I came across some videos showing homeless Panjabis in West London. It was shocking to see that there are at least 100 homeless Panjabis in Southall, and possibly more. There are many reasons why these people are on the streets. One of the reasons is linked to foreign students from India facing desperate times in the UK (read more). These people are living in dustbins, cemeteries, disused garages and under bridges. To cope many have turned to class A Drugs, such as Heroin and Crack Cocaine, as well as other substances. The reason for this is to cope with the cold, to suppress their hunger and to help them sleep on the streets. Many are suffering from serious health conditions such as Hypothermia, Scabies, Gangrene and cannot get immediate medical attention.
The story of a young homeless person now hooked on drugs:
The story of an elderly Singh who has no one in the UK:
The story of Panjabis who are living rough in the streets of Hounslow:
S.W.A.T - Sikh Welfare and Awareness Team, is a local group based in Southall consisting of Sikh volunteers that are dedicated to doing sevaa to help the local community. This group is providing help and support in this crisis.
What are they doing to help:
- Providing Drug care.
- Providing Clean clothing.
- Providing Sleeping bags.
- Providing Hot food.
- Providing moral support.
- Assisting with those who want to return back to Punjab.
- Putting them in contact with health centers.
- In the process of commissioning a documentary to be made to highlight the plight of these men.
What are the local Gurudwaras doing?
- Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall is making sure none of these boys get turned away for Langar and if they are unfit to enter the Gurdwara Sahib because they are intoxicated etc, food is provided outside for them.
- Allowing S.W.A.T. to appeal to the sangat for any kind of support required and highlighting this issue.
What are the local churches doing?
- Providing hot meals.
- Providing church halls for drop in centers for the homeless.
- Hot showers.
- Clean clothes
- Counseling service.
How can you help?
Contact S.W.A.T. if you have any Jackets gloves scarves shoes etc.
Let know if you have contacts that can help in any way i.e.:
- Shower facilities
If you can help S.W.A.T. with any ideas and if you have the same issue in your own area they are more than willing to help.
The S.W.A.T. helpline number is 07943118441