Hardayal Singh, the Program Director of United Sikhs, has won the prestigious International Sikh of the Year award at the 2nd British Sikh Awards 2023 function held in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Aimed at recognizing extraordinary sikhs and their achievements across various fields, the awardees are selected from among hundreds of nominations.
Indeed, it is impossible to extricate his achievements from the collective, consolidated efforts of thousands of donors and volunteers who supported the beliefs and actions of the organization he helped. Back in 1997, a group of young sikh professionals including Hardayal Singh, bonded together to serve the advocacy and socio-economic needs of marginalized communities in Queens Borough, New York City. The year 1999 saw the birth of United Sikhs as a registered non-profit organization. Little did its founders imagine at the time that this was an organization destined to uplift millions of lives through its chapters across five continents.
Hardayal Singh said, “The year 2004 saw our first large-scale humanitarian aid mission in which our volunteers set up langar camps and distributed relief supplies in India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia after the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami. The years 2004-06 witnessed United Sikhs legal teams secure several landmark victories related to the civil and human rights of sikhs in France, Belgium, and the US, shaping International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA).”
The organisation’s unceasing efforts through the years earned it recognition as a community-driven, humanitarian aid organization, facilitating our affiliation in 2007 with the United Nations, Department of Public Information (DPI) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The catastrophic 2010 Haiti earthquake prompted it to launch one of our biggest emergency aid missions. Another milestone was in 2017, when through its efforts, learning about Sikh Americans was introduced as part of the general curriculum for 5th and 6th graders in New York City (NYC) schools. The 2020 pandemic, United Sikhs distributed more than 4+ million meals globally.
Singh further said, “Nothing was ever possible without people’s support. We are honoured to share the British Sikh Award with the supporters and donors.”