Manika Kaur is arguably the world’s most famous singer of Sikh devotional music (known as Kirtan). And she donates 100% of her proceeds to her charity Kirtan for Causes, which campaigns for the eradication of poverty in rural Punjab.
Sikhism is a Punjabi (Indian) religion that goes back some 500 years, and as a devotional singer/ songwriter Manika’s goal is to modernize the context and of the old religious texts so that young Sikhs all over the world can connect to and benefit from their messages.
Manika won the 2016 Sikh Award for Sikhs in Entertainment and has amassed over 10,000,000 views on YouTube. Manika’s other passion is her philanthropic work. She tirelessly campaigns for the eradication of poverty in rural Punjab via her work with the organisation Kirtan for Causes. All profits from sales of her albums and live concerts are donated directly to the charity, which supports the education of disadvantaged youth via sponsorship schemes. Manika personally sponsors and educates 200 children.
In 2015 she gave a sold-out concert at London’s prestigious Union Chapel and she has been invited to sing in Gurdwaras around the world. Manika has been featured on the BBC Radio, ABC Australia and more.
We talked about the reality of life in Punjab including farmer suicide and cervical cancer; we talked about what drives her personally and professionally, her difficulty as a misfit child and how that has become a source of strength, how important it is to love and look after oneself. Arranged marriage. Her upcoming book. My favourite line of the interview was “A child gives birth to a mother – and he gave birth to a strong one.”
To find out more about Manika, please visit her website www.manikamusic.com. You can find her on Instagram @manika.kaur and Twitter @manikakaur
To make a direct donation to her charity, please visit www.educatetosave.com