New Delhi: Akali Dal workers on Friday staged a protest outside Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence to press their demand for declaring a holiday on Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom day on November 24.
Guru Tegh Bahadur was martyred in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi on the orders of the then Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in the month of November 1675.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) had last year petitioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce changing the name of Aurangzeb road in Delhi after Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib’s name as a tribute to him on his martyrdom anniversary.
“We have also demanded that Guru Teg Bahadur’s martyrdom day be declared a gazetted holiday across the country, so that message of universal brotherhood given by Guru reaches every corner of the country” DSGMC president Manjit Singh GK had said.
Two Sikh communities in the US state of Indiana will donate funds and food to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers, as they remain unpaid due to the ongoing partial government shutdown.
The Sikh community of Fishers, Indiana, and Gurinder Singh Khalsa of SikhsPAC, a national Sikh political action committee, are coordinating with Mario Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Indianapolis Airport Authority, and Aaron Batt, TSA Federal Security Director, to support TSA agents, who are impacted by the shutdown, the American Bazaar news portal reported on Thursday.
“The community has come forward and is keen to support the workers who are undergoing the crisis of missing their paychecks,” Khalsa told the portal.
He said that $5,000 in gift/grocery cards and more than $5,000 worth of hot food will be delivered to the TSA agents at the Indianapolis Airport on January 28.
Leading the community efforts, Khalsa is currently working with several local grocery stores that are eager to offer foodstuff at discounted prizes.
“We are looking at the places that can offer us good discounts so that we can deliver maximum stuff to workers affected,” he said.
TSA official Batt said the communities’ efforts were “overwhelming and amazing”.
To ensure that the community is able to offer helping hands to federal workers until the shutdown ends, the Sikhs in Fishers have vowed to encourage more Sikh temples and faith-based organisations in the state to come forward in assisting in the coming weeks if needed.
“Our community kitchen will continue serving every Sunday and we will deliver hot food weekly to our TSA public servants on a weekly basis until the shutdown is lifted,” Khalsa said.
TSA falls under the Department of Homeland Security and has about 60,000 employees.
Its workers are one of the lowest paid employees and have been working without pay since the shutdown began on December 22.