Washington, Nov 19: A US-based Sikh body has given scholarships worth USD 200,000 to poor students in Punjab to improve their access to higher education, according to a media report. Sikh Human Development Foundation (SHDF), which is based in Washington said, the scholarship has been given to 583 needy students in Punjab this year. (Read: Maharashtra spent Rs 25 lakh on London trips for Ambedkar House)

SHDF financially assist meritorious and needy students in Punjab and other Northern Indian states to improve their access to higher professional education. “Over the years, the organisation has awarded a total of 4001 scholarships,” said Gajinder Singh Ahuja, chairman of SHDF.
Jaspreet Kaur Ahuja, secretary general of SHDF, said 68 per cent of the recipients belong to rural areas of Punjab and adjoining areas.

Maintaining the past trends, female students represented 74 per cent of the total number of scholarship recipients. Among the awardees, 32 per cent are pursuing medical and nursing, 33 per cent engineering, 23 per cent management related, five per cent IT and seven per cent other professional courses.

Rajwant Singh, outreach director of SHDF, said the scholarships are awarded on need and merit basis. All students come from families earning less than USD 190 (Rs 12000) a month and many with income less than USD 1 a day.