Karanveer Singh Pannu, 18, of New Jersey wanted to help alleviate pain and suffering that children from his faith go through on a daily basis
India At Large staff
According to a study by The Sikh Coalition, a non-profit advocacy organisation based in the US, 67% of turbaned Sikh youth in Fresno, California, have experienced emotional and physical bullying in schools and also cyberbullying.
“Sikh-American youth are largely unrepresented and do not seem to have a voice on the national stage or in the media, especially when it comes to bullying,” Karanveer Singh Pannu told NBC News. “I wanted to help in any way I could to alleviate this pain and suffering which children from my faith go through on a daily basis,” added the Sikh-American high school student from New Jersey.
Thus was born Bullying of Sikh American Children: Through the Eyes of a Sikh American High School Student, a new book written by Pannu that looks at bullying from the point of view of the student.
In the book, Pannu introduces the Sikh faith, which originated in the Punjab region of India, and discusses the significance of the turban and the history of Sikhs in the US. He details the results of a bullying survey he conducted of Sikh-American children in order to draw from their experiences as well as his own. He also suggests practical solutions drawn from interviews with several child psychiatrists and psychologists.
Pannu said he hopes the book can help other Sikh-American children who’ve experienced bullying, as well as parents and school administrators trying to understand the students’ experiences.
“[A] couple of days ago, a very emotional mother called me and thanked me profusely for writing this book,” Pannu told NBC News. “She wanted to help me in any way in order to get the book into the hands of the school authorities. Another non-Sikh reader after reading the book is gifting a book to the local school library,” added the student of the Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees,
“The young author has done an extraordinary job through detailed survey to find the current status of bullying among children in the Sikh American community. He then interviewed several mental health professionals to get practical solutions in order to mitigate bullying,” chairperson of American Sikh Council (ASC) Gulbarg Singh was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
Photo courtesy: NBC News