Shri Sat Paul Mittal was born on March 6, 1931 in Ludhiana, Punjab. He did his schooling from S.D.P. High School and graduation from Arya College, Ludhiana. From his early days, Shri Mittal had an undying urge to serve his fellowmen and throughout his life he worked selflessly towards the upliftment of underprivileged and weaker sections of society. He started with social work by working as a volunteer at a relief camp for refugees coming from Pakistan.
During his college days, Shri Mittal emerged as a student leader and stood for the interests of the students. In 1955, Shri Mittal became the General Secretary of the Punjab Youth Congress and in 1958, Pandit Nehru selected him as the Deputy Leader of the Indian Youth Delegation that went to erstwhile U.S.S.R.
Shri Mittal was elected to the Punjab Legislative Council in 1961, and became Deputy Minister for Home in the State of Punjab. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha twice in the years 1976 and 1982 and nominated by President of India in year 1988. At the time of his death, he was the sitting member of Rajya Sabha.
Shri Mittal organised a number of National and International conferences for parliamentarians and legislators on Population and Development. Shri Mittal delivered epoch making speeches at the historic Global Survival Conference at Oxford in 1988 and at Moscow in 1990 and put forward specific pragmatic suggestions for promoting the basic ideas of human survival and sustainable development.
Shri Mittal took upon himself the enormous task of tackling the problem of population facing the country and made it a people’s movement. He worked both at the National and International level to create awareness in this area. He was closely associated with the formation of the Indian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (IAPPD).
He received International recognition in June 1987 when the UN Secretary General awarded him with the prestigious United Nations Peace Medal for his outstanding contribution in the field of Population and Development.
He was equally concerned about the apartheid problem in South Africa. The then Prime Minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi, appreciated his efforts for highlighting this issue by organizing a conference of parliamentarians from several countries in Delhi. The joint declaration made by parliamentarians condemning apartheid was presented to the Prime Minister. His relentless efforts contributed significantly in the removal of apartheid.
Shri Mittal was a person of very strong convictions. He despised narrow sectarian approach to religion. He was broad-minded and had an innate urge to reform the Hindu society. He campaigned against the caste system and promoted inter-caste, inter-communal and inter-regional marriages. Because of his sincerity and genuine concern for people and easy accessibility he was loved by all.
Shri Mittal was a kind-hearted man and was actively involved throughout his life for the upliftment of weaker sections of society and was always ready to help the poor and needy. For the causes dearer to him, he worked relentlessly at the cost of his health and comfort. Posterity shall gratefully remember the significant contributions made by Shri Mittal in giving direction to the parliamentary movement in promoting better environment and understanding of population and development, apartheid, as also human survival issues around the world.
At a prayer meeting held in Mr. Mittal’s memory on January 24, 1992, the then Prime Minister, Shri P.V. Narsimha Rao described Mr. Mittal as a man of very strong will power who was passionately involved in activities related to population and development and had observed that Mr. Mittal’s presence at any meeting would ensure that a balanced result would emerge out of the discussions.