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Punjab Foundation board:

Advisory Board:

Raveena Chahal –Raveena, founder of Punjab Foundation is a high school student at Archbishop Mitty High School (commonly known as Mitty), San Jose - California. Mitty is private Catholic, coeducational, college preparatory school of the Diocese of San Jose. Mitty has strong academic & athletic programs whose rivals include Bellarmine College Prep and Saint Francis High School in Northern California. In 2009, Mitty's athletic program was ranked first in the state and third in the nation by Sports Illustrated. Raveena, who is a member of Mitty’s basketball and golf team, attends Stanford Women's Basketball Elite Camp at Stanford University hosted by Stanford Women's Basketball Coach VanDerveer every year.

In December 2008 while she was middle school student, she traveled with her family to three northern states of India called Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan for more than a month. She met many Cancer patients and her father’s relatives suffering with cancer. It was a state of shock for her to see so many people suffering with cancer and other diseases. Being a female and child, she was really moved by learning that 75% cancers patients are female (breast cancer) and children.

In 2009 While she was in India, she promised the cancer victim in various villages where she met them personally that she will raise their voice and would not let them die quietly.

In December 2009 her family personally financed the Water Treatment Plant at his native village Heeron Khurd, district Mansa of Punjab so that the people of his village will have access to safe drinking water. Her family have also built the senior citizen shelter for the old people in our village. While working on these issues, she have received a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction great support from the India community for our noble cause.

In order to take her mission to next step, she have setup non-profit Punjab Foundation to involve other likeminded Punjabi families settled abroad in USA , Canada and other countries to activate them in her cause and get financial help so that projects like free Cancer detection camps in the villages and safe drinking water to the underprivileged in their fight against cancer.Punjab Foundation work in partnership with Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal Embassador of Roko Cancer, a United Kingdom based charitable trust on behalf of many NRI (Non-Resident Indian) families who financialy supported many camps at Malwa, Majha and Doaba region to conduct free detecting cancer disease especially for detecting breast cancer.

Being a young and girl, she was very aware of the challenges she would face to work on the ground. It is sad that being girl she would not be welcome in India talking about the Cancer specially Breast Cancer and reproductive health related issues due to the culture and social limitation .

She have travelled to many US, Canada, UK , India, Middle east cities to raise the awareness among the masses specially among the Indian Punjabi community to activate and involve them in her campaign to stop the cancer spread in Punjab, India. She feel very satisfied that with her awareness campaign affords, she was able to convince the many families living outside India to financially support the cancer detections camps in their respective villages. Early Cancer detection was my slogan during her awareness campaign for easily cancer treatment.

She was featured in Malwa cancer related documentary "Rok Sakon Tan Roko" (Stop if you can) directed and produced by filmmaker Dr. Daljit Singh. The documentary depicts the miserable condition of cancer affected families and their drive to city of Bikaner on cancer train. This documentary was released in April 2011 by India’s Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mrs. Ambika Soni.

It was a great opportunity for her to work very closely with renowned environmentalist Dr Amar Singh Azad and toxicologist from South Africa, Carin Smith at Baba Farid Center for Special Children (BFCFSC). Carin Smith worked at this center and collect blood and hair samples of 149 mentally and physically abnormal children. The examination of these samples at the Microtrace Mineral Lab in Germany found highly toxic heavy metals, besides high presence of uranium in the hair traces of these children. Both Dr Amar Singh Azad & toxicologist Carin Smith are associated with the BFCFSC.

She received inpiration from prominent environmental activist & single mother of three kids Erin Brockovich (Focus of the feature film, Erin Brockovich) who was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993.The case alleged contamination of drinking water with hexavalent chromium in the southern California town of Hinkley was settled in 1996 for US$333 million, the largest settlement ever paid in a direct action lawsuit in US history. Raveena visited town of Hinkley twice since 2011 to gather the data for a NGO who is interested in bringing litigation against the big industrial houses who are responsible for the contaminating the drinking water in Punjab, India.

In June 2013, She was accepted in immersion programs organised by Archbishop Mitty to St. Anthony’s Foundation (San Francisco). This 5-day trip took place in the Tenderloin of San Francisco.During the day, she serve meals to the homeless in various shelters in San Francisco, sort clothes and talk with seniors at the Senior Day Center. She was introduced to the full spectrum of services that St. Anthony’s provides to address the needs of the impoverished and homeless in the city. During this week long trip along with other Mitty students, she sleeps at the International Youth Hostel downtown San Francisco. In the evenings she took time for reflection, prayer, and discussion, as well as for exploring various neighborhoods in the city.

