Shillong Sikhs start ‘O2 langar’

Shillong Sikhs start ‘O2 langar’

Shubhadeep Choudhury

Tribune News Service

Kolkata, May 1

Despite attempts by official agencies and pressure groups to evict them from a prime commercial area in Shillong, Sikhs are extending a helping hand to locals at the time of crisis. They have started an “oxygen langar” for locals at the city’s largest gurdwara.

“Though hospitals have been able to take care of oxygen requirements of Covid patients, we too have made arrangements to help during the crisis,” said Kamaljeet Singh Sehdave, Shillong-based dental surgeon who is secretary of Sri Guru Singh Sabha that oversees the running of the gurdwara.

Sehdave said they had made arrangements with dealers in Guwahati to supply oxygen cylinders and concentrators. While some cylinders and concentrators had arrived, more would soon come, he said.

Appreciating the Sikh community’s efforts, Patricia Mukhim, editor of the region’s English daily, wrote in a post on the Facebook, “the Sikh community of Shillong is the first to respond and come forward with this critical facility (oxygen langar) at these daunting times. And this is the only building they have. Will those other religious institutions with huge infrastructure please come forward and open similar facilities to help overcome the medical crisis should we ever come to such a point? What’s the use of all the big buildings if they are not used to serve humanity? Preparedness is wisdom. Thank you Guru Singh Sabha, Shillong”.

Notably, Sikhs living in Shillong’s Harijan Colony have been facing pressure from some Khasi outfits as well as from the Municipal Corporation to vacate their houses where they have been living for several generations.