The Sikh Awareness Society (SAS) was established in 1998 amongst growing concerns of the ‘grooming’ of our youth. In Britain today Sikh youth are still actively targeted on the basis of their religion and history. This historically linked hate-crime causes much emotional distress to the families involved with the majority of these cases ending up in abuse.
Under common Punjabi mentality, these issues are still considered ‘taboo’ and are rarely addressed by the Gurdwara Sahibs, and Sikh community leaders. Therefore the victims of this hate-crime tend to suffer in silence.
The SAS was initially set up to deal with these issues. Since 1998 the SAS has grown to tackle many more issues affecting the Sikh community and the Sikh youth in Britain today.
We are now regarded as a leading independent Sikh advisory board, speaking for the concerns of the Sikh Sangat. The SAS originally operated as a discreet, confidential service, providing counselling and support to the West Midlands Sikh community.
Due to an increasing number of calls from distressed Sikh families; in April 2006 we decided to expand our services and go nationwide, to address the Sikh Sangat to the issues and problems facing our community.
We initially started out in ‘problem areas’ i.e. towns/cities where we knew of serious hate-crimes and abuse in the past. We quickly came to realise it is a national problem and far more deep-rooted.
THE ROLE OF THE S.A.S
- Raises awareness of current problems facing the Sikh community.
- Provides a confidential 24-hour telephone and call-out service to the Sikh Sangat.
- Counselling and rehabilitation programs.
- Promotes greater understanding of Sikh religious concepts and history.
- Sikh out-reach programs.
- Provides ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Big Sister’ support for Sikh youth
- Acts as a liaison body between the Sikh youth and the Committees of the Gurdwara Sahibs.
- Works to document and expose hate-crime and human rights violations against Sikhs.