SIKH AMERICAN (under construction)

This section will discuss the advantage for Sikh’s to adapt and assimilate with American Culture and Society. This is now our country, and we should make every effort to connect with this great society. This chapter will cover examples of American Sikhs and various organizations who are working to be a part of and take active interest in the United States of America.


Mr. Darshan Singh Dhaliwall

Darshan Dhaliwal, President of Bulk Petroleum of Milwaukee, WI, right, with President Bush at Roosevelt Room and the White House to discuss our common commitment to make sure that every NRI


  •   “God has been so good to me; it’s only right that I give to others,” says Dhaliwal


  • Darshan Dhaliwal sponsors the Fourth of July fireworks each year in Mequon.
  • has been so good to me; it’s only right that I give to others,” says Dhaliwal
  • He spent $1 million setting up a chair at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for a professor familiar with Indian culture.
  • He donated to every Sikh house of worship in the country, and to causes affiliated with other religions.
  • Sep. 11donation: After meeting with President Bush in Washington, a Sikh gas station owner said he will donate 2 cents a gallon from gas sold at more than 70 stations to a relief fund for victims of the Sept.11 attacks.
  • He contributed $100,000 for a soccer park used by the Meq United Soccer Club and donates $7,500 a year to the organization.
  • In 2002, Darshan Singh Dhaliwal has donated a sum of Rs 4 million to Punjab Public School, Nabha, in Patiala district
  • "Did I tell you I built a house for Habitat for Humanity in the inner city?" Dhaliwal asks, running through a mental list of his contributions.
  • "If somebody else wants to organize something, he will try to overdo it to show he's the only one," says Jay Walia, a fellow member of the Indian community in Milwaukee. "If somebody else in the community wants to do something, he feels threatened easily."
  • Dhaliwal also contributes to politicians, a practice that has become a point of contention in the swirl around the Citgo station.
  • Mr. Dhaliwal has supported Punjabi Cultural Society of Chicago since its inception
  • In 2004, NRI American Sikh businessman from Mequon in Wisconsin has announced donating $200,000 to the University of Wisconsin- Parkside for reviving its dormant Modern Language Laboratory.
  • Tsunami Donation In 2005, Darshan Dhaliwal, president of the Bulk Petroleum Corp., Mequon, Wis., spent more than $1.2 million on mattresses, blankets, medicine and other goods immediately following the disastrous tsunami that hit South Asia in December
  • In 2005, Dhaliwal made a $20,000 donation toward the purchase and installation of smoke detectors for Milwaukee-area homes
  • .

Darshan Dhaliwal, President of Bulk Petroleum of Milwaukee, WI, right, with President Bush at Roosevelt Room and the White House to discuss our common commitment to make sure that every NRI

Largest single donation upgrades facilities, improves services  2007

If the old saying that it’s better to give than receive is true, local businessman and philanthropist Darshan Singh Dhaliwal couldn’t be happier. During Stritch’s Annual President’s Dinner on Tuesday, Dec. 12, Stritch President Sister Mary Lea Schneider, OSF, Ph.D., announced the acceptance of Dhaliwal’s $2.5 million donation – the University’s all-time largest single donation – as completion of Stritch’s Capital Campaign.
For Bulk Petroleum President Darshan Singh Dhaliwal, who has been incredibly successful since immigrating to the U.S. in the early 1970s, donations such as this are quite natural.  “God has been so good to me; it’s only right that I give to others,” says Dhaliwal. 
The grant, which will be paid over several years, will contribute to:
  • A major expansion of Bonaventure Hall, including new classrooms, labs, and offices;
  • A new Student Services Atrium, which will be named in honor of Mr. Dhaliwal’s two brothers –Charanjeet (Charlie) and Surjit Singh Dhaliwal; and,
  • Future projects that will upgrade the library and College of Education and Leadership building. 
“Supporting education is the most important thing we can do to improve the future,” says Dhaliwal.  The new Student Services Atrium, which will be dedicated during the event, offers Stritch students a streamlined ‘one-stop’ area for financial aid, counseling, registration and other student needs. 
The Capital Campaign, which began in fall 2003, has raised $14 million under the supervision of Joan Steele Stein.  Donations such as Dhaliwal’s have allowed Stritch to expand from an all-women’s Franciscan college with 531 students in 1962, when Bonaventure Hall was built, to a university serving more than 7,000 students with campuses in Milwaukee and Edina, Minn, as well as a number of satellite offices in the two states. Currently, Stritch is the second-largest private institution of higher education in Wisconsin and the largest Franciscan institution in North America.
The annual event featured speeches from Sister Mary Lea Schneider, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as well as Dr. Prem Sharma, Stritch trustee and personal friend of Dhaliwal.  Cardinal Stritch University’s handbell and concert choirs provided musical entertainment during the event for more than 300 attendees.




