SNEI Aims to Impart Punjabi, Spiritual Teachings to Area Sikh Youth

By Rubendra Bains

HOUSTON: A wise man once said that education is a “great equalizer” of the conditions of men and women. The directors of Sikh National Center plainly had this advice in mind when they created an independent division called Sikh National Education Institute to spearhead education-based programs for the Sikh Panth (path).

SNEI was created to spearhead education-based programs for the Sikh Panth. Under the leadership of President Dawinder Khehra, Vice President Gurmeet Saini, and Treasurer Ruben Bains, the SNEI has already successfully implemented a Punjabi school as well as a kirtan (religious chanting) school (together referred to as the Guru Nanak Khalsa Schools). These schools initially started out with a handful of students but the attendance has burgeoned into nearly 200 students today!

The kirtan school has enjoyed tremendous success under the leadership of Bhai Hardeep Singh, Bhai Kuldeep Singh, Bhai Khazan Singh, and Dr. Amrita Bains. These instructors are classically trained in instruments as well as singing. The school holds classes for classical string instruments (such as dilrubah, taos, etc), tabla, and raag kirtan. Classes are held weekly where students from ages of 5 through 18 learn kirtan in raags as well as musical instruments.

The training and preparation of the Guru Nanak School’s students was on full display on Sunday, December 9 during the Sikh National Center’s youth dewaan (assembly). The entire program, from the beginning ardaas (prayer) to hukam naama (divine order) was conducted by Sikh youth. The students delivered inspiring and insightful speeches as well as performed heart-touching kirtan. Nearly 100 participants partook in the program, from all across the Metroplex.

The dewaan hall was packed with sangat (worshippers) and the organizers were delighted by the large attendance of young Sikhs. The sangat appreciated the program by the youth and encouraged the Sikh Youth as they took the stage/podium confidently, one after another.

While SNEI’s current programs have enjoyed tremendous success, SNEI’s mission doesn’t just end with the Punjabi and Kirtan School. SNEI is seeking to expand its education-based programs to other areas as well, including developing leadership skills in Sikh youth, providing career counseling, teaching public-speaking skills, just to name a few.

For more information about the SNEI, contact Davinder Khehra at 832-256-1988 or Gurmeet Saini at 281-217-7944.