COVID-19 PANDEMIC GLOBAL RELIEF EFFORTS
The unprecedented global tragedy of Covid-19 has led to the most expansive relief efforts since the founding of UNITED SIKHS in 1997. It started with a request from the New York Office of Emergency Management in March to deliver over 30,000 meals in New York City as the pandemic cast its dark shadow on this global city. We set up an emergency hotline in North America to serve the needs of the most vulnerable from frontline workers, homeless, elderly, poor and at-risk individuals.
We expanded our efforts globally to serve communities from the US to Europe, Australia, Asia and India. Hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life have stepped forward to serve. Generous donors have provided funds and grocery supplies to make our work possible. We are committed to offer basic life affirming needs of countless impacted around the globe by this pandemic. The infographic below represents the scope of these humanitarian efforts.
US CENSUS 2020 - GETTING EVERY SIKH COUNTED
2020 is a landmark year for Sikhs and the Census. After extensive research, demand and lobbying over the past decade by our legal teams; the Census Bureau has made considerable updates to the race and ethnicity code list. For the first time in United States history the US Census included “Sikh” as a population group within the Asian racial category. With this opportunity to be heard, Sikhs living in the United States now have an opportunity to advocate for their own communities by simply being counted.
SAVE AFGHAN MINORITIES CAMPAIGN
The safety and security of the Afghan Sikhs and Hindu families are paramount amidst terrorist attacks. The Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom have documented systemic discrimination against Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan. UNITED SIKHS has been advocating for and serving Afghan minorities for many years.
UNITED SIKHS has been providing the following critical services:
Relocation of families to safe areas.
Families of those lost and injured have been provided assistance.
Avenues for Immigration documentation to allow for resettlement being pursued and the necessary resources to obtain such documentation have been put in place.
Permanent migration to India and Canada. Housing and job assistance.
PROJECT RAAHAT: PUNJAB FLOOD RELIEF
In August 2019, following heavy rains and the release of
excess water from the Bhakra Dam, the Sutlej River and its
tributaries had inundated villages in several areas of Punjab
(Northwest India), causing extensive damage to crops,
especially paddy, and homes in low-lying areas. The floods
said to be the worst since 1988 led to cumulative loss estimated at Rs 1,219.23 crore (12 Billion USD) by government officials.
UNITED SIKHS offered the following relief services in the next few weeks:
Dry ration kits for residents
Cattle feed for farmers
Home repair, household necessities and provisions
Medical camps and Medicine supplies
Road repair and flood control
KERALA FLOOD RELIEF: EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Following the worst flood Kerala has experienced in the last century, UNITED SIKHS crossed through floodwaters and harsh landscape conditions to provide medicine and health check-ups to more than 100 residents on Wayanad tribal land. To ensure adequate nutrition post-disaster, the organization serves hot meals to local residents daily and continues to donate dry food supplies and other household items. We also set up a medical camp on water to reach remote villages.
HURRICANE MARIA: AID IN PUERTO RICO
Immediately following Hurricane Maria, the UNITED SIKHS Disaster team mobilized in the most remote areas of Puerto Rico. Coordinating efforts with FEMA, Red Cross, and the Coalition of Hope, our team cooked and delivered thousands of hot meals and delivered aid supplies to the elderly and children.
UNITED SIKHS worked with the leading organizations from the San Juan headquarters and reached the rural communities in the Puerto Rican countryside.
UNITED SIKHS offered following relief supplies:
Over 150,000 Meals served
10,000+ Medical Supplies delivered
Rebuilding of 250 plus homes
FEED THE HUNGRY: GURU NANAK’S FREE KITCHEN & FOOD DRIVE
Through Guru Nanak's Kitchen and Food Drive For All, a year-round program we launched to end hunger in the communities in which we live, our volunteers in Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom, and United States are constantly hard at work, serving thousands in need every month. This program has received honors from dignitaries around the world for exemplary community service.
INDONESIA EARTHQUAKE RELIEF: SERVING FAMILIES
Donggala region in Indonesia was struck by a series of devastating earthquakes, a tsunami and volcanic eruption in 2018. We started serving daily lunch and dinner meals to hundreds of families impacted by the disasters. To help children maintain their education, we donated school supplies, books and stationary. Local families, who are predominantly Muslim, were singing, praying and cooking langar with our volunteers and learning about the values of Sikhi for the first time.
PROJECT DAAL ROTI: SUICIDE PREVENTION & STIPEND PROVISIONS
To help provide support to those at a higher risk of suicide in India, UNITED SIKHS launched the Daal Roti and Farmer Widows Pension programs in 2018, which provide basic household needs, food rations, monthly stipends and mental health counseling. More than a third of the female suicides around the world are committed by Indian women. It is the leading cause of death among young Indian women (15 - 29 years of age). These statistics, coupled with the more than 300,000 farmers and farm worker suicides since 1995, point to an alarming public health crisis across the country. UNITED SIKHS started providing basic food basic (Daal Roti) on a daily basis to impacted families. To further help curb farmer suicide statistics, the organization started providing mental health counseling and monthly rations.
