A group of 40 young Sikhs and non-Sikhs who spent their last December holidays helping the less fortunate in Punjab were recognised for their selfless and invaluable contributions. They were presented with certificates of participation by Mr Inderjit Singh, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC and Advisor, YSA, in a ceremony on 13 February 2004. More than 80 guests, including the proud parents of the participants, attended the event.

In his speech, Mr Inderjit lauded the participants for coming forward to participate in community service. He said: “They gave their time, energy and resources in aid of the less fortunate, fulfilling some of the aspirations or hopes of the hosts. At the same time, they were able to fulfill their own aspirations – of contributing to community service, understanding and appreciating the Sikhs, their culture and way of life, and, above all, becoming more compassionate and caring members of the Singapore society.” He urged them to continue with their service to the community. At the same time, he commended YSA for taking such an initiative, adding that it should continue to play an active role in contributing to the Singapore society at large, in addition to doing things within the community.

During the ceremony, a multimedia presentation, featuring the two expeditions, Project Khwaish I in Chandigarh and Project Khwaish II in Ludhiana, was screened. Representatives of the two projects also shared their experiences with the audience. Muhammed Ridzwan Aminuddin from Project Khwaish I expressed his feelings about the experience with these words: “Being in Chandigarh and being part of the whole experience made me realise how much of life I have been missing in my hasty pursuit of time. I realised how much life has in store for one who is willing to grab hold of a handful of it.” Similarly, Ameetpal Singh Narulla, a participant from Project Khwaish II, told the audience: “I had a lovely experience in Punjab with this group. I cannot really describe the feeling I had inside on the last day at the school, walking through the rooms, looking at the work we had done. Every now and then I receive a mail or get a phone call from one of the students from the school and it really makes my day. I am still surprised that the little that we had done was appreciated a lot and went a long way.”

YSA will lead two more expeditions to Punjab at the end of 2004.

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