Scholarship Success Stories
Soaring High: Chankit Bansal
Chankit comes from a humble family. His father is a shopkeeper and his mother, a housewife. Chankit scored very well throughout his schooldays but came to a halt while doing engineering course.
His father earned only a meager income from the stationary shop and his mother was a housewife who continued to struggle and help Chankit’s older brother who passed away after fighting a battle due to contagious disease. Looking at this crisis at home, his parents then decided to stop supporting Chankit for further studies. He was standing on the crossroads, after getting a very good score and admission in
Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology- one of the premier institutes of Engineering in Patiala- India, he has to compromise for his Right given by the country, i.e. Right to Education. But he didn’t give-up.
One day he read about Nishkam Scholarship on college’s notice board. He got a ray of hope and started preparing for the entrance exam. After achieving
success he got his winning cheque in hands. He further discussed with his family for his future studies and applied for bank loan for short term. He continued his studies and marked a big success after passing from Thapar.
He shared with his family and they all became very emotional and couldn’t stop their tears of joy and nostalgia while thinking about tomorrow’s bright future.
This support helped him in transforming his dreams into reality. He served in Amazon and Samsung- India as a Software Engineer. His skills did not go unnoticed and at present he is associated with Flipkart- India’s leading e-commerce company as a Software Developer.
Chankit aspires to make his mark in the software world. He attributes his achievements to Nishkam for such a timely help while he was crafting his future during the crisis. He got a lot of exposure professionally in Bangalore since he is there for past many years and wishes to support someone needy like him.
Shinkan Singh Dhamija
“Poverty is not a hindrance to success”
His father earned only a meager income from the stationary shop and his mother was a housewife who continued to struggle and help Chankit’s older brother who passed away after fighting a battle due to contagious disease.
Looking at this crisis at home, his parents then decided to stop supporting Chankit for further studies. He was standing on the crossroads, after getting a very good score and admission in
During my college education, the harsh realities of life were instilled in me, sometimes I felt all alone in such muddle and I missed my father. I wish if he could be around us, then we would be feeling emotionally strong but destiny has some other plans. Heavy tears fell from my sad eyes because of our family’s financial status. My mother’s salary is not enough for our daily necessities, and as the sole breadwinner, she finds it difficult to make ends meet.
I was highly inspired and self motivated for bigger ambitions. The financial crunch in my family leads me to choose the extraordinary ways, to think bigger, earn more and if one would like to achieve big in life, then he has to plan bigger. I shun the peer group and the pressure of family to settle for general life and for me teaching and appearing for clerical job was the only option. I chose to study MBA; it’s being one of my passions to be the leader in business administration field. During my college days, I was also giving tuition classes to school students. Self-pity was not in my nature. I was determined to finish my studies so that I could help my family.
I’ve implanted in my mind that poverty is a competitive edge — it’s not something to be ashamed of. It is an engine that will propel us to greater heights. I came to know about Nishkam Scholarships from my friend, I applied and achieved the success. I remembered that moment, when my mother and brother also went along with me to scholarship distribution function and it was proud moment for the whole family. Though I was challenged by the cruel fangs of poverty in many situations, generous people who shared their selfless love and support gave me the courage to continue. I studied with new zeal and achieved the scholarship throughout my MBA course.
After the course, I got placement offers from 8 companies but due to my mother’s ill health I opted HDFC Bank- one of the leading banks in India, near to my hometown. After devoting few months, I got an opportunity to be an Assistant Professor and Admission Counselor in Ferozepur Group of Colleges for 4 consecutive years.
Thereafter, I availed another chance to be in my core field and my strength of exhibiting and providing solution by my worthy presentations for business models. I am working as Business Presentation Specialist in SlideTeam-Chandigarh. Now at this stage of life, I can help my mother, send my younger sibling to university and help provide for their needs.
This experience has taught me that there is no easy way to achieve our goals. Instead, it takes a lot of prayer, hard work and patience and, most of all, an appreciation of the life you have and the wonderful support of selflessness which supported Shinkan Singh Dhamija from zero to hero. Thank you Nishkam for such upliftment.
