New Delhi Television Limited (NDTV), in collaboration with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, has initiated a campaign #DilSeSewa. At a time of widespread hunger and a humanitarian crisis, this campaign focuses on the rich living tradition of food sharing as widely practised in “Langars” or community kitchens by the Sikh community. The Sikh community has been at the forefront of relentlessly helping people to tide over the crisis— and their 'sewa' during the coronavirus pandemic is a shining example of their community spirit.
Here are the Highlights of the #DilSeSewa Telethon:
#DilSeSewa ended on a kirtan by Bhai Kultar Singh of Hazuri Ragi Gurdwara Bangla Sahib that highlighted one of the main teachings of sikhism, Kar Sewa, which means selfless service to all regardless of caste, class, religion, gender, social or economic status or political consideration.
Thank you donors: After the 2-hour #DilSeSewa telethon over Rs 2.66 crore collected in contributions
To contribute and help our langars feed millions, click here
Sikhs have come out to help generously, they don't look at caste, status, creed anything: Arjun Rampal, Actor, Producer & Model
We were taught to take the chappals and clean it with a cloth and return it when doing sewa in gurdwara. That is one of the highest forms of humility, so this is all coming from the Sikh roots. So thank you for instilling such high value in all our minds: Vikas Khanna, Michelin star chef, restaurateur & humanitarian talking about his numerous initiatives during the pandemic
Sikh community is not only for sikhs it is for everyone and it is about equality: Jasbir Jassi, Singer & Actor
Dhoop Aane Do, the song has been written by lyricist, poet and author Gulzar and literally translates to 'Let the Sun shine through the dark clouds'.
A view from New York and how sikh community is making a difference there during the pandemic and #BlackLivesMatter protests
People are donating for langar from everywhere: Mandy Takhar, Actor
With COVID we all know it is very difficult for everyone. People are donating for langar from everywhere. The whole thing about langar is that Guru Nanakji started it and it is our responsibility to keep it going.
I have been a great admirer of sikh traditions: Harish Salve, Former Solicitor General of India
Sikh community as always been a source of fascination, at times of emergency, even in day to day living. In UK, we were so proud because sikh community was serving hot chhola bhatura to homless people during Christmas. It was a wonderful experience to see it happening. I have been a great admirer of sikh traditions. My children specially daughter has been so inspired by the sikh learnings. She is in Delhi and she has been distributing rations and food. I told her to be careful but she said that if gurdwaras are doing it then why can't we?
Vikramjit Singh Sahni of World Punjabi Organisation donates Rs 50 lakhs during the telethon
Only one thing matters in langar, humanity. No one should be hungry. They all sit in the same line or row, there is no rich or poor. This is the biggest thing we feel proud of: Gurdas Maan, Singer & Songwriter
S Satnam Kaur & Taranjit Singh of JIS Group Calcutta contribute Rs 11 lakh during #DilSeSewa campaign
To contribute and support our langars to feed millions in need, click here
What is wonderful about the community that we have to praise is across the globe, we see people identifying themselves with religion becoming aggressive, bitter and almost venoumous, on the other hand sikhs are becoming more and more soft, warm and humanitarian. Langar is a century old tradition, it's selfless: Javed Akhtar, Activist, poet, lyricist & screenwriter
We never thought we will ever see the times that we are now seeing: Gurmail Singh Malhi, President, Southall Gurdwara London
When government announced the lockdown in UK, people over 65 had to isolate as per government instructions. There were many people whose families lived away. This was a problem for them. We prepared ration kits and conducted prgrammes to counsel them. For doctors fighting COVID in the frontlines, sewakars distributed food to even them. Irrespective of religion or race we have distributed langar to everyone.
Gulzar teamed up with Vishal Bharadwaj, Film director, composer & singer and his wife Rekha Bharadwaj, Singer & live performer for a song called 'Dhoop' or sunshine to spread the message of positivity at a time of crisis like the coronavirus pandemic
Usually songs are about winning and overcoming a crisis, but Gulzar sir's words are about finding positivity and sunshine.
I think when we hear songs by Guzar sir, everyone thinks how can he say something that we feel but cannot express. This is a song that expresses emotions of so many people.
