Children of the Divine: Bhagat Puran Singh’s Pingalwara and the Children’s Rights Principle of Non-discrimination – Jaspreet Kaur Bal

Spring 2020
Abstract
This paper discusses the Sikh principle of non-discrimination and Bhagat Puran Singh’s work with the marginalized in India. I start by outlining the principle of non-discrimination in Sikh and global human rights discourses. I then move on to looking at historic and contemporary examples of this principle in practice, including the life of Bhagat Puran Singh. I demonstrate that the right to non-discrimination, while recent in western children’s rights discourse, has long standing force in Sikh tradition and the foundation of Pingalwara in Panjab. The work of Bhagat Puran Singh serves to address the need for a comprehensive strategy for India to work on the right to non-discrimination.

Keywords: Children’s rights, Sikh, non-discrimination, Pingalwara, Puran Singh

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Jaspreet Kaur Bal – Professor of Child and Youth Care, Humber College, Toronto, Canada