Srinagar The acts of benevolence of Sikhs for Kashmiris facing wrath of mobs in Jammu and elsewhere in India in the wake of recent Pulwama attack has evoked widespread appreciation and praise for the community as many businesses and individuals are offering their services either free or at heavy discounts as a mark of gratitude.
While most of the Kashmiris praised the Sikhs on social media, many others went a step further by offering discounts on services and products for the members of the community for their help in ensuring safety and security of Kashmiri students and traders and for sheltering them in the wake of attacks and harassment over the Pulwama suicide car bombing that left 40 CRPF personnel dead.
A group of Papier-mâché artisans from Zadibal quarter of Srinagar have volunteered to design interiors of Golden Temple with their intricate art free of cost as a mark of gratitude for the Sikh community for coming to the rescue of hapless Kashmiri students in various parts of India when mobs where on rampage targeting them.
Some of the coaching centres as well as medical clinics are offering free tuitions and consultations, respectively, to the people belonging to the Sikh community.
"Free coaching for Sikh students in 11th and 12th medical and non-medical at Eternal Coaching Centre Anantnag," the centre announced on its Facebook page.
Syed Bahu-u-Din Memorial High School Kanispora, in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, offered free admission till Class 10 to the students belonging to the Sikh community.
Some centres even offered free English speaking courses for the Sikhs.
A dental surgeon, Adil Wani, announced month-long free dental services for the Sikh patients at his clinic in health resort of Achabal in Anantnag district.
Shifa Clinic, in the Awantipora area of Pulwama district, offered free physiotherapy and dental treatments for 10 days for the members of the Sikh community, while Zenith Hospital, also in Pulwama, offered free consultation and surgeries. Some medical shops also offered special discounts to the members of the community.
An Orthopaedic surgeon, Imtiyaz Dar, also offered free consultations at his clinics in Anantnag and Batamaloo, Srinagar.
Several car washing and service centres also offered their services free of cost or at heavy discounts for the Sikh brethren.
Readymade garment shops, photo studios, hotels, mobile accessories shops and other provisional stores and diagnostic centres rained special offers on the members of the Sikh community.
Apart from the offers and discounts, several Kashmiri Muslims appealed for donations to Sikh organization like Khalsa Aid International.
A netizen also appealed to the Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) to announce special discounts for the Sikh fraternity of Kashmir for one month on "no-profit-no-loss formula".
Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah have also praised Sikhs for their "exemplary spirit" to serve.
"I salute our Sikh brethren who came to the aid of young Kashmiris all over the country. Admire their exemplary spirit to serve with utmost dignity & fortitude," Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
She said one's faith in humanity is restored by such kindness.
"Grateful to @Khalsa_Aid for tirelessly working to help Kashmiri students in Dehradun & Chandigarh. One's faith in humanity is restored by such kindness," Mehbooba said.
Omar said the Sikhs had gone above and beyond the call of duty in reaching out and helping Kashmiris in distress.
"This cartoon is very apt. The Sikh Sangat has gone above & beyond the call of duty in reaching out & helping Kashmiris in distress, whether in Jammu or outside the state. A special thanks to (Punjab chef minister) @capt_amarinder Sahib for his statesmanship in ensuring security & safety for Kashmiris," Omar wrote on Twitter referring to a newspaper cartoon about Sikhs helping Kashmiris.
Chairmen of Hurriyat factions, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Geelani, JKLF chairman Yasin Malik and several other separatist leaders have also hailed the community for coming to the rescue of Kashmiris.
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