Friend and colleague Lori Way provides an update on the Sikh community in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where they recently broke ground on a new Gurdwara for their growing congregation. See previous contributions from Lori Way here.
Last April 21st marked an important milestone for those who attend the Dashmesh Sikh Gurdwara in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The day began with the raising of the Nishan Sahib and ended with the groundbreaking for a new Gurdwara, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. The new Gurdwara has been in the planning stages for the past two to three years, according to trustee member Onkar Mann. He states that a new Gurdwara is necessary due to the fact that the Fort Wayne Sikh population has outgrown its current space: “Our community is growing rapidly; there are families coming every month or so. The space being as it is right now, it does not accommodate everybody comfortably.” There are approximately 80 to 120 members who attend this Gurdwara on a regular basis, and Mann hopes that the new building will provide more opportunities for them to enjoy activities in addition to more room for worship and langar. Mann believes that free Punjabi classes, currently held once a week at Dashmesh, could be expanded to three times a week once the new Gurdwara is available.
The planned construction will be 8,900 square feet with a natural stone façade and domes reminiscent of the Gurdwaras found in India. Karnail Singh, President of the Gurdwara Committee at Dashmesh, believes that the building will be unique within Northeast Indiana, and the larger size will allow for more services to be provided to the Fort Wayne area. The Dashmesh Sikh Gurdwara has also revamped its website recently in an effort to reach out to more people within its community and elsewhere. The new website includes pictures and video of the Nishan Sahib and the groundbreaking ceremonies.
The Gurdwara is also accepting donations from Sikhs nationwide to help offset the cost of construction and furnishing the building. Those who wish to make a contribution may do so by visiting http://www.dashmeshsikhgurudwara.com/index.html.