Ideals, Aims and Objectives:
1.Seva, Simran and truthful living are a few basic concepts of Sikh way of life apart from Daya, Dharam, Santokh, Sanjam and Nimrata. Those who start with Seva without expectation of any reward (Nishkam-Seva) and go on doing it, are bestowed with the boon of Simran from which follows the Truthful living and other qualities. According to Encyclopedia of Sikhism:
“True seva according to Sikh scriptures must be without desire (nishkam), guileless (nishkapat), in humility (nimarta), with purity of intention (hirda shuddh), with sincerity (chit-lae) and in utter selflessness (vichon ap gavae). Such seva for the Sikh is the doorway to dignity as well as to mukti (liberation). “If one earns merit here through seva, one will get a seat of honour in His Court hereafter.”
1.2. According to Sikh tenets, “You become like the one you serve”. Therefore, for those who desire oneness with God, serving God and God alone is the prime way. But God in Sikhism is transcendent as well as immanent. The Transcendent One is ineffable and can only be conceived through contemplation. Service of God, therefore, only relates to the immanent aspect of God and comprises service of His creatures. Humanitarian service is thus the Sikh ideal of seva.
1.3. Sri Guru Nanak has said:
“Truth is above everything but higher still is truthful living”. Thus, seva is the first step to achieve the final goal of eternal peace.
1.4. With the above ideals in mind, the idea of forming “Nishkam Sikh Welfare Council” was conceived by a few like-minded persons in 1984, when the Sikh community was going through turbulent times, and it was formed as a “Non-Political” body with the sole objective of serving the humanity especially the helpless widows, orphans, destitutes etc. irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
Policy of the Council:
2.1. Though the idea of forming the Council was conceived much earlier, the November, 1984 happenings in the country accelerated its setting up and taking in hand the work relating to relief and rehabilitation of the affected persons.
2.2. The emphasis of the Council in the relief and rehabilitation effort was not on distribution of ration or giving cash doles, but on making the people self-supporting by providing vocational, medical and educational assistance. Though initially due to availability of limited resources and difficult circumstances, the assistance was mainly provided to the affected families of November, 1984 happenings, especially the orphans and widows, but with the passage of time and slow and steady build up of resources, the assistance is being provided without any distinctions as per teachings of “Sri Guru Granth Sahib”.
Activities of the Council:
3.1. Immediately after setting up, with aid from “Indian Express Relief Fund” and “Ajit Relief Fund” and philanthropic individuals/Trusts, Nishkam provided vocational assistance to about 300 families of Sultanpuri, Mangolpuri, Uttam Nagar and other areas of Delhi. In addition, doors and windows were got fitted in houses in Sultanpuri and Mangolpuri and the jhuggies, which had been badly damaged and, in some cases, even burnt down in Sultanpuri and Mangolpuri were got repaired or even reconstructed to make them livable for their occupants. These activities continued from November, 1984 to the end of February, 1985.
3.2. In March, 1985, the Government started allotting small flats to widow sisters of different areas of Delhi. The policy of allotment was that the old houses of the widow sisters will be taken over by the Government and disposed off and the amount recovered will be adjusted against the cost of new flats allotted to them. Nishkam immediately shifted its focus on Tilak Vihar and is still present there even after passage of 35 years.
3.3. Immediately, besides providing relief materials, ceiling fans were provided in about 700 houses of widow sisters of Tilak Vihar, Sangam Park, Raghubir Nagar, Garhi and Jahangirpuri etc. in Delhi and a number of rehabilitation projects were taken up. Nishkam also played a very positive and effective role in: –
(i) Getting jobs in Banks/Govt. offices/Govt. Schools etc. for the widow sisters of November, 1984 carnage;
(ii) Persuading Delhi Government not to recover the cost of houses allotted to the widow sisters of November, 1984 happenings and also allowing them to sell their old houses, which otherwise were to be taken over and sold by the Government for adjusting the recoveries against the cost of new houses.
3.4. Over the time, new projects have been taken up, a list of which is given below: –
(i) Projects at Tilak Vihar, New Delhi where widow sisters were settled
(ii) Mata Gujri Sukh Niwas, Village Khanpur, Kharar, Punjab
(iii) Scholarship Programs
(iv) Sikligar Project
Administration/Financial System of the Council:
4.1. The affairs of the Council are managed by the Managing Committee through a Governing Body, which is selected for a period of 3 years. The day-to-day activities are managed with the help of staff as well as Nishkam Volunteers. Nishkam Volunteers are not paid anything in any manner and they do selfless seva.
- Nishkam started Relief & Rehabilitation of families affected by happenings in November, 1984.
1985 – 90
- Establishment of free dispensary for affected families of November, 1984 happenings.
- Establishment of Tuition, Shorthand / Typing centres.
- Establishment of Music, Knitting and Stitching Centres.
- Got FCRA Registration in 1985.
- Started construction of Nishkam Bhawan at Tilak Vihar, New Delhi.
- Relief assistance to families affected by floods in Punjab in 1988.
1991 – 95
- Completion of building of Nishkam Bhawan at Tilak Vihar, New Delhi and start of Nishkam Medical Centre
- Start of Nishkam Scholarship Programme
- Relief assistance to families affected by Earthquake in Uttarkashi in 1991
1996 – 2000
- Setting up of Mata Gujri Sukh Niwas (Old Age Home-cum-Orphanage) at Kharar, Punjab (Near Chandigarh)
- Establishment of Library
- 2001 – 05
- Relief to families affected by the massive Earthquake in Gujarat in 2001 and Tsunami in South India in 2004.
- Start of Sikligar Education & Housing Project in Bangalore, Karnataka.
- Relief assistance to families of Tangdhar and Uri affected due to the earthquake in Jammu & Kashmir in 2005.
2006 – 2010
- Expansion of Sikligar Project to other Districts of Karnataka.
- Relief assistance to families in Madhepura (Bihar), affected due to flood in Kosi in 2008.
- Established Yamunanagar Medical Centre.
2011 – 2020
- Nishkam Talent Search & Support Programme