It took him 30 years to become what people call, an “overnight success”
Today we know our world is so much in need for that international peace, not only for the people to practice their faith and worship their faith in peace but also to live their faith for the good of others. It is important that we demonstrate this.
The Sikh Awards, conceptualized by Mr. Navdeep Singh Bansal has been championing the cause of recognizing the achievements of Sikhs highlighting the successes, energy, drive and passion behind the Sikh community in all sectors.
The Award ceremony is aimed at recognizing & celebrating the significant contributions made by the Sikh community across various fields like business, charity, education, entertainment, media, professional services, seva (selfless service), and sports. The awards are multicultural and include all faiths as it allows for the wider community to learn about Sikhs and what they are achieving around the world in their chosen field.
The 7th Sikh Awards ceremony took place on Saturday 19th November 2016 and was held at The Park Plaza Hotel, Westminster Bridge Road, London, UK.
It was night of celebration for all, the presentations were carried out at a glittering and star-studded ceremony attended by guests from across the world including India, USA, Canada, Australia, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.
It’s a matter of great pride for the Sikh community that Baba Iqbal Singh Ji was honoured with the Sikh Lifetime Achievement Award. The Kalgidhar Society is recognized Worldwide as a Sikh educational Institution for taking a strategic approach towards educating and developing the talent and skills within the community.
He was selected by a panel of five respected people from the Sikh community and other faiths, who comprised the judging panel for this year. This is a great achievement as this mentor deserved to be recognized for his enthusiastic dedication for the betterment of the Sikh community. More than tirelessly contributing to the society he is known for leaving an imprint on people’s lives through philanthropy.
At a mere age of twelve.
He woke up to an intense desire to change,
And to tread on the path his mentor had laid,
Only to dedicate a lifetime to create a better world.
Indian mythological stories narrated by his mother impacted young Iqbal Singh so much that his only dream was to use his life for a better world. Iqbal Singh chose to stay in his country to serve the mankind over procuring a PhD from USA, unlike most people in his fraternity. He secretly used to admire Guru Angad Dev for his total submission to Guru Nanak Dev ji.
From his early days of being a Research Inspector in Himachal Pradesh, till being promoted as the Director of Agriculture, he gave away himself, ensuring that there is relentless progress the field of Agriculture, all the time remaining committed to serve his Divine Master.
Most people after retirement aspire of reading newspapers in the luxuries of their homes, to soothe weary nerves. This legend, lovingly called as Babaji instead opted to make his master’s dream come true, creating every bit of the seemingly impossible dream of Baru Sahib, and used the robust endowment of education to uplift the society.
He ensured that the Kalgidhar Society attained success at every step it took towards social welfare programs. The first school was established in a rickety classroom with a mere strength of 5 students in 1986. It is a wonder that this tiny seed of knowledge, has flourished to 129 CBSE affiliated English medium Akal Academies that benefit around 60,000 rural kids and two Universities.
Doing justice to his passion to empower women, Baba Iqbal Singh has started a Teachers Training Institutes program wherein, girls receive free training and are also given employment benefitting around 2000 girls.
Babaji’s idea to ensemble modern education and spirituality, thus creating ideal global citizens is turning out to be a boon for youth of North India. His only mantra is to educate, enshrine, empower.
With his unrivaled contributions, in 2013 he was recognized as the fifth most influential Sikh by UK’s top 100 Sikh Organization.
In 2014, in the New York State Assembly cited him to be worthy of esteem of the USA for promoting tolerance to all people irrespective of culture or race.
Age of 90, which rather remains a mere figure for him, did not fatigue his body, nor did it conquer his mind. It is as though that contentment was a thought that never occurred to him. With an advancing age, came an unrelenting valor and unrivaled experiences, and another feather to his cap was added when in 2012, the Akal University Guru Ki Kashi at Damdama Sahib, Punjab was announced. The cost was $100 million, the worth being living upto the divine words of Guru Gobind Singh ji after 308 years. Another wonder was that Akal University saw its first academic session in 2015.
The young really need to learn from this noble man with unwithering enthusiasm. Everytime he has a new aim, a new dream; motive, only one, to make this society a better place to live in.
He has now set a target for his team to take the count of Akal Academies to 500 in the next decade! This target is yet another step towards shaping his master’s dream with utmost caution.
The entire life of this living legend conveys a profound message to the common men:
With colossal strength of the heart, dream on
With illuminating ideas weave your path;
With your soul in everything, give the world some more,
Only to let the world around you turn phenomenal.
Other winners were Ravi Singh of Khalsa Aid for Sikhi Sewa, Manika Kaur of Dubai for Sikh Music, Kiran Singh for Women in Business, Gurmeet Singh of Patna for Selfless Sewa and many others. The Sikh community congratulates all the winners who have not only proved to be the beacons that shine on our future generation but also encouraged them to continue to strive for excellence in their respective fields.