#iamPunjab - Day 7 - Mata Gurbachan Kaur
"After the murder of my son by the police, my daughter-in-law walked away and left us with our young granddaughter. We were trying to come to terms with our sons death when they (police) took my husband and "interrogated" him for 14 days. Initially I had no idea at which police station he was being held or if he was still alive. I searched for him at every police station in our area but each time I was pushed away with threats of violence. I didn't care for their threats, I wanted to find my husband." Gurbachan Kaur
Her husband was so severely tortured by the police that he was bed ridden for 2 years and eventually succumbed to his injuries. Gurbachan Kaur was forced to move several times due to continued police harassment. "My granddaughter was the only reminder of my son left in this world, I had to make sure of her safety and well being, we drew strength from each other in those terrible times." Gurbachan Kaur lives with her daughter, she is full of love and spends her days with her grandchildren.
I didn't care for their threats, I wanted to find my husband." - Gurbachan Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 6 - Mata Surinder Kaur
"They (Police) killed my son Manjit Singh in the most inhumane way, his body was mutilated". She recounted the killing of her son with tears welling in her eyes and long pauses.
After her son's brutal execution in 1987, the whole family became victims of routine Police harassment and torture, her 2 sons were imprisoned without charges for over 2 years.
"Our home was forcefully taken from us by the police and given to another family in the village, I had to remain strong for the rest of my family. I was still grieving my son Manjit Singh when I had to make long journeys to the prison to visit my other sons. I have no idea how we remained alive, God protected us". Surinder Kaur remains strong and in great spirits despite the suffering she had to endure.
Surinder Kaur's left leg had to be amputated in the 1990s due to medical reasons and lack of funds for the expensive treatment.
There are many more families in worse situation than us. I am content that my family is together and have overcome so many hard times. - Surinder Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 5 - Mata Charan Kaur
Charann Kaur's son 'disappeared' in 1990, she recalls how he left the house one day to visit a friend in the city (Gurdaspur) but he never returned. Despite ongoing attempts to find out what happened to her son at the hands of local authorities, Charan Kaur still doesn't know to this day. Like so many other mothers who suffered during these devastating times in Punjab, the body of her son wasn't returned to the family.
She recounts how local authorities continuously threatened her after hearing of her son's death. Charan Kaur explained how they would often try to intimidate her by pointing a rifle in her face, she remained strong and resolute when confronted, 'I said, go on then, you have already killed my son, you may as well kill me too'.
According to Charan Kaur police harassment lasted many months after her son's death. She recounts 'the police beat me, looted my house and took my possessions on many occasions.' Sadly Charan Kaur had to deal with such terrible circumstances on her own whilst also raising four children. Despite such an adverse environment she has remained in high spirits, bearing no hate or resentment against the perpetrators, an act not many could stomach.
She is a beacon of light amongst the women of Punjab who endured similar injustice after 1984.
I said, go on then, you have already killed my son, you may as well kill me too - Charan Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 4 - Mata Gurbachan Kaur
Gurbachan Kaur's son was 26 years old when he went missing in 1987. She recalls how she travelled from village to village on search of her son, but never found him. After learning that he was unlawfully killed in a fake police encounter, she filed many requests with the local police to retrieve his body, but to no avail. 28 years later she is still saddened that she hadn't been able to carry out the last rites on her son.
Gurbachan Kaur suffered much pain following the death of her son, the anguish of losing her son in such a way had an adverse effect on her body, 'during his disappearance the police would harass me and my family.... My eyes are damaged from the continued hardship, tears and suffering.'
In spite of suffering such adversity, Gurbachan Kaur remained spirited for the sake of her daughters. Every single day was a struggle, but she drew inspiration from her daughters to continue living her life. Her daughters are now happily married and are raising families of their own.
Although her eyesight is impaired and the effects of her ordeal are visible, she speaks with resolute voice. She wants the world to know what her family have suffered. She is here today to share her story.
During his disappearance the police would harass me and my family.... My eyes are damaged from the continued hardship, tears and suffering - Gurbachan Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 3 - Mata Sarabjeet Kaur
Sarabjeet Kaur was a young woman, recently married and looking forward to building a home with her husband Subaeg Singh and newly born daughter. Suddenly her whole world was turned upside down.
