BY THEA MARIE ROOD
“Jakara has been engaged on all fronts — we have taken an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach,” says executive director Naindeep Singh. “[That includes] outreach at fairs and festivals, hosting our own events and canvassing throughout the state, but especially in the Central Valley.”
Singh says, during the COVID-19 pandemic, public health guidelines have changed his group’s emphasis to phone work, including a Punjabi census hotline to assist monolingual Sikh community members (559-677-7454). Even more creative, the Jakara Movement has produced a music video, “Sikh Census 2020,” that is getting a lot of play and has sparked enthusiasm. (See it at http://shorturl.at/xDKW1). It features Punjabi music and cultural activities, as well as examples of ways a proper Census count will help the community, such as supporting neighborhood schools.
“If someone takes the time to explain it to you,” Singh says, “the larger percentage see it as their civic duty. It’s important for their town and municipalities and for the country.”