December 20th, 2016
Farmers of a little-known village show an act of exemplary sportsmanship.
The farmers of Dulay village situated 15 km from Ludhiana, gave up their land to build a stadium so that sports can be made popular.
This community is known for housing the historic gurdwara Flahi Sahib. From now, it will also be recognised for its contribution to sports. The villagers themselves have constructed a multipurpose stadium on eight acres of land adjoining the gurdwara. The stadium has been named Sardar Santokh Singh Margind Stadium and houses a cricket pitch, a ground for playing football, handball and also for athletics, and a basketball court (under-construction).
The stadium, which is the centre of attraction for sports enthusiasts from in and around the village, is the brainchild of Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of Punjab Basketball Association. He hails from Dulay, and it was his dream to build a stadium there one day.
As reported in the Times of India, Dhaliwal, who is in charge of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy, said, “I have dedicated my life to sports. I always regretted to have failed to promote sports in my village. As a youngster, I wanted my village to have a sports complex where we could practice, but we did not have the right facilities.
“Once, I was sitting with a group of friends, and they shared that they wanted to do something for the development of the village. Then I asked them to construct a stadium as it would channelise the energy of the youth in the right direction and produce good sportspersons too.”
Lakhmir Singh, the sarpanch, and villagers, Pritam Singh Dhaliwal and Darshan Singh Grewal, along with Sarabjit Singh, an NRI from the United Kingdom, contributed to the cause initially. They convinced some of the farmers to donate their lands for the greater good.
Jora Singh, a businessman from the village and sports enthusiast, said, “We did not face any problem in convincing landowners for the stadium. When we discussed the proposal in a meeting, everyone happily agreed. We are now planning to start beach volleyball and kabaddi.”
This is a magnanimous gesture from the farmers. Every farmer knows how difficult it is to give up their land. But for the greater good, for sports, for the country, these farmers sacrificed what was dearest to them. Now, it is the turn of the young sports enthusiasts of the village to repay the faith bestowed upon them by the farmers and make the country proud.