Five years after an inferno sparked by a gas leak destroyed the heart of
New York City's Sikh community and killed a visitor from India, Singh,
29, is helping to make sure that prayer is answered.
Each weekday afternoon, after working eight hours laying bricks in
Brooklyn, Singh heads for 118th Street and 97th Avenue, where a
four-story, 66,000-square foot temple -- or gurdwara -- is being built.
There, Singh volunteers his time, drilling screws into Sheetrock,
threading wires through walls or running to the store to fetch supplies.
Despite the work of Singh and dozens of other volunteers, Sikh Cultural
Society leaders say the new $15-million temple is two years away from
opening. Logistical problems, internal turmoil and lack of funds have
delayed the rebuilding process, forcing temple members to crowd into a
converted house next door to the construction site for daily prayers,
meals and educational programs.