Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Jon Ashworth MPs Day of Seva at Leicester's Vaisakhi Celebrations



Jon Ashworth, the member of parliament for Leicester South, took part in Leicester's Vaisakhi celebrations on Sunday 21 April by serving food and cleaning dishes in a Gurdwara kitchen.

Vaisakhi is the most important festival in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the inception of the Khalsa movement – a code of conduct that guides Sikhs in their religious beliefs and lifestyle choices. The festival also reinforces the principles of ‘sewa’, or ‘selfless service’, and people often use Vaisakhi as an opportunity to engage in this.

This year, as part of his sewa, Jon Ashworth along with Cllr Inderjit Singh Gugnani, served food and cleaned dishes in the Gurdwara kitchen. Gurdwaras offer free food to people, and their kitchens are open to all regardless of background.

Jon said, “the kitchens run by Gurdwaras really are fantastic, and I really enjoyed playing an active role in them. I was also at the Vaisakhi Food Drive last weekend, and the generosity of the Sikh community is highly commendable.”

On Saturday 13 April, the day of Vaisakhi itself, the Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara on East Park Road held a Food Drive, which collected over 10 tonnes of food in just one day.

Jon commented, “the principles of sewa really do come out at the time of Vaisakhi. The fact that so much food was collected, and even then in just one day, demonstrates how effective this time of year can be to rally people together for a good cause.”

The Food Drive held last weekend and the Vaisakhi celebrations taking place on Sunday have been organised by local partners, primarily the Leicester Council of Gurdwara's. 

Narinder Singh, of the Leicester Sikh Alliance said, "Vaisakhi is the most important day in the Sikh calendar, and Seva is very much at the heart of this. Our kitchens are open to people of all backgrounds and it’s fantastic that Jon will be joining us in our celebrations by helping to prepare the food."

Jon's Huffington Post UK articlewww.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jon-ashworth/my-vaisakhi-sewa


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