SIKHS RISE TO THE OCCASION; IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC OFFERS LANGAR TO NEEDY & POOR
Sikhs all over the world have once again shown that their Guru’s have taught and practically trained them to be valorous and power assertive for the welfare of mankind. Sikhs have displayed their large-heartedness and have shown that they are above all types of discrimination, prejudice and nepotism.
In addition to being humble and humane to everybody, they have been courageous to the core and they have told the world that Sikhs never leave the scene where their brave presence is required. In such situation when whole world is locked down due to hidden virus and people are hesitating in meeting each other while maintaining social distancing, Sikhs have exhibited that welfare unto all is their resolute belief and they have unhesitatingly practice their faith while performing selfless service to society.
Sikhs are staunch followers of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest scripture of humanity which conveys the message of love, amity, peace, friendship and cooperation under the patronage of welfare unto all. The decision of Sikh supreme body Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) of opening up its hospitals and sarai’s for treatment of coronavirus patients is recently applauded by Chief Minister of Punjab Capt. Amarinder Singh.
Also SGPC’s effort of arranging buses for stranded passengers at Amritsar due to lockdown and ferrying them to their hometowns is praiseworthy. In addition to all these facts SGPC is providing langar to two lakh people daily so that they should not sleep empty stomach amid the curfew. 79 Gurudwaras under the control of SGPC is collaborating with State and district administrations in providing the needy with food in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. Wherever people are stuck up throughout the country Gurudwaras are ray of hope for food and other services for them.
In New Delhi after the lock down was announced Sikh community took the lead and announced free food for all those who are in need of it. Social media platforms were flooded with names, addresses and contact numbers of Gurudwaras, individuals for delivering food items at doorsteps. President of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee was kind enough to announce quarantine facility, food for poor across Delhi. Former Presidents of DSGMC jointly launched drive to distribute thousand of food packets in slum areas and needy people of various areas of Delhi in coordination with Government of Delhi.
Facebook, Whats app are overflowed these days with the videos displaying generousness of Sikhs donating food, medicines, ventilators, masks, gloves to people worldwide. Sikh Centre is distributing and delivering 30000 free meal packets daily to Coronavirus affected people in New York. During this time of emergency and social distancing a free mobile food support initiative has been started in U. K where Sikhs are delivering free food to the elderly in self-isolation amid Coronavirus scare. Free food counters are visible on gas stations, stores and at Gurudwaras in all over Canada. Such scenes can be seen all over the world wherever Sikhs reside in good numbers.
In India Sikhs in every state have displayed the courage to serve humanity without any discrimination of caste, color and creed. Despite the fact of being in minority their flowing beard, turban and cheerful distinctive appearance invite everyone’s attention towards them that they are a ray of hope for them during this period of urgent need.
A recent attack on Kabul gurudwara where 25 innocent Sikhs were killed by Islamic extremists has not affected the spirit of Sikhs of being in Charhdikala (ever exalted spirit). Organizations like Khalsa Aid and Sarbat Da Bhala Charitable Trust are proactively donating and reaching out to poor and downtrodden people of the society for providing food, shelters, medicines, and other preventive material without any biases. Sikhs have always shielded the nation whenever the need arose and such generous efforts of Sikhs and their institutions must be complimented and applauded to motivate and inspire others in such times of emergency.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Prabhleen Singh is an Administrative Officer in Engineering Wing of Punjabi University, Patiala. He’s a doctorate in management and his written two books on prominent Sikhs. He is also an office-bearer of a number of non-government organizations.