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Sandhir Scholarship at FSU Supports Education for Love of Community

Sandhir Scholarship at FSU Supports Education for Love of Community
Prabhat Sandhir continues to share her heritage with her community. In partnership with the Mahatma Gandhi Institute, she arranged a presentation about Gandhi’s lifework and planted two trees in honor of his message of humanity and peace at Allegany College of Maryland and Western Maryland Regional Medical Center. She is shown with her sons, Sanjay, Ajai and Vinay. Another tree planting is planned for FSU.

More than 40 years after arriving to practice medicine in Cumberland “for a little while,” the legacy of the late Dr. Sikander Sandhir and his wife, Prabhat Sandhir, is supporting future teachers studying at Frostburg State University through the Dr. Sikander and Mrs. Prabhat Sandhir Education Scholarship.

“Education is the most important thing we can give our children,” said Prabhat.

The Sandhirs first came to America in 1972 for the educational opportunities it would offer their sons. Sikander had been born in India, Prabhat in Nairobi, Kenya. After living in Kenya, England and Scotland for training and medical practice, they came to Cumberland, Md., not realizing that would be where they would settle for good.

“When we first moved to Cumberland, we thought we would stay for a little while,” Prabhat said. “The love of the community made us stay here.”

Sikander’s successful medical practice provided a comfortable life and educational opportunities for their sons, who all became doctors themselves. He taught them all the importance of giving back to the community that had shown so much love to his family. Giving back, he told his family, was their duty.

The Sandhirs decided to give back to the educational institutions that had drawn them to settle in America.

Prabhat became involved with the Allegany County Board of Education. In the 1980s, the couple helped introduce Western Maryland to their cultural heritage during the Festival of India in Frostburg. They established awards at area high schools for students excelling in math and science. They also supported Allegany County’s “Teacher of the Year” award.

In 2004, they created the Sandhir Foundation to continue to support activities and causes in Allegany County. Their FSU scholarship was established in 2012 through the FSU Foundation and is being awarded, and they have another at Allegany College of Maryland.

Sadly, Sikander succumbed to a rare blood disorder in November 2013. Yet over the course of four decades in Western Maryland, he and Prabhat gave much back to their adopted community. As other doctors left Western Maryland for other opportunities, Sikander told his wife he wouldn’t abandon his patients in Frostburg. He served the people of Allegany County for 37 years until his 2009 retirement.

“The community is my family,” said Prabhat. “We are so blessed. This may not be a rich community, but it is a very loving one.”

While her children have now grown and moved to larger cities around the country, Prabhat has no desire to relocate. She does travel frequently to visit her young grandchildren, including the twin boys, who were born on her husband’s birthday – a miracle, she said. Prabhat hopes to instill the same community-oriented values in them that she and her husband passed to their children.

“It can make an impact in life to do a little something for people,” Prabhat said. “The religion of the whole world is humanity.”

The Sandhir Education Scholarship started by Prabhat will continue to help prospective educators in Western Maryland for generations to come, and its impact will resonate through the children they go on to teach.

For more information about supporting FSU through the FSU Foundation, call 301-687-4161 or visit


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589