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"We can have a 10-point programme on which all parties should agree": Vikramjit Singh Sahney

Philanthropist and industrialist Vikramjit Singh Sahney in conversation with Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla and noted journalist Kaveree Bamzai in TNIE Expressions.

Published: 10th October 2021 10:15 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2021 11:04 AM   |  A+A-

Philanthropist and industrialist Vikramjit Singh Sahney.

Philanthropist and industrialist Vikramjit Singh Sahney.

NEW DELHI:  There is a need for political parties to make a common minimum programme with regard to the problems of the common man, philanthropist and industrialist Vikramjit Singh Sahney said during an interaction with Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla and noted journalist Kaveree Bamzai in TNIE Expressions.

“Political parties must make a common minimum programme. Many times, it happens that one party does something and the other undoes it. We can have a 10-point programme on which all parties should agree,” he said. On his interest in giving back to society, Sahney said the feeling was inculcated into him by his parents and teachers. “When one crosses hurdles and faces challenges, they feel they must give back. In the late 90s, we set up Sun Foundation and took up issues like female foeticide, drug de-addiction and set up skill development centres,” he said.

A total of 596 Afghan refugees are getting trained in the skill development centre in Delhi. These refugees were evacuated after the attack on a gurudwara in Kabul last year and during the recent instability. “I sent three chartered flights to evacuate 520 Afghans. We are rehabilitating all of them. We arranged furniture, subsistence allowance, free medical health insurance, children’s education. We set up World Skill Centre to train them. When Taliban (takeover) happened, 76 refugees came. We are continuing their rehabilitation. We want them to get citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Act. We will talk to Home Minister Amit Shah about this,” he said.

Speaking of the Covid pandemic, he said his foundation delivered oxygen concentrators in rural areas. “During first wave, we started AI-based corona testing ambulances. These buses went into infected areas and did around 800-1,000 tests. They also got critical patients. We started langars seeing the migrant labour crisis. We managed to save lives but livelihoods needed to be saved.”

“In the second wave, the problem was more serious. I got Covid twice and this pushed me more to work harder. We could bring about 1,000 concentrators. Our team was delivering concentrators to the needy faster than pizza. That was our slogan,” he said and added that oxygen banks have been set up in each district of Punjab.

On the diplomatic front, Sahney said, “I am proud to represent India. I am honorary consul general of South Africa... On the economic front, we are a part of the South-South cooperation,” he said. Sahney said in today’s time there is lot of impetus to economic diplomacy. Asked if India has lost out to China in Africa, he said the Chinese are successful as their government supports business. 

“They can invest in rolling stock. We cannot do that. China organised SAARC trade fair even without being its member. In India, it would not be well-received if our external affairs minister pushes for contract for one company. We have to change our thinking,” he said.



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