New lift perks up Taiping elderly Sikhs

Gurdwara Sahib Taiping unveils RM125,000 lift to the delight of elderly folks who can now go up to the prayer hall, called the Darbar Sahib, in comfort

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Taiping, Malaysia | 22 Sept 2017 | Asia Samachar |

Daljit Kaur @ Shanti on wheelchair with her son retired policeman Harbans Singh and a friend trying out the newly fitted lift at the Taiping gurdwara – Photo / Supplied

The newly fitted lift at the local gurdwara is godsend for the large elderly Sikh community in Taiping, a town about 270km from Kuala Lumpur.

For years, they have resigned to catching the darbar sahib (prayer hall) proceedings on a television stationed on the ground floor, thanks to a video conferencing facility.

Hence, they were all excited when the gurdwara, first built on the same spot in 1921, finally unveiled a lift to allow them to go to the prayer hall with ease. No more having to trouble others to carry them up or lift their wheelchairs.

“I thank Parmaatma [God] for this lift. I can now go up and pay my respects in person before the Guru,” said Daljit Kaur @ Shanti.

The 84-year old lost the ability to waltz her way up to the darbar sahib as she used to do all those years that she has been living in Taiping.

Due to a spinal injury in 2002, she has not been able to support herself and needed a walker to move around. In 2005, she had to resort to a wheelchair.

“It’s wonderful to see my mother able to go to the Darbar Sahib. She has been talking about it non-stop,” Daljit’s son, retired policeman Harbans Singh, told Asia Samachar when contacted a few days after the unveiling of the lift on 16 Sept 2017

“We have many old folks in Taiping. And they come to gurdwara. I don’t see that many old folks coming to the Penang gurdwaras. It could be something to do with the hassle-free travel here, perhaps,” he said.

Harbans, who retired from the police force recently, had served for a long time in Penang. While working there, he had been involved actively in the gurdwara scene, including as the secretary of the Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang.

“It’s great to see the elderly being able to go upstairs to the darbar sahib. I told the committee this is a great seva,” he added.

Taiping joins gurdwaras in Kuantan, Pahang, and  Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, to install lifts in their buildings which were built before lifts were made mandatory for such places. The new gurdwara buildings – like the one in Shah Alam and Puchong as well as Subang Jaya which is under construction – come planned with lift services.

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Taiping (SGSS Taiping), the organisation that runs the local gurdwara, celebrated its centennial celebration last year. In 1916, SGSS Taiping was formed by local Sikhs who then successfully build a gurdwara (at the current location) in 1921. A new double story building was built in 1971.

The lift and its civil cost RM125,000, said SGGS Taiping president Balraj Singh.

PROUD MOMENT: Bhagwan Singh s/o Munsha Singh, the oldest living Sikh in Taiping, cuts the ribbon to officially launch the lift at the Taiping gurdwara on 16 Sept 2017 – Photo / Supplied

 

[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]

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1 COMMENT

  1. Shabas to Taiping Sanggat for having installed a lift for the elderly to be able to join others in Darbar Sahib for prayers.
    Now when will PETALING JAYA GURDWARA SAHIB be able to follow Taiping’s example. PJGS Management is sitting on over RM2.8million which has been accumulated over two decades.
    It will son be the 12th BARSI OF MY CALL FOR A LIFT TO BE INSTALLED and my periodical reminders to MGTs has been
    WE ARE WORKING HARD ON THIS LIFT PROJECT.
    When I see the accumulated RM2.8M+ the impression is that the MGTs have been WORKING HARD TO ACCUMULATE RESERVES and may have been HARDLY WORKING ON THE LIFT PROJECT.
    MGT was quick on the gate and Nishan Sahib the SUSPECTED EXCESSIVELY HIGH COST of which was subject to Internal Audit enquiry and it was reported that the expenses were to be investigated twice by committee but LITTLE IS KNOWN about their findings.
    This may be just like Findings of Aud-Gen on Accounts of Government and other Agencies where investigations are announced but little is known of its findings.
    After some time ALL IS FORGOTTEN and perception of possible MISMANAGEMENTof FUNDS continue as an accepted culture.
    PUBLIC & SANGGAT IS ALL FORGIVING AS SOME GET RE-ELECTED OR APPOINTED AGAIN & AGAIN to MGT OF GURDWARAS.
    Now when and if will PJGS get a lift?
    Gur Fateh

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