During 2013 summer vacation she attended week long Economic & Leadership Camp at UCLA Anderson School of Management. UCLA Leadership Camp offers a unique program that gives child tools to be successful not only academically but also in his or her future life. Over the course of the 6-day program while staying on campus, she listen to motivational speeches given by leaders from various fields including Politics, Economics, and Journalism and participate in writing and speech projects to compete in challenging team building. This program gave her unique oppourtinity to demonstrate her work on Punjab Foundation to her peers.

Due to her social activities, she was nominated by City of Milpitas mayor Mr. Jose "Joe" Esteves to serve on the Youth Advisory Commission (YAC) to advise the Council on matters pertaining to youth and teens in City of Milpitas, California.

Sukhi Singh – Mr. Singh (also known as Sukhi Chahal) Chairman of Punjab Foundation. He was born in the village of Heeron Khurd in the Mansa district of Malwa area of Punjab, India which is badly infected by the cancer and related diseases.

In 1992, he came to the great country of the United States. An engineer by profession, he has attended Stanford and UC Berkeley for computer and management related courses. His technical expertise in Information Technology and Unified Communication is very well known in the Silicon Valley.

He held senior management, engineering and consulting positions at Netflix, Intel, Nextag, Andale, AT&T labs, Robert Half International, mBlox, Vialta, Lockheed and AMS network etc. He has played major role in unified communications design and deployment for San Francisco Superior Court, Supreme Court of California, Administrative Office of the Courts and many other Silicon Valley based high school districts, colleges and companies. He travels extensively through the world and domestically to offer the IT consulting services to medium and enterprise customers.

He runs his own Silicon Valley based Information technology and Unified Communications consulting company. His professional accomplishments now afford him the ability to pay back and do something for a noble cause.

In December 2010, Mr. Singh & family personally financed the Water Treatment Plant at his native village Heeron Khurd, district Mansa of Punjab so that the people of his village will have access to safe drinking water.

Dr Carin Smit - Dr Smit is a Clinical Metal Toxicologist Practitioner.She specializes in heavy metal toxicity, toxicity caused by pathogenic organisms and recovery from autism.

In 2009, it was Dr Smit and her colleague Vera Dirr, visited as a volunteer and over 14 months uncovered the uranium presence in Punjab which has crippled the generation of children. Dr Smit alarmed after seen a high incidences of physical and mental abnormalities in local children at the Baba Farid Center For Special Children (BFCSC) in Faridkot, a not-for-profit organization working with kids, ailing from autism, cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders started collecting urine and hair samples of 149 affected children and sent them for tests to Microtarce Mineral Lab, Germany.

She managed to convince German lab (thanks to Dr. Eleanore Blaurock-Busch) to donated their time and effort to analyze the samples. Though doctors expected heavy metal toxicity, what they were surprised to find was high levels of uranium in the samples, and in one case more than 60 times the maximum safe limit.

Dr. Smit has also written open letter to the Editor - Journal of Medical Physics for misreporting the Uranium presence in the kids of Punjab. She also criticizes the Punjab Government & India for not showing any interest to find out the root cause of the uranium which has threatened the future generation of Punjab.

Dr. Smit lives in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kanwar Sandhu - He is executive editor of Chandigarh based The Tribune group.Founded in February 1881, The Tribune is a major Indian English-language daily newspaper published from Chandigarh, New Delhi, Jalandhar, Dehradun and Bathinda for Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.He was the driving force behind Chandigarh based Kansan News Private Limited’s (KNPL) first broadcast initiative, Day & Night News, as its Managing Editor. He is a Post Graduate in English literature and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Panjab University, Chandigarh.

He has nearly 30 years’ experience in the field of journalism, including stints in The Tribune newspaper and India Today magazine. He has had numerous visits abroad as a media practitioner, including a six-week Fellowship sponsored by the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a four-month stint with the Programme for Arms Control in the University of Illinois, USA. He was the Resident Editor of The Indian Express, Chandigarh, for nearly six years and subsequently the Editor of Hindustan Times, Chandigarh for nearly nine years, and is among the best known faces of journalism in north India.

Mr. Kanwar Sandhu was the host of popular Fair and Square program broadcasted in North America in collaboration with Canada-based G-Punjab on Dish Network.

Dr. Amar Singh Azad – MBBS, MD (Pediatrics & Community Medicine) Government Medical College Patiala. Dr. Azad has worked in all types of Punjab Government Institutions from 1972 to 2007. At present he is working for NGO called NACO-National AIDS Control Organization as Senior Medical Officer in ART Centre Patiala. They treat the HIV/AIDS patients in this center. Dr. Azad also works for KVM- Kheti Virasat Mission-Punjab (as Working President) which is an NGO working for Natural / Organic Farming and Environmental health. He is also associated with Baba Farid Centre for Special Children which treats mentally retarded/handicapped/autistic children. His passion is to work on the root causes of ill health. Dr. Azad lives in Patiala, Punjab.

