Sant Baba Diwan Singh Ji taught him the way of seva and simran in his early years. At the age of 18 he left his family and joined the military in Jhasi, but he never took to the job, and used all his spare time in contemplation of God.
So after leaving the army he started his journey towards Nanded. He did seva at Takht Shri Sachkhand Sahib for twelve years with full devotion. When his ardent dedication he soon became a prominent figure at Sachkhand. So some jealous people started teasing him and tormented him lot. So one day Baba Ji decided to return to Punjab and do seva there. He went to the Nanded railway Station and was waiting for the train and offering prayer. Later he told others that he had suddenly noticed a special light coming from the sky and that he had actually had ‘Darshan’ of Guru Gobind Singh Ji along with his Eagle and Horse.
He said that Dashmesh pita asked him, “Where are you going? “ Baba Ji answered him, “Here jealous people are not letting me to do seva whole heartedly so I am thinking of going back to Punjab and will do seva there”. Kalgidhar Patshah then directed Baba Ji not to leave Nanded, telling him, “start the age old tradition of ‘Langar’ at Takht Shri Sachkhand Sahib by uttering these words – “HATH TERA KHISA MERA”, meaning that Baba Nidhan Singh should prepare Langar and see to its distribution among the devotees and leave the Guru to take care care of expenses. After this apparition Baba Nidhan Singh Ji returned to the Gurdwara to establish langar.
In the initial days resources were scarce, how exactly it was that Guru Gobind Singh’s appearance in the form of light and his part of the promise (taking care of the expenses was going to manifest wasn’t always exactly clear, but his hard work and commitment lead to the Langer’s continued existence on permanent footings. Slowly all the Khalsa started realizing importance of this langar and joined in the seva of Baba Nidhan Singh Ji. This is the main reason why lakhs and lakhs of devotees visit every day and eat the Langar as Prasad of Gurudwara, even today with ever growing numbers of visitors to serve there is no shortage in Grudwara Langar Sahib. This is the magic of the words said by Kalgidhar Sachche Patshah to a dejected and disheartened Baba Nidhan Singh. This Gurudwara is situated on the bank of holy river Godavari and is just a kilometer away from Nanded Station.
In his last address, Guru Gobind Singh Ji emphasized the importance of Langar and enjoined upon the Khalsa to continue this practice especially on this holy shrine, at all costs. At this, Bhai Santokh Singh, the first priest appointed at this holy shrine by Master himself with his folded hands, sought form Guru Ji, some clarifications for the time to come as to how to run the Langar and how to cover the costs, when no Khalsa was living in this corner of the country. Guru assured him not to be concerned for anything like this and to do his duty. Making some prophecies Guru Ji told him that there will be no dearth of the Khalsa in this part of the country and if the need be, he would send some Saint especially to raise a sangat if ever the need arose. With the passage of the time the institution of Langar was sometimes neglected by the then management and the Sikhs began to prefer the other works like construction of buildings and bungas.
Guru ka Langar was restarted at this holy place by Sant Baba Nidhan Singh Ji in the year 1912, under the holy ‘enjoinder’ of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. Before coming to this place, Sant Baba Ji had served for long twelve years, completely absorbed in deep meditation day and night, in Gurudwara Sachkhand Sahib when he was blessed with his Eternal light. The pious simple life full of Seva and Simran of Baba Ji was itself an inspiring example to the Sikhs. Baba Ji departed from his worldly life on 4th August 1947 and we see that Guru Ka Langar is running in its splendid manners since then for its worthy cause. Here priority of Seva goes to Langar which is available 24 hours, day and night, round the clock, without any discrimination. Hot tea is also served in the Langar whole day and one feels quite at home when reaching here after a long journey.
Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ajnoha, Akal Takhat
Singh Sahib Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ji Ajnoha, Sri Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar. Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ji was born on December 27th, 1927 in village Ajnoha, Tehsil Garhshankar, District Hoshiarpur. His father’ name was Sardar Hakam Singh Ji and mother’s name was Mata Niranjan Kaur Ji. He belongs to a family called “Bhagtan Di Family” as his ancestors were true worshippers of Almighty Waheguru. He got his elementary education from the village primary school and complete his high school education from Khalsa High School, Baddon. He remained sarpanch of his village, member of the Panchayat Sammati, memebr of Zila Parishad and Jathedar of Akali Dal for district Hoshiarpur. He went to jail for 14 times and took part in Gian Singh Rarrewala’s “Panth Bachao, Desh Bachao Morcha” and “Punjabi Suba Movement”. In 1972, he was appointed the Jathedar of Takhat Shri Kesh Garh Sahib, Anandpur Sahib and remained on this position for 8 years. He performed his duties honesty and with full dedication. On March 2, 1980, he became the Jathedar of Akal Takhat Sahib, Amritsar. After Jathedar Akali Phoola Singh, he was the only fearless Jathedar who took the following four bold decisions:
