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US Sikh group raises $210,000 for needy Punjab students

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NEW YORK - APRIL 25: Sikhs prepare to march in the annual NYC Sikh Day Parade April 25, 2009 in New York City. Most Sikhs hail from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan; Sikh means disciple or learner. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Washington: The Sikh Human Development Foundation, a Washington-based philanthropic organisation has raised over $210,000 for its scholarship programme for underprivileged children in Punjab who wish to pursue higher education.

Over 350 guests from metropolitan Washington area came to support the Foundation at a gala, featuring pop singer Jaz Dhami, here Sunday.

SHDF has been giving scholarships to bright but poor students in Punjab and surrounding areas since 2001.

Inviting all to donate, SHDF chairman Gajinder Singh Ahuja said: “We need your help. They (students) need your help.”

Chief guest Gurcharan Singh Kanwal donated $50,000. In recognition of their contributions towards higher education for the youth, Kanwal and his wife Kamaljit Kaur were honoured with the SHDF Community Higher Education Empowerment Award.

Manpreet Singh, SHDF board member, said: “SHDF has been able to provide scholarships to over 4,000 students and more than 1,500 students have graduated and become professionals.”

Many of them are supporting their siblings and have also started to donate back to SHDF.

SHDF’s scholarship is based on need and merit. Students are selected from colleges and universities throughout Punjab and surrounding areas with vigorous screening by the SHDF India Division based in New Delhi.

Most of the students receiving assistance are from families earning less than a dollar a day per person.

This programme is executed in partnership with sister organization Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council based in New Delhi.

(IANS)

 

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

himachal
Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)