Patiala, Punjab, India: In 2007, Gopal Kapur and his wife Darlene started a program of educational support for bright students from families with income of less than $125 per month; including five orphan students. The scholarship program includes school fees, books, stationary, uniforms, and incidental expenses. If after high school graduation, students qualify for college/university admission, the scholarship program covers them to college graduation.

At the start of the program, our sponsored children did not know how to turn on a computer. They had never visited museums, libraries or other learning centers. Today we have a CPA (her Delhi based company sent her for advanced training to Poland and Switzerland, four with undergraduate technology degrees, one with Masters in Computer Analysis, and six with undergraduate accounting degrees. Currently (2017) ten students are in the scholarship program.

Narinder Kumar, with Master’s degree, has evolved into a highly skilled artist, his work has been acquired by patrons in California. He has been commissioned for specific family portraits. Example of his artwork:

Deepest thanks to Thapar University (Patiala, India) alumni Amit and Varun of AKSH, my dear friend J. Malhotra, and generous members of the Rotary Club of Roseville, CA, for their financial support of the scholarship program. The Light1Candle name is inspired by a quotation by Eleanor Roosevelt:

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Rickshaw Driver: Father of two of our students.

Narinder describes his challenging courses at Thapar University.

Annual winter luncheon party with students and their families.

Darlene and Gopal with Nitu Rani, high school senior, with her family.

Babli and Seema
Babli completed her undergraduate degree and Seema obtained her master’s degree, both are employed as school teachers.

SDSE 2009 scholarship students

Student sort through gifts at annual family party.

Now at Punjabi University, Krishan tells younger group members studying hard is worth the effort.

Our hard working college kids with Gopal in red hat.

In 1998 Gopal and Darlene got involved in the support of the Girls’ Orphanage in Patiala, Punjab, India. They visit Patiala every winter for about two months and actively work on helping improve the education, health, and nutrition of 35 to 40 girls. It was a long struggle to get things put on the right track, but now, as the girls graduate from high school, most are going to college or computer training. One of the girls, Gurpreet, won individual 2nd prize in the national softball games in Chennai.


As long as hunger and malnutrition persist, none of us can truly rest. It doesn’t take much to change a life, Get in touch today and start making the difference.