Washington: The Sikh community here has raised USD 2,10,000 for underprivileged youth pursuing higher education in Punjab. The fund was raised at an event this week by the Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF), featuring Bollywood actor and Punjabi comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi.
“The SHDF has so far given more than 5,000 scholarships to students. Out of them, 2,700 have already graduated and found jobs of doctors, engineers, scientists and others. Some of them are now helping other needy children,” said Gajinder Singh Ahuja, chairman of the SHDF.
The SHDF provides scholarships to bright but poor students in Punjab and surrounding areas, he said. Based in Washington, it has been giving scholarships to students since 2001 and over the years USD 2 million in scholarship money has been provided.
Jasdeep Singh Juneja, an IT professional from Dallas in Texas, has been one of the recipient of the SHDF scholarship programme. He now runs a major operation for ATT. “If there was no SHDF, I would not have be in the US. My family was not able to support me. It is only because of financial assistance at a very crucial time that I was able to become a professional. Now I am able to support the education of my own younger brother,” Juneja said.
Similarly, Jasmeet Singh Bhatia, another scholarship recipient, shared his journey from an underprivileged family to being a professional in Richmond, Virginia, at the event. The participants donated funds for 420 scholarships with each scholarship worth USD 510, a media release said.