sikligar upliftment - karnataka

After formation of the Nishkam Wing in August, 2000 in Karnataka Sikh Welfare Society (KSWS), the first effort was to enroll 22 children with ages 6 to 12 in a government school for education. Six younger children were admitted to a school for basic education. The children were provided school dresses and their tuition fee was paid by KSWS. Arrangements for their basic health care needs, including free medications were also made.

The individuals were also assisted and encouraged to attend religious services each Sunday at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Ulsoor, which is approximately 15 kilometers from their homes.  They also participated in making Langar, the selfless service of cooking food for others in the Sikh religion.  Special classes were also arranged so that they could learn scriptural reading (path) and may be educated in the principles of their religion.

The networking between Nishkam and KSWS, which took final shape in 2001, primarily aimed at moving the Sikligar families from Jhuggies to pucca houses and providing education to their children.

New Houses of Sikligar Sikhs constructed at Bangalore with support from Sadh Sangat

The project began with construction of 23 houses (Including one of a Tamil family) in Bangalore between 2001 and 2003. Thereafter, a survey was undertaken and the project was initiated in 25 Bastis in and around 15 towns of Karnataka. Most of the families did not own land on which they had built their Jhuggies. As their existed two schemes of the Govt. for construction of houses for the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, Nishkam instead of constructing houses started depositing down-payments ranging between Rs.5000/- and Rs. 10,000/- on behalf of these families to get them allotted govt.-built houses. Such deposits were made in case of 91 families out of which 57 families have been allotted Govt. built houses.

City-wise status of housing project

The latest status is that the Govt. schemes have become more or less defunct. Therefore, there is no alternative but to fund the families for purchasing plots of land of their own. Thereafter, pucca houses have to be built.

Funds to the tune of approximately Rupees four crores will be required to complete the housing project in Karnataka.