Punjabi-American Heritage Society

PAHS Donations and Activities from 2004-2005

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On several occasions, members from the Punjabi-American Heritage Society have been asked about the activities of our organization. Of course, one of the things we are most known for is our annual Punjabi-American Festival held each year in May at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds. Since 1992, our members have organized ten colorful and lively festivals (Mela). Each year the Mela’s bring more than 15,000 visitors to Yuba City from throughout the North State and as far away as Canada and England. And, proceeds from ticket sales, after costs, go to support many important community activities as well as National and International causes. Below is a brief list of our donations and activities from 2004-2005:

•     PAHS and its members donated approximately $17,000 to Tsunami Relief efforts by American Red Cross

•     $5,000 was donated to the Sikh Research Institute to develop curriculum for Sunday Schools.

•     Supported the California Sikh History project financially ($5,000) and in addition arranged a grant valued at more than $5,000. This display is scheduled to be showcased in many libraries across California in coming months. Also, our society members helped provided help to complete this project.

•     Made financial contributions to the production of a documentary on the City of Amritsar

•     Members of PAHS participated at the Yuba City Cultural Celebration event held October 2004

•     Direct and produce a weekly Apna Punjab TV Program (since 1994)

•     Maintained a permanent web site:

•     Members of PAHS participated in the Yuba Sutter Cultural Endowment Festival in July at the Mall at Yuba City.

•     Members of PAHS participated in the fundraiser Way, Way, Way Off Broadway at the Yuba-Sutter Fairgrounds.

•     Co-sponsored the Remembrance event for the 1984 victims in November 2004 in Yuba City and partially funded the event in San Jose

•     Currently working with Sutter County Memorial Museum to create a display highlighting the Punjabi American community.

•     Participated in the application process for the Yuba Sutter Cultural/Historical Endowment Grant.

•     Donated money to many non-profit clubs and organizations (list available). We sponsored many California Universities cultural and educational events.

•     Represented the local community at the White House on 400th anniversary celebration of Guru Granth Sahib and at the California Capital event

•     Participated in the September 11 “Remembrance” at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis. The event was hosted by PACA of Solano County

•     Participated in a Power Point presentation at the Open House at the Sikh Parade

•     Facilitated Power Point presentations at the San Jose and Fresno Gurdwaras, Yuba College and Sac State.

•     Currently working with PBS on a program, which will highlight the history and help, build awareness about our community.

•     Supported Gurpal Singh in the Oregon Police abuse case.

•     Financially supported some student floats at Nagar Kirtan, Yuba City.

•     PAHS worked with the Yuba City Unified School District to help modify curriculum to meet the needs of students.

•     Supported local “Anti Hate Rally” at  City Center in Yuba City

•     Hosted Students from Santa Clara University on an educational tour of the Yuba City area.

•     Established and funded scholarships for local public high school students.

•     Helped with the production of a documentary: “Mistaken Identity’ which was co sponsored by our society in 2001 and is still being shown in many educational institutions all over USA and  Europe

•     10th Annual Punjabi American festival in May, 2004 and currently working on eleventh festival

•     Post Festival Sponsor Dinner for festival sponsors to honor them and to get their input for future events.

•     Create an annual publication of Punjabi American Festival, which is inserted every year in the local Appeal-Democrat newspaper, sent to every home in this area.

•     Always looking forward to working for our community, and building bridges with others.


For more information go to:



About PAHS | Society News Stories | Upcoming Events | Past Events | Related Sites | Contact Us
© Copyright 2003 Punjabi American Heritage Society

Sikh Scholarships and Prizes

The Center for South Asia Studies (CSAS) at the University of
California, Berkeley established the Amrit Kaur Ahluwalia Memorial
Grant Program with the generous support of Dr. Joginder Singh
Ahluwalia and family. By annually providing grants for summer research
to select graduate students, this program will give young scholars the
opportunity to pursue their first serious research in Sikh Studies. We
believe that this program will fulfill an important mission by drawing
promising scholars to Sikh Studies, enabling them to embark upon
exciting research agendas, and encouraging them to share their
enthusiasm and knowledge with the wider community.

