Uplifting the poor and less educated, especially young girls and women, with Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust
The Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust (GN Trust) forms the gem of what we do at Canada India Education Society (CIES).
The GN Trust was established in 1980 by the visionary Mr. Budh Singh Dhahan from Vancouver, Canada, and other founding members, to uplift rural communities in Nawanshahar district, Punjab. His original vision was to:
- Provide educational opportunities for girls and young women from rural villages
- Provide health care services to rural populations of Punjab
- Create employment opportunities as a way to improve living conditions
“I want to uplift the poor and less educated, especially young girls and women.”-Mr. Budh Singh Dhahan
These words capture the life mission of Mr. Budh Singh Dhahan. It has also captured the work of GN Trust for decades.
Accomplishments of the Trust
The transformative work of GN Trust is remarkable. A sampling of their many impactful accomplishments, much of which came with the help of CIES, includes:
- Spearheading a 40-bed hospital in the rural village area of Dhahan-Kaleran in 1984.
- Gradually growing the hospital’s capacity to become a 200-bed hospital with multiple departments.
- Opening an affordable, subsidized primary school in 1987, and later a secondary school in 1997, with a fleet of school buses to transport children to and from the school.
- Establishing a nursing education college in 1993 to offer a three-year General Nurse-Midwifery (GNM) diploma. Then, offering a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc.N) degree, a Post Basic (P.B.) BSc.N program and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSc.N) program (with programs launching between 1998 – 2008).
- Offering a residential substance abuse rehabilitation facility in rural Punjab, in partnership with the Red Cross.
- Improving access to preventive health care in the sixty rural communities surrounding Dhahan Kaleran through the Building Capacity for Primary Health Care in Rural Punjab project, from 2001 – 2005.
- Benefiting economic activity for local retailers and service providers, as well as the construction sector in the district. The GN Trust itself employs 403 people, as of 2021.
- Most of the above activities are held on a campus owned, built and run by the GN Trust. The existence of the campus came about as the result of fundraising efforts held locally, and to a large measure, overseas. The original land on which it sat was donated by Dhahan and Kaleran village councils. More land was added later.
CIES has been a long-term partner and a major supporter of GN Trust through significant fundraising in Canada and public engagement activities.
Over the years, CIES has also gained support from Canadian service clubs and the business community to provide targeted funds for hospital equipment and expansion projects, plus Canadian and Indian nursing student and faculty exchanges.
A brief overview of each GN Trust venture is given below.
Activities of GN Trust to uplift the poor with accessible healthcare and education
Guru Nanak Mission Hospital
The Guru Nanak Mission Hospital opened in 1984. It followed the dream of the GN Trust founder, to bring healthcare services to rural Punjab at reasonable prices.
In cases of financial need, services are offered free of charge. Additionally, some complementary services are given on a regular basis (such as health checkups and cataract surgery).
As of 2021, the hospital offers in-patient and out-patient healthcare across 14 departments, plus a trauma care centre. It performs surgeries, laboratory testing and more. Between 1992 – 2018, the hospital ran a successful drug rehabilitation service.
Between 2019 and 2021, the hospital serviced in excess of 140,000 patients.
The hospital is also the main training centre for nursing students at the Guru Nanak College of Nursing.
Learn more about the Guru Nanak Mission Hospital here.
Guru Nanak College of Nursing
The Guru Nanak College of Nursing was founded in 1993, under Guru Nanak Mission Medical and Educational Trust. It was originally called the Guru Nanak Mission Institute of Nursing. It began by offering a three-and-a-half-year General Nurse-Midwifery (GNM) diploma.
Thanks to efforts by CIES, by 1998, the College began offering a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSc.N) degree.
In 2008, the College launched a two-year, Post Basic B.Sc. Nursing Degree.
In 2011, an M.Sc in Nursing program was created.
While nursing tuition fees are set at a state level, the College is able to offer some subsidies to students in financial need. It also aims to keep living costs low for its in-residence programs. Operating surplus is reinvested back into its programs.Learn more about the Guru Nanak Nursing College here.
Guru Nanak Mission Public School
Guru Nanak Mission Public School offers quality education to elementary and high school students in Dhahan Kaleran. It is affordably priced, with fee waivers based on compassionate grounds.
The school is affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education in New Delhi, is English medium co-educational, and hosts approximately 1600 students and 70 staff members. It runs a fleet of 24 buses to transport children from roughly 140 surrounding villages to and from the school.
Learn more about the Guru Nanak Mission Secondary School here.