Kar sewa in times of tragedy

In case you’ve missed the front page of every major newspaper in the past few days, nearly 150 people died in a stampede in the Naina Devi temple in Himachal Pradesh. (As great of a tragedy as this is, I’m not sure why it’s front page on American newspapers, considering that incidents of this nature occur all too often in India.)

Religious pilgrims were trampled to death on a hillside on Sunday morning, after rumors of arelatives_of_Naina_Devi_stampede.jpg landslide sparked a stampede, local officials said. Thousands of Hindu pilgrims traveled to Naina Devi, a hilltop temple in the state of Himachal Pradesh, on Sunday during a festival celebrating the Hindu mother goddess. Heavy rains in the morning led many to take cover in a shelter, local officials said. Some eyewitnesses said visitors on their way down the hill claimed large stones began sliding down the hillside, leading to panic in the crowd below, while others heard rumors of a bomb. [link]

In addition to the stampede, deaths were caused by lack of required medical care.

Local clinics were overwhelmed by the injuries and ran short of medicines and supplies. [link]

During this time of tragedy, the Sikh community came together through kar sewa to assist with the bodies when the government failed to arrange transportation for the bodies. Kar sewaks also organized and served langar and cha to the grieving relatives of the deceased who were camping at the evacuation site.

Punjabiyat rose to the fore yet again as those doing kar sewa rose to the occasion to arrange for the transfer of the bodies to native places. Besides this, they also attended to the relatives of those affected by the stampede yesterday. Even though the Himachal government deputed its Bilaspur subdivisional magistrate here since yesterday, it abrogated all responsibility as far as arranging for the transportation of bodies to their homes. This responsibility was taken up by Sant Baba Labh Singh and Sant Baba Jarnail Singh who arranged for 50 trucks for this task. They also arranged for ice to prevent the bodies from decomposing. They also provided tea and langar for the relatives of the deceased who had been camping here since yesterday evening ever since the bodies were evacuated from the site of the tragedy. [link]

The majority (99) of the victims of the stampede were from Punjab.

Ninetynine of the 146 victims killed in the stampede at Naina Devi on Sunday were from Punjab. These include 54 men and 45 women. The maximum number of deceased, 73, was from different parts of Patiala. [link]


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15 Responses to “Kar sewa in times of tragedy”

  1. Ashveer says:

    Perhaps there was a response from the Sikh community because a significant number (I would project at least 1/5 of the crowd on a summer day) of the people visiting the shrine are Sikh.

  2. Ashveer says:

    Perhaps there was a response from the Sikh community because a significant number (I would project at least 1/5 of the crowd on a summer day) of the people visiting the shrine are Sikh.

  3. Mewa Singh says:

    In addition to Ashveer's point, also is also necessary to note the proximity of Anandpur Sahib and mobilization of instant relief efforts would be fairly easy.

  4. Reema says:

    Ashveer and Mewa- thanks for the good points…

  5. nimmi says:

    All over India, hundreds of lives are lost in protests,bands,blocades

    every day,now J & K burning,more than stampade like situation, never

    know the outcome be more dangerous.

    Hindu too, why so many radical hindus flare up tiny issues, disrupt

    the peace living lives of thousands.How far the gains from such

    protests, bands,blocades and who the one drive.?

    Gujjar protests in Rajasthan,netted the state exchquer loss to the

    tune of +Rs 5000 crores,derailments,burning public properties,

    trade losses, samo two day before the Bombay July 06 bombing, the shiv

    senaties burnt over 200 buses,plus other private properties,cost the

    state over Rs 2000 crorers,

    Now the sant samaj in Punjab,the state suffered losses to the tune

    of +Rs.2000 crorers,who will pay for the losses arising out all over

    India,on one protext or others?

