Reflections of a Kaur

Vaheguroo jee ka Khalsa, Vaheguroo jee kee Fateh!

Ghaal Khaae Kish Hathahu Dhae ||Nanak Raahu Pashaanehe Sae ||1||

One who works for what s/he eats, and gives some of what s/he has, O Nanak, s/he knows the True Path. ||1||

This Gurbani line was written by Guru Nanak Dev Jee, and in my eyes, it explains the essence of Dasvandh. Dasvandh broken down is das vandh, literally meaning one-tenth. For me, Dasvandh means to selflessly give, as inspired by the Guru, to contribute to the common resources for the community and for the well-being of others. Dasvandh can be giving one-tenth of anything because essentially, it is a seva that should be fulfilled with humility, love for one another, and selfless giving. This seva can be done by giving monetary donations, doing langar seva, or contributing in any way that advances those around us for the greater good.

Image courtesy of 1984livinghistory.org

I had always been interested in Dasvandh Network because of its unique idea of bringing back something so essential in the Gurus’ times that tended to be lacking in our community, the spirit of Dasvandh. Around the same time last year, many of my friends were posting pictures and updating statuses on Facebook about Dasvandh Week so, I decided to check out the website. What instantly drew me to Dasvandh were the amount of diverse projects. DVN not only worked with individual people fundraising for their projects, but also helped other Sikh organizations such as the Sikh Coalition, SALDEF, United Sikhs, Ensaaf, Surat Initiative, and many others.

Image courtesy of http://1947partitionarchive.blogspot.com

There are certain projects that specifically resonate with me, including the 1984 Living History Project, 2014 Remembrance Project, and Saving Our Stories. The 1984 Living History Project and Saving Our Stories document live accounts of our fellow brothers and sisters who endured struggles in the years from 1947 and 1984. In the same case, the 2014 Remembrance Project focuses on not only documenting accounts after 1984, but also aims to archive, contextualize, and historicize this chapter in our history. These three projects mean a lot to me because I also had family and currently have people in my life that were and still are directly affected by these events. I ask you to please donate a cause that resonates with you and to tell others about the different projects that they can also be a part of and make a difference in!

 

2014 rem proj image

After interning with DVN for three months, I gained an immense amount of knowledge in different methodologies of communication, fundraising, writing and life skill techniques. My favourite part of the internship was writing different types of blogs and contributing to the monthly newsletter. Writing is second nature for me and I have had experience writing for school assignments and blogs for classes, but being able to write for an organization that has done so much for the Sikh community felt like an honor and blessing in and of itself. I want to thank Dasvandh Network for giving me the opportunity to work with them, it will be an unforgettable experience. Please continue to donate and create awareness about being active in the community so that the spirit of Dasvandh continues to grow for the ongoing generations and the future.

Vaheguroo jee ka Khalsa, Vaheguroo jee kee Fateh!

Keerat Kaur is a second year student at UNC Charlotte, currently pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She hopes to use her studies as a way of using mediation, advocacy, and community organizing to construct projects for engaging with minority groups in the US. This summer she was an intern for Dasvandh Network. 

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