Sarabjeet's husband was killed in a 'fake police encounter' during the violence that swept Punjab in 1980s-1990s. Sarabjeet Kaur never found out how or why her husband was killed.
During the violence that devastated the region, Sarabjeet was forced to retreat from her family home in order to keep her young daughter safe from any harm. She left all that was familiar, her home, village and friends to ensure her daughter could grow up in a safe environment.
Sarabjeet raised her daughter independently with the support of her elderly parents, taking the role of both mother and father, a responsibility which was forced upon her. She seeks comfort in the fact her daughter is now happily married and wishes she will never witness the hardship suffered by a single parent. Sarabjeet continues to work as a labourer on a local farm with just the memory of her late husband.
At times I do wonder what life would have been like if my husband wasn't killed, I wouldn't have had to struggle so much or become a burden on my parents. Its not fair what they (the police) did to my innocent family. - Sarabjeet Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 2 - Mata Kulwant Kaur
Kulwant Kaur lost her husband in June 1984 during the military assault on the Golden Temple by the Indian forces. The newly married couple had gone to the Golden Temple as pilgrims but only Kulwant Kaur left alive.
Kulwant Kaur frantically searched for the body of her husband; the military had already taken bodies away for mass cremation. She was left distraught and heartbroken. Kulwant never had the opportunity say goodbye or give her husband a funeral according to Sikh custom.
With no children of her own she sought refuge with her husband’s family. During this period Kulwant Kaur suffered from ill health as well as breaking both of her arms in an accident.
She speaks of how her father always taught her Gurbani (Sikh Teachings) and how she draws inspiration from her faith. "I have always kept faith in the almighty; this has given me the strength to get through some very hard times."
She made a conscious decision to work hard and support her wider family who gave her a home. To this day Kulwant lives with her wider family and acts as a guardian for her families children. Khalsa Aid also continues to financially support Kulwant Kaur.
I have always kept faith in the almighty; this has given me the strength to get through some very hard times. - Kulwant Kaur, March 2015
#iamPunjab - Day 1 - Mata Prakash Kaur
Prakash Kaur lives on her own in Gurdaspur (a district of Punjab) after losing her four sons and husband during the turbulent years that followed the events of 1984. Prakash Kaur became the figurehead and sole breadwinner of her family.
Whilst having to deal with the tragic death and destruction of her loved ones and household she also raised and provided for her one surviving child. The subsequent years were extremely challenging, with little to no support from the surrounding community, but Prakash Kaur endured.
Her remaining child is now married and has a family of her own, all thanks to Prakash Kaur’s perseverance, commitment to her family.
For a mother who has lost her children, the night never ends and nor does the day – Prakash Kaur, March 2015
As the world commemorates International Womens Day, Khalsa Aid is dedicating the next week to highlight the plight of Punjab’s forgotten mothers and widows. They suffered physical and emotional hardship but these spirited women remained defiant in the face of adversity. Over the next 7 days we will showcase the story of those courageous women who lost their entire families as security forces resorted to unlawful and indiscriminate arrests, torture and extrajudicial executions.
The stories highlight their pain, sorrow and continued hardship but also their iron-like resolve to righteousness and honour. For centuries, the women of Punjab have been the backbone of the region. #iamPunjab is a commemoration of their strength and resolve.
Khalsa Aid continues to remember and support these women in their time of need. Will you? #internationalwomensday
After the massive success of Snowdon, Khalsa Aid is proud to present our 5th Hike to Snowdon . This will be on SATURDAY 20th OF JUNE. Starting at 8.30am, from the Llanberis Path next to the railway station. Over 500 supporters took part last year, from the experienced trekkers to those who have never hiked before. EVERYONE had a fantastic time.
Similar to Snowdon, this will be a Sponsored hike with a minimum sponsorship of £100. A number of coaches will be arranged from Most major towns. If you want to help arrange transport then please get in touch.
More information will be added in the forthcoming weeks both on Facebook and on the Khalsa Aid website.
