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Sikhs have made Australia their home for about 100 years

Religious needs of the Sikh community have been honored, by the gazettal of a separate Sikh cremation place in 1932

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Sikh community celebrating Vaishakhi. Wikimedia

History says that many years ago, Indians came to Australia to run camel trains. These Indians were Afghans and they used to keep the supply line and communication open between the Centre of Australia and Melbourne. The goods and mail were transported using camels through the desert.

Later, the Punjabis came, got involved in the Victorian fields and took part in the rush for gold. Apart from them, Muslims from North Western Punjab region worked as camel drivers in the Central Australian dessert. Since then, more Indians came to Australia more than fifty years ago while both India and Australia were British colonies.

Like many others, Tarun Preet Singh migrated to Australia in 2002 with his wife and three kids and decided to settle in Perth. He joined the Sikh Association in around 2007-2008 and volunteered as a committee member in 2009.

Tarunpreet Singh ( Photo courtesy: http://www.australiansikhheritage.com/
Tarunpreet Singh ( Photo courtesy: http://www.australiansikhheritage.com/)

He found a brass plaque in the Canningvale gurdwara managed by SAWA. After inquiring people about its existence, he came to know about the former Sikh Cemetery in Adenia Park in Riverton suburb and about Mr John Parker of Canning Districts Historical Society.

Related Article: The spirited journey of Canadian Sikhs

On meeting Mr. Parker, he came to know that the brass plaque was designed by him and that got Tanupreet curious. On further questioning, Parker told him that he made the plaque using 20 kilos of brass metal in the year 1992. To be extra safe, he had made two of them, thinking that if one gets lost or misplaced, he could use the other.

The brass plaque in the Canningvale gurdwara managed by SAWA.
The brass plaque in the Canningvale gurdwara managed by SAWA.

Through this, Singh came to know about the migration of Sikhs in Australia and that people belonging to Sikh community were an integral part of Australia for more than 100 years.

The Adenia Park site history is listed on WA State Heritage Register as of significant historic value associated with WA State Cremation Act of 1929 and undertaking of cremation. The site is one of the proofs that Sikhs have made Australia their home for a very long time. The place is a symbol of acceptance of diverse ethnic groups who tried to maintain their customs, traditions and rituals.

This is how the religious needs of the Sikh community came forward and resulted in the gazettal of a separate Sikh cremation place in 1932. There are more than 12 cremation sites present in WA but this one was allotted for the Sikh community officially by the Government.

Further, this led to the discovery of an important piece in the history of a WW-II battle on West Australian soil that the Royal Indian Air Force Flying Officer Manmohan Singh died in. The Allied forces had 22 aircrafts that were destroyed and 88 personnel died on March 3, 1942 in Broome, West Australia. The historic incident also included USAF, RAF, RAAF and Dutch Airforce.

SAWA initiated by organizing a small event annually from 2011 at the site on the first weekend of March to commemorate both these important pieces of Sikh history in WA.

Few members of the SAWA community came forward to join the vital pieces of Sikh in the history of WA and formed ASHA (Australian Sikh Heritage Association) in the year 2014.

Apart from this, ASHA is also working on various projects that will bring forth the crucial roles played by Sikhs and the contributions made by them in the development of Australia.

City of Canning came forward and offered a great support to ASHA by building a pathway costing $35k in 2016 and Lotterywest has supported them with a grant of $150k.

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Nearly Half Urban Indians to Shop Online After Lockdown: Survey

The survey also suggests that 21 per cent people are less likely than before to shop in physical retail stores

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A recent survey says that 44% urban Indians are more likely to shop online after lockdown. Pixabay

Close to half (44 per cent) of urban Indians are more likely to shop online once the lockdown is over and 21 per cent people are less likely than before to shop in physical retail stores, a new survey said on Tuesday, according to Covid-19 pandemic in India updates.

The survey of 1,011 respondents conducted by YouGov also revealed that among the different regions, East and West Indians (51 per cent and 50 per cent, respectively) are more likely to shop online in the future as compared to residents in North and South India (41 per cent and 40 per cent).

