A live TV fundraiser for the Amritsar Visitor Centre, a project by Basics of Sikhi, saw a remarkable £110,000 donated in under three hours.
Aired on 22nd January 2017 on the Sikh Channel in the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA, the fundraiser was done in support of Jagraj Singh, the Basics of Sikhi founder and the visionary behind the Amritsar Visitor Centre project, who is currently battling stage four cancer. The aim was to bring in enough money to buy a site in Amritsar next to Harmandir Sahib, the holiest shrine of the Sikhs, where visitors can learn about the Sikh faith and the history of the area.
Community group Sikh Youth UK helped put the show together, in coordination with the Sikh Channel and Basics of Sikhi, in a show of unity for a project to spread Sikh philosophy and help the people of Punjab.
Sandeep Singh, trustee of charity Everythings 13 who power Basics of Sikhi as well as several other projects, said of the fundraiser, “What happened during the fundraiser was remarkable. The generosity of the Sikh community is known throughout the world but I don’t think anyone could have expected such a massive drive within just three hours.
“All associated with the charity are extremely humbled by the support shown. We thank the countless organisations, businesses and individuals that have shown their support to this project. Mainly, we thank Guru Granth Sahib Ji Maharaj. Once again, we see that with our Guru’s support anything can be achieved. We will get things started and share updates as soon as we can.”
The show aired live from the UK, West London, from 7pm to just past 10pm, hosted by Kam Singh. A respected Sikh community figure, Kam Singh has supported Basics of Sikhi since the creation of the organisation, even leading another live TV fundraiser raising in excess of £20k in 2013. Kam Singh’s enthusiasm and drive throughout the show has been hailed as key to bringing in donations to reach the target required.
Kam Singh said of his involvement, “Jagraj Singh is someone who has done a massive amount of Seva (selfless service) for the Sikh community. I was humbled to be asked to host the show by the Everythings 13 team and there was no way I could say no.
“In the last 20 minutes of the fundraiser we were looking for £1000 a minute to reach the target, and we did it! What we did showed what can happen through unity and this is something I hope will continue. Through working together there is nothing the Sikh community cannot achieve.”
The Amritsar Visitor Centre project is being managed by the Basics of Sikhi India team. The three storey site targeted for purchase will be designed to educate people in different languages, whilst also providing a space for talks, meditation and more.
The Sikh Channel were instrumental in the fundraising process, dedicating all international channels to the live appeal. Sikh Channel CEO Davinder Singh Bal said of the fundraiser, “Everything that happened was only possible due to a huge team effort, led by Kam Singh. The Sikh Channel team worked tirelessly around the clock to deliver the Amritsar Visitor Centre appeal. Thank you to the thousands across the world who donated generously and showed great love for Bhai Jagraj Singh and his legacy.”
For more information on the Amritsar Visitor Centre project, visit www.BasicsOfSikhi.com/amritsarvisitorcentre.