Delhi

Del­hi’s mid­dle class Sikhs vul­ner­a­bil­ity to Covid19 in­fec­tion a deep con­cern

Source: theworldsikhnews.com

Alarmed at the in­creas­ing deaths of the lower mid­dle class and mid­dle-class Sikhs and other mi­nori­ties in Delhi, since the Un­lock 2.0 pe­riod started, The World Sikh News ed­i­tor Jag­mo­han Singh writes an Open Let­ter to Delhi Sikh Gur­d­wara Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee Man­jin­der Singh Sirsa urg­ing him to take im­me­di­ate steps as the health sce­nario in Delhi takes a turn for the worse and the prog­nos­ti­ca­tions for the com­ing weeks is go­ing to be sim­ply deadly. If the In­dian Coun­cil of Med­ical Re­search is to be be­lieved. in pro­por­tion to the to­tal pop­u­la­tion of Delhi, 200,000 Sikhs will be at risky by July end. We need to rein­vent and re­ori­ent Lan­gar from food to med­ical care in the tra­di­tion of Guru Harkr­is­han Sahib.  He states that it is a now or never sit­u­a­tion as the two mas­ters of Delhi play ping-pong with peo­ples’ lives.

DEAR MAN­JIN­DER SINGH SIRSA: WA­HE­GURU JI KA KHALSA, WA­HE­GURU JI KI FATEH!  I write to you with hope and ex­pec­ta­tion.  This is an SOS call. Sikhs, who com­prise nearly 5 per cent of Del­hi’s pop­u­la­tion look up to you as the pres­i­dent of the Sikh apex body -DS­GMC in Delhi to take im­me­di­ate steps to save them from the health cat­a­stro­phe that is strik­ing the com­mu­nity and will only get worse in the com­ing days and weeks. We seek arrange­ments for beds, oxy­gen cylin­ders, am­bu­lances, pulse oxime­ters, et al, man­aged by doc­tors and para­medics.

Lan­gar is not just about food. It is about equal­ity and shar­ing. It is about ris­ing to the oc­ca­sion. DS­GMC is blessed with the op­por­tu­nity to re­ori­ent and rein­vent Lan­gar from food to med­ical care to vul­ner­a­ble Sikhs and oth­ers. We need to evolve Lan­gar. You took the right steps with Lan­gar as food for one and all, for thou­sands across Delhi.

The new Lan­gar will have Oxy­gen cylin­ders, pulse-oxime­ters, sim­ple beds and the works. The city-state of Delhi may be di­vided into 46 cen­tres, rep­re­sent­ing the 46 con­stituen­cies of the DS­GMC and in each of these ar­eas, Sikh schools, col­leges, Sarais, dor­mi­to­ries, large Gur­d­waras may be con­verted into quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion cen­tres.

The new Lan­gar will have Oxy­gen cylin­ders, pulse-oxime­ters, sim­ple beds and the works. The city-state of Delhi may be di­vided into 46 cen­tres, rep­re­sent­ing the 46 con­stituen­cies of the DS­GMC and in each of these ar­eas, Sikh schools, col­leges, Sarais, dor­mi­to­ries, large Gur­d­waras may be con­verted into quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion cen­tres.

The city-state of Delhi is be­ing man­aged by two fa­thers -both of whom are adopt­ing a step-fa­therly at­ti­tude. The left-hand does not know what the right hand is do­ing and the right-hand wants to over­step the left one at every avail­able op­por­tu­nity.  The fig­ures be­ing put out by the Delhi gov­ern­ment fall short of the un­fold­ing cat­a­stro­phe and the pre­var­i­ca­tion of the Union gov­ern­ment only fos­ters the no­tion: Pro­tect Your­self, The Onus is on You.

