Amritsar, Punjab: The SGPC is now gearing up to expand to the foreign shores by setting up the Global Sikh Centre for Learning and Information at Yuba City in California, US.
Talking to the mediapersons here today, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said they have floated a parallel body named SGPC USA Inc. to run the affairs of the centre which will be spread over 13 acres of land in California. He said Sikh philanthropist Deedar Singh Bains has donated the land to the SGPC for establishing the centre whose foundation stone would be laid in February next year. He said the centre was aimed at sensitising the people there about the Sikh religion. He said the four-member SGPC delegation led by its senior vice-president Raghujeet Singh Virk has already taken stock of the property about which all the legal formalities have been completed.
The delegation also held a series of meetings, besides opening up the centre’s account with the Bank of America. A management committee has also been formed to run the new body, SGPC USA Inc. This committee will work under the SGPC. This panel comprises Avtar Singh Makkar, Raghujeet Singh Virk, Sukhdev Singh Bhaur, Rajinder Singh Mehta, Mohan Singh Bangi, US-based Deedar Singh Bains and his son.
Makkar said a gurdwara will also be constructed along with the centre. He said the Global Sikh Centre for Learning and Information will have the distance education programme about Sikhism in English language in the online format so as to facilitate propagation of Sikhism there. He said the centre will also have Gurmat classes and turban-tying classes for Sikh children. Besides, seminars will be organised and literature in various languages distributed to spread awareness about the Sikh religion. On printing of Guru Granth Sahib and other religious literature in the USA, Makkar said these issues are also under consideration of the SGPC while adding that the supply of ‘birs’ and other religious literature will be made from the Yuba City Centre in future. The SGPC efforts in this direction assume significance in wake of the hate crimes against Sikhs post-9/11. The Sikhs in the USA and other countries have been facing various problems due to mistaken identity and security barriers.
Source: The Tribune