HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Sikh couple set example of service  Nanaimo, February 17, 2014
First Published: 12:56 IST(17/2/2014) | Last Updated: 13:04 IST(17/2/2014)

Five years ago a retired Sikh-Canadian couple walking with their dog through their neighborhood stumbled upon a brilliant idea. They decided not only, to help to clean up the neighborhood but also to donate for charity.


Narinder Singh Parmar and his wife Kulwant Kaur Parmar started collecting pop-cans and bottles. At first Ms Parmar felt embarrassed at this new endeavor, “some people, even our relatives laughed at us.”

However, they kept focussed at their project and worked hard. Soon they were rewarded and they could see the difference being made.

“It’s a lot of work, almost a full time job”, she stated. What about the people laughing? “We don’t care, we doing a good job, and doing something good for the society.”

Everyday the couple spends hours going through their neighborhood looking for cans and bottles. They store everything in their garage, which has turned into a mini recycling depot. When it starts to overflow they spend many more hours sorting everything out, bagging and filling up their pickup truck. The collection is delivered to the recycling plant and exchanged for cash which is then delivered for charity.

“I don’t need this money. I got enough money of my own to live on. So I said let’s clean the streets and help the environment and use this money for a good purpose”, added Narinder Singh.

Their latest donation total was to the Nanaimo Hospice Society for $1500 which was very much appreciated. Every cent helps, $1500 to us is a significant amount, said an official, it touched our heart.

Perhaps the motivating factor for this couple is that they have faced hard times of their own and now in retirement they just want to give back to society and help others. The Parmars recall their early days when they first arrived in this country, “we had a hard time when I came to Canada, but now we have everything and now we just want to help others”.

Not only is their hard work a great service to the society but also keeps them busy and healthy, “I always have a bag with me, I take my dog for a walk, I’m retired, and there’s nothing else to do”. Therefore, the good work will continue and many more will keep benefitting.

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