Tightly holding a plastic water bottle in her hand virtually on the verge of squeezing it, she was forced to interrupt the proceedings of the conference blatantly violating the decorum and norms of the proceeding. She shouted not as a delegate of a helpless NGO whose documentation remains doubtful in the world of authenticity, but as a human being who sought answers to the false claims of Humanitarian Intervention and Relief. She was sick of listening to the big powers debating on eventual control and not to save the world. She was gagged. Well, sipping coffee slowly she struck a conversation with a senior delegate. The talk smoothed out flourishing into a comfort level. Not being able to hold back her tears since she stormed out of the petty level of debate which was argued at an extremely insensitive level, she asked the delegate as to what can be the solution to the humanitarian crisis once and for all?
He stared deeply at her red face and after taking a couple of more minutes he finally answered, “Until you do not feel the pain suffered by that Syrian Kid who faces the vagary of war in the form of an endless brutal carnage, till then no use of shouting unnecessarily and claiming to be the saving grace of humanity.”
Someone had lit a bulb of intellectual seed in her brain as well as an emotional shrill permeating in the deepest layers of her heart. She took on a voyage to search for her answers and professed never to back down. From pillar to post, she examined the intellectual maps of BBC documentaries, books, interviews, newspapers trying to break concrete. After a lot of setbacks, she read a book on Sikh Gurus in the pursuit of finding some peace and solitude in a religious space. The author narrated an extremely progressive account of all the Sikh Gurus whose lives revolved around evolving social justice, humility, faith in God and humanity and elimination of any form of discrimination to any person irrespective of discrimination. The long period stretching from the time and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev ji till Guru Gobind Singh ji, the whole religion underwent circumstantial changes.
From undertaking the path of peace, kirat karo, naak japo and vand chakho, Sikhs gradually honed their identity under the aegis of the bravest saint soldier, Guru Gobind Singh Ji. He gave the Sikhs a new identity with the Khalsa Panth. In order to be baptised under the Khalsa Panth, there are five external manifestations which are to be a part of one’s life forever. Over the years, the spirit of Khalsa Panth established itself as an indomitable spirit. Sikhs were more than ever fiercely protective about their identity and were living examples of doing good and punishing the evil doer apart from being exceptionally good military fighters. Like the Khalsa Panth which continues to function as a democratic institution, there was another practice among Sikhs which make them stand apart from the whole universe.
And that is the custom of Langar, started in the medieval history by one of the early Sikh Gurus, it soon took the form of a regular functioning of a community kitchen. Everything at the Langar centre used to be cooked fresh; people voluntarily came there to offer their services to feed the needy. Guru Sahib once refused a hefty sum of land and other fortunes by the then Emperor Akbar as he said the Custom of Langar is to be built brick by brick by all the followers, it does not need luxuries settings or money. All it needs is faith and recognising the whole human race as one. It never relied on the fortunes of the rich and privileged. It was a voluntary service undertaken by all willing to submit themselves to the service of mankind and will of God. It is an age-old and evergreen living testimony of the practice of humility where the rich and poor sit down together and eat together.
The recognition of the whole human race as one and the utmost faith in humanity based on the absolute negation of discrimination is deeply entrenched in the most selfless and fearless organization named Khalsa Aid. It is a perfect amalgamation in an etymological sense of two words Khalsa “the fearless spirit” and Aid “the langar and seva spirit”. With these two meanings, the message of Sikhism rises above any sort of communalism, religious bigotry, division, physical barriers and enmity. All these form the bedrock of Khalsa Aid.
Our volunteers are continuing to serve over 10,000meals daily to those affected by the floods.
— Khalsa Aid (@Khalsa_Aid) 21 August 2018
Over the years Khalsa Aid has embarked on the path of selfless service on the lines of honesty imparted by Sikhism. Khalsa Aid responds to calls of urgency and humanitarian crises. It converts the dreams of alleviating hungriness and removing shaking faiths of people in humanity into reality. The founder of the NGO, Ravi Singh has been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. Khalsa Aid has its reach all over the whole world. It has subsequently set up community schools, initiated efforts for clean drinking water in remote corners of Africa, provided meals in the most dangerous war zones. What astonishes me about Khalsa Aid is the earnest encouragement it gives to young volunteers to offer their services.
Floods have recently wreaked havoc in the state of Kerela wherein 800,000 people have been displaced, and over 350 people have died. The actual damage can only be assessed when the water recedes back. The roads are now not fit for driving, houses have been reduced to rubble, and people are risking their lives to save others. God’s Own country is truly facing the flurries of nature. Khalsa Aid has taken it upon itself to feed more than 10,000 people a day with hot and fresh cooked meals in the ravished areas of Kerala. It has carved a niche for itself in providing medical facilities to the affected people. Winning over the hearts of people not only in distress but it inspired a kid like me who mustered the courage to write about this organisation sitting far away from the conflict zone and wishing someday to bring a smile on the faces of people in need. In collaboration with the Gurudwara at Kochi, Khalsa Aid volunteers have set up their base. The pertinent point is how to manage the crowds who are hungry and haplessly in need of some relief. The credit goes to the deep sense of humanity and patience in all the volunteers who have kept the spirits in ‘chardi kala’ (a state of optimism) always.
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