In a unique gesture, the Sikh community in San Antonio, Texas, offered free meals to fellow American government employees affected by the ongoing shutdown that has left thousands without pay in the US. The partial government shutdown, which entered the fourth week, has left more than 800,000 federal government workers out of work across the key departments. Trump wants to build a US-Mexico border wall and is seeking USD 5.7 billion in funding for the physical barrier which according to him is a must to prevent flow of illegal immigrants into the US. The Democrats assert that such a move is a "waste" of taxpayers money. All federal employees, who have been forced to work without pay, or have been furloughed during the partial government shutdown were offered freshly prepared, hot vegetarian meals for three days starting January 11. The Sikh community workers prepared the gurdwara menu which comprised lentils, vegetables, rice and tortillas.
"Workers and families affected by the shutdown are invited to Sikh Centre all weekend for free meals starting today," the Center posted on its Facebook on Friday. The idea that originated from the community's willingness to offer help during this hour of difficulty for many American families soon drew many volunteers who offered to come and cook to feed everyone who would come to enjoy the meals. "Sikh Community is there to support the federal employees who did not receive their paychecks. Also, the Sikh Community appreciates their services and believes in giving gratitude to those men and women for doing a wonderful service for the nation," Balwinder Dhillon, President of the Sikh Center of San Antonio, told reporters. "The least we could do is support them with a hot meal for the next three days," he said. The Sikh Center of San Antonio is the oldest gurudwara in the city and was established in 2001. It also offers food, clothing and shelter to any needy new immigrants.
(With inputs from agencies.)