As part of American Sikh Day, a “Celebration of this Nation and Religious Freedom,” marked in Sacramento on April 13, CDCR employee Balvinder (Val) Hansra and her husband, Gurcharan, were interviewed for KCRA’s “Common Ground” show at their home in the Sacramento area. After the tragic shooting of two Sikh men in Elk Grove, state officials, Sikhs and media have been working diligently to educate the public about Sikhs.

In her interview, Val explained that Sikhs are “an integral part of the American society, who work hard and love this country.”

Val’s father’s family immigrated to the United States in 1906, and her uncle served in the U.S. Army in the 1920s. Sikhs believe all humans are the same, regardless of religion or gender, she said, and Sikhs, like people of other faiths, are “part of His beautiful creation.” Of the estimated half-million Sikhs in the United States, about 200,000 live in California.