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Khalsa Aid International is a UK-based humanitarian assistance organisation that helps victims of natural and man-made catastrophes like floods, earthquakes, starvation, and conflict all over the world. They were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021. 

The team of volunteers at the organization is often the first on the scene to help distribute food, water, clothing, and medical and sanitation supplies in distressed areas. They fund and build semi-permanent shelters, if needed – anything that’s required in those early days to save lives, reduce people’s immediate suffering and help maintain their dignity.

Mr Ravinder Singh, chief executive and founder of charity Khalsa Aid, based in Maidenhead, Berkshire, said that they never ever thought they would be nominated. He said that it was a humbling yet a very, very uplifting experience, more so for their volunteers. 

Origin of Khalsa Aid

Mr Singh founded the organisation in 1999 after being moved by the situation of refugees in Kosovo. The 300th birth anniversary of the Khalsa was also celebrated that year, providing a chance for the community to reflect on the essential principles of their faith.

Mr Singh was part of a convoy carrying aid provided by the Sikh community. He said the organisation was built on the Sikh beliefs of acknowledging the whole human race as one. It has subsequently expanded to other regions of the world, including assisting refugees arriving in Greece from the Middle East and individuals devastated by earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes in Nepal, Australia, and the Caribbean. 

During the pandemic, the organisation has been delivering meals to hospitals in the United Kingdom. According to Mr Singh, they provided thousands of meals to about 10 hospitals in and around London, every day 50 to 100 hot meals. 

While a firm conviction in Sikh ideals served as the impetus for the establishment of the charitable organisation, Khalsa Aid’s efforts are in no way limited to serving members of the Sikh community. The Sikh values that guide the organization led to its establishment as the world's first-ever worldwide cross-border humanitarian relief organisation. 

 

*Based on an article by in BBC News on 28th January 2021

 

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