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 Richmond Gurdwara Helping Ukrainians

Los Angeles, May 31, 2022 Sanghera
Ramesh/ A.Gary Singh

It is a very tragic development when one country attacks another sovereign country without any valid reason or provocation. Since February 24 of this year, Ukraine and its citizens have been devastated by the attack on them by Russia. A lush green and thriving country is mostly in ruins now. This tragedy has attracted worldwide sympathy and support for Ukraine, its leadership and the people of Ukraine. The rule of law and democracy must be respected and defended. With a few exceptions, nearly every law abiding country and citizen has pledged to stand with Ukraine in their hour of need.

In this context the Canadian government and people must be commended for the timely and prompt response to help the government and people of Ukraine.  Hats off to the president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and the brave Ukrainians for standing up with such determination in defence of their freedom.  As a sovereign nation, Ukrainians have every right to decide their own destiny .It is very encouraging to note that in Ukraine’s hour of need, the South Asian community in general and Sikhs in particular have been in the forefront helping the people of Ukraine.

Various organizations have been engaged in helping people fleeing the war in Ukraine. United Sikhs is one of those organizations that sprang into action within days of this attack on Ukraine. It set up a camp called Camp Nalwa named after the famous general of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Hari Singh Nalwa, in Madyka, Poland. Here; they have been providing free food, warm clothing and other necessities of life to international students, refugees and others fleeing the devastation in Ukraine. In this process, United Sikhs has helped hundreds of thousands of needy people. In addition to that, United Sikhs has retrieved a number of sacred Gutkas and Sainchies of the Sikh faith and have sent them to the National Sikh Museum in Derby, England. The management committee of Gurdwara Nanak Niwas is pleased to assist United Sikhs in its efforts to help those who need it the most. On Sunday, May 29, Mrs. Kashmir Kaur Johal, our Chairperson, in the company of a number of directors, presented a cheque for $30,000 to the representatives of United Sikhs. This amount should enable this organization in helping Ukrainians.

 Here it may be appropriate to mention that last year in order to help the people of Punjab as a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic; the Gurdwara Sangat had raised $100,000. This amount was used to buy three kidney dialysis machines for Guru Nanak Mission Hospital in Jalandhar and five kidney dialysis machines for Raja Sahib Rehpa hospitals in District Nawanshahar. All of these machines are being used for the benefit of those who can ill afford them. In both cases we have excellent relationship with the local managements there. Gurdwara Nanak Niwas (aka as #5 Road Gurdwara) management is very thankful to its congregation and all of the donors for making it all possible. Gestures like these go a long way in creating and maintaining a very positive image of our community.

Balwant Sanghera
General Secretary,
India Cultural Centre of Canada  Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, Richmond, BC