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About the book
Sasia is the name Madanjeet Singh has coined for South Asia's common currency in the hope that, like the Euro, it will become the anchor of economic stability and regional cooperation. This is the riveting and poignant story of a young man's activism and fervour and of the trauma that he suffered in the aftermath of partition and the gruesome fratricidal conflict between India and Pakistan.
Madanjeet Singh established the Sumitra Foundation (SF) in 1995, naming it after his mother, who held the firm conviction that without education and family planning alleviation of poverty is impossible. Then out of the blue came a windfall: the stocks of the American software company created by his son, Jeet, soared and he sold his equity to establish the South Asia Foundation in the year 2000. It is a voluntary, non-profit, non-political and secular youth movement created to benefit disadvantaged and marginalized communities in Afghnistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SAF achieves its aims through educational programmes and person- to- person cultural and economic interaction.
Madanjeet Singh strongly believes that no country can develop without taking its entire people along. This includes the poorer farmers living on less than one dollar a day that comprise the vast majority in rural South Asia. At the same time, in today's fast-moving and ultra-competitive world, regional cooperation is indispensable and no country can safeguard its security and economic well-being unilaterally. The objectives of SF and SAF are two sides of the same coin, the theme of The Sasia Story.

About the author

Madanjeet Singh was born on 16 April 1924 in Lahore, present-day Pakistan. A well known painter and a distinguished photographer, he is an internationally known author of several books on art and other subjects, closely interwoven with UNESCO's programmes, principles and ideals. During Mahatma Gandhi's 'Quit India' movement in 1942 against colonial rule, Madanjeet Singh was imprisoned. He migrated to the newly partitioned India in 1947, worked in a refugee camp, won an Italian scholarship in 1950, and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1953. He served as Ambassador in Asia, South America, Africa and Europe before joining UNESCO in Paris in 1982.

In recognition of his lifelong devotion to the cause of communal harmony and peace, the biennial 'UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence' was unanimously created by the 52-member UNESCO Executive Board at their meetings in Paris and Fez (16 May to 4 June 1995), marking the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. In 2000, he was designated as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador on the United Nations' International Day of Tolerance.

Ambassador Madanjeet Singh

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