Sunday, 25 September 2005
11 Assu (Samvat 537 Nanakshahi)
The Salvation Army has called upon UNITED SIKHS to provide them volunteers for work at relief centers. Read their appeal at: www.unitedsikhs.org/katrina/salvation_army_request_250905.htm
Dallas, TX: Due to the threat posed by Hurricane Rita an unprecedented two million people evacuated their homes in Galveston, Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Houston to seek safer grounds. Dallas was the main destination as human traffic traveled at a snail's pace of sixty miles in twelve hours. In response to Hurricane Rita UNITED SIKHS established a command center in Garland Texas to look into the evacuees' needs.
UNITED SIKHS volunteers had contacted members of the Houston sangat to ensure the safekeeping of the Guru Granth Sahib. In the Sikh Center of Gulf Coast, in Houston, UNITED SIKHS volunteers Jarnail Singh and Dhian Singh took the responsibility to ensure that this would take place. They brought to Dallas all seven of the saroops of Guru Granth Sahib. It took a total of 23 ½ hours for a journey of 250 miles.
"We wanted to make sure we took the safe road and not risk anything in reverence to our eternal guru, the Guru Granth Sahib," said Jarnail Singh, who is also the vice president of the Houston Gurdwara. Four saroops of Guru Granth Sahib Ji in the New Orleans Gurdwara were damaged by hurricane Katrina. Read more here: www.panthic.org/news/123/ARTICLE/1788/2005-09-18.html
Preparations for receiving the Guru Granth Sahib and setting up refuge for evacuees was undertaken by the UNITED SIKHS and the Parbhandhak Committee of Gurudwara Singh Sabha of North Texas in Richardson.
The other gurudwaras in the Houston area were also contacted to ensure that the Holy Scriptures would be taken to safer grounds. UNITED SIKHS contacted many families in the area to ensure that they heed the warnings and evacuate accordingly.
UNITED SIKHS has contacted VOAD (Voluntary Organizations in Assistance of Disasters) and the Department of Social Services to provide supplies, assistance, food preparation and distribution as well as medical assistance. Work is being done around the clock to locate different shelters being set up around North Texas in which this assistance can be given.
Meanwhile Katrina relief work continues at the evacuee centers in Baton Rouge. According to UNITED SIKHS volunteer Satavtar Kaur, the following emergency work was undertaken in Baton Rouge by UNITED SIKHS:
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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.