April 26th ,2020
Sikh Community, one of most socially and politically active community have decided to celebrate and commemorate their majors days with Media campaign due to Corona Virus crisis.
Covid-19 has made State of Connecticut to go under lockdown mode and with series of executive orders from Governor only Essential businesses are open and people don’t have liberty to do big gatherings.
Keeping in Mind Social Distancing Sikh Community choose media to break those barriers and projected it’s important historical days on billboards near Pharmacies and Grocery Stores. Billboards will provide more than 1 million Impressions in 1 month.
Swaranjit Singh Khalsa who is only Sikh Elected Official in Connecticut serving as Member of Norwich Board of Education and as Coordinator of UN-NGO Council of World Sikh Parliament explains why they choose to do media campaign.
Khalsa said “We completely agree with Social Distancing and have cancelled all of our major gatherings but we are vibrant community and we still wanted to share our happiness and sorrows with our friends,family and our broader American Community Members as well as Government Officials .
Everyone atleast go outside to buy grocery or go for a walk to get some fresh air and with these Billboards we are trying to share our feelings.
We want to educate and make people aware about the days which we are important for us.”
Khalsa said “These kinds of Campaigns were very helpful in past to spread our message and even this time we are getting good response from our fellow Americans. While it gives ability to broader community to understand who Sikhs are and where they are from ,it also gives exposure to some of the things that matters to us.
Sikhs have been targeted for hate crimes after 9/11 terrorist attack due to lack of understanding and ignorance and we are just trying to educate our communities”.
Campaign included various topics and days such as April 14th which is Vaisakhi Day that was also recognized at federal level by Senator Chris Murphy thru senate resolution.
Most of the cities in Connecticut also recognized that day as “National Sikh Day”.
It also Recognized April 29th which is “Sikh Declaration of Independence Day”.
This day has lot of importance for Sikh community as Sikhs are still struggling under United Nations charter to librate their homeland “Punjab” which is currently occupied by India.
This year April 29th has been even Recognized by World Sikh Parliament as “Sikh Declaration of Independence Day” thru official Proclamation.
Not just that campaign features special thanks to State of Connecticut for Recognizing Month of June as “Sikh Memorial Month” with pictures of Sikh Martyrs Sant Jarnail Singh Khalsa Bhindranwale and Sikh Leader Jathedar Jagtar Singh Hawara.
Last year when Sikhs established Sikh Genocide Memorial at Otis library Governor Recognized Month of June as “Sikh Memorial Month” to honor Sikhs who lost their lives during June 1984 Sikh Massacre and November 1984 Sikh Genocide.
Few years back November 1st was officially recognized as “Sikh Genocide Remembrance Day” by State of Connecticut to ease up the pain of Sikh Nation and to recognize Sikhs that have been living and contributing to Connecticut for more than 50 years.
Some sikhs also believes that federal Government should help them spread education about Sikh Causes and Sikh History to reduce hate crimes and they hope that this campaign will trigger fellow Americans to learn about Sikh History and sikhs historical days”.
While Sikh Community Celebrate and commemorates it’s days one of the billboard also echoed the recent announcement by Governor to recognize April as “Opposite Month”.
This billboard Carries Message in interest of Public Health of “Stay Home,Stay Safe” to mitigate spread of Covid-19.
Billboards has been endorsed by Major local Sikhs Organizations in Connecticut with the goal to spread education and awareness about Sikhs.
Hardyal Singh General Secretary of World Sikh Parliament said “To spread message of love and oneness Sikhs have been working really hard during Covid-19 pandemic and helping local communities by serving grab and go meals all over World”.
Issued by General Secretaries, World Sikh Parliament
Manpreet Singh and Hardyal Singh