THE Sikligar Sikhs, who made important contributions in the fight against human rights and oppression by the Sikh Gurus, were forced to live a life of abject misery due to the helplessness of the nation. While the Sikh militants had fought the enemy with the help of the Guru Sahibs in the battlefield, the Sikligar community was responsible for providing the weaponry in the hands of these warriors, which would also prove to be an important contribution.
Unfortunately, the Sikhs have not paid much attention to assisting to lift these Sikligar Sikhs out of their poor standard of living. Their children are not able to attend school due to poverty, and those who do go to school, soon drop out. If the future of a community is at stake, then it is very important to connect their new generation with the education of the times.
It is for these reasons that this special project for Sikligar Sikhs has been developed by the Sikhi Awareness Foundation of Canada. Responsibility of a village of Sikligar Sikhs in Madhya Pradesh’s district, Burhanpur, has been taken up to assist with the education of the children of the Sikligar Sikhs as well as that of the women and men. They will be assisted in working according to their interests.
Bhai Shamandeep Singh, CEO of Sikhi Awareness Foundation of Canada, has said that this village is situated in the jungles 25km from the city. There is no basic facility in this village. There are no water and sanitation facilities around. Young girls have to go in the open for toilet purposes. In the first phase, the Sikhi Awareness Foundation has taken the responsibility for around 70 children that will be put into a private school in the nearest city which is 25km away. The cost of transportation of children will also be borne by the organization.
He said that under this project, the organization will be spending approximately $500,000 throughout a period of 10 years. In addition to the education of children, sewing, embroidery and such activities will be taught in order to raise the skill level of the women, according to their interests.
It is worth mentioning that the Sikhi Awareness Foundation is making special efforts for the education of needy children in many different locations, including Punjab. At present, responsibility for the education of more than 500 students is being taken care of with the generosity and participation of the sangat (congregation) and sponsors. It should also be mentioned that the Sikhi Awareness Foundation has dedicated this year to the Sikligars and opened a free school in Alwar, Rajasthan, last January. It also opened a Gurmat and tuition center in Gujarat last May. Now this third project for the Sikligar community is underway.
Donations can be made using their website www.safcanada.org