The Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) has raised over $210,000 for underprivileged students pursuing higher education in Punjab during its latest fund drive, according to the organisation's chairman, Gajinder Singh Ahuja.
The Washington-based foundation has since 2011 given over $2 million in scholarships based on merit and need to about 5,000 students in Punjab and neighbouring areas, Ahuja said on Friday.
About 2,700 scholarship recipients have already graduated and they include doctors, engineers and scientists, he added. Some of them now work in the US. Jasdeep Singh Juneja, who is an information technology professional in Dallas, Texas, said, "If there was no SHDF then I will not be in the US and I would have been lost in life."
The SHDF programme is run in partnership with the New Delhi-based Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council, Ahuja said.
Chairman of the Sikh Council on Religion and Education, Rajwant Singh said: "The supporters of this cause can be proud of the fact that they are holding the hands of the students who are dreaming to stand on their own feet."
The latest fundraising drive was launched last month at an event featuring Bollywood actor and Punjabi comedian Gurpreet Ghuggi.
SHDF is a U.S.-based non-profit, non-political, tax-exempt charitable organisation that provides scholarships to students in Punjab and neighbouring states in over 30 disciplines. In the 15 years of its existence, SHDF has helped nearly 2,700 students graduate, has received donations from 1,200 unique donors, awarded 5,000 scholarships from over 14,000 applicants, and raised ~$1.1 million.
With inputs from IANS