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How Punjab Foundation was born

I had some ideas based on personal experience and mass media reports. But when I went a bit deep, I was stunned to know the reality of life back home. I tried to prioritize the problems being faced by the Punjabis. I found that health of Punjabis, for which they were known, was in very bad shape. They were suffering from all sorts of dangerous and debilitating diseases.

Cancers of all types are increasing in Punjab. Malwa belt has been focus in mass media. It has been labeled as the Cancer Belt. Because of lack of facilities for affordable treatment of cancer in Punjab, people go to Rajasthan to get the treatment. The train which is used by the people to travel has been named as Cancer Train. Cancer is not the only category of diseases which is spreading its tentacles in Punjab. In fact the health of Punjabis in many aspects has deteriorated during the past few decades. God given Immune Power to keep our body healthy has been drastically reduced in the Punjabis. Reproductive health of Punjabis is fast deteriorating- Breast Cancer, Childless Couples, Spontaneous Abortions, Premature Births, Low Weight Births, Early Childhood Deaths, Congenital Malformations, Menstrual Disorders, Ovary and Uterus Tumors, Erectile Dysfunction and Decreasing Sperm Counts-all have markedly increased during the last 30-40 years. Number of children with Brain/ Neurological Damage has increased many folds. Bones and Joints Diseases, Asthma, Allergies, Diabetes, Heart and blood Vessel Diseases are becoming an epidemic form.

A cock tail of highly poisonous chemicals is being reported in water, food chain and human tissues of Punjabis. Presence of excessive pesticides, chemical fertilizers (nitrates), heavy metals, and other industrial toxins, excessive fluorides in the water, plastic based chemicals, and chemicals from the coal based thermal power plants and uranium making the environment and food chain highly toxic. Uranium and other highly poisonous heavy metals have been found in the hair and water samples beyond the permissible limits.

Ground water is being exhausted because of overuse which is the result of wrong model of chemical agriculture. Surface water is scarce. It is either not available or is so toxic that it is not fit for human and animal drinking. In many parts it is not even fit for agriculture. All sources of water in Punjab are full of poisons. Industrial & sewage polluted waste flows through canals rivulets and rivers contaminating the ground water & soil of Punjab. No body could have imagined that one day the region whose name is derived from its waters and whose gurus, rishis (Seer, Sage), munis, faqeers (monk, holy man) and poets have sung songs in praise of its waters will be forced to have highly toxic water. The bodies and whole of food chain of Punjabis are full of poisons. Even the bovine and human milk samples and human tissues have shown high levels of the toxic substances.

Pride of Punjabis, their health, strong bodies and brave minds are all becoming a thing of the past. Their contributions in Sports and Armed Forces are fast declining. They are becoming a nation of weak and sick people. Thousands of premature deaths and lakhs (hundred thousand) of sick people are not natural. It is the result of wrong and criminal policies being pursued. The cattle and wild animals are suffering from similar disease pattern. Premature deaths and rising sickness in humans and cattle, declining soil fertility, disappearing seeds, fast declining bio diversity, fast disappearing ground water are all the result of anti-people, anti-farmer and anti-nature policies being pursued. Similarly un-natural deaths and declining fertility of wild animals to the extent of extinction of many species is not natural. Whole of Life and Life giving Natural Resources-soil and water seem to be on the way to SLOW DEATH. Some people are calling it SLOW MASS SUICIDE; others call it SLOW GENOCI DE while still others call it ECOCIDE. To save water, soil, environment, food, fodder and life in general on which the human life is dependent is the issue of MOST BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS.

We, who have come to North America in search of prosperity and have succeeded in achieving it, have our emotional ties with our and our ancestors' mother land/birth place. Punjab Foundation has been formed to unite the efforts of all the well wishers of Punjab who want to contribute to ameliorate the sufferings of our brothers and sisters back home. Let's get together to help raise the voices against the suffering people and gross violation of Human rights to bring an end to preventable loss of life, ill health and degradation of the environment in Punjab. We have decided to keep Cancer as the central focus. But as the root causes of cancer are same as other dangerous diseases, we will be dealing with the issue of human health in its entirety keeping cancer as the focus.

