Humanity is indeed the Greatest Religion: Religious Places Come Forward to Lend Helping Hand Amidst India’s Covid Crisis
As India reels under the second wave of the Covid-19 crisis witnessing an increasing rise in cases and deaths along with a shortage of vital resources such as Covid Beds and Oxygen Cylinders, religious places from Temples and Mosques to Gurudwaras have stepped forward to lend a helping hand in dealing with the pandemic.
Be it offering Covid beds, oxygen facilities, donations, and even free food to those affected with the disease, these places of worship have shown that the biggest religion is indeed humanity.
- In a major contribution, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Trust would be setting up two Oxygen Plants in Ayodhya at a when the nation is under severe pressure due to the increasing demand and shortage of Oxygen Cylinders for Covid Patients. The Trust would be funding the 2 Oxygen Plants to be set up at Dasrath Medical College at a cost of Rs.55 lakh.
- BAPS Swaminarayan Temple of Vadodara has converted its Yagnapurush Sabhagruh to a Covid-19 facility. The Covid-19 care centre is equipped with 500 beds, oxygen facilities like liquid oxygen tanks and piped oxygen lines, ICU beds and ventilators. The facility that has been operational since April 13 has so far admitted 45 Covid-19 patients for further treatment. Gyan Vatsal Swami of the Shri Swaminarayan Temple informed, “We are providing all the non-medical facilities for patients. We have arranged for oxygen and ventilators including the ICU rooms apart from fans and air-coolers.
- Puri’s Shree Jagannath Temple has converted its Nilachal Bhakta Nivas into a Covid-19 Care Centre. The Centre currently has 120 beds.
- Apart from this, the temple had pledged a donation of Rs 1.51 crore towards the Chief Minister Relief Fund to aid the government in this fight.
- Along with Jagannath Puri, 62 other smaller temples in Orissa have also donated to the CMRF.
- Jain Temple Pawan Dham in Kandivli, Mumbai has once again converted its 5-storey building into a Covid-19 Centre equipped with 100 beds, X-ray machines, oxygen concentrators and a team of 50 medics and nurses to admit those in need of non-ICU hospitalization.
- Along with this there are “60 beds at the temple in Ghatopkar, and more at 2 others in Rajkot. We have ordered 300 oxygen cylinders in Rajkot to deliver to people who’re unable to get space in hospitals. Efforts are being made to open the temples in Junagad and Kolkata as well”, said Jain Monk Narmramuniji Maharaj.
- Jain Volunteers are also supplying free food to those who’re home quarantined in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, and Baroda.
- Kashi Vishwanath Temple — one of the holiest shrines for Hindus has started a door-to-door food service free of cost for the patients suffering from Covid-19.
Even last year, when the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic hit India, various Hindu temples had come forth with donations and provided food and shelter to the needy in times of crisis.
- Mata Mansa Devi Temple, Panchkula donated Rs.10 crore, Somnath Temple’s Trust, Gujarat, donated Rs.1 crore, Mahavir Mandir Trust donated Rs.1 crore along with countless others to the respective states’ Corona Relief Fund.
- The famous Sarangpur Hanuman Mandir in Gujarat, had converted its Dharamshala into a 100-bed hospital for Coronavirus patients in April, 2020.
- A Gurudwara in Indirapuram has started an ‘Oxygen Langar’ for Covid-19 patients. A helpline number 9097041313 has also been released for the same. As soon as the Gurudwara receives a call on the helpline number, a car is sent to the patient and as soon as the patient reaches them, they are provided oxygen supply until a hospital bed is not allotted to them. A large number of people are already gathering at the Indirapuram Gurudwara for oxygen supply.
Apart from this, various Gurudwaras are offering food to Covid-19 positive patients and others in need in these tough times.
- The Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee has started its Langar Sewa to deliver to food to families who have tested Covid-19 positive. The DSGMC, which started its home-delivery services on Tuesday, has launched several helpline numbers (+91 9811914050) where people can call and ask for home delivery of food.
- The DSGMC has also provided 20 rooms in Guru Arjan Dev Ji Sarai with beds and oxygen arrangement, and 20 beds at Gurudwara Bala Sahib Kidney Dialysis Hospital for Covid-19 patients.
- Shri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida Sector-18 is also providing two meals a day to Covid infected patients at their doorstep. Giani Gurpreet Singh, Head Granthi of Shri Guru Singh Sabha, said “We had been running this service since September last year, later we stopped our services for a few months due to improvement in the Covid situation, but after April 8 we have resumed this service.”
- Vadodara’s Jahangirpura Masjid has been converted into a 50-bed Covid facility. “Due to oxygen and beds shortage, we decided to convert it into Covid facility. And what’s better than the month of Ramadan to do it,” said the mosque trustee.
- Also, various mosques in Mumbai and the suburbs have started providing free oxygen cylinders Covid-19 patients under a step initiated by the NGO — Red Crescent Society. The service is also provided for Covid-19 patients at home, whose oxygen levels are very low. Under the initiative, a thousand oxygen cylinders have been distributed so far free of cost and irrespective of religion.
- Arshad Siddique, Chairman of the Red Crescent Society, said “Mosques shouldn’t only be used for praying five times a day. It’s a God’s place, and we feel a good initiative should start from a sacred place”.