Tag: Sikh community

Siri Guru Nanak Darbar temple launches campaign to motivate people to get vaccinated

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By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 30 August 2021: The Siri Guru Nanak Durbar Sikh Temple, Officer has launched a community campaign to motivate the community to get vaccinated to fight the COVID-19 virus pandemic. To promote this cause an online discussion was done through Zoon on 28 August 2021.

The main speaker at the Zoom event was Mr. Jason Wood, Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety, and Multicultural Affairs among others. Mr. Wood stressed the only way to get out of the current situation in Australia is by vaccinations. He mentioned the vaccination targets and how Australia is tracking its way to meet these before lockdowns and borders can be re-opened.

After the keynote address, the audience was shown two videos: Australian Covid- 19 Vaccine Roadmap and An appeal to be vaccinated prepared by children of Siri Guru Nanak Darbar, Officer.

Also present during the online event was Dr. Sukanya Muraledaran, a GP based in Wheeler’s Hill, Victoria. Dr. Muraledaran presented an excellent overview of the vaccination process and the efficiency of the available vaccines. She stressed the importance of getting vaccinated for a safe return to normal life.

Various themes discussed included motivation and hesitancy to vaccinate, fake news, becoming role models. Most participants agreed that there was a dire need to demystify various fake news going around in this digital age where information is being shared without assessing the authenticity of the information.

Several interesting comments were shared during this discussion. “The major motivation to get vaccinated is to care for others including your own family members”, posted Mr. Sarabjit Giddey.

Mr. Subbu posted “Hesitation to vaccinate is due to 7.2 billion people trying to compare apples with oranges and mangoes around the world and getting confused with the science. As Dr. Sukanya mentioned, people have lost trust after getting bombarded with so many of unconnected data points in the world.”

Other participants suggested the need to become role models to encourage those sitting on the fence. Community leaders Mr. Sunny Duggal, Ms. Nayana Bhandari, Ms. Gurinder Kaur, Mr. Brijal Parikh, and many others expressed their views and appreciated SGND’s initiative to organize this community forum.

Mr. Harpreet Singh thanked all who attended the meeting and also provided information about the role Siri Guru Nanak Darbar was playing in the current pandemic such as providing food relief, translating updated information, and providing support

NSW solves ‘Kirpan’ in schools issue after consultations

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By SAT News Desk

SYDNEY, 15 August 2021: The issue of a student carrying a ‘Kirpan’ in New South Wales schools has been solved after consultations with stakeholders. The issue became hot after ‘Kirpan’ was banned in schools after allegedly “a 16-year-old was Sydney’s north west by a miniature religious knife after a fight broke out three months ago. A 14-year-old boy continues to face serious charges after he stabbed the 16-year-old boy with a kirpan, a Sikh religious knife, at Glenwood High School in May.” (abc.net.au, 13 August 2021).

An NSW Education Department media release on 6 August 2021 says, ” If a Sikh student wears a kirpan to school, the following guidelines must be followed:

The miniature kirpan is of a small size, that is 8.5cm or smaller with no sharp edges or points;
worn under clothes and secured so it cannot be used;
must be removed and safely stored, or secured against the body, when undertaking physical activity such as sport; and when reasonably asked by the school the student must verify that these guidelines are being complied with, any safety concerns will be discussed with the student and their parents or carers.”

Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell said knives would continue to be banned on school grounds, with new strict guidance on carrying religious items that resemble a knife.

“The safety of students is my highest priority and our policy will always prohibit weapons at school,” Ms. Mitchell said.

“When parents and carers send their children to school they expect them to learn in a safe and caring environment. We have a paramount duty to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff while they’re at school.

“We have worked closely with community representatives, including from the Australian Sikh Association and the NSW Gurdwara Group, as well as Multicultural NSW and other government agencies, to develop these new guidelines.”

Ms. Mitchell said any student that does not comply with the above rules would have their parents notified and potentially face strong disciplinary action.

“Can I also thank the Sikh community, their constructive approach has meant we have been able to reach a solution that everyone is happy with quickly,” Ms. Mitchell said.

The Minister says “knives will continue to be banned on school grounds, with the new strict guidance on carrying religious items that resemble a knife.”

There are 2,200 public schools in NSW, attended by 818,000 students. But the number of Sikh students among them is not known, nor is it known how many, if any, carry a ‘Kirpan’ to school.