GUWAHATI, Nov 12 � An over 150-strong delegation of Assamese Sikhs � under the aegis of Asomiya Sikh Santha, Assam; Guru Teg Bahadur Jatiya Nyas, Assam; and Brihattar Dilli Gurdwara Parisalana Samiti, Delhi � left for Punjab to visit the holy Golden Temple.
This is the first time that such a delegation of Assamese Sikhs, who had made Assam their home several centuries back, has gone to Punjab en-masse by a special train to visit the Golden Temple.
Nanda Singh, president of Asomiya Sikh Santha, Assam, said that the trip would lead to the realization of a long-standing dream of the Assamese Sikh community.
Singh also urged the State government to arrange for financial assistance for the Sikh pilgrims in the manner done yearly for Muslim Haj pilgrims for their annual Mecca visit.
�The Assamese Sikh community has been deprived of visiting the holy Golden Temple, the most sacred place of the Sikhs, due to government apathy. Many Assamese Sikhs are passing their days in poverty due to floods, erosion, and droughts with no government support. It is the dream of every Sikh to pay a visit to the Golden Temple, but many of our Assamese Sikhs are not in a position to do so for financial constraints,� Singh said.
�The Asomiya Sikh Santha, Assam, and Guru Teg Bahadur Jatiya Nyas, Assam, would like to urge the State government to arrange for annual special trips to the Golden Temple,� he said. �Even if the government spends 5 per cent of what it has been spending for the Mecca Haj trips, the Assamese Sikhs would have been greatly benefited,� he added.