Members of Richmond's Sikh community have been working to help B.C. flood victims and to purchase much-needed equipment for hospitals in India's Punjab state.
India Cultural Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas, on Richmond's Highway to Heaven, has raised $100,000 to help purchase and install eight kidney dialysis machines in Punjab.
Three machines are being installed at Guru Nanak Mission Hospital in Jalandhar, and five machines are being installed at the Raja Sahib Majara/Rehpa hospitals, said Balwant Sanghera, general secretary of the India Cultural Centre.
He said the funds were raised by Gurdwara Nanak Niwas' congregation as well as generous donors.
The fundraiser was initially launched after learning about the need for oxygen machines in hospitals in the Punjab last year, due to COVID-19, said Sanghera. However, by the time the $100,000 had been raised, Gurdwara Nanak Niwas learned there was enough oxygen equipment in the Punjab and that kidney dialysis machines were in greater demand in certain hospitals.
The dialysis machines were purchased through the Nargis Dutt Cancer Foundation.
Gurdwara Nanak Niwas also worked with the Sarbat Da Bhala Trust, a charitable organization, to launch the fundraising campaign and with the Raja Sahib organization in Canada and India to install machines a the Raja Sahib Majara/Rehpa hospitals.
"Every dollar raised by us has been used to pay for these machines. There was no middleman or commission paid to anyone," said Sanghera.
Gurdwara Nanak Niwas has also been helping out those in need closer to home, by delivering tons of groceries to victims of B.C.'s recent floods, Sanghera said.
In addition, Gurdwara Nanak Niwas has raised $10,000 to help flood victms and farmers in the Fraser valley, he said, which will be "passed on to a suitable organization soon."
"Initiatives like these go a long way in creating more pride in our community. Gurdwara Nanak Niwas is pleased to engage in such activities of public welfare," Sanghera said.