Sustainable Sikh institutions: Operational change matters

How Sikh associations can be more sustainable in current times; going beyond their conventional role. TARANJIT KAUR puts on her thinking cap.


| Opinion | 21 March 2017 | Asia Samachar |


By Taranjit Kaur

The typical role of any Sikh institution, which includes Gurdwaras, centres predominantly on benefitting its larger community through an array of activities. Undeniably, our respective Sikh institutions in Malaysia have contributed towards shaping the community for years running.

The sustainability of Sikh institutions, thus, must bear precedence. It is no surprise that the external landscape in Malaysia is becoming ever-so dynamic, like elsewhere. It’s the era of social media after all. Adapting to the rapid social changes is an imperative to remain relevant.

SEE ALSO: Stand Out! Stay Put! 

Parallel to this, long term growth of local Sikh institutions require timely attention given its task to spearhead community development efforts. The challenge being to adopt a progressive mindset and self-sustaining mentality, while staying true to the principles of Sikhi.

The modus operandi for Sikh institutions must be enhanced, at least in larger and more developed towns. Here are some easy-to-implement and cost-efficient suggestions:

1. Bottom-Line Expansion: Invest wisely. Preferably, set an annual growth target, after all, expenses inevitably increase year-on-year.

2. Forward Thinking: Have a foresight and go beyond the short-term. Tomorrow’s effectiveness will depend on today’s decisions.

3. Hone Leaders: Encourage participation of the young, including women, exposing them to management issues. Run mentor-mentee programmes, among others. Real strength lies in diversity.

4. Get Connected: To lead, understand your audience’s needs and wants. Inclusivity matters. Consult and build stronger relationship with various stakeholders on the back of meaningful conversations, premised on respecting differing viewpoints.

5. Be Technologically-Savvy: It is the age of social media, go paperless. Choose from emails, whatsapp, facebook and more for sending out regular updates. Save money and the planet, while communicating.

6. Volunteerism Network: Leverage on shared expertise. Build a database of volunteers. Inculcate the spirit of giving-back.

In a nutshell, community-centric institutions are vital for driving people development initiatives. Human asset is undeniably a necessity for any nation.

As Malaysian Sikhs, let’s make a difference in our own small way to realise our country’s growth aspirations. As a start, inspire change where it matters. Remember, sustainability is the new mantra.

Taranjit Kaur is a Kuala Lumpur based executive who gets involved in Sikh activities. 

* This is the opinion of the writer, organisation or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Asia Samachar.


[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:]


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