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Empowering Afghan Sikh Widows and Children after the Jalalabad Attack
$10,000 raised
100% of $10k goal
37 contributors
31 Weeks running

On July 1st, 2018, the Sikhs and Hindus of Afghanistan were devastated by a terrorist attack in Jalalabad that killed almost all of the community's leadership. Two years later several families of women and children are now refugees in Delhi, struggling to get by with meager resources. 

This is an excerpt of Harpreet Kaur's story, widow of Rawail Singh, a prominent Afghan Sikh politician and advocate: 

 

"Harpreet has two children, both born in Afghanistan. Her husband, Rawail Singh, was a community leader and trader. “He taught me to read and write. I am literate because of him,” she says. “Every day we made lunch at home, and went out for dinner,” she recalls. Her kids went to good schools and speak fluent Punjabi. She remembers the little things he did. “Every evening their father would come home from work and teach them Punjabi,” she says. “Every year on our anniversary and my birthday, he gifted me a ring,” Harpreet remembers, “I had 31 rings in all. I felt like a queen.”

When a six-year-old Muslim girl landed at her doorstep, Harpreet took her in. She became her third child, and grew up with her own children. “Whenever my kids got a dress made, she would get one too”. To Harpreet, it didn’t matter what faith she belonged to.

Never in their wildest dreams had the family imagined that their life would change forever. In 2018, her husband received an invitation to join a caravan of Sikh leaders of Afghanistan to meet the President, Ashraf Ghani, in Jalalabad. “I had a feeling that something bad was about to happen,” Harpreet says. But her husband didn’t think twice, “Mein seva karan ja rehan, meinu kuch nahin hunda,” he said, and left. That was the last time Harpreet saw her husband. In a country where explosions and bombings are so frequent, life is uncertain. When Rawail Singh, along with 12 other Sikh leaders, went to meet President Ghani, their van was asked to wait at the gate of the President’s complex. Before they knew it, a suicide bomber appeared and the leaders were no more. Ghani was unharmed. He continued with his meetings."

 

Harpreet Kaur is one of many women who are now struggling to support their families in the wake of this attack and the COVID-19 pandemic. Any donation made to this cause will go a long way. Donations will be made directly to each family in full. Thank you in advance to everyone who has expressed great generosity to stand by these resilient families. 

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