Singapore: Sikh community sets goal of 550,000 volunteer hours in 2019 to mark 550th Gurpurab

SINGAPORE: The Sikh community in Singapore has set a goal to collectively conduct 550,000 hours of volunteer service by the end of 2019, as part of year-long celebrations to mark the 550th Gurpurab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

A website, SewaPledge.org, was launched last week for members of the 12,000-strong community to log their activities.

Former People’s Action Party MP Inderjit Singh, who is heading the steering committee for the celebrations, said in a statement on Thursday that volunteer work has been defined broadly for the purposes of the pledge.

“As long as it is done selflessly and not for personal gain, Sikhs can record their contributions as hours clocked. Through this initiative, we hope to rally the community together for a common, positive purpose and to also document the community’s contributions to the nation,” he added.

The festivities, which began last week and will end with Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th Gurpurab celebration on 12 November, 2019 and will include both community events and nationwide activities, the committee said.

These include a proposed Sikh Heritage Day and exhibition in May and a Harmony Walk in August that will bring together representatives of different faiths.

In marking the milestone, there is an aim to also “include the wider society in our celebrations and ensure that our activities have an impact beyond the Sikh community,” said Mr Singh, who is also chairman of the Coordinating Council of Sikh Institutions (Singapore).

“After all, that is in line with Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s core teachings of universalism, equality and inclusiveness,” he added.

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