Gas, War & Sikh Sewa

A Sikh gas station owner of Phoenix Arizona, decided to sell gas for less than his cost.

Gas
Worldwide sanctions on Russian exports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February, 2022 caused oil prices to soar, and gas prices at the pump to increase dramatically by early March, 2022.  A Sikh gas station owner, Jaswinder Singh of Phoenix Arizona, decided to do something about it. People often feel, “I’m only one person, what can I do to make a difference?” But truly helping even one person can make a difference in both their life and yours. Jaswinder Singh knew that ordinary folk who commute to and from work daily would be hit hard by the impact of rising prices of gas, which had jumped 45 cents in a single week by March 8, 2022. 

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War
With the global impact of the Russian war on Ukraine raising gas prices around the world, Jaswinder Singh fought back by selling gas for less than its cost to him. Jaswinder Singh bought his station in 2007, and had helped people in the recession crisis of 2008. He felt it was time to do so again when on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, an email from his supplier informed him that gas had risen to $4.49 per gallon. Jaswinder Singh reduced the price of his own cost by 10 cents a gallon and offered it at $4.39 a gallon to his customers feeling that money could be made other ways, but people going through hardship needed help at the pump, and it would not be right to make money off of gasoline by gouging those in need. The station, located at 20th and Osborn in Phoenix, Arizona, generally sells about 1500 gallons of gas daily, so that meant a personal revenue loss of approximately $150 dollars a day. Even so, Jaswinder Singh hoped to keep prices low as long as sales from the station’s convenience store could support his business.

Sikh Sewa
There is no state or federal regulation over the price of gas at the pump. So, what prompted Jaswinder Singh to try and help people rather than to exploit them? The Sikh faith has 3 main fundamental principles:

  1. Naam Japna – Remember God both day and night during all activities.
  2. Kirat Karo – Do honest work, earn an income with earnest endeavors.
  3. Vand Chakko – Serve selflessly by sharing income and resources. 

Jaswinder Singh honored these three principles by practicing sewa, meaning “selfless service” with his humble effort and endeavor to serve his community and fellow citizens, putting their needs before his own. His single act of compassion helped many in their time of hardship.

Sukhmandir Kaur Khalsa

Sukhmandir has written hundreds of articles on topics related to Sikhism and has co-written and and edited several books on the Gurmat teachings and Naam Simran meditation. 

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