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24 April 2006     Vadodra, Gujarat

Dharam Singh lives in Gujarat with his grandparents. Dharam Singh and his family are Sikligar Sikhs, who have a rich history of polishing and manufacturing swords as well as other weapons during Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s time. They are now a marginalized group in India, with most people working in hard labour. Sadly, both of Dharam parents have passed away. His grandparents are now trying their best to raise Dharam and provide for him in their old age. They both work as locksmiths and make about 4,000 rupees each month – that is only $80.

Dharam is from a Sikligar community in Gujarat that has a very high dropout rate among the children. Most of the children attend a government school that does not charge any fees, but also provides a very low quality education. There is no accountability for teachers or students, and absenteeism is prevalent. As a result, by the time the children reach high school and are made to write exams, they usually fail and dropout of school for good. The boys find whatever work they can and the girls are usually married off at 14 to 16 years old. SAF CANADA will be taking on the responsibility of educating Dharam and other children from this area. They will begin attending a private school with a much higher quality education. Furthermore, since many students are behind in their learning due to attending the government school for so many years, we will also be opening up a Tution Centre (after-school tutoring centre) in Gujarat. If you sponsor sDharam today, you will be supporting SAF CANADA’s efforts to address some of the root causes of poor education and poverty in India. Sponsor Dharam today and ensure that his future and the future of his entire community is much brighter than their present circumstances.

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