So­cial and po­lit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor, Ku­mar San­jay Singh, who has been closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion and has been di­gest­ing the data and re­ports in rep­utable med­ical jour­nals world­wide has this to say, “Delhi is sit­ting on a Covid19 ex­plo­sive. Sadly, our gov­ern­ments have aban­doned us. Now it is for us to rise to the oc­ca­sion and save our­selves.”

It is now or never. Guru Har Kr­is­han Sahib, in whose mem­ory Gur­d­wara Bangla Sahib stands -who took care of the sick and the ail­ing when an epi­demic of cholera struck the then city of Delhi in the sev­en­teenth cen­tury, beck­ons you and your team.

Ex­perts are of the opin­ion that by the third week of July, the pan­demic will reach its peak in Delhi, Mum­bai and Chen­nai and the sit­u­a­tion will be grossly dev­as­tat­ing.

Re­puted jour­nal dw.com, in its lat­est story, has said that “In­dia could have ‘sev­eral coro­n­avirus peaks’. Its re­port from Delhi says, “As coro­n­avirus cases rise sharply in In­dia, the coun­try’s pub­lic health sys­tem has been over­bur­dened with Covid-19 pa­tients, with many need­ing in­ten­sive care and ven­ti­la­tors.

In re­sponse to a me­dia query, Ra­man Laxmi­narayan of CD­DEP- Cen­tre for Dis­ease Dy­nam­ics and Eco­nomic Pol­icy said, “The In­dian Coun­cil of Med­ical Re­search -ICM­R’s sero­sur­vey (col­lec­tion and test­ing of serum spec­i­mens from a sam­ple of a de­fined pop­u­la­tion over a spec­i­fied pe­riod of time) in­di­cates that 1 crore (10 mil­lion) In­di­ans had been in­fected by mid-May. There­fore, it is not un­rea­son­able that we would have 300+ mil­lion in­fec­tions by July. Keep in mind that from the virus’ per­spec­tive, the dis­tance of get­ting from about 10,000 cases in mid-March to 10 mil­lion in mid-May (a fac­tor of 1,000) is eas­ier from get­ting 10 mil­lion to 300 mil­lion (a fac­tor of 30).”

Cit­ing fig­ures given by the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary of the pre­sent Naren­dra Modi gov­ern­ment, em­i­nent jour­nal­ist SP Singh says, “On Au­gust 15, In­di­a’s to­tal cases will be 2,74,96,513, that is a quar­ter shy of there crores. On this in­de­pen­dence day, the coun­try will see 18,46,781 pa­tients be­ing con­firmed as corona pos­i­tive new cases every day.

Fur­ther­more, pres­ti­gious med­ical jour­nal Lancet has pub­lished a study that says that in­sti­tu­tional quar­an­tine is much more ef­fec­tive than home quar­an­tine.

It is in­deed ironic that dur­ing the last few weeks and days, the DS­GMC was un­able to do much for their Se­wadar Gur­preet Singh who died due to Coro­n­avirus in­fec­tion and the DS­GMC mem­ber Tar­lochan Singh Mankoo, whose fam­ily had to go to many hos­pi­tals, till they found a bed for him, but he suc­cumbed soon.  The deaths of Satin­der Singh Lucky, Navneet Singh Bawa, Kan­wal Preet Singh, In­der­pal Singh Bedi and his brother.

In the last eight weeks, in­di­vid­ual Sikh vol­un­teers, small or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the DS­GMC have been in the fore­front to en­sure that no­body goes hun­gry in Delhi.  You have con­tributed im­mensely to­wards this end and you have the Gu­ru’s bless­ings for this. Now is the time for the next phase of the Sewa.

