"Easily three generations,” says Satinder Kaur (Kiran), recollecting how long her family has been living in the City. “My ancestors migrated to Gurgaon in 1947. After getting married, I moved to Punjab. But the 1984 riots brought me back to this City, along with my family. We chose to settle down in Gurgaon as it has always been a peaceful place,” says Satinder, a social worker.
Today, the three generations of the Singh family live together in a house at Sector 56. The high-spirited Singh family from Punjab has mingled so well in the cosmopolitan culture of the City, that it proudly calls itself Gurgaonite by heart.
Satinder’s husband, Daya Singh, is a political activist. While recounting his journey from the troubled state of Punjab to the budding city of Gurgaon, he says, “Settling down in Gurgaon was not an easy decision. However, it turned out to be quite a pleasant experience, as the City has been peaceful, spacious, and developing at a fast rate. This has helped my sons set up their own business here.” Daya Singh proudly talks of his political work during the 1990s, to promote communal harmony and national integration. He also plans to hold a March in September 2012, from Srinagar to Delhi, for the same cause.
A United Family
For Satinder’s daughter-in-law, Dupinder Kaur, marrying into a big family was a welcome change. When asked about her view on the joint family, she says, “Ours is not a joint family. It is a united family. Here, I have learnt to love and live together,” smiles Dupinder.
Dupinder and her husband, Tarunvir Singh, acknowledge the efforts of Satinder Kaur and Daya Singh in inculcating right values in their son, Kamanraj Singh. “My child is more active than other kids, because he has more people to talk to than his peers. This is the major advantage of living in a united family,” says Tarunvir.
While Tarunvir runs a factory of automotive parts in Rewari, Dupinder works for the upliftment of the underprivileged women and children – to carry forward the dream of her mother-in-law to bring grass roots development in the City.
What needs to be done?
While describing his development vision for the City, Daya Singh says, “In the span of 20 years, the City has emerged as an engine of economic growth. Today, it offers better facilities than Delhi.” He, however, strongly suggests for the formation of a union of Gurgaon and a cluster of small cities around it. “Gurgaon has to tap the potential of emerging cities such as Rewari, Taoru, Sohna, Manesar, and Bhiwadi to deal with the issues of electricity, water, and sanitation. I think this region has a potential to become an economic powerhouse of North India,” feels Daya Singh.
Daya’s younger son, Deenpreet Singh, 25, stresses on the need to improve the state of civic infrastructure in the City. According to Deenpreet, the problem with Gurgaon is that the growth here has taken place without the support of the government, rather than because of it. “How will it become an economic engine without having basic public services, and ensuring the safety of its citizens?”
The lack of cultural activities bothers Dupinder, the mother of five-year old Kamanraj Singh. “There are hardly any cultural activities taking place in the City. Despite the fact that some private companies have initiated ambitious projects, there is hardly anything for the kids to learn. It is extremely difficult to set up a place like India Habitat Centre in Gurgaon, without the support of the authorities,” says Dhupinder.
Regardless of all the topsy-turvydom, the Singh family feels the City has given them enough exposure to cosmopolitan culture, and enormous business opportunities. “Gurgaon has become a success story in the entire North India,” smiles Daya Singh.