Founder Mr Sukhwant Singh, resident of Switzerland (son of Rattar Chhattar)
Sukhwant’s parents were born near Sialkot which was a part of undivided British India (now Pakistan). In 1947, following the Partition of British India, most Sikhs and Hindus fled the newly formed Pakistan. Sukwant’s family members were amongst those who risked everyting they had to cross the Wagah Border and sought refuge in India. Sukhwant’s mother left Pakistan with one of her 5 sisters. The other family members remain to this day in Pakistan. His father (now 101 years old) came to India with his elder brother and sister because his parents had died in Pakistan. Most of the families who fled from Pakistan had given up everything they had and had to battle poverty to restart their lives. Sukhwant’s parents settled in Rattar Chhattar to start a new life.
Sukhwant’s parents had a very hard life and had to sleep hungry many a night after coming to Rattar Chhattar. They worked very hard and with the little money they earned, they helped others too, an attribute that Sukhwant has imbued. Sukhwant’s mother gave birth to 10 sons but 4 of them died as they were too poor to afford medical care. However, they managed to save to provide education to the rest of the 6 sons.
During the 1984 bloody Khalistan separatist movement, four of the sons left Punjab and went to seek refuge in Europe and USA. Sukhwant has since settled in Switzerland.
On repeat visits to Rattar Chhattar, Sukwant observed that many residents are still suffering from poverty and its accompanying challenges. Many of the poor youth and under privileged are not able to access good education. Further job opportunities are limited creating social issues such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Sukhwant founded a trust in 2005 called ‘Sant Parivar’, to contribute to education and development opportunities in the village. ‘Sant Parivar Trust’ is a registered charity in India (Registration Number : DIC/BTL 5523/2009-10). The Trust has also partnered with a charity in Basel, Switzerland called ExChange Together.
“My family and I believe in peace and harmony. Our parents Pritam Kaur and Sant Gurcharan Singh have taught me to contribute to a better and peaceful society with an emphasis on the weaker sections of the society. With this inspiration, I have I started Sant Parivar.”