| Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 25 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
There is renewed interest in Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia (SNSM), judging by the initial response received by its newly elected leader.
“I’ve been receiving many calls and suggestions. Many have offered themselves to join the committee,” Dr Jasbir Singh tells Asia Samachar in an interview.
Jasbir, a central banker by profession and a long-time volunteer with SNSM, was elected unanimously as SNSM Jathedar at its annual general meeting on 14 Aug 2016.
SNSM elects only the Jathedar, a Punjabi word which literally means the leader of a group, who serves for a two-year term with a team that he appoints.
SEE ALSO: Naujawan Sabha is broke
The SNSM has gone through some turbulent times in the recent years largely tied to what is seen as attempts by certain quarters to keep their grip on the organisation’s leadership.
Jasbir said the new exco will meet for the first time tomorrow (26 Aug 2016) at the Sabha House in Kuala Lumpur.
Asked what the Naujawan Sabha needs the most at this juncture, he says: “We need people. We need volunteers with different backgrounds. We need volunteers who can provide general help, we need volunteers who can provide specific help.”
Speaking to a group of senior sevadars recently, Jasbir said: “What do I need? Support. If I go off track, sound me off. Hankaar (ego) can develop very fast in a person. It’s easy to loose track, to loose our sense. Hence, advise is vital. Jathedar is just a position, I’m just another sevadar.”
In that informal meeting, Jasbir emphasised that it was important for the SNSM to go back to basics.
“We need to go back and see why Sabha was established. It was for primarily Sikhi parchaar,” he said.
“We have one Guru, and the Guru has given us everything….Many a time, we are fighting with each other, who is better and who is not. We have to go beyond this.”
EXTRACTS FROM THE INTERVIEW:
What’s next after the AGM?
I’ve been receiving many calls and suggestions. Many have offered themselves to join the committee. I’ve picked the team for the exco and will announce it soon. It’s a fair mix of young and seniors. Let me inform them first before announcing it to the Sanggat.
Many trainers have also come forward to offer their services. I’m going to engage them. We need to see how we can have structured programmes for the youth. We need to see how to empower the youth, how to allow them to stand out in society.
What is the most pressing need?
We need people. We need volunteers with different backgrounds. We need volunteers who can provide general help, we need volunteers who can provide specific help. Specific here is mainly related to social media, people with good writing skills, people with a passion to teach kids, and a passion to develop modules for Gurmat learning and primary school education.
I’m a strong proponent of early education. If we can educate our children at the primary level, we will have more matured students at the secondary schools.
For Gurmat learning, we are looking for people willing to go for kirtan tours, run Sikh camps. We will provide the necessary training. Those interested can provide their names and details. They can drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking at getting all our kirtanis together. We need to start sending them out for parchaar tours, like what we used to do before. The Family Paath Mala is something that we would like to revive, as well.
What is the position of Sabha’s funding?
With no funding coming from the Government, we need the contribution from the Sikh Sanggat. We would like recommend a continuous flow of funds. This can be achieved through the One For the Guru daswand scheme. Everyone can contribut thorugh this sceme.
We encourage people to make the minimum contribution of RM30 per month. We recommend they use the standing instruction method via online banking.
Forms are availble at the Sabha headquarters. We will make them available soon via the Sabha website. For more enquiries, please contact Amreeta Kaur (+014.9318826).
What are the key focus moving forward?
We need improve on our administration at the Sabha headquarters. We want to put in place governance for managing our finances, filing system, communications, and other key activities that take place from there.
What are the areas of emphasis?
We are looking at five primary areas: 1. Sikhi Parchaar, 2. Youth development 3. Education, 4. Welfare, and 5. House keeping (internal Sabha affairs).
For Sikhi parchaar, we need a structured plan. We are getting the involvement of senior sewadars to work on this.
For welfare, we will act to connect people in need of help with those who can provide them. For example, when somebody needs welfare help, we will connect them with the welfare group. The nishkam sevaa, where they provide different types of help to poor families, will continue.
In the field of education, we have so many experts in Malaysia. We want to gather them to see how best to look out for our community. We need coaching classes – not study classes. Here, the students will learn skills to improve their education. We would like to get university students to be involved here.
[ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE. Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com]
Dr Jasbir Singh elected unanimously as SNSM Jathedar (Asia Samachar, 14 Aug 2016)
SNSM has to return to Sikhi parchaar, says Dr Jasbir Singh (Asia Samachar, 13 Aug 2016)
Naujawan Sabha: A brotherhood for Sikhi parchaar (Asia Samachar, 12 Aug 2016)
Naujawan Sabha at the crossroads – Take Two (Asia Samachar, 9 Aug 2016)
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