The recent floods (and still ongoing in certain areas) have really tested Malaysians mentally and physically. From those directly affected, to those who are privileged enough to be safe from the natural disaster. This gave birth to the hashtag “DaruratBanjir” which (under direct translation) means “State of Emergency – Flood”.
Among organisations that are heavily assisting the flood victims would include Petaling Jaya’s Gurdwara Sahib.
Recently gone viral on social media, we spoke to a few people in charge of the initiative to understand more about their work.
We sat down with Awtar Singh Terro (President) and Baldev Singh (committee member) of Gurdwara Sahib, Petaling Jaya.
- How did this initiative start?
Everything began on Saturday night at 7pm. We had an e-camp. It ended at 11pm. That’s when we got an SOS call. The Petaling team in Taman Medan called, saying they were experiencing floods and required assistance. So we attended to them. That wrapped up at 12am.
That was the beginning. Following that, we started receiving numerous calls from people saying that they’re also affected by the floods. That’s when we decided to carry on with this food initiative.
2. How many volunteers do you reckon come here daily?
I can’t say for sure, it could be 100-150 volunteers, all on rotation. You have people coming in, helping with what they can, and then going off. So that happens throughout the day.
What is special about these volunteers is that they’re all of different backgrounds and ages. You’ve got university students and professionals of different races. All united for one main cause. To help those in need.
3. What happened once you started the initiative?
It went viral within an hour. We started with hot meals. Then we got a supply of rations, diapers, milk and detergent. There are also people asking for baby food, and female sanitary towels.
4. How wide is your radius of assisting?
We’re extended to several locations in Klang; Taman Sri Muda, Hulu Langat and Kuala Langat. We’ll also be sending help to Pulau Carey.
5. What are the challenges you face doing this?
Meeting demand on time is difficult. We’ve got the kitchen running for 24 hours. We’ve also got the production line set up to cook meals fast. However, communication with those in need is a struggle due to network coverage. There is a lack of effectiveness there. Then you have authorities blocking outsiders from entering the flood areas.
6. There are netizens calling out the Halal status of the food provided. Can you provide clarification on this?
Our food is 100% vegetarian, locally sourced and consumable for all races. We are giving this food without any prejudice, alternative motives or political influence. We just want to reach out to mankind.
We applaud Awtar, Baldev, and every single one of the volunteers who showed up, and still show up at Gurdwara Sahib to assist those in need. You all truly live the #KitaJagaKita campaign.
If you would like to lend a hand, you can also come down to the organisation at Gurdwara Sahib Petaling Jaya, 4, Lorong Utara B, Off Jalan Utara, Petaling Jaya, Selangor 46200.
Alternatively, you can also donate to the GSPJ Welfare Fund. Details are provided below:
GSPJ Welfare Fund
Maybank Account: 514169141318
You can send the bank transfer slip to them at +6012-2369907.