Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh ||
Vidhiaa Veechaaree Thaa(n) Paroupakaaree||
Contemplate and reflect upon knowledge, and you will become a benefactor to others.
Prisoners Children’s Education Appeal
Over the next two months many schools, colleges and universities will be admitting millions of students across India into their grounds. This is usually a time where families are setting feverishly buying books, uniforms and setting expectations if achievements; however, for many prisoners children, this is a time where they look on at their fellow students with sadness as they simply cannot afford the “luxury” of an education or have to scrimp by with hand-me-downs from others in their families/neighbours.
Like most families, the breadwinner of a family is usually the father. In a family where the father is held in prison, many families simply cannot afford the expense of having to send their children to school – good schooling in India is generally not free and when one considers the cost of admissions fees, travelling, food, tuition, books and uniform costs, these all add up to a considerable expense.
Instead, students – sometimes out of a sense of “duty” – will forego an education so that what little money the family does have is instead spent on food and basic amenities for the household. SOPW has identified some students who can be considered to be “high fliers” destined for admissions to the top institutes and careers in India but have had to sometimes curtail their studies to a lower standard college or in a few cases simple stop their education and focus on working at a much lower skill / professional level.
For a prisoner, their primary concerns are:
1) How and when they will be freed from prison and reunited with their families and,
2) The welfare of their family(main concern around their children)
A large percentage of fundraising goes towards securing the welfare of prisoners, fees for their legal representation and working with the prison authorities to provide facilities for all prisoners (e.g. gym equipment at MSJ Nabha).
SOPW is keen to alleviate the stress and burden off the prisoners shoulders as it can often be another form of ‘psychological torture’ to be held behind bars hundreds of miles away from your loved ones. However, SOPW finds that after it has taken the above steps it has very little left in terms of funds to pursue the noble cause of educating the next generation. For this we ask for your financial support.
SOPW has now taken some initial steps in planning this project.
For children up to high school age, we have agreed to take on the following: admissions and any term fees, travelling costs, books / materials costs, tuition fees as well as the costs of purchasing school uniforms.
If there are children studying at a tertiary and higher levels i.e. colleges and university, we are keen to pay for student admission / term and exam fees, computers / laptops (depending on their needs i.e. design and engineering students may need higher power computing), as well as for some girls we have come across a need that has a rather distressing background:
Talking to some prisoners across India, it has come to the attention of SOPW that some girls (daughters / sisters) have been, due to the long distance they need to travel for education or simply because their fathers’/brothers’ have been imprisoned, assaulted and targeted deliberately.
For the prisoners’ who endure this they have often repeated the phrase:
“I can bear the torture and distance away from my family but I cannot tolerate for a moment my daughter’s/sister’s honour being compromised”.
In such rare cases, we are looking to purchase scooters to provide some protection and flexibility in travel.
We have set an initial target of £10,000* to accomplish this project and will update the Sangat (congregation / supporters) on a regular basis as this project progresses.
We wish to thank everybody for kindly supporting the work SOPW continues, under YOUR blessings and generosity, to carry out.
If you wish to donate to any of the projects or volunteer your time, please visit / email:
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa ||
Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh ||
* Anything above the £10,000 fund will go into general SOPW fund to help fight for the freedom of prisoners and their continued welfare.