Press Corner

Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council India - Sikh Charity Punjabi Video - Sep 15, 2005

Niskam Sikh Welfare Organization – Video

** Click on the play button above twice to play the video

This 18 minute Punjabi video looks at the history, achievements and key projects of Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council, New Delhi, India.  Nishkam India is Nishkam Canada's partner when it comes to the Sikligar Sikh School Children Education project that is aimed at keeping Sikligar Sikh children in school and providing all the infrastructure and support so that these children do well.

Nishkam Canada takes the first step 17th October 2005 

Looking for 351 Volunteers to take the first step

When a mountaineer looks at the peak in the distance, making it to the top must seem an impossible task.  The cold, the biting winds, the knowledge of aching muscles and joints that the immediate future holds are things that each mountaineer knows await him or her.  But then he (or she) takes the first step and instead of debating the merits of the expedition, the attention turns to meeting the intermediate goals and landmarks.  And this approach helps the mountaineer scale the tallest of the peaks.

Fighting poverty and making a change in a community/society is no different.  By working to ensure that the young children have access to good health and education, we can break the vicious circle of  poverty and under achievement. 

In  India among the 500 million people estimated to be subsisting on a dollar a day or less, the Sikligar Sikhs form a very small proportion.  Sikligar Sikhs adopted the Sikh religion during the time of 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind Singh Ji and took Khande di Pahul during the time of Tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.  These Sikhs are descendants of Bhai Ram Singh (Marwari Lohar) who would manufacture weapons for war and then polish them (Sikli means to polish).

For the services and sacrifices rendered by them during the times of 6th, and 10th, Guru Sahib, they deserved better care at the hands of Sikh mainstream. However that was not to be and these hard working and brave Sikhs are scattered and sparsely settled in many states of India.

The majority of these Sikligar Sikhs live in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. However they live in almost all states of India in relatively small numbers.  These Sikhs still work in metal related jobs. They manufacture knives, taslas, angithies, and a variety of other items depending upon the usage of these items in the areas concerned. Most of them are poor, live in huts (jhuggies) in unhygienic environments even today. They do not speak Punjabi and cannot read or write in Gurmukhi script. Inspite of all these impediments all members of these Sikligar Sikh Families  have maintained their perfect Sikh appearance without exception which is nothing short of miracle.

During the year 2001, Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council (Registered), India, in co-ordination with Karnataka Sikh Welfare Society, Bangalore, started a comprehensive program for the rehabilitation of nearly 350 Sikligar Sikh families living in 18 jhuggies (huts) bastis in and around 10 towns of the state of Karnataka, India. This program includes providing them permanent (Pucca) houses, sending their children to schools, opening stitching centers for women folks and providing opportunity to young male adults to acquire better and varied skills while at the same time making arrangements for them to learn Gurmkhi script and acquire knowledge of Gurbani, Gur-itihas and Sikh History. Assistance is also provided in cases of serious ailments.

Nihskam Sikh Organization Canada (Charity Number 863589651RR0001), through Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council Delhi (a charity established in 1985) has agreed to sponsor young children of Sikligar  Sikh families  to enable them go to schools and meet their educational requirements.  At present there are 351 school-going children that belong to Sikligar Sikh families from 10 towns of Karnataka.  The number of school going children of these Sikligar Sikh families is expected to go up by an incremental 50 children every year for the next 5 years. 

 The capital of Karnataka is Bangalore, India’s silicon valley.  While the rest of the children of the state are probably aiming for great rewarding careers at some of the best known multinationals, it is imperative that we provide the basic education to these young Sikligar children so that they stand a chance in their later life of doing something else other than making knives and other metal objects out of scrap metal.

 For C$ 15 a month, donors will be able to sponsor a Sikligar Sikh child to meet the  basic educational needs of the child that will  cover cost of books, items of stationery, school bag, school uniform including socks and shoes etc.  These children  are going to  government schools or Govt.-aided schools where either there are no fees or the fees are nominal.

A pledge of C$15 per month will yield the satisfaction of meeting the educational needs of a needy Sikligar Sikh child who when educated will enable his or her family to come out of poverty and educate the next generation without outside help. Please note that like World Vision and other charities the money will go to help the children as a group and not only that individual child.

Nishkam Canada urges individuals to spare a part of their Daswandh and organizations including Gurdwara Management Committees to spare part of their incomes for this noble cause.

May Akal Purakh shower blessing on all those who rise to the occasion and help  Nishkam, Canada   achieve the target of getting 351 Sikligar Sikh children sponsored for education.

