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Deaths of homeless Indians in Ilford prompts Sikh community to launch new campaign

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https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/sikh-support-campaign-ilford-1-5783383

‘A wake-up call’: Deaths of homeless Indians in Ilford prompts Sikh community to launch new campaign

PUBLISHED: 16:05 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 16 November 2018

Aaron Walawalkar

(L-R) Sodhi Singh, 50, died on Saturday, November 3. Kawal Singh, 61, died on August 27 this year. Charity worker Tahir Butt fears Bhulpinder Singh, 59, may share their fate without urgent government action. Photo: Anja King

(L-R) Sodhi Singh, 50, died on Saturday, November 3. Kawal Singh, 61, died on August 27 this year. Charity worker Tahir Butt fears Bhulpinder Singh, 59, may share their fate without urgent government action. Photo: Anja King

Ten people have died homeless in Redbridge since October last year – six of them from India, trapped for years in a bureaucratic limbo. A community campaign is being launched to stop them dying on our doorstep.

 

Atam Academy's co-founder Mankamal Singh. Photo: Tajpal DhamuAtam Academy's co-founder Mankamal Singh. Photo: Tajpal Dhamu

Campaign Sikh Support aims to provide the borough’s Punjabi rough sleepers access to temporary accommodation, addiction and immigration support by bringing together a number of initiatives.

As The Recorder reported earlier this month, Indian nationals – predominantly Sikh Indians from the Punjab region – make up the majority of those dying on the streets of Redbridge.

It’s a wake up call,” said campaign co-founder Mankamal Singh.

 

“I think we, the Sikh community, have let things slip a bit in east London.

“Many of the rough sleepers who died are well known to us. We know their faces and we have been seeing them for the last 10 years on the street.”

At a funeral service for rough sleepers who died in the past year - held last Thursday (November,  at St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London – nine out of 170 homeless mourned had the surname ‘Singh’, Mankamal highlighted.

That amounts to more than 5pc, while the London-wide Sikh population is only 1.5pc.

“It does not take a genius to recognise the disproportionality in these deaths,” Mankamal added.

“This is not a statistic to be proud of.”

Mankamal said that community groups like Seva, the Sikh Empowerment Voluntary Association, have been doing great work feeding the homeless every week in Ilford town centre.

But he added: “We know that more is required than just food.”

Many of the Indians sleeping rough in Ilford share similar stories - trafficked to the UK around a decade ago, exploited by the black market construction trade and now aging, ailing and afflicted with addiction.

They lack the documentation needed to return home but they cannot work or access services in the UK either - a situation known as having “no recourse to public funds”.

To address this, Sikh Support is working to foster support and raise funds for Project Malachi – which aims to create a temporary hostel out of recycled shipping containers in Chadwick Road.

It is also forging links with organisations in west London and Birmingham to provide rough sleepers with an alcohol addiction treatment service, akin to the AA’s 12-step programme, in Punjabi.

Finally, the campaign will be teaming up with Sikh Council UK to arrange Punjabi-speaking caseworkers for support rough sleepers in Ilford who wish to return to India do so.

The council has been appointed by the Home Office to repatriate people across the country through the Voluntary Returns Service (VRS).

Find out more at sikhsupport.org.uk or on Twitter at @SupportSikh or Facebook.

If you are interested in volunteering or partnering with Sikh Support email sevadar.ilford@gmail.com

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5 hours ago, Premi said:

https://www.ilfordrecorder.co.uk/news/sikh-support-campaign-ilford-1-5783383

‘A wake-up call’: Deaths of homeless Indians in Ilford prompts Sikh community to launch new campaign

PUBLISHED: 16:05 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 16 November 2018

Aaron Walawalkar

(L-R) Sodhi Singh, 50, died on Saturday, November 3. Kawal Singh, 61, died on August 27 this year. Charity worker Tahir Butt fears Bhulpinder Singh, 59, may share their fate without urgent government action. Photo: Anja King

(L-R) Sodhi Singh, 50, died on Saturday, November 3. Kawal Singh, 61, died on August 27 this year. Charity worker Tahir Butt fears Bhulpinder Singh, 59, may share their fate without urgent government action. Photo: Anja King

Ten people have died homeless in Redbridge since October last year – six of them from India, trapped for years in a bureaucratic limbo. A community campaign is being launched to stop them dying on our doorstep.

 

Atam Academy's co-founder Mankamal Singh. Photo: Tajpal DhamuAtam Academy's co-founder Mankamal Singh. Photo: Tajpal Dhamu

Campaign Sikh Support aims to provide the borough’s Punjabi rough sleepers access to temporary accommodation, addiction and immigration support by bringing together a number of initiatives.

As The Recorder reported earlier this month, Indian nationals – predominantly Sikh Indians from the Punjab region – make up the majority of those dying on the streets of Redbridge.

It’s a wake up call,” said campaign co-founder Mankamal Singh.

 

“I think we, the Sikh community, have let things slip a bit in east London.

