Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 | Last Update : 01:36 AM IST

Following in the noble footsteps of Sikh Gurus

Kulbir Kaur teaches sociology at Shyama Prasad Mukherji College, Delhi University
Published : Mar 9, 2019, 12:35 am IST
Updated : Mar 9, 2019, 12:35 am IST

Khalsa Aid attracts a large number of volunteers and presently there are around 18,000 volunteers working for it.

A Sardar, a unique combination of saint-soldier, does not always need to use weapons to defend and help others.   (Photo: Representational Image/AP)
 A Sardar, a unique combination of saint-soldier, does not always need to use weapons to defend and help others. (Photo: Representational Image/AP)

Who can be considered a true Sikh of the Guru? Who can be regarded a Sardar? A “Sardar” means a leader and one who leads others on to the path of humanity. A true Sikh must always be a defender, not an aggressor. And during the recent events after the Pulwama attack, a large number of Sikhs came forward to extend a helping hand to Kashmiris who had become soft targets of hatred. The Sikhs did not fail their Gurus and their message of love, devotion and universal brotherhood. As says Guru Nanak, “Listen O mind, that person who fears nothing nor gives anyone cause to fear has alone obtained true knowledge.”

A Sardar, a unique combination of saint-soldier, does not always need to use weapons to defend and help others. There can be no love of God without seva or service, which is presented as the highest ideal of life. All over India, Sikhs offered food and shelter to Kashmiri boys and girls and even arranged for their tickets back towards home.

One such Sikh organisation, “Khalsa Aid”, stands out for its humanitarian efforts. It not only made arrangements for their safe stay by guarding the students at night when they were asked to vacate the hostels and rented places but also sent more than 300 Kashmiri students from various places back to their homes. In the true spirit of the Sikh faith, Khalsa Aid pursues the model of equality, compassion and selfless service. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, preached a non-sectarian philosophy and strongly advocated that it did not matter to which religion one belonged, but what really mattered was truthful living. As says Guru Nanak, “Truth is higher than everything, but higher still is truthful living.”

Khalsa Aid, an international non-profit aid and relief organisation, was formed in 1999. Based on the Sikh principles of love, selfless seva (service), vaand chchakna (to share with others) and compassion, Khalsa Aid has not restricted its good deeds to the Sikh community but following in the footsteps of the Sikh Gurus, it has spread the value of universal brotherhood. Khalsa Aid has provided relief assistance to victims of disasters, war-victims, immigrants and for other untoward incidents. It arrives on the scene and provides all kinds of help, ranging from distributing food, water, clothing and medical-aid to providing safe shelter to the victims.

Khalsa Aid was founded by Ravinder Singh, who, following the core teaching of Sikhism, “Sarbat-da-Bhalla” (well being for all), decided to join a group of volunteers to provide food and shelter to the refugees on the Albania-Yugoslavia border where thousands of war-victims had taken shelter. Since 1999, Khalsa Aid has been providing aid to people around the world, from victims of the Yemen civil war to Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma.

“Focus Punjab”, launched in 2010, is one of the long-term projects of Khalsa Aid to help the victims of the 1984 riots. The main focus of another project, “Langar Aid”, is to end hunger worldwide. It is based on the Sikh philosophy of distributing free food to all. Langar Aid provides food to people all around the world.

Khalsa Aid attracts a large number of volunteers and presently there are around 18,000 volunteers working for it. Based on the Sikh philosophy of universal brotherhood, Khalsa Aid considers the whole human race as one and helps others without any distinctions. Khalsa Aid truly deserves a Nobel Peace Prize.

Tags: guru nanak, sardar