New Houses for Sikligar Sikhs Oct 5, 2005, 02:03 Tamil Nadu Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala and Andhra Pradesh Governor Sushil Kumar Shinde today handed over keys of newly-constructed houses to poor Sikligar Sikhs of Andhra Pradesh at a function at Shamshiguda in Ranga Reddy District. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Barnala said he hoped to see an improvement in the living condition of these Sikhs with the new houses. Though Sigligars were very poor community, they work hard to earn their livelihood and never resorted to seeking alms, he said. They had been residing in the state for more than 300 years from the time Guru Gobind Singh came to Deccan region. There are about 5,000 to 10,000 such poor homeless Sikligars who survive by selling iron tools and kitchenware. In his address, Mr Shinde appreciated the efforts of his Tamil Nadu counterpart in ensuring the completion of the project. Both the Governors would visit the colony again to check the environment. Andhra Pradesh Home Minister K Jana Reddy said the state government was committed to the welfare of the people, particularly the minorities. In the next five years, the government would be constructing about 40 lakh houses of which seven per cent were reserved for minorities, he said. Andhra Pradesh Sikh Welfare Association President S Huzur Singh said that for the first time houses had been provided to the poor Sikligar Sikhs thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr Barnala and the state government.