More than 500 students and parents across four British schools came together on different nights over the Christmas break and took part in a globally-televised sponsored sleep-out which has so far raised £40,000 for school resources and local charities, according to a SikhPA release.
Khalsa Secondary Academy in Stoke Poges, Atam Academy in Ilford, Khalsa Academy in Wolverhampton and the Seva School in Coventry took part in the five day TV telethon run by the Sikh Channel to commemorate Saka Sirhind, the term for the unique sacrifices made by the young sons and mother of the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh Ji Maharaj.
Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s youngest sons, aged five and seven, were bricked alive by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert to Islam in the early 1700s. Guru Ji’s elder sons aged 14 and 18 along with 40 other Sikhs also sacrificed their lives whilst fighting in a famous battle during the same period.
Before their passing, Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s two youngest grandsons and mother were forcibly held day and night at the top of an open-air tower known for being extremely cold in the winter. This is why many Sikhs stop sleeping in beds and instead stay on the floor and hold outdoor events at this time of year, in memory of what their Guru’s family went through. These sacrifices are honoured during the month of December, the statement added.
The local charities chosen by each of the schools to receive funding were:
- Wexham Park Hospital Children’s Ward by Khalsa Secondary Academy, Stoke Poges
- Birmingham Children’s Hospital by Khalsa Academy, Wolverhampton
- Homeless Project Malachi, Atam Academy, Ilford
- University Hospital Children’s Ward by Seva School, Coventry
“This amazing event demonstrated the significance of the unique sacrifices made over 300 years ago whilst raising funds to support children’s wards in NHS hospitals and a homeless project across the country. One of the most important values that are taught at these schools is “Seva” which means to help those in need. We are immensely proud of all the students, parents and the wider, community and would like to thank them and the Sikh Channel who have made this amazing event possible”, said Nick Singh Kandola, CEO.
The fundraising is continuing until the 25th January. You can donate at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/sakasirhand
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