Center for South Asia Studies
10 Stephens Hall, #2310
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-2310
(510) 642-3608 (Phone)
(510) 643-5793 (Fax)

Scholarship for the Harvard bound

The Guru Nanak Prize
[email protected].

 Gujri Foundation

Punjabi Culture:

Provide Financial Assistance to Punjabi Cultural Organizations: Gujri Foundation will provide financial assistance and support organizations that organize Punjabi cultural functions and events across the country.

There is a large population of Punjabi families and individuals spread across the United States. The Punjabi people are originally from the Indian subcontinent, primarily from the state of Punjab in India and also from Pakistan. The Punjabi community in the country does not have many opportunities to learn their language, learn about their culture or participate in Sikh religious functions. The youth of the community are loosing touch with their culture, language, religion and traditional family values. In this scenario every single opportunity presented to the Punjabi community in general, and specifically to its youth, to learn and appreciate their culture becomes significant.

With an objective of providing the Punjabi community opportunities to come together and strengthen personal bonds, Punjabi cultural functions and events are planned and hosted by different organizations. One of the primary objectives of these events is to provide the youth of the community opportunities to learn, appreciate and imbibe their culture. The events organized by these organizations include traditional community festivals like Vaisakhi, concerts featuring Punjabi music and dance such as Bhangra, traditional sports such as Kabaddi tournaments, religious functions such as birthdays of the Sikh Gurus, etc.

Most of these organizations are organized exclusively to promote Punjabi culture and many are also registered/incorporated. A significant number of these groups are operated through financial support provided by the Punjabi community.

Gujri Foundation identifies and supports organizations that primarily work to promote Punjabi culture among the youth. This activity is fully funded by the charitable donations received by the organization.

All organizations desirous of receiving such assistance are required to submit a written request for funding. All requests must clearly demonstrate the value of the program for the community in terms of measurable outcomes. This is to be submitted as an essay that describes the event’s objectives, plan of action and need for resources. This essay is to be submitted as part of a docket, which includes comprehensive information about the organization, historical documentation regarding the event, dates of the event, proposed budget, specific fund request, promotion plan and details regarding the venue. All applications are also required to provide documented evidence that the vendors identified by the organization have been selected thorough processes that systemically preclude any conflicts of interest. All applications are thoroughly scrutinized by the Gujri Foundation to check whether they qualify for assistance, and therefore can be forwarded to the final deciding authority.

All directors and officers of the organization have vast experience in conducting programs that promote Punjabi culture in the USA. Decisions regarding financial assistance provided by the organization are taken by the governing board or empowered committees appointed by the board, during meetings scheduled as per the organization’s bylaws. Two of the key criteria used by the organization to evaluate the applications will be, the impact of the program upon the community, and involvement of youth - as organizers, volunteers, participants and viewers.  The organization will maintain minutes of all such meetings. Further, the organization will maintain comprehensive records of all disbursements. Such records will include bank statements, receipts, complete details of the beneficiary organization, etc.

In almost all cases the organization will pay the vendors directly for the services provided by them towards an event or program. Such payments will only be released against valid invoices and other necessary documentation. After the event or the program, all beneficiaries need to submit documentary evidence of the program such as photographs, audio/video media, etc. They also need to submit a report about the goals accomplished and indicate shortfalls, if any. The organization will maintain all such reports and accompanying documentation as part of its official records.

As part of the measures to ensure that all funds provided by it are being used for the intended purposes, the organization will also seek reports form independent experts appointed by it. The organization will appoint experts to participate in the events and programs and submit their independent reports regarding the stated goals and results achieved.

The program will suspend its assistance to an organization, if it receives evidence that the beneficiary organization has deliberately provided wrong information or misused the funds.

Gujri Foundation will seek opportunities to promote its objectives among those who attended such programs. When appropriate Gujri Foundation will also seek opportunities to raise funds towards its cause during such programs.

This activity will be fully funded by the charitable donations received by the organization. The directors and officers of the organization involved in this activity do not receive compensation in any form, for the services rendered.



Ludhiana-born doctor funds US university
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 12
Mohinder Sambhi, a Ludhiana-born doctor and hypertension specialist, who spent his career teaching at Indian and US universities, made the second endowment in two years in the memory of his wife, Minno, by offering $2 million to John Hopkins University for setting up the Centre of India Studies, Washington. Two years ago, he helped set up a chair on Indian classical music at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a donation of $1million.

Sambhi, who remained a professor from 1971 to 1994, is now professor emeritus at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California.