This February show your love for humanity with a bag of warmth. As the harsh winter conditions see everyone turn the heat up and enjoy the comforts a home brings. Spare a thought for those who are without a roof over their head, facing the wet and cold without shelter. Khalsa Aid launches the KA Bag of warmth campaign. We ask you to fill a KA bag with winter items that can provide some warmth and distribute to the homeless in your local area. Contact KanwarSingh@KhalsaAid.org for your bag today. Bags are limited so act fast. #KABagofwarmth
Khalsa Aid Annual Dinner - 2014
Khalsa Aid is delighted to report the success of its Annual Dinner held on 25th October 2014. The event was attended by 170 donors and volunteers including the patron of Khalsa Aid, Sardar Gurumukh Singh. Presentations were held to bring the guests up to date with the latest projects and the progress made by Khalsa Aid throughout the year, both locally and internationally. We also raised funds from a raffle, with the prizes generously donated by our supporters all over the country.
IRAQ: Khalsa Aid Bakes Bread for Refugees
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
Kashmir Floods Relief 2014
Relentless rains and floods have ravaged the state of Jammu and Kashmir; the worst floods in the area for over a century. Initial newspaper reports suggest that over 200 people have died while more than 20,000 houses were damaged. As soon as news broke of the floods, Khalsa Aid launched an immediate relief programme. Read More
Relief mission to assist minorities fleeing ISIS
Khalsa Aid launches its relief mission to assist the fleeing minority communities including Yazidis being persecuted in Iraq. 10,000’s of individuals have been displaced in Iraq and are fleeing persecution because of their faith.
There is a humanitarian crisis unfolding for these communities, some of who are still trapped on the mount Sinjar.
Those that have fled and made it to relative safety are now without the basics such as food and water. Khalsa Aid will be working with local NGO’s in Erbil, Kurdistan. We will be working towards providing emergency aid in the form of clean drinking water, food items and shelter to those affected.
Khalsa Aid - Aid to Bosnia
Khalsa Aid despatched relief supplies to the Balkans as the area battles floods.
The relief effort, which includes thousands of sand bags to help with flood defences, is being led by Khalsa Aid with support from Somerset based Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG).
In the words of Khalsa Aid Chief Executive Ravi Singh who will be travelling to the area to assess the situation, We have been in touch with the Serbian Embassy in the UK to offer our support. Sandbags have already been collected to help defence levels. Khalsa Aid will be sending volunteers to Bosnia to assist with the emergency aid and clear up programme. Our prayers remain with those who have already lost loved ones, those who continue to suffer with flooding to their homes and the volunteers who risk their lives to offer help.
Khalsa Aid Praised by The British Prime Minister
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron praised the British Sikhs during his 2014 Vaisakhi message. In the charity sector, he praised Khalsa Aid (KA), and especially the efforts of KA during the recent floods in the UK.
After Prime Minister Tony Blair, who, in 2009 acknowledged KA as one of the "Humanitarian enterprises which bring relief to those who are suffering", David Cameron is the 2nd British Prime Minister to praise KA.
Khalsa Aid Volunteers Recognised by National Paper the Sun
Recent interview with the Sun - Filmed by VISIO Studios
KHALSA AID: OUR HEROES ARE OUR VOLUNTEERS
Friday 14 February – Khalsa Aid send a special message of thank you to their lovely volunteers and all the organisations that are assisting the relief operations in Berkshire, Surrey and Somerset, UK.
Chief Executive Ravinder Singh from Khalsa Aid, said: “It would have not been possible without the support of our volunteers who are our unsung heroes.”
In Somerset, Khalsa Aid continues to work closely with Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG), who have been the heart of the community. FLAG have become the hub of all the flood defences.
If you would like to help Khalsa Aid please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
KHALSA AID OFFER RELIEF ASSISTANCE TO UK FLOOD VICTIMS IN BERKSHIRE (ASHFORD, SUNBURY, STAINES, DATCHET, WRAYSBURY AND COLNBROOK)
12 February 2014 – Recent image of the damges locals are facing with the heavey rain floodings.
If you would like to help Khalsa Aid please contact email@example.com
KHALSA AID OFFER RELIEF ASSISTANCE TO UK FLOOD VICTIMS IN BERKSHIRE (DATCHET, WRAYSBURY AND COLNBROOK)
11 February 2014 – Khalsa Aid an international humanitarian aid charity has deployed and offered assistance to flood victims in Berkshire, UK.