Umendra Dutt– Mr Dutt has done M.A Hindi from Punjab University, Chandigarh. From the student life he is active in Social Organisations. At present he is Director of Kheti Virasat Mission, Punjab-an organisation committed to Natural/Organic Farming. Apart from advocating/ practising of Natural Farming, KVM is committed to spreading awareness/ fighting for improvements in Environmental Health in Punjab which is in very bad shape at present. Kvm was the first organisation to point out/ focus in mass media about the high prevalence of Cancer in Malwa Region of Punjab.

Lakhbeer Sandhu– Born and raised in London, Mr. Sandhu holds a degree in Management Sciences from the London School of Economics.He is responsible for the Punjab Foundation's long term strategy; support, ambitions and organization development. He advises the foundation on the early-stage development awareness campaign across the UK and in Europe. He travels frequently around the world and lives in London, UK

Stu-Elefant - Sr. Management Executive in Silicon Valley – educated at the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies. Born and raised in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Stu has technology in his blood: it is his passion, ambition and drives to make technology work to achieve success. While in his mid-twenties, Stu co-founded a network and internet security consulting company called computerlanscapes that was acquired by Cohesive Technology Solutions.

Stu also held Senior Director, Vice President, and Senior Product Management roles at various multinational companies. In Stu’s roles, he built awareness around and solved important technical issues. He is now leveraging those same skills to help ensure clean water, uncontaminated food, and healthy living for those that need a voice.

Board of Directors:

Sukhi Singh – Mr. Singh (also known as Sukhi Chahal) was born in the village of Heeron Khurd in the Mansa district of Malwa area of Punjab, India which is badly infected by the Cancer and related diseases. He migrated to United States 18 years ago. An engineer by profession, he has attended Stanford University and UC Berkeley for computer and management related courses. He runs his own Information technology and Unified Communications consulting company in Silicon Valley of California, USA.

Dr. Manasi Rana –Dr. Rana completed her Internship from University of Nebraska Medical Center, Residency and Fellowship from Stanford University. Dr. Rana is a strong believer of patient and the family partnership for a better and brighter future for patients with sometimes disabling mental illness. Dr. Rana is a Board certified in child and adult Psychiatry by American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. She has 15 years of experience in her field and she lives in Menlo Park, California.

Dr. Sandeep Sharma–Dr. Sharma earned his DDS degree from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana, in the state of Punjab, India. He migrated to United States 11 years ago. He lives and practice in Santa Rosa, North California. Mr. Sharma is very active in non-profit institutions focused on environment, health and development.

Dr. Sanjiv Joshua–Dr. Joshua earned his MBBS degree from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana in state of Punjab, India. He migrated to United States 13 years ago when he was in the middle of his Orthopedic Surgery's MD program. Dr. Joshua was very active in non-profit institutions focused on education and health in India. Dr. Joshua practices in Oakland, California.

References

  1. SP Sharma Cancer train’ remains as popular as ever. The Tribune, Chandigarh, December 30, 2010
  2. Saurabh Malik - HC notice to state on cancer in Malwa - Tribune News Service, January 14, 2011
  3. SP Sharma - Long battle ahead before Malwa can tame the scourge of cancer . Tribune News Service December 31,2010
  4. Singh, IP . Parts of Raj, Malwa drinking poison?". The Times Of India Jun 16, 2010
  5. Madhur Singh India's Deadly Chemical Addiction - TIME in partnership with CNN June 10, 2008
  6. Uranium poisoning in Punjab. Wikipedia.org
  7. Yadav, Priya (Apr 2, 2009). "Uranium deforms kids in Faridkot". The Times of India.
  8. "Children of uranium poisoning?". NDTV. September 6, 2009.
  9. Jolly, Asit (2 April 2009)."Punjab disability 'uranium link". BBC News.
  10. Garg, Balwant (Jun 14, 2010)."Uranium levels 62 times higher than normal". The Times Of India.
  11. Garg, Balwant (Jun 15, 2010). "'Anti-pollution laws only on paper in Punjab'". The Times of India.
  12. Singh, IP (Jun 16, 2010). "Parts of Raj, Malwa drinking poison?". The Times of India.
  13. Rana, Yudhvir (Jun 18, 2010). "'Action on 1995 study could've stopped Punjab poisoning'". The Times of India.
  14. "Toxic Troubles". The Times of India. Jun 17, 2010.
  15. Chamberlain, Gethin (30 August 2009). "India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste". The Telegraph (London).
  16. Amrita Chaudhry (May 21, 2008) "Buddha Nullah the toxic vein of Malwa". Indian Express. May 21, 2008
  17. Garg, Balwant (Jun 15, 2010). "Uranium, metals make Punjab toxic hotspot". The Times of India.
  18. Sudeep Chakravarti "Laws To Tackle Other ‘Bhopals’". Mint (newspaper). Jun 10 2010.
  19. Ramaninder K Bhatia, Cancer incidence on rise in farm animals too? - The Times of India, Feb 10, 2011
  20. Punjab Foundation

