Helping The Forgotten Heroes of The Panth
The attack on Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in June 1984 caused the death of thousands of innocent Sikhs, and left Panjab under Military rule for a decade. During the attack, thousands of Sikhs in the Indian Military immediately left their barracks and marched towards Amritsar to defend their holiest shrine. These Sikh soldiers took an oath upon joining the Indian Military that they would “defend their faith and country“ during any attack. But when they did exactly as they had sworn to do they were ambushed and murdered or imprisoned for many years. The country they had sworn to defend became their oppressor and persecutor.
Most of these Sikh soldiers served time in Jails outside Punjab which was a deliberate method to keep their families from visiting them. This caused great hardship to the many families who were already living in difficult conditions in villages across Punjab. Some of the families had to beg and borrow money to visit their loved ones locked in jails in a land which was unfamiliar to them, and spend nights in terrible conditions en route to the jails. Whilst the Sikh Soldiers served time in jails their families were left economically and psychologically devastated.
The mainstream Sikh bodies had abandoned them and the Sikh political leaders ignored them. These soldiers became known as the “Dharmi Faujis “, the" Defenders of Faith ". They have lived their lives for the Panth but the Panth has let them down. Today, most of them who held respectable ranks in the Military have been denied their pensions and forced to work as labourers or are otherwise destitute, spending their retirement years bedridden with illness.
Khalsa Aid has a list of 309 Dharmi Faujis and will be carrying out an assessment of their needs and conditions. We have employed a coordinator in Punjab who will visit each and publish a report. We hope to provide the neediest with full medical care and a monthly pension for basic needs. Its time to serve those who have served our beloved Panth, we hope you will join us and offer support to the courageous Sikhs.
To see a video interview with one Dharam Fauji:Khalsa Aid has launched Focus Punjab (www.focuspunjab.org) and will continue to expand projects in Punjab to assist the underprivileged Sikhs. Our global humanitarian relief missions will continue but the Punjab projects will be our immediate priority.
Khalsa Aid has worked tirelessly over the last 11 years in different continents in over 20 projects, and has built up a relationship of trust with the Sangat. We now request that the Sangat support this project, as they have with other projects.
If you would like to donate for this cause please click: http://www.justgiving.com/punjab