1. Sikhs are a separate Nation.
2. Akal Takhat is beyond and above all worldly courts.
3. Nirankaris (Narakdharis) are rejected and Sikhs must not seek any relationship with them.
4. Any Hukamnama issued from Akal Takhat Sahib can’t be reverted.
At the age of 58, he left his worldly abode on 18 March, 1982. His ancestral village is running a charitable hospital in his memory.
Sant Hari Singh Kaharpuri
Sant Hari Singh Kaharpuri was born in year 1888 in a Liddar Jat family of the village Jian, in district Hoshiarpur. He was the youngest of the three sons of Sardar Avtar Singh and Bibi Atar Kaur. He received his religious education from Sant Dalip Singh Ji, Domeli. He grew up to be a youth of a strong athletic build and joined 25th Punjab Battalion as a sepoy in year 1904 and served in the North-West Frontier Province. Under the influence of Sant Harnarn Singh Ji of village Jian, he became more and more preoccupied with gurbani and meditation.
He resigned from the army on 31 March 1909 and joined dera of Sant Karam Singh Ji of Hoti Mardan. He came back to Punjab in 1913 and established his own dera in village Kaharpur, near Mahilpur. Sant Hari Singh Kaharpuri, as he came to be known, dedicated himself to preaching the Sikh faith as well as to the spreading of modern education among the rural masses.
He established a Khalsa School and a Khalsa College in Mahilpur. Sant Hari Singh Kaharpuri supervised the re-construction of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib, Anandpur in year 1936-44. Sant Hari Singh Kaharpuri left this world November 18, 1973.
Baba Nihal Singh Harian Belan
Jathedar Baba Nihal Singh was born on 7 Poh 1942 in village Sikari district Hoshiarpur. His father’s name was S. Niranjan Singh & His mother’s name was Chanan Kaur. He was younger of his four brothers. Baba Nihal Singh took over the seva on April 12, 1967 to lead Misal Shaheedan Taruna Dal, Harian Belan after the death of it’s first Jathedar Baba Harbhajan Singh Ji.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Social Service
Sardar Nagina Singh Jangi was born in village Paldi in year 1884. He was a civil contractor, a great philanthropist and a strong promoter of education. He founded a Khalsa school in his ancestral village which at present is known as Sant Attar Singh Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Paldi which was completed in 1923-1924. The entire land for the school was donated by the Jangi family itself. The foundational stone of the school was laid by the great saint, Sant Attar Singh Ji of Mastuana. The school originally started as a middle school, and now has become a senior secondary school. It is considered one of the best schools, of the district Hoshiarpur, in every respect. It is a co-educational institution which is known for its discipline. The school is famous for its achievements in sports, especially in the sport of soccer. The school has produced many India renowned players. The school is also known for its great building.
Sardar Nagina Singh ji was one of the persons who assisted in the establishment of Khalsa College Mahlipur and constructed a veterinary dispensary in Mahlipur village. He also helped in establishing many Gurudwara’s, prominent amongst them is the original building of the gurdwara sahib at Mastuana. He was a very simple man who believed in high thinking. During his time, he supplied every need for his village. He left for his heavenly abode in year 1956.
Mayo Singh Minhas
Mayo Singh Minhas, born in 1899 at Paldi, near Mahilpur, district Hoshiarpur (Punjab), immigrated to Canada in 1906 as a teenager. After arriving to Canada, Mayo Singh worked at various lumber mills and eventually started his own sawmill, Mayo Sawmill with Sardar Kapoor Singh of village Kharaudi (an adjoining village to Paldi, Punjab) as an additional partner responsible for book-keeping and general management. Mayo Saw Mill was originally known as Mayo Siding but as the business prospered, the name of the place was changed to Paldi, after Mayo Singh Minhas’s ancestral village in Punjab. While Mayo Singh Minhas developed this new town Paldi in British Columbia, Canada his yearn to build up his native village never stopped. Mayo Singh Minhas invested a substantial amount of money to build a modernized health centre in his ancestral village Paldi and building of extensions to the college building at SGGS College, Mahilpur.