Water Contamination
Kids in Punjab villages losing sight to polluted drinking water

Shankar Singh, 22, lost his eyesight
a decade ago. His younger brother,
Visakha Singh, who had no vision problem when he was born, too, lost
his sight as he grew up. [Read More...]

Pollution in Budda Nullah - 7 of family
fall prey to hepatitis

Gurminderjit Kaur of Gaunspur village
on the bank of Budda Nullah is only
28 years old and has lost all adult members of her family to hepatitis due
to the consumption of contaminated water [Read More...]

Parts of Malwa and Rajasthan drinking poison?

In the wake of discovery of high level
of uranium and other heavy metals in hair samples of 80% of 149
neurologically -disabled children, samples of five children from
worst-affected village of Teja Rohela, [Read More...]

Punjab Cancer
Cancer belt of Punjab

The number of cancer patients has
grown manifold in the recent years in the Malwa area. Local people feel excessive use of pesticides has contaminated the ground water.[Read More...]

Cancer picture dismal, not complete

The Day & Night channel’s well- documented report Cancer da Keher managed to capture the big picture. Swaran Singh Danewalia met the affected families in the Malwa region [Read More...]

HC notice to state on cancer in Malwa

Refusing to close its eyes to the ailing cancer cure facilities in Punjab’s Malwa belt, the Punjab and Haryana High
Court has taken suo motu cognizance [Read More...]

Cancer Train
‘Cancer train’ remains as popular as ever

Yet another year has passed but the
number of patients boarding from here
the infamous “cancer train” to Bikaner in
Rajasthan for the treatment of the
disease has increased,[Read More...]

Cancer Express

Passenger Express 339 enters Bathinda railway station around 9 pm, as if blindfolded by the dark winter night. The sight of it brings a glint to the lifeless
eyes of Balwinder Singh (42) waiting [Read More...]

Green revolution’s cancer train

Pesticides and cancer: a murderous
concoction, a massive environmental
and health disaster, while people are
dying in village after village of Punjab
[Read More...]

Uranium poisoning in Punjab
India's generation of children crippled by uranium waste

Their heads are too large or too small,
their limbs too short or too bent. For
some, their brains never grew, speech
never came and their lives are likely to
be cut short [Read More...]

Dr. Carin Smit's open letter to Journal of Medical Physics India

In 2008 I visited north India on request
to offer my services as a volunteer in a
project where there are more than 400
severely disabled children. The majority
suffered from [Read More...]

Punjab disability & Uranium Link – BBC

Tests on children with cerebral palsy or
mental disabilities in the Indian state of
Punjab have revealed high levels of
uranium. [Read More...]

Environmental Toxicity
Punjab: Sindh valley civilization again ready to die

The whole community is put on slow
death. The only difference between the
both situations is this that in those
times it was a natural disaster but this
time it is of man made [Read More...]

Punjab: An Environmental toxicity hotspot heading towards death

Punjab’s Ecosystem is full of Poisons.
It is increasingly becoming obvious that
Punjab is turning into a hotspot of
Environmental Toxicity. [Read More...]

Water Crisis and Water Chaos in Punjab

Women are bound to fetch water on
their head from as far as 3 kms, and a vast majority of people have no option other than to drink sub-human water [Read More...]

Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration plants
RO plants bring hope in cancer belt

Despite slow pace of installation,
residents feel it will help them combat
the scourge Installation of Reverse
Osmosis (ROs) filtration plants is
progressing at a slow pace to provide
potable water [Read More...]

RO water too costly for Punjab’s poor
in Malwa

In the Malwa belt of Punjab that is
riddled with water problems, the Punjab
government’s project to install water
purifiers working on RO theory does not
seem to have yielded desired results,
at least for the poor.[Read More...]

Uranium in Water, 200 reverse osmosis plants of little use

Detection of high level of uranium in
water in the Malwa belt of Punjab have
virtually halted the installation of reverse
osmosis (RO) plants[Read More...]