Hyderabad: The Sikh community in the city, which has been an integral part of Hyderabad’s social fabric, economy, culture and history for generations, and a crucial community driver of development, peace and harmony, while satisfied with some of the efforts by the city administration for its welfare and convenience, would rather see more concrete steps being taken to propel them to a higher standard of living and expect improved education and career opportunities for its youth.
Political parties usually court the community’s support by visiting Gurudwaras and seeking their votes during election time. This time too, for the GHMC Council polls, it has been no different.
The TRS has been first off the block to reach out to the community, with some of its leaders visiting Gurudwaras and interacting with community elders.
“They have helped with a parking lot and laid a white-topped road near our Gurudwara. These are welcome developments and shows they care. But what we really need is a minority office for Sikhs for better execution of benefits for the entire community,” according to Sardar Darshan Singh, a resident of Ameerpet and general secretary of the Sikh Education Society of Hyderabad.
“Our youth need more scholarships for overseas higher education. The government should support downtrodden families in the community. Many work as blacksmiths and need financial assistance and support to build their businesses,” he said.
“A special quota for Sikh youth in the city police department will also go a long way to help us. There used to be many Sikhs in the police force in the past,” he added.
Kuldeep Kaur, a housewife from Sikh Chawni in Attapur said that a good education is something that eludes many youngsters from the community, particularly from families that cannot afford to send children to expensive private schools.
“Quality education is not available in the government run schools. The community should be given better educational facilities. In absence of this, many Sikh students are not pursuing higher education. The government should work out a system where such students get special seats and financial aid,” she said.
Hardayal Singh, another resident of the Chawni, said, “this residential land was awarded to us to our forefathers by the Nizam of Hyderabad. We are paying taxes, but our ownership needs to be regularized by the government.”
He added, “the Gurudwara of Brambala Sahab in Sikh Chawni at Attapur, is visited regularly by politicians of different parties.”