By Umar Bacha
Manmeet Kaur, a young girl from the Sikh community of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been nominated for an international award in the interfaith category. She is among the 100 winners of 10 million nominated for the (Sikh Group Award).
The International Sikh Group Award is awarded to individuals every year on recognition of their social work on human rights and promotion of humankind.
Manmeet Kaur has worked as a journalist for the HUM television network at Peshawar for two years and now she is a homemaker. But staying at home does not stop her from the work she was doing. She is often seen taking part in welfare work and helping the needy. She has also been a social worker engaged in serving the people especially in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview with Voicepk.net Manmeet said that she was a ‘lucky girl’. “I have been nominated for the Sikh Group Award which is given to Sikhs across the world every year in recognition of their social work,” she said. “I am so proud to receive this award.”
The award will be presented in the United Kingdom
“I am first ever female from Pakistan who has been nominated for the award because most of the time in the past Sikhs that have been nominated have been from India, Canada and other countries. This time its a Pakistani who will be receiving the award,” she said.
Manmeet’s entire family has expressed happiness for her being nominated for the international award.
“My husband and other family members have supported me during every crucial time,” she said. “They have been especially caring for her two year old daughter when I was working, and have always cooperated with me in all my activities i try and do for human welfare.” She said, the award should be a pride for Pakistan and she consider it an honour for her country.
Shaleem, the Manmeet’s husband said that he feels proud for her spouse and he is lucky that his wife is being given the award.
“She is a role model for me and for women communities playing a key role in the promotion of Sikh religion and also engaged in various welfare projects launched for followers of Sikhism,” he said. “I will always continue to stand by her and the work she does.”
Others from Pakistan’s Sikh community have praised Manmeet for earning a good name for the country and for the community.
Harmeet Singh, the country’s first Sikh anchor person praised Manmeet and expressed his best wishes for her. “She has strength and ability as she has played a vital role in highlighting the Sikh community issues in Peshawar through a national TV channel.”
Manmeet has also been one of the first ever female Sikh journalists in Pakistan.
She is a post graduate in social sciences from Jinnah College for Women, Peshawar. She also worked on key positions in various welfare projects of KP government.
“This news has brought a smile to my face,” she said.
Harpal Kaur, a Sikh woman from Indonesia also expressed her happiness on this nomination from Pakistan. Speaking to Voicepk.net she said that Sikhs occupy only a small sliver of Pakistan’s population so it is definitely a proud moment. In some parts , girls or women are usually forced to be at home but winning an international award is a huge achievement and I applaud her.”
The humanitarian work that Manmeet does is centered around the plight of women in the community. Some of the women are the most depressed segment among the minorities.
The former Prime Minister of India, Man Mohan Singh is also among the winner of the award.
There are minority MPAs, MNAs and political leaders of the Sikh community in the country but none are women.
The date for the award ceremony has not been finalized due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, it is held in UK every year.