On the ISC Front
The last quarter saw activities in encouraging students to prepare hard for the oncoming school and college Final Examinations. Our Coaching Centres are a huge help in this regard and hence our desire to increase our efforts in this direction.
Our desire to uplift Sikligars, Vanjaras and other neglected sections with a focus on the Hyderabad area in South India took practical shape. This was indeed a priority because of a large section of them having settled in this area.
We have launched a drive to boost the performance of our Coaching Centres. This involves concrete support by an experienced professional Coaching Centres helping the students by visits as well as boosting their knowledge with adequate means. This has already borne fruit in the Mukandpur and Hoshiarpur Districts.
Training in Skills
A very huge population in our rural areas is unemployed or underemployed. There is a very urgent need to train youth who have finished school education but lack the will or means to study further. They need to be encouraged to take up skills and look up to Institutions such as the ISC to offer them quality subsidized training. As spelt out earlier we have a very fine polytechnic in Mohali which runs very good courses in skills. We have now helped a rural school in Moga to open a very promising Skills Training Institute. It has been set up with our help on a very professional footing with full support from existing sister training organizations. Admissions have already taken place and teaching started.
Role of Gurdwaras in Education
Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Kheri located in sector 20 Chandigarh has seen extensive activity since our ever active Secretary, Col JS Multani took charge as it’s Secretary. He has totally modernized the thinking and consequent activity in the Gurdwara. Quality of kirtan, service to pilgrims, care and accommodation for needy students have been boosted. It is now a very well attended Gurdwaras with the basic Sikh motto of ‘sarbat da bhala’. It is rendering enviable service to mankind. The new staff recruited is full of zeal to serve mankind. We arranged for a batch of students from our Coaching Centre in Harkrishan Sr. Sec. Public School, Pandori Khajoor, Hoshiarpur, to reside here for professional coaching by an allied reputed organization. They were so enchanted by the arrangements that the school’s reputed Principal Mrs. Kiranpreet Kaur Dhami immediately sent a donation of Rs. 10000/- and a letter of thanks. This Gurdwara Sahib and Sector 34, Chandigarh Gurdwara are now shining examples of how a Gurdwara should be managed. Surely others will soon follow suit and ISC will initiate a concentrated drive in this direction.
ISC Drive in Enhancing Education and Religion
Visit by our Secretary in the Hyderabad Area revealed an urgent need of the Sikligars, Vanjaras and other such tribes to imbibe the Sikh Religion and it’s values. A number of local leaders joined us in our efforts at educating and uplifting this population in the neighboring Hyderabad and Hazoor Sahib areas. ISC sent ten teachers in religious education to organize camps in this large area for about a month. The attendance was excellent and enthusiastic. Young boys and girls felt motivated by this programme. ISC readily financed this mission and rewarded the preachers who had done an excellent job. A visit to various Tandas(villages) saw an amazing change in the desire of residents to educate their children and also set up Gurdwaras in the area.
Suicides by Sikh Farmers
We boast a lot about the success of our community members in the business and Technology spheres in India and abroad. We have a crop of very rich and well to do citizens. But the news of heads of Sikh families committing suicides is indeed shocking. Sikh Organizations here and abroad should join hands in a serious effort at finding a concrete solution.
Newly elected Government has promised to write off the debt of the present lot. How far they succeed is a million dollar question. We want a concrete plan to stop this stigma to the community. We suggest that an “Action Group to Prevent Suicides by Punjab Farmers” be set up under the leadership of justice Ajit Singh who heads the Punjab Human Rights Commission and S. Inderjit Singh Jaijee who already heads a renowned International Organisation named “Movement Against State Repression”. This Commission’s main task would be “To Suggest Concrete Measures to Tackle Mindless Borrowing by Punjab Farmers and thus wipe out consequent suicides"”
The recent well attended Executive Committee Meeting held in our HQ members felt that our organization be expanded. Totally dedicated outstanding community stalwarts be requested to join the overworked few who have so far done a marvelous job in achieving the aims and objectives of the ISC. But the future demands an urgent expansion in both manpower and spheres of activity, without diluting our existing entity. This is a very ambitious but achievable task provided our devoted members and sympathizers suggest the way forward. We welcome those who are ready to meet this challenge after a very sincere effort at self introspection.
In the end, I am highly indebted to and admire the benevolent thoughts and actions of a senior 92 year old former principal of an Indian school, now settled in the USA. He has recognized our achievements in the uplift of education with a donation after he read my articles in the Abstract of Sikh Studies. We, in the ISC, feel proud of our magazine and may I congratulate the President of the IOSS and editor in helping in this and many other spheres.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2017, All