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‘Sarkar’ Has Failed, Sardar Hasn’t’: Sikh Groups on the Frontline

From ‘oxygen langar’ to ‘langar at doorstep’, Sikh groups have found innovative ways to do ‘seva’.

Updated
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3 min read

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta

‘‘Questions were being raised at our ‘Nishan Sahib’. On the TV we were called terrorists. But we are the same. We haven’t changed. The sarkar has failed, Sardar hasn’t.’’
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, DSGMC

Driven by the spirit of seva, the Sikh community is on the ground yet again to help India fight COVID-19.

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After the surge in COVID cases, India is battling an acute shortage of oxygen and medical supplies.

Social media is flooded with SOS messages asking for basic essentials like an oxygen cylinder or a hospital bed. It has exposed the unpreparedness of the government to handle the situation.

Under these dire circumstances, many Sikh organisations have taken it upon themselves to serve the people – driven by their 'seva bhav' or the spirit of service.

From 'oxygen langar' to 'langar at doorstep' they have found innovative ways to do seva.

DSGMC'S Oxygen Langar

Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee is providing food to COVID patients at their homes. They have also put up oxygen langars outside many gurudwaras in the city.

Langar distributed to COVID patients isolating at home.
Langar distributed to COVID patients isolating at home.
(Photo Courtesy: @mssirsa/Instagram)
Oxygen langar at Gurudwara Damdama Sahib.
Oxygen langar at Gurudwara Damdama Sahib.
(Photo Courtesy: @mssirsa/Instagram)
‘‘We have also prepared a COVID care centre with 250 beds with proper oxygen supply at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj, New Delhi. Our free ambulance service will pick and drop the patients. We will also provide free medications.’’
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, DSGMC
COVID centre at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib with 250 beds and oxygen supply.
COVID centre at Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib with 250 beds and oxygen supply.
(Photo Courtesy: @mssirsa/Instagram)

Free Oxygen Concentrators By Khalsa Aid India

Since 24 April, Khalsa Aid has been providing free oxygen concentrators in New Delhi. The demand has been overwhelming, making it difficult to provide help to everyone who is reaching out. To keep the supply chain going on and to keep helping people, Khalsa Aid took to social media to amplify the need for more donations. Now, they have procured 200 more oxygen concentrators from the UK.

Sadly, the death toll is rising unabated. Crematoriums are overflowing with the dead, in fact, wood for cremating the dead has run out. Khalsa Aid volunteers have been on the ground providing wood free of cost.

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SikhAid Looking After Patients in Home Isolation

With 110 pan-India volunteers and 25 in Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack, who are dedicated to working round-the-clock to serve the people, SikhAid began their oxygen delivery drive on 18 April.

‘‘We are available 24x7. We provide pulse meters, masks and any medical assistance that is being asked and we deliver supplies to patients isolating at home. On an average, we get 400-500 calls daily. Out of which 70-80 percent are critical cases, who require oxygen immediately.’’
Raunak, SikhAid

Hemkunt Foundations O2 Drive Thru

After distributing free oxygen cylinders to try to fix the immediate demand, Hemkunt Foundation has come up with another innovative solution. They have organised a drive-through where COVID patients can come in their cars.

Oxygen is provided to them at Hemkunt's office in Gurgaon. But they don’t even have to step out of their cars, it all happens inside the car. People have been coming even in taxis and auto-rickshaws as well.

Hemkunt Foundation has also set up a facility with water coolers, water tanks, portable toilets, food, beds, and blankets for patients.

‘‘All the volunteers are first-aid responders. They are trained. We eat and sleep here. Our mental health is taking a toll. But we are still here risking our lives. And we will help people. We will make sure to do our best till the time we are here. And you all should keep supporting us.’’
Harkeerath Singh, Hemkunt Foundation

These organisations are trying their best to fill in for the lack of preparedness of the administration. And it’s all for a good cause.

You can donate to help these organisations in their endeavour to serve the people who are suffering.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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