Sewa – Service
Some services are provided by the devotees independently or jointly, by Gurdwaras, and other institutions or organizations.
Selfless i.e. voluntary Service
Sewa is selfless service and it is very important in the Sikh World. Cleaning the used utensils in Langar, and shoes of the Sangat in the Gurdwara, are out of the top Sewas. Help to clean the Gurdwara including restrooms, cooking Langar and serving it, and maintaining Gurdwara premises, are usual Sewas. Still, an important service in India is serving fresh, clean, drinking water to the people, and even to the animals. Such a water-dispensing stand is called a Chhabeel. The people render selfless service while reciting the Name of God.
Voluntary service is offered at hospitals, or at institutions serving the orphans, handicapped and sick. First-aid is provided, the poor and needy are helped, medicines are distributed. Free, clothes and blankets are provided, free food stands are run.
Some of the others give free academic or religious education. Surgeons, specialists, general doctors, engineers, architects and others help individuals or institutions. Anyone can do whatever he or she likes. There is no end to it. Sewa is part and parcel of the Sikh life.
You may come across a container with the label “Sewa” It is a can to put in trash, a ‘Service.’
Especially in the overseas countries, disposable plastic-ware has mostly eradicated the selfless service of cleaning utensils, or has pushed it to the background. But still, it is of much use. One can transform it into the Sewa of another kind. Electric fans and air-conditioning has taken away the Sewa of manually fanning the Sangat.
Sewadar – Ideal Sewadar
Sewadar – a person serving the Guru (Gurdwara) in one form or the other. A Sewadar should be humble, polite, and sweet. He or she should be well versed in his or her trade, ever ready to learn, as well as to teach and share his or her knowledge. He or she should be free from ego of what he or she knows, does, and can do. Sewadar is a Gurmukh – God oriented person, and is the role model to lead the community for its spiritual uplift.