Sikh group to hold career summit | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sikh group to hold career summit

When Sujit Singh Banga was an information technology student, he had to depend on the limited career guidance professionals available within his family’s reach.

mumbai Updated: Jun 09, 2011 17:50 IST
Aarefa Johari

When Sujit Singh Banga was an information technology student, he had to depend on the limited career guidance professionals available within his family’s reach.

Now, as an established digital marketing manager, the 26-year-old Sikh is proud to be fulfilling a need within his community: In the past two months, he has given free educational and career guidance to at least 25 Sikh students in his locality. Banga is one of the 12 Mumbai volunteers at Young Sikh Leaders (YSL), a non-profit national forum founded last year to connect students with other organisations working for education and employment.

With 6,000 members, YSL has tie-ups with at least 15 Sikh and 3 secular organisations around the country. Representatives from most of them will be present to guide students at a ‘Career and Leadership’ summit YSL will organise at Matunga on Saturday.

“Existing Sikh education-guidance forums have developed rich resources and knowledge-bases over the years, but have not leveraged technology to reach out to more students,” said Manpreet Singh, a city-based software engineer and founder-president, YSL.

Singh’s team has created an online database of all the information that their partner organisations have to offer on jobs and various courses. YSL’s career guidance volunteers – 146 of them in 55 Indian cities – use this database to provide free individual counselling to students and also conduct occasional seminars in local gurudwaras.

The summit on Saturday will be the organisation’s largest convention in the city since its soft-skills workshops last year, and will include a lecture series by at least 18 Sikh professionals from various fields.

YSL has urged gurudwaras and other religious trusts to provide financial schemes for needy students. “There is an increasing need to direct funds towards the youth,” said Kulwant Singh, general-secretary, Dadar gurudwara, which set aside a corpus fund of Rs50 lakh this year for educational scholarships and loans.