Why I Created the Roundglass Foundation
Childhood in Punjab was a little slice of heaven. As a child, my mother would take me to a local market. I remember strolling through the town on my way there, admiring the complex colors and scents. I would look at the surrounding nature, and despite travelling the world since then, it remains the most beautiful sight in the world. Other times, we would dance around the bonfire during Lohri, celebrating the passing of the Winter Solstice. Time passed slowly. But my childhood was sheltered, and it was only after I left Punjab for the US as a young master’s student that I gained the necessary distance to truly visualize the more nuanced reality of my home country – a reality that inspired me to fight for change.
I created the Roundglass Foundation to empower individuals and communities to lead better lives through self-reliance, co-existence, and sustainability: values derived from my philosophy of Wholistic Wellbeing. The Foundation aims to create a happy, healthy, and prosperous Punjab. Our initiatives include sports-based programs for children and young people, health programs for women, and sustainability programs focused on clean water, soil and air, through tree plantation and waste management.
My work at the Foundation is shaped by the paths I have taken, the individuals I have met, and the communities I have joined. But most importantly, it’s been shaped by the people I have loved – like my mother. When my father was away coaching hockey champions overseas, she filled in for him, teaching me the most important lessons in life: how to lose gracefully, learn from my mistakes, build resilience, and respect others. In honor of her and all women in Punjab, I am proud to have launched two initiatives supporting women’s health and empowerment via self-help groups.
Though my father may have been absent at times, he made up for it by being acutely emotionally present when he was around. Of all the meditation teachers and spiritual guides I have met during my years of soul-searching, he remains my greatest life coach. One of the most important lessons he taught me was the value of determination, courage and resilience. Coming at it from the angle of a professional hockey player, these values went hand in hand with a passionate respect for Physical Wellbeing. In honor of my father and of the richly diverse sports scene of Punjab, the Roundglass Foundation has sponsored one of my favorite initiatives that supports sporting excellence. By developing sports facilities in Punjab’s villages and identifying talent at grassroot level, we are expanding opportunities for children, teenagers and young adults to play and compete, thereby rekindling the culture of sports in rural Punjab to help the young community make positive life choices.
This success is something that I am personally proud of, and we will be working tirelessly to keep growing this number. Giving back to the community that raised me is something I have to do for my own healing, my own growth, and my own happiness. But it’s also something I have to do for others: because I understand that Wellbeing is never solitary, and that we can only grow together. That’s why Wholistic Wellbeing identifies Social Wellbeing and Community Wellbeing as two of its seven pillars. That’s why Roundglass is structured around Collectives. That’s why I’m passionate about collaborating with other thought leaders. You see, Wholistic Wellbeing is a shared purpose – one I am so proud to be part of, and one I hope to share with the world through the Roundglass Foundation.
Sunny (Gurpreet) Singh