Mayo Singh Minhas died in year 1955 and the business was taken over by his sons. As his sons were not as astute as he was, the saw mill failed gradually. Due to the fact, the saw mill was failed drastically; people start moving out of Paldi and left only a few families back in the town. At present only the Sikh Temple and a few scattered houses stand where once a vibrant multicultural logging and mill community existed.
In Canada, Mayo Singh Minhas is remembered for not only his business success but also his civic activities and his efforts in getting voting rights for Indian Canadians. Mayo Singh and Sardar Kapoor Singh were among the first to fight for voting rights, which were granted in 1947, the year India became independent.
In a survey organized in 1999, Mayo Singh Minhas’s name was included (number 25) amongst the 100 most influential people who shaped the history of British Columbia.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Education
Principal Harbhajan Singh Bains
Harbhajan Singh Bains, the founder principal of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Mahilpur was born at Mahilpur on January 9, 1891. During his career span of four decades, he did not draw a single rupee as salary while performing his duties as honorary Principal of Sri Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Mahilpur for 15 years until shortly before his death in 1962. Moreover, he donated his lifelong earnings and property to the college after steering the institution to a position of eminence.
Under the guidance of Principal Harbhajan Singh Bains, the college acquired the status of not only a prominent educational centre but also as a nursery of football. No wonder, eminent army officers, bureaucrats and footballers of Punjab, both past and present, have been indebted to Principal Harbhajan Singh Bains for their illustrious careers. They include independent India’s first Defence Minister, Mr Baldev Singh, the late Lieut-Gen P.S. Gyani, Lieut-Gen K.S .Gill, Lieut-Gen N.S. Bal, Major General Gian Singh, Col. Surinder Singh Bains, former Olympian Jarnail Singh, Justice Ajit Singh Bains, former PSEB Engineer-in-Chief Harbans Singh Bains, who is also president of the Principal Harbhajan Singh Sporting Club, and many more.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Political
Chaudhary Amar Singh Doad born in 1900 at village Jalwehra, had his schooling from Rajput High School, Nadalon. He was a pioneer, spent few years in jail during the freedom struggle but never claimed any benefits for it, although he helped hundreds of other people to get Freedom Fighter’s Pension. He remained Treasurer, General Secretary and Senior Vice president of the Congress Party of India, Punjab state wing.
Sohan Singh Thandal
Sardar Sohan Singh Thandal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, State Government of Punjab, hails from village Thandal, Thana Mahilpur of Distt. Hoshiarpur. He has been a MLA from Mahilpur constituency of Punjab Vishan Sabha since 1997. He was elected for the first time in 1997 and was inducted in to the cabinet as Minister of State for Food & Supplies in the SAD-BJP coalition Government. He got the privilege to be elected three times as a MLA from Mahilpur consecutively in a row from 1997, 2002 and 2007. On October 26, 2009, the Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal administered him the oath of office and secrecy as Chief Parliamentary Secretary.
Darshan Singh Canadian
Darshan Singh Sangha (Canadian) was born in 1917 at village Langeri, Punjab and later immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. After arriving in Vancouver, his uncle got him a job at Dominion Sawmills. As a result, his uncle was fired from the job and Darshan Singh was hired at a wage less than 5 cents per hour. While he was an organizer of the International Woodworkers of America during 1942-1946, he fought for the rights of British Columbia’s East Indian woodworkers. After living 11 years in Canada, he returned to India in 1948 and changed his surname to “Canadian.” He represented Communist party for three terms in the Punjabi State Legislative Assembly. He was killed on September 25, 1986 by some unknown attackers.
Piara Singh Khabra
Piara Singh Khabra was born on November 20th, 1924 in village Kaharpur, Mahilpur. He took his school education from the Khalsa High School, Mahilpur and later joined Panjab University to earn a degree in Social Sciences. He interrupted his studies at Punjab University to serve in the Indian Army during the Second World War. He served in the Indian Army between 1942 and 1946. After the war, he returned back to the university to finish his studies. He joined the Communist Party and became active in the Independence struggle. He was trained as a teacher and taught for few years in the school. In the year 1959, he immigrated to the United Kingdom along with his family.
