PADMA SHRI VIKRAMJIT SAHNEY

Chairman of the Sun Foundation and its Initiatives

Since its inception in 1998, at the initiative of Padma Shri Vikramjit Singh Sahney, Sun Foundation has been engaged in a number of social welfare activities. It has reached out to those who were incapacitated and has provided support to less-privileged section of society. A few hands joined up and it soon became a community mobilisation campaign. It strived to meet an end that was meant to be an opportunity for lesser privileged to grow and join the mainstream. The Foundation grew ever since, not only in database but also in compassion.

Sun Foundation has embarked upon a journey to create a humane and more equitable society. The aim of the Foundation is to work towards liberating destitute people from isolation, poverty and neglect. The Foundation aims to achieve this by championing the cause of disadvantaged people and enhance their quality of life so that they can live in dignity. Under Mr. Sahney’s drive and able guidance the projects span across five Indian states – Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra and Internationally in South Africa, Jordan and Nepal. The main projects of Sun Foundation are-

  • Surya Kiran: Mr. Sahney has set up a unique concept of Surya Kiran Centres in different states. These are integrated centres with vocational training and skill development for underprivileged women and girls to empower and enable their participation in economic development of their family and society. These centres are in the hub of villages where the advocacy and awareness programmes are conducted by organising regular counseling sessions, visits by doctors and teachers besides imparting training in different vocations like IT (Basic & Advance), Computer-Aided Designing, Lifestyle Products, Textile Designing, Pattern Making & Embroidery, Beauty Culture, Knitting with Machine, Communication & Soft Skills etc. These centres are also being run for inmates of Tihar Jail and Lady Noyce School for deaf and dumb children in Delhi. Currently, there are twenty five centres of Surya Kiran spread over Delhi, Haryana and Punjab with over 2000 beneficiaries. Mr. Sahney’s vision is to set up another 50 centres across India to empower 5000 beneficiaries by 2014. Some of the students trained in Surya Kiran centres are being employed as instructors which is again an inspiration for the students.
  • Taare Zameen Par: The project empowers the differently abled youth by providing a platform for their economic self-reliance. Sun Foundation has been running vocational training centres integrated with skill development for young adults with disabilities who can and want to work. The vocational training centres have the required expertise and infrastructure to give training in courses such as tailoring, textile designing, graphic designing etc. Taare Zameen Par started in 2008 and since then over 250 children have benefitted under this project. Social Ambassadors of the foundation are Navin Gulia, Diwaakar, Pradeep Raj, Mamta, Vinod Thakur, Meghna who have achieved rare distinctions in their fields and are role models for others.

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  • De-Addiction Centres: Drug addiction leads to annihilation of all things worthwhile in life. It brings misunderstanding, fierce resentment, financial insecurity, disgusted friends and employers, warped lives of blameless children, sad wives and parents. The increasing menace of drugs and alcohol use in Punjab is quite well known in India. In this context Sun Foundation has been running de-addiction centres in Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana. In addition, it has joined hands with Indian Red Cross Society, Punjab State to control this problem in the community and is setting up 150 bedded drug de-addiction centre at Patiala. It is a 3 storey building and has 22,500 square feet area located in four acres of land.
  • Save the Girl Child Campaign: In our country the girl child is a victim of gender discrimination and female foeticide - one of the gravest concerns facing the society. Sun Foundation has launched an extensive campaign to create social awareness about evils of discrimination against the girl child and to bring about a positive change. Ms. Priyanka Chopra, Bollywood actor, joined Sun Foundation’s campaign and became its social ambassador to spread the message of “save the girl child”. Mr. Sahney has produced several music albums and Public Interest Messages dedicated to the noble cause of saving the girl child. The Mobile Van promotes the girl child campaign in villages, semi urban and urban areas. Mr. Sahney believes that every girl child birth in a family should be celebrated as we do when a boy is born. It is this mindset which needs to be changed. The teams through village Sarpanch’s identify the homes where a girl is born and reach their homes .They distribute sweets and gifts to the girl child and their parents. Street theatre is organised and films are screened on awareness. He is also financially supporting the upbringing and development of girl child. Mr. Sahney perceives that every girl born in India is ‘Miss India’ as she will make her family, village and nation proud. The Foundation’s case studies have become their strength that has translated and ushered a new area of enlightenment. He is getting full support from the local people who have led Sun Foundation projects into a mass campaign.
  • Angels of Sun: Under this project, underprivileged orphans have been adopted for facilitating and funding their education to transform their lives and equip them to lead a life of dignity and economic self-reliance so that they grow up as valuable members of society. Presently, the foundation has 50 such children under this project.

In addition to above, many other social initiatives have been taken up by the foundation. The details can be viewed at www.sunfoundationindia.org

Vikram Sahney
Since its inception, Sun Foundation has been engaged in a number of social welfare activities mainly for providing support to less privileged sections of society. Through its projects it promotes the right of underprivileged to enjoy a life of good health and equal opportunity.