Sikhism, unlike other religions, places significant importance on the concept of “seva” or selfless service, along with “Simran,” which is the remembrance of the Guru’s teachings. “seva” and “Simran” are considered essential religious obligations for Sikhs.
The first Guru of Sikhs, Guru Nanak Dev ji emphasized that the purest form of “seva” is performed selflessly, without any expectation of personal gain, and intending to benefit others. Sikhism supports philanthropy, with “seva” being a central concept that purifies the soul, fosters humility, and promotes a sense of community.
This philosophy led to the establishment of “Langars,” free communal kitchens found in Gurudwaras worldwide, where vegetarian meals are offered to everyone regardless of their caste, creed, gender, or social status.
Sikhs actively volunteer as “Sevadars” in various capacities. They generously engage in tasks such as preparing, serving, and cleaning up after the Langars, fostering a culture of cooperation and service.
The Golden Temple in Amritsar exemplifies this practice with its soup kitchen, serving nearly one lakh people daily. The Langar operates continuously, ensuring that no one in the holy city goes to bed hungry.
Another notable Langar is hosted at the Gurudwara Bangla Sahib in New Delhi, where between 50,000 and 75,000 visitors are served daily from 5 AM until the early morning hours. Volunteers from all walks of life are welcome to participate in this selfless service.
The Langars provide wholesome and nutritious meals and exhibit outstanding teamwork and cleanliness. Volunteers work tirelessly daily to cater to others’ needs, finding blessings and spiritual satisfaction.
According to Khalsa Vox, Sikhs also practice “seva” in humanitarian aid and disaster management.
During natural calamities such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, Sikh volunteers provide food, drinks, medical care, and shelter to those in need. Their commitment to community assistance stems from their religious beliefs, which emphasize the inherent dignity of every individual.
In response to recurring droughts in certain regions, initiatives like Water Africa have been undertaken to supply safe drinking water to African settlements. Sikh teams have tirelessly provided essential supplies to over a million migrants and refugees who entered Europe in 2015.
Sikhs consider health and education fundamental human rights and actively engage in these areas. Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, an environmentalist and founder of the Nanhi Chhaan Foundation, is involved in various charitable endeavours, primarily focusing on education. They also organize health fairs and support hospitals and medical institutions to contribute to healthcare initiatives.
Khalsa Vox also reports that Sikhs participate in community development projects to address long-term issues and uplift underprivileged communities. These initiatives include constructing homes, schools, and community centres, providing vocational training, and empowering women through skill development programs.
The Sikh Helpline, based in the UK, offers guidance and support to individuals facing challenges such as drug misuse and domestic abuse, helping them overcome obstacles and improve their lives.
Numerous Sikh organizations worldwide are dedicated to charitable causes, aligning with the principles and teachings of Sikhism. Their accomplishments significantly benefit humanity globally.
The spirit of “seva” exhibited by Sikhs serves as an exemplary model for people from all backgrounds, promoting a more compassionate and inclusive world, as highlighted by Khalsa Vox.