FRESNO, California (KSEE) — Nearly a hundred gathered Sunday evening at the Sikj Institute of Fresno to grieve, but also celebrate the life of Manjit Singh.
At that same service, some called for change to prevent a death like this from happening again.
News of Singh’s death has gone global since Wednesday. The 29-year-old died after he dove into the Kings River at Reedley Beach to save three children from drowning. One of them is still reported to be at Valley Children’s Hospital.
Family and friends who were there say he did it without hesitation.
“While we struggle, we also make meaning [of his death], that he was supposed to be there at that time and that place to do whatever he could to help those children,” said Naindeep Singh, executive director of Jakara Movement, a Sikh community organization.
Sunday’s service had numerous members of the community, as well as members of Singh’s family, come forward to speak on Singh’s character.
Many of those who spoke said his last actions show his commitment to not only his faith, but also his commitment to helping others. Singh moved to Fresno two years ago and got a job to provide for his family still in India.
“He gave up his life to save children. This is a story of an immigrant, the immigrant community love this nation,” said family friend Gurdeep Shergill.
Shergill also made comments about the need for life vest mandates for local waterways. Clovis resident Desiree Genera echoed his sentiment when she had her turn at the mic.
She wants to prevent the next hero from being taken too soon.
“I have reached out to Reedley City Council, we’re going to be connecting and hopefully get some implemented changes with mandatory life jackets,” Genera said.
Fresno city councilmen Miguel Arias and Mike Karbassi — as well as Rep. T.J. Cox, D-Fresno — attended the service as well.
The GoFundMe to help return Singh home to India is still ongoing. You can support it by clicking here.