Likewise, the inclination to move online for shopping appears to be stronger among tier-1 city residents (51 per cent) than tier-2 and 3 residents (41 per cent each).

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68% of respondants showed their interest in buying gadgets after the lockdown is lifted. Pixabay

According to the data, gadgets (68 per cent), beauty & personal care (58 per cent), apparels & accessories (56 per cent) and home & kitchen appliances (51 per cent) are the top categories where a majority of respondents have indicated their likeliness to buy online, once the Covid-19 crisis is resolved.

“The current Covid crisis and the subsequent lockdowns have helped accelerate the momentum for e-commerce,” Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India, said in a statement.

Also Read: Lifestyle Intervention Reduces Bad Cholesterol Concentration in Kids

The survey found that even though people are currently buying online, the majority (73 per cent) are either very or fairly scared about their safety while shopping.At present, one in three urban Indians (30 per cent) have bought or are planning to buy beauty and personal care products online since e-commerce delivery resumed in their area amidst the Covid lockdown, the data said.

Demand for these products is the highest in tier-1 cities at 37 per cent. The findings also showed that most of the other categories, such as automobiles (83 per cent), Salons & Spa services (78 per cent); alcohol (74 per cent), hardware (71 per cent) and gardening (64 per cent) consumers are likely to prefer shopping offline in physical stores.

The data also revealed that concern for safety is the highest among those in their thirties (at 67 per cent) while worry about the fit or look appears to be strongest among respondents aged above 40 (at 35 per cent). (IANS)

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Sewa International Bay Area Chapter Distributes Hot Meals, Masks, and Supplies to 700+ Families

Sewa International also donated 500 masks to the Oroville Hospital and distributed goody packets to kids

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A line of cars waiting to be a part of the Sewa International Food Drive on Saturday, May 30 in Oroville, California.

Sewa International’s Bay Area Chapter distributed hot meals, groceries, masks, and hygiene kits to more than 700 families in a drive-through distribution event held in Oroville, CA on Saturday, May 30, as part of its extensive COVID-19 relief efforts.

In addition, Sewa International also donated 500 masks to the Oroville Hospital and distributed goody packets to kids which included wipes, school supplies, and snack bags of cereal.

“Our cadre of volunteers are working hard to support the underprivileged sections of our society in these trying times.  Our aim is to achieve the well-being of all by providing a stable support structure by developing overall cooperation within society,” said Sewa International Bay Area Chapter President Jayant Somani.

“Through this event, we coordinated with homeless shelters and senior citizen homes across the Concow and Oroville areas to ensure that their important work of feeding the homeless and supporting senior citizens. Sewa is grateful for the enormous support it received from many of the local community organizations in fighting this COVID-19 pandemic together,” said Somani.

Tiny Home Donated

As  part of the Campfire relief initiative, Sewa International, in partnership with the Tiny Homes Organization, donated the third tiny home its volunteers built to Casey, a veteran who had lost his home in the fires that ravished his area last year. Three more tiny homes are being built to be donated by Sewa.

“This is amazing.  I had basically forgotten how people should live.  It had been so long that I got so used to this tent (that I was living in). I had basically lost hope.  This gave me hope.  I can become human again… What you all are doing is amazing — your loyalty and everything.  Please keep doing it, if you can,” said Casey in appreciation of receiving his new home.

625,000 Masks Distributed 

Prior to this event, the Bay Area chapter had distributed almost 57,000 KN95, N95, surgical, face shields and hand- made masks to the United States Postal Service, Valley Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, San Ramon Police Department, City of Sunnyvale, and City of Cupertino, and many other city, medical, and emergency service responders.

Nationwide, Sewa International has donated over 625,000 masks, 1,000 liters of sanitizer, 63,000 hot meals and food, and over $100,000 to food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis.  Through the hard work of more than 3,000 volunteers across 43 chapters and in collaboration with over 800 organizations across the country, Sewa International has committed itself to supporting all essential workers and service industries in these trying times.  In addition, Sewa International has set up 10 national helpline centers to field and monitor all calls for help and information. Through the information received via these helplines, Sewa International launched the Plasma Registry Drive which led to successful registry matches for four COVID-19 patients.

