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Wheelchair Not Allowed In Gurdwaras?

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Wheelchair Not Allowed In Gurdwaras?

RD1

Writer
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Sep 26, 2016
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Sit behind screens - essentially to be hidden away. Disgraceful.

I worked with a Sikh woman once who has a disability and is in a wheelchair, and is an advocate for other south asians with disabilities. Until she pointed it out, it never really dawned on me how rare it was to see someone with a disability in the Gurdwara. And this is partly due to the lack of accessibility, and partly to do with the negative stigma placed on these people. Sikhism is progressive. However, some people who claim to follow it really have not reflected on their prejudices. We all have them, and must strive to understand and overcome them.
 

RD1

Writer
SPNer
Sep 26, 2016
361
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aww come on now, what is more important, blind ritual or inclusion.
Lol, I try to reflect that there probably was a time when I was less aware and reflective of things and may have blindly followed along to some extent...but if me or you can learn to cultivate a mindset that strives to overcome this, so can others!
 

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
SPNer
Oct 13, 2011
871
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Seattle, Washington, USA
If a person sitting in a wheelchair is higher than Guru ji, isn't the obvious solution to raise Guru ji higher? Or is that too simple?

BTW, I am one of those needing a wheelchair and there's no way I can sit on the floor. I do not believe I should be denied darshan because of physical disabilities. And what about Sikhs injured in battle or tortured.
 

swarn bains

Poet
SPNer
Apr 9, 2012
496
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ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਕੇਤਕ ਬਾਤ ਹੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਰਾਧੀ ਤਰਿਆ ਰੇ ॥ ਮੈ ਮੂਰਖ ਕੀ ਕੇਤਕ ਬਾਤ ਹੈ ਕੋਟਿ ਪਰਾਧੀ ਤਰਿਆ ਰੇ ॥
Inderjeet jee y version
What to say about a fool like me; in spite of committing millions of sins, i have attained salvation
I am just a fool, but millions of sinners just like me have been saved.
 

swarn bains

Poet
SPNer
Apr 9, 2012
496
139
There are two main sides of a religion. first one is those who follow the religion for the sake of becoming a leader in that faith. such as those who do not allow women to join or touch palki of SGGS. They have forgotten that they would not be here if their mother was not a woman. secondly those who do not allow wheel chair in gurdwara. both these groups are leaders in gurdwara but are egotistic and completely ignorant of spirituality. Let me say that they go to hell along with their followers.
the other side of the religion is spirituality; all religions come out to bestow salvation to the innocent people by finding faults with other previous religions. there are a very few people who follow spirituality and the religious scriptures. that is how the world runs
 

swarn bains

Poet
SPNer
Apr 9, 2012
496
139
There are two main sides of a religion. first one is those who follow the religion for the sake of becoming a leader in that faith. such as those who do not allow women to join or touch palki of SGGS. They have forgotten that they would not be here if their mother was not a woman. secondly those who do not allow wheel chair in gurdwara. both these groups are leaders in gurdwara but are egotistic and completely ignorant of spirituality. Let me say that they go to hell along with their followers.
the other side of the religion is spirituality; all religions come out to bestow salvation to the innocent people by finding faults with other previous religions. there are a very few people who follow spirituality and the religious scriptures. that is how the world runs
 

RD1

Writer
SPNer
Sep 26, 2016
361
150
If a person sitting in a wheelchair is higher than Guru ji, isn't the obvious solution to raise Guru ji higher? Or is that too simple?
Is it really such a "sin" if someone in a wheelchair was higher than the Guru ji...especially if in the person's heart they definitely do not see themself as higher, and if they could they would sit on the floor too.
 

Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
SPNer
Oct 13, 2011
871
1,766
Seattle, Washington, USA
Is it really such a "sin" if someone in a wheelchair was higher than the Guru ji...especially if in the person's heart they definitely do not see themself as higher, and if they could they would sit on the floor too.
I personally don't see it as a big deal, as long as it's not an ego issue. Still, if it offends some and is easily remedied, I think that should be done.
 

Seeker9

Cleverness is not wisdom
SPNer
May 3, 2010
650
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UK
I have been to several Gurdwaras where the elderly or Infirm are allowed to sit at the back on normal chairs

This wheelchair policy is just ignorant

What part of the Scriptures force physically challenged sangat to sit on the ground?

I also often see smaller children move between their parents on foot, some of whom may be higher than Guru Ji when they do that

Should they be banned as well?

This should be common sense. If someone is physically challenged we should be helping them not discriminating against them.
 
