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Dr Rajwant Singh offers scholarships to Punjabi students

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    Naveen S Garewal, Tribune News Service

    Dr Rajwant Singh
    Dr Rajwant Singh

    Chandigarh, July 4
    This NRI comes back time and again to lend a helping hand to the needy that in the future may grow up to be the pride of Punjab. A small help at a time when it is most needed - as students without financial resources, has led to over 500 students from Punjab and other North Indian states grow into forces that will work for the improvement of society.

    The Sikh Human Development Foundation, Washington's scholarships have kindled many lives, including those of 127 students who have received scholarships during the 2005-6 academic year.

    Disclosing this here today, Dr Rajwant Singh, a prominent Sikh leader of Washington and one of the founders of the organisation, said "My organisation is seeking to assist aspiring young needy students who have a desire to pursue higher studies but have meagre resources".

    He said, "It is incumbent upon us to share our blessings with others who may have the dreams to go ahead but do not have the means to achieve them. With a contribution of less than a dollar a day, one can change not only one life but the entire generation.

    There are many in Punjab who have great minds and sharp skills but they falter due to lack of encouragement and resources or other family needs. Through the SHDF we are giving opportunities to those youngsters as well to those NRIs who want to help students in Punjab. Providing means for higher studies is the best service one can render."

    Dr Rajwant Singh is also the Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) and has been working to create awareness about Sikhs in the United States. According to him, "This had to be done to counter the negative effects of 9/11 attacks on Sikhs. There is general lack of understanding about Sikhs and Sikh culture in America."

    In order to achieve these goals, he launched a special project 'Sikhs in Harmony', which will organise dialogue with Christians and Jews on behalf of the Sikhs. This project has full-time staff members and volunteers who organise discussions, public meetings and skits creating more awareness about Sikhs. This project is being assisted by individuals enrolled in Yale University and George Washington University. Details are available on his website

    Awarded the 2nd Bridge Builder's award two weeks ago by the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, Dr Rajwant Singh is very active in inter-faith affairs on behalf of the Sikhs since 1986. The award was given at a reception hosted by Vatican's Ambassador in the US and which was attended by 200 various religious and business leaders in Washington.

    Interestingly, Dr Rajwant Singh was the one who arranged the Sikh Heritage Dinner at the Capital Building in Washington to highlight the positive contribution of Sikhs in America. This was attended by over 200 prominent American political leaders and Sikh leaders across America. Senator Hillary Clinton recently held discussions on Sikh issues with prominent Sikhs at Dr Singh's residence in Washington.

    Dr Rajwant Singh wants needy students to contact his organisation by logging onto the website and seeking financial assistant. "A small help when required can go a long way to change the destiny of a deserving student".

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