FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 4, 2015
Shabd Singh Khalsa
Phone: (703) 340-5030
Memorial Service for Sikh American Hari Simran Found in the Mountains of Mexico Will Be Held Monday Jan 5th
Memorial To Be Broadcast Via Live-Stream
Memorial services for Hari Simran Singh Khalsa, the 25 year old Sikh-American who died hiking in the mountains of Tepoztlán, Mexico, will take place at 3 pm EST on Monday, January 5th at the Raj Khalsa Gurdwara (http://rajkhalsagurdwara.org) in Sterling, VA.
The memorial service will also be broadcast live-stream, beginning at 3 pm EST. The broadcast address for the livestream is: http://new.livestream.com/HealthyHappyHoly/HariSimran
The family of Hari Simran Singh plans to create a foundation in his honor, dedicated to his spirit of service and inspiration. In lieu of flowers, people are requested to make contributions to the #findharisimran campaign which will become the foundation. http://www.gofundme.com/helpfindharisimran
Hari Simran Singh Khalsa’s story caught the attention of the world when he went missing on Dec 30th, while hiking in the mountains of Tepoztlán, Mexico. A social media campaign, #findharisimran, caught fire, with international media covering the story and government agencies getting involved. Over the course of 4 days, a massive search ensued, involving over 250 people and three helicopters. The organizations involved in the search were: the State Police of Morelos, the Federal Police, the Red Cross, SAR (Aerial Rescue), Protección Civil, Tlacuache Adventures, the FBI and the US Embassy of Mexico. In addition, around 100 people from Tepoztlán and the area that know the mountains created independent rescue teams inside Tepoztlán.
The organizers of the search and rescue operation said, “We wish to extend a special thanks to the incredible efforts of the climbers who gave their time and risked their own safety in this search: Juan Perez, Michael Jai Dev DeNicola, Andres Bulnes, Alex, Carlos Vlad, Don Lázaro, Ezra Landis, Sat Purkh Singh Dhillon, and Anais Perez.
“We extend our deepest gratitude to Emilio Castello who organized all of the teams and communicated between the family, the authorities and the volunteers, and helped navigate the process of sending Hari Simran Singh home.
“And finally there are no words to thank Hari Nam Simran Pavon who dropped all else, and with his dog, Gobinday, spent every moment searching and was ultimately the one who found Hari Simran at the base of the mountain.”
The search ended tragically on Jan 2, when Khalsa’s body was found in one of the small ravines that criss-crossed the mountains of Tepoztlán. Khalsa had fallen while hiking, sustaining multiple fractures to his skull and dying instantly.
News of his death spread instantly and quickly through social media and press outlets in Mexico, the United States, India, the UK and others. The last 48 hours have seen a continual outpouring of love for this young man, who touched so many lives and so many hearts. Vigils were held Friday night in Herndon, Virginia; Brooklyn, New York; Los Angeles, California; Albuquerque and Espanola, New Mexico; communities in Europe, Latin America and even as far away as China. A livestream broadcast of the Friday night vigil in Espanola, New Mexico had over 2000 viewers.
Government officials, including United States Senator Tim Kaine from Virginia, have taken the time to express their condolences to the family.
Tributes to Khalsa have popped up on Facebook from friends and family members, including a photo memorial created by The Sikh Coalition, for whom he volunteered.
A remembrance from members of the Occupy Wall St. movement took place on Saturday, Jan 3rd at Zuccotti Park in New York City, NY. Khalsa was influential in establishing and leading the Occupy Yoga NY movement, which brought meditation and yoga into the heart of the protests.
The memorial service for Hari Simran Singh Khalsa will take place Monday January 5th at the Raj Khalsa Gurdwara, in Sterling, VA. The address for the Gurdwara is 22821 Silverbrook Center Drive, Unit 160. Those who plan to attend can kindly RSVP at http://harisimranmemorial.rsvpify.com.
Since this story has garnered international attention, the family has graciously consented to the funeral being broadcast over the Internet at the same time. People who cannot physically attend the funeral in Sterling, Virginia, can participate in the memorial at: http://new.livestream.com/HealthyHappyHoly/HariSimran
Khalsa was a member of the Sikh-American community who originally hailed from Brooklyn and had been running the Raj Yoga Center in Sterling, Virginia along with his wife for the last several years. Khalsa was a long-time practitioner of Kundalini yoga, and earlier made headlines in New York for teaching Kundalini yoga and meditation to activists during the Occupy Wall Street campaign. He was an alum of Adelphi University in New York and the Miri Piri Academy in Amritsar, India. He is survived by his wife, Emily Ad Purkh Smith, Sterling, Virginia and his parents, Sat Jagat Singh and Guru Surya Kaur Khalsa Brooklyn, New York.
The family and friends of Hari Simran Singh Khalsa offer their deepest, heart-felt thanks to all of those around the world who participated in this search. Whether on the ground, by spreading awareness through social media and the news, government who helped with resources, those who donated and those who prayed – collectively, everyone helped to #findharisimran.