“When an individual succeeds in completing an education beyond high school – It helps to save an entire family from a future of poverty”
Sapna is an intelligent and competent young lady doing her job at Hyatt Hotel- Amritsar. Her father is a Tailor with a meager source of income. Sapna is a shining example of our commitment to the deliverance of our objective. She has got Nishkam Scholarship for a period of two years which has enabled her to broaden the canvas of learning.
She has been on a steady path of multi-faceted growth and has completed her internship in Hyatt- Amritsar. From the remote areas of Amritsar to the commercial destination of the city, the journey has been a dream comes true.
“While working at Hyatt I got inspired by knowing that when an individual succeeds in completing an education beyond high school – It helps to save an entire family from a future of poverty.” She feels emotional while expressing her feelings.
Her family is dependent on the frugal income of her father; it’s very difficult for her family to bear the expenditures along with studies. It’s next to impossible goal for her family to provide higher education at university level.
She has broken the chains of her financial limitations – with the support and guidance of Nishkam in pursuing her Bachelors in Hotel Management and Catering from Sai Institute of Management, Amritsar- Punjab. She plans to be in Housekeeping operations, as she knows her strengths very well in advance.
The achievements of our young girls are an inspiration to our poor rural community – they now know by example that through dedication and hard work life can transform for the better.
Hometown: Amritsar- Punjab
Education: B.Sc. Hotel Management and Catering
Work: Housekeeping at Hyatt- Amritsar.
A student of the Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology- New Delhi, Harjeet brilliantly scored in his engineering course. Though he hails from a financially weak segment of the society but his deep inclination towards studies helped in meeting his goal – Goal to graduate and mark as professional in the top-notch IT Company of India.
He helps his father in finishing woods and ply boards in his spare time while his mother stitches clothes to support the family, but financial hardships have not stopped Harjeet from coming out with flying colors in getting job at Infosys. He also takes tuitions for school children.
He is a four time scholar and shares how luck and hard work has carved such successful path for him.
Over Coming Obstacles - Amanpreet Singh
Amanpreet’s family had to come to grips with the sudden adversity that struck them.
The family had to support the day to day struggles. The difficult financial circumstances forced the family to stop sending Amanpreet to college. But destiny has its own way, one day he read an advertisement in newspaper about Nishkam Scholarships. He found a ray of hope and achieved scholarship for one year.
After completing his MBA studies in 2009, he got job at Vardhman yarns in Punjab and shifted to Bangalore in 2012. Since 2012 he’s been associated with Price water house Cooper (PwC) as a Consultant.
His heart overflows with thanks to Nishkam and also to his mother for giving him a firm foundation in his life. He is filled with gratitude to both organizations and his sponsor/donor and wishes to earn well and payback in future for a cause.
Poverty, an inspiration to succeed in life
Due to poverty, many children are unable to complete their studies and prefer working either as laborers or adopting traditional family work. Some marry at an early age. This kind of life is being passed on from one generation to the next. This is happening because the families do not understand the importance of education and also because they lack resources to continue their studies.
Gagandeep Singh, currently 24 years old, was raised in such an environment where his father has been working as a cook in a rented and very small food point in the impoverished surroundings. But despite such family conditions, Gagandeep never lost hope that one day he would be able to lift up his family out of poverty. He believes that education is the key towards a better future.
His education from elementary until high school became a huge challenge because of the meager earnings of his father as a
Tandoor cook. The income is divided into rent/purchasing raw material for his profession as well as to sustain the daily needs of his children and family.
Initially, Gagandeep couldn’t recognize his parents’ sacrifices for providing education to him. But after passing high school studies, he started taking care of the family work along with his studies. He started giving tuition classes at home as well pursuing his engineering course.
“If I did not continue my studies, my life could have taken a different direction. I probably could have ended like the other kids in our neighborhood that stopped fulfilling their dreams and got married instead/fell in the trap of drugs,” Gagandeep stated. He was referring to the kids around his residence who, at the age of 14, just gave-up studies.
