35-year-old Sukhwinder Kaur canceled her first trip back to India in a decade to prepare meals for victims of Australian bushfires.
The Sikh woman from Melbourne had a scheduled trip to India to visit her sister who suffered a stroke. However, she decided to cancel it to cook over 1,000 meals a day for people forced to evacuate after blazes ravaged East Gippsland.
She has been camping at Bairnsdale for days to help families who she regards as her ‘family.’
In an interview with SBS Punjami, Ms. Kaur said: “I realised my first duty is towards the community here where I have lived for so long. If I had left the people here during such a difficult time, I don’t think I could call myself a good human being.
“This is my family too and I have a responsibility towards it. I just can’t go while my family is suffering.”
Sikh Volunteers Australia wrote on their Facebook page that ‘no words could describe’ Ms. Kaur’s dedication.
They said: “(Ms Kaur) is working continuously from last five days in bushfire effected area Gippsland region Bairnsdale.
“She is preparing food three times a day around 400 meals. She has not gone back to home from last five days. Thank you for the delicious taste.”
Ms. Kaur said: “I feel particularly happy when I see that no food is wasted and all of it is used up in the community.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews met volunteers to thank them for their efforts.
He later wrote on Twitter: “There’s a saying that in a crisis, we should look for the helpers. These legends from Sikh Volunteers Australia drove up to Bairnsdale from Melbourne on Monday – and they’ve been serving free, hot meals ever since. People helping people. That’s what Victoria is all about.”
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