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General United Sikhs 'rescue A Family' Appeal, Make A Difference

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by kaur-1, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. kaur-1

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    Jul 10, 2006
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    UNITED SIKHS / Make Poverty History

    Make Poverty History

    Download the Rescue a Family Leaflet and Donation Form

    What is Rescue a Family?

    Rescue a Family is your chance to help make poverty history in Panjab. Sponsor a poor and needy family and help them survive and have a brighter future.
    You will be providing relief to destitute families after the death of their main breadwinner(s) and enable them to continue to live in their own home environment. You provide money for basic necessities such as food, education and health care and provide resources they need to earn an extra income.
    Without your help, the trauma the families face after the death of their loved ones is multiplied because the family members are at severe risk of being sent to orphanages and old-age homes. Orphanages often do not accept boys and girls at the same institution so brothers and sisters are separated, and the remaining family members find it difficult to keep in contact. Many more family members are left destitute and remaining male members become high suicide risks.
    But by giving a monthly or a one-off donation, you can help these families

    For more information, or if you want to help, please contact
    meerat.kaur@unitedsikhs.org or contact@unitedsikhs.org

    CASE 1: Surjit, Baljit and Suneet Kaur
    15 year old Surjit was left caring for her younger sisters, Baljit and Suneet when their father died and their mother abandoned them shortly after. They live in a village in Sangrur, one of the poorest districts in Panjab, North-West India. The lack of finances meant the girls had to leave school so that they could earn a living.

    [​IMG] Left:
    Surjit Kaur
    (15 years old),
    Sunit Kaur
    (14 years old),
    Baljit Kaur
    (13 years old) “Rescue a Family” found a donor to “adopt” the girls by providing financial donations so that the girls can continue with their education and have enough money for their basic welfare.


    Sukhpal Kaur (below) earns 10 rupees for every Kilo of milk her lone cow produces. She is struggling to support herself and her children. Her husband committed suicide in November 2005 due to desperation at his financial situation – a victim of the phenomenon of ‘rural suicides’ that is spreading across the poor districts of Panjab.
    [​IMG] Left: Sukhpal Kaur (centre) holding a picture of her recently deceased husband. She is stood with her daughter Rani Kaur (left) and son Gurbinder Singh (right). Since then, Sukhpal Kaur has been left with her two children and 250,000 Rupees of debt to a loan shark – more than she will ever be able to repay. She is yet another victim of Panjab’s Green Revolution. Unfortunately, Sukhpal’s is not a rare case, but you can help!

    The Aim:
    • Help provide financial relief for rural families whose main breadwinner(s) have committed suicide
    • Encourage organic farming and traditional arts as forms of extra income
    • Raise global awaren ess of poverty issues in Panjab
    • S upport innovative ways of researching and tackling poverty and development in the state
    Punjab is no longer the prosperous state it once was. Poverty is rife in districts such as Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur, and the lack of international help for the people in these areas means the problems are simply worsening.

    When you go to India , where do you go? Chances are you visit many of the wonderful sights of the country in its 35 states and union territories. If you do go to Punjab , you may go to Amritsar , Jalandhar, Ludhiana , Chandigarh or some of the other districts from where Non-Resident Indians tend to have migrated. And although you see poverty in these districts, they are incomparable to the poverty faced by citizens of districts such as Sangrur.
    “According to the former chief minister of Punjab , [Punjabi farmer’s] average daily earning is Rs 39 as against the minimum wage of Rs 69. Given the current level of input costs, crop prices, and credit conditions, these farmers are doomed to a hand-to-mouth existence at best. It is time to rethink what constitutes poverty and the poverty line”. Inderjit Singh Jaijee, Convenor, Movement Against State Repression
    The dire need of the farmers and the increasing debts they have are leading to an unprecedented and worrying number of suicides by family breadwinners. Farmer suicides are occurring in particular in the Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts of Panjab – the poorest areas in the state. The suicides occur because the farmers feel completely destitute.
    “Most farmers have committed suicide on the day they have sold the last acre because they realise there is no more steady income, and they can no longer support their families”. Aman Sidhu,
    This is how they get into their cycle of debt:
    • They borrow money from loan sharks to buy pesticides. They cannot borrow money from banks because land is not accepted as
    • The pesticide-saturated land, is stripped of nutrients and produces successively lower yields.
    • Farmers are then forced to sell their crops for less than it costs them to produce, meaning the farmers cannot repay the exorbitant sums the loan sharks ask for.
    • Being trapped in this cycle drives many farmers to take their life.

    See the link above and the download form for further info.


    UNITED SIKHS is a registered charity in the UK (Char1112055). If you are a UK taxpayer, under the GovernmeAid scheme, UNITED SIKHS can reclaim the tax you have already paid on your gift. This means that your donation could increase by almost a third at NO extra cost to you.

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