Friday, September 28, 2001

Sikhs raise money for victims

Prayer service and free food part of activities at restaurant

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        EVENDALE — More than 100 people attended a special prayer service Thursday at Anand India Restaurant to promote peace in the Tristate and across the country.

        The prayer service, sponsored by Greater Cincinnati's Sikh community, was also held in conjunction with a daylong fund-raiser to benefit the families of the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The money will be donated to the American Red Cross.

[photo] Harji Singh (second from left) reads a prayer in front of Anand India Restaurant.
(Dick Swaim photo)
| ZOOM |
        Sikhs follow a variant of Hinduism founded in northern India in about 1500; the religion is based on belief in one God and on rejection of the caste system and idolatry.

        Lakhwinder Singh, manager of Anand India Restaurant, said more than $2,500 was collected between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The restaurant offered free food throughout the day.

        “This one guy donated $200,” said Mr. Singh.

        Waiters and cooks at the restaurant donated their salaries Thursday.

        Mr. Singh said the service and fund-raiser are designed to show that many Tristate Sikhs, who wear turbans and have beards, are decent, hard-working people who are also grieving for friends, relatives and others lost in the terrorist attacks.

        “We hurt, too,” he said.

        Some have been threatened in recent days by people who mistakenly think they are Muslim or Arab-American or are connected with Osama bin Laden, he said.


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