After moving to UK, he took a labour job in a bread factory. Later, he pursued his careers as a teacher, a social worker and became a leading member of the Sikh-Briton and Asian community in Southall. He was also a Chairman of the Indian Workers’ Association and was active in stiff opposition to the far right on many issues over the years. He joined the Labour Party in 1972 and was elected to Ealing council in 1978. He gave up his teaching job the same year to become a community worker and later as a Justice of the Peace. He was elected as a member of Britain’s House of Commons in 1992. He represented the Ealing Southall riding and remained Member of British Parliament for 12 years. He was a member of the Constitutional Affairs Select Committee and had a special interest in Punjab and India.
Piara Singh Khabra was the oldest member of Britain’s House of Commons when he passed away following complications with his liver at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, England on June 19, 2007.
Councilor Jasbir Parmar, Bedford Borough Council (UK)
Councilor Jasbir Singh Parmar, Bedford Borough Council (UK) was born on April 26, 1958 in village Panjaura, Thana Mahilpur, Distt. Hoshiarpur (Punjab). After early schooling in St. Joseph School, Allahabad UP, he finished his Higher Secondary in Kendriya Vidyalaya (Central School) Jalandhar, Punjab.
In 1976, he started his B.Sc Agri (Hons) at Punjab Agricultural University. However, in 1979, he immigrated to UK without completing his degree. He said “this has to be one of my regrets in life, so near yet so far”. He is a family man, married for thirty years and has three beautiful daughters. He and his wife and daughters are staunch Arsenal supporters and he has two season tickets at club level. Whilst he is a keen fair-weather golfer and holds a private pilot’s licence, his wife and daughters are 2nd degree Black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
He has been actively involved in the Sikh community in Hitchin and Bedford. In 2006, he was elected to Bedford Borough Council by defeating the Labour Group leader and Deputy Mayor in a seat she had held in a safe Labour area since 1972. The following year, he was elected as the Deputy Group leader. A former Metropolitan policeman between 1982 and 1987, he served in Royalty protection and mainly in South London. Since 1987, he has been involved in retail and wholesale trade.
In retail, he has owned grocery stores, post offices, restaurant and wine bar. Currently he owns a large commercial post office in Kempston, Bedford. He is looking forward to the political challenges ahead.
Mayor Kashmir (Kash) Gill
Mayor Kashmir (Kash) Singh Gill, born in Laksian village of block Mahilpur, Distt Hosiarpur, immigrated to Yuba City (US) in 1967 along with his family. His family is related to world-famous peach grower, Sardar Didar Singh Bains.
Kash graduated from Yuba College and California State University, Chico. He is a banker by profession and currently holds the position of a Senior Vice-President with Butte Community Bank, Yuba City.
On the auspicious day of November 10, 2009, Kash was sworn in as the first Sikh-American Mayor of Yuba City, known as the first Punjabi village in United States. There are about 15,000 Sikhs lives in Yuba City.
Kash lives in Yuba City along with his wife Neena Kaur, son Rajan Singh and daughters Harveen Kaur and Priya Kaur. Kash and Neena also farm peaches, prunes, & walnuts in Sutter County.
Yadwinder (Yad) Minhas
Yadwinder (Yad) Minhas hails from village Paldi, Thana Mahilpur, District Hoshiarpur. He has been living in Grande Prairie, Alberta with his family since 1974. He is a well established entrepreneur for over 30 years with experience in forestry, automotive industry, land development, retail sales and the hotel businesses. He was elected Alderman (City Councilor) to the Grande Prairie City Council on October 15, 2007. Presently, he is serving on the various Council Committees which includes: General Government Services Committee, Arts Development Committee, Assessment Review Board, Centre 2000 Committee, Grande Prairie Airport Commission, Joint Council Committee, Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, Grande Prairie Regional College Forest Management Advisory Committee. He has been the past president of the Sikh Temple Gursikh Missionary Society, a member on the Development Appeal Board and a past member on Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Karn Manhas’s ancestral village is Paldi in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. He was first elected in the riding of Port Coquitlam-Burke Mountain in the 2001 provincial general election. He was the youngest member ever elected to the BC Legislature. During his tenure as MLA, Karn served on the Legislative Assembly’s Special Committee of Selection, the Government Caucus Committee on Education and Multicultural Committee, chaired the Tri-City Caucus and served on the Legislative Assembly’s Select Standing Committee on Education.
Before becoming an MLA, Karn was the Director of Business Development and Operations Planning for a local commercial/residential property management firm with holdings throughout the Tri-Cities, the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. He was also President of a start-up application software programming company, which he founded and operated in Port Coquitlam as a young entrepreneur. Karn has also conducted public consultation work on regional transportation issues, which continues to be a passion of his.
