Sikh Pride on Display at ‘Shaan Dastar’

by Parminder Singh Sodhi

In a vibrant display of Sikh pride and resilience, the Sabat Surat Sikh youth recently graced the ramp during the ‘Shaan Dastar’ program organized by the Akal Purakh Ki Fauj (APKF) to commemorate its 25th anniversary. This event aimed to celebrate the rich Sikh heritage and achievements.

Marking the 25th anniversary of its establishment, APKF hosted the ‘Shaan Dastar’ program to honor prominent Sikh personalities with the “Sikh Gaurav Samman,” Award of Excellence, and “Life Time Achievement” Award for their outstanding contributions. The event, held on April 12, 1999, in Anandpur Sahib, coincided with the 300th year celebration of Sajna Divas of the Khalsa Panth.

During its illustrious journey spanning a quarter-century, APKF has carved its niche through various impactful initiatives such as the Singh International Competition, Dastar Swayman Lehr, Turban Clinic, among others. These initiatives have not only preserved the essence of Sikh identity but also empowered Sikh youth to embrace their heritage with pride in the face of globalization.

At the heart of the celebrations was a grand turban ceremony held in the courtyard of the Sant Singh Sukha Singh School (SSSS). The event commenced with the ardas (prayer) and resonant recitation of Gurbani shabad, setting a spiritual tone for the proceedings.

Distinguished personalities including former Jathedars Manjit Singh and Giani Kewal Singh, SSSS Director Jagdish Singh, and Avtar Singh were bestowed with the prestigious lifetime achievement awards by APKF head Jaswinder Singh. Furthermore, renowned scholar Dr. Pyara Lal Garg was honored with the “Dewan Kora Mall Samman,” recognizing his scholarly contributions.

In a nod to Sikh individuals who have made significant strides globally, the Sikh Pride Award was conferred upon personalities like Ravinder Singh Khalsa from Khalsa Aid, Dr. Inderjit Kaur, the head of Pingalwara, SPS Oberoi of the Sarbat Da Bhala Trust, and Harvinder Singh Phoolka, a senior Supreme Court lawyer. These individuals exemplify the ethos of service and excellence that the Sikh community upholds worldwide.

The ‘Shaan Dastar’ program serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and cultural richness of the Sikh community amidst the forces of globalization. As Sikh youth confidently stride the ramp adorned in their turbans, they not only assert their identity but also embody the spirit of unity and pride that resonates within the Sikh diaspora. Through events like these, APKF continues to inspire and empower generations to embrace their heritage and navigate the challenges of the modern world with grace and resilience.

Parminder Singh Sodhi

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