DHARAM SINGH, SARDAR BAHADUR (1881-1933), Sikh philanthropist, was born at the village of Kopra, in Sialkot district, now in Pakistan, on 18 January 1881. His father, Bhai Nattha Ram, was a sahajdhari Sikh who became Nattha Singh after receiving the rites of amrit. Dharam Singh learned Gurmukhi characters at the village dharamsala from Bava Narayan Singh. He had a religious bent of mind, and could read fluently the Guru Granth Sahib before he was 8 years of age. For his primary education, he joined the Mission School, Wazirabad, later passing his matriculation from Khalsa High School, Gujrariwala. In 1901, he qualified to be a sub overseer from Thompson Engineering College, Roorkee, and got a job in Burma.

In 1903, he was married to Sada Kaur of Sodhra. In 1905, he returned to the Punjab, and took over as a sub overseer on the Upper Jehlum Canal. In the Punjab, he came under the influence of Sant Afar Singh of Mastuana. In 1912, he resigned his government post to become a contractor. He supplied red stone for New Delhi buildings, including the secretariat and the viceregal lodge.

In 1928, he was given by the British Government the title of Sardar Sahib, followed by Sardar Bahadur in 1930. True to his name, Dharam Singh helped humanitarian causes and contributed to public charity. For promoting education among the Sikhs, he founded a trust called Guru Nanak Vidya Bhandar. The trust runs a school of Sikh studies at Gurdwara Rikabgarij, New Delhi. Sardar Dharam Singh died in Vienna (Austria) on 19 June 1933. Vaid, Mohan Singh, Sajjan Vichhora. Tarn Taran, 1933

References :

1. Dukhi, Munsha Singh, Jivan Bhai Sahib Bhai Mohan SinghJl Vaid. Tarn Taran, 1939
2. Vaid, Mohan Singh, Sajjan Vichhora. Tarn Taran, 1933