Inspired by ‘sewa’, an Englishman making shelters in Nepal

AMRITSAR (TIP): Inspired by Sikh’s sewa (voluntary service) that transformed his flood affected village overnight in 2014, Jim Winksworth, an Englishman, is now helping victims of earthquake in Nepal by building shelters for them along with group of Sikh’s of UK based NGO Khalsa Aid.

Jim told TOI from Nepal on Wednesday that his village Burrowbridg, a sleepy, quintessentially English, village in Somerset, had no contact with the Sikh community and had no knowledge of ‘sewa’ until February 2014 when chief executive officer of Khalsa Aid, Ravi Singh called him to offer help in reconstructing his flood devastated village.

“The whole village was in shock and was trying to deal with the floods, and I didn’t pay much attention to this guy who called and offered to help. I told him we needed all hands he could spare. Imagine my shock when the next morning the whole village appeared magically inhabited by these tall bearded guys with their turbans looking for me. And within minutes they had taken over, from organization to physical labour to paying for the valuable sand we needed”, he said.

The voluntary service resulted in a bond between Jim, a pub owner and an agriculturist, and Ravi. Jim said for last 2 weeks, he has been in the earthquake affected Nepal on behalf of Khalsa Aid, using his experience to build shelters for the Nepalese people. Ravi Singh, who is currently in UK told that Jim had been working tirelessly to make sure that the shelters were in place before the monsoons arrive in full swing. He had also been instructing the local people and other volunteers so that they learn valuable skills and the job gets done in time, he added.

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