In the modern times when people have become quite self-centered and are so busy in their own lives that they are not even aware of their neighbours and their problems, there are some selfless souls whose only aim in life is to wipe tears of the downtrodden and make them smile.
One such humanitarian is Raunak Singh who hails from Cuttack, Odisha, and is the founder of an NGO named Sikh Aid which carries out its operations nationwide. Raunak Singh has always helped the people of Odisha whenever they needed him whether it was during Cyclone Titli (2018), Cyclone Fani (2019), Odisha flood (2020) or Cyclone Yaas (2021). During these tough times, he and his team fulfilled the responsibility of feeding 10,000 persons daily and also assisted people in rebuilding their houses which got destroyed due to the natural calamity.
Raunak Singh who is a 22 years old B.Com graduate believes in the teachings of Sikh Gurus who have taught that serving the mankind is true worship of the God. In fact, he founded his NGO Sikh Aid on the Sikh principle of “Naam Japo, Kirat Karo, Vandh Chakho”.
Raunak Singh is actively involved in providing aid to the old people who can’t afford medicines and has also taken the noble initiative of building Anant Aasharam where those elderly who have no other place to live will stay. He also provides ration kits to people of the underprivileged sections of the society as many have lost their livelihoods in the times of COVID-19.
Raunak Singh is also ensuring that the poor young kids get proper meals as India has slipped to 101st position in 2021 from 94th position of last year in the Global Hunger Index and malnutrition is one of the serious concerns at the present time. The index ranked total 116 countries of the world and it is a reflection of the fact that hunger is a very big problem which we have to deal with.
Raunak Singh and his NGO are playing a vital role in empowering the young girls of rural Odisha by providing them basic education free of cost. Besides this, he helps the women of rural Odisha maintain menstruation hygiene management (MHM) by providing them with free sanitary pads. The volunteers of Sikh Aid also make rural women understand the importance of MHM and make them aware about the diseases which they can suffer from if they don’t take proper care of menstruation hygiene. Every month, Sikh Aid distributes 6,000-7,000 sanitary pads to the women in rural Odisha and till now, it has distributed more than 1 lakh sanitary pads.
Raunak Singh started helping people from a very young age and in the beginning, he used to introduce the needy person to the donor so that the latter can do the needful, however there were times when he himself helped many individuals. He regularly visited the government schools where he used to distribute stationery items among the poor students.
Raunak Singh founded his NGO during the first wave of COVID-19 when the whole nation was facing wrath of the lethal virus. He was among those few people who came forward to help the migrant workers who were so helpless that they had to walk on foot to reach their native places from the big cities where they were working after lockdown was imposed all of a sudden. He not only provided food to these migrant workers and their families but also arranged for buses in order to ensure that they reached their home safely.
The young Sikh Corona Warrior was no less than God for many as Raunak saved around 10,000 people’s lives by supplying oxygen cylinders and concentrator on time in the hospitals of Odisha during the second wave of COVID-19.
Though Raunak Singh started this noble work alone, now many people have joined him and they are helping him continue with good acts on a big level which will certainly make this world a better place to live.