Patna: Hundreds of devout Sikh NRIs have trooped in here for celebrations in connection with 350th birth anniversary of 10th Sikh master, Guru Gobind Singh and are enthusiastically performing ‘seva’ or voluntary service.
These NRIs including businesswomen, doctors, lawyers, technical consultants and professionals from other fields are quite gung-ho about their selfless religious activities.
They said they were lucky to get an opportunity to participate in the religious event and do something for thousands of devotees from India and abroad who have congregated at Takht Sri Harimandir ji Patna Sahib the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh as well as other Sikh holy places to participate in the celebrations. The celebrations kicked off on Tuesday and will continue till January 5.
Jaipal Kaur and Kiran Kaur both NRIs from United Kingdom, said they were quite happy and considered themselves fortunate to serve as ‘sevadars’ or volunteers at the ‘langar’ (community kitchens) at Takht Sri Harimandir ji Patna Sahib, about 10 km from state capital Patna, during the celebration of the ‘Prakash Utsav’ or birth anniversary.
Both said hundreds of NRI Sikhs from the UK, the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany and France were enthusiastically offering voluntary services one of the core tenets of Sikhism at different ‘langars’ in ‘Guru ki Nagri’ (Guru’s abode) sprawled between Patna and the historic gurdwara.
The devotees have been put up in three tented cities and elsewhere. “This is the first time I am visiting the birthplace of Guru Maharaj. I consider myself lucky to do service at the ‘langar’,” said Jaipal, a consultant with IBM in the UK.
Kiran, settled in the United Kingdom, said nearly 150 NRI Sikh women from that country were serving as ‘sevadars’ to take care of the dietary needs of the devotees. Mandip Singh from Canada said he was serving at a ‘langar’ in the tented city near here for the last three days.
“It is a matter of immense satisfaction for me. I will continue to serve at the community kitchen till January 5.” Surjit Singh from California pointed out that community service was an essential part of the Sikh religion.
“I can say no more than that I feel privileged to work as a ‘sevadar’ here,” Surjit said. Makhan Singh from New York said, “It is a rare privilege to serve at Patna Sahib gurdwara. There is no work bigger than this to offer your services at the community kitchen here.” Baba Maan Singh, said.PTI