London: Sikh soldiers who fought with British troops in conflicts around the world will be honoured in the UK by showcasing the ‘Khanda’, which is one of the important symbols of Sikhism, and reflects the sacrifices and contribution of the Indian-origin community.

The charity organisation that raises funds for soldiers who served or are serving in Britain's armed forces will honour Sikh soldiers this year by including the Khanda in its annual Poppy Appeal.

The appeal is organised annually by the Royal British Legion, and is held on 'Remembrance Sunday', which this year falls on November 13.

In this year’s appeal in Leicestershire – which has a significant Sikh population – the Khanda will join the Christian cross, the Jewish Star of David and the Muslim Crescent which have been introduced in recent years.

The Khanda, made up of a solid circle, two interlocked swords and a double-edged sword, will be on sale alongside poppies and the other wooden emblems.

Jennifer Leach, the Legion's community fund-raiser in Leicestershire and Rutland, told the local media: "We have had representations from the Sikh community nationally and locally and we felt it was time to produce the Khanda."

"We are very happy to be able to mark the sacrifices which have been made by Sikh soldiers who have fought and died in the British Army."

Resham Singh Sandu, the High Sheriff of Leicestershire and the first Sikh to hold the post, said he was delighted to hear of the new Poppy Appeal emblem. The High Sheriff of Leicestershire said this is "a wonderful way to celebrate the bravery of all the Sikh soldiers who have served the British Army with such distinction."

"It is no more than their bravery deserves. They have stood shoulder to shoulder with the British for years," Sandum underlined.

Last year's Poppy Appeal, marking the Legion's 90th birthday year, raised 525,161 pounds in Leicestershire alone.

It was the first time the appeal had broken the 500,000 pounds mark.
The total was 10 per cent up on the previous year's 476,150 pounds.

(Agencies)