Tonight I just wanted to take some time to personally share a little bit about the rest of the people who have been involved at SikhNet.com. Last night I was thinking about it and felt like it was important for people to know more about the others here at SikhNet that work behind the scenes. Many don’t realize that SikhNet is a true team effort.
Most of you don’t run websites for a living so may not realize all the time and effort that goes into running a large website such as SikhNet. At one time SikhNet was something I did in my free time after work; however for many years it has been a full time job for myself and a few others. I still get people asking me, “What do you do for a living?” and I say “I work at SikhNet”. I think somehow they must think this is still a part time thing, or can’t imagine someone doing this type of thing for a living. I realized long ago that there is only so much you can do in your “free time”. In order to really make some progress I felt the need to do this full time. Even today I always feel like we are barely scratching the surface of what needs to be done to help Sikhs these days. Someone needs to do it, right? So…why not us?
SikhNet currently employs 3 full and 2 part time staff. At SikhNet we do everything as a group. We don’t work in the normal top down way that most corporate businesses work. We try to make sure everyone feels included, involved and is doing something that they enjoy and feels is making a difference. No one works at SikhNet for the money. It is all about “the mission”. It’s more about the higher purpose and satisfaction of serving and helping others that makes the job very rewarding.
Back to the people….I want to just share a few words about each person.
Gurujot is a recent graduate of Miri Piri Academy and has been working at SikhNet almost a year now. He has been doing a mix of work at SikhNet and furthering his education with college part time. He brings a lot of creativity and enthusiasm. He is very entrepreneurial and has lots of great ideas. Gurujot also has a nice artistic side which is really starting to bloom as he gets more experienced with different graphic programs. He is the one who responds to most of the SikhNet emails and does the customer service (Sikh Matrimonials and other sections). There are so many sections on SikhNet to keep an eye on and Gurujot does an awesome job keeping up with everything. He has a lot of creativity, so we are always trying to squeeze in fun creative projects that he wants to do, so that the work is more enjoyable. All the day to day SikhNet maintenance can get monotonous and boring after a while. You can read more about Gurujot on his little personal page.
I don’t remember how many years Joginder has been working with us, but it seems like at least 3 years. Joginder brings his own unique qualities to SikhNet which were really needed. I grew up in India, but I never really got fully fluent in Punjabi. Joginder helps so much in making sure that we get the full picture of things from the point of Sikhs coming from an Indian background. He takes the phone calls with people who don’t speak English well, and brings so much to areas that the rest of us don’t know as much about. The more visible area that Joginder works hard with is the daily news that you may read on the SikhNet along with the rest of the featured things on the home page. He did an awesome job this past year in doubling the Gurbani which is now available in the Gurbani Archive. He was also the heart behind the “Seva Central” which is meant to be a place to get involved in different seva projects around the world. His dedication towards SikhNet and hard work has really been a support to SikhNet.
Guru Nam Kaur
What can I say but this is my favorite auntie. She used to be my teacher in my school days in India when I was about 8 years old. I used to get out of school and go to her house to listen to the “Star Wars” audio tapes that my parents sent for me. That was a big deal back then! Her daughter, Pritham Kaur, was my classmate all through school and is a good friend. Guru nam kaur makes sure that the bills get paid and that money is in the bank. She does all the financial wizardry that us computer techs don’t like to do. Every week we meet together and she always has great ideas and input into everything. The “Your Auntie wants to talk to you” on the side of the Gurbani archive was inspired by our own Auntie Gurunam Kaur. What would be do without her? I don’t know. She tells such nice stories of the days when we were in India. I will record a couple and share them with you all when I have a chance.
Many of you now have heard of Guruka as a result of the videos that we did together. Guruka was the original SikhNetter, and by Guru’s grace is now back working with us at SikhNet. Guruka is a living inspiration to me in how he goes through each day with so much joy and a smile on his face. He is never short of joy and enthusiasm. I don’t think I have ever seen him with a frown. Guruka is a visionary, always looking at the big picture and the possibilities. Guruka has a way with words. He has taught me a lot (through example) how to communicate effectively and is a super wordsmith. Sit down with him and he turns something ordinary into something that you read and feel inspired. I am always surprised at how he never ceases to have no limit to serving. People from our community come to him ALL THE TIME to get help with all kinds of computer stuff and he always makes time to help. His example has really pushed me to be more selfless and serviceful with joy.
Sat Guru Singh
Sat Guru Singh recently moved on to a different job, however I still want to acknowledge him for his many years of service to SikhNet. He worked at SikhNet for the longest time (other than me). He was the person who communicated with most people and did the daily maintenance and customer service for the Sikh Matrimonial service. He developed the Seva Central service and was a big part of our day to day operation. We all really appreciate Satguru Singh’s efforts at SikhNet all those years.
For the past almost two years since he contacted me we have been in non stop communication and work on all kinds of fun projects related to Sikhi. He currently lives and works in Singapore. Ashvinder works with SikhNet as a volunteer; and for me personally has been a good friend. Before I met him I always felt like I was alone in the world of websites in relation to Sikhi. I never really had a peer that I could share the enthusiasm and ideas with. Most of my friends are not in the same field so didn’t have someone that could relate with. Ashvinder shares similar creativity and enthusiasm for creating cool new services to support Sikhs. He is never short of new ideas. I quite frequently have to hold him back so that we can get the current ideas/services more solid and worked out. We spend hours and hours talking on skype a few times a week and working out the details for new services.
It’s not really possible to explain how each of these people work so hard to make SikhNet what it is today. We all share in the responsibility of doing all the many tasks. Everyone who works at SikhNet puts their heart and soul into it and as a result you get a very reliable and much needed service to support Sikhs all over the world. I feel like most of the time we are just barely keeping up with maintaining things. There is so much more work to be done and with the support of the community SikhNet will continue to grow and serve.
I remember 10 years ago imagining one day having a office full of programmers, graphic designers, writers, etc working together to create services to support the Sikh community. It is amazing seeing now how far we have gotten and how we are getting closer and closer to that picture. With Guruji’s blessings we will continue to serve in this way and the necessary resources will manifest so that we can continue to keep up with the growth. My prayer is that people see the value of this service and invest in their future by supporting this mission (with their time, creativity or financial resources).
So, the next time you think of SikhNet, don’t think of just me, think of the rest of the team that work really hard to make it successful. I just feel bad sometimes when people give me so much credit when it is a team effort and ultimately everything works out the way it does through Guru’s blessings.
Coming soon… The SikhNet Ambassadors…a way for everyone to get involved and support SikhNet.
Ps. I just remembered; We have some very dedicated sevadhars who on a daily basis answer the huge streams of questions that come into our Q&A youth forum. We can’t even keep up with them! There are also our Discussion forum moderators who spend time every day to ensure that discussions on SikhNet stay positive and educational. Then we have our sevadhars who contribute in many other ways through educational content on SikhiWiki.org. Wow…I know the list will go on. Ultimately everyone who participates in SikhNet plays a role in it. Thank you Everyone!