On the ISC front
We must firstly apologies for not keeping our readers informed about the activities of the International Sikh Confederation in the last issue of this very fine magazine. It was due to unavoidable circumstances. However I must quickly add that it was more due to intense events and activities, rather than lack of news.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
We held our AGM for the past year on 20 Dec.2010 in our present location in spite of construction being in full swing. This enabled our members to have a good view of our future permanent NQ location. As mentioned earlier this building is being constructed by The Kendri Sri Guru Singh Sabha with the active support of the ISC in all respects. Our Engineer members Sardar Jagdev Sodhi (CE Retd) and Col Jagtar Singh Multani (Army Engineer Retd) are closely supervising the construction. It is indeed a joint effort to construct this prestige building which will house 4 to 5 like minded Sikh Organizations which are already established in their aims and objectives of improving education and empowerment of Sikh Youth, uplifting social and religious affairs of Sikh society and fighting the prevalent evils such as drug addiction, female foeticide etc, that have polluted our society.
The meeting was well attended in spite of the cold weather. It was a whole day affair where in all our ongoing projects and future planning were discussed in details. We have E-mailed the minutes of the AGM to our members. One such important point discussed was the need to bring as many Gurudwaras as possible into our fold as members. Majority of the members felt that entry fee be dorsally waived for Gurudwaras so that they may be motivated to join us in our major projects. The AGM then empowered the Executive Committee to take a considered decision in this regard and implement it can think delay. This will be done in an enlarged EC meeting in the near future.
Visit to PHIDA Village near ferozepur
A delegation of the ISC consisting of Gen Kartar Singh, Sardar Jagdev Singh Sodhi, Col Jagtar Singh Multani along with CE (Retd) Balwan Singh Sen were invited to a big gathering of about 500 to 600 farmers of village Phida. The progressive Farmer’s Organization headed by Sardar Kulwinder Singh Kang (an Ex-NRI) held a whole day Mela to demonstrate to and educate farmers with small holdings in Punjab to develop intensive modern cultivation in fruits & vegetables, set up their own processing units and also sales outlets in groups of villages. This would eliminate middle men’s profit and also increase incomes of farmers. The chairman Punjab farmer’s commission, Dr. Gurcharan Singh Kalkat, was the Chief Guest. He had with him a galaxy of Government officials who head Departments of Agriculture Dairy Farming, processing of fruits& vegetables, crop diversification advisory groups and sales division in the food department. All eminent Director’s addressed the audience in a phased manner to educate the farmers and also promised them very lucrative subsidies in all departments. This was indeed a great venture and we are indeed proud that Dr. G.S. Kalkat, who is a founder member of the ISC, is heading this drive to uplift the farmers of Punjab where reside 70% of the Sikhs.
PM’s 15 Point Program For Minorities
We have already talked about this in our last article as to how under utilized it was for our community in Punjab. From a figure of just 8.5 Crore for the year 2008-2009, we have in the year 2009-2010, ensured an allotment of Rs. 35 Crore. This sum was got released by our timely action of spreading the message and literally goading Sikh Children in various schools, especially in villages, to fill up the forms accurately and submit them to the District Education Officers in time. We kept a very close liaison with the Punjab Welfare Department which handled this gigantive task. The Centre had to be approached three times by us requesting extension of closing dates and after a lot of visits to the Centre by us, they were kind to do so. This task was achieved with the help of other NGO’s such as Akal Education Academy, our chapters in Ludhiana and Jalandhar and Gurudwara Sahib at Saraba Nagar Ludhiana and Sector 34 Chandigarh. We now plan to work towards an increased allotment and utilization of nearly Rs. 80 Crore for School & College underprivileged Sikh students in Punjab.
Opening More Coaching Centers in Rural Areas
Our Guru Nanak Coaching Centre at ASSM Degree College in Mukandpur is a total success. We are launching a crash programme to prepare all plus 2 students of the whole District who have applied to sit for various professional competitions such as entry to Engineering, Medical, Nursing, IIT and all such institutions. We have already distributed advertisement posters numbering 10,000 in the whole area. Principal Gurjant Singh and Prof. Narinder Singh Tuli, our co-ordinator, are just doing a wonderful job in this sphere. In addition we have visited a sterling School called Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School at Dosanjh Talwandi, District MOGA. We shall soon start another Coaching Centre there as the Manager, Principal and staff are totally devoted to educational uplift. 70 percent students are from rural areas. Our visit and subsequent visit to Chandigarh by the president Dr. Kuldip Singh Gill was a Success story. The school has the infrastructure and resources to also open an Academy to undertake training in employment oriented courses for those who are not keen to continue higher studies. Our Executive Committee has approved the opening of a Coaching Centre at Dosanjh Talwandi.
Adoption of Under privileged Talented Students
The ISC has already adopted a number of talented poor students who had applied successfully to enter professional Colleges for higher learning such as B.Ed College, Engineering /Medical Colleges, Nursing College etc. After a thorough screening we adopted these children and paid the heavy annual fees to see them through, provided the principal’s support was forth coming. In the case of two students, we were indeed lucky to have our elite members Sardar & Sardarni Sukhbir Singh Dhupia to adopt them for their full tenures in the institutes. Our Gurudwara Sahib at Sector 34-C has also rendered help for one B. Ed. girl student. We are indeed grateful for this and welcome more volunteer members to do likewise.
We have ambitious plans for the future provided all members join in and actively support our future expansion and also help us pay for our permanent HQ location in the new four story building under construction. We have already paid Rs. 15 lakhs by collection from devoted members.The skeleton including the fourth and last ceiling has been laid. We know start laying of plumbing, electricity external wall & the full interiors. For this we urgently need to raise at least Rs. 30 lakhs more to totally complete our portion on the elite First floor. Please address all donations to “International Sikh Confederation” Plot No. 1 Sector 28A, Chandigarh. Just Rs.10000/- from each of our members will put your devout ISC on the path to success for life. The Guru gives us unbounded wealth - let us share it for a noble cause. The Executive Committee members have set an example and also some noble members who do not desire that we publish names of donors. Yet, they are a modest set of philanthropists. We salute them for their expansive gesture. Would not each of you like to add your name to this golden list we are compiling? We are certain you will and very soon too.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2011, All