Who we are and what we do: Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF) provides scholarships for higher professional education to bright students from low-income families in Punjab and other Northern Indian states. Beginning with 2001, SHDF has provided more than seven thousand scholarships to underprivileged albeit bright students, over 75% of which have been women.
What is our motivation: Seva (service) to humanity is the basic tenet of Sikhism; and what better way to serve humanity than by assisting deserving individuals obtain higher education and an opportunity for better lives for themselves and their families.
Who benefits: SHDF’s Scholarship recipients are selected based on need and merit. They have included children of — widows, terminally sick parents, farmers who committed suicide, agricultural laborers, domestic servants, female tailors, Gurdwara sewadaars, orphans, and other economically disadvantaged families. Most of the recipients are victims of extreme poverty and live in rural areas. Students also need to have the clear academic ability. Scholarships have transformed the lives of not just the recipients, but also their families, and sometimes even whole communities.
What is the selection process: SHDF follows strict guidelines for the selection and awarding of scholarships. Students are selected via a thorough, transparent, and rigorous process and must meet clear standards to be considered eligible. The main criteria are:
1. Annual Family Income for an applicant must be below Rs. 2,50,000. This translates to approximately $3,300 per year or $9 per day by US standards.
2. Scholarship recipients must enroll in a professional degree in a higher educational institution.
3. Scholarship recipients must maintain a minimum of 60% (B grade or higher) in their field of study.
What are student demographics:
71% Rural and 29% Urban areas;
77% Female and 23% Male
SHDF’s accomplishments to date:
• Number of Scholarships Granted since inception: 7,300+
• Funds Disbursed for Scholarships:
Over 3 million dollars
• Number of Students who have Graduated: 4,000+
Our Current Goals:
Provide 1,000-1,200 scholarships annually.
Increase the number of soft-skill development workshops for graduating students.
Why should you support SHDF:
Education is the only sustainable and effective solution to dealing with poverty and the challenges facing the youth, particularly in Punjab (including a rapid rise of drug addiction) but also elsewhere in India.
1. SHDF’s creation is inspired by the very philosophy of our Gurus and scriptures. Your actions consolidate this noble endeavor.
2. By supporting SHDF, you are helping transform lives.
3. Our funding is based on voluntary donations, and potential needs for scholarships far exceed our financial resources.
4. We are the only organization outside of India that provides funding to young women and men who have the ability and aspiration to go into higher education and yet their poverty does not allow them to do so.
5. Our operating principles are based on transparency, accountability, and low administrative cost. Our accounts are audited every year and are available to donors.
6. Your contribution is critical for the struggling youth. Their future, their family’s and communities’ future is dependent on education. They must not remain excluded from the economic opportunities. With your contribution, you can help us make it happen.
How can you help:
SHDF urges you to donate generously towards this immensely worthy cause.
• Please become a champion of youth and SHDF’s partner in this endeavor of transforming lives.
• Donations can be made in celebration of life events such as marriage, birthday, anniversary, start of a business, in memory of the loved ones or simply for the most noble of reasons to lend a helping hand to the less fortunate.
• SHDF welcomes Bequests through Will or Revocable Trust. Donors may assign their financial or other assets (which can also help with capital gain and tax planning).
• SHDF also participates in workplace donation matching programs.
We look forward to your Seva with immense gratitude!