March 1, 2016 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Reading, UK: A UK Member of Parliament, Rt Hon Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, visited his local Sikh Community over the past two weekends to see the local initiative that they have been involved in.
The Sikh community of Reading and Wokingham have been serving Langar (free food) to the less fortunate and anyone who will benefit from a hot meal in Reading Town Centre once a week for over five years.
A team of Sevadars (volunteers), including Harijeet Singh, Tanjit Kaur, Aptar Singh and Vikram Singh showed the MP what is involved in the organisation, making and transportation of the Langar.
The Langar, prepared at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Reading, approximately serves 70 meals every Saturday evening.
With over 18,000 meals consisting of lentils, rice pudding, rice and water being served over the last five years, the community are looking to continue with the Seva for as long is required.
Rob visited the Gurdwara to present Tarnjit Kaur with a community service award for her services towards the feeding of the homeless community in Reading.
On receiving the award, Tarnjit Kaur said: “This was an unexpected award but a lovely surprise. I enjoy carrying out this work to serve the community as Sikhism teaches. I hope to continue this work for many years to come.”
He also took part in the Turban Day, hosted by Khalsa Foundation in association with Singh Sabha Reading TKD, to support Khalsa Foundation’s campaign #MyTurbanMyCrown.
The campaign looks at highlighting the importance of the Sikh Turban not only in the wider non-Sikh community but also within the Sikh Community, many of whom may have never tied a Turban despite being part of the faith group.
#MyTurbanMyCrown also highlights the harassment many Sikhs face at airports, major sporting events and everyday events, due to the lack of understanding of the Sikh Turban.
Parmvir Singh, Secretary of Khalsa Foundation, said: “The Sikh Turban has a unique importance for Sikhs. With more and more second and third generation Sikhs discovering their faith and adopting the Sikh identity, both men and women, it is vital that we improve our awareness around this part of the Sikh identity.
“With also a significant increase in hate crime against Sikhs around the world, racial profiling at airports and cases of discrimination on the increase, we want the community to collectively increase the awareness of the Turban is a positive way.
“We want the Sikh community to share their experiences of what the Sikh Turban means to them. #MyTurbanMyCrown is about education of all communities in order to educate and enlighten the world so that less and less Sikhs face discrimination at airports, sporting events, the workplace or in everyday life.”
Rt Hon Rob Wilson, MP for Reading East, said: “It was a great privilege to experience the tying of a turban. It is an experience that the community have been kind enough to share with me before and it always serves as a reminder of the importance that the turban holds to Sikhs everywhere.
“It was also fantastic to be able to celebrate the work of a number of Sikhs who work so hard to build a stronger community here in Reading.”
Source: Khalsa Camp Seva/Facebook