Coming Up Mon 9:00 PM  AEDT
Coming Up Live in 
Live
Punjabi radio

'A privilege to serve’: This is how Australian Sikhs are supporting bushfire relief

Source: Supplied

Many Sikh organisations in Australia have come forward to support bushfire relief across the country, serving free meals, providing groceries and medical supplies to the bushfire victims, firefighters and other relief workers.

Sikh organisations in Australia have come together to support relief works in the fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales and Victoria.

These efforts are most concentrated in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, Wodonga & Wangaratta in North East Victoria and NSW’s South Coast.

The Sikh community has generously donated and carried truckloads of donations, comprising non-perishable goods like cereals, juices, long-life milk, biscuits, water and medical supplies like masks, eye drops and sanitary pads to the relief centres set to help fire-ravaged communities.

Groups such as Australian Sikh Support, Australian Sikh Volunteers, United Sikhs, Khalsa Shaouni Plumpton, Turbans4 Australia, Care One Care All and the Sikh sangat [holy assembly] at various Gurdwaras across the nation have made notable contributions.

The Australian Sikh Support team serves free meals at Wangaratta in the northeast Victoria.
The Australian Sikh Support team serves free meals at Wangaratta in the northeast Victoria.
Supplied

A team of volunteers from the Australian Sikh Support have been involved in the relief efforts in North East Victoria.

Manpreet Singh Sapra of the ASS says a coordinated effort is needed to manage the ongoing donations of groceries and food items.

“I don’t want to be rude, but please you must check with the local people and authorities working at the front line before you collect and decide to carry grocery items to these areas,” says Mr Singh.

“We have strong messages from the local authorities who have now strictly urged people to stop sending items as they have other priorities than just sorting these huge piles of goods.”  

Sikh volunteers with the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, at Wodonga, Victoria.
Sikh volunteers with the Minister for Agriculture, Senator Bridget McKenzie, at Wodonga, Victoria.
Supplied

Mr Singh says they’re very thankful for the generosity shown by the people.

“There has been huge support from many Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples) and Indian restaurants that helped us conduct this seva (service). But we urge people that from now on they should make cash donations as this amount will eventually help rebuild lives affected by the ferocious bushfires.”

“The ASA collected an amount of over $12,000 with the support of Gurdwaras situated at Craigieburn, Blackburn, Shepparton, Keysborough and Tarneit. We thank everyone for their contribution.” 

Shabirr Hussain from Beechworth Indian Restaurant provided free meals to serve at Wangaratta showground relief centre.
Shabirr Hussain from Beechworth Indian Restaurant provided free meals to serve at Wangaratta showground relief centre.
Supplied

Mr Singh also praised the efforts of Beechworth Indian restaurant and the Calcutta restaurant who he said provided free meals to be served at various relief centers.

“They have been very generous with their efforts. We are humbled to serve hot meals and pasta cooked at their facilities for a group of at least 125 people over this weekend,” he said.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve our great nation. We follow the true Aussie spirit of help and mateship. May God bless Australia and its people. 

Mr Singh says that another set of their volunteers is now providing free meals at a relief center near Albury.

“We are doing this service with the assistance from a local Indian restaurant,” he said. 

Sikh volunteers serving food to relief workers.
Australian Sikh volunteers serving food to relief workers.
Supplied

Another organisation, United Sikhs (US), has also been working in collaboration with the local authorities. 

“Our volunteers are actively working in the field, not only to collect and distribute the goods but also to help sort these items at the local relief centers,” Gurwinder Singh of US told SBS Punjabi.

“So far we have distributed essential items worth $7,000 to the fire-affected communities. We hope to continue with our service for the next few days.”

Mr Singh says people should be careful while collecting goods or food items.

“There have been updated lists of what is required and what is not. Please don’t pile up and rather work according to the needs of the local authorities,” he urged. 

Volunteers of Khalsa Shaoni Plumpton serving food to SES workers.
Volunteers of Khalsa Shaoni Plumpton serving food to SES workers.
Supplied

Gurdarshan Singh from the Khalsa Shaouni Plumpton said their volunteers were assisting in providing free hot meals and drinks in bushfire-affected North East Victoria.

“We are working on the instructions by the local authorities. Our volunteers are providing food-services at three base camps in these areas and we hope to do these services for next a few days or until needed,” he said.

