CERRITOS, CA – Over 300 Sikhs gathered from all around the Los Angeles area to support a national campaign to create awareness about Sikhism and the Sikh identity. National Sikh Campaign’s (NSC) gala held at the Sheraton here on Sept 13 which feathered Indian Idol famed Devender Pal Singh...
The L. A. Chapter of NSC headed by Dr. Surinder K.Dargan organized a sold out fundraiser gala event which turned out to be well planned and coordinated. The organizing team reached out to all the local Gurdwaras and prominent members of the community to have them join in this effort. Dr. Surinder Dargan while welcoming a hall full of colorful turbans and decorative suites proudly worn by Sikh ladies, said, “This gathering has turned out to be the largest gathering of Sikhs in the US for Sikh awareness campaign. We are extremely thankful for the overwhelming response of the community in the Southern California. We have received not only the financial support but also many blessings from individuals and parents with Sikh children who feel that this kind of campaign is much needed. We are so proud that this has become a great show of unity and purpose in the community.”
Dr Rajwant Singh, co-founder of NSC and the Senior Advisor to NSC, joined from Washington D.C. and said, “NSC provides an opportunity to adopt a strategy to present our community’s struggle and triumph to the American audience with courage and integrity.” He cited examples from Sikh history where Sikhs overcame major hurdles unflinchingly. In the same spirit, he said,“ Sikhs need to launch a world class website and create ad campaigns to bring awareness about appearance.” He further added,“A turban is a symbol of human rights and justice but now is seen as cause of anxiety among Americans due to it being confused with people who oppose democracy and American values. It is thrilling that the community has come together to be pro active and launch a positive campaign to show the contribution of Sikhs in America from last 100 years.”
Gurwin S. Ahuja from Washington DC, the co-founder of NSC, talked about spreading the Sikh values of gender equality, relevance of turban and respect for all faiths and backgrounds; which equates Sikh values with American values. He said NSC would provide a solid foundation for the Sikhs to grow and proudly declare themselves as Sikhs. He gave a detailed presentation which revealed many facts from the recent study undertaken by Hart Research Associates. Head of the Hart Research associate, Geoff Garin has been a strategist for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and has currently the World Bank, the Harvard University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as his clients. Ahuja also laid out a detailed strategy of NSC for months to come and also the benchmarks for this campaign to become a success. NSC Is planning more events in the other parts of the country to enroll the community nationwide. The gathering acknowledged Dr. Harvinder S. Sahota, Bibi Inderjit Kaur and S. Gurbax S. Bhasin among others for their contribution to the community. The fundraiser was weaved with entertainment to keep the gathering in an upbeat spirit. Devendar Pal Singh cast a spell and mesmerized the audience with his melodious voice. He showed his versatility by singing ghazals, going on to feet tapping songs, and then the upbeat songs that had everyone on the dance floor. UCLA Bhangra team enthralled the audience with thunderous music and bhangra that held the audience spellbound. In addition, Sahyba Kaur sang Punjabi and Bollywood songs and amazed the audience with her musical talent. DJ Sukh Chugh provided the audio-video services and contributed to making the event a great success.