March 25, 2020
The Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey has started sending volunteers out to deliver groceries to seniors, people with disabilities and international students, who are stuck in their homes due to coronavirus. Sikh temples across the Lower Mainland are stepping in to offer help to those in need.
The temple will also be offering a drive-through langar, or drive through meal service for those in need. In Sikhism, langar refers to free meals offered to all visitors at the temple’s communal kitchen. The langar will be held from 7 am to 10 pm every day, since dining at the temples has been banned. Volunteers or anyone wanting to donate food are asked to contact the temple.
The organizers of the annual Surrey Vaisakhi Khalsa Parade, Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar, had announced that this year’s parade scheduled for April 25 in Surrey would be cancelled the event “until further notice or a significant change in the transmission of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic”.
The organizers stated that the “difficult decision” was made after several days of consultations with regional and provincial health officials, including the Fraser Health Authority, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, and the B.C. Provincial Ministry of Health, and discussions with other Vaisakhi events around the world.
The cancellation decision came one day after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11.
The Surrey event, which is among the largest Vaisakhi parades in the world, draws over 500,000 attendees to celebrate one of the most significant days in the Sikh calendar, which honours the founding of the Khalsa in 1699.