Khalsa Aid attended a community action meeting and are actively helping residents. Khalsa Aid offered to deliver essential supplies to communities worst hit by the disaster. Tonight, the Sikh charity had members working in Wraysbury. Tomorrow, Khalsa Aid will deliver 10 tons of sand to Colnbrook and up to 40 tons to Datchet and Wraysbury.
Bal Kaur Sandhu of Khalsa Aid, who is coordinating the deployment in Berkshire said: “Khalsa Aid are spreading their wings to other parts of the country. We recognise we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our communities and support them. We will be operating in Datchet, Colnbrook and Wraysbury. We are also appealing for volunteers to assist Khalsa Aid – hands on assistance is needed in all three areas”
Khalsa Aid was the first NGO to provide relief and hands on assistance to areas affected. Since Friday 8 February, Khalsa Aid has been assisting the Somerset region by distributing sand bags, water, antiseptic fluid and other essentials including several dry suits for other community members assisting.
On Monday 10 February, Khalsa Aid volunteers from Bedford, Walsall, Birmingham and Leicester, who recently returned from working in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan, joined Chief Executive Ravi Singh to support the residents of Burrowbridge. The team also rescued animals including Alijanon, a 10 year old tortoise, who weighed 5 stones and is expected to live to over 100 years.
Ravinder Singh from Khalsa Aid, said: “Our volunteers are humbled by the immense support and messages of appreciation. Thank you so much for your love.”
“It is important that people listen to what the experts are saying and follow guidance. Lessons will need to be learned, however now isn’t the time to blame but work as one community – together we will be stronger.”
Khalsa Aid is committed to selfless seva (service) through humanitarian aid work. Drawing inspiration from Guru Gobind Singh Ji who taught to “recognise the entire human race as one” (Sikh principles).
Volunteers are deployed immediately wherever in the world humanitarian aid is needed, providing relief assistance to victims of disasters, wars, and other tragic events around the world. Most recently Khalsa Aid has been assisting in Philippines, Haiti and India. The UK registered charity established in 1999 and is an international non-profit aid and relief organisation
If you would like to help Khalsa Aid please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Khalsa Aid Helps UK Flood Victims
Video: Sky News
KA OFFER RELIEF ASSISTANCE TO UK FLOOD VICTIMS
Khalsa Aid has offered to support the multi-agency relief effort to deliver essential supplies to communities worst hit by the disaster.
Ravinder Singh of Khalsa Aid said 'As British Sikhs we are not slow in responding with financial and other aid. We want to help reach out and offer much practical assistance to the victims. We will deliver bottled water, food, warm clothing – whatever is required to help and support the services and residents. Most of us have no concept of what it is like to have homes or businesses flooded out; everything covered in mud, or worse, and losing prize possessions and then have to clean up the mess and re-furnish'.
Khalsa Aid Philippines Relief
Khalsa Aid (KA) has 'adopted' a small town on the coast called San Dionisio, in the province of Iloilo. This town was badly hit by the Typhoon and over 90% locals have been affected. KA has set up a semi-permanent base in a nearby town and will use this to accommodate all the visiting volunteers. This has only been possible due to KA forming a working partnership with the local Rotary Clubs in the region. This partnership is already producing great results as KA has been able to source aid materials and skilled labour at a competitive price in the local market.
KA has commissioned a group of local carpenters to build new boats for the community so that they can get back on their feet and start earning a living. Initially 27 boats will be commissioned, this number could rise to 50 over the next 2 months. The KA team will also assist the locals with the clear up operation and supply building materials for the rebuilds and repairs to the damaged homes. This will be a 2-3 month long relief operation.
Khalsa Aid is grateful to Virgin Airlines for their very generous donation of 2 tickets for our volunteers to travel to the Philippines to set up the relief operations.
