GNFKS is the first Indian charity for the city’s poor
Former president of GOPIO Sydney, Lucky Singh, with her husband Balbir Singh, has launched a charity Guru Nanak Free Kitchenette Sydney (GNFKS) for the homeless of Sydney. Lucky and Balbir got the idea for a charity foundation on a recent visit to Canada where they saw a Sikh charity providing food for the homeless.
GNFKS had its first dinner for the homeless in Martin Place on 14 May. Organisers say around 500 people turned up for dinner.
Lucky says that she’d always wanted to take the spirit and values of Langar from the gurudwaras to the needy sections in the wider community. Among the Free Kitchenette’s supporters are Jan Burrie of Relano Village, Dr Jawahar Thomas, Dr Nadeem Khaja, Dr Amar Saluja, Patel Bros, Dhingra Bros, Minto Cellars, Woodville Cellars, Percy Vij of Centrum Printing, Sukjinder Pal Singh of Hope Institute, Maya da Dhaba, Gurkha Travels, and Grace of India.
The volunteers include Amar Singh, Gaurav Kapoor, Kamini Singh, Gagan Bindra and Harjinder Singh.
Lucky says the Kitchenette will be organised every month. The vegetarian Indian food was a novelty to many of the people who turned up but, according to Lucky, “they just couldn’t stop asking for more”.
Lucky is well known for her charitable work with disadvantaged groups in the Indian community. She has also been at the forefront of organising financial help for victims of traffic accidents. In the past Lucky’s work has mostly been in the Indian community, although often she has involved Australians and others in her charitable work.
Lucky and Balbir wanted an organisation that would take their philanthropic vision to the wider Australian community. Food for the homeless is organised by some other immigrant communities, but GNFKS is the first venture of the Indian community.
For the first GNFKS night the cooking was done in Lucky’s home with the help of her volunteers. Lucky says that the response from the Indian community to her call for support for the GNFKS “has been overwhelming”. She says that the famous Indian grocery chain Patel Bros has offered her free supplies for GNFKS. Several other individuals of the community have expressed their open appreciation for a venture that takes free Indian food to the larger community. GNFKS will also include clothing and blankets in its next free kitchenette on 10 June. Lucky has asked the Indian community and other well wishers to donate their winter clothes and blankets for the adults who will turn up at Martin Place on 10 June.
Lucky is hoping that gurudwaras may offer her their facilities for cooking for the next GNFKS night.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Sydney)