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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Guru Nanak Blind Missionary Society


Guru Nanak Blind Missionary Society was founded in 1988 by four blind friends, Avtar Singh Mann, Gian Singh Surjit, Rajinder Singh and Sital Singh Sitara, who had a dream to set up, in Punjab, India, a residential music academy and training school for blind children.
The dream quickly became a reality and the Guru Nanak Mission Neterheen Birdh Ashram and Sangeet Academy - the Ashram started teaching its first students in 1989.

Today, the Ashram goes from strength to strength due to the hard work of all the wonderful people involved. Sadly, two of our founders are no longer with us. Rajinder Singh passed away in 2003, and Gian Singh Surjit recently passed away on 20th October 2006. All the founders have worked tirelessly raising funds around the world to provide a source of financial, educational, and emotional support to our blind children - to ensure that they grow up to be confident, intelligent, self-respecting and talented musicians.
In Phagwara, Punjab, North India - on the famous GT Road- stands the Ashram. The Ashram is the only project of its kind in India - a residential music academy and training school for blind children founded, funded and managed by blind people.The Ashram accommodates 80 little blind people, and fifteen paid staff, including, teachers, music professors, administrators, medical staff, and many wonderful volunteers. There is also a Sikh temple, the 'gurdwara', within the Ashram grounds.
The histories of our little blind people are often tragic: orphaned, discarded, or worse.The Ashram exists for these children, to provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment in which the children receive an invaluable education, learn to cope with their blindness, integrate into a sighted world and flourish there. As part of a program to ensure that blind and sighted children learn to be perfectly at ease with one another, the Ashram also accommodates a number of sighted orphans living in the complex, and pays for their education at a local school for sighted children. In the evening they return to the Ashram to play, sing and laugh with their blind friends. The Ashram’s children are profoundly happy and joyful beings, they are respected and understood, and they learn skills which will ensure them a far brighter future than their circumstances in India would otherwise have allowed.
The charities trustees are: Avtar singh Maan, Ranbir Singh Rai, M S Vilkhoo, Anup Singh, Ravinder Singh Khera, Amrik Singh and Sundeep Kaur Sitara
The charities accountant is Jatinder Singh Gulhati.
Guru Nanak Blind Missionary Society is supported and funded by genoruous donors, volunteers, individuals and organisations involved in our sponsor a child programe and by funds raised at reguluar fundraising events.
Over the next twelve months, were are planning to expand the Ashram to include an on site eye clinic and a separate building to accommodate our school girls. We’ve just purchased an adjoining plot of land for this project, and we now need to raise alot of money to complete this project.
We are lucky to have a small army of wonderful people who work tirelessly to help the charity achieve its aims. Needless to say, we would welcome you with open arms if you would like to become a volunteer just visit www.littleblindpeople.com.

1 comment:

Harinder said...

Truly a great Ashram, the amount of sewa Avtar Singh Mann Ji, Gian Singh Surjit Ji, Rajinder Singh Ji and Sital Singh Sitara Ji have done and are doing despite being blind is too amazing. Sital Singh Sitara Ji is my tabla tutor, they are such a great personality and chardi kala individual and they always crack jokes so there is never a dull moment.