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This Community Voice may be read online at: http://www.unitedsikhs.org/PressReleases/COMVCE-25-05-2009-00.htm

Community Voice

Monday, 25th May 2009

11th Jyeth (Samvat 541 Nanakshahi)

1984 - A Remembrance with Poems for Peace

New Delhi: On April 11th 2009, UNITED SIKHS organised a workshop entitled, ‘Poems for Peace,’ at Guru Harkrishan Public School, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi. The year 2009 marks a generation since the 1984 Sikh Genocide in Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India. This event was organised to honour the memory of the innocent who fell victim to the mad violence and lack of peace of that dark era.

The first 5 minute simran (meditation) session was dedicated to the memory of the victims of the 1984 Sikh Genocide and was followed by a discussion on the meaning of peace by a UNITED SIKHS volunteer, Harpreet Singh, to which the audience of primary and high school students responded vigorously.

Students during the simran (meditation) session

Poems for Peace, founded by an American lady, Lauri Hoffman Bunting, is a worldwide poetry exchange on the theme of peace, with the aim of weaving a strong and colourful tapestry of Peace in the world. After a brief introduction on UNITED SIKHS and Poems for Peace, Harjyot Kaur ran a PowerPoint presentation on Poems for Peace to give the students a better picture of what the project is all about. The presentation included poems and artwork contributed by students from many countries. You may read some of these poems here.

A student asks a question during the slide show

Poems written for Poems for Peace were then recited by a mixed group of students of Guru Harkrishan Public School. Tanisha of III- C, Japneet Kaur of IV- C, Mehdeep Singh of V- B, Manpreet Kaur Parmar of VIII- C, Prabhleen Kaur of VIII- C and Karanpreet Singh of IX- C recited poems. You may read poems by Prabhleen Kaur and Parmeet Singh here .

Students who recited poems with Mr. S. S. Minhas, Principal and Mrs. Raminder Kaur, Head of Department, Divinity

S. Jagjit Singh from Guru Harkrishan Public School, Kalkaji, a guest, shared his views on Peace relating it to the Gurus’ sakhis (parables) of the Mughal era.

S . Jagjit Singh sharing his views on Peace

An interactive brainstorming session followed, led by Harsimran Singh, a UNITED SIKHS volunteer, during which the students shared their ideas on actively creating peace in their daily lives and in the world as a basis for the poetry and artwork they would subsequently create in the classroom. All the students took an active interest in the discussion held. Many students also put forth their views on how peace should be promoted. One of the students Prabhleen Kaur said, “We should bring peace inside our hearts by doing simran (meditation) and paath (prayers).”
Another student Harjyot Kaur said, “Each one of us has God within us who teaches all of us to love and treat everyone equally.”

Students participating in the interactive session

Hardeep Singh, ex- principal, Guru Ram Das Academy, a UNITED SIKHS volunteer, honoured the principal of the school, Mr. S. S. Minhas and Mrs. Raminder Kaur, H.O.D., Divinity with a bouquet.

A CD on the1984 Sikh Genocide was given to all the staff members of the school.

Raminder Kaur, in her appreciation note, said, “Today’s workshop was held in memory of the June 1984 attack on the Golden Temple (Darbar Sahib, Amritsar) and the November 1984 pogroms against Sikhs in Delhi and other parts in India. These were crimes against humanity and events unparalleled in modern Asian history. The interactive session where the students actively participated has given us many ideas on which to base our poetry.”

Akash, a student of the 5th class said, “The event was very informative. We have learnt on how we should maintain peace in our lives and also promote it so that this world could become peaceful”

On a concluding note, UNITED SIKHS expressed thanks to the principal and the other staff of the school for their support and co-operation. Refreshments were then served to all.

Issued By:
Komalmeet Kaur
Project Coordinator
Tel: +91-9818096705

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.