    PRICE PRICE PRICE of essential commodities going up beyond reach

    the dirt politicians crying hoarse,instigating street protests, but

    not sending a word in general BJP/HINDU/BAJIGAR/SIKHS/DALITS to aviod

    protests bands,ultimate the protestors, general public the one bear

    the BURDEN OF PRICE RISE NOT THE IDIOTS PROTESTORS

  6. Mewa Singh says:

    In addition to Ashveer’s point, also is also necessary to note the proximity of Anandpur Sahib and mobilization of instant relief efforts would be fairly easy.

  7. Reema says:

    Ashveer and Mewa- thanks for the good points…

  8. nimmi says:

    All over India, hundreds of lives are lost in protests,bands,blocades
    every day,now J & K burning,more than stampade like situation, never
    know the outcome be more dangerous.
    Hindu too, why so many radical hindus flare up tiny issues, disrupt
    the peace living lives of thousands.How far the gains from such
    protests, bands,blocades and who the one drive.?
    Gujjar protests in Rajasthan,netted the state exchquer loss to the
    tune of +Rs 5000 crores,derailments,burning public properties,
    trade losses, samo two day before the Bombay July 06 bombing, the shiv
    senaties burnt over 200 buses,plus other private properties,cost the
    state over Rs 2000 crorers,
    Now the sant samaj in Punjab,the state suffered losses to the tune
    of +Rs.2000 crorers,who will pay for the losses arising out all over
    India,on one protext or others?
    PRICE PRICE PRICE of essential commodities going up beyond reach
    the dirt politicians crying hoarse,instigating street protests, but
    not sending a word in general BJP/HINDU/BAJIGAR/SIKHS/DALITS to aviod
    protests bands,ultimate the protestors, general public the one bear
    the BURDEN OF PRICE RISE NOT THE IDIOTS PROTESTORS

  9. Kristin says:

    Reema,

    Thanks for highlighting the efforts of those Kar Sewaks doing real kar sewa in time of need.

  10. Kristin says:

    Reema,
    Thanks for highlighting the efforts of those Kar Sewaks doing real kar sewa in time of need.

  11. Singh says:

    Vedanti resigned!

    How can jathedar of Akal Takht resign? To whom does he submit his resignation?

    Vedanti was a slave. Now a new slave Gurbachan Singh is in place.

    Badal's head must be chopped off like Massa Rangar.

  12. Singh says:

    Vedanti resigned!

    How can jathedar of Akal Takht resign? To whom does he submit his resignation?

    Vedanti was a slave. Now a new slave Gurbachan Singh is in place.

    Badal’s head must be chopped off like Massa Rangar.

  13. Devinder Singh says:

    Sikhs have been blessed by Guru Sahib to rise to the occasion and render SEWA whenever there is a calamity. There are numerous incidents of such Sewa. One would like to recall the sermon of Guru Sahib and endorsement by Guru Sahib of services rendered by Bhai Ghanahiya to those wounded in a war. (Some brother can put the entire narrrative of Bhai Ghanahiyajee here to convey this point in more appropriate manner). Role of Sikh Sewaks and all other blessed sons and daughters of Guru Sahib needs to be appreciated. It really does not matter to what community they belong to – all those who rendered the Sewa are blessed- remember Guru's Panj Piyare came from different communities all over the country.

  14. Devinder Singh says:

    Sikhs have been blessed by Guru Sahib to rise to the occasion and render SEWA whenever there is a calamity. There are numerous incidents of such Sewa. One would like to recall the sermon of Guru Sahib and endorsement by Guru Sahib of services rendered by Bhai Ghanahiya to those wounded in a war. (Some brother can put the entire narrrative of Bhai Ghanahiyajee here to convey this point in more appropriate manner). Role of Sikh Sewaks and all other blessed sons and daughters of Guru Sahib needs to be appreciated. It really does not matter to what community they belong to – all those who rendered the Sewa are blessed- remember Guru’s Panj Piyare came from different communities all over the country.

  15. Scientific management in order to prolong their tenure in the process, they turn attention away from strictly personality-political variables. Working against them by indicating they are responsive to criticisms of cost and inefficiencies.