SHILLONG LEGAL & HUMANITARIAN AID: SIKH COMMUNITY UNDER ATTACK
To defend freedom of religion, our legal team continues to advocate for the land rights on behalf of the Sikh community in Punjabi Lane, who are being forced from the place they have called home for centuries. Faced with mob violence, illegal imprisonment of minorities, protests and attacks against Sikh homes and businesses, our advocates have successfully argued for the release of three young Sikh men who were unlawfully detained by local police during disturbances in summer of 2018. We provided the meals and shelter to 350 affected families along with legal aid for 3 Sikh youths unlawfully detained due to false reports of violence.
ROHINGYA REFUGEE CRISIS: CONTINUING MAN-MADE DISASTER
In collaboration with the United Nations Shelter Cluster, UNITED SIKHS is committed to provide necessary support to the 10,000 refugees who have found safe haven in Naikhogchari, Bangladesh, near the border of Myanmar. The stateless Rohingya minority in Myanmar have been described by the United Nations as “the most persecuted people in the world.” The vast majority of Rohingya refugees reaching Bangladesh during this latest crisis are women and children, including newborn babies. Many others are elderly people requiring additional aid and protection. Our teams were able to provide the following relief services:
Meals Served: 1.05 Million
Medical Camps: 36,000+ Patients Treated
Medical Aid Provided: 2,000+ patients
Health Counselor Program Outreach: 50,000 Refugees
More than 50 Workshops conducted
TEXAS DEPUTY SANDEEP SINGH DHALIWAL H.E.R.O. FUND
The HERO Fund was established by UNITED SIKHS in honor of Deputy Sheriff Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal, in keeping in line with his vision to help first-responders who are affected in the line of duty and in urgent need of emergency funds. A devoted husband and proud father to three young children, Deputy Dhaliwal was a 10-year veteran of Harris County Sheriff’s Office who served as Director of Homeland Security for UNITED SIKHS. He was fatally shot while conducting a traffic stop on Sept. 27, 2019. He proudly served Harris County, Texas, his country and the world as a public servant and humanitarian. In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, he led teams of UNITED SIKHS volunteers to provide disaster relief to those in need across Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
Any first-responder (Police Officer, Sheriff, Paramedic/EMT, and Firefighter) who is in need of emergency assistance may apply for the HERO Fund. First-responders are among the first personnel to arrive in response to an emergency situation, such as a disaster or accident. Funds can be used for medical expenses, house repair after a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fire, etc.) or to help cover funeral costs for a family of a first-responder who was killed in the line of duty. As the first recipients of the newly-formed HERO Fund, Deputy Dhaliwal’s family received $1 million from UNITED SIKHS after people around the world contributed to this cause.
- - - - X
“We are grateful. Such acts of care, kindness and generosity make this fight against COVID-19 easier to manage. United Sikhs Organization maybe feeding the bodies of these heroes and more importantly they are fueling their souls and morale. We are grateful.”
- Kirk Tamaddon, Chief of Staff, Kaiser Permanentte, West Los Angeles
“I want to thank the United Sikhs for allowing communities to transcend culture. We are one in the human race. The meals were prepared with love, kindness and compassion.”
- K. Monique Ullah, CEO/Founder of Girls Set the Ground Rules, Richmond Hill, NY
“One of our staff members overheard a child exclaim with glee ‘Yay, hot lunch!’ Your generosity is felt throughout the shelter, even among the children.”
- Stephanie Salgado, Community Resource Manager, Family Supportive Housing, San Jose, CA
“We stand by our four pillars of service, dedication, diversity, innovation and integrity. All of which UNITED SIKHS encompassed in their service to our families.”
- Flore Peralte-Moise, Recreation Coordinator, CAMBA/ The Landing Family Center, East Elmhurst, NY
“We are so very grateful for all your efforts in supporting not only the healthcare workers, but also the whole community through all your generous donations of meals and food pantries.”
- The clinicians and staff of Priority One Home Health and Hospice, Montclair, CA
“You have made a real difference in the lives of homeless youth we serve.”
- Nabijah H. Shabazz, Volunteer Manager, Covenant House, Newark, NJ
“Generous organizations like, UNITED SIKHS are the reason our mission-driven health centers continue to operate in vulnerable communities who are struggling the most right now during this global pandemic.”
- Lori N. Holeman, CEO, Community Health Systems, Inc., Moreno valley, CA
“We rely on the generosity of donors like UNITED SIKHS and are grateful for its support for our work.”
- Gillian Charleau, Executive Director, People’s Path Inc. - Helping the Homeless through Housing, Staten Island, NY
“Thank you for your generous donation of delicious vegetarian meals to the men, women and youth who are struggling to recover from addiction, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, domestic violence and poverty.”
- Terenna V. Williams, Executive Director, Glory House Recovery Inc., Hempstead, NY