Gian Singh Surjit
Ragi Gian Singh Surjit (August 1941- 20 October 2006) was a husband, father, brother, friend and mentor - a shining hope to all those who knew him. He was a fountain of wisdom and good humour, and a truly inspiring individual. He was born in August 1941 in Moranwali, Punjab, India.
He lost his eyesight at the age of two and a half and continued his life as a blind individual, with much knowledge and goodness to share. Despite the loss of his sight, Gian Singh Surjit Ji went on to study music with Komal Ji, a respected music professor, in Punjab. He had a gift for music, and excelled as a student from an early age.
Life in Uk
In 1968 Gian Singh Surjit Ji emigrated to Gravesend, England and became a British Citizen. He married Sardani Karamjit Kaur on 5th October 1969 in Gravesend, Kent, England In the early 1970's Gian Singh Surjit Ji was appointed as an examiner for Pracheen Kala Kendra Music Academy, Chandigarh, India, an office he held until his death.
Starting in 1976, onwards Gian Singh Surjit Ji released several records, and later formed the International Dhadi Jatha (U.K.). In 2002 he became a published co-author, with Sardar Sital Singh Sitara, of a music course book 'Gurbani Komal Sangeet'. Gian Singh Surjit Ji was known for his music, his love for teaching and religious sermons around the world. He travelled great distances to share his knowledge and love for music.
Ragi, teacher and Giani
Through his music, Gian Singh Surjit Ji often touched the lives of three generations, teaching the grandfather, the father, and the grandchild. The number of students that have felt his guidance must run into thousands. Many of these students have gone on to spread the knowledge and words of wisdom passed on to them by their "ustad ji".
In 1980 Gian Singh Surjit with his three blind friends, the late Sardar Rajinder Singh Bhatti, Sardar Avtar Singh Mann, and Sardar Sital Singh Sitara made history by founding the first ever school and music academy of it's kind in Punjab, India - The Guru Nanak Blind Missionary Society - a school specialising in educating little blind people.
The school was officially opened in 1988 and today has close to 100 little blind people studying and living in the Ashram complex. Gian Singh Surjit Ji worked tirelessly and selflessly for Guru Nanak Blind Missionary Society, travelling the world to raise funds for the little blind people in the Ashram.
Working for charity
In his later years he focused solely on the charity, and was a driving force in making it develop and grow. It is a testament to his strength of character that Gian Singh Surjit Ji carried on his charity work, fundraising and teaching despite failing health since 1992, when he suffered his first heart attack.
In 1993, he had a triple bypass operation on his heart, and in 1999 he suffered a stroke. He also had to cope with diabetes and high blood pressure. However none of this deterred the forever good humoured Gian Singh Surjit from his path, and his will to continue his charity, music and religious work.
Gian Singh Surjit Ji leaves behind a loving and dedicated family, his wife of 37 years, Sardani Karamjit Kaur, his three children: Jasbir Kaur (Jassay), Ranbir Singh (Raja) and Harjot Singh (Joti) and his grandchildren, Jasmin, Amrik, Aaron, Arjun and Taran. The loss of this remarkable soul will be profoundly felt by all those who knew him.
- With thanks to little blind people