 Those interested in making a donation (towards sponsorship of Sikligar children or otherwise) have the following choices: 

1.  Mail donation cheques payable to “Nishkam Sikh Welfare Organization, Canada” to Nishkam Canada’s mailing address providing your mailing address so that a tax deduction receipt can be mailed back to you.  Nishkam Canada’s mailing address is Nishkam Sikh Welfare Organization Canada, 2025 Dundas Street East, Unit 10, Mississauga, L4X 1M2.  Nishkam Canada can be contacted at nishkamcanada.org@nishkamcanada.org or at (416)-830-1313.   

2.   Donate online at www.nishkamcanada.org via your credit card where a tax donation receipt will be e-mailed to you instantly.

NOTE: Every body is welcome to visit the websites of Nishkam Sikh Welfare Organization, Canada www.nishkamcanada.org and that of Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council (Regd.), India www.nishkam.org and communicate with the organizations using their e-mail addresses nishkamcanada.org@nishkamcanada.org    and   nishkamsewa@eth.net respectively.

 “Mohan Singh” (one of the founder members of Nishkam, India) who is on a fund-raising mission to Canada (Toronto Area) can be contacted at 646-338-0380, his cell phone. Mohan Singh can also be contacted at Narinderpal Singh ji’s address, his host’s address of 1371 Whitewater Lane, Mississauga, ON, L5V 1L7 (Phone.905-858-4740). Thereafter he will be moving back to USA and could be contacted using his cell-phone no. quoted above or his e-mail address msinghnishkam@yahoo.com.  Nishkam Canada can be contacted at 905-487-2436.

Let us help put a smile and a future on the faces of each of the 351 Sikligar Sikh children

Nishkam Canada commences on ground activities 12th February 2006

From Canada to India With Love 

In early 2004, a new Canadian charity (with federal government status as a charity), Nishkam Sikh Welfare Organization, Canada (www.nishkamcanada.org)  came into existence.  Its goal was to leverage the large Sikh community in Canada to achieve progress in areas of homelessness and lack of access to proper education for the underprivileged in India.   

Given the magnitude of the task at hand, Nishkam Canada decided to work with an established Indian charity and to focus on a specific area and community in India.  Nishkam Canada, chose Nishkam India (www.nishkam.org)  as its partner for the actual execution of the work on the ground. 

As a young and a non profit, it was imperative that Nishkam Canada worked with existing charities and NGO’s so that there was no duplication of effort.  This was also necessitated by Nishkam Canada’s, insistence on remitting 100% of the donors funds to India for charitable purposes.  With this in mind, Nishkam Canada decided to staff it self solely with 100% volunteers. 

The first year for Nishkam Canada, 2005, has provided a respectable start.  As the housing project is a much larger undertaking given land, construction etc., Nishkam Canada decided to focus on a smaller but equally important project,  the Sikligar Sikh Children's Education project. 

While most of the Sikhs in India, live in the Punjab (one of the most prosperous parts of India), some Sikhs live in other parts of India.  Some of these Sikhs, especially from the economically weaker sections of society are referred to as “Sikligar Sikhs”.  The word Sikligar also refers to Sikhs that worked in metal and weapon manufacturing in the 1600’s.  These Sikhs followed the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, to distant parts of India.  Today’s Sikligar Sikhs are descendants of these Sikhs and many still work in metal related occupations.  Given the noble history, but the trying current circumstances of the Sikligar Sikhs, Nishkam Canada decided to focus on this community.

 In 2005, Nishkam was able and raise and remit enough funds to pay for: 

1.       School bags for 106 children in the Sikligar Sikh community in Karnataka, India

2.       Shoes and socks for 140 children in the Sikligar Sikh community in Karnataka, India

3.       School fees for 60 school going Sikligar Sikh students in Karnataka, India

4.       Purchase of  books and other stationery items for Sikligar Sikh students in Karnataka, India

5.       Commencement of an after school tuition program for the Sikligar Sikh children in Karnataka, given that most of the parents are not   able to help the children with the homework

6.       School fees for the first year for a young but needy Engineering student in North India. 

 The Sikligar Sikh community has 351 school going children which will go up every year.  While Nishkam Canada has made a small start, the challenge of providing for each child is a tall one.  Nishkam Canada hopes that additional interested donors will come forward and assist in bringing smiles to the faces of young children. 

