The Goa Sikh Youth, a voluntary organization composed of members of the Sikh group in Goa, felicitated 31 Good Samaritans and organizations which are selflessly serving to Covid-19 sufferers and their households throughout the pandemic within the state.
The world over, the Sikh community is known for its generosity and sense of service to others, especially the less fortunate. And in keeping with their tradition of feeding the needy, the Goa Sikh Youth group has been distributing packed food to the patients and their relatives at the Goa Medical College, Bambolim.
The decision to begin this food service was taken after the group learned about the difficulties faced by COVID patients and their relatives in finding oxygen cylinders and nutritious meals.
The group organized a three-day prayer known as ‘Akhand Paath’ for the well-being and good well-being of all Goans on the Gurudwara Singh Sabha at Betim, just lately. After the prayers, the group honored the contributors and volunteers with the Goa Sikh Youth Covid Warriors plaque and the normal ‘saropa’, a saffron scarf that’s used to cowl one’s head.
Amongst those who had been honored had been Arturo D’Souza, who gave a part of their premises in Santa Cruz to arrange the langar Sewa (group kitchen).
“This is all based on the whole philosophy of Sikhism, which promotes the service of ‘langar’ (also known as community kitchen in the Sikh tradition wherein food is served to everyone without any discrimination). This basically means that nobody in the world should go hungry without food in any circumstances,” says one of the volunteers, Sukhvinder Singh, adding that they decided that the ideal place for serving such meals was GMC.
“D’Souza supplied an area in his home compound and that is the place the group kitchen arranged. The proximity to the GMC was vital because it was the most important level of meal distribution that had quite a lot of needy individuals coming by,” a group member Sukhvinder Singh stated.
The Gaur Military Soccer Fan Group, Rotary Golf equipment of Ponda, Porvorim, Panaji, and Bardez coastal apart from the Lions Membership, Calangute had been additionally felicitated.
And their whole service is based on community strength wherein people come in and donate rations and other provisions required to prepare meals. In fact, in the last few days, a couple of villagers have come and donated generously.
“People have been really supportive because I think they are no longer just waiting for the government or agencies to take care of things. Now citizens are also coming forward to do their bit,” he says. However, he adds, they need more contributions in terms of provisions, ration, etc, so that more people can benefit from these meals.
Besides this, they also receive calls for other support in terms of oxygen cylinders, etc, and the group tries to utilize their network and provide that bit of relief. “In the last few days there have been 40 locations where the group has been able to deliver the required cylinders,” says Singh.
This is not the first time that the group has come to the aid of fellow Goans during the pandemic. Last year too, during the lockdown, the Goa Sikh Youth provided free meals to the migrants who were stranded and did not have access to even basic necessities, including food.