Washington, USA: Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), based in Washington, will be honoring Baba Sewa Singh of Khadoor Sahib, Amritsar, by giving him the 2004 Sewa Award on June 13, 2004, in a major ceremony while celebrating the 500th birth-anniversary of Guru Angad Dev ji, the second Guru of the Sikhs. Baba Sewa Singh has been invited by GGSF especially for this occasion.
Baba Sewa Singh ji will be honored in Washington for his great contribution in bringing together all political and religious leaders on the occasion of 500th anniversary of Guru Angad Dev ji in Khadoor Sahib. Recently, he was one of the five individuals who were given the responsiblity of the Kar sewa of Darbar Sahib, (Golden Temple), Amritsar by the SGPC. He has been involved in many humanitarian and environmental/development projects.
Baba Sewa Singh ji is in charge of running all the gurdwaras in Khadoor Sahib. In addition to a memorable celebration in Khadoor Sahib during the 500th anniversary this April, he also initiated the building of a Sikh Museum.
He has also been involved in many humanitarian and environmental projects. A very ambitious project to plant trees on all the roads leading to Khadoor Sahib was initiated by him. 10 miles on each of the 5 roads have been covered with trees. He has also planned to plant 500 acres of fruit bearing plants. This effort of Baba Sewa Singh Ji to clean and beautify the environment is perhaps unparalleled anywhere in the world. For this monumental work, he has been given the prestigious environment award by a reputable NGO in India. In addition, Sri Guru Angad Dev Sewak Sabha has been setup to further strengthen the tradition of ‘Mal Akhara’. Sri Guru Angad Dev Ji sports & culture club for Sikh Youth has been set up by him. It will help in rekindling the interest of youth in sports and constructive work. In addition, Baba ji is running many educational institutions in Punjab and other parts of India. He has contributed immensely for the development of Khadoor Sahib.(www.Guruangaddev.org or www.Khadursahib.com)
Amrit Kaur, Secretary of GGSF, said, “We have been touched by his humility and his vision for the Sikh community. We need more inspirational individuals like him who can create a transforming effect on our youth as well as our current leaders. We feel privileged to honor such an individual. We certainly hope that many others would follow his example.”
This Sewa award is given annually by GGSF to an individual or an organization which shows an exemplary work for the betterment of the Sikh community or does some significant thing to create a good name for the Sikhs. Last year this award was given to Manjit Singh of Ottawa, Canada, who has lobbied tirelessly the Canadian government and political establishment to ease many restrictions on Sikhs so that they can enjoy religious freedom while earning their livelihood in Canada.
In 2002, GGSF had honored Sikh Media and Research Task Force (SMART) and Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE), both based in Washington, for their work in the post 9/11 era in America to deter attacks on Sikhs and lobbying the U. S. government for assistance to Sikhs. In addition, it honored Giani Harbans Singh of Patiala for doing a monumental work on the translation and the grammer of Guru Granth Sahib, a valuable contribution for the propagation of Sikhism.
In 2001, GGSF honored Raghbir Singh Bains for creating the CD ROM version of the encyclopedia of Sikhism and his work in the field of education for Sikh youth. Also GGSF has honored Dr. I. J. Singh of New York, Gurbaksh SIngh Malhi of Canada and Martin Palmer of United Kingdom.
GGSF, founded in 1985, has provided the representation to the Sikh community in various platforms in myriad ways. It has consistently worked to create awareness among Americans at large regarding Sikhs and Sikhism. It has been invited to the White House and other governmental agencies, regarding the issues concerning the Sikhs in America. It has represented Sikhs in the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan area since 1987.
Apart from regular Sunday diwans, it conducts Gurmat and Punjabi classes, in addition, to Kirtan classes in Washington metro area. Its annual summer camps are immensely popular among the youth. GGSF is completing the gurdwara building this summer in the Washington area which will increase its diverse activities manifold.