New Delhi, December 8
Delhi gurdwara management body — DSGMC — has decided to open special shops named ‘1984 Stores’ to rehabilitate families affected by the anti-Sikh riots that occurred 35 years ago in the city.
The ‘1984 Stores’ will be opened at 10 historic gurdwaras in Delhi and employ family members of victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, said Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjinder Singh Sirsa.
“These stores will be operated and administered on the co-operative model by 1984 anti-Sikh violence survivors and affected families. All the profit earned from the stores will be utilised for their dignified livelihood,” he said.
The first store, a one-stop shop, will be opened at Bangla Sahib Gurdwara nestled in Connaught Place area by the end of December. The next one will be opened at Rakab Ganj in January 2020, he said.
Besides items of daily use like groceries and stationary, the stores will also sell articles of Sikh faith such as Dastar (turbans), Kangha (wooden comb), Kara (iron bracelet), Kachera (cotton tieable undergarment), Kirpan (iron dagger) and religious literature of Sikhism.
Household-use items prepared by anti-Sikh riot survivors, such as snacks, spices, papad, fruit jellies, pickles and handicrafts will also be sold at these stores at reasonable rates, he said.
The stores are expected to do good business as around 35,000 devotees and 2,000 tourists visit the 10 prominent shrines daily on ordinary days. The numbers swell to over one lakh on religious festivals and holidays, Sirsa said.
The DSGMC has already undertaken various measures to help the survivors and affected families of the anti-Sikh riots, he said.
At present, DSGMC is spending around Rs 1.5 crore annually to give pension to widows of the riots. The witnesses of anti-Sikh riot cases are also provided monthly pension of Rs 10,000, he said.
Each DSGMC member has a dedicated fund of Rs 6 lakh to be used to provide daily use items and financial help for marriages of affected persons. — PTI
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