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Be A Part Of Guru Sewa, Support Our Langars To Feed The Hungry During Coronavirus Pandemic

Be A Part Of Guru Sewa, Support Our Langars To Feed The Hungry During Coronavirus Pandemic

Highlights

  1. 'Dil Se Sewa' is NDTV-Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee initiative
  2. Dil Se Sewa focusses on the tradition of 'Langars' by Sikh community
  3. Sikh community has been relentlessly helping people amid COVID-19 crisis
New Delhi: 

Be it a festival or a protest or a pandemic, the Sikhs know how to serve people relentlessly and selflessly. Across the globe, the Sikh community has been altruistically feeding the hungry during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Sikhs have been at the forefront, helping people to tide (don't use word tide in the web copy) over hunger and humanitarian crisis while the world fights a medical emergency. Through Langar or community kitchen in Gurdwara and beyond the walls of Gurdwara, they ensure no one sleeps on an empty stomach. Their 'sewa' during the Coronavirus pandemic is a shining example of their community spirit. In an attempt to pay tribute to this Guru Sewa and raise funds to help our langars, NDTV in collaboration with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has initiated a campaign #DilSeSewa.

The campaign ‘Dil Se Sewa, feeding millions' focusses on the rich living tradition of food sharing as widely practised in ‘Langars' by the Sikh community. As part of the campaign, a two-hour special telethon was organised which saw stories of the Sikh community serving langar during COVID-19. Members of DSGMC, Bollywood celebrities, chef and other experts joined the telethon to discuss the Guru Sewa and how we can contribute to it.

Joining the campaign with NDTV's Dr Prannoy Roy, Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP talked about his connection with the Sikh community and the community's contribution in serving humanity. Recalling the work of Sikh community, Mr Gujral said,

Whenever there has been a problem - manmade or natural, whether it was the Rohingya crisis or earthquake, Sikhs have come forward. This is the tradition by Guru Nanak - work hard, devotion to god and service to humanity. Every pure Sikh follows this by heart. 

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Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP and Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, DSGMC

Enlightening the viewers about the service during Coronavirus pandemic, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, DSGMC said,

This time people were more scared of hunger than COVID. We got calls from everywhere to get food. We have never faced this. We were worried about our staff but despite the situation in Delhi, we have fed more than 1 crore people in Delhi. And God protected our staff and they are all healthy despite visiting so many people. They got the opportunity to do sewa. I would like to thank each person who helped in delivering nearly 2 lakh meals every day.

Harshdeep Kaur also joined the Dil Se Sewa telethon and shared her childhood memories associated with volunteering in serving langar and later savouring the same. Harshdeep also performed a Gurbani 'Satguru Nanak Aaye Ne' she released last year on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

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Singer Harshdeep Kaur performed a Gurbani 'Satguru Nanak Aaye Ne'

Vikramjit Sahney, Chairman, Sun Foundation and International President, World Punjabi Organization talked about the selfless service provided by the Sikh community and how it's embedded in their DNA.

Despite whatever happened like Delhi riots of 1984, nothing could shatter their belief because it is in the Punjabi community and DNA to help when any calamity comes. 'Tan, man and dhan', Guru Nanak says work hard. It is Dil Se Sewa, noted Mr Sahney.

Raju Chadha, Philanthropist & Chairman, Wave Group urged people to come forward and contribute in whichever way one can to help Gurdwaras feed the langar.

This is the need of the hour; where many people becoming jobless, and like they say, it doesn't matter what you have, what matters is what you give, said Mr Chadha.

Actor Randeep Hooda too lent his support to the campaign 'Dil Se Sewa' and talked about the concept of serving people and then visiting the almighty to take his blessings.

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Talking about the 'sewa', Mr Hooda said,

When you do sewa, whether serving food, washing utensils or cleaning shoes, Sikhism gives you a sense of humility, simplicity. I found out every Sikh household donates to Gurdwaras to help the needy. When you are in sewa, all your ego is drowned in the sewa and the service.

Actor Gulshan Grover talked about how langars across the world are ensuring no one stays hungry which becomes even more important during a crisis like Coronavirus which the world is battling right now. Thanking people for their service, Mr Grover said,

In places like England, they are making sure food reaches the needy. I would like to thank everyone associated with the sewa. Growing up, langar has been a part of my life and I'm proud of it.

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Actor Gulshan Grover and Actor and Film Producer Jimmy Sheirgill

Actor and Film Producer Jimmy Sheirgill emphasised on the beauty of langar that is, it doesn't discriminate on any grounds and the community kitchen is always open for people from all walks of life. Talking about doing sewa and the peace of mind it gives, Mr Sheirgill said,

I try to do sewa at langar whenever I get a chance in Mumbai, Punjab, Toronto, Vancouver, wherever there is a possibility, I do it. There is the satisfaction you get once you finish the sewa. It's a feeling when you come out.

