As COVID first hit India in spring of 2020 and it became apparent that the borders were closing, the staff and students of Miri Piri Academy (MPA) hastily packed up and returned all the students to their home countries safe and secure. As we left, we had no idea of the impact of the pandemic and that it would be 18 months before we could return. Still, during all these months, we have kept the staff and facilities of MPA going – ready for us to return. We have hosted langar for the neighbors and provided oxygen concentrators for people who are sick. And through all this, the beautiful Harimandir Sahib has been never far from our hearts.
It is with unbounded joy that a team has returned to India. Earlier this month Jugat Guru Singh Khalsa, Sada Sat Simran Singh Khalsa, Gurprakash Singh Khalsa, Simran Singh Khalsa, Siri Avtar Singh Khalsa, Amar Singh Khalsa, and others landed in Amritsar, back again to the home of Guru Ram Das. Within 10 hours of landing, Chardi Kala Jatha was playing kirtan in the 3:00 AM Amrit Vela slot at the Darbar Sahib. “The people of Amritsar have received us with such love,” said Sada Sat Simran Singh. “It is very humbling and heart warming at the same time. This is our home in every sense of the word, and I am grateful beyond measure to bow once again at Siri Harimandir Sahib.”
Simran Singh and Sada Sat Simran Singh met with the newly elected president of the S.G.P.C., Harjinder Singh Dhami. It was like a meeting of friends and family, as the new Pardhan Sahib (president) knows the MPA staff from their many visits to Baba Nihal Singh ji, Jethadar of Tarana Dal, over the past twenty years. Pardhan Sahib expressed his support of the MPA mission and the work that has been done to teach children in the spirit of Guru Ram Das.
MPA is on schedule to receive students in August 2022 and preparations are in full swing. The local staff are eager to have children once again on campus, and expressed their longing with unreserved hugs and sweet words.
The Chardi Kala Jatha will play 3 more times in Darbar Sahib this week, and then the team will return home. For now. We look forward to a return in a few months to start the preparations for the next school year.