Amrit Kaur, An Active US Sikh women leade dies and leaves a powerful legacy

Amrit Kaur's death is a tremendous loss and her absence in the Sikh affairs in America is a major setback.

Jio Jio Tera Hukum , Tivaen Tio Hovna - Guru Arjan Dev ji, Page 523
Aapne Bhanai vich sdaa Rakh Suyami, Har Namo Deh Vadayee - Guru Amar Dass ji, page 1333.
Paanch tat ko tan racheo, Jano chatar Sujan. Jeh te upjeya Nanka, leen taah meh Maan - Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, page 1426
Washington: Amrit Kaur,  the pillar of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and who has contributed tremendously for the entire community in America, died Sunday, June 14, 2009, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She was the current president of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington and many Interfaith leaders prayed for her. She was diagnosed with Lung cancer on June 2nd at Fairfax Hospital but the disease was at a very advanced stage. She was transferred to Johns Hopkins to be treated by the best experts in the cancer field. But cancer had spread and she died within days.  This has shocked her family, all her colleagues at Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and the interfaith community in Washington.

Amrit Kaur, became the President of the InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington last year when this body, representing 11 world religions and various judicatories, elected her as the president for a two-year term.
Amrit Kaur was educated in Delhi and Chandigarh, India. She came to the USA in 1975 and has retired as a banker. She has been associated with Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF), a Sikh house of worship and  an active Sikh organization based in Washington.  She has served in various capacities as President, Executive Director  since GGSF's inception in 1985 and was currently serving as Secretary of GGSF. GGSF was led by her in many different areas. She played a significant role in all programs of this organization whether speaking on various issues facing the Sikh community or organizing social programs. She also helped in organizing Sikh participation in the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago and also worked on various issues affecting the Sikh community after 9/11.

She had represented the Sikh faith in InterFaith Conference for about 20 years. She was First Vice-President from 2006-2008. On behalf of GGSF, she led a worldwide effort in 1992 to get Bhagat Puran Singh nominated to the Nobel Peace Prize and had several lawmakers and Academicians from U.S.A, Canada, U.K. and India write supporting letters for this nomination to Nobel prize committee in Norway. She was also active in Sikh Council on Religion and Education (SCORE) and had played role in organizing events at the Capitol Hill and the White House. In 1990, She also co-wrote the Sikh perspective on environment for the United Nations Environment Programme and submitted hymns to be included in the Environmental Sabbath booklet published by the United Nations.
Dr. Rajwant Singh said, "This loss is tremendous and her absence in the Sikh affairs in American is a major setback. May Waheguru give her soul an everlasting peace.  It was a pleasure to work with Amrit Kaur closely on a daily basis from last two decades on Sikh issues through Guru Gobind Singh Foundation  and SCORE and on other critical issues facing the American society. She was dedicated to Sikhism and she had deep commitment to work for the betterment of the Sikh community. Her contributions are limitless and she has left an inspirational legacy."
He added, "There are not too many women Sikh leaders and it was such a joy to have a Sikh woman represent us to the wider community. She was elevated to be the Interfaith Conference's president representing so many religious jurisdictions. Her life reflected the true self-less sewa.   I sincerely hope that other Sikh women would follow suit."
Bhai Gurdarshan Singh, Granthi of GGSF, said, "She was a humble servant of the Guru and she always was ready to help anyone. I have benefited immensely by her advice and her guidance. May Wahguru be with her."
Sarabjit Singh Sidhu, President of GGSF, said, " this loss is shocking and it will take a long time to fill this gap created by demise. We must always remember that our end is going to come one day and we must live our lives in a dedicated manner just as she did.She maintained a high standard in personal conduct and always remained positive. She would not involve herself in any petty things and was focused in serving others."

She had been very active at the IFC from the last two decades and had been on the Board of this organization. She had said in February, "I am deeply honored to be serving as President of InterFaith Conference. The principles of IFC are very much similar to what my faith Sikhism stands for. In this global village we are all intertwined with each other and can not survive in ivory towers. The very core principles of my faith teach me to stand for social justice, nurture understanding and build a just and harmonious society. The more we believe in ourselves, our faith, the more likely we are to respect other faiths and build bridges across and find a common platform to work together for the betterment of humanity."
She has survived by her mother, Daljit Kaur, and her five brothers and their families. Her mother remarked that 'she might have lived few more years but I am satisfied that she had worked for Sikhi with complete dedication and I witnessed that day and night. May Waheguru be gracious upon her soul!"

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