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Hindu community joins relief efforts

Hindu community joins relief efforts for Christchurch earthquake victims

The continuing series of earthquakes in Christchurch has now taken a big toll on life and property. The earthquake that struck Christchurch on 22nd February has left all New Zealanders sombre. Our thoughts and sympathies are with the victims of this natural disaster.

The members and volunteers of Hindu community join the Nation in offering prayers to give strength to the families and friends of earthquake victims.

Specialised search and rescue teams are doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances. On the other hand, the trauma of the survivors with aftershocks continuing to rock Christchurch, especially those who have to desert their homes, needs an urgent healing touch.

These natural calamities affect everyone equally. It may be critical for ethnic and linguistic communities who may be disadvantaged in communicating their specific needs to the relief agencies and may need culturally appropriate support.

In this hour of national emergency, a number of Hindu organizations, temples and associations have come forward to provide relief to earthquake victims.

1. The Hindu Organisations, Temples and Associations (HOTA) Forum, in coordination with Sewa International, have launched an appeal to contribute to the ongoing aid and relief work in Christchurch, and to residents who have been displaced to various New Zealand cities. To assist with Sewa International relief work, contact nz_hota@yahoo.com or Kishor Mistry on 09 537 2766. You can make monetary donations to Sewa International through the ASB account number: 12-3055-0216216-00.

2. Hindu Niwas, a respite service based in Mangere, Auckland, has opened their 63 bed facility for affected families moving out of Christchurch. Hindu Niwas provides vegetarian meals to residents and will be able to arrange culturally / linguistically appropriate support for victims of the earthquake during their stay.

3. Sri Krishna Chaitanya temple of Auckland, with support of Indian Association in Christchurch will serve free, freshly cooked vegetarian meals to the earthquake victims in Christchurch. The team aims to provide around 250 – 500 meals every day for 5 days starting Monday 28th February.

4. ISKCON Wellington, in coordination with devotees in Christchurch, is also distributing food in Christchurch.

5. Hindu Council of New Zealand, Wellington Mutamizh Sangam, and Hindu Youth New Zealand volunteers in Wellington, in coordination with New Zealand Police and Pipitea Marae are working to provide support to victims of earthquake seeking refuge in Wellington. Support for linguistic and ethnic groups, including Hindus, Asians, and others is needed. 5036).

6. New Zealand Hindu Temple Society has organised a universal, joint online prayer. This can be joined online from any location on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th March, at exactly 7am. Link to the prayer is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsGJlyFcdQM

We thank all volunteers who are already involved and look forward to hear from those willing to contribute in whatever way they can.

Residents of Christchurch are in our thoughts and prayers.

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