On the ISC Front
The last three months have witnessed the elections to Parliament and unrest in Haryana leading finally to the formation of the Haryana SGPC by the passing of the Act by the State Govt. There has been turmoil among the Sikhs with the Akali Govt. and State dominated SGPC fighting tooth and nail to prevent this daring revolt by the Sikhs of Haryana. The subsequent attempt by the Haryana Sikhs to take over their Gurdwaras has been resisted by Sardar Parkash Singh Badal, threatening to launch a Morcha against the above move. Tension prevailed in the Gurdwaras throughout until a case was filed in the Supreme Court by S. Harbhajan Singh, an SGPC member, and Status Quo ordered till 25 Aug 2014. The whole situation was further marred, in our opinion, by the needless edicts passed by the Jathedar, Akal Takht Sahib.
During this crisis we did react along with many intellectuals and scholars by meeting frequently to assess the situation. Press and TV were alerted as tempers rose high. About fifty of us finally held a critical meeting on 22 July 2014at Sri Guru Granth Sahib Bhavan, Sector 28A, Chandigarh. After detailed exchange of views between Scholars and eminent Sikh Sansthas, we passed a Resolution to the effect that “The sewa and management of Gurdwaras in Haryana be given to the Sangat of Haryana. This would in no way divide the Sikh Panth. It would instead strengthen the demand of the federal system sought under the Anandpur Sahib resolution for the implementation of which the Akali Dal had been persistently insisting for a long time”. The logic behind our stand was explained clearly in the subsequent release to the press.
We followed this up with a joint Ardas by Heads of alied Sansthas along with Giani Kewal Singh Ji at Sri Anandpur Sahib and Sri Darbar Sahib. Our mission was apparently successful as good sense prevailed and Sikhs clashing with Sikhs was halted. We expect an early and realistic solution to the problem as this is the first instance in our History where a Morcha by the Akli Dal has been planned against another Sikh Sangat. Let us all join in and pray for an early solution to this self created tangle.
The Guru Nanak Coaching Centre at MUKANDPUR is gaining strength each year. More and More students from the adjoining Rural Areas have joined our scheme. Our Coaching Centre manned by dedicated Teachers and guided by the ISC continues to produce outs tanding results.
The Coaching Centre setup recently at Sri Harkrishen Public School, Pandori Khajur in District Hoshiarpur is beginning to work. Selected Teachers and deserving students are being tested and the coaching should soon prove most beneficial. Principal Kiranpreet Kaur Dhami is a progressive Educationist well supported by the Management. We expect good results here.
State of Education in Rural Areas.
We have recently visited of Districts of MOGA, GURDASPUR, PATIALA and NADALA in the last three months. Our concentration is on Rural Areas where our local teams organizes and ensure the presence of staff and students of the Colleges and High Schools in the area. There has been a very strong and spontaneous response to our visits as news have spread about the quality output at these meetings. Subjects such as Career Planning, Govt. Scholarships available including distribution of applications and expertise to fill these, vacancies existing in the job market etc are explained in detail. A separate question and answer sessions with staff and teachers are very highly educative and most appreciated. This has resulted in a knowledge oriented attitude and a total awakening in these rural and once backward areas.
Guru Nanak VBT Polytechnic, Mohali
This Institute trains students who do not desire to study beyond High School but are interested in mastering Skills which are marketable. These include trades such as Motor/ Tractor Mechanics, Electricians, Plumbers, Refrigeration experts, Fashion Design, Tailoring, Beauty parlours and so on. Their Institute has well qualified Instructors and the Courses run for various periods up to one year. It is a Non–Residential Unit with very affordable fees but recognised by the Government due to its quality output. The passing out boys and girls are quickly absorbed by industry or private business. We recommend that readers may please advertise this amongst our rural unemployed youth. The ISC has sponsored many needy young students toward learning skills and earning gainful employment. Recently we have sent two orphans from Guru Asra Trust and these two poor Gursikh boys have so far done us proud.
(a) For the year 2013-2014, some 3, 86,000 Pre-Matric applications amounting to Rs. 90 crores and 86000 Post-Matric applications amounting to Rs. 40 crores and Merit cum means applications for 21 crores were submitted under the direct supervision of International Sikh Confederation.
(b) In addition, a sum of Rs. 32 crores in the form of 36,000 Banker Cheques were distributed in 1100 Schools/ Institutions in 22 Districts of Punjab. This confidence level was gained by ISC due to its close association with Minority Cell, Chandigarh and the capability and prompt delivery of our field staff who worked diligently day and night to deliver these cheques. Approximately, 6000 cheques were also received back as these became invalid after three months. We got these cheques re-validated and sent to the beneficiaries at their college/ school addresses. This was indeed a sterling job done for the poor students. However more needs to be done to streamline the system of working between Govt. agencies and NGOs’.
Among those Members/ Individuals who have worked tirelessly in the field. We highly commend the members of the Guru Nanak Multi Varsity, Dedicated Brothers Group, Patiala, our field workers S. Chamkaur Singh of Moga, S. Gurmukh Singh at Gurdaspur, S. Inderjit Singh and S. Pritam Singh of Patiala, Bibi Kuljeet Kaur at Shatrana and Flt.Lt. Didar Singh (Retd.), Hoshiarpur. These selfless individuals have worked day and night to help needy children attend school and we salute their yeomen’s effort.
Future Planning – Coaching for IAS/IPS/CENRAL SERVICES
Our plans for the near future envisages a Coaching Scheme to support bright and needy competitors for the above mentioned services. Initially we plan to support about 20 needy students who have successfully tackled the preliminary stage of the above competition. These candidates will be given professional coaching in Chandigarh under ISC arrangements.
We have already explored the market for a suitable and reputable Coaching Institute which will fully collaborate with us keeping ISC Aims and Objectives in sight. Our reputation for social support has been recognised by many and we look forward to a successful start in this very essential venture. Members can help by offering us advice and support while we arrange to house these students in Chandigarh in conducive accommodation. Financial support for the coaching costs for this scheme has been promised by potential Gursikh philanthropists. We welcome more total financial support from our members to organise the stay in Chandigarh of very poor students.
A massive effort on our part is required to educate our rural population about the pitfalls of blind and reckless migration to Europe and the American Continent. The recent incident of the 500 Sikhs packed in an airtight container landing on English shores is a big blot on the social standing of the once proud Sikh citizen. It does not matter if they sailed from India, Afghanistan or any other country. The stigma straightaway hurts the pride and prestige of Sikh community. The ISC and fellow organizations have and continue to make a concerted effort to educate the masses and discourage aimless migration. It now devolves on our Government and the concerned Departments to prevent such demeaning incidents from recurring.
ęCopyright Institute of Sikh Studies, 2014, All