Australian State Announces A$270,000 Funding for Sikh Community Celebrations
Sikh organizations will get A$200,000 to celebrate the upcoming 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, while A$70,000 will be given to the Victorian Sikh Guruduaras Council for next year’s Baisakhi celebrations.
The Labor government of Victoria state has announced A$270,000 funds to various Sikh organizations for celebrations of special community events.
While Sikh organizations will get A$200,000 to celebrate the upcoming 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev, the second tranche of A$70,000 will be given to the Victorian Sikh Guruduaras Council for next year’s Baisakhi celebrations, SBS.com reported.
The announcements have come just before the November elections.
“A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will support our proud Sikh communities as they celebrate the 550th birthday anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of the Sikh faith, set to be held in the second half of 2019,” a statement from the party said.
During the last census in 2016, the Sikh community in Victoria comprised about 52,000 people, the largest in Australia.
“It’s why it’s only fitting that we should also have Australia’s biggest and best celebration for the 550th birthday anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji,” Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott said, according to the report.
“With these investments, we’ll celebrate those many contributions and mark one of the most important days in the Sikh faith,” Premier Daniel Andrews was quoted as saying by the publication.
This funding announcement comes days after the government announced a A$100,000 grant to assist the staging of the 32nd Annual Australian Sikh Games, which will be held in Melbourne in April 2019. The City of Casey also promised to provide monetary support of A$50,000 and other sports-related facilities for the games.
While announcing the funding, Sports Minister John Eren said that more than 3,000 athletes and up to 90,000 spectators are expected to watch a range of traditional and contemporary sports like Kabaddi, tug-of-war, cricket, and others.
“Sikh migrants have had a strong influence on Victoria’s cultural and social development – I encourage everyone to get behind and support the athletes during these Games,” Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott had said at that time.
In another India-related news, the Victorian government has announced A$230,000 grant for an existing Jain center in Melbourne.
Jains comprise one of the smallest communities in Melbourne. The Shwetambar Jain Sangh Center of Melbourne will use the money to improve and upgrade facilities at the existing temple.
The Minister for Multicultural Affairs Robin Scott said that the funding will be through Victorian Government’s Multicultural Community Infrastructure Fund.