Manor Devotee remembers Tsunami Victims at St Paul's
Posted May 27, 2005
12 May 2005: The Hindu Forum of Britain was the only Hindu organisation invited to give a reading at the national service led by the Queen, on 11 May 2005 , at St Paul's Cathedral to remember the many thousands who perished in the Boxing Day Tsunami disaster.
Ramesh Kallidai (Romapada Dasa), Secretary General of the Hindu Forum, who is a devotee from Bhaktivedanta Manor near London, joined Prime Minister Tony Blair; the leader of the opposition parties; survivors; families of British victims; aid workers and police who helped in the rescue and recovery operation; and representatives from 11 of the 12 countries that suffered in the tsunami.
The centrepiece of the hour long service was a two-minute silence during which 273,800 petals, one for each person killed, will drop gently from the galleries and dome of the cathedral.
Ramesh Kallidai (Romapada Dasa) gave a reading at the service in front of Her Majesty the Queen, in which he said: "After the terrible tragedy, the Hindu Forum of Britain launched the Disaster Task Force, comprising of 50 organisations and responded instantly with medical aid, food, clothing, and temporary accommodation.
"Now, the focus has shifted to reconstruction and rehabilitation. Many organisations of the Task Force have adopted villages and are building earth-quake proof housing, community centres, places of worship, schools, gardens and medical centres to restore entire communities to normal life.
"The good news is that the healing process is really working. Thousands of abandoned orphans are being given a new lease of life. Doctors, nurses, social workers and priests are helping thousands of victims regain their physical strength, mental peace and spiritual identity.
"The generous response from the British public has been most heart-warming. The vast sums of money that ordinary people have donated for victims, completely disregarding their race or religion, proves the virtues of compassion and mercy are not lost."
The latest figures say that 124 Britons were killed and 21 are still missing and feared dead. Organisers say 126 of these bereaved families attended the service at St Paul's. Aid organisations say that the full death toll will never be known.
For more information contact Sanjay Mistry on 07810 368 772
- The Hindu Forum of Britain is the largest umbrella body with a broad-based membership of over 240 Hindu organisations from different regions and cultural backgrounds in Britain. At the core of the Forum's activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence.
- Further information can be secured from HFB Website: www.hinduforum.org