US Sikh group raises $210,000 for needy Punjab students

Washington, Oct 6 (IANS) The Sikh Human Development Foundation, a Washington-based philanthropic organisation has raised over $210,000 for its scholarship programme for underprivileged children in Punjab who wish to pursue higher education.

Over 350 guests from metropolitan Washington area came to support the Foundation at a gala, featuring pop singer Jaz Dhami, here Sunday.

SHDF has been giving scholarships to bright but poor students in Punjab and surrounding areas since 2001.

Inviting all to donate, SHDF chairman Gajinder Singh Ahuja said: “We need your help. They (students) need your help.”

Chief guest Gurcharan Singh Kanwal donated $50,000. In recognition of their contributions towards higher education for the youth, Kanwal and his wife Kamaljit Kaur were honoured with the SHDF Community Higher Education Empowerment Award.

Manpreet Singh, SHDF board member, said: “SHDF has been able to provide scholarships to over 4,000 students and more than 1,500 students have graduated and become professionals.”

Many of them are supporting their siblings and have also started to donate back to SHDF.

SHDF’s scholarship is based on need and merit. Students are selected from colleges and universities throughout Punjab and surrounding areas with vigorous screening by the SHDF India Division based in New Delhi.

Most of the students receiving assistance are from families earning less than a dollar a day per person.

This programme is executed in partnership with sister organization Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council based in New Delhi.

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