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From the Field
Relief Workers' Report

GLOBAL SIKHS is an international relief effort to help the victims of the Tsunami in South East Asia. The mission is open to people from all races, religions and nationalities. The mission is a partnership between Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia, a 41-year old Malaysian-based youth organization, UNITED SIKHS, an international non-profit human development NGO, and Waves of Mercy, a group of Langkawi-based sailors. Our mission is to assist the humanitarian relief operations in Aceh, Indonesia, in the most effective manner possible.


Messages from Aceh

The GLOBAL SIKHS-WAVES OF MERCY team in Aceh, Indonesia, is still managing the 12 camps on Pulau Weh, the island just north of Banda Aceh. Here are nippets of what’s happening there – they are from the text messages sent by volunteer Harcharanjit Singh a.k.a.Raja.

But we’ll start with a message another volunteer, Darshan Kaur, a journalist/radio producer who joined the team about a week ago. From day one of the mission, she has been assisting at the command centre. NewsFeed has run some of her postings earlier.

Her husband, Mohan Singh, was a member of the second mission.

The team is preparing to send out the fourth mission.

From Darshan Kaur
Feb 13: 17.34

It has been hectic here Followed Raja to village to build a septic tank and two toilets in the displaced people’s camp at Kerung Raya. Currently, 60 people are sharing two toilets and one bath. In another camp, Meulee, we are treating patients for common ailments. Since I arrived, we have been having power cuts. Out of six generators in Sabang in Pulau Weh only two are working hence, not able to use the PC. Saving the PC for urgent matters and communication with command centre. Even the fax machine has burnt. Should be making my way back tomorrow to Banda Aceh and the onto Medan.

From Harcharanjit Singh (AKA Raja)
Feb 14: 00.18

Msg from Raja: At cot Abeuk after giving the tents I called the headman aside and told him to stop the money collection the children were doing on the road from passing people and vehicles. This is the only place on the island where it is happening. Told him to the children need to be lifted up and filled with pride after the disaster. Begging degrade and lowers their self-esteem. He accepted my reasoning and I apologised for having to bring it up with him. He said it would be stopped.

Feb 14: 00.14

Today, Harbinder got six tents from Banda Aceh UNICEF. We delivered three to a village Cot Abeuk which badly needed it. The present tent belonged to the village people and they want it back in case got any function in village. So the displaced people were hard pressed to get tents of their own. They were already too tight as it is. They were a happy lot. Today we brought flour and other stuff back to our post from the godown to make distribution easier.

Feb 14: 00.10

No electricity for most of the day. Phone coverage just came back. In the morning, I went to Kreung Raya to deliver pipes and stuff to build toilets and sceptic facility for the displaced people and mosque. They have started work. We bought some working tools for them to build. I got the Mayor’s office to buy and send a truck load of sand and gravel stones each for it. We will pay for it. The cement pipes and tanks came on the ship.

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