Singh Is King
Narinder Pal Singh Of Kathua is loved and respected by all for his honest, loving sewa of needy animals
We have all watched the movie where Akshay Kumar played the role of a lovable Sardar. Akshay played the role to the hilt, and of course we all loved the movie. I was reminded of the charming words, ‘Singh is King’, when I met Narinder Pal Singh of Kathua. I am truly struck by the way Narinder is loved not just by humans but also by the speechless animals for his honest, loving sewa of years.
Kathua is a small town near Jammu. Narinder is one of the most popular individuals of Kathua. He is always feeding and treating the needy animals. So what’s his inspiration for becoming an animal activist? Narinder says his inspiration comes both from religion and humanity. He explains that there is a belief in Sikhism. Dhaul Daram, Daya ka Poot.
This roughly translates as this. If you have sympathy, you will be religious. If you are religious, you will be human. Once you are human, you will understand your true purpose of living.
Narinder tells me, “My religion teaches me to be human and do good deeds. Humanity teaches me to be kind and loving towards all. Being human means helping all of humanity. This includes the speechless animals. They cannot speak. They cannot tell us of their hurt. But the Almighty has given us the ability to understand their pain and help them.”
Narinder Singh did three years of free service at the Golden Temple where he watched a cat regularly. “Every time I saw the cat, I thought – who is going to look after this cat, feed it or help it when it needs help. This thought gradually developed, and made me want to serve animals,” he said.
The three years of sewa at Golden Temple made Narinder Singh a different man. He discovered some of the most beautiful and valuable lessons of life. “In three years of service at Golden Temple, I learned there is far more to being alive than what we have realized. Life is truly about serving God. Life is about looking after His creation, especially the ones who are speechless.”
On the professional front, Narinder works as a divisional mechanic for Military Engineer Service (MES). He spends 75 to 80 percent of his salary on treating and caring for the animals. So far he is not getting any monetary help from any organization. He has formed an organization named ‘Something For Humanity’, of which he is Chairman. “Now people have come to know that I help animals. So sometimes they donate food and sometimes they give medicines for the animals. I am very thankful to all such support that I receive for these helpless creatures,” he said.
With greater recognition of his work, more and more people now volunteer to help Narinder with his work. About 100 to 150 people have joined him on different occasions to feed and treat the animals. About five to ten people are always on call to help him reach out to the animals.”
“One of our major tasks is to help stray animals who are hurt. I think 95 per cent of our priority is stray animals who are hurt. I have learnt how to take treat animals by watching animal care videos. We have performed minor surgeries on bulls that needed it. We put glow tape on the horns and tails of bulls. The tapes sparkle at night, so we are able to avoid serious injury to the motorists and also the animals,” said Narinder.
During the difficult days of the pandemic, Narinder reached out to the poor and needy by giving them food and medicines. He is known for his humanitarian work all over Kathua, and has been featured in local newspapers often for his selfless service.
Narinder said that it is important for youth to learn and understand that there is a reason for which they are sent on this earth. “We are humans and should be guided by the principle of humanity. If we do not learn to survive together, none of us will survive. Animals are a very important part of our ecosystem, and we need to take care of them. They cannot do it on their own, because they do not have the means. We have the means to help them, so we must do the needful. It is our duty towards the Almighty,” says Narinder. “The least we can do is not hurt them,” he adds.
Narinder feels concerned to see the youth falling prey to drug addiction. “Believe me, caring for animals can be an amazing therapy. The families of these suffering youngsters must increase their interaction with animals during the rehabilitation period. It is fantastic how the animals can cure depression among human beings. In this way, when you care for animals, you are truly caring for yourself. Kabir ji says in a doha that human life is invaluable. It is like a ripe fruit. Once the fruit falls from the tree, it cannot be placed back. Hence we must do all the good deeds we can in order to help the helpless and needy – whether they are humans or animals,” says the kind and compassionate Narinder.