BAPS Charities in London organised a special party for 44 elderly residents and 12 carers from local care homes at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London.
The event was part of BAPS Charities’ commitment to ‘Sewa Day’ – an initiative where “thousands of good-hearted people across the world come together to perform Sewa (an act of kindness without expectation of reward) and experience the joy of giving in its truest sense.”
Mayor of Brent Cllr Kana Naheerathan joined students from The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and 25 volunteers from BAPS Charities at the gathering.
The guests were welcomed by young volunteers at the Mandir and guided around the sanctum sanctorum and adjoining cultural complex. The afternoon incorporated a cultural programme, a sing-along and a colourful folk dance presented by young girls from the Mandir.
A magic show and comedy interlude brought further entertainment and hearty smiles to all. A delicious meal was served to the visitors and a personalised souvenir was presented to them before departing.
Kirit Wadia, lead volunteer of the event, shared, “BAPS Charities is committed to bringing happiness to the lives of others, and the elderly deserve it just as much as any of us. It was really heart-warming to see such lovely smiles. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon and look forward to more opportunities to bring laughter and joy to more in the future.”
Mary Nolan from Kenwood Nursing Home added: “The residents had a wonderful day, enjoying the music, dancing, comedy and magic. All your hard work, time and effort made the day a very special one. The residents and their families really appreciated the photographs and will have them as a lasting memory of the day.”
Earlier in the morning, volunteers from BAPS Charities teamed up with 60 children from The Swaminarayan Sunday School to collect litter from Gibbons Recreational Park, further reinforcing BAPS Charities’ commitment to Sewa Day.
The importance of sewa and the environment was explained to the children during classes at the Sunday school.
The children, aged between 8 and 14, enthusiastically collected rubbish for three hours and filled ten large sacks with the help of adult supervisors. Aluminium cans that were found in the park were retained for recycling.
Raahi Patel, 12, said, “It was good to do something fun and help improve the park where so many people play and enjoy. I was surprised to find so much litter there… It feels really good to make it better.”