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Projects

SOPW- Prisoner Welfare

SOPW has created a complete support programme for Sikh Prisoners of Conscience, the primary role being legal aid. This project is central to Sikh Relief’s work as we have helped prisoners for over 10 years, during which we have facilitated and overseen the release of over 200 Sikh Prisoners of Conscience. Those released are given help by our rehabilitation program and are helped with reintegration into civil society by providing them with skills or tools so that they may begin earning a living and a sense of self respect as soon as possible. It is not only our pleasure, we are also proud to say that all of those who have been in our program have continued to enjoy the fulfilment of their lives as Sikhs and peaceful, productive members of their respective communities. The project and programme provide an entire support network for prisoners and ex prisoners by providing the following:

• Paying legal expenses of those accused or in prison as a result of miscarriage of justice

• Providing basic provision and amenities to those incarcerated

• Providing monthly allowances to the families of those incarcerated

• Providing medical treatment for prisoner’s and their families

• Providing for their children’s education

• Providing for essential house maintenance/emergency repairs

• Contributing or paying for the weddings of siblings or children

• Paying the start up costs of any business for released prisoners in order for them to become self-sufficient

When the team are successful in having bail granted to an undertrial the ongoing payment of lawyer’s fees for hearings are maintained.

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SOPW- Prisoner Welfare

Sikh relief is proud to have launched an environmental project which is focused on planting trees throughout Punjab to help preserve the environment, the natural habitat and micro ecosystems.

It is estimated that a total of 200,000 trees are chopped down in Punjab every year. The government requirements state that 68% of trees must be replanted in the mountain areas and 32% in rural areas however, government figures show less than a 5% replantation rate in Punjab. This is a major threat to the environment and could lead to life threatening diseases for the Punjab population. We are being continuously warned by national and international environmental experts that water, air and earth quality is being seriously affected and something needs to be done immediately, so Sikh Relief is addressing the issue by planting trees and raising awareness in schools and in local communities. Sikh Relief planted 50,000 trees in 2017 (25% of the governmental target) in different areas of Punjab, and plans to increase this year on year.

Education

Sikh Relief supports an academy of 350 children in Punjab. The support is multifaceted and includes building a state of the art computer lab for IT studies.

The academy was built in memory of Shaheed Bhai Ragbir Singh Bhaggupur by his family. Bhai Ragbir Singh Bhaggupur attained Shaheedi in 1978 along with Bhai Fauja Singh and 11 other gursikhs in what has come to be known as the Amritsar Vaisakhi Massacre.

The academy was established in a deprived area and is run according to Sikh values. Sikh Relief have been blessed with the opportunity to help the academy in the following ways:

• Provide 50 celling fans

• Replace all watercoolers

• Provide tables and chairs

• Replace the power generator

• Provide musical instruments

• Plant 350 trees (one for each student, on world environment day 2017)

• Building a state of the art, air conditioned computer lab housing the latest technology

Sikh culture and heritage camps

We hold regular camps in villages across the width and breadth of Panjab for children and adults, male and female to learn in a fun environment how to tie a Dastar, we have teamed up with Bibi Sandeep Kaur who gives young ladies the skills of Dastar tying too. The day long camps include

interactive Sikh history lessons and culture, including large public screenings of popular movies like Char Shaibzade.

We even arrange for trips to be made to Gurdwara’s of historical significance by those who attend camps by hiring buses and giving them all an additional planned day out.

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Enviroment

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