It was timely when he was about to enter college and suddenly came to learn about Nishkam’s educational assistance program which opened its doors for his success. He was selected as one of the scholars (2009-2013) because of his outstanding grades. With the help of the US based welfare organization, he was able to complete B.Tech in Electronics and Communication from Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology (GTBIT), New Delhi.
“In addition to financial aid, I also appreciate the lesson that I learnt from this charity; not only to just get but to ‘Give back’ also. They are an inspiration to me because they help the needy and deserving fellows and are really practicing true selfless service by supporting the potentials among normality”, he shared.
At present, Gagandeep is serving with his skills at Infosys- a renowned Indian Multinational Corporation that provides business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. He is currently located at Infosys- Chandigarh as a Test Engineer. He proved what he believed in.
“I wish I could say to my father that his son………..!”
I lost my father 2 years ago, when I was 22 years old. He had been suffering from a very dreaded disease called Parkinson.
I was sad then, and I cried a lot when he met with an accident while I was studying in standard 10th. I was feeling totally lost and de-motivated. Our whole world crumbled on the day when the sole bread winner of the family was rendered bed ridden in that road accident.
Everything was fine; we owned a motor-spare part shop in Delhi’s trading hub (Kashmiri Gate). The family of four was living happily before the accident. We spent our savings on the treatment of my father and later on we realized that he had a non-curable disease. Our business went into crisis and then we had to rent-out our shop, so as to get some livelihood for family.
My mother picked up the job as a Receptionist in a local school with a very meager salary and it was very difficult to meet the day to day expenditure of the family. I was brilliantly scoring in science in school and my passion was constantly striking my soul to do Engineering Course and be the supporting pillar for my family.
We took the risk and my relatives financially supported my initial years. I also came to know about Nishkam Scholarships from my friends at college. I appeared in the scholarship test and earned the scholarship for 4 years. This financial assistance played a big role in supporting and transforming the momentum of my passion to become an engineer.
My life took a different turn when I joined job of a Software Developer in Nucleus Software. It was my first job and I couldn’t hold my tears of joy and nostalgia.
After that I didn’t look back and presently I am working with Global Logic Technologies a vendor for Google in technological perspective and supporting my family and passion altogether. Thanks to Nishkam for nurturing my dream.
“The world is changed by our accomplishments, not by mere thoughts.”
Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out. These words pay testament to the pride Harman’s experiences in performing to the best of her abilities, without paying heed to the stones she stumbled upon. Hope and faith will shower positivity only if you believe that it will rain, otherwise no one can prevent you from living in sadness and pain. This sums up Harman’s motto of life. Her immense positivity dates back to her complete personal transformation.
Harman Kataria was born and raised in a remote area of Malout in Muktsar Sahib, Punjab. She finished her schooling at a local school. From the very beginning she has been achieving excellence in academics and other extracurricular activities. Her keen interest in learning new things led to her selection in Master’s in Engineering course in Information Security from Punjab Engineering College (PEC)- University of Technology, Chandigarh-one of the renowned technical institution in North India.
But life is not as easy as we think, some struggles never leave us. Harman was stuck with blank face and a big question mark was in front of her life when her father met a serious road accident, he is the only earning hand in the family. He is in the business of sale/purchase of transportation goods. They spent most of their savings in hospitals and left with very less resources. Harman was studying in Master’s degree program at that time and feeling reluctant to continue her studies due to financial condition.
One day she came to know from her friend about Nishkam Scholarships in PEC- Chandigarh. She felt hopeful and tried her luck. Her efforts lifted her spirits and she paid her fees after earning the scholarships provided by Nishkam.
She has always exhibited an academic bent of mind. Harman has received many laurels from publishing research papers during studies and for her insights in societal development perspectives.
Currently, she is working as an IT Professional with Tata Consultancy Services Limited (TCS) – Noida. TCS is an Indian multinational IT service, consulting and business solutions company. She has been appreciated for her active involvement in addressing various social issues; she has also associated
herself with TCS’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in Noida by giving teaching classes to underprivileged school going children.
