NPA host Fundraising Event in May 2015 after charity trip to India

In March 2015 local Coventry members of Sikh Union charity and Northampton Punjabi Association, traveled to India to help make a difference to people’s lives. Read more to find out the various projects they carried out to aid the people of Punjab with the support from their local communities here in the UK.

Northampton Punjabi Association visited Unique Home for Girls in Jalandhar where rescued and abandoned baby girls are protected and brought up in a loving environment. NPA donated over 200 exercise books, stationary, nappies, dry milk, clothing and washing powder to the girls for their daily needs.

NPA at Unique Home for Girls

Female infanticide is a colossal problem in India. In Punjab alone, 750 girlsare born to every 1000 boys. Baby girls are thrown away, left to die on the streets, tossed out in the rubbish and killed. Unique Home are currently a safe haven to 55 girls, giving them 100% full potential to do well in life with the very best of education.

Sikh Union & Northampton Punjabi Association, Jalandhar Eye Camp

On Sunday 16 March an eye camp in Jalandhar, Punjab (India) was held by the Sikh Union Coventry. Over seven-hundred patients were treated and over one-hundred were permitted for operations. Out of those operations, some special cases also came to attention for example, two young patients had developed haemangiomas and one had very poor vision from birth.

Sikh Union and their supporters, Northampton Punjabi Association, were given permission to observe the surgeries in the operation theatre. From gowning up the patients to scrubbing up or surgery, they saw how the patients are given two injections of anesthetic in the eye and antiseptic around the concerned area. The eye is then clamped and stitched open to be operated on. It’s miraculous to see how in under two minutes the corrective surgery can change someone’s life, equip them to provide and earn for their family.

Pummie & Amrit Matharu,co-founders of NPA with volunteer Avneet

Dr Jacob very carefully explained the process as the incision is made in the eye to remove the affected lens and replaced with the correct prescription. Patients were bandaged up and cared for overnight whilst drops were given to them every hour. They were also watered and fed for a complete recovery. After their surgeries, patients commented that they felt as if regained their vision through magic!

NPA volunteers at SUC Eye Camp, Jalandhar

It really is a special feeling being a small part of the journey in helping people improve their lives and for those around them as well. There is a genuine sense of unity in participating in this kind of charity work. Without community support, successful results cannot be achieved and boundaries are left uncrossed.

On the next day on 17 March, Sikh Union and NPA set off to Noida near Delhi to the first of the Sikh Union international orphanage projects, Asha Sadan.

Asha Sadan Orphanage, Noida

The girls cared for at Asha Sadan have come from traumatic backgrounds such as broken families who have been to jail for the murder of their one another’s parents, or from backgrounds of crime, prostitution and sexual abuse. The stories of each girl becomes more horrendous and unimaginable as you listen. Upon seeing their completely happy and joyful faces in one another’s company, and the excitement of our visit, you can’t help but feel wounded by the pain and hurt in their innocent eyes. Those eyes need no words to tell the extremes of their tales.

The girls had put on a complete presentation of speeches, songs and dances which in all honesty stole the volunteers’ hearts. It wasn’t long before the girls had the volunteers joining in with their dancing. Some members even taught them some traditional Bhangra moves.

Mary Bhavan Orphanage, Etah

The following day Sikh Union and NPA volunteers set off to Etah on the rural outskirts of Agra. Mary Bhavan accommodates sixty-six girls at present, and seeing each one lined up in that room with their innocent eyes adorning you is unexplainable through words. The girls come from poor villages and families where education is far out of their reach, therefore English is not spoken. If they were not taken in by the nuns at Mary Bhavan, they would be sent to work in the fields and other unimaginable jobs working the streets.

Previous damp patch that has been restored at Mary Bhavan

The money donated by Sikh Union and NPA has secured the safe renovation of the building at both, Asha Sadan and Mary Bhavan. Previous to our support, two out of thirty-two toilets were working. The girls slept on hard wooden beds. Doors were hanging off and sinks were leaking badly. Kitchen facilities were poor, using traditional coal fire methods to cook.

The orphanages have now been restored with mattresses to aid the girls with comfortable sleeping arrangements, proper privacy for bathing facilities and fully fitted and secure gas supply for cooking. The floors have been furnished making the buildings safe with no dangerous concrete holes. Stage two of the project is to secure computers for their education, and provide the girls and their carers with counselling.

Both organisations are extremely grateful to have the support of their communities. To keep up to date with fundraisers and upcoming projects you can visit www.sikhunion.org / www.sikhunion.co.uk & www.facebook.com/NPAcommunity

Donate today by visiting the websites.

Northampton Punjabi Association host their next fundraising event on May 30th at Northampton Masonic Centre, Lodge Farm, Northampton. Funds raised will go towards Sikh Union,  Pingalwara (home for disabled & homeless), Spectrum (day centre from vulnerable adults) and TLC (supporting children in hospitals). See poster for details and tickets.