A Washington-based Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDM) rose over $210,000 for its scholarship programme for the underprivileged children in Punjab and the surrounding areas, wishing to pursue higher education. In its current phase, the philanthropic organisation has provided scholarships to over 4,000 students who are selected from colleges and universities throughout Punjab and the adjoining areas. Most of the students are from families earning even less than a dollar a day per person.
The event of the foundation was held in Washington, with over 350 guests attending the programme and pledging the support the foundation. The chief guest of the programme Gurcharan Singh Manwal donated $50,000, and along with his wife Kamaljit Kaur was honoured with the SHDF Community Higher Education Empowerment Award. Inviting all to donate, SHDF chairman Gajinder Singh Ahuja said, "We need your help. They (students) need your help".
The event also featured the pop singer Jaz Dhami.
The philanthropic organisation works in close collaboration with the Delhi-based Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council. SHDF has been providing scholarships to bright but needy students in Punjab and adjoining areas since 2001.