Appear for the Disappeared – A 5K Walk

You will be walking in memory of twenty-eight-year-old Darshan Singh who was a young farmer from Amritsar district. On 9 September 1990, Darshan and two other young men went for a motorcycle ride when a group of police officers suspected them of being militants and shot at them. Darshan, the pillion rider, was hit by a bullet and fell down dead. The police took Darshan’s two companions into custody and reported them dead in alleged encounters.
ensaafAfter recently registering for Ensaaf’s Appear for the Disappeared 5K walk, I received the above email with information about the individual in whose memory I would be participating.

Ensaaf has documented thousands of cases of disappearance and unlawful killings in Punjab and in an effort to allow its supporters to connect with victims, Ensaaf is holding a 5k walk, called Appear for the Disappeared, on April 6, 2013 in Fremont, CA. The walk is an opportunity for all participants and virtual donors to commemorate a specific individual who was disappeared in Punjab by Indian security forces from the mid-1980s to late 1990s. Ensaaf’s goal is to commemorate 500 individuals and raise $25,000 to complete documentation efforts.

Between 1984 and 1995, Punjab witnessed thousands of disappearances and unlawful killings, with many victims facing unimaginable torture at the hands of Indian security officials. Rarely were victim families informed of the fate of their loved ones, let alone given a chance to carry out final rites and funeral services. As thousands of men and women disappeared and their families left in the darkness, responsible security officials were awarded promotions and their human rights violations faded into darkness.

Twenty-eight years later, human rights violators still roam free of consequences and victim families still await reparations, truth, and justice. With each passing year, survivors and family members of victims die and we lose the memory of a disappeared individual. Ensaaf has reached thousands of victim families, but the organization needs your support to complete its work.

There are multiple ways to support Appear for the Disappeared:

1. Register to walk in Fremont, CA on April 6th.

2. Register to walk virtually on April 6. Ensaaf will set up a platform for virtual walkers to share videos of their participation.

3. Donate to a registered participant’s walk.

Register today and make Appear for the Disappeared a success!


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25 Responses to “Appear for the Disappeared – A 5K Walk”

  1. UK Sikh says:

    Do others feel it slightly troublesome that our American brethren would use the memory of those deceased as little more than a ploy to raise funds?

    While ENSAAF may be documenting these deaths, Khalsa Aid here in the UK is ACTUALLY providing money to those very families, not just using their memories for their own organisation efforts.

    This is troublesome indeed!

  2. Meena says:

    @Uk Sikh: A despicable remark. Ensaaf has done more than their fair share. Shame on you for trying to divide and rule.

  3. Blighty Singh says:

    Brother, I agree. I find everything our American brethren do troublesome. However, let me tell you from the outset….it is not that we are right and they are wrong. It is simply a case of ideologies of clashing. Our American brethren are the same as us except the fact that they are either born in or grow up in a culture where it is normal and acceptable to rally 'round the national flag…and thus articulate seemingly intelligent and educated viewpoints accordingly. Our ideoligies clash in the fact that we UK Sikhs, despite not only being born in the UK and having parents and grandparents born in the UK never ever display the UK flag……and even publicly display contempt for it. WE, the UK sikhs, are here, of we come, with a 100% love and allegiance for Punjab. The Americans come……with allegiance to America first. They are, after all, the people that entered the last 2 world wars very very late…and are thus now trying to make up for it by starting the next world war ver y very early. Thus, understand this : Getting out in the streets, taking blows to the heads and actually doing things = UK Singhs and Kaurs. Getting a good degree…Adding to your resume…….Impressing future employers and or your tutors = American Singhs and Kaurs.
    Moral of the story ? Take everything you read from an American Siklh with a pinch of salt. They have 'riuff n tuffs' as much as we do. However their 'ruff n tuffs' are doing mainstream ruff n tuff 'ting and tings' whilst our ruff n tuffs are the ones rejecting mainstream and representing Sikhi. This is the sound of ideologies clashing. Not all Sikhs are the same.

