Foundations of development
A charity Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation eestablished in a small Punjabi village is steering young women towards economic independence and a greater sense of self
August 17 was a momentous day for the residents of Rasulpur, a tiny village in the Indian state of Punjab. It marked the inauguration of a school run by the Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation, a charity setup by the Sat-Bhambra family, whose ancestors hail from the village.
The idea behind the Foundation – named after founder Ajit Singh Sat-Bhambra’s paternal grandfather –is to engage and empower Rasulpur’s female inhabitants. To this end, it has opened a school offering vocational and technical training for women and girls, whose lives are restricted as a result of traditional cultural practices, and who do not feel at ease within a mixed sex environment.
Classes in computing and IT are aimed at equipping students with knowledge and skills that will give them a firm foundation for future employment. BSMF covers all necessary expenses in the running of the school.
At the inaugural event, senior panchayat member Mrs Nirajan Kaur cut a ribbon to declare the school open, while local teacher Mrs Neelam Nar, who is in charge of computer training, gave a speech in which she extended thanks to all the residents of Rasulpur for their cooperation in helping to bring the initial concept to fruition. Mrs Nar also thanked committee members and the villagers, all of whom had assisted in the establishment and growth of the organisation.
There were, too, words of appreciation for the Foundation’s founder, Ajit Singh Sat-Bhambra, and other members of his family. Mrs Nar added that the Bhagwan Singh Memorial Foundation will continue to help the next and future generations, because learning how to usenew technology is a vital step on the path to progress and self-improvement.