A third-generation British Columbian, Karn was raised in the Tri-Cities and lives in Port Coquitlam. After graduating from the International Baccalaureate program at Port Moody Senior Secondary, Karn was recognized with the community’s Citizenship Award. Karn has volunteered at schools and hospitals, including Eagle Ridge Hospital. He has been active in raising funds for overseas volunteers.
Karn helped manage a $4.7 million non-profit organization, was a founding member of an inner-city tutoring club for kids, and produced a live cultural show aimed at raising money for charity which drew 2200 people and had a cast of over 200. In 1995, he volunteered in northern India for a non-governmental organization providing free rural and remote health care, building access to running water, and teaching skills development and literacy.
Karn graduated from McGill University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, specializing in the genetics of inherited diseases. He minored in Biotechnology, examining the use of scientific knowledge in biology to commerce, technology and environmental applications. After graduation in 1997, he completed a further year’s study in Arts, Economics and Commerce at the University of British Columbia.
Karn speaks English and French and is conversant in Punjabi and Hindi. In his spare time he enjoys amateur photography, adventure travel, reading, hiking, and exploring BC’s unique natural wilderness.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Entrepreneurs
Didar Singh Bains, the Peach King
Didar Singh Bains of California hails from village Nangal Khurd near Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. He arrived in USA forty years ago with $8 in his pocket, worked his way up to be known as the “Peach King of California” and owner of more than 16,000 acres of land in America. He is one of the richest Sikh farmers in North America, worth somewhere in the region of $50 million. Driving tractors and irrigating orchards for 75 cents an hour, he did the work of four men, and soon bought his first peach orchard. He bought another, then another, and by 1978, had become the largest peach grower in California. Today Bains – whose first name roughly means “visionary” in Punjabi – owns more than 40 parcels of land in 13 counties, including 667 acres next to Sacramento International Airport and much of rapidly developing western Yuba City.
He has always been a leading figure in the Sikh community for the last 20 years. Before 1983 he was the head of the North America Akali Dal. After the Blue Star Operation in Amritsar he became the president of the World Sikh organization. In 1985, he became the founder chairman of the World Kabbadi federation. He is also acknowledged as the founder of the Annual Sikh Parade in Yuba City where nearly 100,000 Sikhs come together is the largest gathering of Sikhs in America. He is also a member of the World Sikh Organization.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Scientists
Piara Singh Gill, Chela
Piara Singh Gill, born on 28 October 1911 in a Gill family of village Chela in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab, attended Khalsa High School in Mahilpur in 1928 and left for USA in 1929. He attended and graduated with a bachelors and Master’s degree from University of Southern California. He worked for his PhD in Physics at University of Chicago under the supervision and guidance of Arthur Compton, the Nobel Prize winning Scientist. He received his PhD in Physics from University of Chicago in March 1940. He was a good friend and close colleague of Homi J. Bhabha, who offered him the research fellow Professorship at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in 1947. He was also a close friend of Nehru, who was one of the people he impressed with his scientific breakthroughs, he offered him the post of Officer-on-Special Duty (OSD) with the Atomic Energy Commission in New Delhi and he also asked him to become the first Director of Central Scientific Instruments Organization (CSIO) of India.
He as its Director established (CSIO) as a leader in advanced scientific instrument design in Asia. Moreover, Robert Oppenheimer, was a close colleague and friend who he worked with on the Manhattan project. Oppenheimer asked Gill to present a paper at the California Institute of Technology at a conference arranged to celebrate the 80th birthday of Professor Robert Millikan, winner of the 1928 Physics Nobel Prize. Gill was a key advisor and planner to Nehru on India’s nuclear weapons strategy in the 1950-60s.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Sports
Arjuna Awardee, Makhan Singh was born on July 01, 1937 in Bathulla village in the Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He was one of the illustrious Indian athletes during the 1960s. He claimed to fame as a result of his famous victories over Milkha Singh in the 1964 National Games in Kolkata. He won a number of gold medals in National Games, and represented India in the 1962 Asian Games.
His first taste of success was a Bronze in the National Games in Cuttack in 1959. He then hit the high spots with the National Games in Delhi the following year when he won a Gold in the short sprint and a Silver in the 300 meters. He was to continue with this success in subsequent National Games, winning Gold and a Silver at Madras in 1960, 4 Gold at Jabalpur in 1962 and 2 Cold and one Silver at Trivandrurn in 1963. But his greatest triumph was the 1964 National Games in Calcutta where, apart from scoring a sensational win over Milkha, he picked up four Gold Medals for an impressive personal tally. He represented India in the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta where he won relay gold in 4 x 400 meters and Silver in the 400 meters.
