Khalsa Aid: Where Few Dare to Go

Six weeks ago, Ravinder Singh visited the refugee camps in northern Iraq and saw for himself the desperate plight of the...

 

image (113K)


Khalsa political ideology is based on two simple universal principles: feed all and protect all, without discrimination.

The cauldron and the sword of the Khalsa, the army of the Timeless Being, shall go together and prevail. (Degh-Tegh jagg mai do-oo chaalayn..).

Long has Ravi (Ravinder Singh) of Khalsa Aid argued that feeding the hungry is the Khalsa path to true "Khalistan"! That is the Khalsa way to educate the world about true Khalsa identity; so that it is no longer confused with, or mistaken for, any other. That is the Khalsa ambition: to win the hearts of all and to work towards a halemi raj, the inclusive Khalsa regime in which no one inflicts pain on another; the vision of Guru Nanak-Gobind Singh mission.

The cauldron (degh) is the common kitchen, the langar or feeding arrangement. The Tegh is the Sword, the Kirpan (kirpa- aan), the compassionate protector of the weak and the defenceless, and the defender of human dignity and honour.

IRAQ: Khalsa Aid Bakes Bread for RefugeesKhalsaAid (23K)

Khalsa Aid is delighted to report that we have now established a bakery in the Pesh Harbour area, about 35 km from the Kurdish city of Duhok and 10 kms from the Syrian border.

Khalsa Aid, with the help of its generous donors, is paying for the machines and 4 staff members, 3 of which have been hired from the refugee camp itself. The estimated cost of the entire project including the machines and a minimum 6 month commitment for the running costs is USD 65,000    Read More.

And so, as the bombs drop around them, led by Ravinder Singh (Ravi), the sevadars of the UK based Khalsa Aid respond to those in need. The message he sent recently is, " Khalsa Aid is delighted to report that we have now established a bakery in the Pesh Harbour area, about 35 km from the Kurdish city of Duhok and 10 kms from the Syrian border."

There are 16,000 refugees, mainly Yazidis from Shangal, in 2 camps. This is a dangerous place which poses high risks for the aid workers as well as the refugees. Most western aid organisations have tended to keep away even before the recent publicised killing of journalists and possibly one aid worker. Ravi has been interviewed by mainstream UK media about the risks involved, and the reason for his commitment (which, of course, as he explained, is based on Khalsa ideology.)

Six weeks ago, Ravinder Singh visited the refugee camps in northern Iraq and saw for himself the desperate plight of the refugees. Many approached him in desperation once they came to know that he was a British Sikh, and pleaded for help.

Ravi communicated almost daily and informed that there were many difficulties in food distribution and food preparation. Bread is the staple diet of the people so Khalsa Aid has continued to work closely with medical staff from the Swedish Specialist Hospital to fund a bakery which has been set up in a camp. The total cost of the machinery and installation is $40, 000 USD and there will also be monthly running costs.

Supported by generous donors, Khalsa Aid is paying for the machines and 4 staff members, 3 of whom have been hired from the refugee camp itself. The estimated cost of the entire project including the machines and a minimum 6 month commitment for the running costs is estimated at USD 65,000.

As from 29 September, the bakery is fully operational.

Khalsa Aid in the field is the practical interpretation of Khalsa ideals of "daan" and "seva". Of sharing with, and serving, those in need.

About two years ago, at a function, I concluded my appreciation of the work done by Khalsa Aid with the words, "From the numerous examples of dedicated seva in the field about which we have heard today, and from the most inspiring images of sevadars in the field we have seen, we are left in no doubt that this is aid for all in need, without discrimination.... "This is seeing God in all; the only way one can "see" God! "

Degh Tegh Fateh !

Gurmukh Singh
(Principal (policy), UK Civil Service ret'd)

Sikh Education Welfare & Advancement (SEWA) network
http://sewauk.blogspot.co.uk/

Khalsa Aid website: www.khalsaaid.org

 

Add a Comment