Five years ago Jasvinder Sidhu observed that all Gurudwaras in Victoria were having a problem of food overstocking and as a committee member in Tarneit Gurudwara he was keen to mobilize food where it is needed the most.
Guru Nanak Dev ji founded the institution of Langar for needy irrespective of their caste, class or religion. Jasvinder established programs for homeless children by arranging food and milk on regular basis which is still functional. Many other Gurudwaras, Hindu and Sikh community members and Rockbank Hindu temple came forward to support such initiatives.
In early 2013 extending the concept of Langar to all needy Breakfast Clubs were started in a few schools. Within 18 months the program has expanded to 12 schools serving 500 school children breakfast and lunch meals who otherwise go to school without food. There are many reasons for children to attend schools without food. These include mental sickness, drug abuse, neglect by parents and also single parents, low income and many others.
These clubs run in Wyndham, Noble Park, Preston, Roxburg Park and Collingwood. Jasvinder arranges donations working with volunteers.Indian papers, SBS and various other radio programs have mentioned this work and its power to connect Indian community and Guru Nanak Dev ji’smessage of “Seeking Universal Welfare” to wider Australian community.
This program has been appreciated in Federal Parliament by Tim Watts, MP and in Victorian State Parliament by TelmoLanguiller MP recognizing the great contribution that this work is making to the lives of young kids.
This program and dedicated work by Jasvinder Sidhu was going to take a major turning point. On October 9, Daniel Andrews, Leader of the Opposition went to one of the breakfast clubs and himself observed how it is run and how Sikh and Hindu communities are making such a great contribution. School Principal and Jasvinder informed Daniel Andrews that 50 children on an average are served breakfast at all schools.
Only 17 days later on October 26, Daniel Andrews announced that if he becomes Premier of Victoria across 500 disadvantaged schools 25,000 school children will be served breakfast meal every day.
This is an evidence of dedicated work and it is the power of the concept of langar and looking after the needy that a major political leader got inspiration and decided to set up a policy to assist needy children. Jasvinder said “the whole credit goes to strength of our culture and power of the institution of Langar and we have now proved its strength to everyone.
I am so glad that Labor Party has picked up the idea and will now serve millions of meals every year. We all shall be proud of this achievement”.
Jasvinder Sidhu founder of food programs became a university lecturer at the age of 23. A social researcher and has taught in five countries over last one decade and has presented his research in over dozen countries around the world.