NIHĀL SIṄGH KAIROṄ (1863-1928), a pioneer of women's education in the Punjab, was born on 22 December 1863 at Kairoṅ, a village in Amritsar district. His father, Gulāb Siṅgh, a deeply religious person, had three sons, Nihāl Siṅgh being the youngest of them. Nihāl Siṅgh had no formal schooling, and travelled with his brother, Tarlok Siṅgh, to Malaya (Malaysia) while still very young. He joined the Royal Artillery at Hong Kong, but soon secured his release and returned to his village in the Punjab to work for community welfare and reform. He lectured at Siṅgh Sabhā dīvāns. He founded a boys' school in his village and took a leading part in establishing a Sikh society called Mājhā Khālsā Dīwān. The first meeting of the Dīwān, held on 17-19 February 1905 at Tarn Tāran, was largely attended by people from all parts of the Punjab. A concrete outcome of this conclave was a girls' school established at Kairoṅ. The girls school was a novelty in the area and the founder, Nihāl Siṅgh, encountered considerable opposition, but he persisted with his plans and in May 1913 laid the cornerstone of a boarding house for girls as well. Accompanied by Bābā Dial Siṅgh and a group of students from his school, Nihāl Siṅgh visited Malaya, Hong Kong and Shanghai to raise funds for the school and the hostel attached to it. Mahārājā Bhūpinder Siṅgh, ruler of the princely state of Paṭiālā, performed, on 14 March 1916, the opening ceremony of the hostel which celebrating the name of a member of the Paṭiālā family was called Mātā Sāhib Kaur Bhujhaṅgaṇ Āshram. Nihāl Siṅgh also instituted at the school an annual women's conference which became an active agent of social reform.

         Bhāī Nihāl Siṅgh died on 20 November 1928. One of his sons, Partāp Siṅgh Kāiroṅ, took active part in India's struggle for freedom, and won renown as a political leader.


  1. Parcharak, Dayāl Siṅgh, Jīvan Bhāī Nihāl Siṅgh Kairoṅ. n.d.
  2. Mubarak Singh, ed., Kairoṅ. Ludhiana, 1963
  3. Teja Singh and Nanak Singh, ed., Silver Jubilee Book. Amritsar, 1935

Gursharan Siṅgh