About the Author
Author Bio - Dr. Simarjeet Kaur Sandhu
Children’s book author Dr. Simarjeet Kaur Sandhu, or Dr. Simi, as she likes to be called, recalls as a young child reading books in bookstores, libraries, and classrooms, but that the stories did not include characters that looked like her or that spoke of her cultural or religious background. A lifelong lover of reading and writing, she realized as an adult that she wanted to help young readers have a different experience and so she writes children’s stories to spread awareness, particularly for those of Sikh background.
As a child, Dr. Simi experienced a lot of bullying and discrimination, particularly after the 9-11 attacks, by people confusing Sikhs for those related to the Taliban or Osama Bin Laden. In part, this drove her to her journey as an educator of young children, teaching English as a second language, so that she could help build a learning environment that is accepting of people of all backgrounds.
Dr. Simi believes a good book is one where the reader can close their eyes and picture the story and relate to its characters. She wants her young readers to come away from her books learning that seemingly ordinary people, like farmers, are very important to our communities and the world by what they do for us. In her new children’s picture book, Kisaan, she conveys how very important this is in India because kisaans, or farmers, help feed billions of people.
Dr. Simi was inspired to write Kisaan by her two nieces, Mia and Bela. She wanted them to be able to grow up with books that reflected their background. Mia is also the co-author of the book, having originally written an essay about the recent plight of farmers in India, particularly her great-grandfather, the main character in the story, who have been affected by new and unfair laws against the kisaans of India.
When she isn’t writing enlightening and entertaining stories for children, Dr. Simi enjoys music, drawing and painting, building with Legos, and teaching all subjects to all ages. Dr. Simi is also the published author of What is Meditation? We Say Waheguru and What is Mool Mantra?. She lives in Maryland with her rescue pup, Luke.
Press Release - Kisaan
An entertaining and enlightening story about the importance of a local kisaan, a farmer, who helps feed billions of people in India.
An artfully told story sharing one farmer’s history against the backdrop of the current struggle of kisaans in India.
Monrovia, Maryland, October 12, 2021 -- In an important new picture book, Kisaan, young Simran and Sehaj share the story of their great-grandfather, a kisaan—Punjabi for farmer—and the critical role of farmers in India. In this diverse and informative book, expertly written by Dr. Simarjeet Kaur Sandhu and featuring vibrant and playful illustrations, young readers learn about India’s farming culture along with its current struggles and protests.
Simran and Sehaj’s great-grandfather, Maluk Singh Sandhu, owned and worked his own farmland in Haryana, India—his lifelong dream. Along with its state of Punjab, Haryana, India, is famous for its farmlands and rich agriculture where crops such as wheat, corn, oil seeds, rice, cotton, and barley are grown. Kisaans are very important in India, feeding the billions of people who depend on the food they provide.
Our great-grandfather, Maluk, taught us to be grateful for all Kisaans because the work they do gives us our food. If there were no farmers, there would be no food.
Through vivid illustrations and a spirited story, young readers and their families will delight in learning about the importance of farmers in India and what they do. The back of the book includes instructive sections such as questions to review what was learned, a glossary defining the words and terms referenced throughout the story, and a biography on the real-life Maluk Singh Sandhu. It also includes an overview of the current Farmers Protest happening in India, prompted by recently passed laws against the kisaans of India, stripping away their rights and income, leaving them in debt and in poor living circumstances.
Author Dr. Simarjeet Kaur Sandhu, “Dr. Simi,” is an educator of young children. As a child who longed to read books that reflected her own background and culture, Dr. Simi was inspired to write Kisaan to help spread awareness to children about the farming culture in India and the Sikh people. Her book is also a missive to inform families and educators about the unfair conditions for farmers in India and the organizations in place to aid them. Kisaan is available now wherever books are sold.