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Sikh Congregation And Local Community Make 3,500 Meals For Stranded Lorry Drivers

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Sikh Congregation And Local Community Make 3,500 Meals For Stranded Lorry Drivers

The Gurdwara (Sikh congregation) responsible for making hundreds of meals for stranded lorry drivers has announced that 3,500 free meals have now been prepared.

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The group, which has made 1,000 meals itself, and the local community have come together in recent days to support drivers stuck in Dover due to recent border closures between UK and Europe.

Earlier this week, international humanitarian organisation Khalsa Aid teamed up with Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend to distribute 800 free meals.

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But this figure has now sky-rocketed, with more people getting involved to help feed thousands of those stranded due to delays over coronavirus tests.

Speaking to LADbible about the incredible gesture, Jagdev Singh Virdee, General Secretary at the Gurdwara, said he and others just wanted to help.

"It was an entire community effort," Jagdev said.

People at Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend have been working to prepare food for stranded lorry drivers. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend
People at Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara in Gravesend have been working to prepare food for stranded lorry drivers. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend
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"We also had the National Sikh Police Association, which has members in all police forces, who helped make links with Kent Police for a police escort to actually take the food all the way past the lorries and so on, to where it needed to be.

"So it was it was very much an all-round effort between various organisations."

And at the time, he said that the community was willing to step up if more needed to be done.

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He said: "At the Gurdwara we're fairly well equipped to produce food at a large scale. It's part of our Langar service - Gurdwaras have a Langar, which is like a community kitchen where everybody cooks and eats together.

"Everybody's welcome to join that, and it's part of this concept of Wand Ke Chakna, which means to share with others who may be in need.

3,500 meals have now been made for the drivers stuck at the border. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend
3,500 meals have now been made for the drivers stuck at the border. Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend

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"So we're always geared up - during the first lockdown for example we were delivering to vulnerable people and to the NHS. We delivered about 64,000 meals altogether, so at the peak it was about 1,000 meals a day."

Jagdev said he and others were taking inspiration from the current farmers' protests in India as the 'best example' of Langar.

He said: "Farmers are protesting because of changes in the laws there which are taking away farmers' rights, so there are hundreds of thousands of farmers who have been protesting and camped out around Delhi.

"While they're protesting, they've also got this Langar going - they're feeding not just themselves, but actually the poor around Delhi, and they're running classes and teaching them and so on.

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"We're actually helping out there as well as much as we can for their efforts."

Featured Image Credit: Guru Nanak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend

Topics: Food, Inspirational, Coronavirus, Community, Health, Covid-19

Dominic Smithers
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