As much as she loves Math, achievement means more than numbers to her. Hence, it is her outlook towards life as well as her belief in inclusive and shared prosperity for the betterment of all.
“Hardship often prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny.”
Born in a small town in Abohar- Punjab, Ankush had been facing the grim challenges and realities of life since his childhood. The family of four has seen the debts and crisis around them.
Ankush’s father was adventurer and tried out many occupations which led the family into severe financial crisis and burdened it with unprecedented debt.
Ankush’s mother has supported the entire family with hard work and optimism. She undertook tailoring work at home and earned a little for meeting out family needs to some extent. In order to run the daily life and household care, they were being helped by maternal relatives from time to time. Life couldn’t run like this forever. Ankush always wanted to support the family and had keen interest in Science since his schooldays. He desired to earn more money to pay back the family debts besides continuing his studies by taking admission in Thapar Polytechnic for IT Diploma course.
There he came to learn from his teacher about the Scholarships given by Nishkam. His ray of hope came to light and it was a turning point in his life. With the help of scholarship and motivation, he focused on his studies and scored high marks in curriculum and luckily got the lateral entry in Thapar University, formerly known as Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, Patiala- Punjab, one of the leading Engineering institutions of India. Due to his good academic performance in college, he earned scholarship year after year for 4 years throughout his B.Tech studies.
After getting the placement in a good company he stayed in touch with Nishkam and in a generous gesture donated Rs. 50000/- to Nishkam for helping needy fellow students. He felt inspired by the welfare activities of Nishkam as its supporting and transforming the lives of many underprivileged students. He became the role model of this selfless help and is supporting the family after clearing the debts as well.
“Failure in life is a must, Giving up is a choice”
My father, the lone bread winner of family has been suffering from Diabetes and he got one of his eyes damaged with the result he is facing difficulty in doing any work. He is a skilled technician, working on contract basis with a service centre. Since the banks did not approve our proposal to provide the loan for paying my college dues, we had to arrange the money through relatives and friends.
Fortunately, one day I had seen an advertisement of Nishkam Scholarships on college notice board, I approached one of the college faculty who guided me about the scholarship’s benefit and procedure to apply for the same. I applied for the scholarship. I was lucky to receive scholarship after my first semester. I was awarded scholarship for 2 years in my B. Tech course.
After completing my course in 2013, I joined Ramanan Corp. Pvt. Ltd in the same year, where I did my internship during B.Tech course. Ramanan Corp., one of the startup firms absorbed me as Senior Application Engineer. There I also got a chance to further brush up my IT skills as well. I worked with this firm till 2015 and left the company to add another milestone with Tradeboox Tech. Pvt. Ltd. as a Software Developer.
I am proud to call myself Nishkam Scholarship recipient. This timely financial help has been the backbone for my career. Had I not earned the scholarship, I probably would not have been holding the job satisfaction and social status, which I have achieved now. On behalf of my parents and myself, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Nishkam for helping me to earn the B.Tech degree with dignity and make my dream come true.
Amritpal Kaur - Professor, SVIET College Banur- Mohali
Dreams don’t work unless you do
Early in the morning on the 14th day of February, 1991, I was born in a middle class family. I was raised with care and taught righteousness and morality by my loving parents.
We were content living with simplicity but things we needed were neither too much nor too little to satisfy our daily needs. Things for us were perfectly balanced, but those beautiful days didn’t last long.
In the year 2008 my father was fired from his work due to market slowdown and economic slump worldwide. He became mentally unstable and for the lifetime this setback became a nightmare. Those beautiful things that were once a reality turned into dreams. I was entering grade 12 at the time and life kept turning hard and unbearable for us. To keep us in school, my grandfather had to work more and so did my mother who nurtured the children in family. I hail from farming background and we have to sell out ancestors’ land for our survival.
