A group of Sikh motorcyclists has become unlikely saviors during the coronavirus pandemic—and it all begins from a convenience store. Gurinder Singh Basra, the owner of eight Verdugo Market c-stores in Bakersfield, Calif., has provided more than $20,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to law enforcement, first responders, healthcare workers and others for COVID-19 relief since mid-April. But he hasn’t done it alone. Basra has had the help of the Sikh Riders of America, a nonprofit established to increase awareness in the community about the Sikh religion. Basra, the founder of the group, gathered its membership to help fight the pandemic. The Riders have handed masks to people outside Verdugo Market as well as at local Sikh temples and Christian churches. The community response has been “appreciative beyond words,” he says. Many of the hospitals and police departments did not have any protective gear, he says. “They were happy that there were community members who actually thought about them and who wanted to do something about them,” he says.
Retailer Gurinder Singh Basra partnered with the Sikh Riders of America to donate PPE.