For Makhan Singh, the artillery gunner, the National Games had Special significance. He took part in all the Games from 1959 to 1964 and won a total of 12 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze, the last one in Calcutta where he signed off being his most outing. He won Arjuna Award in 1964.
He was a Subedar in the Indian Army and retired in 1972. He later met with an accident, losing a leg. He died on January 21, 2002.
Kesar Singh Punia, the world veteran athlete was born on 1st February 1934 in village Paddi Sura Singh of Hoshiarpur District. He took his high school education from the Khalsa High School, Mahilpur. Upon passing his matriculation examination, he completed arts and craft teacher’s course and start working as Drawing Teacher at village Nagal Ambian, near Shakot in Jalandhar district of Punjab. While he was working at Nagal Ambian, he met Ajit Singh Malhri, who convinced him to do the N.D.S.I course which he did eventually and start working as N.D.S Instructor at Khalsa High School, Mahilpur, where he once was a student. He worked as a teacher at various schools before he was promoted to B.P.E.O (Sports) in 1982. In the year 1988, he immigrated to the Canada along with his family.
Currently, he lives in Toronto with his wife, Harbans Kaur Punia and his extended family. Participating in games since 1990, Punia claims to have won 460 medals at various games throughout the world. He is working towards to get his name registered in the “Guinness Book of Record”. Mrs. Harbans Kaur Punia also takes part in sports and had won few medals as well.
In year 2002, Mr. Punia was awarded “Governor General Award of Canada” by Paul Martin, Prime Minister of Canada and was chosen for the best sportsman award during the “Parvasi Punjabi Awards” in the year 2006.
Coach Ali Hassan
Coach Ali Hassan was born on October 15, 1952 at Malerkotla. He has trained thousands of footballers at Mahilpur ever since he joined the Football Academy in 1975. While other coaches have been transferred at frequent intervals, Ali Hassan is lucky enough to work continuously at the academy for the past 27 years.
Ali Hassan began his career as a player at Islamia High School, Malerkotla, represented Punjabi University in the All-India Inter-University Football Championship where his team finished third. A diploma in football coaching in 1974 from the NIS, Patiala, strengthened his credentials and he was selected as a coach by Mr. Milkha Singh in 1975. Ali Hassan has been associated with Punjab school teams who won honors in the National School Games since 1976. Punjab has so far won six gold, six silver and five bronze medals. The last gold came at Srinagar in 2000-2001.
Ali Hassan accompanied the Indian team to Brunei for the Asian School Football Championship in 1995 and three members of the team were from the Mahilpur academy. He also accompanied the Indian team to Bangkok for the Asian School Football Championship in 2000 where India finished fifth.
Ali Hassan has coached over 300 players who have made a mark at the national and international levels. The star midfielder Hardip Sangha, strikers Hardip Gill and Jaswinder, goalkeepers Arvind Kumar and Baljit (JCT), Dabara Singh (BSF), Narinder Thapa (Mohammedan Sporting), Yashpal (East Bengal) Parveen Kumar and Sher Singh (Punjab Police), and Tejinder Kumar (Churchill Brothers) are some of the well known faces in Indian football who have benefitted while undergoing training under Ali Hassan, for whom football has always been the first love.
Ranjit Saini was born on February 12, 1958 in Village Haveli, Thana Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab. He is the current President of Cricket Canada.
Manjit Singh, the “Iron Man”, was born in Mahilpur. Currenytly, he lives in Leister, United Kingdom. Manjit Singh holds 30 world records, which include pulling a double decker bus with his hair and lifting 85 kg with his ears. He raises money for his charity Manjit Fitness Academy, which aims to get children living in his native Mahilpur, India involved in sport.
FAMOUS PERSONALITIES FROM CHABBEWAL-MAHILPUR AREA – Bollywood
Monica Bedi was born on January 18th, 1975 in the Village of Chabbewal in the district of Hoshiarpur, Punjab, India. Her dad’s name is Prem Kumar Bedi and her mom’s name is Shakuntala. Her dad was a registered medical practitioner (RMP). In 1976 the Bedi family immigrated to Norway to start their own garment business. At that time Monica was 10 months old. As a star, Monica Bedi acted in a few Hindi and south Indian films.