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To Kashmir freebies’ offer: Sikh community invokes respect, brotherhood

February 22, 2019

Srinagar, Feb 21: Moved by the role played by Sikhs in helping the distressed Kashmiris in other states, the people of the valley are expressing their love and regards by offering favours and freebies to the members of this community.

Valley based social organisations, volunteers, and other residents including doctors, engineers, chemists, and teachers offered discounts to Sikh community in availing their services.

However, the Sikh organisations describe their acts of “selflessness” as their religious obligation and deny taking any such favours.
Instead, all they expect is “respect” and “brotherhood to prevail”.

“We don’t want any favours for helping the people of Kashmir. The Sikh community draws inspiration from Guru Gobindji’s message – ‘recognise the entire human race as one’. This is what we aim for,” President Gurudwara Parbandakh Committee Budgam, Santpal Singh told The Kashmir Monitor.

“We only want respect in return. The community values a human life regardless of its cast, creed and religion and our concern is that other communities should emulate this concept too,” he said.

All Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) Chairman, Jagmohan Singh Raina, said the brotherhood and hospitality of Kashmiris is famous worldwide and the Sikh community will not allow the vested interests to break the bond of brotherhood.

“We don’t need certificates or any favours for our endeavours in reaching out to the Kashmiri people. We carry the message of humanity and will do our best to deliver to the people.”

“The law and order problem should have been dealt wisely rather than targeting the innocent people. Unfortunately, the poor students and Kashmiris living outside had to bear the brunt. However, our volunteers will continue helping those oppressed,” Raina said.

Kashmiris in Jammu and other states have been facing an onslaught of attacks and intimidation in the wake of last Thursday’s bombing on the highway near Lethpora in which 49 paramilitary troopers were killed.

In the times of crisis, the international Sikh relief organizations including Khalsa Aid, has ventured into the humanitarian mission by providing help and relief to the vulnerable Kashmiris in various states. At least 30 Sikh youth associated with the organization are on the job.

Similarly, the community has set up many camps in different places for Kashmiris.

The rigorous efforts of the community are welcomed in the valley with appreciation pouring in from every end. Many locals have expressed their gratitude by offering free or discounted services to the community.

Shifa Health Clinic at Hyderpora Wednesday posted on their Facebook page that the clinic will provide free physiotherapy and dental treatment for Sikh community for 10 days.

A motor services page, Mudasir Motors wrote on Facebook: “If any Sikh brother wants to repair his car. His service will be done in free of cost.”
Similarly, one south Kashmir based dentist, Aadil Wani, posted on his Facebook account: “The dental surgeon announces one-month free dental service for Sikh patients at his clinic Acchabal Adda Anantnag.”

Wani medicate, a chemist shop at Jawahar Nagar in Srinagar city posted on Facebook: “We give special discount on medicines for the brave heart Sikh community.”

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Hirra Azmat

When the world fails to make sense, Hirra Azmat seeks solace in words. Both worlds, literary and the physical lend color to her journalism.

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