I have done the sewa in langar, I have been brought up in that tradition: Gulzar, Lyricist, poet, author, screenwriter, film director
Everyone can learn from sikhism: Zafar Iqbal, Former Captain, Coach & Selector, Indian Hockey Team
I remember when Indian Airlines team went to USA to play a tournament in 1979 and 1980, twice we stayed in gurdwara, because of financial crunch. We needed help from them. They really helped us with lunch, breakfast, dinner. They also took us to the field from the gurdwara and then bring us back because we had no conveyance. The sikh community is about brotherhood. When we muslims had no place to read namaz, gurdwara opened their door for us to read namaz. We have enjoyed their support and we should encourage the lessons learnt from sikhism.
Sikh community has always come forward whenever there is a need, without making choices. We need to acknowledge their devotion: Sunil Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise
This is a community known worldwide to always do sewa without exception. I was born and brought up in Ludhiana. My grandmother would take us to the gurdwara every morning at 5 am. We are made up experience from life. Part of the makeup that I have of attempting to reach out the less fortunate has come from this exposure to the ethos and philosophy of the sikh community. It's a wonderful thing, all of us need to learn that it will serves us well.
When we saw this massive human tragedy when millions of people became homeless, even though all religious places were closed, gurdwaras were serving langar. In Delhi, gurdwaras were serving over 1 lakh meals to migrant workers everyday.
Sikhs have always been at the forefront, feeding people: Jimmy Sheirgill, Actor and Film Producer
I try to do sewa at langar whenever I get a chance in Bombay or in Punjab or in Toronto or Vancouver, wherever there is possibility I do it. There is a satisfaction you get once you finish the sewa. It's a great feeling when you come out and it is a huge memory.
They don't care about religion or anything. They are always there. The gurdwara sahib, langars are always open for everybody. That's the beauty of it and we are proud of it.
Wherever there is gurdwara, there is langar and it is open to everybody: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art Of Living Foundation
Bhai Sahib Giani Pinderpal Singh ji explains the meaning and significance of 'sewa' in sikhism
Satguru ji gave us the word 'sewa'. 'Sewa' means to do a deed that helps the human kind as well as helps you earn a place at the lord's home. Satguru has given us this lesson since childhood. Whenever we have akahand path or kirtan at home, we prepare langar for each and everyone of the attendee/devotee. Little kids too, pitch in and do their bit of 'sewa'. We are told the importance of guru ke langar ki sewa since our childhood, at homes and gurdwara.
Langar is more than just free meal served in a Gurdwara: Rahul Mittra, Film producer
When I was really small, my late father in Chandigarh took me to a gurdwara. Not only did he make me sit on the floor and have the delicious langar, but he also took me to the kitchen and made me wash utensils. He took me around. I think he was trying to instil a sense of social giving, a sense of sewa. Fortunately, that has stayed with me all over the years. If you look at the terminology of langar, it's just a free meal served in every gurdwara. But in reality, there is much more to that. Langar is a free meal served in a gurdwara, irrespective of caste, creed, religion, ethnicity, social status. So I really appeal to each one of you, everybody, to come forward and participate in this great endeavour. Contribute, make a difference
I would like to thank everyone associated with the sewa: Gulshan Grover, Actor
Absolutely proud of the fact that gurdwaras around the world have been doing langar for years but specially during such times. Not just langar, in places like England, they are making sure food reaches the needy. My mother is a sardarni, I am from Delhi and growing up langar has been a part of my life and I am proud of it. I know younger generation believes in sewa too. My son works in LA, and when I am there we always visit gurdwara and attend langar there. Whenever I come to delhi, very early in the morning I go to the gurdwara and see very young people there.
Aastha Chaudhary contributes Rs 11 lakh during the #DilSeSewa telethon
People doing langar sewa deserver our salute: Ravish Kumar
Harshdeep Kaur sings shabad dedicated to Guru Nanak on the #DilSeSewa telethon
Sikhism is an integral part of my family: Rajiv Nayar, Senior Advocate
My grandmother came from a sikh family, when my brother was to be named, my father almost named him Som Singh. Langar and sewa has been an integral part of our family. We've been going to the Golden Temple and other gurdwaras for years. This is the time to come forward and feed the hungry. I was trying to help as much as I could.
