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Sikh Relief - Supporting Today For A Better Tomorrow

Sikh Relief is a UK registered charity focused on creating a lasting legacy of positive change in people’s lives. Originating as the Sikh Organisation for Prisoner Welfare (SOPW), Sikh Relief began providing for the welfare of Sikh Prisoners of Conscience in various different ways. These were people in jail convicted or accused of crimes against the state resulting from decades of documented oppression and state sponsored Genocide. SOPW continues to support and help gain the freedom of these Sikh prisoners throughout India.

The reality of what we have just said could not be more starkly illustrated than by the experience of Bhai Balbir Singh Bains, Chairman of Sikh Relief.

In 1999 he had made a trip to India so he could visit family and pay obeisance at Sri Darbar Sahib. On arrival he was dragged out of the taxi cab he prebooked at the airport and literally kidnapped from the roadside.

The days of severe torture and humiliation that followed were to be just a taste of what the next several years were going to be like.

But with the experience of being put in the Maximum Security wing of India’s Tihar Jail, he would have the opportunity to live among those the media and government had condemned as the most heinous murderers and terrorists.

Yet Bhai Balbir Singh realised that their stories were similar to his own, tales of fake cases, fake evidence, media bias and government interference in the judiciary.

Special Judge, M.L. Sahni said of the police fairy-tale in his final judgement:

“A balloon of falsehoods…the prosecution story stands falsified…It is well said that a lie does not have legs to stand on…Accordingly, I acquit the accused of the charges framed against him.”

Balbir Singh had already decided that the situation for politically conscious Sikhs was very dangerous in ‘Democratic Free’ India.

What was even more shocking was shortly after Balbir Singh Bains was acquitted, an internal investigation conducted by the Intelligence Bureau (I.B) proved that the RDX explosives allegedly ‘found’ on Balbir Singh’s person were, in fact, from an operational unit of the police. Unbelievable right?

So, no sooner had he reached the UK upon his full acquittal and exoneration than SOPW was founded and began immediately helping incarcerated Sikh Prisoners of Conscience.

With the success, skills and experience learned from the project we became aware of the support our work had garnered from a dedicated and appreciative global Sikh nation. It was soon clear we had been blessed by our Sangat’s desire to expand our focus and help other less fortunate people and as the additional support grew, the reach and success of the charity grew.

Now fully established as Sikh Relief, we operate a number of projects with a key focus on providing a hand up rather than a hand out.

Sikh Relief believes in revolutionising people’s lives and that it’s important to make a lasting change in people’s lives, empowering them to become independent and proud functioning members of society and not simply sustaining their current lifestyle, keeping them requiring perpetual handouts.

With your continued support Sikh Relief will be able to administer a whole host of new projects and continue to make a substantial difference in so many lives.

 

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© Sikh Relief 2019

Registered Charity No. 1125370