There With You: Neasden Temple steps up to support the community during the coronavirus pandemic
PUBLISHED: 15:54 09 April 2020
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS
Neasden Temple is taking part in a community care initiative in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) in the UK, based at the temple, has launched the programme to support individuals and local communities.
Mahant Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS, has issued a call for all volunteers to act on their duty in this time of need.
Yogen Shah, a volunteer at Neasden Temple, said, “His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj has inspired and energised us to serve and support the people of this country and stand by them in their time of need.
“We’re praying together for this pandemic to subside and for God to provide strength to all.”
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BAPS has mobilised hundreds of volunteers in more than 30 areas around the UK to help support the elderly and needy in local communities.
Under the Connect and Care initiative, the organisation delivers 400 ‘tiffin’ food parcels each day to the most in need in Brent and Harrow, as well as providing food for hospitals including the newly opened NHS Nightingale.
BAPS has made telephone calls to more than 6,000 families across the UK to enquire about their welfare and provide support and comfort, as well as reaching out to more than 1,500 elderly and vulnerable people in the community on a regular basis to collect shopping, medication and run essential errands.
It has also helped communicate government and NHS health guidance.
Prayers and religious assemblies are now webcast and BAPS has participated in national initiatives related to the pandemic. A ritual bathing ceremony was performed by swamis in Neasden, and simultaneously by devotees in their homes, on March 22 as part of BAPS’s observance of the UK’s National Day of Prayer and Action.
Mandirs in the UK, including the Neasden Temple, were illuminated in blue on March 25 as a mark of respect and gratitude for NHS workers, and swamis at the mandir, as well as devotees in their homes, joined the Clap for Carers that evening.
BAPS has set up a Coronavirus Relief Fund and donations can be made via londonmandir.baps.org or at www.justgiving.com/campaign/coronavirusrelieffund
See our list of essential coronavirus contacts and services here.
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