Raveena Chahal
- Founder, Punjab Foundation

Water Contamination
Kids in Punjab villages losing sight to polluted drinking water

Shankar Singh, 22, lost his eyesight
a decade ago. His younger brother,
Visakha Singh, who had no vision problem when he was born, too, lost
his sight as he grew up. [Read More...]

Pollution in Budda Nullah - 7 of family
fall prey to hepatitis

Gurminderjit Kaur of Gaunspur village
on the bank of Budda Nullah is only
28 years old and has lost all adult members of her family to hepatitis due
to the consumption of contaminated water [Read More...]

Parts of Malwa and Rajasthan drinking poison?

In the wake of discovery of high level
of uranium and other heavy metals in hair samples of 80% of 149
neurologically -disabled children, samples of five children from
worst-affected village of Teja Rohela, [Read More...]

Punjab Cancer
Cancer belt of Punjab

The number of cancer patients has
grown manifold in the recent years in the Malwa area. Local people feel excessive use of pesticides has contaminated the ground water.[Read More...]

Cancer picture dismal, not complete

The Day & Night channel’s well- documented report Cancer da Keher managed to capture the big picture. Swaran Singh Danewalia met the affected families in the Malwa region [Read More...]

HC notice to state on cancer in Malwa

Refusing to close its eyes to the ailing cancer cure facilities in Punjab’s Malwa belt, the Punjab and Haryana High
Court has taken suo motu cognizance [Read More...]

Cancer Train
‘Cancer train’ remains as popular as ever

Yet another year has passed but the
number of patients boarding from here
the infamous “cancer train” to Bikaner in
Rajasthan for the treatment of the
disease has increased,[Read More...]

Cancer Express

Passenger Express 339 enters Bathinda railway station around 9 pm, as if blindfolded by the dark winter night. The sight of it brings a glint to the lifeless
eyes of Balwinder Singh (42) waiting [Read More...]

Green revolution’s cancer train

Pesticides and cancer: a murderous
concoction, a massive environmental
and health disaster, while people are
dying in village after village of Punjab
[Read More...]

Uranium poisoning in Punjab
India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste

Their heads are too large or too small,
their limbs too short or too bent. For
some, their brains never grew, speech
never came and their lives are likely to
be cut short [Read More...]

Dr. Carin Smit's open letter to Journal of Medical Physics India

In 2008 I visited north India on request
to offer my services as a volunteer in a
project where there are more than 400
severely disabled children. The majority
suffered from [Read More...]

Punjab disability & Uranium Link – BBC

Tests on children with cerebral palsy or
mental disabilities in the Indian state of
Punjab have revealed high levels of
uranium. [Read More...]

Environmental Toxicity
Punjab: Sindh valley civilization again ready to die

The whole community is put on slow
death. The only difference between the
both situations is this that in those
times it was a natural disaster but this
time it is of man made [Read More...]

Punjab: An Environmental toxicity hotspot heading towards death

Punjab’s Ecosystem is full of Poisons.
It is increasingly becoming obvious that
Punjab is turning into a hotspot of
Environmental Toxicity. [Read More...]

Water Crisis and Water Chaos in Punjab

Women are bound to fetch water on
their head from as far as 3 kms, and a vast majority of people have no option other than to drink sub-human water [Read More...]

Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration plants
RO plants bring hope in cancer belt

Despite slow pace of installation,
residents feel it will help them combat
the scourge Installation of Reverse
Osmosis (ROs) filtration plants is
progressing at a slow pace to provide
potable water [Read More...]

RO water too costly for Punjab’s poor
in Malwa

In the Malwa belt of Punjab that is
riddled with water problems, the Punjab
government’s project to install water
purifiers working on RO theory does not
seem to have yielded desired results,
at least for the poor.[Read More...]

Uranium in Water, 200 reverse osmosis plants of little use

Detection of high level of uranium in
water in the Malwa belt of Punjab have
virtually halted the installation of reverse
osmosis (RO) plants[Read More...]