Sikh American KP Singh among 2017 "Golden Hoosier" Award Recipients

KP Singh receives 2017 "Golden Hoosier" Indiana's highest award for Senior Citizens

Long time Indiana resident Kanwal Prakash "KP" Singh was among the 22 outstanding Hoosiers who received one of the State of Indiana's highest awards designated for senior citizens who have made significant contributions to the State in different fields and continue to volunteer their gifts and talents, energy and service to worthy causes and community initiatives, institutions and areas of critical need that make a difference to the communities across the State.

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KP's Award Citation:
Kanwal Prakash Singh | Indianapolis
Nominated by Robbie Singh

"Kanwal Prakash Singh has spent nearly 50 years dedicated to improving his city. He is currently a member of the IMPD Police Civilian Merit Board and Asia America Alliance as well as a founding member of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation, the International Center and Sikh Satsang of Indianapolis. Kanwal has focused on education, communication and fostering a greater understanding of others within his community. He has developed cultural training programs for law enforcement, advocated for cultural and historical architecture preservation and provided resources for recent immigrants. Because of Kanwal's work, his community has seen increased support for and acceptance of Asian culture. The impact of his work will be seen for years to come."

The Awards were presented at a special ceremony at the Indiana State House on June 23, 2017 with Communications Strategy Director Ms. Marie Davis presiding on behalf of Indiana Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch. The celebration was a dignified affair attended by other State Officials, family members, and several hundred invited guests.

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A thousand images passed by as I walked up to receive the prestigious Award. I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of India's Partition, being a refugee, struggles and sacrifices of family, and the kindness of strangers who were truly angels and guiding lights along my pilgrimage that God had intended for me; so many highlights: four college degrees, my artwork in thousands of home across the nation and beyond, my writings in books, newspapers, and publications; volunteer involvements and civic engagements in hundreds of projects over the past half century in Indiana; and awards, honors, and accolades from the City, State of Indiana, national organizations, local institutions, and fellow citizens. I know there are many unsung and unheralded heroes that contribute immeasurably to life, liberty, and happiness of others every day and throughout all the generations before me. I am only being carried on their giant shoulders and by their blessing.

The sacred words of the Tenth Sikh Guru, Gobind Singh, kept orbiting around my spirit and heart: "einahee kee kirapaa ke saje ham hai nahee mo se gareeb karor pare ||2|| I am exalted by their Grace, otherwise, there are millions like me who tirelessly strive unheralded." I understood this Award and all blessings are made possible by the gifts and prayers of so many, and they are all partners in such recognitions and my journey. All gifts are another reminder that one's work is not done, as the brilliant and enlightened Poet Laureate and spiritual teacher of Punjab, Dr. Bhai Vir Singh, beautifully illustrated: "…Vuslon urray mukaam no koi so challay payae nitt rehnthey: (like the Icchabal Waterfall) there is no designated stopping for me before my final destination, and therefore I must keep moving toward that destined encounter (merging with the ocean)." Certainly a thought-provoking idea to reflect upon in human affairs; to inspire our spirit to rise to the call of life; and volunteer a positive response until we reach our destination. I pray that with Sutguru's Grace, faith and prayers of many continue to pave my way and "… lead me Home," loving and giving, honoring and celebrating, and serving and partaking the blessings of life each new day.

The expanding cultural diversity in our midst, though not yet fully discovered or integrated into our community life, is gently introducing new opportunities and transforming the spirit and character of our cities and state on its own momentum and incredible investments of time, energy, and gifts at many levels and by so many leaders. I used to imagine and wonder the response of Indiana and the Nation to an open invitation to the winds of culture and young pioneers:

Come create a city that reflects the spirit of all people.
Share with us your talents and cultural experiences
Enrich the emerging "Tapestry of Cultures,"
The sacred Fabric of Faiths
With sounds and splendors of the distant and diverse,
With ideas and ideals that celebrate your heritage and traditions.
Together discover the excitement and echo of our common humanity,
Spirit that unites us as One Universal God's children.
Together shape a legacy that mirrors our shared vision.

Let us make a place at the table for new friends and old,
Share our common dreams and shape a community
Where the Light and the Labors of each one
Enhance the gifts and promise of all.

Witnessing positive responses to new cultures and cherished traditions of ethnic communities, welcoming and integrating them into the fabric of existing traditions is tremendously reassuring as the State of Indiana begins its third century. There are seats at the tables where important decisions are being made; opportunities and recognitions of talents and trailblazers; growing interest in new languages, foods, customs and celebrations. We are beginning to see and marvel at: "Where the Light and Labors of each one, Enhance the gifts and promise of all." Over the past half century, I have been fortunate to see a dream coming gradually into a welcome focus: "I am hoping, praying, imagining: Understand the higher purpose in all things; Strive to transform universal hopes into answered prayers…Where discovering common interests, collective strengths, shared humanity become a major passion and unifying force; Where seeking of a Higher Guidance, Serving and celebrating all Life, Creation; All sacred affairs are our highest prayer."

I could not have imagined when I wrote these words, that Sikh Hoosiers, Asian Americans, and other minority communities would see some of those prospects become reality and create support institutions in search of their rightful place under the American spacious skies. Whereas we are not where we need to be, every day brings good news that we may be well on our way. The testimony that each of us provides opens another door and may be an inspiration for others.

KP Singh | KPSinghDesigns ~ [email protected]

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For descriptions of the volunteer efforts of the 2017 Golden Hoosier Award recipients, click here.

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Media Contact:
Marie Davis
Communications Strategy Director
Office of Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch
[email protected]
c: (317) 501-7497

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For updates from Lt. Governor Crouch and the agencies she oversees, please visit

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