After over an hour of telethon, contributions cross Rs 1 crore. When you are in sewa, all your ego is drowned in the sewa and the service: Randeep Hooda, Actor
After I started to learn about history of sikhism, I am deeply touched by how they recognise humankind as one. When you go to the Golden temple, you go eat, do the sewa and then do the darshan and it has been going on since the time of emperors. When you do sewa, whether serving food, washing utensils or cleaning shoes, sikhism gives you a sense of humility and simplicity. I found out every sikh household donates to gurdwaras to help the needy.
It doesn't matter what you have, what matters is what you give: Raju Chadha, Philanthropist & Chairman, Wave Group
This concept is very important. It has a very big relevance in the history. Guru Nanak Devi ji started this concept of kitchen for humanity and for the needy. Since then it is going on. And I would like to request everyone during this pandemic to come forward either give money or in kind, or whatever they can do to help gurdwaras feed the langar. Because this is the need of the hour as many people have become jobless
‘Sewa’ is a feeling: Singh Sahib Giani Ranjit Singh, Head Priest, Gurdwara Bangla Sahib
We didn't let any volunteer help with the sewa at the gurdwara, it was entirely our staff. You won't be able to imagine - a langari working at 35-40 degrees for 16-18 hours. Our honourable President even asked them to rest but they said the rest is not needed, if we stand for a little bit more, another pot of rice can be prepared, another pot of dal will be ready, and it will help feed someone hungry. This is the Sikhi spirit, Sikhi love. This is Sikhi faith and beliefs that gives them strength.
Harshdeep Kaur, Singer
I have a lot of childhood memories of langar and gurdwara. My fist introduction to music was Gurbani. We learnt how to play harmonium. Every Sunday we used to go to Bangla Sahib and volunteer in langar. We have grown up with these memories.
Manmohan Singh Kohli, Chairman, Matt and Nat, Montreal contributes Rs 11 lakh during #DilSeSewa telethon Selfless service is in the DNA of sikh: Vikramjit Sahney, Chairman, Sun Foundation & International President, World Punjabi Organization
It is in our religion that every human being is manifestation of good. As far as Delhi Sikh community is concerned, we started providing langar to millions of poor migrant workers, on March 23. The sewakars were constantly there helping and doing sewa despite the COVID they put their lives on the line and fed the poor. Sewa in Sikh ethos and religion is selfless service and supreme in sikh religion. When you enter gurdwara, you can see it starts with washing your shoes, the cleaning of sarowars and among others it is the community kitchen, to cook, to serve and to wash utensils. This happens regardless of religion, class, caste and creed. It shows the humility and compassion. It is unparalleled.
We seen and done sewa during many crisis for years but this was a new type of challenge: Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee
This time people were more scared of hunger than the immediate crisis of COVID. We got calls from everywhere to get food. We have never faced this. Even our staff, we were worried about their safety but despite the situation in Delhi even now in terms of Coronavirus, we have fed more than one crore people in Delhi and by god's grace our staff has remained protected and they are all healthy despite visiting so many people during sewa. We have worked in many crisis, but saw this kind of pain for the first time when people could not go out and earn. This was a challenge. I would like to thank each person who helped in delivering nearly two lakh meals everyday
We have people helping us from across the world, with donation, truckloads of food anonymously. This is due to the blessings of God, Guru Nanak and Guru Granth Sahib that people in hunger were able to get food.
Naresh Gujral, Rajya Sabha MP joins the #DilSeSewa telethon
The telethon opens with Ik Onkar
Sikhs have always done selfless 'sewa' without discrimination: Prannoy Roy at the start of #DilSeSewa #DilSeSewa Telethon gets underway
Less than half an hour to go for the #DilSeSewa Telethon
Little over two hours to go for #DilSeSewa Telethon
NDTV in collaboration with the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee has initiated a campaign #DilSeSewa, as the Sikh community has been at the forefront of relentlessly helping people to tide over the crisis during the Coronavirus lockdown
To contribute and support our langars feed millions, click here
The Sikh community has been at the forefront of relentlessly helping people to tide over the crisis— and their 'sewa' during the coronavirus pandemic is a shining example of their community spirit. The rich living tradition of food sharing as widely practised in “Langars” or community kitchens by the Sikh community helped feed many during the lockdown. The concept of Langar is to serve meals to all, regardless of caste, class, religion, gender, social or economic status or political consideration - especially at a time when it is most critical.