Washington: A Sikh gala in the US has raised USD 250,000 to fund scholarship for financially strapped students in Punjab and neighbouring states.
The funds raised at the gala organised by Sikh Human Development Fund would help in providing scholarship to 700 bright students who could not pursue studies due to lack of money, the organisation said in a media release.
According to Manpreet Singh, a board member of Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF), 539 scholarships were awarded in 2016.
More than 65 per cent of these students are from rural areas of Punjab and more than 74 per cent are female students. This is the 17th year for SHDF.
"We at SHDF are so very grateful that you have walked with us for all these 16 years on this educational journey for our disadvantaged youth. So far, we have given more than 4,500 scholarships and more than 2,200 of these children have graduated and found good jobs," said Gajinder Singh Ahuja, chairman of SHDF.
"Higher Education is the best gift we can give to our needy children. This is one way we can put our resources for greater good of humanity and bring dignity in the lives of so many. This is what Sikhism teaches us to do," said Satinder Singh Chadha, an entrepreneur from UK, who was the chief guest of the event.
He himself announced a donation of USD 25,000 and made a fervent appeal to the audience to show their generosity and support for the program.
"The need is much greater and ours is still a very small effort. There are thousands of students who are unable to pursue their dreams due to their difficult family circumstances. A lot more needs to be done and we hope people from all over the world will join us in this endeavour," said Rajwant Singh, outreach director of the foundation.