Through the generosity of Nita and Dinesh Singhal, the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality has established the Seth Balkishan Das Singhal Award. The Balkishan Award is an annual prize of $1,000 for an undergraduate or graduate essay on issues related to discrimination, especially the use of religion to seek to justify discrimination.
The award, established in 2015, is a tribute to the life of Seth Balkishan Das Singhal, a stalwart within his local community and fondly referred to as the "Lion" of his hometown, Morar, in India. Recognized for his unbreakable promises and his readiness to lend a helping hand, Balkishan was born into a struggling middle-class family in British India. Despite being the most academically gifted student in his class, financial hardship forced an early end to his formal education. However, Balkishan went on to establish a successful manufacturing business, offering employment to nearly 100 people. A strong advocate for philanthropy, he led a life characterized by sincerity and community service, exemplified by his volunteer work and generous donations to his community.
To this day, Balkishan is remembered for his daily commitment to feeding the homeless, as well as his initiative in setting up water stations across his drought-afflicted city. His philanthropy extended to supporting and making substantial contributions to a local library, hospital, places of worship, and other institutions throughout his life. Even thirty-four years after his passing in 1981, various local institutions still recognize his benevolence with commemorative plaques. Balkishan's belief was that faith should serve to bind everyone into one universal family, promoting love and respect while combating detrimental tendencies and misconceptions both within us and in the world around us.
Letters of nomination are not required; faculty members or students may simply submit the paper they wish to be considered.
The call for submissions is now closed. The next round of applications will consider papers written after January 1, 2023. Please email questions regarding the Balkishan Award to firstname.lastname@example.org.