God is truly good to track back us. In 2011, just 3 years after my father lost his job; I became a NISHKAM scholar. All of a sudden everything changed in my young eyes and innocent mind. I was learning that sharing, caring and love for one’s fellow men still does exist. Since then, more blessings continuously came to my life. Because of this selfless support I’ve been able to chase my dream degree of Computer Science.
These are just a few of the ways the sponsorship program influenced my life morally, mentally and spiritually. I received benefits through the NISHKAM scholarship program until I graduated college with an engineer’s degree in computers. I was impressed and started thinking big, to appear for government job.
Right now I am working as Assistant Professor in SVIET College- Banur, Mohali. NISHKAM Scholarship is the only program, I ever knew that seemed to be the greatest, yet remained humble. Just because it’s not only supporting the needy students but it’s giving chance to let them stand up for oneself and for others in coming future. It is the chain of motivational leadership with selfless spirit. It proves that money is just a material thing, but abstract things like love and compassion for others, mean a lot. As a scholar of NISHKAM for more than two years, I learnt more than what teachers taught in school and colleges.
What I learned is more important than the ideas and principles of philosophers and more essential than the discoveries of scientists. I learned that NISHKAM scholarship is a relationship of humanity and true symbol of Sikhism beyond borders and miles.
Rishabjeet Kaur Bhatia - Flying Officer- Indian Air Force
Your wings already exist. All you have to do is flying
“Dream, desire and achieve what you want to” has always inspired Rishabjeet in all the phases of her life to follow her dreams.
Throughout her academic life, she has been brilliant and had topped in the Board Exams. In her college with peers from around the country, she was exposed to new avenues and exciting opportunities that came her way. This not only triggered her passion to learn anything new and exciting but also molded her thoughts to be independent and unique.
Hailing from Patiala, the young officer always wanted to be a pilot. She confesses that she did not know how to join the Air Force till she joined college. “To be in army’s color was my dream since childhood. From that time, I nurtured my mind to be in armed services only. With utmost dedication I completed my education and appeared for Short Service Commission for Women Project in armed services.” Rishabjeet said.
She couldn’t control her tears of joy but there is thorn with every rose. Born and raised in a humble family with not much income, she had seen struggles and in order to bear her educational expenses, she used to give tuition classes at home during schooling and college education. The plan was simple – study well, become an engineer, but champions are made not born and she was nurtured not only with her efforts but support from her family too. The fee was so high at Thapar University – Patiala from where she was pursuing her B.Tech studies. Running daily expenditures for household and survival was looking slightly blur but where there is a will, there is a way. Her mother always inspired her to take decisions as independent soul and one day after seeing advertisement of Nishkam Scholarships in newspaper, she applied for the same and it thus added another feather to her success. Rishabjeet complimented her success graph with the scholarship and succeeded in engineering course.
As a passionate personality, Rishabjeet has always set high standards for herself and tried to accomplish them with utmost dedication and perfection. Apart from academics, she had a keen interest in Dance and has won laurels in competitions. She is a versatile girl who stamps her mark in every move she makes, from sports to blood donation, from debates to social service. She carved her niche as complete woman and ultimately joined Air Force as a Flying Officer after rigorous training.
Agreeing that people’s awareness about the Air Force is limited to ‘Fighter Pilot’, she did break all stereotype barriers, which are mostly tagged in male dominating society. Her family, friends and those who know her, take immense pride in what she does — the school that she joined university where she did her B.Tech want to invite her to honor her. “People respect you, if you wear the uniform of the armed forces,” says Flying Officer Rishabjeet Kaur with a smile.
Gurvir Singh Suri - Assistant Professor
Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself.
I really believe that life offers happiness and problems which become part of our trials in life, and these things make us strong. In nutshell, all things become easier in life.
My ambition since I was a kid has been to become a teacher. I want to impart knowledge. Teaching can influence children to learn and become better individuals.
When I graduated from secondary school, I didn’t plan to continue my studies in college because I knew that my parents couldn’t afford it. But my family encouraged me to enroll, even though my heart did not agree with their decision due to financial limitations. At first, I found it difficult to mingle with my new classmates and get the lessons, but I did my best to catch up and learn.
