Sikh Charities Step up to Provide Hot Meals to Stranded Truck Drivers as Covid-19 Shut UK Borders

·2-min read

Britain-based Sikh organisations are extending aid in the form of cooked meals to thousands of stranded truck drivers in the United Kingdom. As many as 2,850 trucks were stranded in Kent after France closed its UK border for 48 hours on Sunday amid concerns over the spread of a new strain of coronavirus.

To come to their aid, a charity known as 'Langar Aid' has been sending food packets to the stranded drivers. The group, based out of Coventry, packed nutritious and safe meals including rice and lentils, to the drivers.

Not just Langar Aid, the BBC reported that several Sikh organizations have been coming forward to help the waiting drivers. They have been coordinating with aid agencies as well as the drivers in need to ensure they receive water, food, and medication. According to the report, two trucks full of essential supplies including bottled water and packaged meals was sent from Dover to the hungry drivers in Kent, a member of Khalsa Aid, yet another Sikh charity, told BBC.

The member, Ravinder Singh, added that charities were "working with the local Sikh community to prepare 800 hot meals for the drivers". One of the charities also shared images of the truck, loaded with provisions for the drivers, on Twitter.

The group has also been raising awareness and donations for the stranded drivers on social media platforms such as Instagram. Calling it 'Operation Stack', the group posted a poster seeking donations of supplies along with the following message, "We will be making goodie bags for truck drivers stranded by #Dover border".

The Sikh community of Gravesend shared videos of food being prepared by the community.

The incident occurred after France along with over 50 other countries, banned the arrival of persons from the UK after widespread reports and concerns about a new, mutated strain of coronavirus that was seemingly spreading in Britain.

Both Britain's Boris Johnson and France's Emmanuel Macron are in talks regarding the lorry stand-off and according to reports, any solution would most probably include mandatory Covid-19 tests for all incoming travelers including the lorry drivers entering France from UK. In the country itself, the Johnson government has imposed strict lockdown and Tier Four restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

Travel restrictions against the UK have been put in place by India as well. The government said on Tuesday, however, that there is no need to panic over the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2 detected in the UK yet and also asserted that no such variant or any significant mutation in the coronavirus strain has been seen in India yet.