NDTV's Ravish Kumar saluted the Sikh community for langar sewa and called it the best religious and democratic practices in the world. He noted that Sikhs don't stand up and offer langar only during crisis rather it's an ongoing service.

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All big movements in Delhi have received food subsidies from Gurdwara. People should support langar and we should have taken langar support right after the lockdown because they had the means to help us. They deserve our salute, said, Ravish Kumar.

At Dil Se Sewa telethon, Zafar Iqbal, Former Captain, Coach and Selector, Indian Hockey Team recalled how back in 1979 and 1980, the Sikh community came to the Indian Hockey team's rescue and provided them shelter and conveyance.

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The Sikh community is about brotherhood. There's no doubt how hearty they are. When we Muslims had no place to read namaz, Gurdwaras opened their doors for us. We have enjoyed the support and we should encourage their lessons, reiterated Zafar Iqbal.

Gurmail Singh Malhi, President, Southall Gurdwara London talked about how Gurdwara helped senior citizens, especially those who are living alone, survive the lockdown. He said,

When the government announced lockdown, people over 65 had to isolate as per government instructions. In our old age teams, we prepared ration kits and conducted programmes to counsel them. We distributed langar to everyone, even doctors fighting COVID at the frontline.

At the Dil Se Sewa telethon which recognises the efforts of the Sikh community and calls for support, a song 'Dhoop Aane Do' written by Gulzar, Lyricist, Poet, Author, Screenwriter, and Film Director. The song urges people to be positive. Talking about the song and what message it gives, Gulzar said,

Life keeps giving you challenges and lessons; every human should carry positivity with them. Instead of feeling sad, you have to find the sunshine. Despite the darkness, you need to find the sunlight, that's what I was trying to say with the song.

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The song has been performed by Vishal Bharadwaj, Film director, composer and singer, and Rekha Bharadwaj, Singer and live performer. Talking about the Sikh community and the song, Mr Bharadwaj said,

I think the Sikh community is a robust community. Whenever there is any sadness, the kind of strength you get from the Sikh community, you don't get anywhere else. Usually, songs are about winning but Gulzar sir's words are about finding positivity and sunshine. 

Javed Akhtar, Activist, poet, lyricist and screenwriter emphasised on the warm and selfless nature of the Sikh community. Mr Akhtar praised the community and said,

Across the globe, we see people identifying themselves with religion and becoming aggressive, bitter and venomous. Despite all this, Sikhs are becoming more and more soft, warm and humanitarian. Sikhs come out miles and miles wherever help is needed and set up langars. It's selfless.

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Javed Akhtar, Activist, Poet, Lyricist and Screenwriter

Harish Salve, Former Solicitor General of India, who calls himself a great admirer of Sikh traditions shared how his daughter has been inspired by the Sikh community and is following their path. He said,

She is in Delhi, she was distributing rations and food. I told her to be careful but she said if Gurdwaras are doing why can't we? My heart fills seeing how India has come together as a nation. Let's use this positive energy to build trust and faith in each other.

Joining the Dil Se Sewa telethon, Vikas Khanna, Michelin star chef, restaurateur and humanitarian, talked about his Feed India initiative through which he is providing dry ration, cooked meals to millions of Indians. In addition to this, he is providing sanitary napkins, slippers, among other essentials. Chef Vikas Khanna thanked the Sikh community for instilling high values.

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Also Read: Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna On Sikh Community's 'Dil Se Sewa' And Feed India Initiative

Gurdas Maan, Singer and Songwriter too reiterated the beauty of langar - how it's open to all and doesn't discriminate. Elaborating on the same, he added, 

When we start the langar sewa, they all sit in the same line or row. There is no rich or poor. This is the biggest thing that we feel proud of. This is the principle of our guru.

Arjun Rampal, Actor, Producer and Model also came forward in support of the Dil Se Sewa campaign and urged the viewers to do the same. He said,

Everyone should support this and pledge and lend a helping hand. I'm going to pledge as well and I request everyone to be generous.

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About The Campaign

About The Campaign

At a time of widespread hunger and a humanitarian crisis, this campaign focuses on the rich living tradition of food sharing as widely practised in “Langars” or community kitchens by the Sikh community.

The concept of Langar is to serve meals to all, regardless of caste, class, religion, gender, social or economic status or political consideration - especially at a time when it is most critical. The Sikh community has been at the forefront of relentlessly helping people to tide over the crisis— and their 'sewa' during the coronavirus pandemic is a shining example of their community spirit.