Without any pomp and fanfare a warm and touching event by the Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh (HSS) was hosted at the restaurant Saffron’s Spice in Manchester to support Covid affected victims in India … Rahul Laud reports
“Sewa is a Sanskrit word that means selfless service with compassion,” was the key thought that echoed unanimously among all the invitees, guests and speakers at the event on 18 September 2021 where, HSS U.K. and Sewa Manchester team along with Honourable Member of Parliament for Cheadle, Mary Robinson presented a cheque to the Sewa UK for Covid Rehabilitation work in India. A cheque of £2383 was presented to Nathubhai Faldu, representative of Sewa UK by Mary.
The event started with prayer to the divine light to illuminate minds (traditional Gayatri Mantra) recited by Sharda Kamble who was the compere and conducted the proceedings of the event.
Mukhesh Kannan, lead volunteer of the project, informed that Food hampers were delivered to 150 families in the Sale, Altrincham, TImperley, Bolton, Warrington and some areas in Cheshire. Area. He said the final donation to HSS was £2383.The food hamper project happened on July weekend Saturday and Sunday 17&18 July with afternoon and evening deliveries on both days to support Rehabilitation work following the disastrous second wave of Covid-19 Pandemic in India. A dedicated team of 38 volunteers helped in packing and deliveries, said Mukhesh.
Dr Hardik Bhansali leading the sewa activities in North West presented a report of the voluntary work done by local Indian and Hindu community during the Pandemic. A formal presentation of the activities by Manchester HSS Sewa team summarised the humanitarian work done during the pandemic 2020-21.
Hariom, a senior volunteer, explained about the charity organisation Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS U.K and its contribution towards betterment of humanity including value based teaching to children, Youth development and social responsibility. Co-linked to the values of sewa he emphasised working together and serving the communities in the UK.HSS volunteers have been helping the local community since 1966.
Nathubhai Faldu gave an overview of activities of Sewa UK and gave the message of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One World Family) that considers sewa to be supreme and connects all irrespective of their faith and national and cultural boundaries. He emphasised the values of selfless service where the sewak (volunteer) offers selfless service without any expectation. Sewa UK doesn’t employ anyone and all tasks are executed by volunteers across the UK, he stated.
Mary Robinson appreciated the fund raising done by Manchester HSS Sewa team for Covid rehabilitation and assured her office support to all further endeavours HSS and the Sewa Day team would undertake in Manchester. She appreciated the efforts of the local Indian community, its youth participation and for the selfless work during the pandemic helping the elderly, helping people in isolation, helping carers of Covid patients. She also appreciated the help to local food banks in Manchester –a donation of more than 9.5 tonnes of non-perishable food and more than 5300 cooked meals to the vulnerable that was offered by the Sewa Day team.
An interesting anecdote was shared that when volunteers distributed food packets, Marcus Rashford (footballer) who was also distributing fruit packages alongside was impressed with the ‘Chickpea Curry’ and expressed that it was a great initiative.
Young student volunteer 14year old Parthav Shah narrated his experience during the food service that inspired youngsters who attended the event. His experience and others there expressed the joy and satisfaction they all sought doing selfless service.
Rogers Morgan Govender MBE, Dean at Manchester Cathedral, Jagtar Singh Ajmal, General Secretary of the Indian Association Manchester and Namratta Bedi, President, Executive Committee member of the Hindu Religious Society at Radha Krishna Mandir, Gandhi Hall were present on the occasion . Milind Dhumak proposed the vote of thanks. A global prayer for peace and well-being in Sanskrit concluded the event.
Saffron’s Spice generosity and philanthropic activity was acclaimed as they sponsored the food activity to help raise funds and hosted the presentation ceremony event.