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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sikh generosity - material and of spirit

Rose Charities has been enormously touched by the generosity of the lower mainland Sikh community in helping with its fundraising efforts for Haiti medical relief.  In this disaster scenario,  Rose Charities, along with a number of other smaller organizations quickly accessed Haiti through the Dominican republic while the bigger organizations were trying to clear the gridlock at Haiti Airport which was hampering their efforts.

Rose Charities, working with AMDA was thus able to get medical teams in place rapidly. The Sikh community in B.C., Washington State and other areas collected around 5 millon dollars. Much of this was given to M.S.F for its excellent  work  but Rose Charities also benefited from its generosity with  several tens of thousands.  By supporting the smaller scale though rapid and efficient efforts of Rose Charities (which has no administration costs) as well as larger groups, the Sikh community demonstrated an excellently balanced approach.   Many people considered that a more proportionate response from donors to a be more inclusive of the smaller, more rapidly effective organizations would have increased overall rapidity and efficiency of relief efforts, but these organizations tend to find it hard to compete with the well financed publicity units of the larger organizations which tend to have the resources to rapidly monopolize the attention of the media.   In its donations to Rose Charities the Sikh community also patriotically supported a Vancouver born and run organization, and one which has assisted in almost all major disasters of recent years (Asian Tsunami,  Hurricane Katrina, Myanmar typhoon, Sichuan etc) and many minor ones (Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia etc etc) .

Dr Pargat Singh Bhurji a pediatrics Consultant at the B.C’s Childrens Hospital was in addition one of the first to volunteer with Rose for Haiti disaster relief.  At this time, Dr Bhurji is in Port-au-prince working in a tent-pediatric unit which they have helped to set up.  In 2005, Dr Bhurji was leader of the 4th Rose Charities medical relief team to Kalmunai, Sri Lanka.

The organizers of Rose Charities Canada are touched and honored to have been in receipt of such generosity by the Sikh Community and want to express their very considerable gratitude.   Dr Pargat Bhurji will, on his return be central in orchestrating the continuing medical aid efforts for Haiti which will be greatly assisted by the Sikh Community donations.

The Organizations below were especially generous in their donations. These came from their congregations often from persons who do not themselves earn very highly. In addition, many individuals handed donations directly to Dr Bhurji or Rose Charities personnel.   One of very many similar examples of the incredible generosity was  truck driver, who gave half his months salary in cash - some $1000 with the words ‘the people of Haiti need it more than me’

Of special mention here for generosity are

Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara Temple, Delta
Khlasa Diwan Temple Abbotsford Surrey
Mission Gur Sikh Society

Thank you !

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