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US NRI Punjabis inspiring the people in the rural areas of Punjab

Amritsar, Feb 4, 2005

A group of NRI Punjabis settled in the US have taken up the onerous task of inspiring the people in the rural areas of Punjab to strictly follow the teachings of their gurus of simple living and high thinking.

At the tiny hamlet of Bhakhana Khurd in Punjab's Amritsar district, alongside the India-Pakistan border, a majority of the people are farmers. They believe in a life of simplicity, toiling on their farms as a livelihood, and at the end of the day praying to the divine.

The day starts with a prayer in a local Gurudwara, and studying the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib.

However, recently, the villagers had a pleasant experience. A group of NRIs had come to their village to give them an in depth insight into Sikhism and develop in them a rich cultural, aesthetic, social and spiritual sense of the Sikh way of life.

Called Sahib Falcons, a non-profit organisation founded by a group of NRIs of Punjab in the US, it has adopted some 26 villages of Amritsar, to remind them of the teachings of the gurus and also make them aware of the latest technology in the west.

Kanwaljit Singh, founder member, Sahib Falcons said, "Sahib Falcons has undertaken a project in the name of `Langar chale guru shabad', with the aim of spreading the teachings of the gurus. We want to provide the services free of cost. People in the villages are so simple and genuinely desire to imbibe religion. The results speak for themselves".

With the aim to bring the youth closer to the Punjabi language and Sikh religion, the organisation deputed a group of experts to educate the children in their schools. They interact with the students, identify the problem areas and address them with their expertise.

The children who had forgotten their moorings are now sitting up realising the truths and depths of their ancient culture.

Bitto, a student said, "There has been a dramatic change in our lives since we were taught about the gurmat. And we feel that this is the right path to follow. I myself have corrected my mistakes".

"More such steps need to be organised in the villages so that children can know more about their religion. These teachings are helpful in one's life, said Simran, a student.

So remotely are these villages connected to the mainstream that they seen to be living in the void of time. Education and awareness are rays of hope to identify the world and see history come close to them.

The contribution of the Sikhs living abroad is immensely appreciated by the villagers, for in a short time they have witnessed a dramatic change in their lives.

Jagjit Singh, a villager said, "The benefit here is that those people who have adopted incorrect ways can only be brought back on to the right path by following the teachings of the gurmat".

In this holy land of Amritsar, devotion is inborn in the hearts of its people. They live very close to their god, believing in the oneness of mankind.

It was here that the Guru Har Gobind revealed the Sikh philosophy of Miri and Piri, the oneness of the Temporal and the Transcendental. Its symbol exists to this day. (ANI)

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