Bringing Nourishment To The Needy Through A Food Drive

Harbinder Singh Sethi

The Gurudwara Sahib of Johannesburg has always stood as a place of giving. A place where strangers break bread as brothers and sisters; where all can find sustenance for body, mind and soul.

And there is no greater gift than the gift of service. This is a truth that Mr. Harbinder Singh Sethi and the sadh sangat of the Gurudwara Sahib of Johannesburg live by every day. Once a month, they come together to prepare and distribute meals for the less fortunate members of the local community. 

Rain or shine, the stoves are lit, ingredients are prepared, and pots are filled. The aroma of home-cooked langar infuses the air with comfort. They work quickly but carefully, laughter and joy flavouring their labour. There is a feeling of seva – selfless service – as they cook enough to feed 130-150 people. Simple yet satisfying meals prepared with love.

When the food is ready, it is dished into foam containers. The food packets are carefully loaded into the vehicle to begin their journey to the streets of Sandton. The sevadars fan out across the neighbourhood, searching for those who need their help. They find them in alleyways and under bridges, men and women who sleep on the streets, children with hungry eyes. People who look forward to this food drive, not just for the nourishment it provides, but for the human connection. In those packets, along with the food, comes a message: you are not alone.

Gently, the sevadars offer the food parcels, no questions asked. The food is received with open arms and immense gratitude. For many, it is the only proper meal they may have for days.

Every Sunday, dozens gather at the Gurudwara Sahib of Johannesburg for prayer and community. People from all walks of life unite for kirtan, then line up side-by-side for langar. Sharing a simple meal, they dine as equals. This weekly tradition plants seeds of selfless service, blossoming into initiatives like the food drive.

Mr. Sethi has dedicated himself to uplifting the community in any way he can. In addition to fighting hunger, he also leads blanket distribution drives when the winter chill sets in. His example inspires the sangat to look outward rather than inward. He reminds us that true joy comes from thinking of others first.

For a few hours each month, hunger takes a backseat to the community. Hard lives find softness in the Gurudwara Sahib’s compassion. Mr. Sethi’s dedication bridges social divides and nourishes hope. Though the food parcels provide physical sustenance, it is the underlying spirit of seva that truly feeds the soul.

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