And Delhi Uni­ver­sity ex­pert Ku­mar San­jay Singh says, “The Sikhs have re­mark­able para­pher­na­lia around Gur­d­waras with a huge po­ten­tial to use their in­sti­tu­tions to set up tem­po­rary quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties and I see no rea­son why they should de­lay this.”Harjinder Singh Kukreja@SinghLions

Just like what British Sikhs have been claiming, I feel in Delhi too Sikhs have been disproportionately hit by the #COVID19 pandemic. Came across this post on my Facebook timeline about Raajpreet, who lost her father and chacha (uncle) in a span of 5 days to coronavirus. 🆘

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It is clear that every res­i­dent of Delhi, es­pe­cially the vul­ner­a­ble mid­dle class has to take care of it­self. The med­ical war­riors of the first phase of the Lock­down are now be­com­ing med­ical leeches -those run­ning heart hos­pi­tals are with­out a heart and with barely any reg­u­la­tion in place, peo­ple, in­clud­ing Sikhs, are run­ning from pil­lar to post -from pri­vate clin­ics to gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tals to gi­gan­tic spe­cial­ity cen­tres -in pri­vate cars, wait­ing to die.

“The Sikhs have re­mark­able para­pher­na­lia around Gur­d­waras with a huge po­ten­tial to use their in­sti­tu­tions to set up tem­po­rary quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties and I see no rea­son why they should de­lay this.”

KU­MAR SAN­JAY SINGH, EX­PERT PO­LIT­I­CAL COM­MEN­TA­TOR

There is no time to lose. Sink­ing all dif­fer­ences, you may call a face to face or vir­tual meet­ing of who’s who of Sikhs in Delhi -sin­cere in­di­vid­u­als, politi­cians ir­re­spec­tive of party af­fil­i­a­tion, non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions and set the ball rolling. You may make a call to Sikh doc­tors and para­medics and I am sure they will re­spond to the need of the hour.

I have spo­ken to many in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions in Delhi and else­where who are will­ing to pitch in and it is a mat­ter of time that Sikhs will re­spond so over­whelm­ingly to this pro­ject that it will have a domi­no’s ef­fect for other com­mu­ni­ties to fol­low. Med­ical oxy­gen man­u­fac­tur­ers bod­ies across Delhi and In­dia have promised full co­op­er­a­tion to make this cam­paign a suc­cess.

Med­ical oxy­gen man­u­fac­tur­ers bod­ies across Delhi and In­dia have promised full co­op­er­a­tion to make this cam­paign a suc­cess.

It is in­deed ironic that dur­ing the last few weeks and days, the DS­GMC was un­able to do much for their Se­wadar Gur­preet Singh who died due to Coro­n­avirus in­fec­tion and the DS­GMC mem­ber Tar­lochan Singh Mankoo, whose fam­ily had to go to many hos­pi­tals, till they found a bed for him, but he suc­cumbed soon.  The deaths of Satin­der Singh Lucky, Navneet Singh Bawa, Kan­wal Preet Singh, In­der­pal Singh Bedi and his brother.

The pain in the voices of the rel­a­tives of these de­ceased should send shud­ders down your spine and any­one who hears it. Many more are re­cov­er­ing in hos­pi­tals, who are fleec­ing them and they are ar­rang­ing funds through friends, rel­a­tives and loans. Hos­pi­tals have turned down re­quests to ho­n­our med­ical in­sur­ance poli­cies. The eco­nomic im­pact of this will push many Sikh house­holds into ab­ject poverty as peo­ple just can­not af­ford to spend Rs. 10-15 lakhs be­ing charged by pri­vate hos­pi­tals.

The hos­pi­tal in­fra­struc­ture -pub­lic and pri­vate has been over­whelmed as med­ical work­ers are in­fected and the num­ber of pa­tients is far more than the avail­able beds. Rail­way bo­gies have been con­verted into hos­pi­tal beds, quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

The hos­pi­tal in­fra­struc­ture -pub­lic and pri­vate has been over­whelmed as med­ical work­ers are in­fected and the num­ber of pa­tients is far more than the avail­able beds. Rail­way bo­gies have been con­verted into hos­pi­tal beds, quar­an­tine and iso­la­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

You may be aware that a re­port pre­pared by the Pub­lic Health Eng­land, re­cently leaked shows that COVID-19 has had a dis­pro­por­tion­ate im­pact on the BAME com­mu­nity -Black, Asian and mi­nor­ity eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties. The of­fi­cial re­view has found “racism, dis­crim­i­na­tion and so­cial in­equal­i­ties”.

