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A team of volunteers helped run the Chabeel Day in December. Photo: SUPPLIED

Chabeel Day connects community

Nearly 1000 food and drink items were served to residents and travellers during Thames’ first Chabeel Day in December.
One of the organisers, Jaspreet Kaur, said the idea for the event started as a conversation among friends that they should commemorate the Martyrdom of Chaar Sahibzaade in Thames.
“As first generation migrants from India, we all have great memories of our childhood where free food and drinks were served on the side of roads by multiple community groups,” she said.
“The purpose is to give back to the community and remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors so that we have the freedom to make our own choices and not be forced to any religion.”
Chabeel is a traditional Indian drink served during the summer months to relieve the heat. It is made by mixing water and/or milk with rose syrup.

“On the day, we served nearly 1000 parcels of food and drinks to the local community and travellers passing by. [Travellers on] four big double decker buses that made their stop at Thames were also served on the hot, sunny day.”
Jaspreet said the group was “very fortunate” to have support from Thames-Coromandel District Council and local businesses. A team of volunteers came from Waikato Shaheed-E-Azam Bhagat Singh Sports and Cultural Trust to serve our community. “Gatka (Sikh Martial Art) Akal Khalsa Martial Art Trust gave a colourful demonstration of the warrior art, which was enjoyed by locals and visitors,” she said.
“We aim to work together and make this an annual event in Thames so we can become an example for our Kiwi-Indian generation and remember Chaar Sahibzaade with acute sadness and great vigour.”