  4. What ridiculous criticisms! Such commentary is an example of what is wrong with our people in general: big egos, big jealousies. The individuals commenting here charitably on behalf of all UK Sikhs to condemn or accuse all American Sikhs for policies and politics for which they are not even a part is shallow and silly.

    Ensaaf is doing challenging, delicate and complicated work. If they were to do something for personal gain, I am quite certain there are easier projects to take on.

    There's absolutely no need to point fingers at efforts supporting the Sikhs in Punjab. There is enough criticism to go around on both sides of the Atlantic, and clearly there is even room to make ludicrous accusations, but the wise on each side will learn, collaborate, and support.

  5. CA Sikh says:

    Before accusing Ensaaf of "using memories for their own organization efforts", one may want to take a moment to read about the work Ensaaf has done and what the organization has accomplished for the families in Punjab. Indeed this isn't a history project, but in order to achieve justice, we, as a community, need numbers, facts, and evidence. This IS what Jaswant Singh Khalra told the Panth – to present exact figures of abuses to the world. Estimations have gotten us nowhere. We are of a generation that knows people who are affected by the human right abuses in Punjab and providing assistance to affected families is our responsibility, but working to bring justice to affected families is also our responsibility.
    Clearly, the Panth needs to stop comparing the work of different organizations and needs to start supporting all those organizations that are addressing the vast and growing needs of Sikhs everywhere.

  6. ENSAAF are doing an exceptional job by documenting the cases. Khalsa Aid very honoured to be so trusted by the Sangat but there is no need to make comparisons between Khalsa Aid and ENSAAF. These comparisons will only cause divisions and undermine the important but very different work by both organisations.
    I hope the Sangat will continue to support both organisations, please look beyond comparisons and towards the importance of the work carried out by ENSAAF and Khalsa Aid. Thank you. Ravinder Singh. CEO. Khalsa Aid

  7. Vilayati Singh says:

    UK Sikh, you're barking up the wrong tree 'me son.

    Ensaaf is raising funds for sure, but we know that, and we're absolutely comfortable with that because we know what it's going to support. Sure, it's not going to directly feed a Shaheed Parivaar (and Khalsa Aid are doing a sterling job in that regard) but perhaps you can suggest how legal cases against the State and Police can be constructed and coordinated with nothing but goodwill and a pat on the back? And before you ask who 'we' are, well, we're the hundreds (if not thousands) of supporters who are providing part of our dasvandh to Ensaaf.

    On that note, what do you think of the 'Race for Life' events that run about 300 times a year in the UK to raise funds for Cancer Research? They use imagery of cancer survivors, and hey, _just_ running the race isn't going to cure cancer is it, so why don't well tell good 'ol Cancer Research to STFU and just focus on palliative care for terminal cancer sufferers instead? Go UK Sikh, you tell 'em me diamond geezer. Get In There!

  8. K Kaur says:

    Took me awhile to read these comments, had a laugh in between on Blighty Singhs comment explaining the difference perspectives and values of AMericans And British. There maybe some truth in his analysis. Maybe we are all though too judgemental, and ready to criticize the others efforts rather than praise one another for any goodwill effort. General Courtesy is lacking, lets not put the other down, when we have a question, or suggestion that may be worthy of consideration to further progress and improve things. ITs probably good that someone is helping those in crisis and alive right now with immediate basic needs. And someone else is looking at the future longer term picture regarding giving profile and identity to the reason for the suffering that is being addressed. What are u or I doing is now the question?

  9. UK Sikh says:

    K Kaur: I donate to Khalsa Aid and have actually visited some of the families in Punjab. I don't know what you do?

    Vilayati: Good point about the Race for Life, but the difference is that they don't say 'I'm running for Tom, Dick, and Harry because they died and I don't really know them or their struggles or even care about the problems their families are probably still facing" People say I am running for my mom and my sister. People you actually care about and that the funding may actually go towards helping.

    Again, since this seems lost on many – I am not criticising Ensaaf as an organisation, merely this cheap marketing gimmick of 'walking for Darshan Singh,' when Darshan Singh's family probably actually needs money and help and you are ignoring them.

  10. UK Sikh says:

    Don't know you mate, but will hit you up.

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