Wanjara Nomad Collections Scholarship Competition - Description

The Wanjara Nomad Collections Scholarship Competition invites individuals to submit short original written entries (no more than 300-500 words) related to one of the five (5) following individuals who are integral to the Sikh identity. The awards are each in the namesake of those individuals, with their primary characteristics embodying the soul of each award. Entrants are encouraged to be creative and consider the breadth and range of the particular scholarship they choose to submit themselves for, which takes many forms, including a narrative, poetry, or other unique written works of their creation.

Entries must be no more than 300-500 words. All entries should be original and unpublished, though creators are permitted to material in their entry provided any required permissions have been obtained, and the rights-holders are appropriately acknowledged. When an entry presents factual information, it should reflect a truthful portrayal of the situation or story.

The Members of the Wanjara Scholarship Competition Jury, the Wanjara Scholarship Committee and the Wanjara Scholarship Advisory Board adjudicate this competition. Winning entries will receive a CA$1,300 prize and be featured and promoted on the Wanjara Nomad Collections Website and social media channels.

The Scholarship(s)

Bhai Mewa Singh - Honour and Prestige Scholarship:

Sponsored by: Delkore Homes Ltd.

Bhai Mewa Singh immigrated to Canada in 1906, during a time when racism towards immigrants, particularly those from South Asia, was widespread. He faced discrimination and struggled to find housing and necessities. He witnessed the government enacting laws and policies against immigrants, including the Race Riots of 1907 and the Continuous Passage law. The turning point in his life came when a government informant, Bela, killed two Sikh men in a Gurdwara and threatened Bhai Mewa Singh if he did not testify in court on Bela's behalf. Despite these threats, Bhai Mewa Singh spoke the truth in court and was later targeted by Inspector William C. Hopkinson. In response, Bhai Mewa Singh killed Inspector Hopkinson. He was subsequently sentenced to death by hanging and executed on January 11, 1915, in the presence of 400 Sikhs. His execution is remembered as a symbol of resistance against oppression, and Bhai Mewa Singh is honoured as a martyr. The city of New Westminster has designated January 11 as Bhai Mewa Singh Day.

This award is given annually to a student who exemplifies honour and prestige at the moment in their life. Entrants must submit their written work utilizing the theme of honour and prestige.

Mata Sharan Kaur - Nurture and Valor Scholarship:

Sponsored by: Sterling Family Dentistry

Sharan Kaur was a devout Sikh woman who demonstrated immense courage and devotion to her faith during great turmoil. In 1705, as Mughal soldiers ravaged the land in search of Guru Gobind Singh ji, Sharan Kaur found herself in charge of cremating the bodies of two of the Guru's sons, Sahibzada Baba Ajit Singh ji and Sahibzada Baba Jujhar Singh ji, along with the bodies of thirty-two other Khalsa warriors who had fallen in the Battle of Chamkaur. Despite the consequences, Sharan Kaur did not hesitate to fulfill this sacred duty, even as the Mughal soldiers sought to desecrate the bodies of the martyrs and terrorize the non-Muslim population.

Tragically, Sharan Kaur's fears were realized, as she was slain by the Mughal soldiers while performing the cremation. According to some accounts, she was thrown into the funeral pyre alongside the bodies of the fallen warriors, choosing to sacrifice her own life rather than allow her honour to be compromised by the enemy. Others believe that she was driven to this self-immolation by the realization that her husband, Bhai Pritam Singh, had also fallen in the battle. Sharan Kaur remains an enduring symbol of the strength and sacrifice of the Sikh people, and her memory is honoured in the village of Raipur Rani through the presence of several funerary shrines and a Gurudwara built in her honour in 1945.

This award is given annually to a student who best exemplifies the characteristics of nurture and valour in their lives. Entrants must submit their written work utilizing the theme of nurture and valour.

General Subegh Singh - Loyalty and Devotion Scholarship:

Sponsored by: Anisa Homes and Developments Ltd.

General Subegh Singh was a decorated officer in the Indian Army who served with distinction during several major conflicts, including World War II, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, and the Bangladesh Liberation War. He was highly regarded for his military acumen and was promoted to Major General.

Before his retirement, he was dismissed from the Army on corruption charges, a decision he challenged in civil court. Eventually, he was cleared of all charges and vindicated. Following his dismissal, General Subegh Singh joined the Dharam Yudh Morcha. This Sikh political organization was campaigning for the implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, which called for a nationwide distribution of powers between the state of Punjab and the Union of India. When tensions between the government and the Morcha reached a boiling pot, and an attack on the Golden Temple complex in Amritsar seemed imminent, General Subegh Singh volunteered to serve as an advisor and trainer for the resistance forces.

He played a crucial role in organizing the complex's defences and was tragically killed during the subsequent conflict known as Operation Blue Star in 1984.

This award is given annually to a student who has dedicated themselves to loyalty and devotion to a cause. Entrants must submit their written work utilizing the theme of loyalty and devotion.

Lashman Singh - Duty and Discipline Scholarship:

Sponsored by: Safe2Drive Driving School Ltd.

Lashman Singh was a Sikh Soldier, born on January 15, 1885. He served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and died on October 24, 1918. He was buried in the Arras Road Cemetery in Pas de Calais, France.

Lashman Singh's life embodies soldiers' selfless devotion and commitment to Duty and Discipline. He is one of many forgotten fallen heroes whose sacrifice allows us to be where we are today.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!

A true patriot loves in all of us command.

With glowing hearts, we see thee rise,

The True North is strong and free!

From far and wide,

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Lashman Singh stood on guard for his Country.

This award is given annually to students dedicated to duty and discipline. Entrants must submit their written work utilizing the theme of duty and discipline.

Bhai Harinder Singh Mehboob – Knowledge and Commitment Scholarship:

Sponsored by: Stratwit Solutions Ltd.

Professor Harinder Singh Mehboob is a highly esteemed figure in the Sikh community, renowned for his religious lyrical innocence, unwavering devotion to the Sikh heritage and its institutions, and his encyclopedic knowledge of world literature. He is also highly respected for his intellectual integrity, humility, and simplicity.

Prof. Mehboob's work spans many fields, including aesthetics, history, philosophy, poetry, folk culture, metaphysics, and contemporary diction, making him a multifaceted and profoundly erudite scholar. His decision to write primarily in his mother tongue, Panjabi, highlights his commitment to preserving and promoting his cultural heritage.

As an activist, Prof. Mehboob has made significant contributions to the Sikh community, particularly in the aftermath of the 1984 genocidal killings of Sikhs in India. Many contemporary Panjabi poets have sought his guidance and approval before publishing their work, attesting to his influence and expertise in the field of literature.

This award is given annually to students dedicated to their commitment to gaining knowledge. Entrants must submit their written work utilizing the theme of knowledge and dedication.


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