• Tuesday, May 24, 2022

News

Ukraine crisis: BAPS volunteers in Europe join relief efforts

BAPS volunteers supply meals to refugees

By: Pramod Thomas

BAPS volunteers in Europe have joined emergency relief efforts on the Polish, Romanian and Hungarian borders with Ukraine as instructed by His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj. 

Last month, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had a video conference with Pujya Swami Brahmaviharidas seeking assistance from BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha in ensuring the safe passage of Indian nationals from crisis-hit Ukraine.

Volunteers from the UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and Poland have come together to set up a mobile field kitchen in the south-eastern Polish city of Rzeszów, a statement said. Currently, it is providing 1,000 vegetarian meals to refugees daily. BAPS is also arranging accommodation and coordinating for medical assistance.

Volunteers help refugees to board a bus to the airport for flights back to India

According to the statement, BAPS is working closely with the Indian government as well as local partners to further expand the humanitarian efforts.

Vijay Kumar Singh, former Army chief of staff and minister of state for
transport and civil aviation, commented on BAPS efforts: “BAPS has always been at the forefront of community service, being the first to arrive and the last to leave. The people of India are indebted to your swift, selfless and organised action.”

BAPS volunteers with Nagma Mohamed Mallick, Ambassador of India to the Republic of Poland

Keyur Bhatt, a lead BAPS volunteer from London, said: “The situation in Ukraine is desperate and tragic. The priority is to support those seeking refuge by providing them with food and shelter. We are working closely with transport networks and logistical agencies to ensure the safe and timely delivery of essential services to those in need.

“Our volunteers are inspired by the ethos of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, who personified the motto “In the joy of others lies our own”, and there has perhaps never been a more opportune moment to embody this selfless spirit of public service by providing the basic needs for those severely impacted by the conflict.”

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