The eco­nomic im­pact of this will push many Sikh house­holds into ab­ject poverty as peo­ple just can­not af­ford to spend Rs. 10-15 lakhs be­ing charged by pri­vate hos­pi­tals.

Like the Sikhs of Delhi, there too the mi­nori­ties have ex­pressed “deep dis­may, anger, loss and fear.” The sec­ond part of the re­port is equally rel­e­vant to Delhi. En­gage­ments with the com­mu­nity high­lighted the “BAME com­mu­ni­ty’s deep con­cern that, if lessons are not learnt from the ini­tial phase of this epi­demic, fu­ture waves of the dis­ease could again have se­vere and dis­pro­por­tion­ate im­pacts.”

British Mem­ber Par­lia­ment Tan­man­jeet Singh Dhesi, who him­self has lost rel­a­tives to Covid19 has sought an in­quiry into ris­ing deaths amongst the British Asian pop­u­la­tion. British Par­lia­men­tar­ian Preet Kaur Gill has pointed out the dis­pro­por­tion­ate deaths amongst Sikhs in British Mid­lands. The first twelve doc­tors to die from the virus in the UK were all from eth­nic mi­nor­ity back­grounds, prompt­ing calls from the British Med­ical As­so­ci­a­tion for an ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which has been or­dered.SloughWindsorExpress@ExpressSeries

Slough MP @TanDhesi calls for action as report reveals BAME community ‘disproportionately impacted’ by COVID-19 https://www.sloughexpress.co.uk/gallery/slough/159015/slough-mp-calls-for-action-as-report-reveals-bame-community-disproportionately-impacted-by-covid-19.html#.Xt_clNzQwyY.twitter …Slough MP calls for action as report reveals BAME community ‘disproportionately impacted’ by…Slough MP Tan Dhesi has called on the Government to take urgent action after a report revealed COVID-19 may have ‘disproportionately impacted’ the BAME community.sloughexpress.co.uk63Twitter Ads information and privacy21 people are talking about this

A large num­ber of In­dian-Amer­i­cans have died due to Covid-19 in the US. As per me­dia re­ports, many are still main­tain­ing anonymity and not in­form­ing their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties.

There is no such re­port in Delhi or In­dia and every­thing is be­ing kept un­der the wraps. The con­cern of the com­mu­nity should serve as a clar­ion call for all of us. The DS­GMC should im­me­di­ately set up a Task Force to help the mem­bers of the Sikh com­mu­nity.  I have no hes­i­ta­tion in say­ing that this will be em­u­lated by oth­ers and in this, we will be able to save valu­able lives in Delhi.

As I said at the be­gin­ning of the let­ter -it is now or never. Guru Har Kr­is­han Sahib, in whose mem­ory Gur­d­wara Bangla Sahib stands -who took care of the sick and the ail­ing when an epi­demic of cholera struck the then city of Delhi in the sev­en­teenth cen­tury, beck­ons you and your team.

With 5 per cent of the pop­u­la­tion of Delhi be­ing Sikhs, we are star­ing at thou­sands of Sikhs be­ing in the spate of the pan­demic. If we do not pre­pare to­day, to­mor­row will be too late. You need to give ex­haus­tive guide­lines re­gard­ing stay­ing at home and step­ping out only if it is ab­solutely es­sen­tial.

You have an op­por­tu­nity to serve the Sikhs and hu­mankind with the bless­ings of Guru Harkr­is­han Sahib. It is my hope and prayer that you will re­spond with­out any de­lay.

Sin­cerely

Jag­mo­han Singh
Ed­i­tor, The World Sikh News

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