Those interested in additional information can reach Nishkam Canada at nishkamcanada.org@nishkamcanada.org or call and leave a voicemail at 416-830-1313. Those residing in Brampton may contact Nishkam Canada’s local volunteer Mr. Prehlad Singh Kohli at 905-487-2436.  Nishkam Canada’s web site is www.nishkamcanada.org.  Donors can either donate online at the Nishkam Canada web site (www.nishkamcanada.org) or mail a cheque to Nishkam Sikh Welfare Organization Canada, 2025 Dundas Street East, Unit 10, Mississauga, ON, L4X 1M2

 Sikh Scholarship Recipient Does Nishkam Canada Proud – July 6, 2006

Sikh Scholarship recipient does Nishkam Canada Proud

In 2004, Nishkam Canada requested Nishkam India to locate a needy young student that was in need of financial assistance with respect to his or her higher studies.  That is when Nishkam Canada came to know of Jasdeep Singh.  Jasdeep happens to be a academically gifted young man that was in danger of losing out on his dream of going to Engineering school because of financial hardships.  His father is a diabetic and unable to work and his mother supports the family by giving private tuitions.   Paying for his Engineering school fees was an impossible task for them.

It gives us great pleasure in reporting that Jasdeep Singh, the young Sikh scholar, recipient of the Nishkam Canada scholarship, has secured 74% marks in his first year at the Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology, New Delhi. These are First class marks and his marksheet is attached below.

We sincerely hope that as Jasdeep matures into a responsible young man and takes his first steps towards a deserving future, he will pass on the message of compassion by helping others when he is able to do so.

In addition to Jasdeep, Nishkam Canada is the sponsor for 351 Sikligar Sikh children in Karnataka, India.  Nishkam Canada is paying for the school supplies, school fees, uniforms, books etc for these children.  Nishkam Canada also funds private tutors that ensure that the kids are able to study when not at school, given that in most cases the parents of these children are not literate.

Helping the youth, year in and year out, through the formative years of their life is a long term commitment and we seek the assistance of all our well wishers.

We hope the several more Jasdeeps come to the fore from amongst the 351 Sikligar Sikh children and look forward to all them making us proud.

Jasdeep's Marksheet

Nishkam Canada has a successful 2006 - Feb 2007

Steady Work Continues to produce Results

The continued support and donations from members of the community in Canada have made a major difference in the lives of young Sikh Sikligar Sikh children thousands of miles away in India.

Nishkam Canada which has decided to focus the majority of its efforts on the school going Sikligar children has been at the forefront of meeting all school related expenses for these children. The objective of this effort has been to be enable the younger Sikligar Sikhs to be able to participate in the growing economy around them and to be able to better provide for their families and become self sufficient.

Time

Activity

Recipients

Q2 2006

Annual Fee for Jasdeep Singh (Engineering Student)

1

Q3 2006

Shoes & Socks

167 pairs of shoes and socks

Q3 2006

Notebooks

80 dozen notebooks of 100 pages and 50 dozen notebooks of 100 pages

Q3 2006

School Bags

167 school bags

Q4 2006

School uniforms

56 boys and 53 girls

All Through 2006

Tutors to help with homework

216 children covered

The volunteers of Nishkam Canada are greatly indebted to the donors and they thank the donors from the bottom of their hearts. We look forward to an even more productive 2007.

Nishkam Canada doubles the number of Sikligar Sikh Children under its after school tuition scheme in Karnataka – October 14, 2007

Nishkam Canada doubles the number of Sikligar Sikh Children under its after school tuition scheme in Karnataka

Each new year is a good milestone for an introspective not only for individuals but also for organizations. As we approach the end of 2007, Nishkam Canada is very pleased with the support that it has received from its donors.

The donors of Nishkam Canada are responsible for the hiring of an additional 12 tutors for the Sikligar Sikh children of Karnataka in 2007. These 12 tutors are now able to reach an additional 148 children. The total number of children now covered by the After School Sikligar Sikh Tuition scheme is 285. All of this has been possible due to the continued support from you, our donors.

While we are pleased that we have been able to increase the number of children covered by the after school tuition scheme by more than 100%, we also recognize that there another 134 children that are yet to be covered by this scheme.

With little or no support at home, with homework and other school related work, it is imperative that these children get all the support in their school studies.

Nishkam does not intend to stop with the basic schooling and after school tutor program for these 419 children. Every year the number of children increases and every year our aspirations for the quality of education that these children get also increases. We hope to see these children gradually move from state run schools to privately run English medium schools, undertake some vocational training and other courses beyond that. This is a long term project and the children have to be prepared for it, slowly and surely.

In addition to salaries of the tutors, the cost of supplies, placing advertisements in the local newspapers, hiring of large enough premises so that the children can be accommodated for studies and of course the cost of local project management in Karnataka all contribute to the challenges associated with the project.

We continue to look forward to your generous support in this collective endeavor.

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