My name is Dr. Inder Pal Singh. I am 63 years of age. I live presently in Temple Road, Londonderry/Derry. Originally I came from India, a city called Lucknow. This is nearly 200 miles from Deli, capital of India.
It was precisely the 3rd of April, 1976 [when I left India]. I mean, it will be just nearly 38 years now in this coming April.
I came alone to work in NHS. I needed to have six month pre-reg, that is, a non-paid job to complete my full registration to become a General Practitioner. They were looking for one pre-reg doctor because these are the finite jobs, a number of GPs and doctors qualifying, but one of the doctors didn’t qualify here. So I contacted them immediately, I was given this job. And there is a saying in India, “He was looking for two eyes because he’s blind,” and I was looking for two eyes. So there’s how I came to Northern Ireland.
I was single at that time. I got married in 1980, and then my wife joined me in July 1980. I am the only one here with the family. Obviously my three children were born here, the local children, as I call them. Incidentally, they took my profession. One daughter is a GP in London, other daughter in London as well, and son is in Plymouth. All are doctors as well.
I have two things to show which is unique. I am Sikh, my religion, so that’s one: my turban. The other thing is my object I cannot take off, it’s a bracelet or Kara, we call it. This is one of the five Ks [physical symbols of Sikh faith].
I’ll go a little bit toward the Sikh religion. Sikh is a Sanskrit-derived word, it means ‘desireable learner.’ And Guru Nanak is the founder of the Sikh religion in the Fifteenth Century and there are about 22 million Sikhs all over the world now. Guru Nanak gave the teachings as the all- mighty omnipotent Creator, the one God. The Second Pillar is “Kirat Karo,” which means one should work hard, live honestly, not afraid to do any job to look after himself and his family. And the third is “Vand Chhako,” that means Charity – if you can give to the needy something. “Naam Japo” means remember God, pray to God. That does not mean you should have to open the book all the time, pray every morning, but if you just remember Him in your heart.