New Delhi, April 11, 2008: Washington-based Guru Gobind Singh Foundation is conferring the Sewa Award 2008 to New Delhi-based Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council for its social work and Dr. Balwant Singh of Pennsylvania Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council.
Nishkam, non-government followed organization came into existence following the 1984 Sikh riots, which followed the assassination of former Primer Minister Indira Gandhi's.
Nishkam Sikh Welfare Trust appealed to the Sikh community worldwide to extend help to the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh violence. "This Sewa award is given annually by GGSF to an individual or an organization which shows an exemplary work for the betterment of the Sikh community or does some significant thing to create a good name for the Sikhs. In this spirit we are honored to recognize Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council for their numerous achievements and commend their tireless work in healing and rebuilding the lives of victims of manmade and natural disasters," said Amrit Kaur, the secretary of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF).
Whereas Pennsylvania Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council is a non-political, social welfare organization that has served people, irrespective of community. Dr. Balwant Singh of the Council will be honoured for setting up one of the first Sikh youth camps in the United States in the 70's.
Talking to Asian News International from Washington over phone, Dr. Rajwant Singh, the Executive Director of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), said: "This year we feel very proud that we are finally saluting this august institution which has given a true meaning to the word 'Nishkam' meaning work without keeping reward in mind. In giving an award to Dr. Balwant Singh, we are honouring the heroes of Sikh presence in America."
Dr. Rajwant further added that Dr. Balwant Singh belongs to the category of such individuals who have strengthened the roots of Sikhism in this land.
Besides, Dr. Balwant Singh has been a regular speaker on Sikh theology in many Gurdwaras before his health deteriorated.
Ranjit Singh, the Chairperson of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF) said: "We feel privileged to honor such an individual. It was his vision to infuse Sikhi spirit in the youth by launching Gurmat camps. We certainly hope that many others would follow his example."
Nishkam, initially, focused on providing relief to the Sikh widows and orphans after the violence on November 1984. It provided means of support to the distraught families, food and shelter to thousands of families in the affected areas and whose houses were burnt during riots.
Later, it imparted vocational training to widows and helped educate the Sikh orphans.
Located in Tilak Nagar, the most affected area during 1984 riots, Nishkam today has many volunteers and paid staff overseeing a large humanitarian effort. It recently built houses for Tsunami victims in Tamil Nadu and earthquake victims in Gujarat.
Every year Guru Gobind Singh Foundation announces this Sewa award in April during Baisakhi celebrations. y Ravinder Singh Robin