Shree Swaminarayan Temple London, Golders Green (UK) celebrated Diwali and the start of the New Hindu Year 2066, in a totally unique fashion. In the true spirit of selfless giving, they donated blood. Eminent Members of Parliament, Barry Gardiner MP (Labour, Brent North) and Andrew Dismore MP (Labour, Hendon) joined the cues to donate.
His Divine Holiness Acharya Swamishree Purushottampriyadasji Maharaj (spiritual leader of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, whose UK headquarters are based at Shree Swaminarayan Temple London, Golders Green) is renowned around the world for His promotion of causes such as blood and organ donation. Acharya Swamishree ensures that such campaigns are included at all the major festivals celebrated by the Organisation. It is with this in mind that Shree Swaminarayan Temple in Golders Green decided to make this a Diwali of compassionate selfless giving of the most priceless gift of all – the anonymous gift of life to a complete stranger.
Over 80 individual blood donations were made; significantly 71 of these from first-time donors at the Blood Donation session. “In my 40 years’ experience, I’ve never seen a single session attract so many new donors,” said one of the National Blood Service’s nurses. The Temple has been approved for this purpose by the National Blood Service and anticipates holding sessions at other times throughout the year as part of its yearly Hindu celebrations.
The Temple welcomes thousands of visitors every year and this year, the doors were open even wider to the various communities around North West London for the specific purpose of uniting to collect and donate blood.
Visitors also had the opportunity to learn about Hindu Culture and the wider social, cultural and charitable activities of the Temple; and to see the unique mountain of food – Annkut – that is offered to God on this auspicious annual occasion.
Visiting the Temple that evening, Shailesh Vara MP (Conservative, New Cambridgeshire and Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons) commended the Temple community’s endeavours in supporting such a worthy cause.