SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar admitted that though there had been some delay in the project, they were very much on the job. The committee have already got the land registered in the SGPC’s name and also got the nod from the Indian Government to set up the facility in the U.S, and are on the step of completing formalities to pave the way for the construction of the building.
He reportedly said the center would help in dealing with the problems facing the Sikhs on account of mistaken identity and security barriers in foreign countries. He said a Gurdwara would also be constructed, which would have distance education programs on Sikhism in English on a online format.
He said the center would also organize gurmat camps, and turban-tying classes. Besides, seminars would be held and literature in various languages distributed to spread awareness about Sikhism. The SGPC had kicked off the process to set up the center last year by floating a parallel body named SGPC USA Inc. to run the affairs of the center, which would be spread over 13 acres.
A U.S. based Sikh Deedar Singh Bains had reportedly donated this land to the SGPC. A four-member SGPC delegation had also visited California to take stock of the property and for opening up an account with the Bank of America. A management committee had also been formed to run the new body, SGPC USA Inc.
The SGPC had earlier tried to set up Sikh Mission in Washington and a printing facility for Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji at North Carolina province in the U.S, but both the plans could not materialize due to various issues, including lack of approval from the authorities in India.
In another development, representatives from over 50 Gurdwaras would be gathering for a national meeting in Washington on August 16 to chart out a strategy to raise the profile of Sikhs in America.