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‘People helping people’: Victorian Premier thanks Sikh volunteers for helping bushfire victims

 

Premier Daniel Andrews‏ has praised a Victorian Sikh charity organisation and an Indian restaurant for providing free food to the bushfire victims in East Gippsland. The Premier acknowledged their contribution towards the relief effort in Bairnsdale.

Victorian government has declared a state of disaster for parts of Victoria severely affected by bushfire, including the East Gippsland Shire.

Premier Daniel Andrews visited Bairnsdale where relief efforts are coordinated, on Wednesday and thanked firefighters, emergency services, and support crews for their efforts in response to bushfire.

Mr Andrews also acknowledged the relief work by various community organisations including the Sikh Volunteers Australia.

“There’s a saying that in a crisis, we should look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping,” he wrote on Facebook.

“These legends from Sikh Volunteers Australia drove up from Melbourne on Monday – and they’ve been serving hot meals to people at the Bairnsdale Oval relief centre ever since.

“And local restaurant Desi Grill opened up their kitchen to prepare food and keep everyone fed,” the Victorian Premier said.

“People helping people. That's what Victoria is all about.”

This Facebook post has since gone viral on the internet with over 23,000 people ‘liking’ it and around 2,000 sharing it across the social network. 

It has received many comments acknowledging the Sikh Volunteers’ “selfless service and generosity”.

A screenshot of messages shared in response to Premier Daniel Andrews’s social media post that acknowledges Sikh Volunteers’ relief work.
A screenshot of messages shared in response to Premier Daniel Andrews’s social media post that acknowledges Sikh Volunteers’ relief work.
Supplied

One Facebook user said – “What a generous and selfless act - we truly have some wonderful people helping others in need.”

Another said – “A big thank you to the Sikh Volunteers & Desi's Kitchen & all volunteers - you are greatly appreciated - well done to you all.” 

On Tuesday, SBS Punjabi reported that Sikh Volunteers and Indian restaurant Desi Grill were providing free food to the people affected by bushfire.

Manpreet Singh of the Sikh Volunteers Australia has thanked people for their messages.

“We have received countless messages of love and care from across the country. We are overwhelmed to see this support,” said Mr Singh.

We are just following the Sikh principles and the true Aussie spirit of mateship and helping others when they need us the most.

Sikh volunteers Australia reached Bairnsdale on the New Year’s Eve and are still there - supporting the people affected by bushfire.

Mr Singh said it’s the fifth day of their service at the Bairnsdale Oval Relief Centre.

“We hope to continue to provide free meals for the next few days, so long as the local communities need us,” he said. 

Sikh Volunteers Australia serving free food at Bairnsdale.
Sikh Volunteers Australia serving free food at Bairnsdale.
Supplied

Premier Andrews said while the bushfire danger was far from passed but relief material and supplies were beginning to reach some areas.

“I also wanted to say thanks to all the emergency services, charities, community organisations, businesses and neighbours who are pulling together on the ground to provide support for those who need it.

“During the worst of times, we show the best of ourselves. And I think you’ll agree that Victorians are pretty incredible.” 

Vic Premier Daniel Andrews with a couple who lost their business in the fires in East Gippsland
Vic Premier Daniel Andrews with a couple who lost their business in the fires in East Gippsland.
AAP

The Premier has also declared a ‘state of disaster’ in the six local government areas of East Gippsland Shire, Mansfield Shire, Wellington Shire, Wangaratta Rural Shire, Towong Shire, Alpine Shire, Mount Buller, Mount Hotham and the Mount Stirling Alpine Resorts.

Conditions are expected to deteriorate from tomorrow as the temperature in some parts of Victoria may soar up to 40 degrees.

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