As Khalsa Aid volunteers from Punjab and other northern states prepare and distribute around 15,000 meals, including Sambhar and rice every day at relief camps in Kerala, some local volunteers are playing a vital role to help overcome the language barrier.
Meanwhile, a consignment of relief material collected by its volunteers and supporters from Mumbai has already reached the teams on ground in Kerala. It is expecting to receive another consignment from Punjab in the next week.
“Our kitchen starts work at around 5 in the morning and then we cook and supply the food according to the requirement in 4-5 camps in the area,” said Gurpreet Singh, project coordinator, while speaking to TOI from Ernakulum. “We prepare rice, sambhar and daal according to the local needs,” he said. The first team started working from August 17. “On first day, our volunteers worked from a local gurdwara which was at a distance, and then we started the kitchen in the camps,” he said.
“While we are over a dozen volunteers from Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and Delhi, around half a dozen local Sikhs and 8-10 locals are also helping. The latter are crucial in overcoming the language barrier with the local people,” he said.
“We try to explain to them the concept of langar (community kitchen) in which apart from provision of food, equality is a very important element and it breaks all barriers ,” he said.
Gurpreet also revealed that they had already received a consignment of relief material from Mumbai, which included sanitary napkins, slippers, pulses, rice, water purification tablets etc. Meanwhile, Khalsa Aid Asia Pacific director Amarpreet Singh said relief material was also being collected from Punjab. “Already a lot of material has been gathered and more help is pouring in. We intend to get it to Kerala by next Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
24 Jan 2020
25 Jan 2020