“A team of volunteers is serving at a temporary base established at Sandy creek reserve near a truck stop that is getting constant supplies of hay, second base is set near a convoy stop in Tallangatta and the third one is to help bushfire-affected people at Corryong."

Sikh volunteers at the relief centers set at northeast Victoria.
Sikh volunteers at the relief centers set at northeast Victoria.
Supplied

Amar Singh from Turbans 4 Australia said they have delivered bottled water and groceries of worth over $50,000 ever since the bushfire season started.

Most of these projects were done in collaboration with a Sydney-based community organisation Care One Care All.

“Our recent run was to deliver semi-trailer load of necessary items to the bushfire-affected communities in multiple locations in NSW,” he said.

“We thank our sponsors, volunteers and the very special people who supported us financially.” 

This campaign was run by Turbans 4 Australia and a Sydney-based community organisation Care One Care All.
This campaign was run by Turbans 4 Australia and a Sydney-based community organisation Care One Care All.
Supplied

Mr Singh said their team plans to go to NSW’s South Coast again on Saturday to deliver another load of water and groceries.

“We are working in association with the local organisations who keep us informed about what is needed in the area, and hence these deliveries.”

A truckload of supplies gathered from the Sikh community of Canberra was delivered in fire-ravaged Cobargo yesterday.

Paramdeep Singh Nrain said this collection was initiated at a Canberra Sikh temple over the weekend.

“We would like to thank each and every individual who came out to donate despite such bad weather. We aim for another truckload of collection the coming Sunday,” he said. 

Canberra's Sikh community delivered groceries to the bushfire-affected communities in Cobargo, NSW.
Canberra's Sikh community delivered groceries to the bushfire-affected communities in Cobargo, NSW.
Supplied

Griffith-based Parshotam Singh said that the local Sikh community has collected over $15,000 to support bushfire relief works.

“We are now deciding whether we should deliver this amount to the local government or to any other organisation who have been working for the welfare of bushfire-affected families,” he said.

“We also have 23 pallets of water that have been donated by the Griffith Sikh Community.  It is a great community effort.” 

 

Griffith Sikh Gurdwara
The Griffith Gurdwara - The Sikh place for worship.
Supplied

Sydney’s Glenwood Sikh Temple has collected around $17,000 to help the bushfire victims.

In a social media post, the Gurdwara has urged people to come forward and support the fire-stricken communities.

“If you are watching the bushfire crisis unfold with a sense of horror, we totally get it. It is easy to feel helpless, particularly if you are lucky enough not to be directly affected by the blazes," the Facebook post reads.

“But there are things you can do to make a difference. Sevadars (volunteers) at the Gurdwara Sahib tirelessly spent full weekend to collect $16, 899.20 from the Sangat.” 

South Coast Bushfire Relief - Glenwood Gurdwara sahib organised a fundraiser to support the bushfire victims.
South Coast Bushfire Relief - Glenwood Gurdwara sahib organised a fundraiser to support the bushfire victims.
Supplied

Previously, SBS Punjabi has also reported on the relief works initiated by the Australian Sikh Volunteers who served free food to the people affected by bushfire in East Gippsland in Victoria.

Listen to SBS Punjabi Monday to Friday at 9 pm. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Coming up next

# TITLE RELEASED TIME MORE
'A privilege to serve’: This is how Australian Sikhs are supporting bushfire relief 08/01/2020 23:03 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Friday 21st Jan 2022 21/01/2022 08:30 ...
India extends ban on international commercial flights till Feb 28 21/01/2022 07:38 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Thursday 20 Jan 2022 20/01/2022 11:15 ...
Pakistan Diary: 'Drone attack' in Abu Dhabi kills one Pakistani and two Indian nationals 20/01/2022 06:59 ...
RAT kit pricing 'beyond outrageous': ACCC 20/01/2022 06:36 ...
Big boss fame Jasmin Bhasin and Gippy Grewal’s ‘Honeymoon’ is spoilt by their families 20/01/2022 05:00 ...
SBS Punjabi Australia News: Wednesday 19th Jan 2022 19/01/2022 10:00 ...
‘Day by day’: Businesses welcome extra work hours for international students but call for more arrivals 19/01/2022 14:26 ...
How has the pandemic changed children? 19/01/2022 09:38 ...
View More