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This Press Release may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-14-04-2008-00.htm

Press Release: 14th Apr 2008, Monday, 1st Vaisakh (Samvat 540 Nanakshahi )

Community Alert

UNITED SIKHS Commemorates 309th Birth of the Khalsa by Continuing Fight for Human Rights


On this same day in 1699, Guru Gobind Singh established the Khalsa, the initiated order of "saint-soldiers", dedicated to Sikhism and justice. During a time of tyranny and religious intolerance, the Khalsa rose up to defend the weak and defenseless of all faiths, rebelling against religious fundamentalism. Dedicated to delivering justice and defending the equality of every person, the Khalsa became a voice for humanity and freedom that remains to this day. In wishing you all the best on this auspicious day of Vaisakhi, UNITED SIKHS encourages you to be strong in your beliefs and to stand in solidarity for peace, justice, and human rights.

Inspired by the Khalsa, UNITED SIKHS is working globally with various government agencies, NGOs, and individuals to fight against inequality wherever discriminatory practices arise, and encourages you to come forth if you have been discriminated against. UNITED SIKHS recognizes religious freedom as an essential human right and continues to struggle and litigate against discriminatory practices, such as the ban against ostensible religious symbols in France, against Sarika Singh’s inability to wear her kara (a steel or iron bangle that is carried as an article of faith) to school in the United Kingdom, and in Canada, where Baljinder Singh Badesha is not allowed to wear his dastaar (Sikh turban) unhindered while operating a motorcycle. In the United States, UNITED SIKHS actively advocates against hate crimes, participating in both preventative efforts as well as working directly with governmental organizations to ensure that justice is served for victims of hate crimes. In close collaboration with various governmental agencies such as the Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security (with National Incident Management System membership), Transportation Security Administration, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, UNITED SIKHS continues to fight discrimination against Sikhs and others in the United States. As a grassroots organization, UNITED SIKHS relies on your financial and moral support to continue its efforts to advocate for human rights.

Believing in the Khalsa’s dedication to respect every human life and the right to live and prosper, UNITED SIKHS will persevere in its unflagging efforts to provide basic needs to disaster areas as part of the GHANAIA (Giving Humanitarian Aid Necessities and Assistance Impartially to All) project, as it has during global catastrophes such as Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Pakistan, Asian Tsunami, California Wildfires, and land-slides in New Jersey. The Sikh Aid team provides non-partisan global humanitarian disaster relief services, which not only provides immediate aid but also rehabilitation help to the needy. The team also runs projects to help eradicate poverty and has recently expanded its efforts to include blood and health drives. Donate to help UNITED SIKHS continue to provide disaster relief & advocacy needs to those who need it the most.

Furthermore, in the spirit of the Khalsa, UNITED SIKHS believes in empowering individuals and groups to help them attain their full potential and become active participants in society. Empowerment occurs largely through education, training, and community development projects. UNITED SIKHS aims to encourage people to participate in the decision-making processes in their local community as well as in the international arena.

We cordially invite you to join us at the United Nations in a historic Vaisakhi celebration co-sponsored by the Committee on Religious NGOs on April 16, 2008. For details on the event, click here.

On behalf of UNITED SIKHS volunteers, interns, and staff, we wish you a happy Vaisakhi!

Issued by

Baljit Kaur
International Civil and Human Rights Advocacy (ICHRA)
Email: law@unitedsikhs.org
1 646 315 3909

Our Mission

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

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.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

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.