India Covid-19 crisis appeal launched today in Preston by city's Gujarat Hindu Society
As the Covid crisis escalates in India Lancashire's Hindu communities are taking a lead in fundraising to help victims of the Indian pandemic. They say donations are welcome and urgently needed.
Preston’s Hindu communities have launched appeals to help the victims of the Covid pandemic sweeping through India
Today the city’s Gujarat Hindu Society on South Meadow Lane launched its India Covid Support appeal with an initial target of £10,000, and an invitation to anyone who wants to help to donate.
Spokesman Ishwer Tailor, the society’s Vice President, said: “The Society’s fund to help the epidemic in India will go to the Indian Prime Minister’s Care Fund which is already being used for getting oxygen plants built in 150 states and they are also doing other relief work within all states.”
Health care services in India have been overwhelmed by the demand for hospital beds and oxygen as the Covid pandemic spreads at an unprecedented rate with a record number of cases and deaths.
Ishwer said:”Obviously the majority of our members are from Gujarat and we have been getting reports of deaths within individual families. There are lots of stories coming through how they are having to grieve by themselves and not be able to have access to the bodies. Also the hospitals in various places are totally chockablock.The situation is quite dire. Anyone can donate. We will keep the appeal open.“
The society is a regular fundraiser for needy causes and raised £7,000 to buy equipment for the Royal Preston Hospital during lockdown. Ishwer said: "The Society has always been at the forefront in any disasters and have raised money for various charities even during the lockdown. "
It is also planning a devotional singing and fundraising event at its temple on June 26, Covid restrictions permitting,
Ishwer said:" There will be prayers for all the people who have lost their loved one and also we pray this pandemic slows down and (for) relief to all the areas of India. Our prayers are already started for people who have lost their loved ones. We pray that things get better soon.”
For more details of the appeal see the Gujarat Hindu Society's website here or at ghspreston.co.uk where details of the appeal are due to be posted later today.
Meanwhile the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha UK and Europe, which has a temple on Ribble Bank Street in Preston, is supporting a BAPS India Covid Emergency Appeal based at its Neasden temple.
The Neasden temple says that through its network of temples in India it has provided essential relief , food provisions and medical supplies, but knows demand is growing with a peak in the devastating second wave of Covid predicted to be weeks away. Its spokesperson said: " BAPS in the UK has launched an international emergency campaign to support the BAPS relief efforts across India. "
Locally Kailash Parekh of the Ribble Bank Street mandir (temple) said: "We have been very concerned and very proactive. We are one big family. It (donations) will help buy equipment, the food the oxygen, essentials. We work united with our temple in London so the money will get straight to where it is needed. We want to raise as much as we can - people can give generously because every penny helps at the moment."
For more details of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha Covid Emergency Appeal see here or at https://londonmandir.baps.org/support-us/