Tuesday, 6 July 2010
Historical development of The Kalgidhar Trust
With this vision in mind, Sant Attar Singh Ji sent his devotee Principal Teja Singh Ji ((M.A., LL.B) abroad in 1906 to get the best possible modern education available than anywhere in the world. Principal Teja Singh went abroad and first studied at Cambridge University (U.K) and then at the world famous Teachers College, Columbia University (USA) and finally went to Harvard University and completed his M.A Degree.
On his return, Sant Attar Singh Ji gave Principal Teja Singh a "good grounding" in Braham Vidya and trained him to carry forward his mission of creating special breed of Akal Scholars with high moral values. Sant Attar Singh Ji also directed Principal Teja Singh to find a "Tapo Bhumi" in Himalayan mountains, where Rishis, Munis and holymen have done Tapasya (meditation) in the past and gave him (Principal Teja Singh) the visual description of the place - resembling "BARU SAHIB".
On finding this place (now called Baru Sahib) Sant Teja Singh Ji established The Kalgidhar Trust in 1956 to carry out the mission of Sant Attar Singh Ji's vision. Sant Teja Singh Ji also established a small place of worship at Baru Village and performed ardas to God Almighty (Waheguru) that an Institution of Higher Learning may be granted here (as vision and wishes of Sant Attar Singh Ji). Thus conceptual and spiritual foundation of Eternal University was laid at Baru Sahib that day.
Before leaving this mortal world, Sant Teja Singh Ji designated Shri Iqbal Singh (Baba) (Retired Director of Agriculture from Himachal Pradesh and present President of The Kalgidhar Trust) to carry forward the Mission. He started AKAL ACADEMY at Baru Sahib (The prelude to Eternal University) in 1986 with 5 students, which has now grown to a formidable strength of approximately 1500 students and 200 of them hail from 16 foreign countries - with 100 students from USA alone. It is a 10+2 Residential School.
Akal Academy at Baru Sahib also has 51 sister Akal Academies spread over five States (i.e Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh). All these academies are affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The total number of students in these Akal Academies is now around 30,000 and 40% of these students are girls. Approximately 20% of the total student body is studying totally free of cost. These students are either orphans or belonging to poor rural families. All these Academies are located in rural areas. These academies have established an outstanding academic standard. Additional 130 such academies are also planned for future, again all for the rural areas with estimated future enrolment of more than 1,50,000 students.
The Kalgidhar Trust runs 250 bed Akal Charity Hospital at Baru Sahib. It also runs an Orphanage, a Senior Citizens Home, a Widow Home and a Homeless Women's Home, all of which are located at Baru Sahib and run without any cost to the residents. The Kalgidhar Trust is also engaged in several other welfare projects for women and children in the rural areas.
Additionally, The Kalgidhar Trust has established:
Akal Sangeet Vidyala - College of Divine Music (affiliated with Allahabad University for Graduate and Post-Graduate Degrees in Music), where several dozen students are getting education/ training in classical music, especially through stringed instruments.
Akal Center of Naturopathy & Alternative Medicine, where dozens of patients are treated for various ailments using indigenous medicinal agents with excellent outcomes.
Akal Center of Languages, where student get graduate and post-graduate degrees in modern languages like Hindi, Punjabi etc.
Akal College of Nursing, is the first college of its kind in Himachal Pradesh, which offers B.Sc/ M.Sc. (Nursing), B.Sc/ M.Sc. (Occupational Theropy), and B.Sc/M.Sc (Physical Therapy) courses.
Plans are underway to establish Infra-structure for Akal College of Distance Education, which will offer additional high school and college level courses in various fields through Akal Distance Education Centers to be established in rural areas of the country.