Sri Hemkunt Foundation Inc Williston Park
A seed was sown in U.S. 25 years ago. A team of 11 dedicated persons took care of the seedlings, fed it properly, and watered it carefully. It came out a beautiful tree with strong trunk, green branches, large leaves and multicolor flowers. Anyone, who sees and comes near it, enjoys its fragrance.
The above was result of a meeting held in 1977 at Rishikesh. There, some experienced, dedicated, visionary persons observed that the Sikh youth who go to the western countries for studies and the children born in those countries lose their Sikh identity on account of lack of knowledge regarding the high ideals of Sikhism.
Some research was done and Sri Hemkunt Foundation (the Foundation) was established in November 1980 in New York with the broad objective of sharing universal brotherhood with the community. With this objective, an environment was created in which children could learn the spiritual, moral and religious teachings of Sikhism. The promotion of learning Punjabi language in Gurmukhi script, Kirtan, Gurbani, Philosophy, History and Sikh culture has been the cornerstone of the Foundation.
In 1981, the Foundation organized a study tour of 50 children, of different age groups, to visit India. The goal of expedition was to give the youth a first hand experience of the history and culture of Sikhism. Their journey led them to see some of the glorious cultural heritage, which they had not seen before. Visits were arranged to various religious and historic places, as well as educational institutions throughout India. One of the highlights of this trip was the exhilarating and breath-taking visit to Sri Hemkunt Sahib in the lofty Himalayan Mountains. It is located at more than 15,000 feet above sea level. It was an experience enjoyed by everyone!
The concept of inviting guest speakers was introduced in 1990. Sikh scholars who are held in high esteem in the Sikh community, have an impeccable record of community service,achievement in their chosen profession, and can serve as role models for the youth, were invited as keynotes speakers. We had the privilege of inviting Sikh leaders and eminent scholars. Among them was a political leader and educationist Dr. Arjan Kirpal Singh (UK); writer and scientist, Dr. Jaswant Singh Neki; efficient administrator and successful editor, S. Saran Singh I.A.S. (Retd.); prolific writer–editor and eloquent orator Dr. Inderjit Singh (UK); Honorable Gurbax Singh Mahli, Member Parliament (Canada), all were the invitees in earlier years. Among the luminaries, Justice Mota Singh, Attorney and Sikh leader Sat Jiwan Singh, famous Human Rights Advocate and leader Manjit Singh Gill (UK); great politician and leader Sher Singh Sher (Canada); entrepreneur and budding political leader from Illinois Dr.Chirinjeev Singh Kathuria; student leaders Ravneet Singh,Bhavneet Singh and Dr. Reema Kaur (UK) were the keynote speakers and chief guests at the International Symposium