Jessica P. Einhorn, dean, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington, says in a message that Sambhi’s endowment will create a Chair in India studies and will provide the impetus for what is planned to be the leading center which would provide a forum for discussing key issues relating to India.

The deepening relationship between India and the USA is a consequence of a decade of profound political and economic changes within India as well as the result of a shift in the US understanding of its own interests in the region. This is the ideal moment for a sustained focus on the relationship between the two countries, partners in creating a more stable and prosperous world, she said.

The center would seek to train and educate future generations of decision-makers while providing an arena for continuous high-level analysis and appraisal of developments in India and in evolving Indo-US relationship. It would also work as a platform not only for discussions on bilateral relations but also for broader issues where appropriate, such as India-China trade, energy and, of course, critical South Asian topics relating to regional stability and progress, she added.

The center will be formally launched on September 25




   Sikh American cultural practices   


Department of Justice and SALDEF Release New Law Enforcement Roll Call Training Video

Training video to increase awareness among law enforcement officers about Sikh American cultural practices   


Washington DC, January 19, 2007 – This past Wednesday, January 17, 2006, the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the Department of Justice in partnership with the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF), the largest and oldest Sikh American civil rights and advocacy organization, released a first of its kind police roll call training video titled, On Common Ground – Sikh American Cultural Awareness for Law Enforcement. 

Jagjit Singh, Reserve Officer, LA Sheriff's DeptThe ground breaking 17-minute training video was developed by SALDEF for the Community Relations Service and released at an event attended by over 150 members of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies as well as prominent members of the civil rights and Sikh American community.  

Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, there has been a sharp increase in the number of hate incidents and hate crimes against Sikh Americans of South Asian decent.  These attacks have been primarily due to the lack of awareness and the common misconception that Sikh Americans are either from the Middle East, Arab or Muslim.
US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez

Speaking in absentia, United States Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez noted, “The film is designed to educate law enforcement working in non-emergency circumstances about cultural norms of Sikh Americans.  It makes clear that Sikhs are an integral part of American society. I commend CRS, and I offer my sincere appreciation to CRS and SALDEF for their perseverance and creative effort in producing this educational film.”

Scene from training videoThe training video will be distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement officials across the country. The educational film includes detailed information about the cultural practices and articles of the Sikh faith which are commonly unfamiliar to law enforcement.  The protocols for the respectful handling of the articles of faith recommended in the training video are designed with officer safety in mind and are to be followed only in a non-emergency, non-crisis situation.

“This video is a product of continued successful collaboration between SALDEF and the Community Relations Service and the pioneering vision of Director Sharee Freeman,” said SALDEF President Mirin Kaur Phool. “Director Freeman has worked tirelessly after September 11, 2001 to ensure that the American public is aware of the Sikh American community.” 

Additionally, at the event, Director Freeman announced her plans to step down as the Director of U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service. During her five year tenure, CRS has been a leader in the government's effort to build and sustain community partnerships within racial and ethnic communities across the nation.  On behalf of SALDEF and the entire Sikh American community we thank Director Freeman for her esteemed public service and dedication to supporting the voice of minority groups across the United States.  

SALDEF would like to especially recognize Sandeep Singh of Marketwise Communications, the director and production manager of this ground breaking educational film. His involvement and unflinching dedication were instrumental in the production of this high quality educational film.  SALDEF also extends thanks to all the volunteers and the staff of CRS for their assistance with the organizing of this event.

Over the past several years, SALDEF has successfully collaborated with government agencies to produce material that informs law enforcement about Sikh American culture and articles of faith with the objective of ensuring a positive interaction between Sikh Americans and law enforcement personnel including most notably:

  • In December 2004, SALDEF collaborated with the U.S. Department of Justice to publish a poster entitled, Common Sikh American Head Coverings. The purpose of the poster is to provide law enforcement with basic information about the various types of head coverings worn by Sikh men and women.
  • In November 2006, SALDEF partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to release a poster entitled, Sikh Americans and the Kirpan. The poster seeks to create awareness about the Kirpan (religious sword) and recommends protocols on its appropriate handling.    
The video will be available for viewing and download in Mid-February. Please visit for information on the video and its distribution. 
## END ###
SALDEF is a national non-profit civil rights and educational organization. SALDEF’s mission is to create a fostering environment in the United States for Sikh Americans. SALDEF protects and promotes the civil rights of Sikh Americans through legal aid, advocacy and educational outreach.  
Rajbir Singh Datta
[email protected]
202-393-2700 ext. 27

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April 2007


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