Harjinder Singh Kukreja spreads love at Turkey’s Syrian Refugee camp


WSN Exclusive Report and Tweet-Essay of Harjinder Singh Kukreja’s journey to Turkey’s Syrian Refugee camp at Nizip in Gaziantep on the Turkey-Syria border, to spread love and peace in the region and the world.

With bountiful love in his heart, grace in his form, prayers on his lips and Sikh humanitarian organisation, Khalsa Aid on his sleeves, moved by the Sikh spirit of Sewa and travel, Harjinder Singh Kukreja goes from Ludhiana to Gaziantep -right on the Turkey-Syria border, barely 100 kilometres from the theatre of war at Aleppo, mingles and empathises with refugees at the Nizip Syrian refugees camp and sets a new precedent for social activism to follow.

As a participant in the Inflow Summit in Istanbul, Harjinder was welcomed to the historic Museum city of Gaziantep in Turkey by its mayor, a former minister in the Turkish cabinet -Fatma Şahin.  Of the few million refugees in Turkey, Gaziantep has seen a huge influx with more than a quarter of its present population now being Syrian refugees, obviously upsetting the social demographics, but the determination of the Turkish government in supporting the Syrian refugees is well-known and has received international applaud. This bold step at the cost of the local population requires huge international aid and it must come from all quarters.


Life goes on as usual for nearly 10 thousand refugees at Nizip-men, women and children. They have all the facilities in the “containers” where they live, including a computer training centre and playing facilities for children.

“The whole idea is to spread happiness, cheer and peace. I want to do more of this in the times to come”.

Tweeting his pictures with kids from the refugee camp, Harjinder Singh Kukreja went nostalgic sharing the same with WSN. He said, “Spending a whole day at the refugee camp, I could not help but connect with true stories shared with me about the life at refugee camps of my grandfather and great grandfather. I come from a family of refugees from the Indo-Pak partition in 1947.” Lovingly hugging a child who lost an arm in the war, whilst talking to the young and old there, he said, “Just as my family and I have grown out through those times and I want the best life for my children, I want the same for these Syrian refugee children too.

In a strife-torn world, social activists, relief volunteers, UN agencies, aid agencies like Khalsa Aid and daring political leaders and activists have to play Robinhood. Not in the literal sense of robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but in the sense of being bold and daring -going where no man goes, doing what few people do and instilling a sense of humanity whomsoever they touch in a world where love is at discount and inflation of hate. Harjinder Singh Kukreja has done just that and the Sikh community, nay the world community, should be proud of his achievement.

“The whole idea is to spread happiness, cheer and peace. Living the life of a refugee is no joke -away from home and hearth, at the mercy of the goodness of countries, UN and other aid agencies and of course ordinary people who have the heart in the right place. I want to do more of this in the times to come”, said Harjinder Singh Kukreja, while speaking to WSN on the phone line from Nizip, Turkey.

Seeing the cute children interacting with Khalsa Aid international volunteer-activist Harjinder Singh Kukreja, let us hope and pray that the war ends, better sense prevails and we have a peaceful world.


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