Hot vegetarian meals

Every week, the Sikh community prepares and delivers 12,000 hot vegetarian meals to Covid-19 vulnerable groups in Singapore as part of its Langgar (free kitchen) outreach programme.

The Langgar, which has been operating from the seven Sikh gurdwaras in Singapore for several years, was extended in March to feed more individuals and families made vulnerable by the pandemic.

"Despite the gurdwaras being closed to the public during this period, a small group of 15 volunteers and staff have been allowed to gather daily to cook and distribute packed meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner - all while observing strict safe-distancing measures," said Mr Malminderjit Singh, a Sikh community volunteer.

On April 29, the community also launched #SGSewa - a task force supported by the Coordinated Care Services. Made up of a group of volunteers, it provides assistance to vulnerable individuals in the community and beyond.

The services offered include counselling and emotional support for abuse or mental health issues, provision of food, groceries and financial assistance, finding jobs for those who are retrenched, supporting children whose education is hampered and providing legal and medical assistance.

"The #SGSewa task force has received more than 1,300 queries from people facing diverse challenges, including retrenchments and lost incomes, domestic abuse and medical issues," said Mr Malminderjit.

"More than a thousand callers were foreign students who are stranded here with various issues, including some who were evicted by their landlords.

"These students, many of whom are Indian nationals, have requested assistance. The #SGSewa task force has been working closely with the Indian High Commission to provide assistance to them such as repatriation and accommodation matters.

"The task force has also teamed up with Sikh doctors to provide free medical assistance to the students and distribute dry-ration packages to them as they are financially strapped."

V.K. SANTOSH KUMAR

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