The Leader Without a Title: Gurshran Singh

Bengaluru 19th May 2017. Gurshran Singh has been on a Treasure Hunt, every day, and the day after, right from the time he left college after completing his Commerce degree. It has been like that for over 32 years. That is 32X365 days and counting. Virtually each day he has found his “Treasure” but still he is not satiated.

The “Treasure’? Putting a smile on the face of those who can’t afford it. Reaching out to those who live in the margins of society. You could say he is like a Santa Claus who seeks you every day of the year.

Social worker, political activist, successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and opinion maker, Gurshran Singh’s life changed dramatically from the day when he showed his Degree Certificate as a teenager to his father who told him, “Son, a great future lies ahead of you. But remember, above all, life is not about what you have, but what you do with it. Think of people who are less fortunate than you. Make it your purpose to serve them and I would be truly proud of you!”

The young Gurshran Singh adopted it as a talisman – even as he took care of his family business as a wholesaler cum retailer of home furnishing and carpets.

He managed to find the time and space to take up to social service, primarily catering to the minority community and marginalised poor sections of society. Here’s a thumb-nail sketch of his life and work:

Presently serving as Vice-Chairman, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, State Minority Department, Gurshran Singh understood that being in politics helped to increase the scope and canvas for advocacy of special interests community welfare.

Politics can be a vehicle for social change, he believes and has used his position to arrange for scholarships for students belonging to the minority community including for studies inland as well as for studies abroad. Further he has organized a number of welfare activities such as distribution of Health Cards for poor people under the aegis of Bangalore’s civic authorities, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), and distribution of blankets for the homeless and the needy from the State Government, among many other such initiatives.

A devout Sikh, Gurshran Singh also takes active interest in promoting communal harmony by organizing inter-faith conventions and also celebrating festivals of different religions. 

As President of Sri Guru Singh Sabha, a Sikh congregation for seven years, he has not only strengthened the integration of the Sikh community with people of other faiths, but also taken the lead in organizing celebration of Eid Milad and Christmas.

Gurshran Singh’s compassion also knows no bounds. Away from the limelight, he has quietly organized for free water supply through tanker service for people in distress, constructed a Community Hall (for the Sikh community), donated a Bus for a public school, to name a few of his charitable activities.

Affable, soft-spoken and not enamoured of publicity, Gurshran Singh’s social service initiatives have spread by word of mouth and thus he has been felicitated on a number of occasions, like for example by the Christian community leaders, Sharada Trust, a reputed educational body, Image Education Trust, the Karnataka Minority Commission, Wakf Foundation, etc.

Amidst all this, Gurshran Singh has also excelled as an entrepreneur and won the Best Dealer Award from Kurlon & Sleepwell.

Though soft-spoken, Gurshran Singh also never shies away from taking cudgels on behalf of the poor and the marginalized on issues of public concern. He has been featured as an opinion-maker and an influential voice in TV debates such as for example on the controversial issue of Demonetization.

He has also taken the initiative to organize protests on a public platform whenever he felt an active intervention in favour of the minority community interests or the concerns of the poor was necessary, like when he fought for the rights of the working class (in Munnar) or for the pride of the minority Sikh community. 

What really stands out in Gurshran Singh is hisattitude of absolute altruism that he follows with a monkish approach. In presentday, social service is, almost unexceptionably, a ticket to the political seatof power. But in his case, his political activism is only a means to serve hislarger purpose of serving the poor and dispossessed in the minority community.

He reminds you of the phrase, ‘the leader without atitle’. Gurshran Singh has walked among the less fortunate, he has made thelives of numerous such people – right from the time he divined the real purposeof his life. His story can inspire millions. If it is heard and recognized.

Mr. Gursharan Singhbeing felicitated by CM Sri . Siddaramaiah  for his outstanding  service rendered tothe patients at Kidwai hospital.

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