“Many of the rough sleepers who died are well known to us. We know their faces and we have been seeing them for the last 10 years on the street.”

At a funeral service for rough sleepers who died in the past year - held last Thursday (November,  at St Martin-in-the-Fields in central London – nine out of 170 homeless mourned had the surname ‘Singh’, Mankamal highlighted.

That amounts to more than 5pc, while the London-wide Sikh population is only 1.5pc.

“It does not take a genius to recognise the disproportionality in these deaths,” Mankamal added.

“This is not a statistic to be proud of.”

Mankamal said that community groups like Seva, the Sikh Empowerment Voluntary Association, have been doing great work feeding the homeless every week in Ilford town centre.

But he added: “We know that more is required than just food.”

Many of the Indians sleeping rough in Ilford share similar stories - trafficked to the UK around a decade ago, exploited by the black market construction trade and now aging, ailing and afflicted with addiction.

They lack the documentation needed to return home but they cannot work or access services in the UK either - a situation known as having “no recourse to public funds”.

To address this, Sikh Support is working to foster support and raise funds for Project Malachi – which aims to create a temporary hostel out of recycled shipping containers in Chadwick Road.

It is also forging links with organisations in west London and Birmingham to provide rough sleepers with an alcohol addiction treatment service, akin to the AA’s 12-step programme, in Punjabi.

Finally, the campaign will be teaming up with Sikh Council UK to arrange Punjabi-speaking caseworkers for support rough sleepers in Ilford who wish to return to India do so.

The council has been appointed by the Home Office to repatriate people across the country through the Voluntary Returns Service (VRS).

Find out more at sikhsupport.org.uk or on Twitter at @SupportSikh or Facebook.

If you are interested in volunteering or partnering with Sikh Support email sevadar.ilford@gmail.com

Its really sad seeing this as i live close to ilford makes it even more sad that they were Sikhs. 

 

Its a pity how the local gurdwaras waste thousands on nagar kirtains,new buildings etc and can't make a homeless centre for the rough sleepers homeless etc.

 

It makes my blood boil reading this article. Its after reading these articles i have stopped believing in giving money to building funds, langars,nagar kirtains,sikh media etc. 

 

More awareness should be made of cases like these so people should wake up and help.

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22 hours ago, Soulfinder said:

Its really sad seeing this as i live close to ilford makes it even more sad that they were Sikhs. 

 

Its a pity how the local gurdwaras waste thousands on nagar kirtains,new buildings etc and can't make a homeless centre for the rough sleepers homeless etc.

 

It makes my blood boil reading this article. Its after reading these articles i have stopped believing in giving money to building funds, langars,nagar kirtains,sikh media etc. 

 

More awareness should be made of cases like these so people should wake up and help.

It's in your face bhai ji. I've been through Ilford a few times and have seen these faces getting plastered on the street in broad daylight. You could tell some of them are in the advance stages of alcohol poisoning. 

I bet some of them accrued big debts to get here and that might play a part in them avoiding going back home too. 

There are big psychological issues going on here, just getting them off the street and away from booze won't cut it. I think their self-belief has been knocked into oblivion, that's why they have learned helplessness. 

It's sad, that whilst we (as a community) routinely go overboard with wedding expenses in that area (and we have had big nagar kirtans nearby  too) we have people dying of the cold under our noses. 

What is this thing about apnay in that they have weird, funky stuff going on right under their noses and they act oblivious? F***ing weird? 

Despite the pakhaand maybe no real sense of samaj maybe? 

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30 minutes ago, dalsingh101 said:

It's in your face bhai ji. I've been through Ilford a few times and have seen these faces getting plastered on the street in broad daylight. You could tell some of them are in the advance stages of alcohol poisoning. 

I bet some of them accrued big debts to get here and that might play a part in them avoiding going back home too. 

There are big psychological issues going on here, just getting them off the street and away from booze won't cut it. I think their self-belief has been knocked into oblivion, that's why they have learned helplessness. 

It's sad, that whilst we (as a community) routinely go overboard with wedding expenses in that area (and we have had big nagar kirtans nearby  too) we have people dying of the cold under our noses. 

What is this thing about apnay in that they have weird, funky stuff going on right under their noses and they act oblivious? F***ing weird? 

Despite the pakhaand maybe no real sense of samaj maybe? 

Veer ji you are correct about the debits they took to come here in uk.

 

I remember one of the illegal's who was working with a builder who did work on my family home said it costs around 12/15 lakh rupees to come here. 

 

And since they don't make enough money here as they are illegal they pay back their debits is why they have decided to live like this as they are many examples i have seen on youtube where full sardars grown men spend their time in dustbin, streets,phoneboxs etc espeically in areas like Southall.

 

A lot of them have even got into shop lifting to pay for their drug heroin addication as well.

 

Veer ji you are right Ilford has got a lot of these characters and there was a case a few years ago with apni punjabi girls going on the game on ilford lane.

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