Since I was sponsored through family and relatives but at times the expenses doubled. I had so many assignments and research projects to complete and I was in needing more money to cooperate with such eventualities.
My parents’ income was not enough to support my needs. Transport business of my father was on losing side and our earnings/savings were going to payback loan/installments. Sometimes grandfather helped us but it’s been very difficult to run the life, so I started giving tuition classes to school children in evening. I didn’t know where to get money to do my projects and research … until one day, my professor asked me if I would be willing to be a Nishkam scholar. I answered, “YES!”
With my determination, I earned good grades in my classes. Through my efforts and support from Nishkam, I continued my studies. Finally, I got my degree – the fruit of my hardship and perseverance. I know it is one steppingstone in reaching my dreams. After that I started working as Lecturer in Northwest College near to Moga, it was my first job and after few months in 2013, I joined Chandigarh University as Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engg.)
I am looking forward to avail more opportunities professionally so that I can finally impart knowledge and influence my soon-to-be students, to learn and become better individuals/professionals.
I felt a drastic change in my outlook for life and the meaning, the “transformations” which changed me with little support, can change many downtrodden. I learnt and loved this well organized and deliberate form of selfless service/ sewa as per Sikhism and humanism.
I grabbed the opportunity because I knew it would be helpful to me but thanks to Nishkam that they have well versed network and reach to colleges and universities. As a Nishkam scholar, I came to know about the real meaning of sewa and the passion poised in the blood of those Sikhs who are not living here but serve the community and humanity altogether irrespective of caste, creed and religion while delivering the true message in acts, not merely in words and believe me they are not helping one student they are supporting the whole family in a way.
Gurdeep Kaur: A Life Changing Experience
‘You can hold on to the past and get left in the dust, or jump on the ride of life and live a new adventure with perseverance and an open mind;’ – Irene Dunlap.
She heard from her friend about Nishkam’s Scholarships and earned that for two years. With such a timely help she completed her BCA studies and enrolled in Scholar@SAP: The vocational training program at SAP Labs- Bangalore, one of the globally renowned German firm. It is a major jumpstart in life for her. Today she’s earning a healthy income in the weekdays and attending academic classes conducted by BITS Pilani faculty in the SAP campus during weekends.
Gurdeep feels grateful to her luck and says that this is a major break in her life. The job presents an important opportunity to her to learn and earn at same time. She couldn’t control her tears of joy while thinking about that moment when she got such a timely support from Nishkam Scholarships during her studies. She feels just because of that help she’s standing shoulder to shoulder on such global platform and now supporting her younger sister who’s pursuing B.Tech.
‘You can hold on to the past and get left in the dust, or jump on the ride of life and live a new adventure with perseverance and an open mind;’ – Irene Dunlap.
Harjeet’s father is a daily wage earner. A mason by profession whose work is wholly dependent on chance/climate. Supporting family with such periodic income cannot assure a smooth present or future. But irrespective of such limitations the ray of hope never got blurred.
“Thankful was that moment when I came to know from my friend about Nishkam’s Scholarship Test. I was stuck in the middle of my studies and felt like quitting.” His voice trembles while recalling that time when his father met with an accident and fractured his shoulder. The family is dependent on the frugal income of his father who’s the lone bread-winner.
The trials of meeting the basic needs of survival left little hope for a good education for children. But after being inducted in Punjab Gramin Bank, there has been no looking back for Harjeet. It has been a life changing moment for him and he has acknowledged his gratitude to Nishkam for moulding and shaping his future.
With good grades in BCA (Bachelor of Computer Applications), he has cleared Banking recruitment test and doing job as an Office Assistant cum Computer Operator in Punjab Gramin Bank at Gurdaspur- Punjab.
He’s been also associated with Nishkam- Faridkot and voluntarily showing his selfless aspect (Sewa) in most of the events.
Hometown: Faridkot- Punjab
Education: BCA- Bachelor of Computer Application
Work: Office Assistant/Computer Operator- Punjab Gramin Bank- Gurdaspur, Punjab