Message from S. Sarabjeet Singh

As their names suggest, the Central Khalsa Orphanage and the Home for The Blind (Soorma Singh Ashram) were established by the Chief Khalsa Diwan in 1904 and 1935 respectively to look after the destitute, orphan and blind children. These institutions have served well a section of the society whom fate has denied the qpportunities and the wherewithal to carve careers independently and who, without the moral and financial support of the affluent people are prone to degenerate into a public nuisance and a menace to the health and well-being of a progressive society. Through the agency of this booklet I seek to introduce the readers to the working of these institutions, their sources of income and how well it is utilized to prepare the inmates for life by providing them educational and training facilities and looking after their physical, social and psychological needs. It is also desired to enlist the support of those among us who have the heart to feel for the orphan and blind children and the capacity to make small sacrifices for them by sharing with them a portion of their well-earned money. Sharing of experience with sister institutions engaged in similar type of service is yet another object of this review.

The charge of the Central Khalsa Orphanage and Soorma Singh Ashram was entrusted to me in 1973. My immediate reaction to the offer was that of a feeling of nervousness which was soon overcome by the thought that therein lay in opportunity for me to do something for these helpless children who yearned for parental love and the succor of sympathetic guardians. Having myself passed through similar straitened circumstances, I could well visualize their woes and privations. I braced up my mind to what I could do to make their stay in the ashram happy and purposeful. This is my 33rd year of association with them and I am happy to have accepted the assignment.

Whatever little I have been able to do to improve the conditions in the institutions and to augment their income by public donations and government grants to add to the opportunities for an all round devilment of the children has been very rewarding. Response from the public-the rich and the poor alike-in the shape of financial help and from the members of the staff by virtue of their greater interest in the work assigned to them, has been spontaneous, that has, no doubt, strengthened my faith in the vaule of selfless service, The experience is gratifying and has served as an incentive to me to work harder to justify the donors the trust and confidence reposed in me by the parent body.

It would be erroneous on my part to claim to have brought about a high degree of efficiency. Much remains always to be done in institutions like these , where one has to deal with children drawn from different environments, having different habits, attitudes and dispositions and where one has to tackle their physical, social and psychological problems. These children have not experienced the warmth of parental love. They cannot distinguish darknees from light. It is an uphilltask to rid them of habits already formed, to give them a new set of habits, to engender in them new values and to mould their destiny to make them useful members of the mainstream of civic society.

The cornerstone of Sikhism is service without-self. Bhai Ghanaiyya showed the way. He beheld the Guru in every wounded solidier whom he served water in the battle field. The Guru in turn gave him ointment to apply on their wounds as well. May the light shown by him guides us in way to serve those entrusted to our care.

Before ciosing, I wish to address a few words to the generous philanthropists in particular, and the public in general. The great Gurus envisaged a society free from exploitation. They stressed the importance of honest work for livelihood, equitable distribution of wealth thus produced and remembering God overhead. The slogan given by them is centuries ahead of the man’s urge and yearning for a classless, socialistic society in world. The problems of our social welfare institutions will be solved and they will have greater potential to serve, if the rich consider their riches as a sacred trust of the poor, the weak and down-trodden among us who plough their fields, work their mills and man their business-houses. Great Guru Gobind Singh has left a message for us to be translated into action.

Daan diyo inhi ko bhalo, Ar Aan Kau daan na laagat inko.

I am highly obliged to S. Harinder Singh, Ex-Superintendent of orphanage for honorary service redered by him in bringing this booklet up to date looking after its publication in the press and Dr. Balbir Singh Saini present Superintendent for lending helping hand in this project.

S. Sarabjit Singh
Honorary Member-in-charge
Central Khalsa Orphanage, Amritsar

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Address: Central Khalsa Orphanage
  G.T Road, Amritsar.
Telephone: +91-(183)-2562531, 2211590
FAX: +91-(183)-2565984