2020 has been an extraordinary year of uncertainty, challenge and change for everyone. Since March Covid-19 has taken some of our loved ones and our livelihoods. We have been forced into isolation and a growing loneliness. But we have come together in creative ways to support one another.
I want to thank you for your kindness and generosity in donating funds for Guru Nanak Mission Hospital, Dhahan-Kaleran, Punjab, India as it struggled in the face of Covid-19 to provide care to the most vulnerable and keep its support staff employed. I am happy to let you know that the Guru Nanak Mission Hospital was one of a couple of hospitals in the region to remain open 24 hours during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis. It also was the only charitable and private hospital in the district to set up a special isolation unit to take care of Covid-19 positive patients.
Your support was instrumental in insuring necessary personal protective equipment was available for care givers and supporting staff.
I want to share with you the photograph below of Om and Kamla Prakash with their two daughters at Guru Nanak Mission Hospital. In 1984 Om Prakash came from Uttar Pradesh to Dhahan-Kaleran looking for work. His wife Kamla joined him in 1988. Since then he has worked as a gardener and she as a support worker in the kitchen and general clean-up. Their two daughters and son (not in the picture) were born and schooled at Dhahan-Kaleran. The eldest daughter Anita Rani is a graduate of the Guru Nanak Nursing College and now works as a Nursing Educator in another institution. Lalita Javad holds an electronics degree and is working as a land surveyor in the nearby town of Banga. Their brother, Sudesh Kumar is working as an engineer in Bangalore, the IT capital of India.
Om and Kamla are grateful to my father the late S. Budh Singh Dhahan for supporting them and their children, especially in insuring that the children go to school. Om Prakash says with pride and joy that “now people call me ‘father of educated children’!
The Prakash family story is just one example of how Canada-India Education Society and Guru Nanak Mission Medical & Educational Trust, Dhahan-Kaleran are helping to transform the lives of entire families. This is made possible by the generosity of so many Canadian friends like you!
The famous American poet Anne Sexton wrote:
Then the well spoke to me.
It said: Abundance is scooped from abundance
Yet abundance remains.
Let us reach deep into the well of life! Happy 2021.
Barj S. Dhahan