BANA – Talk in Punjabi with Sadasat Simran Singh
Palatine, IL: In remembrance of the Harris County Texas Sheriff Department Deputy Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal an interfaith prayer service and candlelight vigil was organized by Sikh Religious Society Palatine Illinois at Gurdwara langar hall on October 2, 2019.
More than 400 people attended to pay their respects despite the torrential rain storm in Chicago area that day.
Deputy Dhaliwal was headed back to his patrol car during a traffic stop, on September 29, 2019, a man got out of the vehicle he stopped for a violation, with a pistol and shot him from behind in a cold blooded murder ambush style killing Dhaliwal. Sandeep Singh Dhaliwal is survived by his wife and three children. Dhaliwal in his mid forties was a trailblazer in the sense that he became the first Sikh wearing beard and turban inspiring and opening doors for many others who followed him in Houston area and many parts of the country. He was honored nationwide for his ultimate sacrifice.
A 47 years old male, Robert Solis was charged with the murder of Deputy Dhaliwal.
The vigil started indoors with Kirtan (singing of Sikh hymns) and Ardaas (Sikh prayer) in the langar hall of the Palatine Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship).
Fifteen speakers, representing the Sikh, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, gun violence prevention communities, and civil action oriented organizations and Police Chiefs and Officers and local legislators addressed the gathering. The speakers paid tributes to Deputy Dhaliwal for his exemplary service to his community on the job in uniform and also as a private citizen in times of need during natural disasters.
The speakers shared their personal stories of who Deputy Dhaliwal was and what he meant to the community and Sikh youth. They reminded the audience that gun violence impacts every community and all religions, races and ages.
Dr. Pardeep Singh Gill, president of Sikh religious Society Palatine, Illinois opened the program and welcomed the guests.
Rajinder Singh Mago coordinated the organizing committee and moderated the speakers panel. Laddi Singh gave a vote of thanks at the end and recognized elected officials.
The speakers panel consisted of Dr. Pardeep Singh Gill, U.S. Congress Man from Illinois Raja Krishnamoorthy, Illinois State Senator Ann Gillespie, Illinois State Representative Michelle Mussman, Mr. Azam Nizamuddin from Muslim community, Jasvir Kaur Sing and, Satnaam Singh Mago from Sikh community, Cathy Risberg of NWSOFA, Jim McGrath from Illinois Gun Violence Prevention, Regina Brent president of Unity Partnership, Village of Lisle Illinois Police Chief David Anderson and Deputy Chief Ron Wilke, Deputy Chief Police of Northbrook Illinois, President of NAACP DuPage County Michael Childress, Palatine Township Committeeman Matt Flamm, Maria Pike from MomsDemandAction, and Police Officer Pardeep Singh Deol.
There were more than a dozen police officers including Sikh officers from the neighboring towns and one Officer Singh from Michigan attended the vigil. They were thanked for their service, honored for their sacrifices, and given a rousing standing ovation.
Police officers Pardeep Singh Deol and Daman Singh took turns to announce the 94 police officers killed in line of duty this year and a candle was lit for each one of them.
Finally a moment of silence for all fallen police officers in line of duty including Deputy Dhaliwal was observed and candles were lighted in their honor.
All the participants of the event were invited to partake “langar” the community kitchen vegetarian meal.
The event was coordinated by Rajinder Singh Mago, Dr. Pardeep Singh Gill, Amardev Singh, Officer Pardeep Singh Deol, Roger Chawla, Jasvir Kaur Singh, Sarwan Singh Raju, Thakar Singh Basati, Laddi Singh, Hardial Singh Deol, Indermohan Singh Mokha, Surinderpal Singh Kalra, and the Sikh Religious Society, Palatine Illinois staff.
Contact: Rajinder Singh Mago
Photos Credit: Indermohan Singh Mokha
Determined Sikh Doctors maintain beard whilst fighting on the front line
Globally Sikh medical professionals on the frontline in this Coronavirus pandemic are facing personal protective equipment (PPE) challenges. The standard N95 masks do not provide adequate protection for bearded men as they can not form a seal.
A group of Sikh Australian doctors facing these same concerns realised this problem early on and found multiple solutions. One well established solution is the powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) with P3 filters. These allow for bearded men to be protected adequately from aerosolised virus particles. PAPR is well established and listed as an option by many international health organisations for PPE against Coronavirus. A group was formed amongst the Australian Sikh Doctors to share options and plans for adequate protective equipment.
One thing was certain, none of the Sikh doctors in this group felt shaving their beards was an option. Determined to find alternative solutions, several bought their own PAPR units at costs of ~$3,000 (with their own money) so that they could maintain their Sikh swaroop and still fulfil their sewa and duty as doctors on the front line. Others also identified methods to make their own PAPR units if the need arose.
There was some initial resistance from some local hospitals, however they have now been able to use the purchased PAPR systems and in some cases the local hospitals have also purchased these units for them. The group stands by the belief that “there is no situation where they felt that shaving their beards would be required and were confident they would still serve on the frontline” – standing proudly as bearded Sikhs. This time as warriors against disease.
Harbir Pal Singh Bhatia
North Shore Sikh Association of Sydney, Australia
Editor’s Note: Bhai Harman Singh from Basics of Sikhi addresses this subject in detail in the following video: