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The Forgotten Sikhs Benefit Gala Dinner 2018

On September 7th, 2018 SAF International hosted its 2nd Annual Fundraising Dinner. The focus of the gala was on the Sikligar Sikh. The purpose of the gala was to bring together members of the local community to highlight the struggles that this disregarded group of people endure daily.

Centuries ago, the Sikligar people were skilled weapon makers who were chosen to develop Sikh Armory. Their important contribution in the fight against oppression led to Guru Gobind Singh Ji giving them the name Sikligar Sikhs. However, with the onset of modern weapons and industries, the Sikligars’s skills in weaponry became obsolete.

Today the Sikligar are one of the most marginalized communities in India, out of sight for most to care about. In such isolation, these families have limited electricity, no clean water, toilets or sanitation.

We were honored to have Suneet Singh be the keynote speaker for the event. Dr. Suneet Singh Tuli is a serial entrepreneur and currently the CEO of DataWind Inc. DataWind is globally recognized as a leader in bridging the digital divide with low cost tablet computers and internet access. In 2017 DataWind became the largest supplier of tablet computers in India. Suneet Singh also serves on a number of NGO Boards, focused on poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability.

In collaboration with DataWind, SAF implemented its Smarter India initiative in November 2018.

Suneet Singh also brought Anoop Kaur to perform during the gala. Anoop Kaur is a trained violinist whose performances have been viewed millions of times on social media.

There were also various individuals and businesses who contributed to the cause:

  • Jasdeep Kaur – did opening Shabad
  • Sukhpreet Singh – Master of Ceremonies
  • Parminder Singh – donated a painting for auction
  • Sarbdeep Kaur – Baani Books raised funds for the charity by selling Punjabi children’s books
  • AMC Insurance – donated raffle price
  • Vishal Singh – donated a handmade shastar for auction
  • Express Drywall – donated two raffle prizes
  • Priya Brar – photography
  • Jagjit Singh – Gatka performance
  • Parveen Kaur – North Pacfic Co. raised funds for the charity by selling mala bracelets
  • All Volunteers

Overall, the Gala was a success with over 550 guests attending (sold out event) and 60 children sponsored over the course of the evening.

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