Timely help enables families to cope with tragedy

Venkat Raman (Indian Newslink)
Auckland, September 9, 2018

Two mourning families in New Zealand (Tauranga) and India (Ludhiana, Punjab), have been able to resolve the issue of performing the last rites of a young man who died in a traffic incident two months ago, thanks to the efforts of Kharag Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Singh and a few others in the Sikh community.
Parminder Singh Jabbal (27) died on July 11, 2018 when his car had a head-on collision with a truck on State Highway 36, between Rotorua and Tauranga.

Parminder Singh Jabbal (Facebook Hamilton Geri-route)

Jabbal was in a relationship with Saraiah Waerea of Rotorua, who was pregnant with their child at the time of the accident.

Confusion and tension

The Punjabi community, displaying its usual solidarity and sympathy, began fundraising efforts to meet the cost of repatriating Mr Jabbal’s body to India and other related expenses.
Mr Singh told Indian Newslink that by then Ms Waerea had expressed her thoughts of keeping the remains of Mr Jabbal in New Zealand.
“This caused confusion and tension in Mr Jabbal’s family in India. She could not travel because of the advanced stage of her pregnancy,” he said.

Kharag Singh Sidhu with (from left) Pika Henry (brother of Saraiah Waerea), Constable Shammi Singh, Saraiah Waerea, Sergeant Simon Betichitti and Sarwan Singh

Although not related to either party, Mr Singh offered to take charge as the local guardian on the condition that Mr Jabbal’s family in India will allow him to give access to Ms Waerea and family to say ‘farewell’ before the body was sent back to India.
“This decision, despite bringing an additional cost on repatriation, was the best possible and amicable outcome to this unfortunate situation,” Mr Singh said.

Body sent to India

The body of Mr Jabbal, sent from Auckland on July 25 after prayers held at the South Auckland Funeral Services, Otahuhu, South Auckland, reached India the following day and the funeral rites were performed in a village in Punjab on July 27, 2018.

Community members gather near the coffin of Parminder Jabbal at the South Auckland Funeral Services, Otahuhu on July 25, 2018.

The last remains of Mr Jabbal arrived back to New Zealand on August 15 and were handed over to Ms Waerea, bringing an emotional reunion.

A tearful Saraiah Waerea receives the final remains of her Partner Jabbal from Kharag Singh Sidhu on August 15, 2018

Mr Singh visited Rotorua on Friday, September 7 to deliver household gifts and a car to Ms Waerea to help her and her expected child to have a reasonably decent start in life.

Kharag Singh Sidhu and his nephews Harry Singh and Navi Singh loading household appliances, furniture and other items on to a van for delivery to Saraiah Waerea. Mr Singh also purchased a Mitsubishi car (pictured) for her use.

All pictures appearing above were supplied by Kharag Singh Sidhu

About Kharag Singh Sidhu

Indian Newslink had featured Mr Singh in its June 15, 2011 issue (under Punjabis in Business):
It was published under the heading, ‘A fair and square business.’
Please read the story here:

A fair and square business

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