Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Visit to Gurdwara Sri Punja Sahib

The silence of the road and the scorching heat was all that my mind could perceive on our journey to Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib. It was curiosity mixed with certain preconceived notions that had gotten me on my toes. I expected complaints; I feared that I would meet an angry community, paying the heavy price of living in a country that herself is paying the price for her geographical location, torn by dirty politics, a country where power, absolute power over people comes in many guises, be it in the form of manipulating in the name of God or in the name of democracy.
On the contrary, I met a people so hospitable and full of warmth that I felt more like a guest than a visitor who had actually gone there to help the Internally Displaced People. We were received by Dr Soran Singh, who was in charge of the affairs of the IDPs. What can be said about the significance of Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib except that it is to the Sikh community what Mecca is to the Muslims. The atmosphere inside was that of peace and friendliness. We were not Sikh or Muslim or Christian but just one people who shared the same dreams for the land we inhabit, for the land that is so dear to us, for which some are paying a heavier price than others.
The management of the IDPs was appreciable. I can criticize a lot of institutions here for not acting responsibly enough, but it is important to appreciate those who are working on their own, and realizing that even if we find all the institutions responsible for the plight of these homeless people, it will still not solve their problems. Some of the IDPs had started going back, while many still awaited news from their hometowns. Dr Singh’s speech epitomized all that was needed to be said and understood, that we are first of all united by the impregnable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, then comes nationality or religion.
by Tajrin Midhat
Tajrin is a student of Economics at the University College of Islamabad



We donated Rs 150,000 in the IDP Fund for displaced Sikhs to help those who were returning to their homes.

" We really appreciat our friends' help and concern for us. Their last visit helped in giving us hope and by involving children in painting images of Sikh and Muslim harmony, they gave them a feeling that all religions teach humanity". Dr. Soran Singh.


Dr. Soran Singh presented us with Sarpaa which literally means head to toe, however it is the name of the yellow scarf called Sarpaa which is given to special guests as a wish that they have blessings from head to toe.

In a corner Nosheen got the children and adults involved in painting a mural.



All the young artists recieved a copy of 'Sadako's Prayer'

The 'not so young artists' also recieved a copy of the book.

Tajrin Midhat, Fauzia Minallah, Sarah Mehmood Akhtar,  Ghazala Minallah Padma Kaur from Teera and young students who accompanied us.
THANKS TO AMNA PARACHA, FAMILY OF SURAYYA KHALID ( Late) AND ZONTA CLUB WE WERE ABLE TO DONATE TO SIKH IDP FUND AT GURDWARA PANJA SAHIB.
Photos by Fauzia Minallah and Nosheen Malik copyright Funkor Child Art Center.

3 comments:

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  3. what a beautiful cause by beautiful people

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