A big-hearted group of volunteers has started providing free hot meals to the homeless and needy in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Sikh Volunteers Australia has started providing freshly cooked vegetarian food to those in need in three suburbs, Tooradin, Hampton Park and Lynbrook every Wednesday and Saturday.
Manpreet Singh of Sikh Volunteers Australia said the group recently acquired a van to transport food to these suburbs by pooling in $25,000 for which each volunteer chipped in with $1,000 each.
“All the volunteers felt they should do something for the community since all of them call this place their home,” Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi.
The group is self-funded and all their finances are sourced from the contributions made by the volunteers themselves.
“We have 15-20 volunteers who make regular contributions to the cause,” he said.
Following the principal of Daswandh,- putting aside one-tenth of one’s income for charity- the group members pool in not just the required finances but also the physical effort to prepare and serve the meals.
The food is cooked in a community centre where the volunteers and their families join hands every week to prepare pasta, noodles, rice and curries.
Manpreet says the initiative isn't about religion. isn’t to propagate the Sikhism, but to follow the Sikh principles.
"It is not to propagate Sikhism but to follow the principles of Sikhism. We are doing what Sikhism teaches- which is to seek the good of all humanity and we are just doing our bit.
“The people who get meals from us include drug addicts, someone would be smoking standing right there while we hand him food. We don’t judge anyone, we just go out to offer help,” said Mr Singh.