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Lighting up lives

‘Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle. Happiness never decreases by being shared’

Shiv Rawal | Chandigarh |

The Buddha’s inspirational words seem to have struck a chord in Haryana Finance Minister Captain Abhimanyu. He has donated his government salary of the last three years to solemnise the mass marriage of poor girls.

Abhimanyu said many years ago he had pledged that if he becomes a public representative, he would donate his salary to help destitute girls. Recently, on his 51st birthday, the businessman-cum-politician organised marriages of 51 poor girls at his native village Khanda-Kheri in Narnaund block of Hisar district.

Apart from donating his salary of three years amounting to nearly Rs 16.65 lakh, he also spent over Rs 50 lakh from his own pocket as the newlyweds were also gifted many customary items such as jewellery, furniture, clothes and sweets. He also gifted each couple a set of books written by great human beings. Each couple was given Rs 5,100 as Kanyadan (financial assistance) through cheque.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who attended the function, announced enhancement of financial assistance given under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Vivah Shagun Yojana’ from Rs 41,000 to Rs 51,000. The newlyweds were included.

The newlyweds were also administered an oath against female foeticide. And gifted saplings to promote the Swachhta Abhiyan (cleanliness campaign).

Capt Abhimanyu told The Statesman, “When I entered politics, I had resolved to undertake mass marriages of poor girls with my salary, and recently, I got this opportunity. As Finance minister, I had received Rs 16.65 lakh as salary which I donated for this mass marriage function.”

He said, “However, organising the event cost me nearly four times more than the salary I got in the past three years as an elected member of the Haryana Legislative Assembly. But I will continue to contribute for the noble cause in future also.” He said everyone should do some charity.

The minister is also involved in tree plantation and has set up reverse osmosis purifiers in villages falling in his assembly constituency, Narnaund. Free education, free books and school uniforms, is provided to poor children in nearly one dozen educational institutes under the umbrella of Param Mitra Manav Nirman Sansthan, a non-profit charitable trust founded by his father, Mitter Sen Sindhu, a well-known philanthropist.

One such institute is Defence Public School located in Delhi, where children from the slums are being provided free education, books and school dress. Even mid-day meals are provided to these children in the school.

Born as Abhimanyu Sindhu in a village in Hisar district, he served in the Indian Army for six years. It was in the late 90s when he entered politics. After losing several elections, finally he was elected as BJP MLA from Narnaund constituency in the 2014 assembly polls in Haryana.