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The Big Issue
The Big Issue is a magazine sold by homeless vendors to help them get back on their feet. It’s a good read and really opens your eyes to a lot of issues. Let me explain why I want you to buy it. It’s not a charitable donation. If you give a hungry man a fish he’ll come back tomorrow. You teach him to fish you feed him for life. That is the exact ethos behind The Big Issue.
The truly heart warming and heart breaking videos
The first video that you see in front of you truly warms my heart. Here you see a kind hearted man thanking the Sikh community for the wonderful work that they do for the homeless.
This lady reminds me of one incident.
The story of the Annie-the Good Samaritan when my Dad arrived in Ormskirk- explains why I feel so strongly about the homeless.
In 1977 my father got a job as a family doctor in Ormskirk. He took the train from London to Liverpool Lime Street and then to Ormskirk. He arrived on a Sunday and was due to live in a bed and breakfast, getting his own lunch and evening meal. That was the arrangement until his family arrived. At the time I was in the last term of one school and my Dad didn’t want the disruption. So for a period of 3 months he was going to be in a bed and breakfast by himself.
However on turning up at the station a young sweet lady was there. She approached him and said “Are you the new doctor?”
She knew he was Indian so it was a bit of a giveaway!
He replied that he was.
She told him that he was to live with her, he was not going to be in a bed and breakfast. She’d cook for him and she wouldn’t take no for an answer. She was like his 2nd mother. When Dad finished his clinic he’d phone her and let the phone ring three times, she’d get his dinner on and he’d be there in 15 minutes. Dad never went hungry, nor did he live alone at any stage of his early days as a family doctor in Ormskirk until his wife arrived.
For obvious reasons she was like a member of the family. She was a devout Christian and she had no problem with the fact that he was the world’s most devout Hindu.
The world needs more like this young lady.
Something you take for granted.
You and I take for granted that every day we have a roof over our heads, we have a warm home, we have food and we have shelter. These people do not. To me I cannot understand that in one of the world’s richest countries we can allow this to happen.
One thing I do every week
Every Monday at 1030 am I go into my local shopping centre. I take 5 x 50p coins from my wallet and go to my local Big Issue seller and buy a copy. It’s a measly £2.50. However every time you do that you help that person get some money for themselves and give them some self-respect. They don’t feel like a charity case anymore. I do know of one gentleman who a few years ago was a Big Issue in the North vendor and now has a job. You have no idea how great it feels when you see a former Big Issue in the North vendor in work with a stable home.
The Hindu saying the good you do will come back to you
There is an old saying in Hindu and Sikh teachings saying the good you do will come back to you.
For those of you who have read the magical book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne you will remember that by the law of attraction if you do an act of kindness from a warm giving heart the universe will reciprocate. This is why Rhonda Byrne puts a big section in that magical book called give money to get money. Give money to charity as an act of generosity with a warm giving heart and the universe will respond back to you many times over.
This is one reason why Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates. Donald Trump, Robert Kiyosaki etc are some of the world’s richest men. They do ridiculous amounts of work for charity with a warm giving heart. In response the universe rewards them. It will not surprise you that the world’s richest people are the greatest philanthropists. If you see the final video you will see a classic example of this.
I went to a Roman Catholic school and I have the greatest respect for the great work that their priests and nuns do after taking the vow of poverty. However you can do much more good for the community from a position of wealth- so long as you achieve that wealth ethically!
How the Sikh and Hindu communities help.
The Sikh temples give the public Langar — an offering of free food to the public as gift from God.(2) and (3)
Although not well publicised Hindu temples do the same- it’s called Prasad again an offering of free food to the public as gift from God.
Why homeless Britons are turning to the Sikh community for food (2)
Homeless people in the UK are getting free meals thanks to a centuries-old Sikh tradition. Why, asks Rajeev Gupta.
“We come here because we get food… A hot meal. It’s a luxury for me.” John Davidson is 55 and homeless. He is one of 250 people who have just received a hand-out of hot soup, drinks, chocolate bars and other supplies from the Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team van parked up on the Strand in central London on a cold Sunday evening. The Swat team, as they’re known, park at the same spot every week so a group of volunteers from the Sikh community can hand out vital supplies. Homeless people, who overwhelmingly are not Sikh, patiently wait in line to be served.
For the volunteers handing out food here, this is more than just good charitable work. For them this is a religious duty enshrined by the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, over 500 years ago. At a time of deep division by caste and religious infighting between Hindus and Muslims in India, Guru Nanak called for equality for all and set forward the concept of Langar — a kitchen where donated produce, prepared into wholesome vegetarian curry by volunteers, is freely served to the community on a daily basis.
Today, thousands of free Langar meals are served every day in Sikh temples throughout the UK. The Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Southall, thought to be the biggest Sikh temple outside of India, says it alone serves 5,000 meals on weekdays and 10,000 meals on weekends. Every Sikh has the duty to carry out Seva, or selfless service, says Surinder Singh Purewal, a senior member of the temple management team. “It means we’re never short of donations or volunteers to help prepare the Langar.”
In recent times the Langar meal has acted as a barometer for the state of the economy. After the 2008 recession many Sikh temples reported a surge in the numbers of non-Sikhs coming in for the free Langar meals. It’s now common to see non-Sikhs inside the temple, Purewal says: “We don’t mind it. As long as people show respect, are not intoxicated and cover their heads in line with our traditions, then everyone is welcome.”
The Swat team say they decided to take the concept of Langar outside its traditional setting in temples and out onto the streets when they saw a growing homelessness problem in London. Randeep Singh who founded SWAT says: “When you go to the temple, what’s the message? The message is to help others, help your neighbours. That’s what we are doing.
Something my late father felt very strongly about
My father used to donate ridiculous amounts of money to the Hindu temples and asked them to give Prasad to those who needed it. Like Langar there is no obligation whatsoever to convert to those religions. All are welcome.
A deal I made with my father
When I told my Dad my invention- Operation Mums in Mind and told of the potential earnings he said nothing would make him happier than to fund every Sikh and Hindu temple with sufficient money to fund their Langar and Prasad bills. I said “deal” but you have to beat your cancer. Sadly he lost his battle to cancer but I’ll still keep my promise.
The goal is to get 1 million people on Operation Mums in Mind and then I can go to every Sikh and Hindu temple, telling them to let me fund Langar and Prasad.
Help me help the homeless — what I want you to do
Most importantly every week I want you to go and buy The Big Issue. If everybody reading this newsletter went and got The Big Issue every week we could knock a HUGE dent in the problem. Remember the old Hindu saying of the good you do will come back to you. I promise you it’s true.
Secondly join my live online streamed fitness classes.- yes I will make money but remember the story of my late father. If it were not for Annie he would have been practically homeless.
I promise you that I will give stupidly ridiculously high amounts of money to Hindu and Sikh temples to give Prasadand Langar to those who need it. I want to go up to a Sikh priest hand over a load of money and I want to see him faint when he sees how much I give his temple.
My fitness programme http;//www.weightlossformums.online
- You Sikhs are a great blessing to our society — SWAT London Langar Sewa https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTu2Ar-VfBk
- Why homeless Britons are turning to the Sikh community for food http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-31557192
- Sikh charity feeding homeless people in London https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZmYx5DYGzc