Sikh helpers fear being driven out of town by ’embarrassed’ UK council

Volunteers serve up to 100 meals a day to poverty-stricken and homeless people in Walsall

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People queue up in Walsall town centre to be served food by the Midland Langar Seva Society. (Image: Midland Langar Seva Society)
By Gurdip Thandi | BIRMINGHAM MAIL | UK |

A Sikh organisation – which has grown from feeding a handful of needy people in Walsall into a global service – fears it is being driven out of its home town.

The Midland Langar Seva Society serves hundreds of hot meals to homeless and poor people every day across the UK as well as India, Germany and Bangkok.

But Randhir Singh, one of the founders of the society, said they have been stunned by complaints from Walsall Council about the mess their evening town centre feeds leave behind.

Mr Singh said: “It is really sad that Walsall Council appear to be trying to stop the feeds we put on.

“They say we are leaving a lot of mess and they are getting complaints from market traders but we are only there for an hour and we have volunteers designated to clearing up any rubbish.

“We believe it is just an excuse. Perhaps they are embarrassed at how bad poverty and homelessness is in Walsall and that we are doing their job for them.

“We do this to follow the Sikh principle of ‘seva’ – serving humanity and helping those who are less fortunate than us. It is what our founder Guru Nanak Ji did.

“It is not just homeless people who come to us, it is people with a range of problems including mental health issues, poverty, families who are struggling to put food on the table.

“You also get professional people whose lives fell apart or those who were in the army. We try to help people get back on their feet. It is heartbreaking to see people cannot afford to buy food.”

As well as serving vegetarian meals, the society has distributed clothes, nappies, baby milk and toiletries.

To read the full story, ‘Sikh helpers fear being driven out of town by ’embarrassed’ council’ (Birmingham Mail, 3 Jan 2019), click here.

 

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