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This Community Voice may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-08-07-2006-00.htm
08 July 2006
24 Aasaarh (Samvat 538 Nanakshahi)
Fremont, CA -- Amritpaul Singh, who has lived and worked in the USA, for almost 23 years, was recently given the 'Home Town Hero' award by the parade committee of City of Fremont, CA, in recognition of his involvement in international humanitarian work especially in the immediate aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina.
Mr Singh, who is known in the Bay area for helping people in trouble, is the Operational Head of Sikh Aid, the humanitarian relief directorate of the UNITED SIKHS, in the West Coast of the United States. When he is not involved in disaster relief work, he helps stranded motorists, changes punctured tires of hapless motorists, transports unfortunate 'breakdown' victims, drives people in need to airports and to their driving tests. Helping needy families to transport children to schools, elders to Gurdwaras, temples and churches is part and parcel of Mr. Singh's life.
Mr. Singh is the first South Asian selected for this award. Commenting on the award, Mr.Singh says, "It's a tremendous honour. I would have never expected this in a thousand years. But it is a tribute to the Sikh Community that I was connected to, and the solid support that we received from UNITED SIKHS members and the donor community."
During the Katrina relief work, Mr. Singh initiated a campaign to collect food, blankets, clothing and other supplies for the people devastated by the Katrina hurricane. He drove the fully loaded truck to the Gulf States. While he was driving to help the people in Louisiana, nature tested his will power with another hurricane Rita, but Mr. Singh stayed on to assist.
It didn’t end there. Even before the survivors could recover from the Katrina hurricane, he flew to Pakistan to help the people affected by south Asian earthquake. Many of his friends and family advised Mr. Singh against his trip to Pakistan but he trod off to another mission. He said, "I am compelled to help so what if I got killed while doing so, remembering that I was impassioned by the cause and died happily."
"Amritpaul Singh is a doer. This award is recognition of how UNITED SIKHS projects reach out to the world. It's a boost to the hundreds of volunteers and members, as well as the young people who volunteer in some of the under-developed places in the world. This award is also recognition of their efforts," said Kuldip Singh, Director and Head of the Sikh-Aid directorate of UNITED SIKHS.
Additional information about UNITEDS SIKHS can be found at www.unitedsikhs.org
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UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.
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Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.
We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.