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Sewa Bay Area Chapter volunteers seen standing with Casey, who received the third Tiny Home Sewa volunteers built to help victims of the 2019 California Campfire. Alyssa Nolan from the Tiny Homes Organization is also seen in the photograph.

Partner Organizations helping Sewa International’s efforts

Working with and helping Sewa reach out to the community are several partner organizations. They include the  Annapoorna USA Foundation (Sacramento), Bengaluru Voice, Bharati Tamil Sangam, Feed My Peeps, Hindu SwayamSevak Sangh, IINDIA-SC, Maheshwari Mahasabha of North America, Makers for COVID-19, My Support for Kids Foundation, Posh Textiles, PrinterPrezz, Raja Sweets and Catering, Rajasthan Association of North America, Rotary Club of San Ramon Valley, Sleeping Bags for the Homeless of Silicon Valley, Tiny Homes, Tri-Valley Kannada Sangha, Vishnuji Ki Rasoi.

About Sewa International

Sewa International, a leading Hindu faith-based Indian American nonprofit organization, has extensive experience in disaster rescue, relief, and rehabilitation operations having responded to 24 disasters in the US and abroad. In 2017, after Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area, Sewa volunteers helped in the rescue of nearly 700 people and have served thousands of affected families since then through their case management service. Sewa raised over $3 million for Hurricane Harvey recovery, Sewa continues to rebuild homes, and greenhouses that serve as a means of livelihood. It has also rendered relief in the wake of hurricane Maria in 2018 and Hurricane Imelda in 2019. Sewa teams in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to build and donate tiny homes for those rendered homeless in California Camp Fire of November 2018.

Also Read: ‘Touchless hospitality’: The Future Of Hotels In A New World

Among its other accolades, Sewa International has been recognized by Charity Navigator – the premier nonprofit rating agency – as the number five among the “10 Highly Rated Charities Relying on Private Contributions.” Sewa has for the last three years continuously scored the topmost-rated 4-star from Charity Navigator, and has earned perfect scores for its Financial Health and Accountability & Transparency.

For more information on Sewa International and its activities, please visit www.sewausa.org.

For more information on Sewa International’s efforts to support communities nationwide during the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://sewausa.org/covid-19

[ Disclaimer: The pictures used in the article are supplied by the author, NewsGram has no intention of infringing copyrights. ]

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Indians Watch 54% Online Videos in Hindi: Youtube

54% of online videos watched in India are in Hindi language as suggested by YouTube

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54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi. Pixabay

According to entertainment news, about 54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi, while English is preferred by only 16 per cent of the viewing population, followed by Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Bengali, Google-owned YouTube said in a report on Tuesday.

Telugu is preferred by seven per cent of viewing population, Kannada six per cent, Tamil five per cent and Bengali is preferred by three per cent, said the study titled “Understanding India’s online video viewer”.

The research revealed that Indian users watch online videos for an average of 67 minutes everyday.

More than 70 per cent of viewership comes from 15-34 year olds and 37 per cent of users come from rural geographies.

The total online video user population is expected to reach 500 million by the end of the year, said the report.

According to YouTube, entertainment emerged to be the favourite genre along with learning content which is consumed in 43 per cent of the video viewing occasions.

The study also highlighted the ‘Four Ps’ of motivation for watching — Pleasure, emPower, Purpose and People.

Explaining these further, pleasure accounts for 55 per cent and is all about enjoyment and de-stressing; empower is 20 per cent and fulfils the need to be confident and free; purpose accounts for 14 per cent and is about progress and staying updated; people is 11 per cent and reflects the need to connect and bond.

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In India, 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, as suggested by YouTube. Pixabay

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YouTube also revealed that Indian watch online videos anytime, anywhere and online video is watched consistently throughout the day.

Though 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, 21 per cent of consumption happens on the move.

The study, based on responses from 6,500 viewers in India, was conducted before the onset of the global pandemic. (IANS)