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Seven Kings gurdwara volunteers hand out thousands of rotis in ‘humbling’ trip to Calais

PUBLISHED: 13:30 26 October 2015 | UPDATED: 15:37 26 October 2015

Police officer Mandeep Singh, 30 handing out food parcels to people staying at a Calais refugee camp. Picture: Singh Sabha London East

Police officer Mandeep Singh, 30 handing out food parcels to people staying at a Calais refugee camp. Picture: Singh Sabha London East

Archant

Volunteers stayed up all night preparing thousands of roti wraps for refugees camped in Calais on Friday.

About 5,000 wraps along with clothes, toiletries and dry food, were then distributed by volunteers from Singh Sabha London East, High Road, Seven Kings, on Saturday.

The group also donated to a temporary kitchen at the camp after distributing essentials outside a temporary mosque and church.

Organiser Mandeep Singh, 30, said: “It was a really good experience, but there’s still a lot of help needed.

“It was quite humbling to help people in need and at the same time see their conditions – it was quite difficult.”

The police officer from Seven Kings said it was all about sharing the principles of Guru Nanak – one being “kirat karo” which is all about sharing.

“To have such an opportunity to be involved in such a seva [selfless service] is very special indeed,” he said.

“Being able to help and speak to those in need in Calais makes me appreciate how lucky we are.”

In charge of preparing the food was Mandeep Chahal, 40, from Seven Kings.

“There’s always lots of volunteers that want to help,” she said.

“I haven’t done an all-nighter before but the younger members stayed up with us and there was a lovely spirit in the kitchen.

“We were like machines,” she said. “It’s lovely to know that it was going to a good cause.”

Volunteer Makhan Singh said the group hoped to return to Calais in the near future.

He said: “Compassion is a big part of the Sikh philosophy, so when we know these people are suffering just around the corner from us, we have to do something to help.”

To find out more and to get involved visit singhsabhale.org


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