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sukhsingh

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Aug 14, 2012
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We place guru sahib higher out of respect. We forget guru shahibs themselves never asked it. I remember going to anandpur sahib over 30 years ago and I think it was lohgarh where I saw the room guru gobind singh ji slept in... I was humbled. A simple, small room undecorated. When I think of four doors to gurdwara sahib,and then the idea of a barrier any barrier to any one receiving gur-darshan is anathema.. As immigrants its the irony is shocking
 

Sikhilove

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May 12, 2016
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Recently ,i attended a family Akhand Path at Gurdwara Naank Parkash -Harnall Lane coventry. i was shocked to see a bright bold sign outside of the main prayer hall saying "WHEELCHAIR NOT ALLOWED " i found this sign very upsetting and disturbing, let me explain , i am a independant wheelchair user, and have been since i sustained a spinal cord injury following a road traffic accident. The same signs are also seen at Sedgley Street Gurdwara in WOLVERHAMPTON, uk

so whilst everything is done to make the UK gurdwara up and down the country all accessible for wheelchair users , i find we are barred from entering the main prayer halls ! Why ? i cant see any religious justification for this policy. I totally understand that i use my wheelchair indoors and outdoors and if my tyres are dirty i would take personal responsiblity to clean them before entering the prayer halls, but if this is the reason, then why are walking sticks allowed ? they too are used outside.

Where people dont have any chice why should they be banned from entering the prayer halls in their wheelchairs and paying their respects like any othre person. i dont feel that pysically carrying someone is practical, i would not allow this and would also find it totally upsetting and embarrasing and in any case i often go alone.

I visit my local Gurdwara and have always been made to feel welcome and have never had any restrictions from accessing any area i want, so why do the minority of Gurdwara have such discrimantory signs?

"Mein kayi vaar sochaa, ki je apne 10 Gurus wichon koi ik vi ajj hunde, taan ki Oh wheelchaired insaan nu milan ton inkaar kar dinde? ....Nahin!!! Balke Ohna ne aap bhajj ke os insaan nu galley lagaa leina si.....

what do you think, and how do i go about requesting these Gurdwara to think about the upset these signs cause and if they are REALLY necessary.
if any Sikh comiitee members are reading this i would be grateful if they could take this issue up

let me finish by saying that what ever happended to me can happen to anyone, how would you feel if suddenly you find not only do you have to adapt to a new life but even a place of worship will ban you! i have always admired Sikhism for treating everyone as equals and for welcoming and embracing anyone who should enter the Gurdwara.

I Know that im not alone in coming across these problems see Untitled Document

i also fully appreciate that no human being should be seated above Guru Ji level but Guru Ji would understand that if someone was seated in their wheelchir its not because they are being disrespectful , its because they may have no choice, and whilst i could pray anywhere , should be barred from attendting close famliy weddings or any other religiuos functions?
Lol Sikhs have gone mad with ridiculous Rules and rituals, the very things the Gurus taught against.

Everyone's forgotten the sakhi about Guru Nanak Ji and the Kaaba, and many other sakhis and stories that teach against ridiculousness like this.
 
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Inderjeet Kaur

Writer
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Oct 13, 2011
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Seattle, Washington, USA
While we are on the topic of Sikhs with disabilities being discriminated against by other Sikhs in the gurudwara, is everyone aware that it is virtually impossible for a person with disabilities to take Amrit? From the Sikh Rehat Maryada

"n... every person seeking to be baptized should sit in bir posture..." [Sitting in bir posture comprises sitting resting the body on the right leg, the
right calf and foot gathered inward and the left leg up to the shin kept in a vertical position.]


from: Article XXIV - Ceremony of Baptism or Initiation
Official Website of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar – Sikh Rehat Maryada in English

I am not criticizing or complaining, just pointing out the fact.
 

sukhsingh

Writer
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Aug 14, 2012
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While we are on the topic of Sikhs with disabilities being discriminated against by other Sikhs in the gurudwara, is everyone aware that it is virtually impossible for a person with disabilities to take Amrit? From the Sikh Rehat Maryada

"n... every person seeking to be baptized should sit in bir posture..." [Sitting in bir posture comprises sitting resting the body on the right leg, the
right calf and foot gathered inward and the left leg up to the shin kept in a vertical position.]


from: Article XXIV - Ceremony of Baptism or Initiation
Official Website of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Sri Amritsar – Sikh Rehat Maryada in English

I am not criticizing or complaining, just pointing out the fact.
I think your example highlights another flaw in the so called 'official' rehat maryada
 

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