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This Community Voice may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-02-06-2006-00.htm

Community Voice

02nd June 2006

19 Jayth (Samvat 538 Nanakshahi


Surabaya, Indonesia: The UNITED SIKHS relief team has begun delivery of emergency supplies to villagers affected by the earthquake, especially children, who were in desperate need of milk and clothes. The team has grown in strength and are assisted by local volunteers from Yogyakarta, who were introduced to the relief team by Hardeep Singh Aulakh of California, Director of Sikh Children Forum, who runs a business in Yogyakarta. The relief team leader, Vikram Singh, and Kiran Kaur met with volunteers from Yogyakarta University who agreed to join the emergency relief efforts.

UNITED SIKHS team members,Vikram Singh and Kiran Kaur of Malaysia, had arrived in Surabaya on 29th May on a relief mission to help survivors of the deadly earthquake in Java, that has taken more than 6,000 lives and left at least 100,000 homeless and injured. After buying the required relief material the team headed towards Yogyakarta. On the way, they stopped at Solo. In Yogyakarta the team was joined by Amandeep Singh, and local partners Wayan Nasib, Classic Teak and Chandra (Mata Travel) for the emergency relief distribution mission.

UNITED SIKHS’ volunteers discovered that very little relief was reaching the interior villages. Therefore, they decided to take the emergency supplies to Imogiri, a village on the outskirts of Bantul, the town worst hit by the quake. The Police escorted the UNITED SIKHS relief team as there had been reports of attack and looting of aid convoys. Our volunteers distributed sarongs, blankets, baby food, milk and hygiene items to the survivors. Village elders showed the relief team the devastation and shared their horrific experience. Huge piles of rubble and wood from collapsed buildings could be seen everywhere in the village.

Devastated Imogiri Village Courtesy AFP/BBC

UNITED SIKHS Volunteers storing Food material at the Yogyakarta Base Camp

Vikram Singh has reported that the local school in Imogiri has been destroyed by quake shocks and needs immediate attention. The Team came across many children without suitable clothes and food. Throughout their journey, the team witnessed badly damaged homes and survivors who lacked food supplies and weatherproof shelters. Kiran Kaur obtained oil lamps for the villagers as there was no electricity supply.

“Rebuilding the school and helping the children with clothes, food and hygiene supplies is necessary and we will continue to work towards it” says Jagdev Singh, UNITED SIKHS’ International Bureau Chief for Emergency Response.

“We will buy emergency supply and food material from Solo for further distribution in affected areas” said Amandeep Singh.

Kiran Kaur, UNITED SIKHS volunteer from Malaysia with local volnters in Yogyakarta

Emergency Relief Supply Bags

“The roads damaged by the quake make distribution of relief supplies very difficult. It is good to see the Sikh involvement in the relief efforts in affected areas” said Hardeep Singh Aulakh, who runs a teak wood business in Yogyakarta and whose office building was also damaged by the earthquake.

How you can help: Join the Volunteer teams at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/short_form/join.php

Or call a UNITED SIKHS office nearest to you. See details at http://www.unitedsikhs.org/contact.htm

UNITED SIKHS was involved in humanitarian relief work in the immediate aftermath of the Asian Tsunami, Katrina hurricane and South Asian Earthquake last year.

To read a previous Press Release on UNITED SIKHS’ humanitarian relief work please see: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/PRSRLS-28-05-2006-00.htm

Issued by:
Kuldip Singh
Email: contact@unitedsikhs.org
Ph: 1-888-243-1690

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