Meet the Sikhs who keep coming to the rescue for vulnerable Victorians

“I can feel the pain of students, they can’t ask their parents to send the money. If they are working fine, if they are not working it is very hard for them.”

Sikh volunteers Manpreet Singh, Gurkirapal Singh and Sukhwinder Kaur. – Photo: SIMON SCHLUTER / Brisbane Times
By Jewel Topsfield | AUSTRALIA |

In 2017, when Sikh volunteers began distributing free meals to the homeless from a van in Tooradin and Frankston, they were curious: would people like their vegetarian Punjabi curries?

“In the starting, we were thinking ‘People will like it or not like it?’,” recalls Manpreet Singh, the vice-president of Sikh Volunteers Australia.

“It was not just simple curries, it was very special curries we were making according to their taste. Because most of the people don’t like hot food we were trying to make it milder.”

They needn’t have worried. The food vans, plastered with Love all & Share all stickers, have become famous in Melbourne south-east.

Twice a week the volunteers – known as sevadars – distribute dishes such as creamy mutter paneers (a curry made with peas and fresh cheese), vegetable kormas, saag (a leaf vegetable dish) and alu pakora (fried potato slices) from Tooradin caravan park and Young Street car park in Frankston.

They have added pasta and soups to their repertoire, although when Sikh Volunteers Australia served these in Bairnsdale during the bushfires, thinking they might be better suited to country tastes, the locals begged for curries.

Read the full story, ‘Meet the Sikhs who keep coming to the rescue for vulnerable Victorians’ (Brisbane Times, 18 July 2020), here.


Short film ‘Langgar’ on beautiful gesture from first Sikh Guru (Asia Samachar, 24 Feb 2020)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |