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United Sikhs launch relief operations in Philippines

November 23, 2013 | By

Philippines (November 22, 2013): According to a recent newsletter released by the United Sikhs, the US based NGO’s “Sikh Aid” relief team has reached Philippines.

“Volunteers Rishiwant Singh and Kiran Singh are leading the relief efforts. The first batch of goods and supplies have filled the United Sikhs stock room in Khalsa Diwan Sikh Gurdwara, Manila” reads the newsletter, which further adds that “[t]he Department of Agriculture reports a shortage of certified rice seeds critical to rice-growing areas of Leyte and Samar regions. For now the team will initially feed at least 200-300 survivors on a daily basis, serving 2 meals a day. We have to spread our reach and impact, as there are many who are left stranded and homeless. It is only with your support that we can increase our capacity”.

United Sikhs volunteers in Philippines

United Sikhs volunteers in Philippines

Upon arrival, the United Sikhs team reportedly met with 6 survivors who detailed their horrific experiences during and after the storm. The 6 survivors: Harpreet Singh 24, Sawinder Singh 26, Gurjot Singh Cheema 24, Parvinder Singh Khaira 23, Shaminder Singh 22, and Rajinder Singh 41, underwent indescribable circumstances. They shared stories of the exodus which occurred two days after the winds and waters subsided.

Sawinder Singh, 26, detailed vividly, “Thousands of shell-shocked victims, including children and the elderly, walked twenty kilometers for eight hours, out of the affected area which contained dead bodies scattered all around.”

The only reason they are able to recount this ordeal and are alive is because their house was on a little hill about 25 feet higher than ground level. The beach house of their neighborhood, in Sagkahan Bliss, Tacloban, had mother, Ramandeep Kaur, and her daughter-in-law, Palwinder Kaur, residing within. Unfortunately they could not escape due to the sheer ferocity of the typhoon along with flying debris; they were eventually swept away and their bodies were found a few hundred meters away.

“We must stand by the people of the Philippines. The devastation is real, the damage is evident, and Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Philippines”, the United Sikhs newsletter reads.

United Sikhs has appealed for the assistance of masses in continuing their urgent disaster relief operation.

“Your donation will help purchase clothes, blankets, non-perishable food items, water, toiletries and baby items” the organization newsletter reads.

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