While most of Sikhs get Sikhi as a gift of heritage through their parents, for me, it came through an extraordinary odyssey – a journey through the most beautiful & golden years of my life, my days of schooling at Akal Academy Baru Sahib. Originally from village Moga, I was born to Nirmal Singh(my father), a farmer with a typical agrarian look of our family based in Punjab (Cut-Surds), wherein he usually looked worried working hard to earn a livelihood for the family. My mother is a home maker and we kids – me & my sister, had nothing or very little knowledge about religion & spirituality – the case is the same with most rural families of Punjab, the rural children are hardly aware of any values whatsoever, be it spiritual or religious. Like most families at my village, my family too was indulged into alcohol consumption; alcohol & non-vegetarian intake was much a part of my father’s diet (rather an addiction) even though my father’s earning could barely meet our expenses. But things changed; with the blessings of Almighty, from nowhere, the twist of my school change came in – post my 5th standard my father decided to send me to Baru Sahib - Akal Academy. At Baru Sahib, it wasn’t only the things that changed, but a lot more – I changed, from a non-follower cut-surd into a ‘Pooran Gursikh’, the spirituality was instilled into me alongside academics and this was done through action – our teachers, like Guru’s of Gurukul, led us by example… Dr. Ravinder Singh Ji’s life motivated me…I learnt to be earthy seeing him; on the whole, Baru Sahib inspired me & everyone else I can remember, to be good, be selfless. The effect of Baru Sahib was not just confined to me – like a chain reaction, it travelled from Baru Sahib to me to my entire family – my family transformed, especially my father, he gave up alcohol consumption and even stopped the intake of non-veg diet, which improved the state of our family including provision of education & schooling for my younger sister, who is at present studying at Baru Sahib. The spiritual element that is infused by Baru Sahib’s Academies into students, does not only help imbibe values but also gives a subtle edge to academics in a huge way; the 5 years I spent at Baru Sahib gave me a strong foundation for life itself, I managed to score 96% in my 10th examinations at Akal Academy. I am currently pursuing Mechanical Engineering from Petroleum University & with grace of God I have already received a job offer from L&T Company; I am also planning to go abroad for further studies. For the society & people at the villages I would want to say that education is the key to transform & uplift a life and feel empowered. I feel Baru Sahib & the academies are doing a great job in providing efficient schooling & education to the rural children – I wish to appeal to people to help The Kalgidhar Trust of Baru Sahib, increase its reach by helping them with their Daswand’s to help them build more schools, to help prevent our families and youth from Drug/Alcohol abuse. GurFateh!