Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

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Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby Guest » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:01 am

I recently attended a wedding in London( Hounslow) to be exact, the guests who could not sit on the floor were not allowed to enter the Sangat Hall where the wedding was taking place since they could not sit on the floor, nor were they allowed to sit on chairs nor as other Gurdwara no benches were present. This was a wedding but this rule also applies any day of the week.
Is it better to be disabled or old and be part of the sangat or is Sikhism now are we at a stage that these people are not fit to hear the guru's teachings.
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby swarn bains » Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:13 am

the leaders never respected the ethic. here the might is right and human rules are at the forefront. it is sad that a disabled person is not allowed to sit on the chair. in gurus abode one who goes with his heart is accepted but those who go with ego and want demands fulfilled are never accepted. they come back as they way they go. so do not worry . do not make an issue out of it. put your mind to listen to gurbani and the mind will be peaceful
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby Punjabi G » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:24 pm

I don't know why some Gurudwara committees have hard time understanding this basic principle. I have been to Hounslow gurudwara and it's a very nice updated building. Then why could they not make arrangements for people with disabilities is hard to understand. I recently visited Southall Gurudwara as well and they did a great job of accommodating wheel chairs and other disabled people who come to gurudwara. They have created a ramp with lower platform in the back which allows people with wheelchairs to be part of sangat in the hall. At the least, every gurudwara should have some benches in the back or on the sides, so those with knee problems or other disabilities which restrict them from sitting on the floor can sit and be part of the sangat.

This is not even an option because people with disabilities are required by law to be accommodated. Why some gurudwaras who should know better don't understand it is besides me. What's the point of a fancy building if it fails to adhere to the teachings of the Guru? I think local Sikh groups and legal advisors should write a little letter to such places so they can make arrangements for people with disabilities.
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby drdln » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:44 pm

Punjabi G wrote:This is not even an option because people with disabilities are required by law to be accommodated. Why some gurudwaras who should know better don't understand it is besides me. What's the point of a fancy building if it fails to adhere to the teachings of the Guru? I think local Sikh groups and legal advisors should write a little letter to such places so they can make arrangements for people with disabilities.

This is a good topic and deserves attention from any person with conscious, sikh or not. This has nothing to do with sikh religion or gurbani; it is the rules made to discriminate and keep people away from sangat and waheguru. Every sikh should fight this internal conflict. Make sure that people who can't sit on the floor are accommodated.

I may add few more comments related to this topic:
Older people find it hard to sit on the floor for 2-3 hours and some have stopped coming to Gurudwaras.

Sitting on chairs should be allowed and guilt trip should be avoided.
Guru and God are higher than any chair balcony or second floor.
If Sangat can sit in balcony in HARMANDIR SAHIB, THEY CAN SIT-------.

I, as a young student at Yale University , have attended congregation with chairs in New York . Many famous scholars had agreed with this practice for the west. Dharmik Sulaakaar Committee on 25 April 1935, comprising of: Bhai Kahan Singh Nabha, Prof. Jodh Singh, Prof. Teja Singh, Prof. Ganda Singh, Jathedar Mohan Singh passed the following resolution: “In Europe or America, where it is a standard practice to sit on chairs in religious places - there is no harm in sitting on chairs in Gurdwaras, provided that Guru Granth Sahib is placed at a higher elevation.”
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby Nihal Singh Kanakpuria » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:46 pm

SSA,

I agree with you, I don't understand why not. There is no reason why every Gurudwara can't have a few chairs for old and physically challenged. In my view it should be mandatory.

To be fair to I have seen a lot of Gurudwara have started having a few chairs in the corner or just a step/stool for old people to sit comfortably and enjoy Gurbani, and the newer constructions or renovations also consider needs of physically challenged devotees. Its changing but we are not there yet.


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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby nirnamsingh » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:40 pm

If our gurdwara management has made no provision for disabled
to sit in sangat, we have elected insensitive people for the job.
Bear them, till we elect right people for the job. Don't forget that
Next time.

Nirnam Singh.
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby vikramjit gurufateh singh » Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:15 am

Pyaari Saadh Sangat Ji,

I've noticed a change and many Gurudwaras provide chairs and benches for handicapped. Just yesterday there was a Kirtan Samagam opposite Sector 34 Chandigarh and chairs were provided for the handicapped.

We need to take up this issue with Gurudawra Managements. I feel take it up with SGPC. And with SGPC the best way is meeting them and putting your point across.

Guru Rakha

Vikramjit Singh
kabeer kookar ram ko mutheea maero nao ||
Kabeer, I am the Lord's dog; Moti is my name.
galae hamarae jaevaree jeh khinchai theh jao ||74||
There is a chain around my neck; wherever I am pulled, I go. ||74||
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Re: Old and Disabled Sangat Discrimination

Postby drdln » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:19 pm

vikramjit gurufateh singh wrote:Pyaari Saadh Sangat Ji,
...We need to take up this issue with Gurudawra Managements. I feel take it up with SGPC. And with SGPC the best way is meeting them and putting your point across.
Vikramjit Singh

Very good suggestion. But who will take up with SGPC or Jathedar so that they issue hukam to all the gurdwaras in India and abroad. Since you are in India, Singh ji, can you or someone from there take initiative and then we do whatever is needed.
Good to see your presence after a long time. [BTW, I just came back from India. We have place in sector 36 and spent about half of month's visit there.]
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