Water4Africa Program: Water Borehole Kenya
Khalsa Aid has initiated the Water4Africa program as famines are becoming more common due to droughts in the Horn of Africa. As, in 2011, Khalsa Aid worked very closely with the Sikh community of Kenya and delivered over 100 tons of food aid to the famine affected areas of north Kenya. Since then we have been working very closely with the Ramgharia Youth Association (RYA, Nairobi) to identify areas of severe drought for the installation of water pumps, which will benefit the communities and their livestock.
RYA and Khalsa Aid had identified a village in the Kajiado District for the installation of a much needed water pump. This water pump is for the residents of village Olo Shaki in the Kajiado District. The water pump will benefit over 1000 people and 2500 live stock . The digging of the borehole took a few days longer than expected because clean drinking water was found at 250 metres! The water pump is now fully functional and has changed the lives of many people.
Khalsa Aid Haiti Relief Continues...
100 Tons of Food Aid
In 2011 Khalsa Aid worked very closely with the Sikh community of Kenya and delivered over 100 tons of food aid to the famine affected areas of north Kenya. Since then we have been working very closely with the Ramgharia Youth Association (RYA, Nairobi) to identify areas of severe drought for the installation of water pumps which will benefit the communities and their livestock.
RYA and Khalsa Aid have identified a village in the Kajiado District for the installation of a much needed water pump. The water pump will benefit over 1000 people and 2500 live stock, who presently have to transport water from 10km away. The cost of drilling, generator and the electric motor is approx (GBP) £16000-£17000, the depth of drilling will be in the region of 200m, hence the high cost. We hope you will continue to support such vital projects.
Crises in the Horn of Africa
The Vice President of Kenya praises Khalsa Aid and the Kenyan Sikh community for the 100 tons of food to the famine effected people of Africa. Please continue to support Khalsa Aid so that we can carry out such vital humanitarian work. Read More
The Horn of Africa is suffering from severe Drought. Upto 10m lives are at risk from starvation. Khalsa Aid is launching a major relief program to help the children in Ethiopia. We will be working with local organisations to assist with the feeding centres. We are asking all of you to get involved and reach out to the local Gurdwaras and start the fundraising but more importantly come forward and volunteer.
Message from Libya Camp
Refugees of the Libyan Conflict: Update
Khalsa Aid delivered 25,000 Litres of clean drinking water to the Choucha Refugee camp on Wed 6th April, and will continue to provide drinking (bottled) water to the most vulnerable and the young until the water filtration is installed at the camp.
Our Amazing Volunteers
This water pump has been installed in an orphanage in Leoganne, Haiti. This orphanage, New Vision has 38 children. Khalsa Aid has started work on installing water pumps in 3 more orphanages. This Water4Haiti program will be extended to other needy orphanages.
The most shocking news from Haiti is the number of orphanages which are struggling to provide for the many orphans. Its also true that there are few individuals who are trying to take advantage of foreign aid organisations by setting up fake orphanages.
Khalsa Aid was very fortunate to have close links with the Canadian military who informed us about the fake 'Black Listed' orphanages.
PURE - Punjab Underprivileged Rural Empowerment
These children are sponsored by Khalsa Aid, they are encouraged to attend school and also Gurbani classes twice a week.The children come from very underprivileged backgrounds and areas of severe depravation.There is ever present threat of the children being lured into the dark world of drugs and amphetamines by individual dealers and various cults.
Khalsa Aid aims to engage whole families of these children in drugs awareness programmes as there is wide spread drugs and alcohol abuse in rural Panjab.There will be huge emphasis on providing stability within the family unit,which includes Khalsa Aid providing the family medical care.We are able to provide the children with education etc due to the generosty of the Sangat, so please continue to donate so that we may contiune to provide.
The choice is yours to make, support these children or see them become the next generation of illiterate drug addicts!!
Recognise all of the human race as one.
- Guru Gobind Singh Ji
We can think of the great humanitarian enterprises which bring relief to those who are suffering - the Red Cross, the Red Crescent or Islamic Relief, CAFOD and Christian Aid, Hindu Aid and SEWA International, World Jewish Relief and Khalsa Aid - all the charities which draw inspiration from the teachings of the different faiths.
- Tony Blair
Tony Blair 'Faith and Globalisation' lecture | Thursday 3rd April 2008