Educating the community about the “Forgotten Sikhs” – the Sikligars
SIKHI Awareness Foundation (SAF) International’s second fundraising gala in Surrey on September 7 was a resounding success.
SAF said that they make every effort to serve humanity without discrimination, however, this fundraiser was arranged for the purpose of educating the community about the “Forgotten Sikhs”, who are also known as the Sikligars.
The Sikligars were skilled weapon makers who were chosen to develop Sikh armoury during the time of Guru Gobind Singh Ji. However, with the onset of modern weapons and industries, their skills in weaponry have become obsolete. Shamandeep Singh, founder of SAF International, edified the sangat about how the Sikligars are one of the most marginalized communities in India.
Many Sikligar communities reside in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Their villages are situated so far away from the cities, and are often out of sight for development. Most of these communities are uneducated, and they lack access to clean water, toilets and sanitation.
Keynote speaker, Sumeet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind Inc., said that “the Khalsa Panth is a family and we should focus on helping one another.” His daughter, Anoop Kaur has been trained to sing in classical Indian raag and received extensive violin training in classical raag and western music. She truly mesmerized the sangat with her skilled violin performance.
Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer was also in attendance along with Liberal MP Randeep Singh Sarai. The committees of all of the gurdwaras of Surrey as well as Seattle also attended the fundraiser. The gala was successful in raising funds towards SAF’s efforts to help the Sikligar community. Well over 500 members of the community attended the gala and the sangat generously committed to the responsibility of sponsoring 60 children with SAF who are studying within the program.
Tuli made a generous commitment in conjunction with SAF to organize smart technological classrooms in 120 local schools of Punjab within the coming year, which will cost SAF approximately $60,000. SAF said it they are honored to work with an establishment like DataWind Inc. and are looking forward to working with them more in the future.